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Anxiety over Keshi Coach reported to have resigned Sports Minister: I’m not aware By Ade Ojeikere and Tony Akowe, Kaduna and Segun Ogunjimi, Jo’burg

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HERE was anxiety last night over Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi’s future. There were reports that the coach whose team ended a 19-year painful wait for the African Cup of Nations trophy, resigned his difficult but glamorous job “for some irreconcilable differences” with his employers, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). The report could not, however, be confirmed from either the coach or the NFF. But Keshi’s brother in-law and media consultant Emmanuel Ado said in an electronic message in Kaduna that the coach resigned because of what he called lack of unity in the football family. Ado said: “Stephen Keshi has asked me to announce his resignation as the national coach with immediate effect. His reason is the lack of unity in the football family. It has nothing to do with the late payment of his salary or lack of house or car. It is the lack of unity in the football family. “He is grateful to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for his support.” Keshi, 51, was a long standing captain of the Super Eagles. He won the Cup of Nations in 1994. He was the assistant coach of the team under former Dutch coach Johannes Bonfrere when the team won the Silver medal at the Cup of Nations in Lagos in 2000. Keshi coached the Eagles to the victorious outing in South Africa 2013, having earlier coached the Togolese and Malian teams to the Cup of Nations without success. According to a report on Super Sport yesterday, Keshi announced his resignation on the radio show of respected South African journalist and presenter, Robert Marawa, on Metro FM Continued on page 2

Tinubu reunites CPC factions

•Globacom Chairman Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. receiving the Africa Cup of Nations trophy from Super Eagles Captain Joseph Yobo during a breakfast session with the players in Johannesburg...yesterday. With them (clapping) is Coach Stephen Keshi

is the lack of unity in the football family. It has nothing ‘toHisdoreason with the late payment of his salary or lack of house or car ’

Shock as Pope quits

From Yusuf Alli and Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

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HE National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday said the merger of four political parties is in the interest of the nation and not any individual. He also said that although there are moves to frustrate the merger by political rivals, there is no going back . Tinubu, who spoke with reporters at Arewa Suites after a meeting with the Sen. Rufai Continued on page 2

•Pope Benedict XVI

OPE Benedict XVI shocked the world yesterday by announcing his resignation at the end of the month “because of advanced age”. This is the first time a pope has stepped down in nearly 600 years. “Strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to ade-

quately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,” the pope said, according to the Vatican. The news shocked the world’s 1.2billion Catholic and led to frenzied speculation about who would replace him. Analysts and experts immediately began debating the merits of a SEE ALSO naming pontiff from PAGES 4&5 the develop-

ing world, where the church continues to grow, versus one from Europe — where it has deep historical roots. Cardinals will meet to choose Benedict’s successor sometime after his official resignation on February 28, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said at a news conference. “Before Easter, we will have the Continued on page 2

•CITYBEATS P6 •SPORT P13 •POLITICS P23 •PROPERTY P43 •ENERGY P47


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NEWS

World in shock as Pope Benedict resigns Continued from page 1

new pope,” he said. Benedict won’t be involved in the decision, Lombardi said. But his influence will undoubtedly be felt. Benedict appointed 67 of the 118 cardinals who will make the decision. CNN Senior Vatican Analyst John Allen said that means the next pope, no matter where he is from, will likely continue in Benedict’s conservative tradition — which has seen the church take a firm line on issues such as abortion, birth control and divorce. The pope, born Joseph Ratzinger, is likely to retire to a monastery and devote himself to a life of reflection and prayer, Lombardi said. He won’t be involved in managing the church after his resignation. In a sign of just how rare an event this is, church officials aren’t sure what the pope will be called after he leaves the office. One possibility, Allen said, is “bishop emeritus of Rome”. Benedict will become the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415. In that case, Gregory quit to end a civil war within the church in which more than one man claimed to be pope. In this case, it wasn’t external forces but the ravages of time that forced Benedict’s hand. After months of consideration, he concluded he just wasn’t up to the job anymore, Lombardi said. “It’s not a decision he has just improvised,” Lombardi said. “It’s a decision he has pondered over.” Benedict has been thinking about resigning for some time because of his age, a family friend in Regensburg, Germany, told CNN. He has discussed the resignation with his older brother, the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, according to the friend, who asked not to be named because he does not speak for Ratzinger. Several years ago, Benedict had suggested he would be open to resigning should his health fail, Allen said. But no one expected him to do so this soon, he said. According to Lombardi, Benedict will step down as

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pope at 8 p.m. February 28 in Rome, then head for the pope’s summer residence. He will probably move to a monastery in the Vatican after that, Lombardi said. After the resignation takes effect, cardinals will gather in Rome to select a successor. It takes at least two-thirds plus one of the 118 voting cardinals to elect a new leader for the church. Benedict took over as pope in 2005. Given his age at the time — 78 — he was widely

seen as a caretaker pope, a bridge to the next generation following the long reign of John Paul II, a popular, globe-trotting pontiff whose early youth and vigour gave way to such frailty in later years that he required assistance walking and was often hard to hear during public addresses. As an aide to John Paul, Benedict served as a strict enforcer of his conservative social doctrine. To no one’s surprise, he continued to espouse a conservative doctrine after taking the

‘Merger in Nigeria’s interest’

office himself. He frequently warned of a “dictatorship of relativism”. “In a world which he considered relativist and secular and so on, his main thrust was to re-establish a sense of Catholic identity for Catholics themselves,” said Delia Gallagher, contributing editor for Inside the Vatican magazine. Where John Paul wowed crowds around the world with his mastery of numerous languages, Benedict took his trainContinued on page 60

•Tinubu Continued from page 1

•British Prime Minister, Mr David Cameroon (left) welcoming President Goodluck Jonathan to No 10 Dawning Street in London…yesterday

Hanga faction of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday in Abuja , said all those involved in the merger were ready to make necessary sacrifices. The meeting, The Nation gathered, was at the instance of the ACN leader, who met with his CPC counterpart, General Muhammadu Buhari, to seek his nod to reconcile the factions in CPC. It was gathered that the mediation became necessary after a letter from the Senator Rufai Hanga-led group, which notified the merging team of the party’s case that is still pending in court. The Rufai Hanga faction also told the merger leaders that it is the authentic group, which is in possession of the CPC certificate of registration. CPC, ANPP, ACN and APGA merged last Thursday to form the APC after a long merger talk. But Rufai Hanga’s faction, which has a pending case in court, posed a threat to the merger. Tinubu decided to resolve the leadership crisis in CPC to prevent rival political parties from capitalising on it to scuttle the merger. The former Governor of Lagos State succeeded in prevailing on Hanga’s faction to bury the hatchet. Tinubu told reporters that there is no cause for alarm on the merger. He said: “The meeting was a very good one; sweet. We met in the interest of our various

objectives. To me, I am working in the interest of Nigeria and APC. I am a committed individual; we are in a committed group, surrounded by people of vision and great commitment. It will succeed; our rivals do everything to scuttle us. “But as committed people, we are ready to make sacrifices. Leadership is about carrying people along and resolving conflicts with the right people that are motivated to do those things that are necessary for the progress of a nation. These are the things that we have achieved here today at this meeting.” Asked if the merger will succeed, Tinubu said he was very optimistic that it will. He added: “It will succeed. Our rivals will not want it to succeed, they do everything; that is part of the political intrigues and environment particularly in Africa, but we’ll work hard at it in the interest of this country.” Hanga said his faction was committed to the merger and would do everything to ensure its success in the interest of the country. He said:” We are determined to have a change; we have discussed and we will have to consult our people in order to forge ahead. We understand that we have to do it for Nigerians. “We are part of the APC. We are in court challenging the status of the CPC leadership, but with this merger, there would not be anything like CPC leadership or that of any other party that belongs to the merger. “I am not after clinging to the position of chairman; what we want is to declare them as illegal, but with the proposed merger and our meeting today with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a new leadership that can take us to the Promised Land is coming up. “We are ready to do anything that will make the merger possible. For Nigeria , for the masses and the downtrodden, we are ready to withdraw the case and release the certificate of registration to make the merger possible. “For Nigerians, for the masses, for the downtrodden and for what we are suffering now, I am ready to do anything.”

Moses, Mba relish cup win as Jonathan hosts Eagles in Abuja

HE victorious Super Eagles are expected back in the country today to the warm embrace of President Goodlcuk Jonathan who will host them to a dinner at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Dr. Jonathan, who will be joined by other top officials of government, is to announce a package for the players and the officials of the national team that ended Nigeria’s 19-year wait for Africa’s top football honour. The team defeated Burkina Faso 1-0 to win the trophy, which they last won in 1994 in Tunisia. The squad is expected to arrive aboard a special Arik Air flight. Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Bala Mohammed will on behalf of Jonathan receive the Eagles at 1.00pm at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. The victorious Super Eagles will stop over at the National Stadium in the capital city for a mini reception before proceeding to the Presidential Villa. The public is expected to grace the stadium reception.

Anxiety over Keshi as Eagles return home today Continued from page 1

yesterday afternoon. Keshi told Metro FM, part of public broadcaster SABC: “I did what I feel is right by resigning. I gave the NFF a letter last night (Sunday) after the celebration.” The South African journalist posted on his twitter account @robertnarawa after having the coach as one of his guests on his radio show: “Stephen Keshi has just announced that he handed over his resignation letter after the game exclusively on 083Sport@6with Marawa on Metro FM.” Keshi was said to have explained his reason for resignation by claiming that he was already sacked as the team’s coach before the quarter final clash over Cote D’Ivoire. He last week hinted of leaving when he said: “It does not really matter what people think about what Stephen Keshi is doing. The most important thing is what I’m doing here and passing on to my team. If back home in my country, they don’t appreciate what I’m doing with the team, so be it. “You can’t force somebody to love you.

President Jonathan was held back in Europe by official assignment, which prevented him from travelling to South Africa to watch the final match in South Africa. But he sent a

You can’t force somebody to accept you. It has to come from within,” he said. But Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi denied knowledge of Keshi’s resignation. He said yesterday: “I just read it on Supersports.com couple of minutes ago and immediately I called the Nigeria Football Federation President, Aminu Maigari who claimed ignorance about the matter. “Maigari told me that he has not received a letter of resignation from Keshi and the story was rumour and unfounded”. Keshi did not pick his telephone calls last night. But a top official of the Nigerian Premier League, who was at breakfast with the Eagles and Globacom boss Dr. Mike Adenuga in Johannesburg, said last night: “I was there this morning when the NFF chairman said he would like to be Oliver Twist, that Keshi had no house in Abuja, no official car and Adenuga told them to write him officially when we get to Abuja. “They told them about the millions that Dangote has given. See what Adenuga has given. Only a stupid person will have all these and resign.

delegation led by Senate President David Mark. Other members of the delegation were Governors Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and Peter Obi (Anambra).

“Before the competition, there were misgivings, but not now. I don’t think it is true. It is no true. Right now they are at the Nigeria House for a reception.” Keshi is reportedly miffed that his entitlements were left unattended to. According to Sporting Life, The Nation’s sister publication, he said he had his resignation letter which he hopes to submit after having a closed door conversation with President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House in Abuja today. “I want to tell you that I have decided to resign as the Head Coach of the Super Eagles. It is a personal decision which I have made, because I don’t think I can work with the present leadership of the NFF, I have tried to the best of my ability to put smiles on the faces of all Nigerians, but the present NFF members are not satisfied with what I am doing. They always threaten me with sack on daily basis. I think this is the best time for me to call it quits. When we get to Nigeria on Tuesday, I will give them my letter, and would relate same to Mr President when we meet with him later on that day”, the Big Boss said.

Nigerians have been reacting to the victory, which they see as a sign of good omen for Nigeria. One of the harshest critics of the government, Mallam Na-

sir el-Rufai, in a tweet after the match, described the Eagles victory as “an achievement of the Jonathan administration”. Winger Victor Moses, who played a pivotal role in the

Eagles victory described the day as one of the best in his life. Moses, on his debut in the continental showcase, scored the two late goals that saw off Ethiopia to put Nigeria into the knock-out stages. He was part of Mba’s first-half strike that proved sufficient to bring the coveted crown back home. “One of best days of my life; this is a dream come true. I’m so proud to be a Nigerian,” Moses wrote on Twitter. “The win is for each and every one of you back home, I’ll savour this,” the former Crystal Palace and Wigan star added in another post. The scorer of the final match’s winning goal Sunday Mba, said: “It’s a dream come Continued on page 60

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• Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, inaugurating the Bodija/Secretariat Bridge (renamed Restoration Bridge) in Ibadan... yesterday. With him are: his deputy Chief Moses Adeyemo (second right), Senator Oluremi Tinubu (third left), Senator Gbenga Obadara (left), Oyo House of Assembly Speaker, Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu (fourth left), the state chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Akin Oke (second left) and Dr. Bayo Adewusi .

•Senate President David Mark - leader of the Federal Government delegation to South Africa to cheer up the Super Eagles to victory on their arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja...yesterday. With him are:Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (second right), Senator Abdul Ningi (left) and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Adaku Onwiliri . PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE

•Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc (left), Mr. Phillips Oduoza, award recipient, Molokwu Francis Uzoechina and ofUBA directors, Mrs Foluke Abdulrasaq, atthe bank’s Annual CEO Awards in Lagos...atthe weekend.

, •Left to right: Director, Indirect Channels & Corporate Sales, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Ken Ogujiofor; Distribution Partner, Lagos-South, Mr. Jude Nwachukwu, Head of Department, Sales Distribution, Mr. Olusina Adegoke and Distribution Manager, Lagos Mainland, Mr. Oluwafemi Akinrelere at the Annual Distribution Partners' Conference at Oriental Hotel, Lekki ... recently.

ENEDICT XVI has always cast himself as the reluctant pope, a shy bookworm who preferred solitary walks in the Alps to the public glare and the majesty of Vatican pageantry. And yesterday, the Vatican announced that the leader of the world’s billion Roman Catholics was stepping down, becoming the first pontiff to do so since 1415. The German theologian, whose mission was to reawaken Christianity in a secularised Europe, grew increasingly frail as he shouldered the monumental task of purging the Catholic world of a sex abuse scandal that festered under his predecessor, John Paul II and exploded during his reign into the church’s biggest crisis in decades, if not centuries. More recently, he bore the painful burden of betrayal by one of his closest aides: Benedict’s own butler was convicted by a Vatican court of stealing the pontiff’s personal papers and giving them to a journalist, one of the gravest breaches of papal security in modern times. All the while, Benedict pursued his single-minded vision to rekindle faith in a world which, he frequently lamented, seemed to think it could do without God. “In vast areas of the world today, there is a strange forgetfulness of God,” he told an assembly of one million young people on a vast field for his first foreign trip as pope to the “World Youth Day” in Cologne, Germany in 2005. “It seems as if everything would be just the same even without Him,” he said. With some decisive, often controversial moves, Benedict tried to remind Europe of its Christian heritage and set the Catholic Church on a conservative, tradition-minded path that often alienated progressives and thrilled conservatives. Yet his papacy will be forever intertwined with the sex abuse scandal. Over the course of just a few months in 2010, thousands of people in Europe, Australia, South America and beyond came forward with reports of priests who raped and molested them as children, and bishops who covered up the crimes. Documents revealed that the Vatican knew well of the problem yet turned a blind eye for decades, at times rebuffing bishops who tried to do the right thing. Benedict had first-hand knowledge of the scope of the problem since his old office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which he had headed since 1982, was responsible for dealing with abuse cases. He met with victims across the globe, wept with them and prayed with them. He promised that the church must “do everything possible” to ensure such crimes never happen again. The Vatican updated its legal code to extend the statute of limitations for cases and told bishops’ conferences around the world to come up with guidelines to prevent abuse. But Benedict never admitted any personal or Vatican failure. Much to the dismay of victims, he never took action against bishops who ignored or covered up the abuse of their priests or moved known pedophiles to new posts where they abused again. And hard as he tried to heal the church’s wounds, Benedict’s message was always clouded by his wooden personal style. No globe-trotting showman or media darling like John Paul, Benedict was a teacher and academic to the core: quiet and pensive with a fierce mind. He spoke in paragraphs, not sound bites. In recent years, his declining health made him seem increasingly

•Pope Benedict XVI...yesterday fragile and disengaged in public. And he was notoriously prone to gaffes. Some of Benedict’s most lasting initiatives as pope — the actions he will be remembered for — focused on restoring traditional Catholic practice and worship to 21st century Catholicism. It was all in a bid to correct what he considered the erroneous interpretation of the Second Vatican Council, the 196265 meetings that brought the Catholic Church into the modern world. His conservative vision is a direction his successor will likely continue given that the bulk of the College of Cardinals — the princes of the church who will elect the next pope — was hand-picked by Benedict to guarantee his legacy and ensure an orthodox future for the church. Benedict relaxed restrictions on celebrating the old, pre-Vatican II Latin Mass. He reached out to a group of traditionalist, schismatic Catholics in a bid to bring them back into Rome’s fold. And he issued an unprecedented invitation to traditionalist Anglicans upset over women priests and gay bishops to join the Roman Catholic Church. In doing so, he alienated many progressive Catholics who feared he was rolling back the clock on Vatican II. He also angered some Jews who equated the preVatican II church with the time when Jews were still considered ripe for conversion and were held responsible collectively for the death of Christ. Yet like John Paul, Benedict had made reaching out to Jews a hallmark of his papacy. His first official act as pope was a letter to Rome’s Jewish community and he became the second pope in history, after John Paul, to enter a synagogue. And in his 2011 book entitled: “Jesus of Nazareth”, Benedict made a sweeping exoneration of the Jewish people for the death of Christ, explaining biblically and theologically why there was no basis in Scripture for the argument that the Jewish people as a whole were responsible for Jesus’ death. “It’s very clear Benedict is a true friend of the Jewish people,” said Rabbi David


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

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NEWS POPE’S RESIGNATION

after, another Pope bows out ‘

In vast areas of the world today, there is a strange forgetfulness of God. It seems as if everything would be just the same even without Him

AT A GLANCE Pope Benedict XVI Benedict XVI is the 265th Pope, a position in which he serves dual roles as Sovereign of the Vatican City State and leader of the Catholic Church. As Pope, the 85-year-old is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter the Apostle. Born on April 16, 1927, Benedict’s full names are Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger The 85-year-old German is 1.70 metre tall. His siblings are Georg Ratzinger and Maria Ratzinger

esterday Rosen, who heads the interreligious relations office for the American Jewish Committee. During his trip to Poland, Benedict prayed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp — a visit heavy with significance for a German pope on Polish soil. “In a place like this, words fail; in the end, there can be only a dread silence, a silence which itself is a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent?,” he asked. His 2009 visit to Israel, however, drew a lukewarm response from officials at Jerusalem’s national Yad Vashem Holo-

caust memorial who found Benedict’s speech lacking. His call for a Palestinian State also put a damper on the visit. Jews were also incensed at Benedict’s constant promotion toward sainthood of Pope Pius XII, the World War II-era pope accused by some of having failed to sufficiently denounce the Holocaust. And they harshly criticised Benedict when he removed the excommunication of a traditionalist British bishop who had denied the Holocaust. Benedict’s relations with the Mus-

lim world were also a mixed bag. He riled the Muslim world with a speech in Regensburg, Germany, in September 2006, five years after the terror attacks in the United States (U.S.), in which he quoted a Byzantine emperor who characterised some of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad as “evil and inhuman,” particularly “his command to spread the faith by the sword.” Much of the outrage that ensued from Benedict’s interfaith missteps was due to the Holy See’s communications problems: The Vatican under Benedict suffered notorious public relations hiccups, constantly finding itself slow to react to news and then reacting with muddled messages that required two or three clarifications before getting it straight. Sometimes Benedict himself was to blame. In 2009, he enraged the United Nations (UN) and several European governments, when en route Africa, he told reporters that the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrom (AIDS) problem could not be resolved by distributing condoms. “On the contrary, it increases the problem,” he had said then. A year later, he issued a revision that seemed to placate liberals while maintaining church teaching opposing contraception: In a book-length interview, he said that if a male prostitute were to use a condom to avoid passing on HIV to his partner, he might be taking a first step toward a more responsible sexuality. It was a significant shift given the Vatican’s repeated position that abstinence and marital fidelity were the only sure ways to stop the virus. Benedict repeated that line and stressed that sex outside marriage was immoral, but his comments nevertheless marked the first time a pope had even acknowledged that condoms had a role to play in stopping HIV. When he was elected the 265th leader of the Church on April 19, 2005, Benedict, 78, was the oldest pope elected in 275 years and the first German in nearly 1,000 years. As John Paul’s right-hand man, he had been a favorite going into the vote and was selected in the fastest conclave in a century: Just about 24 hours after the voting began, white smoke curled from the Sistine Chapel chimney at 5:50pm to announce “Habemus Papam!

He’ll be remembered for his leadership, says US bishop

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church. It’s Christ’s church and he will care for it.” Reverend John McGrann, a retired priest who led yesterdaty’s Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, described Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement as “exciting” and an opportunity for another leader to “breathe new life into the church.” McGrann said he would talk briefly about the pope’s decision at the Mass, which was attended by about two dozen parishioners. The cleric said: “I respect him in his decision to step down. It’s a sign of humility on his part and graciousness.” Admitting the pope was a divisive figure, McGrann said: “He wasn’t a strong administrator. Maybe the next pope will have that gift. We need leadership that listens to the signs of the times and to the anguish and needs.” The cleric said he would ask parishioners to pray for the next leader. “We believe the Holy Spirit will be

POPE Benedict XVI’s resignation has set in motion a complex sequence of events to elect the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The laws governing the selection are the same as those in force after a papal death. The Vatican yesterday said a new pope would be elected next month, after Pope Benedict XVI announced his plan to resign on February 28. “We should have a new pope for Easter,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters, saying a conclave could be held within 15 or 20 days of the resignation. Analysts and experts immediately began debating the merits of naming a pontiff from the developing world, where the church continues to grow, versus one from Europe — where it has deep historical roots.

Likely successor

•Cardinal Francis Arinze (Nigeria) •Cardinal Peter Turkson (Ghana) •Cardinal Angelo Scola (archbishop of Milan) •Marc Quellet (Head of the Vatican’s Office for bishops, Canada). •Cardinal Christopher Schoeborn (archbishop of Vienna) •Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguesz Maradeaga (Hunduras) •Cardinal Timothy Dolan (New York) •Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergogio (archbishop of Buenos Aires)

The procedure • The Vatican summons a conclave of cardinals that must begin 15-20 days after Benedict’s February 28 resignation. • Only Cardinals below 80 are eligible to vote. They are usually sequestered within Vatican City to take an oath of secrecy. • Any baptized Roman Catholic male is eligible for election as pope, but only cardinals have been selected since 1378. • Two ballots are held in morning and two in the afternoon in the Sistine Chapel. A two-thirds majority is required. Benedict in 2007 reverted back to this two-thirds majority rule, reversing a 1996 decision by Pope John Paul II, who had decreed that a simple majority could be invoked after about 12 days of inconclusive voting. • Ballots are burned after each round. Black smoke means no decision; white smoke signals that Cardinals have chosen pope and he has accepted. Bells also signal the election of a pope to help avoid possible confusion over color of smoke coming from chimney of the Sistine Chapel. • The new pope is introduced from the loggia overlooking St. Peter’s Square with the words “Habemus Papam!” (Latin for “We have a pope!”) and he imparts his first blessing.

Previous papals who resigned The Vatican announced yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI will step down on February 28. Although papal resignations are extremely rare, there are precedents in the two millennia history of the Catholic Church. •Marcellinus This early church pope abdicated or was deposed in 304 after complying with the Roman emperor’s order to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. •Benedict IX He sold the papacy to his godfather Gregory VI and resigned in 1045. •Celestine V Overwhelmed by the demands of the office, this hermetic pontiff stepped down after five months as pope in 1294. Pope Benedict XVI prayed at his tomb in the central Italian city of L’Aquila in 2009. •Gregory XII The last pope to resign, Gregory XII stepped down in 1415 to help end a church schism. Culled from the Associated Press

‘I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome’ Pope quits, thanks Cardinals Full text of Pope Benedict XVI resignation delivered yesterday to cardinals gathered for a ceremony to name three new saints.

•Portland Catholics react ORTLAND’S next archbishop, Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample said Pope Benedict XVI’s legacy will be his “call for the new evangelism” and his efforts to bring “the Gospel of Jesus Christ anew to the world, especially in the West.” The 52-year-old cleric, spoke to The Oregonian yesterday morning from his office in Marquette, Michigan, United States, where he serves as bishop. Sample will be installed as archbishop of Portland on April 2. Sample said the pope’s legacy includes “calling us back to the documents of the second Vatican Council.” The cleric, who said he was stunned to learn the news in a pre-dawn phone call from another bishop, said he had the “great privilege” of meeting Pope Benedict five times. He offered reassurance to Catholics about the church’s future. Sample said: “We entrust this process to the Holy Spirit. God will raise up a shepherd for the church according to his own heart. “It’s not my church. It’s not the pope’s

Successor to emerge next month

•Sample with the cardinals as they choose the next pope. The church will endure,” McGrann said. Susan Hatley, 52, the secretary at the Cathedral School, was stunned to learn of the pope’s resignation. She hopes the next pope will be a “unifying” figure, “somebody who reached out to everybody.”

“Dear Brothers, I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonisations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. “However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. “For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is. Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. “With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.”


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Police nab three armed robbery suspects

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EN of the Lagos State Police Command yesterday arrested three armed robbery suspects across the state. They also recovered some arms and ammunition. The arrests were made by operatives of Sabo, Bariga and Oworonshoki Divisions; three locally made guns were recovered. Confirming the arrests, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, said the cases were under investigation at the State Criminal and Investigation Department (SCID), Panti and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja. She further said: "Operatives attached to Sabo Division at about 6pm yesterday arrested Opeyemi Odusanya Ismaila for attempting to rob a man, Nwafor Vincent of his money. "Further search uncovered one locally made pistol with two live cartridges and one expended cartridge from the suspect. The case is under investigation at SARS Ikeja. "Also, the Anti-Robbery team attached to Bariga Division, acting on information, stormed 16, Oluwa Street, Bariga and arrested Ahmed Mohammed. "One locally made doublebarrel pistol, two live cartridges, a pair of Army uniforms; a machete and one police baton were recovered from the suspects."

• Lagos Police commissioner Umar Manko By Precious Igbonwelundu

Braide said the two other members of the gang escaped, adding that efforts were ongoing to arrest the fleeing suspects. The Nation further gathered that the Rapid Response Squad team attached to Lagos State Command arrested Yusuf Olalekan who robbed a truck driver along OshodiOworonshoki Express Road. Braide who also confirmed the story, said the suspect and his accomplices took to their heels on sighting the police patrol, but were given a hot chase by police, thus leading to their arrest.

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HE era of unqualified people finding their way into the Police is gone, Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Caleb Olubolade has said. Speaking during his visit to the Police Academy in Wudil, Kano State, Olubolade said efforts were on to tackle the rot in the organisation through fundamental initiatives. He said, henceforth, character and sound academic qualification would be the prime conditions for cadets’ admission into the Academy. Saying that only those with good grades and enviable moral background will be admitted, he added that certain criteria will be adopted now that the ministry is repackaging the police. Olubolade, who inspected projects at the Academy in company of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Abubakar, said "the era of admitting candidates into the police without good qualification is over. We are looking for excellence and performance." He said the selection of cadets had begun, adding that it was important that ongoing projects at Academy be completed to accommodate them. He gave the contractors handling the projects till the end of the month to complete the job, adding that he had instructed the IGP to ask the contractors to return to site to ensure speedy completion of the job. Responding to a question on some contractors' complaints about the funding of the projects, Olubolade said "Finance is not going to be a prob-

Police no longer for By Jude Isiguzo

lem to the contractors" Abubakar expressed optimism that the projects would be completed before the deadline.

He said the ministry is working to improve the quality of officers produced by the Academy, adding that the police management team will do everything in its power to support the minister to achieve

Police, firemen avert disaster in Lagos

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major fire incident was averted at the weekend by the police and a team of fire fighters in Lekki area of Lagos. A tanker marked SQ 601 AAA whose driver was simply identified as Uche caught fire while discharging diesel at 1, Leasing Drive Lekki Phase 1. The fire was put out by combined team of policemen and fire fighters in the area. It was gathered that a Skoda with registration number CN 932 MUS and another car with were burnt while the tanker driver sustained minor burnt. He was rushed to Hopewell Hospital where he was treated and discharged.

Nigerite backs asthma campaign

‘I 've no hand in property demolition’ By Joseph Jibueze

THE Ojora of Ijora, Lagos State, Oba Abdulfatai Aromire, has denied demolishing a building belonging to Chief Fasasi Olorunlogbon on Alhaji Adebowale Street, OrileIganmu. It was reported that the property, a subject of litigation, was pulled down on January 24 by some men suspected to be working for the monarch. In a statement, Aromire said there was no subsisting suit between him and Olorunlogbon over any property in Iganmu or any other place, adding that he never sponsored such demolition. "For the purpose of emphasis, I did not authorise the demolition of any property belonging to Chief Olorunlogbon and I do not have any subsisting suit over any property with him in any court. "I also do not have any contest over the Alhaji Adebowale Street, Orile-Iganmu property with him, any group or individual. Therefore, I could not have sponsored a demolition where I do not have any interest, whether in contest or not."

By Jude Isiguzo

Sources told The Nation that but for the timely arrival of the police and men of the fire service, the incident would have been a major disaster as the fire would have spread to nearby building. Lagos Police Command spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP) confirmed the incident, adding that no life was lost. She noted that the value of property destroyed is yet to be estimated and that Investigation is ongoing at Maroko Division.

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OOFING sheets manufacturing giant, Nigerite Limited has pledged support for ongoing efforts towards creating awareness for the menace of asthma. At an art exhibition organised by Stacey Okparavero Project in conjunction with Watersworth Gallery in Lagos, the firm said its support would be through art works. The exhibition, which started on Saturday, will end on February 16. The initiative tagged “Art for life: An Asthma awareness Charity Art Exhibition” is being sponsored by the firm in memory of Ms. Ogaga Okparavero, who died of an asthma attack in October last year. Nigerite’s Brand Ambassador, Miss Oluchi Njoku said: "In line with our corporate social responsibility, it is necessary for us to support this initiative to create awareness on the dangers of asthma through art works. We are here today to support this project to let people know that not only malaria can kill.

"We give lives to the people because Nigerite is about life, and anywhere there is life you will find Nigerite. We are much concerned about people having healthy lives to be able to function well in their dealings in the society." The facilitator, Ms. Stacey Okparavero, said the exhibition aims to provide support for the health and wellbeing of individuals living with asthma and who do not have the financial capabilities for treatment. "Last year, my only sister died of asthma attack. Then, I took it upon myself in conjunction with Watersworth Gallery with support from Nigerite Limited to set up a project like this to save the lives of people living with asthma. "Certain percentage of proceeds from art sales will be used to fund the respiratory unit of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and other public hospitals in Lagos. Oxygen canisters and other drugs will be bought, as well as settle bills of patients who cannot afford to fully pay their bills," she said.

•The nearly completed Senate House at the Police Academy. Inset:

Olubola

Lagos Assembly summons

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AGOS State House of Assembly has summoned the Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Florence Oguntuase for alleged tardiness in implementing its resolution. She is to appear before the lawmakers today to explain why she did not treat their resolution with urgency. In September, last year, the Assembly directed the commis-

By Oziegbe Okoeki

sioner to pay the seven-year salary arrears of veterinary doctors and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) veterinary officers from 2003 to 2010. Chairman, Committee on Establishment and Training, Omowunmi Olatunji-Edet, said then ''It is baffling that the ministry has failed to honour our resolution passed since September,

•Oba Bilau Ojuolope Olaniyan, the Onigege of Igegeland, Osun State, surrounded b


nset:

THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

CITYBEATS

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rogues, says Olubolade this goal. The project's chief consultant, Mr Mathew Udeh, conducted the minister and his entourage round, blaming the slow pace of work on inadequate funding.

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‘Why NTDC sponsors festivals’ Dada Aladelokun, Assistant Editor

The team inspected the Senate building, two wings of faculty blocks and a students' hostel. The Federal Government has upgraded the academy to a degree-awarding institution.

•Kaka

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NGOING efforts by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) to make tourism a vital ingredient of the nation’s rebirth are non-negotiable, the establishment’s Zonal Coordinator (Southwest), Alhaji Nasiru Kaka, has said. Kaka, who spoke with The Nation yesterday, said the time had come

for the nation to de-emphasise dependence on oil and exploit other resources to boost the economy. “In those good old days, we depended on agriculture as the fulcrum of our economic life as a nation; suddenly, we lost it to overreliance on oil. Now, as things go, it is desirable to seek other avenues to sustain our tottering economy and the way out is to focus on our tourism potentials,” he said. The intention, he explained, accounted for why the corporation began last year, the registration and renewal of hotels across the country. “The registration and renewal are still in force and we are doubly convinced that at the end of the exercise, tourism would have enjoyed robust boost,” he said. The NTDC coordinator further explained that the drive to lift the nation’s tourism sector and make it a major income-earner for the nation occasioned the corporation’s

continued support for prominent cultural festivals across the country. Frontline among such festivals, according to Kaka, are: Badagry Heritage Festival, Olokun Festival, being yearly sponsored by the national coordinator of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Otunba Gani Adams; Ogun Festival in Ekiti State, and Maree Festival, Ondo. Others, he pointed out, include the annual Shodeke Festival and popular Ojude-Oba in Ijebu-Ode, both in Ogun State; Kayo Kayo Festival in Epe; Samodun Festival, Ibadan, Oyo State, and Osun Osogbo et cetera. He urged all stakeholders in the tourism industry to join hands with NTDC’s current efforts to reposition by playing their part creditably well, adding: “We have started the drive and we are irrevocably committed to seeing it to a fruitful conclusion in the interest of our nation and its people.”

Technology week holds

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HE Lagos State government is set to hold this year’s edition of the Lagos State Science and Technology (LASSTECH) Week begins today. It ends on Thursday. The Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Adebiyi Mabadeje, said yesterday, that LASSTECH, which is an annual event, is aimed at creating opportunitis for students, inventors, innovators, researchers and others, to exhibit their products. With “Promoting the Development of Science and Technology through Entrepreneurship Education” as its theme, the programme will feature lectures, Olubolade and Abubakar during the inspection

commissioner over resolution 2012.'' She said though the commissioner informed the Assembly in December, last year, about the step being taken to address the issue, nothing concrete has come out of it. Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji said: ''The issue at hand has to do with the slow pace of carrying out the resolution. ''If our ministry is working at a

pace that is not helpful, the head of the ministry should be invited. It is not expected of any ministry of ours to work at a snail speed,'' he said. Deputy Speaker, Kolawole Taiwo said such an act should be condemned, adding: ''We need to invite her and that would help us to know why she has failed to honour the resolution.'

n State, surrounded by his admirers during his recent coronation.

exhibitions, quiz competitions, song contest and interactive session for investors, innovators and researchers. Speaking further about the objectives of the programme, he said it is to harness all scientific and technological input for the development of Lagos as a model megacity; showcase indigenous technology research products with a view to promoting their development and deployment, thereby conserving scarce foreign resources and provide a platform for interactions between inventors and investors.According to him, it will also provide an avenue for

various organisations to exhibit their products and interact with current and potential consumers; provide an environment for interaction between members of the public and the academia with a view to learning about the current development in science and technology. Besides promoting the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in schools, the commissioner added that it would provide a forum for upcoming entrepreneurs to interact and learn from successful businessmen to boost their entrepreneurship skills.


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

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NEWS Fani-Kayode re-arraigned By Eric Ikhilae

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FORMER Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode was yesterday re-arraigned on a 47-count charge of money laundering before the Federal High Court, Lagos. Fani-Kayode, who was arraigned before Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, pleaded not guilty to the charge filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He was first arraigned on the same charge on December 23, 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed. His trial had begun before Justice Mohammed before it was stalled owing to an interlocutory appeal by the EFCC. The case was re-assigned to Justice Binta Nyako because the former judge was also transferred out of Lagos Division. In February last year, Fani-Kayode was rearraigned before Nyako, and the judge was also transferred out of Lagos late last year. Yesterday, upon pleading to the charge, the exminister’s lawyer, Ladi Williams, SAN, (who led the defence team) urged the judge to grant his client bail in the same conditions and terms given by Justice Mohammed, which he had satisfied. Prosecution lawyer, Nelson Okedinachi, did not object, following which the judge granted the bail application. Wale Babalakin, Wale Akoni and Ifedayo Adedipe (all Senior Advocates) were also in the defence team. Later in the proceedings, Justice OfiliAjumogobia queried the competence of the charge. The judge said the charge ought to be amended for being wrongly drafted. She claimed that the charge did not conform with the new Money Laundering Act, having been brought under the old Money Laundering Act. The Judge said: “On the face of the charge, there is the need for you to amend it. I will not want to entertain any frivolous amendment in the future. I don’t understand what you mean by the wife is at large. “You know there is a new Money Laundering Act and you know the calibre of lawyers on the other side. So, are you going to amend and put the accused person through one more, but last ordeal of re-arraignment?” Okedinachi insisted that the charge was competent and that the prosecution was not contemplating amending the charge. The former minister was accused of laundering about N230m through some of his aides, his wife, Regina and daughter, Remilekun between August 2006 and March 2007. Trial has been fixed for March 11.

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HE Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.Gen. Azubike Ihejirika has denied the report of ethnicity in postings and appointments in the Nigerian Army, saying it is the handiwork of mischief makers. At a briefing in Abuja yesterday, Ihejirika described those behind the allegation as disgruntled elements projecting their personal grievances under ethnic and parochial banners. He also described the sponsors of the report as faceless groups spreading deliberate falsehood in an attempt to destabilise the Army and create chaos in the country. Ihejirika said: “The motive of the writers appear to be to destabilise the Nigerian Army and negatively affect its cohesion thereby creating chaos in the country. “It is a great disservice to the nation for anyone to choose through deliberate falsehood to link the routine activities of promotions and postings in the Nigerian Army with ethno-religious consideration. “These faceless groups, if they had no ulterior motives, would have sought to air their grievances through official channels of communication which are available for redress by any genuinely aggrieved persons over any policy or actions of the Army. The Army chief went on: “It is however surprising that some few media chose to celebrate this calculated attempt by some frivolous, unpatriotic and unscrupulous elements aimed at insinuating that the recruitment, promotion, retirement and recent deployment of senior officers in the Nigerian Army were ethnically motivated. For the avoidance of doubt, there is no ethnic or religious consideration in this routine exercise in the Nigerian Army” Ihejirika said the recent postings and promotions in the Army were done on hard work and merit, against parochial interests that dictated the exercise in the past. According to the Army chief, recruitment, promotion and retirement were done with the approval of the Army Council made up of the President (represented by the Defence Minister), the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of Army

Army chief blames report of ethnic cleansing on mischief makers

•Ihejirika (middle) speaking at the briefing ...yesterday. With him are Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru (left) and Military Secretary (Army), Maj.-Gen. Ugo Buzugbe From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

Staff. Apparently referring to the ethnic and religious prisms with which public policies and institutions are viewed by certain segments of the public, Ihejirika said the tendency for some people to latch on to these sentiments could be very tempting. “Nigeria, just like every other nation, has its own fault lines. Unfortunately, some people have chosen to hang on these fault lines to cause disaffection in the Nigerian Army. “When we commenced operations against Boko Haram in Maiduguri, some people started circulating text messages to the effect that the Chief of Army Staff had deployed an Igbo commander to avenge the killing of Igbo during the civil war even though the operation was coordinated by the Defence Headquarters. He said: “I appeal to those behind this campaign of calumny to settle their political scores elsewhere. The Army is not just a public service. It is a public institution that should be protected by all. “Serving in the Army is a sacrifice and I will not give

‘I appeal to those behind this campaign of calumny to settle their political scores elsewhere. The Army is not just a public service. It is a public institution that should be protected by all’ an officer who I know is disloyal a strategic position just to satisfy him. If some people are complaining because they missed their promotion, I also missed my promotion in the past; from Lt. Col to Colonel . But here I am today as Chief of Army Staff”, Ihejirika said. The Army chief also alleged that the former Infantry Commander Jaji, Maj. Gen Muhammed Isa (rtd) got intelligence report a day before Boko Haram attacked Defence and Staff College in Jaji. Ihejirika said Isah had sought for extension of service at the point of retirement but that his request was not granted by the Army Coun-

cil which approves such privileges for officers of his cadre. “At the point of retirement, Isah sought extension of service, saying that he still had much to offer the Army. But the Army Council did not sit before his retirement date was due”. The Army chief said Isah failed to take the necessary precaution prior to the Jaji bombing, stressing that the former commandant was away at an Army conference in Asaba when he was supposed to be at his duty post, thereby leaving his flanks open. “Isah did not take actions that he was supposed to have taken. He did not give instruction to his subordinates on what to do. Instead, he went to attend a conference in Asaba when there was trouble at his duty post. “Even the GOC 1 Division could not attend the conference as a result of the situation on ground. I was surprised to see Isah in Asaba and I made it clear to him that he was expected to be at his duty post instead of attending the conference”, Ihejirika added. The Army chief said those that attacked the convoy of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado

Bayero in January had been arrested, adding that three assault riffles were recovered from the house of one of the suspects when security agents searched his residence. The Chief of Army Staff, however, admitted that delay in effecting the retirement of senior officers who are due for retirement might have been one of the reasons for misgivings in the Army. He attributed the delay to the fact that the Army Council that approves such retirements only sits quarterly and that some cases may not come up for review until it sits. Ihejirika also said a policy he introduced when he became the Army chief may have inadvertently be responsible for the recent unsavoury developments in the Army. The thrust of the policy is that senior officers whose promotion coincides with their retirements are always allowed to get their promotion, which automatically extends their retirement dates for a few months for them to enjoy their promotion. The policy, he said, was approved by the former Minister of Defence, Dr. Mohammed Bello Haliru.

Confusion over subsidy suspect’s remand stalls trial

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HERE was confusion yesterday at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, as prison authorities failed to produce an oil subsidy theft suspect, Seun Ogunbambo, for trial. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which charged him, said the court’s order had been violated as to where the defendant ought to be remanded. Ogunbambo is standing trial alongside Habila Theck and Fargo Petroleum and Gas Limited. This is the second time Ogunbambo would fail to

By Joseph Jibueze

appear for trial. EFCC alleged that he failed to import about 10,000 metric tons (13 million litres) of petrol in 2011 after allegedly receiving N976 million as subsidy payment. Ogunbambo had been denied bail by Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo in a N4.46 billion subsidy fraud case involving him, son of former chairman of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP)Mamman Ali, and Nasaman Oil Services. The judge had cited “peculiar circumstances” surrounding Ogunbambo as the

reason for denying him temporary freedom. In another criminal matter before another judge, Justice Olabisi Akinlade, Ogunbambo was also denied bail in a N1.2 billion fraud case against Stanbic IBTC bank. The EFCC had urged the court to deny him bail because of his criminal antecedents, the ease with which he assumes multiple identities; and his notoriety for jumping bail whenever granted. The two judges had ordered that Ogunbambo be remanded at the Kirikiri

Maximum Prison during the duration of the trials, but the court presided by Justice Onigbanjo yesterday heard that Ogunbambo was remanded at Ikoyi Prisons. EFCC’s counsel, Francis Usani, told the court: “I think games are being played. I’ve just observed that the first defendant (Mr. Ogunbambo) is not in court and the people from Kirikiri Prisons are here. “I learnt he is in Ikoyi Prison. Your Lordship made an order that he be remanded at Kirikiri. How he got to Ikoyi Prisons? We don’t know.

“The judge in the other case also said that he be remanded at Kirikiri Prisons. For him to be in Ikoyi beats my imagination. How did he get to Ikoyi?” However, the defendants’ counsel, Gboyega Oyewole, said the EFCC’s claim was a “gross misrepresentation of facts.” He said his client “wasn’t feeling too well,” else he would have been in court for the trial. Justice Onigbanjo adjourned till today for a production warrant for Ogunbambo to be issued on Ikoyi Prisons authorities.


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

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NEWS

Ajimobi inaugurates N485m bridge

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YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday inaugurated the Secretariat/Bodija Bridge in Ibadan, the state capital. He said his administration would stop flooding in Oyo. The Bodija Bridge was one of those washed away by floods on August 26, 2011. The new bridge cost N485 million. Ajimobi christened it “Restoration Bridge”. He said: “After the 2011 floods, we began a systematic and aggressive widening of water channels and dredging of rivers to ensure free flow of water. “I am proud to announce that our vision of repositioning the state is being achieved on a daily basis, as this government marches on. Many governors have passed through Oyo. Some wanted to do it but time

Ondo ACN to tour councils From Damisi Ojo, Akure

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HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State will soon tour the 18 local government areas to reposition the party. This is part of resolutions reached at the meeting of its State Working Committee (SWC) at Oka-Akoko, headquarters of Akoko Southwest Local Government. At the meeting, the party’s leaders backed the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by ACN, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). The committee said it was determined to reposition the party for success in future elections.

Aregbesola: our artisans must show competence

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HREE hundred painters in Osun State have been trained by the Osun Schools Infrastructure Development, tagged O’Schools. The training is part of the state government’s capacity building programme for artisans. The 300 painters yesterday received certificates of competence after the training. Governor Rauf Aregbesola said his administration would improve the state’s economy by exploiting local contents in project execution. He said ongoing building projects in schools would be painted by the newly trained painters, adding that they have been trained to meet the government’s standard. Aregbesola said the training is a gift from the state to the painters, which will serve them beyond the O’Schools project, which is time-bound. He said the painters’ patronage would extend beyond the state once people know they are professionals, pledging that the training would extend to other professions. Aregbesola said: “To give you an idea of the enormity of what is involved; construction is going on in 24 sites across the state and contracts for 30 new sites would be awarded in the next two weeks. “This training is not a one-off exercise. It is one in a series that will cover other artisans. Capacity-building is part of our administration’s policies to give our people a decent living.”

•Oyo Speaker, ACN chieftain laud project From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

did not permit them. For some, politics and other distractions did not allow them to do it. “Some dreamt about it, but have woken up from their sleep. We dreamt about it and actualised it.” To Ajimobi, the bridge is a testimony of his administration’s determination to ease the people’s pain. He said with the inauguration of the bridge, the flooding of the river channel and its attendant problems have become history. The governor thanked residents for their perseverance during the execution of the project and pledged to continue to execute people-oriented projects.

This bridge is now open for use, but it still needs some minor dressing. Though we have instructed the contractor to expedite work on its aesthetic beautification, our administration reckoned that our people could not be kept waiting... He said: “This bridge is now open for use, but it still needs some minor dressing. Though we have instructed the contractor to expedite work on its aesthetic beautification, our administration reckoned that our people could not be kept waiting, hence the inauguration of the bridge today.” In a statement, House of Assembly Speaker Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu said the

governor has restored the state’s lost glory with his people-oriented programmes. She urged the people to support the “transformation, restructuring and repositioning agenda” of the present administration. A chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Abass Oloko, also hailed the governor for his “selfless service to the people

through the speedy execution of the Bodija-Secretariat bridge and other projects”. In a statement yesterday, Oloko hailed the ongoing work on the Mokola roundabout overhead bridge and the inauguration of the Secretariat/Bodija Bridge. He said: “On August 26, 2010, our state was devastated by flood, which destroyed all our bridges. We thought all hope was lost, but Ajimobi restored our hope. He should be praised for raising money through bond and the judicious use of Oyo’s federal allocation.” The ACN chieftain lauded the urban renewal project, through which many dirty areas in Ibadan have been beautified. He said the improved aesthetics would attract foreign investors to the state.

•Ajimobi


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THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

NEWS

•Fayemi (arrowed), officials of the state government and IBM experts...yesterday.

Ekiti partners IBM on information communications technology

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HE Ekiti State Government has partnered info-technology giant, International Business Machines (IBM), to actualise its goal on e-governance. IBM experts, who arrived in the state at the weekend, would work with Ekiti State officials in different sectors for the next one month. Representatives of the state government and IBM spoke with reporters yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. The Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Infrastruc-

ture and Public Utilities, Mr. Foluso Daramola, said the IBM team would be working with the state government, the State University (EKSU) and the Civil Society on “Smart Governance, Citizen’s Information Management System and the e-school projects. Daramola said the partnership is also targeted at actualising IBM’s New Initiative for Sustainable Development (NISD) through effective use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the state.

He said the partnership would examine the functionality of software applications provided by Microsoft and the hardware by Samsung, as well as develop online citizen’s register for the Social Security Scheme for the Elderly. Daramola said the communication and workflow automation developed under Smart Governance applications would establish an inter-governmental paperless system for official documents. Leader of IBM’s West African Corporate Citi-

Judge adjourns Alao-Akala’s N11.5b ‘fraud’case From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

•Alao-Akala

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N Ibadan High Court presided over by Justice Akintunde Boade yesterday adjourned hearing of the N11.5 billion fraud al-

legation against former Oyo State Governor Adebayo AlaoAkala and two others till March 27. Alao-Akala; former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters Chief Hosea Agboola and a businessman, Mr. Femi Babalola, were arraigned on 11count charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The charges include con-

spiracy, illegal award of contracts, obtaining by false presence, acquiring property with money derived from illegal act, and concealing the ownership of such property. EFCC lead counsel Chief Godwin Obla said he was ready to go on with the trial. Justice Boade said he would be retiring soon and would not be able to hear the case. He said: “I cannot hear this case and do not want to embark on a journey I cannot complete. It is obvious that I will

soon retire.” Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the lead counsel to Alao-Akala and Babalola, said he has filed an appeal against last year’s ruling of the court, which said his clients have a case to answer. Agboola’s lawyer Richard Ogunwole (SAN) has also filed an appeal against the ruling. Last year, Justice Boade ruled that the accused have a case to answer and refused the defendants’ application that the charges be quashed.

Senator: adopting Fayemi for second ment term okay or breach here.”

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HE Vice-Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Interior, Olubunmi Adetunmbi, has justified the adoption of Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi for second term by a group in the state. Adetunmbi said Ekiti people are celebrating Fayemi because his administration is evidence–based and performancedriven. The lawmaker, who represents Ekiti North Senatorial District, spoke with reporters in Abuja on various issues. When asked to comment on the adoption of Fayemi for second term by a group and whether the governor deserves a second term, Adetunmbi said one of the basic principles of democracy is freedom of expression, which includes the right to choose and right of aspiration.

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•’APC is right way to go’ From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor

He said: “Let us accept that we are running a popular democracy, where one of the freedoms guaranteed is the right of expression, choice and aspiration. “To that extent, anybody is free to aspire under the Nigerian Constitution and the constitution of our party. By the same token, it is the right of the other with different persuasion to say this is the person we want. “So, what I see here is an exercise of rights, which is not a breach of any law. At the end of the day the people will make their choice, both in the party

‘What we are celebrating in Fayemi is not politics. It is a continuity that is evidence-based and performance-driven. It is easily measurable. It is a product that has advertised itself by virtue of attribute and not propaganda’ and in the general election. I do not see any serious disagree-

On Fayemi’s performance, Adetunmbi urged journalists to visit Ekiti State to see things for themselves. He said: “What we are celebrating in Fayemi is not politics. It is a continuity that is evidence-based and performancedriven. It is easily measurable. It is a product that has advertised itself by virtue of attribute and not propaganda.” On the formation of the All progressives Congress (APC), the lawmaker said it was the right way to rescue the country from the “purposeless” leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration. He said it is generally agreed that the fragmentation of opposition parties in the country is not healthy for democracy because it does not provide a strong alternative to the PDP.

Amosun to deliver Ilisan road in May

GUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has said the Ilisan-AgoIwoye road, which is under construction, will be ready by May. Amosun spoke yesterday while inspecting the level of work done. He urged the contractor to sustain the tempo of work and raise two or three teams that would run an eight-hour shift each, so that the road would be

From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

ready by May. Amosun said: “Our people in Ijebu-North have requested the completion of the road. I am telling them to expect what we call the ‘Ogun Standard’ in terms of roads, school buildings, hospitals and health care facilities.” The governor, who got a rousing welcome from students of the Olabisi Onabanjo Univer-

sity (OOU), said his administration would embark on more road projects in Ago-Iwoye and Ijebu-Igbo. He urged the students to remain calm and shun cultism and other vices that can portray the state in bad light. Pledging to always attend to issues relating to students’ welfare, Amosun said the government deployed an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) in

Ago-Iwoye to address the town’s security challenges. He said his administration approved the tarring of roads in the campus. The President of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), Mr. Omojola Ayokunle, hailed Amosun for addressing issues raised by Ago-Iwoye residents, saying “it really shows that you are a rare leader”.

zenship and Corporate Affairs Mrs. Remi Abere said the company will assist Ekiti on eeducation and e-governance by transferring its skills and developing technological capacity. Mrs. Abere said special focus would be given to the education sector to revamp it. She said IBM chose Ekiti for the partnership because of the efforts the Governor Kayode Fayemi administration to drive development through technology.

Fire razes petrol station in Osun From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

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PETROL station and a storey building in IlaOrangun, Osun State were razed by fire at the weekend. It was learnt that a tanker was dispensing petrol at Jaye Filling Station when the fire started. Passersby put out the fire before men of the State Fire Service arrived from Okuku. The timely evacuation of a kerosene-filled tanker parked near the scene prevented the situation from escalating. Many drivers, who were waiting to buy fuel at the station, hurriedly drove out of the premises, but a bus was burnt. The station’s manager, Mr. Akeem Jaye, said the fire was caused by harmattan.

Murder: Schools shut in Ilawe-Ekiti From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

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CHOOLS hurriedly shut down yesterday in IlaweEkiti, following rumours that there might be a protest against Saturday’s murder of a cocoa merchant, Mr. Ropo Eniafe. Eniafe’s lifeless body was found on his farm. The fear of being attacked has kept farmers away from their farms since the incident occurred. The home of the deceased in Afunremu Quarters was besieged by sympathisers, who visited his widow, Funke. The deceased’s younger brother, Boluwaji, said: “My brother’s wife came to my house around 9am on Saturday to inform me that her husband had not returned from the farm since Friday morning. “We went to look for him and found his lifeless body in the farm, lying in a pool of blood. He might have run into armed robbers, who have been terrorising the community in the last few weeks. Fulani herdsmen have been disturbing the community. “My brother did not have any disagreement with anybody. We are relying on the government to find his killer(s).” The monarch of the community, Oba Adebanji Ajibade, urged residents to be calm.

Mimiko urged to intervene in Owo poly crisis From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

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HE Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Southwest Zone, has urged Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko to intervene in the labour crisis rocking the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo. In a statement after its emergency zonal meeting, the union lamented that 32 of its members were sacked under the guise of “reorganisation”. According to the statement signed by the union’s Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Babatunde Dosumu, the workers were sacked on December 31, last year, without benefits. It reads: “Southwest ASUP urges Mimiko to intervene in the malicious reorganisation of the institution that led to the sudden dismissal of 32 workers.”


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THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

BUSINESS THE NATION

E-mail:- bussiness@thenationonlineng.net

NLNG is one of the biggest success stories in our country. From what I am told, the company has invested $13 billion so far since inception, and has become a pacesetter in terms of revenue generation for the government. -Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga

Power assets: Fed Govt to seal deal with bid winners in March T HE Federal Govern ment’s on-going nego tiations with winners of bid for the power projects would be concluded by the end of March, the Finance Minister and Coordinator of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, has said. Speaking yesterday at the Renaissance Capital (RenCap) investor conference in Lagos, she explained that government has been pursuing one of the most ambitious power reforms that is transparent. She said every two weeks, the President holds meetings on development in the power sector to ensure that there are no lapses, adding that fixing the financing of the power sector is essential to the government. She said the government is

Naira rises after CBN dollar sale

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HE naira gained the most this month after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) increased the amount of dollars it sold at an auction. The naira climbed 0.1 percent, the most on a closing basis since January 31, to N157.25 per dollar. The CBN sold $180 million to lenders, it said in an e-mailed statement, the highest in three auctions. The apex bank sells dollars on Mondays and Wednesdays to support the naira. “The increase in dollar supply was a boost to the naira,” Sewa Wusu, a currency analyst at Lagos-based Sterling Capital Limited, said by phone yesterday. The yield on the country’s 16.39 per cent domestic bonds due in January 2022, fell four basis points to 10.88 per cent in the secondary market, according to yesterday’s data compiled on the Financial Markets Dealers Association’s website. Borrowing costs on Nigeria’s $500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021, were little changed at 4.179 per cent yesterday.

DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa-$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE

-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -11.7% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $43.5b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472

• CBN places restrictions on banks’lending to HoldCos

committed to ensuring that negotiations on all the projects being sold need to be concluded before the projects will begin to come on stream. “We are currently looking at letters of comforts, signing of power purchase agreements and master plan power agreement. We do not want to do it company- bycompany. Give us till the end of March and you will see all these things taking shape,” she said. Dr Okonjo-Iweala said Nigeria has been growing at seven per cent in the last decade, a situation that has made people to ask questions on why the growth trend is not impacting on their lives. “We need to address jobs and rising inequality chal-

By Collins Nweze

lenges in the country, because they remain the biggest problems government is trying to tackle,” she said. Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, said budget deficit may narrow to 1.8 per cent of the GDP this year after adjustments by the National Assembly. She said government is correcting past records of fiscal lapses including the need to balance fiscal consolidation with liquidity control. Mrs Okonjo-Iweala explained that current budget statistics of 31 per cent fiscal expenditure and 68 per cent recurrent expenditure, is not enough, saying the target of government is to achieve 60/40 ratio on budget imple-

• To redeem N100b bond

mentation for capital and recurrent expenditure respectively. She defended Nigeria’s debt-to-GDP ratio of 20 per cent, saying the country’s contemporaries have 40 per cent. “Inflation is on downward trend. We are in good place in terms of microeconomic stability, although we still face constraints of inadequate power and other key infrastructure.” She said that Federal Government will before the end of this year, redeem N100 billion bond. She said that the bond market remains a viable area of investment for both local and foreign investors. Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has

placed restrictions on banks’ lending to their Holding Companies (HoldCo) to protect shareholders’ funds from insider abuse. CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who stated this at the RenCap programme, said any bank that violates the rule will have the loaned funds deducted from its shareholders’ funds as return capital. FirstBank of Nigeria, Stanbic IBTC and First City Monument Banks (FCMB) have adopted the HoldCo structure last year. The structure became exigent after the CBN set aside the universal banking regime in 2010 and gave banks the option to either: divest from their non-banking subsidiaries and become pure commercial banks, or form a holding company. The HoldCo structure allows commercial banks to be properly ring-fenced from the other non-commercial banking activities.

Govt pegs business registration cost at N15,000 From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

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HE Federal Govern ment has approved the downward review of the cost of Business Registration at the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) from N50, 000 to N15, 000 ($100). The new rate is designed to make Nigeria highly competitive in line with international best practices. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, who stated this, said the review was at the instance of NIPC and also in line with the desire of the government to improve the country’s competitiveness rating on doing business. In a statement, the Deputy Director, Press, Joel Attah, said it was an attempt at lowering the cost of doing business in Nigeria. This is expected to substantially enhance the country’s National Competitiveness as a Foreign Direct Investment Destination (FDI), he stated. “In the light of this development, both new and existing investors are enjoined to take advantage of this gesture to ensure that they are dully registered with the Commission. Failure to do so would be a violation of the law, Attah,” added.

Minister to inaugurate Solid Minerals Fund today From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

T • From left: Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr Mustafa Chike-Obi; Chief Judge, Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta; Executive Director, AMCON, Mrs. Mofoluke Dosumu and Justice Okechukwu Okeke, at the 2nd Federal High Court Judges Forum in Lagos…yesterday.

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‘N100b Textile Intervention Fund saves 8,070 jobs’

HE Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, has said about 8,070 jobs have been saved through the disbursement of the N100billion Cotton Textile Garment Intervention Fund. Also, the Vice-President, Nigeria Labour Congress and General Secretary, National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, Issa Aremu, confirmed that 38 textile firms have so far benefitted from the Fund. The duo, who spoke during the Stakeholders Retreat on the Cotton, Textile and Garment Sub-Sector of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan in Abuja, said the retreat was necessary because of the importance of a revitalised Cotton, Textile, Garment subsector in the efforts towards achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth and

• 38 firms access fund, says NLC From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja

development. He said: “This is the beginning of an important journey. We want to make this sector number one in Africa. It is not just about talking, we will come up with actionable points to kick-start the needed revolution. “We are already making progress with the reforms that are in place. Figures by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria revealed that the capacity utilisation in this sector has increased significantly from 29.14 per cent in 2010, to 49.70 per cent as at 2011. “In addition, a number of hitherto moribund textile mills have been re-opened,

while about 8,070 jobs have been saved. Also, over 5,000 new jobs have been created. We cannot continue to be a raw materials exporting nation because by doing so, we are exporting jobs, development and wealth. This is one area that the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan is trying to address. “The textile industry is one of those areas we are looking at. We want to remove the barriers to increased productivity in this very important and strategic sector. One of these barriers is access to affordable finance. The Cotton Textile and Garment Fund, which the Bank of Industry manages at a very low interest

rate, has achieved some remarkable success. “I am very optimistic that before the end of 2013, the whole of the N100billion would have been disbursed. “But from what we’ve heard, we need more than N100 billion to be able to get to where we want to be, because textile is one sector that creates significant amount of jobs globally. So, for Nigeria, investing in the textile industry makes sense both from the economic point of view and from the job creation point of view,” he noted. He added that the Ministry of Trade and Investment, is working with stakeholders in the textile industry to address the current challenges facing the sector in order to reposition it as the major driver of job creation and wealth generation in the country.

HE Minister of Mines and Steel Develop ment, Musa Sada, will today inaugurate members of the Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF). President Goodluck Jonathan recently approved the constitution of the fund in accordance with the provisions of the Minerals and Minerals Act of 2007. The Project Coordinator, Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP), Mr Linus Adie, is to chair the fund, while Ahmed Shehu Mahe, is the Secretary. Besides, the National President, Miner Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Sanni Shehu and Caleb Dare, are also members of the fund. The fund has representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Banker’s Committee. Adie said the SMDF was established to develop both human and physical capacity in the minerals sector. It is also instituted for the provision of funding for geo-scientific data gathering and storage and retrieval to meet the needs of the mining industry. It is also established to provide funding for the extension services to small-scale and artisanal mining operators and provision of infrastructure in mines land.


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

12

NEWS Obi inaugurates N700m road From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, Nnewi

ANAMBRA State Governor Peter Obi has kicked off the over-N700 million UtuhNwanyiocha-Utuh-Osumenyi Road in Nnewi South Local Government. Obi said his administration has spent over N8 billion in the local government. The governor said he was committed to working in all the parts of the state. He called on the people to reject incompetent leaders, who might want to bribe them. Commissioner for Works Callistus Ilozumba called on the people to assist the government in monitoring the progress of work.

•Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha (middle) with chairman and members of the Imo Merit Award Committee after their inauguration at the Government House, Owerri. STORY ON PAGE 60

Police: no MASSOB member was killed

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HE Anambra State Police Command yesterday said no member of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) was killed and dumped in Ezu River as being claimed by the group. The Commissioner of Police, Ballah Nasarawa, said yesterday at the Command’s Headquarters in Amawbia that the names mentioned by MASSOB as some of its missing members were not in the

•Autopsy report being awaited •Investigations still ongoing From Nwanosike Onu, Awka

Command’s records. Nasarawa said MASSOB had been proscribed by the government and must remain so. “Any person who hides under the canopy or pretext of MASSOB or any illegal organisation to commit any crime will be arrested and prosecuted.”

Nasarawa said all suspected criminals arrested under the guise of MASSOB were duly charged to court. “As at now, many have been remanded in prison custody, awaiting trial, but at no time did my command arrest persons bearing the names mentioned in the publication. “Our records are there to speak for us. “I will not fold my arms

and allow criminals to unleash terror on innocent citizens. “I want to assure the people that I am unshaken by this

spurious allegations and my fight against all forms of crime and criminality is total and non-negotiable. “I am not deterred and can-

not be intimidated by any group. We remain focused in the fight against crimes in the state.” The commissioner said the autopsy report on the bodies is being awaited. Investigations, he said, are still on.

Ojukwu’s firm sues Bianca, others over Lagos property

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COMPANY, Ojukwu Transport Limited, has sued the wife of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Bianca and others at the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere. They were sued for N280 million over some property located in Ikoyi, the home of the rich and powerful in Lagos. The houses; 29 Oyinkan Abayomi Drive (formerly Queens Drive), Ikoyi, and 13, Ojora Road (Hawksworth Road), Ikoyi, generate N80 million as rent yearly, according to the claimant. At yesterday’s proceedings before Justice Adedayo Oyebanji, Mrs Ojukwu was not represented in court. The court was informed that she had been served.

By Joseph Jibueze, Legal Reporter

The company’s director, Dr Ike Ojukwu, who is the late Ojukwu’s nephew, was in court. The claimant was represented by George Uwechue (SAN). The claimant sued Mrs. Ojukwu for herself and on behalf of any other person, who claims to be in possession of 29, Oyinkan Abayomi Drive. The defendant in the second suit on the property was not specified in the statement of claim. The claimant said the property were occupied by the late Ojukwu before he relocated to Enugu 10 years ago. He added that the late Ojukwu handed them over to the company to manage by power

of attorney. The claimant said it was losing N40 million on each of the houses per annum because the occupants have failed to pay rent or give up possession. The company wants to take over the property. It is demanding N80 million, value of the two houses from last September 27, until the defendants give up possession. It asked for 21 per cent interest on the accrued sum until judgment is given, five per cent interest until the sum is fully liquidated, and N100 million damages on both suits. Mrs Ojukwu is said to claim ownership of the property, and did not hand over the keys of the house when the claimant allegedly asked her to. Justice Oyabanji adjourned the suits till March 25.

Atuche: Court orders bank to produce evidence of N25b theft

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LAGOS High Court, Ikeja yesterday ordered Keystone Bank Plc (formerly Bank PHB) to produce some documents to show how its former Managing Director, Francis Atuche and others allegedly stole N25.7 billion from the bank. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Atuche, his wife, Elizabeth and the bank’s former Chief Financial Officer, Ugo Anyanwu, with stealing the money. The trial judge, Justice Lateefah Okunnu, issued a subpoena on the bank at yesterday’s proceedings. The documents, the court heard, would show how a N10.9 billion credit facility was granted to two companies without any loan application. The companies belong to Mr. Diamond Uju and Mrs. Elizabeth Ebi, who are prosecution witnesses.

By Joseph Jibueze

They had testified that the loans were granted to their companies without any formal request to the bank. Atuche’s counsel, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), said the subpoena earlier issued on the bank to produce the documents was not signed and therefore could not be enforced. He said the documents were vital to the defendants’ case because they contradicted the testimonies the witnesses made earlier. According to Oyetibo, the defence was requesting for the bank’s copy of the documents to prove that the witnesses actually applied for the loan facilities. Justice Okunnu adjourned further proceedings till March 4. She ordered that a duly signed copy of the subpoena be served on the bank before then.

Nigeria loses N80b yearly to medical treatment abroad

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HE Senate yesterday said the country loses N80billion yearly to medical treatment abroad. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta North), said this at a-day public hearing on the National Health Bill organised by the

From Onyedi Ojiabor, Assistant Editor and Sanni Onogu, Abuja

committee in Abuja. The staggering medical expenditure was disclosed even as Senate President David Mark urged health professionals and workers to close ranks for the

development of the nation’s health system. Mark, who was represented by his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, said the rivalry between the major professionals in the health sector is antithetical to the provision of quality health services in the country.


Yobo hangs up AFCON boots

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EMENIKE: I want more

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Kanu wants Keshi to stay on

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VICTOR MOSES ‘proud to be Nigerian’

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IGERIA forward Victor Moses has dedicated the victory of the Super Eagles over Burkina Faso in Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final to all his countrymen.

with the Super Eagles. “[It’s] one of [the] best days of my life. [T]his is a dream come true I'm so proud to be Nigerian. The win is for each and every one of [you] back

home,” Moses tweeted via his official account. Nigeria will now play in the Confederations Cup in Brazil later in the year.

Eagles to begin Brazil 2014 preparation Ambrose relishes Confed Cup challenge

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NATIONSPORT TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

NATION SPORT

NATION SPORT

AFCON victory: Rangers to host Mba, Agbim

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•Onigbinde

HE Executive Secretary, Rangers Mba and Agbim who just signed-on with International FC of Enugu, Paul Rangers. We will host them in grand style Chibuzor, says the club will host its and with the arrival of our dear governor, players who participated in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), won by the Super Eagles. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Super Eagles on Sunday in Johannesburg, South Africa, defeated the Stallions of Burkina Faso 1-0 at the 29th AFCON to clinch victory. Reacting to the win, Chibuzor said the players would also be rewarded for doing the country and Rangers International FC proud. •Mba ``We are proud of

Sullivan Chime, it is going to be a double celebration. ``They are expected to feature in the CAF Champions League between Rangers and Sporting do Principe of Sao Tome and Principe next Sunday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium,'' he said. The Managing Director, Enugu State Housing Development Authority, Ikeje Asogwa, said the victory was the best thing that happened to Nigeria in recent times. ``The victory will go a long way in dousing the security tension in the country. It is also the beginning of Nigeria's centenary celebration. ``It is also a double celebration for us in

Onigbinde, Ogunjobi, pay tributes to Eagles

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ORMER Super Eagles Coach, Adegboye Onigbinde, has paid tributes to Coach Stephen Keshi and his players following their victory over the Stallions of Burkina Faso in the 29th edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON). The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that with the victory, Nigeria ended a 19-year AFCON title drought while Coach Stephen Keshi went into the record books by equalling the feat of the late Egyptian Mahmoud El Gohary who won gold medals as a player and coach. The CAF and FIFA instructor told NAN that he was elated like every other Nigerian, adding that it was sweet victory for the Super Eagles. `` I am happy that Keshi was able to beat my record. This has vindicated me on my hard stance that Nigerian coaches are better. `` I continued pressing it on him to be focused when he reached out to me because distractions could get him off the tracks. It is a victory for him and all African coaches,'' he said. Taiwo Ogunjobi, the former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Football Federation, also told NAN that Nigeria's victory was well deserved, adding that the country is eagerly waiting for the cup. “I am happy for Coach Stephen Keshi and all the players and I hope that we can continue in this spirit in the World Cup campaign,'' he said. In his own reaction, former Green Eagles player, Felix Owolabi, called for a heroic welcome for the Super Eagles. He urged the Federal Government to set a day aside for a public holiday in order to receive the triumphant Super Eagles. Further speaking to NAN, Ajibade Babalade, a former Super Eagles defender and Manager of Shooting Stars Football Club, said a new vista had been opened for Nigerian football with the Super Eagles victory. ``Indeed I am overwhelmed with joy. It is a new beginning for Nigerian football,'' Babalade said. Among the rewards for the Super Eagles was a $1.5 million first prize and a place at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil where they will face world and European champions, Spain, Tahiti and Uruguay.

Enugu as we welcome our governor who returned after his long vacation abroad,'' Asogwa said. The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Investment and Treasury Matters, Victor Atuonwu, described the victory as ``a good omen for Nigeria''. ``It is a good sign for Nigerian football. I am particularly happy for Stephen Keshi who becomes the second man in Africa to win the cup, both as a player and a coach,'' he said. NAN reports that it was a celebration galore in the Coal City as people were seen dancing, displaying fireworks and being joyful at the Super Eagles victory.

Ambrose relishes Confed Cup challenge Globacom sets the pace

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IGERIA defender, Efe Ambrose is now "looking forward to going to Brazil" for the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup in June. "It is a big thing, and we are all looking forward to going to Brazil. And we will not only be going there to play for Nigeria, but we will go there to make Africa proud. "The Confederations Cup is bigger than what we were playing for in South Africa," he told Fifa.com. The Celtic man revealed that Nigeria head coach, Stephen Keshi had always wanted to see the Super

Eagles win the African title and qualify to feature in the 'Festival of Champions,' as the Confederations Cup is also known. The former Kaduna United centre-back, who played as a rightback all through the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations for Nigeria, added that Keshi's "trust and confidence" was enough to motivate them to winning the continent's biggest football prize. He also recalled the pain of missing out on qualifying for the 2012 Afcon. "The coach had trust and confidence in the players. That

matters the most, for without that, you cannot succeed. But he believed in us and that we could do it. From the start he told us that when we were here, there was nothing that could stop us from winning this cup. "He said, even before we came here, that his aim was not only to win the cup, but to go to the Confederations Cup. With his dream, it helped us a lot to know that we had a bigger thing ahead of us. Nobody gave Nigeria the chance because last year we did not even qualify for the finals, so everybody wrote us off.”

EMENIKE: I want more A

FCON Goal King Emmanuel Emenike has revealed he hopes to achieve more after his goals crowned Nigeria champions for a third time. The 25-year-old Spartak Moscow hitman, who scored a total of four goals with three assists to emerge the hotshot at the continental showpiece event, said he is very excited to have won his first winners' medal on his debut appearance. "I am very proud to be an Africa champion. This means a lot to me and it has

boosted my career. It gives me more confidence that I can achieve more with Nigeria," he told MTNFootball.com "I am happy with my achievement and that of the team as a whole. I never thought of becoming the top scorer, my aim was to help my team win the trophy by doing my best and contribute to the team's success, but I never knew God has his own plans for me. “I am excited. I am on top of the world to have achieved this even when many believed it was impossible. We fought till the end and believed in ourselves.” Emenike admitted he was disappointed to miss Sunday's final due to a hamstring injury, which will sideline him for at least two weeks. "I felt bad and wasn't happy missing the final, but I was so confident in the team, that we will win without me on the pitch," he revealed.

The former FC Cape Town and Mpumalanga Black Aces both of South Africa star said he was very much at home on his return to South Africa. "I was at home here in South Africa. I was also eager to prove myself to the fans and the country as a whole that I was born to score goals. I thank God I didn't let them down," Emenike further told MTNFootball.com He said his Goal King award and winners' medal are for his parents because they have supported his career. "What I achieved at this Nations Cup is for my parents for their wonderful support in my career. They really made my dream to become a professional footballer come to pass,” he said. “Without my parents' support and blessing, I wouldn't have played football not to talk of getting to this stage. I thank God for everything.”

Yobo hangs up AFCON boots

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IGERIA'S most capped footballer, Joseph Yobo has played his last game for the Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of Nations. Yobo made his 96th appearance for the Eagles on Sunday as the Nigerians beat West African rivals, Burkina Faso 1-0 at the National Stadium, Johannesburg to claim a third AFCON title. The 32-year-old reckons he has played his last game at the AFCON for Nigeria and is prepared to step aside for the "new generation." “I had said it earlier that (South

Eagles to begin Brazil 2014 preparation

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PORTS Minister Bolaji Abdullahi says that with the Africa Cup of Nations now over, preparation has begun for the Super Eagles' qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Abdullahi disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Johannesburg, South Africa, moments after the Super Eagles defeated the Stallions of Burkina Faso 1-0, to lift the 2013 AFCON trophy. The minister said that upon returning to Nigeria, he would ask the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to forward to him plans that would make the

Eagles prosecute the World Cup campaign creditably. The minister expressed his determination to build on the success the team had achieved at the Nations Cup. He said his ministry would collaborate with the NFF to formulate plans for the team's adequate preparation for the World Cup. According to him, the Super Eagles' victory at the competition was the outcome of long preparations which would be similarly adopted in preparation for the World Cup. Abdulllahi noted that the Eagles' victory at the 2013

AFCON was an indication that with enough preparations, the team could go places. He commended all Nigerians, the NFF and the Supporters Club for their relentless support to the Eagles to achieve success. ``I believe that the support Nigerians and the supporters club members, led by its President-General, Dr Rafiu Oladipo, have given the Eagles would continue in all international competitions," Abdullahi said. He expressed gratitude to the players and the coaching crew, led by Stephen Keshi, stressing that the victory has made

Nigeria the best football nation on the continent.

•Bolaji Abdullahi

Africa 2013) would be my last Afcon not because I cannot play any longer but because I have realised that I have given it a lot of time,” Yobo said on Sunday. The Fenerbahce defender expressed happiness that he was quitting the scene with the ovation at its loudest. “I was praying to God before I came here that hopefully this would be my last tournament and that I was going to win it. “God has answered my prayers so I am very delighted. I feel so blessed. “This is a massive achievement for me in my national team career,” he

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PROUD Globacom, leading and pace-setting supporter of Nigeria Football at all levels, yesterday in Johannesburg, opened the floodgate of rewards to the Super Eagles and reaffirmed her commitment to make the Super Eagles fly comfortably in the Confederations Cup in Brazil later this year. Demonstrating a rare joy of seeing the Super Eagles win the Nations Cup for the third time, by taking a close look at the gold trophy in front of him, Chairman of Globacom, Otunba Mike Adenuga said he was so glad to see this day happen and that “we are very proud of the Super Eagles as they have made us very proud”. And whilst thanking members of Nigeria Football Federation and members of the team represented by the team’s Captain, Joseph Yobo, Vice Captain, Vincent Enyama, Mikel Obi as well as Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi and his Assistant Daniel Amokachi, Chief Adenuga responded to the plea for all round support from the Nigeria Football Federation President, Aminu Maigari by giving the team $1million (One Million US Dollars). He also invited the team to a reception in Abuja after their visit to President Goodluck Jonathan today. Chief Adenuga was particularly glad at the performance of the team and he said, “if we don’t support our own, nobody will do that. Globacom has through the thick and thin, struggled with the National Team and thank God we have seen this day”. The all-smiling Globacom boss said Globacom will further support Super Eagles’ preparations for the Confederations Cup in Brazil coming up in June this year and turning to his left in an early morning reception for the delegation, he responded to the Federation who requested for a car and house for record-winning Stephen Keshi and said, “you should tell me exactly the kind of car Keshi wants and that will happen immediately. “We have to deliver to him (Keshi) and make him comfortable and don’t allow him do an Andrew on us because he has a very big edge now particularly with his fluent French, he is wanted by so many other countries; we don’t have to go far to look for top success; we must treat our own very well” Acknowledging Keshi’s contributions, he added that the success of the Super Eagles today was as a result of the support of yesterday which Globacom has consistently given to the National Team and he congratulated all the boys and members of the team for their victory in the finals which also gave joy to the Governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda who was present at this heart-lifting ceremony which lasted for just 30 minutes at his Johannesburg residence. Also present was the Marketing Consultant to Nigeria Football Federation and CEO of Padmodzi, Chief Mike Ituemagbor who said the reward of $1 million was the first official material appreciation coming to the Super Eagles and that any other organization making such rewards must have to come through Nigeria Football Federation. He reiterated that the only partners of the National Team, who have been with them, have the right to enjoy the benefits of this moment. In a brief comment, the newly appointed Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of Nigeria Premier League, Hon Nduka Irabor thanked the Globacom boss for his outstanding contributions to Nigeria football especially the Professional League. He solicited for his further support of the Nigeria Premier League as they look ahead to resolving lingering issues affecting the take-off of the League.

said. Nigeria stunned the football world by winning the title in South Africa in the face of harsh criticism with the majority of their fans writing off their chances on the eve of the competition. Yobo stressed that the absence of the usual burden of expectation which Nigerian teams usually face before tournaments worked in favour of the victorious 2013 class. “Before this competition, very few gave us a chance and that coupled with the great unity of this squad is among the reasons we were successful this time,” he said. •Victor Moses(l) and Nwankwo Kanu with the AFCON 2013 trophy

Kanu wants Keshi to stay on

Nigeria are worthy champions —Put F

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URKINA FASO coach Paul Put believes the best team won on the night, after Nigeria claimed their third Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title at the expense of his underdog side, who ended a dream run at the continental tournament. Sunday Mba scored a first-half left-footed volley as the Super Eagles secured a 1-0 victory at the National Stadium on Sunday evening. "We saw a great Nigeria, we know they have great players and they have also been growing in the tournament, so I think they deserve

to be the winners of this tournament," Put said. "We knew the progress Nigeria showed from their first game to their last game. "Burkina Faso have also been showing more maturity every game. We may have shown Nigeria too much respect in the first half, but it's football. "In the second half we did everything possible (to equalise) but we were a little bit unlucky, so we have to be honest. You have to be great when you lose and you have to be small when you win." The Stallions fell short of what

would have been a seemingly unlikely triumph in their first continental final but Put was elated with the team's performance in South Africa. "My congratulations to Nigeria and also to my players," he said. "I am very proud of what they have proved in this tournament. I can only say that I'm very proud and happy for my players. "I saw a team out there that fought to the last minute with the volume (of players) that we have, so I am very proud and the whole country can be proud of these players."

•Put

ORMER Super Eagles Captain Nwankwo Kanu has said that coach Stephen Keshi should be left alone to fully re-build his team ahead of future international tournaments. Kanu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Johannesburg on Monday that Keshi has laid a solid foundation with the crop of young players that won the just-concluded Africa Cup of Nations tournament. He said the coach has been in football for a long time as a player and now coach and has vast experience on how to manage a team. ``The big boss, of course he is a big boss. He makes his decision and one thing you have to know, he has been there. He captained the Nigerian team to win it, so I do not believe that anybody can still tell him what to do.

“Everybody have (has) to leave him alone. Whatever he did today, no ordinary coach especially, a local coach can do that. He made his team, he stood on them, he played his pattern, he stood by them, he talked to the boys as a father, he took them to this highest level and they won the Cup. What else do you expect of him?” Kanu said the present Super Eagles have potential and can go places. The former two-time African Footballer of the Year (1996 and 1999) said he has been talking to the players to take advantage of their talents to do the nation proud. He said the Eagles had proved critics wrong by winning the Nations Cup, saying that his presence in the team was to give them confidence.


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COMMENTARY EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND

EDITORIALS

Tunisia in shock

Champions Nigeria! • Nigeria’s win at AFCON in South Africa is proof the country could attain its potential if the leadership is right

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N 1984, Festus Adegboye Onigbinde took a team of rookies to the Nations Cup in Cote d’Ivoire. Though that team comprised the likes of evergreen Muda Lawal (of blessed memory), the moving spirits in that team were the young Turks of Stephen Keshi, Chibuzor Ehilegbu, Humphrey Edobor, Henry Nwosu, Rashidi Yekini (also of blessed memory), Peter Rufai, Ademola Adesina, Clement Temile and others. Though Nigeria had won the Nations Cup in Lagos in 1980, it had crashed out with ignominy in the first round of the championship in 1982 in Libya. Coach Onigbinde was therefore clearly rebuilding; and his young team had a fancy run all the way to the final, where a more seasoned Cameroun side of Roger Milla, Theophile Abega (of blessed memory) and Ernest Ebongue triumphed 3-1, after the Eagles had taken an early lead. This year, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, ironically a part of that Onigbinde 1984 team, also took a team of rookies to South Africa – not rookies in the classical sense of the 1984 team, mostly players from Nigerian local clubs like New Nigerian Bank, IICC Shooting Stars, Abiola Babes, Stationery Stores and Bendel Insurance. But rookies nevertheless in the sense that the bulk of the team were playing their first Nations Cup, while veterans of the competition like Osaze Odemwingie, Taye Taiwo and Obafemi Martins were left out. Keshi made it known to all that he was rebuilding; and that South Africa 2013 was only one of the grills to put his young team through, if it must compete with the global best in the nearest future. As it has turned out, five members of Keshi’s team, despite their relative inexperience, made the Africa First XI, based on their superlative performance: Vincent Enyeama (goalkeeper and one of the few with Nations Cup experience), Efe Ambrose (right fullback who plays for

Celtic in Scotland), Emmanuel Emenike (the tournament’s Golden Boot winner with four goals) and the Chelsea of England duo of John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses, both match changers and winners for the Eagles. That Sunday Mba, the Warri Wolves match winner against Cote d’Ivoire and cup winner against Burkina Faso did not make the Africa XI, shows the depth of talents the team boasts. It is vital to compare Keshi’s team with the 1984 team, rather than the famous 1994 team that won the Nations Cup in Tunis, Tunisia. The 1994 team may have been the climax of what a team built over years could attain; aside from earning Keshi the record of winning AFCON as team captain and now as coach. But the 1984 team was more in tune with Keshi’s present team, giving his umpteenth declaration that the team is still a work-inprogress. But if a work-in-progress wins the Nations Cup, what would the team achieve when it reaches its climax? That is the tantalising prospect of these Super Eagles that stunned all Africa at South Africa. That also underscores what Nigeria can achieve in all fields, if only we can put our acts together. But the present euphoria should not blind anyone to the team’s rather inauspicious start, before the game-changing quarter-final win against pre-tournament favourites, the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire. How many of those screaming halleluiah after Sunday’s win had any faith in the team only one Sunday before the final? That is not good enough. Nigerians must learn to support their teams, instead of clambering on board to hail to high heavens a team they had, with equal intensity, earlier condemned to the doldrums. On this score, Coach Keshi, the rest of the technical bench and the Super Eagles deserve plaudits for the way they soldiered on, even when no one believed in them. To those whose creed is turn to for-

eigners in panic, Keshi has taught Nigerians to believe in themselves. That should be a model national spirit: Nigeria might be the butt of jokes worldwide now, but Nigerians must continue to build their country. If they do, the same world that jeers now would be the one to cheer. But that will be possible only if the leadership is right. Nigerian political leaders must therefore take a cue from the spirit of the Eagles. The team triumphed because it had a leadership that believed in it; and asked it to go on and conquer. Nigerian leaders must not only have faith in the country and the vision to push it to hitherto unknown heights, they must have the ability to mobilise and motivate the people for development. Let the Eagles triumph therefore force a positive change in our country’s affairs. Congratulations, Champions Nigeria. But it is only the start of the real hard work to sustain the glory and vault our country where it really belongs in the comity of nations – in sports and other areas of life.

‘Nigerian political leaders must therefore take a cue from the spirit of the Eagles. The team triumphed because it had a leadership that believed in it; and asked it to go on and conquer. Nigerian leaders must not only have faith in the country and the vision to push it to hitherto unknown heights, they must have the ability to mobilise and motivate the people for development. Let the Eagles triumph therefore force a positive change in our country’s affairs. Congratulations, Champions Nigeria’

Can we count on FERMA? •The agency once again promised to repair all bad roads. But we’ve heard that before HE deplorable state of federal roads, especially in the south-west, has suddenly caught the attention of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA). But we do not know how far this would go, especially when there was a presidential directive by the Presidency to FERMA, months ago, that all critical Federal Government highways must be fixed by December 2012. Already, we are almost mid-way into the second

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‘In view of this not so inspiring performance and disregard for presidential order, we are not surprised that FERMA still has the effrontery of coming out to pledge its commitment to the rehabilitation, this year, of major highways in the southwest geo-political zone. This is in spite of the fact that the south-west is just one of the six geo-political zones in the nation, with roads that require attention’

month of the year and nothing concrete has taken place on these strategic federal roads. The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, for instance, has consistently been an object of ridicule for years. Could the problem be that of inadequate funding? FERMA reportedly requires about N320 billion yearly to maintain and put in shape Nigeria’s 194,200 kilometres of roads. According to Olajide Adeniji, the agency’s chairman, 34 percent of this sum will be required for the federal road networks, 16 percent for state roads and 50 percent for local government roads. In our view, FERMA should concentrate on federal roads rehabilitation that falls within its purview. After all, despite the fact that the Federal Government spent over N1.05 trillion to develop road networks between 1976 and 2012, during which hundreds of kilometres were purportedly improved, rehabilitated and maintained, the state of roads, especially federal roads across the country, remains pathetic. What then has FERMA been doing since inception when its impact cannot be felt by the populace? With the awful state of federal roads across the country, we doubt if the agency has attained its

professed 35 per cent efficiency since its establishment. We can count quite a few of these bad roads which include: Benin-AsabaOnitsha Road, Benin-Shagamu (OfusuAjebandele) Road; Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi Road, Sagamu-Port-Harcourt, LokojaAbuja and Ewu-Uromi-Agbor roads. Even more obvious are the numerous dangerous craters on the Lagos-Abeokuta and Lagos-Ibadan expressways that are begging for FERMA’s attention. What has happened to the zero potholes target set by the agency? What has happened to the all-important presidential ultimatum of December, 2012? In view of this not so inspiring performance and disregard for presidential order, we are not surprised that FERMA still has the effrontery of coming out to pledge its commitment to the rehabilitation, this year, of major highways in the south-west geo-political zone. This is in spite of the fact that the south-west is just one of the six geopolitical zones in the nation with roads, that require attention. Most roads in the south-south, south-east and northcentral, among others, must be attended to by FERMA as a matter of urgency.

– Belaid killing is wake-up call for national reconciliation

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F all the countries swept by the Arab spring, Tunisia has been considered the most promising in the way it has handled its political transition. For western states fretting about Egypt and Libya, Tunisia has offered the best chance of an orderly shift from dictatorship to democracy in north Africa. In reality, however, Tunisia has been stumbling too – not as alarmingly as others perhaps, but badly enough. This week’s assassination of Chokri Belaid, a prominent antiIslamist politician, shocked a nation that prides itself on sorting out differences peacefully. It was the deadliest in a string of recent attacks against politicians opposed to the ruling Nahda party. This murder must be investigated by a credible and independent body. The Islamist prime minister has now called for a new government of technocrats. This is a step in the right direction, if he can convince his reluctant party to co-operate. But the assassination should also spur a divided political class to unite behind a national project to meet the aspirations of the youth who led the revolution and who still find themselves without jobs and without hope. Most important, it must result in a credible commitment from Islamist politicians to punish not only those who commit violence, but also anyone who engages in incitement. Sadly, this has not been the case so far. Since the 2011 uprising, some ultraconservative Salafis have tried to impose their ideology with attacks on women and artists. Nahda leaders have hesitated to respond, afraid of alienating Salafis or radicalising them further. Equally distressing are the so-called leagues for the defence of the revolution. These youth gangs have been disrupting opposition meetings and attacking the liberal-secular elite. Whether they work for a faction of Nahda, as liberals argue, or are acting on their own, as Islamists claim, they should be disbanded. Their thuggish behaviour has no place in a democracy. It was inevitable that more than three decades of dictatorship and fierce secularism should produce a polarised society. But Islamists cannot take revenge on a repressive past by isolating political opponents; and secularists must accept that Islamists are part of the fabric of Tunisian society. Western nations, particularly Europeans, also have a stake in Tunisia’s success. With offers of greater financial support to the Islamist-led government, the EU can win significant leverage and use it to facilitate the political consensus that is dangerously absent in Tunisia. – Financial Times

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CARTOON & LETTERS

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IR: A historic event took place at Lagos House Marina on Tuesday February 5. Committed men and women gathered to strategize on how to move Nigeria forward after almost 16 years of harrowing hardship in the midst of plenty. It was an assemblage of people with known antecedents, people that can be trusted and people with character. After almost two years of search to end tales of misery, anguish and pain in Nigeria, a new baby, (child of necessity) was born in Lagos. Welcome, All Progressives Congress (APC)! Before this time, the PDP, desperate to cling to power at all costs, has been scoffing and boasting that the other parties cannot find a common ground to challenge its cosmetic hold on power. That must have informed the way and manner the enablers of this merger worked; keeping the PDP and its acolytes guessing for the most parts of the period the merger talks lasted till February 5 when, unannounced, 10 governors met in Lagos and proclaimed the birth of APC! Sadly, I saw poor Igbo representation in the historic event. Only Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and few other Igbo leaders were there. A day after, some allweather Igbo politicians began to struggle to pull the rug from Governor Okorocha’s feet. I was taken aback that our people through timid and backyard politics are not keying in into this monumental political development in Nigeria. The era of “the president is our neighbour” should be thrown into the dustbin

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IR: Culture generally describes the behavioural patterns of people within a certain geographical enclave. Culture therefore entails peoples’ modes of dressing, eating habits, value system, taboos and norms. Culture has direct correlation with the traditional practices of the people within a region. The Tiv, an ethnic group in the North-central Nigeria belong to the Bantoid group of languages. It is widely believed that the Tiv came from the East, specifically from the Congo Basin area. They` are homogeneous people. They constitute approximately 3.5% of Nigeria’s total

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All Progressive Congress: Where are the Igbos? of history. How to retrieve Nigeria from soulless and stone age men and women should be the big picture. During the June 12, 1993 struggle, a greater percentage of Igbo leaders lined up behind IBB and Abacha. We know the consequences thereafter. An attempt to change the cause of political events in 1999 failed also because Igbo insisted on playing PDP politics. In 2011 again Igbo timidly played the “Jonathan Azikiwe” politics.

And Nigeria continued to go under. Now, the big question is this: what have Ndigbo benefited from PDP since 1999? Can we see the benefits in Igboland? What have we benefited from ‘Jonathan Azikiwe’s politics since 2011? Which of the promises he made to Ndigbo have been fulfilled as the politics of 2015 is about to kick start? Second Niger Bridge? International Airport? Good federal roads, security? Refineries? Power

stations? Additional state(s)? Our people must open their eyes now. In 1995, in my book, Igbos: 25 years After Biafra, I challenged Ndigbo to do away with the politics of the stomach and play politics of growth, and survival. It is this politics that has worsened our fate in Nigeria and from a major leg of the tripod that is the Nigerian project, we have been relegated to no leg at all and the elite crop of Igbo politicians continue to grope about with-

out direction. A serious alliance is being built with the coming of APC but Igbo are stranded on the very crossroad of indecision and lack of political vision and foresight. There is no alternative to serious politics if you want to change your fortune for the better. I support the likes of Governor Rochas Okorocha, Chief George Moghalu, Senator Annie Okonkwo, Dr Chris Ngige, former Governor Achike Udenwa, and former Governor Ogbonnaya Onu etc who joined the great movement to salvage Nigeria. I urge them to work harder to develop a new and visionary genre of politicians that will be able to articulate Igbo politics and issues to the next level and work to achieve the noble goals that will benefit Ndigbo. • Joe Igbokwe Lagos

Chasing the ‘ghost’ of Sylva?

IR: The preoccupation of Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State with fighting his predecessor Chief Timipre Sylva, even when the latter is a harmless private citizen, reminds me of the story of the corrupt king and his poor but reputable subject. Each morning every inhabitant of the village would head for the ruler’s palace to collect money and heap shallow flattering compliments on the man. The poor subject, despite his deprivation, would stay behind, content with his untainted integrity and meagre means that met his basic needs.

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Although the wealthy king could boast of the “loyalty” of several members of the citizens on account of the largesse he doled out, still he complained that his happiness and security were not assured because the poor man did not make up the number of the sycophants. It unsettled the fawning subjects to learn that the king was not satisfied with their homage without the poor man’s. Nothing, he declared, would give him joy and rest until he dealt with the man who had refused to bow like others. But why would a king be afraid of a poor subject? I discern a parallel morbidity in

what is going on in the post-Sylva era in Bayelsa. It’s quite a while since the departure of Sylva from the Government House, Yenagoa. Sylva was qualified constitutionally to run for a second term as governor. But with the connivance of the forces in Abuja, he was excluded from the poll and Dickson was foisted on the people. Practically then, Sylva is supposed to have become a forgotten or spent force in Bayelsa politics. But surprisingly that is not the case! He is still very much present, his name a thorn in the flesh of Dickson and officialdom. And so

The neglect of Tiv culture population, numbering over six million spread through Nigeria and Cameroon. The Tiv are the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria. A greater percentage of them live in Benue State where they are the largest Ethnic group, some in Taraba State where they are the second largest, and others are found in Nasarawa, Plateau, Cross-River, Niger and FCT, where they are minorities. Some are in the Republic of Cameroon. The Tiv culture is regarded as one of the richest heritage in Nigeria, Africa and the whole world. But today, their culture has been neglected

as a result of influx of Western culture and civilisation. The stupendous neglect of our cultural values by our educated youth knows no bound. Children born and bred by Tiv parents prefer speaking English language to the Tiv language. The once cherished dialect (Zwa) is now neglected. Most Tiv families, especially those in diaspora, have long ignored the use of the dialect (Zwa Tiv) in their homes thereby alienating their children from their heritage. This has given rise to a trend where children and adults of Tiv extraction are completely oblivious of their language. Educated sons and daughters of Tiv

Awange now dress like Europeans. Anger, Tugudu, Chado, Ivavtyo, Gbevwa etc which are some of the beautiful dresses cherished by our forefathers are now abhorred by the educated youth. The Swange dance which futures prominently on television have now been replaced with Kukere, Makosa, Hip hop and other foreign music. It is high time we came to our senses by moving towards reviving our dying cultures. Our Tiv traditional cultures must survive against all the odds! • John Akevi, Bauchi

you have the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) operatives storming houses purportedly owned by Sylva in Abuja and claiming they have seized them as assets alleged to have been acquired through corrupt means. Forty-eight such mansions are said to have been retrieved, with a touch of drama as the media and their klieg lights are alerted to cover the raid on the houses. The Sylva phobia has lately shifted to Bayelsa with Governor Dickson claiming that his government inherited from Sylva a state treasury with N4,451! Now this is not only laughable but also calls into question the quality of governance and seriousness of the administration. Sylva may appear a helpless private man for now. But there is much strength in a man who has a formidable past of achievements, which a year after his exit, are still making his successors uncomfortable in their borrowed garments. Ordinarily, Dickson, the governor, ought to be satisfied with his incumbency and governing the people of Bayelsa without bothering about poor Citizen Sylva. But as with the story at the beginning of this piece, even a king must stand in fear of a man who does not depend on ephemeral power for survival! •Tom Oruh Lagos.


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COMMENTS

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shelling, got their due comeHAT Reuben Abati, ex-The uppance. Guardian and current presidenFirst, it was Obasanjo who, tial spokesman and Femi Fanidespite being a former presiKayode, former Aviation minister and dent, would go and publicly run Olusegun Obasanjo’s irreverent presihis mouth on the incumbent, dential gadfly, would openly tangle is despite a Lugardian power conthe stuff of a very pleasing – and biting vention that demands other–irony: as shown in Abati’s “The Hywise. He easily forgets it was pocrisy of Yesterday’s men” and FaniOlakunle this same empty grandstanding Kayode’s counter, “The Delusion of for relevance that landed him in lordbeek@yahoo.com, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) Abimbola Today’s men”. hot soup with the grim Sani When Fani-Kayode was in power and Abacha, who unlike IBB before in government (apologies to Ibrahim him and Goodluck Jonathan afBabangida and his infamous post-12 ter him, did not suffer fools June 1993 presidential election annulgladly. ment bragging), there was no personThen, an Obiageli Ezekwesili and a Femi Fani-Kayode would age, no matter how hallowed, this gadfly could not sting, Harcourt International Airport “to grow grass”, while a come, lobbing into the fray stupendous figures in alleged wasted all in the service of his imperial president. Jonathan minister has not only fixed airports nationwide but “savings” for the gullible and excitable to chew, go ga-ga and Now, Abati has given the Obasanjo ancien regime a bit of is busy upgrading them. foam in the mouth – a squandered US $67 billion here, a US 100 the Fani gadfly dose and all Fani Power junior could do is But really, that these proxies of a plagued past and a blasted billion there from alleged oil sales for two years, query allegwhine and drivel; and deliberately mix up the valid corpopresent are allowed much media space, with all due respect to edly courtesy of David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, rate paralysis of the Federal Aviation ministry, with showdemocracy and its tenets of free speech, is indicative of how and another N350 billion allegedly shelled on dubious security casing a claimed personal glory as aviation minister! That the public space has been overgrown with grass, with wilful vote. is perfect sophistry – but if reader is dumb! thorns of a horrible past and a disastrous present choking the But why is Obasanjo and his gang getting self-righteously But even in his lachrymose riposte, Fani-Kayode dropped imperative for radical change to salvage a clearly troubled livid now? When they knew security was not assured, why did a useful Freudian slip, when he prayed with all his soul future. It is mere empty noise that distracts the mind from they hoard money as “savings” when they could have invested that yesterday’s men may yet be future occupants of power. clear thinking. it in physical and social infrastructure, which would not have The question is: power for what? Power for power’s sake, But if Fani-Kayode and his Obasanjo class of 2003-2007 got so been stolen but would also have resulted in multiplier effects which epitomised the empty snorting, and even emptier hit the best Fani could produce is a pathetic self-glorifying for the prostrate local economy and provided jobs for the milgrandstanding, of the Obasanjo era that Fani-Kayode served; riposte, Abati is no less tragically misguided. The problem lions of jobless? and which has made it susceptible to Abati’s biting fusilwith Abati is that he is tragically trapped in the past. Besides, Was it the perfidy in the Yoruba tale: of prodding robbers to lade? he is putting his head in a battle he does not understand: for plunder (inviting alleged incompetents to an unstructured naOr power for positive change, which moral authority Jonathan, his boss, is an Obasanjo creation. tional treasury) only to tip off the owner of the property (the would have shut Abati up, even when, for the umpteenth In his well primed verbal shellacking, he wrote with the present Obasanjo and co jeremiad in the Nigerian media)? time, his prostrate principal is barbed on account of his aplomb, the glory and the majesty of a verbal royal; and of a And why the lament on a spendthrift Yar’adua and Jonathan glaring incompetence? wordsmith that takes no prisoners, the ruthless way he hit presidencies when Obasanjo had all the time to erect a robust But this Abati vs Fani-Kayode media show also echoes an home! check-and-balance system structured on genuine federalism, but earlier intra-power bickering, even when Nigeria was far But alas! It was all authoritarian wordplay without moral instead opted to push himself as the strongman Nigeria would saner. authority. Like the Biblical King Saul, the moral glory of his perpetually need? That perhaps was why he so desperately When the Great Zik of Africa crossed the path of the then Guardian column-writing days is departed from Dr. Abati. All wanted a third term! East Central State Administrator, Ukpabi Azika (Judas that is left is a naked and hollow language of power – power Besides, did he not actively campaign for Yar’adua, his daramong his Igbo people but hero in Nigeria, for standing his pathetic principal, neither a thinker nor a doer, but a gnome ling Umoru? And did he not junk Yar’adua on his sick bed, just resolute against Biafra), Azika launched into a verbal powanting to cling to power, even if he does not seem to know to crown Jonathan as his new prince, zoning be damned? etry of “ex-this and ex-that”. The Great Zik kept his peace what to do with it, projects rather pitifully! After all said, all the cacophony is nothing but unlamented but got his pound of flesh when Azika fell with the Gowon Still, despite the glaring limitation of the Jonathan presicivil war in the unravelling power caste Obasanjo tried to erect regime in 1975. He fired back in sagacious triumph: “no dency, the Obasanjo crowd had it coming; and in the Abati for his sole pleasure, masquerading as national interest. So, let condition is permanent”! the Obasanjo crowd maul themselves. It is pure Karma at play! Now, that was biting wit and counter-wit. But it did not Meanwhile, let Nigerians think: a plagued past and a blasted “All the cacophony is nothing but unlaleave Nigeria better than it met it, given the progressive present only assures a torrid future that Nigeria would have mented civil war in the unravelling power only at its peril. So, instead of being sucked into this worthless decay of leadership, which may yet land this land in a ditch. Neither will this Abati/Fani-Kayode spat. It is yet another caste Obasanjo tried to erect for his sole in-fighting among useless power prodigals, Nigerians must get costly distraction from proxies of failed and failing leadof them all in a clean sweep – and 2015 is another opportupleasure, masquerading as national inter- rid ers. nity. Indeed, both Abati and Fani-Kayode produced another The Obasanjo crowd, past and present, are the one who trouble est. So, let the Obasanjo crowd maul themstunning metaphor in their debate on how, or how not, a Nigeria’s Israel. The power chamber – and the polity – is better selves. It is pure Karma at play!” certain Obasanjo aviation minister allowed the Port without them.

epublican ipples

Plagued past Vs blasted present

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UTRAGE may have been an understatement to describe the aftermath of the conviction of John Yakubu Yusuf, the pension thief, for his role in the N23 billion pension scam. In a clime where delinquency not only rules but has as its companion, impunity as directing principles of state policies, I couldn’t have imagined the quantum of emotive energy generated in the wake of the controversial ruling by the Federal High Court of Justice Mohammed Talba in Abuja. I guess that is the way we are. So much for our collective sense of outrage. I watched as Nigerians raved, ranted and chanted all manners of expletives targeted at the judge. Did anyone ever imagine this would be our Mohamed Bouazizi moment? (Remember the Tunisian youth whose act of selfimmolation prefaced the Arab Spring?) And what was it that Nigerians griped about? Simple. That a man who admitted to being complicit in defrauding the Police Pensions Office to the tune of N23 billion – of which N3 billion represented a personal haul – was asked to pay N750,000 and to go home and sin no more! What’s the N23 billion to the hundreds of billions allegedly carted away by subsidy thieves? Who refers to the 2009 class of alleged bank robbers these days? Does anyone remember the trillion-plus naira sunk into the banks to bail the sector out of the delinquency of the principal actors? Nigerians, most likely would have tempered their outrage if they had bothered to recall those moments. Note that the latest issue is essentially about the discretion of the judge to hand out fair sentence; in this

‘We need the judiciary to help us fight corruption, but it seems to me that the niceties of its rules and the procedures – the age-long safeguards against arbitrariness of state power – have somehow become a cog in the path of justice. The result is that justice is increasingly sought off-shore while our judicial officers pretend that all is well’

Policy Sanya Oni sanyaoni@yahoo.co.uk 08051101841

After outrage, then what? case, the maximum sentence applicable was a two-year jail term with or without an option of fine. This is what those who question the prerogative of the judge miss. Need one add that discretion is what it is – and this within the confines of the law. Why should Nigerians gripe? Put in another way – what is the difference between the farcical pronouncement of a jail term under which a convict would spend his execu-thief time at a place and pleasure of his own choosing as we saw of a bank thief and the option of asking the felon to go home and rest after the due stress of trial as in the pension scam? Now, seriously; when did that become an issue in our legal jurisprudence? Do we need to back to the 1999 – 2007 classes of politically exposed persons to appreciate the terrible dimensions of the crisis aptly described by the late Justice Akinola Aguda as the jurisprudence of unequal justice – a phenomenon under which different classes of society are exposed to different facets of the same law? Does anyone remember the case of one Lucky Igbinedion who also got a slap on the wrist for abusing the public trust? And James Onanefe Ibori currently cooling his heels in a British jail? Now, was it a coincidence the judgment on the pension scam came in the week in which an Ibadan High Court sent the provost of the Federal Cooperative College, Ibadan, Mrs. Ruth Adehwe Aweto and the school bursar Adekanye Komolafe to jail without an option of fine for the crime of defrauding the same federal government? The Ibadan case is interesting for the amount involved. Both provost and the bursar claimed to have employed 41 permanent staff for their institution for which they

handed the federal government a wage bill of N7 million. As it turned out, their wage bill was no more than N4 million as all the staff were casuals. For ripping off the federal government of a paltry N3 million, the duo will spend four years apiece behind the bar without an option of fine. Here is my point: I find the outrage against the ruling of Justice Talba somewhat misdirected. To start with, not a few of the genuinely outraged citizen would concede that the option of a plea bargain was the next best thing to end the ordeal for both parties. That way, everyone goes home happy: the government could claim that the war against corruption is no fluke; the thief left off the hook to enjoy a fraction of his loot. And for the bewildered citizenry – you guessed right: theirs is outrage therapy! I must add also that no dilemma can be more confounding. We need the judiciary to help us fight corruption, but it seems to me that the niceties of its rules and the procedures – the age-long safeguards against arbitrariness of state power – have somehow become a cog in the path of justice. The result is that justice is increasingly sought off-shore while our judicial officers pretend that all is well. Is it part of their reading of the globalisation manual? Let me highlight another aspect of the corruption story that seems to have escaped deserving attention. I refer here to the farce that our public finance system has become. The question of how a handful of officials could manage to cart away billions from the treasury without detection or without the trigger of an alarm obviously begs to be addressed. Of course, the problem is pervasive, cutting across every sector of our national life. It seems about time to re-examine the effectiveness of those extant controls in the system, those early warning systems that once served. Aren’t they ultimately cheaper and less frustrating than the current chasing after the wind after the act has been committed? Finally, to say that the nation is engulfed in a moral crisis is to put things mildly. The truth is that the nation is dying in instalments; it is only a matter of time before corruption brought the nation to its knees. What is the way out? Honestly, the solution is complex. First, we need to do something about the corrosive value system which promotes crass individualism. We need to put systems in place to reduce the possibility of heist being committed. A renewed national will is needed to stand up to the monster. How can anyone talk of a fleeting chance of success when those who should ordinarily champion the war are not only pointing fingers but living in denial?


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

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COMMENTS

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IKE most Nigerians, I did not give Coach Stephen Keshi led Super Eagles any chance at the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2013) in South Africa for obvious reasons. For close to two decades our senior male national football team have not inspired confidence and pride in us no thanks to their fitful style of play that we are always forced us to go on our knees praying fervently and furiously for victory each time they entered the field to play even against some supposedly minnows. The winning mentality and the can do Nigerian spirit that was always there in the Super Eagles have been missing for so long since Keshi captained the team to AFCON victory in 1994 in Tunisia, that we don”t even know how victory tastes again. The Olympic Team at Atlanta in 1996 reminded us of our prowess in football by winning the gold medal in football, but that was under-23 stuff. We came close to reclaiming our greatness in football when we co-hosted AFCON with Ghana in 2000 but fell at the last hurdle. From then on the Super Eagles went into a free fall and we could not even command a place among the elite of African football not to talk of rubbing shoulders with the best in the world. This was disaster for a team that was once ranked fifth in the world after our superlative performance at the 1994 FIFA world cup in the United States of America. The pains and disappointments of the past would now seem to have been erased by that lone goal victory by the Super Eagles over the Stallions of Burkina Fasso at the National Stadium in Johannesburg last Sunday. But as we celebrate that victory, it will be wrong to assume that the worst is over for our football and begin to see ourselves in the same league as Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina or even England. We still have a long way to go even though the Federal Government’s spin doctors will seek to portray the situation differently as they will certainly proclaim this as one of the good lucks that President Goodluck Jonathan has in stock for us. Well, they are entitled to say that if that will make them happy but Nigerians know the true state of their nation and no amount of sweet talk of Jonathan’s good luck would change that. But all the same let us all enjoy this rare moment of joy that the Super Eagles have brought to us and congratulate ourselves including our president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and his dearest wife, Nigeria”s alternate President and Commander-In-Chief, Dame Patience Jonathan. I know what I am talking about.

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AGAINST all expectations, the Super Eagles won the African Cup of Nations, (AFCON) at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday night. Except, perhaps the coaching crew, nobody gave the team any chance of scaling through the group stage not to talk of wining the coveted trophy. Indeed, Nigerians had become so disenchanted with past failures of the team that nobody, except the real die-hard Super Eagles supporters thought the team could go far at the tournament. So what really happened at the AFCON in South Africa? How did a team of average Nigerian players, most of whom were playing in their first AFCON, surpass all the odds to rule the continent again exactly 19 years after we last won the trophy at Tunisia in 1994? How did the Super Eagles shove aside the usual administrative lapses of the nation’s soccer ruling body to put smile on the faces of Nigerians again? Well, one would like to start by giving credit to the coach of the team, Stephen Keshi. A veteran of many soccer battles on the African continent, he started his football career at the local scene playing for and captaining the defunct New Nigerian Bank of Benin (NNB) Football club. Together with talented soccer

‘With this victory, the home based players, who had long been regarded as not too good for the national team would be encouraged to put in their best in the local league since they are now aware that national team selectors are interested in them’

Step out Dr Datti Ahmed... Unfortunately some Nigerians will not be joining us in this joyful and victorious celebration following the cutting short of the lives of their loved ones in Kano last week by some demented gunmen. I am talking about the families of those health workers gunned down in Kano state by some religious terrorists as they were administering Polio vaccines on children. The victims of this dastardly act were on a mission to sustain and protect our future by ensuring that our next generation do not suffer from such childhood diseases as Polio, but these agents of the devil who do not want a healthy future for our children and do not mean well for us chose to kill them for trying to help us. The perpetrators of this act would want us to believe they were fighting to protect the children from what they and their sponsors believe is a conspiracy by the western world to use the vaccine to either kill our children or make the females amongst them infertile in future so as to stem the increase in the population of black Africans. And they even have a religious angle to this madness by tracing their action to Islam. In fact some Islamic leaders in the North even support them on this. This is madness, there is nothing Islamic here. Islam is definitely not against medicine or science. In fact many of those scientific/medical feats being celebrated today are well documented in Islam even before the advent of modern medicine. What is greatly troubling here is that some supposedly learned people who knew or should know the truth as regards this vaccination thing and Islam are the ones behind or giving support to those madmen crusading against Polio vaccination for our children in the North. Remember one Dr Datti Ahmed, a medical doctor, who I learnt trained in Medicine in supposedly progressive Russia in the 60s and perhaps the first Kano indigene to qualify as a medical practitioner. His wife or one of his

wives, (as the case may be) a Yoruba woman, was already a matron when he married her. The man in question has a daughter who is also a medical practitioner. So, medicine runs in his family. They are supposedly enlightened people. This Dr Ahmed heads one Islamic group in the North, as chairman of the Sharia Council and acts in that capacity purportedly in defence of and interest of Islam. Some years back he, for no scientific reason began his campaign against Polio vaccination in the North, especially in his native Kano and persuaded parents not to allow their children to be immunized. With the kind of religious society we have in the North and his position in the Sharia Council, his campaign gained ground and created tons of problem for the various state governments in the region, particularly Kano, which he practically held to ransom for years over the issue of immunization. Unable to convince the people otherwise, the state government had to sponsor overseas tests of the vaccines to convince the people that Dr Ahmed was wrong and that there is nothing harmful about immunization. Although the issue later cooled off and appeared to be over, but the latest attack and killing of health workers carrying out immunization exercise on the children in Kano appears to indicate that Dr Ahmed was able to plant his doctrine of falsehood against immunization firmly in the minds of some people and the seed is beginning to germinate and in its most dangerous form. If he was able to stop the immunization then by his verbal campaign against it, his supporters or those that believe in his campaign are now prepared to go a step further. If the people refuse to heed the call not to submit their children for immunization, why not kill those administering the vaccine, they seem to have concluded, and they were probably taking their inspiration from Dr Datti Ahmed. The question here is why would a man with

all his training and knowledge chose to ignore scientific evidence, already proven, and mislead his people to accept and follow a path which his head tells him is wrong. How I wish Dr Datti and his supporters could find out from those adults suffering the effect of Polio affliction in their childhood whether given a choice of a vaccine to cure them of their deformity now they would take it or remain the way they are. I am sure the answer will most certainly be yes, bring the medicine. Dr Datti may not have intended his campaign against Polio vaccination to get this far but we are now suffering the consequence of his action and he must accept responsibility for this, apologise to his people and begin a fresh campaign in support of immunization against all forms of killer diseases for our children. In the true spirit of Islam, he should beg for forgiveness and atone for his sins against the people in this regard. Islam places a huge responsibility on the shoulders of religious leaders, who because of their exalted position as servants of Almighty ALLAH (SWT) are supposed to be obeyed by their followers, so, they have been enjoined not to misrepresent Islam and mislead their people. The consequences of misleading their people is grave for them in the hereafter. Dr Datti Ahmed, I am sure knows this. And for those who killed those health workers, they have questions to answer from Almighty ALLAH (SWT) on the day of judgment, but before then the earthly powers in Nigeria must fish them out and punish them for that crime. They have sinned against the rest of us. While praying God to grant the families of the victims of that Kano killing the fortitude to bear their loss, the Kano State government must assist them to cushion the effect of that loss, especially their children. Adequate security should also be given to health workers on similar missions in future. Having said that, let’s come together and celebrate our Super Eagles, THE CHAMPIONS OF AFRICA.

‘Unable to convince the people otherwise, the state government had to sponsor overseas tests of the vaccines to convince the people that Dr Ahmed was wrong and that there is nothing harmful about immunization’

Super Eagles victory: Matters arising By Tayo Ogunbiyi players such as Bright Omokaro, Austin Popo, Humphery Edobor among others, Keshi made the defunct NNB football club one of the most feared teams on the continent. He was to later lead the national team as captain for 10 years (1984-1994), a feat yet to be surpassed, in an era that has come to be referred to as the golden era of Nigerian football. Keshi later moved on to the pulsating world of football coaching qualifying the low rated Togo for the 2006 World Cup final in Germany as well as leading Mali to the 2010 edition of AFCON in Angola. From the foregoing, it is quite clear that Keshi came on board the Eagles job with a fair credential. However, the success he had led the team to attain in such a short time has little to do with his credentials. Rather, one would like to view his success with the team in relation to his determination to build a new team with a completely new mentality for the country. One of the banes of the national teams has been the over- reliance of previous national team coaches on the so-called established players who ply their football trade outside the shores of the country. Though, most of these players are good in their own right, but it has become quite clear that in view of the relative success they have recorded in their career, most of them have lost the zeal to play for the country again. This is usually seen in their lackadaisical attitude to national call. In some instances, these players often choose the kind of matches they want to play for the country while in most cases they don’t usually give their best. Without doubt, it was this nonchalant attitude towards the national team that partially led to the inability of Coach Samson Siasia to qualify the team for 2012 edition

of AFCON in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Although most soccer pundits have tried to lay the blame of the players’ lack of passion for the national team on soccer administrators, one thing that is, however, clear is that our so called superstars are no longer committed to the national team. Hence, it is to the credit of Keshi that he chose the hard path of starting from the beginning rather than the usual lazy approach of coaches gallivanting across Europe to ‘meet’ with foreign based players. Right from the outset, Keshi did not hide his intention to call the bluff of some of these players whose ego has become a big threat to the aspiration of the national team. For instance, a player like Osaze Odewinge, in spite of his talent, has demonstrated over time, that his presence in the national team is more of a distraction. When he is not blaming his coach, he is either quarrelling with team mates or journalists. He has become the nation’s football modern day enfant terrible. Thus, it was eventually a blessing in disguise that Keshi decided not to take him and his likes to the tournament in South Africa. The relative peace that existed in the Super Eagles camp during the competition is, perhaps, because most of the players Keshi took to the event were green horns whose major interest was to do well for themselves as well as their country. Sunday Mba, Warri Wolves midfielder that scored, perhaps, the two most important goals for the team in the competition played with passion and grit thorough out. Together with the likes of Victor Moses, Emmanuel Emenike, Godfrey Oboabana, Kenneth Omeruo, Brown Ideye (all playing in their first AFCON competition) as well as Ahmed

Musa provided the team with a new dimension that has been missing for long in the Eagles play for a long time. Though the team did not get its act together in the first three group matches, but immediately it got into the right gear, there was no stopping the team. What this victory does for the national team is that, henceforth, no player would dare snub the team again. Now that is clear that no player is bigger than the team, competition for shirts would become more intense and this would eventually augur well for the team. Again, the team’s success at South Africa would restore the wining mentality which it was noted for in the early 90’s. Equally, with this victory, the home based players, who had long been regarded as not too good for the national team would be encouraged to put in their best in the local league since they are now aware that national team selectors are interested in them. This, in itself, is a victory for the much vilified local league. Now that the Eagles have landed again, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the momentum is sustained. Relevant authorities should make sure that the team and its coaching crew are provided with everything that would make it remain the pride of all Nigerians. As the federal government prepares to roll out the drums for the team, it should equally remember the Super Eagles class of 1994 and fulfil whatever promises the government of the day made concerning the team. It is in doing this that we can encourage our sportsmen across the world to remain dedicated and committed to the course of the nation. Ogunbiyi is of the Features Unit, Ministry of Information & Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja.


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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

POLITICS THE NATION

E-mail:- politics@thenationonlineng.net

‘Merger will prevent one-party system’ Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, in this interview with EMMANUEL OLADESU and JEREMIAH OKE, explains the significance of the merger and implications for 2015 general elections.

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OW did the four political parties come about the name, All Progressive Congress (APC)? There is nothing unusual about that. I cannot tell you how we came about the name, but coming together is more important to us right from 2005. We made an effort between 2005 and 2006 that all opposition parties should come together before 2007, particularly the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and ANPP, but it didn’t work. We formed the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and went straight to form alliance with ANPP towards 2007 elections. That seemed to have threatened Obasanjo so much that he misbehaved in 2007 elections to the extent that the late President Yar ‘Adua came to say that the election that brought them to power was severely flawed. Unfortunately, ANPP joined the PDP in their Government of National Unity and that ended the alliance. In 2010, we tried again, but unfortunately, it could not materialise. Some groups joined AD to become the ACN. The ACN has been in the front seat to ensure that all opposition parties work together since that time. Towards the 2011 election, ACN and CPC negotiated the possibility of an alliance till almost a week to the elections, but it could not work. We were not happy; we felt very disappointed. This time around, we thought we started where we ended with the CPC. Fortunately, before we took off, the ANPP decided to come on board and we quickly set up a committee of ACN to start negotiation with them. The CPC set up its own committee and ANPP set up its own committee and we all accepted to work together. I think the APGA does not want to be left behind; that is why they also joined us. We rejoice over this and we have to celebrate it. The committee has not reported back to us, but we are happy so far that they are giving us a symbol of desirability of coming together of all the opposition parties. I think, the situation has been so well received by the country that, before long, we shall be able to establish this party properly and it will be the only progressive party that Africa will be able to witness and before long, PDP will stop calling itself the largest party inAfrica. What is the significant of the merger of the four parties? The significance of the merger is to prevent one-party system because one-party system is not good in a democracy. But at the rate we are going, PDP is using the electoral institutions and the police to foist one-party system on the country. Therefore, we think, if the opposition parties can come together and decide to form an alliance, it will prevent one-party system. How are we sure that there will not be tension between the four parties, if they perceive themselves as the senior or junior partners in the alliance? If the merger is the alliance of two political parties, you can be talking about senior and junior. But the merger, as we can see it now, is the alliance of four political parties. Ranking will be very difficult in this kind of situation. What we think is that progressives are progressives, no matter where they are, and we should move on because it may not be all the parties that are signing up now that will eventually come on board at the end of the day. We know for sure that more than 70 per cent of PDP will also be coming on board, as soon as the platform is properly laid. We learnt that ACN is trying to reconcile General Buhari (rtd) with his former party, ANPP. How far has the reconciliation gone? We have never attempted such a thing. General Buhari has never told us he was quarreling with ANPP; neither has ANPP told us that they were quarreling with General Buhari. General Buhari joined the ANPP and used the platform to contest for an election twice and, if he decided to form his own party, he did nothing wrong. But had it been when he formed the CPC and before too long, CPC is as big as ANPP, if not bigger than ANPP, I can say there is a quarrell. If you plant a seed, it can produce a fruit bigger than the original seed you planted. So, I don’t think they are quarreling with each other, but I think, in a democracy, we try to establish a policy and if it is not possible within the party, you can

•Chief Akande

come out and try your own. Reality has dawned on us today that, unless we come together, there is no way we can be able to have enough strength to deal with the PDP. Now that the new party has been born, what is the fate of ACN, ANPP, CPC and APGA? That is the essence of it; it is a matter of sacrifice. We are going to surrender our certificates to the Independent Nigeria Electoral Commission (INEC) and we stop being called ACN. Also, CPC will surrender its own certificate and it will stop being called CPC. The ANPP will also surrender its own certificate to the INEC and they will stop calling themselves ANPP, while APGA will do the same and from there, a new party is born. And nobody will know himself as either ACN, ANPP, APGA or CPC; we will all be known as APC. So, all we need to do is to fine-tune and recognise that APC has been born. And no matter how you look at it, any funny name you may call it, it will cure any type of ache. Some people call it armoured personnel carrier, I will tell you, it is meant to destabiliee enemy at war. So, it depends on the way you look at it. To me, APC is a fighter; either a fighter of an ailment or fighter of war. This is a political war we are going to fight and APC will be handy in getting them down. The moment we fine-tune this platform, which we are building now, nobody will call himself ACN, CPC, ANPP, APGA again. We will all know ourselves as APC and there is going to be equality of membership. A section of APGA has said that it is not happy with the merger. What is your reaction to this? In any democracy, there is no way you won’t have a similar thing. Honestly, I was a little caught

unaware because we never had prior discussion with the APGA, but because everybody sees the need for it. APGA is also a party of the winners and they don’t want to be left behind; that was why they jumped into the train. Though, it may be a shock to some of the members of the party, but we allow everybody to go back to their various parties and conduct a conference or a convention of their parties and announce to their members that they have adopted a new party and that they are happy with the new party. What form will the manifesto of the new party take? The manifesto committee is already working. It is going to reflect what we believe; general development of human being in Nigeria, general empowerment of the youths to destroy unemployment in the country and general development of the atmosphere. All these are what you can see in Lagos State today; neat houses everywhere, good houses everywhere. The welfare of the people will be much more better because the purpose of any government is to take care of the people. It is unlike what the PDP is doing. The purpose of government of PDP is sharing. They must share the money because all of them want to be rich in their party. So, they have changed government to market sharing. But in our own case, we are far different from them and that is why we call it All Progressive Congress. Progressive in our context means don’t govern for yourselves, but govern for the advantage of the generality of the people. That is the manifesto of the party for now. Do you envisage any hurdle from the INEC? There is no INEC hurdle other than giving

‘I don’t know where in the country that the PDP is strong. I only know that PDP is very strong in the INEC, they are very strong in the police, and they use the combination of the police and the security agents at elections. Apart from that, I don’t know where PDP is strong and I don’t see where somebody will come out in public and say he is proud of PDP, apart from the people who are stealing our oil money’

them 90 day-notice that we are coming together before any election. We do that by attaching our name, logo, manifesto, our constitution and to abide by the rule of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. INEC does not have any choice in that matter than to accept and register us. We are coming onboard and, as soon as the platform is ready, INEC will ask us a question according to the law of the land and we will fill a form. That is the law; they don’t have a power on their own. INEC power is base on the law of Nigeria and we are going to create and develop the platform according to the law of Nigeria. So, when we act in accordance with the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, INEC has no option. How prepared is the new party to withstand any likely intimidation and harassment by the PDP? PDP is jittery already. PDP is in trouble already. PDP has been sleepless since we announced the new party. I listened to the national chairman of the party in bravado recently, that they are happy about that. I congratulate him for that courage. But with APC, 100 per cent votes in a state will not be possible again because all of us will defend our votes. I am sure we will all be everywhere in the country. Look at the party, look at the structure, and look at how it was formed. APC is everywhere in all the nooks and crannies of the country. It is not a tribal party; it is a national party. And the moment you have everybody in a party like that, voting wrongly with impunity will be checked. How is the party preparing for the challenge of party leadership composition at the federal and state levels? Currently, I am the national chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). If by tomorrow you ask me to be a local government auditor of the party, happily, I will take it because the post is not the issue, but the purpose is what we have to contribute to the making of the development of the people of Nigeria. So, I don’t think anybody will be dragging anything. In case you don’t know, we don’t pay salaries to officers, unlike the PDP. So, it makes it comfortable for us to adapt to any situation we find ourselves. As the national leader, if they ask you to go and do local government assignment, you quickly go and do it because no money is attached to it that will make you say you don’t want to leave the post. That was the way we were trained in the UPN and AD and that is the way we have been carrying on in the ACN. That same culture we are going to adopt in the APC We are not struggling for money. At our age, what money do you think I will be struggling for? So, I can assure you that there will be no power tussle in APC leadership. Observers are saying that the choice of the presidential candidate and his running mate could generate tension in the APC. How would this be resolved? That will not create problem because we are all having our eyes on the youths for most of our offices. Look at most of our people in the Senate and in the House of Representatives , even governors. They are all young people and I believe that this will be the the case in the APC. We will use the young ones so that they will be able to be the architect of their own future. PDP said that, by forming the APC, you are heating up the polity. How would you react to this allegation? If that is the way they see it, then, we are getting at them. They are becoming afraid. They are nervous. They heat is on them. They are already feeling the heat. I think I am proud about that. The opposition is giving them the heat. Can APC dislodge PDP in 2015? PDP is already dislodged. The people are angry with the PDP and that is why they are unable to move on. Do you see them doing anything? The economy is in shambles; they cannot even make roads, they can’t build infrastructure, they cannot make peace, and so, they are already in trouble. When you enter an examination hall, and all questions are difficult to answer, you know you have failed already. You look at question number one; it is difficult, two, beyond you, •Continued on page 24


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THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

POLITICS

‘PDP not afraid of APC’

Our plan for Niger Delta, by Orubebe

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NEASY lies the head of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, at this critical time. Critics and perceived political foes have beamed a searchlight on his ministry and passed a vote of no confidence on him. Since the minister has political ambition, his associates said the criticisms are meant to ridicule him and abort his calculations, ahead of 2015. But for the minister, there is no weariness of the body and heart, despite the attacks. “The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs is on course in bringing development to the Niger Delta. We are completing the East/West Road by December 2013. We are working on other 11 critical roads in the Niger Delta and we also have nine erosion projects going on”, Orubebe told reporters in Lagos. The minister has been under attack for allegedly awarding N99 billion contract. He was alleged to have inflated one of them from N1b to N12b. Critics also said that he acquired lands in Abuja and put up mansions on them. According to them, a company, Centraco, built one of the mansions for him. Others said that the politician is arrogant and haughty. When these allegations were reported by the media, Orubebe’s friends and associates bombarded him with phone calls. Since he entered politics in 1987, when he became a councillor, the minister has not experienced that volley of criticisms. Although he may have passed through some storm and stress as Director of Primary Education Board In Delta State, Special Adviser to the governor on Regional Planning and urban Development, and Minister of Special Duties and National Planning, this present assignment is more challenging. To Orubebe, these unfounded allegations are capable of scaring experienced and knowledgeable people from politics because they may not want their names to be dragged in the mud. “There have been a lot of negative stories about me in the media. When I reflect on how I have survived in the government, I regard it as a price to pay”, he said. The minister denied all the allegations with explanations backed by evidence. He said only N6b contract was awarded by his ministry, pointing out that N909m, and not N99 was paid. he also said that the ministry still owes N1.2b to three contractors. Orubebe shed light on the land

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By Emmanuel Oladesu, Group Political Editor

he had acquired. He said he applied as a matter of right, like any other Nigerian, and paid the required fees. He denied erecting mansions on the land, stressing that no company has erected any structure for him on the land. He said, although the media has the duty of holding government officials accountable, they should not promote rumours that are spread maliciously to damage their reputation. The minister said he is passionate about the Niger Delta, contrary to the insinuation that he has performed poorly as minister responsible for the nine states. He recalled that, as minister of special duties, he had sold to the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua, the idea of going to the creeks to discuss with the authentic militants, not the commercial militants. He said he succeeded in arranging the meeting, which held at Campolo’s camp. “Against security advice, the Vice President then, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan also visited the creeks to address over 2,000 militants. It was the beginning of the amnesty programme. Oil production increased. We took a risk then. Nobody is making reference to that again”, he said. Critics have alleged that, under Orubebe, the East/West road has become a dream impossible. The minister disagreed, saying that the project has reached 53 percent completion. He lamented that Nigerians are not conversant with the method of releasing money for projects, following budgetary announcement. “The East/West road project was awarded in 2006 by President Obasanjo at N238b, following pressures by Niger Delta people that something must be done. We needed between N30b and N32 billion for mobilisation, but government released N1.2 b. “It would require one year for the design to be done, but contractors only came up with a baseline survey. When I became Minister of Niger Delta, we had to start all over again. Now, 36 out of 42 bridges and 756 out of 786 culverts have completed. It is 53 percent done. By December 2014, we will complete the project. Some contractors even said that they would deliver their parts of the project in may 2014”, he added. Niger Deltans have complained that flood has destroyed part of the road. Orubebe, who acknowledged the damage, said contractors are

•Orubebe

back on site. He disclosed that N120b has been earmarked for the road project. He said N70 billion would come from the federal government and N40b may be borrowed. Orubebe thanked President Jonathan for this kind gesture. “We are passionate about the Niger Delta and East/West Road. In addition, the ministry is setting up nine skill centres in the area. Three will be completed this year in Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River. Youths would be trained in oil, gas and tourism. Each centre will admit 500 youths at a time. It has boarding facilities. Consultants will run them. “We are working on the other 11 critical roads in the Niger Delta and nine erosion projects. The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the setting up of the Council for Niger Delta Development to meet once in a year. The Integrated Infrastructural Development Programme has already been developed. It will survive many governments to come. the NDDC Master Plan was put in place as a phylosophy and guide. It was funded by the UNDP. We have worked on the environmental mapping system. Even, if we leave, the people coming on board will work on the framework”, he stressed. Orubebe, in a voice laced with emotion, denied the allegation of corruption, ineptitude and arrogance. He said, as a church elder who also preach the word of God, he cannot engage in any act that would bring shame to the church. The minister explained that, with the procurement law in place, no minister can inflate a contract. “We only send proposals to the Bureau of Public Procurement for analysis and approval. The ministry must get a certificate of no objection to the FEC. The FEC awards the contracts”, he said.

•Abia State Governor Theodore Orji (middle) during an inspection tour of Abiriba-Abam Road. With him is Commissioner for Works Mr. Kingsley Ngbeahuru (left) and others.

HE chairman of the Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Capt. Tunji Shelle (rtd) has said that the party is not afraid of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He described the merger of the four political parties as a gang-up, adding that it may fizzle out before 2015. Shelle told our correspondent that the choice of the presidential candidate and running mate will divide the party and make the partners in the alliance to opt out of the merger. He also said that the proposed party may not be able to resolve the differences that may arive over the adoption of a logo, symbol, party constitution and ideology. Shelle said: “The merger is welcome, if the purpose is to develop Nigeria. But, if the purpose is to hijack power, it will fail. Nigeria is a big country. It is not when a party wins election that will make Nigeria great. “ACN, CPC, ANPP, and APGA are out for mischieve. PDP is a strong party that cannot be dislodged It is a national party with grassroots appeal. These are regional parties coming together. It is a gang-up that will collapse. It will be very tough for them. They cannot defeat PDP. We are not afraid of the merger”.

•Shelle

The party leader also predicted leadership tussles in the new party, which he said, would result from personality differences. He said PDP would win more states in 2015, urging the APC leaders to set goals that can be achieved. Shelle added: “PDP has 23 states now. Others will join the fold. There are moles in the APC. Now, APGA is saying that it is not part of the new party. Many people will desert the party, ahead of 2015. Instead, PDP will continue to wax stronger and swallow the APC”.

‘Merger will prevent one-party system’ •Continued from page 23

number three also beyond you. There in the examination hall, you have seen your result that you have failed. The paper we put before the PDP is to make peace and create peace for Nigeria, but it is too difficult for them, they can’t do it. Improve economy, they don’t know where to start. They don’t know how to do it. Education is in trouble. Unemployment is rising and many more crises in the country. So, they are confused. As all the oppositions are now together, it’s added more to their tension so, they are in trouble with the formation of APC. PDP is threatening to capture Lagos, Osun, Oyo and Ekiti in the next elections. What is your reaction? PDP is fond of boasting. I don’t comment on boasting because PDP lacks ideas and they believe that taking over is a matter of a boasting. Thank God, Nigerians are determined to dislodge them across the country. Tell me their stronghold; I don’t know where in the country that the PDP is strong. I only know that PDP is very strong in the INEC, they are very strong in the police, and they use the combination of the police and the security agents at elections. Apart from that, I don’t know where PDP is strong and I don’t see where somebody will come out in public and say he is proud of PDP, apart from the people who are stealing our oil money. What is your reaction to the centenary celebration of Nigeria’s amalgamation? Do we have anything to celebrate? Only the senseless people will be counting age. It is not how old you are now, it is how well. Nigeria is not healthy at 100. So, what are we celebrating? A country is supposed to live for thousands of years and, if it is not healthy at 100, we can call such a country a ‘sickle seller’. That means a country that may not live, and that is why APC is formed so that Nigeria will not be killed by the PDP. They love spending money and celebrating triviality. Centenary or how do you call it? To me, it is a celebration of triviality. So, there is nothing to celebrate in Nigeria yet. The ethnic nationalities have been clamoring for a Sovereign National Conference for years, but we are yet to see any action in this regard. Does

it means that it will not hold in our life time? Honestly, I don’t believe in a Sovereign National Conferences, but I believe in conferences. You may not understand the difference. Let me tell you, in a Sovereign Conference, whatever you say is law. Whatever you say must be obeyed. So, how do you select people that will sit and decide those things? But I believe in conferences and that is what we have started. There are some fundamental issues that must be resolved before such conference can be held. I believe in conferences so that we can come together to solve those problems and decide on what to do so that no decision will be imposed on the people. Honestly, I don’t really support it. Now that the National Assembly is set to review the 1999 Constitution, what are your expectations? I don’t think the National Assembly will achieve much because the bases are just not there. I think what the National Assembly should do now is to look at how to strengthen the electoral system, particularly the registration of the electorate. Anything that will make the votes fraud-free is what should be done. In a country where the population is about 150 million, and we have voters registration of about 150million, we know something is wrong with that. So, I think if they make finger print of the registration biometric, we will have the kind of what we have in Ghana, where they did not finish the voting the same day and they started the following day. Until they make our registration biometric, the review of the constitution cannot take us to anywhere. Does the likelihood exist that the two factions of Afenifere will reconcile? I don’t know if Afenifere still exists, but I know of Afenifere Renewal Group. What I mean by that is that the Papa Afenifere is gone and it is gone forever, but the baby Afenifere is growing and that is what I expect in any society. When the elders are old, they encourage the youths to start putting themselves together so as to start where the elders ended. So, the Papa Afenifere is gone and gone forever, but the Afenifere Renewal Group is alive and becoming energetic. They have achieved what the Afenifere could not achieve, in terms of regional integration idea.


INSIDE

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

Website: http://www.thenationonlineng.com

Page 25

First Lady inaugurates youth centre - Page 26

Minister urges commitment to borehole rehabilitation

FCT builds more houses for residents

- Page 27 •Housing estate

Nigerian leaders challenged on healthcare

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HE cry over inadequate housing will now abate in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as its Administration has allocated over 1,000 hectares to the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development for residents. The land is to be made available for all the agencies under it. FCT Minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed disclosed this at the commissioning of 1,000 houses being built by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria/Good Earth Power International in partnership with the FCT Administration at Kaba District, Abuja. The minister said his administration decided to go into partnership by making land available in order to reduce the housing shortfall in the territory. According to a statement

From Gbenga Omokhunu

issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, Muhammad Hazat Sule, the minister advised the company to ensure that affordable high quality houses are delivered to Nigerians at the end of the day. He said: “As you can see from what we are doing today, we are refusing to be distracted. We know why we are here; we are

here to provide succour to Nigerians. No amount of blackmail and mischief will deter us or make us to lose focus in our bid to transform lives in the FCT”. The minister said further that his administration went into the partnership with the belief that the programme will support President Goodluck Jonathan’s vision to provide affordable

We know why we are here; we are here to provide succour to Nigerians. No amount of blackmail and mischief will deter us or make us to lose focus in our bid to transform lives in the FCT

housing to all Nigerians. Mohammed advised the residents of the FCT and Nigerians at large to cooperate with his administration to achieve its targeted goals. He promised to support the efforts of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and other stakeholders in the sub-sector to drive this laudable initiative that tends to genuinely address housing deficit in Abuja. Also speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Amal Pepple, appreciated the support being given to her ministry and agencies under it to deliver on their mandate. She directed the Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria to replicate this initiative in the 36 states of the federation.


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ABUJA REVIEW

First Lady inaugurates youth centre

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IRST Lady Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan has inaugurated a N650m Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Youth Support Centre Nyanya, urging well-meaning individuals, corporate bodies and youth development agencies to help the youth and in the running of such centres. Speaking at the event, Mrs Jonathan observed that Abuja, as the seat of government, is a natural attraction to youths from all parts of the country who besiege it in search of jobs which are often not available. “But I am confident that the training programmes and skills to be imparted to them in this centre will provide a robust platform for youth empowerment, job creation, moral re-orientation and acquisition of work-based competencies, for self-reliance, social security and nationbuilding,” she said. She also noted that empowering the youth will help in achieving peace in the country, stating that it is when youths are not gainfully employed that they become instruments of violence. She said

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HE Fulani herdsmen displaced by the 2004 Yelwan Shendam crisis in Plateau State, and now residing at a refugee camp a few kilometres to Kuje Town in Abuja, have a sad story to tell. The displaced Fulani are living in a 21-hut camp built by the former FCT Minister, Nasir el-Rufai in 2005. They said that their plight has gone from bad to worse. Narrating how they arrived at Kuje, leader of the herdsmen, Muhammad Usman, said: “We were displayed by the 2004 Yelwan Shendam crisis which forced us to leave our residences. When we came down to Abuja, we wanted to go to Sabo Village here in Kuje where we had some of our people. But because it was during rainy season and the place couldn’t be easily accessed during such period, we had to settle at Gaube Village, also in the council.”

From Gbenga Omokhunu

that the gesture will give them the necessary skills to enable them to generate income to take care of their needs as well as contribute to peacebuilding in the country. Mrs. Jonathan advised the youth to reciprocate government’s gesture by using their talents positively as well as remain patriotic and responsive to government’s youth empowerment programmes that are geared towards advancing their well-being. In his address, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed disclosed that the centre was conceived, developed and completed within 12 months and promised that similar centres would be developed in the five other area councils of the territory. He said the desire of the administration was not to criminalise destitute and other categories of youths roaming the streets but to create avenues for them to re-discover themselves; hence the development of the centre. He promised to support the centre for sustainability. In her welcome address, the

secretary, FCT Social Development Secretariat, Mrs. Blessing Onuh said “the administration, through the centre, hopes to raise a future crop of entrepreneurs, innovators and industrialists as we have provided various state-of-the-art facilities to meet demands of current global trends and training.” Onuh, who’s secretariat undertook the development of the youth support centre said training at the centre would be free for those desirous of attaining skills offered there, even as he called on youths to effectively utilise the

opportunity provided not only for their betterment but also for posterity. The chairman, Senate Committee on the FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi in a goodwill message described the project as visionary and called on other states of the country to emulate the FCT. He said that with projects such as this, a good number of youths will be productively engaged. He urged youths in the FCT to take advantage of the centre to develop themselves, even as he noted that the peace and stability of any country is dependent on youth and women’s well-being. The centre is equipped with a

I am confident that the training programmes and skills to be imparted to them in this centre will provide a robust platform for youth empowerment, job creation, moral re-orientation and acquisition of work-based competencies, for self-reliance, social security and nation-building

•Mrs Jonathan printing press, welding and carpentry workshop, shoe making shop, ICT learning centre, fully furnished 500 capacity hostel block, classrooms, 500 sitting capacity multi-purpose hall, art exhibition hall and sporting facilities, including a basketball court of an international standard, a volleyball court and a synthetic five-aside football pitch.

Herdsmen bemoan state of camp From Gbenga Omokhunu

The leader, who spoke in Hausa further said: “Since we lost everything to the crisis, we requested for a piece of farmland to cultivate in order to keep body and soul together before the end of the rainy-season-stay at Gaube. The story changed thereafter. “We requested the Village Head of Gaube to help us with a farmland so that we could do something before the rainy season ended since we had nothing. He asked us how many we were. We told him we were 136 in number. He said he could not handle the situation in his capacity. So, he had to tell the area council chairman at the time,” he said. Usman also said that after due

consultation with the then council chairman, Jibrin Usman Wowo, the matter was taken to the then FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir elRufai, who arranged for them to be brought to the camp where they currently reside. “After the chairman contacted the minister, they came to build 21 huts for us to live in. But some of us decided to leave here for Agyaragu around Lafia area in Nasarawa State. Those that left were many. We’re now just 36 in the refugee camp, and all of us belong to the family of our late father, Usman Abdullahi, who passed on two years ago,” he added. He said in addition to building the huts, the government dug a hand-pump borehole in the camp

and relocated a primary school to the camp from nearby Jeida Village. He added that some of the structures that the government started in the primary school have not been completed. He further stated that since their relocation to the camp from Gaube Village, the government has abandoned them, leaving them to do everything for themselves. “Since we came here, we’ve not heard anything from the government; they just abandoned us here without anything. What we now do is farming and some of our children are into commercial motorcycle business. This place is just something else for us,” he lamented. The Fulani leader added that the borehole provided by the government since 2005 has been developing problems, saying that

they usually contribute money to repair it. He said that for about five months now, the borehole broke down and has not been fixed due to lack of money. “The money for the repair, according to the man who repairs it for us is N46, 000. We requested the Kuje Area Council to repair it for us but nothing was done. In the face of this, we had to dig well somewhere around. Unfortunately, the water that comes out from it is contaminated and unhealthy for human use,” Usman said. Their children, he said, have been experiencing urinary tract infection; as their urine always mixes with blood. “We the adults don’t experience anything like that. We believe it’s the contaminated water from the well that we take every day that is responsible for this,” he said.

Man commits suicide over debt

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•Herdsman

RAGEDY struck in Kubwa, Abuja when a 30-year-old man, Shola Simon, poisoned himself due to his inability to offset a debt of N110,000. The elder brother to the deceased, Olumide, told our reporter that he and his family had left the house that fateful day with the deceased, a panel beater, for their shops without any sign of ill health. He said he however received a call from the deceased around 11am demanding that he should come back home immediately or meet him dead. Olumide said he was trying to fix his bad car when the deceased called and had to suspend the repairs to respond to the distress call put to him by his brother. “Before I could enter the house, my brother was already lying down dead with foam in his mouth,” he lamented. He said when he interrogated his late brother’s colleagues, they told him that somebody had earlier brought a car for him to sell which he had sold and collected part payment from the buyer. They said further that the owner of the car came back requesting for

From Bukola Amusan

his car as he had seen a higher bidder. “They said the deceased could not produce both the car and the part payment he had collected as he had already released the car to the initial buyer. They said the deceased allegedly pleaded with the owner of the car to give him more time to raise the money or else he would poison himself but the man insisted on collecting the money,” he narrated. The deceased brother, an Aluminuim seller, who looked helpless, said he was surprised at the unfortunate and deadly decision of the late brother as he had been doing very well in his business. When contacted, the head of the Accident and Emergency unit of Kubwa General Hospital, where his body was taken to, Dr. Paul Oliseh, confirmed the incident, saying that the signs and symptoms observed from the deceased’s body revealed that the man died of poison. He, however, said the corpse had been moved from the hospital’s mortuary where it was deposited by the relations to Ekiti State for burial.


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Minister explains water shortage T HE Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minster, Senator Bala Mohammed has explained that the recent shortage of pipe borne water supply to Karmo, Gwagwa and other surrounding communities was as a result of infrastructural upgrade. Muhammed, who prased the affected communities for their patience and understanding, assured that the major upgrade of the infrastructure will soon be completed and normal supply will resume. He said: “The upgrade would be completed within two weeks thereby allowing normal and improved water supply to the affected communities”. The minister disclosed that as the work on the upgrade goes on, the FCT Administration has put some

From Gbenga Omokhunu

remedial measures on ground by rationing water supply to these communities through a dedicated water pipe lane servicing the Kado District of the Federal Capital City to minimise the hardship. According to him, the entire work on the upgrade when completed by the middle of this February, will ensure improved and uninterrupted pipe borne water supply to the affected communities. While thanking them for their tolerance, he enjoined them to continue to support his administration, as it works to improve service delivery in consonance with the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Ebele •One of the satellite towns Jonathan.

Girl wins agric competition

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•Fatima Ademoh

OUNG Fatima Ademoh, a Nigerian has emerged the overall winner of the 2012 “Farming Now” category of the 2012 Innovation Challenge Competition, instituted by The Rockefeller Foundation. The competition aims at identifying revolutionary ideas in various fields of human endeavours. Ademoh has won $100,000 grant from the foundation to finance the development of a strategic plan for the implementation of a youth agriculture entrepreneurship training centre in Nigeria. She won the bid after she competed with three other participants. Ajima Farms and General Enterprises Nigeria Ltd was awarded a grant to implement a

From Bukola Amusan

project based on a strong proposal submitted by Ademoh. Ademoh’s project aims primarily to promote youth participation in agriculture in Nigeria. She graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola. In 2012, The Rockefeller Foundation identified revitalising the agricultural sector as one of several key global challenges thus establishing the “Farming Now” section of the competition. The aim is to generate fresh and innovative ideas that would attract and

encourage unemployed youths to engage in the agricultural sector, thereby infusing youthful energy into this vital sector of the economy. Youth Agro Entreprenuer (YAE), the project piloted by Ms. Ademo, will seek to rebrand farming as a viable, profitable and honourable profession for a new generation of farmers. According to Ademoh, YAE will be a social enterprise incubator that will teach youths the agricultural practices and business skills required to support the development of youth-led agricultural enterprises. ”YAE aspires to become a financially self-sufficient

organisation which will empower unemployed youth with the knowledge, skills and drive to become consultants and agricultural entrepreneurs. “It is my hope that this will contribute to alleviating the problems of extreme poverty and high levels of youth unemployment in Nigeria. YAE research team will visit self-sufficient schools that exist in Africa and South America where they will observe the process and procedure of how hands-on and knowledge-based learning is being practised and applied,” she explained. According to her, her team will be conducting research on the feasibility of the training centre and developing partnership with stakeholders, as well as communicating the results of the research to the public.

Minister urges commitment to borehole rehabilitation

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N order to improve access to potable water and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Minister of Water Resources Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe has solicited the support of development partners to repair 2,000 boreholes across the country in 2013. Mrs. Ochekpe stated this at a meeting with the development partners as preparatory to the forthcoming Presidential Summit on Water tagged “Innovative Funding of the Water Sector” scheduled to hold from February18 to19 in Abuja. She said: “The ministry had already repaired 1,000 dysfunctional boreholes in 18 states in 2012 and now seeking for support from the development partners to continue with the project. “The 1, 000 repaired boreholes have contributed immensely to reducing the scourge of water scarcity and prevalent water-borne

From Franca Ochigbo

diseases in the affected states. “The budgetary allocation for 2013 would not be sufficient to repair the 2,000 boreholes. So, it is necessary to seek additional sources of funds from development partners,” she stated. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Ambassador Godknows Igali said that the essence of the Presidential Summit on Water was to enable development partners and stakeholders to brainstorm and increase their commitments to the water sector. Contributing, the World Bank Country Director, Marie FrancoiseMarie who pledged the bank’s support and participation at the forthcoming summit said the organisation had, in the past, engaged in water sector in the areas of capacity building. He emphasised on the sustainability of water projects.

The 1,000 repaired boreholes have contributed immensely to reducing the scourge of water scarcity and prevalent water-borne diseases in the affected states •A child drinks from a borehole


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•Senator Bala Mohammed

HE Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Senator Bala Mohammed has said that construction of public buildings in Abuja is the responsibility of his office. The Decree No. 6 of 1976 that created Abuja, he said, also created the Federal Capital Development Authority with duty and responsibilities to plan, design, provide the infrastructure and construct public buildings as well as services to the entire 8,000 square kilometers of the Federal Capital Territory. Senator Mohammed said this while responding to some media publications on the N4b earmarked for the proposed building of the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) as contained in the proposed 2013 FCT Administration’s budget. The minister, who responded through his Senior Special Assistant on Information Management Systems, Hajiya Jamilah Tangazah recalled that the

Minister clears air on public buildings From Gbenga Omokhunu

African First Ladies Peace Mission was established in 1996 to promote peace and harmony in Africa after the 1995 Beijing Conference on Women and its subsequent declaration in Zimbabwe during which the Organisation of African Unity (now African Union) keyed in. Senator Mohammed remarked that since its inception in 1996, the organisation has been debating issues of relevance to African women, children and youths as well as issues to do with social justice within the fields of population and development, the environment, and human rights, especially gender equality. The minister said that as part of its commitments to live up to its international obligation, the Federal Government

accommodates certain international bodies- just like it is done across the globe- adding that every year, the cost of rent or accommodation for such bodies tends to be above N1b. According to him, this obligation is transferred to the FCT Administration and as part of its efficiency measures, the FCT Administration saw in the proposed headquarters of the African First Ladies Peace Mission building an opportunity to save cost by using the AFLPM building to serve multiple roles in providing office accommodation as well as housing not just for the African First Ladies Peace Mission but also to other international bodies. Senator Mohammed noted that from the foregoing, it could be realized that by proposing to build the AFLPM edifice- a public -listed

building- the FCT Administration is only acting in accordance with its duty and responsibilities as envisioned by the law. The minister emphasised that the FCT Administration has submitted the budget to the National Assembly to debate on and give its final approval based on requisite needs of the country’s capital as dictated by local, national and international postulations. He expressed his happiness that based on these, the administration is convinced that the robust public debate that erupted on aspects of the proposed FCT 2013 budget proposal will be done and guided with fervor of a people who are conscious of both historical and current roles they have played and are proud of their tradition not just as national, but also regional and continental leaders.

Nigerian leaders challenged on healthcare

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OING overseas for health care by public office holders is a shameful thing, Oxfam Country Director, Chichi AniagoluOkoye has said, adding that the practice should stop. Describing such action as a deficiency of the mind, Aniagolu-Okoye stated that it is imperative for notable Nigerians and relevant stakeholders to join the cause to address the problem. However, she disclosed that a change of attitude is vital to transforming the country. She spoke during a courtesy visit to The Nation office in Abuja. Aniagolu-Okoye said: “Why will you be the governor of a state or president of a country and you go to access healthcare from another country. Meanwhile, you look like a magician, anything you want, you can get. Why won’t you fix the healthcare? There is something wrong somewhere and you are not even embarrassed. “The First Lady going to Germany for healthcare….how did the German feel? You feel not embarrassed that you are the first lady of a country of over 150 million people, one of the highest oil-producing countries in the world but you couldn’t access healthcare. It’s not supposed to be a thing of pride, it should be a thing of a shame.” She stated that as part of the agency’s private sector initiative, it has begun a project where cocoa farmers in the country are partnered with chocolate producing firms in Netherland. Aniagolu-Okoye informed that the agency went into agreement with the chocolate factories whereby information on the quality and quantity of cocoa produced by farmers are put together and purchased thereafter by the companies.

•National Hospital, Abuja From Olugbenga Adanikin

“We have a cocoa project where we are linking cocoa farmers in Ibadan with chocolate factories in Netherland. We are trying to get more cooperation especially the one outside the country to be more socially responsible and building the financial base of farmers,” she said. According to her, it will foster joint benefit for both parties where the farmers get more income and the chocolate producing firms have access to quality cocoa produce. Asked if the agency has made other pragmatic efforts to address poverty, the Oxfam boss stated that it has commenced plans on women empowerment and programmes to increase the number of women in leadership position. She said the agency will launch a campaign, ‘Candi-

Why will you be the governor of a state or president of a country and you go to access healthcare from another country. There is something wrong somewhere. date 2015’ to achieve the programme, adding that women wings of various political parties will be a target. “We have noticed that a number of women in politics act like a man because they

have to represent those who elect them perfectly. So if we are to build this confidence in women especially women wing of political wings, they will be a force for women agenda and true transforma-

tion,” she added. The Deputy Editor, Nation’s Capital, Yomi Odunga tasked Oxfam to device better relationship with the Federal Government in its bid to address poverty. He urged them to work harder and partner with other relevant bodies to jointly fight the scourge. Reacting to the statement, Aniagolu-Okoye disclosed that the agency is annually funded with 5.5 million euros, where one million will be spent on administrative functions and the remaining used for the agency’s programmes. Asked if the agency has seen impacts of its diverse programme, Oxfam boss stated that programme results are long term and more of attitudinal change. “The corruption in Nigeria is not that people are evil but attitudinal change and mentality about the issue.”


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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

‘If you have no job and have been in prison for 10

years without being productive, the zeal to survive when you get outside might push some of them into See page 35 crime

E-mail:- law@thenationonlineng.net

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Should CJN’s powers be cut •Judiciary ‘not free of bad eggs’ • Judges, lawyers ‘need attitudinal change’ • Judges ‘must resist politicians’ influence’ • How ADR can hasten judicial process, by SAN •SEE PAGE 31

Afe Babalola’s thorny path to the top

• Chief Babalola after being honoured with a Doctorate Degree of Law (Honoris Causa) at the University of Lagos...on Friday

‘He, therefore, had no option than to start the uphill task of climbing the academic ladder without secondary education. He obtained Cambridge School Certificate, GCE Ordinary and Advanced Level Certificate of London University, B.Sc. (Economics) of London University •SEE PAGE 30 and LL.B (Hons) of London University, all by private study

Inside: NBA seeks swift passage of security... P.32

NIALS staff sign performance agreement ... P.33


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

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LAW COVER CONT’D The University of Lagos (UNILAG) drew dignitaries from within and outside the country last Friday. It was the last day of its golden jubilee anniversary convocation, which was held between February 6 and 8. The high-point of the day’s event was the conferment of the Doctorate degree of Law (Honoris Causa) on eminent lawyer, Chief Afe Babalola. ERIC IKHILAE reports.

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MINENT lawyer Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) stood tall last Friday as he stepped forward in the main auditorium of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) to be honoured. The audience, comprising dignitaries and students, cheered as the honoree raised his hands in acknowledgement. Although two other equally eminent Nigerians were honoured with him, the legal giant received the loudest ovation. It was on the last day of the university’s three-day golden jubilee anniversary convocation held between February 6 and 8. Babalola, along with the country’s first and only Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Chief Arthur Mbanefo, were awarded honorary doctorate degrees. Babalola got the degree of Law; the late Balewa, whose post-humous award was received by his son, Yakubu, got the degree of Letters; Mbanefo was honoured with the degree of Science. The institution’s Registrar, Oluwarotimi Shodimu, explained the choice of Babalola (the school’s pro-Chancellor between 2001 and 2008) for the award in a letter dated November 5, last year. Shodimu said the award was in recognition of his “immense contributions to the development of education, advancement of knowledge, learning and research. “Also, note is taken of your unrelenting philanthropic contributions to the advancement of education and your passion for seeking the general welfare of the society. “The university noted in particular that as a former Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council for the two periods that you were appointed, you contributed immensely to the development of the university and you have remained consistent, putting the university on the world map. “You laid the foundation and provided the roadmap for the present enviable ranking of the university as the best in Nigeria and 16th in Africa. Your unrelenting drive and passion for excellence are unquantifiable. “The university’s memory is filled with the remarkable achievements you made in the course of restoring values on the academia, providing the blueprint for income generating units and creation of new avenues of endowment in the university. The benefits remain obvious till today.” As Babalola stood before the audience, waiting to be decorated with the award, the school’s Orator, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo (of the Faculty of law), read his (Babalola’s) citation, an extract from a unique life history spanning over 80 years. Oyewo told a brief history of Babalola, born around 1931 into a humble background, deprived of the opportunity of accessing basic education, but now a man that combines fabulous wealth with professional accomplishment. He told the story of how Babalola, whose parents could not fund his secondary education, is now not only referred to as one of the most successful lawyers in the country, but a great philanthropist. Oyewo told the audience that in spite of his (Babalola’s) outstanding intellectual capability and offer of admission to Christ’s School, AdoEkiti, the opportunity of having secondary school education eluded him due to lack of funds. “He, therefore, had no option than to start the uphill task of climbing the academic ladder without secondary education. He obtained Cambridge School Certificate, GCE Ordinary and Advanced Level Certificate of London University, B.Sc. (Economics) of London University and LL.B (Hons) of London University, all by private study,” Oyewo said. Today, Babalola did only personify wealth and success, he has helped many to grow. To cap it, he owns a university – Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State. The school was recently described by the NUC as the best thing to have happened to education in this part of the world and a benchmark for other universities. A glimpse of Babalola’s humble background exists in his autobiography entitled: “Impossibility Made Possible,” where he said: “As a boy I did not wear clothes on the farm. My father never wore shoes or slippers throughout his life. It was not unusual. “It was therefore not surprising that throughout my life on the farm and until I

• From right: Education Minister, Prof Ruqayattu Ahmed Rufai; Chief Afe Babalola; Pro-Chancellor, UNILAG, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode and the school’s Registrar, Oluwarotimi Shodimu (behind).

Babalola’s thorny path to the top completed my education in the prestigious Emmanuel School, Ado-Ekiti, after Standard VI Certificate, I had no shoes or slippers. It was when I started to work as a pupil-teacher that my mother bought me my first shoes. It was a pair of white canvass shoes, which I wore only on Sundays to church. I was about I6 years of age then”. After close to 50 years of law practice, Babalola’s law firm, Chief Afe Babalola and Co (Emmanuel Chanbers) has trained over 500 lawyers and produced 14 Senior Advocates of Nigeria. A recipient of many awards, Babalola, also told of how he started his law firm in 1965. “What assisted me in my mission was the desire to succeed. I had no money to start a new office but I believed I would succeed. I bought a second-hand imperial manual machine typewriter for 36 pounds. “I made a down payment of 12 pounds and entered into an agreement to pay the balance of 24 pounds at the rate of 4 pounds per month. I also bought a table and three chairs. This table was bought from roadside carpenter at Ekotedo (Ibadan, Oyo State). “I bought a standing fan because there was no window in my office. In the first year after leaving my senior, I operated as one-man legal practitioner. John was the typist, the clerk and the messenger. My practice was mainly in the Magistrate Courts.” On page 122, he advised lawyers not to joke with their professional fees if they wish to succeed. “Any fees not paid before the conclusion of a case may never be paid again, nor would the client come back. Many clients never returned to me after I had concluded their cases. While their cases were still on, they would give the best of Christmas presents. “May be one or two years after the end of a case they might remember you. My experience is that ninety per cent of all my Christmas presents come from those whose cases are still pending.” The Vice Chancellor, UNILAG, Professor Rahamon Bello, praised Babalola and the Council he led, for their contribution to the institution’s development. He assured that the school’s management will

not depart from the path of growth and development on which Babalola and his Council placed institution. On receiving the letter conveying his nomination for the award, Babalola said: “Of all the letters of award I have received from Nigeria and beyond, the letter of award dated November 5, 2012 addressed to me by the University of Lagos, is the most inspiring, exciting and moving. “Significantly, it was my experience garnered at that time which, in large measure, has assisted me in the planning and execution of ‘the project ABUAD’, which has now metamorphosed into a model, reference point and pace-setter university in reformatory education in Nigeria.” Responding after being docurated with the award, Babalola told the audience how former President Olusegun Obasanjo convinced him to accept to serve as the Pro-Chancellor of the institution and how he successfully turned around the school’s fortune from a crisis ridden institution to that now held out as the nation’s best. He said, on accepting the appointment, he had three objectives; the first of which was to stabilize the then troubled institution. “And I thank the members of Council who worked tirelessly to ensure that we restored tranquility to the school within three years. “The second objective was to take to university to the level where it will be rated as the number one university in Nigeria. That was accompanied in four years. “The NUC rated the school the number one university in the country. That has never happened before. I was awarded the best ProChancellor twice and the then Vice Chancellor, Professor Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe was decorated as the best Vice Chancellor at that time. “My third objective was to raise the standard of this university to become one of the first hundred universities in the world,” Babalola said. He said in achieving this, he said he devised different measures, one of which was the introduction of a means of screening new students after they had taken the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination, an innovation he said resulted from the need to ensure that only the best and

‘What assisted me in my mission was the desire to succeed. I had no money to start a new office but I believed I would succeed. I bought a second-hand imperial manual machine typewriter for 36 pounds’

capable students were admitted. Another measure, he said was his decision to attract funds to the school, having realized that funding was critical to realizing the objective of making the university one of the best in the world. He appealed to the government to increase funding for the nation’s higher institutions. He also challenged alumni of the various universities to come to their aid by providing funds and materials. Babalola said in his days as the school’s ProChancellor, he led by example, by not only building a hall for the institution, but also encouraged his friends and clients to support the school with money. He advised the in-coming Council to be headed by former Information Minister, Professor Jerry Gana to continue his drive to uplift the institution. On government’s plan to change the school’s name, Babalola advised the new Council work towards ensuring an amicable settlement of the issue. “I will advise that the Council under Gana should invite people, who have influence in this country, to approach the president and ask for settlement out of court. “And that settlement should include that we give appropriate honour to the late M.K.O.Abiola by naming the National Assembly, the Supreme Court or even, Aso Rock after him,” he said. His suggestion on this issue drew applauds from the audience, who shouted “UNILAG forever! No to MAULAG!” On the school endowment fund that he instituted, Babalola noted that the fund was currently inadequate even though his allowances while serving as the Pro-Chancellor paid into the fund. Babalola volunteered to raise the fund from its current balance to N10million and asked the school’s Registrar to inform him about the difference so that he can provide it on time. He said N1m from the fund will be given out annually: N500,000 each to the best staff and student , who exhibit exceptional leadership traits. In the audience were Education Minister, Professor Ruqayattu Ahmed Rufai,who represented President Goodluck Jonathan; Executive Secretary, National University Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okogie, former Works Minister, Adeseye Ogunlewe, former Petroleum Minister, Odein Ajumogobia (SAN) and Chief Folake Solanke (SAN). There were also traditional rulers, including Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi (the third), former Justice of the Court of Appeal, now Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari; Alake of Egba, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and Osile Oke-ona Egba, Oba Adedapo Tejuosho. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola was represented by his Special Adviser on Education, Fatai Olukoga, while Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State was represented by Mrs K. A. O. Aderye of the state’s Education Ministry. • Continued on page 35


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

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LAW PERSONALITY A former General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Deacon Dele Adesina (SAN), is a member of the Ekiti State Judicial Commission. He is a life member of the National Executive Committees of NBA and Nigerian Legal Aid Council. In this interview with ADEBISI ONANUGA, he speaks on the rot in the judiciary and politicians’ interference.

Should CJN’s powers be cut?

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HAT is your assessment of the judicial system in the last one year? I believe the judiciary in the last one year has lived up to its bidding. Sensitive cases have been handled, particularly at the appellate level, the high courts are also discharging their responsibilities, things are going on well. But that is not to say that there are no complaints here and there. But these complaints are more of systemic complaints that need systemic address and solution. Can you give example of these complaints? We still have issues of delay in our courts. In places like Lagos, we still have cases of over-burdened judiciary. A court on a Monday morning in Lagos, may have as many as 33 cases on its list. On a day when they hear cases, you find them hearing four, five to 10 cases on the list of cases to be heard. So, we still have much work being done by so few number of people. We still have incidences of courts recording proceedings in long hands which are constituting, not in a small measure, to the delays that we are seeing in our courts. These are some of the problems that I described as systemic problems. When you take that of long hand recording of proceedings, you will wonder why. So, what is the solution to these systemic problems? The answer can be located in lack of adequate funding for the courts. I believe that if we have adequate funds to run the affairs of the judiciary, they would be able to have money to buy equipments, verbatim recorders and so on and so forth. In some of the criminal cases, particularly in Lagos, we do see the criminal courts using verbatim recorders, in courts and they get exact state of the proceedings. A good number of times, the judges only write pivotal statements or answers to questions either in examination in chief, cross examination or re-examination. Then you still do not see this duplicated before the regular courts. So you still see a judge holding his biro, writing everything a lawyer says, stopping where the lawyers stops, put comma where the lawyer paused a little and so on and so forth. All these put together are what is responsible for the delays we experienced. There have been agitations for self accounting system for the judiciary. These agitations largely have not been complied with in a good number of the states. At least, as at last week, as a member of the Judicial Service Commission of Ekiti State, we sat for hours for two days, trying to interview people, several of them, who applied to be appointed as legal assistants. I am aware that either at the level of the Nigerian Bar Association or at the level of the individual, we have been agitating for the employment of legal research assistants to assist our judicial officers in the dispensation of justice in Nigeria. But some judges are said to be opposed to the appointment of legal assistants for them? Yes, there have been oppositions, and quite, surprisingly, from some of the judges giving one excuse or the other. But we took the bull by the horn last week for Ekiti State Judiciary. We expect each judge to have one research assistant allocated to him or her and we believe that would assist in speedy admin-

istration of justice. The point must be made that there is a lot of room for improvement for administration of justice in Nigeria and to make the judiciary be what the people wants it to be. People want to take their grievances to court. They want to access the court. They want to ventilate their grievances before the court within a record period of time. But the situation that we still find in Nigeria, today, is a situation where you know, when to access the court but you never know when your case would be decided. Three years, five years, 10 years and this is the greatest challenge that we have in the Nigerian judiciary. So, what would you say is the way out? The way out is embedded in some of the things I have just said. For example, when judicial officers have research officers allotted to them, adjournment for rulings and judgments will necessarily be shortened. They would not have to take months before they are delivered. Number two, information technology has taken over everything in the world of today and as far as our judiciary is concerned, our judiciary is more than 50 years behind time. With respect to information technology, our proceeding has to be enhanced with necessary facility and equipments. We need verbatim reporters to ease these ideas of recording in a long hand. Thirdly and this is perhaps attitudinal. The attitude of the practitioners must change both the judges and the lawyers themselves. Some of the time, you travel as a lawyer from your station to another station to handle a matter only to be told that the court is not sitting for one reason or the other. There are instances where either valedictory sessions are taken or special court sessions are holding. Because of that reasons, the court will not hold a regular sitting and so, cases will be adjourned and the court list adjusted. There are instances where lawyers themselves, out of lack of proper preparations for their cased, will apply for frivolous adjournments. So, all these must stop. Our attitude to work must change. The lawyer must be ready to do its work. He must be ready to go on when his case comes up for hearing. Frivolous adjournments must stop. At least, these are some of the way out. In spite of attempts to sanitise the judicial system, we still hear of complaints of corruption. What is your take on this and the way out of it? I think the greatest challenge we have with recourse to this allegation of corruption in the judiciary is that of perception. The perception is that the judiciary in Nigeria is corrupt. But that is far away from the reality. I know that perception may be as cogent or as real as the reality sometimes. But we must still make the point that perception is different from reality. It is true that to perceive our judiciary as corrupt is bad enough. But I believe it is high time we begin to separate the wheat from the chaff. There is no profession under the sun that does not have its own little amount of bad eggs.

But if in a community, of say 100 people, one or two are bad, it would be a total error of judgment to say because two are bad, the 100 people are bad. That is the problem we are having in the Nigeria of today as far as our judges are concerned and I begin to sympathise with them. I hope we don’t get to a point when every judge in Nigeria will be regarded as corrupt. And that would be very dangerous to the system because there is no alternative to the judiciary of any nation. As to command aspect of the judiciary, people need trust and confidence in the system. I believe that we owe it a duty to build the system. We owe it a duty to build the institution and we can only build the system while trying to sanitise them, we also do not make inflammatory statement that are capable of destroying the system that you are trying to build. This is the crux of the matter in Nigeria. The EFCC has always blamed the judiciary for its inability to prosecute high profile cases. What is your take on this? I sympathise with the EFCC. I said so because they want to be running at a particular pace which unfortunately is not the same pace at which the judiciary can run in the course of its own inherent institutional challenges, practice and procedures. Want to be faster than the judiciary itself. So where they are not able to go at the same pace as they want, it is believed that the judiciary is drawing them back or pulling down their case. But the judicial system, they have its own system which is rather elongated and cumbersome and perhaps can be time consuming and the procedures and practice must be followed, otherwise, the whole system will pack and collapse. Somebody is charged to court for a criminal offence. The law says, and this is the fundamental law of the land, that he is entitled to his defence. The law even goes further to say that this man that you have brought to court is presume innocent until you have established the contrary. In establishing the contrary, you need to line up your witnesses. In defending himself, the law has given him room and ability to defend himself in the way he and his lawyer deem fit, provided that those ways are ways and means within the system. So, you will find out that the first thing the defence counsel will do is to file an application to challenge the charge in court. Because of the business of the court, the application challenging the charge may not be heard and determined until the period of six months, nine months or as the case may be. The commission did not expect that to happen. Argument is taken, rulings are delivered and the rulings themselves become a subject of appeal before appellate court, and that process begins to multiply itself. The court has to take the plea, hearing again, in the course of hearing, objections are taken either to admissibility of a piece of evidence or admissibility of document. Again, arguments are taken, rulings are delivered. Some of the rulings may be subject of appeal, some may not. There is no way that all these that question

• Adesina

judgements will not result into some form of delay or the other. This is the problem that we are having. The issue of attitude is also another factor here that we must address. Attitude of the lawyer, as I stated before, and the attitude of the judges. I am aware that one of the code of conduct of the profession is that a defence lawyer must not urge on the court a defence that he does not believe in. So, our system itself must not accommodate frivolous objections and defences that we see everyday in court. This is why we have to address the attitude of lawyers and the attitude of judges. There is a need for us for a better display of professionalism in determination of our cases, whether you are for the plaintiff or you are for the claimant or the defendant in civil cases or you are for the prosecution or the defendant in criminal cases. Would you subscribe to the suggestion that the powers of the chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) should be whittled down? That the CJN should not chair the Judicial Commission, Privileges Committee, Judicial Institute for instance? Those who are arguing for whittling down of the powers of the CJN have not supported their suggestion with convincing arguments. I am a candidate of change. I believe in change. In fact, the only permanent thing in life is change. But the only thing from good to better is from the better to the best. That is the whole essence of change. You don’t change for the sake of changing. I do not know what is wrong with the present system where you have the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) heading some of those professional institutions. I don’t see any conflict of interest there. So, I can’t fathom an excuse or an argument why for example the CJN

‘Our system itself must not accommodate frivolous objections and defences that we see everyday in court. This is why we have to address the attitude of lawyers and the attitude of judges. There is a need for us for a better display of professionalism in determination of our cases’

should not continue to be the chairman of the NJC. But I would bow for superior arguments any day if one is advanced. There are those who are saying that in Nigeria judgments can be bought, particularly by politicians who are using their position to achieve selfish ends. What is your take on this? First, perception is different from reality. Second, I will like to draw a distinction between judgements of regular courts and judgements of election petition tribunal oe election appeal tribunal. For the regular courts, I have been practicing law for the last 30 years. We have had cases where judgements of cases have been in our favour. We have had instances where it has been against us. So it is with all legal practitioner. No lawyer win all cases. So, having not experienced one before, I will join issues most vehemently with the arguments that judgements of our regular courts are being bought or are being purchased. That is not to say that there has been no instance or instances in the past where we as a law office, we have lost a case that we think we ought not to have lost. That will not make me to conclude that the other party has gone to purchase the judgement. After all, we have hierarchy in the court system. Now, if you purchase it in the High Court, the court of first instance, are you also going to purchase it in the Court of Appeal where minimum of three justices will sit? If you lose there, are you also going to the Supreme Court of Nigeria where at least five justices will sit? I have clearly separated regular cases from election petition cases. So for regular cases, the allegations are not true. On the election petition cases, people are more passionate when it comes to election petition matters and only very few cases are objective. They want to file until they can file no more. Nigeria’s democracy is the only democracy where I know three or four people will be vying for a position and all the three or • Continued on page 32


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

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NATIONAL BAR

NBA seeks swift passage of security, justice administration bills

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HE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has urged the National Assembly to pass the security and justice administration bills “as a matter of urgent public importance.” The Bills are Administration of Justice Commission Bill, the Police Act Amendment Bill, the victims of Crime Remedies Bill, the Prisons Act Amendment Bill, the Elimination of Violence in Society Bill, Terrorism Act (Amendment) Bill, Administration of Criminal Justice Bill and the Whistle Blowers Bill. NBA also urged the government to take urgent steps to put in place the necessary foundations for short and long term peace and security in the country. These were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the association’s Peace and Security Summit in Abuja last week. It had as theme: Comprehensive and sustainable peace and security in a plural society: Extreme challenges to Nigeria internal security. At the summit were Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Miriam Aloma Mukhtar, who chaired the opening ceremony; former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who chaired the showcase session and former DirectorGeneral of the State Security Services/National Intelligence Agency Chief A. K. Horsfal, who delivered the keynote address. Also in attendance were Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), who represented President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; former military heads of state Muhammadu Buhari and Abdulsalam Abubakar, and Senate President David Mark who was represented by Chairman Senate Committee on the Judici-

• NBA President, Okey Wali (SAN) By John Austin Unachukwu

ary Senator Umaru Dahiru. NBA, in the communiqué adopted after the summit and signed by its President, Okey Wali (SAN), urged the government to make conscious efforts at achieving comprehensive and sustainable peace and security in the country. These efforts, it said, should be geared towards attaining economic peace, political peace, educational peace, legal peace and military peace. The association said indigeneous security model should be adopted for more effectiveness in sharing intelligence, eliminating working and speaking at cross purposes, manning the borders, preventing waste of security funds, preempting and preventing violent crimes like insurgency, armed robbery, corruption and

kidnapping in good time. It said the political class should work hard to fulfill the expectations of the masses by providing good governance and avoiding corruption and loud and ostentations living with ill-gotten wealth. NBA said the government should take urgent steps to address the problems of excruciating poverty in the land, inequitable distribution of income and basic economic infrastructure and unemployment. It called for a declaration of a state of emergency in the educational sector in order to arrest the rapidly declining educational standard. This, it said, is to avoid what it called horrendous future for Nigeria which could be dominated by ill-educated and ill-equipped citizenry in 20 or 30 years from now. NBA said: “Governments at all levels should as a matter of urgency introduce scholarship schemes for the singular purposes of taking the loitering millions of children off the streets and into schools – possibly boarding schools – and thereby keep them away from the reach and influence of crimes of different shades and colours.” The association spared a thought for sufferers of violent activities, urging the government to put in place an “anti-reprisal mechanism” where victims of violence and insurgency are quickly pacified and economically restored and rehabilitated. NBA added: “Government should create a transparent and trust-worthy mechanism for dialoguing with insurgents as well as for addressing their grievances.

Subsidy protest victim: Lagos to try DPO

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HE trial of former Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Pen Cinema, Agege, Lagos, Segun Fabunmi, accused of complicity in the killing of a protester - Ademola Aderinde - during the 2012 fuel subsidy removal protest, will soon begin at the state High Court. The Attorney-General, Ade Ipaye, who disclosed this while addressing journalists last week, said the state was set for the DOP’s trial. He said the elevation of Justice Habeeb Abiru to the Court of Appeal delayed the commencement of the trial. Ipaye said his ministry has filed all the necessary information on the matter and the trial will commence once the case is reassigned. But in the meantime, he said that the OPD working in concert with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch have instituted a civil action into the matter and that the police had responded. He said the trial of the DPO should have commenced long ago but for the fact that the police held on to the file while carrying out their internal disciplinary action against him The commissioner said the state recorded 60 per cent reduction in crime rate owing to the enforcement of the new Lagos Traffic Law. “There has also been a 35.9 to 70 per cent reduction in the number of vehicles apprehended from November to December 2012. This shows increasing voluntary compliance among motorists for which we highly commend Lagosians”, he said. Ipaye disclosed that in January alone, the Legal Advisory unit in

• Ipaye By Adebisi Onanuga

the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution(DPP) received 40 case files from the police and had issued 65 pieces of legal advice. This, he said, is compared to 57 files received in December 2012 and treated 97 pieces of legal advice. The commissioner expressed worry at the rate at which minors are being defiled by rapists in the state. He said that the trend has reached an alarming stage disclosing that 427 of such cases were reported last year alone. He regretted that most other cases were not reported by parents wanting to protect the integrity and identity of the childvictim. Though the OPD of recent got positive judgements in respect

• Lagos State Police Commissioner, Umar Manko

of six cases, Ipaye said his ministry had problems of assembling evidences on rape cases because most of the cases were reported late. Ipaye, who said security is an issue that must be taken seriously by all, remarked that government is mindful of the need to create a safe and conducive atmosphere for productive activity. He added that this explained the close attention given to enviromental offences like refuse dumping, street trading and begging among others. Ipaye said people who are in Lagos with legitimate accomodation, business or other engagements have nothing to fear. He said that the state will continue to round up and prosecute others who are intent on illegitimate activities.

Should CJN’s powers be cut? • Continued from page 31

four people will want to win at all cost. So, everybody resorts into all manners of scheming and tactics. But I think that the cases have to be more transparently handled. Politicians have to give the judiciary opportunity to do their job. I believe that a judge that is worthy of being called a judge, not only in terms of learning, but also in character and integrity will stand against any form of corruption whatsoever and howsoever. Again, this is also an area where we have to put the searchlight on the lawyers themselves. I do not think that a politician or a litigant will be so audacious, will be so confident or will be so full of impunity as to set out in his car, carry money to the chamber of a judge or to the house of a judge and say, ‘I have a case before you, this is N1million or N3million, give judgement in my favour’. There must be a way they do it and this intermediary must be fished out. That is not to say that all tribunals judgemnents are questionable. But in Nigeria, I think we generalise too much and it coming to affect a lot of things. People must have confidence. We should stop eroding our confidence in the system that we have. This is 2013, we are just about 14 years old and this is the longest democracy that we have had. In the past, our democratic experience has been serially truncated. So, it has been difficult for Nigerians to build a democratic confidence but we are gradually transiting now and ultimately, we would get to building a culture democratically. The present leadership of the NBA, how do you see it in the last five months or so? The present leadership of the NBA is headed by Okey Wali(SAN), a gentleman I know very well. He is a bar man to the core. I have had the opportunity of being with him in bar association affairs. He is well informed about bar politics and about what is at stake. Within the last five months, what he has pre-occupied himself with is in putting in place structures, organs and agencies with which the executive will function. Within this period, several committees have been set up and inaugurated and they have swung into action. Within this period too, NEC has been held once and issues have been debated and policies formulated. More particularly, within this period, he has put together a bar leader summit that has looked into the bar association generally, the legal profession itself and came up with some issues. These issues were also sieved by the president into smaller strategic committees, to put together a pragmatic programmes of action for a period. That body, I think, are putting their final report together. So, it is leadership that is looking inwards into how to further professionalise the association. It would have to look deeper into the welfare of members of the association because we must not forget that it is a membership base organization. So together, it is time to spear head the looking inwards on those issues that touch on the professionalization of the association, without of course sacrificing its public responsibilities to the members of the society. So, I would like to say in summary that the association has taken off effectively on a very promising note, having regard to the committees that he has set up; there is the rule and law action group to prosecute rule of law actions in the country under his leadership, there is the welfare trust fund committee, the capacity enforce-

ment committee with a view to empowering members of the association, among others. These are the outlets with which he intends to work. Like I said, I believe he started on a very promising note, I believe time is the limit and I believe the NBA will not remain the same by the time some of these things are actualized. I want you to look at the new civil rule procedure of Lagos State as it affects pro bono and Alternative Dispute Resolution(ADR), what is your take on it? The two issues are the right steps in the right direction. The issue of pro bono that has been made mandatory is a welcome development. The truth is that a good number of the practioners hadly do pro bono cases while very few do them. From experience, pro bono cases are even the most challenging and more demanding, why because you have to spend a lot of energy on it as if it is fee paid brief. It is not easy but it is a service to the society and this is also one of the cardinal points of the present leadership of the bar to encourage lawyers to handle pro bono cases. What of the ADR? On the ADR, particularly on commercial activities, it is the right way forward. For instance, in 2002, a matter that we considered to be very simple was brought to us. A client had his account tampered with in the bank. A fraud had been committed on that account. The client told the bank that he knew nothing about that fraud. The system, the book, the handlers of the book and all that are within the bank. In a good system, if such a case goes to court, there is no reason why it cannot be started and concluded within two years. When the matter could not be resolved, the customer took the bank to courtin2002. The case was not concluded until about 2005 or 2006 before the regular court. The bank lost and the bank appealed. We went to Court of Appeal and we were there from 2006 until 2012. So, that simple case had taken 10 years. This time around, the bank also lost at the court of appeal. I think they listened to better advice, they did not appeal to the Supreme Court. But let us assume that they did, that they decided that they want to explore their rights under the law, and appeal to the Supreme Court, we would still be at the Supreme court now and the minimum you can stay at the Supreme Court is five years. From the high court to the Appeal Court, that case lasted 10 years. So that case would have taken some 15 years. That is a practical example of the delays that we talked about earlier. There is no case that cannot be subjected to ADR. If that matter had gone before ADR, no matter how long, maybe maximum of six months or one year, it would have been decided. Because it was a civil case, and not a criminal matter, it lasted 10 years. There is no economic business that can wait for this kind of thing. An investor wants to know if there is a crisis of disagreement between him and some other people, commercial disagreement, how long it would take to have it determined, by the time you tell him 10 years, he would run away back to his country. So, I believe apart from the exigencies of the time, that has given rise to ADR, the technicalities of litigation have made it to become too cumbersome to capture the expectation of commerce and I think ADR is the solution.


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

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FROM THE COURT

NIALS staff sign performance agreement

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TAFF of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, have signed a performance contract agreement to boost their service delivery. Speaking at the ceremony in Abuja the institute’s Director-General, Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN) said with the sigining by principal officers, directors and heads of department and units, the Institute, has become the first parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Justice which Chief executive signed. The Contract Act is aimed at ensuring that all Nigerians put their hands on deck to ensure that the transformation agenda of Mr. President is achieved through hard work in realisation of the set targets in the contract. It is in line with this vision, that the NIALS being the apex of Legal scholarship in Nigeria moved quickly to sign the Performance contract Agreement soon after the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), signed the performance contract agreement with chief executives of

• Prof Azinge (SAN) By John Austin Unachukwu

agencies and parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Justice. This is to ensure that the activities of the Institute are geared towards posi-

tive impact, national growth and development. Speaking at the occasion, Prof Azinge (SAN), noted that the Institute, over the years, has been on the lead in promoting national development. Azinge (SAN) said: “Legal scholarship or any type of scholarship is meaningless unless it is capable of contributing to social and national development”. He, therefore, called on all scholars to drive the transformation agenda of Mr. President as they are the brain box of this nation. “If a nation is not doing as it ought to, scholars should have a sober reflection to consider why they have failed. The director-general congratulated Mr President for his initiative to institutionalise the performance contract agreement Act which will definitely make every public servant to do his best for the country.” He called on all staff, who he referred to as leaders in whatever capacity they find themselves to contribute their quota to national development.

Appeal Court reserves judgment in Daily Times HE Court of Appeal in Lagos ownership dispute ers, Charles and Noel, pounced on the has reserved for judgment assets of DTN to the detriment of other

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the appeal filed by Folio Communications Limited and four others to challenge the nullification their acquisition of the majority shares of Daily Times of Nigeria (DTN) by Justice Okechuwku Okeke of a Federal High Court in 2010. The presiding judge, Justice Amina Augie, reserved the appeal for judgment after listening to parties in the suit. She said the court would communicate a date for judgment to them. Justice Okeke had held that Folio Communications, which is owned by Fidelis Anosike, did not pay for the majority shares of DTN and that it was unlawful for the company to still parade itself as a shareholder of DTN. The judge consequently declared the acquisition was null, void and of no effect whatsoever. He further reverted the shares acquired by Folio Communications back to DTN. The court order was sequel to a suit filed by a shareholder of the newspa-

By John Austin Unachukwu

per house, D.S.V Limited, who complained of gross and illegal sale of DTN assets. According to an affidavit in support of the suit deposed to by one Chinedu Oranuba, the plaintiff stated that the Federal Government represented by NICON Insurance held 96.05 per cent of DTN’s shares and that pursuant to the privatisation programme of the government, bids were invited from prospective investors. It stressed that Folio Communications later emerged the preferred bidder for the Federal Government shares in DTN, but because Folio was not in a position to make immediate payment for the shares, it resorted to borrowing the sum of N750 million for the purchase of the famous newspaper house in the country. The petitioner added that as soon as the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) handed over the business and undertakings of DTN to Folio Communications, Fidelis Anisoke and his broth-

shareholders of the newspaper house. Dissatisfied with the judgment, the appellants approached the Court of the Appeal. In their notice of appeal, they prayed the appellate court to set aside the judgment contending that the said judgment was delivered without hearing the issue of jurisdiction raised by the appellant. They also asked for an order of court remitting the case to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for re-assignment to another judge to hear the issue of locus standi of the petitioner namely DSV limited. Besides, the appellants contented that the trial judge erred in law when he dismissed their application for leave to raise the issue of jurisdiction which challenged the locus standi of DSV limited before the delivery of the judgment. They maintained that the trial judge erred in law when he held that Folio Communications Limited did not pay for the 140, 252, 900 shares allotted to it

NGO advocates stiffer punishment NE Voice, a civil society coaworry on the ability for corruption itof expressed lition, has said the country the current legislators to deliver

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needs to urgently consider capital punishment for corruption in order to stem the tide. The group made the call at a media parley on the state of the nation, held in Lagos. Participants, who wondered why the Federal Government has not mustered courage to refine crude oil despite the low cost implication, insisted that systemic corruption, especially at government level was responsible for the shielding of subsidy thieves. It was noted that the promises of new roads, better housing, efficient and constant power supply, clean water, equipped hospitals, free medical services and better schools which all seemed like a crystallizing dream of a better Nigeria have become endless illusion. They faulted the current Criminal Laws, just as they maintained that it was a major setback in the fight against corruption. “We need to establish harsh laws for corruption and also reform the presently weak Criminal Justice Laws in order to enhance justice delivery. Also, the anti-graft agencies need to be forthright in their investigative and prosecutorial processes. To achieve this, they should be made independent of the office of the Attorney-General and measures should be taken to extri-

By Precious Igbonwelundu

cate the commissions’ from executive control. “We have been told that it is possible to refine crude oil between N20 to N50 per litre. So, why does government prefer to continuously refine outside the country given the high financial implications? It is obvious that there are some interests between the cost of refining in Nigeria and importing refined products that is why the government lacks the will to prosecute and convict subsidy thieves.” The group further held that the $620, 000 bribe scandal against embattled House of Representatives member, Farrouk Lawan, by businessman, Femi Otedola, was nothing but a distraction, so that Nigerians will forget about focusing on, as well as interrogating result of the probe and the fuel subsidy regime. On the on-going constitutional amendment by the National Assembly, One Voice held that chapter two of the constitution which deals with the directive principles of state policy should be made justiceable. It said the provisions of the exclusive legislative list be diffused so that the regions will be more powerful than the centre, even as

the fundamental aspirations of the people. “The ongoing constitutional reform process is flawed in the sense that it may not deliver the fundamental aspirations and agitations of the people for the following reasons: it was forced on the people by a military regime; it created an over-centralisation of the executive power at the centre, which removes it from a true federal constitution; and it left governmental relations with reference to the three-tiers of government undefined, leading to a messed up local government system. “We are of the view that local governments be elevated to first line charge and their liberation from the states ensured. “Also, legislative business should be made a part time thing. It is obvious that our legislators are earning so much for doing nothing. All the salaries and other emoluments should be disbanded by law and legislators should earn sitting allowances since they will be engaged in their private businesses. Among the non-governmental organisations (NGO) represented at the parley were Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Access to Justice (AG) and Centre for Constitutional Governance (CCG).

LAW AND PUBLIC POWER

with gabriel AMALU email:gabrielamalu1@yahoo.com

Eagles triumph over politics

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HE successful run by our national football team, the Super Eagles in the 2013 African Nations Cup competition hosted by South Africa, has once again confirmed our potentials, where our country run on merit and competitiveness, as against godfather and quota templates. Many Nigerians including this writer never believed that the Eagles could soar above the other major competitors considering their recent flight history. The cynicism was based on patriotic instincts. I had wondered, as many obviously did, how the bumbling political and economic buccaneers, running the Nigerian show, could inspire the resurgence of patriotic energy needed to be an African champion. Unlike President Goodluck Jonathan’s political ascent, this crop of Eagles surely earned their pundits, through grit and hard work. But it is to the credit of the administration that unlike in the past, the coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi and his technical team, were given the opportunity to rely on competence and capability to select the new crop of African champions. If there were meddling godfathers and influence peddlers in the camp, then there is a chance that they met their match in Stephen Keshi. Coach Keshi, fondly called the Boss, was referred to by mercurial midfielder Mikel Obi, as a no-nonsense coach, who insists on every player giving one hundred and ten percent to remain in the team, or get thrown out. It is interesting that the coach despite criticisms and the usual fear of failure, insisted on taking a few home based players to the tournament, and to his credit, one of them, Sunday Mba, scored against Ivory Coast, and the winner against Burkina Faso. Against the tradition of our recent national coaches, Keshi was ready to build a new team and take the flaks associated with failure, as he took 17 first-timers to the competition. The result was a pack of hungry Eagles prowling and devouring their preys all the ninety minutes of every match, especially from the quarter finals. The coach by his success has effectively and efficiently retired the swash buckling big men, who see playing in the national team as a favour to Nigerians. Despite our well founded initial skepticism, Nigeria is the proud champion of Africa. The road to this exhilarating success needed grit and unflinching determination of the twenty-two players, their coaching crew and their supporting staff. Today they are our heroes. On the route to this success, the Eagles at the quarter final match honed their beak on the rampaging Elephants of Ivory Coast led by the famous Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure. The result was a massacre that turned otherwise scarce Elephant meat to cheap commodity. From then on, the Eagles were unstoppable, as they primed their wings and soared into the cloud at the semi-finals, beyound the sight of the ordinary Eagles from Mali, only to descend ferociously to devour their compatriots, to qualify for the finals against Burkina Faso. The Stallions of Burkina Faso, who fought their way through from the same group as our own Eagles, strutted aggressively to the finals, despite the ambush of the center referee in their semi-final clash against Black stars of Ghana. The stallions considered a football under-dog, where Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroun, Ivory Coast, Egypt and even South Africa are, played their first ever finals of the African Nations championship against our own Eagles. Determined and aggressive, the stallions were determined to spoil the party for Nigerians. As shown by the Burkinabe, there are no minnows anymore in African football, and at the preliminaries, Ethiopia, Niger and Cape Verde toughened up as veritable football competitors in Africa. As we celebrate, I hope Nigerians have learnt lessons from the Super Eagles’ triumph in South Africa. While no doubt, a fractious nation like Nigeria needs affirmative action plans to galvanize nationals from all corners of the country, yet it must not become the national ethos to thumb incompetence over merit. In saner environments, affirmative actions are more pronounced in creating capacities and opportunities, not as the benchmark for individual and group advancement at the expense of competence and productivity. To rely sorely on politics of god-fathers and god-mothers in public service and political participation is the reason for the cul-de-sac that political governance and public service has turned into. As the Super Eagles soared to victory despite our initial fears; is it possible that the realignments within the political parties can result into a formidable opposition party to confront the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in 2015. In my humble view, the merger of the political parties made of strange bedfellows, is only the first step to a successful run in the next general elections. My prayer and I guess that of many other Nigerians is for the emergence of a new kind of leadership within the new party that can inspire confidence towards a new Nigeria. The new party, All Progressive Congress, if it wishes to win the next general election must clearly offer a better alternative to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. The new party must state clearly where it stands on burning national issues. Beyound mere rhetoric, what will be the stand of the new party on the criminal appropriation of our common resources by the legislative arm of government at the center. With corruption eating up the very foundations of our country, what practical steps will the new party adopt to confront that debilitating menace? Considering the merging of progressive elements and ultra conservatives in the new party, how will it be able to honestly address the needed fiscal and political federalism? Will the new party look forward to the national bazaar of appropriating the resources of the people of the

‘As the Super Eagles soared to victory despite our initial fears; is it possible that the realignments within the political parties can result into a formidable opposition party to confront the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in 2015. In my humble view, the merger of the political parties made of strange bedfellows, is only the first step to a successful run in the next general elections’


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THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

LAW & SOCIETY NBA PEACE AND SECURITY SUMMIT HELD AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA

• From left: Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State; Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Miriam Mukhtar (CJN); NBA President, Okey Wali (SAN); Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State; Chairman NBA Peace and Security Committee, Okey Amechi (SAN) and Wazirin Nupe, Senator Isah Mohammed.

• From left: Abubakar Gimba, representing former Head of State, General Abdusalami Abubakar; former Commonwealth Secretary, Emeka Anyaoku and former Head of State, General Mohammadu Buhari (rtd)

• Justice M. O. Owoade (JCA); Chief Judge Anambra State, Justice P. C. Umeadi and Chairman, Body of Benchers, Idowu Sofola (SAN).

• From left: Augustin Alegeh (SAN); Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN) and Chief Solomon Akuma (SAN)

• From left: Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Delta State Charles Ajuya (SAN) and Arthur Obi Okafor (SAN)

• Former General Secretary, NBA, Ibrahim Eddy Mark; President, Global Association of Female Attorneys (GAFA) Mrs Chinelo Iriele and Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu

• From left: Dele Adesina (SAN), Yusuf Ali (SAN) and Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN)

• Prof. M.O. Maduagwu, Prof. Aja Akpuru Aja and Prof Etanibi Alemika

• From left: Former General Secretary, NBA, Olumuyiwa Akinboro; Chairman, NBA Lagos, Taiwo Taiwo and Special Assistant to Delta State Governor on Legal Matters, Andrew Odum.


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

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NATIONAL BAR Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime returned to the country at the weekend after being away for 140 days. A lawyer, Udo Jude Ilo, writes that his absence amounts to a breach of trust with the electorate.

‘Chime’s long absence a breach of public trust’

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EMOCRACY is predicated on the people. Through elec tions, the people confer their collective authority and power to elected officials to exercise in trust for them. Nigeria’s constitution recognises that sovereignty rests with the people and by extension government must be accountable to the people. The fact that public service is an exercise of trust places greater moral obligation on elected leaders to exercise the people’s mandate with the highest sense of responsibility. Recent events in Nigeria have called to question the manner of democracy that we practice. Are elected officials in any way accountable to the people they govern? If yes, what are the means available to the people to ensure an effective nexus of accountability? Are the people even remotely aware of the standards they should expect from their leaders? I have nothing against Sullivan Chime but as the governor of my state, the way he has handled his absence from his state, has shown impudence in its highest form of vulgarity and that is just not acceptable. Here are the facts as we know it. The Governor transmitted a letter to the State House of Assembly that he will be going on a consolidated leave for 42 days. The Deputy Governor was duly sworn in accordance with the constitution. However, the governor ended up staying outside his duty post for 140 days without providing any explanation to the people of Enugu State. Neither his

deputy nor his commissioners could offer an explanation - suggesting that none was provided by the governor. It has been reported that he is back in the country and his return has elicited surprising enthusiasm without any due regard to the monumental damage done to governance in Enugu State and Nigeria in general by his actions. Since these events started unfolding, four schools of thought have emerged. The first school has the diehard defenders of the governor who believe that the governor can do no wrong. Their argument is that as long as the governor handed over to his deputy, it doesn’t matter how long he stays out without explanation. The constitutional requirement is simply for him to notify State Assembly of his travel and have his deputy act in his stead. The problem with this argument is that the letter transmitted to the House of Assembly states absence for six weeks and it is expected that the State Assembly should be informed if there is any extension. Such information of course is a public document that must be shared with the public. In the absence of such document, it becomes a question of dereliction of duty for which the House of Assembly should question the governor and determine appropriate sanctions. The Second school of thought agree that the governor is way out of line but that he should not be criticized because anybody can be sick and it is

not his fault. Moreover he is adjudged to have done well as a governor and deserves sympathy. As African and a people who watch out for our brothers, this sentiment is understandable. However ours is a nation guided by laws and norms. In all circumstances, those norms should be respected. Second point is that at no time has the governor formally informed the state that he was sick. His sickness was only read in the pages of newspaper. Now the existence of such condition is even denied by his officials which makes the point about compassion moot. The Third school of thought argues that there is compelling evidence of misconduct but argues that we should not criticize the governor because nobody has heard from him. The simple response to this argument is that it is the fact that we have not heard from him that has elicited criticisms in the first place. His crime is not that he was sick but rather that he did not inform the millions of people who voted him into power of the true position of things-a fundamental breach of trust. The fourth school of thought are the group who believe that the governor owes it as a sacred trust to be truthful and forthright with the people he governs and must at all times conduct himself with the highest sense of responsibility. He should treat his citizens with respect and must account to them as a matter of obligation. Sadly, in-between these four schools are the political oppor-

• Governor Chime

tunists who will embrace any argument or ride on any sentiment as long as it provides some level of political leverage. In a democracy this is expected but I digress. It is saddening what we have reduced governance to in Nigeria. It is not just about the abysmal quality of leadership but the cowardly docility of the led. Government is so personalised that constructive criticism of failings of government is erroneously defined as unpatriotic. It is the mentality of the leader as ‘king’ that has undermined accountability and sustained impunity in our clime. Every issue around governance is seen from the myopic lens of self interest and crass mediocrity-he is better than the others. Increasingly, we reduce the bar of accountability promote a culture of apathy to best practices. Here we are

confronted with a situation that exemplifies impunity and disrespect to the citizenry. An avoidable scenario no doubt if the Enugu state government told its citizens the truth about their ‘beloved’ governor. There is a simple test to apply here- can a chief executive of the most badly run company in this world ask for a six weeks leave and disappear for 140 days without any official communication on his condition. The answer is a bigNO. This applies to an unelected executive. The duty of an elected executive is way higher. One other point that needs to be made is the ineffectiveness of the House of Assembly in Enugu. They should bury their heads in shame for not being able to manage this crisis or provide any meaningful oversight. The principle of separation of powers recognises the possibility of tyranny by an organ of governments. Our constitution goes to extensive length to provide instruments and mechanisms for such check. The state Houses of Assembly across Nigeria have sold their independence and have become a negligible appendage of the executive. The events unfolding in Enugu is salvageable. All it requires is a mea culpa from the governor and proper explanation of what has transpired in the last 140 days. Enugu State wishes their governor well and this is an opportunity for him to cash on that goodwill to heal our democracy which his actions have so badly damaged.

The Afe Babalola we know, by Adenipekun, Abimbola • Continued from page 30

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• From left: Agada Elachi; Otunba Dele Oye and S.I. Ameh (SAN), during the NBA Peace and Security Summit at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

‘Freed inmates a security risk’

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EN criminal suspects, who were jointly detained for 80 years without trial and were released last Tuesday, could pose a security risk, a human rights group, Prisoners Rights Initiative (PRAI), has warned. A Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, freed them because the state had no case against them. Those freed include Kingsley Ogbaka and Victor Ekpo, both detained for 11 years each without trial. Others are John Obasi, who was held for 10 years, Segun Lasisi (detained for eight), Iyete Abure (seven years) and Abdul-azeez Audu (seven years). The rest are Emmanuel Ezekiel (six years), Mohammed Sakariaya (eight years), Soji Awakan (six years) and Babatunde Alani (six years). Releasing them, Justice Deborah Oluwayemi said they had been in custody for too long without the Commissioner of Police sending their duplicate case files to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) for trial. PRAI had filed the suit which led to their release, arguing their detention without trial violated their rights. Speaking after obtaining the de-

By Joseph Jibueze

tainees’ production warrant, the group’s Director, Mr Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, said leaving the inmates to their fate would endanger the society. His words: “Rehabilitation is very key. Many of them, when leaving the prison, what they do is to have phone numbers of criminals outside that they will contact. “When they are released and there’s no job for the first two months, the next thing is to go back into crime. “So, you find most of them being sent back to prisons or getting killed while on operations. But as an NGO we can’t just close our eyes to the fact that rights are being violated. “If you have no job and have been in prison for 10 years without being productive, the zeal to survive when you get outside might push some of them into crime. “This is especially when they have met with some hardened criminals. Some of them were innocent when they went to prison, but they have met with hardened criminals and have been initiated. “So what they do is that while leaving the prison, the hardened crimi-

nals give some of them numbers of who to contact for support outside. “Some may be doing it ignorantly. They would call the number, and those they call may give them money for a week or two, and the next thing is to give them a gun for criminal operations. “Ideally, the government should endeavour to rehabilitate them. Unfortunately I don’t think that is part of government’s priorities. “That’s why they need assistance. So we’re calling on well-meaning Nigerians to assist these people.” The judge said detaining them perpetually without trial violated their fundamental human rights and contravened Section 265 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State. For Alani and Awakan, the DPP had issued a legal advice since September 2007 and November 2008 stating that they had no case to answer, yet they were still kept behind bars. The detainees were among 106 applicants who, through their lawyer Adetola-Kazeem, urged the court to free them as the state had no evidence that they committed a crime.

WO lawyers - Adebayo Adenipekun, (SAN) and Chairman Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ibadan branch, Seun Abimbola - who have experienced Babalola closely, described him in superlative terms. Adenipekun said Babalola “has successfully carved a niche for himself in the annals of law practice in Nigeria. “In his actions and utterances he is always guided by a need to maintain the highest of professional standards in the overall interest of the legal profession and the administration of justice as a whole. “In confirmation of this, he was appointed a member of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) - the body saddled with the appointment of Senior Advocates of Nigeria. He was personal solicitor to prominent individuals such as Chief Moshood Abiola, Alaafin of Oyo, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and multinationals, including local and foreign companies and banks. “He is a recipient of the national honours of Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR) and Commander of the Order of Niger (CON). “He is the President of the Institute of Arbitrators of Nigeria and a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. “On the international front, he received the Queen Victoria Commemorative Medal from the European Business Assembly. “He is also the Vice-Chairman of the Rectors of Europe and a Honorary Professor of the same body. ”In addition to his successful practice of law, he has served Nigeria in several capacities, prominent of which remains his years of service as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Lagos. “He won the NUC award as the best Pro-Chancellor twice, in succession. He was the Chairman of Committee of Pro-Chancellor of 78 universities. He is a philanthropist who has made

• Adenipekun

over 22 donations to universities, hospitals and Bar associations. “He is at the moment, the founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, a university founded with his own personal funds and which is today acknowledged within and outside Nigeria as a model, reference point and the best thing to have happened to education in Nigeria,” Adenipekun said. To Abimbola, describing the man Afe Bablola is a very difficult task. This he said is because “he (Babalola) is a rare gem, an achiever and a man that is exceptionally gifted in identifying talents and building them up to stand on their own as human beings. He is gifted in building people who build institutions. “Afe, as he is fondly called, has eyes to identify good talents and training them to be on their own. He single handedly built the Bar Centre in Ibadan for NBA Ibadan branch and has contributed immensely to the building and development of the branch. “I also learnt that he built a Bar Centre for Ado Ekiti branch of the NBA. He also built a Centre for Nuclear Medical Research for the University College Hospital, Ibadan. Everything about him signposts his benovelence and love for humanity. He is a great achiever and deserves the award conferred on him by the University of Lagos,” he said.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

NATIONAL BAR

• From left: Chief Benson (SAN), Hon S.O.B. Agunbiade and Mrs Benson

• Falana (SAN)

• Lawal Pedro (SAN) and Wahab Shitu

• From left: Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), Mrs Funke Adekoya (SAN) and Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Bashorun

• Justice Dolapo Akinsanya (rtd) and Justice Olayinka

• Anthony Ibeh and Sahid Owosile

• Lai Babatunde (SAN)

The judiciary in any country has always been the hope of the common man. But when confidence is eroded in that system, the hope of the common man to get justice is lost. The issue was again examined at the just concluded annual lecture of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikorodu where speakers blamed lawyers and judges for the rot of the judiciary and proffered solution.

O

NE recurring decimal in the nation’s judiciary system has been the issue of corruption and the subversion of the system and the rule of law. And the perpetrators expectedly have been the operators of the system, who unfortunately, have become willing tools in the hands of politicians who are seeking selfish interest. At the just concluded 2013 Law week of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikorodu Branch, the rot in the judiciary was at the fore of the event. The eighth Chief Olusola Benson(SAN) annual lecture was titled, Nigeria, A Failing Nation: where are the lawyers?. It was delivered by human rights advocate, Femi Falana (SAN) while Deacon Dele Adesina (SAN) was the chairman. According to the NBA, Ikorodu branch chairman, Sahid Owosile, when the topic of the lecture was decided, they were just not looking at the lawyers alone but also the judges and what should be their role in correcting the bad impression the menace had created in the minds of the public that should ordinarily have confidence in the judiciary. Owosile said it is sad that the menace has been allowed to put the judiciary in a state of bankruptcy. In a welcome address, the chairman of NBA, Ikorodu Branch, Mr Sahid Owosile posited that lawyers must be the standard bearers if the rule of law must have a root in Nigeria. “In fact, even if the evolution fails, the lawyers should still be the standard bearers of a revolution change

Lawyers should do what is right By Adebisi Onanuga

in the judiciary”. Citing the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi who was known for his many advocacies, he believed that if lawyers take up the gauntlet, it should not be too difficult to fill the vacuum left behind by Gani. Owosile counseled lawyers to be standard bearers of the rule of law which he said is the benchmark of democratic. He stressed the need for lawyers to take up this challenge to prevent “an evolutionary revolution of an impending Arab spring” in the country. Lagos Lawyer and human rights advocate, Mr. Femi Falana blamed lawyers and judges for corruption and the subversion of the judiciary and the rule of law. “The situation has got to a level of anarchy and if nothing is done drastically to halt this decline, the country may collapse”, he warned. Falana, who considered the high rate at which the rule of law was being subverted, lamented that lawyers have joined the reactionary forces that are pulling down the country through unethical practices. “What we see today is best described as shams in our courts where corrupt people walk in and out with ease. With impunity, lawyers abuse court process to favour their clients without corresponding punishment for the offenders. The laws have been manipulated to favour the rich who commit criminal offences but

get light sentences while the common people that engage in petty stealing end up spending long years behind bars.” Falana, who sang verses from the music of the Afro legend, Late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Authority Stealing, regretted that members of the Bar are assisting in pushing the country to the precipice of self annihilation which may lead to chaos. He pointed out that the systemic decline and the rot in the judiciary have become so endemic that it has become almost impossible to get justice in the country. “Judges as well as lawyers oftentimes exploit the complexity in the Nigerian legal system to abuse the court process thereby inhibiting justice. He regretted that corruption in the judiciary has assumed a dangerous dimension to the essence that lawyers seek injunction to prevent law enforcement agents from arresting or prosecuting suspected criminals adding “unfortunately they have in some judges, conniving allies who are ready to accede to their prayers, especially when the price is ‘right’. According to him, the abuse of court process by lawyers who file frivolous suits and motions have made a mockery of the whole judicial system. He remarked that a situation like this does not only erode public confidence in the judges, lawyers and the judicial process, it is also capable of collapsing the judicial system where

anarchy, lawlessness and total disregard for the rule of law, which is the foundation for democracy, will be lost. The human rights advocate said it is a matter of regret that right action in the Nigerian context has been interpreted by lawyers to mean getting justice through money induced process; and to get justice has been made to look like ability to pay enough money to truncate court process as well as bribe the judge. Falana remarked that not until Nigerian lawyers do what is right and until judges act responsibly, “our quest for a better society, rule of law, good governance and justice may be a mirage”, he said. He said the situation in the country now requires that bodies put in place to sanitise the bench and bar become alive to their responsibilities in order to restore people’s confidence in the judicial system. He said the Legal Practioners Disciplinary Committee and the National Judicial Council (NJC) are repositioned to monitor lawyers and judges who subvert the legal system. According to Falana, “in building a modern nation, the rule of law is a sine qua non. The role of lawyers is not only vital but also sacrosanct to the running of a nation based on the rule of law”. The chief judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips, who was represented by Justice Olaide Olayinka, remarked that lawyers

represent a unique position in the country in view of the fact that they represent the society. The chief judge said it is their duty to ensure the members of the society get justice at all times. Justice Phillips counseled lawyers to always have the masses at the back of their mind whenever they are interpreting the laws because of the implication of their actions on members of the society. According to her, it is only when the laws are interpreted the right way that they can re-build public confidence in the judiciary. “It is time for lawyers to go back to the drawing board and play their roles as expected and redeem the image of the profession”, she said. Chairman of the occasion, Deacon Dele Adesina(SAN) described lawyers as nation builders worldwide and cited the likes of Nelson Mandela, Tambo Mbeki, Bill Clinton, Barak Obama and the late Obafemi Awolowo, Ladoke Akintola among others to buttress the claim. Adesina remarked that the characteristics of a failed nation are very evident in Nigeria . He refused to accept that Nigeria has failed as a nation stressing that his position is that the country is still living. He said the challenge here is “what are the lawyers doing; what roles are they playing in the present day Nigeria?” Adesina challenged lawyers to rise up and build a nation that we can all be proud of. He said Chief Olusola Benson(SAN) was being celebrated because of his excellent character and urged lawyers to emulate him.


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

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LEGAL OPINION

Nigeria’s quest for environment governance • Continued from last week

Public participation in environmental decision-making: vital but neglected

T

HERE is an increasing empha sis on public participation in environmental law. This is based on the recognition that citizens are a valuable source of knowledge and values, and the democratic ideal of citizen representation in decision-making. In this respect, public participation seeks to maintain the democratic ethic by opening-up government decision to the public. Five core reasons can be posited behind increased public participation in environmental law and decision-making. (i) It is regarded as a proper and fair conduct of democratic government in public decision-making activities; (ii) It is widely accepted as a way to ensure that projects meet citizens’ needs and are suitable to the affected public; (iii) It gives more legitimacy and less hostility to project if affected parties can influence the decision-making process. In other words, because public opinions and values have been included in the decision-making process, citizens develop a sense of project ownership and are more supportive of implementation; (iv) Final decision is ‘better’ when local knowledge and values are included and when expert knowledge (scientific) is publicly examined; (v) It has the potential to keep both regulators and project proponents on their toes and compel them to do things right. In the context of international recognition of the concept of public participation, over 150 states agreed to Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration to the effect that ‘environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level’. Further progress was made internationally with the adoption of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. At the national level, public participation can have differing degrees of legal force. In some situations it can come as a mandatory substantive requirement, while in others it is facilitated through a procedural right to be consulted or heard at an inquiry. In some other situations, it can take place voluntarily in an attempt to use ‘best practice’ or to elicit values to settle issues of environmental risk. In the case of Nigeria, her history of public involvement in environmental decision making can be said to date back to 1988 when the FEPA Act albeit in a limited manner conferred the Director of the Agency with power to inter alia ‘conduct public investigation on pollution’. The most significant possibilities for individual citizens to be involved in environmental decisionmaking are those flowing from the requirement of Environmental Impact Assessment Act. Over the years, more recent laws and regulations such as NESREA Act and the Regulations made pursuant to Section 34 of that Act have sought to broaden public participation by encouraging the Agency’s collaboration with public or private organisations in the development of environmental monitoring programmes, establishment of programme for setting standards and granting access to what hitherto might have constituted confidential information.

By Olanrewaju Fagbohun

The above referred efforts, notwithstanding, it cannot be argued with any measure of seriousness that Nigeria is where it ought to be in her sequencing of the mechanisms for public participation or amortisation of the benefits that ought to come with it. The reality of it is that environmental regulation in Nigeria is still substantially closed to public influence. In contrast with developments in other jurisdictions, some of which we have earlier examined, most of what Nigeria flaunts as notification and consultation processes are not only rudimentary but improper procedures: majority of citizens lack project-specific expertise that would guide them on the merits of the project and are too poor to seek expert advise; the close relationship between industry and regulators put proponents who are ever eager to implement their project at an advantage; participation most times occurs too late in the decision-making process to influence the selection of alternatives or key project variables; notices and time frames to comment are inadequate; participation most times are aimed at defending a decision already made or to placate the public by soliciting opinions that are subsequently not taken into cognizance; public involvement most times is limited both in time (prior to project implementation and not through life-cycle of project) and in scale; nature conservation and environmental management decisions are almost entirely concentrated in the hands of regulators and other government officials without recourse to the general public; lack of transparency in decision-making; high degree of official discretion in setting environmental standards; and lack of access to relevant information. An effective public participation programme will not happen by accident. It must be carefully planned and implemented. Many of the most challenging current environmental questions are uncertain and speculative with respect to harm at the time of their development, and it is only in rather extreme cases that there exist, recognizable and calculable harms to human interest. The consequence of this is that important repercussions may not be taken fully into account if left to the judgment of a few. Thus, while sufficiently skilled decisionmakers can undertake an expert risk assessment which will quantify the risks, the contribution of a broad spread of participants will provide different perspectives on the risks which ought to be considered. The fact that no person’s whole belief system is likely to be represented by another in an entirely predictable way (premised on individuality of views, values and solutions) should not constitute a dissuading factor. Rather, it should be viewed as a potential for productive conflict between viewpoints. The importance of public participation is such that some countries provide a system of monetary reward for the public for the

reporting of breaches of development permits or conditions that may help to overcome entrenched negative public attitudes towards the enforcement of environmental offences. Some others provide for intervenor funding model151to make available financial resources that will enhance the opportunity for public participation. Where those with responsibility for environmental decisions give premium to public participation, the public through its very skepticism and willingness to question expert and scientific claims, will ultimately provide important decision-making resources. Contribution to the Climate Change challenge Climate change poses fundamental and varied challenges to all communities across the globe. The situation is worse for Africa because the climate risk exposures are exacerbated by a range of endemic structural vulnerabilities such as widespread poverty, reduced yields of the main staples, entrenched inequalities in rights over land resources, lack of access to technology and information, endemic corruption, inter-tribal and other conflicts, and lack of effective governance. I have been working at the Federal level with a coalition of organisations under the auspices of Nigeria Climate Action Network, and as a member of the Expert Group for the Development of Climate Change Policy and Legislation for the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the able leadership of the vibrant and irrepressible Professor Chidi Ibe, ProChancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Imo State University, Owerri. Our objective is to put in place good development policy and a mechanism for effective mitigation and adaptation strategies for Nigeria. I have also been involved as a resource person in Regional Parliamentarian Workshops organised through the collaborative effort of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Nigeria (DTCA), African Union (AU), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). I have also been involved with a number of State Governments seeking to mainstream policy instrument and technology that can be utilised to eliminate or reduce the risk of climate change to human life and property. At this juncture, I cannot resist the chance to mention some pertinent research I have been involved in with colleagues at the Environmental Regulatory Research Group of the University of Surrey. It is recognized that the sheer volume of law and policy emanating from the international level makes it uncertain which type of regulatory or policy framework is likely to have a positive impact. Further, that climate change is not just an environmental problem requiring technical and regulatory solu-

• Prof Fagbohun

tions; it is a cultural arena in which a variety of stakeholders engage in contestation as well as collaboration over the form and substance of evolving regimes of governance. What we seek to understand with this research is how to better comprehend and theorise the role of cultural legitimacy in the choice and effectiveness of international legal and policy interventions aimed at tackling the impact of climate change.156 If our hypothesis, that if peoples’ values are incorporated not only in the way policy questions are framed but also in the way mitigation and adaptation strategies are developed, are supported by social science research, we may be able to develop some tools that will make more rational peoples conceptualization of the climate change challenge and the response of international and national law thereto. Concluding remarks I have guided us on a journey through Nigeria’s quest for environmental governance and attempted to show how Nigeria bequeathed to herself polarized environmental goals and values, and a maladapted approach to innovating a rational, consistent and effective environmental policy. The destruction of Nigeria’s environmental systems and features constitutes a creeping crisis that is certain to grow worse over time. As the nation grows, the gap between the people and the natural environment continue to widen. In seeking to explain the problem, discussions have turned on the struggle between humanity’s limited spatial and temporal horizons and the laws of nature, and on how the expansive reach of modern technology has turned the once seemingly infinite into the finite. But, these are only part of the problem. Much more fundamental are the challenges of environmental protection as are rooted in the na-

‘An effective public participation programme will not happen by accident. It must be carefully planned and implemented. Many of the most challenging current environmental questions are uncertain and speculative with respect to harm at the time of their development, and it is only in rather extreme cases that there exist, recognizable and calculable harms to human interest. The consequence of this is that important repercussions may not be taken fully into account if left to the judgment of a few’

ture of the laws guiding environmental governance. The defining characteristic of Nigeria’s lawmaking institutions is the horizontal and vertical fragmentation of authority as deliberately designed to avoid the concentration of lawmaking and implementation, and ultimately reduce the potential risk of excesses, abuses of undue concentration of power and corruption. Regrettably, the way this has played out for environmental governance is that those concerned about the adverse effects of a particular act may have no jurisdiction over the cause, while those with jurisdiction over the cause may have no political accountability to those suffering the adverse effects. Aside of this generic problem, there are several other specific challenges (which are the direct result of the nature of Nigeria’s environmental law) that are confronting third parties desirous of environmental justice. The result is that environmental remedies have brought nothing but lamentations and grieve to victims of environmental degradation; branches of government have continued to be pitted one against the other in unending conflicts; while unending friction has become the norm between federal and state government, between state governments, or between state and local governments. The specific recommendations made in this lecture have clearly emphasised the critical role of law in environmental governance, and would if taken as a reform agenda make the system work better. The recommendations can be taken within the practical politics of the moment. We must not give up on the system despite its frequent failures. The truth is that environmental governance globally is inherently a complex, difficult and expensive process. It is only if we keep at it that we would be able to entrench not only institutional harmony and efficiency, but, also bring about tangible environmental improvement and positive movement towards the ultimate goal of sustainable development. • Concluded •Fagbohun is Professor of Environmental Law and Head of Department, Akinola Aguda School of Postgraduate Studies, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Lagos.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

NATIONAL BAR

Deregulation law, economics and politics

T

HIS book is of intellectual fas cination and practical impor tance. The book further reviews the economic, political and legal basis for the deregulation exercise in Nigeria. The chapters in the book reflect the banking sector, electricity sector, broadcasting as well as other essential utilities. Also addressed in this book are issues on corporate governance, deregulation of infrastructure and deregulation of public corporations. Below is the review of each of the chapters of the book which has nine chapters and 230 pages. In chapter One entitled Regulation or Deregulation: Which way Nigeria: An examination of Trends in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The authors Olawale Ajai and Bolaji Owasanoye adequately review the conceptual considerations undergirding the regulation of the economy, the political economy of legal regulation of the economy and the Nigerian experience. The authors states that an absolutely deregulated economy in the sense of withdrawal of state intervention in the regulative process, the institutional context and the infrastructural sense according to Whites typology is probably an unattainable ideal. Further, he rightly observes that the debt crisis, mismanagement of the economy and corruption were the immediate causes of the deregulation policy, the outcome of the eight-year Structural Adjustment Programme was an astounding creation of new mandarin banking and finance millionaires and that the privatisation and commercialisation that was done in many states resulted in scandalous transfer of the national patrimony into a few hands. The authors view critically the intricacies of the IMF and Western Countries that touted the virtue of SAP in Africa as the harbinger of industrialisation and economic development The article therefore concludes by stating that the real issue is not one of regulation or deregulation but of whose benefit and in whose interest - the ordinary Nigerians or the comprador class as such exercises necessarily have to be relative and not absolute. The authors indicate that the return to regulation either of the whole or part of the erstwhile deregulated part of the economy is an admission of the failure of the SAP. The second chapter on Deregulation of Infrastructure by Paul Idornigie, further encapsulates that Privatisation and commercialisation in Nigeria and the attraction of private investors to infrastructure delivery will be a mirage unless institutional reforms take place. This is the role of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission Act of 2005 which was passed to provide a regulatory environment for the attraction of private sector participants to the delivery of infrastructure in Nigeria, The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), BPE is known for privatisation and commercialisation without any regard to their reform activities whom have been actively involved in the drafting of bills and have moved back and forth from the federal executive council to the National Assembly. Thus there can be no full deregulation of infrastructure in Nigeria without the passage into law of these reform bills, and further Nigeria may be moving from public monopoly to private monopoly if the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill that was initiated in 2001 and drafted in 2003 are not passed into law. In conclusion the author states that the duty of government to provide infrastructure or public utilities or public goods that was efficacious in the past has paled into

BOOK REVIEW BOOK TITLE:

REVIEW ON DEREGULATION LAW, ECONOMICS AND POLICTICS

EDITORS:

EPIPHANY AZINGE AND BOLAJI OWASANOYE

PUBLISHER:

THE NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED LEGAL STUDIES

NUMBER OF PAGES: 230 NUMBER OF CHAPTERS: 9 REVIEWER:

LAURA ANI

government retreating and providing the regulatory environment in modern times to enable the private sector to provide the infrastructure. Chapter Three titled issues in Deregulation of the Nigerian Electric Power Authority, the author Odiase Alegimenlen states that the capacity for realizing national development, Nigeria’s Electric Power sector requires substantial reform to modernise its infrastructure and administrative capacity which is to be achieved by sector wide deregulation and privatisation of the government holding which is to be divested and replaced by private ownership. He further states that while the postulation is that deregulation and privatisation will result in lower prices in the long run, there is however an immediate cost in terms of high prices for the electricity service coupled with the loss of jobs. The author concludes that politicisation by the elites and distrust of the reforms by the people, especially by the employees of NEPA/PHCN are endangering the process of deregulation. He also contends that a successful completion of the reform process up to full competition can only occur if all the affected parties are fully in agreement that there must be change. Also a concurrent issue to the success of deregulation of the sector is that the Nigerian electricity market requires the entry of viable competitors before the full process of deregulation is implemented. The dichotomy faced in the banking industry in this chapter on Deregulation, Corporate Governance and the Nigerian Banking Sector by Konyin Ajayi, Nnamdi Dimgba and Femi Gbade, asks very pertinent questions - does liberalisation and deregulation lead to growth and higher investment or does it lead to macroeconomic instability, bank failure and capital outflows in the countries which they are implemented? These questions are answered using the experiences in the Nigerian banking sector, identified by the unbridled deregulation in the banking sector which led to an empowerment of a new class of super rich, whose activities led to a near collapse of the banking system and the economy. Further arguments made in the article are that financial failures are not the direct effect of liberalisation policies but due to improper sequencing of liberalisation, whilst others believe that the sequence of financial reform makes little or no difference. He further asserts the need to underscore that deregulation of the banking sector is a desideratum for our national economy but can only be effective if the necessary checks in the form of appropriate and effective structures are put in place, until that is done the main benefits that can arise from deregulation will not be accomplished. The Chapter on Deregulation: The Politics of Funding and Increasing Local Content in Broadcasting by Bankole Sodipo is intellectually stimulating. The chapter deals with the issues of broadcast financing, the production of local content on our Nigeria’s

airwaves and the politics surrounding decision making on issues of broadcasting at the state and federal levels. The author advocates that laws must be made, implemented and administered with the aim of having positive impacts on the promotion of information, education, entertainment and sports through broadcasting. According to the author broadcasting plays four distinct roles: information, educational, entertainment and sports and is pivotal in information sharing and distribution. The author states rightly that the type of information disseminated in any nation can influence development, attitudes, preferences and cultures. The author interestingly identifies the issues surrounding radio and television license fees, pursuant to paragraph 1(b) of the fourth schedule of the 1999 constitution (which calls for an amendment). He argues that the constitution does not vest the third tier of government with any such power, but yet the same constitution vests the local government the power to collect fees for TV/Radio licenses and the local governments do not account for monies collected ad neither does it own broadcasting stations, nor contribute to the development or maintenance of these stations. He rightly submits that local governments are at best, veritable agents for the collection of such licence fees on behalf of the broadcasting stations and in essence calls for an amendment to the Nigerian Constitution. He concludes by saying that the Nigerian broadcasting commission needs to play a more pro-active role and intervene by way of making or enforcing regulations rather than leave things to market forces. Further the level of local content across all genre of broadcast must increase and as the NBC is replete with provisions that oblige broadcasters to develop or at least broadcast more local content. Deregulation and Economic Growth in Nigeria: A prognosis by Adebisi Arewa argues that deregulation, privatisation and transfer of ownership from the public sector to the private sector is a sufficient condition but not necessary to induce optimality, he further posits that deregulation and privatisation of industries must be complemented by considerable monitoring by the appropriate regulatory agency and legal framework with built in enforcement of best practices. The article concludes that Nigeria still awaits true deregulation of POC’s in an manner devoid of corruption and political interference and deregulation may not be as clear cut as it seems as he believes that the benefits and dividends of deregulation in terms of quality of services rendered and their effectiveness is yet to be enjoyed by Nigerians and recommends the need to create checks and balances in the deregulated industry in such a way that sharp practices within the industries regulated, amongst its personnel and the commission itself is minimised and eventually eradicated. The Chapter on Deregulation of the Telecommunications Industry: A Ten year Score Card by Gbade Akinrinmade is very informative,

it examines the state of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria ten years after the deregulation exercise and the gains after. The author gives an exhaustive empirical analysis of the telecoms industry by also delivering an in-depth appraisal of the benefits and the challenges. Some of the contributions as highlighted is its contribution to the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product initially dominated by the Oil sector are new information technologies to the banking sector, mobile and online banking services; relative affordability of internet; competition and enhanced services; employment; and the promotion of efficiency. Notwithstanding the numerous advantages, the industry still glooms over overwhelming challenges which the author has indicated to include but limited to the lack of infrastructure, Local touts, Discriminatory policies, Cyber crimes; SIM card registration and employment problems. The author recommends that the government should produce an enabling environment by ensuring the provision of power supply, the provision of adequate legal machineries to deal with cyber crime, creation of relevant courses at tertiary institutions and the provision of state of the art learning equipment for the purpose of training future manpower. Oladeji Ifeoluwa Temilolu and Chukwuemeka C Nwabuzor wrote on the The Legal Framework for the Deregulation of Public Corporations in Nigeria which takes a general look at the evolution of public corporation after independence and a survey of the literature with a view to highlighting the rationale for the creation of public corporations in Nigeria. The author begins his article by giving a historical analysis of public corporations in Nigeria by addressing the inadequacies that came after independence and the reality that the necessary competence was absent to competently run the public system inherited from their colonial masters and the meagreness of the legal regime to regulate the

few private enterprises established at that time, thus resulting in the adoption of unorthodox policies that downplayed the doctrine of free market. The authors recall the Nigerian Second National Development Plan, the rationale for which was the massive creation of public enterprises to stimulate and accelerate national economic development. Further, the creation of Public Corporations became an objective of utmost priority for the country and it has been opined that one of the reasons for their creation owes to the desire of individuals who inherited political power from the colonial masters to create an economic base for their political power. and to name but a few. The authors conclude that Nigeria is not ready for deregulation the reason being that the dividend of deregulation in terms of quality of services rendered and their effectiveness is yet to be enjoyed by Nigerians. They further recommend that for there to be true deregulation, there is need for government to actually step down on paper alone but through their actions in order to pave way for freedom of entry and freedom to operate. Also recommended is that the Government should review its deregulation policy in a manner that will benefit both the consumer and the producer as to avoid further hardship that Nigerian citizens may be faced with if the price of goods and services sky as a result of deregulation. The final chapter on Deregulation and Corporate Governance by Olayiwola O Oladele appraises the basis and modes for the deregulation of key sectors of the Nigerian economy as well as situate them in diverse emerging corporate governance frameworks prompted by inevitable domestic and global realities. The article further upholds the symbiosis of deregulation and privatisation of corporate entities but concludes in favour of formal governance of the corporate bodies in the deregulated and privatised industries.


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ABUJA REVIEW NEWS

•From left: Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko; his Sokoto State counterpart Aliyu • President Goodluck Jonathan (right) and former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Magatakarda Wamako and Lagos State Governor,Babatunde Fashola at the National Economic Buhari at the Nigeria Centenary flag-off in Abuja. PHOTOS: AKIN OLADOKUN. Council meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

•From left: Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, Ambassador, People’s Republic •From left: Minister of State, FCT, Olajumike Akinjide, Senator Phillip Adida, Minister of China Deng Baqing, Minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman and Vice-President of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed and Minister of National Planning Commission, Dr Mohammed Namadi Sambo at the inauguration of Federal Staff Hospital, Jabi Shamsuddeen Usmanat the Federal Executive Council meeting

• From left: Chief Tom Ikimi briefing the press. With him are Alhaji Layi Balogun, Alhaji Ibrahim Sakarau and Chief Segun Osoba, at the birth of All Progressives •From left: MD/CEO Bank of Industry, Ms. Evelyn Oputu; Executive Director, Business Development, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, African Development Bank Resident Representative Dr. Congress (APC) Ousmane Dore at the signing of agreement at BoI Head Office in Abuja.

•From left: Members of Merger Committee of Opposition Parties,Hon Abike DabiriErewa; Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Kawu Sumaila, Senator Kabiru Gaya and ANPP Woman Leader, Hajia Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu during the anPHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE nouncement of the new party, All Progressives Congress.

•From left: Members, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Innocent Tirsal Jerry Alagbaoso, Ajibola Famurewa and Bimbo Daramola after the workshop on Diaspora Mobilisation at National Assembly Abuja. PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE


40

THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

NEWS Two years ago, Professor John Godwin OFR OBE and Gillian Hopwood MFR were granted Nigerian citizenship after almost 60 years stay in the country. The couple, referred to as the 'white' Nigerians, in their 262-page book: Sandbank City:150 years of Lagos, affirmed their acquaintance with Lagos. As Entertainment Editor VICTOR AKANDE reports, the book is an account of how Lagos, in its bid to attain the status of a megacity, becomes a victim of its own success. Y OU predicted the bad traffic situation in Lagos in 1960, proffered a solution with a multi-level car park in Broad Street, but no one listened. So the project died.” Hmmmm, murmured the crowd quietly as they listened with raft attention. “Together we fought against the felling of beautiful old trees and the maddening destruction of some of the green open spaces in Lagos and PortHarcourt after Independence in 1960. No one cared, and our beautiful garden cities were lost forever…” By this time, the audience's emotion was more pronounced. They'd look across the hall, taking a glance at one another. They were mostly Lagosians; old men and women, whom by their sheer charisma must have enjoyed a classy youth together. The above were the lines from a poetic tribute by an old friend of the authors, Mr. Frank Mbanefo, which was eloquently recited by his daughter, Mrs. Sandra Obiago, who was Master of Ceremony at the book presentation. The event, which took place at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, was attended by senior professionals, members of academia, the diplomatic corps, city elders and concerned citizens interested in the history and roots of this important megacity. Perhaps, the expectation, especially of Lagosians, was to be treated to some reminiscences of their early days in Isale-Eko (Lagos Island) and environs; because the book, Sandbank City; 150 Years of Lagos, that was being unveiled that night, presents a photographic illustration of the development of Lagos. But beyond the razzmatazz of celebrating Lagos, somehow, the audience fell under yet another subtle warning on the danger of the environment by the authors of this book; Professor John Godwin and his wife, Architect Gillian Hopwood, who came to Nigeria in 1954 when Lagos barely had a population of 600,000 people, and have spent almost 60 years documenting the growth and evolving character of Lagos. Co-author of the book, Godwin, left the audience with these remarks: “Lagos is the great challenge for our future generations, which will focus on how to manage this megalopolis, or perhaps be faced with the awful task of abandoning it before the sea takes over. Indeed history is made every day: Kuramo Water has gone and “Sandbank City” may soon be out of date!” Hopwood, his wife added: “We believe that history has shaped the present and that therefore we should be knowledgeable about it and learn from it. We must also have pride in ourselves, our community and above all, our heritage, remembering that the present becomes the history of the future.” Sandbank City tells a fascinating story of a city that grew out of colonial “interests” to become one of the most important economic and cultural hubs in Africa. The book touches on the social, cultural, trade and architectural roots of Lagos. It is both a photographic and historical journey through the physical appearance of Lagos and how its “bricks and mortar” have evolved and changed through the influence of its diverse citizenry, drawing on its British, Brazilian, and African roots, right up to modern day architecture. The book is divided into ten parts, including firsthand accounts of visitors and Lagosians, dating back to the 1800s, including Sir Richard Burton, Madam Efunroye Tinubu, Sir John Hawley Glover, as well as first settlers, slave traders, early Lagos personalities, traditional rulers and the general citizenry up to present times. Touching also on the political tensions that influenced the city's growth, the book's name comes from Lagos being originally 'perched on a sandbank at the estuary of the Ogun River where it flows in to the Atlantic Ocean' an important reason for its growth and dominance in trade as well as its incredible cultural diversity! In the course of the research, John and his wife were said to have worked in partnership with a historian, Prince 'Kunle Akinsemoyin, and a former Town Engineer of the Lagos Municipality, Engineer Timothy Aluko, to capture the breadth of the Lagos story, including its history, landscape, physical layout and unique peoples, with an emphasis on Planning and Buildings. The foreword is written by Professor A. L.

Just before the sea takes over Lagos

Mabogunje, pre-eminent Geographer now retired from the University of Ibadan, with a preface by Mr. Disun Holloway, the H o n o u r a b l e Commissioner for Tourism and InterGovernmental Relations, Lagos State. The book covers the development of Lagos as a settlement into the most populous city in Nigeria, the second fastest growing city in Africa, and the seventh fastest growing city in the world considered globally as a Megacity. It is a fascinating account of how Lagos was experienced “from the time of the Bini overlords” to Nigeria's independence, through the turbulent sixties to the anxieties and infrastructural deficits of the nineties and finally to the resilience, hope and inspirational change of the present. The narrative has been developed from some familiar sources, but relies on the authors' interpretation of the historical facts, particularly those relating to the siting of Lagos and the embedded policies. These, they relate to both political and administrative reasons, which they suggest, have become an impediment to clear thinking, while welcoming the Mabogunje plan as the first essential step in the new approach to the co-ordination of the factors which bedevil the need to make Lagos work as a modern city. Presented to Lagosians on Thursday, January 31, 2013, chairman of the event, Chief (Dr.) Rasheed Gbadamosi, commended the authors for their impressive research and for documenting the growth and challenges of Lagos. The reviewer, Architect Dada Alamutu, member of the presidential committee on the redevelopment of Lagos Megacity, noted that Sandbank City is related to the course of sustainable human development. She said the book advocates effective planning, commu-

nication, coordination and collaboration of all participants at all levels in the city. “The greatest strength of the book is the difference critical personalities made, are making and can make over 150 years.” She said, adding that “the book has reinforced her belief that although government is the key stakeholder in making cities work, experience has shown that politicians, professionals, the private sector, the academia, CSOs, NGOs, local communities and the individual all have a role in promoting sustainable urban development. A short film, produced by the Master of Ceremony, Obiago, who is a notable documentary filmmaker and CEO of Communicating for Change (CFC), showed the important contributions the authors have made over the years, especially in preserving Nigeria's heritage through the documentation and restoration of important historical buildings, and the creation of an NGO called Legacy, which is fighting for the preservation of Nigeria's heritage. Mbanefo recalled in his tribute to the celebrators, how they spear-headed the modernisation of Lagos through their architecture since the 1950s, while also spreading awareness of the importance and the beauty of preserving the old. This, he said led them to form the now-famous Nigerian Heritage Society, which is still campaigning to expose Nigerians to appreciate the wealth and history of their country. “As for your contributions to the architectural environment of this country,” Mbanefo concludes, “anyone can write a book by just travelling through Nigeria, looking at buildings and asking questions. One will find out that about 70 percent of modern architectural developments from north to south of this

Their passion for tropical architecture brought them to Lagos in 1954 and kept them here to date. They have been in practice for fifty nine years, built capacity of young minds lecturing at University of Lagos architecture department

country will be credited to you. I am truly proud of this fact.” He affirmed. The book also recognized that like every commercial hub, Lagos, which grew from a small fishing community to a sprawling Megacity, is experiencing that global demographic shift where half of humanity live in urban centers. However, infrastructure development did not keep pace with the population. It records that Lagos occupies about one percent of the land area of the country, but its current population, within the continuous built-up area of the metropolis, is 15% of 140 million (2011 census figure). The authors said that inadequate planning and a repeated fire fighting approach made the city a victim of its own success. In the words of the reviewer: “The history of Lagos is relevant to the history of Nigeria and West Africa. Therefore, the presentation of the book Sandbank City today as an in depth study of the founding and growth of the city is important, necessary and timely as we prepare to celebrate the centenary anniversary of the amalgamation. It all started in Lagos the birth place of nationalism.” Alamutu noted that the authors, who are fellows of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, have authority to write about creation of Lagos by virtue of their qualification, experience, reputation, involvement and professionalism. “Their passion for tropical architecture brought them to Lagos in 1954 and kept them here to date. They have been in practice for fifty nine years, built capacity of young minds lecturing at University of Lagos architecture department.” She stated. With photographs helping to simplify the narrative and explanation, the authors have the point of view that proper comprehensive planning would have prevented the haphazard way Lagos evolved. Hence the book highlights and praises the report of the Presidential Committee for the Redevelopment of Lagos Megacity a tripartite agency of the Federal, Lagos and Ogun state governments. “The rapid population growth in Lagos Megacity, estimated to be 1000 immigrants per day, poses serious challenges to everyone living here,” the book records. “Unfortunately, for this city which serves as the nerve centre of commerce and opportunities, the citizens are under threat from risks of social and environmental disaster. How can people in Lagos derive more benefits from the advantages of living in a Megacity and not be suffering and smiling?” it asks. John Godwin and Gillian Hopwood were born in the United Kingdom in 1928 and 1927 respectively, and after schooling, studied architecture at the Architectural Association School in London, both qualifying in 1950. They came to Nigeria in 1954, first working for a London practice and then starting their own practice in Lagos 18 months later because they felt strongly that any development of architecture should be domiciled in the country of its origin. They have remained in Nigeria, for almost 60 years and were granted Nigerian Citizenship in 2011. John Godwin was made Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1975 and Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 2002, while Gillian was made Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) in 2008. Both are Fellows of the Nigerian Institute of Architects. Gillian Hopwood served as President of Soroptimist International of Nigeria in 1990 to 1991, representing Nigeria on several occasions. John was made a professor in the Architecture Department of the University of Lagos in 1999, retiring from full time teaching in 2010. Their first publication was 'Sailing in Lagos 1932 1982', followed by a comprehensive history of the Lagos Yacht Club in 2007. In that year, their book, 'The Architecture of Demas Nwoko', a major work on a Nigerian artist was also published. They have maintained involvement with the architectural practice they set up in 1954. Their commitment to the preservation of historical buildings in Nigeria led them to found the nonprofit, Legacy 1995, together with a group of concerned citizens, which has restored numerous historical structures in Lagos. Architect Hopwood, still a photographer, is said to be currently working on her latest book, a photographic history of Lagos, to be released later in 2014.


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

41

HEALTH THE NATION

E-mail:- health@thenationonlineng.net

Abandoned in hospital for seven years He was brought to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos by Good Samaritans seven years ago after he was injured in an accident. He has remained there ever since, becoming what many derisively refer to as ‘Igbobi landlord’. His name was simply given as Chinonso. He is now on a wheel chair, having lost the use of his legs. He also suffers from cerebral palsy, a disease which makes one think like a child. Though in his 20s, Chinonso still thinks and talks like a baby. According to the hospital, he has become a ‘nuisance’. Will anyone come to Chinonso’s aid? OLATUNDE ODEBIYI writes

I

T is now seven years since he was admitted at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, (NOHIL). In all these years, he has been abandoned to his fate by his family. Chinonso was hale and hearty until he had an accident on the Third Mainland Bridge, which left him disabled. The bus he boarded rammed into another one and he was seriously injured. A Good Samaritan took him to NOHIL, where he has been housed for seven years. Chinonso, in his twenties, is handicapped and he is also suffering from cerebral palsy. None of his relatives has shown up since he was admitted. Medical social worker, Mr Godwin Aikpitanyi said the hospital needs Chinonso’s family to cater for him. The Hospital is also looking for non governmental organisations (NGOs) to adopt him, if his relatives cannot be located. The accident left him disabled because of the fracture he suffered on his leg. After treatment, Chinonso could

not regain the use of his leg. He is now on a wheel chair. Although he has been suffering from cerebral palsy (problem of the brain) from birth, he can still see, hear, talk and respond to moves in a little way. Aikpitanyi said Chionso needs family care and can’t stay in the hospital forever; he needs a home where he can build his future. Chinonso is in H Ward. He has bed space there and is occupying bed that other patients should use. The hospital has over the years been taking care of Chinonso. Chinonso needs a home where he would get family care and access to special treatment given to people with cerebral palsy. NOHIL’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mrs Ayo Nike said everybody in the hospital is there for one reason or the other. She said the hospital cannot give Chinonso all the attention he needs even though it is doing all it could to show him love. She said the hospital has been to the Lagos

• Chinonso

State Ministry of Youth and Sport Development in Alausa, Ikeja, and also to some NGOs, but none accepted Chinonso. She said the only NGO that accepted Chinonso said it could only bring him in the morning and take him back at night. The hospital did not accept this arrangement because of the stress involved. She said it is likely that Nonso’s family would have been looking for him for years. Anybody who knows Nonso or his relatives should please come to the hospital and take him back to them, she added. Head, Medical Social Worker, Mrs. Victoria Okoruwa said Nonso sometimes disturbs patients and their relatives. She said Nonso was found sprinkling his urine on people within the hospital. There is urgent need for

Nonso to be taken away from this hospital so as to help him to live a better life. Mrs. Okoruwa said: “We were able to find out from him that his name is Chinonso though all efforts to get his surname or father’s details about him failed due to the brain problem he is suffering from.” According to her, the brain problem called “cerebral palsy” which Chinonso is suffering from is a genetic problem which makes a child no matter how old he is to behave like a baby. He cannot talk and reason like a normal child of his age would do. Cerebral palsy is a genetic thing, though prolonged labour, pregnancy complications and lack of proper care during pregnancy can increase the risk. Head of nursing services,NOHIL,

Mrs Morenike Adewale said the hospital also got information from Chinonso that his parents are somewhere in Agege area of Lagos State. She said the nursing services and management of the hospital had gone to the area to look for his parents or relatives who may know him, adding that they could not find anyone. “After the fruitless search, we have take him to the psychiatric hospital the management made the payments,” she said. Adewale said Chininso is also suffering from epilepsy, stressing that the hospital has been taking care of him. “Chinonso is very nice and loving and wants to be loved. He wants to be asociated with by his people, we can see it that his soul seeks and cries to go home. He wants us to take him back home,” Adewale said.

‘High mortality rate inimical to MDGs attainment’

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ITH maternal mortality ratio (MMR) still at 545 per 100,000, achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 by 2015 appears a mirage. To reduce the indices, the Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Nigeria (SOGON) is looking for ways to make primary health care (PHC), which is the smallest level of care closer to the people, function effectively. The body is partnering with the Federal and state governments to en-

By Wale Adepoju

sure that PHC centres across the country are functional. The association has begun its needs assessment visit under its national programme tagged Volunteer Obstetric Scheme (VOS) to know what each PHC centre needs to achieve the target of reducing maternal deaths by at least 75 per cent by 2015. Its Lagos State sector chairman, Dr Oluwarotimi Akinola, said this can be achieved but the basic things for

obstetric care must be present in urban and rural PHC centres. He said Nigeria constituted two per cent of the world population, adding that 10 per cent of maternal deaths is from the country. “We have not synchronised our activities. So, we really have to go to the grassroots if we are to achieve the MDGs by 2015,” he said. He said SOGON is adopting some PHC centres, which it will mentor and give basic things needed to perform optimally.

Akinola said Ibeju Lekki and Alimosho local government areas have the highest MMR in Lagos State in that order, stressing that this was why PHC centres in these areas were adopted. “We will ensure that medical and health workers are trained to have the know-how so that they can do their jobs well. We discovered that by the time most patients receiving treatment at PHC centres would have also died when they are referred to teaching hospital,” he said. The SOGON team in Lagos headed by Akinola, visited Akowonjo and Ayobo-Ipaja PHC centres, while other members were at Ibeju Lekki. At Akowonjo, they discovered that basic obstetric care drugs, such as magnesium is not available, similarly evidenced-based inter-

vention kits such anti-shock garment, and pantograph were lacking. At the Ipaja Ayobo PHC centre, the team found out that it was under-staffed. Chairman, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Dr Babatunde Sagoe, said the state is having a paradign shift, stressing that at least one centre in each LGA is on 24 hours, seven days a week service. “This is because MMR in Lagos and indeed the country is very bad but the state government is on top of the situation,” he added. Vice-Chairman of the association in Lagos, Dr Joseph Akinde said the people have lost confidence in the PHC system, which is the bedrock of care. He said there was a need for the government to restore the confidence so that people will no longer die of preventable deaths.

Seven paediatricians for US training

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•From left: General Secretary Dr. Austin Aipoh, President, Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN); Dr Adeyeye Arigbabuwo, Managing & Clinical Director, The Bridge Clinic, Dr Richardson Ajayi, and Senior Gynaecologist, Dr. Ogunkinle Babatunde, during the donation of neonatal equipment to AGPMPN and state government in Lagos.

ROCTER and Gamble (P&G), makers of Pampers, is poised to sponsor seven Nigerian paediatricians to the United States for observership and research scholar programmes. The beneficiaries would be selected from hospitals across the country through collaboration between Procter and Gamble and Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN). The programme, Nurturing Children’s Development Programme (NCD), is a partnership between Pampers and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre (CCHMC) with an objective of contributing towards improvement in

the healthy development of infants and children worldwide. The programme, fully funded by Pampers, consists of two-month observerships and a nine-month research scholarship at the prestigious Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre. One of the top pediatric hospitals and child health research institutions in the United States which has produced some of the most renowned pediatric research scientists, including Dr. Albert Sabin, discoverer of the oral polio vaccine. Of the seven pediatricians six would benefit from the ‘Observership scholarships’ while one would take part in the NCD research programme.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

HEALTH

Early detection will save cancer patients, say experts •How to reduce cervical cancer burden E XPERTS have advocated early detection as the best approach to cancer treatment. Led by the Professor of Radiotherapy and Oncology at the College of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Remi Ajekigbe, they said late detection and poorly managed cancer have increased the number of Nigerians affected by the disease. More people, they added, are being killed by the disease. He said early detection is a major way to manage cancer. He said late detection is dangerous and often leads to death. Ajekigbe, who is a consultant, said no fewer than 10 new cases come to him at LUTH daily. “Only about 25 per cent of them survive while the other 75 per cent do not make it. This is because majority of them make hospital their last choice,” he added. “The first place patients go to when they have cancer is the church, mosque or traditional homes is when it is worse that they come to the hospital. This has been the reason for more deatghs from cancer in Nigeria.” On the cause, he said: “We do not know the basic cause of cancer, what we know is that there are certain factors that can lead to or increase ones chance of having cancer. We cannot predict nor change these factors; they include genetics, social, environment and occupational factors.” He further said: “We cannot determine the genetic factor. This is

By Olatunde Odebiyi

because we do not choose our parents nor decide the medical history of our family. People born into a family where cancer exists are at the risk of developing cancer someday. “Another factor is the social factor. This could stimulate what has been lying in the body to develop cancer. Cancer lies in the body but won’t come out until you do what you should not do.” Clinical Oncologist and Radiotherapist, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof Abiodun Popoola, said he sees five new cases of cancer weekly, adding that most of them were at the advanced stage. He said three out of the five cases are breast cancer, saying their survival usually depends on the stage of the disease. “Cancer is not a death sentence, it can be managed if detected early and treatment starts early but the advanced stage can be controlled and its management will determine the outcome’. It can be said that cancer cases are increasing due to the increased awareness,” he added. He identified common cancers to include breast cancer, cancer of the cervix, cervical cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. A radiotherapist and oncologist at Eko Hospital, Prof Kofi Duncan, said that early detection and treatment from the right medical personnel is crucial to reducing death

from cancer. Duncan said intelligence and general awareness of the public will also help in reducing the spread of the disease. He said abnormal bleeding from the vagina swelling or lump on any part of the body as well as urinating or stooling blood are some of the abnormalities that can lead to cancer. Duncan stressed that people should go for proper diagnosis early enough once any unusual thing is noticed on the body. A senior lecturer, Community Health and Primary Centre, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, (UNILAG) Dr. Alero Robbert referred to cancer as a group of diseases characterised by the uncontrolled growth of cells that no longer function according to purpose. The growth of abnormal cells competes with normal cells for food and oxygen leading to even more problems for the body, she said. According to her, cancer cases are increasing in Nigeria. But, this may either be due to new cases of cancer as compared to the number of cases that occurred in the past; or because there is much more awareness and people are realising that when they are unwell or notice anything abnormal they should go to the hospital. Bolanle Tijani, a Principal Dietician advised cancer patient to eat fruits and vegetables and avoid fatty foods.

She said: “They should eat plant made meals such as garlic and onions, spices and potatoes, green apples, carrots, beans, nuts and wheat bread, among others, would contribute to the recovery of cancer patients.” The Project Officer, National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), Mr. Cletus Nwagu, said cancer is a disease like any other disease. He said prostate cancer kills 40 men in Nigeria daily while cervical cancer kills one woman every hour. “Cancer is not a respecter of person; it can affect anybody at any age particularly between the ages of 28 to 60,” he added. Meanwhile, many Nigerian women have come down to cervi-

cal cancer because of lack of awareness, ignorance, late detection and lack of proper treatment, Medical Director, Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, a Non Government Organisation, Dr. Femi Olaleye, has said. The good news, he said, was that it can be prevented if they go for regular screening. Olaleye spoke during a free cervical and breast cancer screening for market women, organised by his NGO in Lagos. He said there is need for increased awareness on cancer among Nigerians, especially among the illiterates. Olaleye said the disease is a gradual killer, which occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina, he added.

NHIS to boost health care

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HE Chairman of International United Health Care, a Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO), Senator Isa Zarewa has called for improved health care in Nigeria through a functional National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Zarewa, who spoke during a training organised for his staff in Abuja, urged the three tiers of government to enroll people into the scheme towards accessing quality care in hospitals. He said: “If the NHIS is adequately financed by the government, or even people, it would go a long way to do away with out-of-pocket spending, which has been affecting the scheme.” He cited that most developed countries were able to attain their status because they had good health insurances in place.

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

Zarewa said the Health Management Organisation is aiming to cascade into community health insurances in order to assist those in the rural areas adding that the HMO would always put their client’s health first and will deal with hospitals that fail to keep the terms of agreement and mismanages the needs of patients. Managing Director, International United Health Care, Dr Kolawole Owoka said NHIS can bridge the wide gap in accessing health care between the rich and the poor. He said the organisation is bracing up to assist the government achieve universal coverage which he said would improve the health indices in the country.

Govt urged to establish burn centres

A

•From left: General Manager, Marketing, Fidson, Mr Ola Ijimakin; Corporate Service Manager, Mr Oladimeji Oduyebo; Manager, Cestra, Mr Tunde Balogun and Sales and Marketing Director, Mr Olugbenga Olaleye at PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAM the event.

Surgeon seeks partnership with govt

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EAD, Department of Surgery, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof Babatunde Solagberu, has called for publicprivate-partnership (PPP) to develop the profession. According to him, the state government cannot provide everything needed in the hospital, hence the need to partner with the private sector to acquire some of the facilities required to perform surgery. Solagberu, who spoke at a dinner organised by the Surgery De-

By Wale Adepoju

partment, said the medical profession is a service to God and humanity. He said there would be return on investment if adequate facilities and infrastructure were put in place through the PPP. Solagberu said doctors should seek knowledge and engage in research, and sub-specialise to move the profession forward. He said: “You were able to perform despite the environment that was not so conducive, yet you did

so well, especially last year.” He said the conglomeration of experts in the department came from different parts of the world, stressing that they were trained in various disciplines in the best schools across the world. Solagberu said challenges to the medical profession are numerous, adding that the state government can only solve a few. He said friends of the hospital can be encouraged to help provide some of the facilities needed inform of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

SURGEON at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Professor Ismail Lawal has urged government at all levels to establish burn centres in the country. He also canvassed the formation of disaster management teams that will map out disaster plans. Lawal spoke at the 122 nd inaugural lecture of UNILORIN in Ilorin, Kwara State. The lecture was entitled: A plastic and reconstructive surgeon in a developing country: Practice and prospects. He added that establishment of burn centres would transform the management of burn injuries in Nigeria. His words: “We have the expertise; all we are asking for is a well-equipped centre and we shall be able to bring down the mortality of burn patients to the level that is obtained in developed countries. “Preventive measures to help epileptics avoid injuries, such as burn injuries while cooking at home, are extremely important. They must never be allowed to cook alone without someone be-

From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin

side them. “There should be legislation in controlling the sales of concentrated sulphuric acid by roadside battery chargers or any persons who might have access to the products.” The don urged Nigerians to embrace cosmetic surgery, adding that “Nigerians do not need to travel to Europe, the United States or even Asian countries spending huge amount of money for a service that can be provided within. “Micro vascular surgery is still at its infancy age in our sub-region. We need to train more personnel, make appropriate instruments available and in this 21 st century, we should be able to be at par with our colleagues in the developed countries.” He enjoined more surgeons to specialise in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. “This will improve the availability of the specialty spread across the country and thus increase the service delivery in this sub-region,” Lawal said.

Firm offers daily health needs

F

IDSON Healthcare Plc has introduced products to address stress, poor diet and hectic lifestyle. It is for the young adults and older generations. It is called Cestra.Cestra is a range of nutraceutical supplements, made of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that offer natural wellness and healthy living to Nigerians. It belongs to the class of dietary supplements which provide an all-in-one formula for everyday health and well being.

The product is specifically formulated to prevent nutrient deficiencies caused by poor diet and lifestyle; it enhances the energy levels of people with elevated stress; it strengthens and supports the immune system; it supports the nervous system and enhances eye skin, bone joint health and cardiovascular health. It also protects the body from damaging free radicals, implicated in the development of diseases, such as heart diseases, arthritis and liver damage.


43

PROPERTY

Tuesday, FEBRUARY 12, 2013 Website:- http://www.thenationonlineng.com

* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes * Real Estate

email:- property@thenationonlineng.net

Can the Bar Beach be saved?

•3.6 tonnes X shaped blocks used in protecting the beach.

Many beautiful houses, no tenants

In the past, a visit to Lagos was incomplete without going to the Bar Beach. But the beach lost its beauty and allure when the Atlantic Ocean became a threat to residents of Victoria Island and its environs.Though the government's efforts at curtailing the ocean's frequent surges are paying off, it remains to be seen if the beach can be saved. SEYI ODEWALE and OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE report •CONTINUED ON PAGE 46

•Houses to go for drainage

- PAGE 46


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THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

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THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

46 46 PROPERTY/ENVIRONMENT

Can the Bar Beach be saved? S

AMSON Ajibade (not his real name) and his colleagues sat at one of the entrances to the wide concrete embankment on the Lagos Bar Beach on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island to collect N200 toll from picnickers. With his huge frame, he looks menacing. Many picnickers paid the toll without complaints. Some didn’t, but it was not to his hearing. Armed with an identity card purportedly issued by the Lagos State government, Ajibade, who is in his 30s, told a reveller: “Except you are bigger than the government, that is when you would be exempted from paying the toll; do you think we put ourselves here?” The reveller was not there for sight seeing, he had come to have his lunch at an eatery near the Eko Atlantic City sales office and showroom. There are others like him on the oldest Lagos Beach, who have made it their ‘cash cow’; feeding fat on unsuspecting visitors, by purportedly collecting tolls from them in the name of generating revenue for the Eti-Osa Local Government. They hide inside the 3.6 tonnes X shaped blocks to perpetrate their act. Their presence raises nostalgic feelings about the beach, which was the haven of fun seekers and revellers, especially during holidays and festivities. But neglect and frequent surges have made the beach a pain in the neck for residents of Victoria Island and motorists plying the Ahmadu Bello Way. Offices and homes are flooded when the ocean overflows its banks. A portion of Ahmadu Bello Way becomes impassable. Adjoining streets, such as Bishop Oluwole, Tiamiyu Savage, Adetokunbo Ademola, Oju Olobun, Ologun Agbaje and others are not spared. In 2005, when another surge occurred, the Bola Tinubu administration got the nod of the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to

•A sinking building.

the problem. An extensive survey of severely affected areas showed places adjacent to the west of the Abia State Liason office on Ahmadu Bello Way, where the width of the beach was less than three metres. Shoreline protection, according to the Lagos State Government, was the best option. A Dutch shoreline protection firm, Hitech Group, was hired for the job. The project comprised the construction of shoreline protection of 1,000 metres length to start at a point to the west of Abia State Liaison office up to the defunct IMB Bank building. The design, according to the government, would use layers of rock placed on a geo-textile sheet with pre-cast concrete elements placed on the beach front, as the primary protection. The ‘x-blocks’ weighing 3.6 tonnes each, were designed to form an interlocking barrier to incoming waves. The sizes of the blocks, according to officials, were determined by computer simulation to withstand the worst predictable storm conditions within a 100-year period. “The restoration and stabilisation of the Bar Beach project was divided into two phases; Phase one of the project was awarded for N4.072 billion, while the Phase II contract was awarded for N2.259 billion,” the government said. The unprecedented success recorded at the waterfront protection made the Lagos State government to try reclaiming ‘lost lands’ in the last 100 years, which are estimated at about nine million square kilometres. This brought about the sealing of a multibillion-dollar concession deal in July 2006 with another foreign firm, South Energyx Nigeria Limited (SENL), to build a 21st century city, Atlantic City, meant to serve as the strategic business hub for the sub-Saharan Africa. Years back, the Federal Government tried many unsuccessful projects to check the overflow of the beach without any success. It was alleged to be a sort of cash-cow

•A drainage channel.

for successive ministers. During the tenure of Alhaji Lateef Jakande as the Minister of Works and Housing, the government gave out a contract for dropping of sand bags on the shore to check the angry wave at the beach, but they were all washed away at the slightest surge. The value of real estate on Ahmadu Bello Way during this period dropped, which was hitherto a prime real estate axis that had most of the states’ liaison offices. But now the axis is having its groove back as the state government with recent developments on the beach seem to have found a permanent solution to the problem. The Bar Beach, according to those who know its history, is a beach with a natural bar. Rev Brother Steve Lucas of the Dominican Order of the Catholic Church, who lived on the Takwa Bay, adjacent to the beach, for 40 years, said the Bar Beach got its name from the bars it had in the past. “Because of those natural bars, no ship could berth at that beach. Each time any ship attempted it, it would crash as it would have run into a natural bar at the beach. This made the government to dredge it then, but that did not help much as there were other areas on Lagos coastline converted to ports,” the 80-year-old American Reverend Brother said. This natural bar, Rev. Brother Lucas said, might have accounted for the seeming neglect it suffered which invariably made it susceptible to erosion from the Atlantic Ocean. “Surges are natural occurrences, they happen when the ocean tide is high. We experience it often here and there is no human cause for it; it’s a natural phenomenon,” he said. The cleric would not support those who said the sand filling of the Atlantic City could have caused the flooding of some beaches in Lagos last year. As the raining season approaches, visitors to the beach have, however, noted that the embankment and the

PHOTOS: OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE

Houses to go for drainage

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HE Lagos State Government is building new drainage channels and dredging old ones to check flooding during rains, Commissioner for Environment Mr Tunji Bello has said. He spoke during a tour of water channels in Maryland, Gbagada, Anthony and Shomolu for the deflooding parts of Apapa/ Oworonshoki expressway and Arowojobe estate in Maryland. At Gbagada, he said the government would reclaim the right of way by removing illegal structures to allow the contractor move to site. The public, he lamented, is still building on drainage channels and set-backs, adding that the law would take its course on marked houses built on the right of way in contravention of the planning and build-

ing regulations. Bello advised people to desist from building houses without permits and soil test as most of the houses marked are sinking; others are with broken and slanting walls. At the Oke Alo in Maryland/Anthony axis, where a couple was reported to have died in 2011 because of the heavy flooding, Bello inspected the construction on the new bridge, noting that the pile foundation is as high as 30 metres. He said it took the administration nine months to blast the piles done by an individual who had planned to start the construction of an estate on the drainage channels. He warned that the government would take stern measures on any member of the public or institution that decides to go against the town plan-

ning laws of the state. Bello also said the government is constructing the Bush-Arowojobe channels to relieve residents of Anthony, Maryland, Army cantonment, Mende and Pedro from flooding when the rains come. He used the opportunity to warn Lagosians to refrain from dumping refuse into the canals and drainage channels, noting that the problems of the devastating effects of the last flooding of July, 16, 2011 was manmade because of unhealthy sanitary behaviours by residents. The commissioner also said the maintenance of the channels has been built into the construction contracts and that every completed drainage channel would have a protective barbed wire to prevent refuse from entering them.

shoreline extension, though effective, may not last if periodic maintenance is not carried out. There are fears that activities of touts and miscreants may undo whatever good work was executed by the government. “My fear actually is that the beach may be no more. This reason is simple; the territorial reclamation of the government as it were, may phase it out. I’m talking about the Atlantic City, which I sense may swallow the beach later on,” said Akinwale Thomas, a property consultant who was at the Atlantic City showroom for a business transaction. The beach, according to him, has suffered seriously from the government’s neglect and various abuses from people who visited it for diverse purposes. “Is it the abuse from the so-called spiritualists, who have turned it to their churches you want to talk about, or the street urchins and miscreants who have made it their den?” he asked. But, in a statement, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) said the state has made inroads into checking the ocean surge. He recalled that the solution embarked upon then by the government at the centre was to pump sand every two years, which was costing the nation between N3 and N4 billion. He said each time the sand was pumped, the sea just came and washed it away. He explained that

when the Kuramo incident happened, the wave was as high as seven metres, stressing that the waves that hit Kuramo were possible because there was no protection for it. The governor said what his administration has done is to build a defence wall in the sea after reclaiming what the sea washed away. He said some of the projects the state government has embarked upon in the last three years was the clearing of the Itirin Canal, which has saved the state from greater calamity. He said: “I am happy we had to remove a property that was blocking the Itirin Canal then and it even became an issue during the last governorship election campaign because it’s the Itirin Canal that leads to Kuramo and down to the Five Cowries Creeks.” Elaborating other measures taken by the state, the governor explained: “If you go to the Mobil House on the Lekki-Epe Expressway, what that road has done for us is to improve our coastal drainage system. Before now, there was only one the engineers refer to as box culvert at the Mobil House, which links Itirin Canal into the Five Cowries Creek. We undertook a project to expand it to four. That expansion allowed free passage of water from the Atlantic to discharge into the lagoon - thereby checking the coastal surge from the bar beach.”

How to grow cities, by experts T O promote development, all tiers of government must ensure “full” implementation of planning regulations, professionals in the construction sector have said. Speaking at a workshop on “Land administration and management in the emerging Lagos Megacity,” former Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development Francisco Bolaji Abosede and two university teachers Prof Modupe Omirin and Prof Bioye Tajudeen Aluko said that was the only way to meaningful development of cities. The workshop was organised by the Faculty of Land Administration and Land Information System of the Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIEVS), Lagos State branch. Abosede, who spoke on “Land use development and control in Lagos megacity,” said indiscriminate physical development and the government’s land acquisition without following appropriate legal channels through which people could buy land and develop in compliance led to the springing up of illegal structures and encroachment of open spaces in Lagos. He said competition for land got hotter as urbanisation and development raised the demand for land. This, he said, made new and more promising uses for land to replace original and older ones. Land went to the highest bidders as their demand for different uses lead to changes in their capacities, he added. Zoning, he explained, is the reservation of certain specific areas within a community for specific use with buildings and structures for certain reasons, limited in height, plot coverage and other stipulated requirements. He said it is a preconceived instrument for arranging the use and allocation of land for competing uses to attain optimal and efficient use for the community. He cited the rezoning of public facilities to residential plots as being done in Ilupeju Estate, an estate planned in the 60s by Ikeja Area Planning Authority as a self-sufficient industrial/residential estate. But over the years, Abosede said the central commercial area at Coker Road was re-zoned into residential plots by the government.

Stories by Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie, Asst Editor

“Now, almost 50 years later, there is a need for commercial zone in the estate and residential houses are being reconverted to offices, shops and even schools,” he said. Another example, according to Abosede, is Ikoyi Park, which for decades served the recreational needs of residents of Lagos Island and Ikoyi. But suddenly, the state government subdivided it into high-income residential plots and it became Park View Estate. Speaking on “Contemporary urban economic challenges in the emerging Lagos megacity”, Prof Omirin of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) said though Lagos contributes 30 per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it lacks infrastructure provision against other mega cities in the world. She said like most mega cities, Lagos is experiencing serious infrastructure and amenity deficits, such as poor roads, inadequate access to electricity, potable water and sanitation. Vast settlements, she said, lack amenities, such as schools, hospitals, fire stations and police stations. Omirin said the magnitude of the problems in mega cities is partly because planners and urban managers respond in tandem to the needs for planning and development control. The don regretted that often responsible agencies lack the necessary tools, manpower and finance to keep up the necessary services. Even where master plans and development schemes are made, the logistics of monitoring what actually happens on ground renders them redundant, she lamented. Prof Aluko of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, who spoke on “Legal framework for land market regulation in an emerging megacity”, said the methods and instruments of legislative intervention in the real estate market depend on the ideology, which is more of a capitalist economy. He called for the repeal of the Land Use Act, 1978 that superficially touches land tenure problem.


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

47

ENERGY THE NATION

E-mail:- energy@thenationonlineng.net

Falcon Petroleum eyes gas distribution in Ghana •To manufacture equipment F

ALCON Petroleum Limited, which has the franchise to distribute natural gas to industries and bulk energy users in Ikorodu, Lagos, has concluded arrangement to extend distribution of the product to Ghana. The Managing Director of the company, Prof. Joseph Ezigbo, made this known at an event for women of Ikorodu Phase II pipeline host communities. He said: “We are not only hoping to invest in Nigeria, we are also looking at Ghana. At the moment, we are working with our partners in Ghana to supply gas in the West African country. We are interested in building a gasification plant in Ghana to supply gas to industries in that country. “Though Ghana is already getting gas from Nigeria through the West Africa Gas Pipeline

By Emeka Ugwuanyi

Company (WAPCo), this is not enough for Ghana at the moment.” On the other plans of the company, Ezigbo said: “Falcon Petroleum has grown substantially. We are consolidating on pumping gas to industries. We are also increasing our capacity. At the moment, the company is building a 12-inch gas pipeline. This will increase the gas supply as well as gas coming into our system. This will also increase the ability of our customers to be connected to our gas supply grid as required. “We have also gone into assembly and manufacturing of equipment, which is used in the country’s oil and gas sector. We

Two firms partner on safety equipment

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O further promote safety in the oil and gas industry, Red Wing Shoe Company, a United States-based global leader in the manufacture of safety shoes and garments, has opened an ultra-modern depot and office complex in Lagos. The facility, which is operated in partnership with Future Concerns Nigeria Limited, is the first of its kind in Africa. Speaking at the inauguration in Lagos, the Managing Director, Redwing Shoe Company, Mr Tito Warren, said the partnership with Future Concerns, which have culminated in the new facility, was meant to deepen the level of services the company has been delivering to the country’s oil and gas industry over the years. H said: “This major step is our first direct investment in Africa in our over 107 years of existence as a company. We recognise the need to play better, not only in the Nigerian market, but also in Africa. That’s why we are opening this facility. Our desire is to provide customised safety equipment for workers in the oil and gas industry. “Our company has a track record of innovation and satisfying the target market. Over the years, we have been providing customised equipment based on the needs of the market. We have been in Nigeria for a while through our partnership with Future concerns. By this, Future Concerns will be representing our interest in the whole of Africa. The company has worked with Redwing for many years and has earned our trust. “Future Concerns Nigeria Limited has achieved the highest level of representation of Red Wing by offering their quality services over the years. Therefore, it is entitled to sell all footwear, garments and accessory range of Red Wing Shoe Company and represent Red Wing brand in Nigeria.”

He stressed that their motivation to invest in the country was not profit driven but the zeal to offer quality service in the oil and gas sector in Africa. Launching one of the latest safety shoes from the company’s stables at the event, Warren said the 8231 innovation has been in existence for over 107 years. He noted that what Redwing did was to improve on the quality without changing the DNA of the product. According to the Managing Director, Future Concerns, Tony Oguike, Red Wing decided to partner with Future Concerns to raise the bar in safety materials innovation and to offer clients first class safety equipment. He said: “We are glad that Redwing has agreed to partner with us in order to improve the quality of safety equipment in the oil and gas industry. We are looking forward to an exciting time with this world class company and we are sure that the country and the continent will benefit greatly from this.”

have entered into a partnership with a company in India to operate a company in Nigeria to fabricate gas stations. We believe that when the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is passed, there will be industrial explosion in the country. That means the industrial development will escalate. “We hope to complete the first phase by March this year. We are also trying to expand to other areas of the country because whether we believe it or not, industries depend on gas and the industrial revolution will not just be within the western region, but all over the country.” Commenting on the company, Ezigbo said: “As the first phase of the Ikorodu gas distribution phase project continues to witness an upsurge in the gas requirements of customers, and coupled with new industrial off-

takers and prospects positioned along the Lagoon expansion axis, Falcon Petroleum Limited has initiated a capacity upgrade on its existing City Gate metering and regulating facility. “The capacity upgrade is necessary to enable the company to meet its immediate, medium and long-term supply obligations to its ever growing customer base. The new 25 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) capacity City Gate station will ensure a hitch-free gas delivery to all our customers in accordance to the requirements. The enhanced station will also ensure availability of excess capacity to meet any future supply nominations that may be required over the next few years.” He said the Ikorodu community has provided friendly environment for the company’s operations. “In Ikorodu, the people are so

civilised and are very appreciative as well. This vocational training being sponsored by Falcon Petroleum is a way of saying thank you to the people of Ikorodu. “We will not stop here. We will send them for industrial attachment and will have monitoring team to monitor them, after which a starter-pack will be provided for them. They will be given a certain amount of money and equipment to start their businesses and we monitor them for one year to ensure that the system goes on as planned. “At the end of the training, we will select another group. It is a progressive thing because at the end of the day, the company would have empowered them to face the future positively.” Falcon Petroleum supplies gas to industrial giants such as Mayor Engineering, Spintex Mills, African Steel Mills, Sunflag Steel, Lucky Fibres and Energy Company of Nigeria – an independent power plant,, among others.

•From left: GM, Sales and Marketing, NIPCO, Bakhtriar Nariewala; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Abdullahi Musa; and Chief Executive Officer, Oando Marketing, Yomi Awobokun at Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Strategic Policy Summit organised by the ministry in Abuja.

Verity Geosolutions boosts seismic imaging technology

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SERVICE company, Verity Geosolutions Limited, has enhanced the sub-surface technology with a key tool in hydrocarbon exploration. The company has completed the installation of 240 central processing units (CPUs) of power edge dual core servers, several high-end workstations, high capacity two phase uninterrupted power supply (UPS) and Cisco-based telecoms systems at its Lagos office. The Group Managing Director of the company, Yomi Adejonwo, said the hardware would enable the company to provide its seismic imaging, interpretation, reservoir modelling and characterisation, subsurface data management and geomatic services to its existing and prospects in Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region. He said: “With the installation of this equipment, we are moving closer to the realisation of our vi-

By Ambrose Nnaji

sion to be the leading provider of geophysical services in Nigeria and West Africa as well as meeting the increasing demand for our technologies.” The equipment he said would give adequate provision of timely high quality services in support of customers’ exploration and production activities. He added that it would, among other things, provide avenue for oil and gas reserves increase and reduction in the overall cost of exploration, development and production of oil fields as well as boost local development of advanced geophysical solutions to the oil and gas business in the country. Adejonwo said the company was established to provide leadingedge integrated geophysical services and to develop capacity in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. He

also noted that the company offers 2D, 3D and 4D seismic acquisition support services as well as integrated geophysical processing and inversion services. He said the services provided by the company would allow hydrocarbon exploration and production companies create value and optimise cost by reducing exploration risks, improving oil well placements and improving understanding of producing reservoirs. He said the company is positioned to domesticate geophysical activities in the country through training and employment of Nigerians. “Having worked in the oil and gas industry for several years, we saw an area where attention had not been paid and where we had acquired skills as Nigerians having worked with the international oil companies.

“Our emphasis is to move away from being just commercial agents to foreign companies to bringing in our skills and investing in these technologies in Nigeria. To further enhance technological advancement in oil industry, the company said it collaborating with the Department of Geosciences, and Faculty of Sciences of University of Lagos on research to better develop the technology needed for the oil and gas industry,” he said. The collaboration, he said, is to enhance the development of best practices, workflows and methods for geophysics in Nigeria. It is also geared towards the development and support for research objectives in Nigeria as well as developing potentials of staff and interns. Adejonwo said the collaboration would strengthen the use of research in developing geophysics for the oil and gas industry in the country.


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THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12 2013

ENERGY

Local content: biometric registration for expatriate workers

Stories by Emeka Ugwuanyi

•Nwapa

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HE Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has directed that expatriates working in the Nigerian oil and gas industry would, henceforth, undertake biometric registration as part of conditions they must fulfil before their organisations can secure expatriate quota approvals from the Board. The exercise, according to the board, will capture details of all foreigners working for operating and service companies in Nigeria on the electronic platform - Nigerian Con-

tent Joint Qualification System, (NOJICJQS) being operated by the Board. NCDMB Executive Secretary, Ernest Nwapa stated this in Lagos at the Addax Executive Business Seminar on Nigerian Content. He said the exercise will start in the first quarter of 2013. The registration, he noted, will help the board evaluate the skills of the expatriates and confirm that such skills are not available locally in the industry. It will also assist the board to electronically track the numbers of expatriates in the industry, their length of stay, compliance with provided succession plans and expected date of exit. He said at the completion of the biometric registration, each expatriate will get a unique card, which he or she will produce whenever the monitoring team from the board comes around for periodic verification. Nwapa added that Section 33 of the NOGICD Act mandates operators to apply and receive the approval of the Board before making any application for expatriate quota

to the Ministry of Internal Affairs or any other agency of the Federal Government. Among other conditions, the Board requires companies seeking to get expatriate quota approvals for their operations in the oil and gas industry to first advertise the positions to Nigerians through national and international media outfits. Other new initiatives of the Board endorsed by its Governing Council chaired by Mrs. Deziani AlisonMadueke, include the planned establishment of industrial parks in each oil producing state in partnership with the state governments. This will stimulate the participation of the communities in the local supply chain and provide a direct platform for collaboration with original equipment manufacturers that are now required to manufacture a minimum proportion of components in Nigeria. He said the Board will collaborate with major operators, service companies and the relevant state governments to build industrial parks,

which will support operations of the industry and help achieve service efficiency through shared services. Other benefits of the industrial park concept include the reduction of start-up investment cost for new business, stakeholders’ collaboration and industry commitment to utilise manufactured products from industrial parks. The parks will host manufacturing activities driven by the oil and gas industry demand but will certainly service other sectors of the economy as they grow organically into integrated industrial zones. The start-up product slate will include steel pipes and allied fittings, switch gears , panels, skids, pipe racks and brackets, environmental protection equipment and chemicals. It will also include industrial gases, computers, telecom and other ICT equipment components, furniture, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders, bolts and nuts, and drilling fluids. Nwapa said that the strategy has been successfully deployed to stimulate small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) focused on the oil and gas technology into sustainable en-

gines for technological growth and employment at the grass root level. He noted that the major operators will benefit from increased entrepreneurial activities in their host communities, adding that the Board has reached out to the state governments to participate in an SME fair to enable it identify companies with potentials to incubate and grow. In this way, over 100,000 productive jobs will be created across the communities for skills ranging from professional to artisanal and deemphasize the social employment prevalent in the communities. “The fair will identify SMEs with capacity, which will be supported and accommodated in the new industrial parks to manufacture goods used in industry with the active involvement of the traditional OEMs,” he added. He said the Board would activate the provisions of the Act to provide specific incentives for OEMs that participate in the initiative such as locking in orders for equipment or components manufactured/assembled in these parks for extended period. He added that Nigerian companies had committed to invest over $600 million in the manufacture and assembly of various equipments and components.

Swedish firm targets Nigeria’s oil industry

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•From left: Managing Director, Future Concerns Nigeria Limited, Tony Oguike; Managing Director, Redwing Shoes Company, Tito Warren and Managing Director, Africa, Redwing Shoes Company, Mehdi Nafa, during the inauguration of the company’s depot/office complex in Lagos.

NAPTIN inaugurates training workshop

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HE National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) has stepped up power training technology with the installation and inauguration of electric power system simulator and mechanical training workshop in the NAPTIN Regional Training Centre in Ijora, Lagos State. The institute also upgraded its 36room executive hostel at the Akangba Regional Training Centre in Surulere, Lagos. The facilities were inaugurated by the Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi. The minister said the facilities would not only improve training and skills acquisition in the power sector but would ensure sustainable improvement in power sector supply in the country. She said the government has intensified effort to ensure that more power plants begin operation before the end of the year to boost power supply in the country. She noted that one of the key priorities of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is the provision of adequate, reliable and affordable power supply to Nigerians. She said: “I want to assured Nigerians that the current improvement in power supply witnessed nationwide would be continuous improved upon towards delivering the promise of the Federal Government to Nigerians.”

She said in delivering these promises, it is common knowledge that the most important resource would be human capital. She said: “We are here to witness investment in the development of human capacity required to drive the provision and sustenance of electricity supply in Nigeria. Federal Government, in pursuit of the power sector reform agenda had long realised the gap in human capital, which bedevils the industry. In this regard, efforts are being made to consolidate the stranded erstwhile Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) training centres into national training institutions.” She stressed that the major impediment that has continued to plague the development of the Nigerian power sector had been the dearth of skills required to undertake some of the basic tasks of maintaining the power assets. “Today, we make an important landmark in the development of the Nigerian electricity supplyindustry. The facilities we commissioned for the Nigerian Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) would provide system training opportunities for the workforce,” she said. She lauded President Jonathan’s support to the ministry of power and all associated millennium development goals (MDGs) for the discharge of the ministry’s mandate. The Director-General, NAPTIN Na-

tional Power Training Institute of Nigeria, Engr. Reuben Okeke, said that the electric power system simulator marked the move from theoretical approach to training in power engineering to more practical approach where experimentations can be taught and simulated in real life incidences. Okeke said the power simulator allows technologists, engineers and electrical system operators to gain knowledge-based learning and skills-based training in all aspects of electric power system. He said: “This would further add to the learning potential of our institute and bring us nearer to the dream of being a world class power system training institute. With a 10-person per session capacity per week, the installation of the power simulator will ensure an annual turnout of 520 well skilled engineers and technologist.” He said the contract for the procurement, installation and commissioning of the electric power system simulator was signed with Messrs Tecquipment Limited/ Auskan International Limited in September 2010, adding that apart from the successful installation of the facility and workshop centre, five NAPTIN engineers/instructors have been successfully trained at the contractors site in Nottingham, United Kingdom, on the use and operation of the power system simulator.

IGERIA’S oil and gas industry may attract a major investment as Alfa Lava, a leading Swedish equipment manufacturer has concluded arrangement to collaborate with an indigenous firm, Jocam Nigeria Limited, to provide parts and maintenance services for all the former’s equipment with manufacturer’s warranty. The collaboration will focus on skills acquisition, equipment maintenance and technology transfer to boost growth in the nation’s economy. The Managing Director of Alfa Laval, Mrs. Maryne Lemvik, said the company will participate in the upcoming Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) conference and exhibition, which will hold at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, between February 18 and 21. Lemvik said that Nigeria is a very fast-growing economy and has become globally relevant to equipment makers such as her company. She said: “We see growth and opportunities in Nigeria and we want to be fully involved. Our ambition is to provide for companies in the oil and gas sector a wide range of key solutions designed for increased efficient performance.” Established in 1883 with headquarters in Sweden and regional offices across the world, Alfa Laval is a global manufacturer of equipment specially designed for oil and gas sector. Such equipment, include

systems for liquid/solid separation, heat transfer and treatment, fluid handling, among others, and operates in Nigeria both directly and through distributors. Jocam is a representative company that has wide range of interests in the oil and gas, power and marine support services such as international procurement, coating, and equipment stocking; sales and services of all range of industrial equipment for surface preparation, design, installation and maintenance. The Managing Director of Jocam, Mr. Nnamdi Okam, said that the Nigeria Oil Gas conference and exhibition will afford the visiting Swedish team an opportunity to interact with “our clients with a view to understanding the challenges of performance and maintenance of Alfa Laval equipment as well as introduce the latest and most modern solutions for improved productivity and cost-efficiency in the industry because oil and gas industry in Nigeria is yet to attain its full potential as most of the key technologies and expertise needed for optimal operation are still sourced from abroad.” The Communications Manager of Alfa Laval, Virginia Nordmann, said the company is a leading global provider of specialised products and engineering solutions based on its key technologies of heat transfer, separation and fluid handling.

Ikeja Disco laments rising equipment vandalism

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HE Management of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company has raised the alarm over the increased rate of vandalism of its equipment. The vandalism, which reduced after the conviction of two vandals to various terms of imprisonment, assumed a wider dimension in the last six months. During this period, a total number of 69 distribution substations were vandalised and various electrical items were stolen from these stations. These acts threw the communities, which the vandalised facilities supply power, into darkness. The management said the socio-economic effect of this dastardly act of sabotage is high. It said apart from

throwing communities into darkness, the cost of replacing vandalized equipment is colossal and the management can no longer bear such cost. The company spent over N20 million to replace the equipment in the 67 vandalised substations. This amount would have been better expended on new projects for network expansion. The management advised Community DevelopmentAssociations (CDAs) and other well-meaning community members to be alert and assist in curbing vandalism of electrical equipment within their locality. The management also sought the continued support of the Police, the State Security Service (SSS) and other security agencies in putting an end to vandalism of electrical equipment.


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

49

ENERGY Group donates bus to Down Syndrome foundation

•From Left : GM Finance, Nipco, Chiranjibi Roka;Virwani; Alhaji Sarki; Snr. Manager, Sales & Marketing, Victor Adeyemi and Depot Rep. Tamal, Muniru Sanni, at the event in Lagos.

Nipco rewards loyal marketers

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IPCO Plc, an integrated downstream operator, appreciated its customers for their patronage and delivering quality service, particularly in the dispensing of petroleum products to Nigerians in all parts of the country. The event, which held at the company’s terminal in Lagos, was to recognise and honour outstanding marketers in which the overall best marketer for last year, went to Tamal Petroleum Nigeria Limited,

based in Katsina State. The Managing Director of the company, Alhaji Muhammadu Usman Sarki, received the award on behalf of the company. He expressed appreciation for t h e honour and pledged to consolidate on the company’s business relationship with Nipco by pulling more volumes this year. Presenting the award to the recipient on behalf of Nipco,

the Executive Director, Finance, Mr Ramesh Virwani, said the award was in recognition of the outstanding performance of the marketing company in the distribution of petroleum products to end-users through its outlets. Virwani assured the marketing companies doing business with Nipco of its excellent service delivery, which he added, is beneficial to both parties and in the interest of the sector.

S part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), the West African Ventures Group (WAV), an integrated oil service company, has donated a brand new 18-seater bus to the Down Syndrome Foundation of Nigeria. Making the presentation at the foundation’s office in Lagos, Mrs. Eno Agada, who represented the company’s president, stated that the gesture was part of WAV’s effort at giving back to the society and putting smiles on the faces of the needy. On the choice of the foundation as a beneficiary, Eno said the foundation was found to be in dire need and the WAV Group felt honoured to meet such need. She said: “Their fliers got to us, and we visited the premises and based on our findings, we presented a report to the president who immediately took decision that the company should donate a brand new bus to the foundation.” Receiving the key of the bus, the National President of the foundation, Mrs. Rose Mordi, expressed appreciation for the kind gesture from the company. Mordi said: “I think I’m short of words because I’m totally overwhelmed. I least expected this, but I think it is the best Christmas gift my children have had. This is the first time we are getting this type of gift at this time of the year. Usually, people give us food stuffs or give us some money or school equipment but I think this bus donation beats all. “It is one of the most important

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items that we need for the smooth running of the foundation. The children we have here have special needs and part of the programme we have is social integration and we have to move them around because they cannot take public transport, they cannot go out for events on their own and if we don’t have a vehicle to take them out, the programme will not be effective. This gift could not have come at a better time” She explained that the foundation takes care of Down syndrome in children and some adults that is caused by a genetic disorder resulting from the addition of an extra chromosome in a zygote, which according to her, predisposes them to mental retardation and a few other health issues. “The only way to take care of them is to carry out early medical intervention, early educational intervention plus vocational training and early social integration. And if these three programmes are effectively carried out, these children can live at least a semi independent life,” she added. Mordi called on the government and private organisations to help the foundation put in place structures that would help provide early intervention for the affected children. “We call on the Federal and state governments as well as corporate organisations to partner with us. In advanced countries, the basic structures for such organisations are provided by the government but unfortunately there is no such thing in Nigeria.”

•Kelley

•Badake

Power reform: Can Nigeria achieve global best practices? •Continued from January 29

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N 2003, India passed regulation that provides private investors to become major players in the utilities market largely owned by the state. The energy monopoly market has crippled India electricity sector for decades allowing the state to rip all profits and provide unsatisfactory services to its consumers. Although there is no competition in distribution of energy, few private entities control the market in Delhi, Mumbai and Orissa states (Das 2010). The step toward effective reform was born through the National Tariff policy of 2006 that required all utility sectors to operation only on the basis of sound competition (Das 2010). However, the state-owned utility sectors did not comply to cost regulation till five years later. The reform process cannot be effective until all parties abide by the rule. In the realm of competition and price regulations, regulatory commissions were vested with the power of punishing violators of the Tariff policy. In addition, India believes that to eliminate favoritism and allow transparency in the energy sectors, the “US model of independent system operators (ISO) should be implemented in India. Moreover, India believes that the Electricity Act must eliminate holding of all generation assets by the distribution utility thus, introducing efficiency in price and diversity in consumer’s choice, which may lead to consumer’s confidence. Non-discriminatory price practice and private investors ‘inoculation’ into energy sector must be set to eliminate any conflict of interest and to propel fair competition. It is safe to argue at this junction that the deregulation process aims to protect consumers and sustains the economic development of the nation.

Mexico The energy reform in Mexico has taken a different route that aims to

By Njideka Kelley and Komlan Badake

strengthen Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) control in the oil sector through good governance, more flexibility in all aspects including operations, budgeting, and contracting. PEMEX is the biggest company in Mexico and the country’s primary fiscal contributor. Under the energy reform law, PEMEX is allowed greater flexibility in contracting as well as procurement, whereas, under the previous Public Work Law, the federal government overseas all public entities operations thus “regulates Pemex’s procurement activities.” The energy reform that gives Pemex a fiscal and operational autonomy to prepare its own budget, acquire debt and invest at its own discretion without the Ministry of the Treasury supervision could lay a thicker cloud on our effort to vouch for transparency. The energy reform has given Pemex a greater autonomy and unparalleled flexibility in its operations. One may argue that the Mexico energy reform probability seems to only focus on generating profits and ignoring consumers. Generating profit is the motto of all business, but a federal entity has more battles to fight than just amassing wealth. Economy development cannot be achieved without consumers’ satisfaction and certainly cannot be sustained with total autonomy such as one that Pemex currently enjoys. Public entities should be public servants organisations where consumers are first priority. Selfrule entities have no place in a democratic society where the economy development rests on the notion of consumer satisfaction and public opinion. Mexico’s type of reform is adverse to the specimen of reform that Nigeria needs. Nigeria must take consolation in the reform measures taken by the USA and India in this piece. We only show you Mexico for comparison sake. But the question

still remains whether Nigeria can truly shed off its predominantly coat of corruption and look towards global best practice in order to achieve its goals.

Nigeria Many Nigerians welcome the privatisation effort of the government towards the then National electric power authority (NEPA) and the recent Power holding corporation of Nigeria (PHCN) because of their genuine hope and beliefs that it will cure the electricity demise that afflicts the entire country. For many, the announcement of the preferred bidders for the GenCos (generation companies) and Discos (distribution companies) in Nigeria would appear to be the culmination of years of planning for the total reform of the Nigerian power sector or is it another way for the Nigeria elite to amass more wealth? To improve service delivery, availability, and supply of power to Nigerians and also to shift ownership of the power sector from government to the private sector, the noble endeavour would ensure that Nigerians no longer have to spend their hard earned income on the purchase of generator sets and the fuel that it utilizes, which deprive them of other social amenities and increase their poverty. The same poverty level also afflicts the nation, as it cannot become truly an economic viable nation due its failure to generate, transmit and distribute power for its citizens. There are several consequences of the lack of adequate power generation in Nigeria, which include dream of becoming a major technological or economic force in the continent and the world. The problem is that given the corrupt climate of the country, how possible will it be to checkmate these ambitious tendencies? Who will regulate the regulator given the corrupt nature of the country? Will the bidders meet the conditions of the

take over? Can they secure the payment needed to actually take over from the government? Are they competent enough to carry out this massive take over? Do they have the expertise for the completion and execution of the project? How does the Local Content Act structure the conditions for the reform? Do they have the skill to protect megawatts from “dropping off” during the asset handover time frame? How about the process of improving transmission and distribution infrastructure as it relates to the increase in the generation capacity of power? Can they justify the investment into assets, in other words can they meet the targeted amount of returns to the government? Can they make enough profit to sustain the allocation? Can they sustain the reform? These are the type of questions that will determine the success or failure of the reform process leading to privatization. The major issues remain that of corruption, self –interest, vandalism, revenue collection, inadequate manpower, security and funding.

Conclusion It is a no brainer that for the power sector reform to succeed it must be followed with basic principles of transparency. Transparency Is the degree to which organizations share relevant information for the purpose of meeting their bottom

line, meeting expectations of the stakeholders and ensuring that the goals and mandate of the organization are met. The Power sector reform and the ESI must meet these basic challenges in order to succeed. Most importantly is the manner by which the winners of the DISCO’s will stick to the reform principles. The onus will be on them to be transparent, to be creative, to imbibe healthy competitive strategies for the improvement of the sector and the satisfaction of the consumers. Corrupt practices must have no play in the development of these entities and while profit continues to be the bottom-line, efficiency, effectiveness, best practice skills; expertise, fairness and expert service delivery methods must be their motto of performance. Perhaps Nigerians and Nigeria will begin to compete economically and technologically in global market affairs and the full impact of a “well illuminated” nation will begin to have trickledown effect on social, health, education and scientific achievements of the nation. We at the New Generation Consulting Resource Solutions, will focus our spotlight on developments. •Concluded

•Dr. Kelley and Dr. Badake, are of New Generation Consulting Resource Solutions, Cresco, Pennsylvania, USA. They can be reached at n j i g i r l @ y a h o o . c o m , www.newgenerationconsultingrs.com,


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THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013


SLIDING TACKLE

"If they want proud to play football, we'll Igesund respond by playing football. If they want to fight, we be ready to go to battle." ofwillBafana 52

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Juventus ace Andrea Pirlo expressing confidence that his side can match their opponents Celtic skill for skill and pound for pound in tonight's UEFAChampions League game in Scotland.

REAL MADRID VS MANCHESTER UNITED

Ronaldo prepares to welcome old friends

•Ronaldo

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T's the Champions League encounter that captures the imagination as Real Madrid prepare to host Manchester United. The European Champions League provides a crackerjack of a fixture on Wednesday when Real Madrid hotshot Cristiano Ronaldo faces Manchester United, the club where he made his name, for the first time.

Unit ed will hope the Portugal winger does not emulate Brazil forward Ronaldo who scored a memorable hat-trick for the Spaniards when the teams

Beckham out of Valencia clash

PIRLO:

Juventus are ready for Celtic A

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AVID Beckham has been left out of Paris Saint-Germain's squad for their clash against Valencia in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie today. The 37-year-old English midfielder has yet to start training with the team he joined on transfer deadline day and has not regained match fitness. Brazilian defender Thiago Silva too has been omitted from PSG's 20-man squad for the game at the Mestalla. The former AC Milan centre-back is still sidelined with a hamstring injury he picked up last month. Paris Saint-Germain squad: Alex, Areola, Armand, Camara, Chantome, Conte, Douchez, Gameiro, Ibrahimovic, Jallet, Lavezzi, Lucas, Matuidi, Maxwell, Menez, Pastore, Sakho, Sirigu, Van der Wiel, Verratti

•Beckham

last met 10 years ago. The Real forward will not have to be concerned about being overshadowed by arch-rival Lionel Messi because organisers UEFA have again spread the last 16 over a series of dates, meaning the matches will take one month to complete. Messi's Barcelona will not be in action until February 20 when they visit AC Milan for their firstleg encounter while the Arsenal-Bayern Munich, Galatasaray-Schalke 04 and Porto-Malaga ties also take place next week. The meeting of nine-time European champions Real, who are paying the penalty for failing to win their group, and United is the first for 10 years. As well as being Ronaldo's first confrontation with the team he spent six glittering seasons with, the first leg at the Bernabeu also allows Real coach Jose Mourinho to renew his rivalry with United counterpart Alex Ferguson. Real, the Spanish league champions, have been disappointing in the Primera Division this season and finished second in their Champions League group behind Dortmund.

•Pique

Pique: I want United to beat Madrid

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ARCELONA defender Gerard Pique hopes that Manchester United will reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League at the expense of Real Madrid. The Spain international wore the United jersey from 2004 until 2008, and he is hopeful that his former team can beat Barca's arch-rivals in the round of 16, with the first leg of the tie scheduled to take place at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday. "I would like Manchester United to make it to the next round," Pique told reporters. "I would like them to progress because of my time at the club. However, Madrid have been in good form in recent weeks. It promises to be an interesting tie." The centre-back then went on to discuss Barcelona's 6-1 Liga win over Getafe on Sunday afternoon, and hailed his side's strength in depth. "We have a very complete team. A few players who don’t usually enjoy a lot of minutes [on the pitch] got to play on Sunday and they proved that they are at a good level. This gives us tranquility." Barca went 12 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid following the Rojiblancos' loss against Rayo.

NDREA Pirlo is confident that Juventus have what it takes to see off Celtic in their Champions League round of 16 tie. The Scottish giants surprisingly beat Barcelona at home earlier this season, but Pirlo has stressed that Juve will not make the same mistakes the Catalans made as he believes the Bianconeri will be ready for anything Celtic thrown at them. "We are ready for anything. We have seen how Celtic beat Barcelona, but maybe we are better prepared than the Catalans on how to adapt to the circumstances," Pirlo told Tuttosport. "They play some fantastic football, but Celtic frustrated them with their approach. Whatever they will try, Juventus will be ready for it, though. "If they want to play football, we'll respond by playing football. If they want to fight, we will be ready to go to battle." Today's first leg at Parkhead kicks off at 20:45CET.

•Pirlo


THE NATION TUESDAY FEBRURY 12, 2013

53

NEWS

Unknown gunmen kill three in Jos •Task force shot dead two suspects •23 cows also killed

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NKNOWN gunmen have attacked Barkin Ladi Local Government in Plateau State, killing three people and 23 cows. They also injured 11 cows in the two attacks at Kassa and Kubel villages. A statement issued by the Special Task Force (STF) said: “This is to inform the public and the people of Plateau State that on February 7, about 5:30pm, gunmen attacked some cows grazing at Kassa Area of Ropp District

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos

in Barkin Ladi Local Government area of Plateau State. They killed six cows and injured three. “STF personnel cordoned off the area and arrested two suspects.” STF spokesman, Capt. Salisu Mustapha, who signed the statement, said: “On February 10, about 6:05pm, unknown gunmen attacked cows at Kubel village in Barkin Ladi Local Govern-

ment. Seventeen cows were killed, nine got injured and five are missing. Preliminary investigation by our troops led to the arrest of three suspects, who are undergoing investigation. “Also, on February 11, about 8am, unknown gunmen attacked and killed three persons on their farms at Kassa village in Barkin Ladi Local Government. STF personnel moved to the scene, but on sighting the troops, the gunmen shot them.

“This led to a gun battle, which resulted in the killing of two of the attackers. STF arrested four of the gunmen and recovered arms from them. Arms recovered included three AK-47 rifles, one locally- made rifle, 45 rounds of 7.62MM (special) and 31 cartridges.” The STF warned that any individual or group of persons bent on fomenting trouble with the aim of truncating the peace of the state would be dealt with.

‘Boko Haram has affected North’s economy’ From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

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HE Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF), Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has said the Boko Haram insurgency and other terrorists’ acts have begun to affect the North’s economy. He said commercial activities have fallen by over 90 per cent, with people from other parts of the country avoiding the markets for fear of being killed. Aliyu, who is also Niger State Governor, spoke in Minna during a reception in honour of 12 indigenes. Citing the popular Kafin-kwori Market in Kano as an example, the governor lamented that prior to the crisis, the daily average bank saving by traders in the market was N255 million. He said it was regrettable that savings had dropped to N11 million daily. Aliyu urged Nigerians to join hands “in combating this menace and restore normalcy to the region.” Apparently reacting to the killing of the polio vaccinators in Kano last Friday, by some unidentified gunmen, he said such barbarism should be stopped. The governor said the reception for the 12 distinguished people was in recognition of their contributions to the development of the state.

Dakingari signs 2013 budget into law From Khadijat Saidu, Birnin Kebbi

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•Chairman, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government, Mr. Ayodele Adewale, speaking during the celebration of the Black History Month in Lagos. With him are National Cordinator, Coalition for Electoral Reform (CODER), Chief Ayo Opadokun, (second right), Baba Omojola and others.

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You have a case to answer, court tells bombing suspects

FEDERAL High Court, Abuja, yesterday ruled that the six persons charged with the bombing of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Suleja, Niger State, on April 8, 2011 have a case to answer. Sixteen persons died in the blast. Justice Bilikisu Aliyu ordered the accused to call their witnesses to prove their innocence, if they so wish. The accused, who are facing a five-count charge of terrorism are: Shuaibu Abubakar, Salisu Ahmed, Umar Babagana Umar, Mo-

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

hammed Ali, Musa Adam and Umar Ibrahim. They claimed that there was no sufficient evidence to support the charge. Dismissing their no-case submission, Justice Aliyu held that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the suspects. Said she: “After going through the arguments, it must be noted at this point that the court is to look at all the evidence presented to

decide if they are enough to establish a prima facie case against the accused to warrant them to enter a defence. “The evidence of the prosecution has disclosed a prima facie case against the accused – they should enter their defence to give explanations if they so wish. “The no-case submission has been dismissed.” Justice Aliyu ordered the prison authorities to allow the defence counsel interact with the accused. At the last sitting, counsel

to Abubakar, Umar and Ali, Mr. Kelvin Okoro, argued that the evidence against the accused did not support the charge. Besides, he contended that there was no sufficient evidence to support the charge. Counsel to Ahmed, Adam and Ibrahim, Nureini Suleiman, said the evidence against his clients were hearsay. “This is inadmissible in law,” he added. But the prosecution counsel, Thompson Olatigbe, urged the court to disregard the argument and dismissed the no-case submission because the evidence against the accused were weighty.

Attack on Emir of Kano: Police parade seven suspects

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HE Kano State Police Command yesterday paraded seven suspects believed to be the brains behind the attack on the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero and his convoy. Six people died in the incident and two of the Emir’s sons were injured. Police Commissioner Idris Ibrahim, who spoke to reporters, said most of the suspects being sent were brainwashed that they were on a jihad mission. Parading the suspects at the Police Command headquarters, the police boss said a suicide bomber, (names withheld), an indigene of Borno State, who lives at Shagari quarters in Kano, made a confessional statement that he

From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

was the mastermind of the attack. According to him, another suspect, who hails from Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State, said they were intercepted and arrested on

Sabuwar Gwandu Road by mobile policemen on stopand-search patrol. The suspects, during interrogation, confessed to have participated in the attack on the Emir’s convoy. The police boss said the suspects confessed that they were re-

cruited into the terror group by two of their kingpins from Anguwar Uku quarters. He said one of the suspects was in company of Mubarak Isa, a student of the Kano State University of Technology, Wudil, on his motorbike during the operation.

Students protest over non-accreditation of courses

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HE crisis rocking the University of Abuja (UniAbuja), over course accreditation took a sad dimension yesterday, prompting the management to postpone the final-year students’ examinations till February 18. The examinations ought to have begun yesterday, but they were postponed following protests by some aggrieved students over non-accreditation of some courses. Problem started at 8am when engineering and medical students, who have been

From: Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

in a row with the university authority, locked the gate of the main campus. Other students, who had reported to sit for the examinations, were loitering outside the school premises in groups. Mobile policemen and soldiers were drafted to maintain law and order. An engineering student, who preferred anonymity, said management had “done nothing” in the last two months to purchase equipment in the faculty and they were tired of promises.

OVERNOR Saidu Dakingari of Kebbi State has signed the 2013 budget into law. He hailed the House of Assembly for a thorough job and promised that the budget, if not implemented by 100 per cent, would be implemented by 80 per cent. Governor Dakingari lauded the lawmakers for the speedy passage of the budget and assured that his administration would account for every kobo spent at the end of the fiscal year. He praised them for the pains they took to discover a lot of discrepancies in the budget figure, noting that if such was not done, government would have prepared a supplementary budget, which would have slowed down its activities. The Deputy Speaker, Garba Muhammed Bena, who represented the Speaker, Aminu Habbib Musa Jega, said although they did a thorough job, it was not easy considering the discrepancies discovered. He said after scrutiny, they discovered that the 2013 budget stood at N125billion as against the N114billion presented to the Assembly in November, last year.

Teachers’ minimum wage: Benue needs N1.8b HE Special Adviser to

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the Benue State Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Solomon Wombo, has said the state needs about N1.8billion monthly to implement the new minimum wage for primary school teachers. He was reacting to the January deadline issued to states by the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) for the implementation of the Teachers Salary Scale (TSS) and the minimum wage, Prince Wombo said after screening, 25,000 primary school teachers were discovered to be on the pay roll of government “and we need

CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP I MR DONATUS NNANN IWUCHUKWU of No 8 olumegbon street,surulere, Lagos, notify the general public that I have applied to the LSDPC for its consent to change ownership of a property at NO 13B ITIRE ROAD,SURULERE.LAGOS which was originally allocated to MR WILLIE OGODO. I have made series of efforts to contact MR WILLIE OGODO the assignor from whom I brought the property, but all efforts have proved abortive. I hereby indemnify the corporation against any future claims that may arise if my application is granted, and undertake to pay cost of any dispute that may arise on same. LSDPC, MR WILLIE OGODO and The General public, please take note.

From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

about N1.8 billion to implement the minimum wage. Where do we get that kind of money?” He said for more than five years, the state has not received more than N2.6billion as federal allocation. Wombo said besides primary school teachers, local government workers’ salary gulps about N1.7billion and N150million is spent as pensions for local government. According to him, Gabriel Suswam was the first governor to implement the TSS 27.5 per cent in the Northcentral geopolitical zone and is willing to implement the minimum wage. But the huge wage bill, which runs into millions of naira, has constituted a stumbling block as the state is financially-handicapped. “You don’t lend from banks for overhead cost. If you take loan this month, next month you obtain loan again, how will you repay and which bank will give you such facility? In financial management you cut cost,” said Wombo.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This to notify the general public that the Original Copy of the Certificate of Occupancy Registered as No. 67 on page 67 in volume 1991F of the Registered of Deed Kept at Lagos State Land Registry, Lagos Nigeria bearing the name of Mr. Ben Agbode Arenyeka issued in respect of the property situated at plot 26 in block 35 of the Lekki peninsula Residential Scheme1 Lagos in Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State and the Original Copy of the Deed of Assignment between Mr. Ben Agbode Arenyeka and Mr. Tekena Fubara in respect of the same property, registered as No. 91 on page 91 in Volume 2154 of the register of Deed kept at Lagos State Land Registry, Lagos are loss and all efforts to locate these documents failed. Anyone who finds these documents should please contact Mr. Tekena Fubara of No. 26B Sikiru Alade Oloko Street Lekki Phase 1 Lagos or the undersigned. Signed OWOLABI ADENIYI OSENI Solicitor, Advocate and Notary public 08026667204, 08154382857


54

THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 12-2-13

Equities rally to 19.35% as index hits new high •NSE signs MoU with Thomson Reuters

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VERAGE year-to-date return at the Nigerian stock market rallied to 19.35 per cent yesterday as several equities jumped to new highest and the main index at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) set a new highest index level. The market opened bullishly with 56 advancers against 18 decliners. The All Share Index (ASI), the common index for all equities on NSE, gained 0.59 per cent to close at 33,511.63 points as against its opening index of 33,313.49 points. Aggregate market value of all equities rose correspondingly by N65 billion from N10.659 trillion to N10.722 trillion. The market performance was driven by widespread gains across the high, mid and small capitalisation levels. Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc led the advancers with a gain of N5.53 to close at N125.97. PZ Cussons Nigeria followed with a gain of N4.04 to close at N44.48. UAC of Nigeria added N3 to close at N53. Unilever Nigeria rose by N2.57 to close at N52. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria chalked up N2.38 to close at N49.98. Total Nigeria gathered N2 to close at N143. Cadbury Nigeria gained N1.94 to close at N40.81. CAP rose by N1.68 to close at N35.42 while MRS Oil and Gas and Presco increased by N1.37 and 94 kobo

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

to close at N28.79 and N27.90 respectively. The price rally underlined increased demand for equities as investors repositioned their portfolios ahead of the imminent start of the earnings season. Volume and value of activities improved by 8.63 per cent and 33.87 per cent respectively as investors staked N4.35 billion on 683.24 million shares through 7,299 deals. Investors appeared to be showing increasing preference for low-priced stocks. Banking stocks remained atop activity chart with a turnover of 363.69 million shares worth N2.42 billion in 3,015 deals. Insurance sector followed with a turnover of 147.93 million shares worth N108.19 million in 499 deals. Unity Bank was the most active stock with a turnover of 115.22 million shares worth N115.18 million in 340 deals. However, Flour Mills of Nigeria, which posted a disappointing third quarter report, led the losers with a drop of N3.99 to close at N76.01. Lafarge Wapco Cement Nigeria trailed with a loss of N2.20 to close at N72 while Guinness Nigeria lost N1.41 to close at N296. Meanwhile, the NSE has signed a Memorandum of

Understanding (MoU) with Thomson Reuters to provide investor relations services to its listed companies as part of its value added services. With this initiative, investor relations’ solutions from Thomson Reuters will be available to the NSE’s listed companies. The NSE stated that Thomson ONEInvestor Relations will help companies manage their investors relations programme workflow, including monitoring market activity, understanding investor behaviour and managing investor outreach. Thomson Reuters’ investors relations websites will also ensure companies are delivering a high standard of disclosure, providing investors with quality and professional investment information. Managing Director, Africa, Thomson Reuters, Keith Nichols, said his company was delighted to partner with the NSE. “Thomson Reuters provides integrated solutions across the investor relations workflow and we look forward to help NSE’s companies comply with the regulatory requirements and effectively communicate with institutional and retail investors,” Nichols said. Executive Director, Business Development, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, urged listed companies to take advantage of this investor relations package to improve their visibility to the local and international investor community.

NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 12-2-13


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THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

MONEY LINK

Babalakin faults AMCON’s seizure of his property

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AWYER-businessman, Wale Babalakin yesterday denied that his company, Roygate Properties Limited owed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) N13.9billion. He also faulted the corporation’s claim that the property on which an interim order of possession was granted the corporation belongs to Roygate Properties. Babalakin was reacting to media reports suggesting that the property on 43A Afribank Street, Victoria Island (V.I.), Lagos was taken over by AMCON upon an order of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court Lagos, made on February 5 against his (Babalola’s) company, Roygate Properties in a suit marked: FHC/L/CS/1501/2012. Yesterday, Babalakin addressed a press conference in his office located on the 11th floor of the V.I. property, which main entrance, AMCON sealed last Friday with the assistance of court officials and police personnel.

By Eric Ikhilae

“For the avoidance of doubt, we are not indebted to AMCON or any federal agency. On the contrary, we have a judgment credit of N132billion in our favour. The courts have directed that if we owe any debt to the Federal Government, it should be deducted from this amount of money. “This property, which is owned by Bunbury Limited was never mortgaged to any bank and so, could not have been inherited by AMCON. “The issue of ownership of this property is before the Lagos High Court. In the said court, AMCON, through its predecessor-in-title, GTB, claimed that the property had been sold to a ‘red company’ for N6.5billion. “If, as claimed under oath by GTB/ AMCON, the property has been sold to a third party, how then was GTB able to transfer a property already sold to AMCON? This is a monumental fraud.

“AMCON is fully aware of the facts of this case and it is party to it through GTB. Yet AMCON surreptitiously obtained an ex-parte order from the Federal High Court to take over the premises without discussing the issues. “The matter was heard ex-parte, even though there was a preliminary in the file, disclosing all the pending suits and reasons why the order could not be granted. AMCON, in its characteristic cavalier attitude, did not disclose the address of the property yet, the court erroneously granted it inexplicably,” Babalakin said. He showed journalist a copy of the order made on April 5, 2012 by Justice Gladys Olotu (of the Federal High Court, Abuja). The judge among others, directed the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to compel relevant agencies of the Federal Government to comply with the judgment given against them on March 3, 2009 by Justice Anwuli Chikere, in a suit num-

bered: FHC/ABJ/CS50/2009 and on which basis about N132.5billion was still due to Bi-Courtney Limited (another company owned by Babalakin). Justice Olotu ordered the AGF, being a legal representative of the Federal Government, to “set off from above-mentioned sum of N132,540,580,304 any claims agreed with the plaintiff(Bi-Courtney Limited) to be due from the plaintiff to any agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, including but not limited to AMCON.” Babalakin also told journalists that Roygate Properties has filed a notice of appeal before the Court of Appeal, Lagos against the February 5 ruling of Justice Aneke. He said another application for stay of further execution of the order has equally been filed before the Federal High Court, Lagos. Roygate is by the application, seeking among others, an order for stay

move more freely between countries and from fertile areas to those where communities are suffering food shortages. “The World Bank expects demand for food in Africa to double by the year 2020 as people increasingly leave the countryside and move to the continent’s cities,” it said. According to the new report, “Africa Can Help Feed Africa, “removing barriers to regional trade in food staples rapid urbanisation will challenge the ability of farmers to ship their cereals and other

N

IGERIA Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said it will participate in this year’s 34th Kaduna International Trade Fair as part of the initiatives to enhance public awareness on the mandate and activities of its operations. In a statement, the corporation said its activities at the trade fair, which takes place between February 22 and March 3, 2013 include the production/transmission of the NDIC radio and television jingles, display and distribution of in-house research publications with branded souvenirs and the its Special Day. “The NDIC Special Day also serves as a platform to showcase the landmark achievements of the Corporation and its contribution

foods to consumers when the nearest trade market is just across a national border. It said that countries south of the Sahara, could significantly boost their food trade over the next several years to manage the deadly impact of worsening drought, rising food prices, rapid population growth, and volatile weather patterns. With many African farmers effectively cut off from the high-yield seeds, and the affordable fertiliser and pesticides needed to expand their crop production, the continent has turned to foreign imports to meet its growing needs in staple foods.

FGN BONDS Amount N

Rate %

M/Date

3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

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

WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 350m 150m 350m 138m

MANAGED FUNDS

NIDF NESF

Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

350m

INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%

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

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012

GAINERS AS AT 12-2-13

SYMBOL PZ UNITYBNK AIICO TRANSCORP PRESTIGE ROYALEX WEMABANK FIDSON CUSTODYINS UACN

O/PRICE 40.44 0.91 1.22 1.63 1.03 0.93 1.47 1.64 2.04 50.00

C/PRICE 44.48 1.00 1.34 1.79 1.13 1.02 1.61 1.78 2.20 53.00

CHANGE 4.04 0.09 0.12 0.16 0.10 0.09 0.14 0.14 0.16 3.00

REDSTAREX JOHNHOLT FLOURMILL FO INTBREW ABCTRANS IKEJAHOTEL MCNICHOLS PORTPAINT SKYEBANK

O/PRICE 4.02 1.40 80.00 16.67 25.20 0.64 1.13 0.75 5.20 6.30

C/PRICE 3.77 1.33 76.01 15.84 24.00 0.61 1.08 0.72 5.00 6.10

NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

Current Before

2-7-12 27-6-12

113m

155.7

22-6-12

C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51

149.7450

154.0000

154.3000

-3.04

152.0000

153.0000

155.5000

-2.30

153.0000

154.0000

156.0000

-1.96

Feb. ’11

July ’11

MPR

6.50%

6.50%

12%

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

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%

July ’12

CHANGE

Date

7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37

28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

% Change -1.44% -1.44%

MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS

ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND FBN FIXED INCOME FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED

Offer Price

Bid Price

9.17 1.00 136.93 143.99 0.80 1.13 1.02 100.00 1,000.00 1,786.50 14.58 1.39 1.87 10,686.77

9.08 1.00 136.52 143.77 0.78 1.13 1.00 100.00 1,000.00 1,785.11 13.87 1.33 1.80 10,376.82

• STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND

NIBOR Tenor

NSE CAP Index

Name

DISCOUNT WINDOW

0.25 0.07 3.99 0.83 1.20 0.03 0.05 0.03 0.20 0.20

Exchange Rate (N) 155.2 155.8

CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer

LOSERS AS AT 12-2-13

SYMBOL

113m

Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency

OBB Rate Call Rate

towards the safety, soundness and stability of the financial system. In addition, the Special Day attracts dignitaries including Chief Executive officers of banks and other financial institutions, the academia, traditional rulers, opinion leaders and labour unions,” it said. The other invited guests are primary and secondary schools’ teachers and students, mass media and market women. NDIC staff will today, also be on hand at the Corporation’s stand to receive and educate visitors on the NDIC mandate and activities as well as to address their enquiries and share the in-house publications and branded souvenirs among the visitors.

DATA BANK

Tenor

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

of execution of the order made exparte; an injunction restraining AMCON and its agents from taking any further steps to execute the order and an order staying all further proceedings in the substantive suit pending the determination of its appeal.

NDIC to participate in Kaduna Fair

World Bank: Africa to earn extra $20b from agric A WORLD Bank report said Africa would generate an extra $20 billion in yearly earnings if African leaders can agree to dismantle trade barriers that blunt more regional dynamism. Africa’s production of staple foods is worth at least $50 billion a year. The World Bank said Africa’s farmers can potentially grow enough food to feed the continent and avert future food crises if countries remove cross-border restrictions on the food trade within the region. The report urged African leaders to improve trade so that food can

•Babalakin

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%

Movement

OPEN BUY BACK

Bank P/Court

Previous 04 July, 2012

Current 07, Aug, 2012

8.5000 8.0833

8.5000 8.0833

Movement


56

THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

57

NEWS

‘APC will survive beyond 2015’ •Court dismisses suit against LSDPC F ORMER National Legal Adviser of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Dr. Muiz Banire, yesterday said the merger of opposition parties would survive beyond 2015. He said the joining of forces by leading opposition parties to form the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not only to dislodge the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but to have a strong opposition. This, he said, would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy, place it in the path of

By Joseph Jibueze

development and end ineffective leadership, which he said has wobbled the country. Banire spoke to reporters at the Court of Appeal, Lagos, where he came to represent the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC), in an appeal filed by a lawyer, Omolara Ademola, over a property dispute. He said: “Quite like eve-

ry other political party, there will be challenges here and there, it’s just natural. But the truth of the matter is that the principle will endure. “After 2015, the party will continue as one. It’s a new political party. You see, everybody is going to surrender his individual identity. “APC was not just formed for 2015. If everybody is governed by the rules and objectives of the party, it will surely succeed.” The Court of Appeal, pre-

sided over by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, dismissed the appeal because the appellant did not transmit records from the lower court within 60 days after filing the notice of appeal. Omolara Ademola had appealed the judgment of Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, which held that she was indebted to LSPDC regarding a bungalow on Plot 87, Samuel Manuwa Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Polio: Police arrest three for inflammatory programme From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano

P

•Banire The lower court also ordered the appellant to vacate the premises on or before November 30, 2010 and pay mense profit at the rate of N29,166.668 per month from January 1, 2007 until passion is given up.

OLICE in Kano have arrested and detained three broadcasters with Wazobia FM for an alleged inflammatory programme that caused the attack on polio workers last Friday. The broadcasters, Suleiman Gama, producer of an Hausa programme, Sandar Girma, Yakubu Musa, presenter of the programme and Mubarak Malam, a reporter, are being quizzed by the detectives at the Bompai headquarters of the Kano Police Command. According to security agents, in the programme, polio immunisation was criticised as anti-Islam and a western ploy to reduce the population of the North through infertility. Police Commissioner Ibrahim Idris confirmed the detention of the broadcasters and described the programme as irresponsible. He said an investigation is being carried out over the matter. Idris said the programme, which was aired a few days before the attack, was inciting, adding that it influenced the behaviour of the attackers.

NBA, EFCC, NITDA, others support cyber crimes bill From: Victor Oluwsegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja •Doctors and health workers protesting over the pending National Medical Bill before the National Assembly...yesterday.

Fed Govt to inaugurate almajiri, girl-child schools next month

Corruption: Why court is helpless, by Agbakoba

T

HE Federal Government will inaugurate almajiri and special girl-child schools across the country next month. Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, who said this in Abuja yesterday during a meeting with the management of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the contractors handling the projects, added that over 50 per cent of the awarded contracts have been completed. He said after the inauguration, the schools would be handed over to the states for administration. Wike said the remaining 50 per cent of those in the first phase have reached over 90 per cent completion. He said the contractors awarded the first phase of the schools, who fail to complete their jobs by the end of February, would be sanctioned. The minister said he would embark on a nationwide inspection of the projects by next week. On the library projects for the Unity Schools, Wike said he was impressed about the quality of delivery by most contractors. “I hail the level of work executed by most contractors in these schools. I also praise UBEC for the remarkable improvement we have witnessed in terms of supervision and payment of contractors,” he said. The Acting Executive Secretary of UBEC, Prof. Charles Onocha, assured the minister that UBEC workers and management would work towards attaining the objectives of the government.

By Eric Ikhilae

•Agbakoba

F

ORMER President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has attributed the helplessness of the nation’s criminal justice system to the inadequacy of existing laws. He said the system seems to have been overwhelmed by the high level of corruption in the country, adding that the

existing laws are old and weak. Agbakoba said the sentence handed to John Yusufu, the police pension fund convict, which many found ridiculous, was done because the nation’s criminal laws were old. He suggested an overhaul of the nation’s laws to enable them cope with today’s reality. Agbakoba spoke with reporters yesterday in Lagos on the sideline of the Second Federal High Court Judges Forum, organised by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON). He praised the initiative behind the forum, which was meant for judges to examine the newly-introduced AMCON Practice Direction 2013. The forum, Agbakoba said,

Navy battles sea crimes with five new boats

T

HE Nigerian Navy, in an attempt to stem the rising surge of sea crimes, yesterday added five newly-acquired boats to its fleet. The event, held at the Western Naval Command, Apapa Lagos, took place seven months after the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated the NNS Thunder, an acquired war vessel, as well as the first indigenously-built ship, NNS Andoni. The boats, three OCEA and two SHALDAG, which were

By Precious Igbonwelundu

inaugurated by the Minister of State for Defence, Dr. Olusola Obada and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, were acquired from France and Israel. Besides inaugurating the boats, the Navy also gave out 42 Hilux Vans to its Warrant Officers, disclosing that the officers, on retirement, would take the vans home. Those who attended the event included the Chair, Senate Committee on Navy, Senator Chris Anyanwu, member,

PHOTO ABAYOMI FAYESE

House of Representatives Committee on Navy, Jim Adun, Oba of Lagos, HRH Rilwanu Akiolu, Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, Chief of Air Staff, Alex Badeh, Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Dele Ezeoba, Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, among others. Dr. Obada, who was a special guest of honour, noted that the Federal Government was encouraged by the high level of achievement of the Navy despite the challenges facing it. She said the Navy has done

its best in safe-guarding the nation’s assets, adding that the Federal Government would support it in the discharge of its responsibilities. Said Obada: “The acquisition of these boats and others are part of the Federal Government’s efforts to reposition the Navy for enhanced operational effectiveness. I am happy to note the commitment of the Chief of Naval Staff as enunciated in his Strategic Guidance 01 that the Nigerian Navy would cause gross reductions in illegalities in our waters.”

was part of the effort to educate the judges on the ways of dealing with AMCON cases and ensuring that they were speedily dealt with. The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, who unveiled the practice direction at the opening session of the forum, urged judges to treat AMCON and other related cases with despatch. He said priority should be given to the cases filed by AMCON as being done to cases relating to fundamental rights, money laundering, rape and kidnapping, “because they affect the life blood of the nation.” Auta noted that the fact that AMCON was bankrolling the forum did not mean that “we (the judges) should close our eyes to all that AMCON files.” He said plan was on to ensure that the cases filed by AMCON were sent to judges in other jurisdictions outside Abuja and Lagos, where the cases are concentrated. Auta gave tips to judges of the court on how ex-parte applications by AMCON should be handled. AMCON’s Managing Director, Mustafa Chike-Obi, said the forum was meant to help strengthen the operations of the court and make the judges’ work easier. He said he hoped that the forum would become an annual event where legal issues would be discussed.

S

TAKEHOLDERS in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) have expressed optimism on the ability of the proposed amendment to the Criminal and Penal Codes Act, 2004 to curb cybercrime in the country. The amendment is seeking to provide for offences and penalties relating to computer misuse and cyber crimes. The stakeholders, at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Justice yesterday, were unanimous in their support for the amendment. They said if not checked, cybercrime has the potential of affecting the country's economy. According to the sponsor of the bill, Aisha Dahiru (PDP, Adamawa), the absence of cybercrime laws portrayed Nigeria as a porous nation for cybercrime, as it has become a well-organised and coordinated enterprise. She said the absence of cybercrime legislation has exposed sensitive economic, intelligence and security and sundry government outfits to hacking by cybercrime syndicates. Aisha Dahiru explained that the bill was not seeking the establishment of a separate agency to tackle the problem because of the cost implication and the time it would take to establish such a body. The Chairman of the committee, Ali Ahmad (PDP Kwara), said the activities of hackers and Internet fraudsters (otherwise known as yahoo boys) are assuming dangerous dimension, which have resulted in a loss of confidence in the electronic banking sub-sector.


58

THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

NEWS

•From left: The Emir of Kano, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ado Bayero, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr Dalhatu Tafida when the Archbishop visited the Emir in London

•Dankwambo...at the inauguration

History as station broadcasts in Gombe

G

OVERNOR Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo has made yet another historic stride by breaking the jinx that has held back the actualisation of Daar Communications’ Africa Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power radio station in Gombe State. February 1 will remain indelible as the day Dankwambo further cemented Gombe State on the world’s media map with the inauguration of AIT and RayPower 93.1 FM which boasts as one of the best and most equipped radio and television stations in Nigeria. For 11 years, efforts to ensure the transmission of programmes on these renowned media have systematically defied successive administrations. But not anymore, having met a dogged determination in the present leadership of the state that would stop at nothing in laying structures that would, despite the odds, catapult The Jewel State to the comity of great economies in the country. This determination stems from the understanding that information is wealth and key to all round development. Besides, no democracy thrives or succeeds without access to information; and the more the sources of dissemination of this vital information, the greater its impact on the society. Governor Dankwambo easily identified with this dream because of the need to create jobs since the bulk of the employees would be indigenes of the state. “I am pleased to note that, in keeping with the policy of Daar Communication Plc, 90 per cent of the pioneer workers of AIT and RayPower 93.1 FM, Gombe are indigenes of the state. With this development, overnight, lives have been touched in the interest of the citizens of Gombe

By M. L. Ismail

State and that is my aspiration” said Governor Dankwambo. It is also gratifying to note that this new station’s programmes are tailored to suit Gombe environment. Hence, the rich cultural heritage, economic potentials, tourism prospects and the daily developmental strides Gombe State would find in AIT as a veritable means of being showcased to the world. “I have always believed that for development to be more fulfilling, especially in a democracy as complex as that of Nigeria, there has to be cooperation between the government and the media,” emphasised the governor while pledging the administration’s desire to partner Daar Communications and indeed all other well-meaning and foresighted organisations in the country. “Despite the innumerable advantages, this allimportant station has been left on the drawing board for many years as a mere dream. It has seen different administrations in Gombe State and all of them acknowledged its importance and expressed desire to be part of the dream and vision. But none could bring it to fulfillment until now. Little wonder that the Managing Director of AIT/ RayPower, Tony Akiotu, said: “The plan has been on the drawing board for many years. But it takes vision to know when history should be made.” He was trying to underscore the efforts made towards bringing the dream of making the radio/television station from the drawing board to the ground (making it real). But the Chairman/CEO of Daar Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi on the other hand gave a more precise and pictorial de-

scription of the situation. According to him, we wanted to start (AIT/ RayPower, Gombe) since 2002; 2002 to 2013, 11 years. Each time we were concluding arrangements to come, each time we met a stump on our way.” The journey towards establishing AIT/RayPower in Gombe started when Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo was the Accountant General of the state, who by proficiency and commitment as a core civil servant and reserved disposition denied everyone the slightest inkling or iota of thought that he would be the one to eventually inaugurate the project as an elected Governor. “Little did we know that even the Governor (Dankwambo) will become the Accountant-General of the Federation and little did we know that it is he that will switch on Gombe State in the world media platform as an elected Governor of the state” was how Chief Dokpesi simply put it and went on to appreciate the governor’s immeasurable commitment towards making the dream come true. You may call it fate; many see it as succeeding where others failed. But it is certain that when one is visionary, determined to succeed and has the drive to see the vision come to reality, there is no way he cannot make a difference and touch lives positively. This is what Governor Dankwambo is all about, this is what he has proven by the day and this is what he has again demonstrated with the making of AIT/RayPower station a dream come true in Gombe state. Welcome to Gombe States, Africa’s largest independent television. •Ismail writes from Bolari Quarters in Gombe.

•Federal Capital Territory Minister Senator Bala Mohammed(left); his Special Adviser Chief Emmanuel Awodu and the Asagba of Asaba, Prof. Chike Edozien at the wedding reception of the daughter of Chief Awodu in Abuja...at the weekend

•Head, Global Markets, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr Sola Agbesan (left); Trade Finance Manager Mantrac Group, Mrs Neimat el-Magracy; Managing Director, Mantrac Nigeria, Mr Edmund Martin Lawson and Mr Ferdinand Van Noort of CAT Financial Services at the launch of the collaboration between Stanbic IBTC Bank and CAT Financial Services on the provision of PHOTO: JOHN EBHOTA financial services to CAT customers in Lagos

•Managing Director, Merit Healthcare Limited, Dr Lolu Ojo (second left) presenting a generating set to the winner of Merit Healthcare Limited Sales Promotion, Alhaji Aremu Kadiri in Ilorin, Kwara State. With them are Director, Aromokeye Pharmacy, Mr Abdul Lateef Kadiri (left) and Sales representative, Merit Healthcare, Mr Victor Abiodun Akinroye


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

59

NEWS Amaechi endows Chair for Tukur, others

R

IVERS State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has endowed five chairs in the University of Port Harcourt on behalf of the Rivers State Government. Speaking during the 29th convocation of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Amaechi said the state would fund the endowments even after he leaves office. He named the chairs after Justice Adolphus KaribiWhyte (rtd), Prof. Tekena Tamuno, Prof. Tam David-West, Prof. Otonti Nduka and Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the PDP National Chairman. He said: “The Rivers State Government will endow the following chairs. I want to endow a Chair that will be named after Justice Karibi-Whyte in the Faculty of Law. “I want to endow a Chair on History and Society to be named after Prof. Tekena Tamuno and I want to endow a Chair to be named after Prof. Tam David-West of Virology. “A Chair in Education and Culture to be named after Prof Otonti Odunka. I am not making it personal because even when I leave, the Ministry of Education should be able to get the governor to fund it until the university is no more and let us also endow a Chair not for politics or public governance but for business, named after Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.”

Okorocha inaugurates committee

I

MO State Governor Rochas Okorocha has inaugurated a 14-man Imo Merit Award Committee. The committee has Rev. Cyril Okorocha, Anglican Bishop of Owerri Diocese as its chairman. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Goddy Dike, is secretary. Other members include Sir Bon Nwakanma, Mrs. Victoria Eronini, J.A Udogu , Bob Njamanze, Reginald Anyadike, Emeka Obioha, Commissioner for Police Adisa Bolanta, the Director of SSS, Chairman of Imo NUJ, Innocent Igwe and S I Okpara.

JTF hands over 18 suspects to EFCC

T

HE Joint Task Force (JTF) of 4 Brigade, Benin, has handed over 18 suspected oil thieves to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The suspects were arrested at various locations in a series of operations between last October and January. It was alleged that the suspects were arrested with various trucks, tankers, buses, cars, drums, jerry cans and pumping machine. The suspects include: Shedrack Ofosa, Mudia Owin, Ovie Joseph, Nnamdi Al-

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

bert, John Abuja, Lucky Egbegbe, Andrew Anthony, James Aker, Kadiri Aloysius, Paul Ojo, Oduwere Edobor, Esene Osaghale, Abubakar Isah and Steven Omoghwigho. Others are Lucky Francis, Lucky Imuetinyan, Henry Ikweke, and Victor Ohweokeovwo. Lucky Okorie, Dodo Mohammed, Bose Osaji were arrested in Warri and Benin by EFCC operatives. The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.

Kidnap: Edo lawmakers go into hiding

T

HERE is tension in the Edo State House of Assembly, following the abduction of a lawmaker, Victor Edoror. Edoror, who represents Esan Central,was seized on February 3 in the company of his driver. It was gathered that most of the lawmakers have gone into hiding. A source said the kidnappers are demanding $10million.

From Osemwengie Ben Ogbemudia, Benin

There is increased security presence at the Legislative Quarters on Ihama Road, GRA, Benin City. Visitors were not allowed in until clearance is got from their hosts. At the House of Assembly, there are riot policemen and soldiers within the premises. The lawmakers have vowed not to sit until their kid-

napped colleague is released. The source said: “Governor Adams Oshiomhole is worried about the lawmaker; he has met with the lawmakers, security agencies and the family. “The governor is also worried because this situation has forced the House to adjourn sitting indefinitely. “This has prevented them from screening the names of the commissioner-nominees.”

A lawmaker, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “We are trying to task ourselves and get him out of that place. His life is not safe. “Even now, everybody has changed their lines. So, you can hardly reach anyone now.” Calls to the Speaker, Majority Leader and other principal officers of the House proved abortive as their phones were switched off.

Gas leakage in Rivers community

T

HE management of the Port Harcourt Refinery has assured the people of Ibuluya-Okrika in Okrika Local Government of Rivers State of their safety, following the gas leakage from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC’s) pipelines. The refinery’s spokesman, Ralph Ugwu, confirmed the leakage. He said the area had been cordoned off, with the pipelines clamped and repairs being made. Ugwu said the leakage was as a result of the activities of vandals, who thought the product in the pipelines was fuel. Ugwu said: “The first thing we did was to cordon off the area and clamped the affected parts of the pipelines. “The leakage stopped with the clamping. “Immediate repairs have been done. There will be no harm to the people . “The officials of the refinery have begun work. “The safety of the people of the area is guaranteed.” The Chairman of Okrika Local Government, Tamuno Williams, said there was no cause for alarm. He assured that he had tak-

•NNPC cordons area off From Bisi Olaniyi, Port/Harcourt

en steps to ensure that gas eruption does not recur. The Chairman of the Community Development Committee (CDC) of IbuluyaOkrika, Remember Chukwudi, called for government’s intervention. But a source in Ibuluya-

Okrika said the leakage could lead to fire. The sources said: “The people of Ibuluya-Okrika are living in fear. “Nobody cooks. We cannot put on lanterns and when motorcyclists get to the area, they must put off their bikes and push them, for fear of explosion.

“The management of the refinery is not maintaining the gaslines. “The maintenance people came from the refinery and ran away, without doing anything. The people of the community are not safe. This is not the first gas leaking. “We suffered a gas blowout in 2012. Do they want us to perish?”

Ex-militant leaders threaten showdown From Bisi Olaniyi, Port/Harcourt

E

X-MILITANT leaders have issued a one-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to release funds for their monthly stipends. They said at the expiration of the ultimatum tomorrow, the Federal Government should be held responsible for any eventuality. The repentant militants said they had not been paid their N65,000 monthly stipend, since the beginning of the year. The leader of the Leadership Forum for Peace in the Niger Delta, “General” Reuben Wilson, after a meeting yesterday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, told reporters that the members of the National Assembly were frustrating the efforts of the Amnesty Office. He asked the lawmakers to expedite action to release funds to the ex-warlords and take issues concerning the welfare of ex-militants in the Niger Delta seriously. Wilson said: “Since appropriations are done by the National Assembly, it is necessary for the lawmakers to carry out their functions and ensure that our monthly stipends are paid without further delay. Some former militants may react adversely, if they are not paid by tomorrow. “The former militants at the meeting came from all parts of the Niger Delta and they all expressed anger with the Federal Government over the non-payment of their paltry allowances.” The leader of the aggrieved former freedom fighters also declared that they were not happy with the N65,000 stipend, describing it as unfair, considering that the leaders were being paid the same amount of money as their followers.

Your Sexual Health & You: Novelty Tips, Questions & Answers

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ello everybody and welcome. Valentine’s Day is just a few days away and we have new novelties and tips for lovers who want to make it a day to remember. After the exchange of gifts and perhaps a date at the restaurant, what happens at night can make or break the occasion. We all have high expectations from our partners on Valentine. To live up to those expectations when night time comes around, here are a few ideas and tips. First you need to set the mood. Soft jazzy music does that easily. The Journeys Sexploration CD for Lovers is perfect. Soft lighting is also important. If you cannot dim the lights in your room, light a candle instead. The Burning Desire Pheromone Candle is ideal. The pheromone scent is an aphrodisiac that makes men and women want to be intimate. Appearance is also important. For men, we recommend the Grip & Rip Thong and for women, there is the Pinstripe Lacy Halter Camisole night dress, the Sweet after Thought White Diamond Night Dress and many others. If you are nervous about how to start, begin with a warm bath, after which you offer your lover a massage. Massages are intimate and involve the senses of touch, sight, taste and smell. Use the Making Love Massage Oil. It smells nice, tastes great and runs smoothly on the skin. Once the massage is on-going, you can easily transit to kissing and oral intercourse in the blink of an eye. If you are a man giving oral pleasure to a woman you don’t know very well, use a Dental Dam as a protective barrier. But if your lover is your wife or long term girlfriend, you can go direct with an edible gel or whipped cream. The Oral Sensations Strawberry Gel is great for this. You can also use restraints such as Furry Hand Cuffs to heighten the pleasure. We have them in white, pink, lavender and black. To have her angled properly, you can use the Inflatable Position Chair. It is amazing and made strictly for sex. Spend 10 to 15 minutes on oral pleasuring. That way, if you screw up after wards by ejaculating within two minutes, you will be

forgiven. To make the intercourse even more powerful, add a vibrator to it and she will climax even before the penetrative begins. This makes you a winner already. The Buzzing Baby Rabbit and Ultra Smooth Vibrator are recommended. They are cheap and get the job done. Now many men worry about things like premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction and penis sizes at times like Valentine. You need to fix these concerns early. To stop premature ejaculation, use the Nasstoys Super Penis Extender or Max Control Spray. These are new and will enable the user last long before ejaculation. The Nasstoys Super Penis Extender also makes the penis look two inches longer and most men like that. Men can also use the Liquid Sex Penis Plumper or the Remote Control Plunger Pump for penis enlargement. These are new and were flown in specially for Valentine. And for weak erection or no erection at all, we saved the best for last. There is a new erection supplement for men called Xzen Platinum. It is the best. Xzen Platinum is so powerful that one capsule lasts for a week and that is not all. Normally you have to buy separate products for penis enlargement, premature ejaculation and hard erections. Xzen Platinum supplement does everything. It enlarges the penis, gives hard erections, eliminates premature ejaculation and gives performance energy for days of multiple action. There is nothing like it in the market and it is available in limited supply for now. That’s it for today. I hope your Valentine will be a success. Men and women without Valentine dates can visit our dating site on www.zeevirtualmedia.com and register. There is still time to make friends. Adults in need of the treatments/novelties discussed here can reach us on 08191978308 or 08027901621 to order or they can order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries email us at custserv@zeevirtualmedia.com. - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.


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NEWS World in shock as Pope quits Continued from page 4

ing as a college professor to the Vatican and will be seen at his most influential in years to come with his writings, Gallagher said. Allen called Benedict a “great teaching pope”. Benedict also worked to advance religious freedom and reduce friction among adherents of various faiths, said Bill Donohue of the U.S. Catholic League. “The pope made it clear that religious freedom was not only a God-given right, it was ‘the path to peace,’” Donahue said. Benedict became pope at the height of the molestation scandal involving Catholic priests, with complaints of sexual abuse and lawsuits over the issue tearing at the church. Benedict’s decision was not expected by leaders and everyday Catholics around the world. Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said the decision “shocked and surprised everyone.”

“Yet, on reflection, I am sure that many will recognise it to be a decision of great courage and characteristic clarity of mind and action,” he said in a written statement. Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Bishops, said he was startled, and sad, to see Benedict resign. “The Holy Father brought the tender heart of a pastor, the incisive mind of a scholar and the confidence of a soul united with His God in all he did,” he said in a written statement. “His resignation is but another sign of his great care for the Church.” British Prime Minister David Cameron said Benedict “will be missed as a spiritual leader to millions.” Cameron’s Irish counterpart, Enda Kenny, praised Benedict for decades of leadership and service, as well as his decision to resign. “It reflects his profound sense of duty to the Church, and also his deep appreciation of the unique pressures of spiritual leadership in the modern world,” Kenny said in a prepared statement. Benedict was born Joseph

Ratzinger on April 16, 1927, in Marktl Am Inn, Bavaria, a heavily Catholic region of Germany. In 1962, he served as a consultant during the pivotal Vatican II council to Cardinal Frings, a reformer who was the archbishop of Cologne, Germany. Pope Paul VI named him archbishop of Munich in 1977 and promoted him to cardinal the next month. Ratzinger served as archbishop of Munich until 1981, when he was nominated by John Paul II to be the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a position he held until his election as pope. He became dean of the College of Cardinals in November 2002 and in that role called the cardinals to Rome for the conclave that elected him the 265th pope. In his initial appearance as pope, he told the crowd in St. Peter’s Square that he would serve as “a simple and humble worker in the vineyards of the Lord.” He was the sixth German to serve as pope, but the first since the 11th century.

Moses, Mba relish cup win Continued from page 4

true.” The 24-year-old Enugu Rangers forward also scored the winner in the 2-1 quarterfinal win over Ivory Coast. He added: “I scored the only goal in the final; we won the title. I’m in complete shock. “We’ve worked and suffered so hard to win, we’ve been waiting for this moment for so long. I’m so happy.” Team captain Joseph Yobo said the focus is qualification for World Cup Brazil 2014. “We still have the Confederation’s Cup and then the World Cup is coming. For me, I am done with AFCON. “But, I am just happy, we were re-building for about 18 months , we started so, we have proven it, we have won this tournament , I am happy but all glory to God, I just thank God. “You know, football is not easy. You come to the tournament believing that you will win. “As you know, we did not start very well. Nobody gave us a chance, but we built our confidence and the results came for us. “So, we are happy and we got to the quarter finals, then we realised that okay we actually have the chance to win it. “But, you can’t really come into the tournament thinking that you can win it without coming out of the group. “After we qualified from the group, we had a lot of confidence and we believed that we could win it.’’ The opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said the victory showed what Nigeria can achieve when it allows talent, rather than mediocrity, to lead the way. In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the Eagles’ victory, coming just a little over a year after Stephen Keshi took charge of the team and started a rebuilding process, shows that transformation does not necessarily have to be an endless quest. ‘’The Super Eagles who failed to qualify for the last edition of the Nations Cup in 2012 rose to win the cup a year later. Keshi’s transformation agenda has produced positive results, even

when not everyone believes in him. This is how it should be,’’ it said. The ACN noted that while Nigerians were not too happy at the players’ performance in the group stage, they quickly supported them when they stepped up their game in the knockout stage, an indication that Nigerians do not need endless prodding to support a winning team, whether in sports or politics. ‘’The Super Eagles, who were not among the pre-tournament favourites, won because the coach assembled his team based on talent rather than any extraneous considerations, and also because the team and its technical crew believe that when there is determination and self-belief, no mountain can be high enough. ‘’If Nigeria will always field its best eleven in all human endeavours, be it sports, economy or politics, and also allows a visionary rather than a waffling dreamer to lead the team, the country will always be a world beater. That is the lesson from the Super Eagles’ class of 2013,’’ the party said. The ACN, however, criticised President Jonathan for opting to travel to London for the launch of Obasanjo Foundation instead of travelling to South Africa to witness the final match. ‘’Again, the President missed a chance to be seen to personally inspire his compatriots when it matters most. With millions around the world watching on television, there can be no better opportunity for a leader to showcase his nation and its talents. That explains why a world leader like President Barack Obama flew to London to watch the US basketball team play against Brazil at the 2012 London Olympics. ‘’The trip by President Jonathan to London for whatever reason, while Nigeria is playing in the final of Africa’s top football competition for the first time in 13 years, and with the possibility of a first win in 19 years, reminds one of the folk tale of a man carrying an elephant on his head, but surprisingly opting to search for a cricket,’’ it said.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the Super Eagles’ victory is a confirmation that Nigeria has entered a new era of possibilities. In a statement by Mr Olisa Metuh, the National Publicity Secretary, the PDP described the victory as an indication that the nation would surmount its challenges under the current dispensation. It said the fact that the team won the trophy, which has eluded the country for many years, “shows that nothing is impossible for the country”. The statement added that the victory had opened the doors for the nation to achieve other goals. “It is an indication that there is nothing impossible and that collectively we will overcome all the challenges we are facing as a nation,” Metuh said. Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) leader Gen. Muhammadu Buhari praised the Eagles for winning the cup. Gen. Buhari, who expressed joy over the victory, advised the President to apply the sincerity of the players which enabled them to win the championship, to purposeful and genuine governance. A statement by CPC’s National Publicity Secretary Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, said Gen. Buhari noted that the campaign of the Super Eagles typified the resilience and indomitable spirit embedded in the Nigerian people. “Undoubtedly, Coach Stephen Keshi must be showered with encomiums for providing the right leadership that saw the players and the rest of the crew through a successful football campaign even when hopes were waning- a feat that drew loud applause from across Africa, nay, the entire globe. The conduct of the players on the pitch and outside equally evinced the discipline required of Champions. The players must build on this success to ensure another successful campaign at the Confederation’s Cup in Brazil in June. “It is the belief of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari that if the sincerity of purpose exhibited by the Super Eagles can be transposed into the Nation’s political governance, Nigeria should be a better place.”


THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013

SPORT EXTRA

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EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Higuain: Madrid can hurt United

EAL MADRID striker Gonzalo Higuain believes his side have the individual talent to cause Manchester United a “a lot of damage” in the Champions League on Wednesday. Madrid’s desire to win a record 10th European Cup title has turned into an obsession in recent years but their bid to lift the trophy this year suffered a blow when they were drawn against runaway Premier League leaders United in the last 16. Higuain knows Sir Alex Ferguson’s side pose a serious threat to their hopes of making the quarter-finals, but also believes the Spanish giants have the class and ability in their squad to really

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hurt their English counterparts. He told the Bwin website: “They (United) are quite a compact team. They always make it to the knockout rounds in European competition and we’re going to have to be on our toes. “But we can do a lot of damage with individual quality and with counterattacks, although we can’t forget we need to have a solid defence, a winning mentality and team-spirit.” The 25-year-old Argentina international, who joined Madrid from River Plate six years ago, also stressed the importance of trying to keep a clean sheet in this week’s first leg.

He also urged the Bernabeu faithful to get behind Jose Mourinho’s men, who are looking at the Champions League and Copa del Rey for glory this season after seeing their Primera Division title defence all but ended following a disappointing first half to the season. “Our goal must be to win and if we don’t concede then so much the better. We know that an away goal can really influence things,” he said. “We also want our fans to get behind us. The team always tries to do its best, sometimes it goes well and sometimes it doesn’t. “There’s no doubt we are going to go out and give it everything.”

• Higuain

Valverde: Valencia will go out to beat PSG V

ALENCIA CF manager Ernesto Valverde previewed the UEFA Champions League game against Paris Sant Germain in a Monday press conference, stating that his side would go for the win at Mestalla tomorrow. “What we want is to get through this tie, even though they are the favourites, and go into the quarterfinals. We won’t settle for just giving a good show of ourselves. We aren’t here to look good in defeat. We compete to win,” he stated. Despite the strong run of form that Valencia are on, Valverde does not consider this an especially opportune time for European action. “It is always a good moment to play games like this, independent of form. Now we are on a positive run and morale is at a high, but these games are always opportunities for us. PSG are

a great team, with big name players and in a competition in which everyone gives their all.” For the manager, the games in the league and cup against Real Madrid will be the closest reference point for this fixture, due to the similar style employed by PSG. “PSG are more similar to Madrid than to Barcelona. They are a team who have good players up front, who don’t mind sitting back and who attack with speed. Having the ball doesn’t mean that you are dominating them, as they are a dangerous side.” PSG are favourites with the bookmakers, but Valverde is paying little heed to that, stating: “ They are a club who are pushing to become one of

the biggest in Europe, but that doesn’t mean anything. Over 180 minutes we will see what happens. I don’t care that they are favourites. The key is in the game.”

Thiago: Playing with Iniesta a privilege

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HIAGO Alcantara has voiced his admiration for Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta following the Catalans’ 6-1 La Liga win over Getafe at the weekend. The 28-year-old put in a fine performance, netting once and creating another, and his young colleague feels privileged to be part of the same side as the attacking midfielder. “It is a pleasure to watch and play with Iniesta,” Thiago was quoted as saying on the club’s official website. “It really is a privilege to see him on the field and I’m trying to learn as much as I can from him as possible.” The 21-year-old then went on to voice his satisfaction with

his performances so far this season. “I happy with the chances I’m getting, and think I’m

performing well ... I’m enjoying watching my teammates, but obviously what I really want is to get as many

Alaba: I have to improve in many areas

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AYERN MUNICH wing-back David Alaba has stressed that he still has plenty of room for improvement and realises he cannot afford to rest on his laurels. The Austria international impressed in Bayern’s 4-0 win

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Coach. “The team had already done well against Juventus last week. I wanted to put an extra man in midfield to help the counter-attacks and be more aggressive in winning back possession. I think we did really well in the first half. “It’s not easy to play well against Inter. Our defending on set pieces needs work, but Antonio Cassano’s goal was lucky as it took a deflection. Andrea Ranocchia is excellent in the air and timed his jump perfectly.”

“All I do is try and give it my best, because I know I have to improve in so many areas,” Alaba was quoted as saying on the official Bayern website. The left-back then went on to discuss Bayern’s chances at Bundesliga glory, and stressed

that they must keep on giving their utmost. “We mustn’t allow ourselves to be knocked off course now. We have to keep it up and concentrate on the essentials. If we do, it’s looking good for us.” Bayern currently hold a 15point lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund.

Sneijder: I will get better and better

Corini: ‘Milito goal hit us hard’

UGENIO CORINI believes Chievo can take heart from their performance against Inter, as “we did well until the third goal.” The Flying Donkeys had gone into the break 2-1 down, but Diego Milito scored after the restart for a 3-1 final result. “We did well until the third goal, then we dropped in intensity partly because it was a psychological blow and partly the way Inter were set out,” said the

over Schalke at the weekend, and has developed into one of the best players in his position in recent seasons. Nevertheless, the 20-year-old feels he is not the finished article just yet, and must keep on working hard in order to get even better.

minutes as I can.” Thiago has made 13 La Liga appearances so far this term, scoring once in the process.

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• Sneijder

ALATASARAY playmaker Wesley Sneijder has promised fans that he will soon hit top form following his move to Istanbul from Inter. The Dutchman has made three Super Lig appearances for the Turkish champions since completing his switch, but has failed to make a noteworthy impact. However, he has vowed to improve has he looks to recover match fitness after a being frozen out of the Nerazzurri first team for his

last four months at San Siro. “After a long period out it was important for me to be in the starting line up. I feel good and will get better and better,” he told Lig TV. “Despite lacking match condition I was in good shape. We fought well against Antalyaspor. They were three valuable points. I played Almost 80 minutes, it feels so good. Every match I’ll be better.” Galatasaray currently sit five points clear of city-rivals Besiktas at the top of the Turkish league.

• Alaba


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SPORT EXTRA “We’ve assembled a very solid side and we’re managing to play nice football and get good results. It’s a shame we recently got knocked out of the Copa [del Rey] by Barça, but we are in the Round of 16 of the Champions League. Not many people expected us to get that far...”

• Saviola

Saviola: we’re punching above our weight N

ow 31 years of age, Javier Saviola has worn the jerseys of over half-adozen clubs, including such giants as River Plate, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Benfica. Currently enjoying his football with a Malaga side thriving in their first ever UEFA Champions League campaign, El Conejito is also a contented man off the pitch, thanks to having a first child (a little girl) on the way. In a full and frank conversation with FIFA.com, Saviola touched on a host of issues, including his fine form since joining Los Boquerones, his impressive career, the greats he has played alongside and his personal satisfaction at having “left good memories at all my clubs”. Javier, despite Malaga’s season beginning under a cloud due to financial concerns, the team have been flying high. How did you all manage to keep the off-the-field issues at bay and focus on football? The coaching staff did a really great job of getting all the nonsporting problems off our minds and helping us to keep focused on competing. They motivated us to only think about football and that, as well as the squad’s togetherness, were the two key reasons we came through all that. Coach Manuel Pellegrini is very popular with the fans, but what’s he like to work with at close quarters? He’s a coach who really communicates with his players, he’s a very straightforward person who says what he thinks. He wants his players to use the ball well and try to combine with their teammates. He really likes good football and having him there is a huge boost for us players who like to get the ball down and play. This Malaga team has certainly

caught the eye thanks to its style of play and positive results. We’ve assembled a very solid side and we’re managing to play nice football and get good results. It’s a shame we recently got knocked out of the Copa [del Rey] by Barça, but we are in the Round of 16 of the Champions League. Not many people expected us to get that far as we were in a very tough group, drawn alongside very experienced teams in [AC] Milan, Zenit [St. Petersburg] and Anderlecht. But we never hid and we always tried to play attractive football, the type people like to see. We’re in the top four in La Liga too, so we can’t complain. The team’s feeling good, feeling confident and so far things are going better than even we expected. Are there any areas the team need to improve on? We need to pick up more points away from home and play with the same intensity on our travels as we do at home. That’s perhaps the one thing we’re missing but people shouldn’t criticise us for that, because we’re still punching above our weight. What’s your verdict on the upcoming UEFA Champions League tie with Porto? They’ll be very tough opponents. I was fortunate enough to play in Portugal for three years and I really know what they’re about, how competitive they are. It’ll be a very tricky tie and we’ll have to be very focused right from the first whistle, and not make any mistakes. Let’s hope we can put in great performances like we did against Milan and Zenit and play the same way. You were recently back at Camp Nou to take on Barcelona in the Copa del Rey. Is it special when you come up against a former

club? Yes, those games are special. I was there for a long time and I enjoyed some great experiences, some of the best in my career. It’s a real honour and a privilege to go from playing in Argentina to joining a club as huge as Barça. It was really nice to go back and see the people who, back in those days, helped and supported me so much, as well as some of my former team-mates. Going back to the Camp Nou was lovely. This despite the fact that you signed for Real Madrid after leaving Barcelona. Why do you think you received a different reception than Luis Figo for example? In my case, when I left Barça it was because my contract had run out. During it all I explained that I just couldn’t let the opportunity of signing for a club like Real Madrid go by, and I think people understood. That’s what this job’s like. At no point did I try to hurt Barça or criticise them at all. I think that’s why people reacted differently to me than they did to other players that left in different circumstances. In a recent interview you said you’d not achieved more because you weren’t “nasty or selfish” enough. What makes you think that and do you feel a nasty streak is essential to be successful in the game? I said that because I’m someone who’s introverted, who doesn’t put his feelings out there. And that’s worked against me, through not being able to express how I felt or by not speaking up with coaches in certain situations. You’ve played for a number of top clubs in your career but do you have any regrets? No, on the contrary. I’m someone who focuses on the positives. I’m

an optimistic kind of player, one who believes he can still achieve things. I’m proud of the clubs I’ve played for, the friends I’ve got in the game and of the cities I’ve lived in. In footballing terms, I try to live for the moment as much as I can, because I know this is a short career and you have to enjoy every minute. What are you most proud of? Personally speaking, perhaps it’s the fact I’ve played for so many clubs and left good memories at them all. The fact I’m remembered as a good professional, as a great person. I think that gives me more satisfaction than anything else. It makes me happy that there are people around who have fond memories of me. Over the course of your career you’ve played alongside some of the best players of the modern era, including Juan Roman Riquelme, Lionel Messi, Pablo Aimar and Ronaldinho. Which of them was most able to spring a surprise out on the pitch and who did you click with best? I think that I had the best understanding with Aimar. I was with him at River and Benfica, he’s the player I had most affinity with and hopefully I’ll get the chance to work with him again in the future. We could find each other almost instinctively on the pitch as we just knew where the other would be, and he’s the one player I’d always want to have play alongside me. There were other team-mates that really wowed me too, such as Ronaldinho, [Hernan] Crespo and [Patrick] Kluivert. To be honest, I’ve played with some truly great players and I’ve learned a lot from them. You also worked alongside Messi when he was just starting out, such as with Argentina at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™. Was it

already clear at that point just how good he’d become? When we used to watch him in training he’d astonish us all with the things he could do: the speed he’d get his shots off, the pace he could run with the ball, how humble he was and the fact he had so much quality. He’s always had his feet on the ground, ever since he was a boy, and I think that’s really worked in his favour in the long term. But none of us imagined he’d come so far in such a short space of time. And there’s so much left! He’s so young and he’s already won the [FIFA] Ballon d’Or four times. We heard that when he was a youth player he took a nasty blow to the face, and that you sent him a shirt. Is that true? Yes. He’d only just started training with us [in the first team] and he got hit in the nose, so we decided to send him a shirt. Now it’s more likely I’d be asking for his shirt! Don’t tell us you don’t have any of Messi’s shirts? Yes, yes (laughs). Fortunately we managed to swap shirts in the last match [between Malaga and Barcelona]. Besides which, we’ve got on well ever since the 2006 World Cup. And like I say, over and above his footballing ability, he’s still as humble as ever. Talking about that FIFA World Cup: you played spectacularly well in the group phase, only to be dropped for the quarter-final match against Germany [which Argentina lost on penalties]. Did you ever ask then coach Jose Pekerman why? No, no way. I’d have loved to have been involved in that game because I had been having a very good World Cup, physically I felt very good and football-wise I was clicking with the squad. To tell you the truth, I was really keen to play in that match but the coach decided to go for someone else. I never asked him for an explanation, these things happen. After the game it didn’t matter anymore. Finally, do you still dream of returning to the national squad one day? Yes of course, you never lose hope when it comes to the national squad. I was part of the set-up for a long time and I played U-20 games, qualifying matches, a World Cup... but it still means a lot to me. I know it’s difficult because the squad is settled, the players are different [to when I was last involved] and there’s a new coach, but I’d always be willing to come back. But it’s true that, at this moment in time, I’m more focused on helping Malaga achieve their goals.


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SPORT EXTRA AKUME TO SUPER EAGLES

Go conquer the world

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ENATE Minority Leader, George Akume has heaped praises on the Super Eagles of Nigeria for winning the 2013 African Cup of Nations. In a message of congratulations to the team, Akume said: "I wish to congratulate the Super Eagles for having made Nigerians proud by emerging winners of the 29th edition of the African Cup of Nations. This is no mean feat. "I also want to commend the doggedness, determination, hardwork, discipline and professionalism the players, the coaches and entire technical team

displayed throughout the tournament both on and off the pitch. "The success of our own Super Eagles has once again brought us back to our rightful place as football giant of Africa and above all highlighted the image of Nigeria and Nigerians on the map of the world." Akume, the member representing Benue North West in the Nigerian Senate, continued: "The achievement has once again shown that Nigeria is indeed a great country where talents abound, that if properly

harnessed the sky will be the nations’ starting point. This victory is also an indication that unity of purpose and direction is germane to national development, and one area that can enhance this is sports. We should therefore all strive harder to enhance this sector. "Once more, the Eagles gave a good account of themselves by this performance, I say a big congratulations to them and all Nigerians for conquering the African continent, and I urge them to go ahead and conquer the world."

NLC urges private sector interest in sports

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HE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday urged the private sector to renew its interest in sports by providing home based clubs with modern facilities, sustainable remunerations and exposure to national and international trainings and competitions. The NLC’s call followed the Super Eagles of Nigeria's triumph at the just-concluded African Cup of Nations in South Africa, nineteen years after Nigeria last won the trophy In a statement titled "The Super Eagles have set the pace,", the

From John Ofikhenua, Abuja NLC President, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar, advised that "We shouldn’t wait until the next international tournament before assembling players." He, on behalf of the workers, however congratulated the team on its victory. Omar added that "We see in this victory a bright future for Nigerian football, if we are able to put the right people in the management of sports in general and soccer in particular." He noted that some of the

Nigerian players are from Nigeria-based teams and with their performance at this tournament, it is clear that given the right facilities, managers and attention, soccer will return as a major sector and home to Nigeria's unemployed youths who have the skill and interest in the sport. The NLC boss further noted that : "We therefore call on government to review the lackluster attention sports has received so far by reforming the sector in other to reposition the sport Industry to conform with contemporary times.

Fashola congratulates Super Eagles

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AGOS State governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Monday sent a message of congratulations to the players and coaching crew of the Nigerian National teamthe Super Eagles, for emerging winners of the 2013 Orange African Nations Cup in South Africa. The governor in his message to the Super Eagles commended the resilience, determination and team work displayed by the national team throughout the competition. He said it was noteworthy that not only did Nigeria emerge as the champion; it also produced the Golden Boot winner in Emmanuel Emenike, the Fair Play winner

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of the competition in Victor Moses and the Most Valuable player in the Cup final match in Mikel John Obi. He added that despite the fact that team was not given any chance of excelling by many Nigerians at the commencement of the competition, the team was still resolute in its determination to succeed. Governor Fashola said the victory has vindicated his position that Nigerian coaches have got the managerial ability to coach our national teams to success but only need to be given the right atmosphere and motivation to perform. He reiterated that Coach

Stephen Keshi demonstrated with his inclusion of 17 debutant players in the Nation’s Cup team including five home based that there is abundance of talents in the country who are only waiting to be given the opportunity to excel. While congratulating the coach and his assistants for a job well done, the governor expressed the hope that the victory would be a starting point for the team in planning for a successful outing at the forthcoming Confederations Cup in Brazil this year and also qualifying the country for a successful campaign in the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

Bukola Saraki sings for Eagles

ENATOR Abubakar Bukola Saraki yesterday sang for the Super Eagles for lifting the 2013 Orange African Cup of Nations (AFCON). Saraki, representing Kwara

•Saraki

From Sanni Onogu, Abuja Central in the Nigerian Senate, in a statement in Abuja said: "Victory at last, victory at all good costs, victory in spite of the rough start, however hard and rough the road maybe, tonight we have set a new history on a victorious platform. "When victory comes; joyful are the memories of past struggles. "Even though the Eagles had a rough start, tonight they have made us proud, step by step, courage followed our hope and tonight the victory is ours. "Tonight, from the city centres to the remote areas, neighbourhood to neighbourhood, Nigerians are truly united and filled with joy as the Super Eagles have strived

against all odds and brought us the African Cup of Nations 'Gold Title' to us. "On behalf of the people of my constituents in Kwara, I congratulate the Super Eagles on this well deserved victory, we are glad you made us proud and united us as a nation. "I also congratulate the well coordinated National Sport Council led by Bolaji Abdullahi, a true Kwaran that has exhibited excellence in this capacity and also superior leadership by coach Stephen Keshi. Congratulations Super Eagles! Congratulations Nigerian Football Association! Congratulations Nigerians!"

Victory a landmark, says Ita- Giwa

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ORMER Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa has praised the Super Eagles of Nigeria for making the nation proud by winning the 3rd African Cup of Nation's trophy in South Africa on Sunday. In a statement made available to newsmen yesterday, Ita-Giwa asserted that the landmark victory is an indication of what 2013 holds for Nigeria under

President Goodluck Jonathan. She added that Stephen Keshi and his boys’ resilience and hardwork earned them the victory and urged them not to relent in subsequent tournaments but to continue to do the nation proud as giants of Africa and global sports. Her words: "I am so delighted at this great feat of the Super Eagles winning the Nations Cup after waiting for 19 years. Keshi and the boys have done us proud.

This victory is a pointer to the numerous blessings that await Nigeria under President Goodluck Jonathan. "Hardwork and industry pays. It is the hallmark of every successful person, institution and nation. I am urging our teams both the senior and the junior ones to continue to write the name of the nation in gold with their improved performances in all sport fiesta".


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2013 TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM

VOL. 8

NO.2,398

TODAY IN THE NATION ‘We need the judiciary to help us fight corruption, but it seems to me that the niceties of its rules and the procedures – the age-long safeguards against arbitrariness of state power – have somehow become a cog in the path of justice. ’ SANYA ONI

COMMENT & DEB ATE EBA

O

NLY those who never wished him well – the envious and malevolent whom we shall always have among us, unfortunately – only such people must have been distressed when Governor Sullivan Chime flew into Enugu last Friday. They were hoping that, 140 days after his unceremonious departure from his base allegedly on medical grounds and countless reports that his health had deteriorated, he would sneak in – or be sneaked in - “like a thief in the night,” preferably on a gurney. Those with amore macabre imagination were looking forward to a grimmer re-entry. Imagine their discomfiture, then, when Chima emerged in broad daylight from the private jet that had ferried him from Abuja, descended the stairway unaided and walked “with his own two feet,” to his official car, one eyewitness wrote giddily, all along waving – with his own hands, it must be supposed – to the mammoth crowd that had gathered there to welcome him back. I should leave it to the reporters who saw it all with their own eyes to describe through the headlines of their publications,the scene at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.: Jubilation as Chime returns to Enugu. Chime returns to Enugu amidst tumultuous welcome. Enugu agog as Governor Chime returns. Rousing welcome as Chime returns to Enugu. Huge crowd welcomes Chime back to Enugu. Governor Chime returns to Enugu in grand style. Amid jubilation, Chime returns to Enugu. Chime returns to Enugu amid jubilation. The return of the absentee governor: Enugu jubilates. Large crowd heralds Chime’s return to Enugu. Ailing Enugu Governor Sullivan Chime returns. Commotion as Chime lands in Enugu. Each of them is a fine example of headline craftsmanship — terse, arresting, informative, and summative. Some of them even have the additional merit of being colourful. I would hate to be a judge in a competition to select the best among them. But they all share one flaw that I will remark presently. As for the full story of Governor Chime’s return, nothing even comes close to the eyewitness report by Ambrose Agu report titled “Governor Chime’s Triumphant Return” (THISDAY, February 9, 2013). The report begins with three or four persons emerging from the chartered private jet

OLATUNJI DARE

AT HOME ABROAD olatunji.dare@thenationonlineng.net

Reporting Governor Sullivan Chime’s return

•Chime

that ferried Chime to Enugu, none of whom the crowd recognised or cared about, followed by an “unmistakable tall figure,” and sure enough, it was His Excellency Sullivan Iheanacho Chime, who proceeded to walk down the staircase “with his own two feet.” With his own two feet did the governor walk down the plane’s stair case to his waiting official car, you understand, all you purveyors and apostles of ill will And with his own two hands did he wave to acknowledge the resonant cheers of the surging crowd. The governor looked fine, Agu writes. “I looked at his face. It looked fine, the same handsome face, no change. This was Sullivan Chime, pure and simple. No addition. No subtraction.” Despite the throng at Government House where the entourage headed after the brief airport ceremony, to say nothing of the stifling security, Agu secured a private audi-

RIPPLES TREASURY LOOETRS’LL FACE THE WRATH OF GOD - Cleric

They should face EFCC...first!

‘Those who know Governor Sullivan Chime say he is too well bred and too fine a person to make a public display of such appalling bad manners. It must be, then, that he was saving his vocal chords for a major broadcast to the people of Enugu State’ ence with Chime. One on one. No intermediaries. Hear it from Agu himself, fascination with the governor’s face and neck and all: “I went to His Excellency. He grabbed my hand and shook it, same firm grip, same vigorous shake. I welcomed him back. We spoke for a few minutes. Now I was literally face to face with him. I could see his face and neck. “There was no hat, no scarf, and no spectacles. I looked at his face and neck. No mark, nothing irregular. In fact he looked very fresh, very healthy and at ease with himself. He smiled often and spoke normally. There was nothing wrong with his face or neck, and there was nothing wrong with his voice.” With his own hand did Chime grab and shake his visitor’s hand, all you apostles of ill will; with his own face did he smile, and with his own voice did he talk for several

HARDBALL

A

VERY perceptive and politically conscious reporter from this newspaper, Mr Taofeek Babalola, sent a curious despatch from Johannesburg, South Africa on how that southern African country treats its Very Important Personalities (VIPs). (By any standard, a governor in Nigeria is a VIP). That despatch was published in this newspaper’s sister publication, Sporting Life, on Monday, and it reported the movement of at least two governors who attended the final game of the Africa Cup of Nations football fiesta. Nigeria defeated Burkina Faso to lift the trophy after 19 years of waiting. The report mentioned two important points about the Nigerian dignitaries. One was that the governors, though regarded as VIPs alright, still had to join the queue at the VIP section in order to gain access to the main bowl of the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. The governors, Rotimi Amaechi and Peter Obi of Rivers and Anambra States respectively, had to remain on the queue for several minutes, according to the report. Hear the reporter: “Unlike in Nigeria where top executives enjoy preferential treatment at public events, the governors who were waiting

VIP lessons from South Africa by the side gate with the hope of gaining access without observing normal protocol, were told to join the queue formed by other ticket holders.” Now, it is perhaps possible that the governors were not exactly expecting the sort of preferential treatment they were accustomed to receiving in Nigeria, but the reporter was sensible, seeing the comportment of the governors, not to give them the benefit of the doubt. The cheeky reporter also noted that no siren wailed anywhere near the stadium. Everyone, including VIPs, approached the stadium as humans, not demigods. The reporter needn’t remind us about the horrendous wailing of sirens that accompany or herald top Nigerian government officials’ movements, including the minions who wait on them or run errands for them. He needn’t remind us how many people have been elbowed off the road here to their untimely deaths by homicidal protocol drivers and staff, often with no chance of redress. And

minutes with his guest Nor was this an isolated feat. That same day, Agu writes, Chime must have met, smiled at, and talked with “possibly hundreds” of people –traditional rulers, politicians, government officials,trade union representatives, clergy, and media executives – the full Monty. Agu is the first to admit that he is no doctor, and he does so with touching candour. But he knows, as nobody else does, what he experienced during his visit with Governor Chime – what he saw with his own eyes and heard with his own ears. And taking all of it into account, he says, any talk of Chime being “incapacitated” — as the apostles and purveyors of ill will were still claiming — “is just too absurd that only a fool would bandy it.” He didn’t ask Chime’s opponents to go eat out their hearts or do something really coarse, but Agu clearly would not be displeased if they did just that. Concluding his testimony, he writes: “Gov Sullivan Chime is clearly capable of governing Enugu State alone.” To return to the headlines I surveyed: Terse and arresting and informative and colorful and summative as they were, they omitted one important detail. Chime, returning to Enugu 140 days after he departed without saying a farewell, spoke not a word to the “tumultuous crowd” that welcomed him back. Not a word to thank them for their loyal support and faithfulness, for their prayers and good wishes. All the publications I surveyed reported what Sullivan was wearing, right up to his cream white jacket and his sun glasses. But in their headlines, and indeed in their accounts of the event, only two of them pointed out that Chime’s arrival was wordless. One of them wrote: “Jubilation as Chime returns to Enugu; keeps mum.” The other wrote: “Chime returns to Enugu; fails to address supporters.” Those who know Governor Sullivan Chime say he is too well bred and too fine a person to make a public display of such appalling bad manners. It must be, then, that he was saving his vocal chords for a major broadcast to the people of Enugu State.

Correction In my column for February 5, 2013 (“Soludo: A quest renewed”), I wrote incorrectly that Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State belongs in the ANPP. He actually belongs in the APGA. •For comments, send SMS to 08082036515

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above he needn’t tell us how state officials consumed by an overwhelming and vexatious sense of self-importance regard less privileged Nigerian citizens as subhuman. But it was clear the reporter had the good sense and presence of mind to draw a parallel between how South Africans, a fellow African country, regard their important personalities, and how the more obsequious Nigerians esteem their rulers. By sending the report back to his newspaper in Nigeria, the reporter was indirectly asking Nigerian officials to borrow a leaf from South Africa. He should have spared himself. Any cursory reader of Lord Frederick Lugard’s Dual Mandate will understand why asking Nigerian leaders to plant their feet firmly on terra firma is a waste of time. It is in their nature to act haughtily; just as it is also in their nature to denigrate their fellow countrymen. They won’t be fulfilled until they emphasise that class distinction and make it much huger than it really is. And if anyone thinks Nigerians will change, that person must be chasing chimeras. Ask Lugard whose contemptuous 1914 amalgamation exercise Nigerian leaders have unreflectingly begun to celebrate.

Published and printed by Vintage Press Limited. Corporate Office: 27B Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos. P.M.B. 1025,Oshodi, Lagos. Telephone: Switch Board: 01-8168361. Editor Daily:01-8962807, Marketing: 01-8155547 . Abuja Office: Plot 5, Nanka Close AMAC Commercial Complex, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja. Tel: 07028105302. Port Harcourt Office: 12/14 Njemanze Street, Mile 1, Diobu, PH. 08023595790 WEBSITE: www.thenationonlineng.net E-mail: info@thenationonlineng.net ISSN: 115-5302 Editor: GBENGA OMOTOSO

The Nation February 12, 2013  

The Nation February 12, 2013

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