Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper
Justus Esiri’s son: we’re not sad
Federal Govt reverses UNILAG name change NEWS Page 7
•Family meets on burial plan
•Constitution has been respected, says Gana
VOL. 8, NO. 2408 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
TR UTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM TRUTH
•President Goodluck Jonathan (sixth left) with House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal (fourth left); Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (fifth left); former United States President Bill Clinton (fifth left); Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu (fourth right); during the dedication of Eko Atlantic 5,000,000 square metres at Eko Atlantic City, Bar Beach, Victoria Island, Lagos…yesterday. With them from left are: Lagos State Deputy Governor (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun; Executive Chairman, Eko Atlantic, Mr. Ronald Chagoury; MD Southes Energy Mr. David Frame; Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure, Prince Adesegun Oniru (second right) and Senator Barnabas Gemade. Story on page 8
NJC suspends Justices Naron, Archibong
House won’t shift ground on budget From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
•Talba under probe
HE House of Representatives will not shift its position on Budget 2013, its spokesman Zakari Mohammed said yesterday. President Goodluck Jonathan is holding back his assent to the bill as passed by the National Assembly on the grounds of disagreement over the way the lawmakers tampered with what he forwarded to them. But the lawmakers yesterday promised to take a definitive action, in whatever form would be, next week, should the President continue to withhold his assent. The lawmakers reaffirmed their determination not be Continued on page 6
T •Justice Mukhtar
HE National Judicial Council (NJC) has recommended the compulsory retirement of Hon. Justice C. E. Archibong of the Federal High Court Lagos and Hon. Justice T.D. Naron of the Plateau State High Court. The NJC, chaired by the
From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, took the decision at its emergency meeting held on Wednesday in Abuja. The two judges have been
placed on suspension, the council said in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its Acting Director (Information), Mr. Soji Oye. This is in line with its disciplinary powers under the 1999 Constitution, as Continued on page 6
Tension as governors resist plot to stop Amaechi Forum condemns killings in Borno, Kano, Yobe
OVERNORS have failed to elect a new leader for their parent body - the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF). All was tense Wednesday night at a session to elect the chairman in Abuja. The outgoing chairman of the NGF, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, is seeking a second term but some forces outside the Forum are desperate to stop him. They said the constitution of the
From Yusuf Alli, Abuja
NGF does not allow a chairman to run a second term in office. The tension forced a postponement of the election of a new chairman indefinitely. The Nation learnt that when the election came up, some governors said Amaechi could not seek re-election, based on the constitution of the Forum. It is believed that some forces in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are
unhappy that the leadership of the Forum has raised Amaechi’s image. The anti-Amaechi forces also complain that the Forum has become a strong platform to checkmate the excesses of a sitting President. It was gathered that as part of steps to weaken the Forum, a plot was hatched by the said forces to unseat Amaechi. The initial plot was to raise question on Amaechi’s tenure, which expired in April last year, but most of
the governors did not embrace that. The “powerful” forces later opted to infiltrate the governors to “deal” with Amaechi, but members of the Forum, especially those in the opposition, resisted attempts to impose a chairman on them. When the anti-Amaechi forces could not have their way, the battle shifted to the constitutional issue. But pro-Amaechi governors also drew the attention of members to the Continued on page 6
•ACCORD TO STOP ‘LADOJA FOR PDP’ P53 •TROOPS SURROUND ABDUCTORS P53
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
NEWS JUSTUS ESIRI ( 1942-2013) Tributes to an actors’ actor
Governor Uduaghan: “Aside leaving his own footprints, he has also bequeathed his son, the multiaward winning musician, Sidney or Dr. Sid.”
The Island, “I
•Vice President Namadi Sambo (second left), Chairman, Water Initiative Mr. Kevin Mcgovern (left), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resouces Ambassador Godswill Igali (second right)and Deputy Chief of Staff to the President Alhaji Abubakar Kachalla, when Mcgovern visited the Vice-President at the Presidential Villa in Abuja...yesterday.
•Sokoto Srare Governor Aliyu Magatakanda, River State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido during the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja ...yesterday.
SHOULD have my own Island if I were living somewhere else, apart from being in Nigeria. I should be flying in a private jet. I have acted in a great number of network television programmes. We have over one hundred and forty programmes of such, yet I don’t see money. We must try to harness what we have.” These were the words of the late Justus Esiri at the Nigerian Embassy in the United Kingdom (UK) a few years back. The late Esiri and some of his colleagues, including ace actresses Funke Akindele, Mercy Johnson and Monalisa Chinda, were in London to receive the Afro Hollywood Awards. The thespian saw in the visit to the High Commission an opportunity to let out his unfulfilled dreams, among others. He told Ambassador Dalhatu Sarki Tafida that the Nigerian actors were not getting their dues. The late Esiri’s voice was muffled at first, then it became clearer as he spoke about the fact that ‘a prophet is not honoured in his home’. He recalled with nostalgia the kind of adoration he got from fans each time he visited other African countries. “I remember that a few years ago, I was on a delegation to Zambia, and when I got to Zambia, I could not stay in the hotel that was booked for me because the place was taken over by Zambians who wanted to see me. I was, therefore, bundled in the night from there to a special guest house where nobody knew where I was. On the next day when I had to visit as a member of delegation, I was smuggled from a crowd of people into the Zambian Energy Commission’s office because I couldn’t walk. There were four police men who later came to guard me out of the place and lead me to the vehicle where I was taken away.” He also spoke about the untapped potentials of the industry. Said he: “I know that this is an in-
•Esiri (middle), with Johnson (left), Aigbe (second left), Akindele (second right) and Chinda (right) in London
By Victor Akande Entertainment Editor
dustry that we can use to cement a country. I know that it is an industry you can use for culture all over the country. I know that it is an industry that makes America thick.I know that 45 per cent of the economy of America is run by the entertainment industry. I know that in another five to 10 year’s time, the Nigerian musicians will be singing like sparrows; they will be accepted all over the world. I know that the film can be used to cement a lot of things. I know it can be used to bring us together. Ethnicity is the bane of the African nation, not to talk of Nigeria. I know that the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is doing his best to see that we are together. I
Assassin’s Practice for Esiri •Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson (middle), NAPIMS General Manager, Mr. Fidel Pepple (right), General Manager, Avenon Offshore Ltd, Mr. Joseph Duntoye (second right), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, Ambassador Abdulkadir Musa (second left) and Managing Director/CEO of New Nigeria Foundation, Prof. Obafemi Ajibola at the panel discussion on day-three of the exhibition and conference Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja.
• Chairman, Transcorp, Mr. Tony Elumelu (middle), Acting General Counsel to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Joseph Ujomu (left)and the acting Director-General of the BPE, Mr. Benjamin Dikki at the signing of transaction and industry agreement with PHCN successor companies in Abuja…yesterday.
T was his last movie and it is being premiered four days after his death. The Assassin’s Practice’, in which the late Justus Esiri, gave a good account of himself has been dedicated to him. According to Andrew Ukoko, producer and director of the film, the passing of Esiri was a blow to him. He said: “I met Uncle Justus for the first time during the production of my film, The Assassin’s Practice. From the beginning, we struck a good relationship. I remember he was telling me that my film was an international film and that he would do everything to support me. He did much more than I expected. His professionalism could not be faltered. His reassuring support during and after the production of the film drew me closer to him, and he became a father figure for me in the industry. I will certainly miss him and my condolences go out to his family.” Ukoko said The Assassin’s Practice is dedicated to the memory of the late thespian. Sarah Akokhia, who played the late Esiri’s daughter in the movie, said she was pained that the actor did not see the movie before he died. “So sad, he was a wonderful man,” she said. For Daphne, another actor in the movie, the late Esiri was a fantastic actor. He said the deceased was fatherly on the set of the movie and a great source of inspiration. The actor said the late Esiri taught him a lot on the set and enabled him to give his best, adding that he would always remember him as a great actor. He added that the impression the late Esiri made on him would last a lifetime. He said: “Uncle Justus was an amazing veteran on set. A father to us all who taught me so much and pushed me as an actor to deliver my best! It was an amazing experience. He was very caring, sweet and honest man. He will be missed; he made an awesome impression on me.” The Assassin’s Practice tells the story of a failed stock investor, Eviano Esiri (played by Justus Esiri), who hires an assassin (Eve Pearson) to stage his suicide and make it look like a botched robbery so his wife (Kate Henshaw) and daughter (Sarah Akokhia) could live off his life insurance. But, he later discovers that the assassin is delusional and will not spare anyone and he must do everything to undo what he started.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
NEWS JUSTUS ESIRI (1942-2013) D’Banj:“With a very heavy heart, I sympathise with the family of the late Esiri. He was a great man and his legacy shall continue forever.”
Dejumo Lewis : “Justus was a highly remarkable professional. I picked him in 1984, when I was recalled... to revamp the Village Headmaster.”
Segun Arinze: “We have lost a great and iconic thespian who walked tall like a colossus on the entertainment scene. He motivated me and was a father figure to me.”
jet Esiri never had ‘
I should have my own Island if I were living somewhere else, apart from being in Nigeria. I should be flying in a private jet. I have acted in a great number of network television programmes know that there are embassies all over the world by the Nigerian government to help bring up trade and all sorts of things.I know that with film, we can erode the culture of other people. Yet we don’t pay attention to it. “An industry that can bring a lot of foreign exchange to Nigeria if properly harnessed. “I am begging this embassy and the ambassador to please help in this regard. There are so many people in Nigeria who are in the movie industry. They may not the best of filmmakers but these people assist in galvanising the country together. Let them make money outside this country.” Pointing in the direction of the other stars on that mission, the old man said:
“I know that people like Mercy Johnson, Monalisa Chinda, Mercy Aigbe are household names in Nigeria because of what they know how to do best. But they don’t have money. People pirate our films in Nigeria. “We are here to make Nigerians happy, to give them joy and make them understand that we in Nigeria do these things because we can’t erode the culture of our people.” At another forum, the late Esiri spoke about the need to allow the evolution in technology to reflect in movie production., adding that training of hands to meet the everchanging technology was also important.
He said: "One thing I am happy with is that people appreciate what I have done. We are at a stage where we should make technology part and parcel of what we produce. The real issue is that some of the problems we have are either technology driven or humanbased. First, we must have good people trained to handle the best of equipment that the white man churns out every year. If you use some equipment today, the following year, new ones would come out. So, we must train our people properly, meaning that we must get the right training institutes and not just the ones that want to make money."
Family meets on burial plan today •Olu Jacobs, Segun Arinze, others mourn •Nothing to be sad about, says son By Mercy Michael
Justus Esiri Jr
HE family of late theatre icon, Justus Esiri, who died on Tuesday, will meet today to discuss his burial plans. Family members from Lagos, Warri and the United Kingdom are expected to be at the meeting, which will take place in Lagos. A family source said the thespian’s eldest son, Justus Esiri Jr., an accountant based in the UK, has been excused from the meeting because of the nature of his job.
The Lagos residence of the deceased hosted actors, such as the first female president of the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Ibinabor Fiberesime, Segun Arinze, Olu Jacobs and wife, Joke, Charles Novia, Kate Effiong, Bimbo Akintola, Edith Irabor, Seyi Emmanuel, ijeoma Agu and Dr Bayo Oduneye. Arinze, former AGN president, said: “We have lost a great and iconic thespian who walked tall like a colossus on the entertainment scene. From the ‘Village Headmaster’ to other kingly roles he played, he was a master craftsman and wordsmith. Every role he played had a life. He motivated me and was a father figure to me! Odogobiri (Esiri’s character in The King Must Dance Naked) rest well.” Prominent filmmaker Tunji Bamisigbin also expressed grief. He said: “Justus Esiri was a veteran thespian by all standards. He was my trainer outside of my university train-
ing. We came across in 1976 at the National Theatre towards FESTAC 77. He was the director and choreographer of our group. We met again in 1985 when I joined the production crew of ‘Village Headmaster’. He possessed all the virtues and professional traits of a committed artiste. He never missed the opportunity to show me off to young artistes as a pride of his past endeavours towards establishing and promoting arts. The entertainment industry will miss him. His audiences across the world will miss him. But God will accept him.” One of the sons of the late Justus Esiri, Sidney, popularly known as Dr. Sid, yesterday said his father lived well, adding that there was nothing to be sad about. The ‘Over the Moon’ singer said of his father: “His life is being studied in Universities in UK. He lived to be 70, and anything else after 70 is a gift, so there’s really nothing to be sad about. He lived well. I will like to be like him when I grow up.”
Tunji Bamisigbin: “ Justus Esiri was a veteran thespian by all standards. He was my trainer outside of my university training. We came across in 1976 towards FESTAC 77.”
Dr Sid: “His life is being studied in universities in the UK. He lived to be 70 and anything after 70 is a gift. So, there’s nothing to be sad about. He lived well.”
The last time I saw ‘headmaster’, by Dejumo Lewis
NE of the living legends of the Village Headmaster drama series, Mr. Dejumo Lewis, yesterday relived his last meeting with the late Justus Esiri. Lewis, who was the traditional ruler in the series, described as sudden the death of the late Esiri. “I’m very sad. I never knew his age, but when I learnt he died at 70, I felt pained the more. I consider that a premature death. And this is going to come out in my book. People live up to 100 years, even in Lagos where life appears stressful and difficult. Abiku ni won pe yen, (they call that premature death)” he said. The actor said he saw the late Esiri last at the service of songs for the late Enebeli Elebuwa, another cast member of the Village Headmaster who died last December. According to Lewis, the late Esiri behaved in an unusual manner at the event. He said the actor, after rendering a resounding tribute and emotional song, came to the front row where his colleagues were seated and shook hands with them, without uttering a word. He said: “He came to the front row, shaking hands with everyone without saying a word. He would shake the first person with the right hand, hold him with the left and move to the next person. It was unusual. We were discussing other issues but he did not utter a word to anyone. It was very unlike him. I am sure others would have noticed that unusual action of much.” Lewis appeared alarmed that anyone could die of diabetes. “I ask; should diabetes still be a killer in this age and time? There must be more to this, and certainly, it is not about old age. He didn’t tell me anything about his health condition. But I do know that it is only old age that is a natural killer; and this shouldn’t be until, at least, 90 years of age.” He described the late Esiri as a highly professional artiste who matched his expectation when he needed to cast someone for the role of an headmaster in the Village Headmaster series. Lewis said: “Justus was a highly remarkable professional and very versatile. I picked him in 1984, when I was recalled from my teaching job in Jos to revamp the old ‘Village Headmaster’. I’d no problems picking him. I had not been satisfied with the initial person that emerged, but
By Victor Akande
He came to the front row, shaking hands with everyone without saying a word. He would shake the first person with the right hand, hold him with the left and move to the next person. It was unusual
when I met Esiri, I knew that was the ‘headmaster’ I wanted and he did not disappoint me.” He said the death of Esiri was particularly painful at a time when they were planning on how to return the entertainment industry to the path of professionalism. “We have been in the industry, trying to professionalise it. It’s been so loose and sectionalised. The industry ought to be well-coordinated. I find his passing away now very painful. He was a great resource to the country,”he said.
He didn’t like Village Headmaster
EFORE he was approached to be part of the now rested Village Headmaster television series, the late Justus Esiri, who was the third actor to play the headmaster, was not a fan of the series. At the time Ted Mukoro and Femi Robinson were playing the village headmaster in the series, the late Esiri saw no reason to love the programme. His grouse with the programme was that so much pidgin English was being used on it. Recalling how he ended up in the series in an interview before he died, the late Esiri said: “Before I featured in that programme, I never liked Village Headmaster because of the pidgin English.” All that changed one day when he was asked to come for the audition at the National Art Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos. He honoured the invitation, dazzled
the producer and ended up picking the role both Mukoro and Robinson earlier played. He said: “I was already in Lagos. One day I was at home when someone came to tell me that I should come for an audition for Village Headmaster because, according to him, they had tried a lot of people and decided I should come. He added: “At the National Theatre on that day, everyone was seated and they said they were going on location by the weekend. I had never seen the script before then, so I took it home and read it through. The location was in Badagry. On that day, everyone, including the late Elsie Olusola, Kabiyesi Funsho Adeolu, Joe Layode, Ibidun Allison, Kabiyesi Wole Amele, everybody sat down watching because I had not worked with them before. To my surprise, by the time I finished that sequence, they were all clapping.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Commissioner defends self By Oziegbe Okoeki
LAGOS State Government is not slow in handling the payment of 2003-2011 salary arrears of resident/veterinary doctors, Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase, said yesterday. Mrs. Oguntuase, who was invited by the House of Assembly recently over the matter told our reporter in Lagos: “Due process has to be followed and we must go through all the necessary processes for payment before payments can be made”. She said her office had sent the claims for the arrears to the office of the Auditor-General for verification. “After verification by the office of the AuditorGeneral, my office will make submissions to the governor for further directives. The process of paying arrears is not something you do without verification and establishing the claims because you might run foul of civil service rules.” on allegation that her ministry is slow over the issue, she said: “My ministry is not slow; we must adhere to due process, we have requested verification already and immediately we scale that hurdle, we shall make submissions to the governor for further directives.” She disclosed since coming into office in July 2011, she had resolved one of the less contentious issues of the veterinary doctors - restoring the pay parity between them and medical/dental officers which was one of the issues in the House resolution that her office received in September last year.
UACN opens Estate tomorrow UACN Property Development Company Plc (UPDC), a foremost real estate firm, will tomorrow commission its premium residential estate in Ikeja GRA, Lagos. The project is the newest addition to the company’s growing portfolio of properties in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt. The estate with 18 modern structures is on Ladoke Akintola Street, GRA, Ikeja. UPDC managing Director, Hakeem Ogunniran, said estate was developed to taste, adding that it offers comfortable living environment. He said: “Each of the 18 houses comes with a one-room boys’ quarter, with recreational facilities such as swimming pool, gymnasium, children’s playground, sewage treatment plant, borehole, water treatment plant, fire alarm system, burglary alarm system, standby generator, ample parking space for residents and visitors.” The estate, he said, would be serviced and managed by UPDC known for its “high standard.”
Engineers' body gets new leader THE Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineering (NICE) has inaugurated new national officers to run its affairs for the current year. At the ceremony held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos State, yesterday, the new National Chairman of the body, Engr. Saliu Lawal, promised to turn around the fortune of the body using a five-point agenda anchored on restructuring, repositioning, strengthening, empowerment and consolidation. He said: "Part of my agenda is to consolidate the achievements of all my predecessors. Such efforts must be geared towards such areas as properties, investments, existing international affiliations, corporate goodwill and membership strength." Lawal, a 1981 graduate of Civil Engineering from the University of Lagos, has actively practised for three decades and had served as the pioneer chairman of Lagos chapter of NICE. The immediate past chairman of the body, Engr, Amos Omopeloye, asked members to support their new chairman. Guest speaker at the event, Dr. Jacob Ehiorobo, said: "The modern civil engineer needs to assess his capacity objectively and give focused attention to capacity development." The event witnessed presentation of awards to outstanding members of the body.
Prayer for Twins A THREE-DAY Islamic prayer will be held in Lagos today for the late Saliu Ayodele Twins. Twins died in the United Kingdom on Wednesday and was buried same day. Prayers will hold at his home, 48 Johnson Street, Surulere, Lagos, at 3pm. The late Twins was a Senior Partner at Deloitte-Adetona Isichei & Co; Director, Eko International Bank, now Skye Bank Plc and Director of NLPC Pension Fund Administration Limited.
CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999
'My husband's killers have ruined us' S
HE sat in the midst of sympathisers. Her eyes were swollen from weeping. Shunning all entreaties to stop crying, she asked: "God, why me; why me?" Then she let out her fear: "How do I solely care for these children? "God, who gave them to you, will take care of them," said some of the sympathisers. There was nothing the sympathisers did not do yesterday to console Funke, widow of Ropo Eniafe, a cocoa merchant in Ilawe, an Ekiti State community. Eniafe was killed on his farm on February 9 by some yet unidentified gunmen. He was 51. Since the death of her businessman husband, sympathisers have been trooping to their OkeImedo country home in Ilawe. They lived a quiet life with their four children until that fateful February 9. When The Nation visited the family, sympathisers were outside the house discussing the incident. As Mrs. Eniafe wept, she looked towards her young children, Tunde, 16; Tolu,11; Favour, 9; and Gloria,7. The sympathisers followed her glance, urging her not to be afraid and that "God is in control". According to the widow, Eniafe died with many unfulfilled dreams which are known only to her. The Nation learnt that she was not just the late Eniafe's wife; she was his friend and confidant. She hugged two of the children, shook her head and broke down again in tears. "How does one console a woman in this pathetic situation?" A sympathiser quipped. Still battling tears, she said: "I have lost my most reliable confidant and partner. My husband was dutiful. He shunned every comfort and always made out time to care for the family. No one was spared of his care as friends and other family members often turned to him
•Widow of slain Ekiti cocoa merchant laments
•The late Eniafe From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
for succour, which they had always found. "Each time, he would pray for his children, chat with them and wish them the best in life. He would always assure me that he would do his best possible to give our children the best in life. Now, all that is over. How do I do it
alone now?" Getting the killers seems to be hard nut for the police to crack. Who killed him? Why? Where are the killers? These and other questions are being asked by residents of the town. The late Eniafe's immediate younger brother, Boluwaji Omolafe, told The Nation that it was his slain brother's widow who came to his house early on Saturday morning to raise the alarm that her husband who had left for his farm since Friday morning had not returned. "I was shocked to hear this. Immediately, we organised a search party and headed for the farm. We met my brother lying lifeless in a pool of his blood," he recalled, adding: "We saw machete cuts all over his head, and his skull was broken from the persistent machete cuts." The police, he said, were immediately contacted and the body was deposited in the General Hospital, Ilawe morgue. Boluwaji said before the incident, there had always been reports about farmers being disturbed by Fulani herdsmen, adding: "It is possible that my brother ran into armed robbers who had fled to other locations around the state." He said the deceased had no dispute with anyone. "If you knew my brother, you would know he could not have any disagreement with anyone. He was as peaceful as a dove," he said. The state police spokesperson, Mr Victor Babayemi, has confirmed the arrest of two suspects. A sympathiser, Hon. Tolulope Ojo, said Eniafe's death was a huge loss. He added: "One pitiable fact is that the person we are talking about (the late Eniafe) just completed and moved into his new house in December last year." The Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Ajibade, has called on his subjects to remain calm and not allow the incident to cause disaffection.
Mother 'sells' baby for N60,000
27-year-old woman, Joy Uzochukwa and three others have been charged before an Ebute Metta Magistrates' Court in Lagos, with allegedly selling a one-monthold baby for N60, 000. The other defendants include an auxiliary nurse, Margaret Obinwa, 49; a pastor who has been childless for 28 years, Rev. Simon Dike, 69, and Chibuzor Ogbonna, 50, who allegedly impregnated the woman. All the defendants are resident in Ikorodu, a Lagos suburb. The matter first came up on Wednesday, but Magistrate S.O. Solebo adjourned it till yesterday to allow the prosecution produce the exhibit (the baby) in court. Uzochukwa is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy to traffic her baby and sale of a new born baby; Ogbonna was charged with impregnating and abandoning Uzochukwa. The nurse was arraigned on a one-count charge of buying the baby. Dike was charged on a two-count charge of human trafficking and aiding the commission of the offence. Prosecuting Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Henry Obiazi told the court that the offence was committed on January 4, at De-Ifes •L-R: Dr Nurain Ayeola; Managing Director, Fouani Nigeria Limited, Mr. Mohamed Fouani; Orimedu of Orimedu, Oba Amuzat Atiku; General Manager, Air Conditioning and Energy Solutions Division, LG Electronics (West Africa Operations), Mr. Junhwa Jeong; and Marketing Director, LG Electronics (West Africa Operations), Mr. Charles Asinugo during the company’s presentation of some units of its recently-launched LG Anti-mosquito air-conditioners and malaria drugs to Orimedu Health Centre, Epe, Lagos...yesterday
‘The lady went to the nurse for assistance to abort her pregnancy since she did not have money to cater for herself and the then unborn baby. But the nurse, Obinwa, urged her not to commit abortion and encouraged her to rather have the baby and sell it off to those in need of a child’ Medical Centre, Odogunyan, Ikorodu. He alleged that Uzochukwa, who was impregnated and abandoned by Ogbonna ran to Obinwa for assistance to abort the pregnancy. Obiazi said: "The lady went to the nurse for assistance to abort her pregnancy since she did not have money to cater for herself and the then unborn baby. But the nurse, Obinwa, urged her not to commit abortion and encouraged her to rather have the baby and sell it off to those in
need of a child. "So, having agreed to the nurse's advice, the first defendant was introduced to Dike, who claimed he was a reverend father and had been married for 28 years without a child. Then, the lady, having met the pastor, was made to sign an undertaking that she would never come back for the baby and she was paid N60, 000, which she agreed to." Obiazi added: "As luck would have it, the first defendant got married to one Kingsley who got wind of the entire deal and had to report the matter to men of the Oodua People's Congress (OPC) in the area. So, the OPC involved the police for further investigation and that was how the defendants were arrested." He added that the offences contravened Sections 409,274,408 and 277 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos, 2011. The defendants pleaded not guilty. Magistrate Solebo granted Uzochukwa and Dike N100,000 bail each with a surety in the like sum. She granted Obinwa and Ogbonna N200,000 bail each with two sureties in the like sum. The Magistrate ordered that the baby should be taken to the Lagos State Motherless Baby's Home, Victoria Island, adding that the centre's matron should allow the biological mother to see the child. The matter was adjourned till March 13 for trial.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
CITYBEATS LINE: 07059022999
ESIDENTS of Ijora Badia community in Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area of Lagos State yesterday demanded an early completion of some roads in their domain. The construction of the 16 bio-climatic roads and drains started in October 2011, but the delay in completing the project is giving the residents concern. Bioclimatic roads are designed with consideration for the impact of climate on dwellers. The placard-carrying protesters, mostly elders, said they were forced to hit the streets after efforts to get the contractor, Seg Mahsen and Co. Nigeria Limited, to resume work failed. "We are suffering in this community and we realise the immense benefit this project will be to us, but now, that is hanging. Our suffering has been compounded. Places where flood did not reach before are now becoming swamps," said Alhaja Raliat Adebisi Bello, the chairperson of Abete Community Development Area. "This must not be another abandoned project because we were on our own when they asked us to go and demolish our houses so that construction could start," said 65-yearold Ade Ayinde, whose 5, Afolabi Alasia Street home's frontage was demolished for the project. "They said they would destroy the entire house if we did not demolish the marked portions. I paid N25,000 for the demolition of my house and nobody is even talking about any form of compensation." From the CDA's data, almost 100 houses were affected as they lost their frontages, rooms, shops, and walls to pave the way for the exercise. "We willingly sacrificed our houses and now instead of reaping the reward, we are suffering the more. This community is full of old people, retirees, and it is unfair for them to play deceitful politics with us," Bello said. In a February 12 letter to Governor Babatunde Fashola, the community said: "The road project had been awarded to a particular contractor in the past and was abandoned and was later re-awarded to Seg Mahsen. It is our submission that the ugly trend of awarding and re-awarding the contract for this project should be discouraged." They alleged that the community has a litany of "awarded and reawarded" projects, a situation which does not make for qualitative project implementation. One of such is a canal project that has been abandoned for about three years. "We are happy with what Seg Mahsen has done. The roads they have completed so far are not only the best roads we have here, they are of the same standard with what we see in the city centre. This makes us proud and we want that company to complete the project," said another resident, Musibau Idowu. Seg Mahsen's Project Manager, Olusegun Oreyomi, said the com-
Residents groan over 'abandoned' road
â€˘Some of the pretseters...yesterday By Segun Balogun
pany had been under pressure from the community and was therefore compelled to disclose the project's status. He complained of some anomalies starting from project design to payment. According to him, the Project Consultant, Advanced Engineering/WNL, could not provide the designs of the project for which they were paid. "We had to do it when we saw that time was being wasted and gave it to them. We were not even paid for that," he said, adding that his company had achieved 71.5 per cent completion, but had only been paid 25 per cent of the contract sum. In a November 26, last year letter to the Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project (LMDGP), a World Bank counterpart-funded agency that awarded the contract, the company listed its grouses, bordering on breach of contract clauses, with the consultant and calculated its arrears to be N665 million. "We are left with no option than to take it up with you the unwholesome attitude that has characterised the management of our contract to the extent of financially crippling us for unclear
Church holds seminar
EMBERS of the Evergreen Christain Church of God (ECCG), Obanikoro, Ikorodu Road, and 3 have the opportunity to selfempowerment initiatives at a seminar. The church's Pastor, Philip Babalola, who told The Nation yesterday that the seminar themed, 'Business success and financial wisdom', would hold at the church's premises, said it would start at 11 am on the first day and 9 am the second day. "The programme is inspired through the church by God to assist empower our members through orientation to withstand the current economic realities in our country. We can no longer wait on the government to see people out of the situation on the nation's economic front," Babalola explained. Guest speakers expected at the event, he said, include: Pastor Mrs. Toyin Bakare, accomplished chief executive of the popular SAS textile outfit based in Surulere, Lagos; ex-banker Bayo Gasper and Mr Kayode Adele, a prominent business man.
CSanitation ITYBEATS holds in
reasons," the letter said. Oreyomi added: "I don't know why LMDGP will allow the consultant to be feeding them with lies when they can easily move to site to see what we are doing. Mr. Dayo Oguntade, LMDGP's Project Director, has never visited us on site, yet he believes in the
consultant." An official of LMDGP, who asked not to be named, told The Nation that the protesters "are being misinformed about the details of the project." "We are already meeting with the residents so they will know the truth," he added.
Lagos tomorrow HUMAN and vehicular movements will be restricted in Lagos from 7am and 10am tomorrow, Environment Commissioner Tunji Bello said yesterday. According to him, it is to observe the monthly environmental sanitation programme in the state. He reminded Lagosians of the importance of daily waste disposal without waiting for the monthly programme. "Lagosians should properly dispose of their wastes through LAWMA and authorised PSP operators, as dumping of waste into canals impede the flow of storm water in our drainage channels, Bello reportedly said in a statement by ministry's spokesman, Mr. Fola Adeyemi. Recalling how many states experienced serious flood disaster, the commissioner noted that there was no such issue in the state with the help of God and the concerted efforts of the government. Bello warned residents against patronising cart pushers, adding that the scope of the Private Sector Participation (PSP) operators had been widened for efficiency. The commissioner said the Drainage Maintenance Department (DMA) and Emergency Flood Abatement Department (EFAD) had commenced massive cleaning and dredging of drains and canals across the state to reduce flooding. He, however, urged residents to complement government's efforts at attaining a flood-free-environment by ensuring an all-year-round cleaning of the canals and drainage channels. For total compliance with tomorrow's sanitation, Bello warned drivers of intra-city and inter-state commercial buses to comply with the order, warning that offenders would face the full weight of the law. CORRIGENDUM Contrary to our report yesterday, Mrs Ngozi Odia, her sister Praise; three children and a niece did not survive last Saturday's gunman's attack. The error is regretted.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
NEWS House won’t shift ground on budget Continued from page 1
•Pupils of Ayapo Comprehensive Schools performing at the 2013 International Mother Tongue Languages Day in Yenagoa …yesterday
Tension as governors resist plot to stop Amaechi Continued from page 1
fact that any clause in the Constitution of the Forum can be amended by a decision of a simple majority of members. It was learnt that the proAmaechi governors succeeded in securing a simple majority to amend the clause on tenure. The amendment allows any NGF chairman to seek a second term in office. A source said: “There was a little bit of tension at the session of the Governors Forum on Wednesday night. Based on the prompting of some forces, some governors attempted to stop Amaechi from seeking re-election as the chairman of the NGF. “They hammered on a constitutional clause which bars the NGF chairman from holding office for two terms. But they forgot that there is another clause which provides for an amendment of the Constitution by a simple majority of members. “The pro-Amaechi group managed to secure a simple
Forum condemns killings in Borno, Kano, Yobe
HE Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) is set to make its organs more functional. The Forum denied that it is against President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and passed a vote of confidence on its leadership under Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi. At the end of its meeting in Abuja in the early hours of yesterday Amaechi read the Communique: “We, the governors of the 36 States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at our second meeting of the year held Wednesday 20th February 2013 at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja, deliberated over a number of issues and resolved as follows: “Members exhaustively discussed the administration of the Forum and resolved that all the organs of the Forum be made functional at the next meeting.”
majority to amend the constitution of the NGF which can allow any sitting NGF chairman to seek a second term if he or she wishes.” Responding to a question, the source said: “Following the row over tenure, the NGF could not proceed with the election of a new chairman.
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
“Governors expressed deep concern and condemned the recent killings of health workers in Borno, Kano and Yobe while reaffirming their solidarity with the governors and people of these States. “Forum commended the governors of the states for their resolve to continue with their polio eradication programme.” Anambra State Governor Peter Obi said: “We all met to support the President. Not the other way round.” On the presence of Bishop Matthew Kukah at the meeting, he said: “He wasn’t invited; he just wanted to see us. He came to see a group of us on an issue, it doesn’t have to do with….. You don’t have to know every issue.” Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi said: Continued on page 60
Deliberately, members wanted the tension to die down. “No one was also sure whether Amaechi would be able to secure re-election or not because text messages were coming to some governors from forces opposed to the return of the Rivers State Governor as NGF chairman.
“The election has been postponed indefinitely to enable tempers to go down and put the NGF in order to go through an election.” Another source, who pleaded for anonymity, said: “Amaechi survived based on a strategic move adopted by
shy of applying the provisions of the constitution to override the President’s veto. The House said it would not change its position on allocation for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the rollover of capital component of 2012 budget and the quarterly budget performance briefing by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Mohammed told reporters that up till Wednesday, the Presidency and the leadership of the National Assembly were still consulting on the budget. “As at the time we were passing the budget for 2013 by Christmas, the fourth quarter allocation for 2013 was just released and if you are now going to mop up the funds by December 31, 2012, what happens to the funds? “The tradition is that people would just misapply the funds and they will end up in private pockets. What can they accomplish with the funds within two weeks? “So, our position is that why not give the agencies some time, so that the monies can be better applied in the needed areas. That is the spirit behind our position on that”. The House Spokesman added: “Another area of contention is the matter of quarterly briefing by the Minister of Finance. “The National Assembly is asking for this because we have been variously accused of not doing our oversight function properly and we are now saying quarterly, let the Finance Minister come around and brief us about budget performance. “The other area is that of benchmark. We have heard people saying we padded the budget and that was the reason for the delay but this is not so because before anything could be done, it has to be brought before the
House again”. The lawmaker pleaded with Nigerians to be objective while following developments on the budget document, adding that the legislators’ stance was for the common good. “ I want to say that all the decisions taken by the House were in the interest of the generality of Nigerians and protect the budget and protect the President himself too. “This is because as the President, when you initiate a budget and it is not completed then you have not reached your destination, it is only when it is completed that you can say you have delivered. “The budget will be taken seriously and the implementation will also be taken seriously”. According to him, the expiration of the 30-day window stipulated by the Constitution for the legislators to override the President’s veto has not elapsed. “We have to be guided that the 30 days we are talking about here is 30 working days and since we don’t work on Saturdays and Sundays, the window has not closed. “However, hopefully by next week, something is expected to have happened on it. It is either the President will assent to it or the National Assembly will veto it. “But I want to assure you that the National Assembly is not afraid to apply the provisions of the Constitution on the issue because the budget is about the generality of Nigerians. “However we have to explore and exhaust all available options for resolution of the grey areas because at the end of the day, the budget is the product of the people of Nigeria, who might suffer unduly until it is committed to law. “As the representatives of the people, we will always strive to do the right thing by following the procedures”.
Continued on page 60
Judicial Council suspends Justices Naron, Archibong Continued from page 1
amended. The council has also “set up a ‘Fact Finding’ Committee to investigate the allegations levelled against Hon. Justice Abubakar Talba of the FCT High Court in the Police Pension case of EFCC vs Mr. John Yusuf & Ors.”, the statement said. Justice Talba sentenced Yusufu to a two-year jail term after he (Yusuf) had pleaded guilty to a three-count charge in the N32.8 billion police pension fraud. The jail term is to run concurrently. The Judge, however, gave the convict an option of N250,000 fine for each of the three counts. The sentence sparked negative criticisms of the judge. Justice Naron chaired the first Osun State Elelction Petition Tribunal, which affirmed the victory of former Osun Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola in the petition of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its candidate, Governor Rauf Aregbesola. The Court of Appeal, Ibadan, later sacked Oyinlola and declared Aregbesola winner of the May 2007 election. Following a petition by a
Ali, Falana, Nwobike, others back action
AWYERS yesterday hailed the National Judicial Council (NJC) for its decision on the three judges it investigated. Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN) said the action shows that the judiciary would not tolerate any form of unethical conduct among its officials. He said the recommendation would serve as a warning to other judges that impunity and indiscipline on the bench must be abhorred. “Even though I don’t know the details of the grounds for the decision of the NJC, it is salutary. It will send a signal to our judicial officers that impunity will not go unpunished. Indiscipline should have no place on the bench.” Dr Joe Nwobike (SAN) said the recommendation shows that the judiciary’s disciplinary machinery is working, the affected judges must be given fair hearing. counsel to Aregbesola’s counsel, Mr. Ajibola Basiru, that the tribunal headed by Justice T.D. Naron was embroiled in call logs controversy with the lead counsel to Oyinlola, Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), the NJC
By Joseph Jibueze
“I don’t know the details given for their suspension, but I should think that they should ensure that their rights under the Constitution are protected. They should give them fair hearing.” Activist-lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) described the action as “a determined move to restore confidence in the judiciary”. He hailed Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Aloma Mukhtar, saying: “Having regard to the fact that the petition against Justice Naron was lodged with the NJC in 2007, the leadership of the Honourable Justice Muktar deserves commendation for plucking up the courage to determine the matter in spite of the desperate moves of certain powerful forces to cover up the judicial scandal. “The NJC has sent a clear message that the days of judicial impunity are over. We, therefore, call on President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Jonah Jang to approve the retirement of Justice Archbong and Justice Naaron as recommended by the NJC.
raised a team to investigate the allegation. Despite Basiru’s request for the tribunal members to disqualify themselves from the trial, the judges went ahead to deliver judgment on the case
“It is hoped that the Nigerian Bar Association will collaborate and team up with the NJC to purge the Bar and the Bench of corrupt lawyers and judges to reposition the Judiciary to discharge its constitutional duties to the Nigerian people.” Bamidele Aturu described the decision of the NJC as a welcome development and a step in the right direction. “I have no problem with the decision of the NJC, if these judges have been found guilty of unethical practices. “I believe they were given fair hearing before the decision was reached, and so their sack will only send warning signals to other corrupt judges,” the lawyer said. Lawyer and social critic Mr Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa, praised the council for the bold decision to sanitise the judiciary. He said the sack of the judges would no doubt send warning signals to others who are treading the same path.
on July 15, 2008. The Council also received another petition against the judges on February 4, 2011 from Basiru. The NJC said “Justice T. D. Naron of High Court of Justice,
Plateau State was recommended for compulsory retirement to Governor David Jonah Jang sequel to the ‘Findings’ by the Council that there were constant and regular voice calls and exchange of mms and
sms(text) messages between Hon. Justice Naron and one of the lead counsel for one of the parties to the suit in the Osun State Gubernatorial Election Tribunal, contrary to the Code Continued on page 60
ADVERT HOTLINES: 08023006969, 08052592524 NEWSROOM: LAGOS – 01-8962807, ABUJA – 07028105302 COMPLAINTS: 01-8930678
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
NEWS Pipeline vandalisation: Fasehun offers OPC’s services From Yomi Odunuga, Abuja
OUNDER of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Dr. Frederick Fasehun, has advocated the engagement of members of the organisation in the protection of oil pipelines in the Southwest. He said with the proactive engagement of the over 30,000 ‘foot soldiers’ in the services of the OPC, pipeline vandalisation in the region could be wiped out within a year. Fasehun, who spoke in Abuja when he led a delegation to the Presidential Amnesty Office, said the menace persists because those charged with the responsibility of monitoring the pipelines have been conniving with the vandals. He said: “Indeed, the President will write his name in gold should he go into history as the Nigerian leader who found the final formula for the country’s perennial problem of pipeline vandalisation. “We promise zero tolerance for pipeline vandals and pipeline vandalisation. We have outlined strategies and equipment required for securing the entire pipeline network in the Southwest and by the grace of God and the Federal Government, pipeline vandalisation within the Southwest zone will be completely wiped out in the next 12 months. “With the proper motivation, our operatives are ready to lay down their lives and limbs to safeguard the nation’s commonwealth. We will be throwing well over 30,000 foot soldiers into this assignment. That means a minimum of 30,S000 Nigerian families who can thank President Goodluck Jonathan for their livelihood.”
How ex-PDP chair Ali’s son, oil marketer defrauded govt of N4.5b, court •Party hails Oshiomhole for rejecting Fed Govt’s proposal told
Good Governance Tour a scam, says ACN T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday called for the stoppage of the ‘Good Governance Tour currently embarked upon by Information Minister Labaran Maku and his ‘retinue of people’. It described the tour as a huge scam and an illegality, saying those behind it must be made to account for the public funds they have collected in the process. In a statement in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also praised Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole for rejecting a multimillion-naira proposal from the Minister asking the state government to bankroll the Edo leg of the tour. It said such a tour as currently being led by the Minister across the country is an illegality in a federalism, the system of government which Nigeria is running, because it distorts the Constitution and gives the impression that the Federal Government is a supervisor of the various states.
By Precious Igbonwelundu
ACN said:“Under our federalism, no state is subject to any control from the Federal Government, and no Governor is mandated to report to the President. To now have a team assembled by the Federal Government inspecting the projects being carried out by the various states is not only fraudulent and illegal, but amounts to a blatant waste of public funds. It is a carry-over from the days of military rule under which Nigeria was governed as a unitary state. “It is also a case of double jeopardy for the states, whose projects are made to look like they are being executed by the Federal Government, while at the same time they (states) are being made to pay for the meaningless tour. “We say, unequivocally,
that this tour fits into other fraudulent schemes concocted by this Federal Government to swindle the people, enrich a few and pad its war chest for the 2015 elections, and we are talking here of SURE-P as well as the oil subsidy and the pension fund scam. This jamboree must end today!” ACN said. The party asked whether the Federal Government that initiated the tour has allocated any funds to it, adding: ‘’If this answer is yes, why are states being asked to cough out millions of naira for it. And if the answer is no, why must states be made to pay for a Federal Governmentinitiated tour?” It went on: “If the Federal Government has any project to showcase anywhere in the country, it is its prerogative to do so without extorting
money from the states. And where it has nothing to showcase, it is fraudulent to be showcasing the projects embarked upon by state governments, many of which are not even under the same party as the Federal Government, hence they have their own mandates based on their party manifestoes. “Wouldn’t it be laughable to see the Minister of Information questioning contractors of projects being executed by state governments or issue ultimatums to contractors he did not hire? Minister Maku should immediately put an end to the jamboree he is leading, declare all the public funds he has collected in the name of this tour and return such to the state governments that have been swindled under the so-called ‘’Good Governance Tour.”
•Prof Rufa’i (right), Senator Bob Dickson, Senator Chukwumerije and a member of one of the Governing Councils, Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN) during the inauguration of the Councils in Abuja...yesterday. PHOTO: ABAYOMI FAYESE
Fed Govt reverses UNILAG name change
HE Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Jerry Gana, has hailed President Goodluck Jonathan for retaining the name of the institution. The former Minister of Information spoke in Abuja yesterday during his inauguration alongside three others. Jonathan, in a broadcast to mark the 2012 Democracy Day renamed the University of Lagos as Moshood Abiola University. The name change has been the subject of litigation and protests from students and alumni of the institution. A court recently ruled that the change was illegal. Gana said the president had upheld the Constitution by reversing the change of name of the university. “This is a pointer to the fact that the current administration is committed to entrenching democracy and justice in the country.” Gana, who was responding on behalf of the four councils, said they would ensure that the universities’ communities
•Gana, three others inaugurated chairmen of varsity councils From: Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
settled down in peace. “I assure you that we will do our best to be fair, just and honourable in the discharge of our duties.” He also promised effective leadership with integrity, honour and justice. Gana said members would work according to the rules governing the institutions. He thanked Jonathan for the appointments and said they would put in their best as Nigerians deserved nothing less. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerijie said the lawmakers’ job had been made easier by the appointments. Chukwumerijie said the committee’s oversight visits to the institutions had identified lack of leadership by the absence of governing councils and the quality of members of the boards as challenges facing the institutions. He said the Federal Gov-
ernment had by the appointments taken care of the issues. “There are councils for those that did not have and the members who have been appointed are men and women of proven integrity and experience in academics.” The lawmaker described the appointees as round pegs in round holes and the right captains in the ship. Chukwumerijie urged the councils to immediately tackle falling standards of education, corruption, cultism and many ills that had continued to affect the development of education. The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie, said no university could function effectively without a governing council. Okojie urged government to consider training and retreat for members to enable them to keep abreast of global best practices in university administration. He also advocated financial autonomy for universities in the country.
The other governing councils inaugurated by the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’I, were for the University of Benin, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and Michael Opara University of Agriculture, Umudike. Their Chairmen are Senator Bob Dickson, Prof. Rowland Ndoma-Egba and Prof. Anya O.Anya . Prof Rufa’ I, who inaugurated the 20-member governing council of the universities said: “Government has therefore meticulously searched out and appointed these men and women of proven integrity, who have made impact on various areas of human endeavour. “The education sector is at present beset with some challenges which have incapacitated the sector from achieving its set goals within the record time. These challenges include inadequate human resources and physical infrastructure, poor management of funds, general insecurity, examination malpractice, un-
stable academic calendar, inadequate space for the teeming population seeking admission into tertiary institution, decline in academic standard as well as many others which have impacted negatively on the development of tertiary education in Nigerian. “Governing council members should take note that their appointments are not a means for self aggrandisement and self enrichment but a call to service to humanity. Council should not be lured to turn the award of “Honorary Degrees” or “Fellows” to chieftaincy title affairs.”
By Joseph Jibueze
LAGOS State High Court, Ikeja, yesterday heard how Mamman, son of former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ahmadu Ali and others allegedly defrauded the Federal Government of N4.5billion. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged him, Christian Taylor, Nassaman Oil Services and an oil marketer Mr. Seun Ogunbambo before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo with fraudulently obtaining the money from the government between January and April, last year. The money was for subsidy payments from the Petroleum Support Fund for the purported importation of 30.5million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) (also known as petrol), the commission said. According to EFCC, the defendants did not import the products, but forged numerous documents with which they perpetrated the fraud. A prosecution witness, Chidi Onyedikwe, whose company, Inspectorate Marine Services Limited, issues import certificates for petroleum products, said the documents which the defendants presented to the government to receive payments were not issued by the firm. Led in evidence by EFCC’s lawyer, Francis Usani, at the trial yesterday, Onyedikwe said his company checks the quantity and quality of petroleum products imported before they are transferred from one ship to another or from a ship to a terminal. According to him, they operate in Lagos, Warri, Calabar, offshore Lagos, offshore Cotonou and offshore Lome, and represent buyers, sellers, banks, government agencies and anybody who engages their services. But his firm, he said, never represented the company belonging to Ali’s son. His words: “We issue documents from our office and we sign and stamp them to show we were in attendance. We work for the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), among other oil companies. I have never done any job for a company called Nassaman Oil Services. “Sometime in November 2012, we received a letter from the EFCC, Lagos office, addressed to our firm, with about 27 documents attached. “The letter asked us to tell if those documents were authentic or not. Among the documents were certificates with images of our logo and stamp on them. On receipt of the letter, we went through our operational and laboratory records and accounts. “After the checks, we told EFCC that those documents did not emanate from us. We also had to check with the account department because we charge for jobs. There was no charge in the first place because we didn’t do the job, so there was no payment and there were no records.” Justice Onigbanjo adjourned till March 20 for cross-examination of the witness by defense counsel.
THE NATION FRIDAY FEBRUARY 22, 2013
NEWS NASU flays Fed Govt over research institutes From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan
THE Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) in research institutes, yesterday accused the Federal Government of paying lip service to research with its treatment of issues in the sector. It said government is very insincere and unconcerned about the growth of research institutes. The Chairman of the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan chapter of NASU, Alhaja Iyabo Kolapo, said this when she spoke with reporters during a rally organised by members of the union over the ongoing strike nationwide. She said rather than fund the research institutes, the Federal Government has encouraged the formation of non-government organisations (NGO) owned by the bigwigs in government. She said the non-chalance of the Federal Government to research is reflected in its refusal to implement the agreement entered into with the national leadership of the union in August last year.
NAMA confirms payment of new salary NIGERIAN Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) yesterday confirmed that it would commence payment of the new salary structure to its workers beginning from this month . The resolve by the management of the airspace agency to commence payment of the new salary scale has nullified plans by the unions to embark on strike today. Announcing this during a meeting with the leaders of the unions ,the Managing Director, Nnamdi Udoh, said the new package had already been approved for immediate implementation this month . The meeting was chaired by the representative of the Aviation Minister,Alhaji Dosunmu, the Acting Permanent Secretary. Dosunmu urged the workers to continue to work assiduously in sustaining the transformation agenda of the Federal Government in the aviation sector as being driven by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah.
Jonathan, Clinton, Fashola say Eko Atlantic City will drive tourism
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, former United States of America President Bill Clinton and Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) yesterday said the development of Eko Atlantic City would drive the tourism potential of the country. They spoke at the dedication of the 5,000,000 square metres reclaimed land for the development of the city designed to provide infrastructure that would house 250,000 people and provide employment for about 150,000 residents in the state. The over-one-billion dollar city cost one thousand dollars per square metre with an average plot averaging 1,000 square metres. The event attracted personalities, including the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria,(ACN) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who initiated the project under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement during his tenure as governor of the state. Also present were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwa, Industrialist, Aliko Dangote, Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun, former Governors of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande
By Okwy IroegbuChikezie and Miriam Ekene-Okoro
and Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, among others. President Jonathan hailed the initiative for the project, saying the city, when completed, would serve as an additional support to drive the nation’s tourism potential. He said: “We cannot be hearing negative stories always. It took the country 19 years to win the AFCON and today Nigerians can move from Lagos to Kano easily through train, and this happened after 19 years. “This project is one of the good news that we will continue to tell in this country. “The coordination between well-planned development and good quality of life, as a standard for higher productivity and sustainability cannot be overemphasised.” Clinton said the city, on completion, would not only create a tourist delight for people all over the world, but would contribute to the development of Nigeria’s economy. He said: “I thank the government and the developer for building this city. They have reclaimed five million
square metres of the land initially lost to the sea. This marks the beginning of this amazing wall, the Great Wall of Lagos. They have kept their commitment and it will work to improve the economy of Nigeria and all over the world it will bring enormous opportunities. I am convinced that within five years, people will be coming all over the world to see this wall.” Describing the city as an ingenious engineering feat, Clinton said it could also be home to people around the world, especially the over 10,000 residents who lost their houses to Hurricane Sandy, in New York last year. “I spent more than two years as a UN special envoy working on the repair of some of the cities affected by disaster. I saw what happened when America Hurricane Katharina went wild in the city where I spent my childhood. High rise buildings got buried in water because they were not prepared and most recently my state in New York was hit by Hurricane Sandy in which many people lost their lives and homes. “These people will come to Nigeria, people want to live near the water where they can have a feel of na-
ture. You have provided a beautified option to brand the city, the state and the nation. The shape of the stones of the Great Wall shows the understanding of how the water reacts; people will come from all over the world to study the wall,” he added. Elated Governor Fashola said the presence of President Jonathan and Mr. Clinton at the dedication represents the power of common commitment to the survival of human race on the planet. Said he: “While many may see only civil work and engineering project and the sign of an emerging city of Eko Atlantic City Project, I see much more than that. I see the symbol of man’s undying spirit in Lagos to conquer nature. This is because the ability of human civilisation to survive and prosper on this planet has been a story of constant battle against nature. “Many times over, the human spirit has triumphed. The symbols of that triumph are many across our planet. The airplane is one of them. The Panama Canal is yet another. The European tunnel is another. The pyramid of Egypt remains an intriguing model of global edifice that stands as a brand testimony
of the indefatigable depth of human capacity for survival.” Governor Fashola said the development of Apapa Port in Lagos about one century ago is one of the causes of the gradual erosion of coastland that affected Victoria Island until the Eko Atlantic City project was conceived. “For many years, nature has fought back. As is often the story, whenever a man of goodwill, courage and vision exists, his surrender to nature is never an option. So, it was here. When the erosion persisted and began to claim our shoreline, we defined our geographical boundary from non-existing route that evinced people from their property. Some men never gave up. Men like my immediate predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, never gave up,” he said.
Police fail to arraign seven terror suspects From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja
•Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule (second right); her husband, Alhaji Saheed Adebule (right); former Commissioner with the Lagos State Electoral Commission (LASIEC), Alhaji Musbau Oyefeso; and member, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Ramota Akinola-Hassan, during the conferment of a Doctoral Degree in Curriculum Studies on Dr. Adebule, at the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo. PHOTO: TAJUDEEN ADEBANJO
Procedural error stalls House of Reps’ plenary ONFUSION trailed yesterday’s sitting in the House of Representatives, as four bills were shelved due to the faulty procedures of the House. In the plenary headed by the Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, members expressed dissatisfaction that amendments were brought before the House without members having copies of the Principal Act, which would enable them contribute to the piece of legislation being considered on the floor. The affected bills are: ‘A bill for an Act to amend the
From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
National Directorate of Employment Act, Cap. N28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, by creating specific functions and objectives for the Directorate to specifically cater for unemployed graduates of tertiary institutions and related matters’. ‘A bill for an Act to amend the Federal Road Safety Commission Act (National Road Traffic Regulation) Cap.F19 LFN 2004 to further regulate and prohibit the covering of vehicle identification number plates and for related matters thereto.
‘A bill for an Act to amend the Consumer Protection Council Act, Cap. C25 LFN 2004 to modify its composition, widen the scope of its functions and powers to provide for a broader and more effective council and for related matters, (and a similar attached bill. The fourth one was: ‘A bill for an Act to Amend the Hydro-Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act, 2010, which were meant for second reading yesterday, were shelved. The Minority Leader of the House, Femi
Gbajabiamila, said it was a sad issue that amendment bills were not accompanied by the Principal Act, adding that it was time for the leadership of the House to take a firm stand and make a final pronouncement on the issue. According to him, as a legislature, it was embarrassing for the members to make laws that are based on ignorance. The Deputy Leader, Leo Ogor, said it was not right for a member presenting a bill to use his resources to make copies of the bill for the use of members and chamber officials, adding
that it was a great stress on such a member and wrong procedurally. Another member, Friday Itulah, said standing orders of the House state that notices of bills and motions should be availed to members before the bill or motion comes up. He said in a situation whereby such was not done, it undermines members’ contribution to the proposed legislation on the floor. He noted that important bills were being stood down because copies of the Principal acts were not made available to members.
HE police on Wednesday failed to arraign seven terror suspects before a Federal High Court, Abuja. The suspects are Usman Sani, Abdulrahman Musa, Mahmud Mohammed, Kabir Mohammed, Umar Danjuma, Ibrahim Musa Abba and Abdullahi Lawan. A statement by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said: “The suspects, who are facing a 13count charge of various offences under the Terrorism Prevention Act, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2011, were alleged to have been behind the bombing and robbery of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Alkalari branch in Bauchi State, on July 8, 2011. “The sum of N17,830,136 was said to have been stolen by the suspects from the bank. “The suspects were also accused of attacking and bombing the Alkaleri Divisional Police Headquarters. The seven suspects were further alleged to have attacked and robbed Intercontinental Bank and Guarantee Trust Bank, both in Azare of N36,446,750.” Before adjourning till April 10 for arraignment, Justice Ahmed Muhammed ordered that the suspects should be remanded in prison custody. He also directed that they should be allowed access to lawyers of their choice, in exercise of their fundamental human rights.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
ACN witnesses discredit Ondo election •Be hopeful, party urges supporters T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and its governorship candidate in last October’s election, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), yesterday presented more witnesses at the Ondo State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Akure, the state capital. ACN and Akeredolu are challenging the declaration of Governor Olusegun Mimiko of the Labour Party (LP) as the winner of the election. They are contesting the result of the election in local governments where Mimiko won. The witnesses were led in evidence by ACN’s counsel, Lasun Sanusi (SAN) and cross-examined by the respondent’s counsel, Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN),
From Damisi Ojo, Akure
Chukwuma Ekuomaro (SAN) and Ozaze Uzzi (SAN). During cross-examination, Adewale Oketade, who is from Gberinlegi unit, Ward 8 in Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government gave evidence of over-voting. He alleged that the former caretaker chairman in the local government, Mr. Niran Akinniyi, hosted officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and some police officers in his home before they resumed at their polling units on the election day. Pa Samson Fadoye (70) claimed that the number of votes declared by INEC in
Interest-free loans for Ibadan traders
YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has promised to give interest-free loans to traders, who were relocated to neighbourhood markets. He spoke on Wednesday after a tour of ongoing projects in Ibadan, the state capital. Ajimobi said the loans would be repaid at the traders’ convenience and thanked the people for their support for his administration’s urban renewal programme. He said: “I think things are improving generally. We are very happy and you can see that our people are cooperating. Everybody has realised the need to keep our environment clean, to make it aesthetically attractive and ensure that potential investors come to Oyo State. “I am happy with the compliance by our people. We went to the market and realised that those we re-
moved from the streets are happy. We pledged to assist them financially and give them interest-free loans. “Traders are the bedrock of the state’s economy and we will help them. We do not want people to trade on the streets any more.” Ajimobi urged traders, who are still on the streets, to move to the neighbourhood markets where necessary facilities have been provided for their convenience. He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has allocated funds to the state for the establishment of a library at the newly-established Technical University. Some of the projects inspected by the governor include the Technical University and the Transformation Housing Estate (both on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway) as well as the Scout Camp Neighbourhood Market at Challenge.
Yoruba are being marginalised, says HID Awolowo
HE wife of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Mrs Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, yesterday urged the people of the Southwest to be united ahead of the 2015 election. She spoke during the Yoruba Unity Forum’s (YUF’s) meeting at her home in Ikenne-Remo, Ogun State. Mrs Awolowo said there was need for the Yoruba to unite before 2015, to know which direction to go. She said: “It is time for the Yoruba to unite to take our rightful place in the country. We must not continue to walk aimlessly. We cannot continue to be slaves to others. We must know where we are going and what belongs to us.” Mrs. Awolowo noted that Yoruba are marginalised in the scheme of things in the country. She said: “During the last election, the people of the Southwest supported the present administration, but it is unfortunate that we have not benefited much. “Like the late Hubert Ogunde said in one of his songs, Yoruba must think on the way forward. We should come together and think deeply before we take the next step in 2015. If we do not know where we are going, we must know where we are coming from.” Mrs. Awolowo urged the Yoruba to be patient with one another, adding that the Yoruba nation must rise again. She said the YUF was working towards uniting the Yoruba before the 2015 elections. In a statement, Mrs. Awolowo and Rev. Bolanle Gbonigi urged President Goodluck Jonathan to reverse the neglect of Southwest people. It reads: “Yoruba people are progressively being sidelined, both in political appointments and placements in ministries, departments and agencies of the government. “The YUF is particularly disturbed by the recent appointments made by the Presidency, which have further aggravated the marginalisation, as no Yoruba person was considered worthy of any of the appointments.”
Alarere Unit, Ward 10, IleOluji, was incorrect. In Akoko South East, Isua, Prince Timothy Korede alleged that the voter’s list was inflated by 3,077 voters. Korede said the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Akin Orebiyi, had during the stakeholders meeting in Akure explained that the 2011 voter’s register would be used for the October 20, 2012 election, but noted that strange names and photographs were found in the register in the local government. Mr. Akinyemi John said the voter’s register used at St. Joseph’s Maternity Unit 5 in Isua-Akoko was manipulated. He said the register con-
tained names and photographs of about 2,400 voters, which were not in the authentic voter’s register. In Akure South, Fasua Raphael Banji said the voter’s register in ward 10 was filled with strange names that were not in the 2011 voter’s register. On Wednesday, nine ACN witnesses testified before the tribunal that the election was marred by irregularities. They were examined by Sanusi and cross-examined by LP’s counsel John Bayesea (SAN) and Mimiko’s counsel Adebayo Adelodun and INEC’s lawyer Uzzi. A witness, Ogunlade Oluwole, who voted at Unit 009, Alayere Ward in Akure
North Local Government, alleged inflation of votes in some polling booths in the ward. He said ACN party agents were chased away by LP thugs. Mrs. Folake Adebayo, who served as Polling Officer at Owaoni Unit 001 in Ose Local Government, said she was not allowed to sign form EC8A by INEC officials because she refusd to induce them with what they called “entertainment largesse”. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Agbede, ACN said: “The overwhelming documentary evidences tendered at the tribunal and the oral submissions of the witnesses called so far left the ruling party in a tight corner, forcing them to go back to the drawing board.
“With the avalanche of these evidence, it is obvious that there will be no hiding place for the political abracadabra conjured at the election.” ACN urged its supporters and the people of the state to be patient, adding that there would be a bright light at the end of the tunnel. The party urged the tribunal to be above board in discharging its duties.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
NEWS Ajimobi inaugurates 320 tractors to boost agric
YO State Governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday inaugurated 320 tractors to boost agriculture. He said his administration is determined to revolutionise agriculture as a means of alleviating poverty. The 320 Massey Ferguson tractors were bought by the state government in conjunction with the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON). They are to be distributed to 20 local government councils at 16 per council. The remaining 13 local government councils last November benefited from the 39 mini-refuse trucks also procured by the state in conjunction with ALGON. Acknowledging ALGON’s collaboration with his administration to improve the state, Ajimobi described local governments as veritable avenues for empowering the people. He said: “This is why any government desirous of empowering people at the grassroots must partner local gov-
•A cross section of the tractors. Inset: Ajimobi inaugurating the tractors...yesterday. With him are (from left) House of Assembly Speaker Mrs. Monsurat Sunmonu; Popoola; Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters Ajiboye Omodewu and Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Waheed Olajide.
ernments. Councils are essential in networking governmental aspirations in the provision of public amenities, such as good roads, rural integration and transportation facilities. This synergy, which has become the testament of our administration, gave birth to this event.”
Emphasising the importance of agriculture, the governor said: “Not only is it a major kernel of our cardinal programmes, it receives daily attention of the government in our constant search for succour for our people.” He said agriculture would provide job opportunities,
combat hunger and alleviate poverty. Ajimobi said an agriculture-centred economy could eliminate crime and combat social vices, enhance commerce and put smiles on the faces of the people. He said: “Since our administration swore an oath to
Aregbesola explains Opon Imo concept at Harvard
Council (WAEC) would be included in the tablet. “The tablet has bridged the gap of carrying books in sacks, wear-and-tear and the need for replacement. It also provides ready learning tools. Opon Imo has no internet connectivity and does not interface with other devices in order not to distract pupils. Knowing that power is still a problem, especially in rural areas where there is no electricity, a solar charger will be supplied with it. “Through this initiative, the state government seeks to expose senior secondary school pupils to information technology at an early age. Our investment in computer for secondary school pupils was borne out of our conviction that the future belongs to the digital age and it will be disastrous if our youths are not prepared for this.” Lamenting the country’s slow pace of development, Aregbesola said the colonial history of Nigeria could not be exonerated from its present predicament. He said for the country to get out of its present predicament, it must understand where it came from and how it got here. To do this assessment, Aregbesola said the country and its leaders must return to the colonial period, when the foundation of its under-development was laid. He said: “The real fruits of development are the strength of state institutions for law enforcement, transportation, economic production, defence, knowledge production, arts
and entertainment as well as cultural (and national power) projection. “The challenge of development, therefore, is how a nation strengthens its institutions and mobilises its human resources to produce the fruits, not necessarily on the scale of the United States, but on that which will guarantee good life for its citizens. “To get out of our present predicament we must understand where we came from and how we got here. To do this, we must begin from the beginning. “Hence, it is well worth repeating the over-emphasised point that the foundation of Nigeria’s under-development was laid in its colonial history. “It was, therefore, the case that, at independence, what was handed over as a country was such a political and administrative liability that its consequences soon began to hunt and hurt its human constituents. “These consequences hampered the country’s capacity to leverage its widely acclaimed ‘huge potential’ for development. The numerous dimensions of our development challenge have been amply articulated.” He said Nigeria is a developing country so far as the extant parameters of income per capita, life expectancy, the rate of literacy and so on are low, compared with countries designated as developed. Aregbesola identified some of the nation’s challenges as ethnic differences, structurally deficient federalism, prolonged military rule, religious
thrives only in an atmosphere of concord.” ALGON State Chairman Yekeen Popoola said the project would assist farmers and enable his colleagues to achieve some of the cardinal goals of the Ajimobi administration, which are agriculture and rural development.
Court adjourns self-acclaimed Oyo monarch’s trial From Bode Durojaiye, Oyo
•Governor says Osun’ll bridge digital gap •’Nigeria’s stunted growth caused by colonialism’ SUN State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has explained the rationale behind the decision to give digital tablets to secondary school pupils in Osun. He said the concept is to ensure access to knowledge and improve the performance of pupils. Opon Imo, a computer tablet, is to be distributed to about 150,000 secondary school pupils next month. The governor spoke while delivering a lecture, entitled, Nigeria: The Development Challenge, at the prestigious Weatherhead Centre for International Studies of the Harvard University, Cambridge, the United States. The lecture was part of activities lined up for his one week working visit to the United States. Aregbesola said: “As part of our education reform, starting from next month, we will introduce Opon-Imo, an iPad-like computer tablet, which is a smart electronic teaching aid, to our secondary school pupils. “This tablet is pre-loaded with the 17 subjects covered by the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in the form of lesson notes and textbooks. It also contains six extra-curricular subjects, such as sex education, civic education, Yoruba history, Yoruba traditional religion, computer education and entrepreneurship education. “Ten years’ past questions and answers to be provided by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the West African Examinations
provide succour for our people, we are merely fulfilling our promises.” The governor urged the people to support his administration in maintaining peace, saying: “We cannot afford to allow divisive politicians sow seeds of discord in our midst. Development
and sectarian problems as well as inept leadership. Above all, he said military incursion in politics greatly affected the nation’s social institutions. The governor said: “Worse still, military rule in Nigeria has enthroned and embodied everything that was antithetical to the development of the country. “Destructive dictatorship; repression of opposing but qualitative input into the political process; institutionalisation of pervasive corruption; devastation of the economy; spread of mass poverty; alienation of the population; militarisation of the polity and perpetuation of divisions in the society are some of the damages inflicted by military rule on the country.” He said Osun State has its peculiar challenges, but unemployment is common to all states in Nigeria. Aregbesola said his administration intervened by employing 20,000 youths within its 100 days in office. He said: “Critical state intervention of this nature is necessary. This intervention reinflated the economy of the state with immediate impact in every sector. “The policy was so successful that the World Bank commended us, asked to understudy it and recommended it as a model of youth engagement and mass employment for other states.”
N Oyo Chief Magistrate’s Court has adjourned hearing in a suit instituted against Alhaji Ganiyu Ajiboye by the Oyo State Government till March 11. Ajiboye was arraigned on January 23 for “illegally parading himself” as the Alago of Aga-oja and conducting himself in a manner likely to breach public peace. He is on bail. Ajiboye was absent at the resumed hearing, but was represented by a lawyer, Mr. O. Okobia. Okobia said Ajiboye was on bed rest at the State Hospital in Oyo town. He presented an enrolment order from an Ibadan High Court restraining the Chief Magistrate’s Court from hearing the suit and sought the court’s determination on the order. The Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Olabiyi Ajiboye, who led two other senior state counsel, dismissed Okobia’s submission that the accused was in the hospital, saying: “The accused is at a Federal High Court in Ibadan for a suit instituted against the state government by his counsel on the alleged invasion of his home”. The DPP sought a bench warrant on the accused and drew the attention of the court to new charges instituted against him by the state government. Though the new charges were not mentioned, they were admitted by the court. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Jejelomo Ogunbona, said the court would give the accused the benefit of doubt and advised him to appear at the next hearing.
‘Lagos doctors’ arrears’ll be paid’ By Oziegbe Okoeki
AGOS State Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pension Mrs. Florence Oguntuase has said her ministry is on top of the problem concerning the payment of salary arrears to resident and veterinary doctors. Mrs. Oguntuase, who was recently invited to the House of Assembly over the delay in implementing the resolution of the House on the payment of the outstanding arrears from 2003 to 2011, spoke with our correspondent yesterday in her office at Alausa. She said: “Due process has to be followed and we must go through all the necessary processes before payment can be made. We have sent the claims for the arrears to the Office of the Auditor-General for verification. “After verification, my office will make submissions to the governor for further directives. The process of paying arrears is not something you just do like that without verification and establishing the claims because you might run foul of civil service rules.” She said since she assumed office in July, 2011, she has ensured pay parity between medical/dental officers and veterinary doctors, which was one of the issues in the Houses’ resolution last September.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
BUSINESS THE NATION
Fed Govt inaugurates SON, CAC boards From Franca Ochigbo, Abuja
HE Federal Govern ment, yesterday inau gurated the Boards of four parastatals under the supervision of the Ministry of Trade and Investment. They are the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the Oil and and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA). The CAC’s 10-member board is led by Mr. Funsho Lawal, as Chairman. Other members include Prof. Adedeji Adekunle and Dr. Ausbeth Ajagu, among others. For the NEPC, its 11member board has Mrs. Grace Clark, as Chairman, Ambassador Asalina Mamuno, and Alh.Salisu Umar as members, among others. OGFZA’s 14-member board is led by Chris Asoluka, while other members include Gen. Geofrey Ejiga (rtd.) and Mrs Mary Mbu, among others. For SON, its 10-member board has Alh. Abubakar Mustapha as Chairman, with Engr. Abubakar Magaji and Mrs. Roseline Ekun as members, among others. Speaking at the event, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, said members of the newly constituted board comprised men and women of integrity, knowledge and experience in the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.
DATA STREAM COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$107/barrel Cocoa-$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE JSE NYSE LSE
-N6.503 trillion -Z5.112trillion -$10.84 trillion -£61.67 trillion
RATES Inflation -11.7% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending -22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -15% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $43.5b FOREX CFA -0.2958 EUR -206.9 £ -242.1 $ -156 ¥ -1.9179 SDR -238 RIYAL -40.472
We want a SONCAP programme that would serve its purpose; a programme that would be dynamic, where all the identified loopholes would be effectively plugged thereby making it difficult for the plaque of substandard products to continue to dominate the Nigerian business space. -Dr Joseph Odumodu, DG, SON
Sovereign Wealth Fund begins in March, says CEO N IGERIA’S Sovereign Wealth fund (SWF) will begin full operations by the end of next month, its Chief Executive Officer, Uche Orji, has said. He disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday at the end of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Orji, who briefed journalists alongside Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State; Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and the Minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman, had ealier given a progress report of the fund at the NEC meeting He said the Fund was in the process of puting its full complement of staff in place by March, when limited security investment would begin.
From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
He said: “The strategies we are going to deploy is obviously hybrid. We will have some external managers managing some of the funds for us and some would be run inhouse. JP Morgan has been selected as our custodian. We also have investment consultants.” Stressing that a lot of developments had been recorded since the appointment of the Fund’s CEO, the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala said that investment strategies have already been prepared for the Fund’s three windows, comprising the stabilisation window, infrastructure investment window and the future generation window.
“The $1bn that has been put aside will be allocated into the three windows and investments can begin shortly according to the strategy,” she added She said NEC’s position on corruption is in tandem with that of President Goodluck Jonathan on the issue. “On the issue of corruption, the NEC is saying what can we do to ensure that in every sector, there is transparency and accountability. From the finance point of view, this is something the President wants. The fact that it was debated and it would further be debated is a good omen,” she stated Having achieved a level of success in stemming corruption in the administration of fuel subsidy, she said that the Federal Government has a
lady cleaning up the pension sector. The minister said: “We have to clean up the system. The problem lies in the old pension system. We are building, according to the PENCOM law, a new department that will take over the management of those pension funds and make sure that people no longer have access to mismanage the fund.” “The contributory pension scheme under the PENCOM has nothing wrong with it. The old pension scheme is what we are tightening up.” Anambra Governor, Peter Obi said that the NEC expressed concern over the growing cases of corruption in the country. The issue, he said, was extensively discussed and a resolution reached that a session should be organised that would afford stakeholders to speak up against the scourge.
Reps reject report on export grant From Victor Oluwasegun and Dele Anofi, Abuja
REPORT by the joint committee on Com merce and Customs and Excise investigation on the misuse of Export Expansion Grant (EEG), by some industrialists, was rejected on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday. While rejecting the report, the members said it failed to address the terms of reference given to it by the House. Though the joint committee in the 12th recommendation of the report said: “The committee did not discover any misuse of the scheme as alleged, except for rivalry among the beneficiaries, especially in the leather sector. This invariably gave rise to orchestration of the alleged misuse,” Members expressed their misgiving that the subject matter under discussion had been relegated to the background. The fireworks started immediately the chairman of the committee on Commerce, Sylvester Ogbaga, summarised the findings of the joint committee. The Deputy Leader, Leo Ogor while commenting on the report said he was surprised that the recommendations did not address the mandate given the joint committee, which was to probe the allegation of the misuse of the Export Expansion Grant by some industrialists.
BUA’s $500m firm ready in 2014 • From left: Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo; Chairman Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Olugbenga Obadara, Director, Vigeo Power, Mrs. Funke Osibodu and Chairman, Vigeo Power, Mr. Victor Gbolade Osibodu at the signing of Transaction and Industry Agreements for Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies at the Presidential Villa, Abuja...yesterday. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN.
PHCN: Fed Govt, investors sign transaction, industrial pacts
HE privatisation of the Power Holding Com pany of Nigeria (PHCN) yesterday recorded a major breakthrough as the Federal Government signed transaction and industrial agreements with the investors in the power company. These pacts were signed hours after the Chairman, National Council on Privatisation (NCP), Mr. Peterside Atedo said that the PHCN will be handed over to their preferred bidders upon the payment of full purchase consideration. Some of the agreements the government entered into yesterday at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja during the ceremony for the signing of Transaction and Industry Agreements for PHCN successor companies, include gas sale and aggregation agreements with the Geregu Power Plc; the Sapele Power Plc and Ughelli Power Plc. It also sealed other ancillary agreements with the
• NERC raises complaints forum From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
Generation Companies (GENCOs and Distribution Companies (DISCOs) on the Transition Company of Nigeria (TCN) . Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) were also signed between the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET ) and Geregu Power Plc, Ughelli Power Plc, Sapele Power Plc, Kainji Hydro Electric Plc, Shiroro Hydro Electric Plc and Egbin Power Plc. The Federal Government also signed vesting contract agreements with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Plc and Abuja, Benin, Enugu, Eko, Ibadan, Ikeja, Jos, Kano, Port-Hacourt and Yola DISCOs. Similarly, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) signed Share Purchase Agree-
ment (SPA) and Concession Agreements with the preferred bidders of the PHCN. Speaking at the ceremony, the Ag Director-General, BPE, Benjamin Dikki urged power consumers to be willing to accept an initial short term increase in tariff. Meanwhile, the chairman of NCP has said that 15 business days after signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement or the Shareholder’ Agreement, the bidder shall make a down payment of 25 per cent of the share purchase price. He added: “90 working days after signing the sale and purchase agreement or the shareholders’ agreement, whichever is earlier, the bidder will be required to pay the outstanding 75% of the share purchase price to complete the transaction.” Atedo however, recalled
that to qualify for this signing ceremony all preferred bidders had post a bank guarantee for 15 per cent of the transaction value within 15 business day of notification from the BPE. According to him, it has been confirmed and verified from the issuing banks that all the firms that signed yesterday have posted such bank guarantees. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday inaugurated a 25- man customer complaints forum to handle complaints arising from various DISCOs. The forum consists of five members from five zonal offices of the PHCN, including Ibadan, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Kano and Abuja. It is designed to function like an appellate court where customers whose matters could not be handled at the various DISCos customer complaints units can seek redress.
HE $500million Edo Cement Company at Okpella, Edo State would be ready for inauguration early next year. The Chairman of BUA Group, AlhajiAbdulsamad Rabiu, spoke at the signing of the $35million contract agreement between BUA Group and Siemens to build a new gas turbine power plant for the BUA Cement plant. The contract, which was signed at BUA’s London office, is for the supply of 3 SGT 500 turbines manufactured by Siemens Industrial Turbo Machinery AB in Finspang, Sweden, with a total capacity of about 45MW to supply power to the Edo cement plant. Rabiu expressed satisfaction with the construction firmt, Julius Berger at the pace of work so far. “I am impressed by the civil construction work. Seventy per cent of the cement plant equipment have been shipped and are currently on site and the pace of work by Julius Berger is very comprehensive and impressive. By early 2014, the cement factory will be ready for use,” he stated.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
RMAFC monitors revenue agencies
HE Revenue Mobili sation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has begun monitoring revenue generating agencies of the government. The measure is aimed at ensuring transparency and accountability in total remittance of accruals into the Federation Account and disbursement to the three-tiers of government in line with constitutional provision. In a statement, the Head, Public Relations, RMAFC, Ibrahim Mohammed, said the Chairman, Elias Mbam, led members of the Non-Oil Sector Committee of the Commission on an oversight visit to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in this regard. He
From Nduka Chiejina (Asst. Editor), Abuja
urged the Federal Government to intensify efforts aimed at strengthening the solid minerals sector for generating more cash into the Federation Account. Mbam also said the solid minerals sector, which generates over N1billion, remains a viable alternative to hydrocarbon resources, which he described as exhaustible and non-renewable. He said it was imperative for governments at all levels, especially the Federal Government, to strengthen the sector by creating an enabling environment for the diversification of the economy.
The chairman told the Minister that as part of its job, the Commission would reconcile solid minerals revenue this year in conjunction with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the Office of the AccountantGeneral of the Federation and the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN). Responding, the Minister, Mohammed Musa Sada, told the Committee that the Ministry is accountable to RMAFC, and as such welcomes the partnership from the Commission and other relevant agencies of the government in its quest to reposition the solid minerals sector for optimum
revenue generation. He said the ministry employed NEITI officials to assess the performance of the sector from 20072010. According to the Sada, findings from the study revealed that the revenue realised do not represent the actual money made. He attributed the problrm to flaws in the system. To address the anomaly therefore, the minister called for a review of laws on royalties and institutionalisation of a viable fiscal policy to guide operators and regulators. He also called for adequate funding of the sector, adding that it is capital intensive.
Business Connexion partners on data centre
TRIPARTITE agree ment has been sealed by Business Connexion (BCX), Parallels and Rackspace over the citing of data centre in the country. This is expected to take IT services to local firms at reduced costs, increased flexibility and rapid provision times. After sealing the deal, BCX, leading provider of data centre and cloud computing services, yesterday officially launched its services in Lagos. The firm said it would work in close cooperation with approved local resellers to develop regular releases of applications, which are high on the priority list of the Nigerian Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
By Lucas Ajanaku
BCX’s first data centre is based in Ikeja and it is expected that it will initially offer IT infrastructure-as-a-service, messaging-as-a-service, sharepoint-as-a-service and lync-as-a-service. The firm will also offer private cloud to enterprises and government. Speaking on the occasion, Business Connexion Chief Executive Officer, Benjamin Mophatlane, said the launch marks a significant milestone as the ecconmy of the country has shown appreciable growth over the past decade. “We are really excited to launch these offerings in Nigeria, because it is the realisation of our continued growth and development strategy for Africa. “Nigeria’s economy has shown robust growth over the past decade and we have noted that key drivers of growth lie squarely in the telecommunications, construction, tourism, manufacturing, mining, agriculture andwholesale and retail trade, all areas in which our business provides ICT solutions,” he said.
N158.3m for safe mining in Zamfara From John Ofikhenua, Abuja
HE Federal Govern ment has released N158.3 million intervention fund to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for safer mining operations. The money is aimed at reducting lead and mercury exposure, as well as environmental contamination in small scale gold mining in Zamfara State. The Assistant Director, Press, Mr. Stephen Kilebi, said in a release that lead poisoning of children occurred in some communities in Zamfara in 2010 because of dry milling of gold ore by artisanal and small scale miners, which resulted in the death of many of the children and some of the victims are still being treated. He said the intervention fund was announced in Gusau, the Zamfara State Capital at a Press Conference by Mr Obiora Azubike, the Director of Artisinal and Small Scale Mining, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development who led a technical team on advocacy and sensitisation visit to the state. Azubike said the essence of the visit was to sensitise the government and the people of Zamfara State that the Ministry was ready to continue the implementation of its programme of safer mining operations in the state since the intervention fund was available, adding that their support and cooperation was needed. He said the fund would be used for the installation of Wet Milling Machines, provision of bore holes at mineral processing sites, introduction and installation of threenumber Igoli processing machines for gold extraction.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
BIR THD AY BO Y: Editorial page Editor of The Nation Mr. Sanya Oni (middle) being assisted by Deputy Chairman, Editorial Board, Mr. •BIR BIRTHD THDA BOY Tunji Adegboyega (left); Members –– Mobolaji Sanusi (second left); Mr. Mobolade Omonijo; Ambassador Dapo Fafowora; Mr. Steve Osuji; Mr. Gabriel Amalu; Mr. Ropo Sekoni; Mr. Segun Ayobolu (right); Femi Macauley (second right) and Abolaji Adebayo to cut his 50th birthday cake in Lagos... on Wednesday. PHOTO: NIYI ADENIRAN
•L-R: Cross River State Commissioner for Education, Prof Offiong Offiong, Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike and Project Engineer, Eugene Opara, at the inspection of the Special Girl-Child School under construction at Itigidi, Cross River State... on Wednesday
•Senator Gbenga Ashafa (left) and Corps Marshal/ Chief Executive, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Osita Chidoka at the commission’s 25th anniversary at Transcorp Hilton, Congress Centre in Abuja.
•L-R: Former Super Eagles Chief Coach, Chief Adegboye Onigbinde; Manchester United legend, Quinton Fortune, Managing Director, DHL Express, Mr. Randy Buday; and Country Commercial Manager, DHL Express, Mr. Chrysanthus Okereke, after the Novelty football match organised by DHL as part of Fortune’s visit to Nigeria.
•Waziri of Gwandu Emirate Council, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar (left) Turbaning Mahmud Muhammad, overall winner of Kebbi Qur’anic recitation competition (male category) in Birnin Kebbi... on Wednesday •Director, Legal, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Suleiman Kawu (left); Chairman of the occasion, Chief Olayinka Kufule, Director-General, SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu and Director, of Specialities (SON), Mr. George Okere, at SON’s stakeholders forum and launch of e-registration process in Lagos. PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI
•From left: Executive Marketer, Sweet Sensation, Peju Adebayo, Comedian/Compere ‘Open Teeth’, Winners of the Sweet Sensation promo and Executive Marketers, Sweet Sensation, Titi Alonge during the Sweet Sensation promo for couple in Lagos
•Chief Executive Officer, Emzor Pharmaceutical Limited, Mrs. Stella Okoli (left); President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mr. Olumide Akintayo and Chairman, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Nigeria (PMG), Mr. Bunmi Olaopa, at the CEO Forum of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), at New-China Restaurant, Lagos.... on Wednesday. PHOTO: ABIODUN WILLIAMS
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Amosun strengthens co-operative societies
NDDC inaugurates 20 projects
Four students get Rotary’s scholarship
Cross River 47
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Oshiomhole resettles widow
UCCOUR has come the way of an 85-year-old widow, Esther Osagiator, who lost her home to the Edo State government’s drive to beautify Benin-City, the state capital. Governor Adams Oshiomhole gave her N2m to secure an accommodation. The ongoing urban renewal projects of the Edo State government have resulted in the demolition of many illegal structures in Benin-City, and its environs. Many buildings on right of way have been pulled down to pave the way for construction of an
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
adequate drainage system, especially at the Upper Lawani-Upper Mission axis. At the popular Five Junction along the Ugbowo-Lagos Road where a ring road is being constructed, Governor Oshiomhole ordered that some buildings that are ‘not befitting the beautification of the area’ be pulled down. Among the buildings affected was a 24-room apartment belonging to the husband of Esther, Ekeviobor Osagiator who is now
deceased. He was buried in one of the rooms in accordance to his instructions. Esther Osagiator, who spoke through one of her daughters, Patience Iyamu said they were not given any prior notice before their house was demolished. She said the governor told them that their houses were built with mud and are no longer fit to stand as their presence will disfigure the newly-constructed five junctions. Governor Oshiomhole, however, said the N2m offered to the widow was a palliative measure
to enable her to rent an apartment. He further explained that in offering the fund to the widow, the government was considering whether to buy the land over or pay for the demolished building. He noted that if the demolished building was paid for, the woman would have to erect a modern structure on the land to complement the beautification exercise. The governor, who described the house as an illegal structure, however pointed out that the value of the demolished house would not be enough to •Continued on Page 45
ESIDENTS of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, were launched into new mood of joy and relief as Governor Abiola Ajimobi inaugurated a new bridge which is by Awolowo Road Junction and close to the state secretariat. The bridge was washed away during the August 26, 2011 downpour and worsened by subsequent heavy rains. The incident caused several civil servants, traders, artisans, businessmen, women and others who use the road to experience indescribable hardship. In the past 20 years or more, residents of Ibadan and its environs were always gripped by fear during rainy season. Thousands of residents and road users were always stranded as flood overflows the bridge and cuts off the entire Bodija area from direct link to the state secretariat, Orita-Mefa and other parts of the city. The devastating effect of the August 26, 2011 heavy flood brought pain and agony to commercial drivers plying the popular Bodija Market and Ojoo from Molete, Beere and Gate. They were forced to divert to another route within Bodija Estate. This engendered suffering on the residents of the estate who could no longer enjoy their privacy. Previous administrations did not attempt to solve the problem of erosion in the state until last year when Governor Abiola Ajimobi-led administration began the reconstruction of the bridge to free the water channel to enable it to contain greater volume of water during heavy rains. While the reconstruction of the bridge lasted, some residents complained of hard times, but the government refused to bow to pressure to do a shoddy job just to ease people’s suffering which may be
•Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (third right); his deputy, Chief Moses Adeyemo (second left); Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon Monsurat Sunmonu (left); State Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Akin Oke (right); Senator Oluremi Tinubu (second right) and Hon Abiodun Awoleye, representing the state at the House of Representatives (third left) at the inauguration of the Bodija/Secretariat Bridge, christened Restoration Bridge
Relief as Ajimobi unveils Restoration Bridge From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
compounded in future if shoddy jobs are executed. So, when the governor and his team went for the inauguration of the new bridge, residents
Residents jubilate praised the administration for delivering quality jobs across the state. Stalwarts of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at-
tended the inauguration ceremony. Among them were the Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Alake
Adeyemo, Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Jumoke Sunmonu and the state chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke, commissioners, among others. While inaugurating the bridge, Ajimobi said: “Permit me to remind you of the unfortunate incident of flooding which severely washed away this water channel. Year after year, the incident disrupted the socio-economic lives of the people, causing untold hardship, •Continued on Page 45
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Free surgery for kids
NDDC inaugurates 20 projects
• Chairman, Mosan-Okunola Local Council Development Area, Hon Abiodun Mafe reading a speech during 2013 Budget Retreat at the council Secretariat. With him are (from left) ViceChairman, Princess Opeyemi Akindele; Leader of the House, Hon Adenike Olusoga and Secretary to the council, Prince Abiodun Falade.
HE Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has inaugurated 20 projects in Cross River State. The projects, acknowledged by leaders of beneficiary communities as having improved the living conditions of the people include roads, classroom blocks, electrification and solar-powered water supply. Inaugurating the projects, NDDC Managing Director, Dr. Christian Oboh, represented by Cross River State Representative on the Board of the Commission, Dominic Edem, said the Commission was determined to complete its projects. Dr. Oboh said gone were the days when children learn under trees and trek long distance to fetch water from the streams, disclosing that “NDDC will bridge the gap by ensuring that the people have adequate classrooms to learn and potable water to drink”. In his remarks, Head of Akim Akim Qua clan in Odukpani Local Government Area, Chief Francis Omin, thanked the commission for bringing the projects to the commu-
Cross River nity. “We really thank the NDDC for their intervention. The light will attract investors and open the way for economic activities”. Speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Abi Local Government Area, Hon. Emmanuel Elemi thanked the commission for finding his community worthy of the projects, and pledged maximum utilisation. The Paramount Ruler, Ikot Ansa Community, Mr Patrick Oguagbo while thanking the NDDC, said the road will reduce traffic congestion and open up the state for development. On his part, Rev. Fr. David Udo, Vice Principal (Administration), St. Patrick’s College, thanked the commission for meeting the needs of the school. “We are happy that we have water now. Our students used to go out to look for water trekking several kilometers; NDDC has brought life to us because water is life” he said.
Delta to begin land mapping for cassava T
HE Delta State government has said it would begin land mapping for the proposed Federal and State government commercial cassava production in Abraka. The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Misan Ukubeyinje, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen during a joint inspection tour of the 6,000 hectares allocated for the project in Abraka. According to him, the state Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Development will commence the mapping of the land areas quickly to enable the planting of cassava commence on target in April. Ukubeyinje said that the Federal Government would be establishing 18 of such farm projects across the country, adding that the state government was fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries. He said that although a partnership project, the state government was responsible for providing access roads to link the various location of the farm because the 6,000 hectares may not be concentrated in one location. Ukubeyinje said that the modalities and cost of running the projects would be spelt out, adding that it would be managed by experts in the
private sector. “The Federal government will soon commence the process of land clearing and preparations for the planting to commence in April while the cassava processing mill will be completed before the end of this year. “We have inspected the land needed for both the cassava processing mills which is about 20 hectares and that for the cassava cultivation. “We can also partner the neighbouring communities around Abraka if we need more land for the projects,’’ Ukubeyinje said. The commissioner lauded the monarch, His Royal Majesty, Air Vice Marshall Lucky Ararile, the Ovie of Umiaghwa-Abraka Kingdom for his understanding and support. He said that the monarch did not only approve the use of the land for the projects but was working ahead of the team by engaging the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture to produce out growers.
Society seeks support for programmes HE General Secretary of the Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN), Dr Fred Odutola, has asked Christians to assist the organisation in its programmes and projects. He spoke at the Fifth Founders’ day of BSN at the Nigeria Institute of International affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos. He said to translate a Bible costs N30million and about 12 years, adding that because of the enormous cost, it is difficult for the organisation to embark on more projects. He said out of about 350 Nigerian languages, the organisation has only been able to translate the Bible into 20 languages, with the New Testament in 60 languages. Also, he is canvassing help for the provision of Braille Bibles to enable the blind have assess to them. He said whereas a Bible could be bought for about N400, a complete Braille
By Joseph Eshanokpe
Bible costs N77,000. At the moment, he said BSN is planning to make Braille Bibles worth N9million available in selected schools for the blind in the country, with the School for the Blind, Oshodi, Lagos as one of the beneficiaries, adding that if the plan is successful, outgoing pupils of these schools would be able to leave with some o these bibles. Odutola challenged church members to live above board, saying that the world is looking unto them for direction. He said: “We are the light of the world. Let us live as light of the world. Look at the earnings of those who pay heavy tithes and ask questions, if need be, about their source of their income.” He added: “Deemphasise prosperity preaching and emphasise holiness. Be the change you want to be.”
• Alhaji Yisa (middle) in a group photograph with members of the committees
Local govt inaugurates committees
HE Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area, Alhaji Owolabi Yisa has inaugurated two committees. The committees are: Environmental Sanitation and Waste Management, Security and Traffic management. The chairman urged members to be committed to their assignment. Yisa said his administration was working tirelessly to provide social amenities for the residents. He said the council had embarked on some projects with Federal and State governments such as new block of classrooms at Okun-Ajah and Olomu Primary School, construction of a laboratory at Ogombo with water source, rehabilitation of Owode Public Health Centre, replacement of entire P.V.C ceiling and to mention a few. Speaking on behalf of the committees, Mrs. Rukayat Omotayo, thanked the chairman for the opportunity given to them and promised that would live up to expectation. The council chief warned that his administration would not condone indiscriminate dumping of refuse along Median Badore Road.
Traders assured of democracy dividends
• From left: Mrs. Comfort Ajose and Chairman Orile-Agege Local Council Development Area, Hon Taofeek Adaranijo during the presentation of food items to widows and old people at the council
He advised residents of the council to be sanitation conscious, as this can hinder the affective work of LAWMA. Rather, refuse should be dumped at the designated point of collection. According to the council boss, the newly inaugurated committees are to work in conjunction with the LAWMA officials, environmental officers and workers ofthe council. The chairman stated that apart from the monthly, weekly environmental exercise declared by the state government, there is going to be a daily environmental clean-up within EtiOsa and its environs. He thanked the council manager Mrs. Sanyaolu A.L. for all the efforts she is making to see that Eti-Osa East is dirt free. Alhaji Yisa urged the residents to pay their taxes promptly and that payment should only be made at the designated banks as written on the bills,saying that cash payment should not be made to any of the council staff. Dignitaries at the event include the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leader in Eti-Osa East L.C.D.A Alhaji Bashorun Apampa, party loyalists, community leaders and host of others.
RADERS under the umbrella of Market men and Women Association of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter have been assured of constant dividends of democracy.This is because of their importance in the growth of the state’s economy. The assurance came from the PresidentGeneral of the association, Alhaja (Dr.) Abibatu Magaji at a luncheon organised for her members from all the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas in the state. The President-General, who also doubles as the Chairman, Lagos State Market Management Board, asserted that “the importance of this association to the economy of this state, albeit, this country at large can never be over emphasised,” just as she said that “this administration is not unaware of your importance, hence the pride of place it gives you in its day-to-day activities.” Mogaji, who was represented at the luncheon that took place at her Alausa, Ikeja residence by the Vice Chairman of the LSMMB, Mrs Folashade Ojo, told the attendees that “nobody would be discriminated against in
By Emmanuel Oladesu
the scheme of things in the state,” adding that “marginalisation, which has never had a space in our lexicon, will not creep in now because everyone of us is as important as any other person in the association.” She therefore urged them to keep on supporting the present administration of Babatunde Raji Fashola to encourage him to do more for the state, just as she advised them to remain peaceful, law abiding reminding that “nothing positive can be achieved in a crisis ridden atmosphere.” Mogaji therefore called on her members to always feel free to channel their grievances, series of advice, observations, suggestions and comments through the board, assuring them that “this administration operates an open door policy just as it is a listening one.” All the speakers at the well attended luncheon pledged their total loyalty to the leadership of Dr. Abibatu Magaji as well as the Lagos State government, just as they expressed appreciation for carrying them along in the day to day activities of the state.
HE Chairman of Okirika Local Government Council in Rivers State, Hon. Tamunor Williams, has advised parents in the area to take advantage of the free surgery provided by the council for children from age one to three. Hon. Williams made the call in Okirika after signing a partnership agreement with the management of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). According to him: “We are partnering with the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) for free surgery of any kind, for children within the age range of one to three years. This, of course, will reduce the
• Dr. Oboh
Flood victims seek help
OME victims of the recent flood disaster in Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State have appealed for help from government and other well-meaning Nigerians. The flood, which occurred five months ago, left most of the victims homeless and hungry. Investigation revealed that most of the victims now squat with relatives and friends while some returned to live in their ruined buildings and tents. Some victims who spoke with newsmen appealed for assistance from government and the wealthy in the society. They complained that they no longer have homes of their own, adding that with the current economic hardship, “we now live from hand to mouth”. They said that the promises made by the both Federal and the state government were yet to be fulfilled. Though they admitted that they had received some relief materials from governments,individuals and corporate organisations such as food stuff, the situation, they say, was still very challenging because they lost virtually everything. Mr. Saliu Rufai, a community leader in Ofukpo-Ekperi said they were yet to hear from the government as regards the promise to help rebuild their houses. Another community leader, Mr. Joseph Oshigbele of Osomeigbe community said that government only came to take statistics of the houses destroyed by the flood. According to community leaders, the hardship inflicted by the flood can only be understood better by anyone who visits the community to see things for himself. Rufai said: “As I speak with you, most of us are just struggling to resuscitate our farmland which was destroyed. “We have had to travel as far as Uromi in Esan North East Local Government Area of the state to get farm inputs like cassava stems.This is part of what the government promised us and we are yet to get any of them. “This is planting season for yam and by May, we will be planting rice and we have not gotten any of these farm inputs from the government as promised”. Oshigbele said the people were worried with this development and called on the government to as a matter of urgency look into the promises made to the people. “All we have got is the team which came to evaluate our damaged houses and also the
Church programme JESUS Divine Solution Ground Ministries will start a five-day crusade tagged: God of Assurance 2013 from February 21 to 23 at 6pm daily. There will be a vigil on Friday from 9pm till dawn. The programme ends on Sunday, February 24, at 8am. The venue is 26, Igun Street, Itire, Surulere, Lagos. The chief host, Prophetess Doherty Ezeh assures every participant abundant blessings,salvation,deliverance healing and breakthrough Speakers expected at the programme include, Prophet Samuel Ezekiel and Pastor Kingsley Igere (guest speaker), among others
Edo fumigation carried out immediately the flood receded. “Aside this, my people are expecting soft loans to enable them get fully back to their occupation, which is farming,” Oshigbele said.
Rivers From Precious Dikewoha, Port Harcourt
rate of death of children who have abnormal cases. “My government is committed to the provision of quality healthcare to the people of Okirika and we have been organising free medical treatment to the elderly ones including the youth” The council chief said his decision to assist the needy was informed by his desire to support poor families who have critical cases that require surgery, adding, “Poor families who have such cases borrow money, sell their properties and sometimes in the process of looking for money the child will die.” Some of the families in Okirika with abnormal babies who spoke with The Nation said the plan by the chairman to assist poor families who could not afford medical bill of corrective surgery is divine. Mrs Glory Diepiriye, whose two years old daughter is a victim, said the council chairman is God sent to poor families in the area.
•Governor Amaechi “God will continue to bless him, I know God gave him the idea, who could have done this to us in this society where the poor suffers and struggles alone,” she said.
NGO lifts the needy
NON-GOVERNMENTAL Organisation, Citinet Group, has donated items to some orphanages in Lagos as a demonstration of love and empathy. The items include cash donations, food items and working tools. The initiative, which was a Valentine gift to
these schools was done in partnership with Tabandee Nigeria Ltd and support from the chairman, Surulere Local Government Area, Hon Tajudeen Ajide. Schools visited by the group include Hearts of Gold Hospice, Surulere, Babes-Salam “door of peace” Orphanage and Little Saints Orphanage head office at Palmgrove. Speaking at Hearts of Gold Hospice, Mr Femi Brainard, a Nollywood star, described the initiative is a welcome development as it is all about giving back to the society. The coordinator, Mr Ola Akintonwa, used the occasion to thank God for the grace given the group to do the little it is doing to lift spirit of areas visted. He equally thanked Hon Tajudeen Ajide for his usual support and the partner of the group Tabandee Nigeria Ltd. He promised to do more.
Workshop on council autonomy By Adegunle Olugbamila
I •Prince Ayo Gbadebo of Citinet Group, founder, Mr Ola Akintonwa; Nollywood star, Femi Brainard, Miss Bukky Dopemu and Mrs Laja Adedoyin, founder Hearts of Gold Children Hospice during a visit to the orphanage at Surulere
Council chief stresses importance of education T
HE Chairman, Ikosi Isheri Local Council Development Area,Hon Abdulfatai Oyesanya,has urged youths in the area to focus on education as an agent of development .Oyesanya gave the advice at the first inter house sport of the Kosofe Senior College,Lagos. The chairman charged students at all levels to be committed to their studies as education remains a major eye opener. He said: “All work without play makes Jack a dull boy. I will continue to support education most especially the sporting activities in our schools. I commend all of you students who had worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this event”. The council chief also advised those who took the last position in the competition to accept the defeat with the spirit of sportsmanship, saying they can come first in the subsequent competition in the future. According to him, “I will want to use this medium to congratulate all of you students here today. Sport is one of the things students must do and to add to their experience. I could also recollect when I was in school; we also had such experience of inter house sport which is still fresh in my memory till today. “I am not saying this to you secondary school students alone but to the students at all levels starting from the crèche, primary school, secondary and the higher institutions. I promise that on our own part, we shall try to ensure that we support education in our local council. In her own contribution, the principal of the school Mrs. Folake Olodun, praised the effort of those who had contributed to
By Jeremiah Oke
the success of the first ever inter house sport of the college such as the sponsors, guests, house owners, sport committees, officials, teaching and non-teaching staff, parents, community leaders, competitors and the entire students. She also urged the students to see education as the only way to take them to the greater height regardless of what they are facing today.
SSUES bordering on the autonomy of the local governments in Nigeria will dominate a public discourse which will be held Tuesday next week at the Shehu Musa Yar’Ardua Conference Centre, Abuja. Governor of the State of Osun Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the national president, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Dr Ozo Nwabueze Okafor will lead other discussants while speaking on the theme: Local Government Authority: How Autonomous:?, said Tola Odusote Director of the Public Affairs Unit of CMC Connect. Odusote said the duo will be joined by others drawn from across politics, academia, civil society, among others, Odusote said the national discourse which is the second edition is sponsored by CMC in conjunction with O’Ken Ventures a Public Relations outfit. “This issue’ (local government autonomy) Oduoted said, “has been preponderant in the media and the general public, whether autonomy should belong to local governments or that state should continue to manage local governments. We shall be bringing discussants from every sphere to deliberate and in the end, issue a communiqué which will be forwarded to government at all levels, civil societies and other relevant agencies.”
• Hon Oyesanya handing over trophy to the winner
THE NATION FRIDAY,FEBRUARY 22, 2013
EDITORIAL FROM OTHER LAND
Maina the fugitive •The Presidency should explain why, by its tardiness, the pension boss escaped
T took the umbrage from the Senate before the President and Commanderin-chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to order the arrest of Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, whose ignominious activities in the Pension Reform Task Team. During the Senate deliberations and the President’s apparent indifference, Maina was allowed to roam the streets and plot his escape. On the floor of the Senate, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, finally expressed helplessness: Maina the wanted had become Maina the fugitive. He had escaped. The Senate failed to address the presidential failing to explain why the noose did not tighten on the man while he was in the country. The statement from Dr. Reuben Abati, presidential spokesman,
‘The presidency, which claims to launch a war on corruption, did not show any form of indignation to this act of public outrage. It must be put on record that Maina has been known to be cosy with the president, and has been seen on more than a few occasions with President Jonathan at airports. Was that the reason for the tardiness from the president in ordering to nab the suspect?’
that it was the task of the head of service and not the presidency to keep tabs on the runaway suspect abdicates responsibility. The whole saga started in November, 2011, when the Senate mandated its Joint Committee on Establishment, Public Service and States and Local Governments to conduct a public investigation into pension administration and management in the country in the last five years. On June 20, 2012, the joint committee submitted its report to the Senate, stating among other findings and observations, that Maina failed to appear before it to account for pension funds of the Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pensions Office (CIPPO) amounting to about N195 billion during the period. Maina spurned several other invitations to appear before the committee to respond to the grave allegations. Even after Senate President David Mark invoked the powers of the Senate to compel Maina’s presence at the public investigative hearing, the Pension Reform Task Force (PRTF) Chairman remained recalcitrant. Obviously pushed to the wall, the Senate President issued a warrant for his arrest – an order that the Inspector-General of Police inexplicably failed to carry out. Yet, Maina not only freely granted media interviews impugning the integrity of the Senate, he made a futile bid to get a court order preventing his arrest as ordered by the Senate President. It is against this background that the senators felt Maina was enjoying protection from high quarters.
The presidency, which claims to launch a war on corruption, did not show any form of indignation to this act of public outrage. It must be put on record that Maina has been known to be cosy with the President, and has been seen on more than a few occasions with President Jonathan at airports. Was that the reason for the tardiness from the president in ordering to nab the suspect? That is why we find it unacceptable that on the night of February 13, Abati said it was only the office of the Head of Service that could discipline Maina if indeed he had breached any civil service rules. Yet, by Friday, the presidency was singing a different tune. Abati said that President Jonathan, having been briefed by the Inspector-General of Police, of Maina’s apparent abandonment of his official duties, had directed the Head of Service, Alhaji Isa Sali, “to act expeditiously on the disciplinary proceedings against Alhaji Maina and report back to him on actions taken”. This is a shameful contradiction that fails to save President Jonathan’s face. Maina may thus be disciplined for absconding from duty without leave, contrary to Public Service Rules No. 030301 to 030304. This embarrassing scenario only underscores the degree of institutional decay in the country and the embarrassing impunity that has come to characterise the public service. Investigating the financial malfeasance is one thing, but allowing the man to be a fugitive betrays an executive branch out of sync with its duties and obligation to fight corruption.
Old wounds • The AIB’s report on previous air crashes does not encourage those who fly
T is predictable that the report of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) on the air crashes involving Bellview Airlines and Aviation Development Company (ADC) would reopen old wounds. What makes this consequence particularly foreseeable is that the report blames the airlines, and pilots, for the fatal accidents. On October 22, 2005, Bellview’s Boeing 737 airliner with 117 people on board crashed and caught fire in Lisa Village, Ogun State, shortly after take-off from Lagos. There was no survivor. A year later, on October 29, 2006, ADC’s Sokoto-bound Boeing 737-200 plane crash-landed a few minutes after take-off from Abuja Airport. Nine people survived out of 105 on board. To go by the dates of these crashes, it has taken AIB between six and seven years to investigate the cause of the tragedies. Was this fairly long timeframe a result of thoroughness of investigation, or what? If such inquiries took the aforementioned length of time, the implication is that the lessons to be learnt, if any, were delayed. This is dangerous in a safety-challenged aviation sector, such as we have in the country. It is remarkable that, despite its prolonged probe, AIB admitted that its findings were inconclusive because the investigators could not recover the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder from the wreckage of Bellview Flight 210. However, the examination, according to AIB, revealed “multiple defects” on the crashed airplane; it also showed that “the airplane should not have been dispatched for either the accident flight or
earlier flights.” In addition, the report questioned the competence of the pilot in command as well as his physical condition. On ADC, the investigating agency blamed “pilot error and lack of airline policy on how to operate a flight during adverse weather condition.” Inadequate regulatory oversight was also identified as a contributory factor in these disasters. It is perhaps unsurprising, given AIB’s apparent tentativeness, that its report has been challenged by Bellview Airlines, which alleged that the report was influenced by the bureau’s “internal politics”, and was not based on the facts of the accident. This is a significant disagreement as it calls into question the very authority of the report. If AIB’s findings are unreliable, as the airline claims, who then can speak on the cause of the crashes? Furthermore, by raising doubts about the credibility of AIB’s report, which it describes as “distorted”, the airline may have sent a signal that could be exploited by others. These conflicting positions on the Bellview tragedy must be puzzling to the public, and do nothing to redeem an industry that is battling with serious image issues. In the light of the dispute, the safety recommendations made by the bureau would appear, by implication, questionable. For, if the reasons given for the mishaps are unfounded, as Bellview argues, making recommendations based on them would amount to building something on nothing. It is, therefore, crucial that the authorities should bring sanity to the situation. It is hoped that this will help to bring about closure not only for those affected by the
unfortunate events, but also the general public. How long it took to produce this report and the controversy it has generated are not encouraging signs that the ongoing investigation of the Dana Airline plane crash of June 3, 2012, in IjuIshaga, Lagos State, would not follow the same course. All 153 persons aboard the plane perished. It is in the public interest that this particular probe should not drag on unreasonably. Hopefully, this time, the findings also will be less divisive. It is a matter of immense importance that air crash investigations should be carried out promptly, and authoritatively. Also, the safety recommendations arising therefrom should be treated with utmost seriousness.
‘How long it took to produce this report and the controversy it has generated are not encouraging signs that the ongoing investigation of the Dana Airline plane crash of June 3, 2012, in Iju- Ishaga, Lagos State, would not follow the same course. All 153 persons aboard the plane perished. It is in the public interest that this particular probe should not drag on unreasonably. Hopefully, this time, the findings also will be less divisive’
HE resignation of Bulgaria’s government after violent protests is a warning for other European countries. Even amid signs that the worst of the eurozone problems and associated downturn may be past, in today’s lowgrowth Europe, social unrest can break out with sufficient force to topple governments even in countries not directly hit by crisis. The centre-right government of Boyko Borisov is seen as another casualty of “austerity”. Yet Bulgaria has not suffered especially severe austerity measures, in the sense of painful fiscal tightening. Unlike neighbours Greece, Romania and Serbia, it has not required an international rescue. Unemployment, though growing, is not high by standards elsewhere on the continent, at 12 per cent. Public finances, notes one market analyst, are “stellar”. The country until recently prided itself on being an island of relative economic stability in the Balkans. But it was the government’s failure to deliver growth, in output, and in wages that remain the EU’s lowest – coupled with rising prices, above all of heating – that sparked the recent mass protests. Underlying disillusionment with a political elite seen as cronyist and self-serving bubbled up as monthly household electricity bills hit •100 – against an average monthly wage of •387. Mr Borisov deserves credit for stepping aside without risking further violence. With early elections now likely, all parties should commit to staying strictly within the rules. The challenges to constitutional law and democracy that emerged in neighbouring Romania after protests forced a change of government last year must be avoided. With both main political forces in the electoral doldrums, however, the danger exists that radical parties will be the beneficiaries in a fragmented parliament. Finding ways of reducing energy costs will be a dominant election theme. But one lesson from the government’s implosion is that whoever takes power next must redouble efforts to stamp out corruption – which may have contributed to those high costs. Mr Borisov came to power in 2009 promising exactly that, but progress has been slow. Another is that for all the EU focus on fiscal discipline, growth matters. Bulgaria comfortably meets the Maastricht criteria for euro entry, has pegged its currency to the euro since 1997, and avoided crisis. But that does not win votes. It is a lesson that governments even in wealthier states may yet learn to their cost. - Financial Times
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THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
CARTOON & LETTERS
IR: I do not know whether Thomas Hobbes was right or wrong when he said, “Man is essentially selfish, he is urged to action not by his reason or intellect but by his greed, desires and appetite”. But I can submit with certainty that Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, the Governor of Niger State was moved by unspeakable desire and unquenchable appetite for presidential power come 2015, when he said that the president can only serve one term of four years. The servant-governor based his assertion on an agreement which negates the letters and spirit of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I daresay that the constitution is the only document that can be relied upon in this matter. If the constitution allows the President to vie for a second term in office, then where do we stand: with the constitution or Babangida’s letter of agreement? I would be right to submit that the servant-governor has no copy of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Nigerians should be ready to resist him if he attempts to transmute into the constitution for the sole purpose of determining the term of the president. Can the so-called agreement abrogate the provision of the constitution on the terms of a sitting president? Only eligible voters and the constitution can determine whether or not President Jonathan returns. Not him. Let us ask Babangida Aliyu how
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Gov Aliyu and his ‘one-term’ agreement he would have felt if he was denied a second term on the basis of an agreement. The man is serving his term as stipulated by the constitution, yet he wants to deny his fellow
citizen the opportunity to serve his complete tenure. Now, I know why Ambrose Bices opined that “Politics is nothing but strife of interest masquerading as a
contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage”. I concede to the servant-governor the right to vie for 2015 but he must do so without heating up the polity.
•Godfrey Ehi Benin City
Saving a Lagos suburb from environmental decay IR: Concerned authorities, including both the federal government and the Lagos State government, should consider, urgently, the plight of residents of Ajido, Agemowo, Imeke and OkoAfo in Badagry area of the state and save them from the deadly pollution, heat, noise and vibration coming from gas being flared by the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCO) in their neighbourhood. These hapless communities had made several efforts to vet their grievances but their voices seemed too faint to be heard. The presence of heavily armed security personnel, a large contingent of policemen at the gate of the company who usually would not allow anybody get close to the company made it almost
impossible for residents of these communities to complain to the management of the company. As an indigene of this historic town, I find it incredible to believe that an organisation of such repute exists in that locale considering the rate of infrastructural decay, neglect and unemployment in that axis. All over the world, organisations similar to this always put in place, palliative measures that would suppress the adverse effects which the activity of such establishment poses to their host communities. For instance, the provision of free and standard health-care service within the communities could help reduce the health risk which the gas flaring would have on the populace; provision of power supply. More
worrisome is the deplorable state of the access road to the company located at Ajido, that is, AradagunIworo-Ajido Road. The present state of these communities negates the agreement reached and the Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2007 when the company was about to begin operation. Perhaps what the hapless communities could lay claim to since WAPCO began its operations is the construction of sub-standard boreholes in a few communities, nonfunctioning clinic, and two separate blocks of schools’ classrooms (six rooms each). In what measure are these commensurate with the millions of dollars made at the detriment of these people? This piece is not meant to juxta-
The President should sign the budget now IR: When President Goodluck Jonathan presented the 2013 budget proposal to the joint sitting of the National Assembly in October 11, 2012, everybody was happy that the 2013 budget will be signed on time so that there can be full implementation unlike previous years. It is unfortunate that as at today, the 2013 budget has not been signed by the President due to differences between the executive and the legislature which they both claim is in the interest of the general public. Some of the issues said to be causing delay in signing budget include: personnel cost, capital cost, the exclusion of the budget of Security Exchange Commission (SEC), and the inclusion of constituency projects by the National Assembly. There is also
Let me admonish him with the words of Nelson Mandela: “I have cherished the ideas of a democratic and free society where people lie in harmony and equal opportunity…” Governor Aliyu should respect the supremacy of the constitution over his so-called agreement. If he thinks that he or the North holds the right to become or produce the next president, then he must also concede such rights and opportunity to other eligible Nigerians and region.
issue of oil price benchmark. While the executive had predicated the budget on $75 per barrel of crude oil, the National Assembly increased it to $79. Since the both parties are claiming to be working for the interest of the Nigerian people, there is need to shift grounds, reach a compromise so that the Nigerian masses they are trying to favour will not suffer too much before they settle their disagreement. The National Assembly must know that this is not the time to flex muscles; they should refrain from misusing their power of appropriation in forcing into the law, huge allocation for constituency projects for the 360 federal constituencies and the 109 senatorial districts. Lawmakers must be reminded that it is the duty of the executive to articulate and
implement governments’ programmes and projects and if they are really sincere about executing projects in their various constituencies, they should reduce their jumbo pays so that they can use the part of it to execute their projects. On its part, the executive must also be sincere about its plan to better the lot of people by moving fast to sign the budget. Since Arunma Oteh, the embattled Director General is not bigger than SEC or the whole of Nigeria; she should be removed as a matter of urgency so that the staff of SEC and Nigeria Stock Exchange as a whole will not suffer the consequences of the exclusion of the SEC budget. Moreover, the unconstitutional N4billion allocation for the construc-
tion of First Ladies’ Mission House in Abuja must be removed from the budget and the money allocated to more important projects. The so called project is nothing but waste and misappropriation of public funds. On the oil benchmark price, since both parties must have considered average price in the international market, I suggest that they both shift ground and adopt $77 per barrel price. Nigerians want result not disagreements, therefore the differences between Presidency and National Assembly must be resolved urgently and amicably so that the budget can be signed this month for Nigerians to start enjoy its benefits. God Bless Nigeria. • John Tosin Ajiboye Osogbo Osun State
pose government’s responsibility for a corporate organisation but to reestablish the fact that corporate organisations are always responsible to their host communities everywhere in the world. Through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), organisations often assist in the provision of some basic amenities because in most cases, the activities of these organisations impact the life span of all the amenities put in place by government. This is also in line with the call by the Babatunde Fashola-led administration to all corporate institutions and organisations. Saying that the activities of WAPCO is negatively affecting the health of these residents is to say the least, the impact of underwater pipes on the water bodies, especially the lagoons bearing the famous coconut plantations is also of great concern. This, in no small measure, suppresses the people’s major means of livelihood .i.e. fishing and coconut sales. In a broader view, the impact of gas flare is the enormous amounts of greenhouse gasses emitted into the atmosphere that further heighten global warming and in a long term affect the climate change. This is a renewed call on the state government not to relent in its promise to sanction the company if the deadline given to halt the flaring is not honoured. The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) and the State Safety Commission should also see this as a reawakening call to rescue the metropolis from total degradation. • Afuwape Ayo Oluwatosin Iworo, Badagry
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013 16
Hogs tale (3)
URFACE meets surface; still. Fancy-cute, Naira-keen, wisdom-thin and substance-poor; our next best hope still elevates the eternal law of averages. They choose to ornament “less-than” even below the eternal line of averageness. I speak of the Nigerian youth. I speak of you and me. Beneath our passionate cry for change subsists a spinelessness that ornaments even the deserter with the valor of knights, thousands of miles from the scenes of combat and the valiant’s death. We have failed to make a response ideal to our cause. We have failed to display courage necessary to our survival and adequate to our time. It’s every man for himself; the successful doctor, banker, journalist, engineer, police officer et al, do not care about anything and anybody else. It’s what Evelyn Waugh describes as the sly, sharp instinct for self-preservation that passes for wisdom among the rich. Hence the desperation of the Nigerian youth to be rich, within the bounds of that dear old “wisdom” and thought process that infinitely manifests as foolishness. Such is the mentality of the Nigerian youth, regrettably lacking in guts and substance; our utterances persistently leap from our lips as discontent, insignificant as the spores of fungi yet impinged on the base surfaces of our minds. It’s indeed shameful what cowardly lot we have become. We dream of the future and talk of change within the limits of our intelligence forgetting that the world of such future that we anticipate will foster a more demanding struggle against the limits of our intelligence, not a cozy rose
bed in which we can lie down to be waited upon by a more compliant fate and time. Our cries are for a historic revolution, bloody or not; even as our thoughts pander between the dangers of revolt and the inherent benefits in accepting the status quo in a prudent act of self-preservation. Hence we revolt by impotent words and a mad, desperate dash for wealth or what we’ve learnt to coin as our share of the Nigerian dream. This is our Nigerian dream: a lush, breathtaking future that deemphasizes toil and accords our vanities a caressing glance. In the future of our dreams, we hope to keep strings of constantly increasing bank accounts at home and abroad; we hope to drive the best cars, live in palatial mansions in the choicest areas and enjoy the most lucrative job offers. In the future of our dreams, everything would work out just fine. There will be justice and equity even as we tirelessly wish to lord it over others; every public officer will be accountable to the electorate; elections shall be fair and free of fraud and other irregularities; political hooliganism and the godfather culture shall become monstrosities of a dead era; public service will work and the anticipation of road, sea or air travel shall evoke no foreboding. In the future of our dreams, both public and private security shall be assured; our education, health, financial and transport sectors shall evolve at the highest standards; Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) shall provide ad-
UST as the seasons manifest the changing course of the earth’s life of soul, the Christian festivals meant to honour the coming of Christ are to be celebrated, essentially to witness the Passion and appropriation of the Risen Christ. The cycle of Christian festivals begins at Advent and passes through Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Ascension. These spiritual rhythms of the year are experienced and observed in and with sacred practices, which have their places in human and national life. Out of a spiritual and natural understanding, Christians have not failed to weave the web of their redemptive life on the loom of the year’s rhythm of time and the Passion of our Risen Saviour, especially the Easter celebration. The authentic purpose of Lent starts with Christ as a season of fasting, selfdenial, spiritual growth, conversion, and simplicity. Lent, which comes from the Teutonic (Germanic) word for ‘Springtime,’ can be viewed as a spiritual springcleaning: a time for taking our national inventory and then cleaning out those things which hinder our corporate and personal relationships and service to God and others. It is fitting that the season of Lent begins with personal/national repentance; a yearning to do what is true and an openness to change as Nigeria will be 100 by January 1, 2014. Nigeria’s Centenary celebration (double Jubilee) without national renewal may amount to windows of looting, corruption and jamboree. The 40 days in Lent is a symbolic number in the Hebrew scriptures which signifies an irreversible event, outside the daily/weekly, religious, and national routines. Lent is a season of spring, renewing, soaring and emerging, a most promising period of Nigeria after 100 years of the British amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates. Lent as the ‘Springtime’ for Nigeria is more than the ‘Autumn of Nations,’ the revolutions of
equate and stable electricity; bail will be free, police officers shall decline and ask for no bribes; civil servants will become more honestly dedicated to their work and unemployment shall be reduced to the barest minimum. In the future of our dreams, we shall have more beautifully planned cities in replacement of our slums; we shall have more educated and law-abiding public; more liberated journalists, writers, musicians and artists; our leaders shall be men of immense stature and enviable track records in both public and private service. In pursuit of our dream future and desperation to guarantee its unobstructed realization, we have organized ourselves into riotous camps of retrograde youths offering ourselves as willing tools to every devious politician, godfather and criminal mastermind with a destructive plan. To achieve the future of our dreams, we scorn honest labour to perpetuate indolence and the most perverted mission aids. Every youth seeks the easiest shortcut to the future of his dreams; collectively the sum of our dreams and heartfelt hunt manifest as the worst human expression of vanity, civilization and desire. We do not do much to improve our plight and we do very little to improve the possibility of doing that. There is no conscious effort to mobilize ourselves for the good of
our kind and the love of the collective good. Every youth pressure group presents a sham and a shameful representation of all that vanity and lassitude ever gives. Some of us are more brazen than others; individually, they hustle to position and project themselves as the best leaders of thought and drivers of hope that we would ever have. I speak of self-styled “youth leaders,” “advocacy gurus,” “evangelists” and “mentors” endlessly seeking local and international merit awards, presidential tea sessions and handshakes for leadership and inspiration they are yet to offer – and are infinitely handicapped to offer. This shameful lot refuses to function and contribute their quota to the pursuit and achievement of our cause. Rather they spend quality time applying for international and local funding for their suspicious schemes and non-governmental organizations; they spend quality time functioning as campaigners, muscles and agents of the incumbent ruling class that we swore to ouster. Together with our shameful and psychically handicapped “youth leaders,” we engage in unprecedented self-deception conveniently choosing to apply the balm to our chest while our hearts clog with morsels of our victual lust. Eventually our deceitfulness and greed roost with devastating consequences in our lives: think Boko
‘We dream of the future and talk of change within the limits of our intelligence forgetting that the world of such future that we anticipate will foster a more demanding struggle against the limits of our intelligence, not a cozy rose bed in which we can lie down to be waited upon by a more compliant fate and time’
Haram, Niger Delta militants, kidnappers, Yahoo Boys, and every other corrupt youth scattered across our tribes, workplaces and pressure groups to the detriment of all and the Nigerian dream. But rather than speak as much truth to ourselves as we love to speak to power, we conveniently ignore our dread for the truth in relation to our kind. Consequently, the impacts of our dishonesty extend far beyond our travails as you read. It gets scarier knowing we shall undoubtedly pay for our duplicity whether we like it or not as we are doing now. The post oil subsidy removal palliative cash has crashed from its fabled N1.3 trillion to N0 billion. Thus our subsidy removal protests were in vain. The youths that died have died in vain. President Jonathan and company will get away with and there is nothing any one can do about it. Our heartfelt protests shall not be entertained anymore. Mr. President and our state governors can no longer affect the patience for such frivolities. We shall not be noticed until election time. We shall only be seen during familiar moments of tragedy when our negligible fates manifest disastrously like photographs of acceptable deaths. Our hearts shall cry to our leaders for succor and they shall reluctantly budge, as usual, alighting from their stuck-up pedestals to accord our tragedies a passing glance. We shall cry over relatives lost to avoidable car crashes, plane crashes, boat mishaps, bomb blasts and state sponsored genocide but leaders we have shall cry over vacations cut short, aborted fornication, and elongated work hours. Together, we shall passionately perpetuate the worst of treachery and disservice to our kind, customarily. • To be continued…
Lent, springtime for centenary renewal By Deji Okegbile 1989 that swept through Eastern Europe or the ‘Arab Spring’ revolutionary waves of demonstrations, protests, and wars that began on Dec 18, 2010 in the Arab world. The ‘Arab Spring’ was the aftermath of the unannounced United State of America’s shift in foreign policy to the states of the Arab world. However, the amalgamation challenges including our democratic policy and other economic and religious problems in Nigeria, go beyond civil resistance bearing in mind that ‘Arab Spring’ demonstrations have meet violent responses from authorities, including pro-government/ethnic militias and counter-demonstrations. Lent 2013, as the ‘Springtime’ for Nigeria Centenary renewal must not just be an annual liturgical traditional chore, but a time of personal/national soul cleaning, a renewed sense of order and purposeful lifestyle of leadership and followership. It is a time to lift our nations’ spirit, sweep out the bad corrupt habits and create a holy space in our lives for God regardless of the hypocrisy and lies of today’s and yesterday’s men. Nothing will change in the fortunes of Nigeria unless we are first transformed by the renewing work of the Holy Spirit who renews everything. Just as in other biblical prophecies, God has foretold Nigeria’s amalgamation, leadership, religious, and democratic crisis, ‘her princes (political, traditional, and religious leaders) in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. And her prophets have daubed them with untempered mortal, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, thus says the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken. The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy; yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully’ (Ezekiel 22:
27-29). The latest reports by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU’s) naming Nigeria as the worst place for a baby to be born in 2013 points to excessive leadership not different from the colonial masters. Using the first idea of the letter of the word LENT, Lent is about proclaiming liberty to the amalgamated captives of a distress nation. The majority of Nigerians are captives to the 00.1% of its ‘Extractive Elite Class’ leader/prophets. Nigerians are captives to legalized robbery including ‘GSM networks,’ petrol marketers, and spiritual consultants. Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former Nigerian Minister for Mineral Resources and Education aptly explained that ‘the poor in our land (Nigeria) have paid the highest possible price for being born into the world’s best example of a paradox.’ Nigerians are groaning under intergenerational poverty based on what economists call the ‘resource curse.’ According to Ezekwesili our ‘economic evidence shows that the answer which we must all ponder deeply is that oil wealth entrenched corruption and mismanagement of resources in government and warped the incentive for value added work, creativity and innovation in our public, private sectors and wider society.’ Lack of an incentive for value added work puts people into the captivity of corruption. Nigeria is not just under a ‘resource curse’ but most importantly, a ‘spiritual curse’ entrenched by the violent and corrupt political amalgamation coupled with the ‘cycles of disastrous and destructive choices promoted by older generations.’ The solution goes beyond ‘arms of flesh’ bearing in mind our leadership wreckage and superficiality of the followership undisciplined lives and religiosity. Lent 2013 calls for a national sober repentance and social responsibility ‘to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound’ … ‘to
loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke’ (Isaiah 61:1, 58:6). Lent is a time to proclaim deliverance upon Nigeria from visible and invisible symptoms of corruption and leadership prodigality, mediocrity, and delusion. The greatest obstacle to Lent, as the springtime for Nigeria’s Centenary renewal is the problem of corruption, inordinate love of self, power, and wealth. This inordinate love of self has the potential to obstruct the love of God and the people and eventually often destroys. The power of self-love is turning Nigeria into individualistic empires, killing our community, and its spiritual, and cultural bonding. Self-love in the form of different political, religious and societal honours, and the care of one’s ‘good’ name/ dignity has increasingly introduced its own disorder into most of our national, cultural and denominational acts, even to the highest order when directed towards natural satisfaction instead of toward God and people. The Lenten season offers a sober opportunity for repentance and responsibility to overcome these diseases that are spreading and bleeding throughout the whole of our national, religious and interior life. Love of God urges a soul to generosity, inordinate love of self, power, gratification, and pleasure urges a soul to avoid all inconvenience, self-denial, effort and weariness. Self-love is the window to self-idolatry that is destroying our soul/nation, a love of God and our neighbor because of mortal sin which follows from it. Lent is a call to overcome the dangerous deceit of self-love and idols that can easily be concealed even among Christians through a pride of life, concupiscence (lust of the eyes and flesh), anger, disunity, greed, and materialism. Lent 2013 provides a platform for Nigeria’s Centenary renewal. • Very Rev Dr Okegbile, is of Methodist Theological Institute, Sagamu, Ogun State.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
COMMENTS ‘When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.’ ——-Joseph Campbell
HE latest addition to our political lexicon in this country is the All Progressives Congress (APC), a political agglutination of four political parties including Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). No reasonable human in this geographical expression called Nigeria would doubt the need to checkmate the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) under the leadership of undutiful President Goodluck Jonathan. The party has maintained an iron-fisted rule over Nigeria through misuse of state’s instrument of coercion and the electoral commission to give itself political mileage over other parties. The conservatives are critical of political alliances, but history has shown that those that are critical of such political marriages are the same people that have done nothing for the country in over 52 years of independence. For instance, President Goodluck Jonathan, the leader of that group under the current dispensation rode to power on the back of a promised transformation agenda planned for between 2011 and 2015 to correct what he calls the flaws in the country’s drive for development due to lack of continuity, consistency and commitment to agreed policies initiated by the military and now by democratic conservatives. An idea, he says, draws inspiration from Vision 20:2020. Jonathan promised among others to develop for the nation, a macro-economic framework and to give her an economic direction. He promised job creation with special focus on the implementation of the National Action Plan on Employment Creation (NAPEC) targeted at creating five million new jobs annually within the next three years; establishment of visible skills acquisition centres; implementation of local content policy in all the sectors with particularity in the oil and gas industry. He also promised to guarantee an effectively transparent public expenditure management that places emphasis on capital expenditure over recurrent spending. Has he fulfilled all these? Governance under the conservatives as currently typified by Jonathan has been devoid of panaceas for our appalling state of infrastructure, poverty, unemployment and security. Institutions of state are daily relapsing as epitomised by poor public service; insecurity, rising corruption profile, low private investment drive, surreptitious gagging of judiciary, pliable
INCE this must be the season for dying and resurrection, I, also suffered the Lazarus syndrome last Monday after reading what I want to call Patience’s profundus. Our adorable and freshly regenerated first lady, Dame Patience Jonathan had announced to the watching world last Sunday during a resurrection thanksgiving and party that she must have died for at least seven days last year but for the grace of God. I think I must have ‘died’ too while reading the account of her demise and how she eventually shamed death. I want to wager that not a few Nigerians must have been put to ‘death’ by that presidential opera if only for a brief moment. After all, are we not in a semi moribund state where most of the people are either perpetually lying in state of the state is lying to them? The first set of people who must have died by association to the wife of the president must be her aides and speechwriters. Dame Jonathan in one inspired moment tossed aside what must have been a carefully prepared speech and delved into what may yet be recorded as her most profound, off-thecuff remarks ever. One is rather familiar with such situations when a principal cuts loose and dances far away from the choreographed paths at public functions. Their aides literally die, often on their feet and with eyes open. Frozen, petrified and indeed mummified by the open display of their principal, they remain helplessly ‘dead’ hoping that the star of the story would return to the well paved paths. It would amount to being doubly dead if your-principal-gone-loose was a Dame Patience Jonathan. I wasn’t there of course, but I could empathize with her aides throughout the duration of Madam’s spiritled speech. While her aides ‘died’ because Madam must have ‘scattered’ a carefully plotted script that must have been consistent with earlier tales of travelling for holidays and rest, I had passed out for different reasons. I was in deathly shock upon realizing first hand, how Nigeria, our great country is run on lies; I died out of the wanton deceit and casual dishonorableness that define high offices in our land today. I died as a result of the starkly arid intellectual atmosphere per-
APC and the challenge of conscience
Buhari legislatures that are not public responsive in tackling issues of transparency and accountability in the use of public funds. Under conservative Jonathan/PDP, where are the promised improvements in the education and health sectors and of course, labour and productivity? Till the present moment, the touted improvements in the power and transportation sectors remain on paper –sheer mirage. Under the prevailing debilitating atmosphere, an alliance of politicians with identical aspiration becomes inevitable. Afterall, Edmund Burke, a British Parliamentarian and statesman once said: ‘When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle” – (and l add, “for power.”) Although it might be difficult to just write off
PDP conservatives as bad men, it is an indubitable fact that their policies have not moved the nation forward in 14 years of being in the saddle. These make them akin to something ominous: While the word bad might be seen to be harsh to use against these PDP men/women, one might be pardoned when the klieglight is beamed on their crude do-or-die politics that raised revolution thought in the consciousness of Nigerians to a daily recurrence in almost one-and-ahalf decades. Most people with a good sense of history will for a long time continue to hesitate whether coalition politics can work; but they should give this one a chance for it could work. The only thing is that those involved must be watchful of Samuel Butler’s counsel when he aphorised: ‘Union may be strength, but it is mere blind brute strength unless wisely directed.’ What direction are parties to the APC unity alliance focussing on? Are they only interested in grabbing power from Jonathan/PDP or do they have an already articulated action plan to resolve most of the problems that proved too gargantuan for Jonathan to solve which have been enunciated above? Definitely, Jonathan/PDP and their allies will fight back…and intensely too, against the alliance. What are the plans of this alliance against treachery from within? Will the alliance succeed in getting each participating political party to the alliance to convene a broadly acceptable national convention as provided in section 80 of the electoral Act, 2010 that the Independent Na-
EXPRESSO STEVE OSUJI
SMS O8181624757, email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Me, too died for seven minutes vading the land and the vacuous histrionics wafting from our seat of power. I died for seven minutes. But I was far luckier in my moribund state than our adorable first lady. Not because she was ‘away’ on death leave for all of seven days while I had only the leisure of just seven minutes but for several other reasons. First I don’t have such great valuables like exotic jewelry for my two-faced friends and hangers-on to make away with during my state of deadness. Surely I did not undergo any surgeries at all not to talk of nine by our dainty Dame. Though she forgot to tell us what ailed her tummy for her to suffer nine cuts and patches on it. I, of course have no such duodenal challenges to warrant such luxury of a multiple splicing. On the other hand, I would be a disgrace among wellhealed Nigerian men and women. A wellrounded tummy and a healthy backside are the landmarks of the wealthy Nigerian person. I must be a poor specimen of the great Nigerian persona. Yes, I paint the picture of the average Nigerian journalist who has carved a niche lamenting about the great Nigerian debacle while others feed fat on it. But my only solace, as it has turned out now, is that one would not have to die of tummy trouble. Unlike our dear Dame who admonished Nigerians to stop playing politics with sick-
nesses, the nature of which they were not told, nobody played politics with my ‘sickness’ and my seven minutes situation. Who would want a mere columnist’s space anyway except those who wish for accelerated graying and a touch of white beard to boot. And if anybody politicized my condition, I could never have known because I was not playing politics with my demise either. The most profound aspect of the Dame’s pronouncement is her confessed realization of the vanity and futility of life. She said her experience thought her that there was nothing like First Lady, realizing that she was “a common woman and my name is simply Patience”. On this point, there may be a convergence of minds between us. Yours truly had long made shirt and trousers of the fact that life is but a candle, fluttering and futile. Me, I have always been simple Stephen; in fact, Steve for ease and convenience. I guess it is safe to say to Mrs. Jonathan, “welcome to my world, to terra firma.” Finally, while the Dame has sanitized Aso rock and exorcised the morbid demons that often seek to consume the occupants and as well as throw a Presidential feast to celebrate her survival, her fellow returnee from ‘dead’ has a word of advice for her. She must remember that someday soon (!) she will cease to be the number one woman in Nigeria. Then she will be truly, truly ‘common Pa-
tional Electoral Commission (INEC) will endorse? What if INEC hides under fractionalised convention to turn down APC’s registration request? What is the alliance’s plan B? They must have been giving a thought to this angle too. The APC needs to get it right, otherwise, the alliance will pay dearly for getting it wrong while the subsequent opportunity to get it right against the inept PDP at the centre may for a long time to come remain an elusive adventure. However, if a swift and conscientious opposition is truly a part of loyalty to country, then, this alliance must not fail. The time to achieve this is apt because majority of Nigerians, especially those from the north and the south-west are disenchanted with the 14 years of PDP imposition at the central administration of the country. While l realise that a lot of rigours, thinking, time and energy have been dissipated in the promotion and formation of this alliance, something within me doubts the sincerity of the personalities from the three other political parties. My advice: The CPC should remove their garb of political superciliousness; APGA must prove to be a reliable political ally while ANPP should see this alliance as an opportunity to bounce back to national reckoning. For the ACN and its leadership: Form alliance with these parties with open heart but don’t rely on them because doing so might be perilous to southwest’s political future. Being the party of target by PDP henchmen, its leadership should learn to realise that there might be moles acting as under cover agent for Jonathan and his cronies from these parties. Moreso, the president as supposed leader of PDP is ready to dare anybody, including his party’s governors and any other thing in sight, to win the party nomination and the presidency come 2015. The INEC challenge is equally something disturbing because the presidency might possibly use the commission to stall the alliance. However, these are surmountable obstacles provided the people in the alliance could forego thinking primarily about themselves and for their own self-preservation. The collectives’ wellbeing should be paramount to all at this moment. The focus on this, Joseph Campbell posits, would allow for a truly ‘heroic transformation of consciousness’ among the people. The APC challenge is that of conscience. It should be seen as an open wound which only truth and sincerity of purpose can heal for the betterment of the Nigerian society.
tience’. What are we going to remember her for: dying and returning back to life after seven days; for having tummy challenges; for large ceremonies and parties; for building a mammoth edifice to some forlorn African women tin gods; for lending a voice against the wave of unprecedented violence against women and initiating help centres for women across senatorial zones; for fighting the rampaging maternal mortality in the country through mother and child hospitals? Now that God has delivered her, if only she can think legacy, she may well be remembered as one of the greatest women to pass through Aso Rock. LAST MUGS: (1 )Onolomemen and the 3rd Mainland Bridge: in one breath, the Works Minister, Mike Onolomemen tells us this bridge is safe and in another, he says there is need to start “progressive maintenance of the bridge,” which may cost as much as N5 billion. Though the bridge may not be on the verge of imminent collapse as feared by Sen. Gbenga Ashafa who is calling attention to it, we are suggesting a comprehensive review of the 35-year-old facility. Why don’t we get the builders to do this check? This government is often quite comfortable living in denial. (2) ICPC and the 4 governors: Not a few Nigerian must have been shocked by the remark credited to the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices (and Other Related Offences) Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta that four governors would soon be arraigned for trial. Who are these four? We will not say until investigations are completed, he says. But why is he flying such infantile if devious kite? Are these the same governors the other parallel Commission told us were to be tried a few months ago? Could ICPC and EFCC prosecute the same set of offenders? Is this another ploy for extortionate plea-bargaining that has tarred the work of EFCC? Not one governor has been successfully tried since 2003, where is ICPC going to start now? Why don’t we delineate areas for these two bodies? It is a pity that the very important job of fighting corruption has been mired by both ICPC and EFCC. Sadly, they seem to have become victims of their sordid environment.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
PEOPLE THE NATION
AN EIGHT-PAGE SECTION ON SOCIETY
On Tuesday, elderstatesman and former Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing Alhaji Femi Okunnu (SAN) turned 80. His friends, associates and notable Nigerians showered encomiums on him at a public lecture held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos. MIRIAM EKENE-OKORO reports.
•The celebrator Alhaji Okunnu assisted by his wife, Alhaja Lateefah to cut the cake
IS eyes shone as speaker after speaker eulogised him. From where he sat, a smile played on the lips of Alhaji Lateef Femi Okunnu (SAN) as he listened to what people said about him. It was his 80th birthday and the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos was packed full of dignitaries who came to rejoice with him. Okunnu sat on the high table with his wife, Alhaja Lateefah and some dignitaries. Clad in a traditional dress with cap and a matching pair of shoes, he looked anything but 80 Behind the high table was a giant screen, showing a documentary on the celebrator. The arrival of Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola; his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon; former Secretary General of Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Oba of Lagos Riliwan Akiolu; Senator HAB Fasinro, among others paved the way for early kick off of the event. Gen Gowon, under whom Alhaji Okunnu served as Federal Commissioner for Works, chaired the public lecture to mark Okunnu’s birthday. The lecture delivered by Fashola was entitled. “The essence of a patriot and a federalist.” Gowon set the pace for the discussion and eulogies on Alhaji Okunnu. The chairman said the celebrator has lived a life of achievement and accomplishment. Thus, the celebration of his 80th birthday will not only look at his past and present achievements, but will also serve as an avenue to acknowledge God's presence in his life. Governor Fashola eulogised Alhaji Okunnu, describing him as “a patriot” and “a federalist.” "I believe that the best and most valuable birthday gift we could all give him today is a truer and more federal union in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. "I do not think the ink will dry soon on our celebrant and the many roles he has played in the history of Nigeria, Lagos State, his commu-
A patriot at 80 ‘I do not think the ink will dry soon on our celebrant and the many roles he has played in the history of Nigeria, Lagos State, his community, his religious denomination in the Ansar-ud-Deen Society of Nigeria and in the Old Boys Association of his alma mater Kings' College, Lagos’ nity, his religious denomination in the Ansar-udDeen Society of Nigeria and in the Old Boys Association of his alma mater - Kings' College, Lagos." Thanking him for his contribution towards the development of the nation and Lagos State in particular, Fashola said Alhaji Okunnu has led a rich part for the younger generational leaders of the state to follow. "I look at him today, beaming in smiles, brimming over with happiness as he looks back on life well led and I am satisfied that this is indeed how it should be. He appears to have the best of both worlds. He has not lost the glamour of youths and yet he has long acquired the wisdom age", Fashola added. The governor presented the celebrator with three special gifts. First, was a birthday card which he mentioned was on behalf of the Lagos State Government; a pictorial collection of his
various projects documented in Germany and the third was from his wife, Dame Abimbola Fashola - a machine used in preparing roasted plantain, popularly known as Boli. Asiwaju Tinubu, in a goodwill message said Alhaji Okunnu left a legacy of excellence whilst he was Federal Commissioner. "He set the standard for that office, a standard that is yet to be exceeded or even equalled by those who succeed him," he said. He explained that his contribution towards national development were innumerable as he guided the construction of several road infrastructures which include the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the SagamuBenin Asaba Expressway, the Warri-BeninAuchi-Koton Karfi-Abuja expressway, the Calabar-Yola Maiduguri express way and numerous highways and bridges throughout the country.
He also spoke about the celebrator's contribution towards transportation development in the country saying that the nation transportation infrastructure would never have grown beyond its colonial legacy. "The development of our economy would have been further retard because vehicular transport would not have reduced to fraction of what we now have, and has been his rallying point on policy matters whenever he found himself in troubled waters during his tenure as Governor of Lagos State. After cutting his three-step gold and cream cake with his wife Lateefah, Alhaji Okunnu thanked all who came to honour him. He called for the establishment of true federalism. He thanked General Gowon for giving him the opportunity to serve the country. Born in Lagos to Muritala Abibo Okunnu, and Hasanat Abeebi Okunnu on February 19, 1933, Alhaji Okunnu, attended the famous Ansar-ud-deen Primary School, Alakuro, Lagos. He thereafter went to Kings College in 1948 but left in the middle of 1953 for six months for his High School Certificate (HSC), where he majored on science courses and ended in University College, London University, London in 1959. The Principal of the Honourable Society of Gray's Inn was called to the English Bar on February 9, 1960 and admitted to the Nigerian Bar on the September 16, same year. He has been in practice ever since, save for the period of almost eight years when he was the Federal Commissioner for Works and Housing (May 1967 to December 1974). He resumed legal practice in January 1975, and soon thereafter founded the legal firm of Femi Okunnu & Co. He was in July 1992, elevated to the coveted rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in recognition of his distinguished career at the Bar. •More pictures on page 26
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
SOCIETY A PATRIOT AT 80
•Governor Fashola (right) greeting Prof Anyaoku (left) while Asiwaju Tinubu watches
•Gen Gowon (left) and Oba Akiolu
•Sir Molade Okoya-Thomas (left) and Onilado of Ilado Oba Mobadenle Oyekan
•Prof Anya .O. Anya (left) and Chief Phillip Asiodu
•Ansar-Ud-Deen National Vice-president Alhaji Ade Sanni (right) and Dr Amos Akingba
•Chief John Odeyemi and his wife Kofo
•Erelu Abiola Dosunmu and Prof Olu Akinkugbe
•Gen Alani Akinrinade (right) and Dr Bolaji Ajenifuja
•Sasore of Lagos, Chief Waidi Ayeni (right) and the Suenu of Lagos, Chief Omogbolahan Durosinmi
•Mr Akintola Williams
•Mr Wale Edun PHOTOS: ABIODUN WILLIAMS
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
•Mr Akin Adegboye
•Rear -Admiral Femi Olumide (left) and Prof Olumide
•Mrs Joke Ali Baba and Gen Ike Nwachukwu
•Chief Kehinde Smith (left) and Chief Folarin Williams
The remains of the late Mrs Cordelia Olubunmi Irele were interred in Lagos last Friday. A funeral mass was held for her at St Leo’s Catholic Church, Ikeja, Lagos. NNEKA NWANERI reports.
All for a ‘virtuous’ woman S
HE died peacefully in her sleep, less than 24 hours after receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion. A devout Catholic, Mrs Cordelia Irele died on January 28. She was 85. Last Friday, her children, grand children and great grand children gave her a befitting burial. Sis Yinka, shortened as Siyinka, had eight children, 28 grand children and 12 great grand children. She was the bond of the dynasty she had built for 85 years. Toyin Street, Ikeja experienced an unusual traffic as exotic cars made their way into St. Leo’s Catholic Church. The church’s open space was filled. Others parked on adjoining streets and on the road side to meet up with the ceremony. The undertakers were relived of their duties for a while. Her grandchildren carried the brown casket themselves out of the van and wheeled it into the entrance of the church, where the presiding priest, Msgr John Aniagwu and Fr Michael Hose met it. They did a procession carrying the cross, candle, holy water and a white cloth to the church entrance where members of the Christian Women Organisation (CWO) of Lagos State Diocese and other family members stood waiting around the casket. Her immediate family stood out. They wore cream coloured lace and brown caps and gele. Others wore purple attires. The white cloth was placed on the casket and a Bible placed on it. The white cloth signified her baptism and the Bible, the book of the Gospel which has been her rule and guide during the life of the deceased. The remains were wheeled through the central aisle and placed at the centre of the large church hall. People kept trouping in till the expansive church was almost full. Msgr Aniagwu, in his homily, told the family that their mother’s life is one worthy of celebrating, thus, their vestments were white, not purple, despite the funeral being held during the Lenten sober mode.
The celebration of the life of the deceased began a day before during the wake service with fun, laughter and a few emotional tears. The priest urged the family to thank God for the many things God did in the life of their mother. For making her live to a landmark age; and one who God showered with blessings within those years. “Mama’s large family is bound by a love which she upheld. Her manner of exit was calm and quiet. She went to bed and went to God. She was a committed Christian and her faith and belief in God was second to none. “Despite being an octogenarian, she kept coming to church punctually and regularly from Obanikoro and had a regular seat.” The cleric urged the congregation to maintain the faith the late Mrs Irele had. “It is faith that will determine the success and failure of our lives. It is in living a life of faith that we can be able to see God.” The late Mrs Irele and her husband were foundation members of the St Leo’s church. She was many times the matron of many societies and associations in the church and the catholic archdiocese of Lagos. The deceased’s first son, Bolaji said he discussed with his mother three days before she died. “Little did I know that all we discussed and all the things she made me put in place were in preparation for her final exit. She made me get her final resting place three days before her departure. We, her children were the centre of her life and I miss her a lot, especially our mourning chats.” Her remains were interred at the Ikoyi Cemetery, Lagos. A reception was held at 10 Degrees Events Centre, Oregun, Ikeja. In attendance were board member, Macmillan Publishers and sister of the deceased, Mrs Francesca Emmanuel; Senior Pastor of House on the Rock Paul Adefarasin; Mr Jimi Agbaje and former Secretary of Health, Prince Julius Adelusi Adeluyi.
•From left: Mr Izoma Phillip Asiodu; Chief Obafemi Olopade and Chief Gilbert Temisan
•Prof Adebayo Williams (right) and Prof Sophie Oluwole
•Mr Afred Akinwande and Mrs Benedicta Kanyin
PHOTOS: NIYI ADENIRAN
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
The remains of Olori Abigael Oyeyemi Adejugbe, mother of Prof Dupe Adelabu, a former university don and chairman of the Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), have been interred at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel, Okesa, Ado-Ekiti, writes SULAIMAN SALAWUDEEN.
HE lived a fufilled life. Olori Abigael Oyeyemi Adejugbe, who died at 86 on December 31, last year, was a woman of many parts. References to her greatness were made in sermons at the church, comments of her biological and adopted children and others who confessed to have benefited from her generosity. Born into the noble family of Asao in Ise-Ekiti, Ekiti South Senatorial District, she moved to Ibadan where she learnt sewing and worked at the British Tobacco Company (BTC). She was in Ondo where she met and married the late Prince Samuel Adejugbe of the Ado-Ekiti royal family in 1948. The union produced seven children. Looking resplendent in colourful dresses, the children, including Princess Jumoke Olugbode; Prof Modupe Adelabu; Dr Mojisola Oyarekua; Prince Adedotun Adejugbe; Prince Ayodeji Adejugbe and Princess Badewa Adejugbe-Williams, were joined by other members of the extended Adejugbe family for the funeral. Also at the service held at the Cathedral Church of Emmanuel, Okesa, Ado-Ekiti and the reception which followed at Ola Oluwa Muslim Grammar School, were businessmen, scholars, politicians and technocrats. The event could have passed as the only one in the town that day. A well rehearsed rendition of hymns rent the air before the Dean of the church, Revd. Francis Bankole delivered his sermon. The service, which lasted barely an hour, was spiritually engaging. Bankole, who stood in for the Bishop of Ekiti Diocese, the Rt. Rev. C.T. Omotunde, said only good deeds will offer man the surest means to overcoming life’s engaging obstacles. He urged the congregation to always tell the truth, adding that the culture of telling the truth “is lost today at work places, even in evangelism. Those who tell the truth are rejected; the sycophants are better paid.” “Tell the truth always as politicians, pastors and parents, not minding whether you are crucified or not. We know those that have governed Ekiti in the past and the reception they accorded the truth. “When they mention Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe, people bow their heads because of the sacrifices they made to develop the people, but at the mention of some other leaders, people hiss because of their evil deeds,” he said. In a brief message, Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi described the late Olori Adejugbe as “a virtuous woman” whose influence spread throughout the state in her lifetime. According to the governor, the deceased struggled to uplift the lives not only of her children but so many children in Ado-Ekiti community and beyond through education. He said: “Mama was an elder in the state, particularly Ise-Ekiti where she hailed from. If you read what has been said about Mama, you
Memories of a ‘generous’ mother •Prof Adelabu (right) with other children of the deceased at the grave side
would know mama was a great fighter.” Responding to the request by Revd Bankole, the governor pledged to explore means to ensure the church building was expanded to accommodate more people. The reception was another show stopper with nearly seven canopied enclosures decorated in attractive linen. Guests had unfettered access to all manner of exquisite cuisines and a variety of assorted drinks. Some of the children who had time to dance to the music tunes of the Taiwo Omotunde led Eternal Beats from Ibadan soon attracted a legion of dignitaries who sprayed them with wads of new notes. In their tributes, the children spoke glowingly of a mother whose wealth offered them opportunities in life. Prof. Adelabu said: “Dear mother, you left us with a legacy that we will forever cherish. Your generousity was unequalled. You always gave even to your own hurt. The less privileged had a special place in your heart. Unforgettable you will forever be.” Another daughter, Dr. Oyarekua said she found it difficult to accept the fact that “my best friend and greatest critic is gone.” “Anytime Eye Ade (Ade’s mother) said she was broke, it would be that she did not have enough money to dash out.” Dignitaries at the church included wife of Ekiti State Governor Erelu Bisi Fayemi; former Governor of the state, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, his father and Governor of the old Western Region, General Adeyinka Adebayo; Eyesorun of AdoEkiti, Olori Bosede Adejugbe; former Minister of Health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi; General Alani Akinrinade (Rtd); Prof. Fransisca Aladejana; Provost, College of Education, IkereEkiti, Prof. Dipo Aina; former Governor of Osun State, Senator Isiaka Adeleke; House of Representatives members from Ekiti State including Hon. Bimbo Daramola; members of the state assembly; Chief Deji Fasuane; Chief Alex OluAjayi; Ekiti State Chief Judge Justice Ayodeji Daramola; Catholic Bishop Felix Femi Ajakaye; Chief Dele Falegan; Dr. Femi Orebe and Chief Ayo Afolabi.
•Governor Fayemi and his wife,Erelu Bisi
•Gen Adebayo (right) and Bishop Ajakaiye
•More pictures on page 37
•From left: Oloris Bose Ogunsakin; Theresa Ademolaju; Folake Adeleye; Funke Oguntoyinbo and Abosede Adejugbe
•From left: Chief Femi Akinrinade; Gen Akinrinade and Gen Ayo Balogun
29 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Vol 4. No. 1790
It made its debut three years ago and since then the popular TV reality show, Nigerian Idol has been sponsored by Pepsi. The show has not only empowered young, talented and creative Nigerians, it has also helped to develop the entertainment industry. As the Season 3 of the reality show opens this week, WALE ALABI chronicles the impact of the Pepsi brand on its evolution and how it connects with its consumers through the show.
Pepsi, Nigerian Idol, a partnership that works
ITH honed talents blended with hard work and encouragement from brands like Pepsi, not many talented graduates and undergraduates will go in search of white collar jobs after their graduation but rather most of them will live on their God given talents like Pop Crooner Iyanya, Tiwa Savage, Whiz Kid who are making waves in the entertainment industry. It was perhaps for this reason that the soft drink giant, Pepsi pledged to continue to provide a platform to harness the abundant talents that abound in Nigeria in the areas of sports and entertainment. Mr Norden Thurston, Head of Marketing Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, said this at a gala night in Lagos during the weekend to unveil the final 12 contestants at the Nigerian Idol, Season 3. Pepsi has for over three years been as associate sponsor of the show. Said Thurston: “Pepsi as an international brand has always been associated with music as it has over the years signed such music icons as Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Beyonce and recently Nicky Minaj.” Thurston said the expectation of Pepsi is that the winners of Nigerian Idol will make it big in their music career. Highlights of the event include the meet and greet session of the 12 contestants with Pepsi music ambassadors Tiwa Savage and Lynxnx and the electrifying performance by the duo to the admiration of the audience at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, venue of the event. Before last weekend, the Nigerian Idol train was in Abuja where students of the University of Abuja had the fun of their lives through Pepsi, the official beverage of the Nigerian Idol. The train had stormed the mini-campus at Gwagwadala last October as part of the awareness campaign for the Abuja auditioning and selection process for the musical talent hunt programme in Lagos later in the year. The sound of Iyanya’s Kurukere wafted from the convocation arena and like ants stirred, the students followed the direction of the sound as if in search of an oasis in a desert. From different road tributaries, the students moved to the convocation ground to catch fun and begin the weekend on an exciting note. As MC Tony was inviting the students, two young ladies stepped forward, strutting their stuff; waist shaking and sexy dance steps. They were joined by other effervescent youngsters as Omawunmi’s Botton Belle hit them hard. Comedians also had their day thrilling the students who had gathered under the surrounding trees and pavilion. There were lots of free Pepsi drinks and
• Pepsi Ambassadors, Tiwa Savage (left) and Lynnx (right) with two of the 12 finalists of Nigerian Idol Season 3 at the Gala Nite.
other products of Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc. Fantastic prizes were given to best dancers, comedians at the UniAbuja show. Marketing Manager, Key Accounts, SevenUp Bottling Company Plc, Mrs. Patricia Iletogun said Pepsi is encouraged by the abundant talents in Nigeria to sponsor the Nigerian Idol as a way of harnessing these talents and helping the young ones to Voice Their Dream and refresh their world. Hundreds of talented youngsters stormed the auditioning venue at Rock View Hotel, Abuja for the two-day selection process. Those who were selected and given tickets to come to Lagos for the grand final also received special gift packs from Pepsi, the official beverage of the Nigerian Idol. The auditioning and selection process for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja and surrounding states took place at the Rock View Hotel on October 13 and October 14. Those selected will join other contest-
ants from other regions in Lagos for the commencement of the Nigerian Idol Season Three. For Yeka Onka, winner of the maiden edition of the Nigerian Idol, a music reality TV show, it was glorious homecoming when she embarked on a three-day visit to her home state, Abia courtesy of Pepsi. The visit saw her meeting with ‘Who-IsWho’ in Abia State including Governor Chief Theodore Orji, the Speaker of the House of Assembly and a host of other highly influential citizens. Yeka also paid a visit to Girls High School, Ogbor Hill, Aba, her alma mata and some select schools in the State including Girls Senior Secondary School, Abayi, Umuochim, Amuzukwu Girls Senior Secondary School, Umuahia and the Seventh Day Adventist Motherless Home, Aba. Yeka was full of praise for Pepsi for facilitating the visit adding that the visit really afforded her the opportunity to canvass for the need for productive ventures in all human
‘Nigerians are very talented people and the best can be gotten from them with the right platform and exposure. The private and public sector should further unite to further help get the best out of them’
endeavours by the youths in the country. Her words: “It is a big privilege for me to be honoured in my state by my own people. I appreciate the fact that my people are rejoicing with me for emerging the winner of the very first edition of Nigerian Idol. I must however add that Nigerian youth should live their lives to the fullest by ensuring that their talents do not die with them. “Nigerians are very talented people and the best can be gotten from them with the right platform and exposure. The private and public sector should further unite to further help get the best out of them,” she said. She charged the students of the visited schools to strive to be relevant in the society saying “the society is looking for strong people who can change the world for the better. Your steps to this starts now. So, you have to be very obedient to your teachers and learn the rules of obedience because it pays at the end” At her alma mata, students were very much happy to see Yeka, who incidentally composed the school’s anthem. The Principal, Mrs. Igbetu Kalu Uduka also showered praise on Yeka who was also Miss Abia 2006. “When we remember your choice of Girls’ High School Aba, in your tour of the state and reflect on the love you have for your alma mata as your benefactor, we can then see in the judges’ eyes, the wisdom of ranking you the best among equals,” Mrs Udaku said.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Brandnews Nigeria’s pioneer online store,Jumia, hosted shoppers at its just concluded ‘Scream Jumia’ competition. TONIA ‘DIYAN witnessed the event.
Online firm unveils winner
IGERIA’S number one online retailer, Jumia, which continues to blaze the trail in online shopping experience, has opened its door to the media for the first time. According to Mr Afam Anyika, the Public Relations Manager, “it became imperative that we opened up our operations to the media. This has been an initiative long coming as we had to bridge that gap with Nigerians as to who we really are and our value proposition to them. In a nutshell, we provide shoppers with the safest, most cost effective and convenient means to shop anywhere in the country”. According to Opeyemi Adetomiwa, community manager at Jumia Nigeria, “The aim of the competition was to promote television commercial, creativity and enhance engagement across social media platforms.” Over 100 entries were received from which votes were collated over a certain period and the winner decided.” As part of the day’s proceedings, the cofounders of Jumia Nigeria, Raphael Afaedor and Tunde Kehinde gave a presentation titled Jumia: Nigeria’s number one online retailer. According to Raphael Afaedor, “Jumia Nigeria provides the easiest means to meet the needs of customers in the most stress-free
• From left: Afaedor; Adetomiwa; Adebayo and Kehinde.
manner.” He also stated that Jumia is the most trafficked and most capitalised online store with the resources to meet the demands of clients. “Jumia Nigeria has come into the e-commerce business with a view on the very long haul, along with investments from some very strong investors helping build a business for the future, such that will see Jumia delivering goods and products to every nook and cranny of Nigeria and making sure we have the widest assortment; so anyone anywhere can be able to find anything on jumia.com.ng and have them delivered to them at home”. Speaking further on Jumia’s suppliers and personnel who provide the world class products and services, Mr Tunde Kehinde said: “In
terms of local talent, we’re doing a lot, today we are up to two hundred employees in Jumia with large majority if not all being Nigerians. We are reaching out recruiting for marketing, production, purchasing, operations positions etc; bringing them in-house training, and how to work in a retail environment. “In terms of local vendors we say why not come sell your goods with Jumia, we can literally sell your goods in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt etc, while we will do fantastic marketing for you and the brands are responding.” Moving into the year, Jumia.com.ng promises to bring more customer-centric offerings and deals ably manned by a highly skilled and hands-on team geared towards changing
Five Heineken consumers for Champions League final
S part of its promise to provide an enduring consumer experience to UEFA Champion’s League followers in Nigeria, the Heineken brand plans to take five Nigerian Heineken consuming football fans to this year’s final in London. The five lucky Nigerians will enjoy an all expense paid trip to witness the final match of the UEFA Champions League at the Wembley Stadium, London on May 25. This was the highpoint of an address by the Marketing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Mr Walter Drenth at a press conference organised to herald the brand’s plan for the premium viewing experience at the premium
Stories by Wale Alabi
Heineken Champions Planet in Lagos last Wednesday. Drenth, however, added that unlike previous seasons when five winners emerged from a transparent draw ceremony, consumers who will benefit this season were encouraged to show their skills, wit and inventiveness to win tickets and be among the thousands of ‘privileged’ football fans that will watch the match live in Wembley stadium. He said: “Consumers who will win must show they are a true Man of the World: open-minded with a passion
to go beyond their comfort zone. They have to be active and resourceful in their pursuit to progress in life and must be inspired by the inventiveness displayed by great players in the UEFA Champions League. Will this year be the year our consumers will go from spectators to Champions? It is history in the making, and it is under this pressure that they need to find their way to the ultimate goal; The UEFA Champions League Final.” According to the Marketing Director, visitors to the Heineken Champions Planet in Lagos are also in for an exciting time as the brand has outlined several exciting programmes to give them a premium experience.
the concept of shopping within Nigerian shores and beyond. The highlight of the day was the presentation of the $1,000 gift voucher to the winner Mr. Abokede Adebayo who came all the way from Ebonyi state. Other shoppers who were present went home with gift items. Mr Abokede while speaking to The Nation Shopping said “I am very happy to emerge winner at this competition. I am good at partaking in competitions like this and I thank Jumia for being faithful and for keeping to their words.” As a gift to shoppers, the store has also provided a discount gift voucher called Jumia profn, with which shoppers can obtain any product on their website, jumia.com.ng.
Firm marks fifth anniversary
ROXIMITY Communications, one of Nigeria’s leading innovative marketing consortium, is marking its fifth year anniversary. The company, set up in September 2007, began operations in January 2008 with the aim of “fascinating consumers in ways that build leading brands’. Within the five years of its existence, it has pitched and won several accounts in the Below-The-Line marketing space and now provides market-leading services to a number of Nigeria’s top blue-chip firms. These include Etisalat Nigeria, Promasidor Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria and Coca-Cola Nigeria amongst many others. Its most recent ground-breaking activity was the globally-acclaimed “Fly with the Eagles” campaign of Guinness Ni-
geria for which the major highlight was the largest jersey in the world tour that is on course to enter into the Guinness Book of Records. In line with its innovative approach to marketing, Proximity operates as a consortium of specialist firms. Under the umbrella of Proximity Communications are a number of specialist marketing agencies. These include Promoworks, which specializes in Experiential Marketing services, FieldPro, which is focused on Field Marketing, and Food, Fairs & Exhibition Services, a content management agency in the exhibition sector. Others are TouchPoint Direct, which provides Direct Marketing services, and CreativeRepublic, a virtual agency primed to provide creative solutions in the BTL market space.
Fayrouz okays Darey’s project
From left: Head, HNI & Affluent Segments, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc, Akeem Mustafa; Group Head, Marketing and Communications, FCMB, Mr Ikechukwu Kalu; Divisional Head, Retail Banking, FCMB, Mr Shiba Ghosh; Country Head, West Africa, Visa, Mr Ade Ashaye at the introduction of free issuance of new range of FCMB Naira Visa Cards to customers in Lagos.
S part of the drive to combine its uniqueness and quality to give consumers the best of experience, Fayrouz a premium soft drink from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc synergised its brand attributes with the just concluded Darey Art Alade’ s Love… like a movie concert held at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. The premium soft drink served as the cocktail drink for the celebrities that graced the exciting event. The unique synergy – to the applause of the audience - brought the uniqueness of the brand and the concert to the fore. Described as the combination of best of music, art, drama and theatre performance, the concert which had the presence of the international fashion icon and co-host of the concert,
Kim Kardashian as well as the Nigeria’s top hip hop artists, Nollywood front liners and other notable corporate executives did not disappoint. Speaking at the event, Mr Walter Drenth, Marketing Director Nigerian Breweries Plc, disclosed that Fayrouz is a premium and stylish soft drink that often looks out for opportunities to treat its consumers to exciting experiences. ”We thought it worthwhile to partner with Darey on this event which is premium, stylish and extra ordinary - values which are associated with Fayrouz. The show has brought a new dimension to the music and entertainment industry in Nigeria. It is a marriage of two different and unconventional brands which has offered maximum satisfaction to consumers and guests.”
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
•Makola International Market, Ghana
Ghana reserves retail business for nationals Over 40 shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Ghana have been shut by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Is this another onslaught against foreign traders? TONIA ‘DIYAN reports.~ •STORY ON PAGE 32
Why fruits, vegetables are expensive Page 32
Nigerian market opens for clothing retailers Page 33
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Ghana reserves retail business for nationals
BOUT 40 shops belonging to Nigerians have been sealed off in Ghana. The exercise was carried out by officials of the Ghanaian Ministry of Trade and Industry, saying non-Ghanaian traders should regularise their business papers. The shops are located at Akanshie, about 200 meters away from the Mokola International Market occupied by Nigerians, who sell mainly bicycle spare parts and other accessories. Traders lamented that their shops were stormed by some officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, who compelled them to pack their goods and thereafter had the shops under lock and key. The officials were reported to have secured the shops with their own padlocks, thereby making the shops inaccessible to the owners. “From all indications this is the handiwork of Ghanaian traders who think that by using their government to frustrate legal businessmen like me, they will have better business. They seem to forget that Nigerians are born businessmen who contribute to the economic well being of their country. Well , they can only try but the Nigerian traders have come to stay,” said Mr Kalu Nduka one of the displaced
Nigerian traders. The President of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG), Deacon John Igwe Ukala, who expressed surprise at the latest intimidation of Nigerian traders, said he was unaware of any default on the part of his members that could have prompted the action taken by the Ghanaian authorities. “Our members must be law-abiding and do as the law of Ghana says. No abnormal behaviour, pay your tax, pay your VAT, and get your Resident Permit. I was shocked when I heard that 40 shops have been sealed. I cannot understand the cause of this, because I know our members have complied with their laws,” he said. Ukala said the closure was targeted at Nigerians, because other
foreign nationals, especially the Lebanese were still trading in the markets without disturbance” at the other side of Akanshie, you will see some whites, especially Lebanese trading.” He claimed that Nigerian traders feel abandoned when issues like this arise, he therefore, advised that the necessary Nigerian authorities such as ECOWAS should come to their rescue. Nigerians occupy a large number of the shops at the Mokola International Market, as a result the ugly incident almost grounded business to a halt, as only a few shops owned by Ghanaians were in use. “Officials of the Ministry of Trade in Ghana asked us to close and pack our things. And afterwards, they locked up all the shops and asked us to go out of their markets. We started packing our things in-
side the shops, and they locked everything inside and took the keys away,” Uduba Mgban revealed. Insisting that he had done all that was required by the Ghanaian law to do business in the country, he sai: “I have all the documents we were obliged to obtain authorising us to commence business in the country.” Another affected trader, Mr Godfrey Osadolor, who also recounted his ordeal, said he was told that he would only be allowed into his shop to pack his goods out of the place. He was not allowed to continue trading in the area. He recollected that the area was transformed into a beehive of commerce by the Nigerian traders stating, “When we came to this place, it was virtually empty, but you know Nigerians. I came and I brought somebody and that person
‘From all indications this is the handiwork of Ghanaian traders who think that by using their government to frustrate legal businessmen like me, they will have better business. They seem to forget that Nigerians are born businessmen who contribute to the economic well being of their country. Well , they can only try but the Nigerian traders have come to stay’
brought another and within a period of time, the place blossomed into a market. Now we are losing business and we have families to fend for,” he said. The National Organiser of Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) Mr Joseph Obeng, insisted that the laws of the country must be implemented to the letter. “For the fact that our law has reserved retail business for Ghanaians alone it must be respected.” A source close to the Ghanaian Trade Ministry, who preferred anonymity, explained that the country had adopted the posture in order to compel the Nigerian government to act on certain bureaucratic bottlenecks that were militating against their trade relations with Nigeria. The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Ademola Seyi Onafowokan, assured the affected traders that he will discuss with the host authorities on their behalf. Therefore, he asked the traders to be law abiding and confident, promising that Ghanaians in their magnanimity would allow them to continue their businesses. And for those, who intentionally disobey the Ghanaian laws, he insisted that the government of Nigeria will not tolerate lawlessness.
Why fruits, vegetables are expensive Traders say high transportation cost is responsible for the high prices of fruits and vegetables. TAIBAT IDOWU spoke with some of them.
T Ola market in Itire, Lagos fruits such as bananas, oranges, water melons, mangos and pineapples, are sold. Some traders spoke on why fruits and vegetables are on the high side. According to Mrs Abideen Aduni who sells bananas and oranges. “After buying from the farmer and paying through our noses to get the fruits here, we pay for displaying them for sale. That is why we sell at expensive rates most of the time. A bunch of banana sells for between N500 and N800 depending on the quantity. Oranges are sold by counting, If for
instance somebody wants to buy N400 worth of oranges, it will amount to 25 oranges. According to Mrs Kafayat Mogaji , “ buying fruit from the farm is not expensive it is transporting it here that is a big deal. Fruits are an important part of our daily diet and they contain vitamins and minerals preventing the body from sicknesses and diseases. Seasonal fruits such as mangoes, pear, etc have no stable prices; most times they are sold according to how they are bought.
Flowers for beauty Decorating with different designs of flowers is a beautiful way of achieving style, be it in your home, surroundings, hotels, restaurants, halls or parties, writes TAIBAT IDOWU .
ECORATING your home and environment is vital so as to make it look inviting, attractive and graceful. Apart from furniture, one of the things to consider when decorating your home and environment is a flower, in order to beautify the house and bring out the beauty of other decorative elements. Many plants produce highly visible flowers that have a distinctive size, colour and fragrance. Almost everyone is familiar with beautiful flowers, such as the blossoms of roses, orchids and tulips. People have sought ways to cultivate, buy, wear, or otherwise be around flowers and blooming plants, partly because of their agreeable appearance and smell. Around the world, people use flowers for a wide range of events and functions that, cumulatively, encompass one’s lifetime. The Nation Shopping came across a gift shop in Lagos where several flowers and gift items such as kitchen utensils, children toys, lovers’ gifts, frames, cards and teddy bears are sold. Mrs Nkem Maduka, who is the manager of the shop, expressed her displeasure for those who do not know the value of decorating their homes with flowers saying: “There are some
people who do not know the value of flowers, I have been here for about eight years and the first four years was not encouraging at all. Though the customers’ patronage is quite encouraging now, I sell mostly at seasonal periods. She continued: “Flower with vase has different sizes. We have the one for the floor and another type for the table. There are wooden vases, plastic vases and glass vases, the lowest glass vases with flower costs from N1,000 to N8,000 while the wooden vases with flower goes for N500 to N3,000 and the plastic vases with flower goes for N600 to N3000”. She added that there are different types of flowers such as sunflower, gallant flower, ficous flower, artificial leaves and the likes. An Accountant, who patronises the gift shop, said: “I love anything that makes my home look beautiful and inviting, that is why I buy my flower here in order to beautify my home. I also buy gift items here because they are all sold at affordable prices.’’ Another customer, when asked why she likes buying flowers in the shop said: “I just like anything that makes my house look fascinating, that’s all.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Nigerian market opens for clothing retailers The Federal Government’s decision to lift the ban on imported textiles is opening windows of opportunities for retailers in foreign clothes, writes TONIA ‘DIYAN.
EN years ago, the Federal Government banned imported textile. The action was meant to stimulate domestic production, but it led to the smuggling of cheap clothing from Asia and China. “The lifting of the textile importation ban has sharply expanded the scope of international retailers that are able to trade in Nigeria,” says Mr. Chudi Ejekam, director of Actis West Africa’s real estate division. Actis developed Nigeria’s first modern shopping mall, The Palms in Lagos, and its second facility, the Ikeja City Mall, which was completed last year. Off course, the lifting of the ban has increased the demand for retail space in Nigeria. Today, Nigeria now has a number of new modern shopping malls. These in-
clude the Ikeja City Mall in Lagos, the Polo Park Mall in Enugu State, A shopping centre in Ilorin, Kwara State. Other facilities include The Palms in Lagos, The Tinapa Shopping Centre in Cross River State and the Ceddi Plaza in Abuja, to name a few. There are many properties in Nigeria today and most of them contain a retail component where the large growth of the middle class is the driving force behind this new way of shopping. South African clothing retailer Mr. Price sees Nigeria as the first prize, which is why they have come to open outlets in Nigeria. Mr. Subrathie Imtheyaaz, Mr Price general manager said Nigeria’s population of more than 154 million could support 50 to 100 stores.
•A jewelery box
Buying a jewellery box
F you are thinking of getting a jewellery box for someone special, there are many to choose from. It is hard buying such an intricate item for someone when there are so many choices. There are certain things to keep in mind when shopping for jewellery boxes. The first thing you may want to think about, is how old is the person? This will go a long way in determining the kind of jewellery box you should buy. If the person is a little girl, you would want something that befits her age and suits her styles. This may likely change, so you must think deeply before buying something expensive. With that said, often times parents like to purchase their daughters jewellery boxes that may be considered a keep sake and passed down to future generations. If this is the case, you would want to get something considered timeless, which is a difficult task but traditional is your best bet. The second thing to consider is how much jewellery does the person have al-
ready or do you suspect they would have in the future. This can be hard to gauge (future jewellery) but try to make an educated guess, as it will help you determine the size of the box. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of types and styles to choose from so gathering as much information as possible will help in your shopping. Thirdly, you would want to think about what type of case as in free standing or counter top box will best suit their needs. Remember that stand alone jewellry boxes are more of a cabinet then jewellery box and are viewed more as a piece of furniture than simply a nice ornament on top of a counter or desk. The amount of space that someone has available for something like this has to be considered. If you’re thinking about a cabinet type, or even a counter top or smaller box, you’ll still need to think about design and style in the same fashion.
•A clothing retail store
Tips on buying a car Are you planning to buy a car? There are certain things you must know before making the purchase. Here are tips from TAIBAT IDOWU .
•Assorted jewelery box
UYING a brand new car needs proper thinking or consideration. And to enable you to find answers to your preferred choice of a car, you need directives and good planning. Therefore, decide what you intend to use the car for , either for daily commuting, recreation, weekends and evening outings, carrying things, carrying two or more people, for city driving or suburban and rural driving. Make up your mind on your price range and be realistic. Consider your preferred level of fuel efficiency because; many modern cars and trucks get surprisingly poor mileage. Locate dealership in your area via newspaper advertisements (many Sunday papers have automotive sections) or word of mouth. Browse independently until you identify a car that looks interesting to you. Don’t
forget to check the sticker on the window. The sticker will list the car’s features, fuelefficiency rating (miles per gallon expected for city and highway driving) and asking price. If the door is unlocked, open it and sit down to check the car’s interior. The sales representative will likely come to investigate - if that hasn’t happened already. If the car is locked, tell the representative you’d like to have a look inside. And look out for representatives who appear eager, ideally too eager to help. Head to the next dealer and ask which car most closely resembles the one you saw at the previous shop. Specify its make and models explaining the things you like about the last car, and then ask the salesperson to show you similar features of another car. Repeat these steps until you decide on a car.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Fidson boosts healthy living
IDSON Healthcare Plc has again achieved another giant stride in providing quality household healthcare solutions for young adults and older generations, with the introduction of its new product brand, Cestra into the Nigerian pharmaceutical market. Cestra is a range of nutraceutical supplements, a unique blend of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that offers natural wellness and healthy living to Nigerians. According to the General Manager, Marketing, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Mr Ola Ijimakin, having learnt from nature’s example, Cestra formulas are developed with the Intelligent Nutrition System, which is a set of systematic standard and benchmark for nutritional supplements, to provide the needed day -to- day nutrients for general wellbeing and healthy living. “Taken into account the natural synergies and competition that exists between
nutrients, Cestra formulation always include additional nutrients to ensure a product works without adversely interfering with the metabolism of the other nutrients in the body. We have a product that is specifically formulated to take care of every member of the family The Cestra brand comes in five different variants (Pre Natal, 50 Plus, Pro Biotix, Once A Day and Omega 3 & 6) offering full range of outstanding natural products in order to address a wide range of health challenges and provide next-to-nature solutions for the general wellbeing and health of Nigerians. The introduction of the new Cestra brand into the Nigerian pharmaceutical market is another demonstration of Fidson’s innovative approach to ensuring the quality lifestyle and healthy living for Nigerians, as the company continues to make a bold statement of its corporate value proposition, which is ‘……we value life’, through its array of quality healthcare products.
Interswitch rewards shoppers
HERE is nothing more exciting to dedicated shoppers than being rewarded for shopping through a loyalty scheme such as Reward Money loyalty programme by Interswitch, which is aimed at giving back to customers every time they go shopping. Interswitch, an integrated payment and transaction processing company, through a relationship with several established merchants in the country, has intensified the campaign of its Reward Money loyalty programme with these merchants in a bid to reward Verve cardholders. The first in-mall activation took place at the Ikeja Shopping Mall with some of these merchants such as US Polo, Accessories to die for, KFC etc, where a winner was instantly rewarded with N5,000 gift voucher for a purchase at one of the merchant locations. According to the firm, customers, who make purchase with Verve card are awarded Reward Money for purchases made at merchant locations. Director of Switching and Processing at Interswitch, Akeem Lawal, while speaking at the activation of the loyalty programme at merchant locations at Surulere Shopping mall at the weekend, noted that Reward Money is an innovative merchant loyalty scheme, which allows Verve cardholders to get instant rewards while using their cards at merchant locations. For the Surulere mall, he said the firm has started a partnership with 12 merchants and hopes to increase the number in a few days, even as it expressed interest to expand the programme to Lekki shopping mall soonest. “This is first of its kind loyalty programme in Nigeria, as it allows customers to earn
Reward Money based on each merchant’s pre-agreed Reward Money allocation. The Reward Money earned is instantly converted to spendable money on the customer’s card. The receipt obtained from the merchants PoS shows the Reward Money earned and the total Reward Money balance accumulated,” he said. He added that the solution has been designed to be “simple to use, simple to earn and simple to redeem” and it is very easy to set up for the merchant. It is very easy for the merchant to use and operate as it is automated and requires minimal human interaction from the merchant and cardholders. For instance, the PoS terminal recognises the cardholder and automatically awards the merchant specified Reward Money to the cardholder based on the amount spent. The more money the customer spends at the merchant using a Verve card, the more Reward Money earned. The money earned can instantly be spent or “burned” to buy products or services from the merchant or accumulated to be spent later at the same merchant or at any of the other Reward Money enabled locations. He said Reward Money is specially designed to foster a better relationship between merchants and their customers. With Reward Money, merchants would be able to reward customers based on the amount they spend and customers will be encouraged to spend more at the merchant’s location using their cards. “The Reward Money merchant determines the amount of Reward Money to be given, which can be as much as 20 per cent of total purchase value to the cardholder,” he explained.
• From left: General Manager Marketing, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Mr Ola Ijimakin; Corporate Services Manager, Mr Oladimeji Oduyebo; Product Manager, Cestra, Mr Tunde Balogun and Sales and Marketing Director, Mr Olugbenga Olayeye during the company’s briefing on its new products in Lagos.
N Saturday morning, while I was globetrotting via my smart phone, I came across a story of growing divorce epidemic in Tajikistan on BBC online. Husbands working away in Russia, leading to serious social issues, are divorcing growing numbers of Tajik women, reports the BBC’s Rayhan Demytrie from Tajikistan. However, I was attracted to the story because of the mode of divorce often employed by these men. Tajikistan is among the few Muslim nations where men can divorce their wives by repeating the word “taloq” - divorce three times. They can do it face to face, over the phone, or simply by sending an SMS. SMS is the most widely used data application in the world, with 3.6 billion active users, or 78 per cent of all mobile phone subscribers. The term SMS is used as a synonym for all types of short text messaging as well as the user activity itself in many parts of the world. The idea of adding text messaging to the services of mobile users was not frequent in many communities of mobile communication services at the beginning of the 1980s. The first SMS message was sent over the Vodafone GSM network in the United Kingdom on 3 December 1992. SMS was originally designed as part of GSM, but it is now available on a wide range of networks, including 3G networks. Text messages are powerful because they’re ubiquitous, easy to create and consume, relatively cheap, and can be used to do things such as deliver mobile banking (M-Pesa in Kenya), alert the police when someone has trespassed on your property and even pay for insurance services (Tigo Life Care Insurance in Ghana). Now there is yet another thing SMS is capable of doing: divorcing a wife. How I wish I were dreaming. However, unfortunate I am not even dozing. I am not only awake. I am alive. In several countries today, once a married couple had an argument, it is nothing out of the ordinary, or is it? After the quarrel, the husband sends a text to his wife telling her that he might as well divorce her. The woman goes to a judge, tells the judge what happens and because of how the law of Islam is structured, she is granted divorce. Just like that? Yes, just like that, to quote the late iconic Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. In 2011, a Saudi girl who had thought she could fulfill the dream of her life by marrying a well-known lawyer got the shock of her life when she was divorced by a text just three days after marriage. The unnamed woman from the western town of Taif said she had agreed to marry the lawyer because of his high position and good manners. “Three days later, he asked her to go to her family’s house and wait for him until he finishes some work,” Taif Arabic language daily said. “One hour later, she received a SMS on her mobile from her husband telling her that she is divorced.” Well, it is not in my place to determine or judge how a marriage should put an end, much less if it is right to use SMS to put “asunder to what God has put together”, but this is rather shocking, and downright callous for a man to end “a God-ordained marriage” with an SMS. Whatever happened to the vow “till death do us part”? However, let us see the perspectives of Islam and Christian religions on divorce
‘It is not in my place to determine or judge how a marriage should put an end, much less if it is right to use SMS to put asunder to what God has put together’
Would you divorce your wife via SMS? By Sola Fanawopo
before you make up your mind. Allah provides general guidelines for the process of divorce with emphasis on both parties upholding the values of justice and kindness in formalising the end to their marriage (see Quran 2: 224-237 for general guidelines regarding divorce). Allah encourages the husband and wife to appoint arbitrators as the first step to aid reconciliation in the process of divorce. If the reconciliation step fails, the man and woman are guaranteed the right to divorce as established in the Quran, but the difference lies in the procedure for each one. When the man initiates a divorce, it is known as Talaaq. The pronouncement by the husband may be verbal or written, but once made, there is to be a waiting period of three months (Iddah) during which there can be no sexual relations, though the couple is living under the same roof. The waiting period helps to prevent hasty terminations due to anger and allows both parties time to reconsider as well as to see if the wife is pregnant. If the wife is pregnant, the waiting period is lengthened until she delivers. At any point during this time, the husband and wife are free to resume their conjugal relationship, thereby ending the divorce process. During this waiting period, the husband remains financially responsible for the support of his wife. The divorce initiated by the wife is known as Khul (if the husband is not at fault) and requires that the wife return her dowry to end the marriage because she is the ‘contract-breaker’. In the instance of Talaaq, where the husband is the ‘contract-breaker’, he must pay the dowry in full in cases where all or part of it was deferred or allow the wife to keep all of it if she has already been given it in full. In the case that the husband is at fault and the woman is interested in divorce, she can petition a judge for divorce with a cause. She would be required to offer proof that her husband had not fulfilled his marital responsibilities. If the woman had specified certain conditions that are Islamically accepted in her marriage contract, which husband did not meet, she could obtain a conditional divorce. Christian views on divorce find their basis both in biblical sources dating to the giving of the Law of Moses (Deuteronomy 24:1-4) and political developments in the Christian world long after standardisation of the Bible. According to the synoptic Gospels, Jesus emphasised the permanence of marriage, but also its integrity. In the book of Matthew, Jesus says “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries commits adultery”. Paul of Tarsus concurred but added an exception, known as the Pauline privilege. The Catholic Church prohibits divorce, and permits annulment (a finding that the marriage was never valid) under a narrow set of circumstances. The Eastern Orthodox Church permits divorce and remarriage in church in certain circumstances, though its rules are generally more restrictive that the civil divorce rules of most countries. Most Protestant churches discourage divorce except as a last resort, but do not actually prohibit it through church doctrine. However, in Tajikistan, divorce is done via SMS. Sola Fanawopo, a communications analyst, contributed this piece via email@example.com
*Editor - Wale Alabi *Consulting Editors - Rarzack Olaegbe, Sola Fanawopo * Correspondent-Jimi David * Business Development - Kenny Hussain * Legal Adviser - Olasupo Osewa & Co Brandweek is powered by Brandz Republic Consulting and published every Friday in THE NATION newspaper. All correspondence to the editor - 0808.247.7806, 0805.618.0040, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org © All rights reserved.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
With ekpoita :email@example.com / 08077706130
1.Complete (5) 2. Massive(5) 6. Have courage to (4) 7. One who trades (6) 10. Bow (3) 11. Uncooked (3) 13. Specialist (5) 14. Perch (3) 15. Quarrel (5) 17. Liabilities (6) 20. Lobby (5) 21. Epoch (3) 22. Pitcher (4) 23. Expands (5)
1. Mammary Glands (5) 2. Pull Forcibly (5) 3. Mix (5) 5. Thread (6) 8. Recess (4) 9. Bemoan (4) 12. Afloat (5) 14. Influence (4) 16. Stay Upright (5) 17. Sketch (4) 18. Wager (3) 19. Anger (3)
SUDOKU The goal of this game is to place the numbers 1 through 9 into the grid such that each row, each column and each subsquare contains all 9 numbers. There is no math involved. All you need is patience and logical ability.
Africa, My Africa Africa,myAfrica, A people of great birth, A people with a sweet song. Africa,myAfrica, A people of beautiful colour And of persistent pain. Africa, my Africa, No matter what the world thinks about you, Your smile will surely spring forth And like the morning sun,
Bring life to your children. -
#5 The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010. True False
Unscramble the word jumbled in the grid below and place the deciphered word in the blank grid. S
Lady Gaga spouted off some serious fighting words while under oath quite of late after her former personal assistant accused her of unpaid overtime wages. The Born This Way singer, 26, referred to Jennifer O’Neal as a “f***ing hood rat who is suing me for money she didn’t earn.” “She thinks she’s just like the queen of the universe,” Gaga said of her former aide during the court battle. “And, you know what; she didn’t want to be a slave to one, because in my work and what I do, I’m the queen of the universe every day.” The outlandish pop star’s rant didn’t stop there, with her later referring to O’Neil as a “disgusting human being.” Gaga added, “She knew there was no overtime, and I never paid her overtime the first time I hired her, so why would she be paid overtime the second time? This whole case is bull**** and you know it.”
L.O.V.E. L, is for the Laughter I give to you every day
knowing you’ll never go away O, is for the Options we’ll have when were together knowing our love couldn’t get any better
V, is for the Visions I have of you knowing I’ll never find anyone quite like you E, is for Everything that’s true I’ve every said especially when I said “we’ll be together till were dead Denise
I come and I go, more than once in a day. Yet I’ve always been here; for eons my stay. A bearer of life, I bring fear and great dread; A destroyer of old, millions by me are fed. Artists and poets my presence inspires, My moods, they are varied, my journey ne’er tires. Once I was greater, but my time comes again. Can you yet name me, my riddling friend?
The Sea is my name, or Ocean some say, My tides wax and wane twice each short-lived day. Many a life my waters have seized, But I give back aplenty with food for your need. My reach was broader many years ago; Melting ice ensures that again I will grow
Lady Gaga Accused of Unpaid Debts
#1 Pluviophobia is the fear of _______. Chicken Cars Pencils Rain #2 _______ won the 1986 Academy Award for Best Actress. Sigourney Weaver Jane Fonda Sissy Spacek Marlee Matlin #3 Om is the symbol for the chemical element osmium. True False #4 Gerty Theresa Cori, née Radnitz won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in _______. 1950 1949 1947 1948
Got wind of a criminal act, plan? Alert your friend,The Police.
To conquer oneself is the best and noblest victory; to be vanquished by one’s own Pep Talk nature is the worst and most ignoble defeat. - Plato
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
S traditionally done quarterly, the topmost echelon of Nigeria Interreligious Council (NIREC) held a two day meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, last week Monday and Tuesday (February 11 and 12, 2013). Yours sincerely was invited to the meeting as a guest speaker but the presentation of my paper entitled ‘TERRORISM: GENESIS, CAUSES, EFFECT and SOLUTION’ did not take place due to what was called ‘time constraint’. Thus, for the benefit of all and sundry I hereby present the speech which I termed ‘Pep Talk’. Please, read on: “In Yoruba ancient mythology, a dragon fly dancing on the surface of a stream was believed to symbolise a puzzling omen. But convinced that killing the fly would not remove the omen, the elders consulted an oracle which disclosed that the dancing dragon fly had its drummer beneath the water. Unless that drummer could be identified and stopped from drumming, the dragon fly might continue to frighten the stream water drawers with its puzzling dance. The similitude of terrorism anywhere in the world is like that of a suffocating smoke spirally oozing out of the chimney of a kitchen and dangerously polluting the environment for everybody. To stop the ensuing pollution and save people from its suffocating effect, dispelling the smoke can never be a solution. For as long as the fire keeps burning inside the kitchen and gives vent to the oozing smoke, the environment will continue to be polluted unabatedly. In that situation, it can only be wiser to quench the fire than to chase the smoke around. Dispelling the smoke can never have any effect on the burning fire. On the other hand, quenching the fire will automatically stop the polluting smoke. In the same token, dialoguing with the terrorist as a way of solving Nigeria’s problem of insecurity will serve as a better option than engaging any group of terrorists in a very costly war of attrition. People who have no value for their own lives cannot respect any value in other people’s lives. And in any ensuing melee, it is the innocent people that will invariably pay the price. Perhaps that was what the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua considered when he granted the Southsouth militants an unconditional amnesty before asking them to lay down their weapons. The same solution ought to have been applied using the same principle in the case of Boko Haram if only to enable peace return Nigeria for the purpose of progress. It may be quite parochial and self-deceptive to think that the current trend of terrorism around the world is all about religion. The historical factors that gave rise to terrorism clearly transcended religion. When the first act of terrorism was perpetrated by a Jewish Zealot group, about 2,000 years ago, neither Christianity nor Islam had taken any firm root. Though Prophet Isa (Jesus) had come and gone by then, his divine mission had not reached the Gentile. And Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had not been born. If violence alone is what constitutes terrorism as many people wrongly tend to believe, then, it never emanated from religion though religion has sometimes been used as a cover up and blamed for it. No genuine message from God ordains or supports violence of any form among human beings. Therefore, the engendered terrorism by the Jewish Zealots in 06 CE was rather a violent expression of resentment for the domination of the Jews by the Roman Gentile than a fight between two religions (see Luke 6:15, Acts 1: 13 and Mathew 10: 4 for confirmation). By connotation, that resentment was a resistance to the domination of a culture by another culture. Thus, as it was in the beginning, so it is today. From the above brief historical account, it is clear that terrorism is neither a phenomenon peculiar to the modern time nor a new innovation rooted in religion. And its causes and effects remain the same today as they were some centuries back. What should be understood about terrorists’ method of operation is that any evil doer will look for a justifying reason, whether tenable or untenable, to indulge in evil deed. And the reason often given is one which appeals to people of like minds at least in the neighbourhood. This is to elicit their sympathy and support. The common denominator among all terrorists is the theory of “using what you have to get what you want”. This theory has a
FEMI ABBAS ON Femabbas@yahoo.com 08122697498
Solution to terrorism fundamental meaning to all agitators in their quest for redress against what they perceive as injustice. Terrorists are like cultists whose nefarious atrocities are carried out secretly. And no secret activity is ever carried out by any group without involvement of an oath and sometimes, consumption of intoxicants in the case of terrorists. Terrorism is not about violence alone. Its causes and effects are as various and as multi-dimensional as the circumstances that brought them to bear. Bothered by these causes and effects of terrorism in modern time, a German dramatist and social critic Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) who was a son of a Protestant Minister and one of the leaders of thought and enlightenment in his time came up with the following stanza: “There are good men in every land; the tree of life has many branches and roots; let not the topmost twig presume to think that it alone has sprung from the mother earth; we did not choose our races by ourselves; Jews, Muslims, Christians, all alike are men; let me hope I have found in you a man”. In the quoted poem above, Lessing did not restrict his view to religion alone. He was actually talking about human rights and the justice that ought to serve as its vehicle. As a German and a Protestant, he believed that differences in race and faith ought not to be the main determinant of human coexistence. This is a fact that eluded Adolf Hitler in his blind pursuit of racial supremacy that precipitated the World War II. When he was innocently coining that famous poem, Lessing was hardly aware of the contents of the Qur’an regarding the harmonious coexistence of mankind irrespective of the differences in races, colours and faiths as divinely ordained in that divine Book of Islam. The Almighty Allah who created the entire universe tells us in Qur’an 49:13 thus: “Oh mankind! We have created you males and females and classified you into races and tribes that you may interact (and benefit from your diversity); surely the best of you are the ones who fear God most”. It is unimaginable that any sane human being will ever want to engage in terrorism using religion as a cloak. It is not only in Nigeria that some vandals like Boko Haram and Akhwat Akwop are using religion (Islam and Christianity respectively) as alibi for terrorism. At least the case of Joseph Kony of Uganda who has been waging a rebellious war on his country and on Central Africa Republic in the name of Jesus is still very current. For the past two decades or thereabout, that former Catholic altar boy from northern Uganda has been using Biblical 10 Commandments to execute his terrorist activities in the region by recruiting thousands of kids into his army and by killing and maiming innocent women and children indiscriminately. Joseph Kony and his over 3,000 heavily armed men constituting a terror army are still a minority among Ugandan Christians just as Boko Haram members in Nigeria are a minority group among Nigerian Muslims. Yet, this does not make Kony a crusader for God neither are his satanic activities related to Christianity in the media. Anybody can give any religious reason, according to his or her interpretation of the religion in question for engaging in terrorism, in order to get what he/she wants. And that does not make him a true follower or representative of that religion. It will be a grave mistake to continue to proclaim Boko Haram a faceless body when some scores of its members are held in government’s detention. At least those members were arrested and detained for being members of the terrorist group. That is however
based on the assumption that the group is still operating as a single body that it was a couple of years ago. As a matter of fact, Akhwat Akwop (Nigeria’s Christian group that operates in the name of Christianity) is more fitting into allegation of facelessness than Boko Haram. If dialoguing with a single group of Boko Haram was difficult in the past because of the amphibious nature of its terrorist activities, the presence of those arrested detained among them has surely changed any claim of the group’s facelessness. People who are firmly held in government detention cannot be said to be faceless. The concern here is much more about national security, through safety of lives and property than apportioning blames through religious sentiments. Terrorism often begins with ordinary militancy. But when the threat of state power is intensified against rebels, an all out violence becomes the necessary weapon with which to counter what the rebels consider to be state terrorism. Thus, to those called terrorists, violent activities are only a counter terrorism. The South/South of Nigeria is a good example of this. Seemingly, the most effective means of curbing terrorism is reasonable dialogue which the UN must seriously facilitate with sincerity and self-dignity. This can only become possible if the notion of super and veto powers are obliterated or de-emphasized at least to enable concerned parties dialogue on equal level. The lopsidedness created by the super power syndrome has turned the whole world into one massive animal farm in which all animals are supposed to be equal but some are claiming to be more equal than others. This was the kind of situation which forced the former colonies to rebel against their colonizers in various ways in order to become independent. And today, none of the allied forces fighting terrorism in the name of NATO can claim to have won any. Tragic and condemnable as it is, international terrorism only accentuates the bitter resistance of certain cultures to the domination of others especially as exhibited by the relationship between the West and the East. In modern time, the origin of the use of bomb as a means of resisting injustice can be traced back to 1939. In August that year, a German American physicist Albert Einstein sent a letter to the then U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt to hint him of the possibility of discovering a powerful explosive device through the fission of uranium and warned Roosevelt of the danger in allowing other nations to develop it before the US. In response, the U.S. government established the top secret Manhattan Project in 1942 to develop an atomic device. The leader of that Project was a U.S. Army Brigadier General Leslie R. Groves whose team worked in several locations but largely at Los Alamos, New Mexico, under the direction of American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. The team designed and built the first atomic bomb which was test exploded at Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945. And that was the weapon used by the US to destroy Japan’s two cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki an episode that brought the World War II to an end. Following that episode, the fear of proliferation of nuclear arsenal compelled the socalled super powers to initiate the idea of Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty which was signed in 1968. By this initiative, virtually all countries of the world besides the known nine nuclear nations formally pledged not to manufacture those weapons. The pledge was made under the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of
Nuclear Weapons, which came into force in 1970. The treaty has since been ratified by 187 non-nuclear weapon states. Yet, secret proliferation of those weapons remains a major cause of terrorism. The problem concerning terrorism here is not about the signing or breaching of treaty per se. Neither is it about armament reduction. It is rather about some nations’ determination to balance power with rivals. This was the factor that led to the invention of atomic bomb by the US in the first instance. And this factor has now advanced into balance of terror not only among nations but more between those perceived as oppressors and the private groups who feel oppressed as the knowledge of developing weapons of mass destruction keeps spreading. Policing proliferation of nuclear weapons as is now the case can never ventilate a peaceful atmosphere for the world. It will rather aggravate the existing conflict situation. Proliferation is only possible with the existence of a substance that can be proliferated. And one means of stemming terrorism around the world is for those who manufacture and are in possession of destructive weapons to stop their activities along that line. The alternative is to liberalise development of nuclear weapons and let any capable nation possess them. After all, there is no guarantee that the so-called five super powers campaigning against nuclear proliferation today cannot use it tomorrow if compelled by necessity. Terrorism often begins with ordinary militancy. But when the threat of state power is intensified against rebels, an all out violence becomes the necessary weapon with which to counter what the rebels consider to be state terrorism. Thus, to those called terrorists, violent activities are only a counter terrorism. The South/ South of Nigeria is a good example of this. Seemingly, the most effective means of curbing terrorism is reasonable dialogue which the UN must seriously facilitate with sincerity and self-dignity. This can only become possible if the notion of super and veto powers are obliterated or de-emphasized at least to enable concerned parties dialogue on equal level. The lopsidedness created by the super power syndrome has turned the whole world into one massive animal farm in which all animals are supposed to be equal but some are claiming to be more equal than others. This was the kind of situation which forced the former colonies to rebel against their colonizers in various ways in order to become independent. One can imagine what could have happened if other super powers like Russia and China were to be as aggressively bellicose as the US, Britain and France. Arrogance of power is a major toga propelling terrorism in the various parts of the world which ought to be shed if terrorism must be sincerely repelled. Terrorism has become such an implacable monster that no single country or click of power mongers can confront without the cooperation of all other countries. And such cooperation must be on the terms of majority of those other countries and not on master/servant terms. As for internal terrorism which is far more dangerous than the external one, only good governance can curb it and ventilate the atmosphere for peace. The opportunity of the recently announced voluntary withdrawal of terror by a group of Boko Haram must not be wasted. No government has ever been able to defeat terrorism by the use of force. Nigeria cannot be an exception. Wherever terrorism is seen to have simmered, diplomacy and dialogue rather than force must have played a vital role. This fact must be considered very seriously. And in finding solution, three major hitherto unfocused areas must now be handled without levity. One is checkmating sources of weapons used by the terrorists. Another is a device for mass employments for the youth. And the third is official regulation of religious propagation in the country to check possible excesses that often breed fanaticism. Managing these three areas with sincerity will definitely make tremendous difference in curbing the spate of violence in the land. Despite our diversity in tribes and faiths we have managed to come this far to live together in harmony as a people. What remains is the maintenance of that togetherness based on tolerance and compromise. We must not allow religious or tribal sentiments to destroy the house which the Almighty God has guided us to jointly build. God bless Nigeria!
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
SOCIETY •Continued from page 28
•Otunba Adebayo and Chief of Staff to the Governor of Ekiti State Yemi Adaramodu •Senator Babafemi Ojudu (right) and Mr Gbenga Ani
•Chief Deji Fasuan and his wife, Bolanle
•From right: Chief Afolabi; Mr Bankole Akinrinade and Gen Olutoye
•Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi and his wife •Chief Pius Akinyelure (right) and Chief Theo Adeleye
•Hon Bimbo Daramola (left) and Chief Femi Oyebanji
•Prof Ropo Sekoni and his wife
•From right: Mrs Adeola Yesufu; Prof Mbang Femi-Oyewo and Mrs Iyabode Opeyokure
•Prof Oluwole Famuyiwa (left) and Dr Ebun Olotu
PHOTOS: DAYO ADEWUNMI
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
A royal wedlock Aisha Oluwaseun, daughter of Adebisi Onanuga of The Nation got married to her beau, Oluseun Ajibola Shote in Ikorodu, Lagos last Saturday. Reports NNEKA NWANERI.
•From left: Bride’s parents Mr Onanuga and his wife Olajumoke and groom’s parents Mr Ademola Shote and his wife Joke PHOTOS:ADEJO DAVID
OR Seun boy and Seun girl, last Saturday was the beginning of a new life. It was the season of love as the wedding held two days after the Valentine’s Day celebration. There was no better way to celebrate their love than to tie the nuptial knot. The Ikorodu Town Hall, venue of the event, throbbed with activities. It was decorated in yellow and green. A mini tent, made of green and yellow fabric, made fit for kings and queens, housed the couple. The guests looked resplendent in uniformed materials, sewn in various styles. During the traditional engagement, itinerant drummers played to the delight of the groom who took to the dance floor. The bride’s younger sister, Omotunde read the proposal letter. Ushering the bride into the hall
•The couple Aisha and Ajibola
were her friends decked in the Ankara aso ebi. Though she wore the same uniformed cloth with
her beau and covered her face with a red veil, she stole the show as she danced to the admiration
of the guests. Aisha told The Nation how she met Ajibola four years ago at a party. “We got talking and here we are. Words can’t express how I feel today. Seeing everyone here is making me emotional.” Ajibola said: “Today, I feel like the king of Ijebu land. Wedding is a life time project we all pray to do it once in a life time. What I pray for is to keep doing my anniversary. She is my choice. As you can see, she is a very pretty lady and in truth, though I had a couple of friends I had wanted to date, but on meeting her, she just appealed to me as a woman. I knew from the first day that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.” Chairman on the occasion and former Assistant General Manager, Corporate Communica-
tions of Intercontinental Bank, Mr Eddy Ademosu, encouraged the couple to be bound by the love they share. After giving steps of guidelines that help marriages work, he asked the couple’s parents and well-wishers to support them so as to make their marriage work. Father of the bride, Mr Adebisi Onanuga thanked God his daughter got married to another prominent family in Ijebu. “We the Onanugas are from the Anikilaya ruling house in Ijebuland, same family as the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona. The Shote family are of the Towobola ruling house. These are two prominent families coming together, and all I can do is give glory to God,” Onanuga said. The couple cut their cake amid fireworks.
The Chinese community in Lagos has marked the beginning of its calendar year at China Town, Ojota, a Lagos subburb. The event attracted businessmen and members of the diplomatic corps . MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE was there.
•From left: Jackson Sunny; Cai Hong and Scott Xue
•Mr Jai Ping and Xianfa
China showcases culture T HE venue was changed this year. The event used to hold at the Chinese Consulate. This year, it was taken to China Town in Ojota, Lagos. It is a tradition for the Chinese to mark the beginning of their Calendar year. Their calendar runs from February 10 to January 30 of every year. So, the International Cooperation Industry Nigeria Limited brought Chinese nationals together last Saturday to mark yet another calendar year. Since the festival heralds the beginning of the Chinese new calendar world over Chinese nationals mark it with fanfare. For an event slated to begin by 2pm, guests started arriving at by 11 am. China Town, a shopping centre, where Chinese products are sold, was closed for business. Those who came for shopping were turned back at the entrance by security personnel. Canopies were erected to shelter people from the sun. Some guests played cards for the fun of it. Bets were placed in the version of the game called poker. The event began with the arrival of the Consulate General, Mr Liu Xianfa and other staff of the embassy. On his arrival, everybody stood up for the National Anthems of Nigeria and
China. Xianfa described the relationship between Nigeria and China as legendary and historical. He said: “You are all welcome to the celebration of the beginning of the New Chinese calendar year. We have always marked this festival yearly and let me thank the Nigerian government and the people for the cordial relationship that exist between us.” “Let me equally thank my people for obeying the laws of the land, I want to urge you to continue in this spirit of being law abiding while going about your legitimate businesses,” Xianfa said. After his speech, he was ushered to his seat by two young Chinese Masters of Ceremony (MC), a woman and a man. The handling of the event drew large applauses from the guests. The cultural troupes from Nigeria and China in resplendent costumes took their turns to perform. Some Nigerian artistes who sang in Chinese language electrified the occasion as they were urged to continue but had to leave for lack of time. There was no table that was not filled with assorted drinks and food ranging from Chinese cuisine to Nigerian for those who pre-
•Mrs Yemisi Afolayan and Mr. Kehinde Ogundipe
ferred the local dishes. Waiters replaced one course meal for another throughout the event. The General Manager of International CoOperation Industry Nigeria Limited, the manager of Chinese Town, Mr Julius Solomon gave an insight into the essence of the gathering. “We have lots of Chinese in Nigeria and the festival has brought them together more than before. That is why this one held at the China Town is very unique. It heralds a new beginning and dawn. It is the celebration of the unity of the Chinese people in the country,” Solomon
said. According to him, the festival is being held across the world simultaneously. “This is not the first time Nigeria is participating in the festival but it is mostly celebrated at their embassy or the mission but this one attracted unprecedented guests than previous ones,” he said. Other side attraction at the event was the raffle draw which was announced intermittently. Winners went home with bags of rice and other items like fridges and deep freezers.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
COMMUNICATE YOUR IDEAS
The Republic of Lithuania has celebrated its 22nd National Independence Day in Lagos. Its Honorary Consul in Nigeria, Mr Goodie Ibru, was the host. AMIDU ARIJE reports.
•Ambassador Ibru flanked by his wife Emuobo and his brother Felix
•From left: Mr Harry Bethke; Vice Consul Racheal Bethke and David Kliegl
Free state’s joyous day
ITHUANIA. Where is that, you may be tempted to ask. It is a country with three million people which ceded from the defunct Soviet Union in 1991. It became an independent nation that same year. Sited in the Northern part of Europe, south of the Baltic Sea, the country shares border with Lativa to the North; Belarus to the Southeast, Poland and the Russian enclave of Kalinigrad to the Southwest. Since its cession from the Soviet Union on February 16, 1991, Lithuanian has set aside that day for the celebration of its independence. Last Saturday, the Consulate of the Republic of Lithuania in Lagos, marked its 22nd independence anniversary. Guests were hosted by the Consul of Lithuania to Nigeria, Mr Goodie Ibru. They were treated to a cocktail party to mark the Day at the Ballroom of the Federal Palace Hotel, Island, Lagos. Only invited guests were allowed in. They arrived long before the commencement of the programme. The timely arrival of Mr Ibru marked the beginning of the event. Guests were resplendent in their attires. Nigerians and Lithuanians were there in their numbers. Though there was no uniformed attire, most Nigerians were decked in agbada and buba. Some of the foreigners were decked in casual shirts and trousers and suits. Some men came with their wives. The gaily dressed women stole the
•Erelu Abiola Dosumu
•Consulate General of Germany Walter Vonden Driesch PHOTOS: ABIODUN WILLIAMS
show with their gorgeous clothes. The hall was ornamentally furnished with yellow, red and green balloons. The bright colours added glamour to the occasion. An eye catching ornament was the strategic placing of African traditional bands on all the tables where the snacks were placed. The gangan traditional drum, with its sticks was placed on the table. Other artistic works were also used to emphasise the rich Nigerian culture. There were no chairs. So, guests stood all through the two hour event. They conversed in low tones and new friends were made. The avenue served as a fertile ground for them to discuss business and other national issues. Mr Charles Idomah, who anchored the occasion, introduced guests. In his welcome speech, Mr Ibru described the relationship that exists between Nigeria and Lithuania for the past 12 years as progressive
and has helped the two countries tie business relations and made it easier to register Nigeria with the Business Council, enabling citizens of both countries to transact business easily. He said: “I am delighted to report that relations between Republic of Lithuania and Nigeria have improved in the past 12 years. I am happy to inform you that we have now successfully registered the Nigeria- Lithuania Business Council. “This council, we hope will provide a platform for activities which will promote economic, social and cultural cooperation and integration between members consisting of nationals of both countries”. The Consul spoke of his plans to keep exploring avenues to better the political, social and economic relationships between Nigeria and Lithuania. Background music from the DJ made the occasion convivial. Guests enjoyed every moment spent as they shook their heads in consonance to the tunes from the music.
OMMUNICATION is a dynamic process of exchanging meanings. Messages are sent by a party to another who interprets them and sends a feedback, indicating that the initial messages were understood. Last week, we examined intrapersonal communication. In that type of communication, you are both the sender and the receiver. Can you send an involuntary AMODU LANRE OLAOLU (Ph.D) firstname.lastname@example.org. intrapersonal communication? 07034737394 Definitely yes! If, for instance, you have a challenge in your be good at engaging your audiplace of work and you begin to ence. You must be able to distell yourself, “I hate this job,” cuss a subject that is interesting chances are that you will soon to the other person. Some be considering quitting. Your people are poor conversationist. productivity will wane, your When they meet a friend or an joy at work will reduce and you acquaintance, the conversation will become impatient. You will goes something like, “Hey, see more of the faults of your hello, long time no see.” “So, organization than its virtues how are you?” “What have you and you will wonder why you been up to?” and after that, they didn’t notice them sooner. What go blank, wishing someone else you don’t know is that your would carrying on. Some people words, “I hate this job,” have find it difficult starting a convergone into your subconscious to sation with a fellow passenger switch off your tolerance and while traveling because they switch on your resistance. So, can’t imagine what to say to last the duration of the journey. mind what you tell yourself. Today, our focus will be on What you need is the ability to interpersonal communication. identify what interests you partThe word “inter” means be- ner. You also need to learn how tween or among. So, interper- to derive interesting topics from sonal communication takes your environment. Not that I enplace between you and one or a courage you to talk all the time, few people. In this context, the but friendship is one of the word few is a little difficult to greatest assets one can have. •It requires listening skills: define. This is because interpersonal communication can take imagine a phone conversation in place among people on a dinner which the caller is talking about table or an auditorium full of premiership football and the repeople. How then can we iden- ceiver is talking about the Nigetify interpersonal communica- rian politics. What if I told you tion? Let’s check out the follow- that they were conversing for ten minutes? Won’t you insist that ing elements: •It is direct: in interpersonal it will only happen if they are communication, whether you not listening to each other? Exare communicating with a actly! You cannot succeed in insingle person or thousands, terpersonal communication there is a physical bound that without listening to your audiholds you together. In most ence. The richness of your concases, they can see you and you versation will depend on how can see them. You can ask them well you can listen. So, interperto physically participate and sonal communication is not they can interrupt you if they so about how much you can say, desire. In this kind of commu- but how much you hear. •It determines your career/ nication, it is pretty hard to pretend. That is why business deals business success: while discussare closed in person. Your per- ing intrapersonal communicasonality and motives are judged tion, I mentioned that your perand every word you say is sonal development depends evaluated. Even if you are us- largely on what you tell youring a microphone to speak to a self. In the case of interpersonal crowd or you are talking on communication, you career/ phone, it is interpersonal com- business success depends on munication because you are in what you tell others around you. direct contact with your audi- This also applies to every other ence. I have heard people ask if aspects of your life involving face book chatting is interper- other people. Imagine what will sonal. Well, yes it is a variation happen if you always say the of it. Whoever you are chatting wrong things to your spouse, with is responding to you di- children, parents, siblings, rectly and that keeps the conver- bosses, clients, customers, etc? sation going. But this is differ- Better imagined than experienced ent from having a website and right? Now imagine what will not knowing who does or happen if you can always say the right things to all these people! So, doesn’t visit. •It requires conversational to achieve success with other skills: to succeed in interper- people, you must learn interpersonal communication, you must sonal communication.
Dr. Amodu lectures at the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
SOCIETY FUNERAL OF MADAM SIDIKAT ODUNUGA, MOTHER OF THE NATION ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF MR YOMI ODUNUGA AT SAGAMU, OGUN STATE
•Children of the deceased (from left) Mr Yomi Odunuga; Femi Odunuga; Toyin Famolayo; Moji Adejuwon; Bisi Olayiwola and Yetunde Adedeji
•Lemo of Makun Kingdom, Chief Samson Kehinde Sonoye
•Head, Corporate Communications, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company PLC (NAHCO), Mr. Sanya Onayoade and wife Ese
•Ms. Bunmi Lewis and Mr Yusuf Alli
The remains of Mrs Abigail Olatutu Obe (a.k.a Mama Obe), a retired school headmistress, have been buried in Igbara-Oke, Ondo State.DAMISI OJO was there.
T was an event that will be remembered for long in IgbaraOke, headquarters of Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State. People gathered in the ancient town for the funeral of a community leader and retired school headmistress, Mrs Abigail Olatutu Obe. The matriarch of the Obe extended family died on September 20, last year. She was 80. The late Madam Obe was born to the late Anglican Priest, Revd E.A Babalola, the Veteran School Master of Kudeti, Ibadan fame who later became a cleric that secured and supervised many churches that now constitute part of the Lagos Mainland, Lagos West, Badagry and Awori Dioceses of the Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion). She attended Kudeti Girls School, Ibadan before gaining admission into the famous United Missionary College (UMC) Ibadan where she passed out in January 1951 as a Grade 11 Teacher. She won a Federal Government scholarship to study Frobel abroad, but rejected the award because the course of study would limit her evangelical thrust to Domestic Science Centre. It was because of her sterling qualities that family members, friends, church members, children and numerous admirers bid her farewell at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Igbara-Oke penulitmate Friday. A day to Twenty four hours before the funeral, there was a Christian wake keep. The remains of Mrs Obe was carried inside a black hearse in a glittering orange colour silver casket by pall bearers, followed by her children and sons-in-law decked in pink Aso-Oke. They were led by the Boy’s Brigade Band of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Esa-Oke. The casket was wheeled into the church where it was received by a retinue of clergy men. This was followed by reading of the Bible verses in sequence with organ music at the background, as
Exit of a ‘charismatic’ headmistress
From right : Deceased’s daughter, Mrs Bisi Kupolati; Ven Lawrence Kupolati and Canon David Babalola
the corpse was placed before the altar in a long procession of clerics led by the retired Bishop of Ife Diocese, Rt Revd. G.O Oloniyo. As the Bible passages were read, the Anglican Hymn 542 “All hail the power of Jesus name’’ was chorused by the congregation. In his almost one hour sermon entitled What is Man? Rev Oloniyo recalled that when God created the Garden of Eden with sufficient comfort, man unfortunately disobeyed God, emphasising that it was not the Biblical Satan that deceived Adam as erroneously believed. The cleric said: “Whether you are a President or Governor or anything in life, you will die one day, even who assures you the possibility of
seeing tonight?. Bishop Oloniyo asked’’ why are you arrogating yourself, you should endeavour to remember counting your days, so as not to incur the wrath of God’’ He noted that charity begins at home, urging Christians to move closer to God since nobody can determine the end time. Revd Oloniyo described the late Mrs Obe as an upright, devout and wonderful woman of high integrity who lived an exemplary life full of Godliness. According to him, she was born into Christianity and practiced it with zeal, calling on the children she left behind to emulate the virtuous woman.
In his tribute, one of her children, Mr Tunde Obe described Mama as a special breed who had a large heart saying’’ you are a responsible mother throughout your life,we will continue to extol you.” Her son-in-law and Vicar, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Esa-Oke, Osun State, Ven. Lawrence Kupolati said: ‘’Mama was an ideal woman who displayed good virtues without blemish, she regarded all of us as her children; she was a celebrated Christian and woman endowed with enviable character.” One of the grand children, Marvellous Kupolati said: “You have left us as a beautiful and solid legacy; you walked uprightly and left your footprints on the sands of time’’ After thanksgiving and special an-
them rendered for the deceased by the choristers and Sunday School Children of St. Paul’s Church, IgbaraOke, the late Mrs Obe’s remains were lowered into the grave around 2.30 pm at the church cemetery. Guests were entertained at Anglican Church Grammar School play ground, Igbara-Oke with assorted food, drinks and music. Dignitaries at the funeral service included the former Chief of Staff to Late Governor Adebayo Adefarati, Mr Foluso Aminu; Immediate past Managing Director, Owena Press Limited (OPL) and Baba Ijo of St Paul’s Anglican Church, Esa-Oke, Mr Folorunso Babajide; Mr Bayo Olaitan; Mr Femi Fasade; Ven. Idowu Falode among others.
"We've got the best man in the job to get our heads back to where they should be. I've played a lot of games in the Champions League and I know how things go. If you are a top team, and with the saga of not winning anything for such a long time, it's always disappointing if that happens." Arsenal forward, Theo Walcot insisting French boss, Arsene Friday, February 22, 2013 Wenger is the best man for the job.
ruled out of QPR game •Rooney
Iniesta: Barca didn’t show up
NDRES INIESTA admitted Barcelona failed to show up against AC Milan following their 2-0 defeat in the first leg of their last 16 Champions League clash. Goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari stunned the visitors and means the Catalans now have a mountain to climb ahead of the second leg at Camp Nou. "This was a very negative result. When you don't show up for a game, this can happen," Iniesta told reporters after the game. Defender Dani Alves was left equally disappointed with the result and suggested the Blaugrana had not shown enough fight at San Siro. "We could have competed better," he added. "The Champions League is a big competition, you don't get anything for free and you have to fight for it." Controversy surrounded the first goal, with a shot from
Riccardo Montolivo appearing to strike the hand of Cristian Zapata, before Boateng fired home from the rebound and Gerard Pique was unhappy with what he felt was a clear infringement. "For me it was totally clear, but apparently the referee didn't see it." Barca will have the opportunity to make amends for a disastrous evening when they host the Rossoneri in the second leg at Camp Nou on March 12.
Walcott: Wenger the best man for Arsenal
HEO WALCOTT has defended Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, insisting he is the right man to turn the club's season around. The Gunners' wait for a trophy is in danger of extending to eight years after a 3-1 defeat at home to Bayern Munich left them on the brink of elimination from the Champions League. However, the former Southampton attacker has urged supporters to stand by the Frenchman, who he is sure will be able to lift the players' moral despite the devastating defeat. "We've got the best man in the job to get our heads back to where they should be," he told reporters. "I've played a lot of games in the Champions League and I know how things go." The Gunners currently sit fifth in the league table, four points
•Wenger behind rivals Tottenham and just two points ahead of Everton and Walcott admits it would be a huge blow if they were to miss out on Champions League qualification. "If you are a top team, and with the saga of not winning anything for such a long time, it's always disappointing if that happens," the 23-year-old continued.
Schalke may contest Drogba's eligibilty
CHALKE have confirmed they plan to appeal to UEFA over Galatasaray playing Didier Drogba in their 1-1 Champions League draw on Wednesday at the Turk Telecom Arena. The Gelsenkirchen club believe the Cote d'Ivoire international is not properly registered to play in the European competition for Fatih Terim's side. FIFA ratified the switch from Shanghai Shenhua despite the Chinese club's protests, but it is possible their last-16 German opponents are protesting over a separate licence-toplay issue. "There are doubts about the validity of the permission to play for Drogba in the Champions League," the Bundesliga club announced on their official Twitter account. "Schalke reserves its rights and is looking into this." The former Chelsea striker joined Galatasaray on an 18-month contract in the last few days of the January transfer window, leaving Shanghai Shenhua on a free transfer as they had been deemed not to have paid his wages.
Nike suspends Oscar's contract
IKE has suspended payments to, and its contract with, SA Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, who is charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the sportswear company said on Thursday. "Nike has suspended its contract with Oscar Pistorius," Nike SA communications manager Seruscka Naidoo said in
a statement. "We believe Oscar Pistorius should be afforded due process and we will continue to monitor the situation closely." Asked to give more details, Naidoo replied in an e-mail: "It means Nike has suspended his contracts and payments." A few days ago it was reported that Nike had no plans to use Pistorius in future campaigns.
On Wednesday, Pistorius was dropped from an advertising campaign for French cosmetics company Clarins. "Out of respect and compassion for the families implicated in this tragedy, Thierry Mugler Perfumes has taken the decision to withdraw all its campaigns with Oscar Pistorius," the group said.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
POLITICS THE NATION
Chief Orji Kalu was Abia State governor from 1999 to 2007. He defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to form the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA). His recent return to the PDP has stirred controversy. He spoke with Assistant Editor LINUS OBOGO partisan issues.
‘I have invested much in PDP’ Y
OUR return to the PDP has generated controversy. Why is it so? In any democratic environment, you don’t have to deprive a bona fide citizen of a given country the freedom of association. In this particular case, it is my desire to associate with a party of my choice. My belief is that those people who stood against my return do not understand democratic ethos. I also believe that they don’t understand that party politics is different from party ownership. Some people think that a political party is their personal business. They think that governance is their personal business. No, it is everybody’s business. I pity them because this is why Africa is in trouble. I think it is a great mistake on their part. I played a lot of roles in establishing this party. We must come back and re-galvanize our party for a better future. And that is why I am here. They cannot stop me. They should be members of a party and I am a member of this party. We will move ahead because there is always the need for reconciliation at every level. This will make us to appreciate one another. There is every reason for people to find ways to live together. It is very important for growth and development. If lion and lamb can lie together, we should do better as human beings. The party is big enough for everybody. At what time did you decide to return to the PDP? I had discussions with Dr. Nwodo four months before he became the chairman of the party. We discussed as friends because I have known him for a very long time. I played a leading role for him to become the first national secretary of the party. We have played complimentary roles in each other’s day-to-day existence as human beings. He is still alive. You can ask him. He is still my friend and a very close one at that. I did not ask him what happened up till today. I just thought it was the appropriate time destined by God for me to go back to the party. But why is it that your return is generating so much controversy? Because many people have been living in falsehood. They knew that the truth would be brought to open for the people of Abia to see and hear by my return. A party needs enlargement on regular basis and no reasonable leader would do anything to stifle its enlargement. It must grow. However, I leave everything in the hands of God. Let God be the arbiter. Let God be the judge. I believe that Abia, from today, would never be the same again. But the Abia State PDP chairman has said that you are are yet to be readmitted into the party? Is it that you have not met the requirements? I have fulfilled all the requirements. Let me tell you the truth. On January 17, the state broadcasting corporation said that those people have been suspended. You are a journalist, you can investigate it. You can even ask your correspondent living in Abia. On the 18th, they said that they have resigned since January 10. This is contradictory. What on earth would make Igbere Ward A and B party officials to resign without any reason? They said they resigned en mass; not just one person. What would have warranted about 26 to 30 party officials to just resign without reason? You can see the naked fallacy. Even then, I bear no grudges against them. I want peace to reign in Abia. Let them be and let other people
be. They don’t own this party. They were in the ANPP before. I brought all of them to the party. I want them to be civil and give peace a chance. If they want to leave the party, they are free to do so. This is the party that we suffered to establish on the principles of truth. So, I don’t see any reason why any of them should challenge my coming back. Some people have said that you were desperate to return to the PDP. What is your reaction? Even, if it is desperation, and so what? Can anybody tell me what I want to do? Can you tell me who to associate with? I am a Nigerian and I am entitled to it. That is the issue. The issue is not what anybody thinks. It is what I think that is the issue. I did not even leave PDP. I was a two-term governor on the platform of PDP. In a civilized clime, how can you say this when I was not a governor of PPA, ACN or any other party? If there is desperation, and so what? This is what I wanted to do and I have done it. You founded PPA out of conviction and fervent belief that PDP….. No! No!! No!!! I founded that party just to prove a point and when I proved that point, the two governors left. I was deregistered in PDP by Obasanjo along with the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Boni Haruna, and others. All of them have gone back. What is wrong about my going back? It is because I am a political force to be reckoned with. If I am not a force, they would have said let him enter and take a seat. So, I have come back to the party for good and I owe no apologies to anybody. Its nobody’s business. It is my business. As a Nigerian, I am protected by all sections of the constitution that deal with the freedom of association. What becomes of PPA? It is a political party. I left it two years ago. I left all the political parties two and half years ago and I am back to PDP. And we are going to do everything possible to rebrand the party. Rebrand a party that is in total confusion; a party that could not hold its BoT election and the NWC cannot even meet? This is the reason why we are coming back to take over our party and rebrand it. All the people running our party at all levels have been tenants who are pushing away the landlords. If you check all of them, they have come from ANPP to PDP and it is not a new thing. It is a process of learning that the founding fathers of the party have decided to come back together, stand as one and reposition the party. How much of your successor did you really know? I don’t know much about him. And you went ahead to make him the governor? Yes. Even when I appointed him the Chief of Staff. If first met him in Mark Agwuogbu’s house in Umuahia. Do you regret making him governor? No. Because that was what God wanted. But I apologise to Abia people
from the bottom of my heart. How true is the allegation that the structures you actually put on ground, while leaving the State House, was to facilitate the impeachment of the governor for your younger brother to take over? It is not true. There was nothing like that. He wanted me to make my brother his deputy. But I was the one who said no. Even when he made my brother his chief of staff, I opposed it. You can go and ask him. I have been in the public for, at least, three decades doing businesses and nobody has had cause to accuse me of broken agreement, infidelity or doubt my words. Nobody has had cause not to trust me. That is how it ought to be. We must build trust and mutual respect in everything we do. It has been alleged that, when you were the governor, the state and PDP were like personal estates of yours and your mother. How would you react to it? Do you believe that? Well, it is an allegation and I am putting it to you? No! No!! My mother never got involved in the governance of Abia State. Why was she called Madam Excellency? Those people who were addressing her that way were sycophants, bootlickers seeking favour. My mother never slept in the Government House. Everything my mother got, she worked for it on her own. So, all these talks about my mother and the governance of Abia State are cheap blackmails. My mother did not enjoy such privileges, although I have a lot of respect for her, my father and all my family. But, if there is a conflict of interest between me and my family
over the state’s affairs, the state will prevail because the laws of the land must prevail. So, all those allegations are cheap blackmail. They say my mother was living in Government House. You have The Nation’s correspondent in Abia, you can ask him. My mother never slept in Government House. I can’t even remember the day my mother spent two hours in Government House. Would I because I am the governor, abandoned my mother? I gave the party, PDP, the first 500 million they used in 1998. They were all afraid of putting down money to finance the party, fearing that the military will not handover. But I single handedly gave the party N500 million to start. I brought the first campaign money that Obasanjo used. So, how come today, they are all billionaires? It is because today, the system does not have the apparatus to checkmate the politicians and ask fundamental questions on their acquisitions, how they acquired wealth. And that is what we are trying to do now. We want to ask how this or that politician got money to buy houses in Victoria Island, in Maitama, Asokoro, in London? How did they get the money when they came into government as paupers? I own a house in London, which I bought in 1992 and it is still there. I own a house in Victoria Island and am still living in that house till date. My house in Abuja, I bought it in February 1996. So, you see, going into politics has done so much harm to me. I lost in a bank I owned 70 per cent share because of politics. I lost 80 per cent in another bank. I lost my airline, I lost Abstel Offshore contract of almost 500 million US dollars. I lost all because of politics. What prize have
‘I gave the party, PDP, the first 500 million they used in 1998. They were all afraid of putting down money to finance the party, fearing that the military will not handover. But I single handedly gave the party N500 million to start. I brought the first campaign money that Obasanjo used. So, how come today, they are all billionaires? It is because today, the system does not have the apparatus to checkmate the politicians and ask fundamental questions on their acquisitions, how they acquired wealth’
I not paid? There is no politician living in Nigeria that has paid a prize in defence of democracy like I did in Nigeria. I defended democracy. Without people like me, there would be no democracy. The Third term agenda would have been a success without people like me. I lost my businesses. Do you regret going into politics? I have no regrets. The problem is that it is just that Nigerians lack the courage to speak the truth. Or they have no courage to face the fact. What I don’t like is sycophancy. You can ask my school mates. I have not changed, I hate sycophancy. I am simple and open-minded. I have never put a barricade between the haves and the haves not. Never. So, I don’t know what they are talking about. Some people don’t want to work hard for their money. They think that the easiest way out is politics. All the companies I own, I don’t interfere in their administration. So, why should I interfere in the political administration of the state? What has been the relationship between you and Obasanjo? I had nothing personal against Obasanjo. I have a lot of respect for his person. He loves this country and he says it. However, he did not also adhere to what he ought to have done. The democratic practice was for the people. The democracy was for the rich. And I have said it again and again, that I have nothing personal against Obasanjo. I fought him purely on principles, to represent my people, the Igbo, creditably, and by extension, to represent the Nigerian masses to the best. The first was the Port HarcourtEnugu Expressway. The road is still the same till tomorrow. The second was the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway as well as the Niger Bridge, OnitshaOwerri Expressway, Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road. Those were my quarrels with him. I have never begged him for anything. When he stopped all governors from going to Atiku’s house, I told him in his presence that he cannot choose who my friends are. I will go to the Vice President’s house, whether he likes it or not. I told him in clear terms. So, I am surprised that, instead of Nigerians admiring the character of truth and honesty, they choose to like sycophancy. What type of leaders do you think Nigeria needs? Leaders who will think about the people and not of their pockets. Leaders who are guided by truth and who don’t like sycophancy.They should not think that the Arab-Spring cannot come to Nigeria. It is not true. Nigerians would wake up one day in anger and make the leaders accountable. All elections should be held in one day and rigging should be stopped. It would be better for INEC to hold all the elections in one day. So, have you settled with Obasanjo? Well, I have not seen him since I left government. Possibly, one day, there would be room for us to make up. He was my boss. He is like a father. Once a boss is always a boss. Once a father is always a father. We had disagreements when we were in office and we could become the best of friends after. So, there is always room for reconciliation, which is what I am telling all the Igbo, the Njikibo, to continue working to foster harmony. The Njikibo is a cultural association of Igbo people. We should continue to make peace with those who are aggrieved.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
My vision for Southwest PDP, by Filani
House of Representatives member Hon. Bimbo Daramola spoke with MUSA ODOSHIMOKHE on the endorsement of Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi for a second term and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)’s preparation for the next year’s governorship election.
By Emmanuel Oladesu, Group Political Editor
‘Anybody contesting with Fayemi is on his own’
HAT is your reaction to the formation of APC? I believe that it is healthy for democracy. I equally believe it is a credible thing to do and it is the panacea to the problem of democracy in Nigeria. If you don’t have a vibrant opposition, if you don’t have people that can keep government on its toes, the dictatorship of one man will take over the polity. When you have a credible opposition, which seeks to do the will of the people or try to be the conscience of the people and the barometer for good governance, then, you will know there is a balance and those who rule will not toy with the fate of the people. What are your fears for the party? My fears would be that people go into such enterprises with different motives.If the motive behind it is not pecuniary, if it is not driven by personal aspiration, if it not driven by ambition that is blind and if the people remain by this popular call to salvage the country, the merger will succeed. What is your reaction to the endorsement of Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi for a second term? It is the most exhilarating thing to think about. I am not saying this because I have known Dr. Fayemi since 1978. Hee is qualified. My assessment is based on the records before us. The Bible itself makes allusion to performance and looking at the tract records of the governor, those who have endorsed him have not mistaken. I am not a pushover by every standard. By the grace of God, though I am not a rich man I am very comfortable. But I will not be deluded by my comfort zone and begin to feel that because I am a member of the House of Representatives on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria in Ekiti State and close my eyes to the reality of the fact that three million people also deserve good life. Dr. Fayemi has ensured that the people have good standard of living. This is why I believe he is fit for another term. But have you also heard that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has endorsed him? If you say that the party has endorsed him because he is a member of ACN, is CAN part of the ACN? The governor has done well and the people are supporting him, irrespective of party affiliations. But, don’t you think the endorsement of the governor is too hasty? The Yorubas have a popular adage which says ‘the eyes that would subsist till old age do not start bringing mucus when one is still very young.’ We have seen two years of his first term and we are in the position to foretell what will happen in two years. When people begin to seek a second term, they do so based on their achievements. You don’t seek second term without the basis for it. When we adopted Kayode Fayemi, we did that because we had strong reasons for it. You are talking about schools, roads, industrialisation, about the man who is reviving the economy of the state. What else do you want? We knew where we were before Fayemi became the governor. We know where we are now.We did not endorse him because we are partisan; we endorsed him because we have seen the strong reasons for doing so. We won’t go to 2014 election without reason for it that is why this man deserves another term. This is a crucial moment in our history where the people would rise and say never again will politicians who have failed us rule again in Ekitiland. Every politician that had taken the people for granted, this is the time for Ekiti people to tell them that we won’t elect you anymore. Now that Opeyemi Bamidele is in-
terested in the race, what happens? I am not aware that he is challenging him. If he is challenging him, let him come out. He is entitled to pursue whatever ambition he wants to pursue. Ambition is legitimate, but it becomes illegitimate when it runs contrary to the bigger picture. If your ambition runs against the will of the people, then, it becomes illegitimate. You are not coming to rule yourself; you are coming to rule three million people. It is a mandate that does not belong to one man and no man can appropriate leadership. Leadership is given and conferred by followership. That must be fully noted. Will this clash of personality not affect the party in the election? A lot of people have spoken about why we need to be very careful and all of that. I know Bamidele. He is a very good material to become the governor, but the Bible also says that every visionary has his appointed time. If you have a vision that stands against the position of party members, then, the vision will be truncated. It is going to be dead abinitio. The reason I said this is that the man has not called me to say look, Bimbo I want to run. He has not called anybody out of the six of us who represent Ekiti State at the House of Representatives to intimate us of his plans. He has not called the three senators and he has not called anybody. But the battle is not in the closet; it is going to take place on the street of Ekiti and we are warming up for it. What is responsible for the clash of interests? I know they were friends and I think they are still friends. I am not aware of the details of their relationship and would not like to comment on that. Whatever relationship that exists between Dr. Fayemi and Opeyemi Bamidele, that is left to them. They could also have issues, but you don’t bring the fate of three million people into jeopardy because your friendship is threatened. There is a bigger picture. The fate of the innocent three million people who need the good things of life is very important. This I think cannot be compromised and that is the bigger picture we are talking about. The supporters of Opeyemi Bamidele claimed they have been marginalised in the party in Ekiti State... Again, I am not aware of that. Let me tell you something. What happened in Ekiti State is historic. This government was born out of adversity; generically the supporters of Opeyemi Bamidele would ordinarily be the supporters of Fayemi. I do not think it would be fair for anybody to short-change anybody or anybody’s interest. I don’t think it is right, but I have not seen that. Are you saying all my supporters are well treated in the party? You see, you cannot micro manage or micro evaluate situation, if everybody is claiming that their supporters are marginalised. How logical can that be? The bigger picture is what we are talking about and when you begin to put this ambition against the bigger picture, then, it is going against the people’s stance. Could this clash be likened to the fact that when Dr. Kayode was battling to get his mandate at the tribunal and court, Bamidele was oiling his machinery for the 2011 governorship race? In politics, a lot of people would say a lot of things. People conjecture different things; they imagined things. Let me say that I did not catch Opeyemi Bamidele hand’s down. I did not see him saying, if Fayemi does not win in the Court of Appeal, I am going to run. I have not seen that, but the truth of the matter is that, whatever will make the labour of our heroes past go to be in vain, I am against it. Mama Ogundamisi, a 75 years old woman, who was shot.
HE Chairman of the Southwest Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) management committee, Chief Ishola Filani, has unfolded his agenda, saying that the reconciliation will be his major prior-
She was fighting to ensure that justice was done. Fayemi does not represent himself alone; he represents the collective aspiration for better life. It is incumbent on Dr. Fayemi, the governor of Ekiti State, to ensure that his government lives to the aspiration of the people who lost their limbs, the guys who were shot, the guys who had bruises, the blood that was shed for the ultimate realisation of the dream. No ambition should be greater than a single blood that was shed. Let me also say and remind us that, when the old women, the octogenarian and nonagenarian alike protested, half naked on the streets of Ado Ekiti, they did not do so because of Fayemi. They said enough was enough. That is why I say whoever works against Fayemi is working against the will of the people and the curses of those old women would be on him. Is reconciliation not possible between Fayemi and Bamidele? I am not aware there is warfare the truth of the matter is that whoever has ambition today and ambition is legitimate. But when it runs against the will of the people it becomes illegitimate and every illegitimate ambition will dies prematurely. The election of 2014 by the grace of God will not be determined in Wadata Plaza. The election of 2014 in Ekiti State is basically going to be decided by the people. One million and one Mopol will not stop the people. Remember when the mandate was stolen we demonstrated that enough was enough and we got our mandate back. It took us three and half long tortuous years to come to this point and this government has demonstrated very clearly that we also understand this is a product of the sweat of the people. This, he has done by giving them good roads. Go to Ekiti and check the roads, go to Ekiti and see schools, go to Ekiti not less than 33,000 computers are given out. Teachers are getting computers, students are getting computers, and this is by the special arrangement of the government. It took a governor like Dr. Fayemi to bring Samsung, an international brand to Ekiti State.
ity. The party leader also said that he has the mandate to reposition the party for the challenges of governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti states. He dismissed the insinuation that the zonal executive was sacked to spite former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Filani, who spoke with our correspondent on phone, said the former President is critical to reconciliation and progress of the party. Defending the step taken by the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) on the affirmation of Bayo Dayo as the Ogun State chairman and sacking of the zonal leadership, he said the goal was to uphold the rule of law and due process. Filani said: “The entire idea is to obey the order of the court. That is the only path taken by the NWC. There was a subsisting order of the court dossolving the exco and we were appointed. The idea is not to get rid of the Obasanjo boys. There is nothing like that. Obasanjo is a Yoruba leader, a Nigerian leader. No Yoruba has attained the level he has attained in Nigeria and internationally. The PDP always acknoledges him as a leader. “There was nothing targetted at Obasanjo. He is a resourceful leader. He was the first person I called when I was notified about this assignment. I went to himand we had a good discussion”. The zonal leader said the media has created problems for the PDP by peddling falsehood and exaggerating its problems. He said the PDP leadership is committed to righting the wrongs in the party in the interest of democracy. He stressed: “We want to reposition our party and return the Southwest to the mainstream of the Nigerian politics. We are not a regional party. We are a national party. We are even strong in the Diaspora. We lost Osun and Ekiti wrongly. We want to reorganise the party in the Southwest. We are more than the ACN in Yorubaland. We have more PDP electorate in this zone. We want a strong party leadership for the party in the region” Fulani said reconciliation would entail making sacrifices and promoting the collective interest, urging party chieftains to put the party first. He added: “We will reconcile. There are issues. The press is creating problems for the PDP. We need reconciliation. We should be ready for the governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti states. We are a civilised party. We will resolve our differences in a methodical manner”. •Filani
APGA crisis deepens From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja
ORMER Acting National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alli-ance (APGA), Mallam Sadeeq Masalla has declared support for Anambra State Governor Peter Obi’s faction.. Masalla said he was making sacrifice to safe the party from crisis. Masalla was APGA’s acting national chairman appointed by the factional National Working Committee (NWC) on July 16, last year to battle the faction led by the party’s former chairman, Chief Victor Umeh. He was conspicuously absent at last week’s national caucus meeting in Abuja, where Maxi Okwu and Alhaji Sanni Shinkafi were elected as acting national chairman and acting national secretary, respectively . Masalla denounced the caucus meeting, which produced the new leaders for the party, describing it as illegal and unconstitutional.
•From left: The new Secretary to the Niger State Government, Mr Ndako Kpaki, Head of Service Mr Abbas Bello, Chief of Staff, Dr Josua Bawa and Deputy Chief of Staff, Mohammed Saba at their swearing in by Governor Babangida Aliyu in Government House, Minna.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Relief as Ajimobi unveils Restoration Bridge •Continued from Page 17
including death, to members of the public. I am sure the events of August 26, 2011 are still fresh in our memory when flood ravaged major cities in Oyo State, especially Ibadan. Bridges collapsed and water channels overflowed their courses. “As a responsible and responsive government, we were determined to put a stop to the wanton destruction of lives and properties occasioned by flooding. Immediately after this unfortunate disaster, we set to work. We began a systematic and aggressive exercise of widening water channels and dredging of rivers, so as to widen them and allow free flow of water. “We did not stop at that. We equally slated vital bridges that collapsed for reconstruction, so as to mitigate the challenges posed by the flood. Bodija Bridge is one of them. Others are also at different stages of completion.” The governor excitedly said he was proud of the smooth pursuit of his vision to reposition the state as it is being achieved daily in its march towards restoration of the glory of Oyo State as the “Pace Setter State.” He continued: “The delivery of this project is a testimony to this
HE Managing Director of SmartMark Limited, Alhaji Layi Gobir has praised the leadership quality and foresight of Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed of Kwara State. He gave the commendation during the inauguration ceremony of the company which opened in Ilorin, Kwara State. SmartMark Limited is Nigeria’s leading distributor of lifestyle and beauty brands.
•The newly inaugurated bridge
administration’s determination to impact the lives of our people positively, lessen their sorrows and take away their fears. Flooding of this river channel and its attendant problems is now buried and forgotten. Let me assure you that we shall continue on this path to ensure the full accomplishment of our
mission. “I wish to congratulate the good people of Ibadan in particular and Oyo State in general. Our people probably did not understand the significance and impact of this bridge until it was cut off by the flood and they had to navigate far lengthier routes to get to their destinations.
“This bridge shall resume, from today, its invaluable contributions to the improvement of our people’s socio-economic lives. I also wish to congratulate the stakeholders in the transport industry on the completion of this project.” Residents have since been using the bridge rechristened
“Restoration Bridge.” The bridge is now expanded, longer and stronger, even as it allows free flow of mass water in times of heavy rain. Residents can now sleep with confidence even during heavy rains unlike previous periods when anxiety grips them when it seemed to rain.
Firm praises Ahmed’s leadership quality Alhaji Gobir, who is indigenous to Ilorin, Kwara State thanked Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed for making this possible. He praised Governor Ahmed for his foresight in creating the enabling environment for investment in Kwara State. The chairman of the Persianas Group, Mr. Tayo Amusan was
also commended for his spirit of enterprise and exemplary business leadership. Persianas Group is the developer of the Kwara Mall. The premium luxury Swatch brand which brings with it almost three decades of consistent global delivery of quality had, before now, had upscale stores
in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Lagos. The Marketing Communications Manager for SmartMark Limited, Segun Ogunleye said in a statement that it is in the company’s bid to give consumers in Ilorin and its environs the opportunity of accessing the premium quality experience that only the Swatch brand provides. Hence the opening of the Swatch store in Ilorin. He said: “Consumers who make purchases from the store are given the guarantee of the authentic premium quality luxury Swatch brand. They also
automatically qualify for a FastForward loyalty card which entitles them to amazing discounts at subsequent purchases from the store and other FastForward stores nation-wide in addition to enjoying world class, after-sales services for purchased watches at no extra cost.” The Swatch brand was established in 1983 in Switzerland. It is being managed and promoted in Nigeria and Ghana by SmartMark Limited, a Lagos Nigeria-based leading distributor of lifestyle and beauty brands. It has retail outlets in major cities in Nigeria and Ghana.
Oshiomhole resettles widow •Continued from Page 17
erect a building that would complement the beautification of the five junctions. He gave the woman an option to allow government buy over the land and she would be given
•Chairman, Ikeja Local Government Area, Hon Wale Odunlami addressing some security personnel after their meeting on Peace and Security
a land and money that would enable her to build a house in another area. The widow earlier insisted on not leaving the final resting place of her husband but after interaction with the governor, she said she would consult her children over the matter.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Ogun strengthens co-operative societies
GUN State Commissioner for Community Development and Co-operatives, Chief Samuel Duro Aiyedogbon has described cooperative societies as agents of positive societal and national change, even as he said they should be given necessary support by the three tiers of government in order to contribute meaningfully to the country’s economic growth.
By Ayokunle Ewuoso
Chief Aiyedogbon stated this while declaring open a one-day seminar organised by his ministry for cooperative societies and unions in the state. The theme of the seminar which held at the Cultural Centre, Abeokuta was “Cooperatives in Ogun State, Rebuilding Agenda.”
Realising the importance of the societies, the present administration, in the history of the state, released a credit facility to the tune of N25m to cooperative societies at single digit interest rate… In collaboration with the Bank of Industry, the government had made accessible to cooperators and entrepreneurs N1b credit facility
In a statement by the head of media in the ministry, Mr. Ayokunle Ewuoso, the commissioner said that government should accord greater respect and priorities for regular and quality cooperative education of members in line with established global cooperative principles and practices. He said: “Realising the importance of the societies, the present administration, in the history of the state, released a credit facility to the tune of N25m to cooperative societies at single digit interest rate. In collaboration with the Bank of Industry, the government had made accessible to cooperators and entrepreneurs within the state N1b credit facility. This was to encourage industrial development. “In addition, government has
created 12 additional zonal offices for cooperative societies in all the 20 local government areas. This is aimed at ensuring adequate administration and effective supervision of cooperative societies at the grassroots for optimal performance and success,” he remarked. Speaking at the event, President, Ogun State Cooperative Federation Limited, Otunba Adetokunbo Osisanya, called on government to review the existing cooperative laws in line with economic operations. He added that areas such as punishments, rewards, among others, should be clearly stated. He said concerted efforts should be made towards total eradication of all forms of fraud, misappropriation and embezzlement in cooperative societies/
unions, adding that staff of cooperative movement should be retrained in modern management techniques so as to assist in the area of record-keeping.
TAKEHOLDERS have praised the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) for its determination to encourage female members’ active participation in leadership activities. In a statement, it was revealed that the organisation, which was established in 1978 as a professional cum trade union organisation and registered as a labour union in 1979 has over 40,000 organised members. It was noted that apart from the Nigerian Union of Teachers, NANNM has the highest number of female members, even as it said that it is estimated that over 80 per cent of the union membership strength rests on the female folk. It regretted that with regard to leadership positions at state and national levels, women do not hold up to 20 per cent of the key decision-making positions of the union. “Since its establishment, NANNM has recorded only two females as president from 1979 to 1985. From 1986 onwards, participation of women in union activities dwindled due to several reasons, some of which are cultural and traditional stereotypes about what unions really do or stand for. “Before 2008, all the union could boast off concerning gender was a gender desk office with no clear budgetary allocation for running of gender activities. It could best be said that except with National Delegates Conference memorandum passed in 2008 calling for priority to be placed on gender issues, nothing significant happened with regards to encouraging more female members to play active roles in NANNM leadership,” the statement said. Continuing, the statement stated that things are taking a turn for the better in today’s NANNM, all thanks to the vibrant leadership of past and incumbent presidents Comrade Lawal H. Dutsinma and Comrade Abdulrafiu A. Adeniji respectively. “Through Solidarity Centre Support between 2009 and 2012, the union conducted series of gender and leadership trainings for members and eventually developed its gender policy document in 2010.
•A personnel playing with kids at the creche
Association hailed on gender programmes By Nkechi Odinukwe
“The association’s national gender policy document has proven a highly effective tool which the union has used to deal with some of the challenges hindering female members from involvement in union activities. “Since the policy’s adoption by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union in October 2011, its effect is gradually being felt in the union as gender activities have been provided with a budget line in union’s annual budget,” it said. The statement also noted that “the union has provided a wellequipped crèche for nursing mothers at the union office in Abuja and also provides mobile crèche facilities for nursing mothers who at-
The association’s national gender policy document has proven a highly effective tool which the union has used to deal with some of the challenges hindering female members from involvement in union activities…Its effect is gradually being felt in the union as gender activities have been provided with a budget line in union’s annual budget
tend union’s major national meetings or training activities. Most importantly the policy document has equally created an opportunity for the inclusion of a gender clause in NANNM’s Constitution. The inclusion of a gender clause in NANNM Constitution creates an opportunity for more women in leadership.” NANNM has recently recorded other achievements on gender programmes. In August, 2012, NANNM made a milestone achievement of conducting its first ever National Gender Conference attended by male members and over 140 female members in Ibadan, Oyo State. This conference gave birth to a National Women’s Committee with five-member steering committee leadership. The committee has the mandate of supporting the women to conduct its first election of female officers sometime in the first quarter of this year. In November, 2012, NANNM equally recorded another milestone during the union’s last delegates’ conference held in Bayelsa State. Five females contested against male comrades to fill nine elective positions. Three of the female comrades contested as independent candidates. “The elections marked a water-
shed in the history of the union elections as this was the first time such sizeable number of female members voluntarily contested against male comrades as independent candidates and not zonal candidates in union elections. “Before now, choice of zonal candidates somehow discouraged qualified candidates from indicating interest or contesting for particular union positions. Two female candidates eventually made it to NANNM National Administrative Council positions,” it said. One of the independent candidates Comrade Ebiuwou Obiyai said: “As an independent candidate, I want to create the awareness to our female comrades that this union belongs to us all and we
(women) can encourage effective leadership only if we decide to get involved in the affairs of our beloved NANNM.” Comrade Ebiuwou Obiyai eventually won the seat of the National Financial Secretary. As at December, 2012, the number of women holding leadership positions at state level in NANNM has increased by 114 women compared to what was obtainable before 2010. The progress so far made by this union may not immediately resolve the power imbalance between genders, but it is indeed a progressive step. •Nkechi Odinukwe is on the employ of Solidarity Centre, Abuja
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Before they were selected, members of our screening committee went the extra mile to ensure that the parents of the award winners were not capable of paying the school fees of their children. The father of one of the students was shot dead by armed robbers when she was just one year old
EARS of joy flowed from parents of four indigent post-primary school students when the names of their children were announced as winners of the maiden scholarship awards of the Rotary Club of Enugu Education Endowment Fund. To them, it was a great relief as Rotary has taken over their financial burden in training the students. The scholarship worth N60, 000 a session for each student runs for three years. A total of N720, 000 will be spent on the students from SSI to SS3. The students are Miss Nnadi Anastasia Ngozi and Miss Ezemuoka Francisca Chinaza both from Queens School, Enugu. Others are Chibuzo Solomon Chukwuma from Uwani Secondary School Enugu, and Ede Peter Chiemerie of Union Secondary School Enugu. Reeling off the names at a colourful ceremony at Modotel, Enugu, the chairman of the local organising committee for the event, Mr. Vin Odo explained that the N45, 000 disbursed to each of the students on the occasion was only for first and second terms, adding that the fee for their third term would be released when they present their second term results. Odo, who urged the students to remain committed to their studies, reassured them of the preparedness of the Rotary Club of Enugu to release their school fees promptly. The President of Rotary Club of Enugu, Mr. Uchenna Nnamani, represented by Prof. Iheanyi Okpala said that with their burning desire to touch the lives of the needy in society, they went out and identified some indigent but brilliant young people who wanted education but were incapable to continue with their dream due to financial difficulty. Okpala, of the College of Medicine University of Nigeria Nsukka noted that since Rotary International stood for truth and justice, its 4 – Way Test philosophy was fully applied in the selection process of the four recipients of the scholarship to ensure fairness. He said: “Before they were selected, members of our screening committee went the extra mile to ensure that the parents of the award winners were not capable of paying the school fees of their children. The father of one of the students was shot dead by armed robbers when she was just one year old.”
•Founder of the Scholarship Fund, Dr Ben Aghazu (middle) with the students, their parents and club officials at the event
Four students get Rotary’s scholarship From Chris Oji, Enugu
He also disclosed plans by the Rotary Club to renovate the Oji River Leprosy Centre as well as pursue its sickle cell eradication campaign in rural communities. In his remarks, the founder of Enugu Rotary Club Education Endowment Fund, and past Governor of Rotary International District 9140, Dr. Ben Aghazu, expressed hope that his N25m target for the fund would be exceeded in years to come, stressing that with over N13m already raised, the future would be brighter. Describing himself as a miracle man, established by God in his own wisdom, he revealed that if not for scholarship that came his way from an unknown foreigner, he would have dropped from class three in secondary school, as his parents were poor. He continued: “Apart from secondary school, I also attended the best engineering school abroad on scholarship and because of this story; I
decided to pay back to the society in appreciation for what the Lord has done for me. In fact, during my 1994 – 1995 year as Rotary District Governor, I founded the District Education Fund which has now given scholarships to over 360 students in tertiary institutions in the country. I urge the recipients of the award to be of good character.” Aghazu announced that Rotary International had appointed him to serve on its board for Conflict Resolution and Scholarship globally, pointing out that as the only African in the board, he would work to ensure that students from Enugu State benefit from the scholarship scheme. Earlier, the chairman of the Enugu Rotary Club Education Endowment Fund board of Trustees, Prof. Jonathan Azubuike stated that the scholarship scheme was the brainchild of former Governor of Rotary International District 9140 Dr. Ben Aghazu, in 2009 – 2010 Rotary Year, after he had received the Gold Merit Award which is the club’s highest
honours. He recalled that in appreciation of the honour bestowed on him by the club, Dr. Ben Aghazu invited his friends who made donations to ensure that his noble idea to do something unique for Enugu metropolis was achieved. He added that the establishment of the scholarship fund was to further demonstrate his love for mankind. He called on the wealthy individuals in the society to emulate him. Responding on the scholarship award, the students and their parents thanked Rotary for intervening at a period they had lost hope of continuing with their education due to financial difficulty. They prayed God to bless the members. Responding on behalf of the students, Ede Peter Chiemerie of Union Secondary School Enugu said they never knew that kind-hearted people still exist in the society, stressing that the scholarship came at a time they had lost hope of continuing with their education due to fi-
nancial handicap. Peter Ede said without the scholarship, he had already decided to withdraw from school, as his mother could no longer find anyone to borrow from; as his father died in an armed robbery attack when he was still a year old. While re-emphasising the need for a complete free education up to secondary school level, Ede thanked Rotary International for its love for young people and prayed God to bless members of the Club, especially the initiator of the scholarship fund, Dr. Aghazu, the Kpakpandu Nnewi. He promised that they would study hard to justify the investment on them. The Enugu State Commissioner for Human Capital Development and Poverty Alleviation, Mr. Godwin Ogenyi; past governor of Rotary International District 9140, Lady Ogugua Nwankwu, past club presidents Prof. Arthur Ikeme and Dave Osuagwu, were among the dignitaries who attended the event.
NGO empowers 876
•Some youths at the meeting of Nigerian Youths Organisation (NYO) held at Emmaus House, Awka, Anambra State
BOUT 876 indigent students drawn from 23 states and 33 Schools of Health Technology in the country have been given scholarship and bursary award by IntraHealth International; a nongovernmental organisation (NGO). Country Director of Intrahealth, Mr. Ngobua Samuel said the initiative was under its ‘Capacityplus Project,’ funded by the United States Aid for International Development (USAID), with a view to increasing the availability of health workers in Nigeria. This, he said, aims at meeting the health needs of under-served populations through sustainable human resources for health interventions. Mr. Samuel noted that the implementation of the project was targeted at both the federal and state levels through active engagement with a wide range of agencies. Represented by the organisation’s Finance and Administration Officer, Mr. Ayarah Amammun, Samuel explained that the project was uniquely focused on the health workforce needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
He further said they gave out the scholarship and bursary in order to strengthen the human capacity of health workers. Mr. Samuel said: “A trained, motivated and accessible health workforce can provide access to vital health information, service and commodities. “The CapacityPlus, in a way, is directly concerned with addressing the World Health Organisation’s findings of a shortage of 4.3 million health workers world-wide and addressing the challenges of the 57 countries with critical shortage of health workers.’’ Speaking on the award presentation, USAID representative, Mrs. Theresa Ononye, said that its objective was to ensure that the human capacity strength of the health systems in Nigeria was formidable ahead of the health challenges the workers were likely to experience. Some of the beneficiaries thanked the organisation, even as they said many of their problems have been solved through the intervention.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Horse meat scandal: Expert seeks tests of A home-brand meals NIMAL production expert, Prof Abiodun Adeloye, has urged the government to test home-brand meals in response to the reported sale of horse meat as beef in some parts of the world. This followed global crisis in the meat industry where horse meat was found in a variety of products in some stores. In response to the growing evidence of widespread mislabelling,
Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent
Adeloye of the Department of Animal Production, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), canvassed the testing of processed beef products. This, he said, would help to assure
customers that the meat products they are consuming are not horse meat. At the heart of the issue, he said was a breach of trust for gains. Though there seems to be no specific food safety issues involved, he
said people should know what kind of meat they eat. He said in places, wsuch as Maiduguri, Borno State,butchers sell donkey and camel meat and people eat the meat because they enjoy it. According to experts, growing concern about the safety of horse meat arose from the impact of phe-
nylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory drug given to horses for the treatment of lameness, pain and fever. The drug is no longer used to treat humans because it has side effects. But authorities in the United Kingdom have declared the illegal horse meat in the food safe to eat. Also, experts said horse meat is lean and nutritionally similar to beef or sheep. It’s a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals (especially iron) and healthy fatty acids (Omega-3).
‘Farmers reaping from stable foreign currencies’
•Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Bukar Tijani (third left) Publicity Secretary, National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Anga Sotonye(second left); Director, Tree Crop, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dr T.J. Odeyemi(left);President, NCAN, Tola Faseru(third right); President, African Cashew Alliance (ACA), Madam Geogette Tarraf and Managing Director, ACA, Christian Dahm when NCAN and ACA visited the minister in Abuja.
Poultry farmers seek Fed Govt’s intervention
The Federal Government has been implored to create an enabling environment for poultry farmers across the country. The new President of Poultry Farmers Association of Nigeria (PAN), Dr Ayoola Oduntan, said the industry has been confronted with some challenges, which have adverse effects on the industry. Oduntan, who spoke after his inauguration and that of other members of the new executive council in Abuja, lamented that more poultry farmers are closing because of harsh environment. “It is unfortunate that more poultry farms are closing down than I have ever seen in our recent history. Egg glut, low egg and chicken prices have prevailed all the year round with very high cost of raw materials mainly maize, and soya, and this have eroded profit margins. To further compound these challenges, the banks have also stopped giving Agric loans at nine
per cent but are now giving it out at 20 – 24 per cent.” To reverse the ugly trend, Oduntan advised the Federal Government to create an enabling environment, which would enable poultry farmers to have access to single digit bank loans, which would allow the agricultural sector to grow instead of the present 24 per cent interest rate which he described as too high. He solicited the cooperation of his colleaguess to make the association stronger. He urged the government to involve poultry farmers before taking decisions. “We are the largest among others. We believe that as a key stakeholder, the government must seek our own input on any issue that concerns agriculture in the country,” he said. He implored members to join hands with him.” Listing some of the contributions of members to the economy, to in-
clude the employment of millions of Nigerians. He said the government should intensify its efforts to reduce the cost of maize, soya and other feed raw materials which constitute 70 per cent of cost of production. He appealed to parents, pregnant women and lactating mothers that eating an egg a day would improve a child’s grades in school while reducing a maternal mortality and infant mortality. “An egg a day keeps the doctors away,” he added. He debunked the rumour about eggs causing cholesterol in the body system, saying: “Countries that have the highest per capita egg consumption in the world, which is over 300 eggs per person per year, have the highest life expectancy of over 80 years worldwide. Modern medical practitioners are also recommending “An egg a day.” He appealed to the Federal Government to remove duty on imported agricultural input.
IFC invests $375 m in Eleme fertiliser project
NTERNATIONAL Finance Corporation (IFC) is investing $375 million in Indorama’s Eleme Fertiliser Company, Rivers State, to support the expansion of its production facility. According to a statement, the investment will contribute to improved farm yields and agricultural productivity, which are critical to the nation’s long-term food security. The investment also supports Southsouth investment into Africa, as the Eleme’s parent company is Indorama, a long-time IFC client based in Indonesia. The total project cost is $1.2 billion, of which $800 million will be financed by lenders. The total IFC financing package to Eleme amounts to $375 million. IFC,the statement said, signed a loan for $150 million, and mobilised another $75 million through a syndicated B loan with the Bank of India. The IFC financing also mobilised an additional $150 mil-
lion in parallel loans from other development finance institutions—the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, the Commonwealth Development Corporation of the UK, Germany’s DEG, and FMO of the Netherlands. Chief Executive Officer of Eleme Fertiliser Company, Manish Mundra, said: “IFC’s support for this project has helped to provide direct financing and mobilise significantly more to commence our fertiliser operations. With a growing population and limited available arable land, fertiliser are increasingly important to improving crop yield and food supply in Nigeria.” IFC Senior Manager for Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services, Carsten Mueller, said: “IFC’s investment in Indorama Eleme Fertiliser adds value and makes use of existing natural resources, helping Nigeria expand its manufac-
turing base while improving food security. Indorama has a proven execution capacity for large-scale manufacturing operations and with our long relationship and shared commitment to Nigeria’s development, we welcome this new partnership to support further expansion in Africa.” IFC supported Indorama in its premier investment in Nigeria through Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Company in 2007. The project involves the construction and operation of a nitrogenous fertiliser plant at the site of Eleme’s existing petrochemicals complex in Port Harcourt. On completion, the facility will produce granulated urea that will be sold here and abroad. The project will involve the development of an 84-kilometre pipeline from the gas supplier’s facilities. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global institution focused on the private sector.
ARMERS in export business are saving a lot of money because of the stability of the naira and foreign currencies, the President, National Cashew Alliance of Nigeria (NCAN, Pastor Tola Faseru, has said. He said the exchange rate stability regime of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has helped to protect suppliers and exporters from fierce international price volatility. He said there would be commitment to a stable monetary system as a large amount of farm input are imported. In the long term, he said exchange rate changes influence the investment and production in the agriculture sector. He said the agri-food industry needs to improve productivity and efficiency in order to remain competitive in the international market. The Director-General, West African Financial Management Institute, Prof Akpan Ekpo, said such farmers need hedging strat-
egy in place to manage their FX risk. Expo said the exchange rate impacts the competitiveness of the agriculture sector by affecting producer prices of agriculture products and inputs and, therefore, producers’profits, ading that changes in exchange rates are relevant to farm businesses. He said these changes affect the competitiveness of exports in the international market. An hedging strategy, Ekpo explained, would accommodate trade shocks. He said some farmers are exposed to alot of financial losses because they are not protected against foreign exchange movements. and that monetary policy targets a basket of basic mineral and agricultural commodities. He said loss of competitiveness in the export markets adversely impacts on economic health as real over valuation, exports, the trade balance, and growth, or such measures of financial health as the ratios of current account to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
World Bank hails Cross River
HE World Bank Task Team in Uyanga, Cross River, has said the Fadama III Project implementation in the state is far ahead of other states. The team Leader, Dr Abimbola Adubi, who spoke after the team’s visit to some projects in Akampka Local Government Area of the state, said Cross River was ahead in terms of empowering rural farmers. He said: “I must confess to you, we have been to other states and we have seen that Cross River has
progressed far ahead of others in helping the farmers.” He urged the state and local governments to pay their counterpart funding so that the project could make more impact on the lives of farmers. The Senior Agriculture Specialist of the World Bank, Mrs Riikka Rajalahti, also praised the implementation of Fadama III in the state. “I have visited several countries, but I have never met people as frank and faithful in their project as this. I am quite impressed,’’ she said.
‘Cost control key to higher profitability’
ANAGEMENT of costs for feed and forage, herd replacements, labour, and power and machinery explain the majority of differences between producers. AHDB Head of Production Economics, Mark Topliff, said: “As in 2012, Milkbench+ analysis has shown that by controlling production costs effectively, businesses significantly increase profitability. No one is saying that it is easy but it can be done and those that achieve it reap the benefit.” The report is based on information from dairy herds with financial year-ends between December 2011 and June 2012. Clearly, input costs and milk prices have moved significantly since then but the drivers for efficient milk production have not so the report reveals some important ‘truths’. The report shows that across the Milkbench+ sample the range in milk price for most is: 5ppl, less than half the range in production costs: 12ppl for most, which confirms high variability in costs and therefore an opportunity to reduce
them for those performing below average. The report also confirms that it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it, that makes the difference, with the top 25 per cent of producers across all systems making better margins. “No one system guarantees better financial performance,” says Mr Topliff. “Instead, it’s about matching system and resources and controlling the key costs. The best farmers control costs effectively. “For example, across all system types feed is the biggest single cost and efficient feed use is fundamental to higher margins. Better performing farms make better use of feed and produce more milk from forage. Across the sample, a 10 per cent increase in the proportion of yield from forage resulted in a 0.8ppl reduction in feed costs. “Herd replacement cost is a key area where there is considerable variation. Reasons for culling are consistent across the sample and setting a herd replacement strategy can significantly reduce replacement costs irrespective of system.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Farmers fret over rising land prices F
ARMERS are facing hard times as the price of land and land rents have risen. In Abuja, The Nation learnt that a piece of farm land costs for about N40 million. As farmland prices in the the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) continue to rise, farmers are pondering their future. The President, Agriculture Graduates Association of Nigeria, Comrade Michael Egbuta, said farmland prices had been rising steadily in FCT,adding that it is not possible for an average farmer to get a land in Abuja. According to him, farmland prices have spiked in recent years
Stories by Daniel Essiet, Agric Correspondent
as farmers and investors wrestled over a small number of farms for sale. Farmers, he added, are facing critical land scarcity as places originally allocated for farmland are being acquired for either residential development other users. The impact of rising farm land value, he said, has been transferred to the neighbouring Nasarawa State. By comparison, he said, it is cheaper to get a land in Niger State to farm, than in Nasarawa, though it costs the farmer much money in transportation.There’s at least
one downside of high farmland prices. Egbuta noted that young farmers are experiencing qualms buying land to start business. One of the steps the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has taken, he said, is to launch a national youth agric programme to enable them to get land across the country. Farmers who grow crops, such as corn and soybeans, have earned record income from their land. As a result, they want to buy more land. Farmers, however, look at land purchases differently. They buy for the next two or three generations. But investors are buying for cash flow
from leasing the land and later sell it for a gain in 20 years. Acute scarcities of good farm lands have emerged as the cities grow, while soil degradation remains an ongoing and unsolved problem. Farmland values have risen by up to 30 per cent in areas such as Ibafon and Shagamu highway. The Managing Director, The Thy Consulting, Mr Ismail Abdulazeez, said the price per acre for farmland has increased to N400,000 in Sango Otta in Ogun State. This is attributed to increased demand and lack of available land. Fuelled by a profitable real estate market, the demand for farm-
land has resulted in bidding wars. The Managing Consultant, Jovana Farms Prince Arinze Onebunne, said land rents in some cases, have jumped an acre for the most fertile ground.
Model farm estate for Ogun youth
• A woman processing garri.
Rice farmers praise Govt on fertiliser ICE farmers in Jigawa State he said. distribution try,” have praised the Federal Another farmer, Auwalu Ibrahim, Government for distribut-
ing assorted fertilisers and seeds to them as part of efforts to accelerate paddy rice production. Jigawa State, in collaboration with the Federal Government, earmarked 48,000 hectares of farmland for dry season rice cultivation. The Federal Government also provided more than 7,200 tonnes of various fertilisers and 2,400 tonnes of improved rice seeds for distribution to the farmers at subsidised rate under the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme. Each farmer was allocated two bags of fertiliser was allocated to
each of the benefiting rice farmers under the programme. A cross section of the farmers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse that the gesture would enhance access to fertilisers and boost production. Meanwhile, a farmer, Alhaji Isa Garba, said the gesture would ease difficulties experienced in accessing the commodity and encourage productivity. “This clearly demonstrated the Federal Government’s commitment to the transformation of agriculture. It will also encourage paddy rice production in the coun-
called for private sector investment in rice production to meet local demand. He stressed the need for capital investment to establish rice mills in rural areas. He said such investments were necessary to create markets for the local produce and enhance farmers’ entrepreneurial skills. “We need investment to accelerate the development of rice mills to improve the quality of rice produced by local farmers,” he said. He advised farmers to complement the gesture and use the fertilisers given to them.
Nigeria pledges $15m for IFAD
IGERIA has pledged $15 million to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, made the pledge at the Fund’s 36th Governing Council Meeting in Rome, Italy. Congratulating the IFAD President on his re-election, Dr. Adesina noted: “The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria lauds the member states and the Governing Council for their strong support for the reelection of Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, following his nomination by Nigeria.” He described the Council’s support for the re-election of Dr. Nwanze as good. “Your reforms on human resources and financial management have transformed IFAD into what
many say is perhaps the most efficiently-run International Development Finance Institution in the world. You successfully negotiated IFAD 9 replenishment and the member states showed their confidence in you by pledging 25 per cent more than the IFAD 8 replenishment. You increased the co-financing of projects by member states by 140 per cent to a total of $1.6 billion. IFAD’s disbursement under your watch rose to a record $457.6 million. You made IFAD friendly to its member states, by expanding country presence to 40 country offices,” Adesina said. He described Dr. Nwanze’s reelection as a testimony to his “remarkable leadership in shaping, managing and driving the affairs of this noble institution over the past four years. This he did as he set out with a vision, to reduce poverty and expand in-
come opportunities for the world’s farmers and rural population through agricultural development.” Dr. Adesina unfolded the plans, achievements and on-going efforts of the government under the agricultural transformation agenda under the government of President Jonathan. According to him,“Nigeria launched a major agricultural Transformation Agenda in 2012.” The government has a goal “to add 20 million MT of food to the domestic food supply by 2015 and to create 3.5 million jobs.” He added that the government is “also driving import substitution by accelerating production and value addition of local food staples, to reduce dependence on food imports, and turn Nigeria into a net exporter of food.”
HE Ogun State government has assured farmers that its new farm equipment would be deployed to the Agro Services Corporation offices in the three senatorial districts to facilitate easy access. The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs Ronke Sokefun, told reporters in Abeokuta, the state capital, that the equipment would be provided in areas known for intensive farming. The equipment,she said, was purchased to enable the state to produce enough food for its growing population and meet the needs of agroallied industries. The initiative, she said, that was designed to encourage youths in agriculture and bridge the gap in farming population. “Government has embraced mechanised farming to encourage the involvement of youths in agriculture and make Ogun self-suffi-
cient in food production for itself, the neighbouring states and agroallied industries.” She said another step taken by the government to encourage the youth involvement in agriculture was the establishment of a model farm estate in Owowo, Ogun Central. Mrs Sokefun said provisions had been made to replicate similar projects in the other senatorial districts of the state. He said: “The farms will have modern facilities that will make them attractive for habitation by the expected young farmers.” Recently, to boost agricultural production in the state, Governor Ibikunle Amosun inaugurated four CAT bulldozers, 30 MF275 extra tractors, 33 Baldan Disc Ploughs, and 15 Baldan Disc harrows. Others were two Baldan Rotary slashers and two Baldan 4 Row– Planters.
Abia FADAMA disburses N568m
HE FADAMA programme in Abia State has disbursed over N568 million under its third development project, its Coordinator, Dr Ezinne Otuka, has said. Speaking at the Seventh Joint World Bank/FGN Supervision Mission for the Southeast, she said the bulk of the amount was disbursed to 1,687 FADAMA user groups (FUGs) in the 17 local government areas of the state.” The bulk of the money was spent across board on the FUGs, while the rest was used for sundry services, such as advisory services, input and rural infrastructure,’’ she said. Otuka said the project had ensured that benefiting communities adopted development plans in line with the Community Development Approach. She said FADAMA projects were scattered across the rural communities in the state, adding: “Our people would like the project to continue beyond its life span. “Rural farmers in Abia have suddenly realised the importance of the project and how it has trans-
formed lives of beneficiaries.” She said the beneficiaries had already set up FADAMA User Equity Fund (FUEF) and could sustain the project at the end of its life span. “Our major constraint has been payment of counterpart funds; but we are happy that our governor has promised to off-set outstanding counterpart funds by March, this year,” she said. Otuka said the project had contributed in the reduction of unemployment, while food production had been on the increase. “We are hopeful that the FADAMA project would continue under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) for greater results,” she said. The Third National FADAMA III Development Project took off in the state on November 2009. It is expected to end in December, this year, when the foreign donors are expected to withdraw their sponsorship.
400 youths trained
NON-GOVERNMENTAL Organisation, Nehemiah Youth Empowerment Initiative, has trained 400 youths in agro entrepreneurship. The group’s Managing Director, Mr Tonye Cole, said in Lagos that the youths were selected from diffrent parts of the country. He said 200 out of them were trained in intensive agricultural skills. “Out of the 200 youths, 50 were trained on modern agriculture while 20 were sent to Leventis Agriculture Foundation Schools in Kaduna. Out of the 20 sent to the school; out of which 17 were re-
tained for further agricultural training,’’ Cole said. He said others, who were not sent to the school, were still in training. Cole said the group has acquired 10,000 hectares of farmland in Kaduna State where crops, tubers and cash crops, including cashew, were being cultivated. He said the training was necessary because the country could not continue to depend on oil . He said the group started the programme because of the evolving nature of the economy.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
NBA to investigate Ezu River bodies
•Suswam: review revenue formula
HE Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) is to investigate the dumping of bodies in Ezu River, its President, Okey Wali, has said. Over 20 bodies were dumped in the river, which is the boundary between Anambra and Enugu states. Wali spoke at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the NBA in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. He said a committee headed by the association’s first vicepresident has been set up to follow up investigation. “I have since received an interim report from the committee, which will be discussed during the NEC meeting to ensure that proper and detailed investigation is conducted and culprits prosecuted.” At the meeting, Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswan called for the review of the
Lawyers to sue Fed Govt, EFCC
HE Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) said it would sue the Federal Government, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Federal Ministry of Trade and Commerce following the directive by the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) that lawyers must register with the Unit before February 1. NBA President Okey Wali spoke when officers of the Unit visited him at the NBA Secretariat in Abuja. Wali invited the officers to explain their position to lawyers at the NBA NEC meeting From John Austin Unachukwu and Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi
country’s revenue sharing formula. Suswam said most Federal Government institutions are being taken care of by the states where such institutions are located. He called on the NBA to back the call for a new revenue sharing formula to assist states and local governments meet the challenges of providing good governance to the people. Speaking on state police, the
By John Austin Unachukwu
in Makurdi, Benue State. The SCMUL officers said the law as it were was not properly drafted, because the Unit does not expect lawyers to report every transaction above $10,000 as presently contained in the law, rather the law expects lawyers to report suspected transactions of that figure to the Unit. A memorandum by the Lagos Branch of the NBA on the issue was circulated, and the NEC decided to go to court to challenge the validity of the law.
governor said Nigeria is not yet ripe for state police because “with the level of political maturity which we have exhibited so far, it is definitely going to be abused.” The governor said he has no problem with local government autonomy. “But with the way the states are constituted are they autonomous? “A situation where we run to Abuja every month for revenue allocation, is that autonomy?” He urged NBA-NEC to deliberate on contentious issues, such as local government au-
tonomy ,judicial independence and creation of state police without sentiment as it will be the only way a permanent solution will be found. “In a state like Benue, where funds for the 23 local councils stand between N2.1 and N2.2 billion, teachers’ salaries take N1.7 billion and about N700 million goes to local staff and pension, it is fool hardy to accuse governors of embezzling local government funds because there is nothing to embezzle. He praised the NBA for standing firm on the rule of law and constitutionality.
Accord kicks against ‘plan to make Ladoja PDP secretary’ From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
HE Accord in Oyo State yesterday vowed to resist alleged attempts by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to make Senator Rashidi Ladoja its National Secretary. A national daily yesterday reported that the PDP might make Ladoja its National Secretary to facilitate his return and use him as a rallying factor for warring members of the party in the Southwest. Ladoja left the PDP to build Accord in Oyo State in 2011. He contested for governor but lost to Governor Abiola Ajimobi of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). A statement by Accord expressed surprise at the alleged plan to woo Ladoja back to the PDP. It pledged to frustrate it. The statement, signed by its Oyo State Chairman Bashiru Lawal, reads in part: “The attention of Accord has been drawn to a newspaper publication and aired on some electronic media on Thursday that Senator Rashidi Ladoja is being tipped to take over the PDP National Secretary’s position. “It will be recalled that Accord had negotiation with PDP in 2011 but the negotiation broke down and since then, there has not been any discussion between Accord and PDP. “Consequently, the publication came to our party as a surprise. We, however, see it as an attestation to the acceptability, popularity and the love for Senator Rashidi Ladoja. “We implore our members to remain steadfast as Rashidi Ladoja remains the leader of Accord.”
Security forces surround kidnappers of French family in Borno
ECURITY forces yesterday surrounded the kidnappers of a French family in Borno State and were trying to free the hostages, a military source said. The military located the hostages and kidnappers between Dikwa and Ngala in the state, the military source in Borno said, asking not to be named. Dikwa is less than 80 km (50 miles) from the border with Cameroon where the three adults and four children were taken hostage on Tuesday. French officials said they won’t confirm reports yesterday that a French family of seven kidnapped in Cameroon was released in Nigeria. Kader Arif, junior minister for veterans at the Defence Ministry, initially confirmed the news but then backed away from his statement, saying his sources for the information were news media, Radio France Internationale reported. Several media outlets reported Thursday the family — a couple, their four children and an uncle — was found in a house in Nigeria and had been freed. The husband worked for the French energy provider GDF Suez and the family lives in Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital. The family was kidnapped on Tuesday from Waza National Park in northern Cameroon near the border with Nigeria. French officials said they believe the Nigerian separatist group Boko Haram carried out the kidnapping.
Lagos GAT: Group hails court ruling in favour of Bi-Courtney
•Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission ( NDDC) Christian Oboh (left), Senator Nurudeen Usman (second right) and Senator James Manager (right) inspecting the Oquo-Ibeano Road in Akwa Ibom State...yesterday
Jonathan’ll return in 2015, says Chikwe
HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Women Leader, Mrs. Kema Chikwe, yesterday gave a hint of what appeared to be President Goodluck Jonathan’s much-talked about re-election bid. The debate over Jonathan’s second term ambition has pitted the Presidency against some northern interests, particularly governors. Mrs. Chikwe spoke while delivering a welcome address at the presentation ceremony of PDP Women in Power Calendar 2013, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. She said Jonathan would not only contest but will return in 2015. The former Aviation Minister said women would get greater representation in governance under Jonathan in 2015 and beyond. The women leader thanked the administration for the opportunity given women to achieve their goals in the present dispensation. She said: “We are even more
From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja
confident that when President Goodluck Jonathan returns in 2015, women would be talking about 50 per cent and no longer 35 per cent. “As we give him unequivocal, unreserved and unlimited support as we march with him to 2015, PDP women will reach the promised land. “The most remarkable victory for us PDP women is not that Mr. President has appointed women to the most challenging ministries. Amid chants of “what we are saying. . .give us Goodluck”, by the gathering of those present, an excited Mrs Chikwe continued: “It is not that he has appointed a woman as the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, it is that he has dedicated the 2013 budget to women. “Mr. President’s dedication of 35 per cent of all construction contracts to women is really mind-blowing. “His benevolence to women is phenomenal. So
where do we begin to thank him? “In the Southeast, there is a song we sing in politics; the person who gives us is the one we shall give support. “In fact, women’s indebtedness to Mr. President cuts across parties.” Mrs. Chikwe also dragged the National Working Committee (NWC) into the campaign. She said: “We have our Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, who is committed to the dynamic reforms of contemporary politics. “ I also thank my colleagues in the NWC for their support and commitment to the 2015 transformation agenda. “We are proud of our party and the remarkable achievements attained so far. “Imagine how PDP government has transformed Nigeria. Compare the Abuja of the 1990’s and what it is today. “See what Mr. President achieved in all spheres of development; his unusual transformation is evident in all
sectors. “We appeal to the First Lady to convey our deep gratitude to our father of the day, President Goodluck Jonathan. Tell him that PDP women are chanting all we are saying. . .give us Goodluck”. First Lady Mrs. Patience Jonathan pleaded with the National Assembly to approve the controversial N4 billion budget for the building of African First Ladies’ Mission House. According to her, opposition to the project was due to the fact that the proposed building is meant for women and that projects such as the ECOWAS Secretariat and the United Nations (UN) building, which were built for men, did not attract such criticism. She called on women to prevail on the National Assembly to approve the project, saying she would not take the building away when her husband is leaving office. Over N80 million was raised at the launch from different stakeholders within the PDP.
HE Nigeria Aviation Professional Association (NAPA) has hailed the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which struck out the suit filed by the Ministry of Aviation and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) against BiCourtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) over the controversial General Aviation Terminal (GAT) in Lagos. The court, in a ruling delivered by Justice Ramat Muhammed, last week, described the suit as an abuse of court process. However, NAPA, in a statement by its Secretary-General, Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu, described the judgement as “wellthought-out and a triumph of truth over propaganda”. According to Saidu, NAPA had always insisted that agreements signed by FAAN must be obeyed to the letter, “as there are clauses that make provisions for how to settle any disagreement in such agreements”. The statement added: “We had a different opinion from that of the other unions in the aviation sector about the concessioning of MMA2 to Bi-Courtney. In as much as the unions were not present when the agreement was signed, if there is any aspect of it they disagreed with, they should first of all face the people who represented FAAN and the Ministry when drawing the agreement, instead of fighting the third party.
PUBLIC NOTICE JESUS EVANGELICAL COVENANT NAME MINISTRIES.
The general public is hereby informed that the above named organization has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for Registration under part “C” of the Companies and Allied Matters Act No1 of 1990. TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Rev/Dr. B. Irokalibe – founder 2. Rev. Mrs. E. Irokalibe - Secretary 3. Okechukwu Paul – Evangelist 4. Chikaodiri Benjamin – Pastor Evangelist AIMS AND OBJECTIVES. 1. To preach the gospel of Christ to the world 2. To faster peace, love, progress and unity among believers 3. To do the work of Evangelism in full. Any objectives to this registration should be forwarded to the registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission, plot 420 Tugris Crescent, off Aguyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28days of this publication. Signed: Rev. Mrs E. Irokalibe (Secretary)
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
EQUITIES NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE
Equities lose N64bn as investors adjust portfolios
DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 21-2-13
NVESTORS yesterday at the Nigerian stock market appeared to be rebalancing their portfolios towards stocks considered to have potential for considerable gains and dividend yields as the earnings season started with the release of audited report of Nestle Nigeria Plc. While profit-taking transactions shaved significant points off several highly capitalised stocks that had led the market rally overtime, turnover increased substantially as investors purchased more low-priced stocks. Leading petroleummarketing companies with prospects of relatively better dividend yields topped the advancersâ€™ list. With losses from several highly capitalised stocks including Nestle Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Cadbury Nigeria and Stanbic IBTC Holdings,
By Taofik Salako
the overall market position turned negative, pushing average return at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) downward by 0.60 per cent. The All Share Index (ASI), the common value-based index that tracks all quoted equities, slipped from 33,708.18 points to 33,506.60 points. Average year-to-date return thus dropped to 19.33 per cent. Aggregate market value of all equities dropped by N64 billion to N10.722 trillion as against its opening value of N10.786 trillion. Nestle Nigeria topped the losersâ€™ list with a drop of N51 to close at N930. Okomu Oil Palm followed with a ship of N2.90 to close at N55.10. Cadbury Nigeria lost N1.80 to close at N39. Presco dropped by N1.70 to close at N24.20. Stanbic IBTC Hold-
ings slipped by 69 kobo to N13.21. Forte Oil declined by 56 kobo to close at N10.75. International Breweries was down by 50 kobo to N23.50. Zenith Bank lost 49 kobo to close at N20.66 while Airline Services and Logistics lost 25 kobo to close at N5.20. On the upside, Total Nigeria led the gainers with a gain of N5.59 to close at N145.59. Mobil Oil Nigeria followed with addition of N4.03 to close at N130. PZ Cussons Nigeria added N3 to close at N40. Northern Nigeria Flour Mills gained N1.01 to close at N21.26. Total turnover volume and value rose by 19 per cent and 21 per cent respectively to 517.05 million shares valued at N5.27 billion in 6,177 deals. FTN Cocoa Processing topped the activity chart with a turnover of 52.79 million shares valued at N33.85 million in 179 deals. NPF Microfinance Bank placed second with a turnover of 49.31 million shares worth N53.23 million in 21 deals. Transnational Corporation of Nigeria trailed with a turnover of 45.96 million shares valued at N76.65 million in 207 deals.
NIGERIAN STOCK EXCHANGE DAILY SUMMARY AS AT 21-2-13
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
‘Naira, oil price to fall in 2014’
HE naira is expected to be under pressure in 2014-a year before the 2015 election-Director, Africa Economist, Citi, David Cowan has said. Speaking yesterday at the EuroFinance conference held in Lagos, Cowan, forecast that oil price will also weaken in 2014, a development which will put pressure on naira. He said increased fiscal spending pressure will grow in 2014 adding that there is need to strike a balance be-
Stories by Collins Nweze
tween the urban and rural inflation rate in the country. Cowan who spoke on “ Global Economic Update: Europe casts a long shadow, said there are signs that Indian economy is going to grow aggressively going forward. In emerging market, it is expected that the Asian foreign exchange rally will continue throughout 2014. He said that South African Rand is undergoing pressure
as the country is running deficit Ghana he said is one of the countries in West Africa that is running the highest fiscal deficit. He said there was need for African economies to ensure they are not cut off from global opportunities. Senior Partner, Kenna Partners, Fabian Ajogwu, who spoke on: ‘Rethinking Corporate Governance’, said proper governance of enterprises in Nigeria has become more critical to economic growth
than ever. “Recent developments in the Nigeria and the current financial and economic crisis put the issue of sustainable development of enterprises at the centre of any economic plan and development strategy,” he said. He explained that when companies fail, a lot of attention focuses on how boards discharge their statutory, contractual, and trust-based duties to all stakeholders. He said that where the market does not regulate itself properly, the
challenge of corporate governance becomes more apparent. Director, EuroFinance Peter Green, explained that the conference enables treasurers and chief finance officers to exchange innovative strategies, best practice and expert opinions. It also focuses on conducting in-debt research with thousands of corporate treasurers worldwide every year thereby providing insight into the trends and developments in cash management, treasury and objective global viewpoint.
local currency financing capacity to each of ETG’s subsidiaries. “The transaction arranged by the Commodity Finance team in London will allow ETG to finance its soft commodity trading activities in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Uganda, thereby bolstering its position in core
markets, and also to expand into new geographies in West Africa,” it said. Jean Craven, Director: Head Corporate Finance, ETG, said: “ETG embarked on rolling out its West African business two years ago, initially covering 11 countries. With this new Ecobank facility, ETG will be able to strengthen its investment plans and trading activity
across the region. We are both excited and thankful for Ecobank’s valuable support.” Charles Kie, Ecobank’s Group Head of Corporate Banking, said: The transaction was a clear demonstration of the strategic advantages afforded by Ecobank’s reach, enabling us to support key clients such as ETG in their pan-African development“.
He added: “By arranging a facility that encompasses numerous jurisdictions and currencies, we have enabled ETG to simplify and streamline its banking arrangements within Anglophone and Francophone markets. We are delighted to be able to assist ETG with its working capital requirements and look forward to building on our relationship in the future”.
UBA, MoneyGram partner on CSR
NITED Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc in collaboration with MoneyGram International has donated a fully branded children playroom and center for the Pediatric ward of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH). In a statement, the bank said the donation, in commemora-
tion of 15 years partnership between UBA Plc and MoneyGram International, was undertaken to boost health delivery in Nigeria and in line with their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plans in Lagos, Ibadan, Benin and Owerri. Only recently UBA in conjunction with MoneyGram International according to
the statement, donated a fully branded crèche to the Oncology Pediatric ward of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in Nigeria. The Chief Medical Director, University of Benin, Michael Ibadin praised UBA and MoneyGram for the donation, adding that “the relationship between UBTH
and UBA had come a long way and dates back to the 80s. Director, Consumer Banking Group, UBA Plc, Mr Owoeye Ilesanmi, who led the UBA team said: “UBA will continue to nurture the relationship with UBTH with excellent professional services and necessary support towards achieving the hospital’s goal
FGN BONDS Amount N
3-Year 5-Year 5-Year
35m 35m 35m
11.039 12.23 13.19
19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016
WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount
Price Loss 2754.67 447.80
INTERBANK RATES 7.9-10% 10-11%
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year
Amount 30m 46.7m 50m
Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34
Date 28-04-2012 “ 14-04-2012
GAINERS AS AT 21-2-13
SYMBOL DNMEYER PZ CUSTODYINS PORTPAINT BOCGAS NNFM NCR IPWA LIVESTOCK UBCAP
O/PRICE 1.96 37.00 1.96 5.00 7.21 20.25 16.75 0.81 2.23 1.44
C/PRICE 2.15 40.00 2.07 5.25 7.57 21.26 17.58 0.85 2.34 1.51
CHANGE 0.19 3.00 0.11 0.25 0.36 1.01 0.83 0.04 0.11 0.07
TRANSCORP PRESTIGE PRESCO NESTLE OKOMUOIL STANBIC BERGER FO ETRANZACT LEARNAFRCA
1.80 1.07 25.90 981.00 58.00 13.90 11.31 13.55 3.65 2.25
C/PRICE 1.62 0.97 24.20 930.00 55.10 13.21 10.75 12.88 3.47 2.14
C u r r e n t CUV Start After %
Bureau de Change 152.0000
(S/N) Parallel Market
NSE CAP Index
27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37
28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16
% Change -1.44% -1.44%
NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N)
MEMORANDUM QUOTATIONS Name
DISCOUNT WINDOW Feb. ’11
Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%
8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%
9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 11.8%
ARM AGGRESSIVE GROWTH KAKAWA GUARANTEED STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND LOTUS CAPITAL HALAL BGL SAPPHIRE FUND BGL NUBIAN FUND FBN MONEY MARKET FUND FBN FIXED INCOME FUND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL DEB. PARAMOUNT EQUITY FUND CONTINENTAL UNIT TRUST CENTRE-POINT UNIT TRUST STANBIC IBTC NIG EQUITY • ARM AGGRESSIVE • KAKAWA GUARANTEED
CHANGE 0.18 0.10 1.70 51.00 2.90 0.69 0.56 0.67 0.18 0.11
CAPITAL MARKET INDEX Year Start Offer
LOSERS AS AT 21-2-13
EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency
OBB Rate Call Rate
Offered ($) Demanded ($)
of providing quality health care to Nigerians” He said that UBA has from inception been supportive of the teaching hospital. Some of the past CSR initiatives that have been carried out by UBA in the institution include the donation of computers and N25 million for the establishment of a Cardiac center.
HE Eurobond yields fell to the lowest in more than a week after investors placed orders for more than four times the amount of Treasury bills offered at an auction, Bloomberg report has said. Yield on the $500 million of debt due January 2021 declined seven basis points to 4.358 per cent, the lowest on a closing basis since February 13. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold N135.65 billion ($862 million) of bills yesterday, including N25.65 billion of 91-day bills at a yield of 9.416 per cent, the lowest since September 2011. Bids amounted to N529.94 billion. The nation’s inflation rate fell to nine per cent in January from 12 per cent in December, the statistics bureau said Feb. 18. “Favourable outlook of the economy has been reflected in rising local and offshore interest in various debt securities of the country,” Kunle Ezun, a Lagos-based analyst at Ecobank Transnational Inc., said.
Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20
Eurobond yields fall on T-Bill demand
Ecobank provides firms with $77.5m trade facility HE Ecobank Group has announced that it has signed an agreement to provide, through its affiliates, a $ 77.5 million equivalent multi-currency master trade finance facility to Export Trading Group (ETG). In a statement, the bank explained that the facility was documented as a single financing, with local operational terms. It will provide
•CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
9.17 1.00 137.30 149.65 0.80 1.13 1.02 100.00 1,000.00 1,756.98 14.66 1.39 1.87 10,616.45
9.08 1.00 136.89 147.33 0.78 1.13 1.00 100.00 1,000.00 1,754.39 13.95 1.33 1.80 10,305.95
• STANBIC IBTC GUARANTE • AFRINVEST W.A. EQUITY FUND
NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days
Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250
Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%
OPEN BUY BACK Previous
04 July, 2012
07, Aug, 2012
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
NEWS Appropriation bill passed From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar
THE Cross River State House of Assembly has passed the 2013 Appropriation Bill. A report by the Committee on Appropriation said the House approved the N152, 418,731,311.73 budget, reflecting an increase of N1,042,664,530.98, representing 0.68 per cent. A breakdown shows that N 44,770,691.776.16 was provided for Recurrent Expenditure. Capital Expenditure is to gulp N 107, 648, 03,545.57.
Delta ACN begins registration
Edo truck drivers protest double taxation •Oshiomhole bans levies collection in parks UNDREDS of truck drivers yesterday took to the streets, protesting alleged double taxation by the Edo State Government. They blocked major roads in Benin City with their trucks. Their Chairman, Henry Izekor, said N500 was added to what they had been paying. He said they used to pay N200 daily to their unions, N200 to local councils, N10,000 yearly for the Inland
From Osagie Otabor, Benin
Revenue Services sticker and N12,000 yearly for parking permit. Henry noted that the N500 introduced by the Inland Revenue Services’ last week was another burden on them. According to him, “what we have been paying is okay for us. We say no to double taxation.” At the Government House where they converged, the protesters were
informed that Governor Adams Oshiomhole has banned collection of all forms of levies and rates from motor parks. A statement by Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, said the ban on collection of levies affected commercial motor drivers, tricycle operators and commercial motorcyclists, pending the streamlining of collections in the sector. Oshiomhole, in the statement, warned that anybody
or group that breached the directive would be prosecuted. He said the Road Transport Workers Union, Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, Akugbe Ventures and other collectors in the transport sector were banned from collecting levies and rates. Akugbe Ventures, led by Tony Kabaka and RTEAN, led by Osakpamwan Eriyo, have been at war since Monday over the collection of levies at motor parks.
From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri
THE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Delta State has begun the registration of members in the state. Its Chairman, Joe OkotieEboh, described the registration as the “last family census” before the merger. A statement by the Publicity Secretary, Frank Eghomien, said old members ,who participated in the 2010 registration and were issued membership cards, are required to present such cards in their wards. The exercise would begin on Monday and end on March 4. The statement said old members, who have lost their cards, would be issued new ones and that same applies to new members. The statement added that at the end of the registration, the vice-chairmen of the senatorial districts are to ensure that all completed cards are returned to the State Chairman before March 15. CONFIRMATION OF NAME THIS IS TO CONFIRM THAT I, FREDRICK CHIKA OKEKE IS THE SAME AND ONE PERSON AS MALOKWU FREDRICK CHIKA OKEKE. ALL DOCUMENTS WITH THE ABOVE NAMES REMAIN VALID.
PUBLIC NOTICE I, formerly known and addressed as MISS DOMINICA OBIANUJU ANOSIKE now wish to be known and addressed as MRS DOMINICA OBIANUJU OKAFOR. All former documents remain valid. The general public should please take note.
Doctors, others resume work From Osagie Otabor, Benin
OLLOWING threats by Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole to jail the Chief Medical Director of Irrua Specialist Hospital, Dr. George Akpede, doctors and workers of the hospital yesterday resumed work after several days of strike. Workers of the hospital went on strike to protest the demand by the government for the hospital management to remit Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax running into millions of naira. Oshiomhole made the threat when members of the state chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) visited him. The governor said it was wrong for doctors to go on strike over tax issues when workers in other sectors, including market women, pay taxes. He said: “That man (CMD) will go to jail.” The hospital’s spokesman, Oladimeji Akinyemi, said they resumed work yesterday not because of the threat by the governor. Akinyemi said they had proposed to resume work yesterday and that they were carrying out skeletal work during the strike.
Muslims appeal to Oshiomhole
•Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Rivers State Command, Mike Longe flanked by Comptroller in charge of Onne Marine Command Mohammed Ahmed (left) and representative of Comptroller of Prisons, Benson Luke at the NIS interactive session with stakeholders in Port Harcourt…yesterday
EFCC re-arraigns three oil marketers over ‘N1.5b fuel subsidy fraud’ T
HE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned three oil marketers – Ifeanyi Anosike, Emeka Chukwu, Ngozi Ekeoma and two companies over alleged N1.5billion subsidy fraud. They were charged before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, along with Dell Energy Limited and Anosyke Group of Companies Limited. EFCC accused them of conspiring to obtain by false pre-
By Joseph Jibueze tence, forging and uttering false documents to the tune of N1, 537,278,880.82. The sum is said to be payments they allegedly fraudulently received from the Petroleum Support Fund for a purported importation of 15, 000 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit. The defendants were first
arraigned before Justice Habeeb Abiru of the same court, but following his elevation to the Court of Appeal, the case had to start afresh before another judge. The defendants were said to have perpetrated the crime using various forged documents and fuel importation certifications. The anti-graft agency said
they falsely claimed to have purchased the products from a company in Europe and shipped them to Nigeria. They pleaded not guilty to all the charges and were allowed to continue on the bail terms granted them by Justice Abiru. Justice Onigbanjo adjourned till July 3 for continuation of trial.
Emure-Ekiti youths order monarch to vacate palace A
GROUP of youths yesterday besieged the palace of the monarch of Emure Ekiti, Oba Emanuel Adebayo, ordering him “to vacate the palace with immediate effect.” The youths, according to reports, disrupted the day’s market. They made bonfires on township roads before heading for the palace where they also burnt used tyres and pelted the monarch with stones and water sachets against “his unruly address.” They were said to have demanded from the monarch, explanations on “the sudden and unprecedented deaths of youths of the community”, the number of which they said had risen to 12 in just two weeks, and what the chiefs and the monarch were doing about it. They said: “Two undergraduates, who are indigenes of Emure-Ekiti died in a motorcycle accident in Ado Ekiti on Valentine’s Day; three other
•Say ‘death of youths is bad omen’
From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti
youths also died in an accident on Ikere–Ise– Emure Road on Wednesday when the vehicles they were travelling in had a head-on collision.” An eyewitness said about nine men of the Nigeria Police, who came in two patrol vehicles, “appealed to the youths to keep the peace, but they dared them.” The newly-appointed Caretaker Chairman of Emure Local Government, Mr. Adewale Febisola, explained in a telephone interaction with reporters that he addressed the protesters at the market square and appealed to them to maintain peace as “elders of the town were already taken steps to contain the development.” He said: “I have met them and told them not to allow violence as such could cause disruptions that would affect everyone in the
town. I also assured them that the chief would find a solution to the problem through prayers. “I appealed to them to be calm and that the traditional council would sort it out through prayers. We were the one who appealed to Kabiyesi to come out and address the crowd of youths. “They entered the palace to enable the Oba address them. When he did that they said the way he addressed them was bad.” Police spokesman Mr. Victor Olu-Babayemi confirmed the development. He said: “The police have restored normalcy in Emure-Ekiti. The situation has been brought under control.” Olu-Babayemi urged residents to go about their daily businesses, adding: “The police are on top of the situation.”
HE Benin Muslim Congress and Management Committee of the Benin Central Mosque have called on Governor Adams Oshiomhole to inaugurate some of the projects he assisted them to build. The Chief Imam of the Central Mosque, Fatai Enabulele, made the call yesterday when he visited the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere. He said: “The mosque and the school is wearing a new look courtesy of the comrade governor, we need him to come and assist us to inaugurate these projects. Enabulele, who prayed for the governor, said: “Silver and gold, we have none but we will always support you with prayers so that God can continue to protect you, give you direction, good health and divine support.”
Group calls for zoning By Precious Igbonwelundu
HE Delta North Senatorial District has said the governorship position must be zoned to the district. At a meeting in Lagos, a group, Oganihu Anioma, called on the government to hasten infrastructural development in the state. A communiqué by its Publicity Secretary, Chris Aligbe, said it was the turn of Delta North to produce a governor since the Central and South senatorial districts have produced theirs. The group insisted that there would be no controversy over who takes over in the state. It urged the people of the district to build bridges in their various parties. “We wish to state emphatically that by 2015, there won’t be any controversy over who takes over.”
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
NEWS Nyako sacks four advisers
Corruption is all-pervasive in Nigeria, says Akanbi
OVERNOR Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State yesterday dismissed four of his special advisers. The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Alhaji Mai Jama’a Adamu, said this in Yola. He gave no reason for the action, but said the dismissal was with immediate effect. Adamu said the affected officers are, Dr. Mustafa Saidu, Mrs. Patricia Yakubu, Malam Arabi Umar and Mr. Alexander Raymond. The governor has approved the appointments of three special advisers. They are, Mr. Lutu Arin, Mrs. Celine Dammori and Pastor Joshua Kallamu. Adamu said the portfolios of the new aides would be announced later.
From Adekunle Jimoh, Ilorin
Kidnapping of foreign workers in Bauchi decried
HE President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), Dr. Ona Ekhomu, has urged the Federal Government to use the law enforcement, intelligence and counter-terrorism resources to locate and rescue the seven foreign workers kidnapped in Bauchi. He said the international community was waiting to see how the Nigerian government would resolve the kidnap. According to him, the incident was unfortunate as several nationalities were involved, including British, Italian, Greek and Lebanese citizens. Said he: “Our foreign partners are counting on the security infrastructure to keep their citizens safe when they are in Nigeria. Therefore, no security resources should be spared in ensuring the release of the kidnapped victims.” Dr. Ekhomu alleged that the kidnap was executed by the Boko Haram in consultation with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). He said: “The security breach must be understood in the context of Nigeria’s military action in Mali. The kidnap is meant to teach us a lesson for sending troops to Mali. This action is one of those backlashes we have anticipated will follow in the wake of Nigeria’s military action in Mali.” The security expert enjoined hosts of foreigners to conduct risk assessments prior to bringing them to the country, especially in volatile areas. He advised that security arrangement should be made to protect foreigners. Ekhomu said he feared for the safety of the foreigners seized in Bauchi, as other foreign kidnap cases involving Boko Haram and AQIM had resulted in tragedies. He referred to the killing of two foreign hostages in Sokoto by the Boko Haram last year and the killing of a German hostage by the sect in Kano in the same year. According to him, in both cases, the victims were killed when government security forces attempted to rescue them.
•Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo (right) acknowledging cheers after presenting a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag to Mr. Peter Ishaya Pero, the chairmanship aspirant of Shong Local Government.
Police arrest suspected terrorists
HE police said in Abuja yesterday that they have dislodged a suspected terrorists' cell in Minna, the Niger State capital. The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 7 Command, Mr. Suleiman Abba, spoke to reporters after presenting cheques of various sums to the families of the deceased officers in the zone. He said some of the terror-
ists have been arrested. The AIG, who did not give details, added that security in the zone (FCT, Niger and Kaduna) has improved, following the measures taken by the command. He said: "A cell of terrorists was to be operated in Minna, but we arrested the terrorists before they could carry out their heinous act." Abba said weapons were recovered from the gang.
Speaking after presenting the cheques, he urged them to use the money well by investing it in profitable ventures. He also enjoined them to be wary of fraudsters, saying they should seek assistance from the police whenever the need arose. The families of the 33 deceased officers, including serving four policemen, who sustained injuries, benefited
from an insurance scheme. Some beneficiaries received N350,000. Others got N500,000. The AIG decorated eight senior officers from the Zone 7 headquarters, who were recently promoted. Four Chief Superintendents of Police (CSPs) and four Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) were decorated with their new ranks.
Insecurity: Immigration to build barracks at borders
HE Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has concluded plans to build barracks at the porous borders of Borno and Yobe states, the Acting Comptroller- General (CG) Rilwan Bala Musa has said. The Acting CG, who was in Damaturu on a sympathy visit following killings in the state and to assess the
From Duku Joel, Damaturu
situation in the two states, said Yobe and Borno remain crucial. He said the visit would give him the opportunity to get first-hand information and report to the authority for action. According to Musa, intensive patrols by his men have
been increased to prevent terrorists from neighbouring countries from entering Nigeria. He said NIS would connect the border offices to the satellite to monitor the operations at the borders, as surveillance cameras are destroyed by terrorists. He hailed the Yobe State Government for the support it has been giving to Immi-
gration officials and prayed for restoration of peace. The Secretary to the Yobe State Government, Babagoni Machina, an engineer, who represented Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, congratulated the Acting Comptroller-General on his appointment and requested the deployment of more Immigration personnel in the state.
Court refuses to stop Gombe poll tomorrow
GOMBE State High Court has thrown out the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) suit against the Gombe State Independent Electoral Commission (GOSIEC) seeking an interlocutory injunction against the conduct of tomorrow’s local government election in the state. It, however, adjourned till February 27, hearing in the substantive case seeking to quash the N500,000, N250,000 and N150,000 fees imposed by the electoral body on the contestants. Justice Abdulhameed Mohammed Yakub said since the suit was filed too late, interlocutory injunctions could not be granted. He said the CPC waited for 22 days from the day they were issued the electoral guidelines before filing the case, which was to take place 15 days later. Yakub said the process was convenient for other parties and the public
By Vincent Ohonbamu, Gombe
whose collective interest far outweighed the applicant’s. The judge held that N200,000 had been set aside for the conduct of the election and preparations had gone too far at the time the plaintiff filed its case. He said leaving the Caretaker Committee to continue in office is an illegality
and that “restraining the conduct of the poll amounts to favouring illegality at the expense of legality.” He declared the suit null and void, but said the substantive case challenging the legality and otherwise of the amount charged by GOSIEC as contest fee would continue. After the ruling, counsel to the defendants, Musa
Saidu, expressed satisfaction on the ruling and said the House of Assembly allowed GOSIEC the leeway to operate within the confines of the law and that there is no argument about what the law says. Adamu Kuna, who stood for the CPC, said the court had the power to repeal any law tantamount to “a bad policy.”
HE pioneer Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Mustapha Akanbi (rtd), yesterday bemoaned the pervasiveness of corruption in Nigeria. He said the country is plagued by many corrupt individuals at the higher and lower rungs of life. The former President of the Court of Appeal spoke in Ilorin at the launch of a book, entitled: ‘Appreciating criminal law in Nigeria’, written by a journalistturned-lawyer, Ifeolu Koni. Justice Akanbi urged Nigerian lawyers and judges to enlist in the vanguard of fighting corruption by churning out books that could prick the conscience of corrupt Nigerians. The retired jurist, who was the chairman of the occasion, said: “Nobody can single-handedly fight corruption in Nigeria, but lawyers and judges can do so through book writing. “We all have to fight corruption with our efforts and with the books we write. If we are able to come up as a body to fight those who plunder the wealth of this country, then we would have done a great thing for posterity.” He enjoined Nigerians to imbibe the culture of voracious reading, saying reading is the antidote to the country’s transformation. Said he: “Education and reading of book are very important. I sleep and wake up with books. When you are called upon to read, if you are a good reader, if you believe in reading, you do not have to look elsewhere. The ideas will come. You have a lot to talk about. “The author is here because of reading. I want us to have a positive change in this country, the type of change that will improve the quality of life and professionalism. It is not easy to produce a chapter of a book.” The Grand Khadi of the Kwara State Sharia Court of Appeal, Justice Idris D. Haroon, said “reading is the mother of all knowledge.” He said: “Writers are the people who can bring back our lost glory of transparency, accountability and honesty. “It is one thing to have the potential to be knowledgeable, but another thing to put such potential to use.”
Committee to tackle desertification in Kano
ANO State Government has set up a Shelter Belt and Afforestation Committee to facilitate the takeoff of the Great Green Wall Programme in the state. The programme is aimed at establishing shelter belt trees to check desertification and desert encroachment (Hamada). Inaugurating the committee yesterday in his office, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Rabiu Suleiman Bichi, urged it to ensure the success of the programme. He said the programme is to begin in some local governments, which include Makoda, Danbatta and Gabasawa. Bichi said the committee, among others, would conduct a baseline survey to determine the areas affected
From Kolade Adeyemi, Kano
and confirm the routes and walls of trees to be established. He said the committee should conduct a field survey and consult with the affected local government officials as well as the communities, to sensitise them on the programme. Responding on behalf of the members, the Chairman of the committee, who is also the Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas, thanked the government for the assignment. He assured that they would do their best to meet government’s expectation. Members of the nine-member committee were drawn from relevant organisations in the state and federal establishments.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Pistorius gets new investigator •Nike suspends contract
OUTH Africa’s police head has appointed its top detective as the new lead investigator in the Oscar Pistorius murder case. The decision came after it emerged the initial investigator, Hilton Botha, was facing attempted murder charges. National Commissioner Riah Phiyega says Lt. Gen. Vinesh Moonoo will take over the investigation. Phiyega says the Pistorius case “shall receive attention at the national level” and Moonoo will “gather a team of highly skilled and experience detectives.” She says Moonoo is the South Africa police’s “top detective.” Botha’s future in charge of the investigation into world-famous athlete Pistorius came into doubt after charges of attempted murder were reinstated against him in relation to a 2011 shooting incident, when he and two other police officers allegedly fired shots at
a minibus The announcement that detective Hilton Botha faces reinstated charges in connection with a 2011 shooting incident came a day after he testified for the prosecution in Pistorius’ bail hearing, and by all accounts bungled his appearance. He acknowledged Wednesday that nothing in Pistorius’ account of the fatal Valentine’s Day shooting of his girlfriend contradicted what police had discovered. The spokeswoman for the nation’s prosecutors urged that Botha be removed from the Pistorius case. Pistorius, an Olympian whose lower legs were amputated when he was less than a year old, claims he mistook girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot her in a locked bathroom in his home. However, Makeke said the charges against Botha were reinstated on Feb. 4, before his testimony Wednesday and even before Steenkamp was killed. Police said they were notified Wednesday of the reinstated charges which stem from a 2011 shooting incident in which Botha and two other officers allegedly fired at a minibus. She emphasized that it is a decision for police and not prosecutors whether to take Botha off the Pistorius case, one that has riveted the world’s attention and is bringing scrutiny on South
Africa’s justice system. Pistorius’ main sponsor Nike, meanwhile, suspended its contract with the Paralympic champion, following eyewear manufacturer Oakley’s decision to suspend its sponsorship Monday. Nike said in a brief statement on its website: “We believe Oscar Pistorius should be afforded due process and we will continue to monitor the situation closely.” Botha was summoned by the magistrate at the start of Thursday’s proceedings. Pistorius’ bail hearing began on Tuesday and is already running behind schedule, with it expected to have been completed on Wednesday. Roux continued to cast doubt on the state’s case and the investigation, following up after lead investigator Botha conceded Wednesday that police had left a 9 mm slug in the toilet where Steenkamp died, had lost track of illegal ammunition found in the home and that Botha himself had walked through the scene without protective shoe covers, possibly contaminating the area. Botha also testified earlier Thursday that he had investigated a 2009 complaint against Pistorius by a woman who claimed the athlete had assaulted her. He said that Pistorius had not hurt her and that the woman had actually injured herself when she
kicked a door at Pistorius’ home. In summing up the defense argument in the bail hearing, Roux asked that bail restrictions be eased for Pistorius, who then began crying softly. On Monday, eyewear maker Oakley Inc. suspended its contract with Pistorius. Nike dropped Lance Armstrong in October, citing insurmountable evidence that he participated in doping and misled the company about those activities for more than a decade. But the Beaverton, Ore.-based company stood by Tiger Woods after he acknowledged infidelities and went to rehab for sex addiction. Pistorius was born without fibula bones due to a congenital defect, and had his legs amputated at 11 months. He runs on carbon-fiber blades and was originally banned from competing against able-bodied peers because many argued that his blades gave him an unfair advantage. In 2008, however, the Court of Arbitration for Sport cleared him to compete against the fastest in the world. Pistorius is a multiple Paralympic medalist, but he failed to win a medal at the London Olympics, where he ran in the 400 meters and on South Africa’s 4x400 relay team. He won a silver medal with his country’s 4x400 relay team at the 2011 world championships in Daegu, South Korea.
HREE young British Muslims were convicted Thursday of plotting terrorist bombings that prosecutors said were intended to be bigger than the 2005 London transit attacks. A London jury found Irfan Naseer, 31, and Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali, both 27, guilty of being central figures in the foiled plot to explode knapsack bombs in crowded areas - attacks potentially deadlier than the July 7, 2005 explosions on subway trains and a bus which killed 52 commuters. Judge Richard Henriques told the men - who had been arrested in September 2011 - they will all face life in prison when sentences are imposed in April or May for plotting a major terrorist attack in Birmingham, a city of roughly 1 million people located 120 miles (nearly 200 kilometers) northwest of London. “You were seeking to recruit a team of somewhere between six and eight suicide bombers to carry out a spectacular bombing campaign, one which would create an anniversary along the lines of 7/7 or 9/11,” he told them after the jury reached its verdict. “It’s clear that you were planning a terrorist outrage in Birmingham.”
LENTEN TALK Rev. Henry O. Adelegan
Power of Restoration
Malian rebels clash with military in Gao
SLAMIC extremists clashed with military in Mali’s northern city of Gao, a military official said Thursday, as French forces continued their push to eliminate remnants of al-Qaidalinked fighters who had controlled northern Mali. Malian military spokesman Capt. Daouda Diarra said that fighters with the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO, attacked a Gao checkpoint late Wednesday and made their way into the city. The fighters are trying to gain control of the mayor’s office, but the army has tried to repel the attacks, he said. In Kidal, a town further north where control by French and Chad forces has been tentative, a car explosion in a mechanics garage killed two, including the driver and a security guard, a resident said. Mossa Ansary said Thursday’s explosion took place about 800 meters (875 yards) from a French military base. It was unclear if it was a suicide car bombing. French and Chadian forces are patrolling the city of Kidal, though it remains unclear if the northern administrative capital is secure. Radical Islamic fighters spent weeks on the run from Malian cities under a French ground and air assault that began Jan. 11 after the rebels had pushed to southern territories. The French, meanwhile, are tightening a dragnet against the al-Qaida-linked militants in one of their last remaining redoubts, mountain sanctuaries near Algeria’s border. France’s main military spokesman on Thursday said that a French Tigre attack helicopter fired on a pickup truck containing jihadist fighters during clashes in rugged northern Mali, killing about 10 insurgents. Col. Thierry Burkhard said the firefight on Wednesday in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountain range, near the Algeria border, came in the third day of an operation code-named “Panther,” as French forces track and try to eliminate the Islamic extremists. Burkhard said the operation is ongoing in the area. More than 20 insurgents and one French legionnaire died in similar clashes on Tuesday. France’s government has said it still hopes to pull out of its Mali operation in the coming weeks — eager for African forces to help stabilize the impoverished West African country. But the French President said that France will “go all the way — that’s to say, arresting the last terrorist chiefs in northern Mali.”
Three Britons convicted in terrorist bomb plot
•Syrian security agents carrying a body following a huge explosion that shook central Damascus...yesterday. PHOTO: AP/SANA
Dozens killed in Damascus bombing, air strikes
CAR bomb in Damascus has sent smoke billowing across the capital’s skyline, with at least 53 feared dead and hundreds injured. State media blamed “terrorists” for the blast, in a central district near the headquarters of Syria’s ruling Baath Party. TV pictures showed images of bodies, wrecked cars and shattered windows. The violence comes as Russia and the Arab League say they want to broker direct government-opposition talks. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described the war as “a road to nowhere”. The opposition Syrian National Coalition is holding a two-day meeting in Egypt to discuss a framework for a possible solution. Some 70,000 people have died since the uprising against President Bashar
al-Assad began in March 2011, the UN says. Police and witnesses said the blast was a car bomb. It went off in the central Mazraa neighbourhood, close to the Baath offices and Russian embassy. State and pro-regime TV showed pictures of dead bodies and destroyed cars. State media said at least 35 had died, with the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying at least 31 people had been killed. Scores have been injured. Surrounding roads are reported to have been closed off to traffic and firefighters and medical staff were soon at the scene. Images from state media showed wounded Syrians reeling from the blast Witnesses told AP news agency the car had exploded at a security checkpoint between the Russian embassy and the Baath Party central headquarters.
“It was huge. Everything in the shop turned upside down,’’ one local resident said. He said three of his employees were injured by flying glass that killed a young girl who was walking by when the blast hit. “I pulled her inside the shop but she was almost gone. We couldn’t save her. She was hit in the stomach and head.” State media said the explosion had struck near a school and clinic and that schoolchildren were among the casualties. It seems to have been targeted at the Baath party offices, but also affected residential areas, says the BBC’s Lina Sinjab in Damascus. No group has yet admitted to the attack. There have been two other explosions in the city, also at security checkpoints. And shortly after the car bomb, two mortars were fired at a military headquarters in Damascus, according to reports.
Commonwealth to examine petition against Zambia
N official of the Secretariat of the Commonwealth of Nations says the organisation has received a petition from a Zambia group calling for the temporary suspension of the southern African country. Victory Holdsworth says the secretariat has put together a team to review the petition. “We are in the process of examining the submission and we will be able to respond once we’ve done so,” said Holdsworth.
Holdsworth says the Commonwealth Secretariat’s team will consider the suspension request and then advise the secretary general of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), Holdsworth says, determines how any member state found to have committed rights abuses will be punished. “The first step is the suspension from the Councils of the Commonwealth, which will mean that that par-
ticular country no longer receives direct assistance from the Commonwealth,” said Holdsworth. The Coalition for the Defense of Democratic Rights (CDDR), which comprises opposition and some civil society groups, recently called for Zambia’s suspension from the Commonwealth. The group accused President Michael Sata and his administration of human rights violations and stifling democracy — charges the government strongly denies.
Text: ……… and his flesh became as healthy as a young child’s, and he was healed” 2 Kings 5:14b RESTORATION is the bringing back of a situation or feelings to its former state or condition. Naaman was a man who experienced restoration. He was the Commander of the army of the King of Aram. He had an enviable history of victory in many battles. Suddenly, he was afflicted by leprosy, which took the shine off his glory. The day he had encounter with the power of God through obedience to the man of God’s instruction to go and wash in the Jordan River seven times, all that he had lost were restored. It does not matter what situation you may be passing through, the good news is that that same power is available to restore you. It is not over with you no matter the situation. Have you lost your job, house, car, child, health etc, God has promised that “I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”(Joel 2:25). Your situation is not hopeless. What you need to do is put your trust in God, have hope and you shall be restored because “......With God, all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). The Bible affirmed this further in Job 14:7-9 that “ For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.” Jesus said “If thou can believe, all things are possible to him that believe” (Mark 9:23). All powers in heaven, on earth and below the earth have been given to Jesus Christ ( Philippians 2:9-10). What you need to do is come to Jesus through obedience and all that you have lost in physical and spiritual battles shall be restored to you in Jesus’ name. It is surely not over, until it is over. The good news is that, it is not over with you. Prayer: Father, you are God of all possibilities, during this Lenten season restore unto me all that I have lost as you did for Naaman in Jesus’ name
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
SPORT EXTRA United, Chelsea chase Son THE AGENT of Hamburg SV striker Heung-Min Son says that both Manchester United and Chelsea have made offers for the South Korean striker. The 20-year old joined Hamburg's youth academy when he was 16 and he has progressed through to the first team, scoring nine goals so far this season. Agent Thies Bliemeister also revealed that Inter Milan have been keeping tabs on his client, but says they are yet to make a formal bid. "Inter Milan's emissaries saw a couple of his matches, but so far I have not had any contact with the Italian club's officials." He told Interlive. "A transfer in the next summer? He has signed a new contract with Hamburg SV extending it for one year, but there have been many offers for him as from Manchester United and Chelsea."
Walcott urges Arsenal response
RSENAL forward Theo Walcott has
urged his team-mates to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat at home to Bayern
Munich in the Champions League. Arsene Wenger's side were outplayed in the last16, first leg match at The Emirates, to leave them as
outsiders to progress in the competition. But with important matches coming up in the Premier League, Walcott is keen for Arsenal to pull together and move on from their Euro nightmare. "We need to try and not dwell on this result. We need to think about getting back to the Premier League. We've got some important matches coming up thick and fast," he told the club's official website. "That Tottenham game (on 3 March) could be a massive game for us. And we need to win against Aston Villa first (on Saturday). "Our Premier League form has been very good so we can't dwell on this result for too long. "We need to get back to where we should be and start getting a winning run at home." The England international has not given up hope that Arsenal can still progress in the Champions League though, with the return leg against Bayern in Germany coming up on 13 March. "When we go there (to Munich) we have to be very positive and just go right at them," he added. "Last season we beat AC Milan when we lost 4-0 in the first leg. We did very well at home here. "We've got to show what we can do when we go away and play without any fear and have nothing to lose. It's a big ask but we need to be positive."
NEWS NJC suspends Justices Naron, Archibong Continued from page 6
of Conduct for Judicial Officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria vide Section 292(1((b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. The statement added: “Hon. Justice Archibong was recommended for compulsory retirement to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR pursuant to the ‘Findings” by the Council on the following Complaints levelled against him:*That the Judge dismissed the grievous charges against an accused without taking his plea; *That he refused to release the Certified True Copy of his ruling to the lawyers; *That the Judge issued a bench warrant on some officials of Peoples Democratic Party for contempt even when the counsel who was directed by the Court to serve them filed an affidavit that he had not been able to serve the contempt application; *That he made unfounded and caustic remarks on professional competence of some Senior Advocates of Nigeria; *That there were glaring procedural irregularities which showed that Hon. Justice Archibong did not have a full grasp of the Law and procedure of the Court; and *That he granted the leave sought for in the originating summons that had no written address of the parties and without hearing both parties in the originating summons after he had earlier on overruled the preliminary objection.”
The News magazine broke the story of the strange call logs, which it supported with call logs of one of the GSM service providers, MTN. In its edition dated July 14, 2008, The News reported that Oyinlola’s lead counsel at the Osun First Election Petitions Tribunal, Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye, had several telephone conversations with two of the judges on the tribunal, including the chairman, Justice Naron. According to the report, telephone call records of judges at the Osun tribunal and Kalejaiye pointed to a plot to subvert justice. The report showed that Kalejaiye and Justice Naron were exchanging text messages even when the panel was sitting and this, said the magazine, took place at times when Justice Naron wanted to hint Kalejaiye about issues to object to. After the report came out, the Osun State Government was the first to respond, defending Kalejaiye. In one of the petitions to the NJC, two members of the tribunal, Justices Naron and Ekanem, were specifically mentioned. The affected SMS and MMS of the judges were from mobile number 08037035105 and 08073160534 (belonging to Justice Naron); 08034105705 (belonging to Justice Ekanem); 08034062075 (belonging to Kunle Kalejaiye, SAN); 08034037521(belonging to Niyi Owolade-ex-Attorney-General of Osun State); and 08066572719(belonging to Sade
Alaba Adewunmi—the Interpreter to the tribunal). In a statement, Oyinlola’s Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Lasisi Olagunju, said that the governor did not enter into any kind of deal with the judges. Olagunju described as false, claims that Kalejaiye was the linksman between the judges and the governor. The statement said: “These characters exposed themselves further by forgetting to edit out the MMS entries in the logs which they displayed under a headline claiming they were calls from one of the judges. Every literate person knows that MMS means Multi Media Service, which is used to send pictures. Now, the question is: was the poor judge also sending pictures to lawyer Kalejaiye? “They even claimed that the judges, who were recording verbatim the proceedings of the tribunal with long hands, were sending text messages to Barrister Kalejaiye while the court was sitting. One would want to ask if the judges have more than two hands?” Kalejaiye later caused to be published a statement from MTN stating that it was not the source of the call logs. In the statement, which accompanied the MTN letter, Kalejaiye said he was going to sue the magazine. He also attempted to cast the magazine in the mould of an agent of falsehood. He made reference to an instance where the magazine’s management had to apologise to him over a case settled out
of court. He also said that the call logs showed that the magazine alleged that he was making calls to himself. The SAN threatened to sue the magazine and that he would not settle out of court this time around. The management of The News responded to issues raised by Kalejaiye. One, the magazine said that it never claimed MTN gave it the call logs. It also explained that Kalejaiye’s claim that the call logs showed that he was calling himself was a mere error, which had been corrected on the magazine’s website as at the time he made his statement. The magazine also explained that the case Kalejaiye referred to, which was settled out of court, involved Senator Iyiola Omisore, former deputy governor of Osun State. According to the magazine, it agreed to settle out of court because its key witness chickened out at the last minute and that it had nothing to do with being an agent of falsehood. It went on to challenge Kalejaiye to go to court if he was sure of himself.
Fellaini: Referees are scared
VERTON star Marouane Fellaini insists he will not change his game despite feeling singled out by referees who are 'frightened' of him. The Belgian international was hit with a retrospective three-match ban back in December for his headbutt on Stoke's Ryan Shawcross. Fellaini feels he did not get enough protection from the referee in the build-up to that incident and admits it is a recurring theme, having been booked twice since his ban. "I can see them keeping a special eye on me - they are frightened of me." Marouane Fellaini The 25-year-old midfielder, Everton's top scorer this season with 11 goals, believes officials should do more to protect him from overly-physical defenders, telling The Sun: "I won't let myself be messed around by defenders who want to tear off my foot or my head.
"If the referee in the Stoke game had done his job properly I would not have been suspended. I was conned. "I should not have reacted the way I did, as refs can't blow for a foul every single time. "Besides, this was Stoke, and we knew to expect a physical battle. They pulled our shirts and fouled us throughout the game. In the end I saw red and shouldn't have. It was my fault. "I am not angry with Shawcross. He tried to stop me, and was just doing his job. "But his hands were all over me the whole time. However, nobody said a word against him. He is English after all, so no problem!" He added of referees singling him out: "I can see them keeping a special eye on me - they are frightened of me." Fellaini admits he has felt singled out by officials since arriving at Everton in 2008 and the 6ft 4in midfielder, known for his distinctive afro hairstyle, believes his unique appearance could be the cause. He added: "During my first season at Everton I got 12 bookings. "At the end of it a delegation of referees visited the club to explain why I had got so many yellow cards. "But they ended up admitting some of the bookings were unduly harsh. I ask myself why they get given to me. "No doubt it's because I am not someone who can pass by unnoticed. I am tall, and my hairstyle is easily recognised. I know how to give defenders problems."
Tension as governors resist plot to stop Amaechi Continued from page 6
him and some governors. What they did was to keep the date and time for the NGF election secret. For instance, some of those against Amaechi were unaware of the election of a new NGF chairman until Wednesday afternoon. “Immediately they got wind of the poll, the forces, including some Presidency top shots, started mobilising governors considered loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan. “As a matter of fact, a Northern governor and a South-South counterpart coordinated last-minute efforts to stop the re-election of Amaechi.” Amaechi ran into problem with the Presidency following a cold war between him and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godsday Orubebe. The war was such that a former Minister of Informa-
tion, Chief Edwin Clark, pitched his tent with Orubebe, whom he nominated into the cabinet. He hit hard at the Nigeria Governors Forum headed by Amaechi. Clark said: “I wish to dwell on some of the offending activities of the Governors Forum which are driving the country to madness but which, as members, you do not care about, provided you achieve your purpose and the Forum’s over-bearing influence on the Peoples Democratic Party, the supremacy of which you have hijacked. “The Governors Forum is now acting as an opposition party to the Federal Government. It deliberately breaches with impunity, the nation’s constitution and the constitution of the PDP, without any challenges. The Forum has now become a threat to the peace and stability of Nigeria . Many of the governors today are more dictatorial than the then military governors.”
Forum condemns killings in Borno, Kano, Yobe Continued from page 6
“Polio was the most serious issue we raised today, following the assassination of health workers in Kano and also the attack on health workers in Borno and Yobe. “We, of course, in solidarity with our colleagues who were affected, we commended their resolve for not allowing this to create any disinterest on their part to fo-
cus on polio eradication. That was the most critical thing and we also discussed the issue of the administration of the forum.” Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha said: “The issue of polio is becoming very embarrassing to our nation. We also looked at some key positions in the Governors’ Forum that need to be fixed up. We have never had such
positions before and some of the key structures. Some of the states represented at the meeting are Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Abia, Kogi, Kaduna, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Kwara, Adamawa, Rivers, Bayelsa, Nasarawa, Taraba, Kano, Oyo, Anambra, Sokoto, Cross River, Enugu, Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger, Plateau, Yobe, Rivers and Benue.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
MEET THE ONLY FEMALE BEHIND THE WHEEL IN FORMULA ONE
Williams test driver Wolff
ORMULA ONE female test driver Susie Wolff has announced that she will appear in a BBC documentary this spring about her life as the only woman in F1. Susie, 30, from Oban, Argyll, is tipped to become the first ever woman racing driver and the film, The Fastest Woman In The World, follows her life and career in the male-dominated sport. Directed by her BAFTA-nominated brother David Stoddart, 31, the film also features appearances from Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton and racing legend David Coulthard. Susie, who is a developmental driver for the Williams F1 team began go-karting when she was eight and now lives in Switzerland with her husband, Austrian
racing driver Toto Wolff. She said: 'Shooting the film was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’m a fairly private person, so to have my brother follow me for nine months, through some pretty difficult times - let’s just say it was a big challenge.' David said: 'It was tough combining the role of documentary maker and brother. I had to remind myself that I was there to film Susie's story, but during the more difficult moments my instinct as a brother kicked in. 'It was challenging at times to strike the balance, but it's a great story that needed to be told.' He added: 'Susie was very open and honest, and I’m enormously grateful to her for that, and for giving me a rare glimpse into life in Formula One.' Other names to have driven for Williams in the past include Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and Jenson Button. Susie said: 'I don't race to prove how good women can be against men. I race because it’s my passion and I hope this documentary will give an insight into a very competitive world, in which I’ve been racing since I was a young girl.' Susie is currently the only female driver in the sport and the film, directed by her brother and BAFTA-winning film maker, David, will follow her career in the traditionally male-dominated industry Susie said, 'I don't race to prove how good women can be against men. I race because it's my passion,' Susie is currently the only female driver in the sport after Spaniard Maria de Villota lost her right eye in a testing crash in July 2012.
Speaking to the BBC as she drove a 2011 Williams race car at Silverstone following the accident Susie said: 'She told me to drive for us both now, that I would be out there representing us both. 'I had Maria's star on my helmet. It's with pride I have that and without doubt I was driving for the two of us.' She added: 'She is an incredible lady. Before you even talk about her as a racing driver, she is an incredible person, an inspiration. 'After the publicity surrounding Maria's accident without doubt I felt an extra need to go out there, do a good job and show that her accident was a freak one-off and it doesn't generalise women in motorsport.' The last British woman to drive an F1 car on a race track was Englishwoman Katherine Legge, who took the wheel of a Minardi at Vallelunga in Italy in 2005. The last woman to race an F1 car was Italian Lella Lombardi in 1976. ACROSS THE POND DANICA PATRICK IS ANOTHER WOMAN MAKING HISTORY American Nascar driver Danica Patrick becomes the first woman to take pole position for the Daytona 500 race this week. 30-year-old Danica will also be the first woman to take pole in any Nascar top division event as she starts on the front row on Sunday for Nascar's most prestigious race. This is the latest in a long line of achievements for one of the most prominent women in motorsport. Patrick posted a qualifying lap of 196.4mph in her number 10 Chevrolet, completing the 2.5mile-long route at the Florida
'I don't race to prove how good women can be against men. I race because it’s my passion and I hope this documentary will give an insight into a very competitive world, in which I’ve been racing since I was a young girl.'
superspeedway in 45.817 seconds on Sunday. She will line up alongside four-time Nascar champion Jeff Gordon on the front row of the grid this Sunday, for the first race in the 2013 Sprint Cup Series. The Daytona 500 is the series' most prestigious race - considered to be Nascar's equivalent of the Super Bowl. Before making the switch to Nascar, Patrick raced in the IndyCar series. Her Indy Japan 300 win in April 2008 made her the only woman so far to win an IndyCar race. In 2005 she was voted Rookie of the Year at the Indy500 after finishing fourth in the race. By 2009, she recorded the highest finish by a woman at the Indy500 when she finished third behind Helio Castroneves and the late Dan Wheldon. Sir Richard Branson tried and failed to woo her to Formula 1 to join his Virgin Racing team for the 2010 season. She was due to test for a seat at Honda F1 in 2008 before the team pulled out of the sport. The previous qualifying records for a female driver were held by Janet Guthrie. She qualified ninth in two 1977 races and 18th for the 1980 Daytona 500.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
No guarantee Eagles will be unbeaten – Keshi
inning the most prestigious cup on the continent, Africa Cup of Nations, notwithstanding, Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, has categorically said that he cannot assure Nigerians that he will not lose any match. While fielding questions from sports editors last weekend at the TomTom Editors’ Roundtable that took place shortly after the reception organised by TomTom in honour of the Super Eagles for their feat at the AFCON 2013, Keshi maintained that though his team is gradually becoming strong, but it not practical to promise that it would not lose any competitive game, saying some games, for sure would be lost. “Though we have not lost any competitive match since we took over but I cannot assure Nigerians that we will not lose. It is not practical and it is not done anywhere that we are not going to lose any game. We will lose some games. That is for sure. When we lose, we learn from it. There is no coach that goes to the field and wants to lose the game. When you play a game, only three things can happen – you win, draw or lose. And when you lose, that is not the end of the world. We will put up a fight and if it happens
that we lose, so be it. If we win, that is great,” Keshi said. He also hinted on what he would do to guard against losing concentration in the last minutes of a crucial match which the Super Eagles were hitherto known for. Keshi said “towards the end of a game, particularly a difficult one, there is this feeling of tiredness the players develop because there is no way you maintain full concentration for the whole of 90 minutes. You then step in as a good coach particularly when the game is tight, to ask your players to calm down and stay focused. You have to drum it into their ears not to lose concentration. We will keep working on it until we get there.” The African Champions’ coach revealed that though Nigeria won the Nations’ Cup but the team is not yet there. He appealed for patience from Nigerians to be able to put together a team that they would all be proud of. “We are not at the peak yet though we won the cup. We are
still climbing and hopefully we will climb well and get to where we are going to. There are a lot of players that we are looking at to solidify the team. By the time we get all the right players in the right positions, Nigerians will be so proud of the team that we have. But then, we need patience. You don’t raise a team in a short time. I always say it that patience and hard work are what we need. God takes care of the rest,” he explained.
Peter’s goals, they should celebrate the fact that the team have scored. “All we can ask is that the supporters support the team
and don’t allow their feelings over one player to over-ride the fact that the support has been great this year, home and away. Odemwingie has since apologised for his action, but days later sacked his agent.
Minister lauds Volleyball Federation
IGERIA Volleyball Federation (NVBF) yesterday at the Media Center of the Abuja National Stadium, distributed a total number of 1800 volleyballs and 144 nets to all the 35 states of the federation and the FCT in one of the Federation’s strategies to popularise the game as well as take the game to nooks and crannies of the country. The President of the NVBF Engineer Habu Gumel was all smiles as the Director General of National Sports Commission Dr. Patrick Ekeji who represented the Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji
•States smile home with kits From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja Abdullahi, presented the kits to the 23 states that attended the presentation ceremony. Gumel who is also the 1st Vice President of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), said the gesture is coming courtesy of the International Volleyball body as part of it’s global development programme, and expressed hope the support will impart positively in sports development strides in the States generally as
well as in the overall effort to engage youths meaningfully through the game of volleyball. “Today, the volleyball game played at professional level is big time business, no wonder the FIVB has deemed it fit to extend its hands of fellowship to the Nigeria Volleyball Federation in terms balls and nets. The Federation places so much premium on providing these basic materials as our success is very essential and crucial for the progress of the game, hence we place much effort to achieve this”, he said.
Abuja to host ECOWAS’ Sports Ministers
have time to think and come out with the best for the team. We won’t want to rush such important issue and get our fingers burnt thereafter. “We’re trying to put something in place, a talent hunt programme for the women. We want to start preparation in earnest not for competition per se but to discover talents that will fit into the Under-17, Under20 and the Super Falcons. We want to cash in on the one-year recess to get these programmes done,” he said to supersport.com. Green said the committee will go for the best hand for the position irrespective of colour or gender. “We’ll recommend the coach with the requisite knowledge not gender, sex or colour. Only the best will get the job,” he said.
NFF spies on Gabon
• L-R: Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi with his assitant, Daniel Amokachi
when they go to the stadium, all I ask is they support the team, he said on teamtalk.com “If Peter scores a hat-trick and they choose not to celebrate
HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Committee chairman, Chris Green has stated that the football body is not in a hurry to appoint head coach for the Super Falcons. The Falcons have been without a substantive coach after manager, Kadiri Ikhana quitn the job following the side’s poor performance at the Africa Women’s Championship in Equatorial Guinea last year. Green said the football house is working out an expansive programme that will throw up players who will fit into the various cadre of the women teams. “The technical committee will meet and take decisions on the Falcons’ head coach but no date has been fixed for the meeting yet. I think it will be soon, as we
AHEAD OF AFRICA YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIP
Forgive Odemwingie, Clarke begs WBA fans ETER Odemwingie is set take his place in manager Steve Clarke’s starting line-up, and the coach has pleaded with fans of West Brom to forgive and forget the twitter rant of the player. The Nigerian also tried to force a transfer deadline move to Queens Park Rangers on January 31, 2013, and Clarke is aware some supporter may still be nursing the pain of the saga. Clarke, who has confirmed Odemwingie is part of his plans to face Sunderland, urged West Brom supporters not to let their feelings towards Peter Odemwingie affect their backing for the team when they take on Sunderland on Saturday. “I understand some of the supporters may not want to forgive Peter quickly but,
Last weekend's edition of the TomTom Editors Roundtable was the 8th in the series and it featured Keshi for the first time since he became the coach of the Super Eagles. Emil Moskofian, Managing Director of Cadbury West Africa, explained that TomTom Editors’ Roundtable was conceived to create a forum for interaction where issues about how to develop the game are dissected and useful suggestions proffered.
Super Falcons’ job still vacant
INISTERS of Sports of the ECOWAS SubRegion are billed to converge on Abuja Tuesday 26th February, 2013 to deliberate and take a common stand on issues bordering on Sports administration in Africa. This was contained in a letter signed by Alhaji Abba Yola, Special Assistant to the Director – General of the National Sports Commission (NSC). According to him, “it became expedient for Nigeria to host the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA) as the current Chairman of the African Union Council of Ministers of Sports (AU-CAMS)”. Issues to be discussed at the Abuja meeting, include the decision and resolutions taken at the AU-CAMS4 that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in October, 2011. Prominent among these is the Resolutions which seek the dissolution or otherwise of the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa. Topics to be discussed during the meeting amongst others are; Hosting of CIGEPS Regional meeting slated to hold in Nigeria in March, 2013; MINEP V
From Segun Ogunjimi, Abuja meeting in Germany; ECOWAS position on the winding up of SCSA; ECOWAS Games and ECOWAS countries’ performance at the Olympics. Eight (8) countries from SCSA Sports Development zones 2 & 3 namely: The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau and Liberia as well as six (6) Sports Technocrats had so far indicated interest to participate at the meeting.
HE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said they sent out technical department officer Rafiu Yusuf to spy on the Flying Eagles AYC Group B opponents Gabon, who took on Benin U20s in a warmup game on Wednesday in Cotonou. Benin beat Gabon 3-2 after both teams also played two games in Libreville recently. Gabon won the first game 1-0, while the second game ended in a 1-1 draw. Gabon top star is skipper Franck Engonga, who featured for his country at the 2012 London Olympics. In October, the 19-year-old former FC Mounana striker signed a five-year contract with top Argentina club Boca Juniors to make him the first player from his country to play in South America. The Flying Eagles face debutants Gabon on March 20 in a Group B match. AFCON 2015 qualifiers: Nigeria may draw Cameroon, Egypt
Qualification for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations holding in Morroco may turn out a herculean task for Nigeria with the Super Eagles likely to be drawn against former champions Cameroon or Egypt. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has revealed the seeding for the draw for the qualifiers which expectedly sees champions Nigeria in pot 1 while the likes of Egypt and Cameroon who hitherto used to be amongst the continent’s super powers in pot 2. The draw ceremony will take place on March 10 in Morocco during CAF General Assembly, with the qualification procedure reverting to its normal format as opposed to the modified mode for the just-concluded edition. Forty-four teams are on the starting line and seeded in four pots of 11 teams each according to their current ranking. The Preliminary Round is scheduled to start in June. As host country, Morocco qualified automatically.
Keshi tells Emenike to get well quick
UPER EAGLES’ Head Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, says he has not given up on the possibility of his top striker, Emmanuel Emenike featuring in the March 23, World Cup qualifier against the Harambee Stars of Kenya in Calabar. Reacting to news making the rounds that the striker will be out for eight weeks, following an injury be copped in the AFCON 4-1 semi-final win over Mali, KeshisaidfromAbuja,thathefeels that the reports may have been exaggerated and will be waiting for final words from medics from both the national team and the Spartak Moscow of Russia. “Emenike is a very important component of our national team setupandwehavetobeconcerned if he is in form, injured or otherwise and that is why we are a bit concerned about reports that he will not be available for the
game against Kenya. “We can never give up about such an important player and we wish him the quickest of recoveries no matter what the medical team anywhere is saying”, Keshi declared. The Super Eagles supremo praised the consistency of the top striker, declaring that even when he has several other options for Emenike, he’s also hoping that the player makes it on time to the set up ahead of the Kenya World Cup qualifier duel, as he’s trying to build a team that has started to gradually take shape. Meanwhile former NFA Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, says he was delighted that the nation won the Nations Cup in South Africa and gradually the autonomy for football management, which he fought in his time as the leader of the football federation is gradually seeing the light of day.
Schools urged to develop, encourage sports
N an effort to develop the spirit of friendship and healthy competitions among school children, schools have been advised to use sports as a veritabletool for this purpose, as it will not only enhance physical fitness and mental alertness, it will further create a rewarding and prospective future. The chairman of Lagooz schools, Orile-Agege, Otunba Yomi Otubela (FCMA) made the plea at the schools' 2013 sports festival held at the Agege stadium recently, an occasion where he also commended the state governor,
Babatunde Fashola for the development of grassroots sports in the state. " The modern facilities in the Agege stadium and others in the state are a demonstration of his commitment to sports development. I therefore charge other school owners in the community to take advantage of these wonderful facilities for their sporting events" he said. On the place of sports in Lagooz school curicullum, he disclosed that the school management has since inception given priority to
sports and other co-curricular acivities in line with the state government's education policy for children at the primary and the secondary levels, adding that the 2013 event is just one of the series. Chaiarman of the occasion Hon. Madashiru Obasa, House of Representatives member for Agege 1 Federal constituency in his speech said that he was satisfied with the rate at which the school was growing and giving priority to standard education and activities of educational values.
THE NATION FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
TODAY IN THE NATION
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013
TRUTH IN DEFENCE OF FREEDOM
RIPPLES NATIONAL BUREAU OF STATISTICS SAYS INFLATION RATE HAS DROPPED TO SINGLE DIGIT
C OMMENT & D EB ATE EBA
HIS weekend I go back to Houston, Texas. Followers of the adventures of Egbe Omo Yoruba, North America and its struggle for democratic norms in this nation, may recall that it was in Houston that this organisation was first introduced into the consciousness of Nigerians with its Houston Declaration of 1997. With that declaration, the organisation resolved to, among others, “adopt a Yoruba flag and anthem in return to the tradition of regional autonomy in the years before the first military coup in Nigeria; work for a constitutional arrangement and political restructuring in which the Yoruba nation, along with other nationalities in Nigeria, has an unfettered autonomy that will advance the development of Yoruba civilisation as well as those of other nationalities; and use all legitimate mental and material resources of Yoruba people worldwide to advance the realisation of cultural, economic, and political autonomy for the Yoruba within the context of a multiethnic Nigerian democratic state.” Note that the spirit of the declaration was consistent with the practice of a true federal structure and nothing in it could be rationally interpreted as a threat to the unity of the nation. But of course, irrationality ruled the minds of those in control of the levers of power in those days. And the emphasis of the Houston Declaration on regional autonomy and political restructuring, regional flag and anthem hit the Nigerian military rulers and their civilian allies like a thunderbolt. They cried foul and threatened fire and brimstone. The Egbe rubbed it in with series of activities including launching the Yoruba Radio, Ijinle Ohun Odua. A number of individuals raised the bar of loyalty to that cause and served as the catalyst for whatever success was attributable to Egbe Omo Yoruba today. I go back to Houston this weekend to honour one of those individuals. Olu is his name; if you prefer its full length, Oluwamuyiwafunwa, (God brought this one to us). That was how his parents saw him as they welcomed the bundle of joy into their world sixty years ago. What they saw in his half-opened eyes on that day, we all can attest to sixty years later. As they acknowledged him then, we all do today. For we all see in Olu McGinnis Otubusin what God has brought to us-the love and care of a husband and father, the loyalty of a friend, the compassion of a boss, the professionalism of a learned gentleman, and the dependability of a comrade. In short we see in Olu an Omoluabi to the core. Naming in Africa, especially in Yorubaland, is a special gift that the ancestors as progenitors of the nation bestowed on the elders. Names have meaning, and as they would have us believe, names push their bearers to actualise their encoded meanings. (Oruko a maa ro omo). So you don’t find any Yoruba parent giving to their babies names
‘The APC needs to get it right, otherwise, the alliance will pay dearly for getting it wrong while the subsequent opportunity to get it right against the inept PDP at the centre may for a long time to come remain an elusive adventure.’
SEGUN GBADEGESIN email@example.com
An Olu Omo @60
that embed evil meanings. God never brings evil to His creatures and in the case of Olumuyiwa Otubusin, what God brought to us has been goodness personified. I first met Olu in January 1995 at the second Convention of Egbe Omo Yoruba in Los Angeles in the thick of the struggle for the redemption of our dear country. We were all passionate about the cause. We wanted the military out of our lives. We were embarrassed by the guts of the uniformed folks in annulling an election that was adjudged the freest and fairest in the history of the coun-
try. We wanted to restore democracy and shame the military. The meeting was a success as decisions were made to move forward with the struggle. As in every such event, however, you cannot rule out self-serving posturing. There were too many lizards lying on their bellies. I am reminded of the story that was once popularised by D. O. Fagunwa in Irinkerindo Ninu Igbo Elegbeje. The story was one of three stories that Irinkerindo claimed to have been told by Itandiran. It was the story of Ega (palm-bird) who had built her nest on a corn stem in a large corn farm and kept her babies in. One morning as she set out to look for food for the babies, she instructed them to listen carefully to the conversation between the farmer and his children regarding when they would harvest the corns. Back in the evening, the babies told her that the farmer had sent for his friends to help him the following day. Responding to this news, mother Ega was unperturbed. She told her babies to relax because the farmer’s friends will not show up. And they didn’t. The following day the babies gave another report. This time the farmer had sent for his relatives. Still, mother Ega was unmoved. This went on for days until finally the babies reported to their mother that they heard the farmer resolve that he himself would harvest his corns the following day. It was only then mother Ega panicked and moved her babies to another farm. The story is about dependability and trust. You’ve heard it: there are untrustworthy friends. Relatives are undependable. Comrades may betray you. But if you have the gift of discernment, you could tell. While the
passion of a speech may not help, there is always something within that finds its way out in action. With Olu, it wasn’t long before a number of us discovered that fire in his belly. After the meeting, Olu called daily to make one suggestion or the other. He volunteered resources. It was clear to us that this young man was going to be a great asset to the efforts. Indeed, the Houston chapter couldn’t have had the longevity that it does without the committed leadership of Olu Otubusin. As few as the membership was, there was a cohesiveness of ideas and consistency of practical action in support of the cause of the larger Egbe. I can attest that Olu is a friend that does not disappoint; he is one that fulfills his promises; he is a professional that stands by his clients, and he is a comrade that doesn’t put his interests ahead of the group and the cause. I appreciate his dependability; I respect his intellect; I adore his selflessness; I am amazed at his generosity of spirit; I stand in awe of his humility; and above all, I applaud his Godliness. As the Word has it, there is a lot of reward for the Godly and contented. For Olu, the reward is certain. It was at the Houston Convention that I was elected President of the Egbe Omo Yoruba, serving from 1997 to 1999. It was in the thick of the struggle when we had to deploy all resources to fight the aggressors and defend our people. Olu was in the cabinet as the Legal Secretary. He put everything he got into the activities of the Egbe and more. He was behind every decision. He was relentless in his advocacy for the cause. In 1999, he took over as President and carried the Egbe to greater heights. When I chose to retire from active participation, I confided in him and he understood and agreed to stay on to ensure that the struggles of those years didn’t come to naught. For the Yoruba, Omoluabi is the height and depth of good character. Olu Omo is the one that stands out in the family and among friends as the epitome of courage, decency, generosity, charitableness and friendliness. Olu Otubusin is an Olu Omo. I salute him on his 60 th birthday and welcome him to the club. Igba odun, odun kan. Ire owo, Ire omo, Ire aiku pari iwa. Ase. •For comments, send SMS to 08082036515
•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above
Caught between executive and legislative tyrannies
HE House of Representatives is in the process of making a law to criminalise what it calls contempt of the National Assembly. Even though the bill had been tabled before the Abdulrasheed Maina affair broke out, it was clear the legislators had become fed up with the shenanigans of officials who refuse summons to testify in legislative, and sometimes purely oversight, inquiries. Maina, it will be recalled, is the pension reform task team boss who is avoiding summons to testify in an ongoing, but apparently stalled, inquiry on pension fraud. The bill proposes that anyone summoned by the National Assembly but fails to honour it in 30 days is guilty of contempt. In addition, the bill seeks to punish anyone who disregards the decisions or resolutions of the legislature. The fundamental assumption here is that the legislature believes it maturely, wisely and infallibly makes its decisions and resolutions. The mood in the National Assembly at the moment is very charged, all the more because of years of cumulative affront by ignorant and insensitive officials to the power and authority of the legislature. The National Assembly is for instance so miffed by the budgetary stalemate and the disregard some government officials and their agents show for parliamentary resolutions that it is a surprise all the Reps are asking for is a provision to punish contempt. But even that seemingly harmless proposal may be a disturbing reflection of the natural tendency in these parts for overkill (death penalty for sundry crimes such as kidnapping), for officials here
do not react well or scientifically, or with moderation to issues relating to the challenge of their powers. The problem of overkill is, however, not limited to the legislature. It is also rampant in the executive and judicial branches. Indeed, Nigerians have become accustomed to executive tyranny, with the Nigerian presidency described unflatteringly as one of the most powerful in the world, more powerful than that of the United States. It concentrates in its febrile hands such immense powers that no sector of national life is excluded from its overweening and overarching control. Nor, in the real sense of the word, is any serious power devolved to the states. Everyone and everything looks up to the centre for sustenance, with the implication that freedoms are suffocated and initiatives stifled. Now, and gradually, the legislature is also accreting powers so compulsively that between it and the executive there may be nothing left of the people but zombies. The legislators are angry their summonses are being disregarded. And with Maina’s irresponsible disappearing act, the legislature will appear to be justified in taking extraordinary steps to compel obedience. In fact, recently, some members of the President Goodluck Jonathan cabinet were tempted to disregard legislative summons, or honour it grudgingly, or publicly show their exasperation with interminable invitations. This attitude of grudge and disregard, it must be mentioned, is as old as the Fourth Republic itself. But there is also suspicion that the House of Representatives may be devising this unu-
sual solution in the heat of anger. This is wrong and counterproductive. There is no proof that officials are more irresponsible now than they were under the Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Yar’Adua governments. If the previous governments and the past National Assemblies coped fairly well in spite of many hiccups and much dissonance in the system, this legislature has a duty to examine whether it cannot also cope well without taking unusual steps to arm itself the more against the people in the name of the people. For indeed there is some sense in the complaints of many officials and the public that while the legislature has not shown exemplary patriotism and willingness to sacrifice its perks and privileges, it is at the same time requiring of the rest of the country higher degree of responsibility and compliance with rules and legislation. Worse, it has sometimes usurped the powers of the executive by either sacking or demanding the dismissal of officials. In the exercise of its oversight functions, it has also sometimes acted improperly, imperially and meddlesomely. The executive and the legislature are already brimful with power. Rather than seek to arm themselves with more, they should instead embrace measures and adopt styles that will earn them respect and obedience. For in the end, it is not stringent rules, harsh laws and vaulting powers that will protect the legislature from being compromised, subverted or swept away. No one can better defend the constitution and its structures than the people themselves from whom legitimacy flows.
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