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Ekpo’s, Kuti’s families reject N5000 note PAGE

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29 burnt to death, 6 16 injured in Yobe auto crash

Late Mrs Margaret Ekpo

Late Mrs Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper

VOL.07 N0. 2235

TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012 N150.00

$15m Ibori bribe saga Twist in ownership drama as claimant withdraws suit CPC seeks fresh probe

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Ex-Power Minister Nnaji faces fresh integrity test PAGE FG raises new team to probe technical bids 3 Re-evaluation may determine his innocence

Listen to poor people’s cries, Yobe governor begs Boko Haram

Hands over to Minister of State

Pipeline fire: Vandals chase NEMA officials, others away from PAGE rescue operation 6

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Prof. Nnaji


2 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Fire outbreak: LUTH assures patients of uninterrupted treatment Oyeyemi GBENGA-MUSTAPHA

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HE management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba, has reassured its patients and the public that clinical treatment and access to drugs would not be affected as a result of the fire that engulfed the ( AIDS Prevention Initiative Nigeria (APIN) centre. In a statement, the Head, Corporate Affairs, Mrs Hope Nwawolo, said the Lagos State Fire Service and others were able to restrict the fire to the building. "Therefore Management wishes to state categorically that the Children Ward and Emergency Centre were not affected by the fire. Management hereby assures its patients, relations and the general public that there was no casualty recorded in the inferno. “Management has also put in place measures to ensure that our patients’ clinical treatment and access to their drugs are not affected. Data of patients are also backed up electronically and so there is no cause for alarm," she stated. The AIDS Prevention Initiative Nigeria (APIN) Centre at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi Araba was razed. The fire broke out at about 7 pm on Thursday while some doctors were holding a meeting. But no patient was around as it has always operated as a day clinic. Fire fighters from the state arrived the scene but were unable to prevent the building from being completely burnt. According to the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Prof Akin Osibogun, the cause of the fire was yet unknown. But passers by said they heard a loud noise from the building before it was engulfed by fire. They raised the alarm and all the occupants of the building were evacuated so that no life was lost. Some witnesses said the loud noise came from the Pharmacy room. Osibogun regretted the incident he described as unfortunate, but he said it would nor disrupt the normal clinical services of the patients enrolled on the programme "The hospital has contingency arrangement that will ensure normal services, for their records and data are intact and the electronic contigency will serve as back up," he said. APIN is a leading Nigeria-based international nongovernmental organisation (NGO) in the provision of HIV/ AIDS prevention, care and treatment services. Head, Hematology Department and LUTH APIN Coordinator, Prof. Sulaiman Akanmu, described the incident as "a huge disaster".

Jonathan for late Ethiopian Prime Minister's burial Vincent IKUOMOLA, Abuja PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan is expected to depart for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today to attend the burial of the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi. According to a statement issued by the President’s Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Reuben Abati, he is expected back in Nigeria tomorrow.

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•From left: National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; and the Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in Chicago, USA for the launch of Financialism:Water in an Empty Well, a book jointly written by Tinubu and former US Consul General in Nigeria, Mr. Brian Browne

FG protests poor treatment of Nigerians at Canadian Embassy T

HE Federal Government yesterday protested alleged poor treatment of Nigerians applying for visa at Canada’s High Commission in Nigeria. Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, summoned the Canadian High Commissioner, Chris Cooter, to express displeasure at the treatment. Ashiru noted that the visa applications processing at the High Commission is now characterised by excessive delays. He declared that the waiting period of a minimum of 45 working days for Nigerian visa applicants to receive response from the Canadian authorities was unacceptable. A statement issued by the ministry on the matter reads:

Augustine EHIKIOYA, Abuja

“The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, OFR, yesterday, Thursday August 30th 2012, summoned the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, H.E. Chris Cooter, to his office to register the Federal Government’s protest on how Nigerian visa applicants are being treated at the Canadian High Commission. “He recalled the very warm relations between the two countries, citing the example of the presence of a major Canadian company, Manitoba Hydro in Nigeria’s power sector. He further recalled that the Bi-National Commission between the two countries has been inked, paving the way for the deep-

ening of our relations, especially in the economic sector.” “It is against this background that the Honourable Minister expressed to the Canadian High Commissioner his disappointment at the manner the Canadian Mission in Nigeria was maltreating Nigerian visa applicants, characterised by excessive delays in processing visa applications. “The Honourable Minister declared as unacceptable the waiting period of a minimum of 45 working days for Nigerian visa applicants to receive a response from the Canadian authorities. “The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs concluded by suggesting to Ambassador Chris Cooter that rather than his Mission holding on to Ni-

geria visa applicant’s passports, the Mission should make do with photocopies of the data pages and to sight the passports. Thereafter, the passports can be surrendered to the Mission only at the point of issuance of visas. This will allow passport holders the opportunity to use their passports for other travels, pending the approval of their visa Applications by the Canadian Mission.” Mr. Cooter reportedly pledged to report the concerns expressed by the Minister to the appropriate authorities in Ottawa, Canada. The Minister at the meeting commended the decision by the US to give Nigeria top priority status in its visa processing administration.

$15m Ibori bribe sum: Twist in ownership saga

HE drama over the ownership of the $15 million allegedly offered as bribe to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, got more curious yesterday. A businessman, Mr. Chibuike Achigbu, who filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday, claiming ownership of the money, yesterday said he was pulling out of the case. He had claimed the money was his contribution to the PDP to finance the 2007 elections. The opposition Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday called for a probe into the ‘$15 million donation'. Ibori, who was recently convicted in London for fraud, was alleged to have offered the sum as bribe to former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. Following Ibori's conviction, the Delta State Government had gone to a Federal High Court to apply for the return of the bribe sum, which is being kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), only for Achigbu to file an application at the Federal High Court on Wednesday that he actually owns the money. He said he gave the money to a former presidential aide, Dr. Andy Uba, for onward delivery

•Claimant withdraws suit •CPC seeks fresh probe Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation to the PDP to meet its expenses for the 2007 elections. However, in a volte face, the businessman, through his counsel, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) yesterday opted to withdraw the suit. A court notice obtained by our correspondent, reads in part: "the intervener/applicant hereby discontinues this suit against all the respondents." The respondents were the Federal Government, the AGF, the EFCC and the Central Bank of Nigeria. A top EFCC source approached after the suit withdrawal yesterday said: "The matter is before the court. We will leave the court to dispense justice accordingly. "Achigbu's sudden claim came as a surprise to many. He just came out from the blue to demand for the money. He knew why he withdrew the matter. "The court will hear the case on September 17. We will not make any pronouncement to avoid the matter being subjudice. "We know that by the time the court goes into the merit of

the case, it will come up with a legally binding ruling or judgment." The CPC, however, insisted on a fresh probe of the $15 million donation. In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party. Eng. Rotimi Fashakin, the CPC asked the EFCC to probe alleged donation of the $15 million to the PDP. The party said it was appalled by the controversy generated by the alleged $15 million bribe money. Its words: "With the formal conviction and subsequent incarceration of Chief James Ibori (for Money laundering offences) by a British Court, the need for proper disposal of the money became a front-burner issue. "Understandably, the Delta State Government showed up as the rightful owner since the money was purloined from it by Chief James Ibori, in his capacity as the then substantive governor. "Whilst the matter was pending in the court, a Nigerian businessman, Mr. Chibuike Achigbu, stepped forward as the authentic owner. In a deposition filed by a team of 10 lawyers (including three Senior Advocates of Nigeria), Achigbu

averred, inter-alia, that he raised the money for the purpose of donating to the electioneering campaigns of the PDP in the 2007 general elections. " Furthermore, the money was allegedly given to Dr Andy Uba, the then Senior Special Assistant on domestic Affairs in a PDP Presidency and now a PDP Senator, for the purpose of authenticating (with the EFCC) its suitability for donation. "Uba was alleged to have passed the money to Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, the then Director of Operations of EFCC and now the substantive Executive Chairman. "As a party, we view the portent of this latest twist to the bribe money saga as foreboding for the fight against institutionalised corruption in the Nigerian polity. "Section 7(1)b of the EFCC Act 2004 states: "The Commission has power to cause investigation to be conducted into the properties of any person if it appears to the Commission that the person's lifestyle and extent of the properties are not justified by the source of income." " This twist to the saga has thrown up some questions: • Does the EFCC Act empower the Commission to au-

thenticate the suitability of a donation to a political party? •Does the EFCC not have sufficient powers to investigate Mr. Chibuike Achigbu with a view to ascertaining the source of his income vis-à-vis justification for making such huge donation? • Should the EFCC not investigate Senator Andy Uba as the locus in the latest controversy of the alleged bribe money? • With the EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde's name mentioned in the deposition, should he not tell the Nigerian people all he knows about this case? •Has this deposition by an acolyte of a serving PDP Senator not exposed the ruling party as mostly responsible for the festering corruption in the Nigerian state? "The unexplained illegal jerking up of the expenditure for the 2011 fuel subsidy from N240 billion to N2.67 trillion is part of the continuing story of PDP's unsuitability for the electoral trust of the Nigerian people. "As a party, we owe it as a sacred duty to the Nigerian people to expose the infra-dig in the polity for the purpose of ensuring its sustainable growth." However, an online publication yesterday quoted Senator Uba's aide, Mr. Chike Okeke, to have issued a statement deny-

ing Uba’s alleged involvement in the bribery saga. Uba was quoted as saying: "When I was in the Presidency, my house in the Villa was a convenient place for many top people in Nigeria to come. "Probably, Chief Ibori didn't want to go to the EFCC office to hand over the money and so decided to use my house. "All I know about this matter is that Chief James Ibori brought some money to the then EFCC chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. "The details of the transaction were undisclosed to me at the time. The money was handed to Mallam Nuhu Ribadu who invited his then Director of Operations, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, to fetch it. "I was never a party to the transaction between Ibori and Ribadu. "That my house was used as the venue for the transaction is not in question as an affidavit to that effect has been sworn to by the current EFCC chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, which is probably the point of confusion. "I hereby state unequivocally that I have no involvement in this matter beyond that stated above. "So, I'm not involved and will not be involved in this matter. Nobody should drag me into it please."


COMMENTARY 3

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

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ONSIDERING the way in which we are so immersed in the fact that we are an oil producing country, one would have thought that any prospect of discovering more oil within our borders would be one that the government would jump at. The belief by academic experts and geologists in the oil and gas sector that hydrocarbon deposits are believed to be heavily present in the Lake Chad Basin and the Benue Trough has for years been treated with complacency by the Nigerian government. The Lake Chad Basin found in Central Africa, covers an area of almost 8% of the continent and spreads over seven countries, with Nigeria occupying at least 21% of it in Maiduguri state. The Benue Trough is a major geological formation underlying a large part of Nigeria and extending about 1,000 km northeast from the Blight of Benin to Lake Chad. It is documented that the Chad basin has been forming for thousands of years and for all that time, evidence of crystalline rock has been found under the more recent deposits. A couple of years of ago, it came to light that the Republic of Chad and Niger, countries that have contiguous landmass with Nigeria had found substantial deposits of crude oil and commercial exploitation of the mineral is ongoing in its own sector of the Lake Chad Basin. This prompted Nigerians living along Lake Chad to question why more effort was not made by the Nigerian government to commit to exploring for oil and gas in commercial quantities on its side of the basin. This was seen as an encouraging pointer to the prospects of oil discovery in the Nigerian side of the basin. Oil prospecting in those countries had lasted for close to two decades, but the companies had remained steadfast in their belief that the geology of the territory held tremendous promise. Instructively though, the cost of the prospecting activities had been borne by the oil firms without any injection of funds by government. Although in the past oil exploration in the Lake Chad had been commissioned by the Nigerian government, it is believed that the wells dug did not reach the required depth and it was effectively stopped under controversial circumstances. The NNPC which carried out the search for oil in the Lake Chad from 1976 had said that the drilling campaign was halted because of the low success rate in the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in commercial quantity. But researchers and experts of oil exploration in northern Nigeria have in the past been quoted as saying that there is evidence which suggests that all the companies involved in the oil exploration enterprise in the Benue Trough and the Chad Basin, drilled only shallow wells whose depths were not consistent with the average sediment thickness in the area. Scientific studies have conclusively indicated that sedimentary rocks in the Benue Trough and the Chad Basin lie 6,000

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ROFESSOR Barth Nnaji, who resigned on Tues day as Minister of Power, is to face a fresh integrity test to determine his innocence in the bids that cost him his job. The National Council on Privatization(NCP) has raised a team to ascertain whether the evaluation of technical bids for Afam Power Station and Enugu Distribution Company was corrupted or not. It was not clear last night when the verification will take place. The exercise,it was gathered, may determine the innocence of the former Minister. A company,Geometric Power,in which he has interest was involved in the bids for the privatisation of Afam Generation Company and Enugu Distribution Company. Geometric Power is said to have a minority stake in the Eastern Electric Nigeria Limited which submitted technical and financial bids for Enugu Distribution Company on July 31. Besides,one of the consortia bidding for Afam Power Plant, O and M Solutions of Pakistan, was at a time Geometric Power’s contractor. Prof Nnaji has said, in his own defence, that he had divorced himself from Geometric to serve the nation. About 51 investors are bidding for 11 distribution companies, including the Enugu Distribution Company. Sources said last night that the Federal Government has rejected request to cancel the bids. The source said : “We are not cancelling the bids which we started the process as far back as December

Everywhere?

meters below the earth surface. However, the deepest wells drilled by the oil companies reached depths of less than 3,000 meters. The argument of the exploration companies is that, they submitted a work programme in which the proposed to drill not more than 3,000 meters. The pertinent question here is who approved work programmes for the prospecting oil companies in such a highly technical project, without relying on the preliminary geological map and geo-physical survey report, which are supposed to guide the decision as to the depth of wells and their locations. If the geo-physical survey report indicated a 6,000 meters sedimentary pile for the region, why approve work programmes allowing only 3,000 meters drilling depths by the oil prospecting companies? In March 2003, in an effort to resume the search for oil in the area, the Federal government commissioned a consortium of indigenous and international consultants to carry out what it described as an integrated study in order to evaluate the large volume of data generated over the years and to provide a guide for future exploration activity in the Chad Basin and Benue Trough. The integrated study was aimed to review the entire exploration strategy and come up with new exploration approach considering all the geological peculiarities of the Basin. But not much information has been publicised as to what the study has uncovered. Geologists in the Nigerian Universities have expressed the view that even though there is limited data on the exploration activities in the Chad basin and the Benue Trough, available evidence suggests that the Nigerian side of the Chad Basin and the Benue Trough has positive drillable prospects. With the prospect that the geology and the structural setting of the Nigerian side of the Chad Basin and the Benue Trough and looking at all the parameters of the exploration for the hydrocarbon, the conditions are there for the presence of com-

mercially viable hydrocarbon. On the other hand, some experts in the field refer to the uncertainty of drilling in the areas due to what is referred to as the “oil window” for each sedimentary basin. Apparently, according to them, indications are that the oil window is in the 3,000 metre range for both the Chad Basin and the Benue Trough. This would indicate that drilling deeper at 6,000m might not yield huge amounts of oil and gas. Nonetheless, whatever found, no matter how small would be beneficial and significant. For a while, doubts have been expressed especially in the north as to whether the Federal Government and the NNPC have the commitment and the capability to carry out this project. Questions surrounding whether the NNPC invested enough funds in seismic data acquisition and drilling in these areas or whether the cessation of oil exploration in the Lake Chad Basin and Benue Trough is related to geopolitical issues in the country will continue unless more effort is made. Nigeria needs a fresh programme for interested oil prospecting companies that would insist that drilling depths must reach deeper meters, coupled with the employment of the most modern and latest technologies to reappraise all the fields that had been earlier written off as uneconomical based on 2-D seismic data computation. Ghana’s recent oil discovery after 20 years of failed attempt is a clear example where the employment of the latest technology in oil exploration endeavours has yielded positive results, despite initial claims of non availability of hydrocarbons in the area. It is therefore safe to conclude that the non implementation of the recommendations suggested will only confirm the politicisation of oil exploration activities in the Chad Basin and Benue Trough, through the lack of political will and inadequate application of resources to the search for hydrocarbon in the northern part of the country Without doubt, finding oil in the Chad Basin and Benue Trough area will require new thinking and the re-focusing of the entire efforts of the NNPC. Any new strategy will involve addressing the presently identified constraints which primarily is the residency of the project within a small department in the NNPC, among so many other schemes. If any commitment made beyond the prolific Niger Delta Basin towards the exploration of oil in these areas and basins with good sedimentation is successful, in addition to the Niger Delta, other oil producing states could include, Maiduguri, Niger, Anambra, Adamawa, Benue, and Sokoto basins which are located alongside the Middle and Lower Benue Trough. If oil is discovered in these areas, it will be able to be exploited for the benefit of all Nigerians. And collectively we can all sing, ‘oil, oil everywhere in the South-South, East, West, Middle Belt and North’.

Nnaji faces fresh integrity test Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation 2010. The same companies are still bidding for these plants and distribution companies. “A new team will now do a re-evaluation of the report of the seven-man panel to determine whether the process was compromised or not. “I cannot tell you the names of those in the new committee and when they will start the re-evaluation of the technical bids. “The new re-evaluation team will vindicate or vilify the roles allegedly played by Nnaji in the technical bids. The world will know whether Nnaji’s company was really favoured in any manner or not. “Besides Nnaji, members of the seven-man panel which conducted the technical bids are interested in the re-evaluation to save their hard-earned integrity. Some of these foreigners are just feeling bad.” The source gave an insight into the technical bids that cost Nnaji his job,saying: “A seven-man team conducted the technical bids in the presence of officials of the EFCC, ICPC and State Security Service (SSS). Those who did the exercise were drawn from the Ministry of Water Resources (one), Ministry of Power (one), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Transaction Advisers of BPE,USAID, CPCS of Canada and NIFF. “Out of the seven members, three are foreigners. Those who did the technical

We’ve achieved much in short term, says ex-Power Minister as he hands over ORMER Minister of Power, Prof. Bath Nnaji yesterday handed over to the Minister of State for Power, Arch. Darius Ishaku , and said he and his team achieved much in his 14 months in charge. Top on the list of the achievements,according to him,is a road map on how to solve the electricity problem facing the country. He said the power probelm would become history provided the road map is adhered to. He said: “There have been short and long term targets. I can say in the short term, we have achieved much given that we were able to recover

units of power generation that had not been functional. “ Nigerians have begun to feel the impact of the improvement in recent weeks. And for the long run, strong institutions have been established like the bulk trader and World Bank power guarantee as well as tariff adjustment.” Nigerians,he added ,should “ let the world know that Nigeria is ready for investment.” He expressed confidence in Arc. Darius Ishaku, the minister of state, to carry on from where he stopped. Nnaji thanked President

Goodluck Jonathan for giving him the opportunity to serve as minister. He urged the Federal Government to keep the doors open for investment, saying “we must let the world know that Nigeria is ready for investment.” Prof Nnaji said he was happy leaving an impressive handover note. Staff of the ministry chanted solidarity songs to bid him farewell. Present at the event were the Permanent Secretary, Dr Dare Awosika, directors and other top officials. The minister of state promised to implement the power road map as drawn out by the Federal Government.

bid were even camped in hotels alongside representatives of security agencies to avoid being influenced. “It is unthinkable for anyone to assume that Nnaji who had only a representative from the Ministry of Power would influence six others, including foreigners. “What people do not know is that O and M Solutions, which has relationship with Geometric Power, owns less than 20 per cent in the consortia bidding for Afam Power Station. People were no longer talking about other firms with 80 per cent. “It is unfortunate that some forces were just out to

rubbish the process or scuttle the Power Sector Reform by getting at Nnaji. They made the ex-Minister the sacrificial lamb. “But the NCP was not circumspect enough to realise that some vested interests were desperate to infiltrate the system and scuttle the process.” The source said that after the re-evaluation, the BPE will go ahead with the privatisation timelines. The BPE had, in a statement, released the timetable as follows: “The transaction timeline reveals that the evaluation of the technical bids will take place between

August 14 and 28, 2012. The National Council on Privatization (NCP) will approve the results of the technical evaluation by September 11, 2012. “The deadline for the short listed bidders for generation companies to submit their letters of credit is September 18, 2012 while October 2, 2012 is the deadline for short listed bidders for distribution companies. “Consequently, NCP’s approval will pave the way for the opening of financial bids of the short listed investors. “The BPE will, on September 25, 2012, open the financial bids of prospective investors for the generating

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John OFIKHENUA, Abuja

companies while October 10, 2012 is the date for the opening of the financial bids for the distribution companies. “The announcement of the preferred bidders for the generating companies is October 9, 2012 while October 23, 2012 is the date for the announcement of the preferred bidders for the distribution companies.” It was gathered last night that Enugu North is seeking the vacant ministerial slot meant for the state. It was learnt that a stakeholders’ session might be convened as soon as Governor Sullivan Chime returns from vacation abroad. A reliable source said: “The people of Enugu North feel that it is their turn to produce the next Minister from the state. “In the past few years, Enugu West produced the governor and ex-Minister of Aviation, Fidelia Njeze, who is now an Ambassador. “Barth Nnaji who just resigned as Minister of Power is from Enugu East. So, fairness demands that the slot should be for Enugu North. “Apart from producing a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, it has been a while since Enugu North produced a Minister.” Another source however said: “We are awaiting the arrival of our leader, Governor Sullivan Chime, who will convene a session of stakeholders that will agree on which Senatorial district will produce the next Minister from Enugu State .”


4 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Oyerinde: Ugolor, nine others arraigned, remanded

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N activist,the Reverend David Ugolor, and nine others yesterday appeared before an Oredo Magistrate Court, Benin, charged with the May 4,2012 murder of Mr.Olaitan Oyerinde, principal private secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State. In the dock with Ugolor,the Executive Director of African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, were: Garba Usman Maisamari, Muritala Usman, Moses Asamah Okoro, Auta Umaru Ali, Umaru Adamu, Wilfred Isrhienhi, Hassan Aliyu Babete and Idris Abdulhamid. The police case- No: MOR/326c/ 2012- against them runs thus: "That you, Garba Usman Maisamari, Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman, Moses Asamah Okoro, Auta Umaru, Umaru Adamu alias Duna and Rev. David Ugolor and others now at large on or about the 4th day of May, 2012 at about 01:00am at No 65; 2nd Ugbor Road, GRA Benin City at the Oredo Magisterial District did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: armed robbery and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 (b) and punishable under Section 1(2)(a)and (b) of the Armed Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act, CAP R II Lawsa of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. "That Garba Usman Maisamari, Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman, Moses Asamah Okoro, Auta Umaru Ali, Umaru Adamu, Rev David Ugolor and others at large on the same date, time and place and in the Magisterial District aforesaid, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: murder and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 324 of the Criminal Code Act CAP C.38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. "That you Garba Usman

Assaulted journalist weeps in court Adebisi ONANUGA

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R Benedict Uwalaka, the photojournalist with Leadership Newspaper who was assaulted by officials of the TOS funerals, LASUTH on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 broke down in tears when the police arraigned one of those that assaulted him, Bayo Ogunsola, before Magistrate E.O Ogunkanmi on Friday at the Lagos Magistrate Court, Ikeja. An elderly Uwalaka could no longer hide his emotions as he openly burst into tears in the middle of the arraignment when he took a look at Bayo, the young Director of TOS Funerals who allegedly led the attack on him. Bayo was arraigned in court on a two-count charge bordering on assault and wilful destruction of professional camera worth N715, 000. The complainants in the suit are Benedict Uwalaka and another journalist, Kola Olasupo. Ogunsola, however, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge levelled against him when the charges were read to him. Bayo Ogunsola's lawyer, Carew Imeh, pleaded for bail on very liberal terms. Carew also pleaded that bail be granted the 28-year-old defendant on self recognition. He urged the court to consider the fact that Bayo is a Director in TOS Funerals and that he would not jump bail. Police prosecutor, A. Mamman, had earlier told the court that one of the complainants, Uwalaka, was allegedly beaten like an armed robber in the course of carrying out his legitimate duty.

Osagie OTABOR, Benin Maisamari, Danjuma Musa, Muritala Usman, Moses Asamah Okoro, Auta Umaru Ali, Umaru Adamu alias Duna and Rev. David Ugolor at the same date, time and place and the Magisterial District aforesaid did murder one Olaitan Oyerinde and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 319 of the Criminal Code ACT CAP C 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. "That you Garba Usman Maisamari, Muritala Usman, Moses Asamah Okoro, Auta Umaru Ali, Umaru Adamu alias Duna, Rev. David Ugolor and others at large on the same date, time and place and in the Magisterial District aforesaid with intent to steal and while armed with three locally made pistols, did rob Olaitan Oyerinde now deceased of the following items: (a) five blackberry telephone handsets, (b) one Nokia telephone handset with torchlight (c) two Galaxy Tab (d)Two (2) laptop computers (e)Jewelries (f) One English made single barrel gun value yet unknown and some unspecified amount of money property of one Olaitan Oyerinde (deceased) and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1 (2)(a) and (b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act CAP R II. "That you Rev. David Ugolor on the same date, time and place and at the Magisterial District aforesaid did procure one Garba Usman Maisamari to rob one Olaitan Oyerinde now deceased and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6(a) but punishable under secion 1 (2)(a) and (b) Robbery and Firearms ACT CAP RII of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. "That you Rev. David Ugolor on the same date, time and place and at

• Some of the suspects in court... yesterday

the Magisterial District did procure one Garba Usman Maisamari to murder one Olaitan Oyerinde now deceased and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 7 (d) and punishable under section 319 of the Criminal Code Act CAP C. 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. "That you Wilfred Iserhienrhien on the same date, time and place and in the Magisterial District aforesaid did illegally possess some quantities of AAA cartridges without lawful excuses and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 7 (d) punishable under Section 319 of the Criminal Code Act CAP C. 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. "That you Hassan Aliyu Babete and Idris Abdulahamid on the about same date, time and place and at the Magisterial District aforesaid did receive Blackberry Bold Touch 5 value yet unknown property of one Olaitan Oyerinde now deceased and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 5 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) ACT CAP R. II Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.” No plea was taken but a mild

drama ensued when two of the suspects-Auta Umaru and Usman Maisamari-told the court that they did not understand the charges read to them. Usman Maisamari was the suspect would identified Ugolor as the sponsor of Oyerinde's murder. They are being remanded at Oko Prison. However,the six suspects arrested by the State Security Services (SSS) in connection with the murder were not brought to court. A mild drama, however, occurred when two of the suspects claimed not to understand the charges when they were read to them. Lead counsel to Rev. Ugolor, Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi, informed the court that an Edo State High Court had already granted his client bail but that the police refused to obey. Barr. Afolabi urged the court to make an order asking the police to duplicate the case file and dropped a copy with the prosecutor. But Police counsel, David Abuo, said there was no order stopping the Magistrate Court from hearing the matter. Delivering ruling, Chief Magis-

trate Francis Idiake said the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter and ordered that the case file be sent to the Director of Public Prosecution for advice. He ordered the suspects remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case to 27th September, 2012 for further hearing. The court room was full to the brim, especially by the family, friends and associates of Ugolor .Of note was the heavy presence of members of Civil Society groups in the state. Ugolor wore a jacket and a pair of jeans. He beamed with smiles . All the accused persons were handcuffed. On the High Court order, Magistrate Idiake said: "It will be in the interest of justice to obey court orders. I am aware of the court order. I think it is only fair that the order is complied with. I have no jurisdiction over this matter." Afolabi expressed satisfaction at the court ruling, while the police counsel said he could not say why the suspects arrested by the SSS were not brought to court.

PDP admits low performance, blames economic meltdown

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HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday blamed the nation's slow progress under it on the economic meltdown that ravaged the global economy for about seven years. Taking stock of the government's performance over the last 13 years, the PDP National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh acknowledged that Nigeria suffered, serious economic dislocations on account of the meltdown. The situation,according to him, has prevented Nigerians from witnessing the kind of massive transformation expected by the people. He said President Goodluck Jonathan is greatly worried by this and is working hard to improve the situation. On the security challenges confronting the nation, the PDP spokesman pledged that the nation will soon overcome the challenges. Describing the country as being far greater than any individual, Metuh appealed to Nigerians to allow the peace, unity and progress of the nation remain paramount in their minds, stressing that "there is no other country we can call our own." He reiterated the administration's commitment to free, fair and credible elections, stressing that the PDP has never believed that the party must win every election in the country. The party, he maintained, will never force itself into power by foul means. Metuh traced some of the low points in the country's strides to the plethora of abandoned projects across the country, saying that the leadership of the PDP has resolved to engage the various state governments with the view to making them

Gbade OGUNWALE, Assistant Editor, Abuja accountable to the people. Asked about the party's position on zoning, Metuh tactically avoided a direct answer, saying that at present, the party is preoccupied with how to ensure that its elected and appointed public officials perform to the expectation of the Nigerian people. He said:"The national chairman of our party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur,

will address the issue of zoning at the appropriate time. "The visions of the founding fathers of our party, the critical elements of its manifesto which centred on re-building Nigeria into a pride in the comity of nations, its untrammelled credibility as a truly national political party that has been providing a platform for all Nigerians to realise their political aspirations irrespective of religious, ethnic or cultural affiliations differentiate the PDP from its contemporar-

ies, indeed, any other political party in the history of Nigeria. "This unique character of our party has been the major reason for its preference by Nigerians who have continued to renew our mandate as seen in 1999, 2003, 2007 and in 2011", Metuh stated. The party chief added that all is not gloomy for the country, assuring that the Nigerian people will witness tremendous improvement in the socio economic sphere in the days ahead.

Kuti’s, Ekpo’s families reject N5000 note

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N what could be regarded as a slap on the Federal Government’s gesture to have portraits of the late Margaret Ekpo, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and Gambo Sawaba on the proposed N5,000 bank note, families of the fallen heroines, Kuti and Ekpo, have rejected the plan. Reacting to the planned introduction of the N5,000 note in separate chats with The Nation during the week, families of Margaret Ekpo and Funmilayo RansomeKuti said they are grateful to the Federal Government for the honour, which is in appreciation of their sterling contributions to the development of Nigeria, they, however, insisted that the gesture is ill-timed and negates what their matriarchs had always fought against when they were alive. Speaking to our correspondents, grandsons of the fallen activist, Edward and Robert Ekpo said: “She was one of those who fought for independence. Mma already has a refectory named after her in UNN. She has an airport in Calabar named after her. And looking at the calibre of women who will grace the note, I think these are women who paid their dues. Putting someone’s face on a currency note is practically the biggest honour you can give to anybody. But how do you honour someone for something that only very few people are in support of? “It is a very big thing. I am of the opinion that if there is something else that can be used to immortalise the three of them, fine. I am not in support of the N5,000

Segun AJIBOYE note. There should be other things, other structures that can be used to immortalise them. That is how I feel about it.” Also speaking, Robert Ekpo described the introduction of a N5000 note as unnecessary, adding that it may lead to inflation.” Robert on his part added: “In my own opinion, I think it is unnecessary. I am not in support of it. It may lead to inflation. It is a thing of joy having your grandmom’s photograph on your country’s currency, but at the same time, I am not in support of the new denomination. What I am saying is that we should look for a way of adding value to our currency unit instead of bringing out a bigger denomination.” Yeni, daughter of the late afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti and granddaughter of the Ransome-Kuti matriarch, Funmilayo, offered her view: “The gesture is nice. I am happy that they are honouring my grandmother for her contribution to the freedom of the country. But I don’t think this is the right way to do it. Is the new note going to bring water to the people? Is it going to stop corruption? Or is it going to make our roads better and safer? “This policy does not conform to her beliefs and the things she fought for and represented. The highest accolade they can give to my grandmother is to make Nigeria a livable country.”


NEWS 5

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Global human trafficking hits 800, 000 annually -US report •FG blames collapse of value for menace Vincent IKUOMOLA, Abuja

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OLLAPSE of societal value, poverty and unemployment are some of the factors fuelling human trafficking, the Federal Government has said. This is as the global figure for human trafficking has been put at over 800,000 annually. Of this figure, according to a recent United States report on trafficking, 80 per cent are women and girls while 50 per cent are minors. The victims are usually taken to Europe, Asia, Middle East, North-Africa and sometimes to other West African countries with worse economic conditions. Engr. Esther Gonda, Permanent Secretary, Special Services Office in the Ofice of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, made the disclosure yesterday at the opening of the meeting of the Federal and States' security administrators held in Abuja. She noted that human trafficking was a serious problem facing the country, adding that it is more savagery than slavery. She further said: "This new slave trade is, indeed, more devastating than the physical torture meted out to erstwhile slaves." Quoting the United States report on the state of human trafficking states, Gonda explained that the consequences of human trafficking are often dangerous as it could lead to loss of lives, increasing prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, increase in violence and crime rate among other vices. The United States report on the state of human trafficking states that more than 800,000 men, women and children are being trafficked across the international borders annually. "The consequences are often grievous, some of which include loss of lives, increasing prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), increase in violence and crime rate, increase in school dropouts, increased use of drugs, impaired child development as well as the denting of national image," she said. She also said that "trafficking in women has become a global scourge. It is indeed a violation of all known canons of human right and dignity." To address the issue of human trafficking, the Permanent Secretary also support the United Nations Development Programme Report (UNDP, 1994) which stated that the scope of global security should be expanded to include threats in seven areas which involves economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security and political security. Gonda argued that if these areas are addressed, "the individual would feel secured while the tendency for him to rise against the state would be minimised, if not completely eradicated.

NBA urges FG to appeal World Court’s judgment on Bakassi T

HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is pushing for Federal Government’s appeal against the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that ceded the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun. It is also advocating a national dialogue to address the various challenges facing the country. In a communiqué at the end of its 52nd Annual General Conference in Abuja, the association said the continuous gross violation of the rights of the Bakassi people may snowball into a catastrophe if it is not addressed. It lamented that the people are facing harassment from the Camerounian government while they are treated as refugees in Nigeria, their original country. In the communiqué read by the immediate past President of the NBA, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), it noted that Cameroun has continued to violate Article 3 (1) and 2 (a) of the GreenTree Agreement of June 12, 2006 by compelling Nigerian citizens residing in Bakassi to “change their citizenship (through imposed possession of an identity card known as ‘waka book’) if they are to live their lives free of harassment with imprisonment of up to six months without option of fine as consequence of failure. “On the part of the Nigerian government, Bakassi people

•To sue CBN over N5000 note •Warns corrupt judges to quit or be disgraced Kamarudeen OGUNDELE and Joseph JIBUEZE, Abuja

who flee from the gross breach of their rights by the Camerounian government into Nigeria are treated as refugees in Nigeria, with the effect that the Bakassi people have become stateless and denied the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The NBA therefore advised the Federal Government to apply under Article 61 of the ICJ statute of 1946 to the ICJ for a revision of what it called unjust judgment over Bakassi. Nigeria, it added, has up till October 9 to apply to the ICJ or be forever shut out. The association resolved that: ”The gross violations of the rights of the Bakassi people aforementioned have the potential of spiralling into major insurrection spawned by the exercise of the right to self-determination. “Cameroun must respect the Green-Tree Agreement now flagrantly violated by it and Nigeria must resettle those 300,000 citizens along uninhabited coastal terrain in Nigeria complete with hous-

ing, healthcare, educational facilities and fishing industry logistics. “The NBA is aware that there are grounds upon which the government of Nigeria may legitimately apply for a revision of the ICJ judgment of 10th October 2002, and having adjudged those grounds (or fresh facts that were not considered by the ICJ earlier on) as being worthy of re-consideration. Consequently, the NBA calls on the Government of Nigeria to, without further delay, apply under Article 61 of the ICJ statute of 1946 to the ICJ for a revision of what is an unjust judgement over Bakassi.” It called for a national discussion to assuage all misunderstandings and concerns “apparent and arising from the current Nigerian political and constitutional structure and culture vis a vis true federalism.” The association said a sovereign national conference is unrealistic now in view of constitutional and political realities. It also resolved to contest in court the planned introduction of N5000 banknote unless the Central Bank (CBN) drops

the project. It dismissed the CBN’s reason for the introduction of the banknote as “shallow, poorly thought-out, hare-brained initiative which will devalue the naira, diminish the lives of Nigerians and push corruption and money laundering to new unimaginable heights.” It said contrary to the apex bank’s claim that the policy will not promote inflation, the bar said the realities of the Nigerian economic situation cannot be found in the Western Business Models that CBN officials are familiar with. The NBA is of the view that the policy, if allowed to stand, will “bring and mete unimaginable hardship to Nigerians as the measure is a cunning strategy aimed at devaluing the Naira wholesale.” “We may see a N10,000 or N20, 000 note soon,” it added. The body asked the CBN to drop the plan and shun the temptation of arrogating to itself power that is vested in the National Assembly. Continuing, it said: ”It is a legislative matter with ramifications on the lives of all Nigerians, that is within the sole

legislative power of the National Assembly. Such farreaching fiscal or currency measures are beyond the competence or purview of the CBN. “The CBN is not the fourth arm of government, for there is no fourth arm of government. CBN is advised to submit the measure for legislative approval, which the National Assembly is expected to consider in line with the wishes of majority of Nigerians.” On the state of insecurity in the country, the NBA said the solution lies in state and community police to reflect the realities of our federalism. “The state of insecurity in the country has assumed alarming dimensions in our country to the extent that government and security agencies seem to be flummoxed and confused,” it said. Similarly, it warned Judges who cannot perform their official duties within the perimeters of principle and integrity to honourably resign or be disgraced by the Bar. It recommended that judicial vacancies be advertised “so that qualified legal practitioners may apply as opposed to the current disgusting situation whereby cronies, relatives and adopted sons and daughters of a select few are appointed to the exclusion of otherwise meritorious candidates and corrosion of an effective Justice Delivery Sectors.”

Zone 6 gets new AIG Nicholas KALU, Calabar

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•From left: Etisalat high value customer, Irvine Frazer; Manager, Customer Experience Management, Olumayowa Adebayo; Olatunde Akinwande and Michael Irvine, both Etisalat high value customers, during their recent trip to Barcelona as part of the Etisalat customer loyalty programme... Thursday.

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UKTARI Ibrahim has assumed office as the new Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of the Zone 6 Command of the Nigeria Police Force in Calabar, the Cross River State capital. A statement signed by the Zonal Police Public Relation Officer, ASP Stella Omorodion, made available to The Nation in Calabar on Friday, indicates that Ibrahim assumed office on August 27, 2012. Until his recent posting, he was the AIG in charge of Zone 10, Sokoto. Ibrahim enjoined members of the public to partner with the police in crime fighting and also come to him in case of any complaints or any useful information that would help them.

Okonjo-Iweala commissions aircraft for Customs

HE Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi OkonjoIweala, has commissioned a new aircraft to boost the capacity of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to combat smuggling. Apart from boosting the capacity of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the launch of the aircraft is intended to improve the operations and contributions of the NCS to the nation's economy. A statement from the Senior Special Assistant to the Coordinating Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr Paul C Nwabuikwu, said the aircraft, which was

Nduka CHIEJINA (Assistant Editor) and Mercy MADU, Abuja

launched at a brief ceremony at the domestic wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja yesterday, would help the service to strengthen aerial surveillance of the nation's borders. In her remarks, the Coordinating Minister congratulated the Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, on the acquisition of the aircraft and urged the Service to work harder to achieve better results for the country, adding that "this

aircraft is an investment for which the country expects good returns." The aircraft is expected to be used for monitoring of riverine and mountaineous areas of Nigerian borders which are difficult to access and make it difficult to combat criminal activities of the borders. Several Customs personnel have lost their lives or sustained injuries during attacks by smugglers in recent times. It will be recalled that the service recently adopted a change of strategy to concentrate more on the nation's borders after withdrawing from the highways.

Harvard investigates dozens of students for cheating

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OZENS of Harvard University students are being investigated for cheating after school officials discovered they might have shared answers or plagiarised in a final exam. Harvard officials are not releasing the name of the

class, the students' names or the exact number being investigated. The undergraduate class had a minimum of 250 students and possible cheating was discovered in roughly half the take-home exams, university officials said Thursday.

"These allegations, if proven, represent totally unacceptable behaviour that betrays the trust upon which intellectual inquiry at Harvard depends," President Drew Faust said. Each student whose work is in question has been called to appear before a

subcommittee of the Harvard College Administrative Board, which reviews issues of academic integrity, said Jay M. Harris, Dean of Undergraduate Education. He emphasised that none of the allegations had been proved and said there was no evidence of

widespread cheating at Harvard. "The facts that are before us are that we have a problem in this one course," Harris said. "I hope that doesn't sound overly naive. I don't want to be naive, but this is what we have. The rest would be speculation.”


6 NEWS

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Pipeline fire: Vandals chase NEMA officials, others away from rescue operation

29 burnt to death,16 injured in Yobe road crash

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T was hell let loose yes terday in Arepo Village as jungle boys, popularly called pipeline vandals, in their tens battled a team of officials of the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA), Federal Fire Service and National Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) in a desperate bid to prevent them from carrying out rescue and intervention operations at the scene of pipeline explosion. The NPPC pipelines that

Ernest NWOKOLO, Abeokuta criss - crossed the village had gone up in flame on Thursday evening following attempt by vandals to siphon petroleum products from the parts of the pipes they ruptured. But yesterday attempt by the NEMA, NSCDC and NNPC officials to move to the scene for rescue operation was resisted by the vandals who emerged from their hideouts and chased

the officials away. It was learnt that the vandals were still labouring to steal fuel from the attacked pipelines when the officials were sailing on boats. The vandals, armed with objects capable of inflicting harm on targets, warned the officials not to advance to the scene of the fire. Frightened, the team scurried out of the area to save their lives, it was gathered. The NEMA Information Officer, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, told journalists

•Scene of the fire

that they were at the scene to recover dead bodies and secure the area but rued that the vandals prevented them. “Our intention was to evacuate bodies and to help extinguish the fire that has been burning since yesterday. “But as you can see, the vandals had refused to allow us perform our work. We are even lucky to be alive, but we have contacted the military men and they are on their way. “We don’t want the bodies to decompose and pollute the environment. “The remains from the bodies will spill into the surrounding stream and people drinking the water or using it for domestic purposes will definitely be at risk,” he said. According to Farinoye, the Director-General of the NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, has requested for deployment of amphibious military personnel to flush out the vandals. Also Mr. Olawale Bilwu, who led the Ogun firefighters, said that it was unfortunate that vandals had interrupted the operations of his men. The fire, according to him, would be extinguished in less than two hours, if the fighters could find their way to the scene.

Yoruba group, others begin ward-to -ward campaign for Akeredolu

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socio-political group, Yoruba Awareness Forum (YAF), in conjunction with 10 other groups, is embarking on a massive ward-to-ward campaign to ensure victory for the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, for October 20 election which commences next Tuesday.

Damisi OJO, Akure The other 10 groups include,Ikale Political Network, Ile-Oluji Solidarity Forum, Idanre Youth for Positive Change, Coalition of Oka-Akoko Progressives, Ondo Students for Good Governance, Ekimogun Political

Alliance, Concerned Transport Workers of Ondo State, Ilaje Progressive Association and Akure Progressive Front. A statement made available to The Nation signed by the Deputy President of the YAF, Chief Babalola Familusi, said the decision to work assiduously for the victory of

Ajimobi promises cordial relationship with private sector OVERNOR Abiola

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Ajimobi of Oyo State yesterday said his administration would continue to maintain cordial relationship with the private sector to enhance the socio-economic development of the state and promote the interest of the people. The governor stated this in Ibadan while receiving members of the management team of Stanbic IBTC Bank led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Sola Davies, who was on a courtesy visit to him in his office. He said the overall objective of his administration was to make life more meaningful for the people of the state and to create a conducive atmosphere for business investment. “We express our happiness that a leading bank in Nigeria like yours is coming to partner us in line with one global objective of working closely with the private sector to promote the business of our people in order to make life better for them,” he said. Governor Ajimobi charged the management of the bank to work together with the committee that would be set

up by government to bring about the desired close relationship for the development of the state. While speaking on the pension management which is the area of specialization of the bank, the governor urged the bank to evolve a new technology that would make fraud and mismanagement in the state Pension Board impossible.

In her remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of the bank pledged the readiness of her bank to partner the state government in the implementation of the state pension laws which had been passed. She later presented a cheque of N20 million to the governor as part of her bank's contribution to the recentlylaunched state Security Trust Fund.

Driver escapes death as train runs into trailer in Lagos

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HE occupants of a trailer narrowly es caped death yesterday when a Lagos- bound train rammed into it at the Ilupeju Railway Crossing. The train, according to eyewitnesses, ran into the trailer loaded with empty cartons of Malta Guinness malt drink at about 6am. The train dragged the trailer for more than one hundred metres, leaving its contents scattered around the scene of the accident. As at press time last night, the remains of the damaged trailer and the empty cartons

Segun AJIBOYE of the malt drink were still left scattered along the railway line. An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, said the trailer was attempting to cross the railway line when the accident happened. “The trailer was going towards the Ilupeju when the accident happened,” the eyewitness said, adding that “I think the driver jumped off the vehicle before the train ran into it. Nobody was killed in the accident.”

the candidate of the ACN, Mr. Akeredolu, was taken at a meeting of over 200 volunteering coordinators of the groups held in Akure on August 27. Familusi, who said the campaign was to actualize the Yoruba integration agenda, enjoined the coordinators not to be deterred by the challenges they might face during the exercise. He said God Almighty and the spirit of the progenitor of the Yoruba race, Oduduwa, would protect them and ensure that Akeredolu emerge victorious in the October 20 election. The politician urged all citizenry to vote for the ACN and Akeredolu because the state could be left out in the Yoruba Integration Agenda, particularly at this moment when “all geopolitical zones are agitating for regional autonomy.” The coordinator of the ward-to-ward campaign, Mr. Olugbenga Ogundare, condemned the recent attitude of the state governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, and his supporters who allegedly went on the rampage in the ancient town of Owo, destroying billboards of opposition parties, including Akeredolu's posters and campaign office. He said the mayhem which the governor and his supporters unleashed on the people of the town in the name of political campaign was uncalled ,wondering why the people of the town should be held captive for two days as gunshots were heard all over the town and environs.

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WENTY-nine passengers were yesterday burnt to death after two buses in which they were travelling collided and burst into flames on the Potiskum-Kano road. Sixteen others were injured,according to Chief Superintedent Frank Mba,the deputy Force Public Relations Officer. The accident which occurred at Daniski village in the Nengere Local Government Area of Yobe State involved two Toyota Hiace buses travelling in opposite directions. 11 of the dead were burnt beyond recognition. Policemen from the Nengere Division and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NUTRW) raced to the scene of the accident on a rescue mission. The dead bodies were deposited at the mortuary, while the injured are receiving treatment in the hospital. The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Muhammed Abubakar, advised motorists to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy at all times. He also warned against reckless driving, over speeding, over loading and flagrant disobedience of traffic laws and regulations. He directed policemen attached to the newly rejuvenated Police Highway Patrol to work in conjunction with other security agencies with a view to preventing road accidents and rendering prompt assistance to victims of road mishaps on the highways. Meanwhile, all debris arising from the accident has since been cleared and normal traffic flow restored.

Listen to people’s cries, Gaidam begs Boko Haram

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OBE State governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, yesterday called on the leadership of Boko Haram to consider the cries of the poor people and those of numerous well-meaning Nigerians to bring an end to the current security challenges in the country. Governor Gaidam, would made the call in a special broadcast to the people of Yobe State in Damaturu yesterday, three days after he returned from the lesser hajj, also expressed his concern over the exodus of people from Damaturu, the state capital, despite efforts made by his administration to ensure security of life and property. “As for leadership and members of the Jama’atu ahlus-sunnati lidda’wati wal

Duku JOEL, Damaturu Jihad, my appeal to them is that it is time for them to listen to the numerous calls coming from many well-meaning individuals and groups as well as the prayers and cries of the thousands of the direct victims and perhaps millions of the indirect victims of these conflicts, the majority of whom are common men. Above all, they have to remember the Qur’anic injunction which calls for reciprocation whenever a party in a conflict sues for peace. We are appealing to them to put a stop to this conflict and come to the negotiation table in order to restore peace and normalcy in our state and indeed the country as a whole”, Governor Gaidam said.

Mobile policeman shoots soldier near Bonny camp Precious IGBONWELUNDU

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mobile police officer attached to Ladipo Division, Corporal Wedu Abau, yesterday shot a soldier at the Bonny Cantonment gate, Victoria Island, Lagos, leaving him severely injured. The officer who was immediately arrested and detained by the military police was said to be on an illegal duty as he was escorting a yet to be identified civilian. Abau, whose service number was given as SHC NO: 341012, was said to be armed with the AK 46 rifle with three magazines loaded and 81 rounds of ammunition. Eyewitnesses alleged that he opened fire on the soldier identified as Lance Corporal Mallam who was heading for the cantonment in an army ambulance following a minor argument. The Nation gathered that the soldier was in company with his colleagues and they were coming from the cemetery where they had gone to bury a fellow soldier. Our source said the soldier had come down from the ambulance to control the traffic to enable a Brigadier General gain access to the barrack. He said: “An argument ensued between the soldier and the policeman. All I saw was that the policeman came down from the blue colour Toyota Corolla car in which he was riding in, with registration number: Lagos EF20EKY and told the soldier that he was going to shoot him. And he carried out his threat. "After he had shot the soldier, the policeman tried to escape, but was stopped by soldiers at the cantonment gate.” He said the policeman was severely beaten before he was rescued by other Army personnel who took him to the Medical Resettlement Centre (MRS) in Bonny Cantonment for treatment. Another source at the barrack told The Nation that the wounded soldier had been admitted at the Military Hospital, Lagos “where surgeons are battling to save his life.” Our source said the state police command and the military were deliberating to resolve the issue peacefully, considering the insecurity rocking most parts of the country. The Assistant Director 81 Division, Lt Col. Kayode Ogunsanya, was unavailable for comment at the time of our visit. When contacted, the Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko said the matter had been resolved and that the police officer was currently in detention.


7

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

KANO STATE GOVERNMENT

KANO STATE MINISTRY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION PREAMBLE: In its quest to widen the horizon of its youth who are its future leaders, coupled with the desire to drastically reduce the level of unemployment, Kano State Government under the enviable leadership of His Excellency Engr. Dr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso has establish 20 Training Institutes.This includes the new Northwest University which is in addition to the Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil which he established during his first tenure. Most of the Institutions have already commenced academic activities at least their temporary sites. The Government has also resolved to establish 44-craft schools for the training of our youths who have shown flair for crafts and artisans in each of the 44 Local Government Areas of the State. Equally important to note is that Government will sponsor 100 teachers to specialize in Chinese language in preparation for the establishment of schools to be run completely in Chinese Language in Kano. This will also expand Trade Relationship between Nigeria and China. The idea of these sponsorships overseas does not negate/circumvent the concept of Local Sponsorship in various Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria.

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The administration has also deemed it apt to sponsor first and second class upper graduates of various disciplines to undergo Masters Degrees abroad. The First batch consisting of 501 will proceed with immediate effect. This is in addition to the sponsorship of 100 Brilliant secondary school Leavers to train in Medicine and another 100 in Piloting.

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Other tangible achievements recorded by the Kwankwaso Administration include the revival of feeding and issuance of 2sets each of uniform to pupils in primary schools in the State. The Government has also constructed 1,156 and 578 offices across many primary schools in the State.

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Below is the list of 501 successful candidates for the first batch of postgraduate sponsorship overseas:

NAME

PROGRAM

INSTITUTIONS

COUNTRY

LGA

1

AUWAL GIDADI YUSUF

MECHANICAL ENGR

LIONING UNIVERSITY,CHINA

CHINA

ABS

2

BATAIYA SARIYU SAFIYANU

B. AGRICULTURAL

KHARKIV AGRAGARIAN UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

ABS

3

FAHAD G ALIYU

COMPUTER NETWORK

MIDDLESEX UNI,U.A.E

DUBAI

ABS

4

MAI MOTA MARYAM SHEHU

LINGUISTICS

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

ABS

5

MUHAMMAD ABDULLAHI SANI

LINGUISTICS

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

ABS

6

PANDA ABUBAKAR NUHU

MA ARABIC

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

ABS

7

YUSUF AUWALU GIDADO

B. ENGR. MECHAN.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

ABS

8

AMINU MIKO

BSC GEOGRAPHY

FATIH UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

AJG

9

HABIBU BASHIR LABARAN

BSC APPLIED BIOLOGY

TURKEY

AJG

10

HADIZA KABIRU MADO

BSC ARCHITECTURE

OKAN UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

AJG

11

MUHAMMED MUSA UBA

MSC STATISTICS

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

AJG

12

SALEH SHEHU G.

BSC (EDU) ECONOMICS

KHARKIV UNI OF MUNICIPAL ECONOMY

UKRAINE

AJG

13

YA’U SABO AJINGI

APPLIED BIOLOGY

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

AJG

14

ABDULAZEEZ BELLO

ELECTRICAL/ELECTONICS

LIONING UNIVERSITY,CHINA

CHINA

BBJ

15

ADAMU SAB’IU HUSSAINI

B. AGRICULTURAL

KHARKIV AGRAGARIAN UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

BBJ

16

HUSSAIN YAKUBU

MSC STATISTICS

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

BBJ

17

KABIRU DALHATU

MSC CIVIL ENGR

LINTON UNIVERSITY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

BBJ

18

MUAZZAM ABUBAKAR SALIHU

ED(ARABIC)

KHARKIV PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

BBJ

19

SALISU IBRAHIM

MATHEMATICS

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

BBJ

20

ABDULKADIR ABUBAKAR BICHI

MSC COMPUTER SCIENCE

UNIVER OF TECHNOLOGY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

BCH

21

AHMAD MUSTAPHA ABUBAKAR

COMP. SCI.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

BCH

22

ALIYU ISA ALIYU

MATHEMATICS

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

BCH

23

AUWALU IBRAHIM

MSC STATISTICS

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

BCH

24

AUWALU S. ILIYASU

MSC TECH IN COMPT SCI

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

BCH

25

BALARABE SARKI ABDULLAHI

MSC ESTATE MANAGEMNEN

HERIOT WATT UNIVERSITY

DUBAI

BCH

26

BASHIR YUSUF BICHI

COMP ENGR

YASAR

TURKEY

BCH

27

BELLO HAMZA ABDULLAHI

B. ENG ELEKTRICAL

FATIH UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

BCH

28

DABO BASHIR

SURGERY

KHARKOV MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

BCH

29

ILIYASU AUWALU SANI

B. ENG COMPUTER

MEVLANA UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

BCH

30

KHADIJA SANI YAU

M A I.R.S

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

BCH

31

MUSTAPHA ABUBAKAR AHMAD

COMPUTER SYSTEM ENGR

LINTON UNIVERSITY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

BCH

S/N


8

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

KANO STATE GOVERNMENT KANO STATE MINISTRY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION 32

UMAR BALA UMAR

BSC GEOGRAPHY

FATIH UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

BCH

33

USMAN AHMAD

MSC INF TECHNOLOGY

HERIOT WATT UNIVERSITY

DUBAI

BCH

34

BASHIR UMAR

BSC ENG. ELECTRIC.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

BGW

35

BALA ABUBAKAR

ENGR. COMP.

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

BKR

36

BASHIR IDRIS RABI’U

BIOCHEMISTRY

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

BNK

37

BASHIR IDRIS RABIU

BSC PHYSICS

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

BNK

38

MUSTAPHA YUNUSA

HEALTH EDUC.

39

ABBA MAS’UD ALFANDA

B. ENGR CIVIL

FATIH UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DALA

40

ABDULLAHI IBRAHIM UBA

BSC BIOCHEMISTRY

OKAN UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DALA

41

ABDULLAHI SUNUSI AHMAD

BSC ECONOMICS

KHARKIV UNI OF MUNICIPAL ECONOMY

UKRAINE

DALA

42

ABDULLAHI YUSOUF

MATHEMATICS

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

DALA

43

ABUBAKAR GAMBO MUHAMMAD

PHYSICS

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

DALA

44

ABUBAKAR GAMBO MUHAMMED

BSC PHYSICS

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DALA

45

AHMAD LAWAN SABO

BSC IND. CHEM.

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

DALA

46

DAN AZUMI KAMAL

BSC CHEMISTRY

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

DALA

47

DR NAJEEBAALIYU G

MBBS

48

HUSSAIN SANI HASSAN

BSC ECONOMICS

KHARKIV UNI OF MUNICIPAL ECONOMY

UKRAINE

DALA

49

ISAH MUSA

MSC HEALTH CARE/ORG MNGT

CYPRUS INT UNIVERSITY

CYPRUS

DALA

50

KAMALU AMINU AHMAD

MSC CIVIL ENGR

LINTON UNIVERSITY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

DALA

51

MUAZU SANAH ABDULLAHI

COMP. SCI.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

DALA

52

MUHAMMAD SALIHU IBRAHIM

BIOCHEMISTRY

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

DALA

53

MUHAMMED HUSSAINI AIKAWA

NURSING

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

DALA

54

MUHYIDDEEN MUSA YAHYA

B. ENG ELEKTRICAL

ZIRVE UNIVERSITESI

TURKEY

DALA

55

MURTALA I. ADAKAWA

MSC MICROBIOLOGY

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

DALA

56

NURAABDULLAHI

MSC FOOD SCIENCE

NORTHUMBIA UNI

UNITED KINGDOM

DALA

57

SALIHU YAHUZA

BSC MICROBIOLOGY

FATIH UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DALA

58

SALISU MAMMAN ABDULRAHMAN

COMP ENGR

YASAR

TURKEY

DALA

59

SANAH AUWAL ABUBAKAR

COMPUTER SYSTEM ENGR

LINTON UNIVERSITY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

DALA

60

SANI SHARIF BASHIR

CHEMISTRY

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

DALA

61

SHUAIBU RUKAYYA BABALE

SURGERY

KHARKOV MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

DALA

62

ABBA KABIR TAFIDA

B. ENGR CIVIL

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DBT

63

ABBAS MUKTAR ADNAN

MSC CIVIL ENGR

LINTON UNIVERSITY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

DBT

64

ABDULRAHMAN AHMAD UMAR

MECHANICAL ENGR

LIONING UNIVERSITY,CHINA

CHINA

DBT

65

ABDULSALAM ALIYU MUHAMMAD

MSC COMPUTER ENGR

LINTON UNIVERSITY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

DBT

66

BALA MUHAMMAD S.

BSC/B.A SCIENCES

KHARKIV NATIONAL UNI. OF RADIO ELECTRONICS

UKRAINE

DBT

67

ISMAIL DANMARAYA ALIYU

MSC ECONOMICS

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

DBT

68

JAMILU A DENEJI

Economics

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DBT

69

SALIM JIBRIN DANBATTA

MSC COMPUTER SCIENCE

NEAR EAST UNIVERSITY,TURKEY

TURKEY

DBT

70

USMAN ANAS ALIYU

COMP. SCI.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

DBT

71

YUSUF GARBA DAMBATTA

B. ENG COMPUTER

MEVLANA UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DBT

72

FAHAD JIBRIN ABDU

B. ENG ELEKTRICAL

MEVLANA UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DGW

73

LAWAL NURA

ZOOLOGY

KHARKOV MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

DGW

74

SURAJO MUHAMMAD

COMPUTER SYSTEM ENGR

LINTON UNIVERSITY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

DGW

75

USMAN HARUNA ABDU

MEDICINE

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

DGW

76

ABDULLAHI MUSA RABIU

BSC IND. CHEM.

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

DKD

77

ABDULSALAM SALMANU SAFIYANU

B. AGRICULTURAL

KHARKIV AGRAGARIAN UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

DKD

78

ADAM MUHAMMAD SUNUSI

B. ENGR. MECHAN.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

DKD

79

AMINU MUHAMMED

B. ENG ELEKTRICAL

MEVLANA UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DKD

80

DANHASSAN ABDULBAKI UMAR

AGRIC. ENGR.

KHARKIV AGRAGARIAN UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

DKD

81

DAYYABU TIJANI

B. ENGR CIVIL

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DKD

82

FAROUK ABDULMUNAF UMAR

PHYSIOTHERAPY

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

DKD

83

HASSAN IBRAHIM

SOIL SCIENCE

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

DKD

84

IBRAHIM KHALIL UMAR

B. ENGR CIVIL

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DKD

85

JAAFAR SULAIMAN ZANGINA

B. ENG ELEKTRICAL

MEVLANA UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DKD

86

MUATAPHA YUNUSA

HEALTH EDU

87

MUNZALI SHAMSU ZUBAIRU

BSC MICROBIOLOGY

Gediz Universitesi

TURKEY

DKD

88

SAMINU JAMILU

B. ENGR. MECHAN.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

DKD

89

SANI ABUBAKAR SADIQ

SURGERY

KHARKOV MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

DKD

90

SHAMSU TUKUR AUWAL

MECHANICAL ENGR

LIONING UNIVERSITY,CHINA

CHINA

DKD

BNK

DALA

DKD


9

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

I

N S Africa this week Nobel Lau reate Bishop Desmond Tutu re portedly refused to share the same platform with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair on the excuse that the latter lied on the well known rationale for the invasion of Iraq during the second Gulf War, which was that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when it turned out, according to the experts then, that Iraq had no such weapons. As far as Desmond Tutu was concerned leadership and morality are inseparable and since the former British PM had breached one, he had breached both and his company is to be avoided by those who value good leadership which is or should be rooted in respect for morality. Although Tony Blair had defended himself that it was later found that Saddam Hussein -the former Iraqi leader that Tony Blair and his American friend, former US president George Bush pursued to Iraq – had used chemical weapons to kill thousands of Iraqi citizens there is no doubt that Tony Blair’s image had been badly shaken if not damaged by the snub from an internationally respected anti apartheid and human rights Nobel laureate of the caliber of Desmond Tutu. That really throws up the topic of today and I start on the first observation that on this matter not all that glitters is gold. This is because first and foremost, leadership is not always a popularity contest and though Desmond Tutu is right that leadership and morality go hand in hand, leadership roles should be assessed and judged in the context of the prevailing circumstances in which they occur. Away from the rhetorics of the aftermath of the 2001, 9/11 bombing of the Twin Towers of New York by Al Qada both Tony Blair may look like war mongers and cheap liars today to people like Desmond Tutu. But then did they really go to war then on a false excuse and could they have left Saddam alone with his taunts of US impotence in the face of the horror of the 9/11 horror ? The answer to this question will go a long way to show whether Desmond Tutu’s rebuff of Tony Blair, 12 years after 9/11 is not just an oversimplified reaction similar to that of S African sage Nelson Mandela who called then US President George Bush an idiot for invading Iraq in 2003. Before doing this however there is need to look at events in the world in the last few days in the context of the leadership mantra or benchmark that Bishop Tutu has imposed on the former British PM namely the inseparability of leadership and morality. Of course we start with S Africa where police shot dead 34 miners at a platinum plant and where the miners have refused to resume work ever since . The shooting itself is unbelievable in a S Africa run by blacks having a situation where such a large number of workers can be gunned down over a demand for increase in wages. Secondly we examine an event at the Confab of Non Aligned nations in Teheran hosted by Iran this week and attended by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. We look also at Angela Merkel,s trip to China and its implications for business and human rights. We round up finally on the resignation of Nigeria’s Power Minister Barth Nnaji and the insinuations over the integrity of the privatization process in the power sector of the country. The shooting of so many miners in S Africa was compounded by the announcement by the Prosecuting authorities in that nation that about 270 workers are to be charged with murder on a count of ‘collective purpose ‘ for being in the crowd that confronted police before the 34 workers were killed. This is said to be in tune with the ‘common law ‘ - which I think is so much balder-

Global leadership and morality

dash. The shooting by the police is to be investigated according to President Jacob Zuma who has visited the mines and had expressed his shock at the incident. Surely the charging of workers who survive police shooting in a crowd is very strange tale indeed and it seems something is rotten in the state of S Africa as it exists today. I wonder what Desmond Tutu would make of this. This is because he recently criticized the poor housing for S Africans so many years after the swearing in of Nelson Mandela as first black president in 1994 . Definitely there is something inherently abhorrent and highly immoral in a government voted into power in a democracy like the ANC was in S Africa, now having its police shooting workers and charging those who did not get shot for murder, while awaiting the result of the Inquiry on those already killed by the Police. Really is S Africa now a police state or a state run by the ANC as the ruling party, the Trade Unions and the Communist Party? I honestly think Desmond Tutu should not be seen dead not only with Tony Blair but also the entire leadership of the ANC in S Africa

starting with President Jacob Zuma. At the Conference of Non Aligned nations hosted by Iran in Teheran the new Egyptian president, Muhammed Mursi attacked the President of Syria , Bashar Assad as an oppressor and called on him to stop killing his people. He then called on the Non Aligned Movement headed by Egypt which handed the leadership to Iran, to back the uprising against Assad in Syria. To me the Egyptian president stands on a high moral ground of regional leadership in denouncing the Murderer of Damascus which Assad has become in global terms. This is because President Mursi himself has been both a victim of oppression in Egypt as well as a beneficiary of the sort of uprising out to depose Assad in Syria. I am positive Desmond Tutu will have no qualms sharing the same platform with the new Egyptian president for his stand against the Assad oppression in Teheran this week. Also Chancellor Angela Merkel was in China this week and immediately on her arrival China announced that it was buying 50 Aero bus planes at over $3bn. This is a boost to the economy of Germany and that of Western European na-

tions which collaborate to produce the planes. At this tome of austerity measures all over Europe the Chinese purchase is God sent to Germany which is bailing out the PIGS of Europe in the euro zone. Definitely German engineering and the export-driven German economy will have a jolly time executing the big order. This however is not the time to talk of China’s poor human rights record or its selective and guided democracy or the dictatorship of the Communist Party of China which holds that vast nation in its iron grip and control. Can Desmond Tutu share a platform with Angel Merkel? I really don’t know. Lastly Nigeria’s Power Minister Minister Barth Nnaji’s resignation has raised some dust but the Minister seemed convinced that he has done the right thing by the energy sector and it is time to move on. The President of the Republic has accepted his resignation and that is as it should be. The issues that were raised border on leadership and morality. Should a serving Minister have undisclosed interest in a company bidding to buy a public utility about to be sold under privatization? The answer is no. Whether the Minister disclosed his interest too early or too late is not the issue. The anomally has been nipped in the bud before consummation and that is important. It is also proper to bear in mind that in driving the privatization platform of PHCN so far and so resolutely this Minister stepped on a lot of big toes both within and without the power sector. However and whatever one can say, there is no denying that power supply has been more regular in recent times than before and that is unprecedented and has happened under the watch of this Minister who

has just resigned. To me, for leading us somewhat out of perennial darkness into some regular light at the end of a never ending tunnel of gloom; and knowing when to resign and get off the bus at his station I think this Power Minister may share the same platform with the famous Desmond Tutu at least in Abuja if not in Jo’ burg Now let us end with S Africa and the weapons of mass destruction that were never found but with which Tony Blair and George Bush drove the Iraqi invasion then. With the benefit of hindsight one can really question the integrity of the process that claimed the weapons of mass destruction were not found. This is because the then head of the International Nuclear Energy AgencyINEA-Mohammed EL Baradei – who led the insistence then that the weapons of mass destruction were not available in Iraq was an Arab, indeed an Egyptian, who during the later part of the recent Mubarak dictatorship collapse, attempted , albeit unsuccessfully, to contest for the presidency of Egypt. El Baradei later got a Nobel Prize like Desmond Tutu for his effort on the unavailability of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq - to the admiration of the powerful anti war lobby in the US and Europe which still has a robust hatred for both Blair and Bush over the invasion of Iraq . In effect then, and in the light of the possible deductions thrown up by hindsight; and at the great risk of being accused of holding brief for Tony Blair, I urge the good Bishop Desmond Tutu to have an open mind and sue for a reconsideration of the matter of refusal to share platforms on the ground that after all said and done, one may not need a long spoon to dine with the former British PM.


10 COMMENTARY

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Cynthia: Beyond robbery theory vincentakanmode@yahoo.com

A

regrettable feature of life is that evil men and women abound. The trag edy of it is that people of good nature see wolves in human cloaks and think they are doves. Because they are of such good nature that they would not hurt a fly, they presume that every other person is similarly inclined. Hence, they put their trust in felons who bare their fangs and leave them regretting. In worse instances, the good fellow does not live to tell the story. That was the fate that befell Cynthia Osokogu, a charming 24-year-old daughter of an army general and post-graduate student of the Nasarawa State University allegedly murdered in a Lagos hotel by two men she had met through two seemingly harmless social media called Facebook and Black Berry. As the story goes, Okwoma Nwabufor, a 33-year-old man Cynthia had met on Facebook, had told her that he had a stock of clothes she could buy at much cheaper rates than she had been buying them for the boutique she operated in Keffi, Nasarawa State. The hardworking tradercum-student was attracted by the offer. Pronto, she cleared her shop of the old stock and headed for Lagos to keep an appointment with Nwabufor. Upon her arrival at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, she was received by Nwabufor and a cousin of his named Odera Ezekiel. From the airport, they led her straight to a hotel room they had booked at the FESTAC part of Lagos

where the lifeless body of Cynthia was later found amid a sea of used condoms. The errant cousins, according to the police, admitted that they strangled Cynthia to death because they were hugely disappointed that she did not come to the hotel with a lot of cash as they had envisaged. They, however, denied having any sexual intercourse with her in spite of the numerous used condoms that littered the room. The condoms, said Nwabufor, were worn for a vibrator Cynthia brought with her to the hotel room. Unfortunately, based on the confessions of Nwabufor and Ezekiel, not a few commentators dismissed Cynthia as a licentious young woman who, in the carefree pursuit of erotic pleasure, fell prey of two fiends masquerading as friends. But the more I think about the circumstances in which Cynthia was gruesomely murdered, the confessions of her alleged killers and the testimonies of her friends and associates, the more I am persuaded that the principled resistance she put up against her assailants resulted in the frustration that made them to kill her. For instance, Aishatu Ella, the lady reputed as her closest friend, recalled how men had sweated in vain to have her even with lorry loads of money. She came from a family where she lacked virtually nothing. As a youth corps member, her father gave her a car as gift and her well-to-do elder brothers ensured she lacked nothing. At 24, she was already a post-graduate student simultaneously as she ran a business outfit she held dear to her heart. All these are evidence of the serious-minded fellow she must have been, and her assailants must have done enough home work to know that the only bait they could lure her with was an attractive business proposal. It is gratifying to hear that both the police and members of Cynthia’s family are agreed that her killers were nothing but robbers. Their motive, they insist, began and ended

•Late Cynthia Osokogu with robbing Cynthia of money. And when it looked like she was too smart for them, they killed her out of frustration. And still in their blind search for evil money, even after they had killed her, they pretended to be kidnappers and called the family to demand for N20 million as ransom. The robbery theory allayed the fear I had nursed when the story broke on account of the circumstances that surrounded the death of the hapless woman. I had read Heather Graham’s novel, Dead on the Dance Floor, and the details of Cynthia’s death were a rep-

lica of the mode of operation of a syndicate that lured innocent women into pornography. With the aid of drugs like the rohypnol Nwabufor and Ezekiel admitted they put in three packs of Ribena for Cynthia, the syndicate would lure innocent women to bed. They would then sleep with the halfconscious women and record the scenes with a video camera they had planted in the room. They do this for two purposes. The first is to sell the video tapes of the erotic sessions to pornography outfits that pay huge sums in return. The syndicate usually strangles the victims to death so that she does not stand the chance of seeing the video later and protest. On the other hand, the syndicate uses the recording to blackmail their victim, threatening to release the film to the victim’s husband or even to the public if she fails to provide any amount of money they demand from her. That is why the targets are usually wealthy women or wives of wealthy men who can afford the huge sums they would demand as ransom from time to time. While I sincerely hope that Cynthia’s heartless killers were not working for such syndicates, the natural question remains what they did with the numerous used condoms found in the hotel room. And if they were worn for a vibrator Cynthia purportedly brought to the hotel room for her, what did they hope to achieve or avoid by doing so? Indeed, what is the assurance that the vibrator they claimed was brought into the hotel by Cynthia is not one of their own pornographic instruments? Sadly, Cynthia is no longer here to tell her own side of the story. I see her experience as a wake-up call for single and married women, given the cruel possibilities that can occasion their social interactions with men like Ezekiel and Nwabufor. A word, they say, is enough for the wise.

The Jonathan we want to know Knucklehead

T

HE iconic wordsmith of all times, William Shakespeare was dead right when he penned the inimitable maxim: “There is flattery in friendship.” And so, I want to believe that a large dose of obsequiousness needlessly crept into the piece titled ‘The Jonathan they don’t know’ written by President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Dr. Reuben Abati. However, it is not difficult to understand why what was meant to be an engaging insight into the day-to-day governance style of the President ended up exposing not only the sheer inadequacies in government circles but also the high-level of official sycophancy that demeans its essence. Let me hasten to point out here that this government reserves the right to, intelligently so, engage and defend itself against any unfair badgering by its growing league of critics. However, it does the government no good when those charged with such responsibility offer tendentious excuse to explain away matters of national importance or, in fits of angst, abuse the privilege that power confers on them. America’s first President, George Washington, it was who said, “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” The greatest undoing of the Jonathan administration is that it has continuously offered bad excuses to cover up a wailing incompetence. The logical question for a thinking mind to ponder is how did a man who was overwhelmingly voted into power in a historic election become the world’s “most criticised” President? And that assertion by Jonathan is not only bloated and but also fundamentally flawed. Rather than find an answer to the worrisome question, the Presidency opted to blame it all on those whom Abati labelled derisively as “cynics, the pestle-wielding critics, the unrelenting, self-appointed activists, the idle and idling, twittering, collective children of anger, the distracted crowd of Facebook addicts, the BBM-pinging soap opera gossips of Nigeria, who seem to be in competition among themselves to pull down President Goodluck Jonathan.” Pestle-wielding critics? How on earth would these folks penetrate a fortified fortress like Aso Villa with their local pestles? If I may ask, is it not a curious twist of fate that, some few months back, these same “army of sponsored and self-appointed anarchists” who “don’t even know why or how they should attack the president” came out, against many odds, to support the candidacy of Jonathan? How and when did the relationship get bad that these one-time twittering friends of the President are now seen as “unintelligent people repeating stupid clichés and too many intelligent persons wasting their talents lending relevance to thoughtless” beer parlour gossips? We may excuse the presidential insults but we can definitely not forget the social contract between the President and the people. If the prevalent perception among Nigerians is that he is clueless, it is because a cloud of doubt hangs over his ability to navigate the ship of state to a desired destination. Surely, not all those who ask the

President to sit on his bum and face the challenges of nationhood are doing so out of mischief or pure hate. Certainly, not all citizens who call on their President to competently discharge the statutory responsibilities he was elected to perform can be addressed as nonentities. They cannot all be anarchists, ‘alasejus’ and a bunch of unintelligent whiners with the sole aim of pulling Jonathan down! That some persons enjoy the President’s ears does not necessarily mean that they like him more than those who point out his awful missteps! For all we know, they might just be the friends to nudge Jonathan into action and secure a better place in history. For the avoidance of doubt, the average Nigerian has been longing to see the perfect image of the President as painted by Abati. They wish to encounter, in flesh and blood, the “clever, methodical and intelligent man” in Abati’s paintings. Because they have heard so much about his commitment to the nation and the consciousness of the “historicity of his emergence as Nigeria’s No. 1" citizen from Otuoke in Bayelsa State, they expect him to do things differently. If he suffered the pangs of hunger and experienced the indignity of walking bare-footed to a village school, then they expect him to do everything within his power to rewrite the story for the millions of Nigerians who are still caught up in the poverty trap. Of course, they know it is not going to be an easy task. However, they just cannot understand why his body language speaks of a man who is completely overwhelmed by the challenges of his office. Governments, I must repeat, are not run by excuses. Government becomes effective when those in charge deal with the challenges of their epoch; the challenges that confront them and the people they lead. That is why Nigerians voted for this ‘clever, methodical and intelligent man’. They expect him to employ that intelligence in tackling the general insecurity in the land. They want him to rein in the corrupt elements within the system and be methodical in addressing issues of infrastructural decay and sundry matters. They want to see a President that is firm, fair and just. In short, they assume they voted for a man that has the capacity to withstand the heat in the kitchen—a man that would rather not give excuse instead of offering bad ones! Nigerians expect deliverables from their President as against canticles. When they ask him for concrete evidence that he is building roads, his retort was “Were there roads across the country and Jonathan brought flood to wipe these roads?” No sir! When they complained about the crisis in the energy sector, he fired back: “Did we have power and I brought hurricane to break down the entire infrastructure?” No sir! When they ask him to create jobs and reduce the rate of unemployment, he reminded them that the Boko Haram insurgence constitutes a major hindrance to the transformation agenda. And so? When they say poverty is at the heart of the insurgence and needed to be fixed fast, Mr. President was always fast in asking: “were there massive irrigation projects in the

With

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

North where agriculture and massive farms can thrive and Jonathan brought drought to wipe out these farms? Not really. When they ask him to rev the engine a bit faster, he asked them to wait for a surprise package in 2013. Hmnn! In addition, when they say they are confounded by the somewhat laid-back approach to governance, the acidic response was always swift and damning – “pestle wielding critics, anarchists and unintelligent twittering” lot!” Pray, how does this justify non-performance? In all this, we accept the fact that the President is entitled to some personal choices as long as they do not affect the health of the nation. All the same, it is refreshing that we were offered an insight into his culinary choices - fish pepper soup, cassava bread, slices of yam, rice, boiled plantain, fruits and vegetables. We now know that he drinks his coffee in the company of intelligent people and not in the midst of the unlearned lovers of kain-kain who have been diagnosed with a debilitating disease called Saul Complex. Is it possible that this growing tribe of critics could not accept the fact that a simple man like Jonathan could be favoured by God? Are these pestle-wielding anarchists vilifying the President the same way Saul did to David out of uncontrollable jealousy? Are we so far gone in our unprovoked hatred for all things Jonathan that we have failed to see the intrinsic values of a simple man that is a combination of Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Kwame Nkrumah? Would it not be better to clasp our hands, withdraw into our shells and watch as Jonathan begins the ‘transformation agenda’ process of simplifying what his predecessors complicated? Are the select few in the corridors of power, Aso Villa banqueters and other participants in the gross sharing of our commonwealth seeing the Jonathan that we, the people would love to see? This last question brings one into the realm of selective perception and epistemology – an entire discourse for another time and nonetheless, a psychological and philosophical basis of efforts to understand why our leaders and other VIPs (Vagabonds in Power?) see Nigeria and the issues of leadership through a completely different prism. From their privileged position in the villa, do these folks know the Jonathan the way we want to know him?


LIFE & STYLE/ 41

SCREEN/ 23

‘How I deal with advances from men’

‘I never thought I’d be minister, considering my background’

‘Why the month of August is significant to South East women’

INTERVIEW / 48-49

Weekend

PEOPLE THE NATION, Saturday, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Relat io

nship

11

My encounter with my sister's suspected killers -Cynthia’s eldest brother Kenneth


12

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

'The suspects already killed my sister before demanding N20m ransom' Kenneth Osokogu, an officer in the Nigerian Air Force, is the eldest of the four children of Major General Frank Osokogu. He was the first person to be contacted by Cynthia's alleged killers. In a telephone interview with YUSUFU AMINU IDEGU, Kenneth said her younger sister's 'killers' were not kidnappers but suspected armed robbers.

W

ILL any of Cynthia’s burial activities take place in Jos? No. We are not coming to Jos. We will take her straight to Delta State. We did not plan any burial activity in Jos. What was the discussion you had with Cynthia’s abductors? You see, don’t ascribe the incident to kidnapping. If you look at it critically, it was not a case of kidnapping. Those guys were criminals who pretended to be friends. She met them on the Facebook and they had discussions for some time on Facebook before they arranged for her trip to Lagos. They warmly received her at the airport in Lagos on arrival and took her to a hotel where they had booked accommodation for her. They thought she was coming with a large sum of money to buy her stock, because they told her they had stocks she could get at cheaper rates. They killed her the very day she arrived the hotel. May be because they did not find any cash on her, they tortured her as a way of forcing her to disclose her bank details. They drugged her as soon as she got to the hotel and she must have lost control. So, she could not give them enough information about her bank account. They asked her of her ATM card and she told them she did not use ATM card. She used cheques. So, when they tried and could not get money from her, they killed her the same day. Why then did they call you to ask for ransom? When they failed to get money from her, they made efforts to get money from the family. That was when they contacted me and the remaining members of the family, asking for N20 million. At the time they were making the demand, she was already dead. They had killed her, but they were not satisfied with that. They also wanted to dupe the family by giving us the impression that she was being held hostage by them. Did you or any member of the family

•Late Cynthia

offer them any money? No, I could not have done that. When they gave the impression that they were kidnappers, I also decided to deal with them in that sense by asking them to allow me to talk with my sister before making the payment. They refused, saying they would not allow me access to her unless I paid the sum. I asked them how I would pay the money and they gave an account number. And I thought kidnappers don’t give account numbers; they ask you to drop the cash somewhere. Real kidnappers will also allow you to talk to the victims because they often used

their captives to facilitate the release of their ransom. But in this case, they never allowed us to communicate with my sister and we found that unusual of kidnappers. So, we felt it was something more than kidnapping. We also reasoned that kidnappers keep their victims for days while they negotiate their ransom. But in our case, they killed Cynthia before demanding for ransom. They were just desperate to make money and they were using any means available. How were they communicating with you? After killing my sister, they took her SIM card and put it in another phone to call me.

Within the period of communication, they used different handsets. They put her SIM card in one phone and called one member of the family. After that, they would put the same SIM in another phone to call another person, and so on. MTN confirmed this fact to us. So, from the way they acted, you can’t call them kidnappers. They are armed robbers and their target was to rob her of cash. How do you feel losing your only sister? My feeling can better be imagined. If it is you, how would you feel? Terrible, of course... So, you see.

My only consolation… —Cynthia's mother

•Mrs. Ritta Nkem Osokogu, her mom

AS would be expected, the parents of the late Miss Cynthia Osokogu have been in serious anguish since their beloved daughter was gruesomely murdered in a Lagos hotel last month. She was found dead in the hotel located in FESTAC part of the city, believed to have been killed by two men she had met on Facebook. They had invited her over to Lagos from her base in Keffi, Nasarawa State, for a business deal only to turn round to kill her when it dawned on them that she had not come to the hotel with a lot of money like they had anticipated. The parents and siblings of the late Cynthia have been talking calmly over the incident each time they have to speak to the media, but deep inside them is the feeling of a deep cut into their heart. As a disciplined family, their approach to the incident has been diplomatic. Behind the

façade of calmness is a deep pain over the big vacuum created by the death of the family’s only daughter. The parents had invested heavily in her education like they did for her three elder siblings who are all men. Her burial is scheduled to hold next Friday in Delta State where the father hails from. The whole attention of the family is now focused on giving their beloved daughter a befitting burial, having had to commit her to mother earth at a time they thought she was just beginning her life. Lamenting the death of her beloved daughter in a chat with our correspondent at the family house in Jos, Cynthia’s mother, Mrs. Ritta Nkem Osokogu, said: “This is the greatest disaster our family has ever witnessed. I have four children in my marriage to my husband, made up of three males and one female. The only female was


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

•Cynthia with another of her brothers, Williams

•Cynthia (right) with a friend at the NYSC Camp in Jos

•Late Cynthia flanked by her parents at her graduation from secondary school

•Cynthia with her mom

•Cynthia and Ene during her internship

•Late Cynthia

My daughter was a star right from birth. God gave her beauty and she stood out among her peers. That was why I said God, her Creator, will not allow anyone that has a hand in her death to sleep. God did not make her so beautiful for nothing. God had a purpose for creating her like that

Cynthia. I don’t know why God should allow this to happen to her. “Maybe God wants to use her as a lesson for other girls on this social media thing. But whatever it is, it’s painful, Cynthia herself might not have wished to die now. She was full of life, hopeful and determined. “If you kill somebody when it is not her time to die, the blood of that person will revenge. I believe the blood of my daughter will not be shed in vain because it was never her wish to die at the time they killed her.” She added: “My only consolation is the way and manner security agencies have worked tirelessly to apprehend the killers. In this same country, so many important people have been killed and there have been no trace of the killers. But in this case, the security

agents were prompt in picking the killers and they are now facing trial. “The work of the media also consoled me. They were able to tell the whole world what happened to my daughter and, up till now, they are still following up the case. They never allowed the case to die down. “Nevertheless, I am in deep pain. I never wished any of my children to die before me. How this one happened, it is only God that has the answer. “My daughter was a star right from birth. God gave her beauty and she stood out among her peers. That was why I said God, her Creator, will not allow anyone that has a hand in her death to sleep. God did not make her so beautiful for nothing. God had a purpose for creating her like that.”

•The suspects

•Late Cynthia at the NYSC orientation camp during her service year


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

The last intimate thing Cynthia and I discussed was her marriage —Most intimate friend Aishatu Ene Ella was the most intimate friend to Cynthia Osokogu, the only daughter of Major General Frank Osokogu, who was murdered in Lagos recently. They were friends from childhood, grew together and schooled together. In this interview with YUSUFU AMINU IDEGU, she captures the kind of lady the late post-graduate student of Nasarawa State University was and her lifestyle in general.

She told of a man that had asked of her hand in marriage. So many men had discussed marriage with her but she never gave them a chance except this particular man, and I told her that we should commit it to prayer

•Ene Ella

H

OW did you meet the late Cynthia? I had known Cynthia for many years. We were close neighbours and friends for 15 years. We were childhood friends and were close friends until she died. I am older than her because I should be about the same age with her immediate elder brother. But her lifestyle attracted me to her. She was such an obedient lady. She hailed from Delta State while I am from Benue State. But the way we went about together, we were like twins. We schooled together in Jos and stayed in the same area as close neighbours. She was my junior in secondary school. I attended the University of Jos and she went to Nasarawa State Polytechnic. We were visiting each other in our hostels. Were you aware of her last trip to Lagos? She used to tell me each time she wanted to travel. She told me about the trip to Lagos. She told me she met some business people who told her they had goods and stuff she could buy at cheaper rates. That was what prompted her trip to Abuja. She was purely on business trip to Lagos. She was such a hardworking and determined person that she did not have time for social activities. The business people she thought she was going to meet turned out to be criminals. She never had any premonition of this. Before she travelled, she had already cleared her shop of old stock because she thought she was going to Lagos to purchase new stock to fill up her shop, not knowing she had fallen into the hands of criminals. How many friends do you have? In all my life, I have made so many friends.

I have made friends in schools and at home but most of them did not last. We got to part ways for one reason or the other. That was the difference with the kind of relationship I had with Cynthia. We related so well for 15 years before death did us part. I don’t think I can have another friend like Cynthia. She had no equal. She was naturally different, kind and extra-obedient. Maybe those were attributes the criminals exploited. In Jos, we slept together and bathed together. We did almost everything together. Whenever she came to Abuja for anything, she would stay with me. I also visited her in Keffi. In fact, all the clothes I wore, she supplied them and she hardly took money for them. Any stuff I told her I liked, she went the extra mile to get them for me, just because we were friends. Apart from that, we shared our privacy

together. She was the only one I discussed my secrets with and she also discussed hers with me from time to time. That was the level of intimacy we shared as friends. It was more than just friendship; the intimacy was so strong that she shared with me what she would not tell her mother. What was the last intimate issue she discussed with you? It was about her marriage plan. She told of a man that had asked of her hand in marriage. So many men had discussed marriage with her but she never gave them a chance except this particular man, and I told her that we should commit it to prayer. She was such a beautiful girl that any man would like to come close to. She won a beauty contest during her NYSC days. She defeated every other female corps member in camp to

She won many prizes because of her beauty. She was conscious of her beauty and she never allowed any man to take advantage of her. I can swear that she would not have given those criminals a chance if they were discussing social issues. They used her business to lure her

win Miss NYSC in Jos. She won many prizes because of her beauty. She was conscious of her beauty and she never allowed any man to take advantage of her. I can swear that she would not have given those criminals a chance if they were discussing social issues. They used her business to lure her. How close is Cynthia to her family? Like I told you, we were childhood friends. My parents and hers lived in the same place in Jos. That was what brought us close. Cynthia was the last born of the family. She was, therefore, the most loved, particularly as she was the only female of the four siblings. She was trained like all her elder brothers. She came from a highly disciplined family and she was really a disciplined lady. She was closer to her mother than the rest. She kept talking about her mother any time we discussed. She so much loved her mother and her mother loved her as well. She would tell you that her mother would not want her to do this or that. If I advised her at times, she would scream, ‘Ah! My mum will not want any of such. She has been warning me. I don’t want to offend my mum.’ In short, her mother was her idol in the entire family. And being the only female among the four, her elder brothers loved her so much that they would not want her to lack anything. They protected her like an egg. How did you receive the news of her death? All the family members—the father, the mother and her elder brothers—knew me and her together. We all relate together as if I am a member of their family. When the criminals contacted the family, demanding for ransom, the mother called me to ask if I had heard from her or if anyone called over her daughter. I tried her line but it was not going. The next idea I had was to run to Jos immediately to meet the mother. So, I was in Jos with the mother while they were discussing with the kidnappers. All I was doing was to pray for her safety. But it was late. The last call to the mom was from the police in Lagos. They called the mother to Lagos to identify her. When we got the police call, we were told that she was not dead, but that the mother needed to come to Lagos unfailingly. She went and discovered her daughter’s dead body. How are you missing her? As I am talking to you, I am yet to come to the reality of her death. It does not seem real to me. I keep telling myself it is a lie. I had never lost someone so close to me. I wished she never made the trip to Lagos. If I knew of the danger ahead, I would have stopped her from going to Lagos. I am finding it difficult to recover from the shock that Cynthia is no more. You can imagine all the struggle she had undergone. What could she have done to deserve this? This is someone who cannot even hut a fly. I have no other friend like her. I am now left alone.

FESTAC: A town in need of moral salvation—Pages 19-21


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THE NATION, SATURDAY,SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Varsity employee dies in prophet’s house seeking spiritual help T

HE 25-year-old marital bliss of Mrs. Silifat Age ended abruptly penultimate Thursday following the death of her husband, Mr. Sulaiman Age, in controversial circumstances. The 49-yearold deceased employee of a first generation university was said to have died in the house of a prophet where he had gone in search of spiritual help. Speaking at the residence of the deceased on No 39, Ogunleye Street, Bariga, Lagos State, his widow explained that becoming a widow was the last thing on her mind at the time her husband was leaving for work on the day of the incident. She said: “If anyone had told me that I would become an emergency widow, I would have dismissed it as rubbish. This is because my husband was hale and hearty when he was leaving home for work on that day. In his usual manner, he gave me some money to prepare food for him and he promised to return early. And true to his word, he returned early and full of life only to hurriedly leave for the prophet’s house. I did not know it was a journey of no return.” The deceased, a native of Epe and father of seven, who also functioned as a part-time disc jockey (DJ), was said to have told his wife that he wanted to visit a prophet, whose name was given simply as Jegun, at Ajenifuja, Bariga, Lagos, only to be found dead in front of the prophet’s house the following morning. Speaking further, the deceased’s widow said when her husband returned from work that Thursday, he told her about his planned visit to the prophet. But she became worried when the deceased did not return on that day while all the efforts made to speak with him on the phone failed as his phone was switched off. Hence, she set out early on Friday August 24 to search for him only to find his lifeless body in front of the prophet’s house. She said when she got to the prophet’s house, there were bloodstains on the wall of his building and the gate, and when she demanded explanation from Prophet Jegun about the incident, the prophet denied knowing anything about her husband’s death. She said: ‘‘I was in my shop at about 6pm on that Thursday (August 23) when my husband returned from work and told me that he wanted to visit the prophet for spiritual consultation. He told me that Prophet Jegun was introduced to him by one of our neighbours called Uncle Bola. He, however, did not disclose the full details about his visit to the prophet. ‘‘When it was becoming late and we did not see him, I called his phone at about 8pm but it was switched off. That was when I started looking for him. I then went to Ilaje Police Station, Bariga, to know if they had received any report of auto-accident, because he left my shop on his motorcycle. But the police said there was no such report and that they had not come across such name. “I then went back to our neighbour, Uncle Bola, who my husband said introduced the prophet to him. But instead of Uncle Bola taking us to the prophet’s house, he only told us how to get there. When we got to the prophet’s house, we saw my husband’s lifeless body outside covered with a

•Prophet, wife, one other suspect arrested •The prophet’s residence

•The late Age

•Age’s body

Kunle AKINRINADE nylon and plywood while his motorcycle was packed in front of the prophet’s house. “I asked the prophet how my husband died but he denied knowing anything about his death. Reluctantly, he said that my husband had gasped for breath with blood coming out of his mouth when he arrived his house. That was when I suspected his complicity in the death of my husband who was hale and hearty at the time he came to inform me of his visit to the prophet’s house. “I ran back to the police station to report the incident. The prophet, his wife and Uncle Bola were immediately arrested.” Calling for justice in the matter, she said: ‘‘When my husband was leaving for the Prophet’s house, he had some money on him, which he told me he withdrew from the bank and he kept it in a purse. Although I did not know the actual amount, when we saw his body, we did not see the purse and the phone. It was only the motorcycle that we saw. ‘‘I am crying to the authorities not to let my husband die in vain and to see that all those involved in his killing are brought to book. My children are still young and are about to enter higher institutions, but the breadwinner of the family has been killed. “Please, help me out of this big problem because my husband had promised to sponsor all his children to any level of education they wished to attain. Now, that may

I asked the prophet how my husband died but he denied knowing anything about his death. Reluctantly, he said that my husband had gasped for breath with blood coming out of his mouth when he arrived his house. That was when I suspected his complicity in the death of my husband who was hale and hearty at the time he came to inform me of his visit to the prophet’s house

,

become an unfulfilled dream. I cannot shoulder the burden of taking care of our children alone because of my meager income. “My late husband was an easy-going, generous and loving person who would not hurt a fly. I wonder what could have happened between him and the prophet, which eventually led to his death.” The deceased’s eldest child, Sikirat, said she was in her mother’s store when their late father returned from work and said he was going to see the prophet, whom he said was introduced to him by one of our neighbours called Uncle Bola. “My father did not even wait to eat the meal prepared for him by my mother who had insisted that he should eat before setting out on the ill-fated journey. He had promised to quickly see the prophet and

return to have his dinner. Unfortunately, that was not to be. ‘‘When it was a few minutes past 8 pm and we did not see my father, we became worried and decided to call his mobile phone but it was switched off. My mother and I then went to see Uncle Bola, whom our father said introduced the prophet to him. But instead of the man taking us to the prophet, he only gave us the direction to the prophet’s house. We were stunned to see my father’s lifeless body in front of the prophet’s house.” A younger sister to the deceased, Mrs. Sidikat Buhari, said: ‘‘I spoke with him a few days before his death. I was at Ijoko, Ogun State, when one of my brothers told me on the telephone that the deceased had been killed by robbers who wanted to dispossess him of his motorcycle. But when I got to Bariga where he was killed, I was

told that he was not killed by robbers but that he died in controversial circumstances during a visit to one prophet called Jegun. “That was when we reported the incident to the police and the prophet, his wife and the man who introduced our brother to the prophet were arrested and are currently being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID). My brother’s corpse has since been deposited in a mortuary.’’ The suspected killer of the deceased, Mrs. Buhari said, had been boasting that nobody could do anything to him. She said she was not satisfied with the way policemen were handling the case. She therefore appealed to the government and the police authorities to help the family unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of her brother and ensure that anyone found culpable was brought to book. “A police source at the station told our correspondent in confidence that the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), adding: “The case was reported at Ilaje Police Station. Some suspects, including a prophet and two others, have been arrested and they are now being interrogated by detectives of SCID.” Responding on the telephone, the Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, Ms. Ngosi Braide, confirmed the story, saying: “ I can confirm to you that some suspects, including the prophet, have been arrested in connection with the case and they are currently being detained at the SCID while investigation is in progress.”


THE NATION, SATURDAY,SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

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•Shanties surrounded by refuse •Rev Apostle Ayenumelo

Ijora Lagos community where residents ‘live’ on refuse heaps, engage in lecherous activities O

NE of the threats to healthy living from a medical point of view is filthiness. But life at railway line in Ijora area of Lagos State suggests the contrary. The residents live and make merry on heaps of refuse as if it is a tonic they need to live a healthy life. Most of the shanties inhabited by the residents are adorned by refuse just the way most houses in high brow areas are decorated with beautiful flowers. In some of the areas, heaps of refuse stuffed under the shanties appear like the foundation on which the make shift buildings are erected. Apart from heaps of refuse, some parts of the area are also overgrown by thick bush where rats, mosquitoes and flies go about unmolested. Checks revealed that some of the residents defecate in the thick bush and heaps of refuse without minding the health implication. In spite of the dingy nature of the area, the community is a beehive of activities from dusk till dawn. It is a community where gambling, consumption of hard drugs, crime and sexual perversion are celebrated every minute of each passing day. Our correspondent, who visited the community recently, reported that the area is dotted by brothels and all shades of gambling businesses. From the numerous bars and brothels

Innocent DURU reverberated all kinds of music that leave no one guessing about the way of life of the residents. Commercial sex workers who are mostly teenagers sat at strategic points of the bars with either cigarette or hard drink and beckoned on male passers bye for business deal. On the other hand, haggard-looking young men were seen in different gambling joints. Females both old and young were also caught in various gambling joints. Others who were not gambling were caught smoking Indian hemp and drinking local concoctions. Cinema houses that have gone into oblivion in many parts of the country were seen in large numbers in the community. As early as 10am, most of the cinema houses were already full of viewers. Findings revealed that the brothels, cinema houses and some of the shanties serve as hideouts for criminals in the community. It was gathered that the policemen in the area are always kept on their toes because of the high rate of violence and criminal activities in the area. A resident of the community, who gave her name as Mama Tawa, saw nothing wrong in living in the community. She told our

•A food vendor around a heap of refuse

correspondent that she has lived in the community for over 20 years without suffering any health problem. “There is nothing wrong with living in this environment. It may look inhabitable to outsiders but it is very comfortable for us. I have lived here for over 20 years without having any health challenges. You may conclude that we are used to the life of suffering but I can tell you that it has nothing to do with that. It is not everybody that likes to live in estates where the whole place looks like a grave yard. There are many people living in such estates and battling with lifethreatening ailments but here we are bubbling with life in an area you

consider horrible. If at any point in time we fall ill, we have so many herb sellers that take care of us. This is not the only area where anti-social activities take place in Lagos State, so why is our situation different from others?” she asked rhetorically. Abigail, another resident, lamented the deplorable moral standard in the area. She said the innocent people in the community have always been the victims of the criminal activities that happen in the area. She said: “I have been in this community for the past 25 years. There was a high level of morality when I came in here but it is no longer so. Criminals have infiltrated the community and made it uninhabitable for us. They snatch

You may conclude that we are used to the life of suffering... .It is not everybody that likes to live in estates where the whole place looks like a grave yard. There are many people living in such estates and battling with life-threatening ailments but here we are bubbling with life in an area you consider horrible

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handsets and dispossess people of their valuables on hourly basis. They also fight with all manners of dangerous weapons. If they begin to fight right now, nobody including the police would wait. In its efforts to check the menace, the community has put in place vigilance groups that guard the area at night. This has put an end to the nefarious night life that this area was previously known for. “More worrisome is the case of teenage prostitutes in the brothels. There are girls of 15 years that are professional prostitutes in many of these bars. If you see them making trouble with people, you will shudder. I have seen where they would break bottles and stab their opponents with it. In my wildest imagination, I never thought a teenager could be so mean until I started seeing it here. For you to know the height of their depravity, these young girls also rob some of the people that patronise them. “There is little or nothing that anybody can do about the adult whores because they have become ‘dry bones’ that cannot be bent anymore. But something can still be done about the teenagers. If I had the power to take the teenagers away for rehabilitation, I would have done it because they are bad influences on our young daughters. Many young


THE NATION, SATURDAY,SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

17

•Some girls in the area

•Another building littered with refuse

•A view of other shanties with refuse

girls in this community have become single parents because they see sexual recklessness as the norm. They grew up in the system and sometimes hawk various wares around the brothels. Some of them have by so doing become apprentices to the whores. My worry is that most of them would test positive to sexually transmitted diseases if they are subjected to tests.” Pastor Idowu Ayenumelo of God’s Appraisal Zion Church also bemoaned the state of living in the community. He recalled that he was one of the founding members of the community. When he migrated to the area in 1974, Pastor Ayenumelo said the area was peaceful and devoid of all manners of atrocities found there today. “I am one of the founding members of this community. I came to this place in 1974 from the National Theatre area. When we came, there was sanity in the area. Back then, the community was called ‘Ghana Village’ because it was predominantly occupied by Ghanaians. It was after they were sent away from Nigeria that our people moved in and occupied the whole place. “To the best of my knowledge, commercial sex workers and other social miscreants did not come into

•Pastor Adeleke

I have found that some of them are actually not happy with what they are doing. After some time of listening to the word of God, some of them have left their wayward lives and got married. At times, some of them do join us when we are having programme

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the community until sometime in 1987. It is not true that these set of people are numerically more than the innocent residents. They only appear to be more because their activities attract a lot of attention. “My concern about the whole thing is that most of the girls engage in unprotected sex. Many of them get pregnant without any man claiming responsibility for it. I am aware that Society for Family Health comes here regularly to educate them on the need to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies but they hardly listen. They go to the extent of giving them condom free of charge but some of them care less about all these. It calls for serious concern because human lives and the life of the society are involved in this.” As a man of God, he said his church often goes to preach the word of God

to the whores and the miscreants. “As a man of God, it is my primary responsibility to minister to every soul and bring them to Christ. We and other ministers of God from different churches within and outside this area often visit them for counselling. I have found that some of them are actually not happy with what they are doing. After some time of listening to the word of God, some of them have left their wayward lives and got married. At times, some of them do join us when we are having programme. “They may not come when the preaching is going on, but the moment we start dishing out prayer points, you would see some of them rushing into the church to pray. That tells you that they have a burden in their hearts like every other human being. We need the assistance of the government both at state and federal

levels in this community. I said so because the area is said to be a federal government land. But it would not be out of place if Lagos State government also assists us because the community is in the state.” On his part, Apostle Temietan Frederick of Cherubim and Seraphim Church of Salvation and resident in the neighbourhood, said he has also been making efforts to speak against the ills happening in the community. “I do preach to them but it is left to them to change. I cannot force them to quit their ways of life. I can only make them to understand that they are not leading a good life. “It is not common to find snakes in the neighbourhood because they easily get uncomfortable the moment they hear human voices. When you talk about mosquitoes, this is not the only place you find them. They are everywhere and we handle them the way people in other areas handle them.” A police officer working in the area described the community as a breeding ground for all manners of criminals. Speaking under anonymity, he said: “This area is one of the most notorious areas in Lagos State. Immorality and criminal activities are at their peak in this community. Any community where gamblers, prostitutes and drug

•Rev Apostle Temietan

dealers operate can never be free of crime. This area is not only full of all these vices, it also adds filthiness to it. “Despite the fact that the people are poor and living in this horrible environment, they live as if they are in paradise. The young men wake up to gamble, consume hard drugs and sleep with prostitutes. The young girls have no other thought in their mind apart from sex. They keep having unwanted pregnancies and aborting them. Those who cannot abort give birth to children they do not care for. The children also grow to lead the same pattern of life and it continues like that.” Continuing, he said: “Ojuna, Wasain and Aliwo are the very notorious for consumption of hard drugs and violent clashes. As policemen, we are always on our toes to keep the activities of the miscreants as low as possible. Few minutes ago, we raided a particular building because we got hints of their clandestine activities. When we got to the building, we made sure nobody left until we completed our mission. Their menace has even reduced since we started patrolling the streets day and night. In spite of the fact that we have a station at Badia, we sometimes put a van with armed security men on standby to check any form of violence. “


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Instead of bountiful harvest, we harvested our children’s corpses, say victims of flood in Niger S

IX hours of heavy downpour in Niger State penultimate Friday left many houses, roads, business centres and farmlands across the state submerged or washed away. The havoc wrecked by the resultant flood claimed no fewer than four lives, two of the victims coming from the same household. The rain which started as early as 6 am in Minna, the state capital, spread to other parts of the state. By noon, many families had been rendered homeless by the deluge of water that flowed from overwhelmed channels. Many farmlands on the plain of Rivers Niger and Kaduna were also washed away. At Gungel village in Bosso Local Government Area of the state, the Gwaibaita family was thrown into mourning as the family lost two of their sons to the flood. The Gwaibaita brothers, Abubakar and Abdullahi, had left home in the early hours of the day for farm but never returned. The rain caught up with them in the farm and the attendant flood washed them away. “What is cheering in what happened to us that you want me to share with the world? Rain is expected to bring bountiful farm harvest, but, for us in this family, the harvest rain brought our way was the death of our two hardworking children. Sincerely, there is nothing cheering that I want to recount. Please, leave us to mourn our dead,” Ahmed Gwaibaita, who lost two of his cousins, told our correspondent at Gungel village. Gwaibaita, who initially refused to talk to our correspondent and did not allow pictures of the mourning family members to be taken, said his cousins met their untimely death on the outskirts of the village. He said: “Abubakar had the previous night told his brother of the need to leave for the farm very early the next day (Friday). This informed their leaving as early as 6:30 am. That was before the rain started. At the end of the day, the two brothers failed to return home and a search party went to their farm twice without seeing either of them. Efforts to get them on their phones also failed. “The search party then went to nearby villages and even commis-

Jide ORINTUNSIN, Minna sioned some other people in those villages to help in the search. All the efforts made on that day failed to yield any positive result. The following day, the news came to us that their bodies were found in a village six kilometres away from Gungel,” Ahmed recalled as he fought back tears. He said the two brothers, whose parents are still alive, might have been washed away by the flood that submerged their farms. “For us in the family, we strongly believe that they must have been swept away by flood on their way home from farm. The rain was so heavy that most of us who had gone to the farm had to rush back home,” he said. For Alhaji Usman Adamu, his car wash centre along Eastern Bye-pass, Minna was submerged and four cars brought to the centre were totally buried in the flood while two of his pumping machines were swept away. Recounting his ordeal, Adamu said the flood came by surprise and before any rescue effort could be made to salvage the four cars at the centre, the flood had taken over and workers had to run for dear lives. “The flood that greeted the rain that fell last Friday caught us hands down. My boys had to run for their lives. The stream at our back overran its bank and within five minutes, my car wash centre was totally submerged and the four cars in my care were buried in the water.

•A car wash centre submerged in flood

“I am now left with the burden of fixing the engines and brain boxes of the four cars and to repair their interior. I have not been able to quantify the cost of the engines, brain boxes and repairs of their interiors. These are besides my two pumps , one electrically operated and the other gasoline propelled, which were washed away,” he said. Adamu, who is fondly called Haske Motor by his patrons, said the disaster was the second he had suffered in the last six years. According to him, he was yet to get over the flood that took over his house in 2006. “Now it is my shop. I don’t know where to turn to for help. In 2006 when government offered to assist us, some people whose houses were not affected were the ones that were compensated. “This time, instead of government coming to our aid, I only came to my centre on Tuesday to meet an order by the Niger State Urban Development Board to quit the place. My centre was marked and I was directed to remove the structure, but it was the same board that allocated the plot of land to me.” Referring to the allocation number NUDB/119X/043/11, which was conspicuously displayed at the centre, Adamu said: “I am waiting for NUDB. They gave me permission to build my car wash centre and I have been paying annually to the board. Instead of coming to my aid, they want to send me packing. If I will suffer as a result of natural disaster, must I be made to suffer from the

For Alhaji Usman Adamu, his car wash centre along Eastern Bye-pass, Minna was submerged and four cars brought to the centre were totally buried in the flood while two of his pumping machines were swept away

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•Adamu lamenting over his car wash centre

government too?” Car owners in Kwalakuta area, a suburb of the state capital, now park their cars kilometres away from their houses as the only road linking the community to Minna was washed away by the flood. Dan Akpole, an employee of Compass Newspapers and resident of Kwalakuta area, said: “Since the Friday rain, the only road that leads to our area has been washed off. People now have to pass through the gully to their houses by foot. Vehicles cannot pass through our road. In Zungeru, the forgotten capital city of former northern protec-

torate, two Fulani herdsmen lost their lives to the flood along their grazing route, just as many farmlands, especially rice lands were submerged. Efforts to get the family members of the herdsmen’s comments were fruitless. It was gathered that the itinerant family had moved their herds to safer grounds. But it was gathered that the herdsmen might have underestimated the flood that covered their grazing route only to be overpowered by the running water which swept them off their feet. Their bodies were found on a rock last Saturday.


THE NATION, Saturday, September 1, 2012

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THRILLER Saturday

FESTAC Quite a haven


THE NATION, Saturday, September 1, 2012

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•Views of dilapidated buildings in the estate

FESTAC

A town in need of ELCOME to FESTAC Town. This was the landmark at the First Gate that clearly offered a hint of where Nigeria’s Festival of Arts and Culture village was situated. That was 35 years ago. Today, the landmark has not only disappeared, but the very gate that once welcomed its residents and visitors alike has been ripped bare of any directional compass, having progressively transformed into a garage for commercial motorcyclists, popularly called ‘Okada’. The once posh and highbrow estate was built by the government in 1977, during the country’s first oil boom, to quarter tens of thousands of participants in the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. After the festival, it was to later serve as a satellite for the country’s middle class. This was so until the late 1980s. With the death or rather, the disappearance of Nigeria’s middle class, FESTAC Town also suffered vicariously and in turn, lost its plum and upscale status. Like a similar fate that has befallen the country, FESTAC has weathered corresponding socioeconomic vagaries and sadly, morphed into a juvenile, ramshackle colony of social and economic vermin. Today, a stopover at the once modish FESTAC Town conjures varied and distorted images of a glorified barracks, refugee camp, deplorable roads, altered and fractured landscape and corollary putrefaction. Apart from what has sustained as its surviving vestiges, everything in FESTAC Town has literally assumed a life of its own. Armed robbery, rape, kidnapping, ritual murder, email and Facebook scams are some of the defining narratives of the cultural village which have sprouted as concomitants of its vanished glory. Its reputation as a crumbled neighborhood is well documented. A cluster of shops, stalls, eateries, cyber cafés and snooker spots are hangouts for most of its vibrant, unemployed youth occupants. The cultural village which neither sleeps nor toils, between the hours of 8am and 5pm, its ‘employable’ but idle youths are seen either chatting away or in their redundancy, argue about their favourite football teams tucked away in England, Spain or Italy. Newsstands are not left out of their hangouts. Here, they cluster as ‘Free Readers Association’ and constitute themselves panel analysts and commentators on issues of the day from economy, politics and sports. On this particular day (Tuesday August 28,) this reporter had cause to sniff around, if anything, to feel the pulse of the residents following the bizarre murder of Cynthia

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n Linus OBOGO n Osokogu, by suspects already cooling their heels in police custody. As could be imagined, Cynthia’s murder was the subject of discourse. Varied positions were taken by the ‘nomadic’ discussants. The debate was heated and occasionally miscued. While some found holes in late Cynthia’s misadventure in Lagos, there were others who enlisted sympathy for the deceased. The late Cynthia Osokogu, the only daughter of Major General Frank Osokogu (retd), it would be recalled, reportedly went missing on July 22, 2012. She was said to have been strangled in a hotel by Odera Ezekiel (23) and Okwoma Nwabufor (33), in FESTAC, Lagos. Cynthia was allegedly drugged, bound hand and foot and then strangled by her assailants. Cynthia was said to be in Lagos to purchase goods for her boutique. She was received at the Murtala Muhammed Airport her assailants, who later took her to the hotel. According to a confession extracted from two of the suspects, they met the deceased on the internet and cajoled her to Lagos to purchase goods at a rate believed to be cheaper than elsewhere. On getting to the airport in Lagos, the suspects allegedly took her to a hotel, drugged her, and bound her by the hand and foot. They confessed to inflicting pains on her and strangling her before stealing her money, phone and identity card. The suspects who confessed that their modus operandi was to lure young females to Lagos for such purpose said the incident was not the first of their heinous acts. Long before Cynthia’s murder, Festac had already acquired notoriety for all that is unwholesome. Security agencies’ feelers had indicated that FESTAC Town had long been a hub of high level organized crimes over the years. And if there existed doubt about the police report, it was firmly laid to rest with the recent gruesome murder of Cynthia Osokogu. The report also added that the former FESTAC 77 cultural village has moved from being a middle income residential area to a grade one crime spot, adding that out of the 1,760 drug traffickers arrested in the first and second quarters of this year, 1,102 ingested the substances and took off from FESTAC Town. The security report came after a combined team of security operatives including the State Security Service (SSS), Police, NDLEA and officials of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), raided hotels and other recreational spots in the area. Items

including guns, illicit drugs among others, were recovered from most of the hotels combed. In their harmonised report after the operation, FESTAC was classed among the most dangerous areas in the city of Lagos in terms of organised crime and other criminalities. The 12-page report said apart from armed robbery, the cultural village also tops the list as a habitat for 419ners, hard drug dealers, ritual killers and kidnappers. Shortly before the story of Cynthia broke, men of the Festac Town Police Division had on July 26, 2012 reported the shocking discovery of a headless body and human parts in a residence at Close B. 3rd Avenue. Two brothers, Toye and Omotola, were alleged killers of their brother, Akinbuyi, 39. The trio was believed to have shared a terrible and twisted relationship. Toye and Omotola were arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command for being in possession of mutilated and decomposing parts of their victim inside the house occupied by the duo. Akinbuyi’s brothers allegedly killed and dumped his body in a room inside the flat. The three brothers were believed to be living at B Close, House 6 of 3rd Avenue, after their father died and left the property for them. In January 2005, the entire nation kept vigil and prayed endlessly as Nigeria’s bestselling pop artiste, 2face Idibia, lay on a hospital bed, recovering from injuries sustained after robbers laid siege to his FESTAC Town residence, injuring him and his brother, Steve. The 32 year-old music star escaped a similar attack in December 2006 when robbers stopped a car he was being driven in and asked all the occupants to lie flat. On October 5, 2007, the "African Queen" crooner was rushed to hospital in Lagos after he was shot in the thigh by unknown assailants. The spectre of armed robbery attacks on musicians in Festac Town resurfaced in 2005 as popular hip-hop singer, Mr. Lekan Fadeyi (aka Azadus) was attacked by bandits. They attempted to snatch his metallic blue-colour BMW 5 Series car. 3rd Avenue, according to The Nation investigation, is popular, particularly for playing host to the Passport Office of Nigeria Immigration Service and as a prominent relaxation spot known as Fatherland. The Nation also gathered that sometime last year, a certain white man whose nationality could not be ascertained was lured into the country by Facebook scammers and allegedly killed at 7th Avenue. His body, according to a source, was

•The entrance to the Amuwo Odofin council secretariat later dumped into the canal. A source in the cultural village told The Nation that there have been a series of cases of what could be termed high profile murders, rape and muggings that have gone unreported in the last three years. According to him, the late Cynthia’s turned out to be a wakeup call on the security to be on their guard. He said Cynthia’s saga was just lucky to have been reported. Investigation by The Nation revealed the upsurge in deadly criminal activities in the estate is a spin off from the clampdown on cyber crimes and related activities by men of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The downturn in email scams is said to have begun during Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s tenure as EFCC Chairman. With so much heat from the EFCC bearing down heavily on the operators, most net cafes were forced to close shop as a result of incessant raids by the agency’s operatives, a


THE NATION, Saturday, September 1, 2012

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moral salvation ,

The former FESTAC 77 cultural village has moved from being a middle income residential area to a grade one crime spot, adding that out of the 1,760 drug traffickers arrested in the first and second quarters of this year, 1,102 ingested the substances and took off from FESTAC Town

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development that saw many of the idle youths take to other vices to stay afloat. ‘Businesses’ had to be redefined, the consequences did not really matter. With the dwindling fortunes from cyber crimes, a member of the residents’ association, Mr. Njoku (surname withheld), told The Nation that the ‘Yahoo Yahoo boys’ began to recruit young men into their fold for nefarious crimes like robbery, pickpocketing, mugging and rape. Njoku identified areas he called black spots to include 2nd Gate, 512 Road Bus Stop, 52 and 23 Road Junction, 402 Road Bus Stop. He disclosed that 23Rd Market serves as a recruitment ground where young men are conscripted into their fold. At 5th Avenue, off 41 Road, which is the last bus stop in the estate, Njoku said Indian hemp is openly sold, and young men converge as early as 9am warm up their lungs with the substance. The area is christened ‘Stone Field’ because of the nature of the trade. A visit by this reporter to Stone Field

revealed a graphic portrait of young men whose lives and future are being controlled and navigated by destructive substances. One of the boys, Olapade, who volunteered comment, said he has been forced into smoking ‘weeds’ as a way of comforting himself. According to him, “Whether or not I smoke Indian hemp, my life is not going to be different from what it is now and there is no point for me to continue to wallow in self-pity. What I am doing is to make myself happy. It is my life and however it ends up is no one’s business.” For an estate conceptualised as purely a residential area, how did it become such a cesspit of vices and a coven for anti-social elements? A priest with Holy Family Catholic Church, Rev. Father Sam, volunteered: “What we are witnessing now did not start today. It has been building up for several years. If you look at the infrastructural facilities in the estate, they have become dilapidated. in Europe and America, where you have an estate such as this, you will find police stations, police patrols and 24-hour security. But what we have is just one police station and before they will get to a scene of a crime, the perpetrators would have escaped. The estate is not well secured and monitored. Whatever is happening in Festac Town is a manifestation of what is happening in the larger society. Of course, residents of the estate are products of the society. “Most of the boys were born in Festac and they did their primary and secondary education here as well. They have not been to anywhere. The only time they may have gone out is when they are in tertiary education. Their worldview is just about Festac Town alone. On the issue of criminality which has afflicted the estate like an epidemic, what is the cure? Father Sam offered: “What has motivated the current malaise in the estate is the unbridled appetite of the youths to get rich quickly and they feel the sure way is through criminality. Again, we have to trace the genesis back to the parents of these youths. Today, many parents want to go through the backdoor to get their wards into schools. Having learnt from their parents, they will come to appreciate the fact that it is better and easier to get through the backdoor to be successful. For the four years they are in the university, they will go through the backdoor to pass their courses. Having learnt how to pass exams without the rigours of reading, they would have acquired the skills on how to be successful without sweat. Their psyche acquires a new orientation.” Equally lamenting the upsurge in violent crimes in the estate, Okafor (surname withheld), said the relocation of the spare

parts markets from Idumota to the Trade Fair Complex and ASPMDA has given rise to people with questionable character taking up residence in Festac Town as a result of its proximity to the Trade Fair Complex. According to Okafor, “Not everyone in ASPAMDA and Trade Fair has a genuine means of livelihood, as many of the boys are touts who have to devise disingenuous means of eking out a living.” But in spite of the obvious crime rate and sundry vices occasioned by the influx of spare parts dealers into Festac Town, rents in the estate are on the upward spiral, hitting the roof every year. Asked why this is so, Mr.Nweke, an architect and estate developer, offered an insight: “Spare parts dealers are often willing to pay more than any prospective tenants. So, who is that landlord that will not let out his apartment to them?" While Okafor believes the crime rate is fallout of the relocation of Idumota spare parts dealers to the Trade Fair Complex, Chinedu, who resides on 52 Road, identifies the growing number of hotel business, which he said has impacted negatively on the residents. Many of the hotels, Okafor insisted, “do not even have their names on display as hotels and they are not registered. They provide hideouts for muggers and robbers, making it impossible for police to track down criminals in the estate, needless to say that they do not pay taxes to the government.” Further investigation by The Nation revealed that in 2010, there was a murder in a certain hotel (name withheld), which culminated in the closure of the fun spot. The discovery of the murder, a source disclosed, was what revealed the existence of the hotel to its neighbours. They were, however, benumbed with the jaw dropping murder in a neighbourhood that served as a nest for criminals. Another resident, Gabe Okpoye, a businessman, who has lived in the estate since 1977, also learnt his voice on the prevalent rate of violent crimes” “I have been living here since 1977. Every environment has its own problem and Festac Town cannot be an exception. It is still a peaceful estate with its good and bad sides. On the issue of ritual murders and Facebook crimes, it is a youth problem and this has close association with joblessness. There are no jobs, yet everyone wants to live life to the hilt. Since they need money to do that, nothing is too heinous for them to do. Same goes for ‘Yahoo Yahoo’, rape, kidnappings etc. Competition is another factor that has fuelled criminal activities in this community. There is an unhealthy rivalry among most young men to get rich quickly without

bothering to know how the other person made his money. During working hours when able-bodied young men should engage themselves legitimately, you find them drinking beer and holding meetings at beer parlours and scheming what crime to perpetrate. Of course, these vices are not peculiar to Festac alone.” Okpoye, however, pleads: “But the governments at federal, states and local levels must wake up to their electoral responsibility to provide employment and security for the citizenry.” ATM as easy target A source who was once a victim told The Nation that the fear of those he calls ‘bad boys’ is the beginning of wisdom in Festac Town. According to her, everyone ATM card user always looks over his/her shoulders before bringing out his card to make a withdrawal at any of the ATM points. He relived his experience: “Not long ago, I needed to use my ATM card, but little did I know that the guy behind me had a different motive. As soon as I slotted in my card, he tapped on my shoulder, directing my attention to a pistol tucked under his belt. He ordered me to withdraw N100,000 for him which I did.” With 22 banks’ branches scattered in Festac Town, ATM card holders are said to be frequent targets of criminals who accost them openly to make large withdrawals for them. Sometimes, banks’ customers are reportedly stalked to unsafe spots upon leaving the banking premises after transactions where they are disposed of their hard-earned cash. With the cultural village now turned into a full blown nest for robbers, scammers, ritualists and rapists, who will bell the cat? This all important question is in urgent need of answer. This paper was at the secretariat of Amuwo Odofin Local Council Area to get the authorities’ strategic response to the ugly nightmare that has besieged the cultural village like an incubus. But a source hinted that the Chairman along with his colleagues from other councils was away on a European tour. Neither was the vice-chairman available for comment. With Cynthia’s grisly murder bringing yet to the fore the morass to which Festac Town has sunk, and the slaughter slab it has been reduced to, opinions by worried residents on the need to address the plethora of challenges buffeting the estate cannot be said to be misguided. According to them, concerted efforts must be made to claw back the pristine ambience the cultural village was renowned for. Until then, Festac Town is seriously gasping for moral and infrastructural salvation.


THE NATION, Saturday, September 1, 2012

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•A section of the Akpabuyo Housing Project

Cross River workers to smile soon, says Governor Imoke’s aide Eddy Ogon The Cross River State government is set to commission the first 200 houses in the Akpabuyo Housing Project for civil cervants in October this year. Located in Akpabuyo Local Government about 15 minutes’ drive from Calabar, the project aims at alleviating the problem of housing for civil servants as well as decongest the state capital. The project kicked off in 2007 but after initial setbacks with incompetent developers, it was taken over in 2010 by Aso Investment and Development Company (AIDC). NICHOLAS KALU visited the site of the project and met the Special Adviser on Mortgage Finance to the state government, Eddy Ogon, who spoke on the journey so far. Excerpts: How is the Akpabuyo Housing Project going? E are in a position to develop the state in line with the governor’s directive that we must finish and commission it this year. We are optimistic that we would be able to commission it by October and as you can see, the work completion rate is about 75 to 80 per cent. What is left to be done is just the fittings. All the materials are on ground 100 per cent.   Everything is primed and ready for finishing. So we are moving forward and we are on target. What are the challenges you faced? Basically initial setbacks had to do with the processing which we started off the programme. The first developers we had did not have the capacity and that was sometime in 2007/2008 and luckily, we were able to discuss and we brought Aso and AIDC. They came on board in 2010 and they started it. Those were the setbacks we experienced. In terms of the development of the state presently, most of the setbacks are challenges that have to do with theft. Most of the things here when you keep them, the people from the community come and steal them. Those have had an effect on delaying the project. So apart from that we are on track and we intend to deliver on the date I have told you. The 200 housing units would be ready. The houses consist of one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom detached and semidetached houses. We have 12 one bedroom terrace houses, 64 units of three bedroom detached houses, 98 three bedroom semidetached and 26 two bedroom semi-

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detached. The state has over 20,000 civil servants in the state and you are providing just 200 housing units. How do you reconcile this? Well, let us put it this way, since the era of Brigadier UJ Esuene, there has been no effort of this magnitude to address the problem of housing. As you know, the National Housing Fund Act of 1992, when it came in, was in an attempt to solve the problem of housing shortage for Nigerians and government employees especially. What Governor Liyel Imoke has done is an attempt to deal with this. For a thousand miles journey, you begin with one step. My mandate is to deliver 2, 500 houses in the next 24 to 30 months. If every government that comes in can do that, within the next four dispensations, we should be able to provide enough housing for everybody. There are a lot of challenges, but as you know providing affordable and reasonable housing is very expensive. The infrastructure is very expensive. These include roads, water and light. The governor would not build a house that is not connected to water board. So you can imagine the herculean task of bringing water from Marian in Calabar all the way here, which they have done. Electricity has also been brought here. There is a new city about to spring up here. There are 200 units of houses and you can be sure that even if we have five people per house, you can imagine how many people that would be. So this is a city about to take place. By the time you add 400 and another 300 houses in subsequent phases of housing projects in this area, you can imagine the number. In

the next three years you would not recognise this area. What were the criteria for determining beneficiaries? We sent out applications to about 4, 000 civil servants across the state because we did not want to create that kind of euphoria and of the ones that came, what we did was that we had to ballot and that is the best way because if you do not ballot, they would say you are being partial. So anyone who won the ballot has been allocated a house for the unit they want. How much do the houses go for and what is the payment mode? It has not been easy, and to sell these houses at the rate we are selling them. A three bedroom detached is going for N3.8 million. A three bedroom semi-detached is going for N3.5 million. A two bedroom detached is going for N2.8 and a two bedroom semi-detached N2.5. A one bedroom terrace is going for a price of N1.3. You can see it is heavily subsidized by the government. Basically we try to instil a mortgage culture. That is to assist. My primary role is to assist. I am like the middle man between the civil servants and the Federal Mortgage Bank and I facilitate it by providing the necessary leeway for them to access the National Housing Fund, because the housing fund presupposes that everybody pays a premium of their salary, I think 2.5 per cent towards the NHF in the mortgage bank and that allows them at the end of the day to draw between five to 15 million naira depending on your salary scale and your repayment mode and your

•Eddy Ogon

ability to repay and build a house. Where Aso comes in is that under the provision of the statutes, you cannot as an individual go and take the money from the Federal Mortgage Bank. You have to go to a primary mortgage institution. So Aso acts as the bridge in the secondary market for the beneficiaries. What other housing projects do you have besides this? These 200 houses belong to scheme A Akpabuyo, Phase one. After this we move to phase two. We are about to sign a contract with Aso for a contract of 410 units over there. Then Scheme B Akpabuyo, Phase One would involve 350 houses. Then at Odukpani around the Tinapa area, we are doing another 300 houses there. We are doing 200 houses in Ogoja, 100 houses in Ikom. 50 in Obudu, 50 in Ugep. That is the governor’s mandate for me to finish in the next 30 months. Is Aso going to handle all these? No, it is going to be by competitive bidding. Obviously we want a situation where we would be able to deliver as prices of materials increase, as the indices in the market change, we have to go pro bidding to get the best possible prices for our off takers. Aso already being demobilised, we are going to take cognisance of that because many people come but they do not have the financing. We have suffered that fate before. Companies come we have entered MOUs with them, we have signed contracts with them but they have not been able. In fact I can candidly say that Aso has shown capacity. You can see what they are doing.


LOCATION

BACKSTAGE

SNAPSHOT

REEL NEWS

MUSIC

SCREEN

Edited by: VICTOR AKANDE

Tel: 08077408676

E-mail: victor_akande@yahoo.com

ntertainment

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

SEE PAGES 28-37

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h t i w l a e d I w Ho n e m m o r f s e c n adva

—Jaye Kuti


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

THINK

STAND BY! h

Wit

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

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

And the music stops for Amadi Ogbonnaya

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ODAY is No Music Day, as ordered by the Nigerian entertainment community. But the music had long stopped for Amadi Ogbonnaya, my good friend, colleague and ‘brother’ whose sun set on Wednesday August 29, 2012. So sad, the music assumed a crescendo of arrhythmic cacophony, and then slowly, it turns sinister, and stopped for Amadi; with his dancing shoes still laced. He could not hear the beats, let alone comprehend the lyrics. The same music he danced to, for 49 years… its tunes and platforms are now strange. Even as he becomes an unseen stranger in a land he had treasured and where his blood remains. Hmnnnn. The driver of the vehicle on his earthly journey pulled over; and Amadi Ogbonnaya alighted, though with regrets, but total submission to the will of nature. There was no warning for him that his bus stop was near. We were in the same bus, and as the vehicle sped off, and all I could do, is to look back at my brother, friend, and colleague who can no longer continue with us… only hoping that in the vicious circle of the journey of life, we shall meet to part no more. Perhaps you have just arrived in the theatre. The curtain has closed on Amadi. The drama has ended, leaving you memories of his last performances. And the act you saw may not just be the same that I witnessed of this legendry actor. Or didn’t they say that life is a stage? Amadi Ogbonnaya, the encyclopaedia of the Nigerian Music Industry- perhaps the only one whose relevance in the music industry cuts across the times of old, and the present generation of hip hop craze. He was more than a journalist who reported the industry, he was a stakeholder. The late Amadi Ogbonnaya was the Group Entertainment Editor of Vanguard newspaper. He died after a severe battle with asthma. What a way to die! Amadi died doing what he loves to do best- A pen in hand and keypad clicking away at the weekend’s stories. He had just finished work on that fateful day (or so it seemed), when he started complaining of a funny feeling. A cup of

So sad, the music assumed a crescendo of arrhythmic cacophony, and then slowly, it turns sinister, and stopped for Amadi; with his dancing shoes still laced. He could not hear the beats, let alone comprehend the lyrics. The same music he danced to, for 49 years tea couldn’t do the magic. An asthma attack (which he had been managing for years) followed. An emergency situation became imminent. It was obvious his usual remedy was overpowered. Everything happened in quick succession. A cab was arranged and off they went. The company’s clinic was just five minutes drive from its Kirikiri location. No thanks to the usual traffic at Mile 2. My friend arrived the hospital dead. He would have been 50 by December 5, 2012. Looking back, I think about the tall dreams we shared.

WRITE TO US!

His three boys and beautiful wife were the intricate part of his dreams. He never planned to leave them now. I think about another human resource that Vanguard, and indeed the young generation of entertainment writers have lost. I am pained for the new generation of reporters, because I doubt if some of them tapped into his brain for some of the experiences he had acquired over the years. Name that musician whose story (private and official) that Amadi Ogbonnaya couldn’t tell without faltering. Is it Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade, Onyeka Onwenu, the late Christy Essien, the late Orlando Owoh, the late Ayinde Barrister, the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti…. He was not just a reporter, he shared memorable times with them. His relevance in modern trend is unrivalled, and the big names like D’banj, Don Jazzy, Ice Prince (whom he carried about like his sons), Wande Coal, and the latest of them all; Davido, would be shocked at his death. Members of the entertainment writers will miss his leadership role, his frankness and fearlessness, banter - and me, in particular. He was my brother. He told me so through a text message on June 25, 2012. He said the intimacy he shared with me was unequal. I believed him. I still do. Another great moment I shared with Ogbonnaya was on May 24th and 25th. These two days bore the active ingredients of my consolation in Amadi in his journey to the great beyond. We had travelled to Benin for the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant. Throughout the journey, all that we discussed was God and the importance of being born again. We shared that confidence and peace that comes with given up sinful practices. We examined the vanity of the world and the need to cling to God through Jesus Christ. We discussed personal projects that would help our future aspirations and put our family in their best welfare. It was the best of moments ever shared with a friend. —Adieu, great soldier of the pen.

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

SNAPSHOTS

Mercy Johnson is a year older

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ALENTED scriptinterpreter, Mercy Johnson became a year th older on Tuesday, August 28 and the popular Nollywood thespian is said to be in high spirits. The popular actress who has come a long way in her industrious career has overtime been able to overcome negative reports about her in recent past. Her wedding which took place on August 27, 2011 would later go down as one of the most followed marriages due to the controversy that surrounded her wedding at the time. Unconfirmed reports have also revealed that Mercy is an expectant mother and she may have chosen to give birth to her baby in the United States.

•Mercy Johnson

Omotola lends a voice for Nollywood O

MOTOLA JaladeEkeinde's recent visit to Jamaica has somewhat extended her popularity much so as she made a good appearance for herself in the Caribbean country. The curvy actress threw out a challenge to Hollywood film makers to visit Africa and discover great stories. The mother of three who is in Jamaica on a business trip as well as to film segments of her television reality series, 'The Real Omotola', said Hollywood is now resorting to killing children. Her charge comes against the background of the film "Hunger Games." "I can't believe someone allowed that to be made. Hollywood needs to find Africa. Yes, they are superior in terms of financing and technology. But for great stories they need to come to us," she said. Omotola said what the Jamaican movie industry needs is to emulate the passion shown by movie practitioners in Nollywood. "The truth is having been there from the start I know what it's like with a few people just doing what they loved, and believing that nothing was impossible. So just get going." She advised.


THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

RE ELNEW S M-Net expands movie offering How

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EGINNING from Monday, October 1, DStv audiences across the continent are set to get more movie magic as content provider, M-Net expands its offering to include eight genre-themed movie channels. According to the management of DStv, the eight movie channels are themed according to movie type and will include M-Net Movies Premiere, M-Net Movies Comedy, MNet Movies Family, M-Net Movies Action Plus, M-Net Movies Drama and Romance as well as M-Net Movies Showcase. With the tagline A Movie for Every Mood, management says that audiences can now be assured of a wider choice of the best possible selection of available movies anytime of the day as the new range of movie channels is specifically designed to ensure easy navigation for audiences so they know just where to find their favourite type of movie.

•Biola Alabi

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OWERED by Guaranty Trust Bank, Ndani TV, is set to show Kunle's Afolayan movie, The Figurine which earned him five awards at the 2010 AMAA. Ndani TV is created to take viewers inside Africa. Stretching from Kenya's own Silicon Valley, the beautiful South African coats, to Nigeria's vast entertainment landscape. With it learned presenters, with goals to discover the best of Africa's neo soul on Ndani Sessions, the Juice, and Toolz interviews with the hottest names on the African music scene and the continent's future business tycoons on how they share their secrets. Ndani also feature the best of New Nollywood as well as the classics. With exclusive interviews and backstage access to Africa's largest fashion events, features on the continent's most beautiful destinations and the most exciting sport interviews and analytics.

Emolonye talks airspace safety on CNN

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FRICAN Voices, a cable programme that examines the diversity, dynamism and global influence of Africa's people and culture will, for a few consecutive days air a profile of thirty year old and award-winning Nigerian film director, Obi Emelonye. Showing on CNN International, Vladimir Duthiers sits down with the artiste as they talk safety on the Nigerian airspace. Running through Saturday, Sunday and Monday, September 1, 2 and 3 respectively, the programme, it is said, will look into the career of Emelonye who is part of the new generation in Nigeria's movie-making industry known as Nollywood. He became notably acclaimed last year after the success of his fantasy/adventure film, Mirror Boy. In his latest film, Last Flight to Abuja, Emelonye addresses the serious issue of African airspace safety. The movie recently

former beauty queen got shock wedding proposal

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Ndani TV to show The Figurine

became a box office hit in Nigeria and is currently playing across West Africa and in London. A thriller based on true and tragic events the film is thought to campaign for better civil aviation safety over African airspace.

Sindodo out with Wurawunmi

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• Obi Emelonye

ET to return with a bang into the movie scene is Tayo Odueke known as Sikiratu Sindodo with a new flick, Wurawunmi, if reports are anything to go by. News has it that the actress is set to re-launch herself after surviving an undiagnosed illness which almost cost her life. According to information, the movie is been sponsored by a new found love based in US. The actress shot into limelight with the role Sikirat Sindodo, about eight years ago and according to her, “I am still holding on to it.”

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T'S will most definitely be a moment to remember for MBGN Tourism 2009 and former Miss Tourism Africa 2009, Miss Diana Odiaka when she was engaged to her heartthrob, Mr Olufunsho Peters an I.T Solutions architect and CEO of Infinion Technologies limited. The pair who had dated for 9 months now got engaged in the most dramatic manner as Funsho proposed to the former beauty queen on the 27th of August 2012, just two days after her 24th birthday. According to a visibly excited Diana, "he had actually tried to do it on my birthday at the Federal Palace hotel, he had arranged a dinner but when he came to get me, I was with my friend Nkiru Achukwu and I didn't feel like stepping out so we ate in.". She went on to give an account of how her dream night came through like it was scripted in a manner typical of a Hollywood love story. "Every Monday is movie night for us, and as usual we were meant to hook up sometime after he closes from work. Usually he comes back home to get me. But I had other plans with my friend Amaka; she's working on opening her spa in a couple of weeks and needed my help, so I was shopping with her. When we were done, I tried to reach Funsho but he wasn't picking up his cell, I assumed he was still in the meeting he said he would be in. Amaka and I were at city mall which isn't very far from his office so I decided to drive down. On getting there his car wasn't at the parking lot so I knew he wasn't back. We then left for the galleria as Amaka said she wanted to see a movie. “Funsho called on our way there and we agreed to meet up at the galleria. We got tickets for "The watch" for 8:10pm and Amaka got a ticket for "Dark knight Rises" for 5:50pm. The time was 5:30pm, he and I had seen "Dark Knight Rises" already but instead of waiting around doing nothing we decided to go see it again till it was 8pm and time for our movie. Funsho said he was hungry and was gonna go get something to eat. Amaka and I

Ofejiro EGBEDI then went into the screening room. Minutes later Funsho joined us, then he left again at about 8:07pm. When Funsho wasn't back, I left Amaka and headed out. Once outside I saw him talking with Tosin Olukuade (Facuade Clothiers) and Omena Daniels (Bloke Magazine). I said hello to them, gave him his movie ticket and he said he would get the popcorn and drinks that I should go ahead, so I went back into the screening room. The movie hadn't started, Ads were rolling, Tosin came in and asked me to change sits because Funsho had a headache and would have to be going in and out so I should sit at the edge so people don't get disturbed. I obliged him, he went back out, few seconds later Omena and Tosin came back in and sat down beside me, I asked where Funsho was and was told he was coming. I was trying to contact Amaka on my blackberry and only looked up when I heard a song on the sound system "Runaway" by the Corrs and saw on the screen "you have conquered the world with your beauty and charm and my heart along with it...", I was wondering if I was in the wrong screening room until when I saw my name on the screen "DIANA ODIAKA" my heart flipped, I turned to Omena and Tosin asking "what's going on? Where is Funsho?. Then again on the screen, I saw my pictures and the words "please make me the happiest man on Earth..." "...will you marry me?" people started screaming and clapping, the lights came on and Funsho walked down to where I was seated, knelt down and brought out the ring. I was so stunned, I was speechless, I was just staring at him until Tosin screamed "take the ring". I stretched out my left hand and he slid the ring in. We hugged and kissed, people were screaming and clapping and kept chanting. Diana is very happy as she proudly displayed her ring on her BlackBerry profile. The lovebirds will make an announcement for the wedding dates soon.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

David Ajiboye floats record label

Craziest thing done to me by a female fan—Roy Osinachi

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ORMER entertainment writer with Tribune newspaper, David Ajiboye has concluded arrangements to float a record label in Ibadan. Ajiboye's Unique Selling Point, he says, will be to promote works of unknown artistes in unpopular genres of music. "My label is out to promote music genres like Apala, Sakara, Awurebe, Adamo and the likes. I know many people will be surprise that I didn't go for the popular hip hop or rap, but my target is to revive these genres before they go into extinction," he said. Tagged CEO Records, Ajiboye says the formal launching of the outfit will come up in December in Ibadan.

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Still smarting after emerging the 1 runner-up at the last edition of Project Fame West Africa Roy Ogekwu Osinachi has gone on to debut on the music scene with his first single titled 'Omalicha' which is gaining appreciable airplay in recent times. The shy but outspoken burgeoning act spoke about his time as a contestant at the last edition of PFWA, his love life among other issues in this interview with AHMED BOULOR.

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HAT has life been like after MTN Project Fame 2011?

Life has really been fun and I have come across a lot of people who appreciate what I did when I was still a contestant on MTN project Fame 2011. People have shown me love and appreciation; my fan base is also on the increase and I am enjoying the moment. I have also had tough times too because people also expect me to step up the gear a little, in terms of what I do. The pressure to meet up with standards is really intense and I am doing everything I can to catch up with today's music. What's your most memorable moment as a contestant of MTN Project Fame? The fun moment for me was the day my st name was mentioned as the 1 runner-up of the musical contest. Coming second meant so much to me because I contested against equally good and gifted candidates. I was st blessed to emerge the 1 runner-up of the contest and being announced as such for me was my most memorable moment of MTN Project Fame 2011. Were you disappointed at not emerging as the overall winner of the music contest? I was not in any way disappointed that I did not emerge the winner of the contest. There were loads of talents at the contest and st I must say that I was lucky to be the 1 runner-up. If any of us had won; that person was worth it because like I said earlier there was a host of talented contestants last year. Coming second in West Africa was a great achievement on my part and I must say that I am honored. Were your parents proud at your achievement when you returned home? I was locked out from the entire world while I was in the Project Fame academy for about two months and when I got back home, my folks were not in any way disappointed at me for being the eventual winner of the contest. They were even eager to get in touch with me while I was still in the academy, but they couldn't because we had an embargo to that effect; I only saw them on stage while I was performing. My folks are still thanking God that I made the best use of the opportunity that was presented to me and I am also grateful for being part of the contest. I guess the number of girlfriends you had increased when you returned home from the contest? (Laughs) That's a funny question to ask… I wouldn't say that was the case, but it is not too far from the truth, if you consider my fan

base. But at least you got more popular? Yeah! I got more fans and people easily recognise me when they see me; I sometimes get anonymous calls from admirers and stuff like that and I try to cope with the situation. How do you feel when you get complimentary remarks from your admirers? I feel highly honoured. Two months after the music contest, I went on social media and I saw a deluge of positive comments on my facebook page and it was really amazing how doing what you do gets you so much commendation. What hard lessons did you learn from the contest? The hard lessons I learnt while still a contestant was that for one to be successful in any activity, one has to sacrifice, one has to be dedicated and consistent. Once you can sacrifice your time for any useful venture while also trying to be dedicated and consistent to that cause then the sky is the beginning. What challenges have you been faced with knowing full well that you are now on your own as an artiste without the backing of MTN? It's been tough and challenging trying to cope alone, but I will do my best to do good music and I will definitely blend in as it were. Most Nigerian artistes are going commercial these days it is definitely hard trying to cope with today's music, but like I said, I will blend into the trend and deliver my songs to the best of my ability. Talking about going commercial, would you say your current single titled 'Omalicha' falls into that category? Omalicha is actually a commercial song and the fact that Nigerian artistes are going commercial these days is not actually a bad thing but going commercial and losing the basic contents of music is a disservice to music itself. 'Omalicha' is a commercial song but it is laced with content and it generally talks about love, life, relationships and people in general. The song is contemporary and consistent because anyone who wants to

A female fan assailed me with calls and she didn't reveal her identity all through the time she called. She sent me loads of amorous text messages...

have a wedding will definitely have the song in mind. How do you intend to make a mark for yourself on the scene considering the fact that only two past winners of PFWA in the persons of Inyanya and Chidinma have been able to make headway with their music careers? For me, I still keep track on past winners of Project Fame and I sometimes ask them how they've been able to pull through, and it is the same answer I get: hard work and consistency. You need to find out what the people want musically and when you find that, it makes your job easy. Inyanya worked hard and he is still working hard irrespective of the fact that he is a past winner of Project Fame. What explains the title of the song 'Omalicha' and why did you decide to wax the song? 'Omalicha' is about the beauty of the African woman; it is about love, it is about appreciating little things of life. The little details in the video for the song makes life and love look really beautiful, that is because we are in an era where divorce is really on the rise. What I am trying to preach with the song is the fact that love is as simple as you can make it be; it shouldn't be complicated in a way that it leads to divorce or separation which is really on the high in Nigeria and the world at large. When should we expect your first album? I don't want to rush; I want to take it one step at a time. I am looking at promoting my single first, before thinking of waxing other songs for my first album. How many singles do you have? Just one and that is 'Omalicha'… Would you say you have more female fans than male fans? I wouldn't say that but I think they are even, because I have lots of male fans too. I think it is balanced. Are you in love with someone at the moment? (Laughs) I wouldn't say no to that question, but I would like to leave that part out of this discussion. It's my private part. What's the craziest thing done to you by a female fan? That happened when I got home after the contest; a female fan assailed me with calls and she didn't reveal her identity all through the time she called. She sent me loads of amorous text messages and I tried to find out myself who she was, but I couldn't because she was really discreet with the way she went about doing what she did at the time.

Zee World returns with new works

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ANO born singer, AbdulAzeez Halidu Yahaya fondly called Zee World in the music arena is back on the beat with new singles. After many months of serious hard work, the artiste has finally dropped his much anticipated promotional singles entitled 'Rover', 'Love' and' Jedi Dance'. The new singles unveil Zee World in a new dimension as his style of music has grown from what it used to be. The songs were personally produced by the singer under the label Zee World Productions and they were officially released on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 for airplay. Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that the artiste is currently planning to leave the shores of the country for South Africa on a musical trip sponsored by his personal record label, Haliyah Entertainment. Before his departure, he is expected to drop the 'Jedi Dance' musical video while he anticipates shooting a video for 'Rover' during the trip.

•Zee World


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Malaika releases new album

D’Banj delights fans

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HETADE Images and Wright Way Media, the management of ace Fuji musician Alhaji Sulaimon Malaika both recently issued a joint statement announcing the release of Malaika's new album entitled Special Day. The eight track album was officially released on Monday, August 27 and it features songs such as 'My Dubai Birthday', 'Ojo Aboki', 'Alhaji Muda Odetunde' and Hon. Monsuru Owolabi (Batola). A release party was held last week at Surulere Plaza to herald the album and Malaika who jetted out to the United States of America in order to commence the second session of his American Musical Tour after the Ramadan break in Nigeria divulged that the album was released to appreciate music fans that have been supporting his career since he started music. “Special Day is meant to appreciate music fans that have been supporting me. The content in the album is worth buying. I appreciate my fans and I urge them purchase that album in good faith”, he said at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport before jetting out of the country.

TREEP set to explode

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new gospel group TREEP made up of Oluchi Sophia Onwuteaka (LUCH), Innocent Aniedi-Jackson (Aniedii) and Onuoha Judith Obiageli (Jayd) is set to give their best on the entertainment scene with their new releases Bamidele and Champion produced by Mr Daz and Toba respectively from their debut album entitled Project Truth. TREEP comprises of two female and one male talented singer who are all united by a common passion in music. Meanwhile, plans are on ground for an exclusive album launch which is scheduled to hold next month, September 23 at Oceanview Restaurant, Victoria Island, Lagos. According to Aniedii, "the group was formed in 2010 out of the strong passion to inspire, with the formidable force of our eclectic, soul-lifting songs and lyrics". And our primary goal is to spread God's word and to speak the love language and positively motivate people all over the world through our soulful songs”. He said

•TREEP

at Notting Hill

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Ice Prince out with two singles

HOCOLATE City's Ice Prince Zamani has released his highly anticipated singles titled 'Aboki' and 'More'. Both songs were produced by Chopstix and they were exclusively released on

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T the Hammersmith Apollo Theatre on Monday August 27, venue of the finale of the Notting Hill Carnival, fans trooped en masse to watch Africa's D'Banj as he thrilled the audience with a repertoire of songs spanning his over seven-year career. Alongside his dexterous dancers, D'Banj and a full live band issued hit after hit on stage as they took the audience musically through his cache of songs including Mr. Endowed, Scapegoat, Why Me and a host of others. The entertainer wrapped up the night with his international award winning hit Oliver Twist. D'banj was supported by his friends from G.O.O.D Music, as well as Naeto C, May7ven among others. Speaking after the concert, he expressed appreciation to all his fans who had enthusiastically welcomed the star just before his epic performance. “It has been an awesome week here in London. My fans are simply amazing. As always, it has been a great opportunity to once again connect with my fans, one that I will always cherish,” he said. subtle mid-tempo song that D'Banj, it is reported, will also be talks of a turbulent love story. supporting 21 year old British One partner has lost hope in singer song writer, Rita Ora, on her the relationship, the other UK tour beginning on August 30th, wills for more in love and 2012. support. Both songs can be exclusively downloaded on Spinlet.

HE nominees list for the forthcoming Headies has been released and Pop stars P Square and alternative signer Bez have emerged the highest nominees for this year's edition of the awards which is regarded as Nigeria's leading awards for urbane music and hip hop/pop culture. P Square, who have had an interesting year musically, with groundbreaking collaborations, chart-topping videos, and bestselling concerts, packed six big nominations, including nods for album of the year, artiste of the year, and song of the year. Bez, a rapidly rising singermusician, who is winning accolades from fans and critics, is this year's other major contender, with six nominations, also. Bez is up for Revelation of the year, best vocal performance (male) and best collabo; as well as best R&B/Pop single and Best R&B/Pop album. P Square and Bez are closely followed by A-listers Wizkid, Davido and Ice Prince who

August 28. 'Aboki' is Ice Prince's way of celebrating the North, the successes that are largely unnoticed, and correcting the stereotype that comes with the word Aboki. 'More', the bonus track is a

Bez, P Square, Wizkid, Davido, others headline Headies 2012

grabbed four nominations each. Praiz, who continues to grow steadily as a singer to court, also got four nods from the awards committee. The popular 'Next Rated' category will have Davido, Eva Alordia, Praiz and Chuddy K competing for the prize, which comes with a brand new car. This year's Headies (also known as Hip hop world awards) is rewarding deserving works released into the Nigerian market between March 2011 and February 2012. Some other nominees include Naeto C (3), Chuddy K (3), D'Banj (3), Wande Coal (3), Tiwa Savage (2), Iyanya (2), Brymo (2), Terry G (1), Waje (1) and Cobhams (2). The full list and table of nominees, which was made available by the awards committee, covers a diverse range of talents, from pop to

R&B, hip hop, soul and several emerging Nigerian sounds. The Headies 2012 is scheduled to hold at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotels and Suites, in Lagos on Sunday October 20, 2012. Iconic hip-hop act M.I and multi-award-winning singersongwriter Omawumi will host the highly anticipate d event.

•Bez

•Dbanj

Deebee drops two tracks

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OLLABO exponent DeeBee recently dropped two singles off his forthcoming album. Both songs are said to be vintage street hop songs titled 'Rock Your Body' and 'Wasere'. The tracks according to the artiste's management were officially release on 28 August. DeeBee's first single titled 'Collabo' which was released in May 2008 virtually shot him into limelight and he later went on to drop his debut album in 2009. Though off the scene for a while, the energetic performer had been busy in the past creating a new style of music while promotions have begun in earnest with a 3 star summer club tour which started last week in order to give the singles the needed airplay that it deserves.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

ntertainment

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ntertainment

I am very hard working and I am contended with what I have. Whatever you are bringing, it is likely that it is not as much as I have and even if it is more than that, I am not looking at it. If you want to buy me a jeep, I will tell you I have a Mercedes Benz 2012 model, I have another 'molue' Sunny that I am using for my business

ntertainment

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Famous for her roles in television drama, Jaye Kuti could be described as a woman of many parts, especially considering her involvement in other businesses. In this interview with DUPE AYINLAOLASUKANMI, she opens up on her recipe for success and why she had to put a hold to her TV show.

If you say, you want to marry me, I won't say no. Action speaks louder than words. You want my number, I will give it to you, but there are places that you go one or two times and you won't go there again. By the time you keep coming, the answers you get will chase you away

we went to, told us that if it is not up to N200m, they won't be a part of it. I told them that this programme is big but not up to that and that they know what they were getting on that huge amount. Now I am doing something small, another programme on the TV on a low budget. I believe that by the time it 'blows', they will see it. When I go back to them, they will know that I know what I am doing and be part of it. As an actress, what would you say are your achievements? Making movies, acceptance and making money. I must confess that in all I have been doing, God has really helped me, and I think I have been able to achieve a lot by making something which the world accepts. I make money through it that we can buy land and build houses on. I do documentaries, adverts and everything that has to do with entertainment. I thank God As a beautiful married woman, how do you handle men?

In this part of the world, men don't care if you have kids. Once you are beautiful everybody wants to have a share. It is very easy for me because once you come to me and say you want to date me, my answer is never 'no'. I will say I am interested in you too. If you say, you want to marry me, I won't say no. Action speaks louder than words. You want my number, I will give it to you, but there are places that you go one or two times and you won't go there again. By the time you keep coming, the answers you get will chase you away. Our men are stubborn, you know I have children and you still come to me. Where do you want to take me; Hotels? I am a known face and these hoteliers will be seeing me. I am very hard working and I am contended with what I have. Whatever you are bringing, it is likely that it is not as much as I have and even if it is more than that, I am not looking at it. If you want to buy me a jeep, I will tell you I have a Mercedes Benz 2012 model, I have another 'molue' Sunny that I am using for my business. If you want to buy me a

land, I am into land and property, which means I am a property owner. So what do you want? Abi make I come born for you? I have enough children, I have male and female. So I just leave them to express themselves, but I know I won't go out of my shell to do what I am not supposed to do. How long have you been married? I have been married for 12 years. How did you manage to get up to 12 years, especially knowing that entertainers' marriages are known not to stand the test of time? When I joined the industry like nine years ago, it was not easy with my husband having to stay at home and me not being there. However, with planning and my man wanting me to do the same thing, it worked well. I am not saying it was easy, but I want to say I am lucky to have the kind of man I have. He is very understanding. I travel abroad sometimes for three weeks in a month. Once it has to do with my success, he says it is fine. That is why I cannot take my mother out of my life too. I don't do what I am not supposed to do. I am a married woman and I respect that. You won't find me where you are not supposed to and my husband knows that. What is so special about him that made you choose him out of all the men? We were friends before we started dating. You know these our men can be very tricky too. In my mind, there was neither marriage nor relationship. I didn't know what he was coming with. I just discovered that we became friends and he was always looking out for me. When I finished from Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, he said he wanted me to go to the University to get a degree in English. The interest just developed and I just noticed that I was just doing what he wanted me to do. I don't think there was any time he proposed to me. We started living as one, did

our engagement, got married and I got pregnant. Things were just happening. He would call me to say he wants me to come and help him cook and it just went on like that. Then there were the kisses. We got married and we still were not asking questions until now. What do you do at your leisure? I love watching movies. If you go to Silverbird Galleria, they know me there. They even give me free tickets. My children are always there. Even in Ozone Cinemas, their managers know me. The cinema is my second home because I am not a party person. My children love going to the beach on Sundays. I go to swim too. I am a member of Apapa Club. They have a very big swimming pool there. Who is Jaye Kuti? Jaye Kuti is the CEO of Jaylex Aesthetic production. I am into film and video production; I am a business woman and a woman of many parts. Can you explain what you meant by woman of many parts? By woman of many parts, I mean that I am doing production on this part, on the other side I am selling land and property and on another side, I am managing hotels. Apart from that, I sell Italian shoes and bags. How do you put all these together? It takes a lot of planning which makes it easy for me these days. With time I have really learnt how to plan myself. My office is where my hotel is and the land and property part, I run from the same place. Then when it comes to production, we all know that we go to location to do our thing. There are no difficulties facing any of them. What about your role as a woman at home? That too, has to do with planning as well. Because this is what I do and my husband has come to understand me. His accepting that I should go on with what I do means we have come to a particular understanding at home. I also thank God I have a mother that helps me take care of my children. I don't think I would be comfortable leaving my children in the hands of a stranger. My mother is not a stranger and with her and my husband, I have been able to cope and do a lot of things. I could not have done all alone without them. So what are you up to these days? I am working on three new movies. It is a long time I produced last, like two years ago. Piracy and some other issues have been delaying me. I didn't t want a situation whereby an executive producer will put down money for us and we start telling him that marketer has not paid. But now I believe it is time for me to start producing. What is the movie all about? I cannot tell you that, because our people are fond of stealing ideas and concepts. Once you say it, some other person is already working on it and it will even come out before your own while you are still waiting for your Executive Producer to give you money. That is why we just give it working title. I don't have the money now, but they have the money and they just go ahead and produce. One of the movies is on modern day kingdoms while the other is about a man and a woman from different phases. The third one is about a little boy, who came from the village to Lagos, to seek the good life, but had to go back to his roots, before he could make it.

37

Moji Afolayan is one of the children of the late movie legend popularly called Ade Love. An actress herself, Moji, in this interview with DUPE AYINLAOLASUNKUMI debunks the rumour that there is animosity among the children of her late father. She spoke on an array of other issues.

‘No man can beat my achievement’

T seems you have a preference for sitcoms over home videos. How true is that?

I came into the industry doing soap operas because that was what I loved. Then, I was in a paid employment. So, it was more like a parttime acting. I started with Laugh Pattern. My shoot most times fell on weekends, during which I would not be at work. When I left paid employment and came into acting fully, I still found myself in the soap opera world. I featured in Laugh Pattern, Everyday People, Young, Single and Free, One Love, Face to Face, Spider and others that I can't remember right now. Soap opera has been part of me, but when people started complaining that I was being arrogant and proud, I said to them that I have my own films too that I wanted to produce. We all know that, it is not the money that is the issue in this part of the world, but the passion. Gradually, one or two friends started calling me, and now I still do some of my series, but I do more of Yoruba now. What do you mean, when you said that you want to change the face of romance in Nigerian movies? Yes, I want to change the face of romance in our movies, especially the Yoruba movies. No doubt, I am married. But this job that we do, we just have to be real about it. We watch lot of romantic movies and I don't like them. I don't like them in the sense that, you will see a man and a woman cast as husband and wife, but we don't see love and romance. When you call someone your wife and you can't kiss, peck or touch her when you are supposed to, it looks so dry. This happens more in our Yoruba movies. You will see a man and a woman wanting to hug and they will be so far away from each other. I say I want to change it because I have some films that I want to do and make people see what we really mean by romance. Romance does not mean having sex or deep kisses; it is the way we touch and look at each other. In fact, sometimes you don't need to say a word. You can make somebody want you or show interest in you by just looking at the person. There are lots of body languages that we can use, but they have lost it totally in the movie world. As a married woman, what is your husband's opinion on this idea of yours? He feels so irritated whenever he takes note of what I am talking about. When I am watching, I call his attention and say 'darling looking at these stupid people'. How can you call yourself husband and wife, you see the wife, instead of putting her head on her husband's lap and do some hugging, and attractive body movement, you see her placing her head on his shoulder and facing up. My husband knows that I know more about caring and loving people, so he wants me to go correct it. What happened to the TV show, What Women Want? I really tried to make it work, but I could not get sponsors for it. You know, there are some programmes that you cannot just start small. What Women Want was just big the way it came, with studio, people and moving from one location to another. It is a programme that could help our women because it had to do with everything that concerns the woman. I am hoping and I know that God will help me bring it to life. Having been in the industry for some time, why did you have difficulty getting sponsors? That was what I felt too because the programme was brought to my life some years back. I thought that by the time I am known, I should be able to get sponsors. But what we got was in kind and not in cash. We got products from them to give to our audience. The money we needed was not coming out. In fact the bank

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Why my husband stays at home to nurse the kids—Moji Afolayan

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HILE your dad was alive, did you know you were going to become an actress? Not at all-then I was very young, and my dad would force me to go acting with him. He would say that, his other colleagues' children do act too. Because I was a bit shy, to be sincere, I am a shy person; my acting was not good at that time. I was forced to act for him. Back then, films were being shot on celluloid; the one being shown on the big screen in the cinemas. When did you start acting professionally? I started in the year 1999. As a shy person, what then made you go into showbiz? Can I actually remember what made me start acting? I guess I just discovered with time, that I had passion for acting. Being married to someone in the same profession, how have you been able to pull it together? (Laughs) Now you want to get into my private life. I won't tell you anything on that part. I would only give you a little bit of it. By God's grace, my family has been peaceful. It is neither by our might nor power. If God is the foundation of your marriage, then it will hold for life. Although we are facing challenges here and there with the forces out there, but if God holds your marriage, it will last forever. So, that is the secret of my marriage. Does your husband have a say in your role selection? If any producer comes to me and gives me a role to play, it is fine by me. My husband doesn't say anything about my scripts because he knows everything about my life and trusts me so much. Have you acted any role as a couple with your husband? Yes, so many movies. I have acted as his wife in a lot of movies.

How do you combine your career with being a mother? It takes the grace of God. He has been doing it for me. When you are going on set, who do you leave your children with? When I am going on set, my husband stays at home. This is because we don't usually go together. When it is his turn to go, I stay at home with the kids. That is how we have been doing it all along. We don't get to see you in your brother's production. Why is that? You see, there is unity among us and we the Afolayan's are very professional. We give roles or cast roles to whom we deem fit. Though we are born actors and actresses in our family, we are not given to sentiment. In no time, you will start seeing me in Kunle's movies. You say there is unity in the family; how do you react to the rumour that the only person you are close to in the family is Aremu Afolayan. Who said that? It could be a wrong impression. It is all lies please. You are hearing from the horse's mouth now. We are very close to each other. Have you started producing your own movies? By His grace, I only did one. But I am attempting to work on the second one very soon. Being born in a movie producing family, producing movies should not be a problem to you. My sister, it is not easy. I can't follow the majority to do what they are doing all in the name of producing movies. For me, I have a name to protect and my children are also there to consider. I don't want anything that will tarnish my image; the image that my father built for so many years should not get soiled by me. So what are you working on presently? I don't want to let the cat out

There are periods when you go seek for help from somebody, and they will want to have sex with you before they can do anything for you? If my father was still alive, such thing would not have happened. Nobody can ever fill that space

of the bag. I will let you know when it is done. Can you relive your life with your father before his demise? I don't want to talk about that period. It was not a good memory after he passed away. Though I was very close to him when he was alive, but after his death, things turned around. There are periods when you go seek for help from somebody, and they will want to have sex with you before they can do anything for you? If my father was still alive, such thing would not have happened. Nobody can ever fill that space. Have you always been fair complexioned or did you have to improvise like some of your colleagues in the industry? (Laughs) this has been my complexion right from time. And about my colleagues, there is nothing we can do about it. If you are grounded in the word of God, you won't look at what they are doing and join them. This is who I am and I don't work with other people's clock. Any plan to crossover to the English sector? Yes, if I am invited. It will be a welcome thing for me. Which of the caucuses do you belong in the Yoruba film industry? My husband's caucus and it is under ANTP. When I called, you said you were going to the market. Do you still do your shopping yourself? Yes, I still go to the market and I don't see anything wrong with that. Though some will come to you and say they enjoy what you do. It is all part of the job. Some will even run after you and stand in front of you to ask for money, but how many people can we give money to? What is your educational background? I went to Koka Primary School, then to Agboju Secondary School, where I did my first and second year. After that, my brother and I were moved to Kwara Sate to complete our education. I finished in the year 1987. I moved to Oyo State College of Education, now Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, where I studied English and Yoruba.


THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

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HE pain of the London 2012 Olympics is still fresh on our minds. I am deeply by the results, There and soare arenoa 160hurt million Nigerians. excuses to be given, no blames to be shared, and no escape from trauma of dashed hopes. The hurt is REAL, and like when one loses a loved one, we naturally ask questions in our state of anguish, as we seek to come to terms with harsh reality. “Joy and Sorrow are two parts of one coin, and holding that coin together as ‘ONE PEOPLE ONE NATION’ will help us heal better, and plan for a better tomorrow. As Thomas Jefferson said, “it is amazing what we could accomplish if we do not care who gets the credit”. In Nigeria’s case, I would also add that “it would be amazing what we would accomplish if we do not care who gets the blame”. “I love my sport, and I have never cared much about who gets the credit for my victories, or the blame for my defeats. I never lingered and complained for ages about training on Coalt a r surfaces or kic king tree branches as targets,

Don't let us dwell on the past –Chukwumerije The London 2012 Olympics may have come and gone, but athletes and sports fans alike have still not come to terms with the dismal performance of Team Nigeria at the quadrennial event. For team captain Chika Yagazie Chukwumerije, it is time for Nigeria as a nation to learn to forget the past and look forward to a better future especially in sports. Addressing the press in Lagos, Chukwumerije charts way forward for Nigeria sports. INNOCENT AMOMOH was there. while my opponents on the world stage had the most enviable infrastructure to train in. “But over the past 12 years, I made very slow but positive progress because all I cared about was just accomplishing something great for myself and Country, rather than the circumstances aro und me. I am dis heartened that

my results fell short of the high expectations Nigerians rightly had of me a n d perhaps, a num ber of my tea m mates .

I

•Chukwumerije

mak e no excuses for the results. “But i am not sorry for the 4 years I trained hard for the Olympics. I am not sorry that I put in 100% in the past 3 O l y m p i c s

representing this country. I am not sorry for the amount of hard work and planning that went into my preparations. I trained long and hard for London 2012 using a program initiated in 2005. The same program saw me conquer Africa and win a Gold medal in the 2007 All Africa Games. The program saw me clinch an Olympic Bronze medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. That same program helped me win a Silver medal in the 2011 All Africa Games, and qualified me for the London 2012 Olympics. I had the Olympics on my mind for 4 long years, and I was ready for it. I prepared well, and on that, I ran into sheer hard luck. I c o m m e n d a n d congratulate my Cuban Opponent, Robelis Despaigne, for his victory. We both played a good game and fought a good fight, but in the end, only one can come out on top. He did – this is Sports! “Four years of having the Olympics on my mind, 4 years of putting my career on hold, 4 years of emotional and psychological rollercoasters. Surely, no one can feel the hurt greater or longer than I do. But as the Bible says “there are many plans in the heart of man, but the Lord’s counsel, that will stand”. I can say I did everything that should be done, that could be done, and I gave my ALL to my country. “Now, we must put the past behind us, and not dwell on WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN,

Rather, let us look to the future and say NEVER AGAIN. London 2012 has become a part of our collective history, and as a great man once said “the past makes us who we are, we must not make it our burden” Chukwumerije said. As captain of team Nigeria, what is the way forward? On the way forward for Nigerian sport, there is nothing I will say now that anybody hasn’t said before. In my own little experience I will just tell you what I do. When I attend a tournament, I don’t spend two years analising what went wrong, the next week I go into training. I am not going into details, because you guys already know the problem, lack of grass root development programmes and the rest. We can’t spend all the time dwelling on what has happened. As we speak tournaments have already started all over the world. Those that competed in London are already competing again. So for the athlete, they should get down to serious work. It may not be smooth at the beginning, but we must set goals for the future, we must also consider a short term plan. Let’s just start doing something. Again we have to just keep moving. Will you keep competing for Nigeria? This is my country, and I will serve it in the best capacity that I can. After each Olympic I normally take three months to reflect and ask myself if I have the capacity to move on. You must be passionate about what you do, and if I cannot commit the next three four years of my life to what I do, and then I should forget about the Olympics. I Have not made that decision, when

I do, I will let you all know in due cause. How will you access the quality of coaching from the Korean coach, KunSi-Haweon prior to the Olympics. Will you say you had the best coaching under him? It is an emphatic yes; I had the best form of coaching. If you watched my fight in London compared to that of Beijing I was a lot better. I was very composed. The preparation was fantastic. It was on point. If you ask me I think I will need him again if I had to. But whether he will be retained will be the decision of the National Sports Commission (NSC) and the Taekwondo Federation. But I think they should, or else we will be losing a lot. He has gained Olympic experience; he has learned how to handle the administrative shenanigan when it comes to working in Nigeria. He knows the athletes in and out, and we are enjoying support from the Korean sporting authority, when they donated full kits of electronic equipment, just because he is here. When he coaches, he shows you the examples. There is this added advantage of the Asian culture, their doggedness and discipline. I am sure younger Nigerians will benefit from his presence; I think he should be given another year’s contract. Master Kim was here for seven or eight years as coach in the 80’s and led the Taekowondo team to winning a bronze medal at the World Championship and other competitions. I can say that there are a lot of advantages. I need to make that decision again, am I willing to compete again. Now I am also committed to discover the young talents. What are your plans for the

WEST BROM VS EVERTON

Baggies sweat over Osaze

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IGERIA international, Osaze Odemwingie will be aiming to increase his goal tally if he recovers fast from his injuries when his Premier League side West Brom host Everton today looking to halt David Moyes' side's blistering start to the season. Everton are notoriously slow starters so back-to-back opening wins over Manchester United (1-0) and Aston Villa (3-1) were welcomed not just for the impressive manner of both but their significance in reversing the club's fortunes. The striker scored his first league

Peter Utaka chasing CSL Golden Shoe

AFTERMATH OF LONDON 2012 FLOP

•Anichebe struggling for a place goal in a 3-0 trashing of Liverpool, and West Brom, under new manager Steve Clarke, have looked similarly spritely in their two openers, also scooping a welldeserved point in a 1-1 draw at Tottenham. The Midlands club were tipped as relegation candidates before the season proper but have looked anything but in their first two games.

Though the Nigerian has also been the subject of interest from several Premier League clubs and Juventus this summer, West Brom is determined to keep him at the club. He has struggled with injury at the start of this season and Clarke is still waiting to see if he will be fit enough to be named in the squad Meanwhile compatriot, Victor Anichebe is still struggling for a starting shirt at Everton in the

three weeks running, playing the bench role since the league commence. With the Merseyside club looking dynamic with wiry Belgian Marouane Fellaini unplayable in the opening two fixtures having notched two goals in two games, following just 11 in his last three campaigns, Anichebe will do more to impress manager David Moyes for a first team place.

D

•Chukwumerije

Olympics in 2016? I really cannot say now because I am still trying to recover from the 2012 Olympic failure. I have to settle again for a few months. I have to ask myself if I am willing to ride of this rola costa again. That was what I did after Beijing, and if I discover I cannot should the same kind of commitment I will not go. The Italian that won the Gold medal in London in my weight category is 32, the Greece is 33. So for my weight category, this is actually the perfect time for me to prepare. Both fighters don’t need to do a lot of extra things I do. I am not complaining, I like it since I am blazing the trail, but I need to make that decision, I am I

willing to commit aagain. I think in the next couple of months I should give a definite answer. I am also committed to looking out for the young ones coming. Have you discovered any prospect yet as far as Taekwondo is concerned? I think the answer is yes. There are 150 million Nigerians, are we saying there won’t be one person that will be a lot better than I am? I don’t think so. For the rest of the year in the various tournament I am just going to look out for them. I know some of them will have the challenges of how to start and that is where I come in.

I trained long and hard for London 2012 using a program initiated in 2005. The same program saw me conquer Africa and win a Gold medal in the 2007 All Africa Games. The program saw me clinch an Olympic Bronze medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. That same program helped me win a Silver medal in the 2011 All Africa Games, and qualified me for the London 2012 Olympics.

ALIAN Aerbin’s Nigeria striker, Peter Utaka last weekend rekindled his pursuit of the Chinese Super League Golden Shoe after taking his goal tally to 17. The former OB Odense of Denmark powerful striker is currently second on the scorers chart behind Cristian Danalache of Jiangsu Sainty with 19 goals and has seven games left of the campaign to achieve his aim. Last weekend, the 28-year-old Enugu-born struck twice to help Dalian Aerbin to a 2-1 win over Changchun Yatai, in a league game also featuring Mali and former midfielder Seydou Keita. Didier Drogba and Yakubu Aiyegbeni are other strikers of

African origin that have been painting the CSL with goals following their summer arrival, but the duo is far behind on the chart, having only recently joined their respective clubs from Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers. Both players were also on target for their clubs last weekend. Drogba scored a goal in each half to help Shanghai Shenhua draw 3-3 at Shandong Luneng to take his tally to four in six games. Yakubu Ayegbeni also took his tally to four in as many games after producing both goals for fourth-placed Guangzhou R & F, who came from behind to edge out Liaoning Whowin 2-1.

•Peter

Moses grateful to Wigan •Osaze

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OLLOWING his £9 million switch to Chelsea, Victor Moses has offered kind words regarding the Latics and the contribution to his progress that the club offered. The former Crystal Palace forward has spent the best part of two and a half years with the Latics and played an instrumental part in the survival of the club in the top flight last season. Speaking after the ink was dry on his new Chelsea contract, the Nigerian international had only kind words to offer for everyone involved with Wigan Athletic. Moses said: "I'd like to put on record my sincere thanks to everyone at Wigan Athletic for

the tremendous support they showed me during my time there. "I'd like to thank the chairman, Dave Whelan, and all of the staff at Wigan for giving me the chance to play in the Premier League. "In particular, I'd like to thank the manager, Roberto Martinez, who has been a major influence on my career up to this point, as well as the Wigan fans - who were always great with me." Latics fans will certainly hope that Chelsea are able to appreciate the talent that they have signed and give Moses plenty of first team opportunities. Meanwhile, Wigan manager Roberto Martinez believes that new Chelsea signing Victor

Moses is irreplaceable. Moses completed a move from Wigan to Stamford Bridge last week. Martinez does not expect to be able to replace the Nigeria international and says he will simply remain on the lookout for opportunities that might arise. "It's a case of finding the players we want to try to improve the squad," Martinez told reporters. "That's been a case of whether we're going to lose any players or not. We have to cope with moving players on. "I think Victor Moses was such an influential player and such a special player for us I don't think

you can replace him with another individual.

•Moses


THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

NATIONS CUP QUALIFIERS

Eagles primed for Liberia battle N

•Keshi

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ROWING up in Aba in the 1970’s as a young boy, I often found myself in the minority when the discussion is about club football. Club football then was about Rangers, IICC, Bendel Insurance, Raccah Rovers, Vasco Da Gama, ECN and my lone voice that shrilled Spartans of Owerri. It was not about Liverpool of Kenny Dalglish nor Nottingham Forest, Millwall and lately, Arsenal and Manchester that have come to dominate the psyche of today’s analysts. Yes, we had Shoot Magazines and other imported magazines to read and cut out posters for our school dormitory walls and small corners at home, but it never over-shadowed our interest in Christian Chukwu, Uwalaka, Dominic Nwobod, Segun Odegbami, Mudal Lawal, Ikechukwu ‘Man Mountain’ Madukairo, Inua Rigogo, Alloy Atuegbu, and many others. We were fed these names on radio by Ernest Okonkwo, Tolu Fatoyinbo, Sebastine Offurum and on the prints by the likes of Babatunde Osuntolu aka Esbee, Uche Ejimofor, Segun Adenuga, Tunde Sadiq and Toyin Makanjuola amongst others. These folks had access to foreign football through agency reports but never allowed it to obliterate the exploits in our then amateur league.

IGERIA’s Super Eagles are tightening all loose ends in ensuring a plausible outing in the September 8th African Cup of Nations qualifier against the Lone Star of Liberia in Monrovia. The local players have been sweating it out in camp awaiting the arrival of their foreign counterparts, who, according to the team’s media officer, Ben Alaiya, should be in camp in the next four days. Tuesday, manager Stephen Keshi had the doctors carry out a discreet medical examination on the players, to guide against hidden injuries that might militate against getting desired results from the double-legged tie. All players were passed fit following the exercise done without them getting a hint of what had taken place. Sportsrollcall.com also gathered that the various departments of the Nigeria Football Federation are in constant touch with the 11 invited foreign players, with invitation letters dispatched to

them days before the list was made public. The team’s vice captain and first choice, Vincent Enyeama, who clocked 30 on Wednesday and Joseph Yobo, top the list of the foreign players. Others are Nosa Igiebor, Ahmed Musa, Ikechukwu Uche, Elderson Echiejile, Afe Ambrose, Emmanuel Emenike, Nwankwo Obiora, Brown Ideye and Chelsea new signing Victor Moses. Meanwhile, the ever-broke NFF has gone cap-in-hand to the National Sports Commission for funds to prosecute the double-legged tie Nigeria must win to stage a comeback to Africa’s biggest football tournament, having failed to reach the finals of the last edition co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Liberia, which stand as Nigeria’s last hurdle to next year’s edition in South Africa, have been up with some pranks over the choice of pitches for the first leg. The country’s FA has yet to decide between natural and artificial turfs and definitely wants the game played on a type that will not favour Nigerian players. “The Liberia FA is trying to play some pranks on the kind of pitch the game will be played on. When they told us the game will hold on an artificial pitch, we agreed. Then they later said it is natural pitch, we also said we were ready,” said Alaiya, who added that the team was striving for a 100% physical fitness level to avoid early burnout. “The technical crew is currently to get the players in top physical shapes to guard against early burn-out noticed in the last friendly game against Niger Republic in Niamey. The likes of Juwon Oshaniwa and Gabriel Rueben were practically grasping for breath in Niamey and we don’t want that to happen in Monrovia,” he said.

Heartland’s success, another feather for Ndubuoke It was also not true that our league standard then was anything near the European qualities but we simply had pride in what was ours contrary to what is peddled by some neo-colonialist football experts and analysts. Yes, the internet has reduced the world information order to a just a click on the modern communication gadgets, but what we had at the time answered to the needs of that era just like we will experience greater revolution in technology in years ahead. As I watched the transformed Challenge Cup on television (something we also didn’t enjoy in the early 1970’s) memories came flooding back to the streets and playgrounds of the then East Central and later on Imo and Anambra States. At some point then, it was usually a war between fans of Vasco Da Gama and Rangers International with the later being the club of choice, considered by Igbos as the spirit of Biafra. By 1977, a new team, Spartans of

By

Harry Iwuala Owerri joined the fray and it took little time for a colony of fans to trail them. I was one of them and not even the formation of Falcons which later transformed to Enyimba with a camp close by my house in Aba town deterred my queuing behind the Naze Warriors. But Spartans was greatly oppressed by Rangers just like some big spending European teams are dealing with Arsenal, prying away prized players at every turn. Thus, the likes of late Ben Okorogu, Sunny Ikwuagwu, Mike Emenalo and many other others were lured away from Imo State to Rangers after their secondary school education and stints with Spartans. But we endured the intimidation and trudged on

reaching a point of winning the league in 1980, 1981 and 1982 but denied by Rangers especially in 1981. By the turn of the 1980’s, the Military administration in Imo State had other priorities outside sports and thus, Spartans and the allconquering women handball team, the Grasshoppers began to live like orphans until Chief Emmanuel Iwuanayanwu offered to rescue Spartans in a deal we never came to understand the terms. The team was renamed Iwuanyanwu Nationale but some Nigerian Sports Journalists went to town denouncing the name as jawbreaking. That x-rays the extent the Nigerian can go to resist change even if for good. The club with first, A

Brazilian coach and later, the Greek, Theophanis Dimitris responded with instant performance after a tour of Brazil and Portugal began to thrill the country with sassy football featuring the likes of Benji Nzeakor, Lawrence Ukaegbu, Kevin Onwana, Chike Arisa and later, the Etim Esins, Friday Ekpo and the others. In the midst of all these were some Journalists with the Nigeria Statesman, the regional newspaper that had Uche Ejimofor, Fan Ndubuoke (Fans’ Assembly) and Emeka Inyama spinning incisive match and players’ profiling that made you think you really knew the players first hand. Ejimofor joined Iwuanyanwu as team manager and later General Manager while Ndubuoke and Inyama moved up to Lagos to work with Iwuanyanwu’s Champion Newspapers. They continued with the great work until they teamed up with a former Spartans player, Onyebuchi Abia to found the SportsLink, an all

sports paper that set the pace for many others to copy. It has been a long winding Journey for Ndubuoke who will go on to become the President of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), a position he used to prop up the profile of sports journalists who were hitherto considered illtrained, unsophisticated and at best errand boys that were okay with brown envelopes. Under his tenure, a national SWAN Cup sponsored by NIKE was organized and yours truly emerged the highest goals scorer and Most Valuable Player, leading Lagos to capture the trophy and N500, 000 prize money in 1994. He later became a board member of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) and it was their tenure that first qualified Nigeria for the World Cup in 1993. As Iwuanyanwu Nationale, the Imo State team dominated the domestic football scene in the late 1980’s into the 1990’s and produced the likes of Ramson Madu, Nwankwo Kanu, Mobi Oparaku and Sylvester Oparanozie amongst others. But the club, for all its dominance never was able to match the Rangers and Nigeria Railways FC record of back to back wins in the Challenge Cup. They won once in 1988 but lost it the following year. Today, Heartland in a season they were unheralded and bogged down by cash and other problems soared high to retain the Federations Cup and enter the record books. In 2010, Heartland came close to success with a runners-up position in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) and a continental ticket, reaching the finals of the CAF Champions League but losing. Despite reported financial hardships in the 2011 season, Heartland reached and won the finals of the Federations Cup. The financial crunch was so bad that the Dutch Technical Adviser severally stayed away on account of backlog of salaries and it does not seem there has been any reprieve with the players threatening to boycott last Sunday’s Federation Cup defense against Lobi Stars. As was the case in 2011, Governor Rochas Okorocha milked the propaganda value of the club’s achievement, showing up at the Teslim Balogun Stadium to hang out with the victorious players that he never cast a glance at their conditions in Owerri. It is possible Okorocha will decree henceforth that only players of Imo State origin should be recruited into the club in consonance with his traditional governance mantra. But despite the neglect by the government, some individuals managed to prep the players and get them performing at optimum. Starting from Ndubuoke to Coach Nduka Ndubuisi and of course the players who rose above their challenges to excel, I salute your resilience in bringing this honour to a state in search of something to believe in. To Ndubuoke, this is another territory conquered and as a restive achiever, I know you will aim higher.


THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

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UNDAY was an exciting day in Lagos as the 67th Federation Cup competition came to an end in a truly grand manner at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. And, indeed, Teslim Balogun, whom the venue is named after, was one of the heroes as the late super striker was celebrated alongside a host of other past stars of the Cup in what the Main Organizing Committee aptly tagged ‘Parade of Stars’. The Parade of Stars was only one of the many facets of the Grand Finale that made Sunday, 26th August 2012 a memorable one that is sure to stay in the memory of many ball fans and indeed all Nigerians for a long time to come. The Organizing Committee, which had Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development in Lagos State, Mr. Wahid Enitan Oshodi and first Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation, Chief Mike Umeh as co-Chairmen, worked very hard to ensure that everything went smooth on the day. Of course, the path to a sumptuous day at Teslim Balogun Stadium was beautifully-laid weeks back when Governor Raji Fashola (SAN) presented to the NFF, a new, all-silver trophy for the competition. Surely, that gesture was well-appreciated by the NFF and even the teams taking part in the competition, as the battle became much, more fierce with eyes on the giant trophy. Big teams tumbled along the way and there was no doubt that whichever teams made it to the Grand Finale would repay the fans for turning up. The semi finals were always going to be hard nuts with Lobi Stars FC of Makurdi and Kano Pillars FC, both eyeing the Premier League crown as well, drawn to clash in Calabar, while surprise elements Prime FC were up against champions Heartland of Owerri, who were not ready to let go. Penalty shoot-outs had to come to the rescue and Lobi Stars and Heartland emerged winners to set up a titanic battle at Teslim Balogun Stadium. I congratulate Heartland FC for retaining the title, even as everyone thought the match was going into penalties before the late winner. Dolphins FC of Port Harcourt was the last Club to retain the Federation Cup,

A Memorable Grand Finale! Inside The

Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI when it defeated Enugu Rangers on penalties in 2007 following another penalty shoot-out triumph over Bendel Insurance in 2006. Lobi Stars also deserve their One Million Naira take-home after a hearty fight for the trophy in a fair and focused manner. Some of their players actually turned the eye with a gritty performance. Prime FC also deserve a mention and their Half-Million Naira cheque was welldeserved after they battled Kano Pillars to standstill in the third place and then kept their nerves better to win on penalties. May I use this opportunity and platform to heartily commend Governor Raji Fashola (SAN) for his commitment to the cause of the Federation Cup. He always finds time to be at the grand

I

T is sad that it has come to a stage where Nigerian players would be selective of a match to play for the country. That is how to describe the decision of Chelsea's John Mikel Obi not to play for Nigeria in the African Cup of Nations qualifier against Lone Stars of Liberia next month. Mikel, according to media reports, opted out of the match because it is to be played on an artificial turf. It means more than that to those who can read the handwriting on the wall. It is the first time a player would pull out of the national team on a flimsy excuse. It is a vote of no confidence on the coaching crew led by Stephen Keshi of its handling of affairs in the national team. Keshi has snubbed Mikel in recent

finale no matter his schedule. The Nigeria football family also appreciates him for his support and other initiatives that are in the interest of Nigeria football development and the youth in general. I also praise the Deputy Chairman of the PDP and a former NFF Board Member, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, who was there in person, as well as the amiable Chairman of House of Reps Committee on Sports, Hon. Godfrey Ali Gaiya. The Honourable Commissioner for Sports, Lagos State, Wahid Enitan Oshodi, Chief Mike Umeh, other members of the Organizing Committee, Chairman of the Lagos State Football Association, Barrister Akinwunmi and his members, aides of the Commissioner and officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Youth, Sports and Social Development, NFF

Executive Committee members and Management, Chairmen and Secretaries of State FAs and other stakeholders made the day one to remember. Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Deputy Governor of Benue State, Chief Steven Lawani (OFR) also turned up with good number of their Executive Council members to cheer their different teams in the final match. Yeah, there was a shortfall in expected spectatorship but the Lagos State Government must be commended for the innovation of getting school children into the stands to give us a brilliant atmosphere. Surely, the Federation Cup can only get better with the template that has been fashioned and the kind of passionate commitment that we have from all those involved in making it better and more glorious. It is my fervent belief that with

our teams earning better results in international competitions, the fans will again be excited to turn up for football matches and support our teams the way they used to. There are, of course, several ideas that are being pulled together and mulled over as we look to make next year’s competition an even more grand affair. A fresh list of heroes will be compiled for recognition – something to look forward to for those who have shone brightly in the Federation Cup, considering the kind of attention that the persons honoured last Sunday received. You only needed to look at their different faces on Sunday to know how delighted they were to have their past exploits recognized in such a forum. While late Teslim ‘Thunder’ Balogun was represented by his son, the late Haruna Ilerika (dynamite of a midfielder) was represented by his widow. Coaches Alabi Aisien and Amodu Shuaibu, and veteran broadcaster and journalist of repute Fabio Lanipekun beamed from ear to ear as they joined the former playing heroes in the stands and later to receive medals at the touchline. Victor Oduah, captain of the Green Eagles team that won the gold medal of the football event of 2nd AllAfrica Games, at the National

Stadium, Lagos; Ismaila Mabo, defensive midfielder of note with Mighty Jets FC of Jos (which notably reached the final on 10 occasions and NEVER won the trophy); Muyiwa Oshode, ace striker for Lagos ECN and later Stationery Stores FC of Lagos; Christian Chukwu, captain of the Green Eagles that won African Cup of Nations in 1980; Emmanuel Okala, goalkeeper who was dreaded by all strikers in his days; Sani Mohammed, creative midfielder with Stationery Stores; Moses Kpakor, captain of that muchrespected BCC Lions squad of the late 1980s and early 1990s and; Peter Rufai, another goalkeeping legend. The great thing is that most of these players also shone brightly for Nigeria at international level. Apart from captaining Bendel Insurance, Oduah reigned with the Green Eagles; Mabo played for the Green Eagles and later coached the Super Falcons to several continental triumphs, Olympics and FIFA Women’s World Cup; Oshode played for Nigeria at the 1968 Olympics; Chukwu captained Rangers and captained Nigeria, and was also Assistant Coach when Eagles won the Nations Cup in 1994, and today member of NFF Technical Committee; Okala was with Rangers and reigned with Green Eagles; Mohammed also shone for Green Eagles; Kpakor was Clemens Westerhorf’s famous ‘spoiler’ in the Super Eagles and; Rufai kept goal for Nigeria in two FIFA World Cup finals.

Mikel: Invitation should be on merit times in his selection of players for the Super Eagles and the decision of the midfielder should be seen as pay back. In other climes, invitation of players to the national team is based on current form of players in both the domestic and foreign leagues. In our country, under Keshi, we have seen a different scenario. Players who had been on fire for their clubs were left out of the national team on the excuse of rebuilding and that is enough to make a player's love for his country wax cold. Mikel is the best and biggest player of Nigerian origin in Europe. He plays for the champions of Europe and played a crucial role in their successes last season. If he were not good, he would not be making the team week in, week out. He is supposed to be the bedrock of the national team based on achievement, experience and current form. But the holding midfielder has been shut out of the national team and the gaffer's explanation has been that the player is in his plans.. Those he invited to play his role in the national team do not have the presence to take his place in the scheme of things and do not have the talent. They do not play regularly for their clubs and have not achieved. Mikel's opting out of the game in Monrovia, therefore, is another way of protesting this obvious rebuff from the national team coach. It is an indication that the Chelsea star is not ready to play for Nigeria under Keshi and has chosen club honours ahead of the country's. He would be ready to return under another dispensation when the gaffer would have respect for him and his achievement in the game. Some would tag Mikel's decision as unpatriotism, but I

AKINLOYE

AT LARGE

08050246155 atlarge84@yahoo.com do not see it as such. Something somewhere has gone wrong with the country and the national team that Nigerians are no longer willing to die for their fatherland. That which has gone wrong was responsible for the inability of Team Nigeria athletes to put up a sterling performance in London during the Olympic Games. That thing which has gone wrong must be axed from the country so that Nigerians would be willing to wave the flag with pride. Mikel had always answered the national call. He is one of the oldest players in the Super Eagles. He has paid his dues and has seen it all. He represented the country in the Nations Cup and played at the World Cup level missing out in the last edition in South Africa due to injury. The country does not care for his heroes and it does not encourage the young ones to want to die for the country and show an element of patriotism. Nigeria won the Nations Cup in 1994. It was the second time the country would be winning at the continental level. The history-making players were promised houses by the government for doing the country proud. Eighteen years after, the country is yet to fulfill that promise. Some of the players are still being owed the promise and that would definitely not encourage the young ones to go the extra mile for the country in international competitions. A country that does not keep her promise and care for its citizens does not

deserve patriotism. Mikel claims that playing on an artificial turf opens up a player quicker to injury. In time past, Nigerian players would not worry about injury or playing on an artificial turf. What they were thinkinf of is just to be given an opportunity to play for their fatherland. These Mikel never worried about in the past when he was not a thorough professional. He earns his money through football and injury would be a setback. As a player plying your trade in Europe, you lose your position and before you recover, another has taken your place and you are forced to watch from the bench. It is even better if the injury occurs while playing for your club. It is worse when it occurs on national duty. What insurance policy has the football federation put in place for a national team player who cops an injury in the national colours?. I would be surprised if there is any worth playing for. In the past, you are left to your own and your club picks the bill of your treatment back to health while you struggle to reclaim your place in the squad. These days they send you a letter acknowledging their concern and would parcel some money which won't be enough to do anything to you as compensation. A good example is the case of Victor Anichebe who was injured playing for Nigeria. The Everton striker was a regular in the squad before he copped the injury. Now that he is back after some months on the sidelines, the

player is still battling to regain his place in the Toffee's squad. Since he was convinced to play for his fatherland, Anichebe who had a promising career in England, has been shut out of the national team at the age of 22. He must be regretting his decision to play for his fatherland! It is sad that playing for the national team is no longer a thing of pride for players. It shows how deep Nigerian football at the national team level has fallen. The Mikel case may be waved away as a no case since we have many players scattered around the world who can be called upon to play for the country. It should not be allowed to degenerate. Mikel's decision not to play for Eagles has come. Others may follow. The national team should be returned to the era when players die to play for the country and would do everything possible to achieve the aim. Playing for the national team should be on merit. Other considerations must be set aside. Rebuilding the team should bot be an excuse to shut out players who should be in the national team on current form. The best in the land whether home or abroad should be picked for games and that is the only time that justice would reign in the land. IN BOX Keshi should learn how to manage good players like Osaze, Mikel, Kaita, Yakubu etc. A general does not gp to war with his seasoned and tested soldiers at home. Mark my words, if he stubbornly plays against Liberia with his home based players, I am afraid Nigeria may not qualify for AFCON in 2013.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

36

THE NEW

Nigeria Golf Federation

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HE English aphorism says it all: An ill wind blows nobody any good. Ridiculously, this is what the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) used to be. A faceless body that was driving all sweet innovations of modern day golf in Nigeria into the abyss. Once upon a time, even as close to some past three years, the game of golf has witnessed certain depths of despair. There were hardly tournaments to play in. All you see were colourless kitties where all you played for week after week were some cheap dinning sets and bread toasters. Some 'infant' tourneys that crawled a bit above kitties hardly offered more than lowly T-shirts that developed 'dog-ear' after a spell in your washing machine. But golfers could endure embarrassing moment. Lead them to Hole 19 and throw up a two-man band, then they would feel they had seen through a tourney akin to the Masters in Augusta, Georgia. Rather than cave in to the dalliance of alcohol on the 19th Hole, it beats every imagination that golfers hardly spare a moment to look back at what golf tourneys were offering in the 80's through the mid 90's. In those great years of yore, quality Pro-Am tournaments were available on a weekly basis. No golfer had time for "Owanbe" parties on the fairway in those great years. It was pure golf and nothing else. And the competition was fierce in a sense that every amateur who had a credible handicap could offer his right arm just to play alongside a professional golfer in a Pro-Am. These days, same amateurs prefer to use same professionals as some tools of convenience...something like a robot who would pick an amateur's golf kits right from the boot of the car. Don't blame the pros. They have so much been pauperized through a greedy system that affords no room for a credible tourney they could play in. Yet we have the NGF, which is empowered by government to do same thing the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) is doing to football. But is the NGF really existing? If it does exist, then it has to be a mere name on government's ledger where wages pour through the pipes of waste. You cannot believe it but the NGF doesn't have a clear relationship with any of over 60 golf clubs in Nigeria. Ask the people in that sorry federation and all they tell is that the golf

GOLFLINE

with

Tony Akhigbe golflineintl@yahoo.com 08094863638 clubs are privately owned. For God's sake we have so many private football clubs in Nigeria and they still play by the rules of the NFA. This thing is simple enough. You don't have to play it by the Aristotle's rule of tragedy where the hero must have a tragic flaw. The truth is nobody is asking the NGF to breathe down on golf clubs and kick them around like the EFCC would do to anyone who can't spell the name 'Obasanjo' right. But if the NGF can come up with genuine programmes for the upliftment of the game, it's sure the golf clubs will play along. It's time the NGF should go beyond featuring only the yearly President's Cup where government's funds are frittered into private pockets. At the moment, great things are coming the way of the nation's golf. Unlike in the best forgotten past where pros sweat to get a tourney to play in, tournaments are now flying in from every corner. But sad, again, the NGF is not poised to handle the situation effectively. You won't believe it, in the past weeks, about two or three quality tourneys clash on same weekend. Public knowledge of this idiocy could be ruinous...especially when one considers the sponsors who churn out large sum to put golf on the course. Nigerians must appreciate the fact that no sponsor would spill millions of Naira on the table just for the sake of entertainment alone. Every sponsor wants mileage and value for money. When the course is not packed with close to 350 golfers in one event, the aim of such event is already defeated. But where are you going to get 350 players in one quality event when about three others are playing in same day? But one could arrive at a puerile conclusion without still beckoning on the NGF to reach out to its duties. In the least, it won't be an hercuean task if NGF could work out a way of meeting with Golf Club committees across the country and work out a decent calendar that won't see three or four tourneys clash in one week. Or will this one be too much for any association? Good newa. There is a new NGF headed by Chief Sam Iredia, the main name in Nigerian golf. He says all will be well. He says Nigeria will be well represented in the 2016 Olympics. Okay lets wait for Iredia.

LEE WESTWOOD'S

new chipping method L

EE WESTWOOD goes into today’s second leg of the race for $10million (£6.3million) “amazed” that the short-game changes he introduced in the wake of his latest flop in a major have reaped rewards so quickly. While Ryder Cup qualification was reaching its intriguing climax last weekend, Westwood was quietly composing a top-five performance at the Barclays in the potentially lucrative FedEx Cup, which was his first top-30 placing since the US Open in June. Not only did it hurtle him up the US

Tour’s play-off standings, but it vindicated the difficult decision to part company with his long-time coach, Pete Cowen, after his missed cut at the USPGA Championship this month. Tony Johnstone, the veteran Zimbabwean professional, had become increasingly frustrated watching Westwood messing up his majors around the greens. He confessed to it “making him doolally”. So he got in touch with Team Westwood and, despite having very limited coaching experience, assured them he could help their man.

Johnstone was eventually given the chance a fortnight ago. He worked with Westwood on a five-day ‘trial’ basis and should expect future employment. “It was amazing how quickly I’ve seen the improvements,” Westwood said. “I made so many up and downs at Bethpage, which, when the greens are as quick as they were, is a treacherous place. I felt my ‘feel’ on chipping has really come back. Tony just took me back to basics and simplified things. I’m impressed how it’s going.”

Searching for the way forward after London 2012 Olympics (3)

I

N the second installment on this topic, published last week, we undertook an extensive analysis of the socio cultural forces working against optimum sports development in Nigeria. In order to overcome our constraints and fully liberate the potentials of Nigerian sports, I take the liberty to make the following suggestions. (1) Entrenchment of Sports Culture at the Grassroot. Given Nigeria’s huge population of young people and diversity of geography, I believe that the entrenchment of a sports culture at the grassroot would yield bountiful dividends of sports talents. The pillars of this programme must be primary and secondary schools. This should be complemented by a viable instructional programme in physical education. The management of these programmes should be in the hands of professionally qualified, competent and committed personnel. It also means that basic sports facilities should be provided in schools by Local, State and Federal government agencies. Some schools can be designated as model sports schools to facilitate the incubation of sports talents. Further details of this project such as incentives, nutrition etc, can be worked on by operators. 2. Commitment to Sports Development by State and Local Governments. Nigerian Sports will prosper partly to the degree of commitment to it by State and Local Governments. And because key operators of the institution of government at this level may not be cognate experts in Sports, there is a need to engage the services of cognate experts to achieve better results. We must eliminate the invasion of quacks, parading as experts in the world of sports, for progress to be made. There seems to be more quacks operating in sports than any other field of human endeavour. State Governments should establish and fund professionally functional and viable sports councils. Appointments to these institutions should be based on qualification, experience and pragmatic capacity of personnel to deliver on performance criteria, rather than on ethnic considerations or political patronage. 3. Athletes Training and Development Athletes can be nurtured and trained to get the best results. It requires commitment and sincerity of purpose by the officials. It is not done on television but on the sports field. The training programme must involve sports scientists at all stages. 4. Retraining of Sports officials All officials who are directly involved in the development of athletes need continuous training to upgrade their knowledge and competences. 5. Strengthening the National Sports Commission The Federal Government must strengthen the National Sports Commission to enable it provide stronger leadership in sports development. The passage of this bill into law will usher in a stronger and repositioned National Sports Commission. The current non-passage of the law establishing it should be quickly resolved by the National Assembly. The National Sports Commission should be assisted by government with the requisite enabling resources in a structured, systematic and proactive manner to enable it most effectively carry out its functions. Furthermore, a synergy aimed at boosting athletes development between the states and ministries of Education is an imperative. The National Sports Commission must intensify efforts in the implementation of the Sports Development Policy and Vision 20:20:20 instrument. 6. The Private Sector. The private sector must wake up and be counted in the sports sector. No excuses. The enabling tax law is facilitatory enough. Leading companies should form and manage, sports clubs, adopt and develop athletes in selected events; build sports facilities in schools and communities and support sports research, among others. •Azerbaijan's Elena Vystropova (r) fights against Nigeria's Edith Ogoke during their Women's Middle (75kg) Round of 16 boxing match during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 5


38

S

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

W O D L O O H L Y Rihanna’s

HE may have shocked parts of the world with her use of gun imagery and onstage antics but recently, Madonna managed to leave concert goers openmouthed yet again. The 54-year-old singer took her risque style a bit too far when she took to the stage in Philadelphia wearing an extremely low cut basque that almost bared her nipples. Despite being joined onstage by her son, Rocco, Madonna didn't seem embarrassed about showing off so much flesh and instead continued her controversial show as she launched the American leg of her tour. The singer's busty look came after she published a message on a website today insisting that her near-themark MDNA show is a metaphorical representation of 'the journey of a soul from darkness to light.' In a post titled 'The MDNA Tour - In Madonna's Own Words' the singer explained: 'It's true there is a lot of violence in the beginning of the show and sometimes the use of fake guns - but they are used as metaphors. 'I do not condone violence or the use of guns. Rather they are symbols of wanting to appear strong and wanting to find a way to stop feelings that I find hurtful or damaging.

GH OLLYWOOD

fashion show slumps in ratings

R

Madonna defends gun imagery

Cheryl Cole, Will.i.am in car accident

IHANNA'S Styled to Rock TV show has suffered a slump in ratings. The first week of the Sky Living show fronted by Nicola Roberts and featuring young designers who want to create a festival outfit for the You Da One singer was watched by 95,000 viewers, before falling to just 79,000 in the second week. The third week rallied to 110,000, but is still short of the approximate 150,000 viewers who usually tune into the channel. An insider said that 'it's pulled in respectable ratings. It airs on a tough night against big shows such as Jack Whitehall's Bad Education and it's difficult to launch a new show against strong competition.' Sky have claimed repeat viewings and catch-up TV have led to viewers of 440,000 for the first episode, and controller Stuart Murphy has said no one would turn Rihanna down for a show.

Yvonne Okoro’s younger sister for Miss Ghana

A

CTRESS Yvonne Okoro's younger sister is amongst the top 20 finalists for this year's Miss Ghana beauty contest. Roseline Okoro, who is often seen with her actress sister, qualified for the finals from the Accra auditions, where actor Majid Michel was a guest judge. Majid, who was familiar with Roseline due to his relation with Yvonne Okoro, gave the aspiring beauty queen a difficult time during the interviews and presentation sections of the auditions. Now that Roseline has made it into the finals, it is not certain whether her sister's fame will favour her or go against her.

C

HERYL Cole and Will.i.am escaped from a car crash with minor injuries as they were left suffering with bloody noses and whiplash, last night. The two singers were pictured with blood streaming from their noses and down over their mouths as they sat dazed in the car moments after the accident, in Los Angeles. The crash occurred after they left a studio following a long 'day and night' of recording and it was Will.i.am who was behind the wheel of the £100,000 Cadillac that drove into a parked car at around 3.30am. Cheryl wiped away tears as her passenger side airbag failed to open and she was thrown headfirst into the dashboard. Eye-witnesses said that Will.i.am's airbag inflated and hit him in the face, which caused him to have a nose bleed, but Cheryl's injuries were slightly worse as she was left with bruising too. After police were called out to the scene Will.i.am was taken to the nearby Cedars Sinai hospital.

Stallone loses sister

T

ONI Ann Filiti, the 48year-old half-sister of Sylvester Stallone, died Sunday of lung cancer at her mother's home in Santa Monica, California. Her death comes six weeks after Stallone's 36-year-old son Sage died of a suspected drug overdose. “What a terrible month,” Stallone's 90-year-old mother, Jackie, said. “First Sage and

now Toni. It's hard. At least they're together now in heaven.” Jackie Stallone said she broke the news to her famous son after her daughter died in her arms. “He said he can't take any more pain,” she said. “He said he'll always be there for her son.” Toxicology results are still pending for Sage Stallone, following his death on July 13.

Van Vicker

halts movie shoot over injury

A

WARD-WINNING actor cum producer Van Vicker has postponed the shoot of his upcoming action film titled Lost, due to a leg injury. Vicker hurt himself while rehearsing for a stunt for the film which has been scripted to come out with a lot actionpacked scenes. It is yet to be substantiated what really transpired while rehearsing but sources close to the actor said he was supposed to go on set this month as everything was ready to start shooting. But he couldn't because his leg injury hadn't healed. “Van really wanted to cause some stir with this upcoming movie, that is why he putting in much effort. He wants things to be done for real, hence his reason for the choreographed fight thing,” a source said. The production has been postponed until September by which time he would have recovered. He also has travels to do in some days,” the source said. Van has since last month been spotted limping at programmes.


39

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Is it true those high up there in the social ladder have perfect marriages? Good day. Please s do you think social status has a role to play in marriage. Is it true those high up there in the social ladder have perfect marriages? Williams.Uyo (07067909133). Dear Williams, no marriage is truly perfect. Marriage which look perfect are those where a lot of understanding, tolerance and love exist, amongst other factors. However, personally, I have observed that in homes where there is enough money to take care of bills, comfort and expectations, less arguments arise. You may image a home where one of the parties (let’s say the man for example) has a lot of money and fulfills all the wives needs. The children’s school fees are paid promptly; there is more than enough food in the house. In fact, there is enough to stylishly send the wife on vacation when she’s getting impossible and feed her hunger for exotic things, there may never be problems in that home if she knows how to behave and thank her stars. In another home where both parties are gen-

erously paid and none looks to the other for much. Madam has enough to go to the market to buy the fresh fish she wants for dinner and the vegetable salad to compliment it without having to call the husband to ask for it. She can even secretly pay some bills long before he remembers to give her the money, and she pockets the money back and looks at it as a paid back loan, you’re not likely to have visible problems in those homes. Of course there may be the occasional problems of family coming to stay for too long, or sex not being enough or too much, but they are able to endure such problems without cracks showing in the marriage. It is however different in homes where the children have been sent home for non-payment of fees and where the landlord is a daily visitor for non-payment of rent or where there’s no hope for where the next meal would come from. Hot arguments may follow irritation and other things. May God help us to meet all our needs in these hard times in Nigeria, amin.

Is there true love without sex? Good day ma, I am 19 years old and I am dating a guy at present. I told him I won’t have sex with him until our wedding and he agreed with what I said but ma the problem here is that I don’t know if he truly loves me because an expert once said, “there is no true love without sex.” Ma I really hope to see your wonderful advice on The Nation this Saturday. Thanks – EJ. Dear EJ, I got you some answers. I hope they will help: Cat1864 (Marriage Expert): In my opinion, she is showing her lack of emotional maturity. Her type of thinking is generally hor-

mone driven or she thinks that affection and intimacy are only shared through sexual intercourse. I would be concerned that she believes that sex equals love. Actually, sex without love is lust. You can have sex and still not have the deeper emotion that love describes. Intimacy and affection can be enhanced by sexual interaction. Sex is not the only way to express intimacy, affection and love. Sex is only a small part of the whole. By her reasoning, partners who can’t have sex for one reason or another can’t be in love. Some

couples are separated by work, deployment, school, etc.. Are those people any less in love? Justcurious55: I don’t think there’s any one right answer, as love can mean different things to different people. But I think it’s entirely possible to love someone without ever sleeping with them. I would even argue that sex has nothing to do with love in some relationships and is purely lust. Talaniman: My thought is that people set their own rules between them, through honest communications, because everybody has their own ideas about love, sex, and the price of butter beans.

From you to me Re: l can’t do without sex •Hi Adeola, how do you do? Nice and little educative work you do there. Keep it up. I’m Efeose and I’ve been following your write-ups for a while now. I’m quite indifferent about most topics and your responses but this in particular is sharp to your readers - your that they should solve the problems in their individual lives before pursing others! You never can tell what they have to offer. (efeoseedet@yahoo.com). P.S: Dear Efeose, you may wish to know that I have been a columnist on relationship matters since 2001 from my days in Hints magazine, up to the time I got to Tempo, This Day (Glitterati), The Comet

and The Nation. I want to say that from experience, I know those who have serious things to offer and I know time wasters. In the particular case you mentioned, I had already given my honest answer. What would young men of her age offer to a sex crazed woman other than more sex to satisfy her unquenchable wants? Think about it. •Good day Adeola, I do enjoy the different issues you treat and the solutions to various problems. It really makes sense and touches my life, though none is exactly my story. 08139454479. •Good day Adeola, you are doing a good job. I enjoy your

page, Hearts. God bless you real good. - onyeka (07039095398). Goodeve ma. I like what you told that man ‘the most potent sperm donor in Nigeria’. At times I wonder why certain people write to you. What does he want you to do? Encourage him to continue? Abi, he should open a church and call it ‘Baby boom’? Thank u so much for not publishing his number because if you did, some desperate women will start calling him. His mates are inventing Facebook, 2go, electric auto-mobiles etc. Kiki from Owerri. (08128609065). •Adeola I love your romance. I love it. I love you. (08086650169).

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

Matchmaking

Females for Love

•A woman of 50 needs a man of same age or 55 that is responsible and from either Lagos or Abeokuta for just friendship. He must be a Muslim. Contact me fir her details if you are ready. But be ready for serious scrutiny from me. •Lucy, a half-cast is 20 years. She needs a man from 25 to 29 years who is nice and can take care of her financially. Contact: 08168264542. •Ayo, 27yr single mother of one needs a matured man btw 30 to 40 for a relationship that will lead to marriage to call her on: 08180198714. •A working class lady of 30 years who is HIV positive needs a man who is of any age over 30 who is also HIV for marriage. 08165579662.

Males for Love •Salami Lateef is a divorcee, 42 needs a Godfearing lady that is ready to settle down from any part of the country. Contact: 08187984114, 07085290711. •Femi; 38, single father with kids based in Lagos needs a serious minded and God-fearing man. She must be Yoruba between 28 and 33 for a serious relationship. Call: 08073406779. •TJ, 48, self-employed lives in Ibadan needs a woman of good repute with good means of livelihood and educated for love. Single mother aged btw 40 and 50 year resident in Lagos Contact: 07081431259. •Ben, a 26 year-old lawyer, a novelist, motivational speaker/play-wright and Christian needs a humble, peace loving a nurse/medical doctor and a born-again Christian young lady below 30 for a relationship that will lead to divine altar. Contact: 07033101979. •Olayinka, 42 from Osun, self-employed, dark needs a matured minded lady from 39+. Call: 08099914831. •Gbolahan,35yrs, Muslim, based in Osogbo, tall and dark needs a work in class and Godfearing lady/single mother btw ages of 25 and 35 for a wife. Call/text: 07035929983. •Mathew, tall, slim, Kogi State and Lagos based, born again and 43 needs a tall, pretty, single, born-again Ibo or Yoruba lady below 36 for marriage. Tel: 07080980045, 07065512489. •Wale, 28, contractor living in Ibadan will like to meet an independent and mature lady to text: 07081955044 for intimacy.

FROM THE COURTS Court orders DNA test as paternity scandal rocks 11- yr-old marriage

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HE Grade ‘A’ Customary Court, Agege, Lagos State has ordered that a DNA test be conducted on a child belonging to a couple in a divorce case brought before the court. The petitioner, Sanjo Okeola, while seeking for the dissolution of his 11-yearold marriage had accused his wife of infidelity. He said: ”The fact reamins that there is no more love between us because out of her desperation for men, she eloped with another man taking my child along. Apart from that, she has been so desperate to carry my children to another man.We rarely make love as couple; the only time she would allow me to have sex with her is when she is in good mood. For about two months of the pregnancy of her last child I did not make love to her and that is why I cannot claim to be the father of the baby.” While responding to allegations by her estranged husband, the respondent, Taiwo,

Stories Toyin AGBEBI

a nurse, said: “The child belongs to him, and I have never in my life dated another man. He discovered that I was pregnant when the pregnancy was just one month. “He asked me to leave his house after I had bluntly refused to abort the pregnancy. He later chased me out of his house, stopped picking my calls and relocated our three other children to his sister’s house. “ His family asked me to come and remove my belongings from his house after he told them that he was not the father of the child.And that was when I asked our pastor to christen the baby in his absence.” After listening to both parties, the President of the court, Mr. Emmanuel Shokunle, ordered them to go for a DNA ttest. He also said that the petitioner should be responsible for the bills. He, however, said that the petitioner’s money would be refunded if the outcome of the test proves

Lost contacts Please link me up with former Miss Funmilayo Onasanya, a native of Ikorodu who worked with the defunct National Bank of Nigeria around 1990. She was then living at Federal Low-Cost Housing Estate, Akinyele B/stop, Ipaja. I’m Mrs Anike Adedotun of no 6 Adisa Lane, Sango with tel no 08022590052. I would appreciate if u could kindly publish this request. Thanks.

that he is not the father of the baby. Further hearing on the case continues on September 19,2012.

‘My husband steals my money’

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trader, Mrs. Taiwo Ogunrinde, has told the Grade ‘A’ Customary Court, Agege, Lagos State to dissolve her marriage over what she called “her husband’s penchant to steal from her”. “He comes to my shop to steal my money all the time to the extent that it led to the closure of my shop when I was left with no money to finance my business,” Taiwo said. The respondent, Mr. Aderola Ogunrinde, said: “l have never stolen from her, and l have been trying my best to take care of her and the children”. The President of the court, Mr. Emmanuel Shokunle, adjourned the case to September 19.

•Olalekan, 46, businessman from Osun State needs a working-class lady between 28 and 45 for a serious relationship. 08102675193. •Ekundayo, 25 wants a beautiful mature lady of 18 to 27 for a serious relationship. Call: 08101974431. •Olumuyiwa, 27, needs a girl that knows what love means for a good relationship. Any lovely lady can call: 07056905139. •Bola, 38, tall, Yoruba, Christian, employed, fair complexioned needs a woman a Yoruba woman btw 33 and 35 who is employed. Call: 08094049830. •Gbenga, 45, civil-servant based in Lagos needs a God-fearing lady between 28 and 44 for a serious relationship. 08135796241. •A young businessman in pharmaceutical business would like to be linked to a young pharmacist lady who is willing to do serious business that can also lead to serious relationship even, marriage. 08037590828. •Chris, 30, Yoruba, tall and fair in complexioned, needs a beautiful & sexy woman between 22 and 38 living in d southwest for serious and mature relationship. Contact.08179101029 •Collins, 31, little below average height, Ibo, fair-complexioned, working and a Christian needs a fat/robust lady btw 28 and 35, any tribe, employed/biz for a serious relationship. Call/text: 08082915067, 08067175535. •Peter, 36, a graduate in Computer Engineering needs a hard-working and God-fearing girl between ages 25 and 35. Call: 07082194013. •Leonard, 39, graduate, worker based in Lagos need a Christian and career lady between 30 and 42 for a serious relationship. Call: 08066625740. •John, a businessman based in PH needs a widow of about 35 to 40 or a single lady of that age for marriage. She must be good looking, must be a civil servant, banker or a businesswoman. It is urgent. 08037235843. •Taiwo Ogunrotimi, 31, a graduate of Economics and a prison officer who lives in Ado Ekiti would want to hook up with a Godfearing lady for a serious relationship. 0813267271 •Ola Shehu resides in Lagos, a full-time business man, 30, fair in completion, loves travelling, reading, football needs a relationship that can lead to marriage. 08169812632. •ID, 33+, an applicant and a masters student also who is honest, respectful, responsible and faithful but from a poor background and a regenerated Christian needs a Yoruba woman who is matured, working class and btw 30 and 35 who is ready to settle down with a man who has nothing now. 07083813519. •Kunle, divorcee, 35, average height and a businessman needs a single mother or divorcee not more than 35 who is ready for marriage and financially independent. 08178761666. •Abayomi, 45, a civil servant from Osun State needs a God-fearing lady btw 27 and 43 for a serious relationship. 08122456866. •Nonso, 35, works and lives in Lagos needs a lady btw 29 and 35 for a relationship that can lead to marriage. 08059959088. •Ikechuckwu, a businessman based in Lagos, 36 needs a lady btw 30 and 36. 08065746896. •Alarape Salau, 40, a civil servant from Ogun State but leaves in Lagos, needs a Godfearing lady btw 27 and 35 for a serious relationship. 08072155871.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

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got home really late that night from Jovi’s place. But Auntie J, contrary to my expectation, was not too mad at me. She only said I should inform her beforehand if I want to stay out late. I went to my room and prepared for bed. I had just taken a shower when my mobile phone rang. It was Jovi. “Just wanted to check on you, to see that you are ok,” he said. “I’m cool. Just took my bath and I’m about to go to bed.” ”So, am I invited? he asked. ”Invited? To where?” I asked puzzled. I laughed softly at that. “Even if I want you with me, in my bed, how are you going to get pass Auntie J?” I asked, teasingly. “Don’t worry your pretty head about that. I have my ways,” he replied. “Well, the only way you can join me tonight is to turn into a fly or maybe a mosquito,” I stated. “I think I will do just that!” he said and we both laughed. ”Goodnight then,” I said. ”Night, sweetheart. Sweet dreams!” he stated before Before drifting off to sleep that night, the last thing I thought about was Jovi and how good and caring he had been to me since we met. He gave me reason to live again, to think of a better future from the sad past I had had... “God, thank you for bringing such a sweet guy my way,” I prayed silently as I slept off. One Saturday a few months later, after closing early from the boutique, I had gone to the market to do some shopping. Actually, it was Jovi I was buying stuff for. He had called earlier in the week, saying he was expecting some guests over the weekend and needed to stock up on food and drinks. “I guess you can take care of it,” he had stated. “No problem. I just need some money,” I told him. He had sent some cash earlier that day so I had gone straight to the market from work. I bought all the items on my list then made my way to Jovi’s house. He was not at home but I let myself in with the spare key he had given me. I prepared a variety of dishes including fried rice, chicken, vegetable soup and others. I was placing the chicken in a small cooler when Jovi came in. “Mmm! This smells delicious,” he stated as he entered the kitchen. He reached for a leg of chicken and began to munch on it. “Nice,” he said, nodding his head. He was about to pick another piece when I covered the cooler. “Do you want to finish everything before your guests arrive?” I admonished him, going over to the cupboard to get some plates which I arranged on the counter. “You are so mean,” he grumbled as he washed his hands at the sink. After tidying up the kitchen, I went to the bathroom to take a shower, then got dressed in a pair of jeans and a pink top cinched in at the waist. “Wow, you look sweet!” he said. “So, when are your guests coming?” I asked, sitting on the couch. He glanced at his watch. ”Around 6pm. They should be here soon,” he noted. He sat beside me and held me close. “Thanks for doing the cooking. The food tastes delicious,” he commended. “And you look scrumptious yourself. I feel like ‘eating’ you right now,” he added, his hand caressing my

hair, then slidding down towards my neck and bust. I removed his wandering hands, saying: “No time for that now. Your people will soon be here,” I stated. Just then, there was a knock on the door. Jovi went to answer it while I went to the kitchen to check on the food. From the kitchen, I could hear snippets of his conversation with whoever had arrived: “Gabe o! I knew you would be the first to arrive! You too like food!” “Before nko! Hope your woman prepared something nice for us. Men, I’m hungry!” “Nothing new in that. You are always hungry. Let’s go to the bar so I can get you a drink...” Encounter with Victoria After Jovi’s guests had left, it was nearly midnight. I couldn’t go back home because of the late hour so I had to spend the night in his place. I called Auntie J to tell her and she said it was ok but I had to return home the following day. The next morning, I slept late as I was tired from all the hard work I had done the previous day. Jovi was in the living room reading a newspaper when I got there. I flopped on the sofa besides him. “Morning, sweetheart,” he greeted, planting a kiss on my cheek. “Hope you slept well?” “ I would have done so if you had allowed me to,” I stated, looking at him accusingly. He laughed at that. “Do you blame me? What were you expecting when you laid besides me all night with your fine self,” he said in a teasing tone. I playfully hit him with a cushion. “You are just greedy,” I said before getting up to go to the kitchen to make breakfast. Later, Jovi went out to see a friend down the street. I spent the time tidying the house and washing some of his clothes. The time passed quickly. I had finished my work and was watching TV in the parlor when someone knocked on the door. A tall, pretty lady I had never seen before stood there. She said she wanted to see Jovi. “He’s not in right now. Maybe, you can leave a message,” I told her. “That won’t be necessary. I will wait for him,” she stated.

The gangster’s girlfriend (3) She inspected me from head to toe then walked pass me into the house, her high heels clicking on the tiled floor. She looked around the living-room, a little smile on her face, acting as if she owned the place. I looked at her curiously, wondering who she was. I put my curiosity aside though and offered her a drink. “Don’t bother yourself. I will get it myself when I need it,” she stated calmly. I heard my phone ringing in the bedroom and I went there to answer the call. It was Jane on the line. ”Linda! Where are you? I arrived from school yesterday and Alice told me you were not at home. Are you coming back soon?” “I will be home around 6 this evening,” I answered, glad to hear from her. “Ok, then. Hurry back. I miss you. I have lots of jists for you,”she stated before hanging up. By the time I returned to the parlor, the lady was sitting comfortably on the couch,

The truth is, he used to be a gangster. He was the leader of a gang of robbers that robbed banks and other business centers. But he ‘retired’ a few years ago and began to live a more decent, respectable life

watching TV, a glass of what looked like brandy on a stool by her side. In her right hand was a lit cigarette, smoke curling from its tip in dark rings. She looked up at me and smiled. “My name’s Victoria by the way,” she said. I was about to tell her my own name when she cut me off. “I know who you are. Linda, right?” she said. I nodded. “Yes,” I said, looking at her with a puzzled look on my face. “You might be wondering how come I know so much about you. Well, let me introduce myself properly. I’m Jovi’s ex-girlfriend. And I make it my business to know whoever he has replaced me with.” She paused to take a sip of her drink. She also took a large drag on the cigarrette before continuing. “Let me tell you something about Jovi and I. You see, we were together for nearly four years and we were madly in love. We were even planning to get married. Jovi was the first guy I gave my heart to. And when we broke up which I admit was my fault, my heart was torn in two. It’s been over a year since then, yet I can’t forget him or get him out of my mind,” she said. I sat looking at her, wondering why she was telling me all this. To me, this was too much information. Whatever had happened between my boyfriend and her was over, in the past and I didn’t want to know. “You might be thinking: why is she telling me this now? Well, the truth is, I want Jovi back and I’m ready to do anything to have him. So, the better you get used to the idea, the better for all of us,” she said firmly. I stood up then, a deep frown on my face. “What’s the meaning of this? Is this a joke or what? How dare you walk in here and say you want to take my boyfriend from me?” I said angrily. Then pointing to the

door, I said: “I think you better leave. Jovi is mine and neither you nor any other lady can take him from me!” I told her. She downed the rest of her drink then stood up. She eyed me, like a snake will look at its victim before pouncing, a smirk on her face. “I can see you are going to be difficult. But are you tough enough to deal with me?” she asked aggressively. She picked up her bag and made for the door. Then, she turned and said: “I can see you love Jovi but what do you really know about him, about his past?” she asked. I looked at her puzzled. She smiled sardonically at me. ”I can see you are ignorant about a lot of things. Girl, let me enlighten you. Don’t let his present life fool you. He was not always like this. The truth is, he used to be a gangster. He was the leader of a gang of robbers that robbed banks and other business centers. But he ‘retired’ a few years ago and began to live a more decent, respectable life. If you think I’m lying, ask him. Though, I doubt if he will admit to his bad past to you.” I stood gazing at her, feeling dazed as if I had been hit by a fast moving vehicle. What was this I was hearing; that my boyfriend, my own Jovi that I loved more that life itself was a criminal? I shook my head. No, it couldn’t be true, I thought. She was just saying that to break us up. Afterall, did she not just tell me that she wanted Jovi back? It was part of her plan to make me leave him. “It’s not true. You are lying! You are just saying all this so I can leave Jovi for you. But your plan will fail because I will never leave him. He’s mine so stop wasting your time, trying to take him back. He loves me and it’s me he wants to be with...” At that moment, the front

door opened and Jovi came in. He was surprised to see Victoria. “Jovi! You are back!” she greeted excitedly, going up to him to embrace him. But he evaded her arms and instead, came to me and held me by the waist. “Sweetheart, are you alright? You look as if you’ve seen a ghost!” Then turning to Victoria, he demanded angrily: ”And you, what are you doing here? I told you I never wanted to see you ever again!” ”Ah, Jovi darling, I just wanted to see how you’ve been doing. I missed you, honey.” ”Ok, you’ve seen me. I think it’s time for you to go,” he stated, glaring at her. Then hugging me to him, he said, “I hope you’ve not been harassing my girl here. Linda means a lot to me and I don’t want you messing around with her,” he added, giving her a menacing look. She smiled then, then said: “Don’t worry about that. Linda and I have been getting to know each other. And I’ve been telling her about us, how crazy we were about each other…” Jovi cut in impatiently. “That’s all in the past now, Victoria. It’s over. I’ve moved on and I advise you to do the same,” he stated. “Yes, I can see that,” she noted, her eyes drifting to me. “But did you tell your new love what you used to do? About your gang…? I turned to Jovi then. “She’s lying, isn’t she? Jovi, tell me it’s not true. You were never in a gang of robbers, were you?” He looked first at Victoria, then at me. There was a sad look in his eyes, of sorrow and despair. He said nothing but went to sit down on the couch, staring numbly at the floor. I went up to him and demanded angrily. “Jovi, talk to me. Is it true?” He looked up at me then. “Linda, I’m sorry. I tried telling you, but…” I didn’t wait for him to finish but ran to the bedroom, picked my bag and other stuff and ran out of the house. Jovi came after me, calling out to me to wait but I refused to listen. All these happened a few months ago and I’ve not seen Jovi since then. He has been calling, sending texts and has even come to the shop and the house many times to see me but I’ve refused to see him. Auntie J said I should see him, to listen to his explanation. I don’t want to know. I feel betrayed and deceived. I gave him my heart, my soul and he betrayed all that. How can I ever forgive him? Or trust him again. If he truly loved me as he claimed, he should have opened up to me, told me about his past life. But he hid it from me. I loved him and I still do. Even now, I miss him terribly and I know my life will be empty without him. And something else has come up. I’ve missed my period and I’m suspecting I might be pregnant for Jovi. This will definitely complicate things. I’m a bit confused right now and I need advice. Should I forgive him or forget about him and move on with my life? Readers reactions are welcome. Concluded Names have been changed to protect the narrator’s identity. Send advice/suggestions to 08023201831 or email psaduwa@yahoo.com


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LIFE

Society Profile

THE NATION, Saturday, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

STYLE Gossip Interviews

41

SEE PAGES 44 & 45

Why the month of August is significant to South East women - Anambra governor’s wife Margaret Peter-Obi


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42

THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012LIFE

Society Profile

With KAYODE ALFRED

Tunde Ogbeha celebrates

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ge, some people insist, is nothing more than a number. That, perhaps, explains why there is little to show that Senator Tunde Ogbeha has already hit three scores and five. His face and physique show no such signs as he looks as agile and healthy as ever. The truth, however, is that the retired general and senator from Kogi West Senatorial district between 1999 and 2003 clocked 65 today. It is not certain how much shindig is planned for the auspicious moment, but those who should know say he plans a low-key celebration on account of the state of the nation.

E-mail:kayflex2@yahoo.com

Uju Murphy sets records straight

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he rumour that made the rounds in social circles for a long time was that fair-complexioned socialite, Uju Murphy, was on a nine-month motherhood course. But Uju herself has debunked the rumour. The rumour had been that Uju was pregnant for a popular bank MD who was once fingered as the cause of the split between Uju and her Japan-based hubby, Murphy Ifeanyichukwu Uzohue. But the boss of Exquisite Bath, who recently opened a fashion outlet called Zarazit Collection which deals in trendy shoes for women at Ikota Shopping Complex, Lekki, has stepped out to condemn the rumour. She vehemently denied the tales of a pregnancy as well as an affair with the goodlooking banker.

On the trail of Princess Oladunni Odu

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Jamiu Abiola's new bundle of joy

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amiu, one of the industrious sons of the late politician and business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola, is a truly happy man at the moment. His lovely wife, Khadijat, was recently blessed with a bubbling baby girl the fourth baby of their fruitful marriage. Jamiu is the second son of Kudirat Abiola and the fifth son of MKO. His wife is also a member of the prominent family of the late Inspector General of Police, Kam Selem. Jamiu intends to gather Islamic clerics on Thursday September 12 to offer special prayers for the child who was born on August 23.

or at least two years now, Princess Oladunni Odu, a celebrity in Ondo State, has disappeared from the social scene without a trace. Many who looked up to her, especially for her sartorial and tonsorial essence, could not stop asking questions as to her whereabouts. Odu, one of the few Nigerian women who boast of the best of jewelry collection, can never be found wanting in the style department. Beyond her bold fashion sense, Odu is an educationist. She is the former chairperson of Ondo State Education Board (SPEB). She used to be very close to former Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Agagu. She has now gone on low profile. No longer for her are the days of heavy spending on jewellery and attendance at every shindig on the social space. For now, no one can say for sure why the princess decided to lie low.

Friends, associates mourn Titilayo Agbato, Akin Adewale

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he emotion that pervades the family of exquisitely beautiful Titilayo Agbato at the moment is that of sadness. Titilayo breathed her last after a brief illness. Until his death, she had functioned as the Deputy General Manager of Animal Care Services Konsult, and was reputed as a hardworking woman. That explains why her death was deeply felt by the entire staff of the company. The funeral ceremony began at 2 pm on Monday with Day of Tributes at the Animal Care Services Konsult premises, Ogere Remo, Ogun State. The burial service followed on Tuesday at Ebony Chapel, Yaba, Lagos at 2 pm. This was followed by interment at Atan Cemetery, Lagos. She was indeed beautiful and full of life. In the same vein, Akin, younger brother of Titi, wife of Globacom boss, Chief Mike Adenuga, is dead. Known by most people as Akin Temple, Akin Adewale passed into the world beyond at the Reddington Hospital in the early hours of Wednesday August 29. Those who should know informed that the sociable dude died of complications arising from diabetes and high blood pressure at the unripe age of 44. The burial details are yet to be released. Amiable Akin was the only son of his parents. He is survived by his wife, Mosun, and two lovely children.

Gossip Interviews

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Michael Afolaranmi spreads his wings

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ichael Afolaranmi has again reaffirmed the fact that food is still the most important of the basic needs of life. The young man in his 30s sits at the helm of 12baskets, a popular catering outfit that provides food at parties. In less than a decade, 12baskets has made a name in party business. Many months ago, he launched a branch of the Lagos Islandbased business in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and since the outfit berthed in the Federal Capital Territory, Afolaranmi's fame has witnessed a steady rise that rubbed off positively on his trade. Not resting on his oars, he is again out with something new. The Kwara State Polytechnic graduate has opened another branch of the business to facilitate speedy service. The latest arm of 12baskets is located off Allen Avenue in the Ikeja area of Lagos.

Modupe Ogunlesi in sexagenarian strides

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ophisticat boss, Lanre Ogunlesi, and wife, Modupe, who runs Adam & Eve gift shop at GRA Ikeja, are the couple to note when one is categorising couples who have been through thick and thin together. Theirs is one marriage that has stood the test of time. Their relationship, still as fresh as the morning dew, is the envy of many couples. A while back, they celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. They got married in Lagos in January 1976, and have held on to each other since then. Now, radiant Modupe is gearing up for her 60th birthday. The confident wife of the style aficionado will turn 60 this month, and all the family and friends of the Ogunlesis are throwing their weight behind them in appreciation of the woman of virtue. Lanre has over the years built his claim to fame, Sofisticat, a fashion outfit, into the huge success it is today.


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THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Dumebi Kachikwu in joyous mood

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umebi, one time in-law to the only MC with an M.Sc., Naeotochukwu Chikwe, will in a few months time hear the cry of a baby in his home. This we know because his lovely wife number two, Ikeme, is heavily pregnant and will soon be delivered of a bundle of joy. Joy has made their home its abode and the father-to-be cannot but beam with smiles almost on a permanent basis. Even when smiles and dreamy looks are not telling the story, the bounce in his steps does. It will be recalled that Dumebi, the Oil & Gas magnate son of Justice Kachikwu, who was once married to Somachi Chikwe, the beautiful first daughter of the former Minister of Aviation Kema Chikwe,, remarried in a superlative ceremony in 2011. This is, however, the first issue the marriage will produce, and the happy couple is excited. The hope of a new addition to the family washes away the issues that have troubled Dumebi in the past.

Bisi Awoniyi rocks at 50

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any believe that people forget other people's birthdays as a result of the failings of human memory. In the case of elegant Bisi Awoniyi, however, it is very easy to forget her birthday because she never seems to age. Over the years, the daughter of Chief Sunday Awoniyi, the late Aro of Mopa and erstwhile chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum, has maintained a quiet lifestyle that has helped her to maintain her graceful charm and ageless glow. Currently the Chief Operating Officer of BiCourtney Aviation Services (operators of Murtala Mohammed Terminal 2) and Executive Assistant to the Chairman, Bi-Courtney Group, Bisi is reputed as a hardworking woman. It would then come as a surprise that the darkcomplexioned beauty has joined the league of 50year-olds. To celebrate her golden jubilee, she gathered friends and family at the ball room of Civic Centre, Lagos and gave them royal treatment. Among those in attendance were Yomi Awoniyi (her younger brother and deputy governor of Kogi State),Wale Aboderin, Ayo Iroche, Mo Abudu, Larry Ayoola, Peter Arigbe, Pamela Arigbe, Titilola Joseph, Jide Cole, Shade Animashaun, Lai Oriowo, Grace Adeoye, Tunde Ogbeha, Gbolahan Animashaun, David Jemibewon, Funke Elegbede, Wale Babalakin, Modele Sharafa-Yusuf, Eniola Bello, Alex Otti, Titi Adebayo, Fifi Ejindu, Maduka & Ify Nwakwesi, Obi Achebe, Greg Mbadiwe, Willy & Nkiru Anumudun and Robin Sanders.

Ayo Shonaya, Bisoye Fagade wrangle

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yo Shonaya, the CEO of RMG, under whose label the female rap sensation, MUNA, is a recording artiste, and Bisoye Fagade, a politician and big player in the country's entertainment industry, are pitted against each other in a brawl. So messy is the fight that friends and associates have had to intervene desperately. The squabble, which has lasted for a while, has to do with ownership tussle over Naija Corner at the Nothinghill Carnival. The real battle began a couple of weeks back when Ayo allegedly twitted insults degrading Bisoye for taking over the Naija corner at the carnival. It alleged that Ayo started the initiative many years back since he resided in London with Dj Abass while Bisoye allegedly came into the picture a few years back and

allegedly commandeered the event in 2010 without carrying the previous organisers along. Bisoye on his part insists there was nothing like Naija Corner until he appeared on the scene, saying that he piloted the event. He claimed to have involved the media to make the event popular. The Nothinghill Carnival has come and gone with artistes like Sir Shina Peters, Munachi Abi, Tee-A, Gbenga Adeyinka, Davido among others around to thrill the audience. So far, peace moves between the two are yet to yield any apparent result.

Gbenga Elegbeleye bubbles

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TEL:08035733605

espite spirited efforts in Ondo State to prompt Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye to jump into the fray of Ondo State governorship contest, he has chosen to remain in the background and concentrate on his sport development programme. More importantly, Elegbeleye prefers to reach out to the youth. A member of the Nigerian Football Federation, his Akure mansion is still a social terminus for politicians. The former Deputy Chairman House Committee on Sports no doubt remains relevant in the scheme of things. We ran into him at an event a few days ago where he had gone to enjoy himself and relive his youth. If Elegbeleye truly loves politics, his posture and social language beclouds that notion on this day because his short discourse had no political colouration. It was targeted at encouraging the youth.

Dapo Shorinolu out, Goke Olatunji in

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apo Shorinolu, exhusband of Bimpe, the younger sister of former Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, has stayed off the social scene for so long that many new comers on the scene would now ask who she is. Those who remember him wonder why he is yet to shake off the cobwebs of past incidents and move on with his life. Things have obviously not been so easy for Dapo Shorinolu who has persistently hugged the cloak of anonymity. A couple of years before his messy divorce with his wife of 13 years, he was a man about town. As husband and wife, Dapo and Bimpe cut the picture of a happy couple. They had all the good things that life could offer and were blessed with four kids. Their marriage however hit the rocks when Bimpe's elder brother, Ayo Fayose, became the governor of Ekiti State. Dapo allegedly dropped his wife like hot coal and pitched his tent with the then governor. He bestrode society like a colossus. He was regular at high-octane events, keeping up with the Joneses and flying with the Jetsons. However, Dapo Shorinolu seems to have since disappeared from the social firmament and no one seems to know his whereabouts. Lest we forget, the once upon a time powerful personal assistant to Ayo Fayose, Goke Olatunji, is back on the social radar after a long hiatus from the scene. It will be recalled that he was once detained over some issues relating with the regime under which he served. Right now, he is as free as a bird. He was sighted penultimate weekend at a party in Ogun State. Later the same day, he was sighted at another shindig in Magodo part of Lagos.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 01, 2012

Mrs. Margaret Peter-Obi, wife of the Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi, is naturally endowed both in beauty and intellect. She is not from any Igbo-speaking state (she hails from Akwa Ibom state) but speaks Igbo very fluently. Mrs Obi could be seen as the ‘engine room’ of her husband in mobilising women and youths as well as men for the administration of her husband. Inn this interview with ODOGWU EMEKA ODOGWU in Nnewi, during the August Meeting, a women’s forum, The First Lady speaks on her husband’s mission and vision for the state, among other issues. Excerpts:

‘Over 30% of women are now w their families’ breadwinners’

•Mrs. Margaret Peter-Obi

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HAT do you think should be done to make women have a stronger voice in Nigeria and in Anambra State ? Already, women in Anambra State and Nigeria have a voice. If you can see the changes that have come through the amiable wife of our President, you can see she talks about an initiative called Women for Change, where women are advocating for 35 percent affirmative action for women and we have been able to achieve this even at the federal level and on the state level through our amiable, people-friendly governor.

You can see we have achieved more than 35 percent in Anambra State. Women have been able to achieve very high position in the state. For example, the speaker of the House of Assembly is a woman; the commissioners, we have five of them who are women; even in the House of Representatives we have women as many as seven. And now, with the institution called ASATU, women’s wing, which is the leadership of women in different communities, we have been able to create a platform where the women can interact and through that have a voice and address

issues in the communities and in the state. And at the Ministry of Women Affairs, we have different programmes where we invite women for meetings. The most popular one is the August Meeting, which we flagged off sometime in the end of July where all women in every walk of life in Anambra State come together and celebrate and have a theme which we take home to the grassroots. I think, women have a voice and what we are looking for is to have a woman President in Nigeria. Some people believe that the emphasis should shift from empowerment of women to family support, men and youths

inclusive. Do you support it that way? You know that there is an adage that says that the woman is the one that holds the bulk of the house. Empowerment of the youths, we have been able to do that. Earlier, I did a presentation of skill acquisition items and this is with support from the National Women Centre for Development and Japan International Cooperation Agency. You can see, this is skill acquisition, where youths and children come in as well as our men because our government has been able to build skill acquisition centres in all the local government areas where people can go and learn a skills like sewing, hair dressing,


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 01, 2012

•Mrs. Margaret Peter-Obi with her husband

•Mrs. Margaret Peter-Obi

Other sections of the country are now emulating the South-East known for August meetings. It is a month that unites the women across communities as women... come back home to brainstorm and deliberate on common problems, take stock of progress as well as work towards making more impact on their various communities

cooking, soap making and what have you. So, it is a wholestic affair in Anambra State. We have been able to touch the lives of children, mothers, youths and men too. Malnutrition was identified as one of the major problems of rural women in Anambra State and Nigeria . Is there any plan in view to curb this problem? I thank you for that question because it just came at the right time. On Thursday, our governor was one of the governors that were inaugurated in Agricultural Transformation Committee by our president. His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Agriculture and the issue of malnutrition and food for all in Nigeria are being taken very seriously even at the grassroot level. That is why we encourage women in the villages to establish cooperative societies. These co-operative societies will also empower them as well as make them selfreliant and also provide food for the communities. In Anambra State , one of the places is Orumba North and South as well as Anyamelum because they are producing a lot of rice. Our governor has promised that very soon, we will be able to produce enough rice in Anambra State that can feed the nation and this is one of the goals of our government. So, I think the issue of malnutrition will soon be a thing of the past. You empowered over 10,000 women in Anambra State during this year’s visitation, why was it in August? August is a very significant month to women. And because of the long vacation during this period, women from everywhere in the federation return home

en masse to deliberate on issues concerning women and the society at large. Other sections of the country are now emulating the South-East known for August meetings. It is a month that unites the women across communities as women, irrespective of their location and religion, come back home to brainstorm and deliberate on common problems, take stock of progress as well as work towards making more impact on their various communities. Women are no longer designed for the kitchen as it was then as over 30 percent of women are now bread winners in their various families. I personally went on tour of the 177 communities in the state to touch the lives of the rural dwellers and increase their productivity for self-reliance. I have done that in the past six years. And this year, we empowered in each community 25 orphans, 25 indigent widows and eight vulnerable and physicallychallenged persons. We have 177 communities but administratively, we have 189 communities in this empowerment scheme because of communities that are urban with higher population than normal. And by the time you add it up, you know the number. Also we empowered industrious women who made judicious use of the money given to them in 2010. This group got N10, 000 each, while the skilled physicallychallenged people also smiled home with cash of N10, 000 each as well as food items. The August summit ends the local government tours every year, even though this year, we rallied them at their local government headquarters and payed their transport and inconvenience allowance.

The summit is to get all women in Anambra State together as one and we have empowered more than 60 per cent and they have been able to turn the little money around to the best of their interest. The second thing is to empower and reach out to women in the grassroots. When we started, I personally visited 177 communities in Anambra State, empowering 10 women initially and later went up to 20. Now, we have 25 in each community and we also have children as well as the disabled. So this is a forum where mothers can come together, share their problems and also solve them for the betterment of their state. Our women are happy with our governor, Mr Peter Obi for meeting the 35 percent affirmative action for women in the state and I thank the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development staff, led by the Commissioner, Lady Henrietta Azuka Agbata, other women appointees of the Obiled administration and APGA women for their support and coordination. Lady Agbata continued from where the former Commissioner, Hon Dr Cordelia Ego Uzoezie stopped. It is a continuous thing because government is continuous. The theme of this year’s Mothers’ Summit is ‘Entrepreneurship for self-reliance.’ By this, we want every woman to be self-reliant by doing something that will enable her support the family without negating our primary objective, which is to take care of the family and look after the children to ensure that they are properly fed and educated. I have charged the women to avail themselves of the opportunity offered by the August gathering to enlighten urban and rural dwellers on government activities and programmes. At the meeting, they would be aware of measures that will lead to the elimination of obnoxious practices perpetrated against women. We as mothers are strategic in finding solutions to the many social vices that plague us as a nation. Our governor has said that a microcredit scheme will be created in the state and it will be launched by the President on August 30 (last Thursday) during his visit. I urge women to help the government by doing what is just because our governor has invested over N15 billion in different companies, including Orient Petroleum, NIPP, SABMiller, among others, for the future of our children. And as I speak to you now, over 1,500 people have gotten jobs directly and over 10,000 indirectly. Anambra is gaining but people will continue to drag us behind even when

we are not looking for our selfish interests. That is the cross we would bear as servants of our people but I must confess that the jump our governor is setting will be too high for anybody who does not love Anambra like him to meet or surpass. We are the only state that achieved women affirmative action of 35 percent because our governor is a listening governor. Our speaker is a woman; we have over seven women-members in the State House of Assembly. In the local governments, we have about four women as transition chairmen. In every society, women are the bedrock even in a home. We have a valueless society and that is why we the Anambra women are trying to inculcate in our children the values of respect, moral, and hard work and that is what we are doing. I appeal to parents to raise their children in such a way they would be a pride to the society. Again, very importantly, I urge the women to ensure that they teach their children Igbo language to save the language from going into extinction. And what do you think about APGA’s future? APGA government is doing fine in the state and we are not discriminating against anybody or any party because our government is pro-Anambra and we are for everybody. I have appealed severally to those who select people that benefit from these various government empowerment schemes not to select their family members but those who are really poor and who indeed need assistance. Widows should not be rich widows but widows who are helpless. APGA government is concerned about the development of our state and empowerment of our people and what we need from our people is support and not pulling the strings from all corners to destabilise what we are doing for the future of our state. Our governor loves this state and he is doing everything possible to put the state on a very financial stable to be the state to beat in the federation. Our governor is thinking about a conducive environment for the private sector to thrive and he is doing that. Once that is achieved, more companies will come into the state, like SABMiller, to invest and create opportunities for our people to get meaningful employment and better economic empowerment.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

It’s season of peep toes N

O other set of shoes has captured the imagination of fashion buffs this new season as peep toe shoes. But what many do not know is that it was made very glamorous in the 1930s by the likes of great actresses, Greta Garbo and Rita Hayworth. It is a simple, yet solid shoes that allow a lady to show off her lovely feet, while just revealing a bit of the toes. After the 30s, it disappeared. It then reappeared again in the 1980s and disappeared again, only to re emerge as the most elegant shoes of this season.

TIPS

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EAR peep toe with a flirty dress for a classic look. They look good with dresses that fall just above or below the knee or with shorter dresses. For your office, pair your black peep toe shoes with your suit. You should stick to more durable quality and neutral styles. If you are going casual, you can pair them with jeans or tights.

•Ireti Osayemi

•Latasha Ngwube

•Gnevieve Nnaji


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Look simple, stylish in tank wear Wumi OGUNTUASE

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ANKS are playful looking attire which can serve many purposes. Tank tops are worn by both men and women and since they come in different colours, they can be paired with anything you desire. They give you breathing space and allow air into your body. Tank dresses are also very useful and can be worn anywhere and at anytime. Either to the beach, corporate outings or just around the neighborhood, they will do just fine on you. Be sure to get more than one colour as you never can tell the one that will suit your mood at anytime you need it. It is a must-have in your wardrobe and gives you that adolescent look you might want to have once in a while. For the guys, it is an avenue to show off your good body structure, especially the shoulders, arms and good body tone. Either top or gown, match it well and you get the desired result. TIPS Pair whatever colour of tank top you are wearing with a conflicting coloured bandage skirt and add a neutral coloured blazer for an all-in-one look. Use a tiny belt on your waist with the tank dress and wear with heels or flats. Add a hat for style. Wear the tank top on fitted or loose trousers and you can tuck in or not and wear any type of shoes that fit the trouser. You can also add a jacket.

Fashion reality show makes a debut on TV

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fashion reality show is set to make a debut on Nigerian television stations. The show tagged “The Unilag Fashion Week (UFW)” is a platform to showcase the very best in the African fashion industry, providing an opportunity for the very creative minds and models to show their talents to the world. According to Naomi Kofowora Keshinro, the London-based boss of Kona Signature who is the promoter of the show, told journalists that the event, which will include runway, shows, exhibitions, music and workshops, is not only a reality. It’s a big event that will showcase 40 designers, 60 exhibitors and five various workshops. But to ensure that we have the best designers/models grace our runway, we have a short listing process in form of a competition called the catwalk designers and the catwalk models All applicants for the catwalk designers /the catwalk models would go through a screening process. We would see their portfolio / previous samples and 16 applicants from each competition would emerge at the final stage of the process These 16 applicants would be mentored by a panel of judges comprising established designer brands, magazine editors and company CEOs who would pass on a wealth of knowledge to the designers/models, ensuring that they produce a world-class collection/portfolio that would gain international approval.


THE NATION, Saturday, September 1, 2012

48 Why do things appear to be so quiet these days at the Ministry of Water Resources since you came on board? won’t say we have been quiet but maybe you expect to hear us shout on top of our voices, scream if possible about what we are doing and the challenges we encounter from time to time. But I want to say that for the Water Resources sector, most of our projects require long gestation period. They are not small projects. For instance, if you are constructing a dam, it would take more than a budget cycle from the time you carry out the survey and the design to actually locating the appropriate site. Then you start land clearing, excavation, laying the necessary foundation for the dam and getting the right materials to fill the different sections that you would have excavated; materials that would stabilize the whole system. It is not just about maybe boring a very large hole on an expanse of land that requires a lot of technical details that have to be observed carefully. This is so that you don’t have the dam breaking or any part of it being bridged. It takes a long time to do that. So if you expect we will be reporting on completed projects like other ministries are doing, you won’t find that. But what we try to do as much as possible is that we carry out inspection visits and report on the progress of work. Same goes for irrigation infrastructure. It is also not something that you are able to do within a very short period. It takes a long time because again you have to clear the land. If it is a very wooded area or has lots of shrubs, you have to clear the land, you have ensure you level; then you have to also build the canals within the land area. There are primary and secondary canals, there are head brazes that also need to be constructed and so many other technical details. So it takes a little while to get these projects up and going and up to the point of completion and you would realize that when we came on board, we met some projects that had already been started and we are working on those ones progressively, depending on the resources at disposal. But from time to time, the ministry has had to intervene with some other smaller projects that ordinarily the other tiers of government should be responsible for like the construction of motorised boreholes and hand pumps. The Federal Government had had to intervene because of the gap in terms of performance by either the local governments or the state governments. So, those kinds of projects there are some you can complete within three months. There are some that would take maybe six months, but again, depending on the budgetary provisions. Unfortunately, some of these projects take more than one budget cycle; some of them might even take up to three or more. There are some reports I have seen from some of our River Basins that I have had to ask questions o their uncompleted boreholes since as far back as 2001. I ask: ‘what is a borehole that it cannot be completed within the given time?’ And the explanation I have always gotten is that these boreholes were initiated within that budget cycle but the funds were not fully provided for and so, they have to carry it over and if in the subsequent years nothing at all was provided, then it is not possible for them to complete because some of the boreholes come

One of the few quiet and hardworking ministers is the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe. Her calm mien could make anyone to underrate her brilliance and meticulousness. In this encounter with our Managing Editor, Northern Operation, Yusuf ALLI, Sanni ONOGU and Abayomi FAYESE, she opened up on the achievements of her ministry. Excerpts:

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•Ochekpe

I never thought I’d be minister, considering my background –Ochekpe

with overhead tanks and also limited reticulation to the and therefore they are not willing to pay the right price for water communities. These might be the reason why you think that you and this also affects the ability of the utilities board to be able to have not heard us sufficiently. sustain their services in the different states of the federation. So Altogether, under your administration, how many boreholes working in collaboration with the World Bank, we are introducing or short term projects have you completed? these reform programmes in the different states, encouraging them When we came on board, there were 1000 boreholes that had to rehabilitate their facilities and also come up with appropriate been earmarked for rehabilitation and as at the time I came in, just tariffs for water services and ensure that these tariffs are properly about 200 had been rehabilitated but today we are happy to say collected and also utilized effectively for the maintenance of the that over 900 of these boreholes have been completed in about 18 facilities and also to ensure efficient service provision for the states of the federation. These are boreholes that had become communities that benefit from it. We met some dam projects on dysfunctional either due to one little problem or the other. We also ground and we have continued with the development and discovered that a number of the benefiting communities had construction of such dams; the major one being the Kashimbila distanced themselves from these facilities, especially when they Dam which is in Taraba State. It is a multi-purpose dam and it is were no longer functioning. So, the new concept for the supposed to provide water supply, irrigation services and also rehabilitation has to do also with the promotion of community ensure a balance within the eco-system within that area. But most participation in the management of the boreholes. We set up water importantly, that dam is being constructed in order to address users associations in the different communities and the non- ecological problems that might arise following the likely breakage governmental organization that is facilitating the repairs, Tulsi of Lake Nyos in Cameroon. It also has a capacity for electricity Chanrai Foundation carries out training programmes for the generation of about 40 megawatts. When we came, the project was communities. First, for them to understand that these facilities are put there for their own use and therefore they should identify with the facilities. And they are also trained in basic mechanical processes on how they can repair these boreholes in case of any faults. There are mechanics within The projects we do are not such the communities. In each of the borehole communities, two that you can finish in one budget mechanics are trained and they are provided with motorcycles and two kits for repairs in case there is one cycle. In other words, there are challenge or the other. Then the communities are projects that require huge sums of encouraged to also pay little token towards the money but we are not able to finish maintenance of the borehole. We also met at the board level for some reform programmes in the water sector supported them within a budget cycle or by the European Union and the World Bank. We have also within a given period because of been working on that to ensure that officials at the state level are properly trained and also their capacity is the budgetary provisions developed to be able to make the utility boards more functional. One challenge is common in the water sector and it is the fact that most people see water as a social good

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at about 25 to 30 per cent, but today, we are happy to report that it has reached about 50 per cent and hopefully in the next couple of months, we are likely to get up to 70 per cent because the hydro component of it is such that once the turbines are procured, we will be able to cover a lot of mileage because that aspect alone covers about 30 per cent of the work. Already, the necessary construction work for that component of it has started. The order has been placed for the turbines and we are hopeful that before the end of the year, they would be provided. In that project also, we have an airstrip because of the location of the project. It has also been completed. Seven other projects that we met under construction which we have completed is the Northern Esan Water Supply Project in Edo State. It has the capacity to provide about nine million litres of water on a daily basis and the necessary reticulation is also on-going. But the dam and the treatment plant have been completed. Same for the treatment plant in Mangu in Plateau State. We met it under construction too and within the period we have been on that aspect, it has been completed, but the dam work is still left. We also met the construction of Ogwashiukwu Dam. Again, the completion level was still limited because it is still about 20 per cent but we have been able to take that up to about 60 per cent . Again it is a multi-purpose dam and it also has the capacity to generate about three megawatts of electricity. The construction is going on steadily and we are hopeful that by the first quarter of next year, we would have completed work on that particular project. Around the Cross River area, we have the Ibenibium Dam. Again, when we came on board, work on the dam had even stopped, but we were able to get the contractor to move to site and that has been completed and it is awaiting commissioning. In Niger State, just last week we were on a visit to Agae-Lapai Dam. Again, when we came on board, it was under construction. Then it had achieved about 60 – 65 per cent but we have been able to

Continued on page 49


THE NATION, Saturday, September 1, 2012

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‘I was not born with silver spoon’ take it to about 98 per cent completion. What is left on that particular project is the clearing of the dam area; the clearing of the materials that were used to make it cleaner. That particular project is also for water supply that has irrigation component of about 2000 hectares of land. Out of these 200 dams, how many are really being utilized by the states? Well, it varies from state to state. There are some states using it for water to reticulate. There are some states that are using these dams for irrigation purposes. I think we will be able to give you specific statistics as to the nature of the usage later but some of the dams are fully being utilized by communities within the catchment areas by the state governments, but there are some of the dams that there is still a little work that needs to be done like the Sape Dam. It still requires some limited construction work to be done in order to be able to get the water into the canals for irrigation. In the 80s River Basins made serious impact but they seem to be on the low side now. What is your assessment of the River Basins? Are they really fulfilling the objectives for which they were set up? The River Basins were set up to support various aspects of rural development– constructing feeder roads, developing agricultural sector, providing extension services and encouraging food production as well as enhancing the well-being of the people through supply of portable water. I think at some point government considered the option of privatizing them and that seemed to have affected the performance of the River Basins drastically. But in spite of that, they still remain relevant in terms of rural development, And when I came on board, I discovered that they were doing so much but not well publicized and we have to encourage them to ensure that whatever they are doing must be known not just within the catchment areas where they operate but nationally and a number of them are already working very hard to make sure that what they do is well known to the public. They are involved in developing irrigational infrastructure and very large irrigation schemes. Like in the Chad Basin Development Authority, they have the South Chad Irrigation Project which has about 67,000 hectares of land. It is supposed to be one of the largest and this was started in the 70s. But they have had challenges in terms of availability of water in that area. In spite of that, they are still involved in irrigation activities and early in the year we visited them and discovered that they are into a lot of wheat and rice production and if properly funded, they would be able to also address some of the security challenges we have in the North-East because they would create jobs for a lot of people in that catchment area. In the Sokoto River Basin Development Authority, we also have large irrigation facilities there. We have the Middle Rima Irrigation Project. We also have the Bakalori Irrigation Project. The Bakolori Irrigation Project, for instance, has about 6,500 hectare of land under cultivation for the production of mainly rice but they also produce other crops like beans, millet and also sugar cane and onions. We also visited that not long ago and we met them at the time they were harvesting the first crop of rice and also preparing for the second cropping. So many families within the catchment areas were busy on their farms working and doing most of these things manually. So that has raised in us the concern for the mechanization of these facilities in order to reduce the burdens on the communities. Down South we have the Itu Irrigation Project in Cross River . It has about 1000 hectares of land under cultivation for irrigation purpose which means that we will be farming more than twice a year and that will keep a lot of the people busy and engaged on their farms. In the Anambra/Imo River Basin Development Authority, we have the Lower Anambra Irrigation Project. That has about 3,850 hectares of land already under cultivation, but there is still massive land within that area that can be put under cultivation for rice production and other related crops. In the Kano/Hadeja/Jumare River Basin, we also have the Hadeija Irrigation Project. We have the Kano River Irrigation Project. And these are very large irrigation projects. The Hadeja River Irrigation Project has about 16,000 hectares of land under cultivation and this is being managed by the River Basin Development Authority there. Around the Upper Benue which has headquarters in Yola, we also have several irrigation projects within the catchment areas of the River Basin in Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Adamawa. In Gombe, we have the Dadin Kowa Irrigation Project that draws its water from the Dadin Kowa Dam. It is a very large irrigation project and when we visited too, we met several communities that were actively involved in farming within that area and they farm different products like rice, millet, sorghum, maize, okro, tomatoes and the joy of the projects when you visit is that you see the way integrated farming is taking place because after the harvest, usually you see the animals especially cattle coming to feed from whatever is left on the farms and also the husks from the crops that have been processed. We believe that with these, if the River Basins are properly funded the needed agricultural transformation in Nigeria will take place within the shortest possible time. In the Lower Niger Irrigation Project, they even have a rice processing mill where they are processing rice and also selling to the communities. So the River Basins, even though they are not operating at maximum capacity, but the level at which they are presently, it is gladdening and something we need to encourage, first to ensure rural development, to ensure

improved livelihood of our people and also to serve as avenue for job creation for are teeming youths and that would help to also stem the rural-urban migration because just now, you see that our urban areas are expanding at a very alarming rate and so many people coming into the urban areas but with limited jobs to engage them. As the first woman substantive Minister of Water Resources, when this slot was given to you, were you not scared to take this challenge considering the fact that from your background you were involved in SUBEB activities in Plateau State and suddenly a reversal of role and you are here to provide water for the nation? How has it been in the office so far? Well, I have always believed in the dictum that when duty calls, you should not be found wanting. For me, this is a duty to the nation and from my upbringing, a tree doesn’t make a forest, so I did not come into this assignment with the thinking that alone will be able to deliver. I recognize the fact that it is a professional sector and there are professionals on ground that we would have to work together. Mine is only to provide leadership. So even though it is different from what I was used to before but the fact that the responsibility is one of leadership, I have to make myself available to learn from those who have been on ground and also from a leadership pointof view, to be able to analyze some of the challenges and see how best we approach some of the things because there is the tendency sometimes for professionals to be more focused on whatever the profession says and not look at other aspects of the job, especially trying to combine professionalism with administration or politics so to say. What Nigerians want is for services to be delivered to them and we have to be able to use the expertise within to deliver the service. So I

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would say so far, it has been interesting. I know that the of Nigerians are I did not come into expectations very high and we are operating within an environment where I this assignment would say Nigerians are with the thinking becoming anxious and agitated government’s ability to that alone I will be about meet their needs and sometimes able to deliver. I people are impatient. But our is that this government is recognize the fact appeal committed to providing services to Nigerians; by providing good that it is a What we need is professional sector governance. cooperation with Nigerians. You can see the commitment of the and there are President to the extent that he professionals on has now signed a performance contract agreement with ground that we ministers. This is to show that would have to we the ministers will not only give him feedback but we work together would also give feedback to the with them. Mine is people of Nigeria. The performance indicators that we only to provide have identified for ourselves, we should be able to from time leadership to time render account to the President and also to Nigerians on how we are doing; what we have achieved or what we have not achieved and why we have not achieved. We should be able to explain that because sometimes you can set target for yourself but there might be challenges that will hinder you from meeting those targets. You should be able with every sense of responsibility make it public so that people will know. What are your own basic targets and are they attainable? Well, our target is to be able to meet the MDGs. At least to be able to ensure access to water by Nigerians up to 75 per cent in terms of water supply. In terms of sanitation, we are looking at a target of 65 per cent. I will say yes, the targets are attainable if we all work together and committed towards achieving these targets. The different stakeholders have to have a buy in from the communities to the different tiers of government to the ministry that is coordinating as well as other interested parties – the private sector, the donor community, the civil society groups and even the media. We expect that you will be supportive of this process. The media will do a lot not just by way of reporting what we are doing but also drawing attention of the different stakeholders to their responsibility. One thing I have discovered generally is that Nigerians like to shy away from responsibility. Presently, we have this spate of floods around the country and the ones in the urban areas are particularly disturbing because they are as a result of our

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poor habits because Nigerians are not willing to take responsibility. If you go to the streets now and interview a few people, you will hear them say ‘government has to do this, government has to do that’ and they detach themselves but we have been told from basic political science definition that government means everybody in society. So it is not just about the official that occupies an office but everybody has a responsibility and we would want the media to assist. The different agencies of government that have the responsibility to give technical information on the issue of flooding. On our own part, Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency and also the National Emergency Management Agency, they have been issuing basic information on the flooding pattern this year arising from climate change. But in most cases, you find that people find it difficult to change their habits. Refuse is dumped on the drainages and waterways. People build on flood plains. Even when you tell them that no, this is not the right place to build, they won’t listen to you. But the situation is quite serious to the extent that it is not only costing the Nigerian government the lives of its citizens but even those who refuse to listen to advice it is costing them a lot of money. I went to a place called Dawaki in the FCT recently and the level of erosion I saw there was alarming. Most of the big houses that have been built there were under threat because the gullies are quite big and I believe that if nothing is done in two or three years, most of those houses would not be standing there. But I could see that one of the landlords was investing heavily in trying to provide the appropriate drainage and also check the erosion there. You are our partners and I hope that you will assist. Hon Minister, you have talked about some state governments refusing or have neglected to build treatment plants or construct pipes to ensure reticulation of water from the dams to the communities. What is the Federal Government doing to ensure that state governments honour their commitments to the citizens in terms of provision of adequate water to the people? Secondly, recently the Ministers signed a performance with Mr. President. What has changed, before the performance contract and after the performance contract has been signed taking into cognizance like you said most times monies are hardly released for proposed projects as at when due? Starting with the issue of the state governments not cooperating, the Federal Government cannot force states to use certain facilities and that is why we are talking with states and trying to identify different ways of collaborating with them. When state governments don’t use certain facilities, I don’t think it is because they are refusing totally, but it depends on their own planning processes. If they already have state government projects which they think are their own and they can only fund those projects, chances are that they will restrict their resources to those projects but then we want a situation where the state governments appreciate the fact that certain services should be provided in a way that almost everybody in the state has access to this services. So they should not restrict the facilities to just what they have, moreso that the population in the different state is growing by the day. This requires that facilities should also be expanded and we would want the state governments to leverage on whatever the Federal Government has there. After all, it is the same country. There is no difference even though we are in a democratic dispensation where some states are not controlled by the ruling party but it does not matter. The citizens in those states are citizens of Nigeria and the Nigerian government whether local government, state or federal owes it a responsibility to provide certain basic services and facilities to the people. On the issue of the performance contract what has changed? Well, for us right from the beginning of the year, we started with this in mind because it is something we have been told we will do and we have been working based on targets that we had set for ourselves but now that it has been made public, we know that our accountability is not just to Mr. President but also to the people of Nigeria. I think from the feedback we got after that exercise, it is like most Nigerians that watched the news and saw what happened are preparing themselves for whatever feedback we would be giving to them and many have put the ministers on the watch list to say ‘are you going to deliver?’ or ‘are you not going to deliver’ on this? Yes, all of us have been put on our toes and I want you to remember that the performance contract is not just between Mr. President and the Ministers but there is also a performance contract between the Ministers and the Permanent Secretaries and heads of agencies and between the Permanent Secretaries and the Directors and we also expect that the Directors will also sign performance contract with others down the line. So that on a daily basis or on a weekly basis we are reporting back to one another and that way, we will be able to measure whatever is being done. On the issue of funding, there is a high level of appreciation about the need to fund government projects and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy is working very hard on that, especially on the area of infrastructural development not just in Water Resources but other relevant ministries. The government has recognized that the resources available to it would not be able to meet all of the infrastructural needs of Nigeria and so other funding windows are being sourced, especially from multinational and bilateral organizations that either have grants or soft loans that they can provide in order to be able to develop these facilities. And I told you earlier on that we are working in collaboration with some of the international

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Dr. Folashade Grace-Bent is a politician and former senator who represented the Adamawa South Senatorial Constituency of Adamawa State from 2007 to 2011. In this interview with LINUS OBOGO, the former Senate Committee Chairman on Environment opens up on the forces that, according to her, conspired against her return to the Senate, the overbearing influence of the governors on parties’ affairs, as well as her regrets in bringing about the current leadership in the state. Excerpts:

‘Why I couldn’t make it back to the Senate’

•Grace-Bent

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assembly. Unfortunately, it has decreased beyond our imagination. In the 6th Senate, we had nine women but I think we now have about seven. The House of Representatives has suffered the same decrease in number. It is really a very disappointing development. However, at the appointing level, I think Mr. President has done what I call the unusual. He has blazed the trail. I think that in our entire democratic experience, President Jonathan has given women pleasant surprise. He

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OU were not able to make it back to the Senate. How much of your experiences do you think your constituency and the Senate have missed from all this? That question is very weighty. Ideally, I should not be the one to answer such a question. You should have done an independent investigation, probably directing the question to people in my constituency. However, with the several calls I have received and visits, as well as good comments from people all around my constituency, the people are really missing me. But one thing I want you to know is that we never really had a primary election in my constituency. So, I cannot blame the electorate because they were not given the opportunity to elect who they wanted. The electorate really wanted to give me a second mandate because they appreciated my performance in the Senate as they said that they had never had it so good since the inception of democracy in Adamawa State and the old Gongola State. They said that I gave them a representation that is still etched in their minds and really would have wanted a continuation of that but unfortunately, the conspiracy and the power that was, stopped it. But to God be the glory, all things work together for good. At least, I can walk with my head high. I have paid my dues. My legacies are on ground and no one can refuse to see them. They are tangible legacies that can be seen and felt and I give God the glory. Given the number of women in both chambers of the National Assembly and particularly the Senate, would you say the women have had a fair deal in terms of elective positions? When you talk of elective positions, it is really on the downward trend. We thought that this 7th National Assembly would build on what we had in the 6th

The electorate really wants women to come out and contest but when the governors influence the delegates to vote for candidates of their (governors’) choice, it becomes a problem to the women. There is so much interference as merit is sacrifice on the altar of mediocrity where somebody just feels that he needs his stooges to take charge

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promised during his political campaign and he has done so well towards the fulfilment of the Affirmative Action. We currently have 35% women which is the starting point of the Affirmative Action. He can do more and we can even have 100%. So, I think at the appointing level, the government has done enough to give women enough spaces not just in the cabinet but in parastatals and other governmental departments and agencies. At the elective level again, I think that the political parties have not taken the bull by the horn by implementing the 35% Affirmative Action. It would not be that easy to achieve such except it is enshrined in the parties’ constitutions. What stops the women from occupying executive positions in the parties? What is women leader all about? It is so demeaning to the women folk! Why wouldn’t a woman run for the position of the office of the party chairman, national secretary of the party, etc.? They just feel that there are exclusive to men. It is so ridiculous. Several other countries have gone beyond that. Until we have women occupying principal positions at the party level, we will continue to have low elective positions occupied by the women. So, certainly, that is the tragedy. It is a big tragedy. If something is not done about it, it would really affect the fortunes of our democracy. That is the fact and women must be part and parcel of actual decision process. Whether anybody likes it or not, I have said it at different forums that the future of this country and that of the world, lie in the hands of the women and the youths. Men have tried but have not given us adequate and quality leadership we so desire. We have been yearning for a man and a woman to be at the helms in this country as president and vice president. There is nothing wrong with having a female vice president for a start. You can liken Nigeria to a home setting where there is a man and a woman working things out for the betterment of the family. So, let women be given the opportunity and prepare them for the position of the president in the future. So, if we don’t begin now, we would find Nigeria stagnant, not moving forward. There is a paradigm shift Continued on page ?


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‘Let people choose who they want’ all over the world, women are taking over and Nigeria cannot lag behind. Would it be wrong to say that the decline in the number of women for elective positions in Nigeria is due to a seeming lack of quality representation or a vote of no confidence? No! No!! The electorate wants women but they get thrown out at the primaries level. This delegate system of electing candidates for political positions is such a regressive system. It does not eventually bring out the best candidate for the electorate to vote for. There are many factors such as finance which the men use to push the women out in the primaries. How many women can muster the financial muscle to compete with the men in the delegate system at the primaries level? The money is not there for women. And that is why I always advise the women that whenever they are in position of authority, it is incumbent on them to make good use of it to promote their fellow women because Nigerian politics cannot be totally divorced from money politics. The level of poverty in the country is so terrible that when you come out for elective positions, your constituents believe that you are a money-bag. Women are not moneybags. That is why I said that except there is a conscious effort on the part of the political parties to give a number of seats as it were to women, it would be difficult. Some political parties don’t even believe in this primaies of a thing. They just choose those who are electable and can perform. If we are talking about internal democracy, let’s practise that with human face. Ours has no human face. There is a lot of godfatherism and the governors are not helping matters. The governors are the ones who just wake up from their sleep and say I don’t like this and that face, choosing indiscriminately to suit themselves. So, the governors are majorly the clog in the wheel of democratic progress and for internal democracy. The governor is the one that chooses who goes to the House of Assembly, the National Assembly, etc. So, it is much of a problem. It is not about the lack of confidence on the part of women. No! No!! No!!! The electorate really wants women to come out and contest but when the governors influence the delegates to vote for candidates of their (governors’) choice, it becomes a problem to the women. There is so much interference as merit is sacrifice on the altar of mediocrity where somebody just feels that he needs his stooges to take charge. And when this happens and continues to happen, it will stifle development and the country would be run aground. It is in the interest of the general public for the best candidates to emerge but unfortunately, the dilemma of the women folk in Nigeria is the fact that the woman has become totally alienated not because of lack of merit but because she does not have the economic power to compete with the men. Of course, you know that men have always controlled the economic power as well as the electoral process. If equal opportunity is given, several women would emerge as governors of their states. But the situation is very pathetic. We hope and pray that things will change for the better. Having identified governors as a cog in our democratic wheel, what do you think can be done to whittle down their overbearing influence? The problem, unfortunately, is that the governors do have their ways because the political parties often play into their hands. They will always say that the governor is the leader of the party. So, there is no party supremacy as it were. If you look back to the Second Republic, during the era of the NPN, the party was so strong that it dictated the tunes and determined who was competent to carry its flags. But when you make the governors the party leader in their various states, the loyalty of party chiefs will swing towards the governor because they are the main financiers of the parties in the state. They release money to the parties and enjoy control of the parties’ apparatus. And that is the tragedy. If the party can be autonomous and run its affairs independent of government’s control, we will achieve democratic progress. But a situation where party leaders keep running to the governors to beg for money, it will continue to subject it to the whims and caprices of the governors. He who pays the piper dictates the tune. But this needs to be addressed because it is a total disaster. The parties must start to assert itself. There are so many ways of generating funds for the parties and they must start brainstorming towards generating ideas on how to fund themselves and be financially autonomous. The parties should not just wait for the governors to fund them. It is laziness on their part. There are

relationship, the end result would be counterproductive. Adamawa State has really set a precedent in this country. They have proved to Nigerians that it is not about where you come from. I remember that when some of my opponents raised this issue that this woman was a Yoruba woman, the electorate just called their bluff. My constituency of nine local governments which is the largest senatorial district in Adamawa State has about twenty four different ethnic groups and two major religions, yet, they put all sentiments of ethnicity and religion aside to vote for me massively. And I am telling you, if I contest for another elective position in my constituency, I will win over and over again. My constituency enjoyed my representation and they have told me that they are waiting to return me back. The beauty of democracy is what we have experienced in Adamawa State and if other state would take a cue from here, you will see the greatness of Nigeria. My legacies are on ground in Adamawa State. I did not take them to Osun State. I used my senatorial position to develop my constituency and its people and I will do more if given the chance again. It is archaic for anyone to think ethnicity in politics. People don’t run such politics again. If you sample ten Nigerians, you will realize that seven out of them are inter-marriage compliance. So, inter-ethnic marriage is a silent integration that has been taking place in this country. The dilemma of women married outside their locality is when they want to venture into politics or when they want to look for federal political appointments, politicians begin to use nonindigeneship as a weapon. It is ridiculous! Obama’s father is from Kenya for God’s sake. Why is America prospering? It is •Grace-Bent because America encourages other tribes, languages, races, foreigners, to come in and develop the country. It is about who you are, what The governor never you can do and the contributions you can offer the society you find yourself in. And that is the only allowed my primary way Nigeria can move on. I know the few people election for the second term that were beating the ethnic political drum are to hold for reasons best known regretting it now. They are very negligible. Ask Professor Jubril Aminu. I am still loved by the people of to him. The people did not really my constituency. Let us start talking about merit rather have the opportunity to say that we than ethnicity. That is the only way forward for Nigeria. It is the only MasterCard for progress. Nigeria is a great don’t want this woman. That was with so many credible people. Let them come what you would hear from the likes country out and contest rather than mediocres parading the of the late Paschal Bafyau who later political scene. It would be recalled that you and two of your former realized his folly and apologized and colleagues in the last senate were very instrumental to reconciled with me before he died. the emergence of the leadership in Adamawa State. But things took a turn for the worse in you and others’ May his soul rest in perfect peace. relationship with the governor. At what point did you If we should continue to carry identify your differences? politics of ethnicity and religion Yes, we played a role in the emergence of the government in the state. Unfortunately, politics is a to our day-to-day relationship, terrible and very interesting game. I love politics and I the end result would be know that it is a very interesting game if people play by the rules. Unfortunately, politicians are the very dirty counter-productive people, trying to make politics look dirty. We all came together and said that this is the person we wanted. But in Nigeria, I have come to realize that politics is a concentric circle of conspirators. In other words, when you help people to attain their individuals who can be taxed and many other ways goals or help install people in political offices, such towards making the political parties completely people will turn around to bite you for their own selfish autonomous. All members of a political party must be reasons. It is such a complex matter. And I have come to subject to and submissive to the party. Nobody should realize that people who indulge in such acts, end up be above the collective will of the party. dragging themselves down. Madam, you are from Osun State but you You cannot bite the finger that feeds you. Jubril Aminu represented Adamawa South Senatorial Constituency is a very meticulous politician. He is a very principled in the sixth National Assembly by virtue of marriage. politician. He was the link man then between the state Did this in any way work against your second attempt and the former President Olusegun Obasanjo. at going back? They felt that the party needed to be overhauled and Yes, it did. But unfortunately, the few elite who were Professor Aminu did a very good job. But unfortunately, doing this propaganda of not hailing from Adamawa we are where we are today for reasons you already know. State, just did that for their selfish interest. I have never That has become history because whatever has a seen myself outside of Adamawa State. I have always beginning must surely have an end. been Adamawa in good and bad times. And that resulted My primary concern now is for my constituency to in my unusual landslide victory in my first attempt. develop and my state, Adamawa, to progress. I have As I have said, the governor never allowed my tried to put a lot of things behind me. People must learn primary election for the second term to hold for reasons from history. best known to him. The people did not really have the A lot of us have learnt from history and we pray to opportunity to say that we don’t want this woman. That God to go back to the drawing table. I have learnt that was what you would hear from the likes of the late the issue of godfatherism and imposition of candidates Paschal Bafyau who later realized his folly and on the people does not really work. apologized and reconciled with me before he died. May Let the people choose who they want. Let the people his soul rest in perfect peace. If we should continue to decide who will carry their flag. A lot of us have seen our carry politics of ethnicity and religion to our day-to-day follies and have learnt enduring lessons.

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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Embrace wisdom in your home (4)

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ear Reader, Calvary greetings to you in the mighty name of Jesus Christ! So far, I have been exploring the subject,

Embrace Wisdom In Your Home. In my first lesson, I took you through the kinds of wisdom and how you can connect yourself to the wisdom of God. In my second lesson, I taught you how you can walk in the wisdom of God in your home as a man. Last week, I also showed you how to walk in the wisdom of God in your home as a woman. This week, I want to teach on Wisdom for Effective Money Management in the Home. What is Money? The Oxford Dictionary defines money as a medium of exchange. Webster’s Dictionary defines money as anything that serves as a medium of exchange for goods and services in the form of tokens, which have a value, established by a commonly recognized authority. So, money is a legal tender accepted for exchange of goods and services received or tendered. Money can be earned via products and services. What you don’t earn, you can’t maintain. What is Management? The American Heritage Dictionary defines management as the act, or practice of managing, handling, supervising or controlling. Money is a vital aspect of family life. It has put homes asunder but that does not have to be the case if God’s wisdom is applied. For God’s Word says: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him (James 1:5). You need to embrace God’s wisdom for money management in your home. The lack and want you are experiencing presently in your home could be as a result of lack of wisdom. God has said concerning your home that, Surely blessing I will

bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee (Hebrews 6:14). He also said: And thou shalt have goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens (Proverbs 27:27; 28:1). To effectively handle money management in the home, you need the wisdom of God in the following areas: Wisdom for Creativity Remember, labour minus wisdom equals frustration, lack and want and poverty. The wisdom you are receiving today will set you free from lack and want in Jesus’ name. God has given you brain so that He can rest. He has given the gift of sound mind to always know what to do per time. God’s Word says: But we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). This mind was present at creation and it will enable you to always know what to do with what you have. Ecclesiastes 10:10 says: …but wisdom is profitable to direct. Wisdom for Planning and Accountability As a family, it is very important for you to have a laid down rule for spending and earning money. It is a fact that those who fail in life failed because they failed to plan. Planning is a vital requirement if you desire financial sufficiency. So, you need to plan out your family’s weekly and monthly expenditure. God’s Word says: For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him (Luke 14:28-29). The word ‘Sitteth down first’ means to map out a plan. If you don’t, impulsive spending can lead to insufficiency and financial embarrassment. You need to be accountable, not just to yourself, but first to God who is the supplier of all your provision and money, and to your spouse who is your partner in the home. List out your income, your expenses and review them from time to time, to assess whether your financial transactions are prudent or whether you need to adjust your spending pattern in order not to spend money foolishly. Make a monthly, weekly and daily budget and record your spending. Wise Spending In spending money, DISCIPLINE is a major requirement. It means not only being able to ascertain the things needed, but buying them first before other items. Avoid indebtedness for God hates it (Romans 1:8). You can be free from debt. You need to mix prudence with contentment and enjoy great gain (I Timothy 6:6). Please, live your size per time and teach your children

Before you take sleep aids

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T is claimed that about 53 million sleeping pill prescrip tions are given per year. Something must be wrong with mankind. I believe no animal in the wild takes sleeping pills and I think they all sleep well but I have no proof of this. All I know is that they don’t use money, don’t have careers, and are not engulfed by technology and a host of things that keep the human mind and body in an other-than-natural mode. Who cares what animals do; we humans are great and advancing into better life (and sleeplessness?). Insomnia is often related to stress and/or anxiety and therefore some of the remedies for sleep disorders are anxiolytic, antianxiety, or antipanic drugs. They generally require prescription. Many of them can lead to dependence or addiction. Some other drugs used to aid sleep are sedatives (drugs that are calming) while others are hypnotics (drugs that make one drowsy or sleepy). The latter two groups are generally OTC drugs (over-the-counter drugs that do not require prescription). If you have insomnia for several days or you have established chronic insomnia, before you embark on using sleeping pills you should see your doctor to rule out any underlying disease that needs other attention. Brain disorders such as depression, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease may be associated with insomnia because of chemical imbalances in the brain. Conditions that distract from normalcy include chronic pain, breathing difficulties, and frequent urination and these can precipitate insomnia. Diseases that cause discomfort are often linked with insomnia and these include cancer, arthritis, heart and blood vessel diseases, lung disease, and stomach disorders. If these are well treated the related insomnia may subside. If you have no underlying disease, then you should seriously examine your lifestyle, including environment, diet, and relationships to see what could be affecting your ability to sleep and if you can do something positive about such factors

(for example, please don’t kill your enemy but you can keep away from such insomnia-inducing enemy). Another factor that may be involved in insomnia is medication. You should find out if any drug that you are already taking for some other condition causes insomnia as a side effect. Also watch your intake of caffeine (in coffee, tea, cola drinks, and energy drinks). There are some soft drinks that are not cola drinks but have added caffeine (e.g. Mountain Dew®) therefore you should check the labels on the drinks you consume. Other substances that are consumed such as nicotine in cigarettes and alcohol act on the brain and nerves and therefore, may interfere with sleep in some people. Before you begin to take an OTC sleep aid, you need to contact your health care provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) to make sure the sleep aid will not interact with any prescription drug you are taking. If you are not taking any other medication, you should ask your pharmacist how best you can use the sleep aid beneficially as sleep aids themselves can produce side effects (such as dry mouth and throat, daytime drowsiness, confusion, clumsiness, blurred vision, urinary retention, and forgetfulness), as well as dependence, addiction, withdrawal symptoms, and rebound insomnia. Sleep aids are best used once in a while, as needed, and not daily as this can lead to dependence and tolerance. When a person becomes dependent, he or she will not be able to sleep without the sleep aid. When a person develops tolerance, he or she will need higher and higher doses of the sleep aid to fall asleep. In the worst case of addiction, the person will suffer grievously if he or she fails to take the sleep aid. Stoppage of the sleep aid may produce rebound insomnia, which may be worse than the original insomnia. To avoid misuse of OTC drugs, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, even if they are in tedious fine print. Make sure you have enough time and good environment to sleep effectively before taking the medication. Avoid alcohol close to the time you are taking the sleep aid. This is because, generally, drugs that depress the brain or central nervous system can add together in their function and dangerously depress vital functions such as breathing. People have died from such accidental combinations. During the day that follows, avoid attention-sustained tasks such as driving and operating machinery. Dr. ’Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please Email bolajohnwritings@yahoo.com or call 07028338910

the same. Cut off from friends who drive you to live above your means. Don’t bring sorrow into your home by being a borrower (Proverbs 22:7). How Do I Earn Money? Each member of the family should be gainfully employed in order to earn money. You need to discourage idleness (2 Thessalonians 3:10). If you are not working, you are not permitted to eat. There is dignity in labour (Proverbs 13:11). Below is a testimony from a brother: “I was jobless and got fed up with life, but a friend brought me to church. At church I said, ‘Lord, I need to be doing a job. I am fed up with total dependence on my father. God give me what I will do.’ Immediately I got a divine direction. I obeyed, got a camera from my friend and took many shots for Christmas. To God be the glory, today, I now have my own four professional cameras with zoom lens! The most surprising aspect of it is that I never learnt photography. The Holy Spirit taught me how to use the professional camera in just one week, what some people use two or three years to learn.” – Adewuyi, D. I see God giving you your own testimony too! It takes the mind of Christ to manage your family finance. To have what it takes to have the mind of Christ, you need to give your life to Christ. You need to say this prayer and be born again: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! Till I come your way again next week, call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: faithdavid@yahoo.com Tel. No: 234-1-7747546-8; 07026385437, 07094254102 For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all the Living Faith Churches, and other leading Christian bookstores: Marriage Covenant, Making Marriage Work and Building a Successful Family.

Tips to prevent high ?????????????????????? blood pressure

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HILE high blood pressure (also know as hypertension) is a serious health problem, there’s good news. No matter what your age or physical condition, there are things you can do to prevent high blood pressure. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers these 8 tips to help you prevent high blood pressure, or reduce your blood pressure if it’s already a problem. •Are you overweight? Lose weight. Maintaining a healthy weight (see your doctor about this) will help prevent high blood pressure. Getting back to a healthy weight is not as hard as it sounds. You can start by limiting the portion size of your meals and snacks, and cut way back on high calorie foods. If you eat as many calories as you burn each day, you’ll maintain your weight. Eating fewer calories than you burn will help you lose weight. And losing weight will help lower your blood pressure. •When you plan meals, think of your heart. Choose a diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. Keep total fat low and avoid foods that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Having a healthy heart will help prevent blood pressure. •Eat less salt and sodium. Salt and sodium can increase blood pressure, so it’s important to read food labels. The U.S. guidelines suggest limiting sodium intake to no more than 2,400 mg, or about 1 teaspoon of salt each day. If you eat canned, processed, and convenience foods, buy the brands that are lower in sodium. If you salt your food at the table, try using less, or none. It may take a little while to get used to the new flavors, but you may find that food tastes better when you use less salt. Fast food can contain a lot of sodium, so if you eat fast food choose items that are lower in salt and sodium. Reducing your salt intake will help to prevent high blood pressure. •If you drink alcohol, practice moderation. The U.S. guidelines recommend that men have no more than 2 drinks per day, and women have no more than one alcoholic beverage per day. •Increase your physical activity. Exercise is a key factor in preventing high blood pressure. If you get very little exercise now, start slowly and work your way up to at least 30 minutes of a moderate-level activity, such as brisk walking or bicycling, each day. If time is a factor, you’ll still benefit by breaking the 30 minute daily exercise periods into 10 or 15 minute sessions. •Stop smoking. Research shows that smoking increases your chances of developing a heart disease, stroke, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, and several forms of cancer. •Talk with your doctor or health care professional. Learn what your blood pressure reading means to your health, and if medication is recommended for you to treat or prevent high blood pressure. •If your doctor prescribes medication, take it. It’s important to understand: •What your blood pressure medication is expected to do for you •How to take your medication, and when •If your blood pressure medication has any side effects •If the blood pressure medication is safe to take with any other prescriptions or vitamins you are already taking If you have high blood pressure and treatment is prescribed, don’t be afraid to ask questions or get another medical opinion. Once you understand why you’re taking the medication, follow the recommended dose.


FAMIL Y HEAL TH AMILY HEALTH

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Hypertension and abnormal differences in blood Health Matters pressure between the right and left arms (1)

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With DR MIKE OYAKHIRE 08170268670

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IMPLY put, hypertension is the abnormal eleva tion of blood pressure beyond what is accepted as normal for an individual’s age gender and race. Further, hypertension can be said to imply the elevation of one or two components of blood pressure two(2) standard deviations(2SD) above the accepted mean, taking into consideration, variables like age, gender, ethnicity, occupation etc, Many of us can’t remember when last we went to a clinic for simple blood pressure check . A good number of Nigerians who own Electronic blood pressure monitors don’t know how to use them and don’t bother about their accuracy. Most people who check their blood pressure regularly are satisfied with the measurement done with one arm, and in the sitting position. Risk Factors associated with hypertension are no longer news, and include being an African and male, high intake of salt ,seasoned food, carbohydrate, proteins fats, and oils. Frequent patronage of fast food restaurants, and diets low in vegetables, fiber, fruits and water. Others are sluggish and sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, presence of a disease condition in an organ whose activity indirectly affects the heart and its vessels, such as in kidney disease, thyroid over activity, and adrenal hyperplasia. Studies have shown marked reduction in libido amongst married couples, after the age of 45 years, and a direct relationship between low sexual activity, truncal (android) obesity and hypertension has been suggested. An adult may live with hypertension for five to ten years without the affected individual knowing it ; and a hypertensive patient may decide regrettably to avoid or stop taking prescribed medicines and resort to other means. Over time, slow damage will have occurred in body organs known as hypertension target organs. Some of these organs are the brain, kidneys, the heart and the lungs. Much of what has been discussed is common knowledge and many of us are quite familiar with the comments. Perhaps what has not been emphasized , but very relevant to physicians and patients is the matter of different blood pressure readings between the right and left arms, and large pressure differences between the two arms and between the arms and legs. When small, these differences can be ignored, but when higher than 10mmhg for systole (number placed at the top) and 20mmhg diastole(number placed at the bottom), it becomes a health issue that must be taken very seriously, for the rest of the life of an affected individual How often do physicians see patients with abnormal differences in blood pressure between the arms? Not very easy to answer the question. In a very busy clinic as seen in Teaching Hospitals, a Cardiologist will see

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NFERTILITY is the inabil ity of a woman to become pregnant. In general, infertility can be suspected if pregnancy has not occurred after a year of regular intercourse, (without the use of any form of contraception). The cause of infertility may lie in the male or the

female. There are numerous causes of infertility in each sex; sometimes no cause is ever found. Investigations for causes in the male are safer and simpler; consequently, they are normally performed first to save cost and to save the woman a series of tests, if a

only cases that require specialist attention, and unless specific instructions are given, other members of his team are not likely to spend much time bothering about issues which concern only a minority of cases. Says Dr Uvie . J . Ajugah, a family physician with the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). When cases of IABPD are discovered, the potential for complications are indeed very real and should not be ignored; there is need to follow up such patients with comprehensive family history, basic laboratory Studies and advanced imaging techniques to better understand the problem Experts put the prevalence of abnormal differences in inter arm blood pressure in the developed countries at a little over 10%. These are places where diagnostic health facilities are readily available and people have access to essential medicines. In resource limited countries like Nigeria, the prevalence is likely to be very much higher. Part of the problem has to do with the Doctor Population ratio here, which currently is about one qualified Medical Doctor to Ten thousand Nigerians. Poverty and lack of transparency in the operation of various streams of the health insurance scheme have made it difficult for many families to enjoy good health. On the other hand awareness of this condition is unremarkable; What do the ordinary people know about abnormal inter arm blood pressure differences (IABPD) What do experts in the different fields of medical practice know and What challenges do the cardiologists, radiologists cardiothoracic surgeons family physicians and others face in the detection, management and evaluation of IABPD. The very recent report released by the world health organization (WHO) in may 2012, came with a warning that chronic non communicable diseases like hypertension have begun to spread from Western nations to poorer regions like Africa . Data from the United Nations, the UN and Ties Boerma, the WHO’s director of Health statistics indicate that 1 in 3 adults worldwide has raised elevated blood pressure, and half a billion people have obesity”, a major issue in the development of hypertension in children and adults . Contrary to the previous assessment, the report endorsed by the director, Margaret Chan suggest that Women in all parts of the world are more likely to be obese than men with a higher risk of developing diabetes, mellitus, heart disease , stroke, and even cancers, particularly after the age of 50 years. According to the report 40-50% of adults in Africa n countries have high blood pressure In Nigeria statistics are difficult to come by, because of religious, ethnic and geographical problems amongst others but experts believe about 8 million people representing about 10% of the Nigerian population may be living with hypertension with as high as 30 to 40 % not knowing they have the condition. This scenario may persist in the setting

Coping with diseases with Prof. Dayo Oyekole

Infertility cause can be found in the male. Unfortunately, most men do not submit themselves to fertility tests. Rather, they ascribe the shortcomings to their wife’s conditions only. The cause of infertility may be either structural or due to functions of the reproductive system. There may be no production of sperm or ova, or for some reason, the two may not meet to bring about fertilization. General ill-health, especially chronic diseases or endocrine/abnormalities can cause infertility. Basically, two kinds of infertility are recognized in the female. There is the primary and the secondary infertility. When a woman has had a child before and there is a long gap, not deliberately brought about by her, it will be said that her condition is that of secondary infertility i.e. no one talks of infertility if the woman had one or two children and decided to stop having more. Primary infertility, on the other hand, is a condition where the woman has not had an issue before and is well into the child-

bearing age. Causes of infertility that can be diagnosed are many. These include Blocked Fallopian Tubes, Uterine Fibroids, Hormonal Problems, Incompetent Cervix, Internal Heat in the lower abdomen, Tilted Mouth of the Uterus, Displaced Uterus, and Lack of Ovulation (especially after prolonged use of some contraceptive devices). Other cases of infertility range from infections, especially the Sexually Transmitted Diseases (in both men & women) and Watery Sperms in men. Also, some bad lifestyles, social excesses, indiscriminate sexual indulgence, criminal abortion as well as tough exercises, unsuitable postures and heavy sporting activities have been implicated in female infertility. Nature is wonderful. The human body obeys the law of use and disuse. For example, Fibroids, which are so common today, used not to be so when women had children till they were advanced in age. When a woman has fibroids, it implies that her

email: drmikeoyakhire@yahoo.com where the routine use of one and the same arm to measure an individual’s blood pressure rules out the presence of the disease whereas it is actually waiting to be revealed when the other arm is used for measurement. This is because for patients in whom IABPD has been established, it is instructive that treatment update rely on the higher of the two readings obtained, irrespective of whether it is the right or left . No one is sure how and why differences in interim blood pressure arise but the following have been suggested. CONGENITAL: In Taussig –Bing malformation, the Aorta is transposed, with the pulmonary trunk receiving blood from the right ventricle instead of the left ventricle, and with associated large ventricular septal defects. Similarly in Sinus inversus totalis, regarded as a walking medical curiosity, viscera such as appendix and gall bladder are on the left side of the body instead of the right as seen in normal individuals. Abnormal positioning of the major vessels of the heart results in unequal distribution blood pressure elevation Post ductal coarctation (narrowing )of the aorta may remain silent for years until adult hood when large pressure differences, between the upper limbs and between the upper arms and legs become manifest. Another predisposing congenital abnormality is Rogers disease, in which truncus arteriosus coexists with right to left ventricular septal defects .Patients survive with septal defects with small diameters, about 0.5cm, Similar conditions occur in Steal phenomena —Subclavian, and Coronary artery fistula. Anomalous origin of the coronary artery from a region between the pulmonary artery and the aorta gives rise to abnormalities of perfusion and aortic insufficiency William syndrome of supra valvular aortic stenosis is another condition associated with abnormal interarm blood pressure differences. A single coronary artery infrequently exists with various coronary insufficiency and distal vascular anomalies. The presence of one congenital abnormality should encourage search for others ACQUIRED : Lutten baches syndrome acquired rheumatic mitral stenosis leads long standing hypertension. Most cases of Hypertension in Africa remain undiagnosed but, even amongst those found to have symptoms associated with hypertension Here in Nigeria, Blood pressure readings up to 320/160 have been recorded in patients dying a few minutes after sudden collapse; to the sorrow and shock of close family members. womb was looking for something to carry. It is rare to find a woman bearing children and yet having fibroids. This situation is like leaving a piece of land fallow after initial bush clearing, one would expect it to grow weeds if nothing is planted on that land, with proper care. Fibroids will not grow if the womb does not attract to itself waste products from the bloodstream. Prevention /Control Women should be very observant so as to note as early as possible, any irregularities in their menstrual period. Excessive heat in the lower abdomen, waist pains or pinching sensations at the sides of the lower abdomen should attract attention. Most importantly, indiscriminate use of contraceptives and abortifacients should be avoided. Treating gynecological problems naturally seems to be quite easy. Some physical disorders can be corrected through massage. Tension and worries should be avoided. The food intake should be simple and natural to provide the natural nutrients that the body needs, with avoidance of denatured food, alcohol and smoking. Fatty foods that will cause fat to develop around the reproductive organs and sex glands should be avoided. Simple exercises to aid effec-

tive circulation of blood should be encouraged. Paradoxically, natural remedies for the treatment of female problems seem to more available than for any other ailment. Therefore, in Holistic Lifecare it is strongly advocated that in order to avoid suffering in the midst of plenty, we must turn to nature. Some of the suggested natural remedies being suggested for infertility include the extracts of local herbs such as Acanthospermum hispidum, Desmodium velutinum, Kigelia africana, Momordica charantia and Viscum album. For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-330-3897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: www.holisticlifecare.com. Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment.


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

•People at the festival

Osun Osogbo: A festival and its appeal I

T was amusing watching foreign tourists nod and oc casionally shuffle to the high tempo of the traditional drum beats by devotees of the Osun goddess. They obviously did not understand the words of the musicians, but that did not dampened their enthusiasm for the festival. It was the grand finale of the 14-day Osun Osogbo festival. In the spirit of the festival, the whole of Osogbo town and the Osun grove exploded in festivities on this last day. Right from the palace of the traditional ruler of Osogbo, the Ataoja, to the grove, bands of revellers carved out fiefdoms along the road. With their music blaring from huge loud speakers,they danced, drank and indulged in merriment. The routine of the festival is the same. From when the votary maiden comes to the Ataoja of Osogbo for blessing and

heads for the grove to perform the annual propitiation signalling the cleansing of the town; not much is changed. This notwithstanding, the excitement and revelry that it brings for the people of Osogbo never diminishes. This year was no exception. But the marvel here was that despite the not- tooencouraging image that Nigeria has, the number of tourists to the festival was very encouraging. It is this excitement, rich history and culture that attracted tourists from all over the world and kept them coming back every year. In this year’s edition, according to statistics compiled by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) during the festival, there was a reasonable increase in the number of inbound tourists in attendance. There were groups from Cuba, the United States,

Many tourists from Japan wanted to come, but we didn’t get to know the date for the grand finale early. We want the date to be given early so that we can use it to market. This will bring more Japanese tourists

Japan, Brazil and some other countries. While the richness and wide appeal of the Osun Osogbo festival around the world is not in doubt, the current Osun State government is doing everything possible to sustain its allure and improve on it as a tourism product. Among the groups of international tourists that thronged the Osun Grove for this year’s festival was a group of female Japanese tourists. They were six in number. The youngest among them should be in her 40s, but that did not dampen their spirit for adventure, hence their participation in the festival. The leader of the team from Japan, Yuko Konno, had much to say about the festival. Konno of the Travellers Guardian Incorporated, Japan said: “This is my first time to Osun Osogbo festival. We are six tourists from Japan. I specialize in Africa as a destination, and we had some interest in the Yoruba tradition. That is why we decided to come to Osogbo for the festival. It is very exciting coming to the grove. There were so many people on the stand. We could not see the king and the chiefs. It was very crowded.”

She said because of the huge crowd, they could not get to the Osun River, but planned touring the grove a day after the festival. Konno advised that the date for the festival should be advertised early so that they can use it to get Japanese tourists wishing to come to make the early arrangements. Another problem she identified

was the insufficient information materials on Nigerian tourism written in Japanese on the net. This was communicated to the Director- General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC). He promised that this was to be in-

•Arugba

cluded in the redesigning of the NTDC’s website. She said: “Osun Osogbo festival has one problem. The date for the festival comes late; we can’t plan and market enough to bring many people. Many tourists from Japan wanted to come, but didn’t get to know the date for the grand finale early. We want the date to be given early, so that we can use it to market. This will bring more Japanese tourists.” Yuko said what her colleagues and herself enjoyed most was the “the dancing and passion of the people. But it should be more organized.” The Special Adviser to the Osun State Governor on Tourism, Mr. Oladipupo Soyode, talked about some of efforts of the state governor to add value to the festival this year: “What we set out to achieve were in manifold. First, regarding the build-up to the festival, we did not want a situation where we had a static festival where people just come in for the grand finale and leave. So, before that time, we had already had a Town Storming session. “It was more like a sort of awareness creation event, dancing round the town with a float to sensitise the town on an ancient festival that was going on, but giving it a new look. We also built a lot of entertainment. We had shows with Beautiful Nubia, Chris Ajilo, Jimi Solanke, Orlandoh Julius and many other young, up -coming artistes in Osun State. “We had all that going on before the grand finale. Also, we had art exhibitions; we also had fashion display, including hair designs. We tried to create a lot of entertaining activities preceding the grand finale. We are having some evenings after. Ara, 9ice and Olamide will also be in concert. On Sunday, we will have a bata group from Cuba. They are also Osun devotees. We tried to create a real festival atmosphere that can start competing with the Christmas period or Easter or other major festivals celebrated in the


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

•Artwork inside the Osun Grove

country. I believe we achieved that.” He also talked about the this year’s event, especially the emphasis on security: “We were very concerned about crowd and traffic control. In years past, we had too much of traffic because cars drove all the way to the grove. So, we were able to control that. “But there is much room for improvement. We are working on the pavilion. The old pavilion that used to be in the grove had been brought down because it was too small and too frail. We are working on a new pavilion and within a couple of months, it will be ready. We also want to work on some

pathways and structures for entry and exit in a way that by next year, we will have better crowd control. So, we’ve made some progress and also took some time to study some lapses that exist to correct ttem. “Because this is not the best of times for security in Nigeria. When you look at foreigners coming, you are promoting tourism. It is important you make them feel secure. Even though you see a lot of security, it doesn’t mean that we had any threat, but we put a lot of security to safe-guard life and property which is the primary function of any government. I am glad that we made good progress in that. Virtually every-

body comported themselves in a way that is tourism friendly.” Part of the effort to add value to the festival and the grove is building of a pavilion for guests during the festival. The fear is that it might affect the sacredness of the grove or compromise the ambience. But Soyode dismissed this belief: “What we are doing right from inception, we are doing it with the Osun Osogbo Heritage Council and the devotees, from the architectural design of the pavilion to the location. So everything in the design is in compliance with the community and the devotees. It will not distort anything. It will just complement it. “One thing we should always realize is that anything that is going to be great needs proper planning. We have a body of consultants that we have been working with. A tourism master-plan for Osun State is now ready. We are going to be presenting it to the governor very soon. “After working and drawing up a tourism master-plan, implementation will be much easier. We have a complete master-plan. It has taken one year to put that together. We are now entering the implementation stage. We need to draw a plan because it is easy to say we are going

•Some devotees of Osun goddess

•The Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, flanked by his olori during the Osun Osogbo grand finale

to make Osun the preferred tourist destination. The next question is how? That how is what we have answered with the master-plan. Once that is presented, we will commence

implementation. So we are making good progress. It might not be seen right now, but there is a lot of motion, just wait for the movement.” By virtue of its rich culture,

history and consistency, the Osun Osogbo festival is a prime festival in Nigeria. It a world-class festival and this should be reflected in planning and delivery.

Cynthia Osokogu: NTDC DG asks hoteliers to provide CCTV cameras

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S aresult of the recent murder of the late Cynthia Osokogu in a hotel in Lagos, the DirectorGeneral of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, has called on hoteliers to ensure adequate security on their premises by providing, among others, close circuit TV camera in the interest of their guests and their business. Speaking with journalists in Abuja recently, Runsewe said the call became necessary in view of the gruesome murder. “But for the CCTV, it would most probably be difficult to trace the suspects who are now being held by the police”, he said. The NTDC boss reminded hoteliers to register their premises with the corporation in accordance with the law, revealing that from NTDC investigations, only four of the five hotels [names withheld] patronized by the alleged killers are registered by the corporation Otunba Runsewe stated that registration of hotels is important as it would enable the corporation keep data on each hotel for proper supervision. “We put all registered hotels

•The late Cynthia Osokogu in a database and on our website for prospective guests to know the credible ones available,” he said. The NTDC, he said, would work with the Corporate Affairs Commission to get the details of the profiles of hotels, other hospitality outfits and their owners, stressing that a lot of them are yet to register with the NTDC. “Some try to go to the Corporate Affairs Commission [CAC] only, but they know they cannot start their businesses without the NTDC. It is a must, but we are working with the CAC along this line,” he said.

He noted that some hoteliers have been found to be doing other illegal businesses, using their hotels as décor, warning that such hoteliers would soon be exposed as their identities would be forwarded to the appropriate security agencies. Otunba Runsewe said that the corporation would not relent in its effort at ensuring that Nigeria is a safe destination for Nigerian and foreign tourists. The Director-General commended all the security agencies that tracked down the alleged killers of Miss. Osokogu for their quick response in apprehending the suspects. Meanwhile,Otunba Runsewe has hailed Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State for completing the stateowned hotel which had been left abandoned for a long time. In a statement released in his office, Abuja, the DG observed that the hotel will help to generate revenue for the state and create jobs not forgetting its intrinsic aesthetic value and contribution to ecotourism. According to Otunba Runsewe, the creation of jobs is of utmost importance as it will go a long way in addressing security issues by curbing youth restiveness in the NigerDelta.

‘Our target is to ensure 75 per cent access to water by Nigerians ’ Continued from page 49 community groups like the EU, the World Bank, the African Development Bank. We are working with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and there are many more that are coming to partner with us but we have to analyse the kind of partnership and to understand what our own commitment should be before we sign any agreements with them. So we expect that in the next few years the issue of funding will be sorted out in this sector. Madam, can we know you? Where did you grow up? Where you born in a polygamous family or monogamous family? What was growing up like and what did you read in the university? (Laughs) Well, you know my name. I was born and bred up in Jos. I am from Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State. I went to a local school - LEA Primary School in Bukuru. I

did my Secondary School also in Bukuru and then went over to the Ahmadu Bello University. I read Political Science and also Education. I did Public Administration. I did a Diploma in Journalism and then some training in development work. I worked as a teacher and then work as a social mobilizer under MAMSER. There I served as an acting director then when MAMSER was transformed into NOA. I served as a director in Plateau and then also served as an Executive Director at the NOA headquarters in Abuja. Then I worked with the British Council. They were managing a programme for the World Bank-DFID education programme which was basically research in nature. So I served as an adviser to Plateau State after which I worked again with some NGO groups in education. The Coalition of NGOs in education called SACEFA also gave me opportunity to work closely with the MDG process and also with the Global Campaign on

Poverty Eradication called G-CAP. It was from there I was given the opportunity to serve as chairman, SUBEB in Plateau State before this appointment. Did this appointment come as a surprise to you? Certainly it came as a surprise to me because I did not expect it. I was not on the top list of those I would say, for national appointment at the state level because my governor would have preferred me to remain in education and support the development of education in the state. But I think when the nominee for the ministerial position was not cleared and there was a request for the nomination of a woman that was how my name came up. What is your philosophy in life because it is not easy getting to the top. What is your advice to the youths? My advice to young people is that whatever you find yourself doing. Do it diligently. Do it honestly.

Do it committedly as unto God and not unto man. But also know that when you are serving God, you have to serve through people. So whatever you do to people amounts to service to God and there isn’t much to life and so you must have a humble disposition, knowing that whatever comes your way is temporary and also it is a matter of time and chance and that there are so many people in the world and if God gives you the opportunity, it is not so much that you are the best but that He just wants to use you because if you look at the background from where one is coming, you never expect that you will get into this position. Some are said to be born with silver spoon or with golden spoon. Some of us were not born (laughs) with that at all. It is God who charts the path. These days, I see that a lot of young people are anxious to get to where they are yet to reach. There is a rush in life. I used to tell one of my bosses that ‘speed kills’

and he would tell me ‘delay is dangerous’ (general laughter) so when I see him doing certain things I say ‘oga speed kills.’ He would say ‘delay is dangerous.’ Unfortunately he did not hearken to my caution so the speed really got him out in a very short time. I see a lot of young people rushing into certain things. Life has a process and if you jump some of it you are likely to run into trouble. Yesterday (Wednesday), I was talking to somebody and we were looking at the educational system in Nigeria and how there has been serious fallen standards. He was sharing an experience about some kind of make-up classes that are being organized for those who are not able to meet up their GCE or SSCE requirement and said there is somebody who comes for those lessons and he has been worried about the person because the phone that that person has is worth about half a million naira and then the car he drives to school is about N16million. Yet this is

a very young person who has never held any government job. So, you wonder when that person eventually graduates or gets the SSCE and goes to the university, would he be able to humble himself to take up a Level 8 job because that is the starting point. So there are distortions in our system that we have to ask God for His assistance but parents have a lot of work to do. We had neglected our responsibilities at some point and it is beginning to hit us and stare us in the face and unless we do something, we will be moving in a very dangerous front. How do you manage the home front? I thank God. These days it is easy to communicate (laughter). You don’t have to send a telegram (more laughter) that will stay for several days, which you also have to_ wait several days for a reply. My children have graduated. Only one is in school and we keep in touch regularly.


THE NATION, SATURDAY,SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

56

Above and below: O’ Calisthenicss Osun State Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola acknowledging guests

•L-R:Traiiners, Talatu J. Barau Linda, Raiza Aljoe Guerra (Ajoke) and Francis Vazquez Rodriguez (Segun),

•Osun State Commissioner for Information, Sunday Akere

Day Osun pupils dazzled Aregbesola, others T

HE celebration of Osun at 21 was what renowned reggae musician, Jimmy Cliff, would call akuna matata (good thinking, good product). How else would one explain the calisthenics displayed by school pupils in Osun last Tuesday during the official launch of Osun School Calisthenics Programme at the Osogbo City Stadium? As early as 7 am, the pupils had all assembled at the Osogbo township stadium. Their presence would remind one of the colour festival depicted in Sholay, one of the all-time box offices Indian flicks.

Gbenga ADERANTI The 5,000 pupils, Christened Ewa Osun (Osun’s beauty) were made up of JSS1 and JSS2 pupils who were picked from different schools in the state. Their mission was to show the whole world that they had really mastered what they had been taught by the duo of Raiza Aljoe Guerra (Ajoke) and Francis Vazquez Rodriguez (Segun), from Cuba. The last time such a spectacle was beheld in the state would be about 30 years ago when the former governor of old Oyo State, the late

Chief Bola Ige, introduced a programme tagged Young Pioneers. The children were so upbeat that not even the scorching sun could deter them from doing the business of the day. And when it was time to do their thing, they did not disappoint. As if they were oblivious of the heat, for close to four hours, they stood in the sun entertaining the guests, including those who watched their displays on major television stations around the country. They made inscriptions such as Rauf: New Era; Ipinle Omoluabi, Ewa Osun, Cooperation, Welcome, Eku Odun, among others.

They held all the guests spellbound from the moment they began the show. Even the governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, could not hide his admiration of the wonderful kids as he gave them a standing ovation. The Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Prince Segun Adesegun, said the displays by ‘Ewa Osun’ could be likened to what obtains at the Olympics. He also attributed the superlative performance to the purposeful leadership in the state. Adesegun said: “It is the good way a good government can make a positive change. It was started by an Ijesha man 40 years ago. What we have seen is marvelous.” He added that it was an avenue through which Osun could make money because other states who wish to replicate such could go to Osun to recruit the pupils. At the end of the exercise, fulfillment could be seen on the faces of the Cubans who had trained these children as they clapped, and hugged. For those who think it is a flash in the pan, Aregbesola has said the practice will out-

live his administration. The governor said it would be a lifestyle-changing project that would build a new generation of students who will appreciate the essence of team spirit, cooperation and collaboration. According to Aregbesola, these attributes are essential for the emergence of a new set of future leaders who would appreciate service to humanity. The display brought out an uncommon degree of social coordination which was inculcated into the students through six months of rigorous trainings conducted by Cuban experts and Osun trainers. ”As we have emphasised, the calisthenics programme is not only an out-of-school sports activity but a lifestylechanging project for building a new generation of students who are physically robust, mentally sound and socially well-adjusted. And we are not alone in this view. We have history to draw from, and this is also supported by practices in other lands and climes.” Aregbesola said. He further stated: “An added advantage of this programme, especially in our own peculiar situation, is that by providing a platform for fraternisation and

positive integration and engagement in a worthwhile endeavour, it makes the students unavailable for potentially destructive out-of-school activities, such as political brigandage and other criminal activities. “This is further underscored by the fact that sporting, besides other things, has become a big industry in our modern world.” He added that the programme is not a terminal one designed to end on some specific display date, but one designed to be a permanent feature of school system and curriculum. The governor stated that the sterling performances of countries like the United States, China and Great Britain in the recently concluded Olympic Games in London attest to this fact, and that It also contrasts with our country’s poor showing in the games, stating that it is one of the areas the state is determined to address. An elated Aregbesola punctuated his speech with songs and dances, which electrified the stadium and spurred those in attendance into a frenzy of jubilation.


57

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

KANO STATE GOVERNMENT KANO STATE MINISTRY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION 327

AHMAD AMINU

ELECTRICAL/ELECRONICS

YASAR

TURKEY

TRN

328

AISHA IDRIS

APPLIED BIOLOGY

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

TRN

329

ALHASSAN IBRAHIM

POL. SCI.

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

TRN

330

ALHASSAN MUHAMMAD ABUBAKAR

MSC COMPUTER SCIENCE

UNIVER OF TECHNOLOGY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

TRN

331

ALHASSSAN MUHAMMED ABUBAKAR

COMP. SCI.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

TRN

332

ALMUSTAOHA MUHAMMAD SULIEMAN

MSC ACCOUNTING

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

TRN

333

AUWAL SANI YAHAYA

MSC HEALTH CARE/ORG MNGT

CYPRUS INT UNIVERSITY

CYPRUS

TRN

334

BASHIR S. LAWAN

MSC AGRONOMY

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

TRN

335

FAHAD IBRAHIM DANLADI

CHEMISTRY

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

TRN

336

FATIMA I. ABDULSALAM

MSC MICROBIOLOGY

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

TRN

337

GARBA ADAMU HAMZA

H/ANATOMY

TERNOPIL MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TRN

338

GARBA MUNIR

BSC BIO

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

TRN

339

HABIBU AMINU HUSSAIN

B. ENG ELEKTRICAL

ZIRVE UNIVERSITESI

TURKEY

TRA

340

IBRAHIM GARBA MUHAMMAD

MSC BUSINESS MNGT

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

TRN

341

IBRAHIM NAZIFI SALEH

BSC CHEMISTRY

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

TRN

342

ILYASU ALIYU ALI

MSC BUSINESS MNGT

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

TRN

343

JAMILU AHMAD DANEJI

MSC ECONOMICS

NEAR EAST UNIVERSITY,TURKEY

TURKEY

TRN

344

KAMALU ABDULLAHI ALHASSAN

EDU (BIO)

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TRN

345

LUBABATU B ILA

MSC CIVIL ENGR

LINTON UNIVERSITY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

TRN

346

MARYAM ADAMU MUHD

M.A EUC. ADULT EDU & COM DEV UNIVERSITY OF CAIRO

CAIRO

TRN

347

MUHAMMED AMINU UMAR

SURGERY

KHARKOV MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TRN

348

MUHAMMED MARYAM ADAM

COM. DEV.

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TRN

349

MUHAMMED MUHAMMED IBRAHIM

EDU (ENG.)

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TRN

350

MUJITABA BABALE I.

ENGR. ELEC.

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TRN

351

MUKHTAR YAHUZA

MSC CIVIL ENGR

LINTON UNIVERSITY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

TRN

352

MUNIR GARBA

APPLIED BIOLOGY

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

TRN

353

MURTALA B.UMAR

MSC ECONOMICS

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

TRN

354

RAHMATULLAH IBRAHIM NURUDDEEN

BSC MATHEMATICS

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

TRN

355

SALEH NAZIFI IBRAHIM

MSC CHEMISTRY

UNIVER OF TECHNOLOGY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

TRN

356

SANI MUHAMMAD GAMBO

LINGUISTICS

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TRN

357

SHEHU KAMAL KABIRU

BSC EDU (ECONS)

KHARKIV PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TRN

358

SULAIMAN MAHMUD

BA EDU. HISTORY

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

TRN

359

SULEIMAN AISHA UMAR

COMP. SCI.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

TRN

360

SUNUSI SULEIMAN USMAN

B. ENG ELEKTRICAL

MELIKSAH UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

TRN

361

USMAN ABUBAKAR NAGOMA

SURGERY

KHARKOV MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TRN

362

USMAN ISYAKU SANI

BSC EDU (ECONS)

KHARKIV PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TRN

363

YAHAYA AUWALU SANI

BSC EDU/PHE

KHARKOV MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TRN

364

YAHUZA YUNUSA

EDU (GEOGRAPHY)

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TRN

365

ZAHARADEEN YAU ABDULLAHI

MSC ECONOMICS

NEAR EAST UNIVERSITY,TURKEY

TURKEY

TRN

366

AUWAL ADAMU

BIOCHEMISTRY

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

TYW

367

BAWA KABIRU

B. TECH (ELECT)

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

TYW

368

ISYAKU MUHAMMAD

MECHANICAL ENGR

LIONING UNIVERSITY,CHINA

CHINA

TYW

369

MAIDALA’ILU KABIRU ABDU

BSC ENG. ELECTRIC.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

TYW

370

MAMUNU ABDULKADIR SULAIMAN

BSC MICROBIOLOGY

Gediz Universitesi

TURKEY

TYW

371

MUHAMMAD ISYAKU

B. ENGR. MECHAN.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

TYW

372

MUHAMMAD JUNAIDU YAKUBU

B. AGRICULTURAL

KHARKIV AGRAGARIAN UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

TYW

373

MURTALA MUHAMMAD

BIOCHEMISTRY

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

TYW

374

MUSA ALIYU FARUK

BSC COMPUTER SCIENCE

MELIKSAH UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

TYW

375

MUSTAFA MUHAMMAD

MATHEMATICS

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

TYW

376

YANGANAU ABUBAKAR FARUK

B. ENGR CIVIL

FATIH UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

TYW

377

ABDULLAHI GARBA HARUNA

BSC ACCOUNTANCY

KHARKIV UNI OF MUNICIPAL ECONOMY

UKRAINE

UGG

378

ABDULLAHI SAGIR

BSC ARCHITECTURE

BAHCESEHIR UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

UGG

379

ABUBAKAR IBRAHIM AHMAD

ELECTRONICS.

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

UGG

380

AUWAL MUHAMMED

BSC PHYSICS

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

UGG

381

AUWALU HAMISU USMAN

MATHEMATICS

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

UGG

382

BALA SANI SAMINU

CHEMISTRY

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

UGG

383

DAHA UMAR ISHAQ

BIOCHEMISTRY

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

UGG

384

GARBAABDULLAHI

MSC ACCOUNTING/FINANCE

HERIOT WATT UNIVERSITY

DUBAI

UGG

385

HAFIZU A. UMAR

MSC GEOGRAPHY

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

UGG


58

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

KANO STATE GOVERNMENT KANO STATE MINISTRY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION 386

HARUNA SANI

ENGR. CIVIL

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

UGG

387

HUSSAIN JIBRIN BELLO

B. ENGR CIVIL

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

UGG

388

IBRAHIM MUHAMMED

B. TECH ESTATE MGT

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

UGG

389

IBRAHIM SALEH YAU

B. HISTORY

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

UGG

390

ISAH SHITU YUSUF

MA ARABIC

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

UGG

391

ISMAIL SALIHU

CHEMISTRY

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

UGG

392

KABIRU ALHAJI HASSAN

B. ENG ELEKTRICAL

ZIRVE UNIVERSITESI

TURKEY

UGG

393

MAGAJI AMADU

MICRO BIO.

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY UKRAINE

UGG

394

MAHMUD ABBA MUSA

BSC EDU (ECONS)

KHARKIV PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

UGG

395

MOHAMMED AHMED ABDULLAHI

BSC ECONOMICS

KHARKIV UNI OF MUNICIPAL ECONOMY

UKRAINE

UGG

396

MUHAMMED M SHEHU

Economics

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

UGG

397

SA’IDU M. BASHIR

MSC BIOCHEMISTRY

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

UGG

398

SANI SAMINU BALA

CHEMISTRY

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

UGG

399

SHUAIBU NASIRU

MA ARABIC

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

UGG

400

SURAJO IBRAHIM ISAH

BSC MATHEMATICS

YASAR

TURKEY

UGG

401

SURAJO SULIEMAN

BSC MATHEMATICS

YASAR

TURKEY

UGG

402

UMAR SAMINU

MASS COMM

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

UGG

403

UMAR ALIYU ABDULLAHI

BSC BIOCHEMISTRY

OKAN UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

UGG

404

YUNUS SULAIMAN

BSC/B.A SCIENCES

KHARKIV NATIONAL UNI. OF RADIO ELECTRONICS

UKRAINE

UGG

405

YUSUF AUWALU

B. ENGR CIVIL

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

UGG

406

ZAHARADDEEN MOHAMMED BELLO

LAW

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

UGG

407

ZAHRADEEN ISMAIL Y.

COMP. SCI.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

UGG

408

ABUBAKAR SAIDU BELLO

B. ENGR. MECHAN.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

WUDIL

409

AUWAL IBRAHIM

MECHANICAL ENGR

LIONING UNIVERSITY,CHINA

CHINA

WUDIL

410

BADARU GARBA

MSC ARCHITECHTURE

YASAR

TURKEY

WUDIL

411

FATIMA ADAMU SHUAIBU

BSC MICROBIOLOGY

Gediz Universitesi

TURKEY

WUDIL

412

GARBA BADARU

B. TECH.

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

WUDIL

413

IBRAHIM AUWALU

B. ENGR. MECHAN.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

WUDIL

414

IBTISAM SANI SULEIMAN

MSC NEUROLOGY

UNIVERSITY OF CAIRO

CAIRO

WUDIL

415

INDABO SUNUSI ADO

B. AGRICULTURAL

KHARKIV AGRAGARIAN UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

WUDIL

416

MUHAMMED YUSUF IDRIS

ENGR. COMP.

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

WUDIL

417

MUKHTAR BELLO

International Relations

KULTUR UNIVERSITESI

TURKEY

WUDIL

418

SAIDU BELLO ABUBAKAR

MSC MECHANICAL ENGR

UNIVER OF TECHNOLOGY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

WUDIL

419

UMAR BAKO MUHAMMAD

COMP ENGR

YASAR

TURKEY

WUDIL

420

WUDIL JIBRIL USMAN

M.B.B.S

TERNOPIL MEDICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

WUDIL

421

WUDIL RABIU UMAR

BSC EDU (ECONS)

KHARKIV PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

WUDIL

422

YUSUF AL-AWWAL NASRUDDEEN

APPLIED CHEM.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

WUDIL

423

YUSUF IDRIS MUHAMMAD

B. ENG COMPUTER

MEVLANA UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

WUDIL

424

MUSA SALIHU ABUBAKAR

MSC CIVIL ENGR

NEAR EAST UNIVERSITY,TURKEY

TURKEY

DALA

425

MUSTAPHA SAIDU NASIR

MSC CIVIL ENGR

NEAR EAST UNIVERSITY,TURKEY

TURKEY

DALA

426

USMAN ALHAJI ABDURRAHMAN

B. ENG COMPUTER

MEVLANA UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

DALA

427

USMAN MUHAMMAD AHMAD

ECONOMICS

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

DAL

428

ADAM NUHU SULAIMAN

B. ENGR. MECHAN.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

DBT

429

NUHU SULIEMAN

MECHANICAL ENGR

LIONING UNIVERSITY,CHINA

CHINA

DBT

430

UMAR ABDULRAHMAN AHMAD

B. ENGR. MECHAN.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

DBT

431

HASSAN SADI ABDULLAHI

BSC CHEMISTRY

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

KMC

432

JIBRIL ABUBAKAR ISA

BSC ACCOUNTANCY

KHARKIV UNI OF MUNICIPAL ECONOMY

UKRAINE

MUN

433

AUWAL I. HARI

MSC GEOGRAPHY

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

NSR

434

MUSA UMAR UMAR

BSC GEOGRAPHY

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

NSR

435

MUSTAPHA ABDULHADI

CHEMISTRY

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

NSR

436

SADAU SALISU BELLO

BSC (EDU)BIOLOGY

KHARKIV PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

NSR

437

UMAR ABDULLAHI USMAN

BSC CHEMISTRY

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

NSR

438

ZUBAIRU MOHAMMED SANUSI

ENGR. ELEC.

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

NSR

439

ABUBAKAR FATIMA HAFIZ

BSC EDU (ECONS)

KHARKIV PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

GWL

440

AHMAD MAHMOUD MAHMOUD

MSC BUSINESS MNGT

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

GWL

441

AMINU BABANGIDA UMAR

CHEMISTRY

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

KBT

442

IBRAHIM BALA

B. ENG ELEKTRICAL

MEVLANA UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

KBT

443

MUHAMMAD SALISU KHALIL

BSC GEOGRAPHY

FATIH UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

KBT

444

NAZIFI UMAR

MSC GEOGRAPHY

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

KBT


59

THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

KANO STATE GOVERNMENT KANO STATE MINISTRY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION 445

SHU’AIBU JAFAR

MSC ECONOMICS

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

KBT

446

AMINU Y.YUSUF

MSC MFT & IT

COVENTRY UNIVERSITY

UNITED KINGDOM

KBT

447

DARMA AMINU INUWA

BSC APP. BIO.

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

KBT

448

IBRAHIM BALA

B. ENG ELEKTRICAL

MEVLANA UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

KBT

449

IBRAHIM SANI

BSC BOTANY

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

KBT

450

IMAM SAIFULLAHI SHEHU

BSC/B.A SCIENCES

KHARKIV NATIONAL UNI. OF RADIO ELECTRONICS

UKRAINE

GWL

451

LABARAN MUSBAHU

BSC CHEMISTRY

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

GWL

452

MARYAM IBRAHIM ATTAH

M.A HAUSA

UNIVERSITY OF CAIRO

CAIRO

GWL

453

MUSA MUHAMMAD SANI

M.A IRS

UNIVERSITY OF CAIRO

CAIRO

GWL

454

SANI ALI HAMISU

HISTORY

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

GWL

455

SANI YAHAYA BALA

BSC CHEMISTRY

Gediz Universitesi

TURKEY

GWL

456

TIJJANI AISHA M

BSC BIOLOGY

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

GWL

457

TUKUR RILWAN MOHD

ENGR./TEC

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

GWL

458

ADO ABDULLAHI BALA

BSC EDU (PUB. ADMIN)

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

RAN

459

AUTA ABBAS AHMAD

INFO. TECH.

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

DAL

460

FAIZU HABIBU ANWAR

MSC CIVIL ENGR

NEAR EAST UNIVERSITY,TURKEY

TURKEY

DALA

461

FAIZU HABIBU ANWAR

MSC CIVIL ENGR

NEAR EAST UNIVERSITY,TURKEY

TURKEY

DALA

462

IBRAHIM MUHAMMED SALIHU

BSC BIO CHEM

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

DAL

463

KAMAL H SULIEMAN

MSC CIVIL ENGR

LINTON UNIVERSITY,MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

DALA

464

MUAZU SANAH ABDULLAHI

COMP. SCI.

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

DAL

465

MUSA MUHAMMED IBRAHIM

Accounting

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

NSR

466

ALKASIM UMAR FAROUQ

BSC BIO CHEM

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

NSR

467

HASSAN IBRAHIM

MSC SUS AGRI &FOOD SCI

UNI OF EAST ANGLIA

UNITED KINGDOM

NSR

468

MUJITABA BASHIR IBRAHIM

BSC MATHEMATICS

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

MUN

469

LUKMAN SANI

BSC AECD

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

KMC

470

MAHMOUD FADLAN MUHAMMAD

BSC/B.A SCIENCES

KHARKIV NATIONAL UNI. OF RADIO ELECTRONICS

UKRAINE

MUN

471

MAIGOSHI ZAHARADDEEN S.

BSC ACCOUNTANCY

KHARKIV UNI OF MUNICIPAL ECONOMY

UKRAINE

KMC

472

MAIKUDI MUHAMMAD

MSC ECONOMICS

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

KMC

473

MARMARA ABDULLAHI DAIYABU

ECONOMICS

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

KMC

474

MARYAM SHEHU MAMOTA

M.A HAUSA

UNIVERSITY OF CAIRO

CAIRO

KMC

475

MUAZU MUHAMMAD BALA

ECONOMICS

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

KMC

476

MUNIR AMINU HUSSEIN

ELECTRICAL/ELECRONICS

YASAR

TURKEY

KMC

477

MUSA ABDULLAHI ZAHARADEEN

BSC ACCOUNTING

KHARKIV UNI OF MUNICIPAL ECONOMY

UKRAINE

KMC

478

SHEHU MUSA

MSC ACCOUNTING

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

KMC

479

SULEIMAN ABDULLAHI KHALIL

CHEMISTRY

TERNOPIL IVAN PULUJ NATIONAL TECHN UNI.

UKRAINE

KMC

480

TANIMU AMINU ADAMU

BSC EDU (CHEM)

KHARKIV PEDAGOGICAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

MUN

481

ALIYU BAWA ABDULLAHI

BSC CHEMISTRY

FATIH UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

TYW

482

KABIRU ALHAJI HASSAN

B. ENG ELEKTRICAL

ZIRVE UNIVERSITESI

TURKEY

UGG

483

YAKUBU SANI KABIRU

MSC BUSINESS MNGT

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

GWL

484

MUHAMMAD SALISU KHALIL

BSC GEOGRAPHY

FATIH UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

KBT

485

MUHAMMAD Y. ABBAS

MSC GEOGRAPHY

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

KBT

486

MUHAMMED ASHIRU

BSC NURSING

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

KBT

487

MUSA AHMAD ABUBAKAR

BSC MICROBIOLOGY

Gediz Universitesi

TURKEY

SNN

488

HUSSEIN BALARABE BALA

BSC ACCOUNTING

KHARKIV UNI OF MUNICIPAL ECONOMY

UKRAINE

GZW

489

IBRAHIM AWAISU

MA ARABIC

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

GZW

490

JIBRIL T. UMAR

MSC OIL & GAS MGT

COVENTRY UNIVERSITY

UNITED KINGDOM

GZW

491

KHALIL NURA SAID

MA ARABIC

ALMADINAH UNIVERSITY

MALAYSIA

GZW

492

ABUBAKAR K BABA

Banking

ATILIM UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

RAN

493

ADO ABDULLAHI BALA

BSC EDU (PUB. ADMIN)

KHARKOV NATIONAL UNI. OF KARAZINA

UKRAINE

RAN

494

HAMZA A GARBA

International Relations

KULTUR UNIVERSITESI

TURKEY

RANO

495

NASIRU USMAN IBRAHIM

BSC GEOGRAPHY

FATIH UNIVERSITY

TURKEY

KBT

496

NAZIFI UMAR

MSC GEOGRAPHY

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

KBT

497

NUHU MUHAMMAD ABUBAKAR

APPLIED BIOLOGY

JORDAN UNIVERSITY OF SCI/TECH

JORDAN

KBT

498

SHU’AIBU JAFAR

MSC ECONOMICS

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

KBT

499

UMAR GARBA

MSC FOOD TECHNOLOGY

LOVELY PROF.UNIVESITY

INDIA

KBT

500

MUHAMMED MAIKUDI

ECONOMICS

DONETSK NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

UKRAINE

KMC

501

MAITAMA RIYA’UDEEN ZUBAIR

POL. SCI.

M.GORKY DONETSK NATIONAL MEDICAL ACADEMY

UKRAINE

GWL

SIGNED HONOURABLE COMMISSIONER FOR HIGHER EDUCATION KANO STATE


60 NEWS

I

T IS certain that the youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow. But how individuals fit into this maxim is a function of upbringing and the environment in which they are raised as managed by the government of the day, most especially. The 2006 population census figures reveal that youths constitute the largest chunk of the country’s population. Thus a failure in proper governance spells doom for the society. It is in view of this that successive administrations across the country have made frantic efforts to better the socio-economic wellbeing of the youths. But the strides so far taken by Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo in that direction over the last 15 months in office stand out. Guided by his campaign resolve to govern youths that will be celebrated by their parents and society, the governor, since taking over the reins of power, has never looked back in rolling out different youth development programmes to the joy of the populace. Speaking with newsmen during one of his triumphant entries into Gombe during the electioneering period, precisely the day he visited the state to obtain his ticket for the race, Alhaji Dankwambo, then the Accountant- General of the Federation, recalled with bitterness how a certain young man in celebration of that homecoming ran sideby-side with his car all the way from Gombe Airport to the state capital (about 35 kilometres). It was there and then he vowed to give his best towards brightening the future of youths in the state. “How would it sound that after four years I did not do anything that will give people like that young man a hope for tomorrow? I am whom I am today because someone gave me a chance by providing the necessary atmosphere,” said the governor. Therefore, in consonance with the recommendations of the committee he constituted to look into the issue of Youth Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation earlier, Governor Dankwambo immediately set up vocational centres in the three senatorial districts of the state where 320 youths were trained. They had graduated and were resettled with the tools of their trades and an interest-free loan of N200,000 to enable them stand on their own. In the same vein, government has planned to scale up the programme so that it can train 520 beneficiaries in 13 trades. Similarly, as part of the efforts to boost agriculture in Gombe State as well as key into the Millennium Development Goal (MGD) on food sufficiency, the state government has designed a

THE NATION, SATURDAY,SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

Dankwambo’s pragmatic youth empowerment agenda M. L. ISMAIL

programme for the training of 1,100 youths in various agricultural activities. Government under the programme plans to source 1,100 hectres of arable land to facilitate the venture, especially as it affects crop production. “Graduants would be resettled with implements and a soft loan to enable them take off on their own with a strong monitoring team to ensure that the purpose is not defeated,” said the state Commissioner of Youth Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mijinyawa Sani Labaran. Recently, 110 tertiary institution graduates went through intensive training on renewable energy. The intension is to resettle them with tools of the trades after training with a proposal for the take-off grant of N200,000 in the pipeline. And before the present general security situation in the country and the installation of Governor Dankwambo’s administration was the yan kalare horror, a form of security challenge known to Gombe State alone. But its reign of terror was brought to an abrupt end with its proscription by the present administration. But with the realization of the need to meaningfully •Governor Dankwambo engage them came the tion training and many programme tagged “Talba more that will come into opYouths Reorientation and eration until we are able to Rehabilitation Programme”. reduce restiveness, unemUnder the programme, ployment and poverty in 1,200 youths were camped our midst. Our commitment at the NYSC Orientation shall not waver because we Camp for a three- week re- are aware that human dehabilitation and reorienta- velopment is the foundation tion. of all developments,” said There, they were Governor Dankwambo grouped into ward mar- while answering a question. shals, traffic marshals and Speaking of the rehabilienvironmental marshals tation programme, Alhaji and put on salary and have Sani Labaran Mijinyawa, the been working appropri- Commissioner of Youths ately. Their responsibility is Empowerment and Povto complement the efforts of erty Alleviation declared the existing structures in the that marshals would henceareas of security, crowd/ forth form the pool for setraffic management and lection into the army and sanitary issues, among other other security agencies from things. the state. He added that But as a precursor to the over three hundred of them take-off of the programme had been sent for leadership was the dreaded Kalare training in Plateau State. boys’ response to the government call for submission of weapons and repentance. However, the 1,200 rehabilitated youths were actually a blend of the targeted kalare group and decent but unemployed youths who saw the scheme as a window of employment. “This administration shall continue with this programme, skills acquisi-

Interestingly, the Talba Youth Empowerment Programme is not only directly geared towards enhancing the wellbeing of those without formal education, but all-encompassing. In this regard, this piece will be incomplete without the mention of the collaboration with the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) to mop up the teeming youths whose academic pursuit are at the verge of being truncated by their inability to obtain the required number of credit passes for tertiary education or the inability to score the required cut-off mark in Joint Matriculation Examination (JME). Under this arrangement, candidates are admitted into the university system,

but take remedial lectures at Education Resource Centre in Gombe under the guidance of the university staff and electronically take the same entrance examination as their colleagues on campus. Candidates who pass their entrance and JME examinations would automatically be admitted. Those who pass the remedial examination, but fail to meet the UME cut-off point of 180 will rewrite the JME while the entrance results are maintained. UNIMAID on the other hand has undertaken to introduce diploma and other certificate courses to absorb those that fail both the remedial and JME entrance examinations. One thousand candidtes have written the UNIMAID

Therefore, in consonance with the recommendations of the committee he constituted to look into the issue of Youth Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation earlier, Governor Dankwambo immediately set up vocational centres in the three senatorial districts of the state where 320 youths were trained

,

remedial examinations and forms have been sold for another set. “It is one of the youth programmes that we have introduced and will sustain till anytime when the pressure of solving the problem of this category of youths is reduced,” said Governor Dankwambo while responding to a question on the sustainability of the programme. To further strengthen the remedial programme, the Gombe State University’s School of Basic and Remedial Studies has been expanded and split into two campuses located at Kumo and Dukku towns in Akko and Dukku local government areas. Akko campus has already taken off in earnest and it is designed to cater for 4,500 in three years, that is 1,500 per session. The school has now been repackaged to prepare Senior Secondary School graduates for tertiary education. It is also meant to prepare the Junior Secondary School graduates for entry into a university or polytechnic. The School of Basic and Remedial Studies has also been designed in such a way that students who may not want to proceed with education will proceed to undergo training in different vocations. In the same vein, sporting facilities are also provided in the institution so that students who are not inclined to academics or trade can go into sports. In furtherance of the Talba Youth Empowerment Programme through education, the governor in his usual good judgement has begun the process of establishing a state-owned College of Education at Billiri in the Billiri Local Government Area of Gombe State with the ultimate aim of breeding qualified teachers and putting an end to the perennial dearth of qualified teachers in the state once and for all. Like in every other sector, Governor Dankwambo’s activities in the area of education are innumerable, desirable and commendable. But the joy of it all is that he still keeps them coming in. Yet “it is still like we have not started,” said the governor while performing a public function. He has also proved that “it is not the amount of money a state gets that matters, but how well it is used for the betterment of the people of the state. •Ismail wrote in from Bolari Quarters, Gombe.


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THE NATION SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 31-8-12

T

Stock market consolidates rally with N15b gain

HE Nigerian stock market closed the week on a positive note, adding N15 billion to consolidate a six-day that has seen aggregate market capitalisation at a recent high of N7.560 trillion. With gains from manufacturing stocks, aggregate market capitalisation improved on its opening value of N7.545 trillion to close at N7.560 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI), also inched up by 0.2 per cent to close at 23,750.82 points as against its opening index of 23,704.34 points. The overall positive market situation was sustained by substantial gains by several leading stocks including Dangote Cement, which added N1.10 to close at N114.10. Dangote Cement is the market's most capitalised stock. CAP topped the gainers'

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

list with a gain of N1.11 to close at N29. GSK added N1.10 to close at N31.80. Cadbury Nigeria followed with a gain of 85 kobo to close at N17.85. Guinness Nigeria rose by 50 kobo to N252.50. Julius Berger Nigeria gathered 47 kobo to close at N26.72. International Breweries chalked up 40 kobo to close at N8.42. Ecobank Transnational Incorporated increased by 24 kobo to N10.30 while University Press and Dangote Sugar Refinery added 21 kobo and 12 kobo to close at N4.52 and N4.17 respectively. On the other hand, Conoil topped the losers' list with a drop to N1.03 to close at N19.73. Arbico dropped by 66 kobo to N12.73. Morison Industry lost 33 kobo to

close at N6.68. Guaranty Trust Bank lost 15 kobo to N17.80 while Eterna dropped 12 kobo to close at N2.30 per share. Investors traded a total of 313.792 million shares worth N2.450 billion in 4,232 deals. The financial services sector led with 215.345 million shares worth N1.616 billion across 2,564 deals. This was followed by consumer goods with 47.056 million shares worth N677.457 million in 810 deals. Others were the conglomerates, oil & gas, agriculture and services with 12.884 million shares, 12.050 million shares, 9.016 million shares and 6.077 million shares. Market sentiments showed that Nigerian Breweries continued its uptrend with a new all-time price high of N123.00. First Bank, which equally extended its 14-month price high to N13.62 on Thursday dropped to N13.54 yesterday. Guaranty Trust which had yesterday announced its halfyear results for the period ended June 30th, 2012 and declared an interim dividend of 25 kobo per share, fell. Market analyst said the interim dividend had been priced into the stock.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 31-8-12


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THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012


THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012

63


TOMORROWPUNCHLINE IN THE NATION

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2012 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM VOL.7, NO. 2235

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HE continued maintenance of the present over-centralised, obviously dysfunc tional policing system for Nigeria is one issue on which there is a broad consensus among the northern elite. Even as the country’s fragile cohesion continues to be grossly undermined by rampaging insecurity and corrosive lawlessness, the illusion is entertained that the subsisting anachronistic security infrastructure will somehow miraculously help preserve the union. Let me quickly admit that the fault line on this issue does not run strictly within a puritan, North-South straitjacket. Thus, a key member of the northern elite, General Ibrahim Babangida, for instance, is unequivocally and unapologetically in support of state police. And despite the preponderance of elite opinion in favour of state police in the south, there are some influential voices in the region as vehemently opposed to the idea as their pro-status quo fellow travellers in the north. Some of these include Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Parry Osayande and, of course, President Goodluck Jonathan. Both northern and southern supporters of retaining a moribund security arrangement that is clearly incapable of coping with resurgent criminality are living in a state of denial. The precarious Nigerian skyscraper, standing on a security foundation of shifting sand, is so evidently collapsing on the heads of all. Yet, opponents of state police believe that all is well and it can be business as usual. Unfortunately, they are not the only inhabitants of the endangered edifice. This kind of bravado, so disdainful of common sense endangers us all. It is most unfortunate that President Jonathan chose the August occasion of the 52nd Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja to assail the nation with his astonishingly unremarkable thoughts on state police. His evident lack of conviction and lax articulation on such a critical and divisive national issue were quite uninspiring to say the least. As Deputy Governor and later Governor of Bayelsa State, the President told his audience, he clearly saw the need for state police. For emphasis, he noted that the swimming prowess of Bayelsa indigenes would be a great asset in crime fighting given the peculiar marine ecology of the state. Yet, despite what reason, intuition and common sense so vividly made clear to him, President Jonathan was only able to reach the tame, lame and insipid conclusion that “The emphasis I want to make is that one day we’ll get to that point. But currently we have to be careful how we go about it.” Now, when exactly will that “one day” come when we will get to that desirable point (state police) that the President’s unhurried, evolutionary mindset envisages? Since he has regaled us with pleasurable tales about the need for state police in the light of his Bayelsa experience, what concrete steps is Jonathan taking to nudge us towards what he has identified as the right direction? None that I can see.

It is sad that this sort of an inglorious exit happened to about the only minister whose performance had been glorious and visible in the Jonathan cabinet. If the President could prove the indispensability of Prof Nnaji by being pleased to see his back over his (Nnaji’s) interests in the privatisation process of the power sector, it is a valid point that was well made

—Tunji Adegboyega

tenibegiloju1964@yahoo.com

Engaging the northern elite (2)

The truth is that, whether or not the northern governors choose to embrace reality or continue to dwell in wonder land despite the booming bombs in their backyard, there is a vast lacuna in the extant security arrangement and states bear the burden of anarchic criminality across the land

•President Goodluck Jonathan But then, what happened to so fundamentally douse Jonathan’s enthusiasm for state police, a direction which his head rightly tells him is ultimately the inevitable one for the country? First, he says that the experiment of the Nigeria Police Force in deploying senior police officers to their states of origin failed woefully to achieve the desired objective. Should this not have suggested to the President that superficial tinkering at the margins of the subsisting security infrastructure will not do; that what is required is a thorough surgical operation and complete overhaul of an ossified security super structure? Two, Dr. Jonathan claims that he was persuaded into contemplating state police as a possibility only in the unforeseeable, indeterminate future (when we will probably be all dead) by the views of some of the country’s former Heads of State. Again, must Dr. Jonathan be swayed by the political weight of the former occupants of his present office or rather by the weight of their logic? Sadly, when Jonathan attempts an extended rationaliza-

tion of his dilatory and vacillating stance on state police, the result, as this newspaper’s clearly exasperated columnist, Hardball, acerbically observes is “shocking”, “boyish” and “incredulous”. Please listen to President Jonathan’s regurgitation of the following exhausted, befuddling and jaded mantra in defence of an obsolete status quo: “We also feel that looking at the federal level and the way the governors are handling elections in their states with the state electoral commission, where opposition parties hardly win even councillorship elections…So, if there is state police and the governors manipulate their state police the way they are manipulating their state electoral commissions, the instability that it will create, even what we are witnessing will be a child’s play.” Now, this statement is utterly bewildering in its sweeping, yet fundamentally misleading generalisations. Since this is the major plank on which the hegemonic northern elite predicate its fierce opposition to state police, we must look more closely at the premises of the argument. Of course, it is true that incumbent state governments have

swept all local government seats in council elections within their jurisdiction since the commencement of this dispensation. But does this admittedly unhealthy scenario have anything to do with the structure of policing in the country? Most certainly no! For starters, in all local government polls in the country since 1999, security has been provided by the Nigeria Police Force, which is constitutionally under the operational control of the Federal Government. This means that governors are already having their way as regards local government elections even without the existence of state police! Why then should they be eager to bear the additional and avoidable burden of funding state police when the existing status quo already serves their purpose well enough? The truth is that, whether or not the northern governors choose to embrace reality or continue to dwell in wonder land despite the booming bombs in their backyard, there is a vast lacuna in the extant security arrangement and states bear the burden of anarchic criminality across the land. In any case, are we simply to fold our arms and meekly allow state governors to ride rough shod over the law if indeed this allegation is true? If the state governors will abuse state police in utter violation of the law as insinuated and nothing can be done about it, does this not imply that the President is free to do the same thing at the centre with federal police? Should the logical implication of this position then not be the abolition of police at all levels to prevent executive impunity? Does this kind of slavish reasoning not portray us as inherently lawless and irresponsible as a people and beyond the restraining influence of civilized conduct? If so, why are we expending billions of scarce resources purportedly trying to attract foreign investment into a beastly jungle of self-confessed savages trapped at a pre-historic level of mental and moral underdevelopment? If state governors are indeed violating the autonomy and integrity of local governments, the reasonable and scientific thing to do is to find out and address the root cause of the challenge. It is our duty to curb such alleged lawlessness rather than allow it to fester and obstruct a desirable initiative like state police. But come to think of it, does President Jonathan have the moral integrity to indulge in any self-righteous homily on executive impunity at state level? Is his continuing defiance of the National Judicial Council (NJC) and partisan refusal to reinstate Justice Ayo Salami as President of the Court Appeal not the most heinous and callous act of reckless impunity in this dispensation? Does it not severely undermine the judiciary and pose the most grievous threat to human liberty, dignity and even democratic sustainability in postmilitary Nigeria? •To be continued •PS. I thank my egbon and ace columnist, Mr. Is’haq Moddibo Kawu, for drawing my attention to the listing of Taraba state among the North Central states in last week’s column. The North Central states are Kwara, Niger, Kogi, Benue, Plateau and Nassarawa. The error is regretted.

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday talk2adeojeikere@yahoo.com

Abdullahi, please invite EFCC

S

UDDENLY, it dawned on President Goodluck Jonathan that sports can affect the psyche of Nigerians. This time, the President didn’t listen to any advice from influence peddlers around him. I won’t blame him, not after his presidential recant in 2010 after the World Cup in South Africa. It has taken a shameful outing at the London 2012 Olympic Games for the President to act. Like they say, it is better late than never. But such presidential mandate must include the need to call in the EFFC to probe the books of our Olympics odyssey-from the end of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. This article will definitely ruffle feathers in high places, yet it must be said that some Nigerians, such Sani Lulu, Amanze Uchegbulam, Bolaji Ojo-Oba and Taiwo Ogunjobi, were

hussled to Kuje Prison late in December 2010. They spent the Christmas and New Year there. They were not given a chance to render their accounts. The Lulu et al case is pending in the court, so, no further comments on it. Part of the purported ill-luck experienced by our athletes in some sports could be traced to the law of karma. Such bad omen may haunt us in the future, if we do not apply the NFF therapy to those who supervised the preparations for our worst Olympic games outing. We cannot afford to sweep under the carpet the need for accountability because it will form the fulcrum for the business community to support the industry when the template for the future is presented to them. We need to secure the confidence of the corporate world. The best way to gain their support is for them to see that corrupt administrators are tried and jailed to serve as deterrent to others. That is the meaning of growth,

not the government’s stoic silence. Sports talk shows dwell so much on tales of sharp practices as told by various factions, obviously to paint their principals clean and their foes as dubious people. That is okay. But what image of us do such tales paint to foreigners who may be listening to these onesided discussions about Nigeria and its nationals? Of course, these visitors will see us as a polity of crooks, which is not good for business. To stop this show-of-shame, President Jonathan should direct the EFFC to probe the books. The probe should include asking those directly involved in the disbursements of funds for the London Olympic Games. I almost punched the television set in my office when I watched a sports programme regaling viewers with tales of colossal sums of money spent on hotel accommodation in London by our officials. The discussants sounded so convincing, such that when they

opened the telephone lines for listeners to comment, what they said was, to say the least, appalling. But would anyone blame them? The truth is that accommodation arrangement was done by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through our local NOC. We simply paid for what was secured for us. If we couldn’t afford it, the NOC ought to have sought for alternative arrangements. It doubt if that is possible especially, with the noise that trailed NFF’s decision to settle for a less expensive accommodation shortly before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Another sports programme brought forte a hired gun who mixed issues so much so that he shouted himself hoarse over the N20 billion National Lottery Fund, which he said Abdul Gumel confirmed was intact. What this hired gun didn’t understand is that

•Continued on Page F

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The Nation, September 1, 2012