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‘They just killed my husband like a fowl’

is a miracle’




Osaze targets more Ibadan cholera epidemic ‘My survival goals Page



swept me off my feet the very first time we met’




Nigeria’s truly national newspaper

VOL.05 N0. 1886






No pardon, no peace, 3 Boko Haram tells Obasanjo Page

FG ready for dialogue Four sect members charged for UN House blast Galtimari Committee set to submit report

en, e u q y t Ex-beau bii: A i h c a Mun

ng i d d e w The s a w r e v that ne




IBB weeps at Aikhomu’s burial Page


Opposition Page 4 grumbles over new Reps committees

Tenant stabs landlady to death in Oyo Page 4



Ibadan cholera epidemic My survival is a miracle, says patient who contracted the disease twice in a week with her four-yr-old son •We’re on top of the situation—Govt

•UCH, Ibadan

The cholera epidemic which hit some parts of Ibadan metropolis in Oyo State about two weeks ago is yet to abate. Worst hit are Ibadan North West and Ido Local government areas of the state. Government at state and local government levels have, however, intensified efforts at nipping the killer disease, which has claimed over 15 lives in less than two weeks, in the bud and containing its further spread. OSEHEYE OKWUOFU, who went round the various units set up by the government to offer free medical treatment to victims, reports that hundreds were still battling to survive at Jericho Nursing Home (Cholera Unit),University College Hospital (UCH), and various private hospitals spread across the state.

•Prof. Olowofela


OR Mrs. Esther Yusuf , a victim of the cholera outbreak, and a resident of Eleso in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State, her four days of admission at Oluwatoyin Maternity Clinic, Bakatari, Ibadan were simply miserable. She was not the only one in the family of three that suffered from the disease. Her four-year-old son was also admitted for the disease at the Baptist Cottage Hospital, Omi-Adio, the same night she was rushed to the hospital. Both were vomiting and stooling ceaselessly and were in grave danger before they were admitted at different hospitals. Mrs. Yusuf pleaded with this reporter not to take her photograph on the hospital bed when The Nation visited, but obliged to narrate her experience. She said her being alive was divine. In less than one week, she contracted the disease twice. First, she was treated at a nearby chemist and four days later, she began stooling and vomiting alongside her four-year-old son in the mid-

dle of the night. She thought she was going to die when the disease struck the second time. “I was reject twice at two different hospitals-Twins and Lafia Hospitals at Omi-Adio and Apata. When we got to the latter, we were referred to the University College Hospital (UCH),but due to lack of funds, we had to resign to fate and submit everything to God . That was how we got to this placeOluwatoyin Maternity Clinic, Bakatari. And God being a merciful Father sustained my life till this day,” Mrs.Yusuf explained when prodded by this reporter. At Jericho Nursing Home, where many of the cholera cases were referred to, it was an ugly sight .No stranger was allowed to gain access near the beds where patients were admitted. The simple reason was to avoid being infected by the disease. “Look, you can carry the disease by merely touching the vomit or stool liquid in any form and it mistakingly gets it into your mouth. It is very contagious. Cholera kills fast if not handled immediately”, one of the physicians at the Jericho Cholera Unit warned this reporter. A relative of one of the patients, who identified himself as Rafiu, said since they arrived the hospital two hours after, they had not been attended to by the health workers. “Do not blame the health workers”, he said, “the problem is that there are no more beds to admit patients here because all the available beds have been occupied”. The problem appears to be worsening day by day despite the spirited efforts by government officials and health workers to check the ravaging effect of the deadly disease on people’s lives. The Chief Matron of Ido local government, Mrs. Florence Popoola, related her experience to the reporter: “I took an emergency cholera-related case to Jericho Nursing Home last night (Tuesday), but the situation was terrible. •Continued on Page 59

Staff audit: Committee turns in damning report in Nasarawa Johnny DANJUMA OMMITTEE on staff audit set up by Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Almakura, last month to ascertain the true situation in government ministries, departments and agencies turned in a damming report of an over inflated staff and salaries. Presenting the report to the Governor at the Government House yesterday in Lafia, the Chairman of the Committee, Shu’aibu Ahmed, told the governor that prior to the audit, the number of staff on government’s payroll stood at 21,405 with a monthly salary of over N1.9 billion. At the end of the exercise, however, it was discovered that only 19,982 of the number were the actual workers, bringing their salaries to over N1.6 billion, even as a total number of 845 earlier certified as staff and collecting monthly salaries from government coffers did not turn up for the exercise. While Ahmed explained that the total number of people discovered during the audit to have overstayed in service beyond retirement stood at 325 and collecting salaries of over 45 million, he also said that 2 staffers whose contracts had since expired, but were still on the pay roll, were still collecting N66,771 monthly. Shortly before the last administration of Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma left office, there were allegations of new recruitments into the civil service. The audit may have proved critics right as Ahmed said a total number of 305 personnel were newly recruited and recruitment was even still on in August. Ahmed said monthly savings as a result of the screening, verification and re computerisation exercise now stood at over N295 million.


Abia shooting: Killer cop gets orderly room trial Ugochuckwu EKE, UMUAHIA


MARU Mohammed, the policeman who shot and killed Corporal Clement Amachi, his colleague in the convoy of Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State over an alleged argument, has been given an orderly room trial. Speaking with journalists in Umuahia, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department, Joseph Micloth, said the trial proceedings and his recommendation would be forwarded to the state Commissioner of Police for review and necessary action. It would be recalled that Corporal Mohammed, who was attached to Government House, Umuahia, had on July 19 shot dead his colleague sharing an apartment with him at 19, Okpara Avenue, Umuahia. He was said to have continued shooting sporadically after the incident until he was overpowered by another security operative who shot him. Mohammed was later taken to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Umuahia where he was treated and discharged on September 4. Micloth said the outcome of the trial would be made public after the review by the state Commissioner of Police, adding that he was the only one authorized to brief the press or delegate someone else to do so on the issue. He said: “The Police would be actively involved in the burial of Corporal Amachi since he died on active service, and other things needed to be done for him or his family will follow later”.



Labour spoils for war over FG’s planned removal of subsidy •NLC mobilises for mass protest, vows to ground economy John OFIKHENUA, Abuja


HE Nigeria Labour Union has vowed to ground the economy if Federal Government goes ahead with its planned increase in pump price of fuel. Government has reinstated its plan to remove subsidy on the petroleum products, an action that may lead to increase in the pump price of fuel from N65 to about N195 per litre, representing about 200 per cent increment. NLC President, Comrade Addulwahed Omar, who spoke on the planned hike at a press briefing in Abuja, said Nigerians had learnt from the so-called deregulation of kerosene and diesel that the deregulation of petrol would only lead to higher prices, non-availability of the commodity and its control by a cabal. He said it was unthinkable that government could at this time be thinking of increasing pump price of petrol in the midst of mass suffering, poverty, mass unemployment and insecurity ravaging the nation. He therefore called on all patriots and progressive organisations, including the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) pro-people civil society organisations and professional associations to join hands with Labour to stand up and defend the collective interest of the Nigerian people. According to him, ‘’it may sound outlandish, but despite the serious challenges we are facing in the country, from grounding poverty and mass unemployment and serious insecurity, the government of President Goodluck Jonathan is being goaded into increasing a litre of petrol by over 200 per cent. “In the midst of mass suffering despite our huge natural resources and income, it is provocative for the government to want to further increase the price of petrol. In fact, this will be tantamount to cruel injustice against the Nigerian people.” Speaking further, he said: ”The primary motive of this planned price increase is the insatiable greed of some politicians to get more money to squander. They see an increase in fuel price as an easy way to access more of the country’s wealth. “There is also the calculation to render the new national minimum wage worthless by embarking on a hyper inflationinducing project like the astronomical increase in prices of petroleum products.” He also said the Federal Government’s argument on the need to remove “subsidy” was outdated, ‘’as it is the same old trick played on the Nigerian people by the General Ibrahim Babangida military regime in the 1980s under the tragedy called Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).’’ Speaking on the effects of the planned hike, Omar said: “Apart from hyper-inflation, the planned fuel price increase will further impoverish the Nigerian masses, force more factories to close down and engender mass unemployment.” Also, the NLC will on Thursday stage a mass protest at the nation’s capital, Abuja over the what was described as slow implementation of the N18, 000 minimum wage by state governments. “As we stated before, the labour movement will kick start its campaigns to defend the Nigerian people by staging a rally and street procession in Abuja next Thursday 22nd September 2011,” he said. Omar also raised the alarm over plot by the Federal Government to carry out mass sack of workers in the name of reorganising and merging federal parastatals and agencies. The NLC President said the labour movement would not just fold its hands and watch the erosion of the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens, including the right to life and decent living.

How NDLEA arrested UK most wanted drug suspect KELVIN OSA- OKUNBOR HE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has given an account of how it apprehended one of Lancashire’s most wanted suspects in Lagos on Tuesday September 13, 2011. The suspected fugitive, Kindreck Dion Lee, who is wanted in the United Kingdom in connection with firearms and drugs offences, was arrested by officers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) of the NDLEA after intense manhunt for him by the agency. A Nigerian international passport bearing his photograph with the name Olusegun Babajide was found on him at the time of arrest. The NDLEA disclosed that the United Kingdom and Nigerian authorities had been working closely on how to trackdown the suspect. The Chairman of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, while confirming the arrest, stated that the suspect was in safe custody. According to Giade, “the Agency successfully apprehended the suspect, following scrupulous surveillance by anti-narcotic operatives. ‘’He was arrested in Lagos and he is in safe custody. The NDLEA has a statutory mandate to partner with other countries and international organisations in the global fight against illicit drugs. We shall continue to partner with all stakeholders and halt the trade in narcotics as the country is not a safe haven for drug barons.”. The commander of the JTF, Mr. Sunday Zirangey, who coordinated the operations, stated that preliminary investigation had commenced and additional information was being gathered and processed.


•From left: Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; Rivers State Governor and chief host, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi; American Civil rights activist, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Festival Director, Mrs. Koko Kalango at a dinner in Government House, Port Harcourt as part of the 2011 Garden City Literary Festival... on Thursday.

Bombings: No pardon, no peace, Boko Haram tells Obasanjo


RESH facts emerged yesterday that Boko Haram members may agree to cease fire in the spate of bombings in the country if the Federal Government apologises to the sect. The sect also wants the government to pay compensation for their losses, try the killers of the slain leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, and release its detained members. These were some of the agreements reached with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo during a visit he paid to members of Yusuf’s family in Maiduguri on Thursday. It was also learnt that the Federal Government may open talks with the sect, depending on the understanding that is reached between the sect and Obasanjo. Although the Presidency is said to be excited at the inroad Obasanjo has made into the Boko Haram enclave, the exPresident is yet to make a report to the government on his discussion with the sect. But the report of the Presidential Committee on BokoHaram, headed by Alhaji Usman Galtimari, is ready and may also guide the government on how to negotiate with the leaders of the sect. Investigation by The Nation showed that the Boko Haram leaders are weighing options on the olive branch from the ex-President. A reliable source, who spoke in confidence, said: “From intelligence reports, the Boko Haram members may cease fire, but with some conditions. They have stated these conditions since June, and these are known to security agencies. “Some of these conditions were also raised during the audience Obasanjo had with Yusuf’s family. “These conditions include an apology to the family of the slain Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf and the family of his slain father-in-law; compensation for losses suffered by the sect as a result of extrajudicial killings by the Nigeria Police and the release of all its detained members nationwide. ”They are also demanding the trial of those involved in the killing of Mohammed Yusuf, his father-in-law and other top leaders of the sect.

•FG ready for dialogue •Galtimari Committee set to submit report

Four sect members charged for UN House bombing Kamarudeen OGUNDELE, Abuja


N Abuja Magistrate’s Court yesterday remanded four Boko Haram members accused of bombing the United Nations House. The attack resulted in the death of 23 persons and left others seriously injured. They are Salisu Mohammed, Inusa Mukailu, Danzunu Haruna and Abdulsalam Adamu. They were charged for mischief and culpable homicide punishable with death under Sections 327 and 221 of the Penal Code Law. The Police also arraigned 15 other members of the sect for various offences ranging from mischief, conspiracy and culpable homicide to armed robbery, possession of fire arms and explosive device as well as terrorism. The Magistrate, Azubike Okeagu, who ordered that the accused be remanded in the prison custody, however declined jurisdiction in the case. He said the court lacked the power to try capital offences. According to the First Information Report (FIR), the four suspects, Salisu Mohammed, Yunisa Mukaila, Danzumi Haruna and Abdulsalami Adamu of Kano State conspired and sent a suicide bomber in a CRV car with registration number AV 38 NSR loaded with explosives, forcefully drove into the United Nations House in Abuja on August 26, 2011 and detonated the explosives, killing 25 persons and leaving others seriously injured, thereby committing an offence contrary to sections 327 and 221 of The Penal Code Law. The trio of Abubakar Mohammed, Suleiman Ahmed and Bashiru Mohammed were accused of armed robbery and illegal possession of fire arms and explosive device contrary to sections 1(1) (2)(a) and 3 (1) of the Fire Arms Act Cap 398 LFN, 2004. Another set of seven accused persons, Shehu Ladan, Raboji Garuba, Ahmadu Maiya, Nasiru Ali, Samaila Yusuf, Umaru Mohammed were accused of mischief and illegal possession of fire arms and belonging to unlawful society contrary to Sections 3 (1) of fire arms act cap 398 LFN 2004 and Section 97 Penal Code respectively. Suleiman Mohammed on his own part was accused of mischief and culpable homicide punishable with death contrary to Sections 327 and 221 of the Penal Code. He was alleged to have been arrested with a list of police personnel in a police station in Bauchi State. He was also accused to have been involved in several police station bombings which resulted in the death of several policemen and civilians in Maiduguri, Yobe and Bauchi states. Another suspect, Aminu Hussein was charged with mischief, culpable homicide punishable with death and illegal possession of fire arms contrary to Sections 327, 221 of Penal Code and Section 3(1) of the robbery and fire arms Act cap 398 LFN 2004 as amended respectively. Hussein was accused of being a member of Boko Haram and had colluded with others at large to attack police stations, killing policemen in Maiduguri, Gombe and Bauchi. He was accused of bombing Army barracks in Bauchi and Sanni Abacha barracks, Abuja killing innocent people. Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation “The bold step taken by Obasanjo is a sign that the family of Yusuf could lead the

initiative for peace talks with Boko Haram leaders.” A top government source, however, said: “The government will be willing to discuss with Boko Haram leaders af-

ter all we are all Nigerians. “The talk between the sect and ex-President Obasanjo was a welcome relief to all of us. No government will be happy with the spate of bombings nationwide. “Our own approach is that whichever way we can resolve the challenge, we are prepared for it. Anything that will bring peace, we are ready for it. “The real truth is that the original concept of Boko Haram has expanded beyond what it was. We hope that the incoming talks will take care of the expansion. “We are also interested in those we will talk with as a government. It is too early to talk of conditions from Boko Haram, because we do not know yet those we are going to talk with. “I think with the initiative of the ex-President, we will soon know who to talk with. Responding to a question, the source added: “Ex-President Obasanjo is yet to report formally to the government on his ongoing talks with Mohammed Yusuf’s family. “I think the discussion is still at a preliminary level.” But the report of Galtimari’s committee may guide the government on how to negotiate with the leaders of the sect. A member of the committee said: “Our report is ready; we are only waiting for the government to give us a date to submit it. “We have been asked not to talk to the press except the chairman of the committee. But we will soon make the report available to the government.” The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim had on August 2, 2011 inaugurated the committee. Anyim said: “So I want to clarify that the purpose of this committee, like I said earlier is to create a forum whereby everybody who has suggestion or opinion will be able to give same to the committee, the committee is to sensitise and advise us. I emphasise that the committee is a fact finding team and a forum to proffer solution to the crisis.”



Governorship poll: Kogi Senators, Reps warn Idris against fresh primaries

•Governor not imposing son- in-law as candidate


S the governorship poll approaches in Kogi State, all members of the National Assembly from the state on Thursday night held a secret meeting with the outgoing Governor Idris Ibrahim and warned him against fresh primaries by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. They also expressed fears about likely protest votes in favour of the candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) if fresh primaries are conducted. The National Secretariat of the PDP has fixed fresh governorship primaries in Kogi State for next week. But there were indications last night that the governor may back the view of the majority. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr. Farouk Adejoh, however denied plans by the governor to impose his son-inlaw on Kogi PDP as the party’s governorship candidate. Investigation showed that prior to the decision of the party, a former Executive Director of the defunct AFRIBANK, Jubril Isah Echocho had won the party’s primaries before Kogi governorship poll was rescheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission for December 3. Although the governor initially supported Echocho, a sudden game-changer revealed that he might back a former owner of EAS Airline, Capt. Idris Wada. But apart from Wada, a businessman, Isa Kutepa and a former UN expert, Dr. Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo have also obtained forms to participate in the fresh primaries. Moves to drop Echocho has, however, polarised the party, leading to the consultations with members of the National Assembly from Kogi State by the governor on Thursday night. A member of the National Assembly at the meeting, who spoke in confidence, said: “We told the governor that

Yusuf ALLI, Managing Editor fresh primaries will leave the PDP disunited for the December poll. “And any split in the party may lead to protest votes for the ACN candidate. It will not be in the interest of the PDP to lose the state to the opposition. “Although the governor promised to give us a feedback on Friday, we were all unanimous that Echocho, who won the previous primaries should be retained as the PDP’s governorship candidate. “In fairness, the governor was receptive in listening to those at the session. It is in his own interest to keep the party united.” As at press time on Friday, there were indications that the governor might yield to the advice of the National Assembly members. A member of the House of Representatives, who spoke with our correspondent, at about 7.55pm said: “The governor may back Echocho again going by his mood and pronouncements to us this afternoon.” But the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr. Farouk Adejoh, denied plans by the governor to impose Wada on Kogi PDP as the party’s governorship candidate. Adejoh said: “We have made our point; the governor is not imposing any candidate. He is the leader of the PDP in the state and he has undertaken to provide a level-playing ground. “It does not mean that we are not aware that some aspirants are already fighting out of their wits to engage in fresh primaries. And they have been raking up all sorts of mudslinging at the governor and Wada. I can assure you that all the allegations are false “Contrary to insinuations, Capt. Wada is not a son-in-law to the Kogi State Governor. Only somebody in Wada’s family is married to the governor’s daughter.”

•Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello (centre) during a press conference held in respect of Africans Mayoral Conference on Climate Change at the conference room of the ministry at Alausa, Ikeja yesterday. With him are the Permanent Secretary, Dr. (Mrs.) Titilayo Anibaba (right) and the Special Adviser, Dr. Taofeek Oladiran Folami.

Tenant stabs landlady to death in Oyo


HE ancient city of Oyo , Oyo State, was thrown into mourning recently when a tenant, Mr. Sunday Elegbede, stabbed his landlady, Mrs. Afusat Ajeigbe, to death with broken bottle. The Nation gathered that the incident happened at Araromi area of the city, when the tenant accused the deceased landlady of being responsible for his wife’s decision to pack out of their matrimonial home. He was also said to have alleged that the irrational behaviour of his wife, which often resulted in frequent disputes was due to the friendship between her and his wife.

Bode DUROJAIYE, Oyo. Sunday was said to be embittered that since his wife left him, the landlady neither bothered about her whereabouts nor cared for an amicable resolution. On the fateful day, the landlady was said to be asleep in her room when the tenant entered his room unnoticed and insisted that she should explain the whereabouts of his runaway wife. All explanations by the middle-aged landlady that she knew nothing about his wife’s whereabouts fell on deaf ears.

Opposition grumbles over House committees


ARELY 24 hours after the constitution of its committees, there is disquiet in the House of Representatives. Opposition members, who gave the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal overwhelming support, are feeling shortchanged. But the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, Alhaji Zakari Mohammed, said the Speaker had been fair in dealing with all members. Investigation by our correspondents showed that out of about 84 chairmen of standing committees released by the Speaker, only 18 committees were allotted to the opposition parties. A breakdown of the list is as follows: All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) with 27 members in the House was given seven slots. The Congress for Progressive Change

•Speaker is fair to all, says Zakari Yusuf ALLI and Dele ANOFI, Abuja (CPC) with 40 members was given three slots. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with 71 members was allotted six committees, while Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) got one committee each. It was gathered that some members of the opposition in the House were disappointed that the House leadership dropped Mrs. Abike DabiriErewa and Mrs. Jumoke Okoya-Thomas as chairmen of committees at the last minute. It was learnt that the two outspoken members of the House, especially Mrs. DabiriErewa, were dropped for what a source described as their “blind support” for the House Leader, Mrs. Mulikat

Adeola-Akande when she contested for the Office of the Speaker with Tambuwal. The distribution of the committee also showed that committees described as ‘juicy’ and also attracted the most attention were carefully distributed among loyal members for their efforts during the struggle. A top member of the House said: “Given the level of support the opposition gave Tambuwal, he was not fair enough to them. They have also complained about this development. “It is like a case of use and dump. There is also no rationale for not making an active member of the House like Mrs. Dabiri Erewa as the chairman of a committee. “We are not talking of sharing of committees on equal basis, but the number allot-

Ekiti indigenes set agenda for Fayemi


KITI State indigenes resident in Lagos on Thursday night pledged their support for the ongoing reforms embarked upon by the administration of Governor Kayode Fayemi in the key sectors of the economy. The Ekiti indigenes at an interactive session with the governor in Lagos also lauded the achievements recorded by the Fayemi administration, especially in the areas of job creation, urban renewal, free health and social security scheme for the aged. The stakeholders used the opportunity offered by the forum to commend the governor for his efforts in road construction and rehabilitation, reform of the education sector and improved Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)

drive from which the state now realises over N300 million monthly, up from about N100 million previously generated. At the event were the President of the Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) and former military governor of old Western Region, MajorGeneral Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd); former governor of Ekiti State, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo and former Health Minister, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi. Also present at the meeting, which was a follow-up to an earlier one held in Abuja in July, were two former military administrators of Ogun State who are Ekiti State indigenes, Rear Admiral Oladeinde Joseph (rtd) and Commodore Kayode Olofinmoyin (rtd).

ted to the opposition ought to be higher. ‘’It is evident that the PDP is wary of the opposition and Tambuwal is playing the script.” A member of the PDP in the House, however, said: “Tambuwal is coming from a difficult position because the party’s zoning formula has been altered. “With the alteration, Tam-

buwal has to constitute the committees in such a way that it will be in line with zoning balance. “There is no basis for complaints by the opposition because its members were able to clinch committees like Public Accounts, Communications and Federal Character; Emergency and Disaster management; Army; Information and Communication Technology (ICT); Poverty Alleviation; Internal Security; Security and Intelligence and MDG, among others.

The tenant, who felt displeased, went for kerosene, poured it on the curtains and lit it with fire. Apparently dissatisfied that the house was not burnt, the dare-devil tenant decided to burn the foam on which his landlady slept. Sensing danger, the landlady, said to be a woman leader of the People Democratic Party (PDP), rushed towards the tenant to prevent him from injuring her. But the aggrieved tenant reportedly pushed away the landlady, fetched a broken bottle and stabbed her in the abdomen. While she writhed in a pool of blood, Elegbede fetched a sharp knife and also stabbed himself in the stomach, after which she told unsuspecting neighbours that it was armed robbers that attacked them. The landlady died a few minutes later. The tenant later went to his grandfather at Apaara soaked with blood, where he gave a similar false account The grandfather was said to have disbelieved him and reported the matter to the police at Durbar, while the tenant was taken to a private hospital for treatment by some sympathisers. The Nation, however, gathered that police had beefed up security around the tenant on his hospital bed.

Another Edo PDP chieftain defects to ACN


HE People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State yesterday suffered a major setback with the defection of a member of the party’s National Executive Committee, Barrister Henry Idahagbon, and hundreds of his followers to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Benin City. Speaking at the event, Hon. Idahagbon, a former Commissioner for Lands and Survey, eulogised Governor Adams Oshiomhole for his determined effort to transform Edo State in all facets of life. He said concerning Oshiomhole: “Since you came into office, we have seen a determined and consistent attempt by this government to transform the state in all facets of life. As a member of the PDP, I never failed to acknowledge it. I am happy some of the people who used

to ask me then, are you in ACN now? I am happy they are all in ACN now and are joining to receive me.” Idahagbon, also a former Chairman, Egor Local Government described the administration of Comrade Oshiomhole as people-oriented, adding that the government is trying to provide the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people. “I believe you are bringing happiness to the people in the area of road construction, in the area of health management. We are seeing the wonderful construction of a new Central Hospital and the schools in Edo State are better than private schools,” he said. Hon. Idahagbon noted that besides Oshiomhole’s performance, which he says is the biggest attempt to transform Edo in the last 20 years,

the governor’s ‘one man one vote’ campaign has become a mantra, castigating the PDP for not adhering to the principle of ‘one man one vote’. “As progressives, we were admiring you from afar. But it got to a level where we could no longer admire you from afar. We have to come in to join your administration and support it,” he said. Receiving him into the ACN, Oshiomhole said, “Today, it is a pleasure for me to be here to have the privilege to join our party leaders to welcome you. You are bringing on board a lot of creditability behind you, and I believe our party will be stronger for it. We know you are an asset to ACN.” He assured them that the greatest weapon against godfatherism is performance, urging them to be committed and work for the success of the party.




ORMER military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Ba bangida (rtd), yesterday wept as his former deputy, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, was buried. Aikhomu, who died recently in Lagos, was buried in Irrua, Esan Central Local Government Area of Edo State. Babangida stayed indoors during the interment, while former Chairman of Nigeria Ports Authority, Chief Olabode George; former Minister of External Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim; and other dignitaries accompanied the family to the venue of the burial. Aikhomu was buried after a funeral service was held at the St David’s Church at Irrua. The federal government delegation led by Vice President Namadi Sambo was at the service. Others on the delegation were Chief of Staff to President Jonathan, Mike Ogiadomhe; Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Pius Anyim; Chief Tony Anenih; and Senate President, Senator David Mark. Also present were Governors Adams Oshiomhole,Peter Obi and Liyel Imoke, former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme, former Minister of Information, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, members of state House of Assembly led by its Speaker, Uyi Igbe, former Governor of Edo State, Chief John Oyegun, Samuel Afolahan, Alison Madueke, Ray Ekpu, Ibrahim Saliu, Amb. Yusuf Mammar, Senator Tunde Ogbeha, Ebitu Ukiwe and Col. Tunde Akogun (rtd). Speaking on the occasion, Govenror Oshiomhole urged the federal government to immortalise Aikhomu by re-naming Irrua Specialist Hospital built when Aikhomu was military Vice President after him. Oshiomhole said: “ That we have Irrua Specialist Hospital here is not an accident. It was built during the time of Aikhomu. The federal government should revisit the name to immortalise our elder statesman.” Oshiomhole, who recalled how Aikhomu prevented a looming strike when he was the Vice President, said “death is a price everybody must pay”. His words, “The only way to avoid death is not to be born. Once you are born, you must pay the price of death. As politicians, we must also know that death is not a democrat. It does not take votes or consult. It comes when it wants to come. It does not follow due process. It does not discriminate between the young and the old. “I have come to celebrate the life of a man God was generous to. The man whose life was full of challenges and achievements. If he had lived another 100 years, assuming that was a possibility, he could have duplicated all what he had done. As we have seen, he was a good husband, considering the way the wife


IBB weeps at Aikhomu’s burial

Augustine AVWODE Assistant Editor


•Mrs. Rebecca Aikhomu, widow of Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, being consoled by VP Namadi Sambo at Irrua, Edo State, during the burial of Akhomu yesterday.

•The widow being consoled by her son, Ehime. looks.” President Jonathan, whose speech was delivered by Vice President Sambo, said he regretted with sorrow that his first visit to Irrua was to witness the burial of Aikhomu. President Jonathan said Aikhomu distinguished himself as an outstanding Nigerian, a soldier, statesman and a patriot. “As a soldier, he rose to the rank

of an Admiral. He earned that by dint of hardwork, diligent commitment in his calling and above all steadfastness in the performance of any assigned duty. He was a loyal officer that fought for the unity of this country. “When the call of duty brought Augustus Aikhomu into the political scene, his diligence became manifest. He believed in Nigeria and

PHOTOS: NAN readily served to ensure unity and stability of this country. It was unalloyed loyalty that informed his patriotic rise from the Chief of General Staff to the Vice President of Nigeria. He served the country in a very sensitive position. By his death, Nigeria has lost one of his finest soldiers, a man of high integrity and a politician with conscience.”

Ekweremadu seeks more powers for ECOWAS parliament

HE Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament was yesterday charged on the urgent need to progress from a “consultative and advisory body” in the subregion to that of a “co-decision status” and a full-fledged “legislative institution with the powers to enact laws.” The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who spoke at the opening session of the September 2011 Ordinary Session of the Parliament in Abuja, expressed his commitment to see the fruition of the transformation during his four-year tenure as Speaker. Ekweremadu, who is also the Deputy President of the Senate, said the agenda would enable members of the parliament to effectively represent the interest of the people of West Africa. To this end, he said the Bureau of

Senator Okowa backs new revenue formula, condemns attack on OkonjoIweala

Sanni ONOGU, Abuja the ECOWAS Parliament had initiated a programme to enhance its collaboration with national parliaments of member states. Ekweremadu said: “To give direction to our overall legislative business in the next four years, the bureau expects this session to consider the draft strategic plan. In so doing, members should bear in mind the need to accelerate the evolution of this parliament from a consultative and advisory body to a codecision status and ultimately a full legislative institution with powers to enact laws. “This is a very cardinal agenda, and I pray members to join hands with the bureau and work towards its realisation so that parliament

can effectively represent the interest of the peoples of West Africa. “Permit me, dear colleagues, to share with you an initiative of the Bureau of Parliament to enhance our collaboration with national parliaments of member states. We have conceived an idea of organising a consultative meeting of the presiding officers of our national parliaments under the auspices of the ECOWAS Parliament. “This meeting is not only meant at giving our parliament more visibility, but also an attempt at creating a convergence between national and regional programmes. It is expected that the consultative meeting will boost the effectiveness of the ECOWAS Parliament towards accelerating regional programmes meant to uplift the living standard of the peoples of the region.

“Consequently, I wish to appeal to our colleagues to support this initiative both at plenary and at the level of the committee responsible for budget, so that we can reap the possible benefits derivable from this idea.” He further said: “Meanwhile, I wish to renew my commitment and that of the Bureau of Parliament to building healthy and rewarding relationship with like parliaments around the world as well as enhancing the capacity of our parliamentarians to deliver on their mandates. “It delights me, therefore, to inform you that I took out time between our inauguration and this First Ordinary Session to visit the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Sir, the Honourable Alan Haselhurst in London.

ENATOR Ifeanyi Okowa has endorsed the plan by the Sen ate to review the nation’s revenue formula, describing it as a right step in the right direction. Okowa, who represents the Delta North Senatorial District, said the situation in the country today had made a review of the revenue formula imperative. He stated this in a chat with The Nation during the week when the Senate ad hoc committee looking into the privatization and commercialization programme, of which he is a member, visited Lagos. In his words: “I think we actually need to review the revenue formula. It should be looked into every five to 10 years, but what we have now was inherited from the military and was merely adjusted by the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo administration. It should be an Act of Parliament. There is the need to look at the situation on ground now. And I hope that the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission (RMFC) should be able to come forward with something for the National Assembly to consider in early 2012”, he said. Senator Okowa also used the opportunity to condemn the recent media attack on the Minister of Finance and Head of the National Economic Team, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Expressing worry at the level of what he called “smear campaign” against the former World Bank director, Okowa said Nigerians should rather welcome and encourage her to Nigeria. “Looking at the kind of attack on her person, I am getting worried because she doesn’t deserve such smear campaigns. I want to advise all those who are involved in this smear campaign to stop it. It is mere politics to distract her and by extension derail the plans of Mr. President. “But I know that she is not the type that will be dampened by such smear campaigns because she has the support of the majority of Nigerians who believe she has what it takes to hold the positions she has been assigned”, he said.

Madam Aningamuna Banigo buried amidst pomp


T was a glorious exit for the late Madam Dorah Aningamuna Banigo recently as people from all works of life gathered to pay their last respect. The crème de la crème of society converged on Banigo Isile Ogono to say final bye to a mother of note who passed on at age 85 on August 4. The funeral started with a commendation service and a mini reception at St. Stephens Cathedral, Bonny before the body was moved to Banigo Isile Ogono village for day vigil service. The funeral service also followed at the Holy Trinity (Anglican) Church, Banigo Isile Ogono parish, Bonny before she was interned at the village cemetery. Entertainment of visitors followed at the Ibanise Hall, Bonny with a night party. Speaking to newsmen, son of the deceased, Mr Sotonye Banigo, said: “My mother’s life and times on earth will remain evergreen in my mind. Today as I commit my mum to mother earth, she will not only be greatly missed, but I know that a huge part of me is gone”.



Drug dealers hand over N22.5m worth of fake drugs to NAFDAC

Shekarau marries Dantata’s daughter as fourth wife


HE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) yesterday in Kano received expired and fake pharmaceutical products worth N22.5 million from the Kano State Chapter of the Nigeria Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPPMD). Disclosing this to reporters, the Deputy Director in charge of Kano Special Zone, Mr. Adedeji Akinwumi, commended the executive members of the association for supporting the NAFDAC in the war against substandard and fake drugs.

Kolade ADEYEMI, Kano


HE presidential candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) in the 2011 election and the immediate past Governor of Kano State, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, has taken Dr. Gaji Fatima Dantata, daughter of business mogul, Alhaji Aminu Dantata, as his fourth wife. The low-keyed ceremony, which was held at the palatial residence of the Dantatas at about 11am yesterday, was attended by friends and loyalists of the former Governor. Dr. Gaji Fatima Dantata, a former lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Bayero University, Kano, served as Commissioner for Women Affairs in Shekarau’s cabinet. The former governor, who holds the prestigious traditional title of Sardauna Kano, may have decided to pick up an additional wife in keeping with his status as a member of the Kano Emirate Council. Shekarau governed Kano State for eight years, and aspired to rule Nigeria, but lost the election to incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, coming a distant fourth position. It would be recalled that Shekarau was employed by Dantata after he resigned from the Kano State Civil Service, following some misunderstanding between him and Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso who was then serving his first term in

•Muslim and Christian youths walking for peace in Jos... yesterday

Benue governorship: Suswam loses appeal as PDP wins


HE Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed Governor Gabriel Suswam’s appeal against the ruling of the Benue State Election Petitions Tribunal. In a ruling delivered by the Court, Justice Abubakar Gumel said Suswam’s appeal lacked merit, maintaining that there is no prescribed mode for presentation of exparte motion. “It could be through motion, summons or petition,” Gumel said. “The respondent is at liability to use any method since there is nom prescribed form for bringing an exparte motion”, he said. Gumel said that Paragraph 18 of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act gives no specific direction on the method of filing an exparte application for prehearing and upheld the decision of the lower tribunal on the

Senator loses only sibling


ENATOR Bassey EwaHenshaw has lost his only sibling, Chief Ewa Ita- Henshaw. He was a prominent community leader and politician who served as an elected councillor of the Calabar Municipal Government between 1987 and 1989 and a Member of the Cross River State Elders Consultative Forum. He was an active member of the PDP and conducted National Assembly primaries in Sokoto State during the last election. He served in the Nigerian Air Force from 1964 and retired in 1981. He trained in Germany and the United Kingdom and at various times was a Military Training Instructor dealing with combat training, weapons training, reconnaissance and patrol etc. Then he was in charge of logistics and supplies dealing with hardware, transport etc. As an instructor, he trained officers who later became Generals in both the Air Force and Army. He was active during the civil war and was awarded the National Service Medal, Defence Service Medal, General Service Medal and the Republic Medal. A keen sports enthusiast he participated in the USA '94

•The late Chief Ita- Henshaw and the All African Games of 2003, was a sub- committee member of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup (Nigeria 2009) and a committee member of the Sports Development Fund. He was a member of several community and national organisations serving as Patron of the Federal Road Safety Commission (Special Marshall's Unit), Patron Nigeria Youth Organisation and an active member of the South South Peoples Assembly. He was also Chairman of the Cross River State Newspaper Corporation. He is to be buried in Calabar on Saturday 8th October 2011 after a funeral service at the Wesley Cathedral, 39 Beecroft Street, Calabar.


The headline of the story on Page 15 in this issue should read: ‘Why I chopped off my aunt’s head’ and not ‘Why I chopped my aunt’s head.’ The error is regretted — Editor

•ACN: We’ll appeal ruling Tension in Makurdi as ACN, PDP supporters clash


HERE was a bloody clash between supporters of ACN and PDP along Gboko road in Makurdi, Benue State, yesterday barely two hours after the judgment of the Appeal Court. Supporters of both parties were celebrating the rulings which they thought favoured their parties when the clash occurred. However, the timely intervention of granting of the same application. Suswam had urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Professor Steve Ugbah on the ground that he sought a pretrial hearing without seeking the leave of the tribunal. The ACN faulted Suswam’s argument, contending that the procedure adopted by it was in order. The PDP raised no objection to the procedure adopted by the ACN. In its ruling, the tribunal dimissed Suswam’s objection and asked the ACN candidate to proceed with his case. Dissatisfied with the ruling, Suswam went on appeal. However, the Court of Appeal upheld another appeal by the PDP against the ruling of the tribunal, even though the party did not object to the procedure adopted by the ACN at the lower court. In its ruling, the court voided the proceedings so far held at the tribunal on Professor Ugbah’s petition. In a judgment delivered by Justice U Onyemenam, on the appeal filed by Counsel to the PDP, Chief Solomon Akuma, the Appeal Court said Paragraph 47 of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act 2010 as amended provides that in extreme circumstances, a petitioner must seek leave of court before applying for pre-trial outside pre-trial period. The Appeal Court said the lower court erred in law by ordering for commencement of pre-trial without following due process and emphasized that everything done at the lower court since the order was given amounts to a nullity. The appellate court said the lower tribunal had, on June 29, given the wrong order for the commencement of pre-hearing outside pre-hearing period. By way of further explanation

the armed policemen who stormed the scene of the incident with Amoured Personnel Carrier (APC) stopped the crisis from escalating. At press time, anti-riot policemen were seen around the trouble spot. The Police Public Relation Officer(PPRO) ASP Alaribe Ejike, confirmed the clash incident and said the situation had been brought under control.

after the two judgments had been delivered, the Presiding Judge, Justice Mohammed Lawal Samia, said nobody should say that the two judgments are contradictory because the first appeal by counsel to Governor Suswam, was challenging the method of application for pre-hearing while the second appeal by Solo Akuma, counsel to PDP, was challenging the decision of the lower court in granting pre-hearing application without the petitioner seeking for leave of the same court in an extreme circumstance. Samia said Supreme Court decisions on the jurisdiction of the court on the issue of one seeking the leave of court in respect of pre-hearing order were cited in the judgment that nullified proceedings on the petition filed by Professor Ugba and appealed to journalists to do balanced reporting on the two judgments. On the implication of the Appeal Court judgment which declared the tribunal’s work on the petition filed by Professor Steven Ugba, null and void, one of the counsel to Governor Suswam, Mr Tony Ijoho, SAN, said the lower court would now dismiss Professor Ugba’s petition and leave.. Ijoho said the lower court would discontinue hearing on the petition and disclosed that the judgment notice would be served on the tribunal and the other parties so that it would not continue with the proceedings. Counsel to Professor Ugba, Mr Simon Orkuma, on his part, said he would be heading to the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the Court of Appeal on the nullification of the proceedings at the lower court. Reacting to the rulings, the ACN reiterated its resolve and determination to pursue its mandate recovery despite what it called “the judicial confusion” created by the conflicting dec-

larations of the court.. The ACN statement reads: “In their judgments, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of Gabriel Torwua Suswam challenging the ruling of the Tribunal that allowed Prof Steve Torkuma Ugbah’s motion exparte for pre-trial saying, an application by letter for the issuance of pre hearing forms will be allowed most especially as paragraph 18(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) did not specify the mode of the application. “The same court in the second judgment in the appeal, upheld the PDP appeal that, Prof Steve Torkuma Ugbah did not seek leave of the Tribunal before moving their ex-parte motion and thereby declared the action of the Tribunal a nullity. “In the ruling, the Court of Appeal relied on the case of Senator Daniel Saror and we quote ‘The 3rd and 4th Respondents aggrieved, brought a Motion on Notice to set aside the ex parte Order by the Tribunal on 29th June, 2011 and to dismiss Petition No. GET/BN/ 03/2011 between Senator Daniel Saror & Anor. V Gabriel T. Suswam & 4 ors. Appellant’s motion was heard by the Tribunal on 18th July, 2011 and on 19th July, 2011 the Tribunal dismissed the application. Being further dissatisfied with the Ruling of Tribunal delivered on 19th July 2011 the Appellant filed this Appeal on 1st August 2011. The Appellant’s Notice of Appeal contains six grounds of Appeal out which ground 5 was abandoned. See pages 304311 of the record.’ “ It can be deduced from the above that, clearly the Court of Appeal was referring to the case of Senator Daniel Saror which is still pending before the Court. The ACN petition does not have any 4th Respondent. “The party is mostly amazed with the comment of the Chairman of the Court of Appeal Jus-

tice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya that ‘people should not go out of the court and say they have given a conflicting judgment.’ “This comment has left so much to be desired since the issue of leave was not canvassed by the PDP at the lower Tribunal. The court of appeal also struck out the issue of leave raised by the PDP and still went ahead to enter judgment on the issue they had discountenanced. “It is also on record and most surprising that, while the PDP is bent on truncating Prof Steve Torkuma Ugbah’s petition, they are maximally using the Court of Appeal to achieve this through methods unknown to law. The PDP withdrew their motion on jurisdiction before the Tribunaland allowed only Gabriel Suswam and INEC move theirs, which theTribunal overruled declaring that motion ex-parte was enough to invoke pre-trial. It is therefore surprising that the PDP will appeal against a motion they did not move and the Court of Appeal will allow it. “It has now become very clear to every Nigerian that, the removal ofJustice Ayo Salami as the President of the Court of Appeal is to pave way for the manipulation of judges of the court to do the bidding of the PDP. One would have least expected Justice M. I. Tsamiya who is a close ally of the President and a card-carrying member of the PDP, to be made to chair a panel of judges of the Court of Appeal in Makurdi where the PDP knows they have a very bad case. “We appeal to our supporters to remain calm and law abiding. The ACN had suffered the similar fate in Ekiti, Osun and Edo but at the end of the day, justice was done. We as a party are committed to the doctrine of the rule of law and will appeal against the conflicting judgments immediately at the Supreme Court as we also seek an injunction against the orders of the Court of Appeal for the Tribunal to continue so tha we can prove to the whole world that, PDP stole our mandate in Benue State. “The judiciary is the last hope of the common man and despite the temporary set back created by this judgment, we shall continue to have faith in the Nigerian project and believe that the Supreme Court will rise up to the ocassion by set aside the ruling of the Court of Appeal”.



Desperate governor and rubber-stamp Assembly in a season of election


E may not have been named Goodluck like President Jonathan, but Governor Ibrahim Idris of Kogi State has had more luck than all the Goodlucks in Nigeria put together. When he came out from the blue and signified his interest to join the race for the governorship ticket of the People’s Democratic Party in Kogi State in the build-up to the 2003 general election, not a few people laughed it off as the fantasy of a political neophyte. There was no information anyone could guarantee concerning him other than the fact that he was until then a carpenter somewhere in Sokoto State. It turned out, however, that he won the keenly contested governorship ticket at the expense of other formidable candidates, including the likes of the late Senator A.T. Ahmed and Chief Alex Kadiri. The election had gone into a run-off between Idris and Ahmed, but Kadiri collapsed his structure into that of Idris and that helped him to edge out Ahmed. With the stage set between him and the then incumbent governor, Abubakar Audu, of the All Nigeria People’s Party who was seeking a re-election at the time, many considered the incumbency factor and the political astuteness of the Aloma prince and concluded that it would take a miracle for Idris to defeat Audu in the election proper. Again, fate worked in Idris’ favour. The election took place at a time the chieftains of the PDP in the state had buried their differences and workers in the state were at war with Audu and would vote not just for anybody for anything presented to them as possible replacement for Audu at the Lugard House. The situation translated into

massive votes for Idris, particularly in the Kogi West and the Kogi Central, two of the three senatorial districts in the state. The result was a resounding victory for Idris at the polls, followed by his inauguration as the new governor of the state on May 29, 2003. Those who thought he became a governor by default were soon to realise how gravely mistaken they were. With the maximum use of the power of incumbency, he did not only win the governorship ticket of the PDP for the second time, he also won the governorship election conducted in 2007 for another fouryear term. One year into his second term, a petition filed by Audu, alleging irregularities in his re-election succeeded and the Appeal Court ordered a re-run. Again fate worked on the side of Idris and he won the re-run in spite of a merger between the ANPP and the then Action Congress in the state. Then came the judicial battle concerning whether the one year he had spent before the re-run would count as part of the four years he would spend in office. Again, it was Idris that carried the day. The courts ordered that his second term would start counting from the day judgment was delivered in the case. Thus, whereas the constitution stipulates eight years as the maximum period an individual can stay in office as governor, Idris is spending his ninth year in Lugard House! Surprisingly, he does not seem to be contented with the much he has got from mother luck. The governor, whose three daughters survived an ADC plane crash in which more than 100 people died in 2006, appears bent on constituting his family into a dynasty that would rule Kogi State from generation to generation. Last year, when it was yet uncertain what the courts would decide concerning his exit date, the PDP in the state conducted a governorship primary preparatory to the general election. Idris allegedly supported a former Executive Director of Afribank, Isah Jibrin Echocho, who many alleged was his cousin. Echocho won the ticket. However, before the

governorship election could hold, the courts ruled that Idris should continue in office for one more year; a decision that rendered Echocho’s victory in the primary void. Now that Idris’ tenure is finally winding to an end, he is said to have hit on the idea that a cousin is a more distant relation than a son-inlaw. Consequently, he dumped the former bank director and opted for a man named Captain Idris Wada, the husband of his eldest daughter, to succeed him. He probably would have preferred his biological son, Hon. Muhammed Idris, for the position, but he is handicapped by the fact that Idris is still serving his term as a member of the House of Representatives representing Omala/Ankpa Federal Constituency. The arrangement now would seem to be that Wada would hold the fort for the younger Idris to serve out his term in the National Assembly and take over the governorship seat from his brother-in-law. There is no ruling out the possibility that by the time Muhammed exhausts two terms in Lugard House, one of his own children would be ripe for the seat. The machinery towards this end was fully set in motion on Wednesday when Wada rode to the headquarters of the PDP in Abuja with virtually all the members of the rubber-stamp House of Assembly behind him to obtain his nomination form for the governorship race. Surprisingly, his retinue of cronies on the Abuja trip was reportedly led by the Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Bello, who had earlier paraded himself as a diehard supporter of Echocho, while the latter fought against a fresh primary. A few days earlier, Bello had even engaged the Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, in a verbal exchange when he announced the party’s decision to conduct a fresh governorship primary in the state. But the Speaker changed his dance steps as soon as Idris changed the beats. He dumped Echocho and went all out for Wada.

But yesterday, there were reports that Governor Idris had reverted his support to Echocho, apparently over protests by concerned indigenes of the state at the party’s secretariat in Lokoja against him and Wada over the allegation that they connived to pocket the sum of N3.5 billion meant for an unexecuted road contract. It was not clear what the Speaker and other members of the House of Assembly would do in the circumstance, but political observers say like a candle in the wind, they will have to toe the line of the governor once again. It is an instance of the kind of politics that has kept the state perpetually undeveloped since it was created on August 27, 1991 alongside others like Abia, Anambra, Adamawa, Edo, Enugu, Delta, Jigawa, Kebbi, Osun and Yobe. The political space in the state is dominated by individuals who are motivated only by self-interest at the expense of public good. While it may not be wrong for a sitting governor to groom his own successor, there is absolutely no justification for anyone to draft into the governorship race a man who had not contemplated such a responsibility, much less prepared for it. Not even a private estate would be run in such a manner without dire consequences. The gross lack of development the state has witnessed since it was created is a consequence of selfish decisions by past leaders. Lokoja, the state capital, prides itself on being the Confluence City, but many of its inhabitants depend on supply from privately owned tankers for their water needs. Many of the residents who are too poor to afford the sums required to obtain water from such tankers have to go to the streams and rivers around the town to fetch water. Of course, the story is worse in other communities around the state, including Icheke where the governor hails from. Kogi State is not a monarchy. The people should be allowed to freely choose a leader who can harness the abundant human and natural resources of the state to galvanise its development after 20 years in the limbo.

Of ‘leaks’ and beer parlour gossips Knucklehead


N a recorded maiden Presidential Media Chat broadcast, President Goodluck Jonathan, last Monday, described the rather unnerving Wikileaks’ revelations of how highlyplaced Nigerians sing like overfed canaries whenever they find themselves in the midst of foreign diplomats as “mere beer parlour gossips” that shouldn’t attract any serious attention. However, one cannot really say if Jonathan was merely downplaying the troubling matter as exposed by Wikileaks, the whistle-blower that has become a lump in the heart of many governments across the globe. In the last few months, the Nigerian media has feasted on the salacious, incredulous and rather unpalatable ‘leaks’ flowing from the website of Wikileaks. Of course, some of the stories could pass for fairy tales simply because one expected those mentioned in such stories to be a little wiser. But then, that may be due to the fact that one concedes too much of native wisdom to those that pretend to lead us. How on earth could anyone have thought that these persons could sink that scandalously low in exchange for some cheap cocktail and fake diplomatic posturing? Personally, one has always been wary of any of such invitations. At best, one should honour the invitation with some form of suspicion so that when the friendly interrogation begins, it would be easy to press the red button and recoil into one’s shell. Perhaps if those mentioned in Wikileaks’ cables had attended the regular diplomatic cocktails with some introspection, they wouldn’t have opened their mouths too wide to the point of spewing the nonsense that was packaged as vital information by their American hosts and stored as part of intelligence on the country. Jonathan may call the leaks whatever he wants, but it is absolutely benumbing, to say the least, that we are learning too late in the day how petty those in authority can be where we expect them to be at the top of the game! Now, to some of the confounding revelations. There was a report which quoted former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, as squealing to the then United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Howard Jetter, that former President Olusegun Obasanjo ran a non-inclusive government in his first tenure. The bearded former military ruler did not fail to also express his displeasure at the way and manner Obasanjo was handling the affairs of the country, noting that since the Ota farmer performed badly between 1999 and 2003, he should not be encouraged to go for a second term in office. He would also want Obasanjo to take the Mandela option and retire to his farm. Wikileaks quoted Abubakar as saying:”Obasanjo’s sincere intentions have been betrayed by his abrasive manner and by maladroit decisions that have alienated many supporters. By trying to do everything himself and failing to delegate sufficiently, Obasanjo has achieved little except generate resentment among the political elite and frustration among Nigerians in general. Obasanjo thinks he is omniscient and does not need to listen!” Is there any semblance of truth in this beer parlour gossip? Other juicy beer parlour gossips were to follow. This paper,

in its editorial page on Wednesday, listed some of them including the bit where Jonathan was described as being ineffective as governor of Bayelsa State. In another leak, Jonathan was painted as a weakling who can hardly lay claim to taking charge of his house as his wife not only “runs her own show” but also has “tremendous influence” over her husband. A top official allegedly leaked information to US diplomats that Jonathan got compensated with a vice presidential ticket by Obasanjo, for his unalloyed loyalty to Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, his former boss who was unceremoniously removed from office over graft. Then came another leak credited to Prof. Dora Akunyili who allegedly put a call through to the then US envoy, Ms. Robin Sanders, that the then acting president was more than eager to succeed an ailing Yar’Adua despite his public posturing as a prayer warrior for Yar’Adua’s quick recovery! Aside the case of professional misconduct and betrayal of trust by one Dr. Peter Galle, a German, who told Sanders that Yar’Adua died of “a deadly combination of lung cancer and the auto-immune disease, Churg Strauss Syndrome” while Turai Yar’Adua could also be suffering from a terminal ailment, there was the revelation on how the Nigeria Police lacked the capacity to investigate the murder of the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, who was assassinated in his bedroom in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on December 23, 2001. Ambassador Howard Jeter, in a cable forwarded to the Home Office, described our men in black as ill-equipped and undertrained. “There has been little progress in solving the December 23 murder of Attorney General Bola Ige. A frank meeting with the head of the police investigation found a group of under-trained and ill-equipped investigators struggling with a complex criminal investigation. With political and public pressure inexorably mounting, the police desperately seek United States Government’s assistance,” Jeter wrote. There were leaks about how Nigeria was being looted blindly by some oil thieves in high places. Collectively, they allegedly creamed off 91 million barrels per year into their personal pockets. There were stories about how politicians disburse millions of dollars to purchase justice from the judiciary. There was the story about how Obasanjo wielded the tremendous power of his office to interfere in the affairs of the judiciary to the point that a highly respected judicial officer and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Muhammadu Uwais, had to express his fears to Ambassador John Campbell in case something untoward happened to him in the course of discharging justice. And then, there was the story about how Senate President David Bonaventure Mark and others have been benefiting from under-the-table oil deals that run into millions of dollars. There was also a leak about how some officials in the office of the National Security Adviser offered the United States Government full access to the biometric information stored in the international passports of Nigerians. Of course, there was also the disclosure that a deal was struck between the State Security Service and some Northern traditional rulers to help terrorism suspects of Northern origin to escape trial and prison after arrest.


Yomi Odunuga E-mail:yomi.odunuga SMS only: 07028006913 It was revealed in a cable by Sanders how an understanding for the secretive release and non-trial of terrorism suspects from the region was reached and how terrorism suspects from the region would be released to a carefully selected group of traditional rulers and Imams shortly after their arrest. There were many other stories that have stupefied the Nigerian populace. As the revelations kept pouring in, all we got were feeble responses from those mentioned. Interestingly, no one has denied attending the meetings or cocktail parties where these conversations took place; neither has anyone called the ambassadors cheap liars. Some have not even summoned the courage to offer a defence. Mum is the word as the rest of the world continues to be fed with a picture of Nigerian elite that do not know how and when to apply the brakes when they open their mouths in the front of foreigners. It is a pathetic picture of an elite and a ruling class that is quick at selling the country so cheaply to the outside world. And what did our President have to say about this? Nothing. He said it was a collection of street gossips that is gradually being turned into a bestseller by some mercantilists. He would rather we ignore the noise and allow them to revel in their ignorance. His words: “The issue of Wikileaks is like beer parlour gossip. It claimed that my wife was arrested with $13.5m at Lagos airport. You cannot ignore it if your name is mentioned, but you cannot say that because WikiLeaks says something you must castigate that person. I am thinking people have different kinds of WikiLeaks. “The whole concept of wikileaks is like beer parlour gossips and I am not a soothsayer, so I don’t know how true they are. The recent one about me is that one of my aides said I am part of the system that spoilt the Niger Delta as one of the old order and in another part, I was rated positively. What I can say is that they are gossips.” Gossips or not, I believe the President should begin a process of sifting the chaff from the wheat. It is, to say the least, pedestrian logic to lump everything under the lame excuse of street gossips. If only we can look more deeply, maybe we’ll be able to pick the truth and make the necessary adjustments before our gloating elite trade us off—all for the price of a cocktail party! For now, can someone tell them to permanently glue their leaky mouths with a drum of araldite?






EW Global Champions and Challenges By Dayo Sobowale The World Economic Forum [WEF ] started last Wednesday a meeting in China that has been termed a ‘Summer Davos ‘ in the Chinese port town of Dalian and the relevance of the location of the meeting, away from the usual frosty town of Davos in Switzerland , the traditional host of WEF meetings ,was that it has become a barometer of the changing , challenging times and issues facing the global economy .Indeed the Chinese started hosting WEF since 2007 but the emphasis of discussions in Dalian has been on global economic growth and challenges . While Davos has been relegated to discussing policies which in recent times have resulted sadly in the three deadly ‘d’s [ of debts , deficits and the danger of default ] for EU nations , which were the initiators of the WEF forum in better times than they face nowadays . It was therefore not surprising that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao while welcoming delegates to the meeting gave a caution that China cannot grow alone and needs the support of the leading economies of the world especially those of Western Europe now groaning under the debilitating economic woes of the three deadly ‘d’s mentioned earlier. According to business reports Boeing the global aircraft manufacturer announced that China has given it orders to build 5000 aircraft by 2030 at a cost of $600bn . This comes at a time when EU nations, traditional customers of Boeing , especially France have had their bond ratings downgraded because two major French banks are seriously involved with funding Greek debts. This also comes at a time when the Eurozone is doing all it can to prevent Greece from defaulting on its debts and destroying the entire Eurozone economically. On a brighter note though visitors to Dalian for the conference have been amazed at the bubbling level of economic activity in the Chinese town and its environs and have been told that intra Chinese economic activity and growth especially those between China’s big provinces have contributed several times more to global economic growth and consumption in recent times than the economic might of the seven richest nations of the world. Which means that China , which has been accused of cheating on International trade rules by fast tracking its economy through exports , while weakening its currency , which is against World Trade Organisation –WTO – rules , is indeed in a position to drive global consumption through the sheer size of its imports given the purchasing power in local Chinese hands at the present moment. Undoubtedly then, such suspicions on China’s lucrative export drive must have prompted the Chinese Premier’s concern that China should not be allowed to grow alone or in isolation . It is in that light then that I want to bring to readers’ notice a well researched ranking of the 50 most competitive nations in the world by the WEF based on the level of competitiveness in each nation. The criteria or standards


New global champions and challenges

used were twelve and at the end China the second largest economy in the world and current champion of global economic growth was ranked 26. In this ranking of the world’s most competitive nations none of the other leading BRIC nations namely Brazil, Russia and India featured. In this compilation the nations of North and Western Europe predominated. In fact the first five most competitive nations of the world were in this order– Switzerland, Singapore, Sweden, Finland and USA. Germany was sixth while Japan and Britain were ninth and tenth respectively. However it is the benchmark used to identify the most competitive nations of the world that fascinate me first as a Nigerian and as a citizen of the world interested in global economic growth , welfare and security. I am also fascinated largely because competition by its nature encourages fairness, observance of rules and rights and the urge to improve performance for better results amongst competitors. The criteria used to identify the 50 most competitive nations in the world can indeed be used as a roadmap by any government most especially the nations of Africa that seem to have lost their way to economic growth and development ever since they gained independence with fanfare from their colonial mas-

ters decades ago. The fascinating criteria are Institutions; Infrastructure; Macro - economic environment; Health and Primary Education; Higher Education and Training; Goods Market Efficiency; Financial market Development; Technological readiness; Market Size; Business sophistication; Labor Market Efficiency and Innovation . There is no doubt in my mind that any nation, Nigeria included, that focuses on any or all of these criteria and sharpens its skills and management of them, will not only achieve sustainable economic growth but will be able to take good care of the welfare and well being of its citizenry thereby lowering avenues or loopholes for social

tension and conflict. Without the WEF saying it in so many words efficiency in each of the criterion or activity will make for a better, democratic, open salutary and transparent society powered by the engine of justice and accountability. That China is 26th on the least is no surprise as it is indeed a miracle that this nation is on the list at all. Ten years ago China was the butt of jokes that said that in China the government is a dictatorship but business is anarchy. But a lot has changed since 2001 and now even though China is still a dictatorship it is fast establishing and applying global rules and evolving its laws on property, companies, contracts, the stock mar-

The EMT of which the Governor of the CBN is a member should monitor and ensure that at all levels of our tiers of governance, economic performance and regulations the participants play by the rules and our statutes are followed to the letter with deterring sanctions for real and potential violators

kets and bankruptcy. Where before the Chinese, especially the opulent overseas Chinese, like most Asian tigers did business and cornered their economies through a bamboo network of whispers and nods, private and family control of public companies have given way, albeit slowly but surely, to statutory laws on shareholding and respect for shareholders rights on stock and bond issues. China may still be protecting its currency for export related growth but it is already dancing to the music of transparency in an open and interrelated world of international trade, in which it has a huge stake that trade barriers are broken down in the overall interest of global economic growth, welfare and ultimately security. Nevertheless, in a rather disturbing way, the current economic and financial fate of China’s greatest creditor and no 5 on the list of the most competitive nations of the world, the US , may be a disincentive for China to move fast on economic reforms and financial transparency. US President Barak Obama recently presented a $ 450bn jobs bill to a Republican-dominated, hostile Congress and has asked that the bill be adopted and not be used to play politics. At a presentation of the jobs bill, Obama was surrounded by teachers, firefighters and workers who are expected to be beneficiaries of the bill. But the Republicans have vowed to defeat the bill which they say is an attempt to ‘bill‘ job creators in terms of the massive taxation of the rich and wealthy inherent in it . Coming on the heels of new information that 14 % Americans now live on poverty level and 49 % have no health insurance, the Chinese may feel that high competitiveness may be a synonym for poor economic management and may not be an option to be pursued urgently by a dictatorship, no matter capitalist-inclined or tele guided.

Which really will be a frank or pragmatic Chinese approach , albeit a sad disservice to the cause of economic competitiveness and creation of a level playing field in global trade and commerce. However with regard to my country Nigeria the options and import of the US and Chinese experience are obvious and I will advise the Federal Cabinet to pause at its usual Wednesday Executive meeting to ponder awhile and discuss the criteria for global competitiveness highlighted by the WEF. This is because there is not a single one of the criteria that Nigeria can be said to have made a headway and I say this with a great sense of responsibility and without any exaggeration and as a patriotic Nigerian. The first four are in shambles; the next four are comatose and the last four are riddled with corruption which is the bane of our socio- economic fabric and entire environment. With all seriousness then I commend these criteria for measuring national and global competitiveness to President Goodluck Jonathan and his newly formed Economic Management Team–EMT-whose Coordinator is Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, for adoption as a roadmap for our economic development. The EMT of which the Governor of the CBN is a member should monitor and ensure that at all levels of our tiers of governance, economic performance and regulations the participants play by the rules and our statutes are followed to the letter with deterring sanctions for real and potential violators. Hopefully if this is done sincerely and in a sustainable manner, one day then, and in our lifetime, Nigeria will be the first African nation to be listed in the list of the 50 most competitive nations in the world currently being authoritatively compiled by the WEF . Amen .



Reactions to Illuminations Segun, much can not be delivered by Justice Musdapher. The learned jurist is just an old wine in a new bottle. If not, why was he a partner in orchestrated injustice? Justice Musdapher will only topple the conspicuous illegality perpetrated by his ingenious predecessor. But if Justice Musdapher likes, he can as well toe the path of dictators. In that, his name shall be confined into the dust bin of history. To Justice Musdapher, the path of his predecessor will be too sumptuous for him to toe. But if he acts otherwise, posterity will not celebrate him. Left to me, I summaries Justice Musdapher should toe the path of honour in his discharge as an acting PCA. The inglorious exit of his predecessor should be a fact to reckon with when it comes to duty discharge. So, Justice Musdapher should be honourable and just in justice discharge. Dapo Ipoola, Omuo Ekiti, 08024710243 •Even more Salamis are in the making. Imaging PDP ruling this nation forever as they have boasted. That is having evil or evils forever. They may not finish this stone mandate, they should see what has happened in north African nations. Eight years is

Justice Musdapher: 240 days of history? enough to transform a nation. What has PDP done for this 12 years plus? Go to Liberia and see. I was there November 2009. Come to Ghana and see democracy. What we have here is civilian juntas/ dictators. They must go. Thanks. Pastor Chuks Sampson. •Your condemnation of Katsina-Alu and G Jonathan on Salami’s suspension is misplaced and unfortunate. Do you know that a judge does behave the way Salami behaved? How many months or years did it take him to cry out over Katsina-Alu’s alleged directive to give judgment in favour of Wamako in the Sokoto governorship petition? Does he have the right to dictate when he should be promoted? Why did he not resign when he was promoted against his wish? I doubt Salami’s integrity. A responsible president will approve his suspension in the interest of the judiciary. Odusola from Akure •Weep not for Justice Salami. He was elevated to the Supreme Court but he refused. Why will he choose where to work? Don’t

May courage never fail you. Sam Ajana, Benin City. •Your write up on the feud between CJN and PCA shows little bias, the suspension is well deserved, the only dispute there is how hasty that decision was, so we should not sacrifice truth for gimmick. Keep shining. Thanks. Tarfa

• Musdapher

you think he has skeleton in his cupboard? •Reference to your illumination of September 10, 2011. Considering the complimentary roles played by the former and the current CJN in the suspended PCA saga, only die hard optimist will expect any restitution within 240 days. Perhaps one day, a roll of DISHONOUR will be opened in memory of all who conspired to mortgage the lives of millions patriotic Nigerians for personal benefit.

•Enough of Salami vs NJC, please Segun, talk on insecurity in Nigeria, lapses and solutions. Cheers. Lanre Oseni, Lagos. •Well said Ayobolu. Nigeria is finished with the judiciary muzzled up. Justice Musdapher is also part of the plot. A coup has been executed. Nigeria’s disintegration is in the offing. D. B. Olalere, Ibadan •PDP has infiltrated the judiciary. Musdapher is part of the cabal working for the president and his party. He can’t make any positive change. PDP is a pacesetter in everything that is

evil, they want to remove Justice Ayo Salami at all cost cause he refused to be corrupted. Alhaji Adeboye Lawal. •I read your illuminating piece today. It was rich and very pungent. May the ink in your pen never dry. For Jonathan, he has murdered sleep by approving and taking side in the face off between Hon. Justice Salami and KatsinaAlu’s . For Justice Dahiru, it is now left for him to use the 240 days to clear the whole mess and let his name be written in gold even though he is part of the rot. If he fails to heed this noble advice, verily, history will vindicate the just. Thank you. Shehu, 08033926923. •Don’t ever expect anything different for now. (Owu ti iya gbon ni omo nran). If Musdapher performs differently to what the acting PCA did of recent, then it is going to be surprise of the year. But when it is the right time, the bell shall ring. Akinropo Daisi, Ibadan. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Courtesy demands that you do not insult the President. Gain mastery of issues before delve into them. God bless you. Julz

Reactions to Knucklehead I read your articles regularly and they are commendable. •Ayebatari Easterday, (08022996873 Yomi, you spoke! It’s simply scandalous that ‘the facts’ on Jos crises will be taken to the president at the next security meeting! Which facts are more than the gruesome pictures and tales of slaughtered families in the papers? Is there no emergency in the vocabulary of Oga Jonathan? •07088883551 Honestly these killings and loss of lives through bombings, militancy and terrorism are becoming commonplace. One only hopes God will continue to come to our defense with Azazi’s de-

I read your piece and I can’t agree with you less. It looks to me that the President is confused on what to do. I think he needs to overall his security apparatus. The issue of security is not job for the boys. Nigerians want to be assured of their protection. •08034526695 The President of Africa’s sleeping giant (Nigeria) should fire all the security chiefs. GEJ is also sleeping. Everybody is a target when it comes to terrorist attacks. Nigeria is now a terrorist nation. Can we list our security chiefs as part of the target? •Mike Akpenwuan, Makurdi, 07059361775 GEJ does not seem to appreciate the extent and enormity of his office as president and CommanderIn-Chief. He smiles a lot and tries to appease everyone. That is a recipe for failure. The sooner he stamps his feet and make it clear to those undermining his government that there is a price to pay, the better for the country. If you are in his position today you will ‘shit in the church.’ So be careful with your utterances. Your brother was there for 8 years. •08069371671

Re: When Azazi poked a finger in truth’s eye

layed solutions! What baffles me is what Nigeria is turning to— from militancy to the callous murders in Plateau State and terrorists bombings in Maiduguri and Abuja! •Lanre Oseni, Lagos, 08033518726 I am scandalized to note that the National Security Adviser is still at his post after this statement. To solve crime, you need a national identity database. For now, we are trying to put that together. What a comic country ruled by those who have no business being where they are. •08032929874

Yomi, the issue of insecurity is no news .The recent insecurity threat does not pose any concern to this present administration. To any serious government, the issue of security should take precedence. But this present administration seems to be unserious from the construction of their body language to terrorist attacks. But Nigerians should bear in mind that their security cannot be guaranteed by this toddling and wobbling administration. Some security measures ought to have been employed with this recent security attacks. The issue of electronic surveil-

lance and monitoring system should not be jettisoned. •Dapo Ipoola, Omuo-Ekiti, 08024710243 We don’t have to be told that the presidency is not on top of any situation as far as security is concerned in this country. He says what he says each time there is security concern because he feels Nigerians are still gullible like before. This president, without prejudice, can never be the president we all wanted him to be because he doesn’t seem to have any blueprints of actions that are his. He might have

breezed into power through an amazing run of luck; truth is that Jonathan, from all indications, does not have the magic wand to lead Nigeria to the promised land. The Boko Haram menace threatens our collective peace, terrorism is on the high while other burning national issues crave for attention on the president’s desk .Jonathan has allowed so many files to pile on his desk, with each as important as the other. It remains to be seen which of these the president would treat first. •Remi Adesina, Ibadan, 08023440497

Re: A President and his clustered desk I read your column in the Nation Newspaper of Saturday, 3rd September and commend you for highlighting the numerous task before Mr. President especially security. I feel the task of intelligence gathering should be the function of Local Government chairmen and state governors as they all spend large sum of tax payers money as chief security officers. There is the need for the Federal government to collaborate with other tiers of government. Security matters cannot be overemphasized and they owe Nigerians the responsibility to protect life and property. —08033361312

I must confess that no one can confidently say that Mr. President is on top of the security challenges thrown up by Boko Haram in the country. In fact, unless something urgent and far-reaching is done to improve Nigeria’s security apparatus to international standard, Nigerians remain endangered species. However, I know that GEJ is not a coward. I don’t know any Ijaw man who is a coward. •Odusola, Akure, 08033509122 Are you afraid of Boko haram that you kept on writing about the president? What exactly were you writing about? You want him to repeat the Odi and Gboko episodes of OBJ? Please you writers should let us be. Thanks. •08063483260 The latest write-up by you was as if you went on an annual leave, refreshed and came up with that nice and excellent article. I am one of President Jonathan’s friends. However, the truth must be told if this country is to grow! This is why sentiment aside, every word, every sentence and every paragraph of your write-up were nothing but the truth. I am in agreement with all you said! •08033518726

I am so impressed with your write-up. Nothing can be more frank and objective. Keep it up. —Eddy Idah, Benin City, 08033967759 The concluding question of your piece is a million dollar question. May God deliver Nigeria. •Makinwa (08033501418) Yomi, in your clustered desk write up, you forgot to include OPC as one of the problematic organisations in Nigeria. Thanks. •08033531447

Yomi, thank you immensely for that patriotic zeal that was demonstrated in the piece entitled, ‘A president and his clustered desk’. It was a straight dart shot into the heart of the ills that manifest as the nation‘s most troublesome enemies. God will continue to renew your strength intellectually. •Erastus Ola Omotosho (Ilorin). 08058468653

Oh, son of Odunuga, I write to strongly disagree with your knuckleheadlistic views, which state that ‘this is not the best of times to be the president of Africa’s sleeping giant’. May God forgive you because your views amount to declaration against God who ordained this time for Mr. President. •Ehimare, 08076823815 Sir, I believe you can’t give what you don’t have. Impactful leadership is beyond Goodluck. The situation is like that of an impotent man who brags being a stud and on top of the situation. The search for functional leadership continues. I’m afraid but this is additional wasted era. We count on Allah for security. •Jelili Animashaun (08055851542) Your piece is superb. The president seems to be afraid of some individuals. I hope this country is not heading to its doom. Jonathan should open his eyes and brace up before it is too late. •Kola, Kano, 08033673933 To say that Jonathan is not tepid and torpid will be too economical to describe him as a president of a terrorism-laden country. The guy by now should be cavorting in the dark alleys of how to assuage us. But he is busy romancing paltry and trashy issues. Nigerians should expect less of better services from him. Here is a country where terrorism

what a life

‘My husband swept me off my feet the very first time we met’




Social Scene 41

Jos: What a city,

r / 19 Thrille

Screen/ 23

‘Why I took a break from Nollywood’


I immediately rushed out with my baby to see what was going on, only to see that some people had come in about three vehicles and were dragging my husband into one of them

‘They just killed my husband like a fowl 24 hours after our child’s naming’



‘I never suspected I would become a widow a day after we christened our baby’ T

HE atmosphere was far from being friendly. It was a gathering that featured tears, agony and frustration, following the gruesome murder of a 45-year-old farmer, Abiodun Ogungbe, barely 24 hours after the christening of his baby. The new baby, Mayowa, will only get to see her father in photographs. She had only been born for eight days when some hoodlums terminated her father’s life on his way to answering the call of nature. The incident occurred at Idi-Epa quarters in Idoleyin community in AdoOdo/Otta Local Government Area, Ogun State. The deceased farmer was said to be on his way to the toilet at the back of his house when some hoodlums abducted and killed him, after which they dumped his body at a spot near his home. Bereaved family members said the death of Ogungbe and their endless search for justice constituted a source of trauma for his widow and other members of the family. Some land speculators had allegedly stormed the community with thugs armed to the teeth to forcibly take over parcels of land belonging to the community, made up mainly of people of Egun descent. The development irked the indigenes of the community who protested the invasion of their land by ‘foreigners’. Thus, the stage was set for a violent clash. The 33- year-old widow of the deceased, Olorunwa, fought back tears as she recalled her husband’s last moments in a chat with our correspondent. She said: “The previous day was our child’s naming ceremony. Everyone in

•Mrs Ogungbe with the baby


the community was here to celebrate with us. I did not have any premonition that I would become a widow the next day. “The following day, he was very tired because of the stress he had gone through organising the ceremony. Hence, he had a long rest. But in the evening, he told me he wanted to visit the toilet at the back of our residence. He had barely left the room when I heard him shouting for help. “I immediately rushed out with my baby to see what was going on, only to see that some people had come in about three vehicles and were dragging my husband into one of them. “I started pleading and asking them what my husband had done to them, but I got no response. I was shouting for help, but nobody could come out to offer any help because the hoodlums were shooting sporadically, and there were no men around. “A few minutes after they left, we saw my husband’s body dumped somewhere a few meters away from our house, with wounds on his body and blood stain on his dress. “My husband was a peace-loving farmer. He never engaged in any problem with any one. They just killed him like a fowl, and up till now, his killers are walking freely because they are being protected by powerful individuals in our community and the police.” The distraught father of the deceased, Mr. Segun Ogungbe, who incidentally is the village head, said: “I learnt that the thugs actually came for me. I was

told that when they came, they asked for my whereabouts. They must have decided to visit their anger on my son, and •The late Mr Ogungbe they even brutalised one of my brothers. “Yet in all of this, the police did not show up to protect innocent villagers. When the matter was reported to the police that day, they did not show up to take my son’s corpse. Instead, they asked the family to take care of the situation themselves. “The deceased’s younger brother, who was sent to report the matter, was even on duty to bring the corpse to the detained for hours.” station by myself. I was angry and I told Another family member, Jimoh them that I would report them to the Ketonji, said: “When I learnt that the Area Commander. police were not willing to come and pick “That was what prompted the the corpse, I went to their station in Ado- Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Odo, only to be told by the policemen station, who heard our altercation to


THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2011 intervene, and they came in their van to take Abiodun’s corpse to the mortuary at Ilaro General Hospital the following day. But that was not before we had gone to report the matter at Eleweran, the headquarters of the Ogun State Police Command.” A twist crept into the matter when the police allegedly picked up three members of the family and detained them at the Zone 2 Command, Onikan, Lagos. In a petition written by the counsel to the family, Barrister Wahab Shittu, to the Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim, and the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos, he alleged police complicity in the murder of the deceased. The petition reads in part: “The deceased person (Abiodun Ogungbe) was violently picked up from his residence for no disclosed reason , beaten and gruesomely murdered and thrown on the path of Oko Alade bush, Idoleyin. “The matter was reported to the AdoOdo Police Station that same evening after the incident by one Mr. Jeremiah Ogungbe, the deceased’s step-brother. “The Divisional Police Officer, AdoOdo Divisional Police Station, who spoke with the deceased’s brother, asked him to call back the next day, without taking any statement or making any attempt to investigate the matter. “When he returned the next day, being Thursday the 30th day of June,2011, the police officers simply asked the bereaved man to sit outside and was thus neglected. “The step-mother of the deceased, Mrs. Bose Ogungbe, accompanied by two members of the family in the persons of Mr. Bayo Ogungbe and Mr. Jimoh Ketonji, visited the station on the evening of Thursday, the 30th of June, 2011. It was then that the police officers took the statement on the matter. “As if that was not enough, the woman and her son were asked to go home and bring the corpse to the station. It was on Friday, July1, 2011 when the family of the deceased went back to the station to insist that they would not take the corpse to the station that the policemen deemed it fit to pick up the corpse. “Naturally, the already traumatised persons, who were just trying to come to grasp with the callous murder of their community member and the unceasing threats of even more murders for which authorities appear to be looking the other way, were shocked at the treatment they got in the hands of the three operatives who arrested them in front of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Eleweran, Ogun State on Friday August 26, 011. “Two of the persons arrested were handcuffed like common criminals and these victims are yet to come to terms with the shock of being treated like criminals by the supposed Police Force they had rushed to, to help their community unravel the murderous assaults on them and to ensure that the murderers of their member did not escape justice. “Some of the family members arrested include Segun Ogungbe (father of the deceased), Bose Ogungbe (step-mother of the deceased), Jeremiah Ogungbe (brother to the deceased), Olorunwa Ogungbe (deceased’s widow), Musibau Bello, Pastor Francis Hundenu, Evangelist Fasinu, Pastor Kehinde Kenjinu and Makanjuola James who were all ferried to Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, Lagos and were again invited on Monday August 29, 2011. The curious invitation remains only a matter of uncomfortable speculations. “It may interest you to know that even the wife of the murdered victim (trapped with the baby of the murdered victim) was one of the persons arrested on the

On our way, we picked up an elderly fellow and also the deceased person, but the deceased explained that he was sick. When we confirmed the veracity of his excuse, we dropped him at a place called Pakuta, from where he went home on a motorbike...It was rather strange that the Egun people could be peddling such blatant lie around...

said date at SCID, Abeokuta. “The victims of murder got hounded behind bars while the murderers walked away free. The cycle of invitation has not ceased as the earlier mentioned victims are again expected at your command…We doubt if the murder investigation is the basis of these suspicious invitations. “It has clearly shown by the manifest bias and dereliction of duty that the police officers at Ado-Odo Divisional Police Station are not in the position to give a fair and credible evaluation of the facts and the acts that culminated in the gruesome killing of Mr.Abiodun Ogungbe. “We hereby call on you to use your good office to look into this matter to unravel all perceived cover-ups.” Explaining his involvement in the matter, one of those being fingered as masterminds, one Chief Obabiyi, said: “It’s all falsehood that I had a hand in the death of the deceased. On the said date, we received a report that some people had attacked an innocent man simply identified as Tajudeen at Idi-Epa village. The man was on his way to Alapoti when he ran into some youths who mounted a barricade on the road and he was bleeding. This prompted me to report the matter to the police and I was advised to take him first to hospital for treatment. Being the chairman of all the village heads in Ado-Odo, I have the mandate to ensure that there was no breach of peace. Hence, I reported the matter to policemen at the Ado-Odo Police Division, and I was given three policemen to help arrest the culprits

•His brother, Jeremiah

•Late Ogungbe’s father

•The house of the Ogungbes after the victim explained to the police that those who attacked him were youths from Idi Epa. “On our way, we picked up an elderly fellow and also the deceased person, but the deceased man explained that he was sick. When we confirmed the veracity

My husband was a peace-loving farmer. He never engaged in any problem with any one. They just killed him like a fowl, and up till now, his killers are walking freely because they are being protected by powerful individuals in our community and the police

of his excuse, we dropped him at a place called Pakuta, from where he went home on a motorbike. “It was rather strange that the Egun people could be peddling such blatant lie around to smear my image. I was also arrested and detained by the police over this matter at Eleweran, Abeokuta. Upon investigation, the police found me not culpable, hence, I was released.” The family of the deceased, however, said they believed in the sanctity of the rule of law and would do everything possible to get justice over the killing of their member, irrespective of attempts by some people to circumvent justice. The Police Public Relations Officer of Ogun Police Command,Mr.Muyiwa Adejobi could not however confirm the story when our correspondent called him on the telephone. He said:” I cannot confirm the extent of investigation into the matter because I am out of town on assignment”.



Ibadan flood: ‘How 16-yr-old twins fled from snake on tree top and jumped into death’ The flood that hit the city of Ibadan on August 26 cannot be forgotten in a hurry in view of the multiple deaths and destruction of property and infrastructure on its trail. The Chairman of Oluyole Local Government, the council that was badly affected by the flood, Hon. Ayodeji Abass-Aleshinloye, in this interview with BISI OLADELE, narrated an eye-witness experience detailing how corpses were scooped from the river and how several victims were rescued by an ingenuous innovation. He recalls the sad story of a set of twins who climbed a tree to escape the flood opted to try their luck in the flood as a way of escape from a threatening big snake on the tree where they sought refuge.


UGUST 26 stands as a day to remember in your local government, especially in Odo Ona Elewe area. Can you share with us how it all happened and what your experience was? In the early hours of that Saturday, I was sleeping when I received a call around 1:00 am calling for attention that people had been trapped and you know that people hold vigil on Fridays. I received a call from a nearby church that they had been trapped in flood. I also received calls from community leaders here and there. So I could not sleep again. I woke up with some of our people and when I was about crossing the bridge, the level of the water was so high. There was no way we could cross at Odo Ona Elewe brigde. I also saw a lot of vehicles that were parked at that small brigde because of the water level among whose was the Chief of Staff to the Ekiti State Government who also pitied us. That was why I had to call the fire service men but when they came, there was nothing they could do. So they gave us advice on what to do. They told us to start announcing to people on the safety measures to be taken. We started announcing to people through the small megaphone which was arranged for me by my people that if you are in a story building, please move up stairs and those that are staying in bungalow should stay at the top of their ceilings. That was how we were able to announce to a lot of people over there. When they came out in the morning around 6:00 everywhere was like an ocean. You just see only the roof of the house without seeing its main body. There was a particular church I noticed that was completely submerged by water while those who are still surviving held on to the remaining wall of their houses with one hand. Some climbed trees. Although the state government promised to render help but I thought that before their arrival, those people inside would have been swept away by the flood. So I called on volunteers who know how to swim to get out people that had been trapped inside the water. There was one boy that first came out to volunteer. He is from Bayelsa State. I asked him if he could swim very well and he answered in the affirmative. The moment he jumped into the water, more volunteers followed him. Among them were two policemen who jumped into the water with their uniform on and went to tie ropes for them to cross the water. That was how we started the rescue operation and that was the only thing we could do in our own way. How many victims were you able to rescue through that operation? With that operation, we were able to rescue 50 people. We bought tyre tubes which we threw to them for the victims to hold on to so as to control the water from sweeping them away. How many people actually went into the water for the rescue operation? There were about 12 of them but only two of them first started and three of them were policemen. The operation started about 7:00 am and later the wife of the governor with some state officials joined us in the rescue operation. She saw the way we were doing the rescue operation but


unfortunately we brought out nine corpses from the water. There was also the pathetic story of a set of twins who came for a vigil at that church that was submerged. Two of them climbed the fence of the church and later climbed the top of the tree and saw a snake which began to threaten them. Out of fear, they jumped into the water and were swept away by the flood. There was another woman that was found dead on top of that tree due to shock but we were able to rescue one woman on the top of the tree. Did you see the twins and how old were they? I saw them and I think they were about 16 years old. We continued the operation the second day. That was when we started discovering some corpses inside the water and we discovered that the snake was still on top of that tree and we were able to kill it through the help of hunters. There were more than 70 houses that were affected and lots of cars destroyed. What volume of infrastructure were destroyed apart from houses? In Oluyole Local Government alone we have about six bridges that collapsed totally. They are the bridges linking different communities. Let us take Odo Ona Elewe as an example. There is one linking Odo Ona Elewe to Liberty,

Academy and other areas. It was swept away while the second bridge is on the road that was commissioned by the president last year. You will see that the other side of that bridge is now bad and you will see that there is more pressure on that bridge now and it is not that strong again. If you also go to Ayegun towards Olomi side, you will see that the road has been totally cut off. The other side of the village has been totally cut off from the area now but I can assure you that some Chinese contractors are around to build us a temporary bridge through the help of the state government and the council and they have assured us that people will be able to cross. Is it going to be a temporary bridge? Yes I think it is like a temporary bridge but vehicles can still use it. Like how many people died in your local government during the flood? We have recorded about 25 people so far and as I am talking to you, there are several people missing and we have not seen them but the worst part of it is that although many people died, you will pity those that are still living when you see them because they don’t have anything again. There is a camp that we actually opened that will take care of people in conjunction with the community and we are doing it with the landlords association so that the wrong

people won’t get hold of these relief materials. So we agree with the landlord associations that these people said they don’t want to stay in the camp; so they come daily to collect their relief materials such as mattresses, blankets, food stuffs and others. Even the wife of the governor was with us again for the second time yesterday to donate another set of relief materials, SEMA, NEMA, Senator Ayo Adeseun, Chief Jumoke Akinjide and a lot of other different organisations have been very helpful to us by donating to people. Apart from the relief materials that were donated by the landlords association and other organisations, what did your local government donate to the victims? We donated a lot of food stuffs for them and we have started grading a lot of other roads that can link different villages because some of these bridges are so large that the local government cannot afford to repair them but I am happy with the State Government’s intervention to reconstruct the bridges and I have instructed the Director of Works in this local government to ensure that all roads are graded for people to be able to pass and reach their houses before the bridge is put in place. How did you feel as the number one citizen in this local government when you were called that all these things were happening in your local government? Were you overwhelmed? Yes. You got it. First of all I said, ‘Why this time?’ My wife also asked me where I was going at that time of the night but I told her people were dying and she said, ‘Sorry. What are you going to do now?’ I told her that as the Chief Security Officer of the local government I have to go out and all my programmes for the upper week were disorganised. Oluyole Local Government is made up of rural and urban areas. So I have been studying what each area needed and promised that I would deliver it to them during my administration. For example Ayegun community will tell you they don’t have potable water while Orita Challenge will tell you that they lack good roads. So you have to collate all information and see how you can go by it and we just gathered all the information about different communities and was thinking to start the execution of the projects and instead of doing your programmes you have to manage crisis. But you cannot do without crises and what makes you a man is how you can solve the crises and how you can manage them. The reality dawned on me and I was everywhere and did not leave anything for anybody to do for me. I felt so bad myself seeing my fellow human beings in distress. What impact do you think the crisis will have on your council? It is a temporary situation but as time goes on we will pick up. We are already getting over it and we are thinking of starting our programmes that have been mapped out such as cleaning and infrastructural development of the local government area. We have compelled the big companies in our council to engage themselves in various corporate social responsibility programmes. I commissioned a borehole at Obanla community. It is in tandem with my administration to partner with corporate organisations for the development of this local government.



‘Why I chopped my aunt’s head’ F

Since Governor Peter Obi made more equipment available to the police in Anambra State, there had been a remarkable reduction in crime. Kidnapping and armed robbery, two major crimes that had held the state by the jugular became rare occurrences. But on September 5, 2011, a 21-year-old man, Chidiebere Nwana disrupted the equation by chopping off his aunt’s head. The ugly incident, which occurred at Umueze, an otherwise serene community in Amawbia, Awka South Local Government Area, has since caused serious tension not just in the area but the entire state. Already, the suspect has been arrested while the spokesman of the Anambra State Police Command, Emeka Chukwuemeka, vowed that the suspect would be charged to court as soon as practicable. Umueze had not only cut off the his aunt’s head, he was also alleged to have dumped the remaining part of her body in the cesspit of an uncompleted building, while he buried the head in a bush. Nwanna, a school leaver awaiting the result of his Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), told The Nation that he was a welding apprentice in Amawbia near Awka, the capital of Anambra State. He confessed to the crime in a chat with our correspondent, blaming it on the devil. He said he killed his father’s younger sister, Mrs. Margaret Nwana, because she was always accusing him of smoking Indian hemp. He recalled that the deceased had before the incident reported him to the vigilance group in the community, which he said, investigated the matter and absolved him

Nwanosike ONU, Awka of the crime. He said: “She (Margaret) was always accusing me of staying out late every day and smoking Indian hemp. The woman was a thorn in my flesh. She also reported me to the vigilance group in our area and they adjudicated in the case between us at the town hall. “When I had a problem with my brother, Chuma, on Thursday last week and we fought, the woman came to separate us and accused me of taking her broom. “At that point, I got annoyed and planned to eliminate her. So, while she was washing her clothes around 8 pm, I went to her and beheaded her. “But before I did it, I made sure that my mother, brother and sister were not around. They had gone to visit one of our brothers. “After beheading her, I put her body in this plastic and dumped in a soak away, while I took the head and buried it separately.” Nwana, who said he had his secondary education at Nawfia Comprehensive Secondary School, could not express himself properly in English. Some family sources, who spoke to The Nation in confidence, said the suspect’s mother had been married to the brother of the deceased before now. It was also gathered that the suspect’s mother, after having a child for the deceased’s brother, left him and remarried to have the suspect, a daughter and another son. The woman, returned to the house of her original husband afterwards, but she and the children she returned with never

I got annoyed and planned to eliminate her. So, while she was washing her clothes around 8 pm, I went to her and beheaded her

made up with her sister-in-law (the deceased), The Nation gathered. Sources who pleaded anonymity, told The Nation that there was no love lost between the deceased and the family of the prime suspect. Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer of the Anambra State Police Command, Emeka Chukwuemeka, described the incident as crude and unfortunate. He said it was reported to the command as a case of missing person by one Raphael Nwana on September 3, 2011. The police, he said, went into action immediately. Chukwuemeka, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), said that residents of the area initially thought that the woman had gone out to do some work. He said: “When the matter was reported, nobody knew her whereabouts. We then summoned the mother of the suspect, Virginia Nwana; his younger brother, Chuma and his sister, Chioma. “We took them to the compound and we saw a bamboo stick with bloodstains near her room. We started asking questions.

Others like his mother and sister ran away. When they (mother and sister) came back and saw the bloodstains, they too started asking the suspect questions, but he told them he did not know. “At that point, we took them to the station and straight to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Awka Central Police Station. At this stage, the suspect ordered everybody out of the office, except the DPO himself. Then, he confessed that he killed the deceased. He also admitted that he buried the woman around Maryland at Amawbia. “Around 5 am the following day, he decided to take us to the place to show us the spot. But if we had not arrested him, he would have been lynched by angry people in the village.” He said the command would do everything possible to ensure that every criminal in Anambra State was brought to book and face the full wrath of the law. He said: “We have taken it upon ourselves in this state command to rid the state of bad eggs. We are not going to renege on that promise,” he said.



OLICE and security agencies in Edo State appear to be in a quagmire over the spate of kidnappings in the state the penultimate week. Unlike in previous cases of abduction, kidnappers are leaving deaths in their trail and security agencies appear clueless about their whereabouts. Those that were kidnapped within the week in question included the Chairman of Tomline Company, Elder Tes Soare; the Provost of the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, Prof. Julius Obahayuijie and popular Benin-based musician, Omoregbe Okpeyen, popularly known as Bayo Ade. Elder Soare was abducted in front of his house while returning from church. His abductors killed his wife, Bridget, his two orderlies and driver, while his two daughters were injured in the attack. Prof. Obahayuijie was abducted six days later at Ewohinmi, Esan South East Local Government Area while attending a wedding ceremony. He was yet to be released at press time, as his abductors had demanded a ransom of N10m. The outcry that greeted the abduction of Prof. Obahayuijie was deemed by the abduction and killing of Bayo Ade the following day. Bayo Ade was until his death the first son and breadwinner of his family. He was said to have chosen music as a career when his parents could not afford to send him to school. His greatest musical hits was “Amebor, they go tire”. He was kidnapped in the morning of penultimate Sunday at James Watt junction by Lagos Street in Benin City by six armed men, while his band was already set at the residence of Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin, where he was scheduled to perform at Igbinedion’s prebirthday celebration. Narrating the circumstances surrounding his abduction to journalists, his younger brother and manager, Etchie Peter (Jnr), said his brother was shot in both legs and his hands were tied to his back. Recalling what happened, he said he had visited his late brother who gave him money to buy diesel and fuel for their show at Igbinedion’s residence. Amid sobs, he said: “It was while I was going that I told that Bayo Ade had been kidnapped. The kidnappers called me with his phone and demanded for N10m. We told them we didn’t have such money and reminded them that it was on a Sunday. We later told them that we could raise N500,000. “They didn’t call for some time. In the night, they called that we should bring the money to Textile Mill Road. We went there and they directed us to Federal Road by Okhoro junction, close to the cemetery. “We went there and they told us to switch on our car headlight. After some time, they called and threatened to kill us if policemen were with us. Suddenly, they started shooting and asked one of us to bring out the money. They asked us to go and that we should call them in 10 minutes time. “I called after 10 minutes and they said I should call again. Later, they switched off the phone. They called again and told us to go to Ewah Road by Ikpoba Slope, and that we should hurry, that my brother had been shot. I went there and opened the vehicle but I didn’t see my brother. I opened the booth and discovered that my brother was dead.” Bayo Ade’s body was later deposited at the Central Hospital mortuary. On his part, Elder Soare promised to launch what he termed an unemployment foundation to help


Edo’s week of terror •Kidnappers shoot musician dead after collecting N.5m ransom, abduct another businessman and gang-rape 18-year-old girl after luring her with blackberry and laptop • We’ll rise to the challenge —Police boss

•The suspects paraded by SSS

•Other suspects paraded by SSS

Osagie OTABOR, Benin check crime in the state. Speaking to journalists after he was released, Elder Soare said no wealthy man could live in a peaceful society when other people around him are poor. His words: “Nobody is born a criminal. A hungry man is an angry man. Nobody is born a killer. It is situations that cause it. If we should fight against unemployment and corruption, then we will forge ahead. We should do everything possible to create job opportunities for our young school leavers. The only way we can end this rot, this problem, this unprecedented situation is to

provide jobs for our young ones. When that is done, 90 per cent of the problem will be solved. “In my own case, whatever I have as property, I will be able to sacrifice some to make a contribution, because I want us to establish an unemployment foundation which every reasonable Nigerian should contribute to, because when you are wealthy and every other person around you is not wealthy and has nothing to eat, you hardly could live in a peaceful society.” Elder Soare, who described his late wife as a childhood friend and companion, said evangelism had become his greatest challenge. He said: “I can’t really say what happened. The attack was not ex-

Late Bayo Ade pected. There were about five or six attackers. I couldn’t know what was happening because I was blindfolded and my hands were tied. I was not seeing anybody. What gave me strength was God. My prayers were that I

should not die until I had finished the work of God. My challenge now is evangelism. I have spoken to the state government and other groups on the need to reduce the rate of unemployment. “I am a child of God. I have already spoken to my God because he is my redeemer. I am here because of Him. If it had happened according to the enemy’s wish, you wouldn’t have come to interview me. I now know I am an ambassador of God. The only thing I will beg for is that children should respect their parents. God created us for a purpose. The moment you know why you were created, you will excel.” Reacting to the kidnappings, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, David Omojola, said security would be tightened in the state. He said more policemen would be deployed in the streets to take the battle to kidnappers. He expressed optimism that the command would overcome the challenge posed by the spate of recent kidnappings. Omojola said: “We see whatever is happening as a challenge. We will make sure that the perpetrators of the killings are brought to book. There will be increased police presence in the state. “We will carry this battle outside Benin City. The confidence repose in the police will be re-asserted. This challenge will not dampen our resolve to fight crime.” On his part, the Edo State Director of State Security Services (SSS) Bakori Bello-Tukur, said they are usually handicapped by the decision of victim’s families to pay ransom without informing the service. According to him, “Before we start working with the concerned families, we usually hear that they have paid the ransom. The families do not report until the situation has degenerated to a critical point. In the end, they pay without discussing with us. “There is no kidnapping without the knowledge of an insider, and we need all the necessary information to kick kidnappers out of this state.” The SSS, however, paraded three persons, John Kingsley, Frank Ikhine and Ehibogy Ogorchukwu who kidnapped and raped an 18-year old victim. The victim (name withheld) was abducted in Benin City and taken to Asaba where they raped her repeatedly and demanded a ransom of N7m from her family. Narrating how she was abducted, one of her abductors, John Kingsley, said one Uche (now at large) asked her for a date. During their discussion, she demanded for a blackberry phone and a laptop, which Uche promised to provide. Kingsley said Uche requested their victim to accompany him to where they would purchase the items. That was when they abducted her and took her to Asaba.



•Ekechi on hospital bed

Family seeks justice over breadwinner allegedly ordered shot by his ‘former boss T

HE family of Mr. Simeon Ekechi, a native of Efiom in Ohukwu Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, is seeking justice after the former employer of their breadwinner allegedly ordered a security man to shoot him dead. Luckily for Ekechi, the security man allegedly assigned to do the job only succeeded in shattering his right leg with his pump action riffle. The incident, it was gathered triggered a series of protests by passersby and lorry drivers until the Onitsha Police Area Commander, Mr. Larry Osita, saved the situation from degenerating further. According to eyewitnesses, the victim, a father of three, was formerly under the employ of a man simply known as Nkwubuego as a lorry driver until they parted ways. Trouble was said to have started when Ekechi went to the harbour by Atani Road to see some of his former colleagues for financial assistance. Eyewitnesses said as Ekechi was leaving the area after collecting some money from friends, he ran into Nkwubuego who engaged his former employee in an altercation. It was gathered that in the ensuing verbal exchange, Nkwubuego called one of his personal security men on the phone and ordered him to shoot Ekechi. The security man, it was learnt, obeyed the order of his pay master and shot Simeon on the right leg. In the ensuing protest, both Nkwubuego and the errant security man vanished and were nowhere to be found. But for the prompt intervention of the Onitsha Police Area Command, the entire company would have been set ablaze by an angry mob. A younger brother to the victim, Mr. Joseph Ekechi, in an exclusive interview with The Nation, said the family was particularly concerned about what the man who ordered

Ekechi’s response was said to have infuriated his former boss, who slapped him, triggering an altercation between them... He then allegedly called his security men on the phone and ordered one of them to shoot Ekechi

Adimike GEORGE, Onitsha

the shooting of their breadwinner allegedly said before he ordered the shooting. Joseph alleged that Nkwubuego told his brother that nothing would happen if he killed him and that only money would be spent. He also expressed worries that what the errant businessman bragged about was coming to fruition, as no concrete effort was being made by the State Police Command to

prosecute him or even establish contacts with his brother who had since lay critically injured in a hospital within the city. Joseph recalled that penultimate Saturday, he got a call from some people who told him on the phone that his brother had been shot around Atani Road. When he arrived the scene of the incident, the whole place was deserted and he could not find his brother. Hence, he decided to contact the nearby Okpoko Police Division. He said policemen at the station did not help matters as they did not know the hospital his brother was rushed to. He said he had to use his initiative to trace his brother with help from other relations. Joseph told The Nation that when he finally got to the Multi-Care Specialist Hospital where his brother was rushed to, it was already past 8 pm, adding that the matter was made worse when he saw the unconscious body of his brother and was overwhelmed by emotion. He noted that around 3 am the following day, they had to rush the victim to Awka Road with a motorbike to get some blood for him, because the doctors battling to save his life said he had run short of blood. He said the entire family was overjoyed when Ekechi regained consciousness the following day, adding that it was then that the victim narrated his ordeal. “He told me that somebody called him on the phone from that area. After seeing the person, he went searching for a job as his former boss had sacked him. It was in the process that his former boss, who also has an office around the area, saw him, reversed his car and asked him what he was doing in the area after he had been asked never to come around the area,” Joseph narrated.

•Ekechi before the attack

Joseph said his brother told his former boss that the place in question belonged to the Federal Government and that as a Nigerian

citizen, he was free to move around, adding that the only place he would not enter was the former boss’s company. Ekechi’s response was said to have infuriated his former boss, who slapped him, triggering an altercation between them. It was at that instance, according to Joseph, that Nwubuego remarked that nothing would happen if he killed the victim. He then allegedly called his security men on the phone and ordered one of them to shoot Ekechi. Joseph noted that the shooting of his brother came three months after the death of their father. He said he thanked God that the person who shot at his brother only got his leg, as it would have been another tragedy for the family if he had died. Speaking with The Nation from his hospital bed, Ekechi said the quarrel between him and his former boss was already in court, adding that the matter was supposed to have come up on September 2 for hearing after the first adjournment before he was shot on August 27, 2011. He said he was driving one of the man’s lorries before it got spoilt, adding that in the process of repairing the vehicle, his father died. When he came back from the funeral of his father and discovered that his former boss was not keen on repairing the vehicle, he opted out of his service after settling with him and even refunding him some money meant for gas before the vehicle spoilt. He said his resignation did not go down well with his former boss, who he said had been terrorising him with the police. He added that the court action was as a result of the constant intimidation he experienced from his former boss who wanted him never to go near the area. The victim, who was writhing in pains, said the most annoying part of the matter was that there was no remorse from his former boss. “If he had any human nature in him, he would have sent a representative to come and see me or my family members,” he said. He also said the police had not shown any concern. So far, he said, they had spent more N200,000 on medical expenses, excluding the inconveniences. Nkwubuego could not be reached for comment at press time. A meeting which one of his aides scheduled with reporters on Wednesday also did not hold. But the spokesman of the Anambra State Police Command, Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka, said the matter was under investigation. He said nobody was above the law, adding that anyone found guilty in the matter would face the full weight of the law. Meanwhile, the Campaign for Democracy (CD) has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, demanding full investigation. It also alleged a plot by the police to alter the statements earlier made by the suspects. In the said petition, the Southeast Chairman of CD, Uzor A. Uzor, demanded that the Divisional Police Officer of Okpoko Division and other top officers who refused to arrest or interrogate the suspects be sanctioned. The group also wants Ringim to compel Nkwubuego to bear all the expenses incurred by the victim after paying him compensation. The petition reads in part: “CD calls on your exalted public office to leave no stone unturned at ensuring that the attempted murderers of Citizen Simeon Ekechi are brought to justice as a matter of utmost immediacy. We also call on you to disband all illegally armed groups and persons in the state, especially those working in private companies and markets in Anambra State.”



Row over mysterious death of 45-year-old Nigerian buried secretly by her Beninoise husband •Why I did it, by hubby T

HE circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a 45-year-old woman, Kabirat Bamgbose, has thrown her family into confusion. It was gathered the deceased woman had two children from a previous marriage before she got married to one Gomugomu, a resident of Ajah in Benin Republic. But trouble started when Gomugomu’s senior wife started making trouble with her for unknown reasons while her husband was allegedly indifferent to their acrimonious relationship. The situation was said to have taken another turn about six months ago when Kabirat lost her sight after taking water from a pot to wash her face. While many had expected her husband to seek medical assistance that would help in restoring her sight, her husband was said to have returned her to her family house. The development was said to have angered Kabirat’s family members, who queried Gomugomu’s action and ordered him to return their daughter to his residence because she was hale and hearty when she left her former husband to marry him. As it turned out, Kabirat died a few weeks later, suspectedly from food poisoning. Gomugomu was said to have buried her remains and even held a burial outing for her without alerting her family. Sharing the story with our correspondent, the deceased’s elder sister, Mrs. Rushidat Bamgbose, said: “We received the news of her death with shock because we didn’t even know she was dead until a friend of the family told us that our daughter had died about four months earlier and that her husband had buried her and even held a party without telling us. “About six months ago, her heartless husband brought her to Nigeria and dumped her in our family house in Idi-Iroko, Ogun State. He said he could no longer take care of her because she had lost her sight. But the family insisted that he must take her back because she was hale and hearty when he took her as wife. “From what my sister told us, she was used to taking water from a particular pot. But on a particular day

Kunle AKINRINADE when she took water from the pot to wash her face, she suddenly lost her sight. She told me that she suspected that the water was poisoned. She even told us how her eldest wife had been a pain in her neck and how her husband had been so apathetic to her plight.” It was said that after Kabirat’s husband had reluctantly taken her back to his base in Benin Republic, nothing was heard from the couple until a mutual friend of the two families, who went on a visit to Gomugomu’s base in Benin Republic, broke the news of her death to her family. Angered by the development, Kabirat’s siblings stormed Gomugomu’s residence in Benin Republic with operatives of the International Police (INTERPOL) only to discover that he had escaped. Indeed, no one was found inside the building. “When we prevented him from abandoning my sister after she had lost her sight, he reluctantly took her back to his home country. He subsequently failed to take care of her and even gave out one of Kabirat’s daughters, Silifat’s hand in marriage to a man and collected N150,000 as bride price. We did not hear anything from them again until a few weeks ago when one of Gomugomu’s friends, Andrew, told us that my sister had died for about four months and that her husband had since buried her without our knowledge. “We even learnt that her husband was boasting that there was nothing we could do to him when Andrew queried him for burying her without informing us. “ When we got to his Benin Republic residence with some men from the INTERPOL, he had parked out of his house with his other wife and children. But from what we gathered from neighbours, my sister’s death is suspect because her husband was said to have started living a life of affluence shortly after my sister died. We learnt from a reliable source that she was poisoned. “Now, we can’t find where my sister was buried by her callous husband. Even when we called him on the

We received the news of her death with shock because we didn’t even know she was dead until a friend of the family told us that our daughter had died about four months earlier and that her husband had buried her and even held a party without telling us


telephone, he said the story was true and boasted that there was nothing we could to him about it.” A source in the family explained that the deceased was counselled against quitting her first marriage but she stood her ground, saying she was through with the marriage. “She met her first husband when they were in secondary school together and she became pregnant for him. After their education, they both settled down in marriage and had three children, but only two survived. Although the two of them were always quarreling, that is not unusual in marriage. Some of us persuaded her not to leave her first husband, but she insisted that she was leaving in order to avert trouble and there was nothing anyone could do to further dissuade her from leaving. “She later started an affair with Gomugomu. Before we knew it, she became pregnant and left for his hometown in Benin Republic where she later complained that Gomugomu’s elder wife was making a lot of trouble with her for daring to marry her husband.

•The late Kabirat

“It is rather unfortunate she died in strange circumstances and was buried by her husband without the knowledge of her family members. We don’t even know where she was buried, as Gomugomu had bolted away before we arrived at their Benin Republic home. “We will, however, not relent in our effort to apprehend her husband. He has to face the music for the complicity in the death of our daughter and her secret burial, which is an abomination in Yorubaland.” Responding on the telephone, the deceased’s hus-

band, however, explained that he sent a message through an emissary to the family of his late wife. But he said the emissary did not deliver his message before burying his late wife. “It is unfortunate that the person I sent to break the news of my wife’s death to her family members did not deliver my message before her interment.I knew it was wrong for me to have buried her without the consent of her family but there was nothing I could do because the family turned their back on me when I took my late wife to stay in her family

house shortly after she lost her sight. “She had five children for me and we stayed together for about 20 years as couple without rancour and it is not true that I ran away from home shortly after burying her. “At the moment, I am still observing the seven-month seclusion as demanded by our tradition. I did not kill her as being speculated. She took ill shortly after she lost her sight and she was stooling frequently and the sickness defied all solutions, leading to her death”.





Jos: What a city, Ahmodu Bello Way, Jos, in the day time

what a life



Jos: Changing l

•Plateau State Cultural Troupe drummers


FTER a decade of continuous violence, residents of Jos, the beleaguered capital of Plateau State, appear to have developed thick skin against violence. For most of the residents, violence has become more or less a normal life experience. In the present setting, life amounts to nothing in Jos. Contrary to the respect that human life usually commands, taking it now appears the easiest thing to do in a city once regarded as one of the most peaceful in the country. Here, innocent souls are wasted and the culprits celebrate the horrible deed. Violent attacks are unleashed on hapless men, women and children without the slightest remorse. The goings on in the state reminds one of the pre-colonial period when emperors like Chaka De Zulu, Mai Idris Alooma, Mai Ali Ghazi, Samori Ibn Lafia Toure, Mansa Kakan Musa, Sonni Ali and Muhammed Askia unleashed their armies on rival kingdoms and killed for fame, honour and pride. Right now, the saying that necessity is the mother of invention is playing out in Jos, as people are fast developing immunity to threats and violence. Gone seem the days when people pack their belongings and begin to flee as soon as crises erupt, returning only when normalcy had been restored. No one flees anymore. People simply device ways of hybernating until the dust settles. For instance, if someone who lives at


Bukuru part of the city has something to do at Terminus, he will first make calls to friends at the point of destination to find out if the area is safe. In the same vein, a resident who stays at Gadabiu or Tudun Wada would seek clearance before going to Faringada for business. Those at Bauchi Road would make similar inquiries before going to Dadin-Kowa for business. This is because it is not uncommon to discover that while your immediate environment is peaceful, another part of the city is on fire. Hence, the common practice now is to make calls to people at your point of destination before venturing out of your home. Failing to do that will amount to taking a big risk, because one could be trapped in the middle of violence. The prevailing situation has made Jos one of the cities where GSM enjoys the most patronage in Nigeria. The managements of banks in the city no longer open for business until they are sure that their workers are safe to go to work from their various homes. In exchanging pleasantries in Jos these days, the first thing you ask is whether the other person slept well the previous night. This is because the state is governed by war and rumours of war, which cause sleepless nights among residents, except a few who live in government quarters.

•Heads of security agencies, SSS director, STF commander and police commissioner puting heads together over Jos

There is always mutual fear as one group perpetually claims to have seen enough signs to believe that it would be attacked by the other. This situation of mutual suspicion keeps everyone awake throughout the night. It makes little diiference when an announcement is made lifting the curfew that is imposed on the city from time to time, because in the absence of official curfew, there is always the selfimposed one whereby no one is willing to risk remaining outside beyond 7

pm. Voluntarily, residents have given up on night life. Those who must hang out would rather select the closest spots to their homes. Going to popular relaxation spots like Avis, West of Mines, Obalande Square and Polo would now be seen by many as an invitation to suicide. Religious activities in the state capital are virtually paralysed. Any crusade that will drag beyond 6 pm will most likely not attract a worthwhile



g life of a city

•K-Rock, one of the prefared places to be at night in Jos before the crisis

congregation. These days, religious activities are performed in churches and mosques under tight security because rumour is always flying around that one group is planning to attack the other. Thus, the fear of the unknown has taken a serious toll on worship in the state. In mosques and churches, services are conducted under serious tension. One group is always targeting the gathering of rival groups to strike, but no group is willing to provide the other with such an opportunity. Before services commence in churches and mosques, security agents would use their anti-bomb squads to sniff the venue. The city has witnessed bloody Christmas and bloody Sallah, bloody Sundays and bloody Fridays in spite of the heavy security network. No one leaves his personal security to the security agencies anymore. The security agencies are generally believed not to have proven that they are in the state to save lives and property. The usual saying that “people should go about their normal businesses without fear” is no longer taken seriously by residents. Unfortunately, the security agents deployed in the state to maintain peace are believed to be polarised along ethnic and religious lines, and this is believed to be affecting their performance. People now take charge of their individual security by keeping vigil at

It makes little diiference when an announcement is made lifting the curfew that is imposed on the city from time to time... no one is willing to risk remaining outside beyond 7 pm

night. A new lexicon has been introduced to the exchange of pleasantries in the city. People now ask, “Yaya angwauan nku (How is your area)? The foregoing notwithstanding, businesses still thrive in Jos in spite of the tension under which everyone operates daily. People have simply adjusted to the new lifestyle. As soon as a businessman or woman ascertains that the city is safe, especially in the areas where they intend to transact business, they move out, quickly round off the transactions and return

•Fish sellers at BTO Tervan West of Mines, Jos, only sell in the day time

home. The congestion occasioned by human and vehicular traffic in the day contrasts sharply with night life. The city literally shuts down at 7 pm. By 8.30 pm, there is every likelihood that only security agents will be seen on the streets. The city is now the haven of “responsible men and women”, as those who used to stay outside late, using pressure of work as an excuse, now return home early to the embrace of family members.

Life in Jos has been redefined. There is no more business at night, be it social, economic, religious or political. Men and women who once lied to their spouses that they had a programme, night duty, political meeting, crusade or vigil are now born again family men and women. Men who were never seen at home until 11pm now return home as early as 7pm. In spite of the tension that accompanies life in Jos, more women can now lay full claim to themselves. Talk about silver lining behind a cloud.



Day Jonathan, Fashola, others brainstormed over corruption in the allure of EFCC's training centre


HE eighth national seminar on economic crimes hosted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently was not only significant for its brainstorming session but also for the transformation the EFCC Training Institute has undergone since Mrs. Farida Waziri became the organisation’s chairman. First to speak on the strategy for tackling corruption was President Goodluck Jonathan, who vowed not to protect any sacred cows. Represented by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, the President advised the EFCC to work fairly and firmly within the ambit of the law. He also asked the Judiciary to sit up if Nigeria is to win the war against corruption. Jonathan said: “This administration has identified corruption as the major constraint to development. It has become more so under the current economic and security challenges facing the nation. That explains the location of the anti-corruption programme as the central focus of the Federal Government transformation agenda. “It is in this regard that Mr. President promptly signed into law the 2011 money laundering prohibition Act and the Evidence Amendment Act, 2011 with a view to complementing the provision of the EFCC and the ICPC Acts and ensure expeditious treatment of cases. “The government is equally aware that the passage of laws is a first step. It would therefore give necessary support and encouragement to the anti-corruption agencies to vigorously enforce anti-corruption laws. On her part, Waziri said Nigeria may need to adopt unorthodox methods to win the war against graft. She said: “Mr. President, the EFCC has recorded commendable results in the last seven years. With assets of over $11 billion recovered and over 650 convictions. With assets of over $11 recovered and over 650 convictions to her credit, the commission is poised to do much more. “The sophistication, complexity and variegated nature of the problem demand much more radical, drastic and unorthodox approaches. “Our society seemed to have been complacent and tolerant of corruption for too long. As the saying goes “the accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference.” “Under these circumstances, traditional approaches in solving the problem would not work. Enactment of requisite laws is just the first step. There must be an enabling environment for the efficient implementation of those laws. “Many human rights activists are quick to plead human rights for suspects of corruption who frustrate the legal process for their trial. But they overlook superior corresponding human rights of millions of victims of corruption in the country. “Justice in a corruption case demands that the trial should be expeditiously pursued and completed and appropriate punishment meted where necessary. While the rights of the suspect need protection; the huge stolen assets from the public treasury at issue which have denied education, health care and other infrastructure to millions of Nigerians some of who may have died equally require urgent determination and restitution. “This forum must therefore consider and recommend a more practical approach for the courts to determine corruption cases in an expeditious manner that not only instill public confidence in the justice system but also prevent the enjoyment of assets associated with corruption indictment while the trial last.” In her keynote address, the President of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, said:

•The training centre

Yusuf ALI, Managing Editor, Northern Operation “We know corruption constitutes a major impediment to national development; it weakens transparency and justice. The system must work effectively if we are to win the war against corruption. “The punishment of our corruption cases leaves much to be desired.” She also recommended Liberian example where anti-graft commissions do not need to defer to the Ministry of Justice to prosecute corruption cases. She said: “In our case, I submitted a bill about two weeks ago to amend the Act of Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission to enable it to have direct but non-exclusive prosecutorial powers. It will no longer be under the Ministry of Justice where a case can be delayed for three months.” On his part, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said: “The government should address circumstances that predispose people to crimes. “We should reduce the desperate conditions which compel some people to crimes to the barest minimum. This will give the government a very high moral ground to fight corruption.” In his address, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) said he is not at loggerheads with the EFCC. He said: “I wish to assure our distinguished invited guests and participants that the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation is not at loggerheads with the EFCC or indeed any other anti-corruption agency. “Corrupt persons will no doubt rejoice at such a prospect, but let me assure you that “the prospect of a house divided against itself” will not come to pass while I occupy the exalted Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation. “We are partners in the prosecution of the war against corruption, money laundering and terrorism. In this regard, I will continue to give all anti-corruption agencies the needed support and cooperation to succeed in the discharge of their statutory mandate. “I will however insist on exercising my oversight functions and provide guidance to all our prosecutorial agencies to ensure that their operations are conducted within the ambit of the rule of law.” At the end of the seminar, anti-corruption stakeholders demanded the establishment of special courts to speed up the trial of those involved in financial crimes.

They also asked the National Assembly to revisit the Assets Forfeiture Bill which they had dumped. But the attractive state of the institute attracted no less attention than the seminar itself. When Mrs. Farida Waziri was announced as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2008, her image presented to the public by her traducers was that of a jeweller of the bigwigs in the society, especially the military class. They alleged she could not make an impact on the anti-corruption crusade. But Mrs. Waziri’s antagonists shielded many things from the public including her hardworking culture; perseverance, diligence, and excellence, which made her to rise through the ranks from being a Police Constable to an Assistant Inspector -General of Police; and her hidden but deep intellectual depth. Armed with a school certificate, Waziri toiled day and night, even as other rank in the police, to bag a degree in Law from the University of Lagos and two Master’s degrees from the Lagos State University (Law) and the University of Ibadan (Strategic Studies). With two books to her credit, Mrs. Waziri has brought her intellectual asset to bear on the fortunes of the EFCC such that over 700 employees out of 1,700, has gone for one training or the other abroad. Waziri’s commitment to training is now more evident in the manner in which she has upgraded the EFCC Training Institute in Karu, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Although she inherited the TRI from her equally hardworking and a globally acclaimed corruption fighter, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the quality of intellectual training at the Institute under Mrs. Waziri has attracted collaboration from the FBI, the German Police and the French Police that had organised world class sessions. The Director of the TRI, Dr. David Wodi Tukura last year said within the five years of the institute it had placed a total of 341 men and women on the battlefield of the anti-corruption war. He said: “A total of 199 cadets made up of intermediate and senior officers passed out alone in 2010 out of the figure.” The serene atmosphere and the ambience of the TRI dazed many participants during the 8th national seminar. A top source in EFCC captured the

•Mrs. Waziri

strides recorded by Mrs. Waziri as follows: “From a one-structure building in 2008 to a mini-city, the TRI is now the toast of many public and private institutions, many of whom lack the facilities and environment. “Facilities at the training institute comprise an ultra-modern auditorium and two new hostels, one of which is an executive hostel. Others are a modern water works with a borehole, raw water tank; water treatment facilities and an overhead tank. “These are in addition to two ultra-modern security house; an ultra-modern canteen that can accommodate more than two hundred guests at a time; a new man gate house; a new holding room; two sets of 350KVA generator; a new dedicated transformer and a basketball court. “The institute also has a serene environment with impressive landscaping and interlocking beauty. Some of these facilities were newly commissioned by VicePresident Mohammed Sambo who stood in for President Goodluck Jonathan at the opening session of the seminar on Monday.” Alhaji Mohammed Babagana, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “I was shocked with the beautiful setting at the TRI because some years ago when I came here, the place was waterlogged.” A top official of Reuters was also caught unawares by the allure of the TRI when he said: “I cannot believe the extent of the transformation of this institute. It is simply amazing because I used to see only a building there before.” Arvinder Sambei-Sanbei, a United Kingdom-based participant at the EFCC seminar could not conceal her enthusiasm at what she called “visible improvements” in the works of the EFCC.








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‘Why I took a break from Nollywood’

--Page 28 & 37





Afro Hollywood Best Entertainment Writer 2009

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

Wrestling the Yoruba to language film sway


am prompted by this story idea, each time the Festival of Indigenous Language Film (FIAF) beats its drums. Not only is this festival which gathers participants in Akure, the Ondo State capital, an annual reminder of our roots, it brings to mind the beauty and elegance that we lose, by literarily putting on the white man's garment. Therefore, in our search for our path of heritage, film medium, through which we have been partly eroded of valuable culture and identity, becomes the next veritable tool for social rebranding. Good enough, the media has been identified as a tool for cultural exportation and international diplomacy. It is therefore pertinent for us to evaluate, among other threats, the UNESCO's prediction which states that 6, 400 out of the 7, 000 languages that exist in the world, might become extinct by the end of the century. FIAF is conscious of this, and like the cultural promoter which I'd like to become someday, I am in total support of this forum which, last year, for example, paraded art and culture icons, film producers, actors, university teachers and government officials; among them, Professor Tunde Babawale, Director General of Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC); Professor Wole Ogundele, Director General of Center for Culture and International Understanding, and Guest Speaker, Professor Gbenga Adeoti of University of Ife. Needless to over-emphasise that the dangers in the purported extinction of indigenous languages could also be a threat to African culture and tradition, for which experts have noted that the captivating potential of the film medium is most appropriate in educating and preserving local languages among children and young adults. But how many Nigerian languages stand to be rescued by this conscious exercise if, for example, out of the three major languages, only two (Yoruba and Hausa) take advantage of the film medium; and out of about 250 tribes, only an insignificant number is found, living up to the language film

I have often heard from literary analysts that Professor Wole Soyinka's romance of the Yoruba tradition coupled with his exploit of African literature and the elevation of same for global consumption via the English language are what put him at the top of his game as a literary writer production? However, producing an indigenous language film is one thing, the culture it promotes is another. While the Hausa film, in spite of its huge market could, in most cases, be said to employ the Indian film style, the Yoruba films have treated subjects of cultural independence with emphasis on deep-rooted traditional beliefs, history, folklores, and family values as a way of preserving the rich cultural heritage, ordinances, norms, oral traditions, lineage praise songs, elders' admonitions, proverbs, and idiomatic expressions to facilitate the linkage of Africans in Diasporas to their roots. We know that 95 per cent, to say the least, of Indian movies

But how many Nigerian languages stand to be rescued by this conscious exercise. Out of the three major languages, only two (Yoruba and Hausa) take advantage of the film medium; and out of about 250 tribes, only an insignificant number is found, living up to the language film production

are in their local dialects. Same can be said of Chinese films but definitely not about Nigeria films. Apart from Kenneth Nnebue's Living in Bondage which came after Alade Aromire's Ekun, and a few earlier films like Gabriel Okoye's Battle of Musanga and Nneka the Pretty Serpent, which gave credence to the emergence of the home-video industry which today is referred to as Nollywood, 100 per cent of production by the Igbo filmmakers is in the English language. With each moment at FIAF, I know better the efficacy of one's mother tongue in communicating a story via the medium of film. I understand better why we watched Indian films with so much interest, even when they are not subtitled. Perhaps we should ask ourselves how effectively one could translate into English, some of the traditions, customs, philosophies, beliefs, religions, rituals, sentiments and socialisations without losing its originality? It became clearer to me, why the lucidity of the actor to chant incantations, or sing folk songs, or render panegyrics is communicated better, through words and expressions in the original language that gives birth to such philosophies. I know better, the interplay among the Yoruba deities, like Ogun (god of iron), Oya (the river goddess), Orunmila (god of wisdom), Sango (god of thunder) and Esu (god of trial) in solving the riddle of human existence from thoughts to actions, to conflicts and resolution. I have often heard from literary analysts that Professor Wole Soyinka's romance of the Yoruba tradition coupled with his exploit of African literature and the elevation of same for global consumption via the English language are what put him at the top of his game as a literary writer. This unique acumen which has won him the Nobel Prize and other recognitions stems from his ability to reflect the traditional milieu in his works. No doubt, Soyinka's strengths lie in imbibing the rich wisdom of the Yoruba ancestry which the western world finds not only interesting but educative.

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SNAPSHOTS Tonto Dikeh’s uncontrollable anger •Threatens to slap Van Vicker



OLLYWOOD star actress Tonto Dikeh has often admitted that she's shortfused. Ignorant of this, Ghollywood actor Van Vicker recently had a dose of the actress' erratic temper during a production by Magic Movie outfit in Enugu. According to the gist from rumour mills, it all started when Tonto Dikeh was asked to step out of the house where the movie was being shot if she had to smoke. Tonto Dikeh obediently stepped out and sat in a somewhat dark corner to smoke and study her script. She then reportedly invited Van Vicker to join her outside so that they could rehearse their scripts together, but Van Vicker refused saying it was dark outside, there

were mosquitoes and he had malaria, and that also Tonto was smoking and the smoke was bad for him because he had cold at that moment. Tonto was not pleased with this and suggested they study their scripts separately from then on. Tonto missed her lines several times the next day, probably because she did not study the script together with Van. So to avert further mistakes, the director advised they study their scripts together but Tonto blatantly refused. Van then asked her again politely that they study their scripts together but then Tonto flared up, shouting the 'F' word repeatedly and threatened to slap him if he ever called her name again. Van, who all this while was calm and watching Tonto throw tantrums, called Tonto Dikeh's name to her face and told her that it would not matter how many times she slapped him, but he was never going to hit her back because he is a man and he does not beat women. The crew members on set who were obviously being entertained gave Van a resounding applause after his last words to Tonto saying he was very mature in handling the situation. When contacted on the situation, Van Vicker had this to say, ”It is normal for tension to run high on location, but if Tonto had hit me 20times I would never have hit her back.”

Candlelight for Sam Loco as Genevieve recounts experience with him


TAR actress, Genevieve Nnaji, briefly came under fire recently when she took to social networking site, twitter, to announce the death of veteran actor, Sam Loco Efe. Shortly after news of his demise leaked, the actress took to the social network to commiserate with his fans and family. Hardly had the dust settled when she came on again to apologize that she had been informed that the man only collapsed, but not dead. She went on to buttress her point by saying she had spoken to family members of the late Sam Loco, who confirmed he was only hospitalized and not dead. The controversy that followed those brief comments left a sour taste in the mouth of the actress However, on Friday September 9, as activities marking the wrap up of the Del York/New York Film Academy went on, space was created for candle lights to burn in honour of the deceased Nollywood veteran. Four Nollywood movers present at the ceremony, Stephanie Okereke, Monalisa Chinda, Emem Isong and Genevieve Nnaji took

turns to extol the virtues of the legend of Nigerian entertainment; however it was Genevieve who, as she puts it, has had her own fair share of twitter and the press, who had the most emotional moment. Amid tears, the screen diva recounts her experience working with the late artiste. The funniest joke she ever heard came from Sam Loco. “I remember shooting a movie with him and he was my father. It was hard keeping a straight face while I was playing a daughter that was being tormented by her father. I remember coming back from set one day and having played my dad and Ada Ameh played my mum. We were coming back in a vehicle and we were about to go past this speed bump. The next thing, because of her size, Sam Loco said to Ada, 'abeg get down make we pass this speed bump first.' That was the most hilarious thing I ever heard.”

Utaka, Enyeama headline French League Pg. 34

Barca set to rebound against Osasuna Pg. 30

Nation Osaze targets more goals

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pg. 34


CAF fixes 2pm kick-off time

Pg. 36






We came, saw, conquered —Nigerian medallists A

DEWALE Adewunmi Deborah, 3 gold medallist. I won gold in the 100m, 200m and 400m for the Paralympics. I’m very very happy and I’m glad I won. I give God all the glory, the Alfa and the Omega of everything, who has helped me to perform very well. Well, the challenges start from the training, if you want to do well, you must train very hard. I’ve been preparing for this competition for the past two years and here it has come and I thank God and give Him all the glory that I made it. Mary Awase, silver 2 bronze medallist I’m a sprinter and won bronze in the 100 and 200m Para athletics. I thank God because this is my first competition and I thank Him that I made it and I believe I’m still going to do more than that. Doreen Amata, gold medallist I won gold medal in High Jump. It feels good to win again, to defend my title. I was looking forward to doing better which I’ve done this year. This year I’ve done a 1.95 and was 8th in the World Championship final, so next step is to do better. I’m going for the Diamond League in few days time. The Diamond is on the 16th of this month and hopefully I can perform well. My personal best is 1.95 which is a National record. I’ve equaled it twice this year. This games is 1.80m

After enduring a slow start at the 10th All Africa Games, Maputo 2011, it was indeed a medal rush for Team Nigeria in this last week of the event, as the country’s representatives put up a better performance that shot the country to the second spot of the Games’ medal table. And as the competition comes to an end tomorrow, many of the athletes are proud of their achievements and could not hide their feelings when they spoke to the duo of AKEEM LAWAL and STELLA BAMAWO in Mozambique. and I think it’s ok. The most important thing is that I won the gold medal. Uhunoma Osazuwa, silver medallist I had a silver medal in high jump. I’m happy and it’s great to win a silver medal for my Nigeria and I’m very happy to have represented my country. I’m also happy to have a medal behind my fellow Nigerian. Though I may have loved to win gold also, but she is more experienced and more talented than I am. All the same it’s great to have ended up winning a silver medal at my first appearance of the All Africa Games. Obinna Metu, gold and bronze madallist I’m so happy because this year I’ve not really done lots of competition to know my ability in the 100m and

200m, but here, it’s a very good start for me. This is the first major championship I’m running this year, I didn’t compete after our national trials because of certain obstruction. At least I got two medals and this will motivate me against next year to prepare very well for the Olympic Games, so I’m very happy. My major goal is to prepare for the Olympics now that I’m done with school. Several years I’ve been suffering, combining education with track, but I’ve graduated and I’m so happy that I’m free from studies so I can concentrate on my track. Adeola Iwajomo, bronze medalllist I won bronze for 500m k2 Double. I’m very happy but we do not have the kind of boats used here in our country. Here, we used new ones and to balance it was not easy but

later we got used to it, though not comfortable and that was why I came third. Had it been we’ve been using that type of boat before, we would have done much better. Lilian Jepheth, silver and bronze medallist I won silver in Slalon and bronze in 200m. I’m very very happy for winning the medals. We were faced with many problems and the first one is the boat we used here which is different from the ones we used back in Nigeria. It was not easy but we had to manage it. I’ll advice the authority to get us the NELO boat so that we can do better later in the future. The athletes we compete with have been training with the boat for so many years, but I just came into the sport in May this year. So I’m very to have won these medals.

Jessica Ohanaja, silver medallist I feel good winning the silver because this is my fourth race and my coach told me to come out here and do the country proud. I did not feel any pressure because I knew it will be between me and my team mate. As long as we won the gold and the silver, we are fine.” Seun Adigun, gold medallist I won gold in the Women’s 100m hurdles. I feel great and I also want to give God the glory. This is because my spiritual faith is very strong and everything is possible when you have God by your side. Every step and every breath I take, I always thank God, He has been my strength.” Samuel Okon, bronze medallist I won bronze in the 110m hurdles. I feel good winning the medal. I don’t have any challenge. In games

•Doreen Amata •Obinna Metu

•Lilian Jepheth

•Adeola Iwajomo

it’s either you win or you lose, such is life. My preparation was okay and I’m satisfied with the bronze medal, compared to others who don’t have anything. Ogho Oghene Egwero, gold medallist I won gold in the Men’s 4x100 relay race. It was painful that we couldn’t do well in the 100m but we said to ourselves that we are going to make up for the disappointment. We thank God that we were able to do just that. Peter Emeloze, gold medallist I’m part of the Men’s 4x100m relay winning team and it’s a good feeling that we won. As you can see in the 100m, I didn’t do pretty well, but I said I’m going to make it up here in the 4x100m and that is nice. Winning a gold medal in All African Games is a great achievement and we also ran a decent time. So I’m very grateful. My next target is the Olympics. I’ll go back now and train pretty well and pull myself together probably when the Olympics comes I’ll de very well. Tobi Ogunmola, silver medallist I made a promise that I’m going to make my country proud and I did the job by winning silver in the 400m men race. I give glory to the almighty God. My next target is to prepare for the Olympics next year and we believe we are going there for victory and God will help us. The team we have is year is a wonderful team and this is just the beginning. 2012 is going to be a great one for the country. I’ll just advice the sports commission is to continue to support us and put more interest in track and field because we give more medals as you can see. Nurudeen Akanji, bronze medallist I won bronze medal in boxing in 75kg category. I’m happy that at least I could go home with something despite the fact that I was robbed of victory in the semi final. I believe I deserve victory because I beat my opponent, whom was awarded the winner mercilessly to the extent that he could not fight in the final, but such is life. I accept my bronze medal in good faith and I believe I still have lots to offer in this sport. Ademuyiwa Kehinde, silver medallist I am boxing silver medalist in the 69kg. I have to give glory to God because if I was told that I will be where I am today, winning a silver medal at the All Africa Games, I will doubt it. But with faith in God and hard work, I was able to win silver. Lukman Lawal, silver medallist I fought in the 81kg category and I’m very happy to have won silver in my first appearance at the All Africa Games. This is a great motivation for me that I can achieve greatness in this sport. Akpose Ifetubo, silver medallist A Nigerian boxer and I won silver in the 91kg category at the Games. It give me pleasure that I was able to achieve this and I want to thank my coaches for the confidence they have in me. This medal is just the beginning for me.


Let’s try schools

•Uhunoma Osazuwa

THE Nigerian football is tumbling all over. It has become a house made of pack of cards and it is crumbling fast. We won in Tana amd we will win in Abuja to ensure that we play in another African Cup of Nations finals. Our qualification ahead of Guniea will give a wrong signal that all is well with our football. But I won’t be taken in by our qualification. Our football needs to be blown back on course. It has derailed. IT will remain in that posotion until we decided to being it back on course. Now, we are fighting tooth and nail to qualify for the Nations Cup despite being in one of the weakest groups. Who is Guinea in the scheme of things in African football? Who are Madagascar and Ethiopia in African football? Yet we are panting to qualify for the competition which is said to be our birth right. We did not play in the U-17 World Cup because wwe failed to qualify. We qualified formthe U-20 World Cup butwere bundled out in the qualrterfinal. We failed to qualify for the ALL Africa Games soccer events, both male and female. We were shown the exit by Ghana. The women did not give much hope for our football. The Falconms crashed out in the first round of the Wome’s World Cup, winning one goal and losing two. The Beach Eagles, known as Super Sand Eagles also crashed out in the quarterfinal. We are left with the Super Eagles and the Deam Team V. We will c ontinue to fail to meet up with the expectation of Nigerians in organised competitions as long as we do not plan ahead. IT is often said that if you do not plan , you plan to fail. Selection of players for most of the competitions we take part in leaves much to be desired. We pick playeers for a competition such aas Beach World Cup from the professional league teams . There are no Beach soccer teams and there is no league. I wonder why we had to take part in a competition we did not plan for. Coaches do not spread their dragnet far and wide. They depend on players that played for them in the previous club they handled. There is no league for the women so the coach had to pick players from the squad she took to a competition in the past. There is no U-17, U-20 and U-23 competitions where players are expecvted to pick for the national team. Our players are prepared abroad for competitions we take part in. Our U-23 team is madeup of players who ply their trade abroad. Ther U-20 squad which crashed out in Colombia is in the quaterfinal was also made up of players based abroad. This is why they did not play together as a team. There is no togetherness ansd there is little such teams could do. We used to have an entirely home based team for the U-17 and U-20 teams. From there they move to Europe. The scenario has changed. Now, it is the other way round. Mikel John Obi, Ogbuke Obasi and Taye Taiwo were home based before taking part in the World Cup in Holland in 2005. From there they were signed on bu European clubs. The 1989 squad, handled by Tunde Disu, was entirely an home based players. Those that wwent abroad did after the World Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Both squadsd played in the final of the competition. We will continue to crash out of FIFA organised compettiion at an early stage until we retuern to the foundation. The foundation is the domestic football. The coaches must be •Igali ready to work hard for the money they earn. The national teams must be bulit upon home-based players ansd the coaches must be eready to work on them to bulit a team that can withstand pressure. The administrators and the media must give theirsupport in an attempt to raise a formidable that all will be proud of. Giving them support means that they must be patient with the coaches and the players. When result does not come as it should, we must continue to believe in the team and coaches. Our football must be rebuilt from the ruins. We must take our football away from attending competition only. We need to develop our game. Coaches must undergo clinics and regalar workshops. There must be development programmes for clubs. The U-17 and U-20 teams must be put on sound footing. Invitation to players must be taken to schools ansd academies It is time football at those levels be tied to education. Shell Cup competition must play a huge role in raising our team for age-group competitions. We have depended on the professional amd amateur leagues to get players for the age group teams. IT is time wwe focused attention on schools ansd damn the consequencies. We are not winning with our players abroad, why not trythe schools? MORE QUESTIONS The Nigeria-Argentina friendly has come and gone and it leaves many questions than answers. Was the match necessary? Did we take the right decision by agreeing to replay Argentina in Bangladesh? Did we take the right decision endangering the lives of the players by flying that distance tro honour a riendly match? Is it for money? Or is it for honour or just in fulfilling a contract which was not in our favour from then beginning? If the anwers are in the negative, let it be the laast time it would happen. Argetines would not havecommitted suicide if we had not played them so soon. It won’t stop Argentina from being a world power in football and it does not add anything to it. Agreeing to play them in Dhaka does not turn Nigeria to a world power in the game. We beat Brazil in the semi final of the Olympic Games in 1996 in Atlanta-Georgia. The South Americans wanted a rematch but tNigeeria did not give in. It did not change anything. The South Ameericans recovered from the shoch of being beaten by a lesser power and life moved on. We should not have agreed to play the Argentines under any circumstances They have beaten us several times in the World Cup. We neveer asked for a replay so wwwe should not have endangered the lives of our playeers in agreeing to replay them so soon. We would have not lost the match if we had not played under-sttrenght. The Argetines were lucky that our defence was in tatters and that the coach was experimenting in the namwe of selection of players. The defence and the midfield.




Enyimba still looking good with Anyansi By Harry Iwuala


S an aspiring football player growing up in the commercial town of Aba, it was most strange that my loyalty was never for Enyimba, the only club in that city. I would rather pay my way to Owerri, risk the parental reprimands of going on AWOL than trek the short distance from my Railway Quarters area of Aba to the then Aba Township Stadium. I once joked that even if the match gates was free, it was not for me. It was that bad that on a certain weekend, the mighty Rangers came for a league date and I was with some friends on a street next to the stadium but while others went for the match, I simply went home. It was a paradox most friends including the present Enyimba Chairman, Felix Anyansi-Agwu still find difficult to fathom. I remain a Spartans (Iwuanyanwu-Heartland for life). Growing up in Aba in the 1970’s through to the 80’s presented quite an interesting side to being a football fan for some of us who were inclined to the round leather game. Under the then East Central state, the dominating clubs were Rangers International and P& T Vasco Da Gama, both of Enugu. By the late 1970’s after the creation of Imo State, Spartans of Owerri challenged for support base with the big boys from the Coal City. Owing to the success of Rangers from 1975, culminating in their African Winners Cup triumph in 1977, every young player of Eastern extraction fancied himself the next Dominic Nwobodo or Ufere Nwankwo. Consequently, players from Vasco and Spartans were always angling to sign up for Rangers, further strengthening their dominance of the Oriental football space. Thus, the likes of Ben Okorogu, Chibuzor Ehilegbu who were Aba brought-ups, David Adiele who grew up in Cameroun and Emmanuel Osigwe to name but a few, were easily hooked Rangers. Enyimba International, first founded in 1976 by late Chief Jerry Enyeazu, the pioneer Director of Sports in the then newly created State, passed through a troubled infancy as the state government concentrated fund on Spartans, the state capital-based side. At some point, the Aba Elephants went under and emerged as Falcons with players like Orji Ukiwe, Okorogu, Ehilegbu, Ikechukwu Origa and others who were later snapped by Rangers after a good run in the Imo State Challenge Cup. The new Enyimba returned in the 1980’s feeding largely from players who starred for Secondary Schools in Aba such as National High School, Eziukwu Boys High School and my own very Eziama High School. Those were the era of true academi-

cals in sports, a time when all football players knew each other from school. Enyimba was never the club for me. Spartans captivated me and enthralled me with names like Harris Ugochukwu, Kevin Onwana, Ben Nzeakor and Ikechukwu ‘Man Mountain’ Madukairo amongst others. Then, you could still fancy an English League side (Liverpool was my first lovehooting) but there was a pronounced allegiance to the home clubs. Thus while I admired Kevin Keegan, it will please me to no end to be called Muda Lawal. That made Stars my second favourite team in Nigeria at the time. Today, it is Arsenal (my favorite) Chelsea, United, Barca, Liverpool etc and people are known to have died arguing their support for distant teams and players. It really surprises me how much we lust after players we hardly will ever get to meet in person save for their show-biz antics aired on television all in the name of living with the times. Back to Enyimba, the modern resurgence of the club began during the era of Hon. Ngozi Nwanganga as the club helmsman. Nwanganga, a one-time Chairman of Aba Local Government deployed the media and a fine run in national competitions to rebuild Enyimba. Eventually, the Aba Elephants made it through the lower leagues to the Professional League Divi-

sion One in 1990. Several others managed the club including Gaius Ihejiamaizu, now a traditional ruler in Isiala Ngwa, Abia State. Nwanganga made a brief come-back from late 1990’s to early 2000 culminating in the emergence of Felix AnyansiAgwu, who has turned out not only the best Chairman of the club if not the most successful club chairman in Nigeria. Anyansi is a true Aba boy, nay man. He is on record as the first businessman to run a modern hair salon in Aba. Looking Good Barbing Salon on Saint Michael’s Road changed the face of the hair clipping business in the bustling trade town the same way he turned Enyimba from a rural community club to an international club known today in far places of the world. The salon with its all white interior, well appointed music speakers belting contemporary pop music was the place to register social relevance for the young and notso young. While the Abriba merchants put the name of the town on global map through the importation of stock-fish, textiles including second hand clothing and China made goods, Anyansi deployed football to build Aba into a city brand. He simply applied himself to the job, made the best use of his access to the seat of governance and relied on a network of knowledgeable back staff to achieve success for the club and fame for himself. Anyansi is a lesson for other


sports administrators who don’t seem to trust the maxim, ‘succeed in your assigned responsibility and personal fame and fortune will follow’. Today, the young businessman can walk into any office in Nigeria and he would be acknowledged, attended to and offered VIP courtesies. He spent personal money when and where necessary; comforted by the knowledge that public office is a trust that yields great dividends when it matures. In my private and official conversations with him, one consistent factor is the respect that comes natural from an inner self. Not for him the flaunting of high office. Not for him the usual refrain of other sports administrators who while working out how to loot the till are boasting that they have been accomplished businessman that are being impoverished by the appointment . Anyansi is modest enough to admit during our last meeting at a hotel in Ikeja GRA that “it will be a lie for me to say I have not benefitted from football… no but the fact is I have invested resources, energy and time in the job and I have gained both in fame and finance”. On that day when we met with Mr. Fela BankOlemoh of MediaVision, the Enyimba chairman assuredly told us “we are never going to lose in Sudan”. How true his prediction was. Harry Iwuala is a renowned Journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria


With Clement Nwankpa Jnr.

Yobo: Making of a ‘Captain Fantastic’ THE first time we all saw Joseph Yobo was at the AYC in Ghana in 1999 where, as a striker, he scored once in the silver-winning Flying Eagles team. Then at the WYC, Nigeria 99, some months later, he dorned the number 8 jersey in a team that failed to live up to the expectations of the teeming home fans. Expectedly, most members of that squad reclined into oblivion save for Yobo and the duo of Pius Ikedia and Julius Aghahowa. It is, however, on record that, of the lot, only Yobo is still relevant in the national team. We all remember the pacy winger Ikedia reputed for his lightening runs down the flank as well as Aghahowa, who was severally nicknamed Aghawonder and Julius the savior for his tremendous goal scoring record in the national team. But it is now the longevity of Yobo that has become the best memory of the first Nigerian squad to have filed out on home soil in a FIFAorganised global tournament. After the U-20 debacle, Yobo popped up for his full international debut against Zambia in a Nations Cup qualifier in Chingola on March 24, 2001 at the right full back position. Instantly, he cemented that position and even became a regular feature alongside the likes of Sunday Oliseh, Nwankwo Kanu, Austin Okocha, Finidi George and Taribo West. Soon his leadership qualities came to the fore. In the absence of the ‘big boys’ he captained the national team for the first time in a Nations Cup qualifier against Namibia in Windhoek on June 16, 2001. It was only his fifth cap. The other starters on the day were Rotimi Sunday, Kayode Idowu, Patrick Ovie, Ishola Shuaibu, Chukwu Ndukwe, Kelechi Okoye, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, John Utaka, Justice Christopher and Eric Ejiofor. Austin Ejide made his debut on this day as a replacement for injured Sunday. Eagles won 2-0. It was at that point that the legendary Super Eagles captain, Stephen Keshi, once nicknamed the Big Boss for his commanding role in the national team, tipped Yobo to be the ‘Big Boss’ of the new generation of Eagles. Being then Eagles assistant coach under Shuaibu Amodu, Keshi had come close enough to Yobo at the embryonic stage of his career to have taken note of his innate qualities. In 2003, Yobo would captain an Eagles team comprising the likes of Ikpe Ekong, Joseph Enakhire, Ifeanyi Udeze, Yakubu, Uche Ugochukwu, Greg Etafia, Benedict Akwuegbu, Ahmed ‘Yaro Yaro’, Seyi Olofinjana, Bob Osim, Minabo Asechiem, Christian Obodo, Binawari Ajuwa and Abbey George to win the LG Cup. The amazing statistics then was that the Eagles were winning most of the matches in which Yobo wore the captain’s band. Meanwhile, Yobo had established himself as a mainstay in the central defence both for club and country. He had not even hit a decade of caps before then Eagles strong man in defence, Taribo West earmarked him as his successor in the heart of defence. This was after the seamless partnership Taribo enjoyed on the first day Yobo paired him at the central defence against Ghana in a decisive World Cup qualifier on July 29, 2001. At the World Cup in 2002, he started the opening game against Argentina at the right back before delivering the crucial cross that led to Aghahowa’s goal against Sweden in the next game. But when Taribo was left out of the starting list in the formality game against England, Yobo filed out at the central defence alongside Isaac Okoronkwo. That was Vincent Enyeama’s first competitive game for the Eagles and only his second cap. With the iconic Taribo set to retire, it was obvious Yobo had taken over from the dreadlocked one as the dominant force of an emerging back line. Pronto, Yobo was third in the pecking order of Eagles captaincy behind Okocha and Kanu. Okocha quit the international stage in 2006 while Kanu bid his exit after the 2010 World Cup. Yobo was expectedly named the substantive captain of the new Eagles setup under Samson Siasia. And what an influential player he has become. When you talk about people leading by example, look Yobo’s way. We all remember how, when England was on the brink of World Cup qualification elimination in 2001, skipper David Beckham popped up and curled in a trademark free-kick against Greece in the last minute to secure the ticket. That earned Beckham the sobriquet ‘captain fantastic’. Yobo has been doing a ‘Beckham’ in Eagles quest to earn a Nations Cup ticket. In fact, it is for his goal equalizer against Ethiopia that the team is still in contention for the ticket. When Madagascar proved a hard nut to crack, he had surged forward to open scores before Obinna Nsofor added a second. Interestingly, Yobo is not new to saving the national team from his defensive position. Against Algeria in a World Cup qualifier on July 3, 2004, the visitors seemed set to run away with a vital away point before Yobo nodded in the winner in the dying minute. He also scored the solitary goals in back-to-back 1-0 wins in World Cup qualifiers against Sierra Leone in Freetown on June 7, 2008 and Equatorial Guinea in Malabo a week later. His other international goals were in the 4-0 defeat of South Africa at the 2004 Nations Cup on January 31 and against Cameroun in the LG Cup final on June 1, 2003 when the triumphed 3-0. He has scored a total of seven goals for the national team but one thing is noteworthy; Nigeria had never lost any match in which Yobo scored. On four of those occasions, his goals were the solitary goals; on two occasions, he opened scores and on one occasion, he grabbed the equalizer. He has a way of scoring those important goals.






Wenger: It's all about winning A

RSENAL manager Arsene Wenger has a simple solution to stop the critics rounding on the Gunners win games. The Gunners have endured one of the most testing starts to a campaign under Wenger's tenure, which resulted in them being thrashed 8-2 at Manchester United before the international break as the weaknesses of squad which sold captain Cesc Fabregas and playmaker Samir Nasri were exposed. However, Arsenal followed up what was a nervy first Premier League victory over Swansea with a hard-earned 1-1 away draw at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Assistant manager Pat Rice, who took charge of the team at Signal Iduna Park as Wenger served a European touchline ban, felt the squad had turned the corner as they looked to the challenges ahead. Wenger, though, firmly believes the time for positive rhetoric is over as he prepares for Saturday's trip to bottom club Blackburn.

• Wenger

"We must win. We live in an environment that questions us when we don't win. We do not criticise that and have to live with that," the Arsenal manager said. "We have to show performances, consistency and attitude quality, that makes us respected. It is as simple as that. That is why it is as important that we do not talk too much and play as well as we can." Wenger added: "We feel we have turned the corner, but we will be judged by the consistency of our results. "Inside the club, we feel we are on the right track, the spirit in the team is good, strong and together. "We want to change the scepticism around us, but that will only be if we are consistent with our results. Let's get result after result, stick together and not talk too much. "We have a desire, the strength and the quality - it's now just down to us to put the effort in every single game. I am confident we can do that." Wenger added five signings in the

Ivanovic relishing Old Trafford test


RANISLAV Ivanovic has insisted Chelsea are not intimidated by Manchester United's fast start to the season ahead of Sunday's big clash Defending champions United have been hugely impressive in the opening four games of the new campaign, scoring 18 goals and conceding just three on their way to the top of the table. Ivanovic accepts that Sunday's game at Old Trafford will be by far the biggest test of the season for boss Andre Villas-Boas and his team as they attempt to end a three-match

losing streak against United but the Serbia defender is relishing the challenge of trying to beat Sir Alex Ferguson's side on home soil. He said: "United started very well this season but, if you remember, we started last season the same. 'They've improved as a group but we have our aim, we have our idea and we try to use this on the pitch. "It's going to be the hardest game

for us until now and we have to show more than 100 per cent of our power. "Last season was a different situation as we had to win there, and when you play a big game away and you have to win, psychologically, it's completely different. "It's the first big test for our team, how we've improved, and we'll going there trying to show our best football and take a good result."

Player Team Rooney Man Utd Dzeko Man City Aguero Man City Klasnic Bolton Young Man Utd Welbeck Man Utd Silva Man City Di Santo Wigan Agbonlahor Aston Villa Hernandez Man Utd Best Newcastle Suarez Liverpool Long West Brom Arshavin Arsenal Watson Wigan Zamora Fulham Adam Liverpool Dempsey Fulham Sturridge Chelsea Bent Aston Villa Won Ji Sunderland Heskey Aston Villa Adebayor Tottenham Muamba Bolton Malouda Chelsea

Goals 8 6 6 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

FIXTURES Saturday Arsenal Aston Villa Bolton Everton Swansea Wolves Sunday Tottenham Fulham Sunderland Man United

v v v v v v

Blackburn Newcastle Norwich City Wigan Athletic West Brom QPR

v v v v

Liverpool Man City Stoke City Chelsea

week leading up to transfer deadline day, with only South Korea captain Park Chu-Young yet to get some game time, but he is expected to feature at Ewood Park. The Gunners manager is confident his choices - also bringing in defensive duo Per Mertesacker and Andre Santos as well as Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun - were sound. "I believe that if you look at the class of their attitude we were right, at their intelligence level we were right and at their quality we were right," Wenger said. "They need a little bit of time to get to know the other players well and find a balance in the team." Arsenal were pushed back for long spells by a fluid Dortmund team. Wenger, though, has no worries his team will soon be back to their freeflowing best. He said: "You lose confidence quickly with the result we made at Old Trafford, and gain it back slowly. We will try to do that from game to game - work hard for each other and get back, then the other side of our game will come out." Arsenal will have Alex Song and Gervinho available after serving threematch domestic suspensions from the opening game at Newcastle, while Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey could return from the ankle problem which ruled him out of the midweek trip to Germany. While Rovers may have plenty of problems themselves, the owners issuing a public statement calling for fans to get behind the team, Wenger is not expecting anything other than a stern test for Saturday's lunchtime kick-off. "In the Premier League when you go away from home you want a top performance to make the result, but I am confident we can do that," he said.

Ferguson: De Gea will play on Sunday


S • Ivanovic

English Premier League Table as at September 12 Team P Man United 4 Man City 4 Chelsea 4 Newcastle 4 Stoke City 4 Liverpool 4 Wolves 4 Aston Villa 4 Wigan 4 Everton 3 QPR 4 Arsenal 4 West Brom 4 Bolton 4 Tottenham 3 Sunderland 4 Norwich City 4 Fulham 4 Swansea City4 Blackburn 4

W 4 4 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0

D 0 0 1 2 2 1 1 3 2 1 1 1 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 1

L 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 2 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 3

F 18 15 7 3 3 6 4 5 3 3 1 3 3 7 3 2 3 2 0 3

A 3 3 3 1 1 3 3 3 4 3 6 10 5 11 8 4 6 5 5 7

GD 15 12 4 2 2 3 1 2 -1 0 -5 -7 -2 -4 -5 -2 -3 -3 -5 -4

Pt 12 12 10 8 8 7 7 6 5 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1



IR Alex Ferguson hailed Anders Lindegaard's performance in Manchester United's Champions League draw with Benfica - but promised David de Gea will return for Sunday's Premier League showdown with Chelsea. Hesitant performances in the Community Shield and the opening league encounter at West Brom forced Ferguson to shield De Gea from criticism. At just 20, the former Atletico Madrid star was always going to need time to acclimatise to the English game, but his £18million price tag demanded instant perfection. Improvement has come already, with an outstanding performance at Bolton last Saturday coming when it had been rumoured De Gea would be left out. And Ferguson will have no hesitation in bringing De Gea back this weekend regardless of how well Lindegaard did. "We have two great goalkeepers," Ferguson said. He added: "We were always going to share it and David will play on Sunday against Chelsea and possibly Anders will play at Leeds next Tuesday, depending upon how we see the situation with Ben Amos, who needs some game-time also. "There are opportunities to spread the load. The English league is so frenetic. Coming into that, as a young goalkeeper, there will be times when we can give him (De Gea) a break. It was a good moment because he had a fantastic game on Saturday."

Inter coach gets ‘dreaded” vote of confidence

I Barca Barca set set to to rebound rebound against against Osasuna Osasuna


EFENDING champion Barcelona will be looking to rebound from two straight draws when it hosts undefeated Osasuna in the Spanish league on Saturday. Twice in the past week, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has watched from the sideline as defensive lapses have ruined otherwise strong performances and cost his team victories. Last week’s 2-2 slip at Real Sociedad left Barcelona two points behind leader Real Madrid, and the Catalans can ill afford to lose touch in a season that will most likely be decided between the two powerhouses. “(We need a) win now, beginning with the game against Osasuna,” Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez said. Madrid will try to stay perfect at Levante on Sunday. While Barcelona continues to dominate possession, its inability to finish off games has exposed holes in its defence. In Tuesday’s Champions League opener, AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato sprinted through Barcelona’s makeshift defence of Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano to score in the first minute. Barcelona then outplayed the Italians and took the lead, but Thiago Silva headed in the injury-time equaliser. Barcelona also conceded a similar headed goal to Sociedad last weekend, and Guardiola will surely be looking to tighten his defense against Osasuna’s bigger bodies. “This team is hungry,” Barcelona de-

fender Carles Puyol said. “It is normal to talk about these things when you draw two games, but we want to continue making history.” Guardiola will once again have to patch up a backline with Gerard Pique doubtful as he recovers from a calf injury. On paper, Osasuna shouldn’t provide much of a challenge, but the Pamplonabased team is undefeated and has only conceded one goal in two games. Barcelona’s defenders will have to pay special attention to speedy winger Juan “Nino” Martinez, who has impressed since joining the club in the offseason. Barcelona will also miss winger Alexis Sanchez and Andres Iniesta— both out with leg injuries—and need new signing Cesc Fabregas to continue his quick adaptation to his boyhood squad. Luckily for Guardiola, he can also turn to young standout Thiago Alcantara to help Xavi create for its still potent attack. “They are two important losses because they can break down the defense, Alexis from the flank and Andres through the middle,” said Xavi, adding that their replacements have the ability to take over where they left off. “Thiago is an incredible player, he can decide a game,” Xavi said. “As far as Cesc, he is from this club and knows the system we use. The most important thing is that everyone understands the way we play, and Cesc does.” Madrid will look to keep up its good

Mallorca, Malaga looking for improvement


ALLORCA go into this weekend’s game amidst rumours of Michael Laudrup's imminent departure. The Coach is thought to be on his way out of the club after his relationship with the club’s board of Directors appears to have broken down; Joaquin Caparros is the current favourite to succeed him. The off field turmoil will not help matters on the pitch as the islanders welcome big-spending Malaga on Saturday. Their performances so far have been far from convincing and their only goal of this season so far came

from the now-departed Jonathan de Guzman. Malaga’s newly assembled team seems to be gelling well and the win against Granada showed just how versatile they have become in the offensive department compared to last season. The midfield combination of Diego Buonanotte, Santi Cazorla and Joaquin has provided Manuel Pelligrini’s men with a level of creativity that was previously lacking.

Spanish La Liga table as at September 12 Team P Madrid 2 Valencia 2 Real Betis 2 Barcelona 2 Real Sociedad 2 Sevilla 2 Osasuna 2 Malaga 2 Espanyol 2 Real Mallorca 2 Levante 2 Vallecano 2 Santander 2 Bilbao 2 Atletico 2 Getafe 2 Villarreal 2 Zaragoza 2 Sporting Gijon 2 Granada 2

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F 10 5 2 7 4 4 2 5 2 1 1 1 3 2 0 3 2 0 2 0

A 2 3 0 2 3 3 1 2 2 1 1 1 4 3 1 5 7 6 4 5

GD 8 2 2 5 1 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 -1 -1 -1 -2 -5 -6 -2 -5

Pt 6 6 6 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0

form after winning its Champions League opener at Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday. Madrid has outscored its opponents 10-2 in its perfect start to the Spanish league season, and visits a Levante side that has only conceded one goal in two draws so far. Cristiano Ronaldo has started where he picked up last season when he broke the league scoring record and has already netted four goals. “We have to keep taking steps forward and not pay attention to what the others are doing,” Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka said. “Since the preseason we have been playing at the highest level and we must continue in this line.”

Sevilla’s strong record threatens Real Sociedad


REDERIC Kanoute has returned to the Sevilla first-team after returning to training with the rest of the squad earlier in the week. The Mali international played the final 35 minutes against Villarreal and could start against Sociedad on Saturday night. Real Sociedad defensive midfielder Markel Bergara is set to return to action very soon but will still be unavailable for selection to face Los Rojiblancos. Philippe Montanier’s men are unbeaten this season and will be confident of taking a result from Sevilla after their 2-2 draw with Barcelona. Both sides have got the new season off to a flyer and will be brimming with confidence as they remain unbeaten heading into this game. Sevilla have a great record against Real Sociedad but the visitors will be spurred on after reducing a two goal deficit to draw with the European champions on Sunday.

TOP SCORERS Player Ronaldo Soldado Negredo Cazorla Agirretxe Miku Garcia Fabregas Benzema Messi Castro Joaquin

Team Goals Real Madrid 4 Valencia 4 Sevilla 3 Malaga 3 R/Sociedad 3 Getafe 3 Espanyol 2 Barcelona 2 Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 2 Real Betis 2 Malaga 2

FIXTURES Sat 17/09/11 Sporting Gijón Villarreal Mallorca Barcelona v Sevilla Getafe Sun Zaragoza Atlético Levante Bilbao

v Valencia v More info v Málaga Osasuna v Sociedad v Vallecano v v v v

Espanyol Racing Madrid Real Betis

NTER Milan president Massimo Moratti has denied that Gian Piero Gasperini’s job is in danger after losing his first three games but Saturday’s home match with AS Roma will still be a huge test for the new coach. Gasperini, Inter’s third boss since Jose Mourinho left at the end of the 2009/10 treble-winning season, is coaching a major club for the first time and some fans fear he is out of his depth. Moratti said after Wednesday’s shock 1-0 home defeat to Champions League debutants Trabzonspor that there was no threat to Gasperini, a surprise appointment to replace Leonardo in the close season. “If we start putting it like that then it becomes impossible both for the coach and the players to work,” he said on Inter’s website ( Such votes of confidence are often taken with a pinch of salt in football and Gazzetta dello Sport has already declared Saturday’s match as decisive for the former Genoa coach. “A defeat could prompt Moratti to make a change of direction,” the Italian daily newspaper predicted. Gasperini started out by losing to AC Milan in the season-opening Italian Super Cup match played in Beijing and saw his team and threeman defence slump to a 4-3 defeat at Palermo in their Serie A debut last Sunday. He reverted to four at the back on Wednesday under pressure from Moratti but the defeat against the Turkish side has dented Inter’s chances of making the last 16. Gasperini is unlikely to cut much ice with his explanation that the team

Juve to learn 2006 Calciopoli Scudetto fate on Dec 13


HE Turin club will learn whether they will regain the stripped trophy in three months time when their case is heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport Juventus will find out whether their appeal to regain the 2006 Serie A title has been successful through CAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport) on December 13, according to Tuttosport. The Italian giants were stripped of their 2005 and 2006 titles due to the Calciopoli scandal which also saw the Turin side relegated to Serie B. In July, the club were told by the Italian FA that to revoke the decision to award Inter the Scudetto would be outside of their legal capabilities due to the Statute of Limitations, despite proof that the Milanese outfit were also guilty of speaking to referees and referee designators. However, Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has since appealed the decision to UEFA and CAS, with the former announcing there will be a decision made in the next three months President of the board, Giuseppe Scandurra, will oversee the case along with his understudies Dario Buzzelli and Enrico De Giovanni, who will now examine the documentation before coming to their decision.

TOP SCORERS Player Team Milito Inter Milan Miccoli Palermo Moralez Atalanta HernandezPalermo Gilardino Fiorentina Cerci Fiorentina Cassano AC Milan Di Natale Udinese Vidal Juventus Marchisio Juventus Thereau Chievo

Goals 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

tried hard but were unlucky. “They put in a lot of effort and I saw important performances, but unfortunately we didn’t have much luck on our side,” he said. “However, I saw an angry reaction on Inter’s part. I saw a group that reacts and also tonight showed how much desire they have to do well.” New Roma coach Luis Enrique is in a far from comfortable situation himself with a home defeat to Cagliari on his Serie A debut following Europa League elimination at the hands of Slovan Bratislava. So far Roma have looked nothing like his former club Barcelona, who he wants his side to imitate. The weekend’s matches are officially listed as matchday three, although as a player strike caused the opening weekend to be postponed they are in effect matchday two. The other highlight is on Sunday when champions AC Milan visit Napoli, who finished third last term and kicked off with a 3-1 win on Cesena’s artificial pitch last weekend before Wednesday’s 1-1 debut Champions League draw at Manchester City. AC Milan, held at home by Lazio last week, are without midfielder Massimo Ambrosini who is out for two to three weeks with a shoulder injury following the 2-2 Champions League draw at Real Madrid. Juventus, with no European action to distract them, visit Siena hoping to show their opening 4-1 win at home to Parma was not just a flash in the pan. 'I will play anywhere for Roma' Erik Lamela willing to make sacrifices ahead of Inter clash

Roma midfielder Erik Lamela has claimed that he is ready to play anywhere for his new club, speaking ahead of his side's Serie A clash with Inter on Saturday.

• Diego Milito

Lamela to make sacrifice


OMA midfielder Erik Lamela has claimed that he is ready to play anywhere for his new club, speaking ahead of his side's Serie A clash with Inter on Saturday. The •19 million (£16.5m) arrival from River Plate is yet to feature this season under Luis Enrique after picking up an ankle injury during the Under-20 World Cup finals in Colombia whilst playing for Argentina. But the 19-year-old believes he will feature in the Spaniard's team this season. "Where do I see myself in the coach's team? Anywhere he wants me to, I'm ready to play," he told Lamela has only been in Italy for a month, and admits that he has not been able to take the time out to immerse himself in his new surroundings, although he already seems familiar with his new army of followers.

"I've only seen a little of Rome so far, but you can feel the history and I hope to do more sight-seeing soon," he continued. "For now, I've been in and around Trigoria [location of Roma's training base] and the Olimpico, which is a beautiful stadium. The fans are very passionate, and they remind me of River's support." Roma return to domestic matters at the weekend, as they visit San Siro on Saturday to face Inter.

FIXTURES Sat Cagliari Inter Atalanta Sun Bologna Catania Lazio Parma Siena Udinese Napoli

v v v

Novara Roma Palermo

v v v v v v v

Lecce Cesena Genoa Chievo Juventus Fiorentina Milan

Italy Serie A Table as at September 11 Team P Juventus 1 Napoli 1 Fiorentina 1 Udinese 1 Palermo 1 Cagliari 1 AC Milan 1 Chievo 1 Genoa 1 Lazio 1 Novara 1 Catania 1 Siena 1 Inter Milan 1 0 Roma 1 Cesena 1 Bologna 1 Lecce 1 Parma 1 Atalanta 1

W 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

D 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1

L 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 1 1 1 1 0

F 4 3 2 2 4 2 2 2 2 2 2 0 0 4 1 1 0 0 1 2

A 1 1 0 0 3 1 2 2 2 2 2 0 0 -1 2 3 2 2 4 2

GD 3 2 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -1 -2 -2 -2 -3 0

Pt 3 3 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 -5





am delighted to write about one year of the present Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation because, in every breath that anyone had talked about major football tournaments in the past one year, Nigeria had been there. Nonetheless, we must work harder on all areas of the game in order not to only sustain the accomplishments we have been able to record, but also to aim and inch higher towards our ultimate goal of taking Nigeria football to the top drawer of the international game. The Super Eagles are now playing world class friendly matches and no matter what anyone would say, the results have not been bad. Someone sent me sms last week saying: “Yes, we lost 1-3 to Argentina in Bangladesh but the truth is that, on head-to-head, we are ahead of them in recent clashes because we won 4-1 in Abuja. On head-to-head, it is 5-4!” Whichever way you look at it, the past one year has not been bad for Nigeria football and even as we strive to improve on what we have been doing and what we are doing, it is significant that we look back and encourage ourselves with the fruits of one year of hard work and outright dedication to the cause, in spite of the odds so well known. We have won two continental trophies – the African Women Championship and African Youth Championship titles. Triumph at the African Women Championship in South Africa in early November 2010 marked the sixth time the Super Falcons would rule Africa in seven editions of the competition. And the triumph also automatically qualified the Falcons for the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in Germany. On 1st December, 2010, we appointed the People’s Choice, Samson Siasia as Head Coach of the Super Eagles and we have had no cause to regret the move ever since. I believe fans also have had no cause to regret the appointment, for it was what they wanted and the man they wanted has also been doing his level best to give Nigeria the desired results. We remain alive in the race for the 2012 African Cup of Nations finals, with the 10 more countries set to join already-qualified six for the three-week, 16-nation tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon early next year. As we drove to the Stade Municipal de Mahamasina in Antananarivo for that crucial match on Sunday, 4th September, I kept thinking that it would be over in 90 minutes. Thank God, it ended well, and another 90 minutes, much more critical, awaits in Abuja on Saturday, October 8 against Guinea. During the week, I was on a phone chat with the foremost football historian and huge encyclopaedia-without-peer, Mr. Ibikunle Solaja (GM of Soccerstar sports paper), and he told me that the choice of October 8 was fantastic. I wanted to know why. He said that Nigeria had NEVER lost a match on October 8, and that Nigeria’s first-ever international match was on October 8. That was the game against Sierra Leone in

Inside The Glass House WITH AMINU MAIGARI

We only need to work harder (2) Freetown that the UK Tourists won 2-0. It was on October 8, 1993 that Nigeria first qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals, with that battling 1-1 draw with Algeria at the July 5 Stadium in Algiers. He went on and on and I expressed my pleasure. Actually, the match was to have been slated for Sunday, October 9, as the Super Eagles had been playing on Sunday in Abuja. But there is an international friendly match against Ghana in London on Tuesday, October 11 and playing the match against Guinea on October 9 would have meant the team would travel on October 10 and play the match the following day without any form of training or breath-catching. Before I go ahead to talk about the programme that we have for the next one year, it is important that I mention the other areas where we have done well in the past one year. The Flying Eagles lifted the African Youth Championship in South Africa in May and the Super Falcons finished in 12th place at the FIFA World Women’s World Cup in Germany, breaking a 12-year jinx of never winning a match at the finals, with the win over Canada. Germany’s women’s team expected to roll over our girls but in the end, even their own analysts felt the odd goal they scored should not have counted because it came from an illegitimate free-kick. At the FIFA U-20 World Cup finals in Colombia, the Flying Eagles finished in seventh place. It could have been better if we had done a few things the other way against France, but we have learnt from that experience. In Casablanca, the Beach Soccer team finished second at the African Championship. In the hot race for the Women’s Football Tournament of the London 2012 Olympics, Nigeria is there. In the race for the Men’s Football Tournament of the London 2012 Olympics, Nigeria is there, with the Draw for the eight-nation CAF African U-23 finals slated for Cairo next weekend. At the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Ravenna, Italy, Nigeria was there, and NOT just to make up the number. The Supersand Eagles fought like trojans and impressed everyone, including the opposition. Brazil, four-time world champions, came close to being eliminated by the plucky Nigerians and the

game had to go into extra time. Are we not proud? We should, of course. Brazil had won the last four championships of the competition before Italy. When other countries were playing international friendlies immediately after the last international weekend, we were also on the road, tackling two-time world champions Argentina. When the media is writing about continental club competitions of 2011, Nigeria is prominent with Enyimba FC already qualified for the semi finals of the CAF Champions League and Sunshine Stars FC and Kaduna United FC set to qualify for the semi finals of the CAF Confederation Cup this weekend. Surely, it is a long time since Nigeria had THREE entrants in the last four of both continental competitions. Even in the WAFU (now West Africa Zone B) Cup, Enugu Rangers have been explosive, reaching the semi finals on the back of homeand-away wins over Akokana FC of Niger Republic. We have played Argentina twice and will play Ghana (2010 FIFA World Cup quarter finalists) next month, and in November, we have something delicious lined up as well. The motto that has worked is ensuring that our teams go to major competitions wellprepared to fly the flag high. Having secured an agreement with the Browns Sports snd Leisure Club in Faro, Portugal and appointed a world class Match Agent, we now must work harder on securing even more alternative training sites and more world class friendlies, because we cannot afford to lose momentum. For the next one year, the challenges include securing a ticket to the 2012 African Cup of Nations finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon; tickets to the Men’s and Women’s Football Tournaments of the London 2012 Olympic Games; securing more grade A friendly internationals for our various teams and; securing more and higherlevel coaching and refereeing courses for our professionals, at home and abroad. We also must work very hard on achieving creditable performances at all major competitions that we go, which starts with ensuring adequate preparation of our various National Teams heading to these competitions. We also must

pay greater attention to the women’s game – domestic League and the National Teams. We intend to positively review the U-13 National Football Competition and the existing teenage national teams; qualify for and achieve creditable outings at the FIFA U-20 and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup competitions in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan respectively and; retain the African Women Championship title. Also, we are condemned to starting off on a strong footing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals with the first phase of the African qualifiers starting in June next year; we must work harder with all stakeholders of the game to truly develop the Nigeria game and; we must give greater encouragement to beach soccer and 5-A-Side football competitions, for they have really come to stay.While we seek more partners, sponsors and suppliers from Corporate Nigeria, we also must glamourise our activities, projects, programmes and events and; also help the Nigeria Premier League to build the domestic League into an attractive, compelling product. Welcome on board, Baribote... The last point mentioned above will be easier to achieve with harmony and tranquility in the house of the Nigeria Premier League, which those of us at the NFF believe has come with last Wednesday’s emergence and swearing-in of the new Chairman of NPL, Chief Victor Rumson Baribote. Baribote was declared the duly-elected NPL Chairman following the award of the Ibidapo Obe Arbitration Tribunal, which was also affirmed by the Federal High Court, Abuja – that Mr. Davidson Owumi was ineligible to contest the May 8, 2010 elections. I congratulate Chief Baribote and warmly welcome him into the Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation. However, more than that, I implore him to reconcile all factions and splinters in the NPL family – the result of a 16-month reign of crises, uncertainty and confusion. Similarly, I congratulate the new Chairman of Chairmen, Hon. Abdulazeez Mohammed. It is important that both men work very hard together to unite all arms of the body and then move to see how best to improve the Premier League.

• Moses

Odemwingie aims to increase tally •As Victor Moses eyes Everton upset


AVING netted his first goal of the season last Sunday against Norwich, Nigerian striker Osaze Odemwingie will aim to increase his goal tally in the English Premier League as West Brom travel to Wals to face Swansea at Liberty Stadium. Osaze emerged West Brom highest goal scorer in his first season with 15 goals. Last week victory saw West Brom keep just their second clean sheet from their last 40 league matches, with both of those coming under Hodgson's reign since he took over at the Hawthorns in February. And the highly acclaimed English boss wants his side to continue to improve at the back. "We’ve got to get better at that, there's no doubt," Hodgson said. "Certainly, in our home games, we have to make sure we don’t have to score two goals every game to get a victory. But it was a good start on Sunday (against Norwich)." "After four games, we’ve let in one in the 89th minute against Stoke and two against Chelsea and Manchester United, so we’re not exactly leaking goals."

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers will return to the sideline after missing his side's 1-0 loss to Arsenal last weekend due to the death of his father.Swansea are without a goal this season. At Goodison Park, Nigeria's Victor Moses will lead Wigan onslaught against Everton for the second win of the season. Everton sit 10th on the table and have played one game less than Wigan, who are one place above them. Wigan will enter the game fresher after they were handed a Carling Cup assignment at Crystal Palace on Tuesday, a match which they lost 2-1. That will give Everton a three-day advantage in terms of rest and the match is one they would have pencilled in at the start of the season as a comfortable home victory. The French champions blew a two-goal advantage against CSKA Moscow on Wednesday as they sat back after an hour of free-flowing, attacking football. Lille, who are third in the standings two points behind pacesetters Montpellier, will have to make do with the absence of the injured Dimitri Payet.

Utaka, Enyeama headline French League


IGERIA international John Utaka will be in action today for

• Enyeama

Montpellier as the French Ligue 1 leader battle Brest to consolidate on their position on the table. Utaka who has a goal this season, is regular in the line-up of Montpellier. In the same vein, goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama will be eyeing his first league match today having missed out of Lille's UEFA Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow on Thursday. Lille needs to switch to forward gear if they are to go past Sochaux when Ligue 1 action resumes today at the Stadium Nord Lille Métropole.

Olubanwo Fagbemi

On Sport Sport On SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2011



In search of a playing culture (II)



Emenike rues Turkey exit S

UPER EAGLES, talisman, Emmanuel Emenike rues his premature exit from the Turkish League after signing a deal with League Champions, Fenerbahce.

Emenike was fingered in a match –fixing scandal coming from the previous season when he featured for another Turkish side, Karabükspor Football Club.

Sammy Ameobi targets victory against Villa


XCITED by the smooth run of his English Premier League side, Newcastle, Nigerian born Sammy Ameobi is looking forward to another impressive performance from the Toons when they confront Aston Villa in a league duel. The football prodigy, who is also the younger sibling of Shola Ameobi, has in recent time become the fans, favorite at Newcastle United with his superlative performance. He has for the fact that he is beginning to be the man United

•Sammy Ameobi

fans are looking to when it comes to scoring goals, today’s match will not be an exception if he is featured. He told the Evening Chronicle: “It’s an amazing feeling to hear them sing my name – I love the fans. “They’ve always been great with me since I’ve been coming through, and hopefully I can keep supplying for them. “It’s a terrific start to the season, and hopefully we can build on that. We’ve got to take it into the next game on Saturday.”

Though he had to move to Spartak Moscow in the Russian League without kicking a ball for Fenerbahce, the Nigeria international is reported to be unhappy with life in Moscow and wants a return to Turkey. There was speculations he would return to Fenerbahce in the winter market to add firepower to their UEFA Champions League campaign, but the Yellow Canaries have been thrown out of Europe's elite club competition. ''The time I spent at police headquarters because of the investigations (match fixing,

Ed) gave me great fear. I panicked and wanted to leave Fenerbahce. But that's the biggest mistake. I can tell you I'm not so happy about it. ''The club facilities in Turkey are better. There is no conducive environment for playing football. I'm trying to do my best for Spartak Moscow but unhappiness is ruining me. I would love to find an end to my days in Russia, '' says Emenike. Emmanuel Emenike joined Spartak Moscow in the summer market for a transfer fee believed to be ten million euros.


CAF fixes 2pm kick-off time •Eagles to play under scorching sun •Same time for Ethiopia vs Madagascar


HE Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has confirmed 2pm kick-off time for the game between Super Eagles and Syli Nationale after it released fixtures, with date and time for day 6 of the qualifiers for Orange CAN 2012 that will be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial- Guinea. SportingLife gathered on Thursday that 13h00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), 2pm Nigerian time, as against the usual 4pm time will see the game been played on Saturday October 8. Coach Samson Siasia’s Eagles will battle it out against the Group B leaders under the Abuja scorching sun. The development could of course hinder the Eagles’ performance since most of the players ply their trade in Europe which is relatively cold at this time.

It was also gathered that the Ethiopia versus Madagascar game was fixed for same time and date to avoid any form of match fixing.


INCENT Enyeama – rebel with or without a cause depending on your view – may have regretted adverse disposition towards Super Eagles’ travel plans for the 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifier away to Madagascar on September 4 but import of the ensuing fiasco is unmistakable. For tendering a quick apology unlike preceding offenders, including Mikel Obi who was also involved in the latest mutiny, Enyeama appeared to justify national team coach Samson Siasia’s decision to drop him. Forwards Obinna Nsofor and Victor Anichebe were the other two who shared Enyeama’s and Mikel’s revolutionary boat, yet they were shipped with the midfielder into action by Siasia against Madagascar and Argentina in an international friendly two days later under the guise of curtailing dissent from the top. Anichebe may have revolted in the light of discrepancies between the chaotic Nigerian setting and efficient English system which he grew up in, but the same may not be said for Mikel. A history of disagreement with Siasia under whom he emerged second-best at the 2005 World Youth Championship (WYC) in Holland included a spectacular no-show at the Beijing 2008 Olympics where, thankfully, Nigeria secured silver without the player’s services. Until a recent turnaround, it was thought the Chelsea stalwart would not feature at senior level with Siasia in charge. In less than a year in the saddle, Siasia has attracted commendation as well as condemnation; the one for efforts in sanitising the playing system and the other for serial differences with prominent squad members. First with Osaze Odemwingie and then Dickson Etuhu, Siasia had his player handling questioned, but he also had observers leap to his defence on account of the stubborn streak connecting the antagonists, Odemwingie inclusive. It hardly surprised, for instance, to see the lively West Bromwich Albion striker grab a goal and miss another as his Premier League club earned all three points the weekend after staying away from his country’s crucial campaigns against Madagascar and Argentina. It’s a scenario often rehashed by similarly recalcitrant Eagles. But the matter at hand is beyond consideration of one player’s influence. Early next month in Abuja, qualification for the Equatorial Guinea/Gabon 2012 Africa Nations Cup would have to be secured. Victory for Nigeria with at least two goals against Guinea in the last of the qualifying series would ensure a better goals difference and the Group B automatic ticket on the head-to-head rule with both countries finishing on13 points. The Syli Stars won last year’s first leg of the fixture 1-0 and Nigeria supporters would expect to see the visitors pummeled silly for a result in the reverse so to prevent nail-biting permutations of qualifying as a best loser. It is, however, necessary to factor in player conduct as informed by circumstances around the last two matches. As Siasia must realise, team management and tactical manoeuvre are as critical to success as other variables. Who, to be fair, would hold the coach responsible for official ineptitude in containing pre-match injury and withdrawals by squad members? Or poor flight arrangements? Or the Match Day Two1-0 loss to Guinea under Austin Eguavoen’s caretaker reign which left the team flailing in the first place? Regardless of the players’ sentiments or the coach’s inclinations, responsibility for failure or success would always lie with the handler. In recognition of this position and ominous recurrence of the poorly executed qualifier away to Ethiopia as well as preparation for the botched international friendly against Ghana in August, Siasia embraced a more disciplined approach for the Madagascar win. Supporters may today celebrate the Madagascar escape, but it is one escape too many. Since former technical adviser Clemens Westerhof’s glorious era, the Eagles have staggered through qualification and stumbled to third place finishes at the showpiece Nations Cup finals. The team fared worse at the larger arena, never going beyond the second round reached under Westerhof at the USA ’94 FIFA World Cup finals. Those are awful returns for a country where massive population size is matched by economic potential. Nigeria’s records clearly pale beside the intimidating accomplishments of contemporary rivals Brazil and Argentina. Italy, Germany, Spain and England are as distinguished, evidently on account of technical and administrative development and the ramifications on sporting standards. By their World Cup-winning feats, all six nations set standards worthy of emulation. But theirs are successes rather difficult to replicate given the poor technical knowledge and administrative acumen available to African teams. Sensational outings by Ghana and Ivory Coast in recent championships may fetch consistent mention with both dominating African positions on FIFA rankings, but while Ghana was undone at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa by a wily Uruguay, Ivory Coast allowed organisational malaise to ground Africa’s most impressive collection of national team players. In changing coach months before the South Africa tournament, the elephants lost stampede value and were further hampered by arm injury to bullish striker and skipper Didier Drogba. The Eagles were likewise hobbled at the tournament, with Siasia subsequently emerging as Lagerback’s replacement following popular demand for the country’s brightest coaching prospect. For any ambitious country, however, potential is not enough. Turning material into the finished article is more desirable. And despite all its uncertainties, the road to 2012 offers Siasia invaluable opportunity to observe players’ response to match situations in determination of the First Eleven. If he cares to know, escape must turn into qualification, and qualification into top rating. Then the cup win. It’s been 17 lean years since the Tunisia ’94 Nations Cup harvest.




HERE was a joke re cently told by a stand up comedian, he joked that the reason why men or grooms don’t dance much during their weddings is because they are still overwhelmed by the wedding expenses incurred during the planning. He further joked that the bride dances more because they had spent little or nothing for the wedding, so they dance away knowing that there is nothing to worry about. Hilarious abi? Just that I am not laughing. At all. You see, I made some findings to find out whose original responsibility it is to fund a wedding. But before I discuss on my findings, I want to talk a little on what inspired this particular piece in the first place. “Father of the bride” is a movie that I have watched countless times without getting bored. The film is about a father who was finding it difficult to accept that his daughter who just left graduation school was ready for marriage. He tried so hard to discourage her from tying the knots arguing that she was too young to get married. Later on in the film his daughter was able to convince him that she was in love with her man, and that the wedding will take place. Long story short, the wedding date was fixed and agreed by all concerned, including the father of the bride. But something struck me, in the storyline of the film, the parents of *Re-High Education, high husband, perfect perfect! You said all that were expected of that write-up, the need, the advice, the effects and re-advice. My advice is for all genders-males and females, the youth and old to get this piece to read or read again if it was missed. Well done, a beautiful and developmentally researched topical advice. Lanre Oseni, Lagos. •I don’t agree with your

Whose responsibility is it to fund a wedding? the groom were wealthier by all standards but it was the father of the bride that sponsored the wedding. Apart from getting the bridal gown, the wedding cake, paying for the venue, getting a wedding planner etc. He went further to fly some of their would-be inlaws to the venue of the wedding. That was generous. Yes, I am sure you agree. But what do we have these days? My findings shows that it is traditional for the bride’s family to sponsor at least seventy per cent of the wedding expenses, it is not so these days. These days, almost everything is left for the groom and his family. Fine, it will make a lot of sense if the groom financially supports his in-laws. Sure. Why not? It makes a lot of sense. But what I don’t like is when the whole thing is left for the groom alone. It is criminally wrong, I tell you. You know men, they will write up on high education, high husband. Am a graduate and my wife a primary school cert holder. Married for 26 years now, she is the best thing to have happened to me. All the same thanks for your writing. •Many thanks Vera, please continue to enlighten girls and ladies that they must develop themselves academically and vocationally, most if not all educated guys like to have literate la-

not complain, they will spend to impress their bride, and by extension their in-laws. But, trust me, they will have some reservations about having to pick all the bills. A groom will have more respect for a bride and an in-law who offers to pick a few bills. Paying for the venue for instance. Or even the wedding cake. But for God’s sake do not leave all to the groom. It is wrong. How you decide to divide the costs of your wedding depends primarily on the financial situation of each family. Circumstances and common sense, not tradition now dictates who will pay for what for a wedding. If your daughter is marrying a man who comes from a wealthy family your future in-laws may offer to pay for the entire event. Or they might pick up one or two of the big costs. May be you have been putting away money ever since you daughter was

born for the sole purpose of someday giving her a beautiful wedding. If so you may want to cover most of the expenses. On the other hand, if the bride and groom are older, as many couples are these days, they may each have been working for five years or more, have some money saved, and be perfectly willing to pick up some of the bills. The best way to decide who will pay for what, is for both families (or all the families that apply) and the couple to sit down together and have a frank discussion about what each party can afford to contribute. Some people are terribly uncomfortable discussing their finances in front of others, so be sensitive to that. Separate meetings are sometimes necessary, but it’s best if you can get everyone together at one time to brainstorm and share information. Only when you learn

how much money each family and the bride and groom can chip in can you know what kind of wedding to begin planning. I hate it when people begin to run frantically for one thing or the other, just few days to the wedding. Don’t feel bad if you are a parent of the bride and can’t afford to pay for the entire wedding. Very few people expect that any more. And don’t offer to pay for something you can’t afford. There is no law that says every wedding must cost a fortune. Some couples, or their families decide they simply must put out all the shops for a wedding. They want nothing but the best even if they can’t afford to pay for it. Some even go overboard and take out loans to facilitate their dreams. In conclusion, even if the families decide to help with the bills, the bride and groom should be finan-

Text messages Re-High education, high husband dies as wife and would love to be identified with such ladies, a trader or a market woman can register for part time and sandwich programmes to upgrade herself. Thanks for the job well done. Oloyede Gabriel Igbokoda. •She is right on top of her

Edwin and Bridget flanked by reverends Theo Nwabasili and Jude Ehirim and some Lay Readers after their holy wedlock at St John’s Anglican Church, Bariga Lagos.

game, that is the final word. Apart from marrying a woman or a lady married to a man, education is the only way to break the line of poverty in this world, except in few cases. That is why these days I bet it if the person will ever forgive him or herself, these days when people govern us, all in the name of certificate’s here and there. My sister, education is as important as food is important to somebody to survive. Adebayo Oladimeji, Ibadan. •Vera, your piece “High education, high husband, is splendid and educating. It’s also applicable to the men. It reminds me of my mistake, wherefore I sent my son’s mum to the university believing that when she is out she would assist me acquire same myself, (going totally against the advice of my mum and siblings that I take it first and that its incorrect. Which I did as a result of my impregnating her while she was in S.S. II and I just a year out of High school). To simply buttress your point, we had misunderstanding and broke up and during one of our sessions on our child’s welfare, she reminded me in her word. “You did not do anything for me oh.) Today she is married to a Phd holder. To say the least, I \wept like a baby on that

faithful day. So you would also agree with me that the same goes for the men too. Ndiaa, Port Harcourt, •Re: Should breastfeeding in public be allowed? Today’s young ladies and married women willfully and happily expose their breasts in public. So what excuse would such have for starving their babies of breast milk in public? Babies should be breastfeed anywhere and everywhere. It’s their right. Winning S. King, Rivers state •Gone are the days when parents choose wives for their sons, today it is not so. You can’t sleep on Delilah’s lap and wake up in Abraham’s bossom. So you can’t be an ‘SS III without certificate and expect to marry master degree holder. If it happens then it is a miracle of the century. Fellow Nigerians don’t be stagnant in your academic pursuit. It you are a 1st degree holder go for your second degree, if you hold an OND go for HND, HND go for PGD and so on. You will never regret it.. God bless you. Moses •Your piece was so heart touching God loves Nigeria, we have women like you, I

cially prepared to fund the event and both should work within a budget this will help start the happy couple off on the right foot.

How you decide to divide the costs of your wedding depends primarily on the financial situation of each family. Circumstances and common sense, not tradition now dictates who will pay for what for a wedding

hope bachelors are listening more power to your elbow. Jonathan T. Adamawa •Re-High education, high husband, nowadays, the saying if education is costly, try ignorance is vivid and you lie on your bed as you lay it, the ones that is high up there will definitely be choosy. Few words is enough for the wise. Segun Makinde, Ibadan •Hi Vera, in fact, all you wrote about this topic are real. One has to upgrade his/her profile before upgrading that of his partner, so many men has had their heart and hope shattered through these. Ugwu Greg, Obudu •This article in my opinion is a wake up call to parents to educate their female children, there is a common saying that love is blind, to me is not blind when it comes to this area, marriage calls for compatibility in all areas how do yu expect an educated………. Gone are the days when those things are not taken into consideration, women that are educated are highly respected by their husband. I am even of the opinion that women should be highly educated than their husband. Because an educated woman means an educated family, but even at that women should not use that as a ride on their husbands. Omini Destiny



I believe in Angels I love music so much that I can’t ever drive without playing some of my favorite songs. It makes the journey less tedious especially on days when snailspeed traffic makes you wonder if you’d ever get home. I know I’m rather old school when it comes to my choice of music. Trust me to listen to the Elton Johns of this world and his fellow companions like Taylor Swift (Dear John) and so on. And then Abba. Yes I love all Abba’s songs. ‘I have a Dream’ is one of my best in the Abba songs and it’s because of the mention of angels. “I have a dream, a song to sing, to help me cope with anything. If you see the wonder of a fairy tale, you can take the future even if you fail. I believe in angels something good in everything I see. I believe in angels when I know the time is right for me.

I’ll cross the stream. I have a dream.” Angels are those beings who help us when we don’t even know. You’re walking towards a pit without knowing it. As your feet are just inches from falling inside, you think you heard your name being called by somebody and you turn back. That is the work of an angel. A ceiling fan is about to fall exactly where you’re standing and you have no idea. Suddenly, a rat startles you run away, in that instant, the fan drops just where you had been standing. It is the work of your angel. I may not know the name of the angel assigned to me but I know I have a guardian angel. I have human angels too. To all my human angels all over the world, I say may your own divine angels never leave you. And to you all who make me feel the presence of angels through the love you show, I say with a big heart that I love you tons. I’m your angel and you’re mine. Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy!

How do I tell my wife that my girlfriend is carrying my baby? Please help and I need your advice fast before I do something dangerous. I have been married for 10 years and life was good when I got married but things got worse a few years back when I lost my job and this led me to seek assistance from other women outside my marriage. Though my wife has been very supportive in her little ways to support the family since I don’t have a regular income to care for the kids at home, but the problem now is that another lady is pregnant for me and she said abortion is not an option. My wife is not aware of this and my pregnant girlfriend thinks I’m single. I love my family and my girl friend too. So how can I break the news to my wife and also my girlfriend without hurting both of them? Please help with your advice before it’s too late. Dear brother, I’m sure a lot of people upon hearing this will condemn your actions and tell you to go to Father Confessor to admit your sins of having a girl-

Victoria Beckham and her baby

friend. Soon after that they go secretly to their (own) prostitutes and pay for sex. Inwardly, they laugh at you for not being smart. After all, prostitutes will never ever know their addresses much less say they’re pregnant. The world is full of hypocrites. I make bold to say that you’re better than most men out there. I won’t pat you in the back for knocking another woman up when you’re still married. But who doesn’t know that in life s..t happens? It does. We all must learn to live with the mistakes we have made, laugh at them and accept that worse things are happening out there. It’d be wrong for me to sit down here in the comfort of my home and criticize you. I’m not about to play the role of a saint because I know I’m not. What I’ll say is that you should work things out with Madam Girlfriend (MG). Is she one of your benefactors now that you’re without a job? Does she put food on your table? Can you find help fast without going back to her to beg after taking your decisions? These are questions you have

to answer. You will then need to ask God to intervene. It’s a hard world out there and men and women are looking for assistance in the most unconventional ways. May God help us all. Whatever the situation, let MG know without wasting time that you’re married and you’re not planning to send your wife packing. Except she’s totally blind or you are terrible deceptive, there should have been signs for her to see anyway that your moves are not always clean. I’m sure that there are so many nights and days you spend away from her (to be with your family) that you can’t explain. Most women have that intuition when our men have other women. So, tell her to her face that all those guesses of hers are right and that you’re married. Let her take her decisions after that. Never force a woman to abort a pregnancy. Both of you went to bed with eyes open without using condoms. Now, it has happened, she wants to keep the baby, let her. It’s her decision. She knows why she wants the baby. It would be insensitive on your part to ask a woman who has never had a child for instance to abort the pregnancy. By the time you have presented the knowledge of your marital status if she still wants to keep the baby, good luck to her. That shouldn’t give you any headache anyway. If she has been helping you (a grown man) financially, it means she can take care of her baby without your help. You have thus donated sperm to a woman in need. Well done! Do not try to distress your wife with the news of the pregnancy. At least not yet. The people to inform now are your friends and family members. You will need them to gently explain to Madam if and when the child is born. For now, a pregnancy is what it is. Whether it comes to full term or not depend of Mr. Maker Himself. If and when it happens, confess it all to her and seek for her help in tacking this problem. As your wife, she’s also your small mother. A mother wouldn’t kill her child for being silly. Ask for her forgiveness. She should know that men stray anyway. May God talk to her heart at the right time, amen. Pray hard for God’s quick intervention in the area of your job. That way, you won’t have to rely on women to survive. It makes you less than a man when you rely on women for survival. Even if you want to marry another woman, it shouldn’t be because you want to exchange money for sex. God help you.

Hearts With Adeola Agoro E-mail: Tel: 08023162609

The man I love at work doesn’t give me face Hi Adeola, I’m 20 years old. In my office where I’m doing IT, there’s a guy I love but he doesn’t show me face and I don’t know what to do. Please I can’t wait for you advice- O. Dear O, give this man a break; okay. How old is the man? If he’s in his late 20s or early 30s, he’s sure to have his own girlfriend(s). So, he won’t be swayed by your notice-me antics. I bet. Don’t let us also forget that if he has been in that company for a long time, he might have had his own fair of dating IT girls. Maybe he’s tired of you young things with starry eyes. And God help you if he’s

handsome and well-dressed, he’s sure to be a hot cake coveted by many women so he might not notice you. Or he might not be in the habit of making a Monica Lewinsky of every intern. You’re young and I’m sure beautiful too, so if up till now the guy has not noticed you, forget it, you will certainly meet another man whom you will not only love, but one that will love you back. Most holiday affairs (IT is in that category) do not last beyond that period so save your energy on what is lasting. Smile. The world is unraveling before you.

My problem is weak erection Please what can I do about weak erection? That you have weak erection is not a curse and you’re not alone. Research has shown that weak erection has affected millions of men in the world today. The disruption of blood flow to the penis vein is a major cause of weakness of penis during sexual intercourse. Longterm diabetes causes a lot of damage to the nerve system and so, leads to weak erection. Cardiovascular disorder, prostate cancer operations, side effects of using hard drugs, multiple sclerosis, hormonal disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, fear of guilt, low self-esteem and also old age play important role in the development of weak erection in a man’s life.

You did not say how old you are, but I want to say that weak erection occurs in the age bracket of 40 to 65 years. Changes in lifestyle such as end to smoking, conscious efforts to lose weight, exercises, reduction in stress level, good sleeping habits and medical examinations may help. I recently introduced a certain food supplement I got from England to some friends and most of the males are asking for more saying it helped them regain not only their physical activities but also brain functions. The females reported that their menstrual cycles, which had become rather irregular, had normalized. The bad news is that I don’t have more. But on demand, I can get more.

I want to leave my drunkard husband Dear Aunty, I listened to a radio program where you were a guest some weeks back and I liked it, that’s why I’m texting you. My husband is such a drunkard that he makes a fool of himself. It’s so bad that he has no control once he sees alcohol. I have tried to talk to him but he won’t listen. I tried reporting to his parents but he denied it saying I made it up. I’m tired and I want to leave. What do you think? My sister, if I told you to leave your husband, would I give you another one? Not likely. And even if I did the new man won’t come with a fool-proof warranty that he won’t drink, smoke and womanize. If you’re running away from one man because of one problem, be sure that the next guy that comes along may not drink but he may be either good at throwing punches and using you as his sparing partner or he may come with a lot of other ugly baggage. What

Match-Making We have a long list of eligible men and woman seeking for partners. We however have to know you before we take the risk of introducing you to them. Please send your photographs, full names and addresses and occupation along with your request to: or call: 08087352390. Thanks.

that means is that no one is absolutely perfect. Learn to manage your own little problems and pay for a solution. A neighbor of mine a drinking husband. When he got tired of being called to come and take him home when he’s too drunk to know his way home, she devised a trick. She set up a mini bar in their vast compound. So when it’s weekend and oga wants to go out, she reminds him of the bar and calls up some of the neighbors who also love the bottles to join them. Of course, she charges for the drinks and makes fish pepper soup at times. With cable t.v showing matches or some lively conversations going on, the man has no interest in going out. Meanwhile, madam knows when he has reached his limit and gently advises him not to go for more. Can you beat that? If you can’t do this, then, here’s another one - instead of fighting him not to go and drink, dress up and follow him. Make him your date and dress well to impress him. With you by his side, he won’t drink more than his capacity. Most importantly, give him youths to counsel against drinking. If you know some young people around who have that same problem, push them to him. Put it into his head that he’s a role model to some people. We all never want to disappoint those who look up to us. Love him with his faults. May God help you.


Profile Partying Happenstances Style






ntil about 10 years ago, she was reputed as one of Nigeria's greatest fashion designers. Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija has since diversified into printing and oil and gas business, but she remains nonetheless one of Nigeria's greatest fashion icons. On the occasion of th her 60 birthday, Mrs. Alakija, who wrote a book titled, University of Marriage, granted KEHINDE FALODE an interview, where she spoke about her career, marriage and family life. SEE PAGE 44-45

My husband swept me off my feet the very first time we met


icon, Folorunsho Alakija at 60



The two keys to a successful marriage •Folorunsho Alakija, who has been married for 35 years R

ECENTLY you had a three-in-one celebration of your 60th birthday, 35th wedding anniversary and your grand-daughter’s birthday. How did it feel? I am grateful to God Almighty, because it hasn’t been by my power but because of what He has been able to do for me, with me and through me. I appreciate everything that has happened to me through His grace in the last 35 years of marriage. I have known my husband now for about 39 years and we have been married for 35years. I wouldn’t say it has been a bed of roses, but God has given us the grace over the years to continue to love each other, to be able to accommodate each other and to be able to understand and communicate with each other. From the beginning, we have committed ourselves to bringing up our children in a way that would ensure that they grow together with us, understand the family and how relating well with one another can keep a family together. So, God has been kind in that area. We are a closely knit family. The only thing is that at the time we were having children, we had expected that we would have a mixture of both sexes, but that didn’t happen. But our sons have been very wonderful, loving, caring and well mannered. They have not given us any cause to regret. They have never stressed us. And because God in His wisdom felt that this family has not grumbled and have kept themselves together and loved one another, He gave us our first grandchild who turned out to be a girl. So, we give Him the glory. As far as I am concerned, I don’t feel 60. Although 60 is a big number, I don’t feel old in any way. I just believe that God willing, I will be able to live for another 60 years in good health by His grace, and I will continue to get closer and closer to Him.

You are aging gracefully. What is the secret? (Laughs) I keep myself very busy. I am loved not only by God but also by man, particularly my husband, my children and my grand-daughter. That in itself helps one to be able to achieve that, because if you are not living under stress or strain, the forces of life will not show in your physical body. That is the case with me, and I just thank God. It is not because of anything I do. You mean there is no special beauty routine? No. I only started doing exercise this year, and it has been an on and over thing. What was the attraction when you met your husband 39 years ago? You should ask what attracted him to me, because it is usually the man that goes after the woman. He said he saw a petite light-skinned young lady he had never seen around town before. And that was because I had just arrived from England and we met within two weeks of my arrival in Nigeria. He was a dashing young lawyer who also swept me off my feet. So, I guess that was the attraction. People generally know you as an exPresident of Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria (FADAN) and an oil magnate. At what point did you go into printing business? We started with monograms, heat transfer and screen prints about 10 years ago, and we added the large format prints to our feathers in September 2006. In September 2011, we added another feather (offset printing) to our cap. So, what is the difference between the machine you were using before and the new one? The one we were using before was for large format printing: roll up, bill board,

stickers, etc. But with what we have on ground now, we are going to be printing brochures, stationery, note pads, books, etc. Do you still have time for fashion in the face of all this? Well, I have stopped making clothes for the past 10 years. But I am still a life trustee of FADAN. And from time to time, I am at their events to support them and to give them advice as a trustee. With your tight schedule, do you still have time to unwind? I relax in the evening with my granddaughter. My children are grown up now, so, they don’t have time for us. My husband and grand-daughter, the three of us relax

together when her father allows us to have her for a few days. For now, that is the only form of relaxation that I get. The remaining hours are taken up by work. What was your growing up like? My growing up, in a nutshell, was more of schooling and staying in boarding house both in Nigeria and abroad. I was brought up by a very strict, creative and hardworking mother and a very creative father as well. They were both in textiles business. My father also included stock fish. I come from a background of 52 children. I am number eight on my father’s side and number two on my mother’s side. My mother had seven children. Unfortunately, both of them died two years ago, only one month apart. What is style to you?


THE NATION, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2011 Style, as far as I am concerned, is the way you go about doing anything; your own method of achieving anything. It could be the way you decorate your home, the way you walk, talk or dress. They all encompass your style; your method of doing things. How then would you describe your style? As far as home decoration is concerned, I like modern furnishing. I don’t think I can live with traditional furnishing for one day. And I am glad my husband is like that. I love to decorate our home wherever they are. As far as dressing is concerned, I like to coordinate my colours appropriately. It needs to reflect the mood, the venue or the occasion, even the kind of weather at the location. If it is cold, it will determine what I am wearing. If it is night, it will determine what I wear too. I would not wear something that is meant for a cocktail to a wedding. It will not be appropriate to wear what is meant for a spa to the sea side. All this determines what I wear and the colours I choose. They determine my accessories as well. So, the occasion, the weather and the mood determine my style. How do you combine your duty as the CEO of Digital Print with family matters? I do hire the best hands to see to the day-to-day running of my companies, and I oversee them. I don’t have to be in those companies on a daily basis. That also gives me time for my family and for other things as well. Do you still cook for your husband? I certainly do. But I am not saying I cook every day. I make sure I cook once a week and at weekends. Where is your favourite holiday spot? Dubai. Why Dubai? I love the weather. I like the peripherals of the various buildings I come across. I like the creativity those buildings offer. I see the creative talents invested into each of the buildings. Although I am not an architect, the creative ability and talent God has put in me as a fashion designer makes me like to look at them and be around them. I like the shopping. If I don’t mention that, I would be a hypocrite. Most Nigerians go to Dubai to shop, and it gives me the opportunity to relax as well. What is your favourite colour? I love all bright colours. I am an extrovert. I am a vibrant person. These are synonymous with bright colours. I don’t like dull or boring people. I like everything to be vibrant. Who are your favourite handbag and footwear designers? I don’t have any favourite designer. I don’t look for labels; I look for a unique spark in the design. If it catches my attention, that is it. I don’t care what the label is. In short, it has nothing to do with me. I am not a label freak; absolutely not. I just look for that one thing that makes it look different and unusual. Which is your favourite perfume? I buy all sorts of perfumes, but I love Angel the most because of the peculiar scent. It is just an unusual scent and it stands out. Do you mix? I don’t mix. Whichever perfume I pick in the morning is the one I use for the rest of the day. What is that fashion item you would never be caught with? At my age, I don’t think I will be caught wearing hot pants (general laughter). I used to wear them when I was younger. What fashion item can you not do without? Embroidered headgears. I just love them. They are unique. They add a little sparkle to my dressing. I tie my head gears myself just within a minute without looking at the mirror. Who is the Nigerian woman whose style appeals to you? Oh my God! Chief Opral Benson, the Iya Oge herself. Describe your husband in three

words? My husband is handsome, very practical, generous, loving, kind and compassionate. What is the key to a successful marriage? There has to be a foundation of love between both spouses for the marriage to work. There must be submission on the part of the woman in all aspects. That is a requirement by God. No half measure. You even have to submit your finances. It has to be complete submission. But the husband has to love, honour and respect the wife. Those are the two key things as far as husbands and wives are concerned. The two of them have to be committed to each other, because if they are not committed to each other, outside forces can rock the boat. And if you are not well grounded, you can fall apart. Communicate with one another on a regular basis. Communicate so much that even when you quarrel, you make up very quickly. You have to be extremely patient with one another because you are two human beings who were not created exactly the same way. The tongue lives in the mouth with the teeth and sometimes the teeth bite the tongue, but they make up again. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to eat and supply your body with the food that you need for your body to be nourished. If they are constantly fighting, they won’t be able to cooperate in order to grow and be in good health. In marriage, we need to be patient with one another so that we can work amicably and develop a good relationship. A woman must not nag, because as you nag, you are driving your husband out of the home and the marriage. The husband also has to provide for his wife and his family, because God has put him in that position as a representative of Christ. God is our spiritual provider and protector, but He wants the man whom He has given all the muscles and the physic, to provide protection for his family. That is why He made him stronger than the woman. God didn’t give him the man those abilities for nothing. So, if he doesn’t use them right, he is not honouring the will of God. The man is supposed to be the bread winner for the family. When God cursed Adam, He told him he had to tilt the land before he could eat and told Eve she had to help Adam. So, the man has to provide food for the family. What if the man has no job? When the man has no job and the woman is working, the woman should help to support her husband at that point. But many women today are doing the opposite of their vow of for better or for worse. For better, they stay with the man, for worse, they go. Sometimes when the woman or man falls into sickness, some spouses disappear. They are not ready to go through the thick and thin with their spouses. Was that the way God ordained it? No. If we do things the right way, the way God wanted it from the beginning, they will work out. You are meant to support each other. Two heads are always better than one. When everything is dumped on one person, how can it work? What makes the difference? If the woman is not submissive, the man will react. When the man reacts, the woman will counter-react and it goes on and on. Then the children start getting involved

A woman must not nag, because as you nag, you are driving your husband out of the home and the marriage. The husband also has to provide for his wife and his family, because God has put him in that position... God is our spiritual provider and protector...

and they are the ones that bear the brunt of everything. They are caught in-between and they don’t know where to go. Today they will go and stay with daddy; tomorrow they will stay with mummy. From there, they get into bad company. Some men are pushing their women out indirectly by shirking their responsibilities.



Zaron berths in Nigeria L

AST Sunday night was a time of highflying fashion and style when Zaron launched make-up and hair weavon into the Nigerian market at the Grandball Room of Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island. The lady behind the products, Oke Ogba Maduwesi, stocked the venue of the event with an impressive wide range of vibrant colours of make-up and 100 per cent Remi hair in different forms and sizes. They are a beauty company specializing in natural hair and make-up products for the African woman. “Our vision is to be one of the leading beauty products of choice for all people of style. We shall continue to improve the quality of lives of people by procuring and distributing quality lifestyle products that shall enhance confidence, beauty, inner peace and happiness of woman,” she said. Makeup and hair products unveiled included makeup different look of zaron, from wedding look, daytime look, night look, runway look, cocktail business look and beachwear look to mention but a few. Different designs with exquisite ornaments depicting different occasions added glamour to the event. Tiwa Savage thrilled the audience with her hit song ‘Kelekele love,’ while Ifeoma Williams and Helen Paul were the compeers.


For glowing skin

Nothing can make you look young and youthful like a glowing skin. While some are lucky enough to be born with good family genes, just as many struggle with cosmetics and skin care products to try and achieve the same. Though glowing skin is easy to visualize, it can be a very tough task to accomplish. Besides a lot of patience, you also need a strong determination to maintain a glowing skin. Regardless of your skin type, there are proved ways of making your skin glow. Avocados offer your skin the antioxidant effects of Vitamin E. The proteins and fats in the fruit draw moisture into your skin and help fill up the fine lines and wrinkles. Mash it with 1 egg yolk and apply to face for 20 minutes, and then wash it to soothen dry skin. This is especially good in hot weather.



Be irresistible and fresh H

AVE you ever felt dissatisfied with your outfit after dressing up to your taste? This happens when you feel your scent or smell is not complete without the right perfume? It is an accessory the wardrobe should not be without, whether you are male or female, young or old. In selecting perfume, you must ensure that it complements your personality and lifestyles. Selecting the right perfume from the glut in the market, ranging from the inexpensive to the exorbitant takes great deal of trial and error. You can begin by spraying a little of it on your wrist. Study it for about 30 seconds and see whether you like the scent or not. Do not try different fragrances at a time, if you do not want to be confused. Below are few tips: Ingredients and flavours: Perfumes can be selected on the bases of different ingredients and flavours. There are different categories of perfumes, including woody perfumes, fruit perfumes, floral perfumes, oceanic perfumes, green perfumes and oriental perfumes. Usually, each of these fragrances is suitable for a male or female, depending on their personal preferences. However, you can always go for the ones that suit

Marc Jacobs and Christian Dior’s talks stall salary negotiations

Jacobs is still the front-runner for the job to replace John Galliano at Christian Dior. However, talks are taking longer than expected, since he and his business partner, Robert Duffy, want a “substantial” increase in salary and benefits. According to sources, Dior president and chief executive officer, Sidney Toledano, is said to have recently spent several days in New York to meet with legal representatives for Jacobs and Duffy. The duo is believed to be looking for a salary somewhere in the low eight figures each, plus other benefits.

Foluke ADEMOLA your personality and lifestyles. Smell: This is one of the five senses and is a large part of non-verbal communication. Put simply what scent you wear communicates much more than the label you’re wearing. Perfume has the power to affect your confidence levels, how you perform at work and how attractive you feel. Always go for the perfumes that contain fresh smells and make you attractive and impressive. Has your best friend (preferably female) given his/ her views on the particular perfume you are trying. Often, it is the other person who can tell you what goes right with you. Weather and season: While choosing a perfume, one should consider the climate and season. What goes best in the winter may not be good enough in the summer. Hence, it is extremely important to choose the perfume that does justice to the climate and to your skin. Perfumes can also be selected on the basis of occasion. For instance, a particular perfume may be perfect for a party, but be wrong to wear same when it comes to a corporate meeting. Application: Perfume is best applied to pulse points: the inner wrists, behind the ears and lower neck. Spray a bit on your hair from arm’s length, and the scent will float into the air every time you move your head.

Hats An anthology hats and hatmakers are enjoying a surge in popularity these days, to the delight of celebrated British milliner, Stephen Jones. “It’s so funny how the media, especially in America, has suddenly rediscovered hats! “With Kate Middleton and the royal wedding and everything, people are realizing again what fun they are,”he remarked. Not that he’s complaining, of course; it’s perfect timing for his fashion exhibit, “Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones.” at the Bard Graduate Centre on the Upper West Side.

•Evergreen Egeonu wins Little Charming Princess 2011 competition



‘Our objectives are to improve lives, create opportunities’ The O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation, a privately funded charity organisation, is marking its 10th anniversary. In this interview with COLLINS NWEZE, Mrs Seinye O.B LuluBriggs, Executive Director and member, Board of Trustees of the foundation, explains the vision, mission and major activities of the foundation. Excerpts:


HAT influenced the choice of the foundation’s area of focus? Over 10 years ago, a close friend of mine and I were on the way to attend a function in the village. On the way there, we stopped by to visit the elderly aunt of a close friend of mine. She was once a very beautiful lady, but poverty and the pain of the reduced circumstances in which she was now living, had changed her countenance greatly. Apart from being almost penniless, the roof of room in which this lady lived had a leak and rain was dripping onto her body and belongings. This experience lingered on my mind and made me realise that we cannot ignore the fact of aging and the attrition that growing old can bring. It was in a bid to alleviate the pains of the elderly, especially in the rural areas where poverty is rampant, that we started the Care For Life programme. This you may say is our foundational and flagship programme. The foundation started its operations in 2001 with one area of focuscare for the elderly. Ten years later, we work in five distinct programme areas: Care for life; education and scholarship; medical missions; micro credit and entrepreneurship and the safe water project. Our choice of programme area is directly influenced by our vision, which is to ‘bring joy, purpose and meaning to the lives of the elderly and deprived among us.’ Don’t you think the result would have been greater ,if you had to concentrate on smaller challenges? In a situation where the need and neglect are so great and so deep seated, there is no small challenge; all challenges we face are great ones. In a situation where you provide free medical treatment and discover that the root cause of some of the ailments being treated is the lack of potable water, what do you do? You have to tackle the safe water issue as well. We are very aware of the need to make interventions in a manner that will not only be sustainable and scalable, but also where the impact is likely to be significant. And this is what we have done through each of our programme areas. What has been the greatest challenge of running the foundation? The challenges are varied, depending on the programme area. The acute poverty and deprivation of

The foundation started its operations in 2001 with one area of focuscare for the elderly. Ten years later, we work in five distinct programme areas: Care for life; education and scholarship; medical missions; micro credit and entrepreneurship and the safe water project

people in the rural areas of the Niger Delta obviously are a major general challenge. The dearth of modern infrastructure also poses a challenge. We have experienced great difficulties in some of the rural areas in which we have carried out our free medical missions. In some cases, we have refurbished and equipped entire hospitals and health centres. There is also the reality that many young professionals are loath to work in rural areas, so getting qualified medical personnel to attend to patients during the medical missions is also a challenge. Usually, we have to move into the outreach location with a team of out-of-town volunteer doctors, pharmacists and


so on. We have also had to purchase mobile operating units. Above all, I would say that God Almighty has blessed us mightily and as He has laid this vision in my husband’s heart and mine. He has also provided the resources with which to actualise the vision. So I highlight these challenges just so you can have an inkling of what has to be overcome. More importantly, it is to enable me glorify God, from whom all of my blessings and help flow. One of the major drawbacks of foundations is the challenge of continuity; what steps have you taken to institutionalize the foundation? After 10 years, yes, we have certainly considered the issue of continuity and taken appropriate steps to address it. The O.B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation was started by my beloved husband, High Chief (Dr.) O.B. Lulu-Briggs, OON, DCF. It is a privately funded, registered charitable organization, with a properly constituted Board of Trustees. The foundation is run by an Execu-

tive Director, and there is a Director of Programmes and programme staff who handles each of the programme fields. We regularly conduct vision sharing and mission evaluation exercises with our board and staff in order to properly share the vision and ensure all stakeholders are on the same page regarding our vision, values and objectives. Did you imagine the foundation would live into its 10th anniversary? Great oaks do grow from small acorns. We may not have planned that the foundation would grow to be so big,but we certainly planned to be here for the long haul. You see, our objectives are to assist the elderly, heal communities, improve lives and create opportunities for the indigent and needy. There is no foreseeable point when we can safely say all these objectives have been satisfactorily met; so now we’re here, we look forward to the next 10 years with God being our helper. What would you consider your greatest achievements thus far?

Being of service to our fellow manwhat greater achievement could there be? We are called by our Lord, Jesus Christ, to love our neighbours as ourselves. Every time we help one household get ready access to clean water, we are loving our neighbours. Every time we provide free consultation, diagnosis and treatment to one sick person, we’re fulfilling the commandment to love that Jesus Christ gave us. These are the achievements we choose to count for the foundation. Has there been any contact with some beneficiaries of your scheme to ascertain how the assistance has impacted their lives? Let me explain. We are a very hands-on organization. Apart from the free medical missions during which an average of 3000 people are treated, we keep track of the beneficiaries we have in each of the local government areas in which we operate. The foundation employs trained caregivers to visit our beneficiaries regularly, and so we get regular feedback about how our programmes affect their lives. Let me share one story with you. There was a lady in Abonnema, a village in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State. She used to look very frail and old and would frequently bemoan her life very publicly, calling for death to take her way from her travails. Well, after the foundation took her on as a beneficiary and started visiting her readily, providing a monthly stipend, foodstuff and sending evangelists and doctors to minister to her, each in their different way, the lady changed her tune and today, she’s one of the most joyful senior citizens around. That’s another testimony to point to. As at today, we have about 200 senior citizens like her from different communities that we have ‘adopted’ and who will remain our responsibility till they pass on. That’s our commitment. There are too many similar stories for me to mention; so suffice it for me to say we are a direct intervention organization; we stay close to our beneficiaries and we have a structured way of getting feedback about the impact of our programmes on the lives of the beneficiaries. What are your dreams for the foundation in the next ten years? Our unspoken but unanimously adopted motto after this first decade of intervention is to go ‘onwards and upwards.’ In all we do-whether it is medical mission or educational support or safe water or entrepreneurship development- we want to scale things up-make things bigger and better in order to cater to more people. We would like to attract more partners for our work-actually this is something we are aggressively working on at the moment. It is our goal to have wide pools of volunteer medical personnel to work with; especially those in specialized areas like maxillo facial surgery and opthalmogy. We also intend to partner pharmaceutical companies in order to get highly subsidized pharmaceutical supplies for our free medical missions. We want to model best practices and show that things can be done well for the poor and needy and by so doing, encourage more people in Rivers State, other parts of the Niger Delta and all over Nigeria, to take our simple ideas, apply them in their communities and grow the oasis of love and care. Do you keep track of how much you have committed so far to actualize the foundation goals? Yes, we do have a systematic way of capturing and tracking our financial commitments. More importantly, we capture and track our spiritual commitments to ensure that our heart is always in the right place and that we carry out our actions from the point of view of love



•Wooden figures inside the temple


DIKA Asa, the curator and priest of the Omu-Ukwu (Obun Nkwa) temple in Ndi Ezera compound, Ohafia, Abia State is a kind of metaphor for what has become the fortune of the ancient shrine and a national monument. Gaunt looking, his sight is gradually failing him. According to him, he is finding it difficult feeding except when he gets help from his children. The shrine and its artifacts, like its keeper and priest, are gradually going into extinction as a result of neglect, thereby robbing the present and posterity to view into the past. The temple is shielded from outsiders by a huge wall of about 10 feet. There is a metal gate of about four feet by the side of the wall that leads into the shrine. One has to stoop to enter. It is difficult to see the shrine from outside. It is desolate and devoid of activities. There are no more willing acolytes seeking refuge. The community no longer gathers at the shrine to marshal plans on

Dying war sound in Omu-Ukwu temple how to prosecute a war nearby or at distant communities. It stands as evidence of what used to be.

Asaga-Ohafia, the home of the shrine is about an hour drive from Umuahia, the Abia State

•T.A.Orji, Abia State Governor

•Idika Asa

capital. From Umuahia, one could take a commercial cab going to Ohafia and then alight at Ebem. From there, one could take another cab or a commercial motorcycle to Obu Nkwa in Ndi Ezera compound in Asaga. The monument was dedicated to one of the warriors of Asaga named Umah Ukpai. The main building is made of mud reinforced. The roof is thatched, but it also has roofing sheets used to protect the shrine and the contents from the vagaries of the sun. The walls of the shrine are smooth. They feature designs made with black and white chalk, reminding one of a leopard skin. The black chalk designs are many at the entrance of the

shrine. There are four wooden male figures in front of the shrine, two on each side of the door. The wooden figures have elaborate paintings on their bodies. Two are clutching dane guns, one is wearing a hat with white loin clothes tied around the waist. Inside the temple are more figures and carvings. The main figures are at the centre of the shrine. They are four in number. Three men who are standing and the fourth , a woman, is being carried by one of the men. Farther by the wall are carvings of men and women. There is a theme of war in different actions these carvings are performing. A little knowledge of the history of Ohafia makes this understandable. The Ohafia people, leaving in 26 villages, were warriors. They often waged wars on behalf of the Aro slave traders. There are also other traditional artifacts tied to the Ohafia tradition in the shrine. There is Ikoro, a big wooden drum with a hollow centre to produce sound. Calabash cups probably for drinking palmwine during rites. A box made of dry palm tree branches said to contain the paraphernalia for the Obun society, a traditional society in Ohafia for natives through initiation. Asa talked about them: “The Obu Nkwa shrine has been existing since the founding of our town. It was our forefathers that brought it to this place. The shrine started even before the coming of the white men, even before people started taking pictures. “Every statue inside the shrine was carved from wood representing human beings, both male and female. They represent some of our ancestors. We use the figures not only to represent how things were then, but also to depict the culture of our people. Uma Ukpai, the founder of our town, and his wife are represented here. We are called Asaga. This was due to our prowess in battles. Uma Ukpai was a warrior. Even Ibino Ukpabi, the deity of the Aro people, respected Uma Ukpai because he was a great warrior. “The shrine is called Obu Nkwa, meaning the wood carving (nkwa) and the intricate wood designs on the roof. The wood in our dialect is called nkwa. So the place is called Obu Nkwa.” Although the Obun Nkwa shrine does not currently have any serious influence on the life of the Asaga-Ohafia people in this modern era, it used to be the mainstay of the community life in the old days. The curator said: “The shrine does a lot of work for the people of Asaga. In those days, before our warriors waged a war, they would first go to the shrine to perform the necessary sacrifice. After that, when they went to war, they would come back successfully. Of course, on their return, they would come back to the Continued on Page 50



Dying war sound in Omu-Ukwu temple

Continued from Page 49

shrine to give the necessary sacrifice. With this shrine, no community could oppress us.” With the advent of Christianity and western civilization, the Obu Nkwa temple was relegated to the background. The shrine is a rich trove of materials for researchers and anthropologist interested in the history and way of life of the Ohafia people. The wooden figures probably date back to about 100 years. There are other artifacts that might be older if subjected to radiocarbon dating. This is the reason the shrine is a national monument, but the NCMM, according to the curator, had not been forthcoming in taking care of the shrine. He is afraid that if there is no effort by the museum authority to salvage some of these artifacts, they may gradually deteriorate and be lost forever. He said the building itself which is a testament of skilled local architecture using slit may also collapse. It is calling for urgent work. Tourists could have a peep into the social setting of this particular part of Igbo land in the early days of the advent of the white men. The curator once again talked about the involvement of the NCMM in the upkeep of the museum and the tourist traffic: “The government took over the place long ago. I was not born when the shrine came into existence. “People come to visit the place. Once in a while, we have visits from the museum officials. When we have foreign tourists wishing to visit here, they are brought by the officials of the NCCM. “I want the government to come and help in the preservation of the place. The walls

are falling. The roof needs rethatching.They must rebuild the side that is caving in. Here, I am not being paid. I have no source of money except when my children return. They give me money for my upkeep. Yet I am working for the government in protecting the place day and night. I am the cleaner, curator, day guard and night guard. I am everything here, but I am neither helped nor paid by anybody. I just want them to be giving me money to eat and be able to maintain the place. A hungry man would not have the power to do a meticulous job. If any thing happens to this place, I will be asked. I have made several complaints to the officials whenever they come here, but nothing has been done. You can see my condition,”he said. A little farther in the temple, one could see the ikoro. It is gradually decaying. It is dusty and unkept. There are holes all over the wooden drum. About ikoro,Asa said: “It is normally played during the new yam festival. Before the new yam festival, we perform the necessary ceremony here. See the pot over there; we pour palmwine inside for drinking. Hung on the wall is the Obon Society box. “Many of these ancient items need repair. The woods that are holding the hut where these artifacts are rotting away. We just did some makeshift repair. The whole house can collapse.Any time we approach NCMM, they say there is no money. The place urgently needs attention .” The Nation put a call across to Mr. Adedayo Oluremi, the NCMM director of artifacts and monuments. He said he had received a comprehensive report on the current state of the Omu-Ukwu temple and promised that the NCMM would soon commence work at the site.

•Entrance to the temple

•A decaying ikoro drum

Kehinde FALODE: 08023689894

Spinach and egg stew


This colourful dish is a very nutritious and healthy food which gives you the satisfaction you need for your whole body. It can be served with boiled rice for a light meal and also suitable for vegetarians. Try one today with your family and I can bet you we enjoy it. Ingredients •l kg/2lb fresh spinach (blanched and chopped) •8 soft boiled egg •4 fresh chilli pepper •8 fresh tomatoes •1 clove garlic •1 large onion •4 teaspoon tomato puree •6 teaspoon groundnut oil

Healthy and nutritional value of spinach

•1teaspoon fresh thyme •I teaspoon Iru (locust bean) •Chop fry plantain •Salt to taste Preparation •Grind the onions, tomatoes, chillies and garlic together. •First heat the oil in a clean pot, then add the grinded ingredients and cook for 15 minutes. •Add tomato puree and seasonings while stirring thoroughly. The sauce should be fairly thick. •Add the chopped spinach and soft boiled eggs. Add your fry plantain, season and stir properly. •Simmer for another five minutes and serve hot with boiled rice or cold eko.

Wonderful green leafy vegetable spinach is often recognized as one of the functional food for its nutritional, antioxidant and anti-cancer constituents. Its tender, crispy, dark green leaves are favourite ingredients of chefs all around the world. Botanically it belongs to the amaranthaceae family and its scientific name is spinacia oleracea. It has various benefits: •The leaves also contain good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper and zinc. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper are used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. •By inhibiting the angiotensin I-converting enzyme, peptides within spinach have been shown to effectively lower blood pressure. •Flavonoids -- a phytonutrient with anticancer properties abundant in spinach -have been shown to slow down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. Furthermore, spinach has shown significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer. •The vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium present in spinach all serve as powerful antioxidants that combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.

•One cup of boiled spinach provides over 1000% of the RDA of vitamin K that can prevent excess activation of osteoclasts (the cells that break down bones), as well as promote the synthesis of osteocalcin, the protein that is essential for maintaining the strength and density of our bones. •Vitamin K is a crucial component of the process called carboxylation, which produces the matrix Gla protein that directly prevents calcium from forming in tissue. Eating one cup of spinach contributes to this process that fights atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. •The high amount of vitamin A in spinach also promotes healthy skin by allowing for proper moisture retention in the epidermis, thus fighting psoriasis, keratinization, acne and even wrinkles. •Spinach also contains inositol and choline which help to form lecithin important for helping the body break down fats. Choline will help cleanse your system and your liver will be able to eliminate toxins better.


Akwaaba 2011 to start two days earlier


HIS year’s Akwaaba, African Travel Market, will be starting two days ear lier than planned because the Lagos State local government elections have been fixed for October 22. The event will start on October 19 and end on October 21. The change of date is in anticipation of a possible restriction of movement and considering the large number of foreigners expected at this year’s event, the organisers have moved the date two days earlier. Before moving the date, the global calendar of events was taken into consideration as AfTM is the only internationally listed event in West Africa. This comes as more countries and international firms register to participate. Zimbabwe, Chad and Namibia will be first tim-

ers at this year’s event along with leading airlines and international hotel chains from all over Africa. will be attending the only international fair in West Africa. Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agents (NANTA) is partnering the organizers of Akwaaba to make the event a success. NANTA is the biggest travel association in Nigeria and the umbrella body of travel agencies will be bringing its members to the event as both sellers and buyers, according to the National Publicity Secretary of NANTA, Mrs. Tinuke Nwakohu. “NANTA will participate in Akwaaba as the event provides a local opportunity for players in the travel trade to network and work together as travel markets are the lifeblood

of travel business globally and cannot be different in Nigeria”. Mr. Ikechi Uko, representing the organisers, said “having NANTA as a partner completes the circle as our event has partnership with global associations and having a credible national group like NANTA completes the circle for us and we are excited to tap their goodwill and expertise”. Akwaaba, African Travel Market, is the only international expo in West Africa listed by UNWTO, a partner event of ATA in the region, and the only member of ITTFA in West Africa. AfTM seeks to make travelling a pleasurably seamless experience in Africa.

51 BTM boss steps down


USINESS Travel Market, the Europe’s largest business travel conference and exhibition held annually at London’s ExCeL, has announced that Loraine Holdcroft is standing down as Director of its VIP Hosted Buyer Programme after three years. Ex-ITM and HBAA Executive Director Holdcroft has been an integral part of the BTM team from the very beginning, having been responsible for implementing the first fully hosted buyer programme in the corporate travel industry back in 2009. Her departure comes after the third successful BTM event at ExCeL in June. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my work at BTM and seeing it grow year on year. I take real pleasure from the fact that BTM and its Hosted Buyer Programme has been so very well received within the industry both here in the UK and throughout the rest of Europe . However I feel that it is now time to move on to new projects, both personal and professional. “My husband Geoff and I have recently relocated from North East England to Northamptonshire, so what better time could there be to review both lifestyle and workload. “Over three years Holdcroft built up an extensive community of hosted buyers from 26 countries, with a collective annual travel spend running into billions of Euros. “It’s been a fascinating challenge to have had the opportunity to start the programme from scratch and to work with such a fantastic and committed team. I feel a real sense of satisfaction at leaving BTM with a proven appointments system and VIP Hosted Buyer Programme in place,” Holdcroft said.

Honour for Tarzan Balogun


• The Deputy General Manager, TAT Nigeria Limited, Ari Lewin, receiving the signed Air Carrier agreement on behalf of his company from the NCPC Board Chairman, Most Rev. Dr. Nicholas Okoh, whil;e ES NCPC watches with rapt attention.

British Airways adds to in-flight cellar


IGERIANS travelling with the Brit ish Airways have the opportunity to select from a wider variety of choice wines as the airline has added to

its wine list as it seeks out the world’s most prestigious wines to create an inflight cellar that would have world-class choice wines.

SA Tourism wins global award


OSHENE Singh, Chief Marketing Officer, South African Tourism, has won the prestigious and highly sought-after M and M Global Award for Nation and Destination Branding for its “Adventurers Wanted” campaign in partnership with National Geographic. The M and M (Media and Marketing) Global Award recognises and celebrates leading global advertising campaigns; the most innovative and effective work running in the international media; and the finest co-ordination of multiple advertising strategies. The award was presented at a ceremony in London last week attended by over 800 guests. The ‘Adventurers Wanted’ campaign with National Geographic reached more than 260 million people around the world last year with personalised stories of the exhilarating adventure experiences offered in South Africa. It featured an ‘adventure tribe’ of seven people (one each from Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, United States, France, Italy and the Netherlands) who came to South Africa for the adventure of a lifetime. The campaign ran on the National Geographic television channel and in print. It also had

a strong, interactive social media and online component. Roshene Singh said: “We are delighted to have received this award, which we dedicate to the South African tourism industry. “It’s great to know our work with such a respected and apt global media partner for this campaign in National Geographic has been judged the best in the world. “However, it is even better to know that this campaign worked so well for South Africa; that it established South Africa as the world’s premier adventure destination; that it inspired millions of people all over the world want to come and experience South Africa, and that it showed just how exciting and accessible our country is – and how friendly and welcoming our people are. “It means our global marketing work has been recognised by our peers for its excellence; its effective use of media and its universal reach and appeal. And it means that we did the best job we could for one of the most exciting, beautiful and welcoming destinations in the world.” South African Tourism was also nominated in the category.

The airline is making a substantial investment in Champagne and wines on board and customers will see the new premium vintages taking flight from this month. The first in the series is Grand Siècle by Laurent-Perrier, the jewel in the LaurentPerrier Champagne crown, which normally retails at £120. The sleek black bottle that is usually only found in the world’s most prestigious hotels, bars and top retail outlets will be available in the airline’s first-class cabin for the next year. British Airways will also be announcing a new Champagne for Club World next month. Wines are being selected to match dishes on the menu, and some wines will fly only on a particular route to ensure they are tailored to the customer demographic, destination and time of day. Asian routes will see two highly revered wines flying later this year: PulignyMontrachet 1er Cru Le Champ Gain 2007 and Corton Bressandes Grand Cru 2008. Frank van der Post, British Airways’ managing director, brands and customer experience, said: “It’s always important that the wines we serve reflect the style, sophistication and quality of the onboard experience, and with this investment, we have no doubt that British Airways will raise the bar for wines.” The announcement came just as British Airways was awarded “Best red wine” for its Argento Malbec in World Traveller cabins in the Skyscanner wine awards. Last year, British Airways purchased 10.6 million bottles of wine.

N recognition for his innovative op erations for cargo and passenger, both for business and leisure in Nigeria, hard working Tarzan Balogun has once again added another award to his many fleet. This time, the boss of the wave-making Tarzan jetty has in far away Ghana won Star Business Award In Marine Transport 2011. The event, which was put together by a Nigerian magazine, African Energy And Infrastructure Magazine, was held at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Accra, Ghana. The award, which is aimed at rewarding excellence and best practice in Africa’s energy sector, had as his selection committee chairman Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. Unlike other tourism practitioners, Tarzan Balogun is one man who believes that success comes through having a vision and pursuing it through hard work and unrelenting determination. This no doubt has earned him so much respect locally and internationally. Balogun’s views on Nigerian tourism are as stirring and revealing as anyone can imagine. Speaking to The Nation, he expressed his gratitude to the organisation for the honour.

Soltan offers luxury cruise


OLTAN Travel Nigeria Limited, a pioneer travel agency in luxury ship cruise, said it is offering a December luxury cruise on the Marina of the Sea. The cruise with the point of departure at Galveston Houston, in the United States of America, will take tourists through Cozumelo in Mexico, Grand Cayman and Falmouth and Jamaica. According to the Managing Director the travel agency, Mrs. Victoria Soluade, passengers on the luxury cruise would have a wonderful time while on board and with facilities like ice skating, rock climbing, live music, casino and other leisure options, it would be a wonderful experience.



Don’t just talk, communicate (3)


EARReader, Welcome to today's edition of your usual column in Jesus' name! Without any doubt, I know that you have really taken time to decipher the truth of God's Word regarding communication. This week, I will yet be unveiling to you what I subtitled, Ways Of Enhancing Communication! Communication is a two-way process that involves talking and listening. The better couple and children communicate, the closer they become. Communication can be enhanced better than you may envisage, by paying strict attention to the following: i. Learning to Listen!

For an effective communication, listening is a crucial prerequisite, since it involves talking and listening as seen in Proverbs 18:13. A wise man once said, "Good listeners are good lovers." Some women tend to talk so much that they give no room to their husband to say anything, hence, such husband may keep hearing what the woman is saying and yet not listening. Meanwhile, communication goes beyond hearing, to being attentive. This enables one to be able to make sound decisions and pass good judgment on various issues. ii. Truthfulness! In a common usage, truthfulness means constancy or sincer-

ity in action or character. It can also be said to be having fidelity to a standard. Truthfulness, like a true believer would attest to, is an attribute of God. God detests lies and exaggeration. Husbands, wives and children must be very truthful in communicating to one another. My husband says often, "When Christianity lacks character there is nothing more to it." iii. Correct Timing! Words, we know, are like eggs. They are fragile and delicate. God's Word says: A word spoken in due season, how good is it! (Proverbs 15:23). That is, you must know your spouse so well that you know when to say what and how. Important issues should be wisely but thoroughly discussed. Even when you feel so overwhelmed by a matter, you can always compose yourself to wait for an appropriate time to speak. iv. Pleasing Each Other! One of the essence of effective communication is to enhance intimacy, unity and love. Motive is the focus here. It is important

Govt tasked on way out for NCD I

N order to reduce the death rate caused by non-communicable diseases, NCD, the government has been urged to give NCD more attention by procuring equipment for early diagnosis. That was the submission of Prof. Kamil Olanipekun Alausa, a medical community physician at West African college of physician, during the 13th scientific conference and annual general meeting of the Islamic medical association of Nigeria, IMAN at the National Youth Service Commission, NYSC, Iyana Ipaja, Lagos State. During his lecture on non-communicable diseases an emerging pandemic in a changing environment, Alausa said, “The available equipment now are very expensive and is not affordable to the average Nigerians. Some of our leaders and those who are financially-buoyant travel outside the country to treat themselves

Risikat Ramoni whenever they have NCD. They pay ten times more of what they should have paid here. The sad thing is, despite the money they spend on medical care abroad, eventually, more than 50 percent of them will still die. “If they can contribute towards setting up a facility in Nigeria that will combat NCD, it will be beneficial to them and other people.” He lauded the effort of the government for the policies they are making on NCDs, the teaching hospitals they are equipping as well as their massive awareness campaign on cancer, diabetes and hypertension. He highlighted the common NCDs in Nigeria as; diabetes and hypertension which is the leading cause of stroke, heart diseases, kidney disease, eye problems and blindness and liver diseases.

According to him, other NCDs are asthma, epilepsy, sickle cell, snake poisoning and cancer. He categorized the cancer as cancer of the breast, prostrate, cervix, colon, skin, and lung (more in the male). “Unfortunately, there are also cancers affecting children.” He stated that, the more people are getting older, the more NCD they have, adding that all their lifesavings are spent on treating one disease or the other when they ought to be enjoying. Prevention is always better and more reasonable while handling all disease be it communicable or non communicable. He gave the following commandment to follow in order to prevent as well as manage NCD. “People must keep good health promotion activities by eating good food, not smoking, not taking alcohol excessively, and at the same time, when sick, consult doctors, not quacks. People also need to stop the habit of self-medi-

for you to be willing to admit when you are wrong. Don't be too proud to say so. Before engaging in heartfelt discussions, especially when crucial issues are to be ironed out, you may need to ask yourself questions like: What is my motive? Will it destroy our intimacy or make my spouse lose respect for me? Why am I saying this? Will it make us a better couple? Finding sincere answers to these questions will go a long way in enhancing your communication skill, thereby presenting to both your spouse and you better way of pleasing each other. It is a fact that the longer you live together with someone, the more you are able to read his or her body language. For example, a look from your husband can send a clear message to you, which no one else may understand. In concluding this segment, let me say here that communication is not only vital for husbands and wives, but for all members of the family. Both verbal and non-verbal types of communication are

required and should, therefore, be employed by members for a fruitful family relationship. Keep the communication lines open; don't allow the enemy to temper with it. This can only be achievable by surrendering the lordship of your life to Jesus. It starts by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. To do this, please say this prayer of faith: Dear Lord, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me my sins. Cleanse me with Your precious Blood. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Now I know I am born again! Congratulations! Call or write, and share your testimonies with me through: E-mail: Tel. No: 234-1-7747546-8; 07026385437, 07094254102.

cation. They should go for early diagnosis and treatment when they see any symptom of a disease be it a communicable or non-

communicable. Whenever anybody discovers he has NCD, he should comply with the treatment schedule.”

For more insight, these books authored by me are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all the Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian bookstores: Making Marriage Work and Building A Successful Family.

•The tree showing the common non communicable diseases affecting people worldwide.

Taking ibuprofen every day ‘can raise the risk of strokes’ Painkillers including ibuprofen and common arthritis treatments can drastically increase the risk of strokes, warns a major study. Patients taking the drugs daily are more likely to develop an irregular heartbeat - which can be deadly. Research involving 30,000 patients found that the group of treatments which includes ibuprofen raised the risk of this complication by 40 per cent. And a group of painkillers known as Cox-2 inhibitors, which include Celebrex and other common drugs for arthritis, increased the likelihood by 70 per cent. Research has already shown that ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, known as NSAIDs, and Cox-2 inhibitors increased the risk of heart disease. Certain treatments have been taken off the market because the risk was so high. But this is the first time scientists have found that the drugs raised the likelihood of abnormal heart rhythm - known as atrial fibrillation - which can lead to a stroke. The study in Denmark looked at 32,602 patients who had been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation from 1999 to 2008. It found that patients who had been using drugs such as ibuprofen every day within the previous two months were 40 per cent more likely to develop an abnormal heart rhythm. Despite the study’s results, medical experts said

the likelihood of those taking painkillers suffering a stroke was very low. Those who started taking Cox-2 inhibitors daily within the previous two months were 70 per cent more likely to develop the condition. The study published online in the British Medical Journal found that the elderly, those with rheumatoid arthritis or with chronic kidney disease were at a particularly high risk. It also found, however, that patients who had been on the drugs for longer than two months seemed to be less at risk than those who had just started taking them. The exact numbers of people taking both types of drugs regularly is not known.Experts last night stressed that the risk was low. Natasha Stewart, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘This study suggests a link between common pain relief medicines and an increased risk of developing particular abnormal heart rhythms, known as atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. ‘However it’s important to note that the overall risk from these drugs and abnormal heart rhythms is still small. Those most at risk were the elderly or people with other illnesses, such as chronic kidney disease or rheumatoid arthritis. ‘The study also noted that NSAIDs, which include ibuprofen, carried a lower risk than drugs in the COX 2 inhibitor group. ‘Doctors are rightly already cautious about prescribing COX 2 inhibitors for people with heart and circu-

latory disease or at high risk of developing it. ‘As with any drug, there are risks and benefits to be had. Talking these through with your health practitioner will help ensure the benefits outweigh any risks involved.’

Health tips Crashing, Debilitating Fatigue Symptoms: Physical activity is impossible; heavier periods; night sweats; breast tenderness; loss of libido and mood swings. Possible cause: The perimenopause, the stage spanning the five years leading up to the menopause (which generally strikes in the late 40s or early 50s). The ovaries begin to produce less of the hormone oestrogen, explains consultant gynaecologist Jenni Byrom of the Birmingham Women’s Hospital. Oestrogen controls levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in the blood, and when these are not regulated it can cause fatigue, as they

contribute to anxiety and tension. ‘Women in perimenopause may also have heavier periods. This would cause a drop in red blood count, which can lead to anaemia — a common cause of fatigue,’ adds Ms Byrom. ‘Night sweats, another symptom of the perimenopause, can also disrupt sleep, causing fatigue during the day.’ Treatment: Regular exercise and cutting back on alcohol may help. Go to sleep and wake at the same time each day. This resets the body clock and means you are more likely to get a good night’s sleep, and so offset the tiredness associated with the perimenopause.

53 Coping with diseases


Traditional medicine and conventional medicine: Matters arising (3) Helo Doc, I read your column on The Nation website about the differences between traditionaland orthodox medicine. Please don't forget that during the olden days, our forefathers used herbs and they lived longer and it was affordable too. Why was it so? Orthodox medicine is for the rich. If you don't have money you've got to die or live by the mercy of The Almighty. Justin Dear Justin, Thank you for your frank reminder. We don't really have all the statistics we need to conclude on whether things were better in the olden days than they are now, but you are right that at some time in history all we had were herbs and natural plant (and animal) products for treatment of disease. Some of the weird practices of our ancestors have contributed to modern science. For example, a white explorer watched a TAM practitioner take a scab from a wound to apply it for healing and eventually the white man discovered the concept of antibodies from where a big field of immunology arose and presently seems of paramount importance in both biomedical science and modern medicine. The Africans sometimes did things that they did not know the basis of because of their lack of scientific knowledge. Many herbs were used


TAPHYLOCOCAL infection usually takes different forms, most often, an infected person may not be aware of having the infection, because he or she may not have any serious symptoms initially. Sometimes a victim may be having some common ailments, which he or she may just overlook as just an ordinary or common sickness. A very good example of this is someone having a recurrent malaria or typhoid fever, which always return after few weeks of treatment. The funny thing about this situation is that when such people go to the hospital or laboratory for test, all that will be revealed

in secret manner. The TAM practitioners enjoyed power over people and were honored and revered. They were not money or wealth seeking. The advent of modern medicine brought in financial aspects. The pricing of drugs includes research expenses, manufacturing expenses, marketing expenses, and other expenses relating to big business' ambition for profit. I am not too sure that "they lived longer" in the olden days. People these days live well above 70 years of age often with the help of conventional medicine in the course of their lifetime. It is true that we do see cases of "gone too soon" frequently but if you consider this from holistic perspective, you may not blame modern medicine. There are numerous intervening factors in health matters and the more knowledgeable we are becoming, the more powerful we are in creating diseases and in healing diseases. Knowledge is a two-edge sword. Moreover, health is bigger than medicineno matter how advanced the medicine. Our modern life styles, modified foods, work habits, environmental hazards, intense rivalries, and various aspects of modern life too often overwhelm conventional or orthodox medicine's capability to treat

with Prof. Dayo Oyekole

Genital Herpes

H symptoms and syndromes.On another plane, the major diseases of today's world (e.g. cancer, erectile dysfunction, infertility, hypertension, diabetes) are apocalyptic in statistics (a third of the world (1 in 3 persons), a quarter of the world (1 in 4 persons), a fifth of the word (1 in 5 persons), a tenth of the world (1 in 10 persons). Medicine does not easily cover body, mind, and spirit. I don't want you to believe that orthodox medicine is for the rich. Orthodox medicine can be expensive because of its quality. In some countries, people are covered by health insurance and do not have to pay all their medical expenses, if ever needed, from their own pockets. Some employers pay their employees' medical expenses or subsidize them. There are various kinds of hospitals that provide conventional medicine. Primary health care centers, general hospitals, and teaching hospitals should not be expensive for the poor and average citizens because they are supported by the government. In some parts of the world there are research hospitals and patients allow doctors to use

Staphylococcus is that they are malaria parasite positive. Such people will continue wasting their hard-earned money on treating malaria without any appreciable result. In some cases a victim of staph may not have any defined symptom, but such a person will feel unwell, restless, and constant headache. When such person goes to hospital for medical check up, nothing will be revealed and such a person is said to be medically fit. But within themselves they know that they are not

okay. A good example is a patient after reading our article on staphylococcus infection and the symptoms, came to our office to complain that he has been to different hospitals for various tests which all revealed nothing. After carrying out some series of tests on him in our office, he was diagnosed to be having a heavy growth of staph. aureus and he was treated and today he is staph free and a happy man. Staphylococcus is a very complex disease, apart from being contracted sexually or as a toilet infection; there are some other ways of getting infected. If you have contracted any form of disease in the past like, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, candida (yeast infection), urinary tract infection (U.T.I), etc, which you may have treated but not totally cured, could lead to staph infection. So my candid advice to anyone that has any form of venereal disease or any disease at all should go for complete treatment and cure to avoid staph setting in. When you wake up in the morning and you usually feel •Some kind of numbness in your joints, limbs or fingers or •You always have internal heat, •Rumbling within your stomach •Some worm like movement within your body,

their problem for research in exchange for free service.In some cases of chronic diseases, patients receive free treatment by joining clinical trials of new drugs or new devices or new equipment. The rich do have an advantage in being able to afford the best and the most sophisticated treatment from any hospital of their choice. Death is not punishment for the poor and is the end for everyone, rich and poor, in due time. If you don't have money, please don't die. Many doctors are prepared to help a poor man. Medicine has always been an altruistic profession. Helping the needy in health matters is part of medical ethics. However, it is irresponsible for patients to try to avoid paying when they can pay as medical treatments do require money and professionals do deserve their pay.So Justin and Justin-like readers, rich and poor, I wish you good health and convenient health care when needed. Dr. ’Bola John is a biomedical scientist based in Nigeria and the USA. For any comments or questions on this column, please Email or call 07028338910

then you need to go for serious body examination. All the above-mentioned situations are part of the normal symptoms of staph infections that don’t have any thing to do with other diseases. Most of the other symptoms are one way or another related to one disease or another that is why in most cases of staph infections a victim may not be aware of what is really wrong with him. Staph infection spreads through the blood stream, that is why the effect is felt on every part of the body system, when it spreads to the bones and joints particularly those of the arms, legs and spine it forms abscesses. This is usually what causes arthritis or oedema and if care is not taken it could lead to affected area becoming permanently stiff. If staph infection spreads to the lungs it can cause staphylococcal pneumonia, if it spreads to the inner lining of the heart it results into bacterium endocarditis (which is a serious condition that can cause permanent damage to the heart). Too much intake of antibiotics for other ailments can result into staphylococcus of the colon; if the infection spreads to the brain it could cause insomnia, which could lead to mental disorder. To be continued •Dr B. Filani is the Chief Consultant of Sound Health Centre, Lagos. You can contact him on 08023422010 or on facebook or email

ERPES is a generic name for a group of viruses that cause a variety of diseases. The ailments people generally associate with herpes are those that produce small blisters on the skin, which open and are replaced by a crust before they heal completely. Genital herpes is caused by a virus called herpes simplex (HSV2), which causes crusted sores, commonly around the lips and mouth (“cold sores”) and the genitalia. The infectious condition itself is also known as herpes simplex. The virus is intermittently present in the mouth of healthy carriers and is spread by personal contact; genital herpes is spread by sexual contact with an infected person and is a venereal disease. Although some forms can be transmitted through the air or by contact with infected articles (especially towels) used by someone with active herpes, infection usually occurs through direct physical contact. An attack begins with itching of the skin in the affected area, quickly followed by redness and swelling. Within a few hours fragile blisters (vesicles) appear and rupture to exude a sticky serum like fluid which rapidly crusts. Unless secondary infection with bacteria occurs, the lesions heal without scarring within about a week. Because herpes blisters individually are the size of a pinhead or smaller, they may not be easily visible. Generally, the affected area will be red, tender, and mildly to severely painful. Fever, headache, and general malaise may also be present. Genital herpes infections may cause a painful cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix) in women, with ulceration and a vaginal discharge. The results of recent research studies have suggested that women who develop herpes cervicitis may have an increased risk of developing cancer of the cervix in later years. The condition is now seen as a reason for regular screening by Pap smears, which can detect early cancerous changes at a stage when treatment is simple and curative. In men the genital infection is usually less severe. However, those whose immune response is impaired (such as cancer patients, HIV/AIDS sufferers or organ transplant recipients) can be very susceptible to herpes infection. Genital herpes may be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby during delivery. Babies infected during birth by their mothers’ active genital herpes are very likely to die or suffer severe brain damage because they have little or no resistance to the virus. Once the virus enters the body, in stays there for the rest of the person’s life, unless a natural remedy is applied. Recurrent attacks may occur, usually during periods when the person is feeling run down, anxious, or depressed, before menstruation, or after sexual intercourse. In holistic lifecare, the best prospect of prevention and total cure of genital herpes is in going back to nature in terms of personal hygiene, protected sexual contact and use of potent herbal remedies. Also, a body kept healthy by proper nutrition and exercise has the best chance of keeping the virus under control. The holistic remedy being suggested for total cure of Genital Herpes is a combination of natural extracts of Eugenia caryophylatta, Citrus lemonis, Euphorbia unispina, Hypericum perforatum and Echinacea augustifolia. For further information and consultation on Holistic Lifecare research and services, especially on Blood Infections, Infertility, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Chronic Debilitating Conditions as well as mental and social problems, please call on: 0803-3303897 or visit: Mosebolatan Holistic Lifecare Centre, Adeyalo Layout, Ogbere-Tioya, Off Olorunsogo Express Bridge, Ibadan. Website: Distance is no barrier, we can send remedies by courier if need be. We also have facilities for accommodation, admission and hospitalization in a serene and homely environment.



A serving judicial officer should no longer head NJC — Ahamba Ahamba —

Chief Mike Ahamba (SAN) is a legal titan. He was the lead counsel for Gen. Muhammadu Buhari in 2003 and 2007 presidential election petitions. In this interview with Assistant Editor, AUGUSTINE AVWODE, at his Owerri home last Sunday, Ahamba argues that the 2010 Electoral Act is not friendly to petitioners. Reviewing the recent development in the National Judicial Council (NJC), he canvasses a re-composition of the body to free it from the grip of serving judicial officers. He insists that President Goodluck Jonathan was wrong to have approved the suspension of Justice Ayo Salami. Excerpts:



RE you comfortable with the 2010 Electoral Law as amended? There are complaints here and there about it, especially from lawyers handling election petitions. The misfortune of the whole amendment was that they carried procedural matters into the constitution and planted injustice there. Take for example, the provision that you should file an election petition within 21 days of the ruling. When it was in the Electoral Act, it was 30 days. Now you are asking somebody to file a presidential election petition within 21 days, the same period a petition for a state House of Assembly should be filed.

Where is equity? The objective of trying to reduce the length of time on petition is good, but it had been done before in our Electoral Act and the Supreme Court was against it, saying ‘it offends the rule of fair hearing in the 1982 Electoral Act.’ Justice Uwais JSC, as he then was, said that it would be unreasonable to expect that justice had been done to a man who was not given time to complete his case. Given the antics of respondents that everybody has seen now, is that provision not counterproductive? However, we would be looking forward to a judicial interpretation of that section very soon. Are you already working on that?

Of course, yes! We believe that in the next few days, the matter will be on the front burner. The constitutionality of sub-section 5(a) and (c) of the constitution should be looked into. Then, the next thing is that you are looking for expedite hearing. You introduced what is called pre-hearing session where most petitions have been struck out in the last two months. The time that would have been used to hear the petitions has been spent on pre-hearing. And most things have been struck out during the pre-hearing and so they won’t go into the hearing proper. After looking at the whole thing, I believe that we don’t yet have an

Electoral Act. We have a situation where we come back to the normal. And that we must have a new Electoral Act for every election. The 1979 election had the 1978 Electoral Act. For the 1983 election, there was the 1982 Electoral Act; for 1999, there was the 1998 Electoral Act; for 2003, there was 2002 Electoral Act; for 2007, there was 2006 Electoral Act and for 2011, there is this 2010 Electoral Act. Invariably, there will be a 2014 Electoral Act and that is why the National Assembly must start the work now. And it behoves the National Assembly to seek input from people who are knowledgeable on these things. Some of us wrote papers on how to expedite hearing without hurting fair hearing, but we were ignored. You can only do it on the side of evidence. By and large, we still do not have an Electoral Act because the present one appears to have been programmed to frustrate election petitioners. The judiciary has been in the news of recent, following the controversial suspension of Justice Ayo Isa Salami as President, Court of Appeal. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and many high profile lawyers have taken a position asking President Goodluck Jonathan to reverse the suspension. What is your take on this? The NBA has not taken a position to side anybody; it is simply trying to preserve the rule of law. The NBA is saying time has come for things to be done properly no matter whose ox is gored. What happened in the National Judicial Council (NCJ) is not new. It is just that elephants have just fought and everybody now knows what is happening. Many people have been victims of this thing. And somebody published a series of cases in which it was claimed that similar things were done. But I want to say that the mere fact

that something is wrong all the times does not mean that it can’t be put right at a particular time. And the NBA is now bent on making it right to stop further development of the type of issues the person behind that advertorial alluded to. He was trying to ask why the case of Justice Salami should be so important when others like that had happened and nothing was done. I want to tell that person that he did not do a good job for the NJC, if he intended it to be a public relations job. He has actually only justified the position of the NBA that enough was enough. The composition of the NJC is worrisome because the responsibility given to the NJC has to do with the discipline of judicial officers and these include members of the NJC. Now we have a situation where people have been made to be judges in their own cases. Let us take the present debacle. The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and PCA had a problem; the neutral person who was present where they had the problem was the present CJN. So when Justice Salami wanted to state his case, naturally the CJN should step aside. And who took over? Justice Musdapher who happened to be the witness between the two of them. Was that healthy? Now this is not the first case. I was a victim also. After the 2007 presidential election judgment, I wrote a petition against Justice Niki Tobi of the Supreme Court. The then CJN, Justice Idris Kutigi, wrote me that my petition had been sent to those petitioned and that within two weeks they would respond. Till date, nobody allowed me to sight the responses. I don’t know, till today, whether they admitted my allegation or denied it. What happened next was that the NJC sat as a council and dismissed my petition as ‘unmeritorious’. Why did they not




dey laugh. I just dey laugh o!’ My Bible tells me that: ‘Corruption makes the wise blind.’ That is the much I can say. We are still expecting more and I want to say that I hope the National Assembly will investigate this matter or allegation as it were. It is very important because a very serious allegation has been made against the apex court in the land. An inquiry that will show Wikileaks was wrong or right by looking at the 2007 presidential election petition judgment. There were many obnoxious pronouncements in that judgment which one can’t explain. How would you score President Jonathan after his 100 days in office? Within these 100 days, I would say that he has been more involved in crisis management. And I would not want to look at other areas now because those crises have distracted him so much that other areas have been ignored. Which of these crises do you think has distracted him most? First, Boko Haram. This is followed by the one he induced himself, which is the single elongated term. He shouldn’t have gone into it at all. It was unnecessary. In Nigeria, we often look at effect and not the cause. Making it one single term of two, three or four years will not cure the corrupt tendencies of our people which I would call executive kleptomania. What will change it is restitution. If there is a case of conviction, let the person pay for it both in the prison yard and by refunding money. That is the only deterrent. I want to tell you that if we don’t do it, people will blame their sons and daughters for not doing what their predecessors did. After all, people did it and nothing happened. Why didn’t you do it? However, we must make executive kleptomania unattractive to the point that families will join in preventing their children who go into government. The average man on the street remembers that corruption is the problem of Nigeria today? He would not remember that we are the first to steal the politician’s money. That is because we so impoverish our political office holders on their way to the office. We suck their blood so much so that when they get to office, they require ‘blood tonic’ first. So what they are doing is to replace the blood that was sucked from them on their way to office. President Obama was an average lawyer before he went to join politics, and when he was going to the Senate. On the other hand, Peroy, who contested with him, was very rich. In fact, it is said that in Dallas, Texas, there is about a kilometre of highrise buildings all belonging to him, yet he failed election. If it were in Nigeria, he would have won. Obama prosecuted that election with contributions from people, and according to the CNN, the average donor gave him less than $100 each. With this, he was able to raise more money than McCain and Mrs. Clinton. If it were in this country, as brilliant as he is, he would have been a lame duck. As long as our people insist on milking candidates, particularly at nomination, they will not get the right persons because those who are very wealthy may not be the best and in fact the best ones are not the wealthy ones. So we have to change our attitude as non-office holders before we can validly point fingers at the office holders. We must not ignore this fact. Let the electorate allow those contesting to “owe” them instead of being the ones owing the elected. There is a renewed call for the National Conference to chart a way forward for the nation. I believe in the National Conference. I don’t believe in the Sovereign National Conference. You talk about the sovereign conference where the sovereign has collapsed. Ours has not collapsed. We can have a conference where we can decide how we can ensure how things will


, The composition of the NJC is worrisome because the responsibility given to the NJC has to do with the discipline of judicial officers and these include members of the NJC. Now we have a situation where people have been made to be judges in their own cases


set up a panel to enable me state my case? I went to court; the court threw out the case. What I am trying to say is this: the legislature must come in and have another look at the composition of the NJC and effect an amendment now so that the NJC can discipline even the CJN. As it is currently composed, the NJC can’t discipline the CJN or any favoured judge in this country. Therefore, I believe that an amendment to the composition of the NJC is a sine qua non to the restoration of respect and integrity to the judiciary. As currently constituted, the principle of ‘a man should not be a judge in his own case’ is being flouted. Whenever there is an allegation, particularly in a case like my own where I deposed to an affidavit, I ran the risk of being charged with perjury if I told a lie there. Why did they not charge me with perjury? Why did they not state the reasons for dismissing my petition? Today, it is Justice Salami’s turn; who knows who the next victim will be? Was President Jonathan right in approving the suspension? Speaking dispassionately as a lawyer and a patriotic citizen, not necessarily for Justice Salami, or against Justice Katsina-Alu, President Jonathan should not have tampered with the status quo, while that issue was in court. It is not my position; it is the position of the law. I have no doubt whatsoever that every member of the NJC is very much conversant with that law. This doctrine is time hallowed. And for it not to be respected in a matter affecting those who have been using it as basis for judgment is a matter for regret. I hope we come out of this. Despite the protests, the process is going on; there is no talk of reversing the suspension. We are always in a hurry in this country. The wheel of justice grinds very slowly. I believe that ultimately, a decision will be taken in that court and if the judgment goes the way one does not like, he has the right of appeal. No matter how long it takes, the important thing is that let there be a decision so that it does not happen again. If we do not follow the rule of law, we are only bringing anarchy into the judicial system, and I want to repeat that it is my personal conviction, and I am convinced in that conviction that it is only the judiciary that has the opportunity of saving this country now. We have been so enmeshed in negativism that only the judiciary, conscious of its responsibility and guided by patriotic spirit, can save this country at this moment. If the judiciary doesn’t do it, God help all of us. Earlier, you said the legislature should amend the constitution regarding the composition of the NJC. What would be your suggestion? I would advise that, first of all, majority of the members should not be judicial officers and it should not be headed by a serving judicial officer. If a judicial officer is to head it, he should be a retired one. Second, once there is a conflict on the issue of judicial misconduct, and a prima-facie case is established, the adjudication should go outside the council to an independent body appointed by the council for that purpose; which is what they normally do if they want to be serious about an issue. But when they want to kill an issue, they do it in the council. That is what has been happening. A lot of matters relating to corruption have been killed in that place. My position is strictly guarded by the law. I have no other interest than the rule of law because no body knows the next victim. The 2007 presidential election in which you represented Gen. Muhammadu Buhari was in the news a few days ago. Were you amused? Very, very amused. And like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo would say: ‘I

be better for us and where there can be equality of opportunities and recognition of the right of residence. Until you have the right of residence to develop to your optimum wherever you are in this country, we are not yet a nation. What is the implication of asking Nigerians to always indicate their local government of origin whenever they fill forms in Nigeria? Very good! I criticized it in the little book I wrote in 1991. I said we were developing sectional patriotism. If everything in this country depends on where I come from, my loyalty should be to that place since I am always asked to name where I come

from. We think it will create advantage for those who are disadvantaged, but at the end, it has created disadvantage for everybody. In the USA at a point, the Governor of Texas was a Bush, the Governor of Florida was a Bush and the President of the US was a Bush, based on merit. Nobody cares about where you are coming from, they care about what you are doing and doing well. And because emphasis in Nigeria is on where I, you and him come from and worship, we have been missing those who can solve the problems of this country. And we wallow in regret and complain, yet come next election, the questions are: Where does he worship? Where does he live? Who was his father? Where does he come from? Your people have ruled, my people have not ruled. We forget that leadership has no geographical boundary. You waved partisan politics goodbye. Why was it so and are you likely to rescind your decision soon? I believe in God. I have taken my own decision, and I hope that God agrees with it. If not, what He wants will happen. My personal desire just now is to remain at the bar. I have enjoyed every minute I have spent around the courtroom in the last few months since I came back. I was at the bar conference. I was able to stay from the beginning to the end. I did not do this for many years and I enjoyed every minute of it. But I believe that there is God who directs what you do. I believe that if it is His will that I should find my way back into politics, I will not even have the chance to say no because it will be like Jonah, the shark and Nineveh! I want to see myself now as a lawyer, dealing with my clients’ cases to the best of my ability. But I said one thing on January 26, 2011 when I announced my withdrawal from politics. I qualified it as ‘partisan’ politics. I said I would not abandon the people. I will not abandon them. I will always fight and speak for the people from the non-partisan point of view. What is your take on the controversy over the award of SAN. Some lawyers want it scrapped?

In Nigeria, we always want to throw away the baby with the bath water. If an institution is not performing well, we scrap it and create another; if that one is not performing well, we scrap and create another. We have never tried to correct an institution and force it to function well. This is how I see those who want SAN scrapped. Yes, at a stage people believed that the mode of selection had changed. There is this belief that some people who have been given the privilege could not have been there were it not for some forms of influence, while some more qualified people have been bye-passed in the process. But that is not to say that the whole idea is wrong. What they should be talking about is modality for selection. For example, when we were selected for the SAN, we didn’t have to pay money for application forms. Today, I understand it is N200,000. A good lawyer may not have N200,000 to pay for this form. A competent lawyer in a rural area may not have N50,000 in his account. We are now looking at lawyers in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt who get briefs of N50 million. But the man in the rural area who gets a N20,000 brief, no matter how good, would not be able to apply for the silk, even if he had gone to the Supreme Court 20 times because he has no N200,000 for an application form. So that is what we should be looking at and for God’s sake, I am not comfortable with somebody applying for a privilege. It is conferred, but when somebody applies and pays, he has some rights already. He can question what you are doing there. If you remove him, he can tell you he is better than the person you have chosen. What we should be talking about is some reform. For example, the day I was made a SAN, we were only seven. And I received congratulatory messages across the country. In other words, my name was known all over the country. But I don’t know whether most of the people that now get it are known outside their towns. So these are the things that make people quarrel. I don’t think there is justification for calling for the scrapping of the whole idea.



State of the nation: Renewed call for dialogue


ATELY, the call for a national conference has continued with resonating intensity. It is not that the idea is new, no! The call for a national conference or national dialogue, as the case may be, popped up into the political terrain after the debacle of the June 12, 1993 presidential election. Ever since then, Nigerians have lived with the idea, not discarded and not consummated. But the idea was revived shortly after the April general elections. A few days to the swearing in of President Goodluck Jonathan and other governors across the country who were successful at the election, the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) dropped a verdict that the country must, as a matter of urgency, convene a Sovereign National Conference to address rising waves of discontent in the polity. The call by the NADECO came almost 12 years after the country returned to the path of democratic governance and 17 years after the formation of the pro-democracy group which fought the military to a standstill in the country. At a meeting in Lagos on May 24, the NADECO threatened to return to the trenches to save the country from the precipice of disorder. One of the leaders, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd), had predicted that the incoming administrations of President Jonathan and the other governors might not deliver the desired dividends of democracy without restructuring of the polity into true federalism, which he argued, could only be done through the sovereign national conference. According to the group in a statement titled: Convocation of Sovereign National Conference before irreversible self-determination actions, the group maintained that: “There are inundating calls by a multitude of ethnic, cultural and other Nigerian organisations that the NADECO should re-enact its anointing by pointing the way forward to the polity. It is our duty, therefore, to draw the attention of the authorities and the world at large to the seething discontent with the present structure of Nigeria as imposed by the 1999 Constitution and to also caution upon the consequences of continuously ignoring such discontent, especially in the light of the goings-on in North Africa and the Middle East. “We also insist that it is essential to quickly infuse some order into what otherwise appears like the road to ‘Kigali’ so as to avoid the reality and imminence of irreversible self-redemption/self-determination actions by the ethnic nationalities. In the circumstances, there is an immediate need to deliberate upon the relevant question: ‘which way Nigeria; Abuja, Aburi or Araba?’ “By that, what we contemplate is to keep Nigeria’s seriously haemorrhaged heart still beating whilst the owners of the land at a sovereign national conference constitute afresh a truly federal country that can win the hearts of its citizenry, restore a sense of belonging and thus restore patriotism to the country.” The NADECO contended that increasing deterioration of state of affairs in the country, particularly, security and a series of subsisting litigations against the 1999 Constitution, were indications that the country was sitting on a keg of gun powder and that the US prediction that Nigeria would be a failed state in 2015 might come to pass. It

‘ The idea of a national conference of whatever name is welcomed. Whether sovereign or village conference, it is germane because dialogue is the bedrock of democracy. However, one is of the candid opinion that what is needed today is devolution of powers from the heavy and unwieldy centre to the units ,

•Jonathan Augustine AVWODE Assistant Editor

noted that the post-presidential election violence which rocked several parts of the north, with many lives lost and property destroyed is only an indication that the country needs just more than a free and fair election to move forward. It listed some of the ethnic-based groups which have sprung up across the nation as evidence of the dissatisfaction with the arrangement in the country. “In between, citiznery dis-satisfaction has given rise to the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB); Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), Action Committee for the Restoration of Odua Sovereignty (ACROS); Itsekiri Peoples Congress (IPC); Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND); Middle Belt Coalition (MBC); Movement for the Retrieval of the Stolen Sovereignties of the Ethnic Nationalities of Nigeria (MRSSENN); Boko

Haram (BK); Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU); Ijaw National Congress (INC); and a myriad of other ethnic and cultural organisations. Not quite long after the NADECO declared that the nation is in need of a national conference, eminent Nigerians under the aegis of the National Consensus Group, a.k.a Project Nigeria Movement, in July called on President Jonathan to quickly initiate a process of national conference through a bill that could be enacted into law by the National Assembly to bring about a popularly constituted National Consensus Commission, or Constitutional Conference Commission that would independently translate into an autonomous process of making a peoples’ constitution for Nigeria. This was the high point of the presentation by various speakers which include executive director, Africa Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, Dr Otive Igbuzor; a former Minister of Finance, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu; the president of the Eastern Union Mandate, Dr Arthur Nwankwo and a former governor of Anambra

State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife during a National Constitutional Dialogue organised by the Project Nigeria in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in July. At the dialogue, those present agreed that the high rate of insecurity in the country, especially the activities of Boko Haram, can only flow from ominous structural and systemic crisis thrown up by long years of mass neglect and leadership impunity which has been inimical to the wellbeing of the masses of the diverse peoples of Nigeria. According to them, “the condition of our people worsened under the military that cared very little for the wish of the people. The military aggravated that situation by foisting its own decrees on Nigeria as the peoples’ constitution. It is now clear, given the frightening crisis in the north, that the 1999 military constitution is neither amenable nor amendable to panel beating, as it has been attempted in the past and now by the political class.” The group observed that the country requires an urgent surgery now, given the fact that it is just about three years away from its centenary celebration as a union which was made possible in 1914 by Sir Frederick Lord Luggard for the administrative convenience of the British colonial powers. As a recommendation, they posit that the way forward would be to immediately begin the process of replacing the contentious 1999 military packaged constitution with a people’s and that the best approach is to convey a constitutional conference through elections and referendums by the people for

the purpose of giving to the people their own constitution which is their fundamental rights. At the forum, the chairman of the occasion, Chief Audu Ogbe, disclosed that Nigeria operates on a faulty foundation and that almost all sectors of the economy are in bad shape and called for total constitutional restructuring of Nigeria for the betterment of everybody in order to bring about equity, justice and fairplay. Also speaking, the former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) ,declared that the forum would be launched at Abuja into a movement, noting that a legitimate constitution is the vital framework upon which Nigerians need to go forward. According to him, any good constitution should have four elements which are: inclusivity, authority, validity and legitimacy, noting that the present constitution lacks them all. Growing list of supporters The call for a national conference is gaining more converts by the day, even from the most unlikely quarters. The latest high profile figure to throw his weight behind the call for it is former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar. Gen. Abubakar, who handed over power to civilians in 1999, spoke in Minna after a Sallah visit to the Niger State Government House. His words: “I am in support of those calling for dialogue. Let us sit down and discuss how we can forge ahead as one country. We should realise that the good Lord that brought us together knows what He was doing and we are going to live together.” While expressing optimism that the country will overcome its trying period, the former head of state argued that in nation building dialogue is imperative. “You go through thick and thin and you will reach a point when you understand that the ultimate is to sit down and talk as one nation.” Obviously worried by the incessant bomb blasts rocking the country, Gen Abubakar urged restraint saying the ultimate was for all to live in peace. “It is high time we live in peace. All these bombings and unrest in some parts of the country will not take us anywhere. Even if this country is divided into 10,000 places, we shall still be one another’s neighbour and we must interact with each other. Why don’t we all stay together and live in peace? Why can’t we see how we can live together and respect each other’s views?” was his candid view. On Wednesday, spokesperson for the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), Osita Okechukwu, told The Nation Saturday that it was a good and proper thing to do. He, however, spelt out the procedure that it should take and emphasized that only President Jonathan can lead Nigeria in this direction. He, however, urged Nigerians to first seek for the devolution of powers from the centre to the units because the centre is too ‘heavy and unwieldy”. He said this could be done through an executive bill by the president to the National Assembly. “The idea of a national conference of whatever name is welcomed. Whether sovereign or village conference, it is germane because dialogue is the bedrock of democracy. However, one is of the candid opinion that what is needed today is devolution of powers from the heavy and unwieldy centre to the units “In fact, Nigeria needs to practice true federalism and one is of the candid opinion that this can only be achieved by an Executive Bill from President Jonathan under the ambit of the present national and state assemblies”.







‘My survival is a miracle’ •Continued from Page 2 Many patients were brought in for treatment, but unfortunately there was shortage of personnel and bed space. The place was overcrowded with patients. I think the government should please extend the units and create more bed space to contain

the rising number of cholera patients here”. The Chairman, Ido Local government, one of the worst hit by cholera, Prof. Niyi Olowofela, assured that he was on top of the situation. The council boss, accompanied by senior health officials, were seen last

Thursday visiting health centres and private hospitals in the local government to distribute free drugs for the treatment of the those on admission. Drugs such as Cyprotab infusions, tetracycline, intravenous infusions-full and half strength, Flagyl infusions, and other

essential drugs were distributed to hospitals free as parts of effort to save more lives. Olowofela, a Professor of Geo-Physics, said: “As you can see, we have been putting every measure in place to ensure that the disease is reduced and we put an end to its ravaging effect. We have been distributing drugs not only to government health centres but even to private hospitals where we found cholera patients on admission. “Thanks to our visionary governor, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, who immediately directed the Ministry of Health officials to do all they can to salvage the situation. And that is why we were able to do all these. We

have created an emergency cholera unit at Omi-Adio Health Centre to tackle the disease, and we are making appreciable progress with regards to curbing the spread. We have also started enlightenment campaign to educate our people on the need to maintain a clean environment. And as you can see, we have cleared most of the heaps of refuse inherited from the previous administration and water channels to prevent spread of the disease”. The chairman led a team of health and environmental officials to areas affected such as Atere, Oke-Pan, Eleso, Bakatari, and other communities where wells and other water sources were chlorinated.

PUBLIC NOTICE IBILE CLUB OF IPERU 1982 This is to inform the general public that the above named Non Governmental Organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1.COMDR.DEMOLA MUYIDEEN SHITTU (RTD) MNI FCA 2. BAALE LEKAN HAMMED ADEWUNMI. 3. BARR.MICHAEL YIMIKA AWOBAJO NIM (NOTARY PUBLIC) 4. MR.FEMI LATEEF ROLEOLA 5. MR.ADETuTU JUBRIL BURAIMO MNI.FCA THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE: 1. TO FOSTER THE SPIRIT OF UNITY. 2. TO PROMOTE BROTHERLINESS.. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days from the date of this publication. Signed: W.A.ONAWOLE. WASIU.ONAWOLE & Co. 14,SAVAGE STREET,ORILE IGANMU LAGOS.

A senior officer at the University College Hospital (UCH), Mr. Fashina , who is a member of the team raised by the hospital’s management to monitor cholera-related cases and other waterborne diseases, said the disease is spreading fast. He said: “From our hospital point of view, it is very severe. We see an average of two cases per day in the clinic, while in the laboratory, we have an average of one per day. That is very high.” The Oyo State Commissioner of Health , Dr. Lateef Olopoenia, who spoke with newsmen on the outbreak of cholera across communities in the state, said the government confirmed 945 cases , among which there were 11 deaths .On the efforts to check the disease, Dr. Olopoenia explained that aside fumigating different parts of the state to prevent spread of the disease, there have been prompt responses in affected areas, institutions of infectious control measures , maintenance of active surveillance , distribution of intravenous fluids, drugs and supply of medical materials to both private and public facilities. “These are part of efforts in response to the outbreak of cholera and we hope it will yield fruitful results because the people have been responding positively to our campaign”, he said.





Ogun East PDP mobilises for registration


EMBERS of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun East Senatorial Zone of the party have been urged to go all out and mobilise for its soonto-begin registration exercise. Towards this end, the party has set up registration committees in the 103 polling booths in zone. Besides, the party said its doors were open to new and returning members. These were some of the

highlights of the Senatorial Working Committee (SWC) meeting held in Ijebu-Ode last weekend. Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, the Chairman, Ogun East PDP, Engr. Bayo Dayo, said the meeting was called to acquaint members with the resolutions reached at the South-West PDP strategic meeting which was held in Abeokuta, the state capital, a fortnight ago. He said members were told that the party had re-

solved to “open its doors to all those willing to join it, whether they are new or returning members. But those who deserted the party during the last elections should go and rejoin the party at their wards, irrespective of their previously held positions.” The party has also directed its relevant organs to set up a seven-man disciplinary committee in each of the nine local government areas in the zone, Dayo said.

Bad coaches •Continued from back page

competitions that produced f talents in schools. The dearth of competitions has been responsible for the country’s gradual slide in sports. Rather than produce new talents, we recycle those already discovered, forcing the emerging ones to lie about their ages in order to fit into the age-grade teams. We must imbibe the culture of hosting big competitions here to reawaken the interest of investors, keep our athletes in shape and ensure that our facilities don’t rot away. NSC men prefer attending international competitions because of estacodes which they won’t when we host. The minister should ask the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) what it does with the grants from international bodies. Other countries that routinely host international tournaments have facilities constructed by sports bodies which are usually useful to the host in reinventing their games. Why is ours different? Way forward Victor Rumson Baribote has been largely underrated by his opponents in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL’s) chairmanship election. They have judged him by his outlook than for the points that he raised whilst the tussle for the seat lasted. Baribote stood for the rule of the law. He understood the rules of the game and had the knack for keeping records. One wasn’t shocked that he got the arbitrator and, indeed, the high court judge to see why he should be declared the NPL chairman. Now that Baribote has got his wish, it is important that he ensures that the domestic game ends latest October 24. He must reconcile with his opponents for the good of the game. Many of them understand how the game is being run. He needs their inputs to chart a new course for the game. He should work in tandem with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). The NPL is a subset

of the NFF. NPL’s biggest problem rests with the refusal of its operating officials to work with the NFF. Baribote should make all the committees allowed by the NPL statutes fully operational. He shouldn’t fill the committees with loyalists. Those in the committees must be adept with the rules. They must be credible people with a discerning means of living. Committee jobs could be done through the internet. Meetings shouldn’t be a drain-pipe to siphon money or reward his loyalists. Baribote needs time to be de-briefed by the secretariat staff. Yet, he must upgrade the profile of his staff to meet with the new demands.

Baribote shouldn’t spend time fighting people who want to distract him. He should be transparent in his dealings and must follow due process. The way forward for the domestic league is for Baribote to make players’ welfare his first priority. It is cruel for players to be owed salaries and allowances for over three years. Letters should be written to the governors of such club managements, informing them of the debts. Where they don’t address the issue, Baribote should set the process to ban them because if there are no players, there won’t be clubs. Welcome to the hot seat, Victor Rumson Baribote.


Look at the 3 middle horizontal (DEF) 3x3 boxes. The right box has 5 in cell Ei, while the middle box has its 5 in cell De. The left box must, therefore, have its own 5 in row F, where there is only 1 vacant space - cell Fc. Thinking along these lines, try and fill in the other vacant cells. SOLUTION TOMORROW. HAPPY PUZZLING!




No of Deals 1 1 9 11

Quotation(N) 0.50 0.50 7.00

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 100 50.00 20,000 10,000.00 209,244 1,464,828.00 229,344 1,474,878.00


No of Deals 2 38 40

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1.95 6,700 12,665.00 5.69 376,094 2,121,944.19 382,794 2,134,609.19


No of Deals 1 12 13

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 4,000 2,000.00 1.30 137,960 174,032.95 141,960 176,032.95


No of Deals 112 44 19 50 73 548 5 381 42 8 6 61 22 161 28 30 21 188 1,799

Quotation(N) 5.30 3.91 2.90 4.34 2.02 10.40 0.50 12.80 9.33 0.70 1.15 5.26 1.49 4.15 2.09 0.58 0.64 12.60

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,199,363 6,226,938.30 1,572,340 6,161,011.41 168,457 465,247.98 6,298,417 25,464,577.34 3,315,536 6,709,754.69 19,132,120 196,473,826.77 5,139,100 2,569,550.00 5,532,818 70,489,613.15 25,557,996 242,764,588.57 63,855 44,698.50 511,593 588,331.95 2,619,955 13,714,134.20 419,116 615,031.20 5,220,774 21,260,814.28 403,695 843,722.55 2,574,947 1,445,489.13 615,639 394,506.73 4,324,483 54,301,623.30 84,670,204 650,533,460.05

Quotation(N) 220.00 6.06 88.41

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 32,176 7,106,171.94 500 2,880.00 976,538 82,925,917.81 1,009,214 90,034,969.75

Quotation(N) 19.39 7.30 100.00 8.26 43.20

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 207,391 4,014,063.14 567,893 3,991,431.93 5,184,640 518,471,674.17 200,000 1,652,000.00 359,388 15,526,730.97 6,519,312 543,655,900.21

Quotation(N) 9.38 24.23 1.14 0.93

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 200,725 1,834,692.50 138,336 3,245,991.57 18,930 20,675.72 4,000 3,560.00 361,991 5,104,919.79


No of Deals 33 1 145 179

Investors rally for banks’ shares


NVESTORS upped de mand for banking shares yesterday, sending the shares of several banks to higher prices. Banks braced the overall negative market situation to increase the sector’s market values in spite of declines recorded by all other key indices at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The NSE Banking Index rode on the back of gains by 10 banks to close the week at 302.35 points as against its opening index of 297.22 points. First Bank of Nigeria Plc led the rally in the banking sector with a gain of 40 kobo to close at N10.40. Guaranty Trust Bank followed with a gain of 27 kobo to close at N12.80. Access Bank added 25 kobo to close at N5.30 while First City Monument Bank gathered 20 kobo to close at N4.34 per share. Other appreciating banks included United Bank for Africa, with a gain of 15 kobo to N4.15; Zenith Bank added 10 kobo to N12.60; Skye Bank, four kobo to close at

No of Deals 37 7 49 1 23 117 CHEMICAL & PAINTS


No of Deals 13 28 6 2 49


No of Deals 1 23 24

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 500.00 0.50 1,000 2.35 1,673,758 3,715,050.66 1,674,758 3,715,550.66


No of Deals 1 46 94 47 56 244

Quotation(N) 1.99 30.07 0.86 39.02 27.49

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 260 494.00 182,105 5,477,268.09 30,519,233 26,211,332.65 172,897 6,689,811.17 476,769 12,943,822.30 31,351,264 51,322,728.21


No of Deals 7 2 9

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 52.25 63,083 3,132,568.95 3.65 55,000 200,750.00 118,083 3,333,318.95


No of Deals 17 31 144 25 26 8 16 39 1 2 309

Quotation(N) 45.15 16.50 6.12 9.30 78.99 3.32 4.28 401.00 0.50 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 82,659 3,732,053.85 146,604 2,338,364.94 2,218,962 13,574,389.70 228,050 2,122,738.38 44,450 3,335,972.50 47,500 150,340.00 302,256 1,250,273.18 50,035 20,026,225.67 92,000 46,000.00 137,530 68,765.00 3,350,046 46,645,123.22

Quotation(N) 1.42 27.00 3.61 1.15 3.68 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 107,445.72 75,666 195,320 5,273,644.50 44,650 153,149.50 5,257 5,960.70 500 1,840.00 4,000 2,000.00 325,393 5,544,040.42


No of Deals 38 38

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1.50 2,735,800 4,144,389.00 2,735,800 4,144,389.00


No of Deals 2 14 1 17

Quotation(N) 6.90 5.70 2.88

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 4,000 27,600.00 267,194 1,529,366.05 97,000 279,360.00 368,194 1,836,326.05


No of Deals 1 2 3

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 500,000 250,000.00 4.97 400 1,892.00 500,400 251,892.00


Quotation(N) 0.67 1.01 2.51 0.50 1.00 0.50 0.50 0.50

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1,323,687 872,205.02 87,333 88,231.33 266,497 680,751.49 11,000 5,500.00 223,500 223,455.00 60,000 30,000.00 446,231 223,115.50 42,450 21,225.00

N5.26 while Unity Bank, Sterling Bank and Diamond Bank added a kobo to close at 58 kobo, N1.49 and N3.91 respectively. Banking sector was divergent to the overall market situation, which saw aggregate market capitalisation of all equities down from N6.747 trillion to N6.731 trillion. The All Share Index (ASI) slipped from 21,158.25 points to 21,106.67 points.

‘The NSE Insurance Index slipped to 143.62 points as against 144.09 points while the NSE Oil and Gas Index dropped from 249.30 points to 248.20 point’

All other sectoral indices also ended in the negative with the NSE Food and Beverages Index dropping from 706.32 points to 705.16 points. The NSE Insurance Index slipped to 143.62 points as against 144.09 points while the NSE Oil and Gas Index dropped from 249.30 points to 248.20 points. With the gains from the banks, the NSE 30 Index, which measures the price changes in the 30 most capitalised on the NSE, improved from 947.41 points to 949.59 points. However, Dangote Cement led the pack of decliners with a loss of N4.98 to close at N100. Conoil followed with a loss of N1.36 to close at N33 while UACN Property Development Company dropped by 82 kobo to N15.67 per share. Other top losers were Nigerian Ropes, down by 43 kobo to N8.26; Stanbic IBTC Bank, lost 36 kobo to close at N9.33 while Dangote Sugar lost 25 kobo to close at N9.30 per share.



By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire


5 2 12 2 1 2 1 6 1 92

0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50

450,000 187,000 4,671,000 109,900 200 3,800 500 978,261 66,000 8,927,359

225,000.00 93,500.00 2,335,500.00 54,950.00 100.00 1,900.00 250.00 489,130.50 33,000.00 5,377,813.84

LEASING Company Name C&I LEASING PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.98 1,000 940.00 1,000 940.00


No of Deals 47 47

Company Name AFROMEDIA PLC Sector Totals

No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.90 1,630,189 1,453,463.32 1,630,189 1,453,463.32

MEDIA Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.51 8,000 4,080.00 8,000 4,080.00


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 200,000 100,000.00 200,000 100,000.00


No of Deals 1 1

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 1,000 500.00 1,000 500.00


No of Deals 69 69

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 1.83 561,480 1,013,242.20 561,480 1,013,242.20


No of Deals 17 36 2 33 12 105 11 216

Quotation(N) 63.86 33.00 5.39 11.58 148.00 28.00 203.32

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 63,339 3,879,232.05 362,394 12,353,112.13 8,304 42,599.52 132,806 1,492,627.29 24,775 3,503,841.75 590,645 16,494,297.03 16,033 3,096,946.28 1,198,296 40,862,656.05


No of Deals 2 5 9 16

Quotation(N) 2.60 4.61 3.58

Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 900 2,331.00 24,533 107,454.54 299,702 1,067,375.60 325,135 1,177,161.14


No of Deals 18 18

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 15.67 81,079 1,271,171.68 81,079 1,271,171.68


No of Deals 5 5

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 50.00 68,500 3,425,000.00 68,500 3,425,000.00


No of Deals 10 10

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.50 303,430 151,715.00 303,430 151,715.00


No of Deals 2 2

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 0.69 1,026 738.72 1,026 738.72


No of Deals 21 21

Quotation(N) Quantity Traded Value of Shares (N) 364,683 4,352,091.45 12.00 364,683 4,352,091.45 3,387







It is not enough to be sanguine about the indivisibility of Nigeria. It is rational to do everything possible to stop a religious sect that appears to have the power to foment a war of cultures in the country —Ropo Sekoni


agree entirely with most analysts who have identified sincerity as the cardinal at tribute of President Goodluck Jonathan’s personality. The trained scientist turned lucky politician is obviously a good natured man. He has the best intentions in the world. He communicates in a believable manner that makes his audience feel he is a man they can trust despite his frequent lapses into linguistic incoherence. His infectious sincerity on diverse issues was once more on display during Jonathan’s maiden media chat broadcast live on national television. The gift of sincerity is one of the most wonderful assets any man can possess. However, a man who is sincerely wrong and is blissfully unaware of his predicament is in a very precarious situation. A traveller who heads with sincere zeal from Lagos in the direction of Badagry wrongly believing he is on the way to Ibadan will inevitably arrive at an unintended destination his admirable sincerity notwithstanding. Dr. Jonathan either severely underestimates the seriousness of the multi-dimensional crises in which the nation is enmeshed or he has simply not taken the time to think rigorously and engage in robust discourse on the various issues confronting the country. Many continue to marvel and even envy the mysterious luck responsible for the humble academic’s meterioc rise to the apex of Nigeria’s political structure. But this, in reality, is not the luckiest of times to be President of a fast disintegrating state agonisingly starved of credibility, moralty, legitimacy and elementary efficacy. The President’s responses on many of the issues during the chat came across as confounding non-thoughts (apologies to the late Professor Billy Dudley). Did his handlers prepare Jonathan adequately for this major maiden media encounter? I doubt it. Let us take the vexed issue of the single term proposal for example. Despite the widespread and vehement opposition to the proposal, Dr. Jonathan stoutly defended the presidential brain wave. Yet, his defence of the idea continued to be as grossly deficient in logic and rationality as when it was first mooted. According to him “I have no regrets over the single tenure proposal because it will stabilize the polity. I said seven years actually; I did not talk about six years. My thinking is seven years for President and Governors, but for the National Assembly, I said six years”. This is the kind of wooly, rowdy and arbitrary thinking that characterize the Jonathan presidency. How will this proposal stabilize the polity? We are not told. How did they arrive at the proposed seven and six year single tenure, respectively, for the executive and legislature? Mr. President’s mood on the day the decision was taken? The side of the bed he woke up from? The special Bayelsa Fish pepper soup delicacy probably prepared by Dame Amazon the previous

Presidential thoughts and non-thoughts


night? What is the scientific basis for seven years? Why not 9, 11 or 13 years? The President bases his advocacy of the single tenure non-idea on the high cost of running elections in Nigeria without convincingly demonstrating how his proposal will solve the problem. In any case, if that is the premise for the proposal, is it not even more logical to argue for the abolition of elections and a possible life-tenure for office holders? Would that not be the ultimate cost-cutting solution? It is a completely ridiculous suggestion. The honourable thing would be for the presidency to abandon its obstinancy, bow to public opinion and drop the idea. Dr. Jonathan vows that there is no hidden agenda and says the single tenure suggestion has nothing to do with his personal gain. Why should we take him at his word? Wasn’t he a party to the zoning policy of the PDP? Didn’t he opportunistically jettison the principle for his own personal gain in the last election? We should be wary of creating any opportu-

How did they arrive at the proposed seven and six year single tenure, respectively, for the executive and legislature? Mr. President’s mood on the day the decision was taken? The side of the bed he woke up from? The special Bayelsa Fish pepper soup delicacy probably prepared by Dame Amazon the previous night? What is the scientific basis for seven years? Why not 9, 11 or 13 years?

nity for the otherwise well meaning President to be exposed to seductive unholy tenure elongation temptations. On insecurity and fears of possible disintegration of the country, a supremely confident President, whose administration has been embarrassingly helpless in responding to the recurrent bombings and sundry criminalities across the country, declares “I, as the current President of this country, do not agree with that insinuation that this country will disintegrate. That people are throwing bombs does not mean that the country will disintegrate…We will not disintegrate. And I can assure you that between now and 2015, Nigeria will remain a single entity”. Now, this is a rather problematic submission. The

President does not tell us what the prospects of national cohesion are post 2015. It is possible that Dr. Jonathan has some yet unacknowledged spiritual and prophetic powers. There may therefore be a mystical basis for his supreme serenity amidst the bombs constantly exploding all around him. That is beyond the provenance of this column. But the rationale for his expressed confidence is fundamentally weak. Dr. Jonathan argues that Nigeria has afterall survived past crises including the civil war and the Niger Delta unrest. Is that a reason not to address the structural distortions that generated those crises and which still persist? Given current circumstances, is there any guarantee that the country will not implode iredeemably under the weight of new crises arising from unresolved structural deformities? Has Dr. Jonathan considered the fact that if the Biafran crisis was to occur in the contemporary context, secession would most likely succeed? Yes, we have bought peace in the Niger Delta through the Amnesty deal. But what of the combustible mix of pervasive poverty, mass unemployment and religious fanaticism that has made the vast North a ticking time bomb waiting to explode? More fundamentally, can we honestly argue that the Nigerian State has not practically disintegrated in any meaningful functional and productive sense? The highways within its territorial jurisdiction are veritable death traps killing innocent citizens on a daily basis. Its privileged citizens routinely travel out to die in foreign medical facilities with the virtual collapse of health facilities at home. Education at all levels is in ruins. Millions of youths are trapped in hopeless unemployment. The state cannot even guarantee the security of its own police national headquarters! A President that does not realize that such a state lies, at the very least, in psychological and psychic ruins, cannot summon the resolve to take the decisive, radical measures necessary for national redemption. This is why the President cannot appreciate the urgent imperative of a national dialogue to re-negotiate the basis of the Nigerian union. I commend to Mr. President and his think tank the following insightful comment of the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, published on page 10 of the Thursday, September 15th edition of The Punch: “We need to know that Nigeria is not a nation, it is just a country. We are a country that is working to be a nation. So, we need to sit down and discuss how this entity should exist. So many things are not clearly defined. We cannot continue to promote unitarism and continue to decieve ourselves that we are operating federalism. That is why we need to discuss our fundamental diversities and our differences.” Incidentally, Drs. Jonathan and Fayemi belong to the same club. They are both Ph.D holders.

Ade Ojeikere on Saturday

Bad coaches


PORTS Minister Yusuf Suleiman hit the nail on the head when he revealed that Nigerian coaches are chiefly responsible for this country’s seeming poor showing at the 10th All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique. What the minister didn’t know was that these coaches have failed in previous international sports competitions. Each time the coaches fail, those who empower them at the National Sports Commission (NSC) blame it all on poor preparation of athletes. At other times, they lay the blame on the players’ mercantile attitude and lack of commitment, as if they picked themselves to represent us. Most times, achieving coaches in the states are sidelined by national coaches who hardly do anything, except when Nigeria is ready to participate in competitions. The coaches are not abreast of the new tricks of their games nor do they undergo refresher

courses to equip them for the tasks ahead. Coaches are judged by their last outings. Those who failed are replaced by achievers. This competitive approach challenges those who have lost out to do something to retain their positions. It also assures upcoming coaches that handling the national teams is not one person’s birthright. In other climes, coaches who groom athletes to win domestic competitions are allowed to take them for international tournaments, such as the All Africa Games. Not so in Nigeria. Some people at the NSC would always argue that state coaches lack international experience, hence they must remain in the background, never to be seen, never to be heard. What these all knowing NSC men don’t know is that new coaches need international platforms to gather experience and strengthen their skills. Now, the desk coaches at the NSC cannot be trained. They lack the motivation to acquire new ideas. They see refresher courses as unnecessary. Their training methods are archaic. To them, cringing before their superiors is the best way to keep their jobs. We need to review the parameters used in recruiting national team coaches. We ignore

achievers. We recruit ex-internationals without pre-requisite training, forgetting that they would be competing against better equipped coaches. Ex-internationals know how a game is played yet they need training in management of men and the application of the rules. For instance, an ex-international who last played the game in 1990, certainly has lost grasp of modern trends in the game. Sport is dynamic. New rules and systems are being introduced, hence the need for us to either recruit a foreign coach to re-train our coaches or take the good ones, based on recent performance, to Europe for refresher courses regularly. The 2012 Olympic Games is a few months away. If the minister wants us to do well in London, he needs to head for the Scandinavian countries for coaches who are knowledgeable and hungry for glory. They should be given short-term contracts to prepare our athletes for the Olympics. The caveat would be to retain those whose athletes excel. We don’t need European or Asian training tours, like most NSC men would suggest because it would be a wasteful exercise,

especially as we have lost time using mediocre coaches. Of course, foreign coaches won’t operate in a vacuum. The minister should visit those blue-chip companies that bankroll competitions to see how they could pump cash into events meant to prepare our athletes for the 2012 Olympics in London. Our athletes should take advantage of the modern facilities in Port-Harcourt, the rivers state capital, which hosted the National Sports Festival. Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi would be magnanimous in allowing our athletes use the place. For the future, the minister should get his men to produce a sports calendar that would be adhered to. We must know when competitions are scheduled. Any disappointment should attract sanction, including sack from office. A situation where the last Sports Festival held one year after it was scheduled and budgeted for explains why those discovered will not make any impact now and even in London, next year. The minister should visit governors to urge them to provide sports facilities for budding athletes at the grassroots. We must reinvent those sports

•Continued on Page 61

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The Nation September 17, 2011  
The Nation September 17, 2011  

The Nation September 17, 2011