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Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

Ondo PDP chiefs exchange blows

Fed Govt sacks NDDC MD, board NEWS

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•Row over N69b projects ends

•Explosive peace meeting in Akure

VOL. 7, NO. 1883 WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2011



Body parts of UN House bomber Barra recovered Fed Govt pays N40b in default

Probe confirms use of advanced explosives


HE software solution company handling the Automated System for Custom Data (ASTCUDA) was paid N40billion from 2006 till date, despite not adhering to the terms of agreement it signed with the Federal Government, it was disclosed yesterday. But the Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala dissociated herself ...

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Abuja


ORE than three weeks after the bombing of the UN House in Abuja, experts from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other countries are still battling to uncover the sponsors of the attack in which 23 people died. But some parts of the body of the suicide bomber, Abu Barra, have been retrieved for forensic analysis, The Nation learnt yesterday. Investigators have discovered that the suicide bomber detonated sophisticated explosives, according to security sources. This has made experts probing the incident to look beyond the Boko Haram sect in seeking answers to the incident, it was gathered. The UN is said to have taken over the probe of the incident with a mandate to the investigators to expose those behind it. Although the FBI, the UN and other foreign experts are co-ordinating their activities from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nigerian security agencies are performing only supportive roles, it was learnt. A top source, who pleaded SEE not to be named because he is not authorised to talk to the ALSO media, said: “FBI and other forPAGES eign investigators are still inter2&10 mittently mopping up at the UN House. That is why the wreckage of the building has not been evacuated and most of the vehicles left intact the way they were since the incident. “The investigators have succeeded in retrieving some parts of the body of the suicide bomber, Abu Barra, including blood clot, for forensic and DNA tests. “Preliminary findings have confirmed the use of sophisticated explosives but the true identity of the suicide bomber is still being unravelled through forensic and DNA tests. “Nobody knows whether he was a Nigerian or not. But the main target is the unmasking of the sponsors. That is the huge task given to the investigators.” The theory the investigators are working on is that three groups of people may have been behind the spate of bombings in the country. “Those being suspected are unnamed exmilitary officers, aggrieved politicians, and religious fundamentalists who might be agents of al-Qaeda. “I think the nature of the bombings appears Continued on page 2

Business Page 11

Enyeama battles Odiah for honours


WO Nigerian players, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and Chidi Odiah, will be in action in the second day of the UEFA Champions League a s Lille of France host CSKA Moscow at the Lille Metropole, Lille. Though, Enyeama is not sure of a starting shirt, he aims to maintain Lille’s unbeaten home record in the French Ligue 1. Odiah’s CSKA target the maximum points. Sports Page 41 •Suspected members of Boko Haram who allegedly undertook the bombings in Suleja, Niger State at the Magistrate’s Court, Abuja ... yesterday. PHOTOS: ABAYOMI FAYESE

Libya to embrace moderate Islam

I was asked for bomb material, T says Boko Haram suspect


HE bombings in the land are meant to avenge the 2009 extra judicial killing of Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf by state agents in Maiduguri, a suspect, Ahmed Hassan Ezimaku, said yesterday. Ezimaku told a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Abuja that he was working at a mining site at Awe, Nasarawa State, when another suspect, Salisu Ahmed contacted him on May 25 to help procure cortex wire

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistnat Editor, Abuja

(explosive device material) for the sect. Ezimaku, who claimed to have been with Boko Haram since 2008, said he declined the offer but Bashar Madala, another suspect, invited him to a meeting in Madala, Niger State where members were being trained to avenge Yusuf’s killing. Continued on page 2

HE head of the National Transitional Council has delivered his first speech in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, since the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. Mustafa Abdul Jalil outlined his plans to create a modern democratic state based on “moderate Islam” to thousands of flag-waving supporters in the newly renamed Martyrs’ Square. Foreign Page 62





•Participants of National Defence College Course 20 in a group photograph with dignitaries at their inauguration in Abuja ... yesterday.

House to summon Security Chiefs


HE House of Representatives resumed legislative duties yesterday, with a resolve to invite heads of security agencies to discuss the bombing of the UN Building. The motion, sponsored by Hon. Patrick Ikhariale (PDP Edo State), was debated after he got the approval to step down House Rules. The debate came after the House emerged from a marathon executive session that lasted about three hours. Ikhariale said the state of security has made it imperative for the House to display responsiveness as representatives of the people and examine the implications of the explosions on the economy and the country’s image. “The House must appraise itself of the magnitude of the wanton destruction of property and loss of lives that accompanied the act,” he said. Ikhariale wanted the House to condemn the bombing of the UN building, condole with the families of the victims and convey its condolence, through a high-ranking delegation to the UN Secre-

Bombings ‘to avenge Boko Haram leader’s murder’

Body parts recovered Continued from page 1

to be hi-tech based, that Boko Haram might not be able to afford. This kind of discovery suggests high-profile sponsorship. “That is why the UN is more interested in the sponsors; operational bases of Boko Haram sect than the sect’s footsoldiers.” Asked when the investigation will end, the source said it was impossible to say, adding: “These foreign investigators liaise with the Office of the National Security Adviser; they are virtually operating from there.” Security has been strengthened in all embassies. Another security source said: “We got intelligence reports that some embassies might be the targets of these bombers and instead of isolating a few ones, we decided to protect all of them. “This security beef-up is extended to the embassies of African countries too. Those deployed are on 24 hours alert.” From Dele Anofi, Abuja

tary General through his representative in Nigeria. He also prayed the House to implore all security agencies to deploy extra security measures to forestall further loss of lives and property through terrorism. He suggested that more security measures be taken at the country’s border posts to eliminate or reduce to the barest minimum the influx

of suspected criminals and terrorists into Nigeria. Ikhariale said: “The House should invite heads of the nation’s security agencies to explain the measures they have taken so far to forestall future occurrence.” The House, he said, should determine how to address terrorism. Speaker Aminu Tambuwal put the motion to voice vote and majority of the lawmakers favoured it.


•The late Yusuf Continued from page 1

His words: “We were taught how to handle the AK47 rifle and were given training under oath. After the preaching, I told Bashir that I was not satisfied with the message and that I was not interested in the Boko Haram movement” “When I left the place, I changed my phone number and travelled to Nasarawa State, but I later received a call from Bashir, who said he knew where I was working and that I should supply cortex wire for use by Boko Haram, which I declined. “But he insisted that I connect him with someone else

who could supply it. So, I connected him with Mohammed Danlami, who was one of the labourers working at the mining site. Danlami agreed to supply the wire. “Danlami came to Abuja around the end of June 2011. He called me and I linked him up with Bashir. He brought two rolls of the wire, which he delivered to Bashir in Abuja and he was paid for the supply.” Ezimaku was arraigned alongside seven other suspects of the sect on a fivecount criminal charge. The other suspects are: Shuaibu Abubakar, Mohammed Danlami, Salisu Ahmed, Umar Babagana, Mohammed Ali, Musa Adam and Umar Ibrahim. The suspects were brought to court under heavy security, in handcuffs and leg chains. The courtroom and the entire premises were heavily guarded while the hearing lasted. They were charged with

Jonathan sacks NDDC MD Ugwoha, board


RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan last night removed Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha. He also dissolved the board of the commission. The dissolved board was headed by Air Vice Marshal Larry Koinyan. The sack gale also swept away all the Executive Directors of the commission. The President took the decision after receiving the report of the Presidential Committee on NDDC, headed by a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Steve Oronsaye. A statement by Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr. Anyim Pius Anyim, last night announced the decision. The statement reads: “Fol-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

lowing the conclusion of the assignment of the Presidential Committee to look into the problems facing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and subsequent submission of the report of the committee, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, after due consideration of the report has approved the dissolution of the Board of the NDDC with effect from today, 13th day of September 2011. “A new board for the commission will be reconstituted soon. “The Managing Director and other Executive members are to handover all commission’s items in their custody to the Director of Administration and Human

Resources, Mrs. Osato Areyenka.” In the past eight months, there had been disagreement between the NDDC Managing Director and the board over management of the N69billion projects being executed by the commission. Another issue which created a board crisis was the alleged transfer of $20million belonging to the NDDC from the Union Bank in the United Kingdom to First Bank (UK) Plc. While the MD got approval from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to save the commission from losing its funds to distress in Nigerian banks, the board denied giving any approval. The disagreement led to the setting up of Oronsaye’s Ad-

ministrative Panel. Although there was pressure on the presidency to suspend the Managing Director, the President resisted it based on “the need for fair hearing.” At a point, the Association of Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON) and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta joined the fray. In a statement, the National Chairman of TROMPCON, Oba (Dr.) Lawrence Adetemi Omowole III, who is also the Amapetu of Mahin Kingdom, said Oronsaye’s panel was a welcome development. The traditional ruler said: “It is with joy and relief that TROMPCON received the constitution of an Administrative Panel by President, Commander-in-Chief of the

armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, to look into the crises in the commission as well as identify areas of rifts with a view to proffering solutions that will enhance institutional potency as well as strengthen the values and virtues of the commission.” “Above all, by taking a radical departure from the past in which those accused are suspended before enquiries, President Jonathan has by his action, given a clear indication of his readiness to let the public have a better insight and perception of the problems bedeviling the NDDC. “This attests to a new and commendable presidential direction in the gospel of rule of law and due process.”

criminal conspiracy to commit felony, to wit-criminal intimidation and threat to life and voluntarily causing grevious hurt by dangerous means, contrary to Section 97 248(1) and Section 397 of the Penal Code, punishable under the same code. According to the prosecution counsel, Mr. Cliff Osagie, the suspects are being charged with allegedly conspiring with Bashir Madala, who is at large, to prepare, plan and detonate Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at various public places and, by force of arms, caused grevious bodily hurt to innocent persons and did execute the said conspiracy which led to the death of 16 persons at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Suleja, Niger State on April 8, 2011. They are also being charged with causing the death of three persons at a political rally in Suleja on March 3, 2011. The suspects are also being linked with the death of three Peace Officers at a check point at Dakwa-Deidei in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital on May 23, 2011. They are also answering charges for their alleged involvement in the bombing of All Christians Fellowship Church, Suleja on July 10, 2011 in which three persons were killed. All the suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges. Osagie told the court that investigation into the case had been concluded and that the prosecution was ready for the trial. He urged the court to remand the accused persons in custody, pending the next adjournment of the case. Chief Magistrate Mrs. Oyewumi Oyebola told the accused persons that they had the right to be represented by lawyers of their choice. They replied that they had no lawyers. Except Ezimaku, the remaining suspects spoke in Hausa through an interpreter. The case was adjourned till October 4. The court ordered that the accused persons be remanded in the SSS custody till the adjourned date.

ADVERT HOTLINES: 01-280668, 08070591302, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678



NEWS In 2006 when Danny and Ricky were sentenced to 10-year imprisonment each for partaking in the killing of a Nigerian, Damilola Taylor, Damilola’s father – Richard, had asked if the jail terms would serve as deterrent to others. Halfway into the prison terms, Danny has been spotted at a park with a bottle of beer, reports Press Association.

Concern over early release of Damilola Taylor’s killer




•The late Damilola

ing them read his name again in the papers in relation to another crime.” After the Preddies were sentenced at the Old Bailey, Damilola’s father, Richard Taylor, questioned whether the jail terms would act as a deterrent to others. When asked about Danny’s early release from jail two weeks ago, a

Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: “Serious offenders on licence are subject to a strict set of conditions and controls. “Examples include a strict curfew and other restrictions on their movements, as well as frequent meetings with their offender manager. If they fail to comply with their licence conditions, they are li-

able to be returned to custody.” Damilola’s death in November 2000 shocked the nation. He had moved to Peckham, South London, from Nigeria a few months before he was jabbed in the thigh with a broken beer bottle by a gang of youths as he walked home from the local library after school in November 2000.

No need to domesticate FOI law, says Coalition


HERE is no need for the domestication of the Freedom of Information (FOI) law, the FOI Coalition said . A member of the Coalition, Mr. Tive Denedo, spoke during a visit to the headquarters of The Nation on Monday. Some governors have been forwarding Bills to the Houses of Assembly to enable them localise the FOI law. Denedo described such action as “lack of understanding.” He said the FOI law is like the Act establishing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He asked: “Do states have to domesticate the EFCC law?” He hailed Nigerians for their persistence for 12 years before the passage of the Bill and its signing into law by President Goodluck Jonathan. He said the next step is for the Coalition to see to the implementation of the law and denied that the content of the law “is watered down”. “People are erroneously being made to believe the content of the passed Bill is watered down,” he said. Denedo, who is the Campaign Director of the Media Rights Agenda (MRA) - one of the organisations in the forefront of the FOI campaign was accompanied on the visit by Senior Programmes officer (MRA) Mr Ayode Longe; Programme Officer

•Eight INEC RECs, five ICPC commissioners also From Sanni Onogu, Abuja


NE of the brothers who killed schoolboy Damilola Taylor has been released early from prison. Danny Preddie, now 23, is understood to be staying at a West London bail hostel after serving five years for the 10-year-old’s manslaughter. He was spotted walking in a park with a bottle of beer despite strict parole conditions, including a curfew order ensuring he is not out on the streets late at night. Elder brother Ricky, 24, who was also sentenced to eight years behind bars in October 2006, was released in September last year - but recalled to jail for breaching his parole. Gary Trowsdale, managing director of the Damilola Taylor Trust, said: “Having cost the taxpayers £15 million in police and trial fees, we hope that Danny Preddie can finally show some remorse. The system of reformation does not seem to have worked for his brother, so we can only hope he is more sensible. “If he can make some use of his life now then we should give him that chance. Whether we agree with the short sentence or not, it is served now and we have to hope he does not heap more pain and suffering on the Taylor family by hav-

Jonathan asks Senate to confirm Musdapher

•From left: Longe, Miss Onyejekwe, Mrs Onyeabor and Denedo at The Nation ... on Monday PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

(MRA) Miss Jennifer Onyejekwe and Programme Officer International Press Centre (IPC), Mrs Uju Onyeabor. He hoped that the law would work because all that is necessary will be done, including collaborating with

the Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, adding:“It took five years for the FOI to take off after the law was passed in the United Kingdom.” He said although the law is not only for journalists or the media, it will assist the media to carry out its constitutional responsibility of hold-

ing the government accountable to the people. Denedo said it is a delight that Nigeria is one of the 70 countries in the world to have the FOI law. He said the FOI Coalition will work in concert with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to educate Nigerians on the benefits of the FOI law.

RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has forwarded the name of the Acting Chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, to the Senate for confirmation. Senate President David Mark, who read the President‘s letter at plenary yesterday referred it to the Senate Committee on Judiciary. Jonathan also sent the name of Darius Dickson Ishaku as ministerial nominee to represent Taraba State. The Senate had, before its recess, rejected the nomination of Obadiah Ando as the ministerial nominee representing Taraba State . The Senate also referred to its Committee on Electoral Matters names of eight new Resident Electoral Commissioners forwarded to it by President Jonathan for consideration and confirmation. The new RECs, whose appointments were fresh, included Sylvester Okey Ezeani (Anambra), Dr. Lawrence Azubuike (Imo), Sam Olugbadebo Olumekun (Ondo), Prof. Istifanus Ishaku Dafwang (Plateau), Mrs Gesila Khan (Bayelsa), Mr. Samuel Madaki (Taraba) and Dr Gabriel Ada, who was reappointed from Cross River state. Although the name of Prof Mohammed Tabi’u appeared among the names for the new RECs on the Order Paper to represent Jigawa state, the Senate President informed the Senate that President Jonathan has written to withdraw his nomination. According to him, the new REC nominee to represent Jigawa State is Alhaji Migawa Abdullahi. The REC nominees were later referred to the Senate Committee on INEC for screening. Names of five National Commissioners of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) were also read by the Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba. The ICPC Commissioners’ nominees included Alhaji Abdullahi Ado Bayero ( North West ), Alhaji Isa Ozi Salami (North Central), Ekpo Una Owo Nta (South South), Prof Olu Aina (South West) and Dame Julie OnumNwariaku, reappointed from Southeast. The names of the nominees were referred to the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes for screening. Ndoma-Egba told reporters after the plenary that Nigerians should expect more work from the upper chamber. He described Mark’s speech as the Senate’s “Road Map and Contract with Nigerians.” “Nigerians can hold the Senate to the content of the speech,” he said. Ndoma-Egba added that the Senate Standing Committees would be constituted “as soon as possible.” He said his interaction with the press yesterday would be his last before the new chairman of the Senate committee on Information would take over. On the insecurity situation in the country, Egba said the Senate would give more attention to the matter, adding that the Senate would soon go into a session to discuss the security situation. “If need be, we will engage the heads of our security agencies for further dialogue,” he said.



NEWS Presidential Election: CPC calls four fresh witnesses From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

THE Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday called four fresh witnesses before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to argue its petition against the April 16 electoral victory of President Goodluck Jonathan. The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs, however, reminded the petitioner that time is of essence and that there will be no extension on 10 days granted the party to prove its case. Led-in-evidence by Mr. Dipo Okpeseyi (SAN), the CPC National Vice-Chairman, North, Mr. Salihu Mustapha and the National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin told the tribunal that the election was fraught with irregularities. Mustapha said they analysed the results of the election obtained from the party’s agents. Fashakin said he could not tell if other voters at his polling unit in Lagos were accredited before voting. The other two witnesses, Ahmed Oyewole and Abubakar Muhamad told the court that the April 16 election did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act even in states where the party scored majority votes. All the four witnesses were cross-examined by the defence counsel before the tribunal adjourned till today for continuation.

No sacred cows in dealing with terrorism sponsors, says Mark


ENATE President David Mark yesterday said sponsors of terrorism would not be treated as sacred cows. In an eight-page address at the resumption of plenary, he spoke on the worsening security challenges, natural disasters, constitution amendment, state creation, state police, state and local government joint account and environmental degradation. On insecurity, he said: “Innocent lives have been mindlessly wasted and property wantonly destroyed through bomb explosions and related acts of violence. Emotions have been ruptured, rivers of tears ripped open, and the land needlessly drenched with the blood of hapless innocent citizens. “Indeed, what we have witnessed are gravely discordant with our cultural and religious values of the sanctity of life and our age-long tradition of being our brothers’ keeper. “I have no doubt therefore that you (Senators) share my view that this is most deplorable and totally unacceptable. We must address the issue of insecurity squarely, once and for all.” Mark said the Senate would do whatever it takes to bring lasting peace in the country. He added: “What the times call for is greater collaboration, not only between the Senate and the security

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onugu, Abuja

agencies, but also between our constituents and us. When evil men conspire, all good men must congregate. “We represent every segment of this country from where we draw our mandate and we must therefore return to the people and work with them in addressing our security challenges. “The bombers and their sponsors live among us. Therefore, our constituents should spare nothing in assisting to find a lasting solution to this national embarrassment. “I urge the Federal Government to take decisive steps to stem this ugly tide. It must rise to emphatically make this land most infertile for all sponsors and peddlers of terrorism and anarchy. And in doing this, there must be no sacred cows.” Mark described the natural disasters witnessed in the country recently as “very unusual, both in intensity and in human and material tolls on our nation.” The Senate as an institution, he said, would continue to provide the legislative frameworks that will fully support every concerted effort towards addressing the human factors that have worsened the country’s environmental challenges. He said Nigerians expected the

Senate to revisit some fundamental issues, such as state creation, the Local Government system, devolution of powers, revenue allocation, state police, State Independent Electoral Commission, uniform minimum wage and joint account. Mark said: “Is the current revenue formula equitable? Will a change in favour of the states enhance the deliverables to the people? Should power distribution be on the Exclusive Legislative List? Shouldn’t states that invest in power generation be allowed to distribute? Is it necessary to create new States? Will it bring government nearer to the people and address cries of marginalisation? How effective are the local governments? Should they be made to function independently of the States? Is the Joint State/Local Governments account still necessary? “I, therefore, expect that in this session, we will not only deal with them, but also with other issues that will guarantee good governance, peace, justice, and development in our country.” Mark said the Senate would likely review the Electoral Act, 2010. He said: “Now that primaries and elections are over and the tribunals are addressing the aftermaths of the election in accordance with the Electoral Act, we should be able to draw from the lessons learnt and further


amend the Act accordingly. “Thus, while the 2010 Act laid the foundation for possibly the best election in our democratic history, like any other human products, it is still not perfect. In our quest to continue to improve our electoral processes, we will work with the Independent National Electoral Commission, political parties, and other stakeholders to revisit the 2010 Electoral Act to address the issues arising from its operation ahead of the forthcoming governorship elections in some states and the 2015 general election.” He called on Nigerians, the civil society, interest groups and other stakeholders to take the opportunity of public hearings to make inputs to the legislative processes. Mark added that a situation where people would rather sit back and ignore public hearings, only to pick holes with the finished legislative product was antithetical to democracy and good governance.

NLC, TUC write Jonathan over Enugu detention episode From John Ofikhenua and Tayo Owolabi, Abuja

THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have written President Goodluck Jonathan over the alleged illegal detention of some of their officials during the protest in Enugu last Thursday over the minimum wage. Recounting their ordeal in the letter released in Abuja yesterday, the labour bodies said some of their officials, led by Presidents Abdulwahed Omar and Peter Esele lodged at the Gold Value Hotels where “they had come for a rally following the refusal of Governor Sullivan Chime to negotiate and implement the new National Minimum Wage.” The letter reads: “In the early hours of that September 8, 2011 morning, we were shocked to find that the hotel had been seized by heavily armed soldiers in camouflage uniform supported by equally armed policemen who wore bullet-proof vests. “The soldiers and policemen claimed they had orders from “above” to detain the eight National Labour leaders staying in the hotel...To avoid a possible bloody confrontation, especially when the news of our illegal detention had spread and workers began to converge on the hotel gate, we reached out to top Officials of your administration, who expressed surprise that combat troops can be urged to seize a hotel and detain labour leaders. They promised to take immediate steps to remedy the situation. This, they apparently did, as the troops were withdrawn shortly afterwards and the hotel gates reopened. “Surprisingly, thugs armed with sticks and other objects, replaced the departing soldiers and began to physically attack workers.”

•.Senate President David Mark with principal officers going in for plenary as they resumed after six weeks holiday in Abuja… yesterday

Anxiety as Tambuwal fails to name House Leader, Committee chairmen M EMBERS of the House of Representatives were disappointed as the Speaker Aminu Tambuwal could not announce the leadership of the various standing committees yesterday. The House resumed from a twomonth recess with the hope of knowing who heads various committees, especially as the body of principal officers relocated to Ilorin, Kwara State, to perfect the list earlier drawn. It was, however, gathered that the reason for the non-disclosure of the names was as a result of the inability of the principal officers and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition on the other hand to reach a consensus over the appointment of the Leader of the House.

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation and Dele Anofi, Abuja

According to a source, the division within the House reached a climax during an executive session after the Speaker addressed them. It was learnt that the principal officers and the PDP had agreed on Mulikat Akande-Adeola becoming the leader of the House instead of Muraina Ayoola. Several members of the opposition parties were also averse to the manner of the constitution of the Committees and the appointment of their chairmen, a situation which,

according to the source, forced members of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to convey a meeting after the plenary session. Faced with tension over the constitution of committees Tambuwal and other principal officers retired into a meeting last night. It was the third meeting in a week that the principal officers will be holding over the list of chairmen and committee members. The principal officers had met in Ilorin last week, held a session on Monday and slated another meeting for last night. There were indications the Speaker and the principal officers

might review the recommendations of the Selection Committee. But Tambuwal has initiated a new idea to give chairmen and committee members' letters of appointment to avoid members "straying" into any beat. A high-ranking member, who spoke with our correspondent said: 'The Speaker and the principal officers are trying to avoid the famous ‘Banana Peel’ because there is too much tension on the House Committees. "All our principal officers met till 9pm on Monday night, they could not arrive at the final list. Don't forget that they spent a considerable time at their retreat for the same list of committee chairmen and members."



NEWS Conduct Bureau goes tough on erring politicians From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba


•Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Mrs Farida Waziri (left), Chief Executive Officer TRUSS Inc., Iboro Idiong, Special Adviser to the President on Social Development Mrs Sarah Pane, Minister of State, Trade and Investment Dr Samuel Ortum and Director-General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC) Mrs Ify Umenyi at the third Annual African Dialogue Consumer Protection Conference in Abuja... yesterday. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

HE Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) yesterday threatened to prosecute erring politicians over assets declaration. It said violators of its directives would be treated as criminals. The Bureau’s Delta State director, Mr. Anthony Onyibe, spoke in Asaba during a visit to the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chike Ogeah. He said many political office holders have refused to submit their assets declaration forms months after assuming offices. He said the Bureau views their action as criminal. Onyibe said: “Those who have collected forms and refused to submit them will face prosecution. There won’t be any sacred cow. We shall touch the untouchables, fire for fire. The best thing is to obey the law. The breach of the law is criminal in nature and we shall treat them as criminals.’’

Military gives ex-militants ultimatum to surrender arms

ACN: Jonathan out of tune with reality T CPC, ANPP battle President T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday said the comments made by President Goodluck Jonathan during his maiden Media Chat on Monday have shown that he is largely out of tune with the situation in Nigeria. In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party described as superficial and devoid of deep understanding the President’s comments on such issues as the single-tenure proposal, the Jos crisis and the National Sovereign Conference. “When the President of a nation talks, citizens must take something concrete away from it. Sadly, that cannot be said of our President’s Maiden Chat on Monday,” it said. ACN said, for example, that since sovereignty derives from the people, the President should not be oblivious, or even pretend to be, to the preponderance of the people’s opinion against the single-tenure kite which he is flying. “Saying he has no regret and indicating he will push forward with the ill-advised single-tenure proposal, even at the expense of more pressing national problems of insecurity and lack of economic development, shows he is not in tune with the same people who voted him into office. “Failing to tell Nigerians how his administration will ameliorate the serious problems of infrastructural decay is a blunder. Missing the opportunity to comment on the fate of Nigerians who are being arrested, detained and killed in Libya by the transitional authorities which his administration

over single tenure From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja


HE Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday described the seven- year single-tenure proposal as a child’s play. Describing President Goodluck Jonathan as confused over the tenure issue, the CPC said the proposal showed that the Office of the President could not be trusted. “He can not deceive Nigerians. The antics will not work,” the party said. In a chat, the National Publicity Secretary of the CPC, Rotimi Fashakin, said: “The President is confused. He should not affect our lives negatively. Those of us that are opposing believe that his proposal for six years is not normal for democracy. If you do well you will have the chance of having another four years. “The people who advised him on this proposal did not think twice on it because Nigerians are desirous of a system where the people in power will be accountable to them. When you say a single-term of six years, that person will not be accountable to the people.” The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), also said last night that the country now has a ‘double talking Presidency’ which may not speak well for democracy. The ANPP National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu: “The Office of the President is a very serious one and Nigerians do take information emanating from that place serious. “The idea where the presidential aide is saying a different thing from what President Goodluck Jonathan is saying is misleading and it portrays a high-level of unseriousness in the office of the President. “Nigerians have no trust in the Presidency with the development and it is a constitutional matter and Jonathan must be articulate. He should not double talk.” has recognised is a serious error of judgment,” the party said. But it said the President’s biggest faux pas during his Media Chat is on the lingering Jos crisis - a problem which he failed to exhibit an understanding of the issues at stake or proffer any innovative solution “The platitudes about one group

not having the right to kill the other or that enforcing the law doesn’t bring the peace in any place until the people themselves agree to have peace are not what Nigerians in general, and the people of Jos in particular, want to hear. They want to know that their President understands the issues at stake and has

the political will to end the mindless killings. They want to know what the government will do to bring the perpetrators of the killings to justice, so as to end the ongoing culture of impunity in Jos,” ACN said. The party said, for example, that the President’s decision to ask the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to take over the security situation in Jos is largely superfluous, and reinforces the same well-worn mindset of resorting to a reckless use of force to solve all security problems, including the Boko Haram crisis. “Right now, the military is in charge of security in Plateau, under the Special Task Force deployed to the state. Even with the task force’s best efforts, the killings and violence persist. One therefore wonders what miracle the CDS is expected to perform with the same task force, when even some groups are accusing it (task force) of taking sides in the crisis and calling for its withdrawal to pave the way for the deployment of ‘Operation Rainbow’ a coalition of regular and mobile policemen. “We agree with those who have said Nigeria’s reliance on the military for a solution to terrorism or other insecurity problems is counter-productive. We agree with those who have called for a holistic approach (that will take into consideration the root causes of the problems) to the security problems facing our nation. We say no to knee-jerk reactions to these problems, as exemplified by President Jonathan’s comments during his ineffective Media Chat on Monday,’’ ACN said.

No Nigerian killed, harassed in Libya, says Minister


F the words of Minister of Foreign Affairs Olugbenga Ashiru are anything to go by, no Nigerian had been killed or harassed in Libya. There were fears that some Nigerians and other black Africans were killed, maimed and harassed by the rebels in their stride to take full control of Libya. But making a clarification in Abuja yesterday during his ministry’s media presentation in commemoration of President Goodluck Jonathan’s 100 days in office, the

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

Minister stated that no Nigerian lost his or her life in the troubled North African country. According to him, the decision taken by Nigeria to recognise the Libyan’s National Transitional Council (NTC) has ensured protection of Nigerians in Libya. He said: “When I got the text message from Libya on the harassment of Nigerians there, I called the Nigerian who told me that they were

afraid that they would be harmed and I assured him that the NTC has our backing and will not harm them. “I also called the NTC, which gave all assurances that there is no plan to kill or harass any Nigerian in Libya. I also gave the NTC the Nigerian’s telephone number and he was assured that no harm will come to them. “So I want to state here that no Nigerian has been harassed or killed in Libya. Because of our stand of recognising the NTC as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people as they were gaining ground there,

Nigerians in Libya are being protected. Since we took that decision, over 40 countries have also backed the NTC.” Stressing that Nigeria has made considerable achievements in its foreign policy, he said the country took a principled stand on the Cote d’Ivoire’s election that brought in Alasane Ouattara, adding that even though the issue momentarily divided the African Union (AU), most of those against Nigeria’s position on the matter have since changed their minds.

HE Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta has issued a seven-day ultimatum to all those in possession of illegal arms in the region to surrender them or face the full wrath of the law. JTF Spokesman Lt.-Col. Timothy Antigha, in a statement, said in Yenagoa that those in possession of such illegal fire arms had till September 18 to surrender them. “With effect from Sept. 18, anyone found in possession of illegal arms will be arrested and treated as a criminal.’’ Antigha dismissed claims that the activities of JTF were responsible for the renewed agitation by some ex-militants in the region for the implementation of the third phase of the amnesty programme. He said the security outfit had nothing to do with the running of the amnesty programme, which he explained was the prerogative of the Federal Government. Antigha said the task force was only concerned with taking control of the illegal arms and ammunition in the possession of some ex-militants. “So far, the JTF has mopped up several thousands of arms and ammunition, which would otherwise have been used to perpetrate crime in the region and the nation in general. “The JTF believes that the Niger Delta region is more secured with these arms recovered from unauthorised persons. “It is therefore with utmost shock and disappointment that the JTF views the recent wilful and mischievous misinterpretation of its patriotic duty to mean incitement of ex-militants to agitate for the third phase of the amnesty programme.’’ In a reaction to the JTF statement, two ex-militants, Kathy Sese and Tonye Bobo, vowed on behalf of their group, in a separate statement in Yenagoa, to continue with their agitation. The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr Kingsley Kuku, commended the JTF for its patriotic duties to the nation. The Head of Media and Communications, Presidential Amnesty Office, Mr Henry Ogbolue, in a statement, said JTF should continue to mop up illegal arms in the region, and warned “mischief makers” against dragging back the amnesty programnme.



NEWS Robbers had a field day in Bauchi, say Police •’They stole N19m’ From Austine Tsenzughul, Bauchi HOODLUMS who bombed a police station and robbed a bank in Misau, Bauchi State, on Monday, operated unchallenged, the police said yesterday. Police Commissioner Ikechukwu Aduba said Monday’s twin attacks, which led to the death of six policemen and a civilian, could have been averted had the police received the needed information and support. He said the hoodlums carted away N19.2million from the bank’s vault, adding that the police suspected insider collaboration in the robbery. The police chief addressed reporters in Bauchi. He said: “From the on-thespot assessment of the crime scene, the issue of insider is so glaring and cannot be ruled out.” Aduba noted that the robbers broke into emergency exit of the bank and operated. He said: “While the bank manager escaped, two of the bank employees with the keys to the strong room were on the ground and they personally handed the two keys to the bandits with little or no threat from them.” The police chief confirmed that five policemen and a civilian were shot dead during the robbery and another civilian sustained gun shot wounds. The victim, he added, was receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital. Appealing for information from the public to assist the police to perform their duty, Aduba expressed regret that while the robbers had a field day before attacking the police station and the bank, no one volunteered information to the police to checkmate them. He said: “Intelligence report at our disposal indicates that the hoodlums parked their vehicles at a distance and trekked to the police station. Yet, within this period, nobody alerted the police. At the end of the day, we lost six Nigerian citizens and N19.2million taken away by the hoodlums, as alleged by the bank management. “The command will once again make a clarion call that security is everyone’s business and it takes the concerted efforts of the police and the public to police a community. “The police have no magic wand and, to this extent, we have often enjoined the public to feed us with necessary information on suspicious movement of people within their communities.” Aduba said the police have arrested five suspects who allegedly beheaded a Torobased cattle merchant. The trader was reportedly lured to Njama for a phantom cow transaction. Another set of 14 armed youths from Gombe State was wanted for taking the law into their hands by allegedly arresting the murder suspect, who was said to be taking refuge in Bauchi State.


Activists fault govt’s security plan for Jos

NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation, Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has said the directive by President Goodluck Jonathan that the Chief of Defence Staff should oversee the security in Plateau State is a mere “political smokescreen”. It noted that the directive would not lead to a reduction in the mass killings of innocent Jos residents. The group urged the government to bring perpetrators of mass killings to justice without delay. HURIWA said the presidential order is an exercise in “semantic gymnastics” because the powers to deploy the police and the Armed Forces rest constitutionally on the President. In a statement by its National Coordinator and National Media Director, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and Miss. Zainab Yusuf, the group urged the Federal Government to enforce far-reaching strategies that would ensure that perpetrators of the mass killings in Jos and other parts of Plateau State and their

‘President’s directive on security not indictment’


LATEAU State Governor Jonah Jang yesterday said the directive by President Goodluck Jonathan to the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, to take charge of security in the state was not an indictment of his administration. The governor said the Federal Government had been in charge of security before the recent decision. He played down the import of President Jonathan’s directive, saying there was nothing wrong in it because “it is the usual practice everywhere”. Jang, who addressed State House correspondents in Abuja, said he is not God to end the carnage on the Plateau. The governor described the meeting, which was at the instance of the President, as cordial because it agreed to ensure peace in the state. According to him, there is nothing wrong with the presidential directive to Petinrin, adding that the Defence chief is usually in charge of situations where a military task force, such as the one in Plateau State, is operational. Jang also said he trusts in the ability of the By Olamilekan Andu

sponsors are arrested, investigated and prosecuted in the courts of law. HURIWA urged the government to punish all those

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

Chief of defence Staff to carry out the President’s directive. Following is the exchange between the governor and the correspondents. Jang: My coming here is routine and I briefed him the President). I have given him my report on Plateau State. It was very cordial, and everything is well. We all agreed to ensure peace on the Plateau. Question: Don’t you think the presidential directive was a subtle way of imposing a state of emergency? Well, go and read the Constitution. Do you think the latest measure would end the crisis? Am I God to end Jos crisis? Was the President’s directive not an indication that you have failed? Already, the task force has been under the command of the President. Therefore, it is not an indication that the security has been taken over from the state. We hope to end the crisis. People are saying that the crisis is out of control.

connected with the series of organised violent killings of children, women and the elderly in Plateau State in the past two years or so. It faulted the Federal Government for not investigating

the groundswell of allegations of collusion and complicity of “some bad eggs” in the Joint Task Force in the series of organised mass murder for prosecution, just as it blamed professional incom-

petence on the part of operatives of the Joint Military Task Force in Jos for the continuous breach of peace and the situation of anarchy prevailing in Plateau state. The statement reads: “The announcement that President Jonathan has directed the nation’s Chief of Defence Staff to take over responsibility of security in Plateau State is an exercise in ‘political gimmickry’ and ‘Semantic Olympics’ since in the first place all matters of security come under the jurisdiction of the President, and governors are mere stooges identified only by name such as the Chief Security Officers of their states without any practical command and control structures of either the Nigeria Police Force or the Nigerian military under their jurisdiction.” Citing Section 215(3) and 218 (1) of the Constitution as amended, the rights group noted that the President has the effective control of the Armed Forces and the police. It wondered why the armed operatives have failed to bring the situation of near anarchy and insecurity in Plateau State to an end.

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PDP is complacent, not Fashola, says ACN


HE Lagos chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has dismissed criticisms by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has become complacent. ACN described a statement credited to the PDP Chairman in Lagos, Mr Setonji Koshoedo, that Fashola has become too satisfied with himself on how Lagos is run, as “kindergarten, insincere, primitive and bad politics”. In a statement by the state Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, the party said the “nonexistent PDP” in Lagos always has something negative to say

By Joseph Jibueze

about Fashola, just to be in the news. It noted that Fashola has not slowed down but remains focused “with his eyes fixed on the ball”. “The little-minded elements in PDP, Lagos, know nothing about sound initiatives, creativity in governance, careful planning and intelligent execution of projects. These do not exist in their lexicon. “In a football pitch, 22 players perform the real action and thousands of spectators do the talking and shouting. In Lagos, we do the work and PDP does the talking,” ACN said. The party added: “If there

is any party that is complacent in carrying out its functions, it is Mr. Setonji’s clueless and rudderless party called the PDP. Here is a party that still allocates 70 per cent of our national budget on recurrent expenditure and 30 per cent on capital in a nation that lacks the basic infrastructure to kickstart our ailing economy. “Here is a PDP government that cannot fix Lagos International Airport road; ApapaOshodi Expressway; LagosIbadan Expressway; ShagamuBenin Expressway; Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway; Mile 12Ikorodu Road; and, in fact, all federal roads in Nigeria. “Is it not an evidence of com-

placency on the part of Setonji’s PDP that it has found it difficult if not impossible to give priority to Capital Expenditure in other to fix about 7000 abandoned Federal Projects through Nigeria? “Is it not complacency on the part of Setonji’s PDP that 12 years after the promise to deliver electric power to Nigerians, the party is still shifting dates with reckless abandon? What other evidence of complacency are we looking for when Mr. Setonji’s PDP cannot deal squarely and effectivelywith the big problem of insecurity enveloping the political landscape after 12 years of inept leadership?”

One dead, five injured in Lagos Area Boys’ clash


NE person was killed and about five others reportedly injured yesterday during an early morning clash between some suspected miscreants (Area Boys) in Agege area of Lagos State. The Nation learnt that the clash between Area Boys from Apasa and Matanna communities in Agege began after some of the area boys from

By Titilayo Banjoko (Crime Reporter)

Matanna burgled an apartment at Apasa. The boys from Matanna, numbering five, were initially chased away by residents of the Apasa community. But they later regrouped and launched a counter-attack on Matanna residents. The development, it was learnt, degenerated into a

brawl between street urchins from both communities, leading to the death of one and others sustaining various degrees of injury. An eyewitness, who declined to be named, said the police battled to put the situation under control. Two of the area boys were said to have been apprehended by the Police in connection with the incident, while the

others escaped. The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Samuel Jinadu confirmed the incident. He said “It was alleged that some area boys from Matanna broke into an apartment and escaped, but returned later with some friends to fight. “In the process, one person died. The name was still unknown as at when the report was made.”

Governor calls for housing mortgage By Miriam Ndikanwu


OVERNOR Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State wants the Federal Government (FG) to repeal the Primary Housing Mortgage Institution (PMI) Act and replace it with a law to help fund mass housing projects across the country. Governor Fashola made the call yesterday while launching 336 housing units at Sir Michael Otedola Housing Estate, Odoragushin, Epe. He said the challenge of housing delivery programmes over the years was caused by lack of finance and the high cost of building materials. The governor reiterated his plan to set up a Mortgage Board to ensure that low income earners built their own houses. “This will serve as an intervention fund for long-term financing,” he said, explaining that the Mortgage Arbitration Law and the Tenancy Law which he signed recently would address the problem of accessing affordable housing in the state.



NEWS Ogun retires five Perm Secs From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

THE Ogun State Government has retired five more Permanent Secretaries. They are Ayo Vaughan (Ministry of Housing), Tokunbo Ogunyomi (Government House) and Demola Badejo, former Clerk of the House of Assembly, who was indicted by the Sixth Assembly for his alleged role in the pre–dawn sitting of eight minority lawmakers, led by Mr. Soyemi Coker, on September 6, last year. Others are Frank Omolayole (Governor’s Office) and Adewole Adekoya (Ministry of Water Resources). The retirement brings the number of permanent secretaries who have been dropped in the last one week to 19. Last Friday, the government retired 14 permanent secretaries. They are: Korede Lawal, Olajide Oyenuga, Oluseyi Banjoko, Tajudeen Obawunmi, K. A. Ogunfowodu, Alhaji Muyideen, Wola Salau and B. A. Oyeti. The rest are Adekunle Adegbite, Mufutau Lawal, Moshood Opebiyi, Olubunmi Okuboyejo, H. O. Adeniji, Adesegun Solarin and Babatunde Salawu.


Ondo ACN may shun council polls

HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State has said it will not participate in the forthcoming local government election, if the State Government does not remove Labour Party (LP) members from the State Independent Electoral Commission (ODSIEC). The party also threatened to contest the selection process in court. ACN alleged that ODSIEC members are card carrying members of the LP and cannot conduct free and fair elections. It alleged that the govern-

•Threatens to sue govt From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

ment was looking for a way to rig, like it did during the last general elections. ACN State Chairman Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose stated this while receiving over 2000 ex-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and exLP members into the party in Oke-Agbe, Akoko Northwest Local Government Area. Mrs. Anifowose alleged that the structure of the LP

was already collapsing and the party’s chieftains are looking for ways to be relevant through the rigging of the council polls. She said the ACN would soon take a step concerning the selection of ODSIEC members, adding that the party would not participate in an election that would be conducted by politicians. Mrs. Anifowose said: “We are going to court to fault the selection and we believe the judgment will

favour us. Our members will not fold their arms and allow some selfish politicians to destroy the good image of this state.” She praised the new members, stressing that they have taken the right step because the people need them to develop the state. Mrs. Anifowose said: “Ondo State is in the fifth position among oil producing states, but you can see what the citizenry are facing. Despite the fact that the governor said he had approved the construction of roads in Akoko, work is yet

Ekiti to relocate prison


HID Awolowo to host Yoruba conference MATRIARCH of the Awolowo family Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu (HID) will, on October 6, host the Pan Yoruba National Conference in Ikenne, Ogun State. Expected to attend are prominent Yoruba sons and daughters in Nigeria and the Diaspora. The meeting will be cohosted by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade. It will discuss how the Yorubas can be reintegrated into mainstream politics.

Accountant arraigned for alleged forgery By Joseph Jibueze

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned a 52year-old accountant, Dr. Remi Folorunsho, for alleged forgery. He was arraigned before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on four counts of forgery. EFCC alleged that Folorunsho, on December 16, 2009, with intent to defraud, forged the letter-head paper of El-Shaddai Petroleum Limited and presented it to the Branch Manager of Fidelity Bank Plc’s Headquarters in Lagos. The commission alleged that Folorunsho also forged the signature of Ms Helyn Abinye in the said letter, titled: “Re: Activation and Transfer of Account to Ilupeju Branch.” Folorunsho pleaded not guilty to the charges. Justice Okunnu will rule today on his application for variation of his bail conditions, having been first arraigned before Justice J.O. Pedro, before the case was reassigned.

to begin. “LP is also a PDP party. Since Yorubas are not ready to accommodate PDP, LP must also be sent packing from this state. We cannot be different in the Yoruba race.” Also at the reception were ACN State Secretary Adedipe Adegboyega; exMinister for Power and Steel Dr. Olu Agunloye, a human rights activist, Dr. Tunji Abayomi; an ACN chieftain, Chief Solomon Oladunni; and Chairman, Mobilising Committee, Mr. Ade Adetimehin, among others.

•From left: Ajimobi, Dangote, Osoba, Adebayo and Makoju…yesterday


Dangote donates N50m to Ibadan flood victims


HE President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has donated N50 million to victims of the August 26 floods in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. He also promised to send food items worth N10 million to the state within 48 hours. Dangote announced the donation yesterday in Ibadan, during a visit to commiserate with Governor Abiola Ajimobi on the floods. He was accompanied by former Governors Olusegun Osoba (Ogun) and Niyi Adebayo (Ekiti), as well as the former Managing Director of Power Holding Company on Nigeria (PHCN), Engineer Joseph Makoju. Ajimobi said there was so much to do and the state could not continue to depend on federal allocation. He urged investors to partner the government and

promised to create a friendly environment for business to thrive. Describing Dangote as one of the most successful industrialists in Nigeria and an epitome of humility and simplicity, Ajimobi urged him to support his administration in the area of industrialisation. He said: “Oyo requires national and international investments, because we cannot continue to depend on allocation from the Federation Account. That is why we are calling on you (Dangote) to assist us in terms of investment. It will no doubt assist the economy of our state.” Dangote promised to assist the state through investments that would create jobs. He urged the people to obey Town Planning laws and always keep the drains clean.

Ondo PDP chieftains exchange blows at peace meeting T

WO chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo state yesterday exchanged blows during a reconciliation meeting of aggrieved members. They are the Minority Leader of the House of Assembly, Ebi Lubi, and a former Secretary to the State Government, Isaac Kekemeke. Trouble started when the convener of the meeting, Chief Olusola Oke, who is also the party’s National Legal Adviser, invited Kekemeke to address the gathering at Akure Township Hall. As the microphone was given to Kekemeke, Lubi stood up and said the former SSG had no right to speak because he had been suspended by the party at the local government level. The duo struggled for the microphone and ended up

•Ex-Defence Minister booed ‘The administration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko is an interim government that will not last. We will conquer the state in the 2013 Governorship election’ From Damisi Ojo, Akure

exchanging blows. It took the intervention of securi-

ty operatives to control the situation. As the fight was being settled, ex-Minister of Defence Adetokunbo Kayode, got up to address the people, but he was shouted down by the crowd and asked to leave the venue. The meeting started peacefully, with members agreeing to work together to dislodge the Labour Party (LP). Oke said the crisis rocking the party had been resolved and urged members to unite. He assured them that the leadership of the party had met and fashioned out modalities to take over the state in 2013. Oke said: ”Everything is

settled. From now on, there will be no more crises in the party. PDP is a Yoruba party and will continue to lead Yorubas. “The administration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko is an interim government that will not last. We will conquer the state in the 2013 Governorship election.” Dignitaries at the meeting included Chief Oyewole Fasawe; Special Adviser to President on Niger Delta Affairs, Kingsley Kuku; and past political office holders. The PDP had been embroiled in conflicts since the April general elections were over. The conflict was further compounded by the tenman list of nominees sent to the PDP National Secretariat in Abuja for federal appointments, which led to the emergence of two parallel party executives.

HERE are indications that the Ekiti State Government is planning to relocate the prison in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital and build a Civic Centre on its present site. Governor Kayode Fayemi dropped the hint at the opening of a forum organised by the State Technical Consultative Committee on Culture, Arts and Tourism Development. Fayemi said the Civic Centre would have a museum, amphi-theatre, art gallery and conference hall, among others. He said the tradition, arts and culture of Ekiti people have great potentials in tourism and can boost the state’s economy. Fayemi lamented that successive administrations failed to maximally transform “the huge tourism potentials of the state,” stressing that virtually all towns, villages and settlements could boast of amazing displays of cultural heritage, bound by an enviable history of civilization, love, hospitality and communal survival. The governor’s wife, Erelu Bisi, urged the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism to explore all cultural landmarks that would promote the state. She is the Chairperson of the State Technical Consultative Committee on Culture, Arts and Tourism.

Cleric seeks attitudinal change


TTITUDINAL change among Nigerians is the focus of a book scheduled for presentation on Saturday in Lagos. The author, Pastor Martha Omede, said the way out of the prevailing bombings and violence is for people to embrace a godly attitude, especially love for fellow human beings. The gospel book, titled “In the City, In the Village,” will be presented at Akomoju, Lagos. Omode said: “This spate of violence seems like a spiritual matter that requires spiritual solution. As directed by God, I am presenting this book as my contribution to help solve the social and political problems confronting us. “The fear of God will spur a change of attitude that will promote peace. If we live together in love, no one will use religious sentiment as a yardstick for taking other people’s lives.”



NEWS UCH, Jericho hospital crowded with cholera patients


HE cholera outbreak in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State, which has claimed 13 lives, appears to be worsening. The Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist of the Department of Medical Microbiology, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, yesterday described the situation as “very very severe.” The Chief Matron of the council, Mrs. Florence Popoola, said the Cholera Unit of Jericho Nursing Home has run out of bed space for patients. She urged government at all levels to come to the aid of victims. Mrs. Popoola said if urgent steps were not taken, the situation might get out of hands. “I took an emergency cholera related case to Jericho Nursing Home last night, but the situation was terrible. Many patients were brought in for treatment, but there was shortage of personnel and bed space. The place was overcrowded with people infected with the disease,” she lamented. A senior officer at the UCH, Mr. Fashina, who is also a member of the team raised by the hospital’s management to monitor cholera-related cases and

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

other water-borne diseases brought to the institution, said the disease is spreading fast. He sad: “From our hospital point of view, it is very severe. We see an average of two cases per day in the clinic, while in the laboratory, we have an average of one per day. That is very very high.” Fashina said the hospital was able to monitor the trend in the state through a team put up by the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Professor Temitope Alonge. He said: “The team comprises medical experts from all branches of healthcare delivery, who take samples from patients with cholera related symptoms. “Anybody that comes in with a cholera-related case is being promptly attended to. “We also take samples. Once we do the laboratory diagnosis and establish that it is cholera, we take care of him or her. By so doing, we prevent that person from going back to infect other people in the community. “We ensure that the patient is totally clear of the bacteria before he/she is

discharged.” Fashina said the hospital has recorded between 40 to 50 suspected cases and no fewer than 20 have been confirmed as cholera by laboratory tests. He said the samples showed that all zones in the state are affected. Fashina said the state is at risk of a major outbreak and actions must be taken quickly to curb the disease. He urged the government to sensitise the people on the causes of the disease, how it can be prevented and what should be done when symptoms are noticed. Fashina said: “My concern is not only those that come to the UCH for treatment. What about those in the private hospitals? “People can only come to UCH if they have the money. What about fellow citizens who cannot afford to come to UCH or go to private hospitals? “If we are seeing these many cases in UCH, I know that thousands of people or even millions are receiving spiritual water when they are supposed to take antibiotics.” Last week, ten persons were killed by the disease. Three more were reported dead on Sunday and several others are on admission at different hospitals.

Oyo to resettle flood victims •Soun advises Ajimobi on Council of Obas crisis


BOUT 100 houses units have been set aside to accommodate victims of the August 26 floods in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Governor Abiola Ajimobi made this known while receiving the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III, and his chiefs at the Government House. Ajimobi said the disaster was caused largely by the illegal erection of structures on waterways. He said the marking of all structures to be demolished would be concluded in the next two weeks. The governor lamented the sorry state of Ibadan and many towns in the state. He said the introduction

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan of the weekly environmental sanitation is part of efforts to give them a facelift. Ajimobi thanked the Oba for his concern for the state’s development and pledged to always accord the traditional institution its due respect. Oba Oyewunmi advised the governor to steer clear of the crisis rocking the Council of Obas. He said the Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs should be allowed to handle such matters. The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, gave the governor the same advice three months ago. The Alaafin was reacting to the amendment of the


edict which approved rotational chairmanship, in place of the previous operation which recognised him as the permanent chairman of the council. Oba Oyewumi pledged his support for Ajimobi’s administration.

PDP laments loss of Southwest


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has lamented the loss of the Southwest to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the last general elections. Its National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Rufai Alkali, spoke yesterday in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, during a condolence visit to the party’s Southwest Vice Chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo, who lost his father. Alkali said the loss of the zone caught the PDP by surprise. He lamented that the efforts of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, Oladipo, former PDP governors and party leaders from the

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

Southwest were in vain . Describing the PDP’s loss in the Southwest as temporary, Alkali said the party has begun strategic planning to reclaim the zone. He said: “None of us in the PDP is happy about losing the Southwest. So we are stepping back to look at what was responsible for the loss and are set to take back the zone in the next general elections. “The South West is supposed to be in the centre, not the fringe of Nigerian politics.” Alkali described the opposition as “desperate to over-

run the PDP” and advised members not to be discouraged by the party’s loss. He said: “The opposition, ACN, is working day and night to over run us, but we should not allow them to do so. “We are trying to make amends on some of the things that worked against us.” He said the PDP has inaugurated a 12-member Constitution Committee as part of measures to reposition the party for future elections. Alkali urged members to submit memos and proposals, through the state PDP leadership, on how the party can be improved.




Orji seeks establishment of explosive unit

‘Nigeria needs N4.1t for Health’ From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

TO achieve the National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP) rolling from 2010 to 2015, the Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu yesterday said that a total investment of N4.1trillion is required from all the stakeholders. The Minister spoke yesterday on his Ministry’s achievements in commemoration of President Goodluck Jonathan’s 100 days in office. The NSHDP, he said, has 8 priority areas of focus, which is divided into 8 goals, 33 objectives and 70 interventions, and that its targets are consistent with the targets of the Nigerian National Health Policy (2004).

Council shifts election THE election into the executive committee of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Abuja chapter, has been postponed by one week. The decision was taken by members of its election committee. A statement signed by Chairman of the Committee Udengs Eradiri and the Secretary Nimi Sunju, noted that the election, which was slated for September 10, has been postponed till next Saturday.

From Ugochukwu Eke, Umuahia



OVERNOR Theodore Orji of Abia State has urged the Anti- Bomb Squad unit of the Police in Abuja to come to Abia State and train its personnel in establishing the Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) unit

to check the rampant cases of bombings in the country. He spoke in Umuahia, the state capital, when the Commissioner of Anti- Bomb Squad at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, Ambrose Aisabor visited him at the Government House. Orji said this has become expedient in view of the security situation in the country. Orji, who was represented by his Deputy Emeka Ananaba, said in its resolve to keep

its citizens safe, government would fund the Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit in the state. He commended the unit for devising strategies of checkmating bombings. Aisabor said they were in the state on the directive of the Inspector- General of Police, Hafiz Ringim ,to evaluate the security challenges in the country. Aisabor called on government and the international community to tackle the security situation. He appealed to all to de-

vise proactive measures to help the police in addressing the problem of bombings and thanked the state government for its security friendly posture demonstrated through the provision of vehicles, accommodation and logistics. Aisabor requested government to assist the command establish a branch of the EOD unit in the state. The Bomb Disposal Unit boss assured that when the EOD unit is established in the state, the police would train its personnel.

Enugu Assembly intervenes in workers strike


NUGU State House of Assembly yesterday intervened in the dispute between workers and the state government over the non -implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage. The House met with Labour leaders in the state with a view to finding a solution to the tussle between them and Governor Sullivan Chime. The workers went on strike last week to demand for full implementation of the N18, 000 minimum wage. The industrial action, which was declared by the national leadership of the Organised Labour, has continued to paralyse socio- economic activities in the state, following the refusal of banks and other corporate

From Chris Oji, Enugu

organisations to offer services to people. Addressing reporters after the first session of the meeting which took place in his office, the Speaker Eugene Odoh, explained that the desire of the House to solve the feud informed the decision

to invite the Labour leaders. He said the people were losing so much as a result of the ongoing industrial action. Odoh said the House and the Labour leaders would continue to deliberate on the industrial action until a solution was found. He hoped that the feud would be re-

solved at the end of the meetings. State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Chumaife Nze commended the House for initiating the peace moves. He hoped that the House and Labour leaders would reach a compromise at the end of the meetings.

‘My abductors decried unemployment’


HAIRMAN of Tomline Conglomerate Elder Tes Soare, who was abducted by gunmen two weeks ago, said his abductors listed unemployment as reasons for their taking to kidnapping. Soare spent five days with the kidnappers. His wife,

From Osagie Otabor, Benin Bridget, driver and two orderlies were killed during his abduction. He spoke on Sunday when Governor Adams Oshiomhole visited him. Soare, who promised to create an Employment Foun-

dation , reiterated the need to create jobs for the unemployed youths in the state. He said: “They asked what they would have done without jobs. When they asked what my fate was, I said God was my helper. All we need in this state is peace.”

Ngige decries poor state of roads From Adimike George, Onitsha


ORMER Governor of Anambra State and Senator representing Anambra Central Chris Ngige has decried the poor state of federal roads in the state. He blamed this on lack of maintenance culture and substandard work by construction firms. Ngige spoke while inspecting a failed portion of the Nkpor- Nnobi federal road, which was cut off by erosion at Ideani in Idemili North Local Government . He said the erosion was caused by blockage of water channels and called for increased maintenance attitude by the government and road users. Ngige said the rehabilitation would cost over N50 million. He said the road was built during his tenure as the governor of the state, assuring that he would write state government and the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to commence repair on that axis of the road. “The situation of the road is bad and hazardous to road users and residents and if something is not done fast to check the erosion menace in the state, it would turn to a disaster.” The lawmaker also visited the Nimo erosion site in Njikoka local government said the former governor assured of the Federal Government’s assistance, promising to bring the issue before the Senate.



NEWS Suntai betrayed me, says sacked adviser From Fanen Ihyongo, Jalingo

THE former Special Adviser to Taraba State Governor on Special Duties, Kabiru Dodo, has accused Governor Danbaba Suntai of betraying him. Dodo addressed reporters on his frosty relationship with the governor, saying: “It is unfortunate that my former principal (Suntai) can use religion to blackmail me and scuttle my political journey.” The former adviser was arrested in his office on August 5 by the state police command for alleged links with the Boko Haram sect. Dodo was handcuffed and detained with 25 other suspects in Jalingo, the state capital. The Nation reported the arrest. Following the arrest, Suntai sacked the adviser, saying Dodo betrayed him. Dodo expressed surprise that the governor abandoned and sacked him. He said contrary to the governor’s claim that he (Dodo) betrayed him, the erstwhile adviser claimed that the case was the opposite. Dodo said: “It’s quite unfortunate that I am forced into engaging my former principal, the governor, in this war of words. I had tried to avoid taking our differences to the public domain, but now it has become pertinent for me to react to his public outburst against my person. “I don’t understand what he means by betrayal of trust. Is it trust in crime? Is it trust in contract or trust in thesaurus liability? I don’t actually know the yardstick he used to allege that I betrayed him. Is it a subjective tense or an objective tense?

Kwara tribunal: Ahmed, PDP, others open defence against Belgore

Groups kick as Kogi primary is rescheduled



HE ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kwara State yesterday opened its defence at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ilorin, the state capital. But witnesses to the first and second respondents (Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed and his deputy, Peter Kishra), in their statements on oath, contradicted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) documents and voters’ register. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its governorship candidate, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN), and his running mate, Joshua Adeyin-

•Witnesses’ statements, INEC documents, voters’ register differ From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

ka, are challenging the INEC declaration of Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed as governor in the April 26 poll. The petitioners, on Monday, closed their petition with the presentation of expert witnesses’ forensic analyses. Between 9am and 2.30pm, four but one PDP witness made claims in their statements on oath that contradicted the documentary evidence found in certified true copies (CTCs) of Form EC8A, the voters’ register and other INEC documents with which the ACN counsel, Charles

Edosomwan (SAN), conducted his cross-examination on them. The first witness to the first and second respondents, Ibrahim Abdullahi Dikko, had claimed in his statement on oath and during cross-examination that he was accredited and had voted at 1.20pm on April 26 at the Central Office Polling Station of Patigi Ward 1. But when Edosomwan gave him the voters’ register for the polling unit, Dikko’s name was missing from it. Abdulraheem Yusuf, the third witness for the respond-

ent who claimed to be the PDP Ward Supervisor/Collation Agent for Oke Oyi/Oke Ose/ Alalubosa Ward in Ilorin East Local Government, claimed in Paragraph 6 of his deposition that the election was peaceful, orderly and properly conducted. He, however, noted that ACN agents “voluntarily did not sign election results in areas where they did not win”. But the CTCs of Forms EC8As used in about six polling units in the same ward showed areas where ACN lost and its agents duly signed the results.

•Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (middle) with Deputy Governor Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori (left); his wife, Serifat and Mr & Mrs. Olasupo Ladipo, during the couple’s visit to the governor in Osogbo...yesterday

Man, 25, kills co-worker in Kano


25-year-old man, John Chinedu Ogbonna, yesterday, in the Sabon Gari area of Kano, allegedly

PUBLIC NOTICE JESUS ARMOUR BIBLEV MINISTRY This is to infor the grneral public that the above named organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part C of the companies and allied Matters Act 1990. THE TRUSTEES are; Pastor Chinonye Benjamin Evang. (Mrs.) Hope Benjamin Pastor Happiness Amadi Pastor Prince Elijah Pastor Imomotimi Daniel Omoger Dillon Henry Pereokosifa Marcus Apeli AIMS AND OBJECTIVES INCLUDES' To preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to every nation. To provide quality worship centres for believers to worship God freely. To minister to the afflicted, poor, hungry and oppressed in accordance with provisions in the Bible. Any objective to this registration should be forwarded to the RegistrarGeneral, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 565 Ndola Square Wuse Zone 5, PMB 198 Abuja within 28days of this publication. SIGNED C.C. ONYEMA (MRS.) ESQ

PUBLIC NOTICE HELP A SOUL AND LIVE FOUNDA TION FOUNDATION The above named organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration in accordance with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act No 1 of 1990 THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. David Okpiekhumu Irete 2. Mrs. Princess David 3. Barrister Augustine Ugwu (Esq) 4. Mrs. Cynthia Chialuka Ohamuo 5. Cyril Nkem Isreal 6. Akanbi Temitope Theophilus THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE: 1. To provide home and succour for the needy 2. To provide Emotional support for orphans Any objection to this registration should be forward to the Registrar-General Corporate Affairs Commission Plot 420 Tigria Crescent Maitama PMB 198 Garki Abuja. Nigeria within 28 days of this publication. Signed: MIKE OHAMUO Esq 13 Mabo Street. Surulere, Lagos.

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

killed his co-worker, Emeka Odo, 35, over ascertained animosity. The assailant, according to an eyewitness, allegedly killed Odo when he was fast asleep at a restaurant, where they both usually spend the night after closing from work. The eyewitness, who is also an attendant at the restaurant but lives in a separate room at 30 Burma Road, Sabon Gari, where the restaurant is located, narrated that he woke up at about 6.30am to clean up the compound, and later went to the restaurant to wake up his two other co-workers to begin

their daily task. He said he was about to walk into the restaurant through the back door as he usually does, when he met the door half open, only for him to discover later that the mattress used by both the assailants and the deceased was soaked with blood. According to him, when he lifted the foam, he saw the lifeless body of his co-worker in a pool of blood on the ground, with a damaged head, indicating that his assailant may have hit him with a digger on the head. The eyewitnessc raised the alarm and informed the owner of the restaurant, identified as

Mrs. Caroline Chukwulobe, who rushed to Gezawa, where the elder sister of the suspected assailant resides. Nemesis caught up with the suspected assailant when he was sighted and immediately apprehended and taken to Gezawa Police Station. He has been detained pending the conclusion of investigations into the crime. The Police Public Relations Officer, Magaji Majia, an Assistant Superintendent of Police 9ASP), said he was yet to be briefed on the incident. He assured that the command would make the matter public when it gets the information.

From Mohammed Bashir, Lokoja

OME political groups in Kogi Eastern Senatorial District yesterday protested the alleged imposition of an aspirant by Governor Ibrahim Idris. The groups, which stormed the Government House in Lokoja, the state capital, complained that the governor was backing Captain Idris Wada as his choice aspirant for the coming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship election. They insisted that Alhaji Jibrin Isah Echocho was the candidate they have chosen. Echocho was said to have enjoyed the support of the governor during the botched January 9 primary of the PDP in the state. But it was learnt that Idris dumped Echocho for Wada, who is said to be his friend and in-law, after a disagreement. The protesters besieged the Government House at 1pm, saying they wanted to inform Idris that the party would lose the state if a fresh primary is conducted. The group carried placards with various inscriptions. They urged the governor and the party leadership to stop the primary, adding that without Echocho, the PDP would lose to the opposition. The groups’spokeman, Alhaji Muhammed Idris, who is also the President, Echocho Network Group, said they were protesting to inform President Goodluck Jonathan, the party’s Acting Chairman, Kawu Baraje, as well as Idris that they were not informed about what happened to the first primary, which produced Jubrin Isah, to be invalid. They asked whether they were contrasting the PDP and the Constitution. Idris said the governor should have made it clear to Echocho his fault before dropping him for another candidate.

Yobe can’t afford minimum wage, says Gaidam


OBE State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam yesterday said his administration cannot pay the new minimum wage. The governor, who addressed reporters in Damaturu, the state capital, declined comments on whether or not he would cut down the earnings of political office holders. He said the state’s work force would be reduced if Labour insists on full implementation of the new minimum wage. Gaidam said: “If labour wants full implementation of the new minimum wage, we

From Duku Joel, Damaturu

have to reduce the work force, which is not acceptable to them by all indication.” The governor said his administration is open to negotiation with Labour on the implementation of the new minimum wage. “We are still negotiating. The negotiation is still open. If Labour refuses to accept, fine. But we are now trying to educate the people. On the N18,000 minimum wages, we have already implemented that. I don’t know why labour is still

quarrelling for now,” Gaidam said. He said his administration has added an additional N64 million to the initial N300 million it offered, adding that the state cannot go beyond that point. “I have added N64milliom for tertiary institutions. Put that together, you will have N364 million, and in the actual sense, we cannot go beyond that.” he said. Giving details of the financial status of the state in relation to the current impasse, Gaidam said: “Our monthly

earnings from the Federal Government and from all sources of our income ranges from 2.1 billion to N2.4 billion. Now what we have agreed to pay including the implementation of the new minimum wage is N1.4 billion. We have made a table to that effect. All officers from Grade levels 1-6 can now earn N18,000 and above. And those from levels 7 and above, there are classes of workers who got an increment of, N15,000, N10,000 and some a maximum of N50,000.

Boko Haram kills four in Maiduguri


USPECTED Boko Haram members on Monday night killed four people at a bar in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. Police Commissioner Simeone Midena confirmed yesterday that the shooting occurred on Monday night. An eyewitness said two gunmen carrying Kalashnikov rifles under their traditional robes attacked the bar.

Midena said no arrests have been made. The Boko Haram sect, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the local Hausa language, wants the strict implementation of Shariah law in Nigeria. The sect claimed responsibility for the August 26 car bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital, where at least 23 people were killed and 81 wounded.





Nigeria faces highest borrowing costs at auction


IGERIA faces its highest borrowing costs at an auction since June as yields climb on speculation, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will raise interest rates to contain inflation. The Federal Government will offer N70 ($450.1 million) of bonds today, including N25 of notes due 2014. Yields on the three-year debt have risen 37 basis points, or 0.37 percentage points, since the last auction on August 17 to 10.82 per cent on Monday, according to data from the Financial Markets Dealers Association’s website. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi, who has raised the benchmark rate four times this year to 8.75 per cent, is ready to keep increasing it if inflation doesn’t remain below 10 per cent, he said in a September 7 interview with Bloomberg. Prices increased an annual 9.4 per cent in July, the first time they were below 10 per cent since May 2008. “We see the yields at the auction printing around current market levels, with a possible moderate premium,” Samir Gadio, a London-based emerging-markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd., said in an e-mailed reply to questions on Monday. “The market is still concerned that the ongoing disinflation process is not sustainable and has not fully re-priced its consumer price index expectations.” The CBN will probably tighten monetary policy to stem pressure on the currency even as the inflation rate is likely to decline from 9.4 per cent in July, Gadio said. Inflows from the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), which disburses funds to the federal, state and local governments, will support the level of demand for the bonds in coming days, he said.

Getting information on geological data that the investor is not comfortable with is very frustrating. It means there is a disconnect in the dissemination of information. -Musa Sada, Minister of Mines and Steel Development

FEC may approve six capital projects today T

HE Federal Executive Council (FEC) may today approve six capital projects in different parts of the country as part of the administration’s efforts to improve infrastructure in the country. At today’s meeting, The Nation learnt that the FEC will also award contract for the provision of ICT-Enabled learning, to schools under the Federal Government’s control through the schools access programme by the universal service provision fund. The memorandum number ED (2011)88, will be presented to the council by Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson. The circular detailing the agendum for the meeting by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Pius Ayim, also revealed that FEC meeting will consider approval for the award of contract for the remediation of the sludge pit at Kaduna Refiner-

From Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor), Abuja

ies and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) dumpsites and the improvement of the lives of impacted communities. The memorandum will be presented to the council by the Minister of Environment, Hadiiza Ibrahim. He will also present a memo to FEC for the award of contract for the execution of the erosion control works at four locations in the South east geo-political Zone of the country, will be deliberated upon and possibly approved. Another project to be considered at the meeting is the augmentation of the Revised Estimated Total Cost (RETC) for the construction of Agaie/ Lapai earth dam, to be presented by the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah

Ochakpa. This memo had earlier been circulated at the FEC on August 19, 2011 by the minister. Approval will also be sought by the Water Resources minister for upgrading of the hydropower component of on-going construction of Kashimbilla multipurpose/buffer dam, while the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, will tender a memo for the construction of Oju/Loko-Oweto bridge over River Benue to link Loko (Nasarawa State) and Oweto (Benue State). The FEC will also deliberate on the creation of four additional secretariats in the Federal Capital Territory Administration “for effective service delivery in the Territory.” The memo will be presented by the FCT minister, Bala Mohammed, to the council for

consideration. On the international scene, the FEC will consider approving new national policies on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and migration and propose “a draft bill for an act to repeal the National Commission for Refugee Act (2004) and re-enact the National Commission for Refugees, migration and internally displaced persons and other related matters Act.” In addition, approval for the ratification of the African Union Convention for the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons in Africa known as the Kampala Convention will be deliberated upon along with the possible “approval for ratification of the convention relating to the status of stateless persons and the United Nations (UN) convention on the reduction of statelessness.” These memos will be presented by President Goodluck Jonathan.


-N6.70 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -9.4% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.84% Savings rate -1.42% 91-day NTB -6.99% Time Deposit -6% MPR -8.75% Foreign Reserve $34.87b CFA EUR £ $ ¥ SDR RIYAL


0.281 215.1 245.00 153.16 1.5652 243.2 40.57

From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja


ORKERS of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) yesterday blocked the entrance of the council to protest the re-appointment of Mr Olasunkanmi Joseph Shobowale, who recently retired as its Executive Director. The workers described his return five days after his retirement as an anomaly and a breach of the decree setting up the NASC as well as the civil service rules. Workers under the auspices of the Agricultural and Allied Employees Union of Nigeria (AAEUN) accused Shobowale of cutting corners and returning to the Council. But Mr Shobowale maintained that he got his appointment letter from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. He said he was at home when Predsident Goodluck Jonathan sent for him to return to work.

‘Oyo to be investors’first choice’


DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$118.7/barrel Cocoa -$2,856/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,161/troy ounce Rubber -¢146.37pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS

Agric staff protest re-appointment of ED

• Group Chairman, Standard Chartered Bank, Sir John Peace; Chairman, Standard Chartered Nigeria, Chief Joseph Sanusi, cutting the tape, during the opening of the bank branch at GRA Ikeja, Lagos.

Shock as Fed Govt pays N40b to defaulting firm


HE software solution company handling the Automated System for Custom Data (ASTCUDA) was paid N40billion from 2006 till date despite not adhering to the terms of agreement it entered with the Federal Government, it was disclosed yesterday. But the Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala dissociated herself from any knowledge of the controversial concession agreement between her Ministry and Single Window Systems Technology Ltd (SWST). The Minister, who honoured the Ad-hoc Committee’s summons said she has been mandated by President Goodluck Jonathan to study the said pact and

... Okonjo-Iweala distances self From Dele Anofi, Abuja

come up with acceptable step to take on the matter. She said: “It was signed before my time, but because the government is continuous, I have brought a team from the Ministry of Finance to address all the issues the committee may require.” Though the committee expressed its displeasure at the inability of the Permanent Secretary, Mr Danladi Kifasi, to furnish the committee with the details of the processes that led to the concession agreement, the panel was, however, shocked when it was revealed that the com-

pany to be replaced by Single Window was paid N40billion from 2006 to date without delivering on the contract terms. Kifasi said every step taken by the Ministry in the award of the contract was taken in the best interest of the country, adding that the target was to upgrade the capacity of the Nigerian Custom Service, which he said, was a little bit better than an organisation operating on analogue service. In his testimony after the Minister was granted permission to leave with a promise that the outcome of the Ministry’s investigation into

the agreement would be made available to the House Committee, the Secretary revealed that four independent panels’reports indicted Webb Fontaine Consortium of breaching the agreement. He said the Federal Government signed agreement with Webb Fontaine Consortium in 2005 to enhance revenue generation capacity of the Custom Service in revenue, but that by last year, four separate reports indicted the company of not adhering to terms of agreement. “The reports were unanimous in indicting Webb Fontaine Consortium in its failure to discharge its contractual obligations despite receiving payment of over N40 billion as fees from 2006 to 2010.”

OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has expressed his administration’s commitment to jump-start the economy of the state and make it the toast of investors. The governor , according to a statement, said this while receiving the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who was in Ibadan to commiserate with him on the August 26 flood disaster in the ancient city. Governor Ajimoibi also promised to create a friendly environment that would attract investment into the state. The governor, who said that the state could not continue depending on allocation from the Federation Account, appealed to industrialists to join his administration in uplifting the economy of the state. While describing Dangote as an epitome of humility, simplicity and decorum, and one of the most successful industrialists in Nigeria, the governor called on him to support his administration in the area of industrialisation. “Oyo requires national and international investments because we cannot continue to depend on allocation from the Federation Account. That is why we are calling on you (Dangote) to assist us in terms of investment. It will, no doubt, assist the economy of our state,’’ he said.




Moment of truth for rescued banks As the deadline for recapitalisation stares the five remaining rescued banks in the face, their shareholders have been meeting to weigh options. With 16 days to go, they have little time left to make their decision. Assistant Editor Capital Market TAOFIK SALAKO reports that the banks are faced with either grumbling over past losses or unlocking the potential growth of their banks merger/acquisition.


HIS month is decisive for banks, their shareholders, and other stake-holders. It is the month in which the fate of the remaining five rescued banks will be determined. If they are able to recapitalise before the end of the month, the better for them. But if they fail to do so, they will be nationalised. They are Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Finbank Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc and Equitorial Trust Bank. The past eight years have markedly reshaped banking, but, more than anything in the past, the future of the sector depends on what happens by the end of that month.

In the beginning The 2004-2005 banking reform, instituted by the then Chukwuma Soludo-led Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), changed the character of banking from a crowd of diverse low-capital financial institutions to a homogeneous group of few operators. Soludo, a professor of Economics and World Bank consultant, unveiled a reform agenda based primarily on the capital strength of the industry. The highpoints of the massive reform were the increase in banks’ minimum capital base to N25 billion and the replacement

of dichotomous banking services, under which banks engaged in wholesale or retail banking, with universal banking. The recapitalisation that followed led to consolidation of more than 80 banks to 25. The capital market, and in essence shareholders, played important roles in the remaking of the industry. Huge fund raisings enlarged the banks capital base.

Ongoing reforms With the June 2009 change in CBN management and the subsequent special audit of banks, investors were jolted that the large capital claimed by many banks were bubble funds and bad assets. The August 14, 2009 public presentation of the reports of the joint examination of 10 banks by the CBN and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) set the course for the ongoing banking reforms. The audit indicated over exposures by banks, huge non-performing assets, insider abuses, corporate governance lapses, and more worrisome, the claims to huge capital base in many instances were found to be a ruse. Subsequently, the CBN took over eight banks comprising Afribank Nigeria Plc, Intercontinental Bank Plc, Union Bank, Oceanic International Bank, Finbank, Bank PHB Plc, Spring Bank Plc and ETB. Two

• GMD Intercontinental Bank Mahmoud Lai Alabi

• GMD Finbank, Mrs Suzzane Iroche

others – Unity Bank and Wema Bank - were placed on the watch list of the CBN. The CBN had resolved issues surrounding the take-over of ETB with the core shareholders and subsequently returned the bank to its owners, leaving seven banks, all quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), under CBN-appointed managers. The CBN also injected N620 billion into rescued banks and provided extensive industry-wide guarantees to sustain foreign and local inter-bank relationships. The emergence of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) also saw the injection of funds into the ailing banks and other banks through purchase of the non-performing loans. Most analysts agreed that the CBN actions saved the industry and the economy generally from a catastrophic financial crisis.

• GMD Union Bank, Mrs Funke Osibodu

•GMD Oceanic Bank John Aboh

“When the CBN induced sector wide reforms commenced in 2009 with the sacking of the chief executives of some of Nigeria’s largest banks, there was very little doubt as to the need for and timing of those changes,” Afrinvest West Africa, a leading investment firm, wrote in an introspective review of the sector. Economist and securities analyst at Sterling Capital, Sewa Wusu, said the guarantees provided by CBN and its combat-readiness to immediately take on emerging issues curtailed what could have been a tsunami for the industry. This, he noted, has to a large extent, stabilised the industry.

Strategic importance of banks The sector is to a large extent the primary determinant of the value

creation for shareholders. In a finance-led economy, such as Nigeria’s, banks not only determine the shape of economic activities, but also dictate the market situations in both the primary and secondary segments of the capital market. Banks hold strategic importance in the overall direction of the stock market. They usually account for more than half of the turnover at the NSE; where banks constitute about three-quarter of most active stocks and more than two-quarter of the 20 most capitalised stocks. The stock market direction is determined by a close-knit group of about 20 companies, largely dominated by banks. The top 20 companies account for more than three-quarter of the market capitalisation of all quoted companies and nearly two-thirds of to• Continued on page 13




Moment of truth for banks

Gains of merger acquisition

• Continued from page 12

tal market capitalisation of the stock market. Banking stocks alone account for twothirds of equity market capitalisation. Invariably, a positive movement in the share prices of the top 20 companies provides the linchpin for an equally positive shift in the overall market direction. The dominance of banking stocks means that the sectoral trend, whether positive or negative, largely influences overall market direction. Last year, the positive return of about 19 per cent in the banking sector significantly influenced the market’s return of 18.5 per cent, neutralising the 37 per cent decline suffered by the equally populous but largely insignificant insurance sector. The uncertainties that have characterised the prospects of banking stocks have largely been responsible for the poor performance of the stock market so far this year. A year-to-date analysis of the stock market last month showed that banking stocks were largely the drivers behind the market downturn this year. The NSE Banking Index indicated a year-to-date negative return of 24.3 per cent compared with the average loss of about 13.2 per cent for the stock market. Reflecting the extent of losses by investors in banking stocks, a seven-month analysis shows that investors in banking lost more than N1.04 trillion between February and last month. Market capitalisation of the sector, which opened in February at N3.01 trillion, closed last month at N1.96 trillion.

Shareholders’ burden Besides, the parlous performance of the secondary market and the degrees of insider abuses and complicities unearthed by the banking stocks’burst have significantly eroded investors’ confidence in new issues. The almost zero level of activities in the primary market, where companies raise funds, and the inability of risk-scared banks to lend have both stifled companies of much-needed capital for growth. Thus, inadvertently, shareholders have been losing on all fronts to the lingering banking crisis- from the dissipation of their investments to the contagious erosion of values in other non-bank stocks and the retardation of the future returns by lack of access to amenable capital by companies. In all these, no stakeholder stands to lose as much as the shareholders. With a 100 per cent blanket guarantee of depositors’ funds, full remuneration and entitlements of management and staff, sundry assurances to all other creditors - both local and international and the absolute ways and means that ensure that government feels no pain from whichever decisions – shareholders are the endangered group where the resolution of the banking problem fails to crystallise. This realisation that unless resolved, the banking crisis is a vicious cycle that entraps all, including all shareholders in an endless spin of losses, has rallied nearly all behind the current efforts at finding a lasting solution.

Nationalisation While the nationalisation of three of the seven ailing quoted banks brought a stark reminder of the burden of shareholders as owners of the banks, many nearly all perceive nationalisation as the tonic needed to fully resolve the crisis. Last August 5, NDIC nationalised Afribank, Bank PHB and Spring Bank, which were adjudged to be incapable of meeting the recapitalisation deadline.

• Ladi Balogun

• Yemi Adeola

The nationalisation wiped out about N30 billion investors’ funds as government took over the banks’ assets and liabilities, reverted them to private limited liability companies and delisted them from the NSE. Afribank, now known as Main Street Bank, was valued at N8.69 billion, Bank PHB, now Keystone Bank, and Springbank, now Enterprise Bank, were valued at N11.49 billion and N9.51 billion. However, the banks aggregately accounted for 1.4 per cent of the total market capitalisation of the banking sector, which stood at more than N2 trillion. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said the nationalisation and steps being taken to ensure the recapitalisation of the other ailing banks through mergers and acquisitions were “significant towards the resolution of the banking crisis”. The Commission believes these actions will accelerate the recovery of the capital market. The NSE has also expressed similar opinion, noting the need to look beyond the nationalisation to the bigger picture of resolution of the banking crisis. Most analysts have also supported the move to “fully” resolve the banking crisis by the end of this month. “Despite the short term adverse reaction by the market, we view these steps, on the balance, as positive as it effectively draws a firm line on the recapitalisation process for Nigeria’s troubled banks. We view the actions of the CBN as well thought-out and think it will stabilise the system over the long term, having avoided a looming systemic crisis that the relative illiquidity of these banks portended,” analysts at Afrinvest said.

new core investors, deliberations, signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Technical Implementation Agreement (TIA).The surviving banks survived legal challenges and drawbacks from initially bewildered shareholders to get to this crucial stage. While the Sanusi Lamido-led CBN has ensured the least minimum collateral damage to shareholders in the history of banking reforms, shareholders are now left to support the business combination options and retain values for their shareholdings or hand back the stick to the government to either liquidate or nationalise the banks. Government has no clearly demonstrated that it would explore all options to resolve the banking problem, with the nationalisation of three banks; although the CBN has consistently described nationalisation and liquidation as the least desirable options. The option of nationalising banks, according to the apex bank, would return the system to its undesirable historical state where banks were treated as parastatals and politicised prior to privatisation while liquidation was ruled out based on the directive of the President to do everything to protect the interest of depositors and creditors. Besides, the choice of allowing the banks to recapitalise on their own with no oversight of the process by the CBN was unrealistic given the state of the capital market where investors’ apathy brought the primary market to its kneels. Also, leaving the banks to the whims and caprices of the core investors and management that previously mismanaged them would defeat the objectives of the reforms, which are aimed at sanitising the industry and placing it on a sound pedestal of corporate governance and banking practices for sustainable growth. Most analysts said the impending EGMs offer the shareholders opportunities to reclaim a substantial part of their losses and reciprocate the good gestures of the CBN. Analysts noted that the 2004-2005 banking reform adopted liquidation as the sole option for the resolution of the otherwise healthy banks that failed to meet the minimum capital base of N25 billion. Under the “cherry picking” model, the then CBN sold many banks including Hallmark Bank Plc, Fortune International Bank and All States Trust Bank literally as scraps without a dime to shareholders.

Shareholders’ options This month’s September Extra-Ordinary General Meetings (EGMs) come with many options for shareholders, but only one option holds out a modicum of gains and restoration for them. The five rescued banks will between September 27 and 30 place their schemes of mergers and acquisitions before their shareholders at the EGMs. Oceanic Bank is seeking business combination with Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Intercontinental Bank has opted to combine with Access Bank, Finbank has chosen First City Monument Bank (FCMB), ETB has signed on to Sterling Bank and Union Bank has chosen the African Capital Alliance (ACA) as new core investor. These followed a long, tortuous search for

‘While the Sanusi Lamido-led CBN has ensured the least minimum collateral damage to shareholders in the history of banking reforms, shareholders are now left with the choice to support the business combination options and retain values for their shareholdings or hand back the stick to the government to either liquidate or nationalise the banks’

But the current option of mergers and acquisitions holds a win-win for the shareholders, banking, the capital market, the financial services regulators, the government and the economy. But since other stakeholders can derive their gains through other means other than business combination, shareholders are the greatest beneficiaries of the business combination. Besides the satisfaction of completing the process without much blood; government can force a closure to the lingering issue as it has done with the nationalised banks and still derive similar or quicker benefits for all other stakeholders except the shareholders. All the schemes of arrangements and proposals by the merging banks imply significant value reclamation for the shareholders. For Union Bank, its existing shareholders, whose shareholdings and capital were eroded, would reclaim almost a quarter of the bank. Besides, the shareholders would be allowed to further participate in recapitalising the bank through rights issue. Also, in the court-sanctioned notice to shareholders, FCMB has undertaken to issue new shares or pay cash totaling N6 billion for the existing shares of Finbank in addition to a guarantee of about N15 billion to ensure Finbank meets the 15 per cent capital adequacy ratio. Finbank is valued at the stock market at about N8.4 billion. Also, ETI, Sterling Bank and Access Bank have made proposals that would unlock values for shareholders of the acquired banks. Besides, the immediate gain of salvaging existing shareholdings, the recapitalisation would bring in the much-needed capital, expertise and corporate governance into the banks. For instance, the ACA is expected to inject $500 million equity funds and $250 million Tier II capital into Union Bank. The new Union Bank is expected to benefit from economics of scale and synergies, significant cost reduction, more robust banking platforms and product offerings, higher capital and enhanced shareholder value. The recapitalisation of the banks and the final resolution of the banking issue would also have salutary effect on the performance of the financial markets including the stock market, where a newly reinvigorated banking sector is expected to lead a gradual but stable recovery. “I believe merger will strengthen the banks in terms of capacity, new capital injection, new management direction, new product offerings and expansion. Going forward, I see a bright banking sector in line with international standard of reporting, I see a sector with strict regulation by CBN and I see a more innovative banking sector. The new regime will definitely create competitive disruption among Nigerian banks as they scramble for income opportunity. This is what brings new innovation to bear in terms of product development, customer service delivery and most importantly good return to shareholders,” Wusu said. Analysts at several leading independent investment firms including FSDH, Vetiva Capital, Afrinvest, Sterling Capital, GTI Capital, BGL, Cowry Asset Management among others, said a favourable outcome of the EGMs might spur further rally in banks’ share prices, and by extension other stocks. According to analysts, the banks are significantly undervalued compared with those with the same assets and liabilities in other jurisdictions. With low banking penetration and emerging economy, there is still much headroom for the banks to create new values. With the days ticking close, there also appears to be growing awareness among shareholders of the inherent values in the business combination options. At the last count, no fewer than 20 shareholders groups and leading activists have canvassed support for the business combinations. These included the Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), Association for the Advancement of Rights of Nigerian Shareholders (AARNS), Concerned Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Zonal Shareholders Associations, among others. This awareness within the shareholders’ body has raised hopes that the boards of the banks might find the EGMs convivial avenues for shareholders, board and management to collectively jumpstart the recovery of the banking sector and the economy generally. For the shareholders, it’s a time of many options but one choice. Only the votes in support of merger and acquisition would bring back the values of the banks.









Pollution: Competition may hinder proposed lending plans

HE Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has said the lending framework being worked out by banks to restrict loans to companies that adopt and implement environmentally friendly policies could be hampered by stiff competition in the sector. Banks want to ensure that International Oil Companies (IOCs) and other firms that engage in pollution of the ecosystem will be denied loans going forward. Sanusi admitted that putting such plan to work might be an uphill task in a highly competitive banking sector ‘where dog eats dog’. “How can banks do that when they are competing for accounts? Banks should stop looking at size of balance sheet but on how to build sustainable finance,” he stated. The thinking is that if the oil companies that degrade the environment and their cohorts in other sectors are starved of funds from both local and international banks, they will have no choice than to comply. He spoke at the Executive Roundtable on Sustainable Finance, convened by Access Bank Plc, in partnership with the Netherlands Development Bank (FMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). The programme was meant to attract funding to agriculture, assist in glo-

Stories by Collins Nweze bal carbon trading and protect the environment from degradation. For him, competition in the sector has drastically risen, compared with what was obtainable in the 80s, saying the policy may be stalled by banks not wanting to lose businesses to competitors that care less about the environment, where a borrower has not adhered to set standards. Sanusi, said it is imperative that while firms are making money for shareholders, they do not destroy the environment, adding that protection of the environment is something companies should take cognisance of without being prompted to do so. “Banks lend to the oil industry, but a lot of the oil companies do not adhere to environmental standards in the country and that is part of the problem in the Niger Delta. Now, if as an industry, we agree that we will not lend to any oil company that do not meet certain environmental standard, we help ourselves, not just to make money, but also to recreate and reproduce the environment,” he added. Sanusi, said oil companies’ long term survival is dependent on the ability to have justice and equity

for the environment in which they operate, explaining that for firms to secure loans from banks, they have to meet certain standards that are applicable in other parts of the world, like Brazil, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia among others. “Our environment has been taken for granted for too long. Look at what has happened to the NigerDelta. Imagine that people in the Niger Delta can not put a net in the river and catch fish to eat and that is a fisherman who is not an employee of the oil company. So he has to find money to buy imported fish. So we are saying that even though these things may look simple, they are actually the foundation to the insecurity that we have in the country,” he said adding that protecting the environment would provide an opportunity for the people to earn a living. The apex bank boss said banks will protect the environment and

the ecosystem with their lending as well as play advocacy role to make sure that government takes issues concerning the environment very seriously. The panel which include bank chief executives and representatives of International Finance Corporation, admitted that overtime, oil spilling and flaring of associated gas have affected adversely, the environment where oil companies operate. And penalties against such act are so small that IOCs damn the consequences. The current move is aimed at reversing the trend and holding IOCs accountable to their actions against the environment. They also admitted that banks, insurers, asset managers and other financial institutions have the greatest potential to make a difference by investing in efficient technology, green or social mortgages, lower premiums for efficient cars or reviewing the sustainable performance of activities they lend to.

Sanusi said he is commitment to integrating sustainability in their business operations while also influencing public policy and developing an industry standard as a guide for responsible lending activities in the country. “The need for Nigerian banks to integrate Sustainability into their business processes cannot be overemphasised. Nigerian banks should not be using the savings of Nigerians to finance foreign companies whose operations damage Nigeria,” he said. In order to drive the process, a Sustainability Working Group was constituted to immediately commence the work on the agreed initiatives. The Sustainability Working Group will function on the platform of the Banker’s Committee’s Economic Development sub-committee led by Access Bank’s Group Managing Director/CEO, Aigboje AigImoukhuede. This, the CEOs acknowledged, will be a boost to the emerging Nigerian sustainable finance sector and deepen industry knowledge about sustainability.

Govt to sell N70b bonds today


HE Federal Government is set to sell N70 billion ($458.7 million) in three-, five- and 10-year sovereign bonds today. This is the nation’s ninth debt auction of the year. The Debt Management Office (DMO) said it would sell N25 billion bond maturing 2014 at 10.5 per cent; N20 billion bond maturing 2015 at four per cent and N25 billion bond maturing 2018 at 10.7 per cent yield. “All the papers are reopenings of previous issues and the results of the auction will be published the following day,” DMO said in a circular published in its website. The government agency issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit. DMO Director-General,Abraham Nwankwo disclosed that the Federal Government issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit. The units of sale are N1, 000 per unit subject to a minimum subscription of N10, 000 and in multiples of N1, 000 thereafter. The offer, already listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, will like all FGN bonds, qualify as liquid assets for liquidity ratio calculation for banks. The FGN Bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the Federal Government of Nigeria and are charged upon the general assets of the country. According to DMO, “For re-openings of previously issued bonds, successful bidders will pay a price corresponding to the yield-to-maturity bid that clears the volume being auctioned, plus accrued interest from the original issue date”. It is also stipulated that the interest payment be payable semi-annually and also bullet repayment on the maturity date. Analysts said the offer qualifies as securities in which trustees can invest under the Trustee Investment Act. It also qualifies as government securities within the

meaning of Company Income Tax Act and Personal Income Tax Act for Tax Exemption for Pension Funds amongst other investors. CBN reads riot acts for forex authorised dealers The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged all Authorised Dealers of foreign exchange to ensure that they submit their returns as at when due or be sanctioned. This follows recents increase in forex sale to bureau de change (BDC) and other authorized dealers in the country from $500,000 per week to $1 million. The circular signed by O. L Ahuchogu for the Director of Trade and Exchange, Musa Batari, said all authorised dealers are required to urgently submit relevant documentation evidencing the utilisation of foreign exchange for the importation of petroleum products, cement, rice and wheat. He urged authroised dealers to ensure compliance and render appropriate returns on transactions as any contravention shall attract appropriate sanctions in line with the provision in the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Acts (BOFIA) as amended. The circular signed by O. L Ahuchogu for the Director of Trade and Exchange, Musa Batari said all authorised dealers are required are required to urgently submit relevant documentation evidencing the utilization of foreign exchange for the importation of petroleum products, cement, rice and wheat. But in the case of petroleum products, documentation is required for only transactions valued $1 million and above. The returns, expected to cover transactions between May and July, 2011 should reach the director, trade and exchange department, Abuja before the close of business on Friday. “All authorised dealers are required are required to urgently submit relevant documentation evidencing the utilisation of foreign exchange for the importation of petroleum products, cement, rice and wheat,” the statement said.

•From left: Sales and Marketing Arik Airlines, Adeyinka Olayede; Project Director/CEO of African International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Chioma Ude and Vice President Planning and Marketing Arik Airlines, Bert Van der Stege, after the signing of memorandum of understanding between Arik and AFRIFF.

Co-operative society wins bank’s star prize


N Ijebu Igbo based co-opera tive society, Alasela Ijebu Igbo Co-operative Society, in Ogun State, has won the Toyota Corolla star prize at Skye Bank Plc’s Southwest zonal draws held in Ibadan at the weekend. The 60-year-old co-operative society emerged winner in an electronic draw witnessed by a large crowd and representatives of the Consumer Protection Council and the National Lottery and Lotto Commission. Similarly, Rufus Adetoye, a customer of the Oyemekun, Akure Branch of the bank won the N1

million cash prize while 70 other customers won various items ranging from LCD sets, air conditioners, generating sets, electric iron, among others. Speaking at the event, the wife of the Oyo State Governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, extolled the bank for coming up with the life changing events, praising the bank for its culture of excellence. The Oyo State first lady particularly lauded the bank for not just taking from the society but for giving back to the society in large measure. She urged other corporate bodies to emulate the

bank. While welcoming the customers to the draws, the South West Regional Director of the bank, Mr. Ayo Abina said the promo was a way of rewarding the bank’s loyal customers in the region for supporting the bank at all times. Abina further explained that the bank introduced the promo to inculcate the savings culture in the people so that they could fund those projects that they plan to implement in the future, saying the bank would continue to support the customers always.

Bank restates commitment to devt


HE Group Managing Direc tor, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Phillips Oduoza, has restated the commitment of the bank to the development of the Nigerian economy. Speaking when the bank hosted the board meeting of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Lagos, Oduoza said UBA would continue to provide financial and advisory supports

towards infrastructural development in the country. “Hosting the strategy session of the board of NESG is in line with our quest to catalyse economic development of countries where we operate,” he said. The NESG seeks to achieve its vision of being Nigeria’s economic advocacy group through three focus activities comprising policy

advocacy, research/communication and education. The Director General of NESG, Mr Frank Nweke, said issues discussed at the meeting focused on how the Group’s positioning in the emerging economic trends and support the thrust of government’s initiatives in economic diplomacy and attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).




INVESTORS Recession undervalues blue chips, others C

ORPORATE valuation analyses by leading investment and research companies show that the unyielding down trend at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has significantly undervalued many blue chips and other stocks. Corporate valuation reports prepared by leading investment

firms including Afrinvest West Africa, GTI Capital, Sterling Capital, Cowry Assets Management, among others, showed that most stocks at the NSE were trading below their intrinsic values and comparative peer valuations in other jurisdictions. According to analyses, several fundamentally strong companies

in the banking, food and beverages, healthcare, building materials, conglomerates, insurance and petroleum-marketing sectors now carry double-digit discounts to their fair values. One of the reports put the fair value of Conoil at N47.50 per share representing 38.24 per cent above its current market price of

•L-R: MD/CEO, Mr Wande Akinpelu; Chairman, Mr Saliu Alhaji Belogore and Company Secretary Ms Fola Olusanya, all of Union Ventures and Petroleum Plc, at the Annual General Meeting of the company in Lagos.

N34.36. Market operators said the oil marketing company’s current stock price is grossly under-valued. Apel Asset and Trust Limited, which undertook the corporate valuation of selected stocks including Conoil, said it expected Conoil to grow its profit after tax at the end of its current financial year from N2.8 billion recorded in 2010 to N4.1billion. Analysts said the company’s laudable financial performance, which was indicated by strong growths in the first and second quarters, has made it one of the attractive investment opportunities. The first quarter result of the company for the current financial year showed 714 per cent jump in profit before tax from N214million in 2010 to N1.35billion in 2011. It also recorded a sharp increase in profit after tax from N145.7million in 2010 to N1.2billion in 2011. Conoil recorded 98 per cent increase in profit after tax from N1.2 billion in 2010 to N2.4 billion in the second quarter. Profit before tax rose from N1.8billion to N3.5 billion, representing 97per cent increase. “Based on the quarterly performance of the company, we are forecasting a profit after tax of N4.1 billion for 2011 financial year, translating to earnings per share of N5.94. We place a valuation of N47.50 per share implying

an upside potential of 38.24 per cent”, Apel Asset & Trust Limited noted. Drawing on comparative market valuations in the Africa, Middle East and Emerging (MEA), Afrinvest’s peer analysis of selected banks in the emerging markets showed that banks appear cheaper than emerging market peers. “For instance, using the MSCI Emerging Markets Banks Index as a proxy, if we apply a peer forward P/E of 9.9x to our Nigerian banks’ 2011EPS estimates, we find that Nigeria’s top tier banks currently trade at an average discount of 40.6 per cent to their peers,” Afrinvest noted. Analysts said although comparable valuation may differ when adjusted for cross border accounting treatments and price level variations, the extent of undervaluation remains material and presents a modest upside for Nigerian banks. Analysts said recent and ongoing reforms in the banking sector have slowed down earnings growth and suppressed valuations across the sector while the market continues to overprice financial risks into banking shares. Analysts said the current valuation gaps between Nigerian banks and their emerging market counterparts should close given that the Nigerian economy holds attractive growth prospects in the emerging market space.

Flour Mills proposes 8 for 33 allotment ratio for rights issue


HE board of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc has proposed allotment ratio of eight new shares for every 33 ordinary shares held by the shareholders as the share price of the flour-milling company continues to appreciate ahead of the cut-off date for the impending rights issue. The board of the company has fixed October 7, 2011 as the closure date for the register of shareholders for the rights issue. Since the company made its intention of raising money through rights, the price of the stocks has continued to appreciate. At the close of business on Monday, the price of the stock stood at N83, representing 33.87 per cent dis-

By Tonia Osundolire

count from the rights selling price of N62. A fortnight ago, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) approved the applications of Flour Mills and three others for their various requests, which include rights and bonds from the equity market. Shedding light on the rights issue at a media parley last week, the Managing Director of the company, Chief Emmanuel Ukpabi, advised shareholders to pick up their rights promising that they will all get their full allotments. “We want them to take up as much as they can accommodate,” Ukpabi said, because the company

CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INSURANCE Plc NEM INSURANCE Plc Gross Premium of Gross Premium N4.032b N6.754b PAT N709.83m PAT N1.683b INTERNATIONAL PRESTIGE ENERGY ASSURANCE Plc INSURANCE Plc Gross Premium Gross Premium of N3.928b N6.310b PAT N374m PAT N841.51m


GUINEA INSURANCE Plc Gross Premium N1.504b PAT N136.12m

UAC OF NIGERIA Plc Turnover N60.024b PAT N10.666b

Forecast for Q4

GOLDLINK INSURANCE Plc Gross Premium N5.032b PAT N499.71m

CNCN Plc Turnover N3.164b PAT N373.3m BETA GLASS Plc Turnover N2.968b PAT N315.4m TRANSCORP Turnover N2.400b PAT N476.61m


DANGOTE SUGAR Plc Turnover N38.449b PAT N2.830b

will prefer to raise money through its shareholders rather than borrow money from the banks. Last month, the company explained that part of the strategies for the rights is to expand the consumer arm of food business both organically and through targeted acquisition and/or joint ventures. He said the company would also engage aggressively with the agro-allied sector, “which presents not only unique challenges but also unique opportunities and reward. “Additional farmlands for cultivating sugarcane, palm tree, maize, soybeans and possibly rice are to be acquired in various lo-

AG LEVENTIS (NIGERIA) Plc Turnover N4.800b PAT N170m NESTLE NIGERIA Plc Turnover N24.127b PAT N2.670b SKYE BANK Plc Gross Earnings N85b PAT N14.400b DIAMOND BANK Plc Gross Earnings N28.197b PAT N454.42m

PORTLAND PAINTS AND PRODUCTS NIGERIA Plc Turnover N3.087b PAT N304.41m TANTALIZERS Plc Turnover of N1.311b PAT N30.1m DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY Plc Turnover N38.448b PAT N1.695b

CORNERSTONE INSURANCE Plc Gross Premium CUTIX Plc Turnover N537.5m N1.106b PAT PAT N106.17m N3.32m

cations across Nigeria,” he said. He described Flour Mills Plc as one of the largest food producers in Nigeria and the number one flour producers with 45 per cent market share. The company mills operation, according to him, have been upgraded and modernised to a completely automated system run by programmed logic controlled technology which has resulted in higher extraction rate, enhanced efficiency and improved quality product consistency. “Since inception, Flour Mills has remained at the forefront of wheat milling in Nigeria. The Company's flagship brand ‘Golden Penny’ is one of the best known and the

LAW UNION & ROCK INSURANCE Plc Gross Premium N6.200b PAT N676.83m DANGOTE SUGAR Plc Turnover of N40.294b PAT N5.660b BETA GLASS PLC Turnover N2.968b PAT N315.405m NESTLE NIGERIA Plc Turnover N24.127b PAT N2.670b

UAC OF NIGERIA Plc Turnover N60.024b PAT N10.666b CAP Plc Turnover N4.140b PAT N805m UPDC Plc Turnover N12.541b PAT N1.695b INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INSURANCE Plc Gross Premium N6.310b PAT N841.509m

preferred brand amongst bakers, confectioners and end consumers in Nigeria and abroad. Golden penny Semovita has become the generic team for Semovita. “As part of its diversification strategies, the company is engaged in the importation and distribution of bulk Cement (under the Burham Cement brand), local cement manufacturing via United Cement Company of Nigeria Limited (UNICEM), a joint venture with Holcim and Lafarge. Meanwhile, the directors of the company have proposed a dividend payment of N3.76 billion, amounting to N2.00 per share to shareholders.

PREMIER PAINTS Turnover Loss after tax N21.07m

NPF MFB Turnover N827.31m PBT N198.55m PAT N198.55m


TRIPPLE GEE & COMPANY Plc Turnover N166.09m PAT N74.59m

OANDO Turnover N127.82 PAT N3.06BN DN MEYER TURNOVER N582.16b PAT n14.81m STACO INS. TURNOVER 6.43b PAT n665.05m

MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE Plc Gross Premium N3.750b PAT N889.68m PAT N72.93m MRS OIL Plc Turnover N80.560b PAT N1.740b

HONEYWELL FLOUR MILLS Plc Turnover N21.214b PAT N835.646m JULIUS BERGER NIG. Plc Turnover N120.800b PAT N3.390b DN TYRE & RUBBER Plc Turnover N150m LBT N90.55m BETA GLASS Plc Turnover N2.859b PAT N373.98m NIGER INSURANCE Plc Gross Premium N2.039b




Guinness Nigeria delivers strong full year performance


HE board of directors of Guinness Nigeria Plc has approved the company's audited results for the year ended June 30, 2011. Highlights of the results, which were approved by the Board last Friday, include net sales of N124 billion which is an increase of 13 per cent over last year, while operating profit improved by 28 per cent to N27 billion. The earnings per share also increased by 31 per cent to 1, 216 Kobo. Commenting on the results, the company’s M a n a g i n g Director, Devlin Hainsworth said the operating result, again, demonstrates the strength of the company’s business. “Our high quality brands and continued focus on our route to market has delivered vol-

By Tonia Osundolire

ume growth, superior operating profit and strong cash flow. Operating profit grew 28 per cent on the back of a 13 per cent growth in net sales. The growth was driven by our strong performance in the stout, lager and malt drink categories underpinned by our focus on customer partnering, improved relationships with our distributors and brilliant sales execution," Hainsworth said. According to him, investment behind the company's brands has continued during the year to strengthen brand equity and support our premium brand positioning. "Our innovation agenda especially around new pack formats has also brought our brands to

new consumers and into new occasions. Our pioneering efforts in relationship marketing and association with football have started to yield early returns as these results demonstrate," he said. The board said it was confi-


liver superior returns to shareholders. The board recommended the declaration of N14.7 billion dividend in respect of the year ended June 30, 2011, representing a dividend per share of N10 per 50 kobo.

Red Star pays N177m dividends


HAREHOLDERS of Red Star Express Plc have approved distribution of about N177 million as cash dividend for the immediate past business year. S p e a k i n g a t t h e An n u a l Ge n e r a l Me e t i n g i n L a g o s , Chairman, Board of Directors, Red Star Express, Dr. Mohammed Koguna, said the board recommended dividend

FACTS ATEST audited reports and accounts of PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc, two leading fast moving consumer goods companies, showed almost similar top-line structure. With almost the same growth in sales, the reports of the two conglomerates showed the lull in the consumer goods market as consumers struggled with declining purchasing power and constraints orchestrated by economic depression. With tight top-line, both companies had to resort to internal cost management to sustain profitability. But it appeared Unilever Nigeria was more adept at internal cost control and management, which ensured that it sustained all-positive ratios and made much more returns, in percentage terms, than its competitor. PZ Cussons Nigeria and Unilever Nigeria share many things, including to a large extent, business model, foreign ownership and management thoughts. Both are large manufacturers and marketers of many similar home and personal care products with global affiliations to international brands. But while PZ Cussons Nigeria complements its business with a vibrant home appliances segment, Unilever Nigeria differs with its vibrant seasoning brands. Besides, PZ Cussons Nigeria is the larger of the two companies with its assets base more than twice that of Unilever Nigeria while PZ Cussons Nigeria's equity funds quadrupled that of Unilever Nigeria. And, while Unilever Nigeria runs the normal Gregorian calendar year as its business year, PZ Cussons' business year runs from June to May. Sales Generation PZ Cussons Nigeria's top-line recovered from the contraction in 2010 to achieve modest growth in 2011. Turnover rose by 5.1 per cent during the immediate past year as against a marginal decline of two per cent in the previous year. These showed an average growth sale of 1.55 per cent over the two-year period. PZ Cussons' performance obviously fell below its peer, given Unilever Nigeria's two-year average sales growth of 5.3 per cent. Unilever Nigeria's turnover rose by 5.2 per cent in 2010 as against increase of 5.4 per cent in 2009. Profitability Both companies showed a somewhat similar profit outlook with declines in margins and constricted bottom-line. On stand-alone basis as well as peer review, PZ Cussons Nigeria generally fell below average in the immediate past year. Profit before tax inched up by 1.3

dent that through strong brand positions, continued increase in capacity, focus on sales execution and the strength of partnerships with distributors, the company can sustain this momentum and continue to de-


per share of 3 0kobo each. According to him, the courier company was able to weather the storm in the face of global economic challenges and recorded a growth of 85 per cent in net earnings. He said the prevailing global and local business challenges as well as post 2011 elections security threats in some sections of the country did not deter the company from consolidating on

its quality service delivery. He said it was fully on course to become a fully integrated logistics one stop shop in the near future. “In a couple of months, we will be launching a number of new services into the market. These, we believe to a large extent, will expand our revenue base and signal in concrete terms our desire to expand our market share,” Koguna said.


PZ Cussons vs Unilever: The differences made by cost management By Taofik Salako

per cent in 2011 as against four per cent in 2010. Pre-tax profit margin fell below two-year average of 12.4 per cent to 12.1 per cent in 2011 compared with 12.7 per cent in 2010. Net profit dropped marginally by 1.5 per cent in 2011 as against 10 per cent increase in the previous year, indicating an average growth rate of 4.25 per cent. Unilever Nigeria, meanwhile, sustained no-red profit indices in spite of obvious slumps in many areas. Gross profit inched up by 0.35 per cent in 2010 compared with 34 per cent rise in 2009. Pre-tax profit also rose by 8.7 per cent in 2010 as against about 37 per cent growth in 2009 while profit after tax limped by 2.2 per cent in 2010 compared with a jump of about 58 per cent in 2009. The underlying profitability of the company however remained enduring with gross profit margin at 37 per cent in 2010 as against 39 per cent in 2009 while pre-tax profit margin increased to 13.1 per cent in 2010 compared with 12.7 per cent in 2009 and two-year average of 12.9 per cent.

FACTS TO FACTS Turnover growth Gross profit growth Pre-tax profit growth Gross margin Pre-tax profit margin Net profit growth Return on Assets Return on Equity

•CEO, PZ Cussons Plc, Mr Christos Giannopoulos

• MD, Unilever Plc, Mr Thabo Mabe

Actual Returns Both companies continued to sustain positive returns. Unilever Nigeria led on the returns table in both actual size of returns and the year-on-year improvement. Unilever Nigeria's actual return on

total assets dropped below average to 16.1 per cent in 2010 compared with 17.3 per cent in 2009. However, actual return to shareholders improved to 50.2 per cent in 2010 as against 49.9 per cent recorded in 2009 and a two-year av-


PZ Cussons 2011 % 5.1 1.3 12.1 -1.5 8.3 12.7

2010 % -2 -8.2 4 27.6 12.7 10 9 13.7

erage of 50.05 per cent. On the other hand, PZ Cussons Nigeria witnessed declines in both returns on total assets and equity. Return on total assets dropped below a two-year average of 8.65 per cent to 8.3 per cent in 2011 as against 9.0 per cent in 2010. Actual return on shareholders' funds also slipped below average from about 14 per cent in 2010 to about 13 per cent in 2011. The Bottom-line The performance outlooks of the two conglomerates underline the challenges facing manufacturers, especially consumer goods manufacturers, which usually are the first casualties in a depressing and inflationary economy. With a thin, sluggish industry-wide top-line, fast moving consumer goods manufacturers and marketers have fallen on their routes-to-the-market strategies, economy of scale, internal administrative cost management and other cost-cutting measures to keep the bottom-line green. The cost variables and management strategies obviously made the difference between the performances of Unilever Nigeria and PZ Cussons Nigeria.

Average % 1.55 -4.1 2.65 13.8 12.4 4.25 8.65 13.2

Pre-tax profit margin (PZ)

2010 % Turnover growth 5.2 Gross profit growth 0.35 Pre-tax profit growth 8.7 Gross margin 37.3 Pre-tax profit margin 13.1 Net profit growth 2.2 Return on Assets 16.1 Return on Equity 50.2

2009 % 5.4 33.6 36.6 39.1 12.7 57.6 17.3 49.9

Average % 5.3 16.98 22.65 38.2 12.9 29.9 16.7 50.05

Pre-tax profit margin (Unilever)





Loss and Hope


•It could be both functional and dysfunctional


F recent, a new dimension has been introduced into information dissemination by the new United States Government diplomatic cables published by whistleblower, Wikileaks. It draws its information mainly from private discussions among elites in government and non-government circles. The information tapped show how far some officials could open their mouths to divulge information about their colleagues and situations in government and the country. In short, Wikileaks deals with big mouths who could not restrain themselves from giving out vital information when carried away during private discussions. Our national dailies have been awash with such leaks traceable to top government functionaries. Just a few of

‘One interesting lesson in all this is the careless ways our political elites talk to foreigners, especially embassy officials. Perhaps they are not aware of how the information got from their careless talks could be used against them or their colleagues and the country. But we do appreciate the information about devilish attitudes and evil dispositions of some of our leaders’

them: “Jonathan ineffective as governor”, Daily Trust, September 6, 2011 (front page); “Jonathan can’t control Patience,” same paper, September 6, page 2, “How Obasanjo pressured judiciary, by Wikileaks”, Nation, September 7, page 6. “Obasanjo feared corruption indictment under Yar’Adua”, Nigerian Compass, September 8, (front page and page 12), and “Jonathan eager to succeed Yar’Adua,” National Mirror, September 8, (front page). Take “Jonathan can’t control his wife, Patience?” for instance; according to Wikileaks, “First Lady Patience Jonathan “runs her own show and the husband has little or no control over her”. The cable which quoted a source in Bayelsa State said the first lady had “tremendous influence” over Goodluck Jonathan and his administration when he was governor of Bayelsa State. Wikileaks also reported that Jonathan’s loyalty to his boss, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha compelled President Olusegun Obasanjo to select him as Yar’Adua’s running mate. There were bomb-shells from Dora Akunyili on Jonathan being eager to succeed Yar’Adua and the intrigues that went on in the US Embassy over Yar’Adua’s successor, as the man was then a man waiting to die (see National Mirror, September 8, pp 1, 2 & 5. Another issue about the judiciary was raised in “How Obasanjo pressured judiciary by Wikileaks”. The cable showed why the former Chief Justice,

Muhammadu Uwais, was so fearful of President Obasanjo’s interference in the judiciary that in 2005, he met with John Campell for him to know what was going on, just in case something happened to him (Uwais). Perhaps the most interesting leak of Wikileaks is the report about alleged oil thieves, including an ex-first lady and many very important personalities who allegedly steal 91 million barrels yearly, (Punch September 7, front page and page 8). One can go on and on, but we must give kudos to Wikileaks for revealing some of the corruption and shady deals going on in top places in our society. It is not enough to say that these allegations may be false. The fact remains that they may be true. Who is to decide? We believe that any aggrieved party should be bold enough to take that matter to court to clear his/her name. Not doing so will mean that one is guilty as ‘charged’. One interesting lesson in all this is the careless ways our political elites talk to foreigners, especially embassy officials. Perhaps they are not aware of how the information got from their careless talks could be used against them or their colleagues and the country. But we do appreciate the information about devilish attitudes and evil dispositions of some of our leaders. Perhaps Wikileaks will keep every government official, from the past and present governors, legislators to civil servants and public officials on their toes.

Doubtful claim • SSS could do better than the disclosure on this ‘shock find’


HE State Security Service’s (SSS) revelations on the discovery of an alleged factory where explosives were being manufactured is ridiculous. The entire scenario gives the impression that the SSS is in haste to convince the public that it is working, consequent upon the deluge of criticisms that trailed its perceived poor intelligence gathering. Recently, the Service reportedly claimed to have discovered where Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are assembled in Chechnya, Hayin-Uku village, Tafa Local Government Area of Niger State. The discovery, it claimed, led to the arrest of Boko Haram suspected members, including an Igbo Muslim convert, a Nigerien, a half-Nigerien, one Kano indigene, two Borno indigenes and a miner from Nasarawa State who allegedly supplied explosive materials to the sect. These suspects, the SSS claimed, have made useful confessions about their membership of the Boko Haram sect and also, their involvement in several bombings and killings that occurred in the north. But the bombings and killings that the nation is contending with in recent times are quite complicated. They could have been perpetrated with only sophisticated lethal equipment. Surprisingly, the SSS gleefully announced to the world to have found from one Boko Haram ‘bomb factory’ in a remote corner of the nation such comical items as one gas cylinder, one battery connected to a detonator, two damaged detonators, one locally-made revolver, one gun butt, two knives, 10

GSM handsets with SIM cards, one ceiling fan coil, two laptop computers, 37 unused metallic oil filters and two metallic cylinders. Others are one clock connected to a primed bladeless ceiling fan with ninevolt batteries ready for use, some pieces of shrapnel, Honda Civic car with Borno State registration number AG94MNG, 200 pieces of detonators, some detonating cord (red colour), a Sony remote control, five battery chargers and a black bag containing detonating cables. We ask, who does the Service feel it is deceiving with its laughable disclosure? Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi, the National Security Adviser (NSA) underscores the lethargy with which the nation handles serious security matters after a seven-hour emergency meeting of the National Council of State, the highest advisory body in the land, when he said that “….Explosives everywhere, especially police headquarters, UN building…It has happened in different parts of the world but today it is happening in Nigeria. And we must resolve as a nation to solve this problem….The problem is that we were not as a nation prepared for this new level of terrorism… the public facilities we have were not prepared for that….’’ Could it therefore be that the huge budgets annually approved for the security of the nation are expended on frivolities? Otherwise, despite years of stupendous spending on security and intelligence gathering, the NSA would not have had the effrontery of saying that the nation was not prepared to tackle

problems that serious-minded governments across the world have taken precautionary steps against. The security agencies have failed the nation in their handling of even simple security problems. Since the bombing of the UN House, the SSS merely managed to declare one Nur wanted but till date, it has not published the picture of that most wanted man alleged to be the mastermind of the last bombing in Abuja. Who is this Nur and was he on the SSS watch list prior to the incident that claimed many lives? The SSS will have to do more explanations to show that its discovery of Boko Haram bomb factory is not a ruse meant to just show that the service is working. The kind of bomb used on the UN House could not have been made in that kind of place. The SSS discovery is, to us, merely trivialising the serious security challenges facing the country.

‘The SSS will have to do more explanations to show that its discovery of Boko Haram bomb factory is not a ruse meant to just show that the service is working. The kind of bomb used on the UN House could not have been made in that kind of place. The SSS discovery is, to us, merely trivialising the serious security challenges facing the country’


T is painful and puzzling to look back to that day, to the chasm after the second tower fell, when we knew nothing except that fires were burning, an untold number of lives had been lost, and Lower Manhattan was gasping in a cloud of what looked like Pompeian ash. That morning’s terrible events marked a border between one realm and another, a boundary none of us would ever wish to have crossed. Everything had changed — that was how it seemed. We tried, almost immediately, to understand how the morning of 9/11 would change our future. A decade later, we’re still trying to understand, looking back and looking ahead. It is not enough simply to remember and grieve. At first, there was only shock, grief and fear. But by the next evening there was something surprising in the air. Do you remember? It was an enormous, heartfelt desire to be changed. People wanted to be enlarged, to be called on to do more for country and community than ordinary life usually requires, to make this senseless horror count for something. It was also a public desire, a wish to be absorbed in some greater good, a reimagining of the possibilities in our national life. There was courage and unity on the streets of the city and all across the country, for we were all witnesses of that turning point. But America has not been enlarged in the years that have passed. Based on false pretexts, we were drawn into a misdirected war that has exacted enormous costs in lives and money. Our civic life is tainted by a rise in xenophobia that betrays our best ideals. As we prepared for a war on terrorism, we gave in to a weakening of the civil liberties that have been the foundation of our culture. It seemed, in the days after 9/11, as though we stood at the juncture of many possible futures. There was as much hope as grief, as much love as anger, and a powerful sense of resilience. We still stand at the juncture of many possible futures. They are occasioned not by what terrorists in four airliners did to us, but by what we have done in the decade since. As a nation, we have done a better job of living with our fears, sadly, than nurturing the expansive spirit of community that arose in those early days. We are still learning about the events of 9/ 11, and in truth, 10 years is a short window to assess the consequences of those attacks. Perhaps in time we will realize that the full meaning of what happened on 9/11 resides in the surge of compassion and hope that accompanied the shock and mourning of that September day. New York Times

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief Victor Ifijeh • Editor Gbenga Omotoso •Chairman, Editorial Board Sam Omatseye

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IR: America has many more internal and external enemies than Nigeria, but she is surviving better than Nigeria, because very many Americans tend to honour America, and only God comes before her. Their allegiance is primarily to God and the survival of America, and not the diversity of religious teachings as we have it in Nigeria. Meanwhile, Nigerians keep placing their religious allegiance above their national commitment. Hence states like Kano celebrated the Ramadan with untold millions of public funds, and in some other states, the rulers and officials of the ruling political party are invited to chair church and mosque launchings, so that their religious bodies can share in the loot. Rather than approaching the matter this way, EFCC Chair Farida Waziri was telling pastors to question fat

IR: Nigeria is one big entity ruled by a cabal of self-seeking few. This happens both in the private and public sectors. It is no wonder then that people from the unprivileged background scarcely make it to the top in Nigeria except in some rare cases where divine intervention takes place. This mafia of a selfish people controls the economy as well as the political space leaving nothing for the commoners. It is either you wriggle your way through or you are forever marooned in the abyss of neglect. The ongoing recruitment exercise in the Nigeria Police Force being carried out by the Police Service Commission is one big fraud. Nothing much is to be expected from the outcome since it has been mired in fraud ab initio. The tragedy of it all is the conspiracy of silence on the part of those who are supposed to speak out against it. Since the inception of the exercise, the chairman of the commission did say without equivocation that only those who merited it in character and learning would be given a fair chance. So far, it has been a big mess because the political class has hijacked the process.



Nigerian rulers are destroying Nigeria tithes paid by their members. Is it only in the church you find stolen public funds used for religious purposes? Be that as it may, America is surviving her near innumerable challenges, also because she is practicing true federalism in which the more than 50 federating states enjoy a lot of internal selfdetermination within the ambit of the nation’s constitution. Our own federalism is manipulated by our rulers for selfish reasons, and so our

president is more powerful than the American president. Our president can get-away with what American president cannot get away with, such as creating illegal budget for one’s wife, just as we have it also in many state and local governments of Nigeria. Equally sad is the truncation of the rotational presidency put in place by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which would have given Nigeria a measure of federal stability. Even many states and local

governments see the need for rotation within their local contexts. I, therefore, beg Nigerians to work for the entrenchment of rotational policy in our constitution to tame inordinate ambition that can create regional crisis, as we are currently experiencing it. Nothing else can vitiate a feeling of marginalization in this country. If we had genuine and magnanimous statesmen in power in Nigeria who knew when to step aside, there wouldn’t have been any political crisis of the

magnitude we are now confronted with. We should free the electoral commission from the whims and caprices of the partisan politicians. Our best option consists in professional organizations such as the Nigerian Bar Association that are not in the pay roll of any government. Having a good constitution and respectable institutions, should be preferred to an arbitrary system in which you deny a zone completion of its eight years. There cannot be peace, security and stability where there is no justice. That is an eternal principle. You dismissed Justice Ayo (Yoruba name for Joy) Salami, thereby undermining Nigeria’s joy, in the habitual manner of might is right. • Pius Oyeniran Abioje, Ph. D University of Ilorin.

The fraud in police recruitment The process in Ondo state leaves much to be desired. The criteria for the shortlist, only God knows since the examination that was conducted was not the basis for the satanic selection. There were so many bright boys and girls who went for the test hoping that merit would count this time around. Ever since the list came out, some of these boys

have been sobbing in silence with no one to cry to. Without slighting the personality of those who were shortlisted, I want the commission to declare and publish the results of those who sat for the test so that everybody can see, as failure to comply might lead to some people calling for their marked papers. If we continue this way, there is no

way Nigeria can actually be great. This lack of transparency in the process is being replicated across the 36 states of the federation. How can we fight crime when the process of recruiting people into the police is criminal itself? Who will save Nigeria? Something has to be done and be seen to be done urgently. So many underprivileged youths are

angry. The only problem is that they cannot speak out. Justice is the first condition of humanity and those who come to equity must do so with clean hands. Over to you the civil society groups, PSC chairman Inspector General of Police (rtd), Parry Osayande! • Akinboyo Temidayo Igbotako, Ondo State

Remembering OOU’s 2009 tsunami IR: Years ago, the founding fathers of Ogun State University now Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) conceived the idea to establish an affordable, people oriented institution which will help to alleviate the academic suffering of the people of the state and this idea was welcomed with the greatest enthusiasm by all well meaning people of the state. The institution was established, nurtured to a reasonable standard that it could be affordable to all irrespective of race, religion and financial status within the state and beyond. The university was affordable before it was hijacked by


overzealous mafias who have since taken school fees out of the reach of the common man. Unfortunately, the present managers were the first beneficiaries of the affordable school fees now mortgage and monetize the institution for their selfish advantage. In 2009, the OOU management visited the most heinous and cruel administrative tsunami on the workers when it relieved thousands of them of their appointments within two days without genuine reasons. What befell the institution did not spare the host communities as many indigenes returned to their farms having closed down their thriving business. The situation also

forced people to sell their houses at give away prices. A couple of sacked staff committed suicide, some lost their spouses due to inability to pay hospital bills while some were chased about by landlords when they could not pay their house rents. Those times were the most perilous of afflictions for both staff and students. Majority of the students who thought that the new dispensation would favour them in the area of reduction in school fees were disappointed. The students learnt a hard lesson that the death which kills a father does not spare the child because of empathy or sympathy. It is only in OOU that

students pay school fees twice to repeat a class with a letter of reinstatement which is also subject to the approval of the Registrar and when eventually approved twenty thousand naira penalties has to be paid. Although, the humiliation and dehumanization are yet to abate, staff and students are hoping that the present government will quickly look into the crisis rocking the university with a few to injecting fresh air into the overheated system. • Kolade Napoleon Esho, Olabisi Onabanjo University. Ago Iwoye, Ogun State.




WB: Who wants to be a zillionaire? UN/ EU: freeze/seize economic terrorists’ funds


EPTEMBER 11, 2001 changed the w o r l d psychologically through death, wars, security challenges and billions of hours of airports Tony delays. All are an Marinho unquantifiable burden and financial and emotional cost. Certainly, no one is safe, anywhere. The drowning of over 200 on the Tanzanian ferry off Zanzibar reminds us of Nigerians with a death-wish saying ‘No to life jackets’. Nigeria also loses many annually to ‘life jacket’ irresponsibility! With the blackouts in California and Arizona, we welcome Americans briefly to Nigeria’s permanent ‘Plague of Darkness’ inflicted on Citizen Nigeria by successive governments providing the worst power supply in Africa. Nigeria still grovels around 2-3000Mw, enough for a US village or the US Army camp in Baghdad. The World Bank’s Nigeria report confirms the need for a modified Indian style, Nigerian anticorruption drive. The Bank found N9.13 trillion ($58.9 billion) in Nigerian military/political/ civil service accounts with N4+ trillion traced to one military ‘leader’. They are ‘Economic Terrorists’. Nigerian political thieves are ‘graduates’ from stealing thousands to millions, billions to trillions from Nigerian children sitting pathetically in bookless, library-less pigsty schools and mothers dying in hospitals. Expect theft of a zillion soon. What is a zillion? A 1,000trillion or 1,000,000,000,000,000. Collectively these economic terrorists have $60+billion or $60,000,000,000 or $600/Nigerian if the population is 100m, excluding counting census chicken and goats. That is stealing N90 thousand from each Nigerian, adult and baby. Ask Fellow Nigerians ‘who wants to be a zillionaire?’ The domestic debt could be paid by these economic terrorists but what have we lost already from this mega-theft? Perhaps the thieves will repent and repatriate billions as a death-bed ‘gift’ to Nigeria mimicking Bill Gates’ ‘Giving Initiative’? Can the World Bank and Nigerian Civil Society get UN/ EU to freeze or seize that N9 trillion, forcing the ‘thieves’ to


INCE I started this column five years ago, I have always gone beyond Lagos State to focus on issues as they arise. Though there is much to write about Lagos, my belief has been that it receives far too much attention from other writers, commentators and analysts each time there is news in the Lagos horizon. This week, my focus is on Lagos simply because of the perceived injustice or raw deal which the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has been receiving from the antigraft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in the last one or two weeks. In his first outing as Speaker, he was also in the news. But at that time, the news was that he was going to be used to truncate the second-term ambition of the incumbent governor, Babatunde Fashola. Some people who were opposed to Fashola actually authored a petition to the House of Assembly under Ikuforiji’s watch and asking the House to probe the governor. There was also a supposedly frosty relationship between the governor and members of the House over the issue of proper recognition for the members of the House. There was this accusation that the governor was running a one-man show as if the House did not exist. All these issues soon fizzled out as amicable resolution was arrived at, and both the executive and legislature have been operating with mutual respect for each another ever since.

relinquish the funds or go to court. Only an economic terrorist would steal such sums, not a ‘leader’! Fellow Nigerians, this N9trillion in banks abroad is not lost. The world is ‘anti-corruption’. We must fight to get it back. Let our great lawyers, SANs, Diaspora, Civil Society, NLC, NUT, NMA, NBA, ICAN, PMAN, Nollywood, Musicwood etc form a civil action ‘Nigerian Fund Recovery Coalition’, like the Jews had to do for Holocaust Nazi Funds in Switzerland, and approach the ECOWAS, AU, INTERPOL, the World Court in The Hague for international warrants freezing and seizing of the money. We have lost children and mothers in childbirth and have a poor quality of life. Imagine losing your household income for a year, like pensioners’ homes suffering from ‘Stolen Pensions Disease’. Add to this the Law of Triple Corruption. This Law states that actual corruption is 3+ times the measurable corruption because if oga de chop 1, the officials will chop 2, abi? When the big people steal big, the little people steal little adding up to a huge amount. The story is told of Zaire’s Mobutu demanding $1m from the Minister of Finance who asked for $2m from the CBN Governor who collected $3m. He gave Mobutu, the Minister of Finance and himself $1m each. So a $1m theft became a $3m loss for the people of Zaire. In Nigeria, even petty clerks steal billions from Independent National Electoral Commission, Education Tax Fund and pension funds. The actual theft amounts to N9 trillion x 4. Yet we are called to patriotically sing the national anthem, as we die on death-trap roads, powerless, waterless and education-less with cholera and with bookless, libraryless schools from corruption, incompetence, negligence and ethnic ‘overlord’ syndrome. Meanwhile our new National Assembly started life with a multibillion naira paid 52-90 day holiday! Are we mad? Nigerian elections must never again be followed by 2-3 months holidays! After 20 years, deaths and million-man suffering stigmatise the Ibadan-Lagos and OreBenin ‘Expressways to Hell’! Our birthright has been rubbished and stolen. Only Citizen Nigeria’s air is free but soon politicians will steal it also –or sell it to us in gas bottles! We have been stripped of dignity. Is Nigeria great or stupid? Would the USA or the UK survive if a President or Prime Minister took half the budget and

government officials took the other half, while increasing taxes and VAT in a revenue drive? Imagine the UK and USA with a generator in every home and office. Nigeria has survived mega-theft because Citizen Nigeria is Nigeria’s financial backbone running the informal business/markets unavailable for stealing by money crazed governments. Are CBN Governor Sanusi’s order of maximum cash withdrawal without surcharge of N150 thousand and the banks N25,000 minimum for savings an attempt to access Citizen Nigeria last reserves? Certainly the N25,000, $150, should be reduced to N1,500, $10 or the banks should be boycotted because they declare billions in profits while paying 0.1-1% interest on savings but charging immoral 25% interest on loans. Banks should learn from communications companies about the economic value of ‘poor’ Citizen Nigeria or face revolution. Nigeria could break with extremes from irresponsible Abuja political opulence, multibillion naira economic terrorism to multiple murders in Jos and Bauchi to Boko Haram and Jos Sunday bombs to the poverty in pigsty schools near you. Bank buildings built beautifully with extortionist 25% interest rates are not glorious but exemplify private sector arrogance. Economic terrorism. Can you explain why no bank youth centre programme exists? Action must be taken against all Nigeria’s economic terrorists. With N9-36 trillion abroad, why are there no books in Nigeria’s schools?

‘In Nigeria, even petty clerks steal billions from Independent National Electoral Commission, Education Tax Fund and pension funds. The actual theft amounts to N9 trillion x 4. Yet we are called to patriotically sing the national anthem, as we die on death-trap roads, powerless, waterless and education-less with cholera and with bookless, library-less schools from corruption, incompetence, negligence and ethnic ‘overlord’ syndrome’

Ikuforiji and his cross Again, something happened in the April 2011 elections. The Speaker who had earlier contested from Epe had to migrate to Ikeja to stand for election. In doing this, one Barrister Babatunde Kwaku Ogala, who had occupied the seat for four years, was made to vacate the seat for Ikuforiji. The reason for the reshuffle was to allow for zoning of offices by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Lagos State. In the run-up to the election, rumours were rife that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the leader of ACN, was under pressure to drop Fashola as governor. The move almost polarized the party in the state. As a consummate political strategist, Tinubu watched from the sidelines even as several party stalwarts jostled to step into Fashola’s shoes. One of them was a long-serving commissioner in the state in his early 40’s who was said to have actually purchased about three dozen buses to be used to campaign for the exalted office. In the end, Tinubu brokered a lasting peace in the party and Fashola eventually got the nod to go in for a second term. That decision had its own casualty in the person of the then deputy governor, Sarah Sosan, who had to step down for a more favoured Adefulure-Orelope who was rewarded for party loyalty and family pedigree. Now, 2011 is gone and 2015 is fast approaching. Like the saying

“There are so many glaring cases of corruption in our national life to attract the attention of the EFCC instead of harassing innocent people all about”

goes, politicians start thinking about the next election the very moment one election is concluded. Therefore, the current brouhaha over the finances of the Lagos State House of Assembly has everything to do with the struggle for 2015 elections. Many of those eyeing the number one slot in the state are already in the trenches. Because Fashola will not be in a position to vie for a third term and if nothing untoward happens to Ikuforiji between now and the time the race will be thrown open, he would have become too powerful for anybody to confront. Again, by 2015, he would have been well fortified and positioned to give the governorship ticket a shot and could give any opponent a run for his money. This appears to be the reason for the current orchestrated campaign to put spanners in his works. From my independent findings, there are three allegations. The first one is that the Speaker influenced the allocation of N500 million to the House by the Lagos State Government and funnelled the money abroad through his company. Also, it is alleged that, till date, he alone has embezzled N7 billion which represents a total of 14 recurrent bills of the House at N500 million per month. What this means is that the House has not been able to spend a dime out of its monthly imprest because the Speaker alone has appropriated the money for himself. My findings indicate that the monthly imprest is used by members to take care of the cost of travels and other emoluments of members of the House. Therefore, it is evident that the Speaker could not have monopolized the money. Similarly, he has no relationship

with Brown Motors as alleged in a petition sent to the EFCC. The Speaker was also said to have lied in filling the forms during his nomination by not disclosing that he had once been convicted of credit card fraud and charged with drunk driving. The truth is that the Speaker admitted that, at a point in time, he lagged behind in payment of credit card subscription and the firm actually got a judgment against him in the United States while he was in Lagos. But immediately he got wind of the judgment, he (the Speaker) went to court and paid the subscription and the case was vacated. On drunk driving, those who are intimately close to the Speaker confirm that as a devoted Muslim, he does not drink and, therefore, could not have been accused of drunk driving in the first place. Besides, what I got is that the petition to the EFCC was carelessly put on a loose paper without any serious name or address attached to it. I did not see a copy of the petition, but if it is true that it was improperly signed with no proper address by the petitioner, then there is more to the petition than meets the eye. Already, newspapers are making a kill of the story by their daily banal headlines, which they sell to unsuspecting members of the public. You could say that the newspapers are doing their job. Yes, I agree with anybody that says that. My only grudge is how many of today’s reporters take the time to do a thorough investigation of stories they write? Many of the stories one reads daily on the pages of our national tabloids are mere fiction. It is like they are packaged and delivered to the reporters whose only duty is to find space

Dele Agekameh in their papers to fix the stories. This is not good enough. The reporters should go the extra mile to unearth hidden truth about stories they write. This is the only way the reading public will take them seriously. I know many people who do not read Nigerian newspapers any longer because they don’t believe what they report. To some extent, they are right. There are many instances to buttress this but I will leave that for another day. As for the EFCC, it is true that the commission has lost steam over the last four years. The only way to prove to Nigerians that the war on graft is still very much on is not to jump on innocent people who are only being persecuted by their political opponents. There are so many glaring cases of corruption in our national life to attract the attention of the EFCC instead of harassing innocent people all about. I am sure that at the end of the day, the commission will reach a dead end in this particular case. I would like to be proved wrong anyway! Send reactions to: 08058354382 (SMS only)



EDITORIAL/OPINION FROM THE CELL PHONE ‘The President doesn’t have the blueprint to rule this country. What are the security chiefs doing? Is it lack of institutional power? Lack of courage to tackle problem headlong? Or the incompetent? Please, tell Mr. President to save Jos, Maiduguri, Abuja from terrorist please and or should form interim national government’

• Fawehinmi

For Olatunji Dare The President doesn’t have the blueprint to rule this country. What are the security chiefs doing? Is it lack of institutional power? Lack of courage to tackle problem headlong? Or the incompetent? Please, tell Mr. President to save Jos, Maiduguri, Abuja from terrorist please and or should form interim national government. I was in the US during the debt rescheduling debacle and felt President Obama conceeded so much grounds to the Republicans. The underlying but unstated principle behind the move to humiliate Obama out of office is the race issue. The predominantly white supremacists woke up one day and discovered that a blackman nay, a first generation African American was their President. That’s why they’re denying the usual courtesies and respect accorded the President of the USA. They want to ‘reclaim’ the US, even if they have to destroy the economy. Obama will be re-elected but like you insinuated in your column, he has to call the bluff of the Republicans and use the huge powers invested in him to achieve his programs. He should quit acting as if he governs at the pleasure of the Republicans. It is time to kick the republican ass! From Emele Uwakwe. Sentiments, warped logic and unrealistic economic policies won the Republicans the edge in the last mid-term elections. Reason and facts will decide next year’s. Anonymous Dear Dare, I read your write-up on Obama audacity of power which is of a metaphor. Obama oratory audacity of hope was the gimmick that won election for him. The American people are getting to realise that the audacity of hope without economic power to the meddle class would bring poverty and uneployment to the people. President Obama would need more dynamic economic blue print that would increase more tax to the rich which will generate more revenue for industry and production before he can be thinking of winning the coming election. From Tope Omobulejo. Good morning, I want to thank you for your write-up of Sept. 6. The Republicans, are not intrested in the welfare of the low and middle class in the USA. Every policy Obama’s administration initiated, to help improve the well being of the ordinary American, they oppose. Obama should try audacity of power. From Capt (NN) AI Olisadebe. For Gbenga Omotoso Indeed you captured the late Gani’s response to the situation that is ravaging the country. But the question is can we still have a fearless, bold and Great advocate of the masses like Gani again? A “beautiful country of bad leaders and hopeless followers” indeed... From John C.A. Ogu, Ogun State A very interesting composition. It is a pity we are missing chief at this crucial moment in Nigeria. “When the wicked rules ...” From Tope, Ondo There are so many Nigerians whose socalled “National Honours” should be withdrawn. They keep ‘honouring’ wicked and corrupt/dubious people. How can we progress? Your write-up is fantastic, God

bless you. From Daniel Eskor, Delta State Gooday Mr. Omotoso Gbenga, your article on late Gani was indeed fascinating. Please sir, who granted the interview tagged Fawehinmi : A memorial, for record purpose? Thank you sir. From Rabiu Waliu Bolaji, a student of UNILORIN I pray that our leaders will have ears to listen to the voice of wisdom like the one you have demonstrated today in your article, ‘Fawehinmi: A memorial’. From Ebenz, Ile-ife Dear Gbenga, I am an avid reader of your column. I think you guys have to make an analysis on Buhari’s absence from the council of state meeting. Is it right? Is it patriotic? With the current Boko Haram menace does this foster unity? Nigerian youths are watching. From Dr. Silvanus O. Johnson What a beautiful memorial interview! How I wish a dynamic human rights activists in place to prosecute those lagal points in question? Adieu Gani, our fearless human right activist. Rest in peace. From Awoyemi, Ikire Osun state. Dear Gbenga, thank you for reminding us of Chief Gani Fawehinmi. I score you 85% because you did not add that he shed tears while adjusting his glasses. Hunger...Hunger... An average Nigerian will agree with you on thiis conversation, if Gani were to be alive. Good work. What can be said of you all when this life comes to an end. Gani, sleep on. From Otunba Akin Oshungboye, Agege. What a perfect interview Gbenga. Gani Fawehhnmi is still alive short and simple. Anonymous Gbenga, I read your text this morning and it was the same old song of The Nation seeing nothing good in GEJ government. Let The Nation be unbiased but be objective for once. Or tell us that The Nation is ACN, so we who are not politicians can stop buying it. From Eno, Uyo. Thank you for your submission, count on me for support. Anonymous What a good analysis. Fawehinmi will do even more for humanity if alive. From R. E. Moses, Nassarawa State. Your write-up of 08/09/2011 captioned “Fawehinmi: A memorial”, is as sweet and as captivating as any other before it. Kudos, brother! I tell you, Chief Gani Fawehinmi would have renounced the SAN title given to him belatedly by the same shameless NJC in protest! From Olu Ajayi, Abeokuta,Ogun State. I love this comment and debate given by late Fawehinmi on National issues. If the reputable lawyer were to be alive, he would have made the same comments. May the soul of this patriot rest in perfect peace. Gbenga keep it up. By Engr Ogundipe Olusanya. Ibadan. I read your article captioned “Fawehinmi: A memorial,” and I have questions to ask you. 1.Did you travel to the world beyond to interview one of our greatest heros? 2. Can you interview Obafemi Awolowo, Azikwe and Tafawa Balewa too? Possibly we can get solution to the issues of Boko haram, Salami’s suspension, and Babangida Obasanjo conflict. From Sayo Ajewole, Ilesa Osun state. Mr Gbenga, your Notebook full of thoughts and wisdom. I must commend you for that. Anonymous Your Editorial Notebook on “Fawehinmi: A memorial” is a perfect representation of opnion/mind of the late Gani Fawehinmi. May his soul rest in perfect peace. Amen. Sir, are you a lawyer? If Yes, you are best suitable to take the place of the late true, fearless activist, if No you can still fight for the masses through the instrumentality of your pen. Kudos, “eku laakaye” and more ink to your pen. From Prince Johnson A. S., Abuja. Re: Fawehinmi: A memorial. The President,

Goodluck Jonathan is inexprience, let him seek for knowledgeable elders like Abubakar Tsav ( rtd police commissioner), Nuhu Ribadu, Dora Akunyili, Bola Tinubu, Col. Umaru (rtd), and others to assist him with their huge exprience to preside over the country instead of working with taboo people like him. We have anti-terrorists, Anti-bomb, police mobile force, special protection unit, Anti this, Anti-that in the police, Army, Navy and Airforce intelligence, SSS, Custom, Imigration, to metion but a few doing nothing. The whole system is corrupt, it needs total overoiling if the president wants to justfy the April 2011 mandate the populace gave him. Remain blessed. From Alh. Kamardeen A. A., Lagos What are we waiting for in respect of Salami’s case? We have to protest for the illegality to serve as a lesson to future despots. From Ozone, Awka Dear Gbenga, how close were you to Chief Gani Fawehinmi? Reading through your Write-up of today, it was vintage Fawehinmi, word for word and I totally concur with all that was said by your Fawehinmi. Good Job, dear brother. May God bless you. From Prince Onakoya For Segun Gbadegesin Mr. Gbadegesin, it is regretable that the Nigerian styled Federalism is very unitary by its structure. It is a dysfunctional Federalism. From Ntah Infact, Nigeria always makes me sad. It seems those in authority don’t know the meaning of governance, democracy and federalism. Nigeria is in serious mess with the mediocres in power. Imagine Mr Adoke misinformed Jonah on constitutional issue. God save Nigeria. From Crusaders, Akure Good evening Mr. Segun, I have read your “Federalism, Nigeria style” in THE Nation of today and I wish to say I like your brilliant submissions. But there is no standard, universal model of federalism and this is because each country has its on model with the mantra that the centre should be strong enough to keep the nation as a united whole, but not too strong as to inspire a unitary system. that is why the federal systems of USA, Canada and Turkey are not clones of one another. while I agree that Nigeria is going through difficult times which are more as a result of managerial imperfections than structure of the country or form of givernment, I am unwilling to accept the view that what obtained from 1951 to 1966 was the best the country can have. What is more, you ignore the reality of 36 states most of which are not economically viable, yet hard to abolish to enable the former regions or the six geopolitical zones to find ingress into the constitution as federating units. Why the undue concern about the practice of federal character when no state government has any mechanism to campaign against corrupt practices? Or is the fight against corruption in the exclusive list? I say this because corruption is about the only sand bags on the path of steady socioeconomic development of Nigeria. Wipe it out of the polity today, and any other good thing will follow. From Anthony N. Z. Sani. Prof, I think the question is: are we really practising federalism? The answer we all know, is capital NO! Is it federalism where a president has the gut to summon democratically elected state governors to his office in Abuja whenever he pleases and they oblige like civil servants? OBJ did that several times in his time without qualms. It is about time we all agree we are running a failed State. From Olu You are a western stooge. Gaddafi was a

•Justice Salami

good ruler. Anonymous Re: Federalism, Nigerian style. Bro Segun, infact a lot of things are happening negatively in some states and LGAs that you can’t know. My state, Kogi and Local council, Okene are examples. Please, I welcome FCC if only the commission can carry out the said monitoring and coordinate duties. Nigeria is ripe for true federalism. Thanks. From Samari Umar, Garki, Abuja. Mr. Segun, in your piece on “federalism, Nigeria style.” You have it all. we cannot see any meaningful development if we don’t go back to regional government where state will control its resouces and security. From Engr. Eddy Anolue, Aguata Aguluezechukwu. Jonathans presidecy is becominy a nightmare, an embarrasment and a huge absurdity. God have mercy. From Chief Morgan Okafor Segun, thanks for your very thoughtful expression on our total departure from true federalism. Should time permit, I would like you to look at the merìts and demerits of federal character commission based on true federalism we claim to be practising. From Chris Nwaoba. Ikeja Lagos. Indeed, Africans are in a deadly dense mess due to leadership failure. The only way out now is rebellion. Rebellion is justified. Poor against the rich. After, the remnants will take correction. Anonymous Re: Justice Musdapher: 240 days of history. Nothing good can never come from him because he will always do the bidding of his sponsors. Birds of a feather flock together. Nigeria is dead judiciarily.The judiciary is too bastardised by useless/dead politicians. Good-bye to good justice in Nigeria. From Past Odunmbaku Ik. Nothing strange about the cruelity meted to Salami. The PDP cult must protect themselves and their party. Salami is flying in their cup of tea, thus a taboo. As number one enemy of the cult he must be thrown away. He is of old school not fit for this modern dispensation of cults. One single osco who thinks he can create a new man on earth cannot cause all this trouble and the impending danger to the cult and remain. Thank God he is lucky that he is not mudered like such unlucky renowns like himself, Bola Ige, Okadigbo, Dele Giwa, Idiagbon and MKO and his wife. To suspend him is like to commuttee death sentence to whiping. Now, they want him out of election tribunal so that PDP can have their field day. If one wants to hang his dog any rope can do. Salami, you are my war lord and hero. Please retire and rest, another person will continue from where you stopped. From A. P. Ameh. FCT Abuja Sir, the allegation against GEJ’s wife is only being denied because he is in power. Why do people stick to power so much and refuse to tell the truth. From Edo Osa Don, Benin. FCC like UN Resolution1973 is meant for corrupt leaders. Anonymous Federalism or not, what is important to Nigerians is a sytem of polical arangement that quarantee three single meal per day, free medcare, affordable housing and educatn. Again, who says impeachment will provide the necesary sucour? I think the core Northers are well grounded in politicking than thier Southern counterparts, period. Anonymous.





EDO 2012 As preparations are afoot ahead of the governorship election slated for next year in Edo State, getting candidates to run against Governor Adams Oshiomhole seems a tall order. OSAGIE OTABOR writes.

Opposition in dilemma over Oshiomhole


HERE is one major question rattling the people of Edo State today: Who will contest against Governor Adams Oshiomhole in 2012? It is a big question which, according to some political analysts, is difficult to answer at the moment. From all indications, Oshiomhole will have no problem in securing the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) ticket for a second tenure. This is premised on the fact that nobody within the party has indicated interest to run against him. Reason: The generally applauded development strides of the governor which many see as unprecedented since the creation of the state in 1991. The situation within the ACN and other political parties today is different from happenings in 2003 when it was difficult for Chief Lucky Igbinedion to get a second term ticket in the PDP, though he was eventually returned unopposed. However, the battle among ACN leaders, especially in Edo South Senatorial District, is about the deputy governor’s slot currently being occupied by Dr. Pius Odubu. Oshiomhole is yet to formally make his position known on the coming election; hence, it is not clear whether he will retain Odubu as his deputy. It was reliably gathered that Odubu is locked in battle with some forces within the ACN, who are bent on replacing him. Sources within the party said the silent war between him and the forces led by the Southsouth National Vice Chairman of the party, Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is about who takes over from Oshiomhole in 2016. Odubu is a silent political strategist who knows how to battle his political opponents. He had contested elections five consecutive times and was in the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2007 under the PDP before he joined others to form the Action Congress in the state. Those against Odubu, according to a source, see him as a weak politician without support. Moreover, he is not from Oredo local council area. But Odubu, in an interview, said: “Those that say I am a political neophyte are entitled to their opinion. I have been around long enough for me to be a general in this game. This is my fifth consecutive election. I did four individually and now, I am with the governor. I have been around every now and then. And I have been very successful.” For the opposition political parties, the next year’s election is a challenge. They must present credible and acceptable candidates against Oshiomhole. Apart from the PDP, other political parties are not showing enough seriousnes. Their aspirants are not known. Candidates that have indicated interest under the PDP include the deposed governor, Professor Oserheimen Osunbor, General Charles Ehigie Arhiavbere, an Abujabased businessman and educationist, Kenneth Imasuangbon, and former Special Adviser on Legal Matters to Prof Osunbor, Kelvin Aigbe. Members of the PDP, in their recent stakeholders’ meeting, agreed to provide a level-playing field for all aspirants. To avoid the past mistakes connected with zoning, the party is encouraging aspirants from the three zones to vie. These promises made by the PDP to aspirants, according to party sources, were meant to prevent defection of members from PDP to ACN. When it was rumoured that the PDP had zoned the governorship

‘They have not been able to question him on accountability, transparency, competence and the delivery dividends of democracy. Oshiomhole is more of a core Benin man. Every Edo man is from Benin. Anybody that wants to come to power by preaching division is not deserving of that power’

• Oshiomhole

• Osunbor

• Imasuagbon

slot to Edo South, many aspirants, including Imasuangbon, threatened to leave the party. In the main opposition party, the contest may eventually be between Arhiavbere and Imasuangbon. The two politicians have kicked off their campaigns. One strategy that analysts believe may work for the PDP is picking the candidate from the Edo South Senatorial District, which has overwhelming majority of the voting population in the state. This, according to the analysts, may lead to ethnic politics as the Benins in Edo South will want to vote for their son. Many recalled that, despite his performance in office, former Governor Ambrose

Ali of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN)was defeated by Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) because the latter relied on the majority ethnic support. But Odubu said any attempt by the opposition to introduce ethnic politics in the state would fail. He added: “They have not been able to question his ability to deliver in the area of accountability, transparency, competence and the delivery dividends of democracy. Oshiomhole is more of a core Benin man. Every Edo man is from Benin. Anybody that wants to come to power by preaching division is not deserving of that power. “We are saying Edo State is the most ho-

mogenous state. Yet, somebody wants to govern this state and he is driving a wedge between a people that regard themselves as one. It won’t work. By virtue of what the governor has done in the area of human capital development, Oshiomhole ought to be return unopposed.” Imasuangbon has promised to tackle unemployment and provide free education . Arhiavbere had already started community development services long before he retired. However, a chieftain of the PDP and former deputy governor of Edo State, Reverend Peter Obadan, in an interview, said that it would be difficult for the PDP to defeat ‘a titan’ like Oshiomhole in next year’s governorship election. Rev Obadan said that he had told the leaders of the PDP in the state that, if they do not have the right candidate, they should adopt Oshiomhole and wait till 2016 before fielding candidates for elections. The former deputy governor, who maintained that PDP lacked aspirants who could match the governor, said villages and communities would attest to the development strides of Oshiomhole Administration. He said: “The governor is a man who is working hard to meet the needs of the populace. He has not been found wanting. For us to displace him, we need an excellent candidate, a very good one. Go to the villages and communities and you will see what I am talking about. It will be a herculean task. PDP should wait after their second tenure, if we found someone.” Rev Obadan noted that, even if the right aspirants entered the race, the PDP would not give them the opportunity because according to him, ‘scaling the nomination is another thing.’ As the July 14 date draws near, Edo people are waiting to see the candidate to be fielded by opposition parties. The campaigns will surely be interesting and perhaps, unprecedented in the history of the state.






Obisia accuses Ekeji, Nsofor of conspiracy N

ATIONAL boxing coach Obisia Nwapka has explained the reason behind his dismissal from Nigeria’s camp for alleged misconduct, fingering technical adviser of the boxing team,

Idika Nsofor as the brain behind it. Speaking with, Obisia said Nsofor used his relationship with the Director-General of the sports ministry, Dr Patrick Ekeji to throw him out simply because he disagreed

with another coach in camp,Tony Konyegwachi. "We got to the quarter-final and the technical adviser wanted to come into the corner but I refused since he was registered as a coach and as the head coach, I refused but it did not go down well with him and he went on to complain to the Director-General since he was the one who brought him, I was kicked-out". The Nigerian boxing contingent picked up three silver medals and one bronze medal at the 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.

Toriola dethroned, fails to make 2012 Olympics


IGERIA's table tennis ace, Segun Toriola has been dethroned from his first place in the All Africa Games Men's Single title when he lost in the quarter final of this year’s event to Assar Omar of Egypt at the at the Islamico Centrio Sporting Center in Maputo, Mozambique. The defeat also means that Toriola is not qualified for the 2012 London Olympics as the Singles event serves as the qualifier. Since 1995, Toriola has been ranked as the best Nigerian player. He has been amongst the top table tennis players in Africa since the mid 1990s. Ranked number 1 in Africa from 1998 to June 2008, when Egyptian Eli Saleh Ahmed became the leading African table tennis player. However, since 2009, Toriola has again been the number 1 in Africa. Renowned for his unusual style of forehand play, which makes him an awkward opponent for many. Despite lacking good footwork has an excellent topspin, which has allowed him to pull off many upsets with top world players. During his career he has won multiple medals in international singles tournaments. Some of his important achievements are: 4 African Table Tennis Singles Championships (1998, 2002, 2004, 2006) and 2 Doubles Championships (1994,1992).A Commonwealth Singles Championship (2002) in Manchester (United Kingdom),A Commonwealth Doubles Championship and Singles

•As Nigerian athletes arrive in batches Bronze Medal (2006) in Melbourne (Australia),4 All-African Games Singles Gold Medals (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007),[2] 4 Doubles Gold Medals (1995, 1999, 2003, 2007),[3] 1 Mixed Doubles Gold Medal (1999, with Bose Kaffo; they also won silver in 2003)[4] and 3 Team Gold Medals (1995, 1999, 2003). Meanwhile, as the games draws to an end, some Nigerian athletes who have completed their competitions will

be arriving the country on Thursday. The athletes who left Mozambique on Wednesday will arrive Nigeria on Thursday after a ten hour journey from the East Africa Country. Most of the athletes who expressed delight at coming back to Nigeria, told the NationSport that they were glad coming home with medals. Some of them got gold, silver and bronze respectively in their sports.

Doreen Amata targets Diamond League glory


FTER defending her title by winning the Women’s High Jump at the on-going All Africa Games, Maputo 2011, Nigeria’s Doreen Amata is set to continue with the feat at the Samsung Diamond League which holds on Friday. Amata maintained her winning streak in the high jumps after jumping 1.88m as against her personal best of 1.90m to pick the gold medal, while another Nigerian, Osazuwa Uhunoma got silver with a jump of 1.88m. Amata currently ranked no 6 for the Diamond League by the IAAF will be competing with No 1 ranked Blanka Vlašic of Croatia, Anna Chicherova of Russia (2) and Emma Green Tregaro of Sweeden (3) for the top price.

In a chat with NationSport, Amata believes she can improve on the 1.95m jump recorded at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea where she ended 8th. “It feels good to win again, to defend my title. I’m looking forward to doing better which I’ve done this year. This year I’ve done a 1.95 and was 8th in the World Championship final, so next step is to do better. I’m going for the Diamond League in few days time. The Diamond is on the 16th of this month and hopefully I can perform well. “My personal best is 1.95 which is a National record. I’ve equaled it twice this year. This games is 1.88m and I think its ok. The most important thing is that I won the gold medal which gives me a boost ahead of the Diamond”, she said.

FIFA to investigate Uche over homophobia


IFA is to open an inquiry into the issue of homophobia in women's football and Nigeria head coach, Eucharia Uche could be in line for investigation. Three international bodies AllOut, the Federation of Gay Games, and the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association having secured 46,000 signatures for petition to condemn

Oyenuga returns to Spurs

homophobia has forced FIFA to open an inquest. "Today we are excited to see FIFA take a first, critical step," AllOut cofounder, Andre Banks is quoted on Tuesday's edition of Daily News. "By launching an immediate probe into coach Uche's homophobic statements, the international governing body of soccer is sending a clear and important message: homophobia


URY's on-loan forward Kudus Oyenuga has returned to parent club Tottenham. The 18-year-old joined the Shakers on a one-month deal in August and made three appearances, including the first full game of his professional career against Crewe in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. A statement on Bury's official website read: "Kudus returns to White Hart Lane with our thanks and very best wishes for his career."


has no place in football, on or off the field." The world soccer governing body through its head of women's competition, Tatjana Haenni, had said in June it will talk to the Nigerian coach about her comment. “FIFA is against all forms of discrimination,” Haenni told German television channel, ARD. The Nigerian trainer had caused a stir in a New York Times interview on the eve of the Fifa Women’s World Cup in Germany this year by calling homosexuality "dirty." “Yes, the lesbians in our team were really a big problem. But since I’m coach of the Super Falcons, that has been cleared up. “There are no more lesbian players on my team. I cannot tolerate this dirty life,” Uche had told the New York Times. Her comments were perceived in many quarters as targeting the German squad that had reserve keeper, Ursula Holl being married to a woman and first-choice Nadine Angerer believed to be bi-sexual.

NFF will rule on Enyeama's future — Siasia N

IGERIA coach Samson Siasia says he has accepted goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama's apology after the duo

rowed about the team's mode of travel to Madagascar early this month. However, Siasia added that

Umeh praises 1 GAME anti-violence efforts ST Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Chief Mike Umeh says he is pleased with the progress made so far in the campaign against football violence in the country and lauded the effort of the 1 GAME: Football without Violence campaign in ensuring that the rule of fair play is respected at all levels of Nigeria football. The Anambra State Football Association Chairman expressed his satisfaction while speaking to 1 GAME’s Chuma Nnoli in a telephone chat on Tuesday. “1 GAME has been at the forefront of this campaign against football violence and thank God that they are getting a very positive sign. So far so good, the introduction of 1 GAME has reduced the violence usually experienced in matches. “We are getting to the end of the Nigeria Premier League. I’m sure its going to be the same. We don’t expect any violence at all because violence doesn’t clear disputes,” he said.


Umeh who once served as Team Manager of the Super Eagles, went on to suggest ways in which football violence can be prevented, particularly in the Nigeria Premier League, while also commending the effort of 1 GAME in ensuring zero tolerance for violence and other vices in football. “Let there be good officiating, let players play very well, let everyone follow the simple rules of the game. When everything is on a level playing ground, there will be no violence. “I have to commend 1 GAME for doing the excellent job it is doing.” The 1 GAME campaign was initiated in June 2010 with a primary aim of combating violence and fanaticism in football and enjoys the support of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) with the football governing body president, Aminu Maigari announcing in July that the NFF was partnering with it to put an end to vices in the game.

Enyeama's future with the Super Eagles now rests with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). Enyeama had apologised for the row that lead to him being dropped in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Madagascar. Siasia stressed at the time that his act of indiscipline was totally unacceptable, while Enyeama insisted that his concerns were 'completely misunderstood'. "I have accepted the apology. I have nothing against him as an individual." Siasia said. Nigeria coach Samson Siasia on 2012 Nations Cup qualifier against Guinea "It was very unfortunate that the incident happened before our departure to Madagascar. "Sincerely, I dropped the player because I was afraid of his state of mind before such an important match. "It was a sensitive case yet the right thing to do to avert it spilling over and affecting the morale of the squad.

"But it is now left for the federation to decide on his [Enyeama's] future with the team." Despite concerns being raised in a section of the media over his team's spirit after the 3-1 defeat to Argentina in a friendly, Siasia said his focus is on the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The battle for the ticket to the Nations Cup from Group B will be decided on the final day. The Super Eagles will need to beat visiting Guinea 1-0 or by a two goal margin if the Syli Nationale score if they are to top the group on the head-to-head record between the two. "Our main focus for now is not beating the Syli Nationale of Guinea, but to beat them silly," said Siasia, who will release his list of call-ups for the crucial qualifier next week. "We want a convincing win, so we need to beat them by as many as three clear goals. We have to prepare well and find a way to win convincingly to earn the sole group ticket."



AMMY AMEOBI has admitted he would have loved to have made the Toon Army’s long overnight journey back to Tyneside a more enjoyable one by grabbing the winner at Loftus Road – yet feels that Newcastle United were just happy to emerge with a point. Toon boss Alan Pardew turned to Ameobi Jnr in the dying stages after his older brother Shola, Leon Best and Demba Ba had failed to trouble Paddy Kenny in the QPR goal. The Londoners were determined to get the Tony Hernandes era off on a winning note, and wasted some excellent chances. But Ameobi emerged to say: “It’s not an easy place to come with the new signings they’ve got – they’ve got a stronger side. We’re glad to come away with a point. “We’d have loved three, but that’s the way the game goes sometimes. We dug deep and came away with a point. I want to take every chance I get and show what I can do, and I’m

glad I got some time on the pitch.” Ameobi grabbed his first senior goal at Scunthorpe United in the Carling Cup, and he revealed that Pardew had asked him for more of the same when he beckoned him from the bench late on. He said: “The manager said the same to me as he did at Scunthorpe, get the ball and go down the line and create things. That’s what I tried to do.” Incredibly, Ameobi is beginning to be the man United fans are looking to when it comes to goals. Worrying late chants of “Attack, attack, attack.” greeted Ameobi’s arrival and he reflected: “It’s an amazing feeling to hear them sing my name – I love the fans. “They’ve always been great with me since I’ve been coming through, and hopefully I can keep supplying for them. “It’s a terrific start to the season, and hopefully we can build on that. We’ve got to take it into the next game on Saturday.”

SAZE Odemwingie admitted he went through a rollercoaster of emotions at Carrow Road. The Nigeria striker, last season's 15-goal top scorer, revealed he went into his first league start this term low in confidence after being plagued by an ankle injury for the past six weeks. But his third-minute goal, which proved the winner, soon settled his nerves and he was a constant threat to the Canaries defence - only to miss a 76th-minute penalty. That incident sparked a nervewracking finale. And Odemwingie admitted he was the most-relieved man inside the Norfolk venue when referee Mark Halsey's final whistle confirmed his spot-kick miss had not cost his team. "For me personally, it was great to score so early on as it was my first start of the season," said the likeable former Lille striker. "It put me straight away where I needed to be mentally. I was lacking confidence. I could feel it. But getting a goal so early on got me into the state I needed to be in. "I'm sure my team-mates were happy for me as I think around ten of them came to congratulate me. But I made it difficult for my team-mates by missing the penalty. "I was saying 'sorry, sorry' to all of them at the end of the game. I could've

made it easier for them. But that's football. That is why it is exciting. During the last ten minutes, I was praying that Norwich didn't get an equaliser. But we proved we have the character when things become difficult." Odemwingie also claimed Albion's electric start at Norwich helped banish the memory of their opening three league defeats. The early goal gave us confidence," he added. "It helped us forget about the last three games right away. I'm very happy. After three defeats, it wasn't easy. We've had an international break and heads have been down but now I think there's going to be a new atmosphere around the training ground. "Norwich looked like they have a lot of confidence. They have just come into the Premier League so that happiness and inspiration is helping them to perform. It was a very difficult match. "Everyone saw we had to wait until the last seconds of the game to be sure of the win. It was very tense but we got three very important points." Odemwingie also said he enjoyed partnering Shane Long in attack from the start for the first time. "I got really tired towards the end but Shane helped me a lot. He works really hard," he added.

RESIDENT, Nigeria Football Federation Aminu Maigari has insisted the NFF board was never under any form of duress to decide on the Nigeria Premier League election saga even as they had already resolved to abide by the rule of law. The 2011/2012 NPL season has been marred with so many controversies and stoppages. Speaking with, Maigari maintained that due process had to be followed after carefully understanding the court order while also noting that they will now be supervising the NPL re-run elections directly. "I know we have to obey the rule of law and follow due process and that is what we're doing".


Enyeama battles Odiah


WO Nigerian players, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama and Chidi Odiah will be in action in the second day of the UEFA Champions League as Lille of France host CSKA Moscow at the Lille Métropole, Lille. Though, Enyeama is not sure of a starting shirt, but aims to maintain Lille's unbeaten home record in the French Ligue 1, while Odiah's CSKA target is the maximum points. Rudi Garcia's Lille have been in solid form thus far in the French top flight, winning three and drawing once in five matches, however, they are yet to keep a clean sheet in their Ligue 1 title defence. That will be a point of concern for Garcia as he looks to steer Lille

The former Ocean Boys star has also expressed delight that compatriot Yusuf Ayila has returned to action with Dynamo after he suffered an injury while training with the Super Eagles prior to the Madagascar match. “Ayila is fit again. He is an important player for my team and this is also good for Nigeria,” said Ideye. “He can play again from next weekend.” The other Nigerian at Kiev is Olympic team skipper Lukman Haruna.

Sammy Ameobi: We wanted win for the fans

Odemwingie admits Due process will followed lack of confidence be—Maigari O P


IdeyeaimsUkraine ‘GoalKing’ IGERIA international striker Brown Ideye has disclosed that his target is to finish top scorer of the Ukrainian league in his debut season. “My target is to finish as top scorer in the Ukrainian league,” said 22year-old Ideye, who has so far netted five goals in eight appearances for Dynamo Kiev. “I scored 15 goals for Sochaux in the French league last season and I believe I can score more in Ukraine this season.”


through just a fourth Champions League campaign in their history. Former Chelsea, West Ham and Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole is set to make his European bow for the club, after an impressive substitute appearance in their 3-1 league win over Saint-Etienne. Centre-back Aurelien Chedjou is expected to be fit for the French side after picking up a thigh injury in their latest league outing, but Tulio De Melo will miss out with a leg injury. For the Russians, Igor Akinfeev and Keisuke Honda are long-term absentees because of serious knee injuries. The match marks the start of Moscow's sixth campaign in European club football's showpiece event.

Heineken Champions Planet raises stake for UCL



HE success recorded in the last five editions of the Heineken Champions Planet has generated further interest in the tournament, as Heineken, the sponsoring brand has decided to go full blast introducing more packages for consumers. This year, passionate football lovers and consumers in the country will have the unique experience of following all the 96 matches of what is aptly described as the best clubs' competition on Planet Earth. Heineken is also increasing consumers’ participation while the matches will be in progress. The final match holds in May 2012 at Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany. “We want to move beyond engaging visitors with a planetary view of the matches to engaging them in other ways that will add value to their experiences. “Aside recreational facilities in the house, we want to engage all the guests in ways that will make the scheduled matches more interesting because its all about fun all through and not the emotion that comes with the outcome of the matches,” Jacqueline van Faassen, the Senior Brand Manager Heineken disclosed.

Already, all the 32 teams led by the defending champions, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea, AC Milan and Real Madrid alongside other powerful teams in elite competition are set for battle in their respective groups and will play all through to the knock out stages of the competition which begins February next year. Before this stage of the competition, 50 play-off matches were played, with 10 winners in the ties – five from the best-placed teams and five from the champions’ path – join 22 automatic entrants in the 32-team group stages. The clubs are split into eight groups of four teams, who play home and away against each of their pool opponents between September and December to decide which two teams from each section advance to the first knockout round. The third-place finishers in each group enter the UEFA Europa League round of 32. UEFA last May announced the extension of its sponsorship agreement with Heineken for the UEFA Champions League seasons 2012-2015 and for the UEFA Super Cup 2012, 2013 and 2014.




Agency spends N50.9m

Council chief seeks support against flooding

Group wants federal projects completed








Page 25



N Ekiti State, the elderly will no longer have to spend their twilight years in grief and penury. That is because the Kayode Fayemi administration has started a comprehensive headcount of its senior citizens. Officials from the state Ministry of Women Affairs, Social Development and Gender Empowerment have been going round the 16 local government areas in the state to register people who have attained the age of 65 and above. Local council chairmen and their personnel have also been helpful, mobilising grassroots residents for the exercise. The state government targets some 150,000 elderly people who will receive a monthly stipend that will boost their standard of living. Already, the government has a policy of availing the senior citizens of its free health programme. The elderly have been cheering the exercise. It is a new dawn for them. Life has been very tough for those in their twilight. Many have no one to support them. Some are widowed and, being too old and weak to work, starve and even pray for their quick demise. The Fayemi response will put an end to their misery. The Head of Service, Mr. Olubunmi Famosaya who represented the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Ganiyi Owolabi who Chairs the Committee on Social Security Scheme for Senior Citizens in the state, said “the programme is to ensure that senior citizens have access to some income to take care of their basic needs. Also, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social Development and Gender Empowerment, Mrs. Fola Richie-Adewusi, who spoke at a training programme organised for the enumerators, stated that “the welfare of senior citizens in the state is central, being part of Governor Fayemi’s 8Point Agenda”.

•Elderly people being enumerated at a centre around Ijigbo, Ado township, Ado Ekiti

Succour for senior citizens Ekiti pioneers social security for the elderly Councils facilitate enumeration From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado Ekiti

She added that “since our culture does not encourage the setting up of old people’s homes, the state government has to fashion out a way of continuously identifying

with people 65 years” and above. The commissioner said further that the governor will kick-start actual payment of stipends to the elderly during a programme slated for later in the year. Mr. Femi Ogungbemi, who leads the enumeration team for

Ilejemeje comprising ten wards, said that the exercise has been largely successful and with the full support of the local governments. “I am impressed by the support given to us by the local govern•Continued on Page 26

•Dr. Fayemi

‘We have supported Kaduna farmers’



HE Kaduna State government has taken steps to boost food supply in the state. One of such steps is its agricultural programme which aims at providing 186 tractors for farmers. The tractors are, however, heavily subsidised. The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Ramalan Giwa said the programme is aimed at providing support for farmers in the state. It is also, according to the state governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, part of the programme of prioritising mechanised agriculture in the state as a model for other states. The post-election violence in

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

April slowed down the progress of the government. There was the need to begin to build bridges of understanding across the state and restore the confidence of residents who were traumatised by the violence. This Yakowa did by setting up a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the causes of the violence and make recommendations to government. He also took steps to ameliorate the suffering of those displaced during the violence by giving them some money to seek temporary accommodation, pending when their

relocation to a better shelter. But after this, the job of providing solution to existing challenges stared the governor in the face. One of such challenges was the need to shore up the food supply of the state. Here, the Yakowa administration looked very prepared to tap into the vast agricultural potentials of the country. Recent data revealed that Nigeria spends several billions of dollars annually importing food, especially rice, into the country. The Kaduna State government addressed the food challenge by launching what it called the “Tractorisation Programme”. The programme aimed at providing

186 tractors to farmers in the state at a highly subsidised rate of N2.6 million. Giwa, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, said the government wants to provide support to farmers in the state. The introduction of the tractors, according to the state governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa is also to make mecahnised agriculture a strong point of the state, and inspire other states to embrace comprehensive agriculture. The tractors bought at the cost of N6.45 million by the government are heavily subsidised for •Continued on Page 26



•The tractors

•Continued from Page 25 the farmers’ ease. To qualify for the tractors, the government said, beneficiaries must have a farm within the state. Those renting from eventual buyers enjoy about 25 per cent rebate on the actual price of renting the tractors. However, the programme is a joint investment between the Kaduna state government and the federal government. Giwa said that the federal government contributed about N200 million to the project. The Kaduna State government is investing over N500 million in the project which is already attracting interest of a wide range of farmers in the state. Governor Yakowa who launched the programme as part of his 100 days in office, said that the government “wants to demonstrate to the people of Kaduna State that our promise to be a solid, sensitive and responsive government is still intact. “That is why, in keeping faith

‘We have supported Kaduna farmers’ with the social contract entered with you, we are today launching the Kaduna State tractorisation programme and the flagging off of the sale of 186 tractors at highly subsidised rate for the improvement of agricultural undertakings in the state”. There have also been other areas of need apart from agriculture. For instance, the Yakowa government inherited the proposed housing units across the state from the Sambo administration. Silently, the government has embarked on the construction of these houses in Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan. At the time of this report, some 512 of these houses were at various stages of completion at the New Millennium City Layout. Completed, the houses will bring succour to the people of the state in terms of affordable accommodation. In Zaria, 300 of such houses are

The government has equally embarked on a programme of free medical surgery at the Makarfi General Hospital, Gambo Sawaba General Hospital, Zaria, the Kafanchan General Hospital and Yusuf Dantsoho General Hospital which several people are said to be benefiting

also at various stages of completion while 200 others are located in Kafanchan. In addition to the houses, the governor has initiated the construction of a new bridge across River Kaduna to link the southern and northern parts of Kaduna metropolis. Since 2006, residents of the metropolis had appealed to successive governments to construct a new bridge across the river to lessen the traffic burden experienced by residents of the state on a daily basis. Residents, especially those in the southern part of the metropolis spend several hours daily in traffic jams because majority of them use one bridge to work and back. Also, those travelling across the state are often stuck in traffic and it is expected that the completion of the bridge will bring relief to the residents of the metropolis. Four link roads are also being constructed in addition to the bridge and Governor Yakowa, on a fact finding visit to the project sites, promised to complete them after the rainy season. In addition to the bridge and access roads, the Yakowa administration has awarded contracts for the construction of various road projects across the state in addition to the ones he inherited from the Sambo administration. Some of the roads under construc-

tions by the Yakowa administration include the Hayin Danmani Road in Rigasa, Zangon Aya–Campani Aya in Igabi Local Government Area, Cemetery Road in Zaria, Gwari Road in Sabon Tasha, Kagarko – Shadalafiya Road, Kubacha- Jere Road, the state university Campus Road in Kafanchan, Asso Bridge, amongst so many others. The Asso Bridge was washed away last year during a heavy downpour in which several people reportedly died. Investigations have also revealed that the government has equally embarked on a programme of free medical surgery at the Makarfi General Hospital, Gambo Sawaba General Hospital, Zaria, the Kafanchan General Hospital and Yusuf Dantsoho General Hospital which several people are said to be benefiting. This is in addition to about 60 health care centres across the state which have either been constructed or are at various stages of completion. Work is progressing steadily in the 300-bed specialist hospital

FCDA agric boss tours project sites


HE Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Mrs. Olvadi Bema Madayi, has pleaded for support in the bid to develop the agricultural sector. She spoke at the Agriculture Development Projects (ADP) in Gwagwalada during the kick-off of

I’m going to give agriculture a new look. We are also committed to ensuring that the transformation agenda of Mr. President is brought to bear in agriculture in the Federal Capital Territory •Deputy Governor of Sokoto State, Muktar Shagari, (eft) with Governor Aliyu Wamakko of the state at the inauguration of 6-km Kware-Marbawa Feeder Road in Kware

started by the Sambo administration. Available information has it that the work is presently at 70 per cent completion. One major problem that successive administrations in the state have tried hard to resolve, but failed is the water problem in Zaria. The Sambo administration awarded a N15 billion contract to address the water problem, but work never really took off on the project before Yakowa became governor and started releasing funds for the project. On completion, about seven local government areas are expected to benefit from the water supply from the dam which is presently about 80 per cent completed. Also, the water problem in Kaduna metropolis is receiving government attention. Basically, the government has tried to bring the people closer and during the last Ramadan, the governor directed all local government councils in the state to establish feeding centres for Muslims to break their fast daily.

From Bukola Amusan

a familiarsation tour to all agricultural projects in the FCT. Promising an improved working condition to enhance productivity, Madayi urged staff of the agencies under the secretariat to cooperate with their respective heads. Answering questions from journalists at the end of the tour, Madayi, who expressed satisfaction over the level of commitment, said she was able to identify areas of improvement and some of the problems on ground. The problems, she said, include those faced by the pastoralists and the optimal use of and improvement of existing facilities. “I’m going to give agriculture a new look. We are also committed to ensuring that the transformation agenda of Mr. President is brought to bear in agriculture in the Federal Capital Territory,’ she said. The tour, on the first day, covered places like FCT- Agriculture Development Projects (ADP) office, FADAMA III office, Central Workshop and fertilizer store and Abattoir all in Gwagwalada. Others include the grazing reserve, Nomadic School, milk processing centre, earth dam and dry season farming demonstration all in Paiko Kore.



Excitement as mentally ill regains health


T first, many could not believe it. No one dared to get get close to him because they knew how violent he used to be. But on a closer look, it appeared the mad man had suddenly become calm and pensive. All of a sudden, shouts of ‘he’s healed!’ he healed!!’ were heard everywhere. Instantly, passers-by encircled the man and the man ministering to him. And the next moment, the culvert in front of Lagos State University which stands between the two highways suddenly became a temporary ‘healing centre’ as people surged back and forth to have a young pastor lay his hands on them. “Brother, God has healed you of your madness. Please, who knows any member of his family? Can anyone help with a razor so we can shave his head and get him new cloth to wear?” said the ‘pastor’. This appeared to have boosted

By Adegunle Olugbamila

the confidence of the crowd as they further examined the mad man to ascertain if truly he was healed. Convinced, some immediately gave him their widow’s mite. A man instantly volunteered to have his hair shaved. And then the scramble began: “Pastor,” said an elderly man in the crowd, ‘just pray for me. With what I’ve seen just now, I’m convinced you are truly a man of God. I have many problems but because of this huge crowd waiting for you to lay hands on them, I can’t begin to waste time narrating them. Just pray for me, and I know I will generally be healed.” And then another lady, agitated, rushed forward. “I need your prayers too, Sir, but I can’t tell you my problem in public.” She said, and then whispered something into the young pastor’s ear. He listened, gave her

Brother, God has healed you of your madness. Please, who knows any member of his family? Can anyone help with a razor so we can shave his head and get him new cloth to wear?

some words of advice and then laid his hands on her. And then another…and then another… The crowd thickened, becoming more rowdy with their cacophony of complaints. The young pastor listened to their problems one after the other, laying his hands on them afterwards. “Who knows this mad man well or his relatives?” this reporter inquired, turning to the crowd. “I just want to be convinced whether this man is truly healed or not.” Turning to him, the reporter asked: “What is your name? Where do your relatives live?” But rather than respond, he shot this reporter a quizzical look, jerked up his head again, scanned the legion of gazing eyes besieging him like a thousand stars. He mumbled some words, and then reexamined himself as if he hadn’t expected to see himself in that outfit. The stench oozing out of him was simply suffocating. He looked unkempt, donning multiple but filthy shirts and Tshirts which overlapped one another , cutting a bizzare picture. His ragtag trousers which by now had defied all colours owing to its grubbiness, was complemented by two different bathroom slippers he wore, one green and the other red. “I think he’s healed. We are seeing a great change in him for the first time today,” interrupted Chioma Oguguo, a

•Alhaji Idris Omole and his wife Rabiatu at the centre

Succour for senior citizens •Continued from Page 26 ment chairmen. The people of the community have been grateful as well, turning out enthusiastically for the enumeration exercise. Right now, we have registered over 500 elderly individuals while more would be registered before the end of the programme.” Pa Afolabi Daramola, 76-year-old Ado indigene living in Aso Ajegunle in the capital was once a farmer. Full of praises and thanks, he noted that such a development had never happened in the state.

“I consider it a totally strange thing that somebody would be giving me money every month,” he said. “I believe him because of what he has been doing. Some of my children who had been at home after going to the university are now working under him. I believe, and God will assist him.” Alhaji Idris Omole, 89, who came with his wife, Alhaja Rabiatu Idris, 82, said that the entire citizenry will forever be grateful for “the great things the state governor has been doing. Some have been saying he is lying, but I tell them he is not

lying as I have convictions he means well for our state. I have come because I believe.” Meanwhile, according to Mrs. Omoju Oluwakemi, an enumerator attached to Ijigbo area of Ado township, the programme is widely accepted. “Some men and women who could not walk again asked their children to bring them,” she said. “They say all sorts of good things about him and the words and wishes of the elderly are powerful. The programme for these people is another success story for the state government.

•The (mad) man after his head was shaved

young lady who claimed to know the mad man well. Chioma who said she sells groceries in Alaba Rago, a thriving commercial community mostly populated by Northerners who deal in cattle, secondhand household items and other consumables, added that the mad man is usually a ubiquitous wanderer who often helped himself with disposed food at dumpsites around the community. “I’ve known him in Alaba Rago since last year,” Chioma continued. “He’s very violent, and that is why people avoid him. We usually find him eating abandoned food from dumpsites. He stays there till nightfall but sometimes come to LASU gate here to sleep under the pedestrian bridge. “I’m surprised that the man could be patient all through the time his head was shaved. This is enough to convince me that God has healed him,” said Emmanuel Alede, a commercial motorcyclist popularly called ‘okada’ who operates around LASU gate. Emmanuel continued: “All of us (pointing at his colleagues who also nodded in agreement) are always careful not to come near him whenever we want to discharge passengers around here. You only need to see him each time he gets out of control. Nobody could stand him here. He could haul anything at anybody. What we are seeing today is rather strange and very unusual. Perhaps God says his time has come to receive his divine healing.” Incidentally, Michael Olubajo,

whom God used to perform the miracle, is a student of LASU. Olubajo who simply addressed himself as ‘Brother’ and not ‘Pastor’ Michael, said he and his fellow students of LASU numbering six were just on one of their usual evangelising missions and God directed them to preach to the mad man and pray for him. “We regularly go out every week on evangelisem,” Olubajo explained. “But God told us earlier that this week would be different, that it’s going to be a ‘miracle outreach’ week, and that as we preached to people, we should also lay our hands on them and He will heal them of their sicknesses. What has happened to this (mad) man is simply the divine touch that is beyond human comprehension. I don’t want to argue whether this man is healed of his madness or not, but you go and see him yourself; whatever you find out will convince you. Also ask from people surrounding him now, they know him very well, and can tell you the difference.” Olubajo, a final year student of Management Technology of LASU said beyond the miracle people saw, what is most important is people giving their lives to Christ and being born again. “I have only come here to preach the gospel of Christ and nothing more. I am a student and neither do I nor my friends here request anything from anybody. What we are saying is that all of you should give your lives to Christ. He is the only way! Every other thing you need shall fall into place.”




Tomato farmers seek better road

Kebbi development agency spends N50.9m

T • Governor Dakingari


HE Kebbi Community and Social Development Project has disbursed N50.9 million in development funds to 10 communities in Yauri and Birnin Kebbi, its Acting General Manager, Alhaji Bello Alkali,has said. Alkali told journalists in Birnin Kebbi that the funds were disbursed at designated centres after a free pre-disbursement training conducted for members of the project management committees. He said that at the Yauri centre, five communities — Kangungun Zamare, Ijima, Umama, Gamji and Runtuwa Dikko Mayala

Kogi Assembly investigates N168m fraud

OGI House of Assembly has directed its standing Committee on Education to investigate the N168 million fraud allegedly perpetrated by the Management of the State Universal Education Board. The resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion by the member representing KogiKoton-Karfe constituency, Alhaji Akawu Salihu, last week in Lokoja calling for the investigation of the alleged fraud. The legislator, who drew the attention of the House to a publication of the alleged fraud in a monthly magazine, “Policy and Lawmakers”, urged the House to check abuse of office by public office-holders. Salihu reminded members that shortly before the House went on recess for Sallah, primary schools teachers staged a protest over the board’s inability to pay their salaries due to the fraud. Following an overwhelming voice vote in support of the motion, Speaker Abdullahi Bello gave the committee seven days to complete its investigation. The House also summoned the Commissioner for Works and Housing, Dr Abubakar Adama, over an abandoned road project. The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Folusho Daniel, representing MopaMuro constituency, calling on the state government to complete Orokere-Aiyede-

Yobe Amuro-Takete road. Daniel informed the House that the contractor had been mobilised to site but abandoned the project after about 25 per cent execution, adding that the little work he did had been washed away by erosion, rendering the road impassable.


— were engaged in the two-day training workshop. The acting general manager said the communities were expected to execute water, school and road projects, noting that 48 members of the project management committee participated in the training on how the projects should be executed. The programme, he said, contributed 90 per cent of the total cost of the projects, while the communities contributed 10 per cent. Alkali said other benefiting communities were in Birnin Kebbi, Kwakware, Gumbin Dari, Unguwar Bawa, Bunga Jawo and Babban Tafki villages in the Dandi Local Government Area. He explained that the communities in Birnin Kebbi would execute health, road, water and school projects, and added that the training for the management committee began yesterday in Birnin Kebbi. Seventy-two participants were expected to attend the two-day training, he said, adding that “in general, we have a total number of 120 participants from the 10 communities located in Birnin Kebbi and Yauri though the disbursement

Church holds programme


HE Redeemed Church of God Beautiful Gate Zonal Headquarters (BGZ), will hold a three-day power-packed programme tagged: Season of Timeless Testimonies beginning from September 16 to 18 at 7A, Iya Oloye cresent, behind Olatunji House, Idi Iroko Maryland, Lagos. Speaking on the programme, the host, Pastor David Okeowo said the purpose the programme is to ensure that everybody that attends give testimonies before and at the end of the programme . He said that September 16 will feature Let There be praise group by 5pm, September 17:Gathering of Global Kingdom Pillars and Financial Generals by 4pm and thanksgiving service at 9am on the last day.


OMATO farmers in Hawul Local Government Area of Borno have appealed to the state government to provide them an access road to evacuate their produce to the market. AlhajiAdamu Ali, the spokesman for the farmers, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen at Sabon-Kasuwa village market in Hawul. He said farmers in the area produced large quantities of tomatoes daily but that most of the harvest was wasted because of difficulties in transporting the produce to the city. “The farmers produce large quantities of tomatoes daily, especially during the rainy season. “An average farmer produces a minimum of 10 baskets daily, while the community produces hundreds of baskets, but most of these get wasted for lack of transportation

Okeowo stated that, the programme is aimed at raising financial generals for God’s kingdom stating, the everyone who attends will definitely experience God’s visitation.

Kogi State Governor Ibrahim ldris (left) and House of Representatives member, Hon. Yusuf Ayo Tajudeen at the Closing Ceremony/Scholarship Award of 2011 summer studies for senior secondary schools in Kabba, Kogi State. The programme was sponsored by Hon Tajudeen



ORRIED by the protracted sectarian crises rocking Jos, the capital of Plateau State, the chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has fixed an emergency meeting of the regional body for Wednesday September 21, 2011. The meeting will come up with recommendations that will put a halt to the cycle of violence that have

Yobe birds killed by the chemicals. “People must not eat the birds killed by the chemicals. They are very dangerous to human health,” he warned. He said that the Yobe government would liaise with the neighbouring states of Borno, Bauchi, Jigawa and Gombe for a collective approach to handling the pests. “We will have to do it collectively at the same time, to check the migrating birds; otherwise, they will be taking refuge in states that are not spraying the chemicals only to strike back,” he said. Gubana appealed to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for assistance to rescue the affected states and their farmers.

• From left: Commissioner of Polce, Lagos State, Yakubu Alkali; Mr. Ben Olayi; Commander, 9 Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment, Brigadier General S.M. Muazu and Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire waiting for the arrival of Vice President, Namadi Sambo at the Presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

• Vendors cashing on traffic jam at the Federal Housing Junction to sell their wares in KubwaAbuja. PHOTO: NAN

Succour for Lagos flood victims


AGOS State government has donated cash gifts and other palliative materials to the victims of floods, which rocked the metropolis in July. The money, said the Special Duties Commissioner, Dr Wale Ahmed, would assist them in getting new accommodation, following their displacement from their former abode. He also assured that government would expedite action on the completion of the two refugees camp for displaced persons to complement the existing one at Agbowa, Ikosi/Ejinrin Local Council Development Area. “We are trying to build new ones at Alimoso and Lagos Central. We are planning ahead so that we can respond swiftly to emergencies”, he added. The victims stormed the state secretariat, Alausa, for the ceremony, which was also characterised by a para-counselling programme conducted by the head of the state’s emergency agency, Oke Osanyitolu, who advised them to utilise the materials judiciously during their transition to their new accommodation. Osanyitolu, who handed the cheques to them, assured them that the state government would not abandon them in their period of need. Commissioner Ahmed lamented the flooding that has sacked many people in Panada, Odejobi and other areas in Agege. He said that Bishop Oluwole Memorial Primary School was the worst hit. “I attended this school and even in my time, it was called


Northern governors meet over Jos crisis

Birds destroy farmlands in Yobe

HE Yobe State Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Idi Gubana, has said that swamps of birds had migrated into the state, ravaging farmlands in Damaturu, Giedam, Yusufari and Yunusari local government areas. Gubana told journalists in Damaturu that the birds had already destroyed several farmlands. He said that the ministry had drafted pest control officers to the affected areas to control the situation to save the remaining farms. He expressed fears that the pests may migrate to other areas of the state to cause more havoc on farms. “The ministry had deployed manpower and chemicals to the neighbouring communities of the affected local governments to check the spread of the pests,” the commissioner said. He warned the people against consuming

NGO enrolls 148 orphans in schools

By Emmanuel Oladesu

Omiyale Primary School. Now, government is moving him to take appropriate action”, he said. Ahmed said that, since prevention is better than cure, efforts are being made by Fashola Administration to plan ahead of any likely disaster that may bring untold hardship to the citizenry. He explained that some painful actions were taken to prevent a reoccurrence of the tragedy, assuring that it was for the overall benefit of the people. The commissioner enjoined Lagosians to refrain from indiscriminate refuse dumping, warning that no house is safe when canals are blocked by refuse. He stressed: “After the July rains, we found out that the whole street was lying on a canal. To deflood the area, all the houses had to go. Apart from the initial remedial measures, the state government decided to give them stipends. They ought to have left the area for an alternative accommodation. That is why these relief materials are being given to them. This is the phase one. There are other phases coming”. Ahmed said that, apart from donating relief materials, Governor Fashola is interested in •Dr Ahmed


Plateau From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

been a recurring occurance in the last one decade. This was made known in a press statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the NGF Chairman, Malam Danladi Ndayebo saying that the Forum is determined to put a stop to the violence that have claimed several lives and maimed several others. The statement, however, did not disclose the venue of the meeting due to security reasons. It further stated the problem in Jos was not religious but socio-economic adding that the Forum will delve deep into the root cause of the incessant crisis. “Therefore, we (Northern Governors) will not allow individuals and groups to continue to exploit religion for socioeconomic and political gains” . Aliyu who is also the Niger state governor further stressed that the Forum will employ all the means at its disposal to eradicate the mutual suspicion and distrust among the ethnic groups in the state, the quest for political power and land ownership and the misuse of religion for selfish interest which have also been identified as causes of the incessant crises in the state. He disclosed that the Forum will urge President Goodluck Jonathan to implement previous reports on the Jos Crises adding that the recurring violence was due to the failure of successive governments to implement such reports.

and storage facilities,” he said. Ali said a minimum of 200 baskets of tomatoes were taken to Sabon-Kasuwa market daily. “The problem is that only about half of the produce is sold, the rest get wasted for the lack of storage facilities. “Few buyers come from neighbouring towns, like Gombe, Damaturu and even Maiduguri, but the poor conditions of the roads discourage them from coming regularly,” he said. Ali said transport owners attributed the hike in the cost of transporting the produce to other areas to the poor condition of the road. He urged the government to provide storage facilities for the farmers to check their losses. “The state government should take advantage

• Governor Shettima of the large quantities of tomatoes produced in the area by establishing a tomato cottage industry,” Ali said.

Party decries impersonation


HE leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Badagry Division, Alhaji Raji Olorunfunmi and Chairman ACN, Ojo Local Government, Alhaji Alli Akinwonmi have denied that one Chief Chidi Ochudo is a member of the party. A letter signed by the duo along 30 other members of the party, said Ochudo lacks the authority to speak either on behalf of the partyor residents of the areas. Ochudo had petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accusing the Chairman, Ojo Local Government, Prince Adeyinka Durosinmi of mismanaging the council funds. “Ochudo, the duo said, is a desperate man acting out of frustration and desperation. He

Kaduna-based Non Governmental Organisation , New Hope Agency, said it had enroled 148 orphans in different schools in Kaduna. The state coordinator of the organisation, Mrs Oluchi Awujobi, told reporters that the enrolment would enable the children acquire formal education “that will enable them to mingle well in the society”. She said that the NGO would hold a backto-school programme tomorrow to enlighten the orphans and vulnerable children under its care on the importance HE Sokoto State government has of education. concluded arrangements to distribute “Some of the children are reluctant to start 30,000 water pumping machines to dry or return to school due to the circumstances season farmers across the state, according to surrounding them, so, we will use this opportunity to enlighten them more on the Governor Aliyu Wamakko. Wamakko disclosed this in Sokoto when he value of education to ginger them back to received a delegation of the state’s chapter of school,” she said. the All Farmers Association of Nigeria ( AFAN) Awujobi added that the NGO handed who paid him a Sallah homage. over the children to caretakers to enable A statement signed by Abubakar Dangusau, them to grow in a more stable home than Special Assistant to Wamakko on Press Affairs the orphanage. said that the pumps would be given to the “It is better to allow them to grow in a beneficiaries at subsidised prices. family system so that they can mingle with The statement said that the gesture would be other children rather than leaving them extended only to genuine farmers. with others who share the same fate.’’ The coordinator said the organisation had been assisting widows by empowering them with skills such as tailoring, catering, two-year-old girl was killed at hair dressing, knitting, beads and hats Odogunyan area of Ikorodu, Lagos making. when a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) “We currently have 30 widows under our care and at the end of the training, we will which was trying to reverse out of a compound equip them with tools to enable them start hit her. The girl, it was gathered, was standing their own businesses.” behind the car when the incident occurred. Sources said that one Mr Banjo Abiodun of Muti village also in Ikorodu, who allegedly drove the jeep, visited his relation in the area and was on his way home when the incident occurred. However, as made to reverse his Pathfinder The seminar would be anchored by Prof jeep with registration number CG 198 AKD Ogaba Oche, Director of Research, Nigerian into another compound, he rammed into the Institute of International Affairs ; Doctor girl who was standing behind the vehicle. David Aworawo, Faculty of Arts, A stunned Abiodun rushed out of his vehicle University of Lagos, Johnson Ikube, CEO, JI Global Solutions Ltd, and Doctor. Hussaini Abdu, Country Director and CEO, Action Aid International Nigeria. The Chairman of the event is Otunba Abdul Lateef Adebayo Owoyemi, Former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), while the Special Guest of Honour and Moderator are: Doctor Kenneth Idiodi, Grand Administrator and president of AMORC, Nigeria and Vice president, AMORC for English Speaking Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

By Adepeju Elegbede

had always been acting against the party and known for his anti-party activities. “Mr Ochudo has been disclaimed by the Igbo in Ojo Local Government Area in the past as a personae non grata in the Igbo community and Alaba International market.” The party described Durosinmi as a worthy son who has changed the face of governance in the area. “He has constructed several roads, built schools, renovated courts, sunk boreholes, constructed culverts and drains not to talk of monthly allowance given to aged and widows. He is worthy of our support and prayer,” they said.

30,000 pumping machines for Sokoto farmers


Sokoto According to the statement, Wamakko also announced plans by the state government to partner with some Turkish agricultural experts to introduce modern farming techniques in the three senatorial zones of the state . All these efforts, he said, were aimed at further encouraging more food production for local consumption and for export. Alhaji Murtala Gagado, the state AFAN Chairman, had earlier praised the governor for according the agricultural sector top priority.

Two-year-old crushed to death



AMORC holds seminar THE AMORC Rosicrucian Order, a cultural, educational and philosophical international organisation will hold a seminar on September 17. The theme is: National Integration for Global Relevance. The event which is expected to attract the cream of the society is scheduled to begin from 9:00 am at the Lagos Airport Hotel on Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, with technical sessions on several sub themes including: The Case for National Global Relevance, National Integration- issues and Challenges, Thriving With Our Diversity and Aligning Our Development Platforms for National Integration.


By Tinna Okonji

following screams from residents. The girl sustained serious injuries and was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was confirmed dead. Traffic policemen from Shagamu road arrived the scene and removed the vehicle to the station, while the corpse was released to the family on demand. In a related development, a 20-year-old motorcyclist was knocked down by a vehicle along Lawanson road. The motorcyclist identified as Garba Saidu, was ridding a Bajaj motorcycle with plate number XQ 647 EKY to his Itire home when the unexpected occurred. He reportedly died before being rushed to Lagos University Teaching Hospital, IdiAraba.

Police warn vehicle owners THE Lagos State Police Command has warned owners of these vehicles parked at the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Panti, Yaba to remove them immediately or forfeit same through auction. They are: 1. Nissan Sunny car unregistered 2. Toyota Corolla car – ET497ABJ 3. Subaru car – BT 682 MUS

4. Volkswagen bus – OX435 BDG 5. Capital SLX car – AG 316 SMK 6. Accidented Peugeot 406 car – AY 850KWL 7. Peugeot 405 SR – EG 951AAA 8. Volkswagen bus – N885FKJ 9. BMW car – EE 862 KJA 10. Peugeot 504 saloon car unregistered 11. Volkswagen Golf car – HP717 AAA 12. Open saloon car – RU 730 KJA

•Prince Segun Adesegun, Ogun State Deputy Governor (left); Mr Taiwo AdeOluwa, Secretary to Ogun-State Governor and Engr Samuel Segun Williams, member, Federal House of Representatives during a thanks giving ceremony at Ake Palace, Abeokuta


Life In New York, Asa’s Beautiful Imperfection is best – Page 32


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‘Wall of collectors is my exhibition hall’ – Page 33

Writers offer relief to flood victims – Page 34

Tributes to a patron of the arts

•The late Tayo Aderinokun




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•From left: Ben Tomoloju and Cornerstone at the event

He was the champion of the arts…a patron of artistes. The late Managing Director of GTBank, Tayo Aderinokun, left footprints in every sphere of the art sector, particularly the literary art. Tributes were paid to him last Saturday as writers, friends and relations celebrated a Patron’s Day in his honour in Lagos. It was a celebration of his legacies and input in the development of the arts, reports EVELYN OSAGIE.

Tributes to a patron of the arts •A day of eulogies to the late GTBank chief


OBER-LOOKING faces populated the Aina Onabolu Hall, Iganmu, Lagos. It was the second Saturday of the month, which meant that writers in Lagos would be having their literary feast. But, this sunny Saturday, was different. It was the day the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Lagos chapter commemorated its Patron’s Day. But the patron, Tayo Aderinokun, was absent, having died some months earlier. However, he left behind worthy legacies for the Nigerian literati, friends and relations. ANA marked the day with tributes, readings, poetry, and music. Speaker after speaker took turns to recount Aderinokun’s many legacies. “It is not a time to mourn but a time to celebrate a man who greatly supported the arts,”Austyn Njoku, the anchor of the event, said. He was right. The session turned out to be a literary feast. Aderinokun, the writers said, left a gap that they hoped another person would fill soon. But, as it were, none missed him more than his brother, Kayode, a former ANA chair.

Tributes to a champion of writers “I am four years older than Tayo. We come from a middle class family but our parents taught us to be hard-working.

At the time of Tayo’s death, I was a year older that day; and the 55 years he spent on earth, most of that time he spent in my company. So, you can imagine how it feels for me to be standing here,” he said. Kayode Aderinokun recounted the late GTBank helmsman’s support of the literary activities of ANA, Lagos. He said: “Tayo was a lover of the arts and he promoted and encouraged everything creative. This event is priceless; a room full of people dedicated to celebrating him even in death. I was chairman of ANA for five years and Tayo was very supportive, not because he was my brother but for his love for creativity. I feel very proud standing in a room full of titans of the literary art. At a point, we decided that we needed a patron. Eddie (their elder brother) put it to Tayo and he readily agreed. And he had hosted the Patron Day celebration every year in his house.” Eddie was vice- president of ANA. He said most Nigerian statesmen do not appreciate arts and culture, adding that the sector’s budgetary allocation is meagre. He urged writers to be more articulate of their agenda through the right channels, saying this would •Continued on page 31

•The late Aderinokun



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•From left: Adimora-Ezeigbo, Tolu Ajayi and Adenubi


Tributes to a patron of the arts •Continued from page 30

immortalise Aderinokun’s memory. “I Implore writers, in his memory, to be better organised, and articulate our positions and agenda; and push it to the right quarters so that we can move the sector forward. Tayo has shown us the way, let’s broaden it.” An ex-officio of ANA, Jare Ajayi, who represented members of the national executive, said: “The late Tayo Aderinokun is worth celebrating because he has done much for the promotion of the arts, particularly the literary arts, in Nigeria. He had genuine interest in the literary arts, not just because his brother, Eddie was a vice-president.” ANA Lagos chair Dagga Tolar said Aderinokun had a “humane heart”. The celebration, he said, was meant to appreciate his support, noting that “he nurtured the arts with his support as a father would a child”. As a mark of honour, he added that ANA is instituting a prize named after Aderinokun, which will soon be officially presented. “For us, he means that arts should not remain an orphan. That was seen in the role he played as a true patron. From now in ANA Lagos, Tayo Aderinokun will be our benchmark for inducting anyone into the hall of ANA Lagos Patrons. As we celebrate the life of Aderinokun, ANA Lagos announces that soon there will be a presentation of the Tayo Aderinokun Prize for Short Story and Poetry. We call on all to suppot the effort. “Though Tayo is no more with us, we can go on to shame death by continuing to have him with us, not only in our hearts but also in a new generations of writers born and yet to be born. Our joy, in ANA Lagos, is that he lived life in a mould distinct and different from the one full of heart. And we are glad to have shared and tasted of the kind gift of such a humane heart,” he said. For Folu Agoi, a former ANA Lagos chair, Aderinokun was a liberal soul. “He was the greatest patron that ANA Lagos ever had. He was very liberal and that was why we went out of our way to celebrate him. So many people pay lip service to the arts without coming around us. He was not a noise maker, but very supportive financially without hesitating or making us feel he was doing something big.” It was an emotional moment for Mama Agba, Mobolaji Adenubi, former president of Women Writers Association of Nigeria (WRITA). She recounted: “With a gentle smile, he opened his doors and the Patron’s Day ceremony in his house at Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. Chairs were arranged

‘At the time of Tayo’s death, I was a year older that day; and the 55 years he spent on earth, most of that time he spent in my company. So you imagine how it feels for me to be standing here ... Tayo was a lover of the arts and he promoted and encouraged everything creative’ – Kayode

around the pool. The next encounter was in 2000 when I took a letter to his office for international women writers’ conference…to which he sent a cheque. What impresses me about young Tayo Adenirokun was his quiet, respectful and unassuming nature. His face broke into smiles readily.” The former chairperson of PEN, Prof Akachi AdimoraEzeigbo, said Tayo was a “perfect patron”. “I came because he was a wonderful man. He was a perfect patron of ANA. It was always a wonderful time in his house every year by the pool. We really enjoyed him. The day I heard he died I wept so much that my husband asked me who he was. I told him he was a great supporter of writers.” Ben Tomoloju, veteran journalist and culture advocate, said Aderinokun was “the greatest arts patron in Nigeria.” “He was a friend, mentor, patron and sponsor. He was truly great.” For the chair, NANTAP, Mufu Onipade, the late GTBank MD, was not only a devoted promoter of literary arts but also the visual arts. Onipade, a visual artist, recounted occasions when Aderinokun promoted and financed the arts. “As a visual artist, I see Tayo Aderinokun more from the angle of the promotion of visual arts. In Nigeria, there is no bank known for the promotion of visual arts like GTBank; and it is courtesy of its MD. GTBank was the financier behind the Terrakulture Arts Centre and Mine Dream. It was the dream of Tayo. He started as a collector from Nigerian artists.” Onipade praised ANA for taking the initiative to honour Aderinokun, noting that it would challenge others to support the arts as he did. “I am angry that the artists are not recognising him. I would advise that the Society for Nigerian Artists (SNA) hold one for him. We can only continue to hope and pray that so many other Tayo would spring up in Nigerian arts.”

Performances to Adenirokun Tributes also came in form of songs, poems and dramatic presentation. Obodo Rachel took guests into the world of her novel. Poets such as the famed actor Lari Williams, Akeem Lasisi, arts editor, The Punch, Jumoke Verissmo, Austyn Njoku, Tomoloju, among others, took the audience into the world of poetry. Tomoloju also performed the song, Jahrusalem, alongside Cornerstone. Edaoto also performed. Edun Productions and Onileagbon Theatre dazzled guests with their dramatic performances.

‘He was the greatest patron that ANA Lagos ever had. He was very liberal and that was why we went out of our way to celebrate him. So many people pay lip service to the arts without coming around us. He was not a noise maker, but very supportive, financially without hesitating ’ – Agoi

•Lari Williams



The Midweek Magazine In New York, Asa’s Beautiful Imperfection is best


From Adeola Fayehun, New York


IGERIANS in New York were in their best and in high spirits at the Symphony Space on Broadway as they celebrated the Sixth Nigerian Entertainment Awards night (NEA). They honoured Nollywood artistes and the music industry for their hard work in the past one year. At the ceremony, four Nigerian doctors based in America were honoured with the NEA Humanitarian award for their charitable efforts in providing free healthcare to people in different areas of Nigeria. They include Dr Babafemi Adenuga, Dr Chinedu Ahaghotu, Dr Chukwuemeka Onyewu, and Dr Alexander Nnabue. But the best album of the year was Beautiful Imperfection by Asa, while Hottest Single of the Year was “Oleku” by Ice Prince. The Best International Artist award went to Nneka, and Wizkid won Best New Act of the Year. Spokeperson for the event, Yvonne Unubun, said the NEA seeks to support, promote, and acknowledge the entertainment industry in Africa, especially Nigeria. “Several artists, actors, actresses, musicians are nominated for different award categories, people then vote for them and the awards are presented to the winners. It is a fair competition, and it has been going on for six years now. We hope to go beyond Africa and tap into the western industry to see what’s in it for Africa.” The all-weekend event premiered “The Return of Jenifa” by Funke Akindele on Friday night at the Symphony Space on Broadway. “Shooting the movie had a lot of challenges, especially getting the cast crew together because they’re from different entertainment industries like comedians, musicians, but they were the best, and it was fun,” said the actress. On Saturday, Julius Agwu joined Funke Akindele at the same venue to co-host the awards ceremony that was followed by a party. “The Nigerian entertainment industry has really grown and so many of us are trying to see how we can celebrate Nigerians globally,” said Julius Agwu. “Unfortunately for Nigeria, the celebration of our bad part has over-shadowed the good part. So, in my own little way, I came to support this, because it is rewarding for us to appreciate and celebrate those who are representing Nigeria positively,” he added. Ghanaian actress, Juliet Ibrahim, was one of the award presenters. “I’m here to support my Nigerian friends at the NEA ceremony, this brings us together. We’re like brothers and sisters now,” she said. The ceremony was graced by performances by Choc Boys M.I, Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, R&B singer Waje, and US-based Nigerian artists, such as Rotimi, Naira, Moyeen, and Ducan Daniels. Only 11 awards were announced at the ceremony due to lack of time. Others were given a post-award announcement. Winners include Waje and music producer Samklef. The R&B singer picked up the award for Best Pop/ R&B Artist ahead of 2face, D’banj, Darey, and Banky W. Also, Samklef walked home with the award for Best producer ahead of Cobhams and Don Jazzy. Best directing in a film/short story award went to Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen/ Ikechukwu Onyeka for the movie A Private Storm, while pan African actor of the year was Chris Attoh.

•Juliet Ibrahim (right), presenting the awards

•Julius and Funke

Pon Rodorodo: From Jo’Burg with love



NLIKE many young Nigerian artistes in South Africa, Pius Okaba, aka Codread, a Johannesburg-based Nigerian singer, actor and model, won the confidence and support of his South African peers in the entertainment industry with relative ease. Since arriving South Africa in 2004, his career growth has traversed modelling, acting and singing. As an entertainer, he refused to be boxed into one genre of art. Codread, who is in the country for the promotion and shooting of video clips of his debut music album, Pon Rodorodo, due for release under Nova Entertainment, said the 12-tracker is wholly a dance hall music rendered in a variety of languages. He said the album would be released both in Nigeria and South Arica before the end of the year, adding that already a remix version of the single is being aired by 16 disc jockeys across Europe. “I wrote all the songs, which are original and new. In fact, the whole piece is a bundle of creativity, which Nigerians love. Every aspect of me as a singer, performer and entertainer is reflected in the work and is being handled by tested South African music producers,” he said of the content of his new album. Codread, who is one of the first Globacom models in Nigeria, has participated in Audi fashion show, South African Fashion week and Durban fashion week all in South Africa. According to him, modeling is not for

By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

everyone because ‘you must have a particular feature you can sell to be a successful model’. “Modeling in Nigeria and South Africa cannot be compared in terms of financial rewards. In South Africa, modeling is organised and is a profession, which means you can successfully live on modeling. For me, I have modeled for the likes of Next and Noir in South Africa and also acted in the Intersection, a movie that is currently running on SABC,” he said. Asked how he integrated into South African show business at a period when many Nigerians were victims of attack in that country, he explained that from the onset, he had good relationship with most of the players in that industry. His settling down in South Africa might have been made much easier because he got a three-year modeling contract in 2004 for an outfit in South Africa. Codread was a student of Business Administration at the Lagos State University, Ojo before leaving for South Africa where he later studied marketing and event management. He also attended the International Business Institute, New York, to read business. But his dream is to be one of the greatest acts from Nigeria and be on top of the game.



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•Sidibé (left) and other guests at the 2009 edition of the biennale.


Bamako Encounters for a sustainable world


FRICA’S leading photography biennale, Bamako Encounters, will open between November 1 and January 1, 2012 in Bamako, Mali. The Ninth African photography biennale, which has as theme, For a sustainable world, will feature photography and video arts by African artists and those in the Diaspora. Among Nigerian photographers featuring at the biennale are George Osodi, Akintunde Akinleye, Uzoma Anyanwu, Charles Okereke and Adolphus Okpara. The duo of Michket Krifa and Laura Sérani will serve as artistic directors. In 2009, a member of Nigeria’s Invisible Borders (a group of photographers who travelled to Bamako by road), Uche Okpa-Iroha won the grand prize at the biennale. The Institut français, operator of cultural initiatives outside of France, is joining forces with the Malian Ministry of Culture to organise this year’s edition, which is recognised around the world, has been a key event for the past 17 years in the African and Caribbean artistic programme supported by the Institut français. According to the Executive Director of the Institut français, Sylviane Tarsot-Gillery, through Bamako Encounters, African artistic creation have been supported via three major themes: supporting creation -by producing prints of the photos in the exhibition, which belong to the artists and provide them with a source of revenues – supporting training –through photography workshops organised in Africa between biennials – supporting

By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

visibility –in venues devoted to contemporary art or art marketplaces. “In Bamako, the world can discover and recognise the creativity of African artists. Bamako is also where artists can meet with professionals to discuss new projects that will allow them to show their work in London, Sao Paulo or Tokyo. “And in France, during Paris Photo, we can find the young artists discovered at the Bamako Encounters in recent years. Thanks to the work of Samuel Sidibé, General Delegate for the event, as well as Michket Krifa and Laura Sérani, artistic directors for the two previous editions, we can expect continued international recognition of African contemporary creation in the fields of photography and new images,” Tarsot-Gillery said. The General Delegate of Bamako Encounters, Mr Samuel Sidibé, noted that the biennial has come to play a major role in the cultural life of Mali and the entire continent. Over the years, the biennale which has developed into the essential Pan-African event for photographers on the African continent and in the Diaspora has also offered artists exceptional opportunities not only to meet but also to interact with photography professionals from around the world. He said: “As the exhibits have travelled around the world,

they have contributed towards establishing an international image of African photography in all its creativity and dynamism. The Bamako Encounters has also promoted the emergence of national and regional photography events. And so the work done has raised photographic creativity to the level of one of the most talked-about contemporary forms of artistic expression. “Three sites have been open for this year’s edition: To promote the emergence of African art curators and critics. Given the fact that few exhibition curators invited to the major international events live and work on the African continent, we wanted to encourage access to this profession for African exhibition curators by offering carte blanche to young African curator, chosen from a call for candidates.” Sidibe hinted that this year, organisers of the biennale would accept proposal from Ruth Belinga of Cameroun with an exhibition devoted to the late Goddy Leye, who passed away early this year. The proposal, he said, is to among others; to promote a policy of conservation and promotion of the African photographic heritage, which was initiated this year by the National Museum of Mali to contribute to the development of the art market in Africa. In 2009, two artists were introduced from South Africa’s Michael Stevenson Gallery. This year, Bamako Encounters, will host a selection of photographs from the Sindika Dokolo collection, with Simon Njami as curator. Contemporary African creativity will be honoured at Paris Photo, which is inviting the Bamako Encounters to Paris, from November 10 to 13, 2011.

‘Wall of collectors is my exhibition hall’


RTISTIC Director of Harmattan Art Workshop, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State, Mr Sam Ovraiti, has multiple talents. His skills traverse visual, performing art, motivational speech writing and human capacity development. The former art lecturer at the Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, said he never regretted quitting the classroom for full time studio practice in Lagos. He said his entrepreneurial spirit was ignited when he called it quits at Auchi Polytechnic, adding that until then money was never his concern. At 50, his focus is more on self-development for people as he feels happy affecting many people positively. He noted that contrary to beliefs, most people are not really ill or poor, but broke financially for a period of time. He said that instead of working within this prism, people get derailed in thoughts and actions thereby forcing many to overstretch their capability. Making the golden age is no big deal. “It is just like yesterday. Age is a number. And you are as old as you feel not as you are. I am happy I have been able to affect people positively.

By Ozolua Uhakheme Assistant Editor (Arts)

From being a student artist to a teacher and to the professional world, am still affecting people. At this stage of my life, I find joy and fulfillment ion training public speakers. And over the years since leaving the polytechnic as a teacher, I have been able to do something people look up to. Not many artists have such opportunities. All I have trained are doing fine in their respective callings,” he said. Reacting to why he rarely hold exhibition of his paintings, Ovraiti stated that it would be difficult for him to show 50 art works in a single outing because before he finishes 10 works, they are picked up by collectors. “My exhibition space is the walls of art collectors who picked up my works right from my studio each time the works are ready,” he said. The Government College, Ughelli old boy recalled that he studied Fine Art because he wanted to be creative. He was among the eight students that made Division One in West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) in his college. According to him, what brought fame to many students then were participation in theatre performances, good grade in art and Mathematics. He recalled the battle he fought to study Art: “Despite the fight between me, some of my classmates and my parents over choice of course, I had my way. Interestingly, I got the inspiration for art from my mother. She was trained at Singer and went into embroidery and she used to engage me in hand work. At school, Dede Mabiaku was in same class with me and we did sing and dramatise together.” Currently, he is much concerned on how to crystalise ideas that will work on the minds of artists in order to expand their frontiers beyond production of art works and become owners and coaches of men. Fame and fortune, he said, are two different things as one can be famous and still be depressed.




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If Omiyale, a Yoruba term for the havoc floods wreaked in Ibadan, Oyo State, were human, he/she would have felt the cut of the writers’ sharp tongues at the fund-raiser organised for the victims last week. The charity event, After the Flood, was held at the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) premises. EVELYN OSAGIE reports.

Writers offer relief to flood victims


•From left: Chief Olaifa, Oladokun and Chief Alabi


Okediran, ANA former President. For the Longman Head of Publishing, Mr Gbola Aiyedun, who chaired the event, the occasion was meant to educate the masses on the need for proper sanitation habits and construction of houses. He represented Longman Managing Director, Mr Ayo Grillo. “Why build your house on waterways and dump refuse on river, canal, and gutter. I wish to sympathise with the victims. We hope this would serve as lessons for us all. I congratulate Okediran for his foresight in writing his book and for the organisers. It is means awareness. Those meant to take care of such things should put in place measures that would prevent a repeat.” The reading drew dignitaries, including the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Adeyemo, who represented the Governor, Senator Abiola Adejumobi, and his predecessor, Iyiola Oladokun, among others. Mr Adeyemo said the floods were as a result of the breach of structural and environmental laws, saying houses built on waterways will face demolition. “The most important thing is to guard against future occurrence, especially by canalisation of the rivers of state.” He said the governor was in Abuja seeking ways to combat a reoccurrence. He also praised the organisers, saying their donation will go a long to way bring succour to many. Chief Femi Olaifa, Ekerin Balogun of Ibadan, who represented the Olubadan, recounted his role in the channelisation of the Ogunpa River during the administration of the late Chief Bola Ige. “Thirty-one years ago, five days before this flood occurred, I was dispatched by former President Shehu Shagari to go round the places affected by the flood. I recommended that Bola Ige’s government should be given money for the channelisation of Ogunpa River, go back to the archives. I trust this administration would put in place measures to combat future occurrence. “

AST Wednesday, writers converge on Ibadan for a reading in honour of victims of last month’s floods. The evening of reading, tagged: After the Flood, lacked the revelry associated with such literary events where creative renditions excited the souls of the audience. All the genres were represented – poetry, novel, play, chants, oral poetry and more. However, the readings silhouetted dirges and serious admonitions. The pain, anguish and sober reflections of the season subdued all the excitements that the renditions held. It was as if people were afraid to laugh and enjoy the pleasures of poetry and music. Even Odia Ofeimun’s Pidgin Soup, a poem with all its humour and the dazzling baritone of Jimi Solanke (Baba Agba), singing the old-time classic Mo lo s’oko, I went to the farm, could not douse the pain. If anything, they bred caution in the hearts of the audience, perhaps for fear of being dubbed ‘insensitive’. The audience consisted of representatives of the government, traditional institutions, literati and politicians, among others. One could see from the looks on many faces that the aftermath of the flood was still being felt. Some writers in attendance were also victims of the flood and were still mourning their loss. Others had family members, friends and loved ones who were. So, everyone had a reason to grieve.

Writers donate But rather than mourn, the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) saw the need to raise funds for victims and also create awareness about the dangers of anti-sanitation habits. They called on the government to take stringent steps to forestall a reoccurrence. “I don’t think that there’s anybody who can forget Friday, August 26 in a hurry,” the Chairman, ANA Oyo State chapter, Akin Bello, said. “It was a day Nature came with its deadly majestic fury. The heavens opened and ferociously threw down their water on Ibadanland. The aftermath were hundreds of lives lost, thousands more have been injured, incapacitated, rendered homeless and stranded. The special reading is meant to raise funds for the victims of the floods. It is organised in collaboration with some concerned citizens under the auspices of Friends of Ibadan.” Donations were made by the audience; they include proceeds from Dr Wale Okediran’s book, After the Flood sold at the event; and boxes of clothes. Donors, who included Ofeimun, senators, traditional leaders, were given free copies of the book. It was written after the 1980 Ogunpa Flood, but published in 2003 by Longman Nigeria Plc, it was learnt. Although over N250,000 was generated at the spot, as at press time, the amount has since doubled, according to ANA chair. “The proceeds generated will be channelled immediately to the victims through the government. It is our way of saying that we empathise with them and share in their sorrow,” Bello said. Okediran, whose book formed the theme of the event, said while working with others on the project, he made a discovery. “As I went through the book recently, I found that, sadly, almost everything that happened then happened again. Given the devastating effect of last month’s floods, it is heartbreaking. We should all be involved in the move to curb a re-occurrence,” said

Reading for the victims However, the sad reminisces did not stop the flow of words. Writers from within and outside the state took turns to render their lines. Moshood Folorunsho opened the stage with a poem, saying: “When death comes looking for us… he would meet Esu under the sun ...”

‘As I went through the book recently, I found that, sadly, almost everything that happened then happened again. Given the devastating effect of last month’s floods, it is heartbreaking. We should all be involved in the move to curb a re-occurrence’

For Solanke, who sang and read a poem, said: “In Africa when you are dead and gone…never worry… In Africa when you are dead and gone never tarry but go and go in peace for tears will fall like rain…never tarry.” Akeem Lasisi, a poet and a journalist, Yoruba poem came as an advice to the public. According to him, the gods do not just want sacrifices of goats and rams and fruits, noting they would further block the waterways. He urged that the gods are asking for sacrifices of a change of action and habits. He said in Yoruba: “Stop pouring refuse on the waterways and building on rivers.“ Ofeimun said: “It is possible to eliminate the victims in our midst.” He read three poems for the victims and for the late Chief Bola Ige, whom he described as “a man who was forced into channelisation in Ibadan. The poem, The Returnee from his collection I will ask questions with stones if they take my voice, he said, holds an advice for the current government of the state. His poem, On your Birthday (for Governor Bola Ige), speaks of the immortal legacies of the late statesman, which, he said, is worthy of emulation. The Nation’s Columnist Dr. Tony Marinho said: “I have no poem today because I am very sad. I commiserate with those who lost lives and property.” He read from his column entitled: Great Ibadan Flood – donate pls! FRSC N255B Licence scheme – Extortion or safety? published in The Nation newspaper that same day. He called on the public to donate through established religious bodies, voluntary organisations groups, particularly the Red Cross, saying it is a critical time for one to lose ones livelihood. He called for a micro-credit facility to help the flood victims’ who lost their businesses to start over. In addition, he condemned the recent licensing move by the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC), noting that it would add to the hardship experienced by the victims. He said: “There is urgent need to commence a micro-credit facility to kick-start the flood victims’ lost businesses. In this country with no mortgage loans or bank loans, how is the property damage being repaired? Maybe through the extended family contribution system – the first NGO? Only few workers will get loans from their offices. This is a critical time to lose one’s livelihood as it is ‘return to school’ month – September. Thousands will need school kits even as they search for food and replacement possessions. To be plunged into penury overnight is terrifying… “So, the best the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC), can do for us is to make families pay N6,000 x 2, N12,000 for driving licence for husband and wife and N15,000 x 2 for a New Number Plate for each car, all totalling N27,000 – N42,000 by August 2012…” ANA Publicity’s Secretary, Ebika Anthony’s rendition of Femi Popoola poem entitled: Omiyale in Oluyole, was equally thrilling. It highlighted the experiences of the victims. Anthony also anchored the event. Other writers who read from their works were Niyi Fasanmi’s The flood; Kunle Famoriyo, among others. Also present at the event were Senators Femi Lankehin, the Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Dauda Wasiu; Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Bosun Oladele; Commissioner for Health, Dr. Lateef Olopoemia; Chief Lekan Alabi, Ikolaba, OluIbadan of Ibadanland; Yanju Adegbite, Chairman, BCOS, among others.



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Daughters of Daedalus: Wura Ogunji’s Anti-Gravity Art I believe I can fly I believe I can touch the sky I think about it every night and day Spread my wings and fly away I believe I can soar I see me running through that open door I believe I can fly…. —Robert Kelly, “I Believe I Can Fly.”


RANSFORMING improbability into attainability is one of the highest goals of art. Historically, art among Black Americans is not primarily the business of producing pretty pictures. Fabricating pictures (out of nothing beyond sheer imagination and dreams) merely demonstrates a fundamental purpose of artistry: that art provides the space where myth becomes reality, and the impossible is realizable. Using art as their vehicle of transition, Black diaspora artists have perfected the feat of flying without boarding airplanes, copters or any other mechanical device. They have mastered the high art of attaining flight: to be free, to release themselves from gravity, to elevate their bodies above pedestrian planes, to go places where legs cannot reach; to touch summits beyond bodily range; and to make statements that, for many reasons, they believe words cannot express, and only flying can convey. An experimental video and performing Nigerian-American artist resident in Austin, Wura Ogunji, is the inventor of an antigravity art. She flaps her arms with avian agility and seamlessly flies across the vast Atlantic from Austin to Ile Ife in Nigeria. Her extraordinary determination to defy gravity makes her the true daughter of the legendary Greek deity of flight, Daedalus. The desire to achieve the impossible motivated Daedalus to perfect his flying craft. A similar impulse inspires Ogunji: her passion to free her body from the shackles of gravity compels her to turn her arms into wings with which she pilots her flight across the vast seas. Akin to Barak Obama, she was born by a Caucasian mother and a Nigerian father who returned home and died before Ogunji could know him. She learned that he departed to Ile Ife and was determined to find him. But because he was already dead, she understood that to locate him she could not simply buy a plane ticket and board a jet for Nigeria. To search for him, she learned to fly across metaphysical landscapes through chthonic crossroads, because he had ascended to the realm of the ancestors, high up in the sky. Afloat in the air like a pollinating bee, Linda Celeste Sims is the perfect embodiment of the Daedalus iconography. Her shape, color, contour, and volumetric energy define with music the notion of flight, of defying gravity, of emancipation from the ground. Her hands fan out elegantly while flittering in the air as they literally transform into wings. With her soaring legs fluttering in the weightless wind like the tails of a riding eagle, Sims, solo dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, elevated, levitated, and flew like a bird as she performed the diva role in “Anointed,” a dance drama that premiered at the City Center, New York. Before Sims, the diva at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was Dwana Adiaha Smallwood, who glided across the stage like a kite in the air, in one memorable performance after another. And before Smallwood was Judith Jamison, for whom Mr. Ailey wrote many roles, including Cry and Revelation. To the delight of their audiences all over the world, the aerial movements of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre dancers exemplify the calligraphy of flying. The visual elements that the dancers bring to music draw on the impression of dancing and flying as intertwined ideas and experiences. The flight motif that highlights the performance of “Anointed” is not an isolated icon in African American art. It contributes to a larger pool of images of the avian icon within diasporic American expressive cultures, where myths of flying back to Africa abound. It is within this ancestral myth that Ogunji’s flight to Africa reaches its fulfillment in her borrowings from the form of Ife naturalistic

•Wura-Natasha Ogunji_The epic crossings of an Ife By Moyo Okediji

bronze heads. She paints her face with facial lines similar to the ones found on the Ife bronze heads, to make herself recognizable to her African ancestors, as she flies back home. This feat of flying back to Africa defeated Langston Hughes, poet laureate of African American Harlem Renaissance, who, in a famous verse, mused over his emotional and physical disconnection from the continent. With poetic paucity, he conceded defeat when he declared that: So long So far away Is Africa Not even memories alive Save those that history books create Save those that songs Beat back into the blood— Beat out of blood with words sad-sung In strange un-Negro tongue— So long, So far away Is Africa. Entitled: “Afro-American Fragments,” Hughes’ poem reacted to a radical trend associated with Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican immigrant in New York, who preached the “back-to-Africa” revolution so eloquently in the early years of the 20th century. In the poem, Hughes insisted that all his connections with Africa were no longer tenable or tangible, and only the frozen pages of history books remained as mnemonic references for him. Inside his mind Africa had died, and there was nothing for him to return to. He concluded that when his ancestors who were forcibly removed from Africa aboard slave ships departed, Africa evaporated from their consciousness. The only place he knew was America; romantic and nostalgic as it seemed, he could not return to Africa because he was not an African. Born in the United States, he insisted that he knew no other home apart from America, gruesome and painful as it was to people of his skin type. Hughes was not alone. Many African American writers and artists held similar views as they expressively contemplated their relationship with Africa. Countee Culleen (1903-1945) reflected on the same problem in a poem titled “Heritage.” Starting and ending the first stanza with the same question, he wondered, “What is Africa to me:/Copper sun or scarlet sea,/ Jungle star or jungle track,/Strong bronzed men, or regal black/ Women from whose loins I sprang/When the birds of Eden sang?/One three centuries removed/From the scenes his fathers loved,/Spicy grove, cinnamon tree,/What is Africa to me?” Ogunji and Hughes occupy different poles in African American polemics of Africa. She clearly understands her relationship with Africa as continuous, while regarding Africa as an accessible homeland that has substantial physical and psychological significance for her life and art. A central part of her work focuses on returning to Africa because she believes that Africa longs for

her, just as she yearns for Africa. To render and represent her body as it flies to and fro Africa, Ogunji uses video as her medium of choice. The montage technique of rapidly cutting, reframing, and editing motion and sound enables her to compress time and space into a surreal fourth dimension. This four-dimensional arena, which eludes ordinary human perception, is the port of her flight. It is a landscape of improbability that provides her with the wings to propel her body as she hurtles through the sky like a flying locomotion. Her technique is surprisingly simple in terms of method, but startling and spectacular in terms of effect. She carefully selects the symbolic landscape within which she locates her performance. As the camera keeps running, she leaps and hops through this landscape, while keeping her arms extended like a bird and fluttering like a butterfly. The video footage taken from her dramatic hopping through the landscape looks ordinary. The rest of the work is sheer mental ingenuity drawing on the mathematical techniques of subtraction and addition. In her editing room, she subtracts the points where she landed on the ground from the sections when she was up in the air as she hopped through her landscape. Using montage methods, she joins all the video shots depicting her high in the air into a continuous narrative shot. The effect is spectacular, as the edited frames create the illusion of flying, Her work is therefore a form of romantic calculation where art weds science and metaphysics. Is she flying away from reality? What does flight mean to her? “A lot of things,” she replies. “It’s about making connections to a place, and accessing a collective memory through my body; I’m creating these performances in which I’m attempting to return to Nigeria and my ancestors are also coming to the United States. This is a journey I couldn’t make through my physical body, without buying a plane ticket to Nigeria. But the journey inside the belly of the plane is not a spiritual venture for an airline passenger; because you’re not participating actively; you’re just sitting down there with the seat belts strapping you down. With my art, I fly in a metaphysical realm in which I am the pilot. The spiritual experience is far more rewarding because it enables me to touch places that one couldn’t reach within airplanes.” With her anti-gravity Daedalus techniques, Ogunji joins the ranks of artists triangulating two worlds at the same time: she is back in Africa, without physically leaving America. She makes the impossible attainable with her imagination, thus questioning the popular notion that the toughest task of an artist is to make pretty pictures. Her work therefore affirms one the most crucial sociological essences of artistic production: to breed solutions that make impossible tasks attainable. “Anyone can fly,” says Faith Ringgold, a celebrated painter and another diaspora daughter of Daedalus. “All you have to do is have somewhere to go that you can’t get to any other way and the next thing you know you’re flying among the stars.” •Okediji is of University of Texas in Austin, US.



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‘Music is my calling’


The roaring Septuagenarian Lion •An Ode to Wole Soyinka at 77

A journalist, Mrs Josephine Obute, is set to motivate Nigerians with the album, Victory in your hands. EVELYN OSAGIE writes.

By Olamilekan Andu

Wole had a subtle racial confrontation With the landlady who lived off premises. His was a comical Telephone Conversation.


OSSY is a woman of many parts. However, blending the parts together has become her greatest asset. She is out with an album entitled: Victory in your hands. Her real is name Mrs Josephine Obute. She is an actress, a music artiste, a journalist, a mother and wife. And she seems to have a name at all fronts. Her colleagues at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), where she is a defence reporter, call her ‘Major’. On screen, she takes on various names depending on the screenplay script. The most prominent is ‘Lantana’ in Winds of Destiny, a TV series in the 90s. If you have been a fan of the famed oldtime kiddies classic Tales By Moonlight in the 90s, then, you are sure to remember seeing her face in some of its episodes. In the music industry, she is known simply as ‘Jossy’. She is the leader of singing group Jossy and the Celebrants. Want to know what are they celebrating? “Go grab yourself a copy of our debut album, Victory in your hands,” she would say. The seven-track album was launched last Thursday in Lagos. She is married to Mr Patrick Obute. And how has this mother of four children been able to blend these parts together, she was asked. “It has not been easy, I must tell you; but it has been by God’s grace. I thank God for the man I married and support of my family and friends. They have been very understanding.” She said all the parts of her life are in a way related. But music, to her, is more than passion. “It is my calling. As a journalist, music is a very important aspect of the job, in that it complements the reporter and clients relationship, the rate of insecurity demands a relaxed atmosphere where we can have our function and assignment made easier through music. I discovered the talent of singing as an additional means for a divine spread of the good news which I decided to answer the call, but strictly away from my official obligations.” Her greatest desire, she said, is to inspire in Nigerians the beauty of God and unity. Her album, a blend of pop, reggae and instrumental, highlights it and more. She added: “Music is an art which enlightens the mind and keeps stress away. For some philosophers such as Plato and Saint Augustine, music has a divine inclination. It is, therefore, my service to God. Thus, its interior purpose is to bear the listener beyond nature, to the highest beauty, to become like God. The track, Iwoni Ibere reflects that in the three Nigerian languages, including English. It signifies the unity that has existed in our country.” For a candle to be useful, Jossy said, it has to burn out itself. That was the thought her mother planted in her as a little girl. The thought, according to her, inspired the woman she has become. “She introduced me to singing, dancing and acting at a very young age. This spirit remained in me all through my undergraduate days when I became the choir mistress of St. Stephen’s Catholic Chaplaincy of Bayero University, Kano.” On relocating to Lagos in 1996, according to her, she joined

Soyinka was at pains when The Man Died For submitting to daily humiliation of fear. Could The Next Door Neighbour have lied? The Road from Ake to Ibadan caused The Invention, Which aroused A Dance of the Forest. So, The Swamp Dwellers hid their intention. Wole took the NADECO route to Radio Kudirat and said: ‘You Must Set Forth At Dawn’. There Abiku was buried, In The Forest of A Thousand Demons without a head.


the St. Cecilia’s choir at Our Lady of Fatima, Aguda. And in 1997, she relocated to Abaranje, Ikotun area of Lagos State where she developed and groomed the choir of Saint Maria Goretti Catholic Church, an outstation of Saints Joachim and Anne Parish, Ijegun. She also pioneered the parish children’s choir. This was where the seed of becoming a professional artiste was sown by the priest. “Thanks to Very Rev. Fr. John Ola-Maria Agbolade, the then Parish Priest of Saints Joachim and Anne, who after seeing my efforts in the church’s singing ministry challenged me; and prayed for the advancement of my voice into a compact disc. That demand triggered my interest. And several efforts were put in place, I pioneered and produced the first passion play of our Lord Jesus Christ at the parish; and co-produced a children’s Christmas audio CD with Music Producer Victor Iloba.” The priest’s challenging words finally birthed Victory in your Hands. But, according to her, “The story will not be complete without mentioning that the album finally came through as result of Mr Iloba’s help in producing it. “One other inspiration is the woman of song, the late Christy Essien-Igbokwe.” As part of her love and honour for the late songstress, Jossy performed one of Igbokwe’s classic, Omo mi seun rere at her album launch. Incidentally, it was the same day the Igbokwe’s laying-in-State at the National Theatre, Lagos. Aside her voice and her pen, Jossy’s looks is an additional asset. Seeing her perform on stage, she could pass for a 20year-old or a teenager. Her stage power and energy is enchanting. Not until one is told that she is 43 that one would immediately wonders how she manages to look so young and bubbling with much vigour. “I thank God for giving me this stature and face. Many would don not believe my age, but I am 43. I was born into the family of Joseph and Roseline Emejom of Ossomalla in Ogbaru LGA, Anambra State on February 2, 1968. I am not ashamed to say my age. It doesn’t change anything or the person I am inside. I am the first child of the nine children. I think I took after my parents in my stature and in my will to succeed. My father was a Librarian with the British Council library for over 30 years and her mother, a business woman. Both gave us the best of trainings.”

NTA College rector tasks students on performance


HE Rector, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) TV College, Jos, Dr. Ayo Fasan, has urged students of the school to work harder to improve their perform-

ances. Fasan, while presenting the first semester results to Diploma students, urged them to be more committed as a new semester commences. He decried the low performance of some students. Out of the 135 students of TV Production, only 35 per cent passed; 65 per cent failed. For TV Journalism, out of the 98 students who wrote the first semester examination, only 33 per cent passed. About 67 per cent will carry the course over. However, in TV Engineering, 54 per cent of the 13 students passed. The rector urged the students to be free to


From Leeds came A Requiem for A Futurologist, For whom Soyinka had invited The Interpreter. But To My First Grey Hair, he shunned the apologist. With the elegance of The Lion and the Jewel, Wole watched The Return of the Prodigal. That’s why The Trial of Brother Jero became a duel. In considering our nation’s Unlimited Liability, Soyinka groomed us to have a voice and a choice. With him we celebrate rare literary capability. At 77, Soyinka stands too tall for his peers. We celebrate the Ijegba man from Ishara-Ake!!! In him is the linguistic prowess of a million bears.

The three jolly friends Here comes knowledge, one of three friends. He goes about gathering information, facts and assertions. He has no business with anything else just that which he knows best to do. Ask him what to do with things he gathers and you get introduced to one of his friends. Meet understanding and get close to him. It grips your hand off knowledge his friend. Joyfully he starts his art. Sits you down and right before you are the things knowledge has gathered. You wonder what understanding is up to, Skillfully he arranges the information, facts and assertions in their proper sequence. His objective is to have you move from knowledge to the place of understanding.

By Emmanuel Udodinma

discuss their challenges with management and lecturers to have improved performances in forthcoming examinations. Fasan also held a meeting with Class representatives and executive members of associations to brainstorm on key issues affecting the general well-being of the College and students. Among the issues discussed was the need for security consciousness among staff and students. The rector reiterated the need for all to wear identification cards before entering the College, as well as submitting to security checks. The next academic session will commence in the first week of October with Diploma One students. Degree students will resume later in the month.

Three books make NLNG shortlist OURNALIST Mai Nasara and three others Nasara’s The Missing Clock, Eno’s Story by Ayodele Olofintuade and Chinyere Obi-Obasi’s The Great Fall have made the final shortlist of this year’s edition of the Nigeria Prize for Literature. The books were approved by the prize Advisory Board headed by Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo. The part of the initial shortlist of six released last month. According Prof. Banjo, the eventual winner of the competition will be announced on October 10, 2011 at a press confer-

Soyinka was afraid King Baabu might have a ploy To put Camwood on Leaves during Kongi’s Harvest. So, he backed the Beatification of the Area Boy.

ence at Eko Hotel, Lagos. The winner of The Nigeria Prize for Science will also be announced at the same occasion. The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates yearly amongst four literary genres: prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. The 2011 prize goes to children’s literature. The prize has a cash value of USD $100, 000. A total of 126 books were submitted for the 2011 edition of The Nigeria Prize for Literature while 26 entries were received for The Nigeria Prize for Science.

You are here in the home of understanding. The horizon is clearer and brighter. Beautiful realizations and acceptances blow your mind to new dimensions. You get to appreciate the mechanics behind concepts and idea. Understanding feeds you to a point you want to ask; “what next?” Excitedly, he points you to his other friend WISDOM The ultimate is here, He sees you and grins broadly. “You are heartily and warmly welcome”, he utters. “You must have passed the homes of my friends; knowledge and understanding”, he continues. “All they gave you are vital for constant use if you want to employ being with me” Wisdom tells you his home is a place of rest. Confusion, wrong judgment and misplaced priorities have no room here. As you live, put knowledge and understanding into proper application. And you get to the place of wisdom. You need to get here, “it is the principal thing” The Bible says.




ABUJA REVIEW FCTA approves land for NNPC quarters


HE Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed has approved plots of land for the mass housing project for members of staff of the Nigeria National Pe-

Stories from Bukola Amusan

troleum Corporation (NNPC). The Minister disclosed this when the management team of

The NNPC Mega Station at the Central Business District built in the heart of the Abuja Transportation Hub will be removed after providing a befitting alternative •Muhammed

NNPC paid him a visit in his office. He reiterated that the allocation will afford NNPC the opportunity to contribute to the FCT development as part of its social corporate responsibility, even as he added that the gesture will also enable NNPC to provide affordable housing to the people in consonance with the transformation agenda of the Federal Government. Senator Mohammed charged the NNPC management to work towards discouraging the activities of illegal marketers of petroleum products, especially in the

city centre. He revealed that the NNPC Mega Station at the Central Business District built in the heart of the Abuja Transportation Hub will be removed after providing a befitting alternative. Earlier, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Engr. Austin Oninwo formally congratulated the FCT Minister on his re-appointment into the Federal Executive Council. Present at the meeting were the FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Biodun Nathaniel Olorunfemi and some top management staff of the FCTA.

Council chief seeks support against flooding


HE Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, Hon Micah Jiba has called on the residents to cooperate with the council in its efforts to rid the city of waste, so as to promote good health for the people and to combat flooding. He said he will work towards making residents of the various communities in the council to take responsibility for maintaining a clean environment through established associations. Jiba said the council was very disturbed over the nonchalant attitudes of some residents who dump domestic wastes indiscriminately. Stressing that unfriendly environmental habit could cause serious health problem to the people thereby reducing their productive capacity, which invariably affects their families and the entire community, Jiba said the council has resolved to step up its efforts to tackle the challenge head on.


VER 200 residents of Bwari Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory are to receive free medicated eye glasses. In addition, more than 5, 000 patients are also targeted to benefit from free medical services from the partnership with Centre for Prevention of HIV/AIDS and Community Health (CENPHAC), a nongovernmental organisation (NGO). The CENPHAC coordinator, Dr. Okey Obi who disclosed this to jour-

This measure, he said, is targeted at complementing the efforts of the Greater Abuja Clean Up Committee recently inaugurated by the FCT Minister to restore sanity on waste disposal across the territory. The AMAC boss said that the council, in collaboration with the FCT Administration (FCTA) would explore all avenues that would make the community take responsibility of waste disposal. To achieve this, the council plans to meet with community leaders, landlord associations, non-governmental organisations and religious leaders to educate residents on the importance of clean environment, he added. Emphasising that “health is wealth,” Jiba maintained that a clean environment is the responsibility of all residents of the territory to create and maintain good culture that would keep the environment clean. He appealed to all residents to join hands with the council in order to promote good health.

•People wade through flooded street

200 get free eyeglasses From John Ofikhenua

nalists after the opening ceremony in Bwari said the free medical services to the people was informed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) projection that Nigeria has 10 per cent of the world’s disease burden. He noted that rural dwellers bear

CENPHAC is a public health NGO registered in Nigeria in 2004. Our mission is to improve the quality of life and life expectancy of Nigerians through prevention and control of common public health diseases

most disease burden; hence the commencement of the programme from the grassroots. The Bwari Area Council Chairman, Hon. Yohannah Ushafa disclosed that the council had already completed five health centres aimed at meeting the health needs of the people. On the partnership with CENPHAC, he said: “I did most of the funding. They are professionals and I want them to give the service a professional touch, since my own job is that of an administrator.” Ushafa added that his administration would always partner with any organisation that its services will be beneficial to his people. Obi, who said the CENPHAC believes that good health cannot be sustained without good governance and credible leadership, urged the chairman to continue to increase efforts that will improve the life expectancy of Nigerians. He said that “CENPHAC is a public health NGO registered in Nigeria in 2004. Our mission is to improve the quality of life and life expectancy of Nigerians through prevention and control of common public health diseases. “Since inception, we have conducted a lot of pro-poor health services such as the one we are witnessing today in Bwari Area Council which has tremendous impacts on the well-being of our people especially the poor and vulnerable.”


HE Police in Abuja have arraigned two persons for allegedly raising a false alarm that a man planned to plant a bomb at a motor park. According to the Police First Information Report (FIR), the accused, Rabihu Mohammed and Ossai Emmanuel are facing a twocount charge of joint act of defamation and giving of false information. They allegedly misled the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Felix Ogbaudu in a petition that the Deputy National Secretary of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Comrade Yusuf Adeniyi planned to plant an explosive at the popular Dei-dei Motor Park, along Kubwa expressway, Abuja. After investigating the allegation, the police discovered that the accused had raised a false alarm against Adeniyi, who is their rival. The police prosecutor, Chijioke

In fact, for the last two months, the accused persons have been continually submissive to the police and this proves they are not at risk to escape justice

Police arraign two over misinformation From Olugbenga Adanikin

Okezie informed the presiding Magistrate, Mr. Emmanuel Iyanna that the alleged offences attract a minimum of three years imprisonment. Urging the court to deny the accused persons bail, Okezie said the duo were likely to interfere with investigation, if granted bail. Counsel for the accused, Mr. Kehinde Daramola described the allegation as a simple offence of which his clients could be granted bail as provided by Section 340 of the 1999 Constitution. He informed the court that the accused have always honoured police invitations, so there was no likelihood of their jumping bail. “The allegation is simple offence which can attract an option of bail. Section 340 of the Nigerian Constitution confirms this. In fact, for the last two months, the accused persons have been continually submissive to the police and this proves they are not at risk to escape justice,” he said. Ruling, Magistrate Iyanna granted the accused N500,000 bail each with two guarantors who must be residing within the jurisdiction of the court. The case was adjourned till October 3, 2011.



HE role of traditional chiefs in the development of the Federal Capital Territory is very vital and they can either choose to use it well or abuse it. Alhaji Hamza Tayyub, the Deputy Director, Development Permit Division of the Development Control Department said this at an interactive session with Chiefs/Village Heads of Durumi


ABUJA REVIEW Help in sanitising community, chiefs urged who visited him. Tayyub, who said that the department has the mandate to control the process and procedure of development in the FCT, noted that the co-operation of the community

The department, through the collaborative efforts with police and the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has discovered the hideouts of hoodlums where some quantities of cannabis were seized

heads is required. According to him, the department, through the collaborative efforts with police and the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has discovered the hideouts of hoodlums where some quantities of cannabis were seized. He urged the chiefs to co-operate with government in its efforts to sanitise the community as the residents and the society will benefit from it. He further urged the chiefs to be vigilant and know who resides in their domains to assist government in curbing criminal activities in the FCT. In his opening remarks, the District Officer of Durumi, Hope Thompson, said removal of illegal structures has become imminent

Minister advises artistes to promote unity


HE Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed has urged members of the Kannywood and Nollywood to use film as a vehicle for national unity and integration. The Minister gave this advice while receiving the representatives of the US Embassy and members of the Kannywood who were in Abuja for a workshop on script writing. Kannywood is a group of actors from the northern part of the country. Senator Mohammed charged the Nigeria film industry to emphasise on issues that unite the country, even as he urged them to de-emphasise those issues that are capa-

ble of disuniting the country as an entity. He called for unity between the Kannywood and Nollywood to exploit all the opportunities that abound in the entertainment industry. Challenging them to sharpen their skills, the minister noted that the film industry is a source of employment and wealth creation for the teeming population of the country and a veritable vehicle for social integration. Describing the US embassy in Nigeria as a true associate, he commended it for the partnership. Also speaking at the occasion, the FCT Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide who appreci-

ated the partnership stressed that film is not only for entertainment but also a source of information and knowledge. Assuring that the government will continue to provide an enabling environment, the Minister of State, Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom added that the Nigeria film industry has been complementing the investment drive of the country. Sani Mohammed, a public affairs specialist in the Embassy of the United States of America said that the collaboration is to take Nigeria film industry, especially Kannywood, to the next level on screen play crafting.

since the area has become riddled with illegal structures. He lamented that developers who had been allocated plots in Durumi are finding it difficult to mobilise the sites because their plots are occupied by non-indigenes who acquired the land illegally from the indigenes illegally. Responding, the Chief of Durumi 1 Danjuma T. Angidubo said some people do things in his name and as a leader; he has no choice than to take the blame. He asked government to allow them to build and rent, pending the relocation exercise. He complained that the indigenes no longer have farm lands and it is the proceeds from houses

that they deploy in the training of their children. He expressed the fear that the demolition of their houses will take away their income and turn their children to armed robbers. The Deputy Director monitoring and Enforcement Division of the Department, Alhaji Tukur Ibrahim Bakori, promised that the houses of indigenes will not be affected in the demolition exercise. Bakori said the department called for the interactive session because of the respect it has for the community, adding that there was a need to curtail the growth of indigenous settlements in order not to have problems when the time for relocation exercise comes.

FCTA, state to partner on security


ORRIED by the spate of bomb blasts in the city, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is set to meet with governors of neighbouring states to check the incident. The states are Nasarawa, Niger, Kaduna, Benue and Plateau. FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed said the city will share its experiences on security challenges and find lasting solutions to the problem. Mohammed, who met with the Presidential Committee on Security Challenges in the North East axis of the country in Abuja disclosed that the security agencies in FCT were prepared to brief the Committee on some of its findings.

As the Chief Security Officer of the FCT, the Minister assured that he would assist the committee in getting to the root cause of the security problems. Earlier, the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Security Challenges in the North East, Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari said the committee was in the FCT for first-hand information on the unfortunate incidents. The meeting was also attended by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Biodun Nathaniel Olorunfemi; FCT Chief of Staff, Alhaji Musa Umar Yashi; Acting FCDA Executive Secretary, Alhaji Kabiru Ado Husaini, members of the FCT Security Committee, Chairmen of Area Councils and other top officials of the FCTA.

Minister restates commitment to water supply


ESIDENTS of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are set to experience a boost in potable water supply as the Lower Usuma Dam expansion project is nearing completion. FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed disclosed this when the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Andrew Lloyd paid him a visit. He said the construction of phases three and four of the Dam’s water treatment plants has reached 95 per cent completion. He expressed satisfaction with the standard of job by the contractors, Biwater Nigeria Plc, describing works done by the British company as ‘massive.’ He expressed the hope that the contractors handling the other aspect of the multi-billion naira project meant for water distribution through piping and reticulation would complete their works within the stipulated time. Senator Mohammed said that supply of potable water to Abuja residents has remained a major challenge for the FCT Administration largely due to the ever rising population of Abuja. He pointed out that the security problems in some states due to sectarian, ethnic and social crises have made FCT the preferred destination of many people fleeing from those troubleridden areas. According to him, an estimated 10, 000 people migrate to FCT daily from other states to settle. Every new migrant, he explained, comes with additional

Stories from Bukola Amusan

demand on available infrastructure in the territory. The FCT Minister solicited collaboration and support from Britain especially in the area of mass transportation, stressing that the British model of public transportation remains one of the best in the world. Senator Bala Mohammed said that President Goodluck Jonathan has given the FCT Administration an order to restore the Abuja Master Plan. He therefore vowed to rise to the challenge, emphasising that rapid population growth in FCT has aggravated the problem of illegal structures development in the territory and declared that the FCT Administration would continue to remove the illegal structures with caution so as to reduce their traumatic effects on the people. Earlier, the High Commissioner had told the minister that the trade volume between Nigeria and the United Kingdom has risen to 80 per cent while the number of people travelling to the UK from Nigeria has increased by 20 per cent within the last two years. The Envoy described the current relationship between the two countries as ‘excellent,’ adding that this year alone, Britain has recorded more high profile visits of her citizens, including that of the Prime Minister, to Nigeria than in the last five years. Mr. Lloyd, who said he visited Abuja 23 years ago hailed the


Every new migrant comes with additional demand on available infrastructure…Rapid population growth in FCT has aggravated the problem of illegal structures in the territory…The FCT Administration would continue to remove the illegal structures with caution so as to reduce their traumatic effects on the people huge transformational developments that have occurred in the capital city since then. He described Abuja as a beautiful even though it has some challenges in few sectors.

FCT Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide noted the longstanding relationship between Britain and Nigeria which she saidhas grown from that of master and subject to equal part-

nership. She sought assistance of Britain for FCT towards accelerated development of FCT’s satellite towns especially with a view to ensuring that Abuja becomes not just an administrative but also a cultural capital. The High Commissioner discussed with the FCT Minister, the visit to Nigeria by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Hon Alderman Michael Bear to Nigeria this month. The visit is intended to strengthen the cultural and economic relationships between the UK and Nigeria as well as help to develop links between the financial sectors of both countries.



The Keshi Nlla dam is meant to support the agricultural exploits of the state by providing irrigation opportunities to the people, thereby boosting agricultural yields of the people of Taraba; same goes for the Wukari/ Takum express road which has been abandoned close to a decade ago

Taraba pleads for completion of federal projects


HE Federal Government has been called upon to speed up the construction of the Keshi Nlla dam and the Wukari/Takum federal expressway in Taraba State. Speaking with NewsExtra on the telephone over the weekend, the National President of the Jukun Development Association, Mr Benjamin Bako Danburmo, said the long delay in the completion of the two projects is already agitating his people. He added that the contractors have long abandoned the sites of the projects, leading to fears that they might have been abandoned. He said: “The Keshi Nlla dam is meant to support the agricultural exploits of the state by providing irrigation opportunities to the people, thereby boosting agricultural yields of the people of Taraba; same goes for the Wukari/ Takum express road which has been abandoned close to a decade ago.” Danburmo equally called on President Goodluck Jonathan, not to marginalise the state in the allocation of ministerial slot. He added: “If Benue State with almost the same population could have two senior ministers, the Director-General of NAFDAC as well as the Chairman of the


HE authorities of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) are considering posting more members of the scheme to rural areas where their services appear to be needed. Many corps members are often rejected by their places of primary assignment where they are posted following their passing out from orientation camp. Those rejected corps members usually try to secure alternative places in towns and cities. Some end up wasting much of the service year. In order to stop this, NYSC authorities may now post more corps members to rural areas where their services will be more needed. The Assistant Coordinator of the NYSC, South West Zone, and Gabriel Ibe disclosed this at a programme organised by the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) at the Federal Secretariat Akure in his honour. He said the population of students being churned out by Nigerian institutions

By Yinka Aderibigbe

EFCC [Economic and Financial Crimes Commission] in the cabinet, Taraba, deserves no less visibility. So far, our state has been given nothing, so we urge him not to marginalise the Jukun people and Taraba State in general in the administration. “Why should a state that is our next door neighbour have about five persons in prominent executive offices while we have none; the government should not think of giving our nominee a junior ministerial status otherwise that would not be fair to us as both of us are controlled by the same PDP party.” He therefore urged the new ministerial nominee Mr. Darius Ishaku, an architect, to learn from the travails of the former Minister of Water Resources Dr Obadiah Ando, who was dropped by senators at the last minute at the screening stage. “He should use the office that might be allocated to him to make a difference in Jukunland and Taraba in general. “He should shun corruption, and work for the people. He should make sure he carries his people along and be their representative in government.”

The group’s leader equally called on all senators and other elected representatives of Jukun extraction to start performing or risk being recalled by the people. Danburmo who said the people are tired of ineffective lawmakers who were only known in the chamber for warming the bench. “We want all our lawmakers to be contributing meaningfully to all the bills on the floor of the National Assembly. Responding to the spate of bombings across the nation and the threats of the presence of al-Qaeda operatives in the country, the Jukun leader called on the Federal Government to recommit itself to the protection of lives and properties of all citizens. He called for the convocation of a sovereign national conference to address all grievances threatening the peace and continued existence of the nation as one indivisible entity. “Let’s sit down to address how we can restructure this country in such a way that all ethnic nationalities would be happy in a true federation. That is the only way we could continue to enjoy peace and even development across the country,” Danburmo added.


More corps members may be posted to rural areas From Damisi Ojo, Akure

on a yearly basis has made it extremely difficult for many companies to absorb many corps members in the urban cities. Ibe, who was the former Oyo State Coordinator of the NYSC, said the corps which

started with over 2,700 corps members now has over 70,000. “The population of people going for NYSC programme has continued to increase year by year,” he said. “Initially, it started with 2,700 corps members but today the figure has increased tremendously.

The population has created the situation warranting most of these companies to reject corps members posted to their territory indiscriminately. So, we are thinking of the option of posting these corps members to the rural areas

•Confident: Lapai princess ride their horses in Niger State

“The population has created the situation warranting most of these companies to reject corps members posted to their territory indiscriminately. So, we are thinking of the option of posting these corps members to the rural areas.” He also criticised those calling for the scrapping of the NYSC scheme, saying the programme still remains a symbol of national unity. Ibe noted that those calling for the scrapping of the NYSC scheme are doing so out of ignorance. His words: “You cannot say because the water is bad and throw the baby and the water away. There may be some problems encountered in the past but that does not mean that the scheme should be scrapped. “Those that are calling for the scrapping of the scheme are doing so out of ignorance. The scheme is very useful in national integration as well as promoting unity in the country”.

•Wife of Bayelsa Governor, Mrs Alanyingi Sylva (left) and Dr Chioma Amanjo at the flag-off of the National Malaria Control Programme in Yenagoa




Traders make brisk business in bicycle sale U RBAN dwellers on their retro bicycles are adding to the growing number of leisure cyclists across the country. This has created a thriving bicycle business in Ladipo and Alaba International. From spot check, people are buying new and used bikes, leading to a boom in the businesss. Non- bikers have noticed the phenomenon as Lagos is becoming a central hub in the national bike economy. One of the sellers, Mr Raphael Okezie, said the growing cycling culture which has affected both young and old is creating business opportunities for them as entrepreneurs. At warehouse A , Ladipo International Market, the used bicycle segment is an important sector in the market. Okezie and other sellers serve customers from across the demographic spectrum. As privately held businesses, few are willing to publicly divulge detailed financial data. He said the margins in the bike business could be extremely tight, but most shops generate about 20 per cent profit before taxes. He said retailers, who started with nothing, has grown and become multi-location businesses and growth has been tremendous in the last two years.

By Daniel Essiet

The status symbol, associated with the cycling culture, has changed how people think about bikes in urban areas. Improvements in technology are resulting in lighter designs that appeal to older cyclists. Okezie said , interested entrepreneurs don’t need much cash to get started. With N3,000,he said, one can start the business with one bicycle and grow to the point of making big time import. The strong point being experienced in the bicycle business, and having a good sense for business in general to make it. For him, the strategy is not to oversell. It is to identify the right moment; don’t let it slip by. The customer is ready to buy;go for kill. One of the sellers, Amos Oke, said used bikes is a good best investment for the small investor. Even big investors can make a good profit from it. Watchers said there is greater profit in lots of less valuable bikes, than in fewer more expensive models. This is because more people can afford the lesser bikes, and there are more children who have to settle for what their parents get for

them, than there are people who buy the fancy stuff. The folks, who will spend hundreds on a single bike have very specific notions of how the bike must be equipped, and will shop far and wide for just the right one, and ,therefore, one have small chance of having the right one. At Ladipo, buyers of the cheaper bikes are happy to get any one that works. Their specifications are much less demanding. The customers who buy cheapers ones are far more than those who buy the expensive stuff. From spot check, name-brand is not important. Many customers are as interested in the mystique of the bike as its performance. People want bicycles with high performance regular tyres. Some used bike sell for a much as N25,000. The strategy is to specialise in bikes already in good condition. Most people selling higher priced used bikes know how to take care of them and they are, therefore, in great shape. Oke knows how to make good profit with these better bikes, just not as much and for as little risk as with the cheaper bikes. At present, there seemed not to be protected dealership that makes one bike shop handles a certain brand of bikes. People sell any brand of used bicycle in the market. Oke said the bicycle business is opened for young entrepreneurs.


‘Online booking aids tourism’


OR small business operators in the travel and tourism subsector of the economy,business has been on the increase with online ticket booking. The Managing Director,Kenaries Travel and Tours Limited, Mr Ken Nwosu, said internet has made ticketing and travel reservations easier than before. He said it is now substantially easy for anybody who wants to plan a domestic or international travel tour. Nwosu said from his investigation he discovered that Nigerians were finding it difficult to visit the Caribbean countries without procuring transit visas.. He found out that ticketing and reservation for Nigerians visiting the Caribbean countries were still a virgin area. He subsequently went into the business and he made it. Added to this is his resolve to provide great service, going beyond expectations. The added value of the company,

which differentiates it from the competitors, is the support of the clients in setting up the solution. Nwosu said small operators should build a business that is “reliable, trustworthy and value for money”. He explained that the total travel management package that he offers is very advanced and very interesting for potential clients. The promotion of the Caribbean travel package is mostly carried out by word of mouth, due to the high proportion of referral business. With the challenge of online booking, he said the key to being successful is always changing, improving, learning, and researching the business. “I spotted an opportunity where the absence of product existed,” he said. The opportunity emerges essentially because they are few agents handling the Carribean countries. His great achievement is a large contract with a group of Nigerians who have found it difficult to


travel to the Caribbean. His ticketing solutions allows him to sell products alongside additional lodging, activities, deals, packages, air, and car rentals through one easy-to-use interface. He has received higher commissions than other competitors identifying a niche market. Nwosu got his idea of starting a travel and tour business from family connections and friends.

Setting up a food processing plant By Edwin Agbaike


IGERIA is blessed with abundant resources,especially fertile land, that yields a variety of food crops. Since most of the yields are seasonal, and the country lacks preservative facilities, the need to process, package, preserve and deliver to the consuming public cannot, therefore, be over emphasised. Since processed foods are consumables needed to keep body and soul together, the public will continue to patronise this industry even in the face of harsh economic conditions. Consumption of processed food is not confined to the market alone, there is also a high demand for the products in African and overseas countries. Food processing business provides a great opportunity for investors because the products (processed food stuffs) are necessities rather than luxuries. Some of the basic raw foodstuffs for the project are yam tubers, corn, soya beans, pepper, tomatoes, ogbono, melon, etc. These are cultivated locally in and large quantities in different parts of the country. Therefore, raw materials for continuous operation of the project will not pose a problem. The demand for processed yam flour, custard powder, soya bean cake, etc, is very high in Nigeria and cuts across social and religious boundaries. Investigations have shown that most of the processed food being consumed in Nigeria are imported due to inadequate processing facilities. Some of these products are imported and packaged in Nigeria, while others, already packaged in their countries of origin, are shipped into the country. Processing of one or all the above mentioned products can be done by very simple techniques in the household as well as on a large mechanised scale. The production plant entails the use of the following main machinery/equipment: Automatic chipping machine; Dryer (Electric or Ovum); Grater motorised machine; maize shelling machine; dry grain milling machine; wet grain milling machine; medium-sized grinder; other manually operated grinders etc. The production process for all the products are basically the same. Cleaning: Yam tubers are washed to remove dirt and packed into the chipping machine to cut into smaller pieces; while maize and soya beans are pre-treated to remove dirt. Drying: Pieces of chipped yam, treated maize and soya beans and other ingredients are put into the dryer to be dried. The electric drum is used for the drying process. Grinding: The dried ingredients are put into the grinding machine to be grounded into powdery form. Direct grinding for clients could be done wet or dry as patronage is required; and the client on payment of the charges goes with their products. Testing / Packaging: The finishing products will be observed and tested to certify fit for human consumption. As soon as a clean bill is passed, the products is packaged in containers and arranged in dozen per carton before sending to the market. The project may be executed at a cost ranging from N450,000 to N1 million. This amount can be scaled down or increased, depending on the financial position of the promoter. The project has great economic potential in terms of considerable high turnover and profits. It is, therefore, recommended that interested investors interested in embarking on this project contact the Consultant for help and a detailed Feasibility Report. This, project stands a good chance of attracting finance from any of the commercial banks, backed by CBN Agricultural Loan Scheme, where individuals or corporate bodies are assisted with funds ranging from N500,000 to well over N50 million. A well-packaged Feasibility Report is a pre-requisite to securing finance for the project. This can be provided by the consultant on request. For details on how to implement this project or any other, please contact us. We are willing to assist potential investors on any aspect of the project. Prospective investors may get in touch with us at the address . KRIS-ED BRILLIANT LIMITED (Brilliant Consulting),. Tel. Nos. 08023381900; 08098525122. By: Edwin Agbaike (Projects, Financial & Management Consultant) E-mail:

‘The production process for all the products are basically the same. Cleaning: Yam tubers are washed to remove dirt and packed into the chipping machine to cut into smaller pieces; while maize and soya beans are pre-treated to remove dirt. Drying: Pieces of chipped yam, treated maize and soya beans and other ingredients are put into the dryer to be dried. The electric drum is used for the drying process. Grinding: The dried ingredients are put into the grinding machine to be grounded into powdery form. Direct grinding for clients could be done wet or dry as patronage is required; and the client on payment of the charges goes with their products’
























Dissolution of exco illegal , says APGA chair T

HE All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Imo State has described the purported dissolution of the national and state executive of the party by an acclaimed Interim Executive Committee as a nullity. Chairman of the party Cletus Nwaka told reporters yesterday in Owerri that there was no constitutional APGA structure known as national stakeholders with powers to set up an Interim Executive Council to dissolve the state or national executive. He said the only structure authorised by APGA’s constitution to make changes in the state and national levels is the National Working Committee (NWC), the National Convention (NC), and the National Executive Council (NEC). He said Victor Umeh remains the national chairman of the party, adding that he has not been removed by any

From Emma Mgbeahurike, Owerri

of the recognised constitutional structure of the party. Nwaka, who advised party members to disregard the action of the group, said their resolution remains a nullity as long as they are not an organ of the party. He said the present executives should be praised for producing the governor, as well as federal lawmakers. He said the party is strong despite Governor Rochas Okorocha’s attitude to work outside the party. “One would have expected that upon resumption of office by the governor, he would have looked towards the party to strengthen it, but he has chosen to work outside the par-

ty.” Nwaka decried the deplorable state of the party secretariat three months after assumption of office of the governor. An Interim Executive Committee of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA),last week announced the dissolution of the Victor Umeh- led national committee of the party in the state. The group, led by the Interim National Organising Secretary, Rev. Casmir Ihegworo, while addressing reporters , announced the setting up of a 15 -man interim officers of the party. Udo Agoha is the chairman while P.C.Nwaokorie serves is the secretary.

Ebonyi workers shun directive to return to work



IVIL and public servants in Ebonyi State yesterday shunned the government’s directive to return to work or face sanctions. A statement signed by the Secretary to State Government Fidelix Mbam, Head of Service Ugo Nnachi and Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour Matters Comrade John Nwaokerekwu directed the civil servants to resume work or face sanction from the government. The Nation monitored the level of workers compliance

to the directives. Some of the civil and public servants who came to work were prevented from entering the offices by the monitoring team of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). The Organised Labour had last Wednesday declared an indefinite strike, following the non-implementation of the N18, 000 minimum wage by the state government. It was gathered that all the ministries, parastatal and the Ebonyi State House of Assembly were shut. A team of the NLC stationed at the Assembly prevented Speaker Ikechukwu Nwankwo from entering the Complex. At the Government House in Abakaliki, some workers showed up at their different offices, afraid that the government might punish them, if they fail to report for duty. Some schools remained closed as the pupils, who resumed academic session a

week ago, were told to vacate the school premises by their teachers, in compliance with the Organised Labour directive. A teacher urged government to pay the minimum wage as the wage bill of the state can accommodate the increment. “The state government is simply wasting its time, the recent bulletin from the Organised Labour said the National leadership of NLC has taken over the industrial action and only them can direct us on the next action.” “The state governor said the state spends N2 billion annually on workers salary and we are aware that he receives about N1.5 billion monthly as allocation. If you divide it by 12, it gives you about N200 million. If he removes N200 million from N1.5 billion, he still have N1.3 billion to play around with. He should pay us without further delay,” he said.

ANPP slams lawmakers over sack of electoral He had described the acHE All Nigeria Peobody chair tion of the lawmakers as null ples Party (ANPP) in


Anambra State has described the sack of the Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC), Prof. Titus Eze, as an abuse of the country’s constitution. Addressing reporters yesterday in Awka, the state capital, the state Chairman, Chukwuemeka Orjiako said the lawmakers’ action showed that they were dancing to the tune of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) led- government in the state. He said the lawmakers failed to give the ANSIEC

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

chair the opportunity of fair hearing, adding that the action was an infringement on his rights. Orjiako warned against attempts by the lawmakers to extend the tenures of local government caretaker committees in the state. Eze was removed from office on Tuesday by the House of Assembly following an alleged financial indictment by the Audit Panel that looked into the accounts of the commission.

and void, adding that he was not called upon to give his own side of the story. Eze replaced the former chairman Cornel Umeh, whose tenure expired in 2009, after a running battle with the present administration. The ANPP chairman maintained that Eze’s sack was a ploy by the APGA led- government to delay the conduct of local government election. He said ANPP and other parties would challenge it in the court, if the APGA government failed to conduct the election in November.

Southeast ACN hails national leadership


HE Southeast Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has passed a vote of confidence on the National Leadership of the party. In a statement after its zonal meeting yesterday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the party said it has absolute confidence in the leadership of its National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande and his executive. The statement was signed by the Chairman of the party in the zone, Amechi Obidike and the Secretary, Emeka Ude. The party commended Chris Ngige, Chudi Nwike and other leaders in the Southeast for

From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

putting viable structures in place. This, according to the party leaders, would help in strengthening the party. The statement reads:” We reaffirm our loyalty to the leadership of our great party at the national and zonal levels. “We commend the leadership of ACN at all levels for ensuring that all internal crises are amicably resolved. “The forum is ever committed to holding this kind of strategic meetings aimed at moving the party forward.”






Shareholder groups back banks’ recapitalisation deals


HE rescued banks’ recapitalisation exercise billed to be tabled before shareholders at the forthcoming Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs) got a boost yesterday as a coalition of 25 registered shareholders associations expressed their willingness to endorse the lenders’ deals. Speaking with newsmen in Lagos, they stressed that they do not want any of the five rescued banks to be nationalised. The five rescued banks, which have made tremendous progress in their recapitalisation deals are Union Bank, Finbank, Intercontinental Bank, Equitorial Trust Bank and Oceanic Bank. Three others (Afribank, Spring Bank and BankPHB) were recently nationalised following their inability to progress in the recapitalisation deals.

By Akinola Ajibade

Coordinator of the Coalition, Mr. Olufemi Timothy, said that the forthcoming EGMs of the five rescued banks provides opportunity for shareholders and stakeholders of the banks to recoup their investment. “Over the years, there has been a clearly, well orchestrated campaign to impugn the good character and integrity of the majority of Nigerian shareholders, thus labeling us as enemy of progress and development, antagonist of the banking reform and a clog in the wheel of progress of the nation’s development. This was because of the uncooperative attitude of a few selfish individuals among us. “Specifically, we the representatives of various associations under the umbrella of this coalition want to make a special appeal to both the

the objective of the ongoing recapitalisation exercise is to strengthen the intermediation role of banks as well as ensure that they are able to perform their developmental roles effectively. “We all know that shareholders are always at the end point in liquidation of companies and as a result of this, we should embrace all measures that will be taken to protect our mutual interest. We must all remember that we are risk takers,” she added. Similarly, President, Association for the Advancement of the Rights of Nigeria Shareholders (AARNS), who was also the chairman of the event, Dr. Faruk Umar, said the recpitalisation deals will be highly beneficial to shareholders. “Looking at Union Bank, the investors are experienced and highly professional. They are bringing a lot of money and

Federal Government, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other regulators, not to nationalise our banks again. “We do not want these banks to be liquidated nor nationalised. We do not want to lose our investments in the remaining banks. “Hence forth, we have decided to tell the Federal Government, CBN, regulators in the capital market, and genuine concerned stakeholders that we are solidly in support of all the Transaction Implementation Agreements (TIA) signed by the five recued banks, including Equitorial Trust Bank Limited, which is not listed,” Timothy said. On her part, President of the Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Bisi Bakare, said recapitalisation is a vital component of reforms in the industry. She said

expertise to run the bank. The coming of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated into Oceanic is also commendable given their wide spread over many African countries. “Shareholders must also realise that the failure to support the investment will leave NDIC with two options namely: outright liquidation or bridging,” he said. The co-founder, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association, Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, also appealed to all shareholders to “reason with the voice of wisdom on the recapitalisation and co-operate with this last stage of the banking reform; in order to save our investment in the banks and secure millions of jobs for our people. He said an institution such as Union Bank has what it takes to come back to life if at are well recapitalised.

‘Oceanic Bank’s acquisition ends Oct. 5’


HE proposed acquisition of Oce anic International Bank by Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) will be completed by October 5, 2011. A statement from ETI said completion of the excercise would be based on shareholders’ approval, after which Oceanic would be merged with Ecobank Nigeria Plc. “This proposed recapitalisation and restructuring would be subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. While the process will commence immediately following the acquisition it is expected to take up to three years to fully integrate the businesses,” ETI said Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted ‘No Objection’ approval to the proposed acquisition of Oceanic Bank by Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI). The approval will enable both parties

By Collins Nweze

move beyond the Transaction Implementation Agreement (TIA) into Scheme of Arrangement. A scheme of arrangement is a courtapproved agreement between a company and its shareholders or creditors which may effect mergers and amalgamations or alter shareholder or

creditor rights. It is used to execute arbitrary changes in the structure of a business, rescheduling debt, for takeovers, and for returns of capital. The Scheme of Arrangement has also received the Securities and Exchange Commission (S EC’s) approval-in-principle. A general meeting of Oceanic Bank shareholders has

been called for 27 September 2011 to approve the Scheme of Arrangement. Arnold Ekpe, Group Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Oceanic Bank is highly complementary with our business and growth strategy in Nigeria. The Transaction creates the second largest distribution platform in Nigeria with over 600 branches and

Fidelity launches Eduportal for schools


IDELITY Bank Plc has introduced Eduportal, a high technology solution that makes the task of running schools easier and more efficient. The solution, which has been tested and already in use in some schools across the country, according to a statement, integrates key multi-card payment systems including VISA, Interswitch, e-Tranzact and MasterCard to deliver efficient and reliable solution to the operators of the educational

out that it provides a seamless interactive learning environment, creating a smooth and reliable interface between students and staff and the general public. Among other things, Eduportal handles the automation and processing of student and staff data, online application, admission and registration, transcript processing, online payment of tuition and other fees, document sharing, e-learning, checking of results.

sector. Head of Consumer Banking, Kenneth Opara, described the product as an online platform that offers a comprehensive technology-based solution to school management. According to him, the portal enhances administrative efficiency by cutting down cost while increasing productive output. “Fidelity Eduportal was designed with the entire academic community in mind”, Opara said. He also pointed




Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

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


7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011


O/PRICE 0.60 3.80 6.70 0.95 0.51 26.00 12.48 3.88 9.25 39.00

C/PRICE 0.63 3.98 7.00 0.99 0.53 27.00 12.90 4.00 9.50 39.75

CHANGE 0.03 0.18 0.30 0.04 0.02 1.00 0.42 0.12 0.25 0.75


O/PRICE 55.00 6.00 43.53 13.49 2.64 3.67 1.86 16.97 0.97

C/PRICE 52.25 5.70 38.51 12.82 2.51 3.49 1.77 16.16 0.93


Offered ($) Demanded ($)

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80


Opara pointed out that implementation and deployment of Fidelity Eduportal solution is at no cost to the schools, and emphasized the bank’s expertise that would be made available once a prospective school is signed on. Besides, the bank’s children’s account, Sweeta, and the recently relaunched Flex youth’s product, are indications of the its innovations in investing in children’s education to secure their future.




1,450 Automated Teller Machines.” Following shareholder approval, the acquisition is expected to be completed by 5 October 2011 after which ETI would recapitalize Oceanic Bank and merge it with Ecobank Nigeria Plc. ETI said it has conducted extensive due diligence in relation to the acquisition and is confident that it is in the best interests of all parties.



Sold ($)

Rate (N)


















Year Start Offer

Current Before

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %




















Bureau de Change 152.0000 (S/N)




Parallel Market






23-08-11 N7.137tr 22,313.23

24-08-11 N7.135tr 22,308.22

% Change -0.03% -0.03%





July ’11

Aug ’11





Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 9.4%

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 117.50 112.11 0.79 0.01 0.97 1,620.90 8.70 1.39 1.87 7,745.89 193.00

9.08 1.00 117.16 111.16 0.81 0.01 0.97 1,618.90 9.14 1.33 1.80 7,502.11 191.08


CHANGE 2.75 0.30 2.02 0.67 0.13 0.18 0.09 0.81 0.04


NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 24 Aug, 2011 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 26, Aug, 2011 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%




04 July, 2011

07, Aug, 2011











Lawyers express mixed reactions over Wikileaks’ report on 2007 presidential election verdict


AWYERS have expressed mixed reactions over media reports credited to the whistle-blowing website, Wikileaks that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua approved $57million as bribe for judges that handled the litigation over the 2007 presidential election dispute. Majority of those who spoke with The Nation queried the veracity of the claim. They cautioned the people against believing everything published on the site as they could hardly be verified. Some said such development could not be dismissed in view of the fact that the endemic corruption in the country has permeated all sectors. Media reports quoted Wikileaks on Friday as claiming that the late President Yar’Adua bought the judgment with $57 million and that the decision was authored by people close to the Presidency. Those who spoke included Felix Fagbohungbe (SAN), Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), Okey Wali (SAN), Sebastine Hon (SAN) and Nojim Tairu Fagbohungbe, Nwobike, Wali and Hon were unanimous in dismissing the report. Akintola and

By Eric Ikhilae and Joseph Jibueze

Tairu did not. Fagbohungbe said: “We can only take such information with a pinch of salt, particularly now that everybody is querying the authenticity of reports credited to Wikileaks. It could be a deliberate attempt to tarnish the reputation of the Judiciary. I do not believe that is possible. “The Judiciary is not for sale in Nigeria. I think it could be intended to tarnish the image of our revered justices of the Supreme Court who have put in years of service to acquire their good reputations. The public should ignore that report.” Akintola said: “People have been whispering it. It’s not something that is new. That is why some of us have been calling for a probe of the judiciary. We’ve said it; we need to probe the judiciary. “We need a Truth Commission on the Nigerian judiciary. The Truth Commission should not be headed by any member of the legal profession. It should encompass labour, students, market men and women. No member of the bar or the bench should be there, and no politician should be there. “We need it because we have a lot

of things that are being revealed now. Some senior lawyers have been saying it and allegations are made against them because they dared to say the truth. Let us have the Commission, because people are whispering today. “Nobody in the legal profession commands any respect again. People are disparaging the judiciary and the legal profession openly. In order to restore the image of the judiciary and know the real truth once and for all, a Truth Commission is required for the Nigerian judiciary.” To Wali, the Wikileaks revelation is a mere speculation because there is no evidence to back the supposed allegation. “I think it’s speculative. I’m not certain about the revelation because it is speculative. So, I cannot analyse the possible implication of what is purely speculative,” he said. Nwobike said: “I don’t think that is possible. Information credited to Wikileaks is not always verifiable. They are reports that are not worth being taken seriously. How do you verify reports about an account of a United States’ ambassador’s purported report about his encounter

with public officers in Nigeria? These are information that should not be regarded for any reasons. That is how I see it.” Hon thinks “we should just treat that report with a pinch of salt, because I have gone deep into this Wikileaks of an issue, and I have discovered that the American government is just playing pranks with us as a world.” “Let them tell us how Wikileaks got those cables. We’ll appreciate it. And for now, I believe it’s just a game, and the third world should be wary of the Americans.” Tairu said: “The report is not strange in this part of the world. There is nothing that is impossible in Nigeria; $57 million is not what people can not offer as bribe in Nigeria. If it was about $100 billion, I would have doubted it. There is no point being diplomatic about the issue of corruption in Nigeria. “You remember that no one has totally faulted or disproved Wikileaks’ reports anywhere in the world. The most they have tried to do was to blackmail those behind the idea. This report is only revealing the level of corruption in our system.”

Lagos Assembly men at EFCC office PRINCIPAL officers of the Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday visited the Abuja office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). A statement by Rotimi Adebayo, the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Hon.Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said they were accompanied by the Principal Account Staff. Ikuforiji had, on his own volition, honoured the EFCC invitation on September 2, he added. Adebayo said:‘’The invitation came while the Speaker was on his way to Saudi Arabia to perform the lesser hajj. But when he returned he immediately headed for the commission’s office in Abuja. ‘’It has, however, come to our attention at the Lagos State House of Assembly that some fifth columnists have been spreading falsehood around to the effect that the voluntary response of our principal officers to set the records straight with the EFCC is being mischievously termed as ‘arrested.’ In clear language, none of these officers were arrested. ‘’As a highly responsible and responsive legislative body, we assure all Lagosians that we shall continue to churn out propeople legislations aimed at taking the state of excellence to a greater height’’, the statement added.

Viju introduces pulp milk VIJU Industries has introduced a new product –Pulp Milk into the market. Its Marketing Manager Mr Suleiman Aliu, said it is rich in Vitamins K, D and E, which revitalise body cells and strengthen bones. “With the pulp fruit inside, consumers will enjoy the richness of milk and the added nutritional value of pulp. “Viju Milk stands out in its quality and taste of the different varieties. The newly introduced Pulp Milk is very perfect,” Aliu said. •Prof Adeyemi (left); Prof Obayan (middle); Prof Asiodu (fifth right), Prof Agiobenebo( fourth right); Mrs Adenike Aboderin, representing Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Registrar, Covenant University (CU), Mr Joseph Taiwo (right) and others... yesterday PHOTO ADEGUNLE OLUGBAMILA

Economic planning key to Jonathan’s success, says Asiodu A

RENOWNED economist and Chief Economic Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Prof Phillip Asiodu, yesterday advised President Goodluck Jonathan to remain committed to his national development plan. For the economic plan to see the light of the day, continuity is the watchword, Prof. Asiodu said. He added that the poor economic planning of the past was responsible for the corruption, dearth of infrastructure, and misappropriation of public funds, now prevalent in the country. Asiodu said his advice was based on the leaders’ penchant for poor economic planning which, to him, has not helped Nigeria transform economically over the years. Asiodu spoke at the 57th yearly conference of the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) at Covenant University (CU), Otta, Ogun State . The theme of the conference is Planning and the Transformation of the Nigerian Economy. Asiodu, who was the chairman of the event lamented that since Nigeria attained Independence in 1960, it was only during the Gowon era that the nation witnessed a consistent economic planning, which according to him led to a leap in the economy. He

By Adegunle Olugbamila

added that thereafter each successive government had always jettisoned the economic plans of its predecessors and instituting its own. Asiodu said: “I want to commend President (Goodluck) Jonathan for promising Nigerians transformational agenda, but he must remain committed to his agenda. We need a long time commitment and continuity in our economic planning. Nigeria had always started with a plan and will abandon it midway. If you see the history of countries like Malaysia, Korea, India, China, Brazil that have developed, it is because there is continuity of their economic plans.” Asiodu said before Independence, the colonial masters ensured the nation never went beyond £40 million in revenue, a tradition he said, continued under Gen Gowon though there was a slight increase under his regime. “But over N350 billion has been spent on revenue between 1999 to date but because there was no proper planning, there is nothing to show for it. Not much development since Gowon left,’ Asiodu added.

Replying, however, President Goodluck Jonathan praised NES for the theme of the conference, saying his administration is willing to partner with a professional body like NES towards attaining its goals. Jonathan, who was represented by Prof Tamunopriye Agiobenebo, Special Adviser to the Vice-President on Economic Matters, also delivered an appointment letter to NSE President Prof Kenneth Adeyemi as an Honourary Adviser to the President on the Economy. He described the theme as ‘apt’, saying it could not have come at a better time. “This (Jonathan’s) administration was sworn in on May 29 this year, and gearing up to implementing the transformation agenda, and for NES to come up with the theme:Planning and transformation agenda of the Nigerian Economy is very apt. It (theme) couldn’t have come at a better time. Economists are the experts of the economy and I know when they rub minds here, they will come up with solutions on ways on how the government can fast-track the implementation of the transformation agenda. And we have a government

that is open to working with a body of professionals with the economic knowledge and skills.” Prof Adeyemi said the theme of the conference was to identify with the current economic planning agenda of President Jonathan’s administration. He said: “Since President Goodluck Jonathan is interested in economic planning, we then decided to support him by holding this particular conference and using the theme of planning as a tool to transforming the Nigerian economy. “ He added that expectations are high on the three-day conference as participants would appraise previous development plans looking at its possible loopholes. Speaking earlier, Vice Chancellor of CU, Prof Aize Obayan expressed hope of a fruitful deliberations all through the three days. She said CU has always been at the vanguard of seeking issues of national problems and finding solutions to same. “At CU, we have been constructing partnership with the positive visions we all envisaged. We must begin to identify problems affecting our societies and finding lasting solutions to same, and this is one thing this university epitomises,’ she said.

‘Jonathan committed to improved education’ PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will give top priority to higher education, Minister of State for Education Nyesom Wike has said. Wike spoke at the inauguration of the National Teachers’ Institute’s rebranded Information Communication Technology (ICT) Centre and distribution monitoring vehicles in Kaduna. He said “the Federal Government under President Jonathan accords high priority to the provision of quality education in the country, while the success of Open and Distance Learning depends largely on the Quality Assurance mechanisms which includes regular and effective monitoring of the programmes.” He praised the directorate and management of NTI, for the patriotic zeal with which they promote and retrain teachers. He challenged the institute to improve on its performance. Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa hailed the Institute for its achievements and various gestures to tertiary institutions. Director-General and Chief Executive of NTI Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu, said the Institute will continue to collaborate with the government to improve the quality of teaching.






•President Goodluck Jonathan (fifth left); Vice President Namadi Sambo (fourth left); former Head of Service Steve Oronsaye (third left); Minister of Justice Muhammed Adoke (second left); Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim (left) and members of the Presidential committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) crisis at the Presidential Villa, Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN


Akpabio, Udoedehe know fate tomorrow USTICE Jafaru Makailu

of the Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, will tomorrow decide on the appeal filed by the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), its governorship candidate, John Akpanudoedehe and his running mate, Ime Umanah. The judge yesterday held that the counsel submitted briefs late and there was need for the court to crosscheck the authorities cited by the counsel. Justice Makailu said some of the authorities cited by the counsel were difficult to procure. His words: “We were only able to get some of the briefs filed by counsel late. Additionally, authorities cited by counsel are difficult to procure. “We have to go extra

From Kazeem Ibrahym, in Calabar

length in getting most of these authorities. “I hereby adjourn judgment in this matter till September 15.” The appellate court had earlier fixed yesterday as judgment in the appeal filed by ACN after entertaining argument from parties on September 7. ACN and others had challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of Governor Godswill Akpabio of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the April 26 governorship election. The Election Petition Tribunal, headed by Justice Adam Onum, had dismissed the applications filed by the ACN and others on technical grounds.

Pensioners call for review of ETIREES in the oil entitlements


and gas industry have called on the Federal Government to review their pensions and allowances to reflect the present realities as well as the minimum wage. The former oil workers, under the auspices of Petroleum Industry Pensioners’ Association (PIPAN), lamented the current pitiable living condition of retirees PIPAN Alternative President-General Jonathan Irerua and General Secretary S.O Aghoghovwia accused managements of multina-

From Shola O’Neil, Warri

tionals of neglecting the contributions made by its members. Irerua reminded those in positions of authority in the various oil firms to be mindful of their action, stressing that whatever standards they set for pensioners await them when they join the fold. He called for regular meetings with management and reduction of the gap between pensioners who retired before 1997 and those who retired later

Corps member dies at girlfriend’s home


MEMBER of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving in Jigawa State, whose name was given as John, yesterday slumped and died after allegedly making love to his girlfriend. The incident occurred at the girl’s home at 14, Adolo Street, off Murtala Mohammed Way in Benin, the Edo State capital. It was gathered that the late John, who recently complted his orientation at the NYSC camp, decided to

visit Benin. He spent the night with his girlfriend, simply identified as Ejiro, who is a chorister at a church on Murtala Mohammed Way. Ejiro said John, on arrival from Jigawa, took her to a bar where they had some drinks and suya. She said on their way home, the late John bought some drugs at a patent medicine store, apparently to suppress his excessive alcoholic intake.

Her words: “After several rounds of sex, he started to behave funny as he began to shout like a wounded animal. “He said some people wanted to kill him. “I started crying and raised the alarm, which alerted the neighbourhood. But before help could come, John died.” The landlord, Mr. Idehen, said he was advised to report the matter to the police, which he did. Police spokesman Peter

Ogboi confirmed the incident. Ogboi said the police would carry out an autopsy to ascertain the actual cause of the death. He said: “The remains have been removed from the house and investigation is ongoing. “We would require special and technical assistance from the doctors who would perform the autopsy.” Ejiro and Idehen are still bing held by the police.

Police parade cleric, 12 suspects in Delta


HE police in Delta State yesterday paraded 13 suspects for offences ranging from robbery to cultism and kidnapping. Commissioner of Police Mamman Tsafe, at a briefing in Asaba, said most of the suspects would be arraigned in court soon. He said the police were in control of the situation and urged relatives of kidnap victims not to pay ransom. Tsafe lamented that relatives of kidnap victims often pay ransom without the knowledge of the police, adding that the police have the capacity to foil abductions. The police boss urged the public to be security conscious, especially during the

From Okungbowa Aiwerie, Asaba

ember months, stressing that police have mapped out strategies to deal with crime during the period. His words: “On September 4, a driver, Agiri Augustine, conveyed passengers from Benin to Warri in company of his conductor, Obakpororo Ayarota (39). “Two days later, Agiri’s decomposing body was discovered in a bush. “His conductor was picked up for questioning and confessed that on their way from Warri, he deceived the driver to Elume to pass the night because it was too late. “At Elume, he reportedly conspired with Ofela

Omiegbe (23) and Clifford Erumose (35) to kill his boss and rob him of his bus. “The bus was recovered from the premises of Obakporor Ayarota. “A pastor, Chime Nwagbo (51) and an accomplice, Paul Eze (20), were also paraded.” Nwagbo claimed to attend the Assemblies of God Church Bible Training School, Umuahia, Abia State, from 1986-1988. He said after completing his pastoral studies he ministered at the Assemblies of God Church, Aba District, until he established his ministry in Okwe, Oshimili South Local Government. Nwagbo said he did not conspire to steal any car.

But Eze said he was contacted by Nwagbo in Port Harcourt to come to Enugu for a job, adding that at Enugu they attacked the owner of a chartered Toyota Camry which they stole. Tsafe also said a five-man kidnap gang on August 18 dispossessed Mrs. Catherine Oji of her RAV4 Jeep and kidnapped her. He said the gang shot a victim, simply identified as Edafiabo, in the process. The car was recovered in Abuja after a gang member, Chidebere Sunday, was arrested and made confessional statements. According to Tsafe, fleeing gang members, include a serving soldier and another simply identified as Tony.

Mixed reactions trail arrest of Task Force chair From Osagie Otabor, Benin

‘Don’t transfer Ogoni farms’ HE Rivers State Government and the Ministry of Agriculture have been urged to stop the ceding of 200 hectares of farmlands in Ogoni communities to Union De Iniciativa S.A. DE C.V. for commercial banana plantation. The Social and Economic Rights Action Center (SERAC); Social Action (SA); Ogoni Solidarity Forum(OSF) and Ogoni Civil Society Platform (OCSP) and Zor Sogho, Luusue Sogho, Teka Sogho, Okwole, Ueken, Korokoro and Kaani communities said the government has no right to transfer the communities’ land. The paramount ruler of Akporosogho, Sir Abel Tore Abalabe, said the people, who depend predominantly on farming, were made to forcefully keep away from their farmlands. OSF National Coordinator Akpobari Celestine said: “It is time to heal the wound of Ogoni people and give back their lands stolen from them by the multinational oil companies.”

From Osagie Otabor, Benin




DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has been hailed over the arrest of the Chairman of the Committee on Illegal Demolition, Maj Lawrence

Loye (rtd). The arrest sparked jubilation among Benin City residents. One resident said: “Oshiomhole has demonstrated that the ordinary man can still be protected against some powerful interests and overzealous power mongers”. Another resident, Uyi Omo-Osunde, said: “I am not a politician, but I must say that this Maj Loye has brought serious image crisis to this administration. “I was worried over the manner the man was let loose on the people, but I am now assured that nobody can bring Oshiomhole down or

rubbish his good name. “What the governor is doing is commendable. My non-partisanship does not mean we can not appreciate the good intentions of Oshiomhole. “I have watched him and his government from afar and have come to the conclusion that for this man to achieve so many feats in this short period, he sure has the support of the people. “Thank you Mr. Governor. No one, man or woman should ever be above the law.” But opposition parties condemned the arrest. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and Congress for Po-

litical Change (CPC) urged the governor to apologise and compensate those whose property were wrongly demolished. CPC Chairman Godwin Erhahon said Oshiomhole should not have waited for the property of Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia and Roland Owie to be demolished before ordering Loye’s arrest. LP Publicity Secretary Isaiah Osifo described the arrest as a television show, inhumane, disgraceful to a democratic society and disrespectful to human rights. PDP Chairman Dan Orbih said Oshiomhole’s action was belated. He accused the governor of playing politics with the arrest .




Stakeholders explore ways to strengthen capital market


IGERIAN and inter national investment experts and regulators yesterday met to explore ways to strengthen the Nigerian capital market and engender a stable recovery. The second annual workshop held in Lagos was hosted by JP Morgan, Thomson Reuters, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and was attended by more than 150 delegates. Speaking at the event, Director General, Securities & Exchanges Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh noted that with the completion of the banking restructuring exercise, Nigeria’s largest services sector has been de-risked to a great extent and has been instrumental in improving investor sentiment on Nigeria. She said SEC has taken several measures to ensure better regulation of the Nigerian capital market. In his keynote address, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar N. Onyema said the capital market has been undergoing great transformation to enable it play its roles as economic development agent effectively. “The Nigerian Capital Market is undergoing a metamorphosis. While change is an inevitable effect of growth, we must collaborate to do it proactively and strategically in order to become the gateway to African markets,” Onyema said.

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

Meanwhile, NSE ASI on Tuesday lost 14.01 points representing 0.07 per cent depreciation to close lower at 21,018.52. In the same vein, the market capitalisation of all first-tier traded equities lost N4.47 billion to close lower at N6.70 trillion. The NSE ASI had lost 0.34 per cent last Monday to close at 21,032.53 points. Tuesday’s dip was substantively impacted by value losses against heavy volume recorded in the following blue chip stocks; Dangote Cement, First Bank, Flour Mills, Guinness Nigeria, UAC Property, Oando Oil and Dangote Flour. Total volume of shares transacted moved up to 171.69 million valued at N3.14 billion in 4,237 deals as against 129.38 million shares worth N1.51 million exchanged in 4,046 deals posted yesterday. Growth in volume and value represents 32.7 per cent and 107.9 per cent respectively. Price movement yesterday improved marginally with 14 advanced stocks against previous eight while declined ones dropped to 22 from previous 25. Nigeria Breweries was the most actively traded stock with 20.82 million shares valued at N1.73 billion in 193 deals. Other equities that recorded significant volume today are GT Bank, Zenith Bank, First Bank and Access Bank. On the gainers table, United Nigeria Textile led gainers’ log with maximum

5 per cent appreciation to close at N0.63. May & Baker, Presco, C & I Leasing and Unity Bank were other major gainers. Specifically, GTBank rallied during the trading session, inching up by 3.4 per cent as demand at current levels grew during the session; this may lead to further gains today. On the uptick also were UBA and Stanbic IBTC recording gains of 3.1 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively. On the flip side, weak demand for FCMB could lead to losses today. On the losers table, Julius Berger and Vitafoam shed maximum 5 per cent value to head losers’ log. Other strong losers are Nigerian Enamelware, Forte Oil and Custodian & Allied. Values dropped here were due to market forces. Analysing the performances, in the building materials sector, sentiments for Dangote Cement continued to go south as it shed marginal points. Participants broke the N100.00 threshold and there is the possibility of further losses in the near future. On the flip side, Lafarge Wapco and CCNN closed flat, while Ashaka Cement inched up marginally. Glutting offers that had plagued Dangote Flour in the last few sessions were cleared today, a signal that the current apathy towards the stock might be changing. A further hold back by participants tomorrow could lead to a rally. Dangote Sugar also closed on the up-tick with a marginal 0.6 per cent gain.









Libyan interim leader Jalil outlines plans for moderate Islamic state

Kabul police battle insurgents in Afghan gunfight


FGHAN and international security forces are battling an ongoing multi-pronged attack by insurgents targeting the United States embassy, Nato headquarters and police buildings in Kabul. Police are still exchanging fire with two gunmen holed up in an unfinished highrise building overlooking the diplomatic quarter. Six people have been killed and 16 injured, Kabul’s police chief said. The Taliban said they were behind the violence. Police killed four insurgents, police chief General Ayub told the BBC. Nato and the US embassy said none of their staff were casualties of the attack. A US embassy spokesperson said four Afghans were hurt, but none of them had life-

threatening injuries. “We appreciate the response of the Afghan National Security Forces whose operations stopped the attack on the embassy compound,” the embassy said in a statement. Gen Ayub said the insurgents wanted to carry out attacks in Kabul to coincide with the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Nato said the attack was an attempt to derail the security handover to Afghanled forces, as international troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan. Tuesday’s attacks appear to be a complex operation. At about 13:30 local time (09:00 GMT), insurgents fired rockets on a number of targets in Kabul’s upmarket embassy district.

Kenya denies blame for slum fire


ENYA’s government has defended its failure to move slum-dwellers away from a fuel pipeline that leaked on Monday, causing a fire which killed dozens. Local Government Minister Musalia Mudavadi told the BBC that officials had been trying to find a “humane” way to relocate them from the Nairobi slum. Kenya Petroleum Company (KPC), which owns the pipeline, had warned in 2008 that residents should be moved. Residents are in shock after the fire burned at least 87 people to death. Rescuers and family members are still searching for the dead in a nearby river, where charred corpses can be seen. Some reports say more than 100 people died. The government has been widely criticised for allowing people to go on living in the slum, in the Sinai area of the capital, despite being aware that such an accident was possible. Mr Mudavadi admitted to the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme that the accident could have been avoided, but defended the government’s approach. “If we’re going to relocate them, where are we going to relocate them to? We are enforcing rules, but we have to do it humanely,” he said.

Turkish PM pushes for Palestine state


URKISH Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has said that recognition of a Palestinian state is an obligation not an option. He told the Arab League that before the year’s end “we will see Palestine in a very different situation”. Mr Erdogan made a new attack on Israel, saying its government’s mentality was a barrier to peace in the Middle East. The Palestinians are currently preparing a bid for United Nations membership despite Israeli and US opposition. Mr Erdogan is in Egypt as part of a tour of three Arab states that recently ousted their leaders, in an attempt to improve Turkey’s standing in the region. Turkey’s relations with Israel have worsened since Israeli forces boarded an aid


‘We are a Muslim nation, with a moderate Islam, and we will maintain that. You are with us and support us - you are our weapon against whoever tries to hijack the revolution” Gaddafi regime should be treated with contempt. Religion is a key issue in conservative Libya. He said the NTC would not accept extreme right- or left-wing ideologies. There have been some calls for secularism from a minority in Benghazi and some technocrats. The speech appeared to go down well with the thousands of Libyans who had gathered

in Martyrs’ Square. He was frequently interrupted by applause, whistling and women cheering. As soon as it ended, there was a barrage of celebratory gunfire, not just in central Tripoli but also in the east of the city. It seemed to reach out to all Libyans and also foreign parties who had helped during the conflict. In his first speech since moving to the capital from the NTC stronghold of Benghazi, Mr Jalil told some 10,000 supporters to avoid retribution attacks, adding that Libya’s new leaders would not accept any extremist ideology. “We are a Muslim nation, with a moderate Islam, and we will maintain that. You are with us and support us you are our weapon against whoever tries to hijack the revolution,” he said. Mr Jalil, who served as Col Gaddafi’s justice minister before joining the rebels when the uprising started, said

women would play an active role in the new Libya, and thanked a number of nations - including France and Britain - for supporting the NTC. But he also warned against secularism, envisaging a state “where sharia [Islamic law] is the main source for legislation”. His words, broadcast live on television, were met with rapturous applause, as fireworks illuminated the Tripoli waterfront. But Mr Jalil and his colleagues still face major hurdles, adds our correspondent, not least because the fugitive leader remains at large. Many of his inner circle have fled to neighbouring countries such as Algeria or Niger. Niger’s Prime Minister Brigi Rafini said on Monday that Saadi Gaddafi and three of his father’s generals were among 32 people who had crossed the lengthy desert border into the West African nation since 2 September.

Swaziland’s school headteachers protest budget cut

H •Erdogan

ship in May last year as it was heading for Gaza. Nine Turkish activists were killed during the raid. Israel has refused to apologise and said its troops acted in self-defence. The Turkish leader, who has won popularity among Arabs for his denunciations of Israel, was earlier met by an enthusiastic crowd in Cairo.

US poverty hits record high



HE head of the National Transitional Council has delivered his first speech in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, since the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. Mustafa Abdul Jalil outlined his plans to create a modern democratic state based on “moderate Islam” to thousands of flag-waving supporters in the newly renamed Martyrs’ Square. Earlier, Col Gaddafi vowed in a TV message to fight “until victory”. The whereabouts of the 69year-old fugitive leader remain unknown. “All that remains for us is the struggle until victory and the defeat of the coup,” Col Gaddafi was cited as saying in a statement read out by a presenter on a loyalist television station. Although the interim administration has promised the formation of a transitional government in Libya within 10 days, there are still big challenges in stabilising the country, says the BBC’s Peter Biles in Tripoli. Anti-Gaddafi forces now control most of Libya but loyalists are still holding out in the towns of Sirte and Bani Walid, offering fiercer resistance than had been expected. Meanwhile, Amnesty International has called on the NTC to take steps to prevent human rights abuses by antiGaddafi forces. The speech was short, in contrast with Col Gaddafi’s infamously long public addresses. The broad theme was reconciliation. Mr Jalil urged both ordinary Libyans and his fighters to comply with the law and not to take matters into their own hands. He reminded people that not everyone who worked for the

The number of Americans living in poverty rose to a record 46.2 million last year, official data has shown. This is the highest figure since the US Census Bureau started collecting the data in 1959. In percentage terms, the poverty rate rose to 15.1%, up from 14.3% in 2009. The US definition of poverty is an annual income of $22,314 (£14,129) or less for a family of four and $11,139 for a single person. The number of Americans living below the poverty line has now risen for four years in a row, while the poverty rate is the biggest since 1993. Poverty among black and Hispanic people was much higher than for the overall US population last year, the figures also showed.

UNDREDS of headteachers in Swaziland marched yesterday, the first day of the school term, to protest the impact on education of the southern African monarchy’s budget crisis. Education officials said most of Swaziland’s 328 primary, secondary and high schools opened as scheduled Tuesday. That had been in doubt for the nation’s more than 800,000 public school pupils after principals complained budget cuts left them unable to pay secretaries or buy chalk and other

supplies. Principals said some schools have no water because they can’t pay utility bills. After their peaceful march Tuesday to the education ministry, principals handed over a petition calling on the government to reverse cuts of 95 million emalangeni (about $13.5 million), nearly half the education budget for the 2011-2012 school year. Much of the missing money was earmarked for school fees and supplies for orphans and other vulnerable children in a country where many

children have lost parents to AIDS. Swaziland is several months into a financial crisis, blamed on corruption and declining customs revenue. The government has proposed freezing civil servant salaries and have already cut other costs, including allowances for university students. The cuts have led to a series of protests, with some Swazis saying the king should rein in the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by his family, which includes 13 wives. Pro-democracy ac-

tivists have tried to exploit popular anger over the budget crisis, but many Swazis remain attached to the idea of a monarchy, if not to the current monarch. King Mswati III, the last absolute monarch in subSaharan Africa, has ruled this nation of about 1.2 million since 1986. Neighboring South Africa last month agreed to give Swaziland a 2.4 billion rand ($354 million) loan contingent on economic and political reform. South Africa has yet to begin paying out the money.

ANC to challenge ‘hate song’ ban


OUTH Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party will appeal against a high court ruling banning the antiapartheid song Shoot the Boer. The court said the song, which refers to white farmers, was hate speech and banned ANC youth league leader Julius Malema and the party from singing it. Mr Malema is also facing an internal ANC disciplinary hearing that could expel him from the party. But President Jacob Zuma said the youth leader should be helped not banished.

Mr Malema has become a critic of the president, falling out with him after accusing him of not doing enough for poor black South Africans - his main support group in the 2009 elections which brought him to power. “I think the objective is: How do you help Malema? Because Malema has a lot of elements that are good in him,” Mr Zuma told South Africa’s Business Report newspaper. If found guilty by the ANC hearing, Mr Malema could be expelled from the party altogether as he is already on probation after criticising

President Zuma last year. His latest ANC charges relate to the 30 year old’s call for regime change in neighbouring Botswana, which runs against both government and ANC policy. “What you have to do, is deal with things that are not right with Malema. You cannot allow him to do the wrong things,” Mr Zuma said. “In other words, the job of the ANC is to help Malema, to mould him into a dynamic, good leader. “That’s what we need to do. It is only if you can’t do it, that the question becomes

what do we do with him.” Mr Malema says he is the victim of a political witchhunt because of his opposition to Mr Zuma. The ANC is due to choose its leadership next year, with its president likely to become South Africa’s next leader after the 2014 elections. The BBC correspondent in Johannesburg says that although Mr Malema is seen as a maverick within his own party, when evidence was heard in the high court earlier this year over the Shoot the Boer case, a string of ANC grandees queued up to defend him.





Adigun grabs 100m/h gold •Nigeria also wins 4x100m men, women


EUN ADIGUN secured another gold medal for Nigeria when she ran a time of 13.20 secs to win the final of the Women’s 100m hurdles, while Jessica Ohanaja got silver at the ongoing All Africa Games, Maputo 2011. In a chat with NationSport after the race, Adigun said: “I will definitely dedicate this feat to my family for giving the encouragement. I also want to give God the glory. This is because my spiritual faith is very strong

Stories from Akeem Lawal and Stella Bamawo, Maputo and everything is possible when you have God by your side. Every step and every breath I take, I always thank God, He has been my strength.” Ohanaja on her part said: “I feel good wining the silver because this is my fourth race and my coach told me to come out here and do the country proud. I did not feel any pressure

because I knew it will be between me and my team mate. As long as we won the gold and the silver, we are fine.” In the 400m men, Tobi Ogunmola won silver with the time of 45.82 sec behind Sudan’s Rabi Yusuf Mohamed who finished with a time of 45.27 sec, while Mar Kybrochi of Kenya finished third with a time of 46.52 sec. Nigeria was, however, missing in the Women’s 400m race after her representative could only manage to finish fifth and

sixth position. The Nigerian men team however, made up for their performance when they won the Men’s 4x100m final with Obinna Metu, Peter Emeloze, Ben Aduku and Ogho- Oghene Egwero aking the country proud. New African Champion, Damola Osayemi led Blessing Okagbare, Gloria Asunmu and Agnes Osasua to win the Women’s 4x100m. Adewale Adewunmi also won gold in the 200m para athletics as Mary Awase won silver. Nigeria also qualified for the basketball quarter final after beating Mali 7148.

Blame Obisia Nwankpa for Nigeria’s loss –Nsofor •Adigun



Ilaje, Ijaw girls make waves in Maputo


ESPITE making its debut in Canoeing at this year’s edition of the All Africa Games, Maputo 2011, Nigeria captured one silver and two bronze medals with the heroines being two girls coming from Ijaw and Ilaje, areas known for their swimming prowess in the waters of the Niger Delta. Lilian Japhet who selling sell and sawmills won one silver and two bronze, while Adeola Iwajomo won the bronze. "We could have won gold medals if not for the strange boats and paddles we used at the Games", the girls lamented. Even when they train in Nigeria before the Games, they used the Evolution canoe while at the Games and even at the Olympics, they used Nelo boats which are lighter. "We don’t have paddles. We share 12 persons to one paddle in

Nigeria. Imagine if we have the facilities, the story would not have been the same here", Femi Abioye, an assistant coach of Canoeing said. This sport does not require much. Our youths from the Niger Delta will excel with little assistance. And they can live well like footballers and other sports men and women because there is so much money to make in going to international competitions. South Africans were amazed at their skill and have invited us to races in their country after the Games. We need support from the NSC and the Ministry. This sport will fetch Nigeria gold even in the Olympics if we have the needed equipment", Adeoye said. The athletes that took part in Canoeing came on stream only six months to the All Africa Games.

ECHNICAL Director of Team Nigeria's Boxing event at the All Africa Games, Idika Nsofor has absolved the pugilists from blame but slammed coach, Obisia Nwankpa, for not reading fights and guiding the boxers well. He attributed Nigeria's free fall to the coach. Nigeria won three silver and one bronze in the squared ropes when little known countries in boxing like Mauritius, Botswana, Cameroun, Algeria won gold medals at the expense of the country that made name in the event in the past. "Obisia misled our best boxers to defeat in the preliminary stages. Boxers like Taiwo Agbaje, Seyi Adedoyin, Shogbamu Waheed and Akeem were the four boxers we banked on to win gold medals. But Obisia misled them not to even get the medals zone. That was when officials of the National Sports Commission (NSC) stepped in. Instead of reading the opponents and passing useful information, Obisia will tell them to attack even when it is not necessary. When they decamped him from sitting on the ringside, I guided the remaining boxers to three silver and one bronze. “These boxers fought with broken fingers but they still excelled. We have talents but the problem has been getting a good coach. That one was a good boxer in his days does not mean that he would be a good coach. But we need them for their experience. But he is always intimidated when one offers good advise. We are supposed to be united to fight a common enemy and win for our country. It got to a stage that the boxers grumbled at his tactics", Nsofor said at the Games Village. Obisia had accused Nsofor of using his connection to remove him from the ringside before he was subsequently decamped. "It was for the sake of peace that I allowed him to sit at the ringside with Tony Konyegwachie. If I had insisted to sit at the ringside

from the beginning, Nigeria would have won gold medals. I don't know why he is fighting himself", Nsofor recounted. He promised that Nigeria would regain its might in the ring if the boxers are exposed and praised the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Dr Patrick Ekeji for his intervention that saw Nigeria win three silver and one bronze medals.

As at Tuesday 13/09/2011 Rank


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

South Africa Nigeria Egypt Tunisia Algeria Zimbabwe Kenya Senegal Cameroon Mauritius Angola Botswana Seychelles Mozambique Congo Mali Namibia DR. Congo Ghana Ethiopia Lesotho ST & Principe Uganda

Gold 46 16 10 9 7 4 4 4 4 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Silver 30 19 5 6 12 6 5 3 1 2 3 2 0 2 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

Bronze 27 22 7 7 18 1 9 7 8 3 3 5 4 4 4 0 0 3 2 1 1 1 1

Total 103 57 22 32 37 11 18 14 13 8 7 8 5 6 5 1 1 3 2 1 1 1 1


Chelsea see off Leverkusen


NDRE Villas-Boas's side were made to work hard for the spoils, and it took a superb finish from defender David Luiz to break the deadlock on 67 minutes. Juan Mata added some gloss to the scoreline with the last kick of the game, and ensure Leverkusen midfielder Michael Ballack went home unhappy on his return to his former club. Fernando Torres assisted both goals, but failed to add

to his single goal for Chelsea, who were some way below their fluent best.

RESULTS Chelsea 2-0 Leverkusen Genk 0-0 Valencia Olympiacos 0-1 Marseille Borussia 1-1 Arsenal Porto 2-1 S’Donetsk APOEL 2-1 Zenit Barcelona 2-2 AC Milan V'Plzen 1-1 BATE


VOL.7 NO.1883

Tomorrow in THE NATION ‘The solid consensus of political activists soon broke asunder in 1941 when there was a vacancy in the Lagos Legislative Council following the resignation from the Council by Dr. K.A. Abayomi on his appointment to the Governor-General’s Executive Council’ JIDE OSUNTOKUN



E: al-Mustapha, the canary Sir,

Chief Abiola died on 7/7/98 and not on 7/7/99, as stated in your column (entitled “al-Mustapha- the canary’s song this time”) in The Nation of 24/8/11. Barka da Sallah. Mr C.O.Ngwaba

People and Politics By MOHAMMED HARUNA

I stand corrected.


The canary is stupid

(Major)Hamza (al-Mustapha) is on trial for the murder of Kudirat Abiola. But trust him for being the stupid canary that he has become. What is the relevance of the song of this canary to the charges before the court? Assuming but not conceding that the revelations are true, in what way does it exonerate Hamza of the murder of Kudirat Abiola? In other words, what is the relevance of the canary’s song to the canary’s trial? Picture this; Mr. Z is on trial, accused of raping a 6 year old girl. In the course of his trial, Mr. Z presents evidence to the effect that the chief of his village is an armed robber. Whether such evidence is true or not, it is irrelevant to the trial and does not in any way exonerate the accused. In essence, all of Al- Mustapha’s revelations amount to nothing. His defence team should focus on the substance of the charge and realise that Hamza alone is on trial, not General Abubakar or some Yoruba leaders. When an army major starts singing like a canary, you know there is a problem somewhere. Given the tough mien of Hamza in his hey days, one had expected him to be a hard nut to crack, but since his detention he has shown us that he is a coward. Yes, Hamza is a true coward. Only cowards sing. When they have a gun, or see a defenceless man, or a weak woman, they appear strong, but immediately they are overpowered they start singing like nursery school pupils. When Abacha was king, Hamza was a tough soldier, now look at him. Shame on the Nigerian Army for decorating dullards. It seems they do not teach the boys anything about strategic thinking and taking responsibility. When it comes to strategic thinking Hamza is an olodo, a daft. Given the inglorious role he played during Abacha’s reign of terror, an intelligent Hamza would have fled the country immediately Abacha was pronounced dead. Every idiot knew that the senior officers Hamza used to trample upon would get their own pound of flesh back, because history is replete with such instances. But good old Hamza, obviously not a good student of history, thought otherwise, and so he stayed behind. So the first mistake of the canary was his failure to read the writing on the wall and bolt. If the canary refused to bolt, perhaps he was ready to face the music and take full

Readers’ reaction


responsibility for his actions. Truth is Hamza saw himself as indispensible, the only person capable of holding the office of chief security officer. General Abubakar started well showing Nigerians his regime would not be a continuation of the Abacha era, and wisely posted Hamza out of Aso Rock. At that point an intelligent Hamza would have realised that as is typical with military regimes, a great purge might be on the way, and taken to his heels. Running away is not necessarily an act of cowardice; it may be a smart man’s attempt at self preservation. But Hamza stayed behind like a brave man. Then came the arrest, and shortly after, the Oputa panel. When Hamza appeared before the panel, he started the song of the canary to the joy of some Nigerians, and the eternal shame of all soldiers. For Pete’s sake what happened to good old defiance? I may not be a fan of the late Slobodan Milosevic but I sure admire his defiance before the UN War Crimes Tribunal. Like Hamza he sure committed atrocities, but unlike Hamza he refused to sing. He took it as a man and died defiant.


Re: Christian clergy and the Islamic Bank My Dear Malam Mohammed Haruna, My attention has been drawn to your column ‘Christian Clergy and Islamic Banking’, (August 3) in which you, after following our


•For comments, send SMS to 08054502909

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above

ASUU v. Fed Govt: Oh no, not again




Only little kids and fools think that there is sense in singing like a bird. As a primary school pupil, I got to realise that once you are caught in any act of mischief, say very little, and take the punishment. At boarding school, I learnt from my junior days that if you are caught alone in the act, naming your partners in crime only worsens the situation. Unfortunately for Hamza, he passed through the Nigerian Defence Academy without learning those elementary lessons. I think there was the smart one among the Abacha boys, one (Colonel) Frank Omenka, who did not wait to hear the outcome of Abacha’s death. Now he’s a free man in some foreign country, unlike his brother Hamza who is in chains. Omenka realised that given the excesses they committed under Abacha, there was no way more senior officers would tolerate them in the new look army, so he took the cheetah’s option. He ran away as fast as he could. Obviously, this wise soldier had a plan B all along. But Hamza stupidly chose to stay. If Hamza thought Obasanjo would release him from jail, then he was a mad man. What role did he play in OBJ’s incarceration and Shehu Yar’Adua’s death? Come on, who was ever going to forgive Hamza? Certainly not OBJ. So the song of the canary before Oputa was balderdash. With such poor judgement could Hamza have led troops into battle, or served as a spy? Incompetent Hamza, who rose to the rank of major but obviously was an empty tin. Sir, please forget Hamza and his dance of idiots and cowards. General Abubakar’s legacy, especially with the Nigerian worker, will not be forgotten in a hurry. The revelations of a foolish prisoner can never tarnish the reputation of one of Nigeria’s finest. Hamza is the victim of his own conceit. Hamza is the soldier who shot himself in the foot. Let the canary rot in jail, because the canary is stupid. James Dikam

different takes, opined that “The rejection of Islamic banking by the Christian clergy is clearly irrational, as we shall see presently. It also shows the clergy’s disconnect with its laity”, among other issues. Let me make clarifications, we are not against Islamic Banking or Muslims and also not irrational. We are only conscious and not oblivious of Nigeria’s manipulation of religion. We have shed innocent blood and destroyed mutual relationship; that we don’t know when solution will come, and in between we see religious manipulators smiling to the banks and followers of our religions wallowing in abject poverty and squalor as an aftermath of their inability to read in between the lines. And the search for true nationhood continues to evade us. Again, we only want a thorough debate that will bring about genuine and sincere understanding of the whole proposal, because we have a culture of not concluding debates on sensitive issues like this. Rather we are often tormented with painful consequences in the future. For instance, during the Constituent Assembly of 1978 in Lagos, Dr.Chris Abashiya raised the following five major questions on the Sharia debate: Can we have Sharia up to the federal level without running two legal systems in the country? If the Muslims have the Sharia, how do we deal with the possibility of the proliferation of demands by all other religious groups across the country? If we are all in one country, should we not seek to have law for all? Should the Sharia cover only personal matters or criminal matters also? Is it possible for us to have one legal system with sub-divisions? After about many years after the Sharia unfinished debate, did this country not shed blood in 2000? Would we not have saved the country much if we had become more thorough and unbiased in our critique? When has being logical for common good become being irrationality? Have we not witnessed various forms of religious manipulations in this country in the past and are still witnessing it? Should we not be critical and our people properly educated and assured that there is also nothing wrong in doing business with commercial banks? For example, what is the guarantee that when a crisis erupts, non- Islamic banks will not be targets along with their non-Muslims staff? There is nothing wrong or perceived hatred when people seek deeper understanding to grasp what seems to be complex and hazy based on the country’s religious and political history. You may not appreciate my take but posterity will judge us in due course. Do the Nigerian Muslims and Christians see themselves as equal in God’s creation and divinity? May peace and harmony dwell in our country. Amen. Rev Joseph Hayab.

FTER waiting in vain for about two years for the Federal Government to implement the agreement it

freely reached with university teachers in 2009, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has decided that it would ask its members to observe a oneweek warning strike to get the government to fulfil its own side of the bargain. If it is not aborted, the strike will begin on September 26. The dishonoured agreement, it will be recalled, was reached after a debilitating strike that significantly disrupted academic activities in most public universities. While the affected universities are yet to recover from previous disruptions, another one is now being called. It would be disastrous to allow another disruption in academic activities. In the past few decades, Nigerian

universities have not only become globally less competitive, on account of poor funding and incessant strikes, they have contributed little to research and development worthy of notice. President Goodluck Jonathan, himself a former member of ASUU, has spoken repeatedly of the importance of education to development. He should put his money where his mouth is. Ultimately, the responsibility of ensuring peace and progress on campuses lies with the president. He should not find the task complex or arduous. The problem, it is clear, is not how to cobble new agreements, but how to honour an old agreement. Why the government finds this difficult is hard to say. Last year, and even early this year, the government had pleaded for time to put the proper laws in place to back the agreements. It ought to have set the process in motion without being pushed. But

now that push is about to become shove, the government should do the sensible thing speedily. It should not take another strike to get the government to honour its word. ASUU has drawn attention to three outstanding items in the agreement requiring urgent attention, and they are: implementation of (a) the 70year retirement age for professors; (b) earned allowances component of the agreement; and (c) significant increment in funding. Indeed, in view of the dearth of qualified teaching staff in universities, it is strange that the government did not on its own come up with the idea of extending the retirement age for professors, and had to wait to be tutored and its arm twisted. Public universities, which are still the best staffed and equipped in the country, should not have to endure another disruption.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. E-mail: Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation September 14, 2011  

The Nation September 14, 2011

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