SHOCKER!! Page 24
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2012 VOL. 7 NO. 2472
I can marry if I want – Bishop Kukah Murder of UNIPORT students
I watched them kill my brother – Tekena’s sister ‘I protested and tried to save him, but the mob threatened to lynch me along with him’
...Murdered students were all first sons Page 5
APGA crisis: NJC queries Page Enugu chief judge 11
Flood: Mum, daughter drown as boat capsizes ...Another three die in Delta
• 10 kids rescued in Bayelsa
Pages 6 & 7
... Jonathan in Kogi, says 25% Nigerians displaced
SHOCKER!! Page 24
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2012 VOL. 7 NO. 2472
I can marry if I want – Bishop Kukah Murder of UNIPORT students
I watched them kill my brother – Tekena’s sister
‘I protested and tried to save him, but the mob threatened to lynch me along with him ...Policemen actually told the mob to burn them alive and drove away’
...Murdered students were all first sons
Pilgrims’ plane denied entry into Saudi, lands in Sudan Page 9
Flood: Mum, daughter drown as boat capsizes ...Another three die in Delta ... Jonathan in Kogi, says 25% Pages 6 & 7 Nigerians displaced
Keystone Bank MD quits
ONDO GUBER: Fireworks as Mimiko tackles Akeredolu, Oke N150
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2012 VOL. 7 NO. 2472
Flood: Mum, daughter drown as boat capsizes • Another three die in Delta
PDP (Oke) is relying on a principle. He (Akeredolu) is relying on a godfather. I, am relying on God the Father for victory – Mimiko
Page 6 Page 13
Murder of UNIPORT students
I watched them kill my brother – Tekena’s sister ‘I protested and tried to save him, but the mob threatened to lynch me along with him’
...Murdered students were all first sons
Pilgrims’ plane denied entry into Saudi, lands in Sudan
Mother of twins plunges into Osun river ...11 days after delivery Traffic logjam on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as a result of blockage of the road by tanker drivers who were protesting alleged shooting of their tires by unknown gunmen, yesterday. Photo: NAN
DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012, DAILY SUN
Reps probe Otedola’s N140.9bn AMCON debt repayment deal By IHEANACHO NWOSU and CHUKS AKUNNA, Abuja
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he House of Representatives, yesterday, mandated an 8-member ad hoc panel led by the Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos/ACN), to investigate the payment of N140.9 billion owed by the Chairman of Zenon Oil Ltd., Femi Otedola, to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). They said the probe was expedient to determine the truth behind the transaction, which they said was done in “confidentiality and in secrecy.” Other members of the ad hoc panel include Sani Kalgo, Pally Iriase, Uzor Azubuike, Evelyn Ojakabor, Idris Wase, Jerry Manwe and Muraina Ajibola. Moving the motion under Matters of Urgent National Importance, Abimbola Daramola (Ekiti/ACN) asked the House to set up a committee to conduct a full investigation into the transaction. Daramola stated that the AMCON act stipulated that the operations of the corporation must be made transparent, published in available media and presented to the National Assembly, Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a provision federal lawmakers insist, was not followed in the N140.9 billion deal. “If the full extent and spectrum of the transaction is not looked into, it may be a harbinger of a catastrophic disaster worse than the near collapse witnessed in the stock market where many Nigerians not only lost their life investments but lives,” Daramola stated in his lead debate. Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited and Forte Oil Plc., both owned by Otedola, recently paid outstanding debts of N140, 999, 620, 395.80 owed Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria AMCON in contentious circumstances. The Director General of AMCON last week insisted that Otedola paid the debt. He faulted the position of the House, which recently expressed reservations about the payments Speaking shortly after setting up the investigative panel, the Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, mandated the group to report its findings to the House within one month. On Wednesday, the House spokesman, Zakari Mohammed, said in a statement: “It is curious that AMCON, being a government establishment, which is under the purview of the National Assembly, could do that without the knowledge of the House.” In September, CBN, in a circular dated September 17, barred Nigerian banks from extending further credit to companies, belonging to Mr. Femi Otedola. CBN’s decision was hinged on the reluctance by some debtors to pay back their loans despite the purchase of the debts at an agreed price by AMCON. The circular, signed by CBN’s Director, Banking Supervision, Mrs. A. O. Martins, which was accompanied by a detailed list of the blacklisted debtors, showed that Zenon Petroleum and Forte Oil Plc. were indebted to banks to the tune of N192.4 billion. It will be recalled that Otedola in a purported “sting” operation sanctioned by Nigeria’s State Security Service (SSS), video tapped a $620,000 bribe offered the suspended Chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee that investigated the Federal Government’s fuel subsidy payments. Faroukk Lawan, the committee’s chairman, allegedly received the payment from Otedola to clear the latter’s oil firm, Zenon, earlier indicted for fuel fraud investigated by the lower house. Lawan insisted that he took the money as evidence.
DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012
DAILY SUN 5
President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Hajia Mariam Ibrahim (right), confering ANAN Fellowship on ComptrollerGeneral of Customs, Dikko Abdullahi, at the 17th Annual Conference of Certified Accountants in Abuja, yesterday
President Goodluck Jonathan (right), carrying a four-day old baby delivered by Mrs. Esther Omashi (left) during his visit to Adankolo flood victims’ camp in Lokoja, yesterday. L-R: Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike and Second Republic president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, at the Sultan’s Palace during the minister’s visit to Sokoto State, yesterday.
COVER Aluu 4: How my brother was killed – Tekena’s sister From TONY JOHN, Port-Harcourt
sister of one of the four University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) students brutally murdered last Friday in Umuokiri village, Aluu, Rivers State, has narrated how her younger brother and his friends were lynched. Miss Ibisobia Elkanah, elder sister of Tekena Friday Elkanah, revealed yesterday that policemen visited the scene where the students were burnt to death after they were severely injured and that one of the law enforcement agents told the perpetrators of the dastardly act “to burn them alive” The murdered students, Chiadika Lordson, Ugonna Kelechi Obusor, Mike Lloyd Toku, and Tekena Elkanah, all part two students, were murdered in cold blood over alleged theft of a laptop computer and a blackberry phone. Ibisobia, a part-time final year student of Marketing, at the same university who witnessed the incident, said on that fateful day, at about 7.30 am, she was at the house of her girl friend in the community when she heard people shouting outside. “I dashed out and beckoned on my friend to come since she lived in the area. The thing attracted much noise and attention. I went there but did not actually see or recognize any of them, due to the crowd. “I heard when people were saying the people they (vigilance group) caught were strangers; that they want to burn them. They said they were asking them questions, so that they could know their senders.” She said after that, she went back to her friend’s house, but could not stay there. “I went back again. I went through the bush path so that I could see them properly. I started jumping to see if I could see them. I jumped again but saw nothing. I jumped the second time and I saw Tekena. Tekena happened to be my brother. “I told myself that I was not seeing well, this thing is a lie. I jumped the third time, I saw Lloyd (one of the victims). So, I started shouting. From what I gathered, the first time I came, they said they were not known; that they were strangers. As I identified them, I started shouting.
Ibisobia said she continued shouting that Tekena was her brother, saying that he came to her on Thursday in school and she gave him his school fees. “I told them that somebody should allow me to ask him what happened and what he came to do. He would confide in me. He was wailing and in a pool of blood.” “Tekena has been my younger brother for many years. I saw them as they lay in the water naked with leaves covering their nakedness.” His elder sister said she struggled and entered the crowd. Somebody shouted “Who is that? What is she doing inside?” “People were pushing me and I started crying.
He is my brother! He is not a thief! Somebody behind me said O’girl run for your life. About two persons turned and asked, are you sure he is your brother, and said may be I was the person that sent him to go and steal.” Ibisobia replied them that how could she send him, that she did not look as such. ‘They said I should run for my life that I would be the next one, fifth person.” The young lady lamented that before she could get to her friend’s room to call her family members, she learnt that the mob had taken them to the burrow pit. “So, I went there again. I called my family and they started coming. The police van came, went
into the mob and they were talking to them (youths). The people kept quiet as police were making statements. “I heard them laughing. You know, they were happy. They kept quiet again. Police talked and they laughed again. The next was for me to see three policemen coming out of the mob, boarded their van. And, one of the said “burn them alive”. “I must confess, I was gripped with fear. I had the intention to talk to the man that said they should be burnt alive. As soon as they (police) drove off, I saw the flames. I was thinking they burnt them after they had killed them. Later, I discovered that they were burnt while they were alive.
AIG storms Rivers over murdered UNIPORT students From CHRIS ANUCHA, Port Hacourt
arents of the four students of the University of Port Harcourt, murdered last Friday by an irate mob in Aluu community, Rivers State are still in consultation with their lawyer, Peter Ndukwe, on how to get justice for the slain students. Mr. Biringa Stephen, a native of Obowo Local Government Area of Imo State is the father of Lordson. Stephen, a father of four boys described his son as an obedient and humble child who never took anything in the house unless it was given to him. Lordson, who celebrated his 20th birthday on September 26, according to the father, loved keeping friends. He said all he wants is justice, especially, carrying out investigation to ascertain if his son was actually an armed robber or not. “There is need for justice. I know that my son can’t come back to life. But, let the allegation of robbery be proved. I want his name cleared from robbery allegation. Let the whole world know that he was not an armed robber and let Aluu people be told that they were wrong to murder or slaughter innocent children this way in the 21st century. This will serve as a deterrent to others. Let justice be done. I have been putting my son together to become somebody that will con-
... Victims were first sons –Parents tribute positively to Nigeria; somebody that will give back to the society, now he is no more here,” he said amid sobs. Meanwhile, there is something unique about the murdered students. Daily Sun gathered that all of them were the first sons of their various parents. Also, two of the murdered students, Ugonna and Llyod were musicians. In fact, they had already produced a demo. He was also angry that since the incident occurred, the family had not been contacted officially by either the police or UNIPORT authorities. “As I’m talking to you now, I have not been contacted by anybody.” Llyod’s mother, Mrs. Jane Toku, described her son as the best any mother could ask for. She said that after giving birth to him, she never gave birth to another child until eleven years after. “I had another child after 11 years, you can imagine the closeness to him.” “The news of his death was like the whole world has collapsed on me. When I got to where they were killed, and saw the lifeless body of my son, it was as if the world has ended. I saw him in agony,” she said. Her husband, Toku is wondering if the com-
munity used the children to appease the gods, considering their uniqueness; being first sons of their parents. The father of Ugonna Obuzor, Messiah, said his son was 18 years on May 30, 2012. Contrary to the news making the rounds that Ugonna’s mother collapsed and died after hearing the news of the death of her son, Obuzor said his wife died on October 26, 2005. He explained that his son would not have stolen a laptop, as he had been exposed to computer since his primary school days. He said: “I have lost a gifted, talented, brilliant child.” Meanwhile, an Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mutari Ibrahim, has arrived Rivers State, in connection with the tragic death of the four students. The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Abubakar was said to have sent the senior police officer to meet the Vice Chancellor of UNIPORT, Professor Joseph Ajienka. The AIG, Daily Sun gathered, was expected to convey IGP’s message to the parents of the victims, and brief the state police command on his (IGP’s) expectations concerning the matter, especially the task of fishing out those involved in the dastardly act, and bringing them to justice.
6 DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012
NEWS 100 communities ravaged by flood in Delta From EMMANUEL OGOIGBE, Warri
o fewer than 100 communities were ravaged and property worth millions of naira destroyed by the floods, which submerged several buildings in Ayakoromo, in Burutu Local Government area of Delta State. Investigation revealed that about 50,000 persons affected were now taking refuge in Warri, Sapele and neighbouring towns and villages. Most affected was Ayakoromo community, which had about 25 villages and fishing camp. On-the-spot assessment by Daily Sun correspondent revealed a pathetic situation as hundreds of persons trapped by the surging flood were now finding it difficult to move out of their houses. Ayakoromo is the hometown of the late John Togo, which was turned to battlefield in 2010 during a face-off between General Togo’s militant group and the Federal troops. Daily Sun gathered during a visit to Ayakoromo that buildings destroyed during the crisis and rebuilt by the Federal Government had been destroyed and reduced to rubble. Effort by some flood victims to free themselves from the danger zone almost claimed the lives of ten children and 12 pregnant women, as the rag-tagged boat in which they were travelling to cross to the hinterland capsized, but were rescued by some fishermen around. Addressing newsmen on the pathetic situation, the national President, Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative (IPDI) Comrade Austin Ojobo, described as sad the problem and pains the flood had caused the people. Ojobo, who is also a victim of the rampaging flood, lamented that he could not remove a pin from his house at Ayakoromo, adding that all his life savings went down the drain. He named some of the affected communities to include, Babagbene Gbekebor, Obotobe, Yayorogbene, Ekoro-Gbene and Abegbene. Others include Okwagbe, Oborogbenghan, Ogongbene, Newtown and a lot of others. He, however called on both the Federal and state government to come to the aid of the victims by supplying relief materials, foodstuff, regretting that there was no single camp in the area that had a large population. The human right activists also called for the judicious use of the relief materials and money that would be sent to the victims to cushion the hardship they were facing. Following the devastating effect of flooding in the area, a basket of gari which used to sell at N400 now cost between N1,300 and N1500.
Endure, your trauma’ll end soon, Jonathan tells Kogi flood victims From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
resident Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday in one of the flood relief camps in Kogi State, urged them to endure the temporary discomfort, assuring that “it would soon be over.” He visited the victims at the Dankolo Primary School relief camp in Lokoja city after an aerial inspection of the flooded areas in a helicopter. The camp was one of the 86 camps in Kogi State accommodating both young and old, male and females including newly born babies. President Jonathan who was visibly shaken by the condition of the victims in the camp, interacted briefly with them and specially requested to see all newly-born babies in the camp after which he told them that he personally came to see them to show that his government was concerned about their plight and to show commitment of government in cushioning the effects of the flood disaster in their lives. “We are very sad over these flood incidences in the country, it is a national disaster. We are thinking of how to settle you all back to your places after the floods. Government is doing everything possible to cushion the effects on you. Please endure it will soon be over,” he assured. “Though you will bear some pains now, be assured that you have a government that will help you, even if you had borrowed money to cultivate your farms, don’t worry let the flood come down. We know how to help you deal with the situation. I inaugurated a committee today (yesterday) headed by Dangote that will mobilize funds to take care of your settlement”, he further assured the victims. According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), state coordinator, Ishaya Chonoko, said 344 communities in nine local government areas were affected by the flood incidence resulting in 623,900 people being displaced in the state. “The flood really did a lot of havoc in this state, apart from displacing 623,900 people from their homes, 152,575 hectares of farm lands were destroyed by the flood.” Also speaking, the Red Cross coordinator in the camp, Jubril Ebiloma said that it has not been easy managing the victims in the camp.
•An aerial view of submerged houses in Lokoja, Kogi State yesterday.
Flood: 25% Nigerians displaced -Jonathan •Relief committee targets N100bn –Dangote From JULIANA TAIWOOBALONYE, Abuja
resident Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday called for urgent help from Nigerians and other well-meaning individuals for victims of the flood, lamenting that the situation has become desperate as no fewer than 25 per cent of the country’s population had been displaced by the flood ravaging different parts of the country. He made the appeal at the Presidential Villa, Abuja while inaugurating the National Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, co-chaired by business mogul, Aliko Dangote, and a former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN). They were charged with the responsibility to raise funds to complement Federal Government’s efforts at providing relief to the victims and the post-impact rehabilitation of affected persons and communities. Globacom Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr., who was named as the Chief Fund Mobiliser, was absent at the inauguration. The President said his major concern was how to resettle the displaced persons immediately after the flood recedes from mid-November as projected. Jonathan regretted that some states of the federation, including his home state Bayelsa, were about 70 per cent submerged. He said his government was sad that Nigeria was facing what he called its unfair share of the global phenomenon and tasked members of the committee to ascertain the impact of the flood on the people raise funds to complement or augment government’s efforts to mitigate the pains and advise government on other things incidental. He said he expect-
ed the job to be completed in 12 months. Jonathan said, “When people face this kind of flood devastation, it is no longer a national issue, it is an international issue because of the magnitude of refugees. “This is a country of 167 million as at November last year’s projection. It’s almost a year since that figure was released though the Commission is yet to release fresh figures. We are definitely more than that now. “And when you consider the fact that about 25 per cent or so of these communities are impacted by that, though the actual figure of the land and area affected is yet to get to us, have been affected by the flood. “I spoke to my governor
yesterday, he was so desperate because he said people do not even have food because all the channels of communications to Bayelsa State has been blocked by water. “So you have enormous responsibility but we believe you are equal to the task.” “The President seized the occasion to again sympathize with the victims, assuring of his government’s commitment to ameliorate their suffering. “Let me again emphasis and express my empathy with victims of flood across our country. We as a Government feel terribly worried, we feel sad that this ravaging flood is really affecting so many of our people. There are so e states that 50 to 70 per cent including my state are under water. This is why in addition to measures
we have taken in terms of releasing funds to government agencies and directly to state governments to assist in helping to manage this disaster, we feel compel to set up this committee to generate funds to assist government in managing these people. The committee’s key responsibility is one, to have an overview of the degree of impact of the floods. Most of you as individuals or as organizations have been going round and helping, you have the bird’s eye view of what the country is facing. You are to especially raise funds to complement or augment Federal Government’s effort to cushion the immediate effect if flooding and the resettlement and recovery of affected persons.”
Mother, daughter drown in Anambra •Man attempts suicide as reptiles invade community From EMMANUEL UZOR, Onitsha
alpable grief enveloped Umudara village, Ihite, in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State after Mrs. Afugwobi and her daughter, Edith were drowned in the flooded community. Daily Sun gathered that the incident happened Mrs. Afugwobi and her daughter, Edith, an SS3 student of First Foundation Secondary School, Ihiala went to harvest their cassava when the canoe they rode in capsized. According to an eyewitness, as the deceased were returning home after harvesting some cassava they were able to salvage, their boat capsized and they were unable to swim to safety. Speaking on the incident, the Proprietor of First Foundation Secondary School,
Ihiala, Mr. Nduka Onyemueze said the community especially those at the riverine areas had been completely submerged and neglected by both individuals and the state government. Onyemueze further lamented that the devastating effects of the flood, which, he said, apart from resulting in the death of his student and her mother had also brought untold hardship to the community. “It pains us that the state and Federal Government and even individuals have forgotten everything about us. They forgot that Ihiala, especially the food producing villages comprising Umudara, Umuduru, Umuezeawala, Umuedike and Amaduru have been seriously submerged and no help has come from anywhere. Apart from the recent devastation and injuries caused by this flood when it took the lives of
mother and daughter who unfortunately was my student, we have been faced with challenges of confronting the invasion of water animals, like dangerous snakes and other reptiles” he said. He therefore called on government to come to their aid, adding “as the food basket of the entire council area and indeed the state in general, Ihite Ihiala and the villages that make up Ihite have a common boundary with Ogwaniocha in Ogbaru council area which made us more vulnerable than other communities” Onyemueze also lamented the possible outbreak of epidemic, stressing that their only source of drinking water has been polluted by the flood and urged good spirited individuals to assist in providing succour to the displaced persons in the community.
DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012, 7
NEWS 10 kids rescued from drowning in Ijaw community From FEMI FOLARANMI, Yenagoa
en children were yesterday rescued from drowning in Ayakoromor, an Ijaw community in Delta State, as raging flood entered the second week. This is even as the Power Holding Company of Nigeria has warned of an imminent blackout in Bayelsa as transformers were being submerged due to the increasing flood. In Ayakoromor, the combined efforts of the Youths led by the National Coordinator of the Ijaw Peoples Development Initiatives (IPDI), Comrade Austin Ozobo saved the drowning children. Ozobo who narrated the incident said the flood had destroyed the community with over 30,000 inhabitants displaced, adding that the 10 rescued kids nearly drowned but were saved by community effort. According to him, communities affected include Bobogbene, Gbekebor, Obotobe, Yayorogbene, Ekorogbene, Abegbene, Okwagbe, Ofonigbenghan, Ogbingbene, Newtown, Ekorogbene, Azibiri, Ogodobiri and Ogbin-ama in Burutu Local Government Area have lost their properties and valuable documents to the flood. Comrade Brialade Mienpeikumo, said all the economic sources of the communities have been ravaged and that the crisis of food shortage was gradually surpassing the flood. “These people hardly eat once a day, as children were sustained by continue water intake to quench the taste for food. We are calling on the state government and leaders of other relevant authorities to come to our aid in sitting relief camp in appropriate areas and provision of adequate care for the victims as a matter of urgency.” In Yenagoa, PHCN yesterday expressed worry over the rising cases of flooding of Electrical installations and facilities in some parts of Bayelsa State. It hinted that the company might be forced to shut down electricity supply in the state as it could not risk the destruction of its installations.
Yoruba leader donates food items, feeds 19,000 Benue flood victims From ROSE EJEMBI, Makurdi
resident of the Yoruba community in Benue State, Asiwaju Isaac Akinkunmi on Wednesday called on public-spirited individuals to donate generously towards alleviating the suffering of people who were displaced by flood in the state. Akinkumi made this call Wednesday while donating food items worth over N2million to the displaced persons in the three camps established by the state government in Makurdi. Akinkumi, who is the Chairman of Tito Group of Companies also went along with cooked rice, Tito yogourt, snacks and water to feed the over 19,000 flood victims. The Yoruba leader, and his team went round the three camps located in the capital city provided a plate of boiled rice, yoghurts, meat pie and sachet water to all the displaced persons while he also ate from the boiled rice, saying, ‘this is what we eat at the eatery’. He urged the displaced persons not to be disappointed with the conditions pointing out that challenges abound in all human endeavours. “There must be challenges in life but the most important thing is how to confront the problems and surmount them.”
Bayelsa Gov raises alarm as flood threatens Govt House From FEMI FOLARANMI, Yenagoa
overnor Henry Seriake Dickson has raised the alarm that the Bayelsa State Government House is under threat from the raging flood in the state. Dickson who was speaking to the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke during her visit, to flood victims, in Yenagoa, said Bayelsa remained the most impacted state in the country that had continued to suffer from the rising level of the flood in the last two weeks. According to him, Bayelsa State is the worst hit due to its geographical location, which placed the state below sea level, coupled with the fact that major rivers and tributaries empty into the Atlantic Ocean through the state. While noting that the flood is “a tragedy of monumental and unimaginable proportion”, the Governor said the water level was still rising at a rate that was threatening even the government house.” The challenge ahead of government is enormous as the ravaging flood has created a crisis that has many dimensions, with communication facilities and other public structures collapsing,” he stated. He disclosed that the flood was now threatening the temporary camps set up for flood victims, adding that the government would have no choice in the next couple of days to resettle them elsewhere.
• President Goodluck Jonathan meets babies born at the camp for persons displaced by flood in Lokoja, Kogi State yesterday.
We’re dying, flood victims cry in Kogi …As sharp practices rock relief camps From EMMANUEL ADEYE- ed their ordeals: MI, Lokoja ZAINAB IBRAHIM 65 overnment officials yrs I am a widow with 10 chiland greedy individuals may have taken advan- dren, I laboured to build a ten tage of the flood disaster on room bungallow at Hausa Kogi State to enrich them- street, Adankolo but all has been washed away by flood. selves, Daily Sun gathered. Our condition in the camp A discreet survey carried out on the flood disaster in the is worst, there is not enough state revealed that figures on to eat. We are only being fed those affected were grossly with three satchets on amplified while bogus sums indomie for a family of 10. of money were being menJOHNSON ENEJO tioned as cost resulting from CIVIL SERVANT 44 yrs the disaster. We are only being starving For example, the state government put the number of here, we only hear of millions those affected as two million being donated to goverment and the monetary value of but none comes to us except property destroyed at over the one personally given out N2billion. This has been dis- to us. We discovered that some covered to be exaggerated. Also it was observed that government offials especially there were more than 30 fake SEMA officials and some refugee camps created across other political office holders the state ostensibly to divert are not honest the exception of NEMA officials and Red funds and materials meant for cross who are very diligent the refugees to private pockets and helpful. It was also gathered that most of the refugees were still UMORU NDAKWO living in pitiable condition 25yrs LANDLORD with most of them sleeping on My father has a sevenempty stomach. room bungallow and I built a The state government, it is gathered, has received about N1billion so far as donations with the Federal Government EMMANUEL donating N500 million, From Alhaji Aliko Dangote, N430 OGOIGBE, Warri million and several other t least three persons donations from corporate have lost their lives to bodies and kind-hearted indiflooding in Isoko land, viduals, yet all these seemed Delta State. not to have reflected in the Daily Sun gathered that standard of the living of the two farmers died in Oyede refugees. It was also gathered that community Isoko North since the Federal Government Government Area, while announced the release of another man was said to have N500 million as succour to died in Irri, Isoko South Local cushion of the effect the flood Government Area. It was learnt that the two disaster, many towns and vilwomen in desperation had lages especially in Igala land have suddenly turned out to gone to the farms to salvage what they could from the be flooded areas. Some of the victims narrat- flood.
three-bed room beside it which the flood submerged We are being fed with biscuits and indomie with small cup of rice. The toilet facility is disheartenening and there are no drugs to take care of those who are sick
There was no medical people to attend to me I had to be rushed to Federal Medical Centre by a visitor. The situation here is not conducive at all, we are still being fed with N30 loaf of bread per family and I have five children plus the new ADESUPO born.
RACHEL 35yrs I just gave birth to this baby girl two days ago. It was a good Samaritan who rushed me to hospital and paid part of my hospital bill. I was only given these two cups of beans to feed me and my six children and we do not even know when the next will come. I am from Ekiti State.
FAITH EMMANUEL, WIDOW 28yrs I was a tenant at Kabawa when the food suddenly came at night, we lost all our property to the flood and I had to quickly evacuate my children to the camp. Now they can no longer go to school and we are starving and nowhere to run to. ESTHER OMACHI 25yrs I gave birth also in the camp on Wednesday night.
ISAYA ISA CHINOKO, NEMA OFFICER We have been able to effectively render assistance to flood victims in four areas of interventions namely; camp management, needs and onthe-spot assessment, provision of relief materials, and rescuing operations in collaboration with the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority “We mobilize our search and rescue department to rescue over 7000 people trapped in Ibaji Local Government, which is the worst hit and we have distributed over N17 million worth of drugs to victims through the state ministry of health. Inspite of Kogi’s classification as category A, we are happy that no death was recorded in the state because of our proactive measures.
Flood kills 3 in Isoko, Delta State
They had gone to uproot the premature cassava but their canoe capsized and drowned in the pool of water. Their bodies were recovered yesterday and have since been buried. Also, at Irri, a man simply identified as Awee Itimi, from Okogho quarters also died on his farm land. The man was said to have collapsed in the bush and died ostensibly because of the losses incurred from the flooding of his farm. Meanwhile, corpses deposited at the Aluta Memorial Clinic’s Mortuary
located in Amawa Layout in Oleh, the local council headquarters were yesterday evacuated following the upsurge of flood in that part of the community. The corpses were lined up in the Amawa layout road yesterday where vehicles were moving them to unknown destinations. It was learnt that petty thieves were invading houses of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), massively looting properties of victims. Specifically, houses in Uzere community that were flooded have been burgled and looted.
8 DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012
ICPC boss lauds ACTU officers
he Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta, has described the Anti-Corruption and Transparent Units (ACTU) in the various government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as agents of positive change. ACTU members, he said, must therefore be regarded as “ethics and compliance officers” in these organisations. According to him, they should therefore not be subjected to punitive actions of not being promoted or other subtle threats simply because they are regarded as “whistle blowers.” The ICPC chairman made the remark while responding to the address by the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Mallam Muntaka Rabe Dama, who led the management and ACTU Unit of the agency on a courtesy visit to ICPC headquarters in Abuja. In his address, the executive secretary lamented the problems associated with frivolous petitions in the public service and requested the ICPC to assist the PTDF audit its procedures and processes with a view to correcting any noticeable lapses in its manner of operations. The ICPC chairman agreed with the views of the executive secretary about the destabilising effect of incessant invitation of busy chief executives and staff of government departments to anti-graft agencies as a result of numerous petitions. Several man-hours, he said, were often wasted in the course of coming to answer questions and it might take several months to investigate a petition. “At the end of the day it is most demoralising to all parties when you discover that the petition was sent with malicious intent. It costs a lot of money to carry out investigations and people travel a lot risking their lives for something you know is not true,” Nta declared. He reminded authors of malicious and frivolous petitions they might be subjected to Section 64, Sub-section 3 of the ICPC Act which states inter alia: “Any person who gives the information referred to in Sub-section (1) knowing the information to be false shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years and shall also be liable to a fine not exceeding N100,000.” However, he stated that since most of the petitions were generated in-house from those organisations, the various ACTUs must be more alert to their monitoring roles to check and prevent acts of corruption. This, he said, would reduce wastage of public funds and allow investigators concentrate on more serious assignments.
Lagos Assembly promises to address Okada riders’ petition over new traffic law By CHINELO OBOGO
he Lagos State House of Assembly has promised to look into the commercial motorcycle riders (Okada) petition over their restriction by the state government from some routes in the state and the alleged sale of impounded motorcycles. Deputy Speaker, Kolawole Taiwo, who addressed the petitioners explained that a public hearing was carried out by the House of Assembly to get the opinion of stakeholders on the bill before it was passed into law. While appreciating their peaceful protests he promised that their reasonable complaints would be treated on the floor of the House as soon as possible. One of the representatives of the Okada riders, Mr. Dandi Eze, who addressed members of the House of Assembly said the traffic law was not beneficial to the motorcycle operators and should therefore be reviewed. He said the section of the law restricting commercial motorcycle operators from 459 routes in the state was an indication that the government intended to ban the operators outright. Eze also added that they had been informed that impounded motorcycles were being sold to influential people at N15,000. “These bikes are usually bought on hire purchase. When they are impounded by government agents, how do they want us to live?” Another member of the group, Mr. Joseph Amadi also explained that only Schedule 1 was agreed to, which banned them from the highways and the compulsory use of helmet. “Please allow us to continue use of the restricted roads. We are amazed that the law even passed through the legislative process,” he said. Taiwo appealed to them not to take the law into their hands by conducting themselves peacefully while promising that their petition would be looked into.
•Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan diagnosing a patient in Oleh camp of the flood displaced persons in Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State when the governor visited the camp yesterday.
Aluu killings: Perpetrators’ll be punished, says Presidency From FRED ITUA, Abuja
fter days of endless speculations regarding the position of the Presidency on the insane killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt by villagers in Aluu community, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Students Matters, Mr. Jude Imagbe, yesterday, said the perpetrators would face the wrath of the law. The presidential aide stated this at the ongoing National Youth Conference on Constitution Review holding in Abuja. According to him, the Federal Government was on top of its game to bring justice to the un-mindful killings. “When I watched the video clip of that senseless murder, I couldn’t hold back my tears,” Imagbe stated. “I wonder how Nigerian youths have degenerated to this level. The Rivers State governor is on top of this also and I promise you that justice will be served.”
Speaking on the need to review some sections of the 1999 Constitution to reflect the yearnings and aspirations of the youths, the presidential aide said, “it is when the constitution meets with the yearnings and aspirations of the people that it can benefit them. It must capture the yearnings of the youths because as it stands now, Nigerian youths have no place in the gover-
nance of this country. We must realise as youths that the older generation can’t fight for us. “They’re closer to their graves than us. We must fight for the Nigeria of our dream. This youth constitutional conference must find a way to find a place for the Nigerian youths.” Speaking in a similar tone, the Board Chairperson of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust
...ACN decries killing, wants culprits brought to justice
he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has strongly condemned the lynching of four students of the University of Port Harcourt by an obviously deranged mob, saying such a barbaric act “debases our humanity and strips us all of our dignity.” In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said all those involved in
the horrendous and callous act should be fished out and brought to justice to serve as a deterrence to others. It said in a society governed by law, it was imperative that those deemed to have committed any offence whatsoever be allowed to have their day in court rather than be subjected to mob justice. “This is what informs the saying that it is better that 10 guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer,” the party
...Legal practitioner condemns act •As Briggs, Odumakin demand justice By DICKSON OKAFOR and KATE HALIM
lawyer and activist, Mr. Abumchukwu Okoye, has condemned the unlawful killing of the four students of Rivers State University who were alleged to be robbers, by the people of Aluu community. He stated that even if it was true they were robbers the community had no right to take the laws into their hands. The lawyer frowned at the allegation, stating that nobody was guilty unless the court proved otherwise. He said he wept for Nigeria because he could not believe this kind of barbaric act could
Fund (NSITF), Dr. Ngozi Juliet Olejeme said, “when young people are coordinated and involved in decision making process, they tend to be more committed to the course of national development. “I urge you to be realistic in your demands and input to the ongoing constitution review process being organised by the National Assembly.”
happen at this period of the nation’s existence. He pointed out that the best thing that could have been done was to arrest the suspects and take them to police station for investigation and prosecution at the law court and if found guilty punished and not jungle justice. Okoye wondered if there was no Area Command of the Nigeria Police Force where the community leaders would have reported the case and possibly taken the boys into police custody or if there was no government in Rivers State? “Must we destroy our generation or youths?” He emphasised that he was not concerned with what the
students might have done, saying whatever they did, the community should not have taken the law into their hands. Meanwhile, top human rights activist and Executive Director, Agape Birthrights, Annkio Briggs, has called on relevant authorities to bring to book the perpetrators of the murder of four Uniport students last weekend. According to her, the horrific manner in which the young men were cut down in their prime does not need to go unpunished. “As a Christian, I am horrified, as human, I am heart-broken and as a Rivers State indigene, I am ashamed. I join everyone to demand for nothing else but justice.
said. It described as encouraging the statement credited to the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, that the police would investigate the killing and that such act was unacceptable in any democratic society where the sanctity of human life remained key. ACN said all Nigerians should be concerned that the situation in the country had deteriorated to such a level that human beings could be so cruelly treated, so mercilessly beaten, so senselessly hacked and so callously doused in petrol and set ablaze, a treatment that should not even be meted out to animals. “The implication of the incredible act of wickedness meted to these young men is that many of our people are becoming numb to actions that should ordinarily jolt human sensibilities. This is what happens in an environment of uncontrolled violence as we have across our country now, where mass killings are becoming the norm. “This is why the Federal Government, supported by all state governments and indeed all Nigerians, must wake up to its responsibility and strive to end the pervasive insecurity in our land,” the party said.
DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012, 9
NEWS N43.2bn subsidy theft: Magistrate remands oil magnate Ifeanyi Ubah, others By FAITH OMORUYI
Lagos Magistrate Court sitting at Tinubu has remanded Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah and four other executives of his company at the state Special Fraud Unit (SFU) for 14 days over alleged N43.291billion fuel subsidy fraud. Ubah (42) along with his company’s Head of Trading, Nsikan Nsoro (35); its General Manager for Operations, Chibuzor Ogbuokiri (48); its Depot Manager, Godfrey Okorie (41) and its Executive Director for Operations, Orji Anayo (46) are currently before Magistrate Martins Owumi on remand proceedings. The prosecuting counsel, Asuquo Effiong, had made an application for their remand dated October 11, 2012 pursuant to Section 264 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL), 2011 because they were reasonably suspected to have allegedly committed offences of economic sabotage, obtaining money by false pretences, stealing the said sum, money laundering and forgery. The prosecution sought for a 30-day remand in police custody pending further investigations as the suspects might still be needed. The application was supported with an 18-paragraph affidavit and an exhibit. Delivering his ruling, the magistrate ordered that the suspects be remanded for 14 days at SFU, Ikoyi but if their counsel wanted to seek bail, he had to make a motion not an oral application for bail before the magistrate considering the enormous amount of money involved.
Nigerian pilgrims’ plane denied entry into S’ Arabia ...Lands in Sudan By AKEEB ALARAPE
Kabo aircraft conveying Nigerian pilgrims had to make a forced landing in Sudan capital, Khartoum on Wednesday after being denied entry into Saudi Arabia. The aircraft with Reg. No. N9-1143, was conveying pilgrims from Kaduna State but denied landing by the authorities of the King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, due to communication lapses as regards its condition. It was gathered that the Saudi aviation authorities denied landing permit to the aircraft after it had entered its (Saudi) airspace. The refusal forced the pilot to make a detour to neighbouring Khartoum Airport to enable Saudi and Nigerian aviation authorities to resolve the issue of the aircraft’s airworthiness. Daily Sun gathered that a routine maintenance check had been conducted on the aircraft and certified airworthy by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) before it left Nigeria in the wee hours of Wednesday. But the information on the routine check was said not to have not reached the Saudi aviation authorities as at the time the aircraft entered the Saudi airspace. Head of Media, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Mallam Uba Mana, confirmed the incident but said the aircraft, which had 523 pilgrims on board, had since landed at the King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, late afternoon of Wednesday.
Collision on ramp: AIB,NCAA complete investigation By UCHE USIM
he Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have completed the preliminary investigations into Wednesday incident where an IRS aircraft’s wing hit a truck belonging to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) which was stuck in a gutter, as it attempted to take off from Lagos Airport. Daily Sun gathered that officials of both agencies stormed the incident spot and took all needed measurement with a view to coming up with a report that would prevent re-occurence. The Spokesman of AIB, Tunji Oketunbi, told Daily Sun that: “ our officials have gone to the site and it appears to be a minor incident, so NCAA is handling it.” The Managing Director of the airline, Yemi Dada who spoke with Daily Sun on phone said the company had been cleared by the authorities to commence repairs of the damaged airplane. He lamented that the damage which had forced the aircraft out of service temporarily robbed the company N15 million daily revenue. “So apart from the cost of fixing the airplane, we’re losing N15million daily since the airplane is out of service for now. So it may take us up to six days to completely effect the repairs and you now add the loss to the cost of repairs. So, we’re talking of hundreds of millions. These are some of the things we hope to address with the authorities going forward,” he explained.
•Abike is 50!!! Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal (3rd left), celebrant, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, House Leader, Mulikat Akande Adeola, members, House of Representatives, Dr Samuel Adejare, Muniru Hakeem (left) and others during the 50th birthday of Abike Dabiri-Erewa at the National Assembly, Abuja.
We’ll resist attempt to hijack constitution amendment –Senate From ADETUTU FOLASADEKOYI, Abuja enate yesterday kick-started a further amendment of the 1999 Constitution with a declaration that it would resist any attempt to hijack the process. Besides, Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, declared before senators that Nigeria did not need state police at this point in time. Also, calls for a sovereign national conference echoed at the public hearing yesterday. In his opening remarks at a two-day national public hearing on a fresh amendment of the 1999 Constitution convened by the Senate Committee on Constitution Review (CRC), the Senate president reiterated that the upper legislative chamber would make sure that all views espoused count. Mark said, “let me assure you also that whatever view you espouse here shall ultimately count. In this most solemn of task, the National Assembly neither harbours any presumptions, hidden agenda, preconceptions, nor an intention to foist a fait accompli. “It is the ultimate synthesis of the desires of the people of Nigeria, analysed and carefully considered in the context of modern realities, that will prevail. What the Senate will certainly resist is any attempt by a vocal minority to tyrannically hijack the process and impose its views on the majority...” Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who also chairs the Senate CRC, recalled the gains of the last amendment and echoed Mark that the committee would not be intimidated from any quarter.
“Inflammatory statements and unfounded imputation of motives will only envenom the process and make consensus building difficult, if not impossible. We must all be willing to give and also to take.” Ekweremadu stated that equity and justice were necessary ingredients if a country wanted to experience peace and shared prosperity.” “Even that which we may be tempted to clutch tightly as our personal, group, sectional and institutional advantages may not necessarily guarantee our happiness and prosperity
because the peace and prosperity of a part can best be guaranteed by the peace and prosperity of the whole. Equity and justice are the parents of peace and unity, just as peace and unity are the springboards of lasting prosperity. “Nigeria is on the march again, continuing from where we stopped in the sixth National Assembly. This public hearing, therefore, comes as a fulfillment of constitutional and legislative due process aimed at ensuring that the Nigerian people own and drive the process.
“It is a continued and strict compliance with the democratic tenets of public participation, inclusivity and transparency as the golden principles in the business of constitution-making, especially one that hopes to stand the test of time. “In line with these principles, we publicised this public hearing extensively in the national dailies as well as the electronic media in the run-up to this exercise to mobilise Nigerians to come forward with their input towards the reengineering of the Nigerian Constitution.
Woman, 60, 19 others escape death •As building collapses in Abeokuta we started packing our loads. From MOSHOOD ADE- We had barely started to hearken to what we described BAYO, Abeokuta as a clarion warning than the t was a narrow escape for a building started caving with a 60-year-old woman and 19 thunderous sound.” As if the state government others yesterday as a storey building collapsed in had premonition of the Abeokuta, the Ogun State impending danger, it had already marked the building capital. The collapsed building sit- for demolition to pave way uated opposite the secretariat for road construction in the of Abeokuta South Local area. Mrs. Risikatu Madojutimi, Government Headquarters, Ake, had long given signs of who occupied a shop in the impending danger with affected building where she sold local gin/herb said the cracks on its wall. Although property within crack signal was the saving the building were destroyed, grace for the occupants of the building. no casualty was recorded. Her words: “The crack sigDaily Sun gathered that the unfortunate incident forced nal was the saving grace for out many of the occupants of all of us as we occupants, the over 50-year-old building. started moving out. But we One of the lucky escapees were surprised that it was not who identified himself as quite long that we started Samuel further stated: “The moving our belongings than sudden crack of the building the building sfinally colwhere some of us have been lapsed.’’ She adds: “ It was through for years sent signal of impending danger to us and the grace of God that all of us
escaped from the collapsing building as we scampered for safety.” Another occupant of the collapsed building, Amuda Olowonyo, while narrating how she escaped from the debris of the building beside which she sold food said she was inside her makeshift shop with some customers when the building collapsed. Showing remnants of the trapped food inside the coolers to Daily Sun and lamenting that she lost food estimated at about N30,000, Amuda thanked God for sparing her life and those of her customers. “It was a narrow escape for me and my customers, a minute delay would have been deadly for me and my customers.” Chairman of Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Lanre Edun, who spoke with newsmen at the scene of the incident, traced the collapse of the building to the heavy rain on Wednesday.
10 DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012
SOUTH SOUTH Cross River donates office accommodation to NDE
ross River State Government has donated a befitting office accommodation to house the South-south zonal office of National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Calabar. Speaking shortly after handing over documents of the complex to the Zonal Director of the agency, Alhaji Ismaila Umar, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Jude Ngaji, who represented Governor Imoke, said the gesture was a demonstration of government’s determination in ensuring that the agency was given a befitting edifice to ensure effective and efficient implementation of its programmes in the state. Imoke who underscored the benefits of establishing a zonal office of the agency in the state said the state was ready to partner the NDE in whatever capacity by exploring avenues of using it as a veritable platform to address the issues of unemployment in the state emphasising further that the provision of the edifice would enhance the agency’s mandate to design and implement programmes that would combat the trend of unemployment in the near future. The South-South Zonal Director, NDE, Umar, disclosed that when fully operational, the new office accommodation would afford the agency the opportunity to effectively monitor the implementation of its programmes in the states under the zone. Umar further stated that the edifice would boost job creation initiatives in the zone as well as bring the agency closer to the public while also enhancing their effort in developing work programmes with labour intensive potentials to feed youths in the zone. He promised to reciprocate the gesture by doubling effort in creating jobs through its empowerment training programmes by making more youths in the zone especially graduates, self-reliant.
2012 Gulder Ultimate Search moves to A’Ibom
overnor Godswill Akpabio wants youths in the country to exploit their potentials by engaging in positive ventures to brighten their future. Akpabio made the call on Wednesday when the Marketing Manager of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Tony Agenmonmen, leading other top management staff of the company and 12 contestants of this year’s edition of Gulder Ultimate Search to be held in Usaka Annang community in Obot Akara Local Government Area paid him a courtesy visit at Governor’s Lodge, Uyo. Akpabio, who described youthfulness as a crucial period in one’s life, emphasised the need for them to love their country, be moderate in their lifestyles, believe in themselves and acknowledge God in their daily activities. “Love your country. If you love your country, you won’t bomb it. You won’t kill people. In anything you do, show moderation. Believe in yourself. More importantly, acknowledge God in whatever you want to do. In your endeavour, allow God to go with you,” the governor asserted. He commended NB Plc for bringing this year’s competition to Akwa Ibom and charged the company to do a followup of past winners of the competition right from 2004 to ensure their talent was not lost, saying, “consider the past winners. Do an evaluation of all the contestants. Invite and integrate the winners into the system.” Akpabio lauded the company for arriving at the choice of the contestants, congratulated the contestants on their emergence from many other applicants.
State creation: Delta north monarchs begin mobilisation From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba
s part of efforts to ensure the creation of Anioma State from the present Delta State, traditional rulers and elders in Delta North Senatorial District have concluded plans to embark on intensive lobbying and mobilisation spanning over one month. The opinion moulders under the aegis of Anioma Congress (AC) told newsmen in Asaba, the state capital, that the creation of Anioma State was not negotiable and would be pursued with the vigour and commitment it deserved. However, the group informed journalists that no stone would be left unturned to ensure the emergence of an Anioma native as governor of the state if was not created before the 2015 general election. Chairman of Secretariat of the congress and former deputy governor of Delta State, Sir Benjamin Elue, who addressed the conference said it would “commence the sensitisation of our people with a mass rally” in Agbor tomorrow. According to him, the programme would focus on the “need for Anioma people to support the creation of Anioma State and in the event of not achieving that, to prepare to take over the governance of Delta State come 2015, through one of their own.”
• Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson (centre), his Deputy, Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah retd (2nd left), Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Edmund Allison Oguru (left), Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke (2nd right) and the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Local Content Development Board, Engr Ernest Nwapa during a visit to Government House in Yenagoa after inspection of flood ravaged communities in the state.
Flood: Dickson describes Bayelsa as worst hit
ayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has said Bayelsa is the most impacted state in the country that has continued to suffer from the rising level of the flood in the last two weeks. Dickson, who made the assertion during the visit of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke to Government House, Yenagoa, attributed the magnitude of the flood in the state to the geographical location, which placed the state below sea level coupled with the fact that major rivers and tributaries emptied into the Atlantic Ocean through the state. Describing the flood as “a tragedy of monumental and unimaginable proportion,” the governor said the water level was still rising at a rate that was threatening even the Government House. Dickson, who informed the minister that the challenge ahead of government was enormous as the ravaging flood had created a crisis that had many dimensions, saying communication facilities and other public structures had all collapsed. The temporary camps set up to accommodate flood victims, he observed, were being threatened by water and in the next couple of days government would have no alternative but to resettle them. The state chief executive stated that government was already dealing with the issue
of security of lives and property of the people coupled with shortage of food. According to the governor, prices of food stuff had skyrocketed due to the fact that parts of the East-West Road had been submerged in water and that as an aftermath of the flood the state was likely to contend with famine. Dickson, who appreciated the efforts of the Federal Government at addressing flooding across the country,
added that he would accompany President Goodluck Jonathan to overfly the state. Earlier, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Allison-Madueke, said she was in the state to see the flood situation for herself. The minister expressed shock at the extent of the flood, stating that she overflew her village, Yenaka and other communities in a chopper but could not land as the area had been completely submerged
by the flood. Describing the situation as a major tragedy, the minister commended the state government for taking proactive measures to alleviate the plight of flood victims. While noting that the state was facing a major scourge as hygiene and health conditions of the people were beginning to deteriorate, Mrs. AllisonMadueke stressed the need for effective cooperation with the state government to tackle the situation.
Be dedicated to duty, Navy boss enjoins Naval personnel From EMMANUEL should continue to be dedicated, hardworking and render OGOIGBE, Warri selfless service at all times,” ommanding Officer, remarked the Navy boss He, however, reminded N.N.S Delta, Warri, Navy Commodore them that promotion in the Stephen Kor, has enjoined Navy came as a result of hard officers and men of the base work and loyalty to the conto remain committed in the stituted authority, adding that there was no short cut to sucdischarge of their duties. Kor who gave the charge cess. “This is the time for you to yesterday while decorating five newly promoted officers, be more serious in your job. warned that anyone who tried Beside, you should remember to drag the good name of the that to whom much is given, Navy to the mud would not much is expected, hence you should be up and doing in be spared. He restated the effort of order not to soil the good repPresident Goodluck Jonathan utation of the Nigerian and the chief of naval staff in Navy,” Kor further counseled ensuring that Nigerian Navy the officers. On illegal activities, the remained one of the best in Warri naval base commander the world. “You must always be loyal warned that any officer and committed to the course caught perpetrating illegal of the Navy. Above all, you and subversive act would be
dealt with severely. “It is a known fact that the Navy has zero tolerance for illegal bunkering, dubious attitude or any act capable of derailing the prospect of the Navy,” Kor said insisting that sanity must continue to prevail at all times. Said he: “You should be very careful in anything you do. Remember that people are watching you. I charge you all to be focused and have it in mind that we are all pursuing a common goal of building a strong and virile Navy.” Officers promoted to the rank of IT commander include Austin Ikpe, Adesina Ajayi and Mojeed Olagunju while Emmanuel Apamisile and Emmanuel Okojie were promoted to the rank of Navy lieutenant.
DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012, 11
Fifth from right, wife of Enugu Stare Governor, Mrs Clara Chime joins the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon Eugene Odo (in black suit) and wife, Mrs. Ada Odo as they cut the speaker’s 40th birthday cake at the Gymnasium Hall of Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu yesterday.
APGA crisis: NJC queries Enugu Chief Judge From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
he National Judicial Council (NJC) has requested the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice Innocent Umezulike to, within one month, respond to a petition written by National Chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh in suit No E/270/2012 between Umeh and Jude Okuli. The query, dated October 4th 2012 and signed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and Chairman of NJC, Aloma Mariam Muktar (GCON) was sequel to a petition Umeh lodged at the council, alleging abuse of due process of the law by the Chief Judge. It reads: “I forward herewith a petition dated 21st September 2012 by one Chief Sir Victor Umeh, KSJ, JP, APGA National Chairman, on the above subject matter. The petition is self-explanatory. I shall be glad to have your comments within one month from the date of receipt of this letter, please.” The APGAboss alleged that Justice Umezulike erred in his handling of the case, especially by refusing to rule on the preliminary objection which he brought before the court, and was duly argued by both counsels.
Umeh informed the NJC that the Chief Judge extended the life span of the ex-parte order he made against him on July 25, 2012 by extra 48 days against the High Court Rule of Enugu State that says an exparte order cannot last beyond 14 days. He explained that by the action of the Chief Judge, the ex-parte order which ought not to last more than 14 days was extended to 55 days without any request by any of the parties in the matter. The petition reads in part: “By 31st July 2012, the CJ took full arguments on notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the case. The CJ adjourned the matter to 17th September 2012 for a ren-
dition of the considered ruling of the court on the notice of preliminary objection “In adjourning the matter, the CJ stated that ‘if this court accedes to the contentions of the defendants/ applicants on any of the above issues, this suit shall legitimately come to an end ...In the event, I shall adjourn the case for a considered ruling on the merits. In the circumstances, the interim order of this court shall endure against the parties and against the convention of any APGA Executive Committee Meetings as stated under the order until the court’s rendition of a ruling which I now fixed for the 20th day of September, 2012,” Umeh said. He, however, regretted that
Attack on Awo: Pro-Biafran group backs Achebe over comments From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
pro-Biafra, group, the Biafran Zionist Movement (BZM) has backed Professor Chinua Achebe over his comments on the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awlowo and former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon in his book, ‘There was a Country’. In a statement signed by its National Chairman, Edeson
Samuel and made available to newsmen in Enugu, the group argued that Achebe committed no crime but just spoke the truth. The group chided human rights activist, Ayo Opadokun, Senator Biyi Durojaiye and Jacob Omosanya for describing Achebe and his kinsmen as being tribalistic, while applauding themselves of being liberal, accommodating, to have allowed the Igbo’s live
Lagos Ndigbo sets up committee to fish out kinsmen with criminal records By CHRISTOPHER OJI
special committee that will investigate the activities of criminal elements among the Igbos in Lagos State has been set up. Disclosing this to newsmen yesterday in his palace, Eze Ndigbo of Lagos State, Igwe Hycinth Orazuluike said the need for such step became neccessary following reports of involvement of a titled chief in
on September 17th when the ruling ought to have been delivered by the Chief Judge, to the amazement of the people who gathered in court, the Chief Judge declared that he has remanded his ruling and would instead hear the main suit and deliver judgment on the preliminary objection and the main suit together. “The direction taken by the court, Umeh said, had exposed the Chief Judge as being desperate to get into the main matter and deliver judgment against him, knowing that the notice of preliminary objection was strong enough to have legitimately terminated the suit, being grossly incompetent as APGA was not made a party.”
dubious deals that prompted security agents to declare him wanted. According to Igwe Ohazuluike, Igbos in the state were shocked to hear that one Chief (name withheld) was allegedly involved in a dubious deal that culminated in sentencing other accomplices to prison while he was said to be at large. “While I commend the EFCC for the good job done, I
would like to inform them that the suspect they said was at large is freely galivanting all over Ikeja area of the state. As a royal father, I cannot allow evil to triumph. “That was why I set up the committee to fish out people with criminal records in our midst and take appropriate action to not only sanction them, but expose their criminal records and if possible hand them over to security agencies for prosecution.”
undisturbed. BZM said; “this is the problem with Nigeria and the Yoruba in particular. If you ever say the truth, they will call you names and if possible, demand for your head just like that of John the Baptist who said the truth about Herod and his brother’s wife.” The group believed that instead of castigating Ndigbo for what Achebe expressed as his opinion, they should be grateful that Ndigbo are developing their place for them, adding, “If Ndigbo should leave, the entire West will collapse.” The group drew the attention of those who gave Achebe the tag of tribalism to his book, ‘The trouble With Nigeria,’ and read how he painted his kinsman, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in bad light. “His offence is his penchant for always writing the truth,” the group insisted. The statement noted that “God gave us (Ndigbo) wisdom, strength and intelligence and we are grateful to the Almighty.”
Igwe Frank Nweke passes on
he Nweke Royal Family of Ishi-Ozalla, Enugu State has announced the transition of their father, patriarch and traditional ruler of Ishi-Ozalla, HRH Igwe Frank O. Nweke, Okeifufe 1 of Ishi-Ozalla. He was aged 81years. In a statement issued on behalf of the family and the IshiOzalla community by his eldest son, Frank Nweke Jr, former Minister of Information and Communication and current Director-General of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), the late Igwe passed on peacefully recently following a brief illness. Before ascending the throne in 2004, Igwe Frank Nweke served as an officer of the Nigeria Police Force between 1950 and 1959 after which he joined the National Cash Register (NCR), an American office automation company as a salesman in 1961. During a successful career at NCR spanning 15years, the late Igwe through adroit high sense of commitment, sincerity and dedication to work, rose to the position of a General Manager before retiring in 1976 into private entrepreneurship with the establishment of FONA Nigeria Limited, an office automation and industrial safety Systems Company with headquarters in Maiduguri. A devout Catholic, philanthropist and community leader, the late Igwe Nweke is survived by his wife, Lolo Franca Nweke, children and many grandchildren. Funeral rites according to the family will commence on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 with a service of songs at St Vincent’s Catholic Church, Ishi-Ozalla, to be followed with the Lying-in-State and Christian Wake keep on Thursday, November 22 at the Okeifufe Lodge, Ishi-Ozalla. The funeral service will hold on Friday, November 23, 2012 at St Vincent’s Catholic Church, Ishi-Ozalla while the internment follows immediately after at the Okeifufe Lodge.
Ojukwu’s family urged to resolve property issue peacefully
he Ezeigbo of Alimosho Local Government Area, Dr. Lawrence Nnamdi Eze has advised the family of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu to resolve the issues concerning the property tussle in a peaceful manner. Speaking at an event where he was conferred with an honorary award in Enterprise Management and Development by the African College of Entrepreneurs (ACE), Dr. Eze said that it was important the late Ojukwu’s family resolve their issues, because according to him, anybody that fights a widow will have problems’. He also stated that it was very important for the Igbos to maintain a sound traditional system as it would ensure oneness and progress especially among Igbos who live outside their states. According to him, “Igbos have a right to protect themselves and choose an Igbo man to care for them wherever they reside. That is the work of a king. Do you know an Igbo man could be in trouble because of N1000? An Igbo man in this locality could have problems and send for help from the king of his village, but a lot of damage will be done before help comes. “We the Igbos are Jews. The first Igbos settled in Nri, Anambra State and Inri was written on the cross of Calvary where Christ was crucified. I am very happy and thank God that ACE discovered me and gave me the award. I believe in education, equity and discipline. If anybody or group stands for high quality education, I will stand for them,” he said.
12 DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012
SOUTH WEST Group urges Fayose to declare governorship bid
talwarts of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State have urged former governor of the state, Ayo Fayose, to declare his ambition to contest the 2014 governorship election on the PDP platform. The group made the call to Fayose when he visited Ise in Ise-Orun Local Government Area of the state, as part of his ongoing visits to communities and local government areas in Ekiti State. PDP supporters trooped out in their numbers to receive the former governor. At Ise alone, Fayose was received by not less three thousand party faithful. He had earlier visited Ode Ekiti at Gbonyin LGA and the state capital, Ado Ekiti, where he was also massively received. At Ado Ekiti, not less two hundred stalwarts of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) defected to the PDP. In his message to the party supporters, Fayose admonished PDP members on the importance of unity of purpose and oneness in the party, if the PDP is to wrest power from the ruling ACN in the state. A former commissioner from Ise-Orun LGA, Dare Omotoso, said Fayose is the only material that could win elections and deliver the party, promising that Ise-Orun would support Fayose should he declare ambition. The Fayose Campaign Organisation explained the visits of the PDP leader in terms of mobilising support for the PDP ahead of the 2013 electioneering in Ekiti State.
Fayemi commissions 103km roads, 5 water treatment plants
kiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi yesterday commissioned 10 major roads totaling 103 kilometres in fulfillment of the resolve of his administration to make all the communities in the state accessible by 2014. The governor also commissioned five water treatment plants as part of people-oriented projects scheduled to mark the second anniversary of his administration. The 10 roads, which are located in Ekiti Central Senatorial District, include 14.3 km Erijinyan-Ilawe Road, 12 kilometrers Odo Owa- Oke Ila, 6.25 kilometres Awo-Iyin Road, 24 kilometres Ikogosi-Efon Road, 11.5 kilometres Ado- Ilawe Road, and 5 kilometres Fajuyi- Basiri- Police Headquarters Road. Others are 1.65 kilometres Fajuyi -Teaching Hospital Road, 10.75 kilometres Ado- Afao Road, 2 kilometres Ijigbo- Isato and 13 kilometres Osun- Iloro Road. Commissioning the various roads, Governor Fayemi said the constructions; reconstruction and rehabilitation of the roads became necessary following their deplorable condition, which had given motorists nightmarish experiences traversing the roads. According to the governor, the government decided to award the roads, especially those leading to Ado Ekiti in November 2011 to ameliorate the sufferings of motorists and also to give the state capital, a face-lift, even as Fajuyi –Teaching Hospital Road was planned to link the on-going Ado-Iworoko-Ifaki Road with Fajuyi Park.
Apena of Iperu Remo passes on
he death has been announced of Chief Albert Olanrewaju Awosanya, the Apena of Iperu Remo in Ogun State. Aged 95, Chief Awosanya was a teacher, a community leader, a retired police officer and a grassroots politician. Between 1978 and 1982, he was a councilor and chairman Works/Education in Somolu/Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos. In 1978, Chief Awosanya volunteered his entire building for the take off of Araromi Primary School in Gbagada until it moved to its permanent site in 1980. “Awo,” as he was popularly called by his peers, was the Ajiroba of Somolu and the Balogun of Araromi Kiniun-Ifa, both in Lagos State. His service to humanity and goodwill as well as his family background also earned him the position of Apena of Iperu Remo, a title he held till he joined his ancestors on Thursday August 23, 2012. He had since been buried according to traditional rites. His family, friends, associates and well wishers would be celebrating his life and times on October 13, 2012 at Saint James Primary School, Ilisan Road, Iperu Remo, Ogun State. The Apena of Iperu Remo is survived by wives, children, grand children and great grand children among whom is Olufunke Fadugba of Raypower F.M and former Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos Council. •The late Awosanya
•L–R: Chairman, Faculty of SMS Postgraduate Committee, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Professor Isrfeal A. Ademiluyi, AGM/Head, International Control and Audit Division, Bank of Industry, Dr. Ezekiel Oseni, Professor Adenike Osoba of Department lof Economics, OOU and Deputy Director, BSD, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Okezie Amachukwu after the 17th combined convocation of the university and award of doctoral degrees on Drs Oseni and Amachukwu. Photo: MOSHOOD RAJI
27-year-old mother of twins plunges into Osun river ...11 days after delivery of babies From BAMIGBOLA GBOLA- ascertained as at press time, but it was gathered from reliGUNTE, Osogbo able sources that she had no ragedy struck in Ede, quarrel with her husband or headquarters of Ede North any member of the family. Also, it was learnt that Local Government Area of Osun state yesterday as a Sekinat who wore a hijab 27-year-old woman and moth- (veil) on her dress offered er of twins, Mrs Sekinat prayers on the bridge before Abdurazaq plunged into a plunging into the river. Her action caught residents popular river in the town. Eye-witnesses told Daily of the area unawares as they Sun in Ede that the late Mrs. Abdulrazaq who was a native of the town delivered a set of twins about 11 days ago. It was also gathered that the From MOSHOOD ADEdeceased gave out money to BAYO, Abeokuta beggars at the foot of the bridge on the Osun River fter the condemnable along Oke Gada Road in Ede public fight between before she jumped into the two Ogun traditional river from the bridge at about rulers, one of them, Oba Fatai 3.30 pm. Akorede Akamo has been The reason behind hospitalized. Sekinat’s action could not be Sources close to the tradi-
got wind of the ugly incident about 10 minutes after it had happened. The beggars who were aroud made spirited effort to rescue her, that proved futile as she had been submerged and washed away, a situation which made them to look for her husband. Upon the arrival of her husband at the river bank, he also attempted to jump into the river but for the efforts of the
beggars and others around the river who called the Police who eventually took him away binto custody at the Police “A” Division in Ede. As at the time of filing this report, the corpse of Sekinat was yet to be fished out while the search continued. Police in Ede confirmed the incident and explained that the cause of the incident could not yet be ascertained.
After public fight, Ogun Oba hospitalized
tional ruler told Daily Sun that Oba Akamo took ill shortly after appearing before the panel set up by the state government to probe the fight between him and another monarch. It would be recalled that Akamo, a first class Oba in the state engaged his fellow tradi-
Oyo PDP suffering from ‘economic illiteracy’ –ACN
he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Oyo State chapter, has deplored what it called the economic illiteracy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state and the South West zone, especially as regards the N50 billion bond and the African Development Bank (ADB) loan being undertaken by the state government. It stated this in a release signed by its state Publicity Secretary, Dauda Kolawole. According to the ACN, the criticism of these economic efforts by the state government by the PDP was a reflection of the party runners’ sparse knowledge of economics, especially the concept of borrowing from the capital market. “All over the world, there is
an understanding that governments can hardly be run without borrowing. Indeed, what you intend do with the borrowed money is far more instructive than the fact of the borrowing. ‘The tragedy of borrowing is that, in the past, this money was spent on mundane and unprofitable ventures. Governments that are forwardlooking and mindful of the development of their states, however, ensure that they engage in productive borrowing, that is, borrowing that will ensure a better future for their people. That is what the government of Oyo State is engaged in,” the ACN said. According to the party, the level of infrastructural rot and economic stasis that the PDP government bequeathed to the
current government in the state could not be attended with the inadequate allocations it receives from the federal purse and the paltry internally generated revenue it receives. “Our state’s personal woes are boosted by the age-long infrastructure that were left unattended to by successive governments, most of which age has started ensuring their collapse. Bridges have been collapsing; water plants unserviced have been giving way and several other woes. “These have to be attended to by an attentive government if we want to further boost development in our state. “Take for instance, the $56.24 million African Development Bank (ADB) loan approved to be taken by the government.”
tional ruler, Baale, Chief Gabriel Adisa Akinremi in a physical combat during their visit to the office of the Divisional Police Officer in Ewekoro Local Government Area of the state. The travails of the suspended Olu of Itori by the Ogun State Government worsened last Friday, as hundreds of protesters from the neighbouring Onigbedu community demanded his outright sack. The Ogun State Government had penultimate Thursday night suspended indefinitely Akamo and Akinremi for engaging in public brawl, which the government described as a show of shame. A palace source who pleaded anonymity told Daily Sun yesterday that the suspended monarch received medical attention for ‘shock’ in his palace for many hours earlier this week. It was further learnt that because of his indisposition, he could not honour the invitation of the state Police Command on Monday and was almost detained but for the intervention of powerful people in the state when he showed up on Tuesday.
DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012,13
ONDO GUBER POLL COUNTDOWN
Group decries political bickering
he Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum has cautioned political parties contesting in the governorship election in Ondo State against political mudslinging and inappropriate language. The group noted that the campaign had derailed from action plans, policies and programmes of public interest to exchange of abusive languages by the contestants. Secretary General of the group, Akin Malaolu, in a statement, urged the different political parties to play by the rules and shun politics of bitterness. Part of the statement reads: “To us, it is an obscene scenario that can best be described as pathetic and an insult to the good people of Ondo State. Political parties must ensure that political campaigns, which out to consist of series of declaration of ideals and policies and programmes which, when and if implemented and executed, will transform to the welfare, happiness and prosperity of the entire people of the state.” Malaolu advised the contestants to use their campaigns as a platform to unveil and discuss meaningful programmes that would touch on the lives of the people. The group also cautioned the Presidential Aide on Amnesty Programme, Dr. Kingsley Kuku to restrain from the comments that would heat up the system, describing his latest remarks on the election as ‘ranting and vituperation.’ “However, it did not matter to us which candidate or political party wins the October 20 election, but any party that desires to win the contest must show maturity, concern for the people, respect for democratic tenets and act in the interest of the entire Yoruba race,” the group added.
PDP’ll beat opposition flat in Ondo -Segun Oni From TUNDE RAHEEM, Akure
he National Vice Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), South West and former governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni has said that PDP would win the governorship election in Ondo state without any form of inducement of the electorate. Oni who said this yesterday while addressing newsmen on the preparation for final mega rally of the party slated for Saturday said the party would win the election if it conducted on free and fair atmosphere. He noted that some politicians had been moving round the state to induce electorate with money, saying the development was inimical to the nation’s democracy. According to him:” Though, our national secretariat had not released money for the forthcoming governorship election. We will not depend on money, but we will work to ensure that PDP wins the election. “We are aware that some of our party leaders are moving to Abuja to stop President Goodluck Jonathan from releasing money for Ondo Election. We are confident that we will win the election.” The PDP chieftain appealed to people of Ondo State not to sell their conscience because of the crumbles some politicians were dolling out, all in the name of wooing them to vote the party that were anti masses.
Mimiko’ll win Oct 20 guber poll in Ondo –Cleric
rophet Segun Akintoye of the Prophetic Communication Ministry, Cherubim and Seraphim Church, Oke-Irapada, Akure has predicted that the incumbent Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko would win the October 20 governorship election in the state. The prophet made the prediction recently at a Sunday service held at the headquarter of his church. His word: The opposition are threatened by the wide spread achievements of Dr. Mimiko which as been hailed by the good people of Ondo State. The landmark achievements of Dr. Mimiko brought him honour and glory nationally and internationally. “This also propelled the good people of Ondo State to encourage him to contest for re-election for a second term in office. So that he can consolidate on his achievements, widen the scope of his development in other areas of public needs as well as initiate new sustainable projects of public interest. “From all indications, I am bold to state here without any iota of doubt, that the governorship race in Ondo State come October 20, 2012, is already a foregone conclusion in favour of Dr. Mimiko. Dr. Mimiko is like a good road, which deserves to be passed twice. I am simply stating the obvious now and God has reveal this to me that, the incumbent will surely be reelected and wound be sworn in come February 2013. The monumental achievements of Dr. Mimiko speak for him. “Dr. Olusegun Mimiko is a political giant and our political history will surely remember him as one of the best governors in Nigeria from the south West of Nigeria. Mark my words and watch out, the cleric said.
•R–L: Deputy Managing Director of The Sun Publishing Limited, Femi Adesina, Chairman and guest speaker, Benneth Joshua, 2nd prize winner, Apapa district Superintendent of Assembly of God, Rev. Michael Ogunbola, Uwandu Ihechiluru, 3rd prize winner and Planning Committee, Chairman, Uche Udungwor at the 2nd annual Apapa District Superintendent’s Essay Competition award ceremony at De Smilers Kitchen, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos yesterday. Photo: BIODUN ADEYEWA
Fireworks as Mimiko tackles Akeredolu, Oke ...At final debate
he supporters of the three leading candidates in the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State, the Labour Party (LP), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday took to the major streets of Akure metropolis, jubilating the successful outing of their respective candidates in the Ondo election debate organised by the Nigeria Debate Group. The debate, which was rounded off yesterday featured the three leading candidates of the PDP, ACN and LP in the Ondo governorship election. The three-hour debate which was well attended by all the supporters of the three political parties saw the candidate of Labour Party and the incumbent governor Mimiko PDP’s standard bearer, Olusola Oke and ACN’s
Oluwarotimi Akeredolu giving one another hard tackles in the bid to win the hearts of the electorate. The questions at the debate which touched all sectors of economic compelled the three candidates to state what they have in store for the people of the state, . Mimiko promised to continue with his people’s oriented programmes, which, he
said, had gone a long way to alleviate the suffering of down trodden, while ACN candidate said he would provide 30,000 jobs within 100 days in office. Mimiko carpeted Oke in the area of the money which had accrued to the state from the federation account, which Oke claimed was over N600 billion, telling Oke to get his fact correct that the total revenue was less than N300 bil-
ACN to Mimiko: It’s your house that is leaking
he Ekiti State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has advised Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko to accept the reality of his rejection by the electorate and prepare for an ignominious exit from the Alagbaka Government House. The party warned Mimiko to stop launching unprovoked media attacks against its administrations in five states in
the South West, which have restored good governance and bring dividends of democracy to the people.” The Ekiti ACN Chairman, Chief Olajide Awe, said in a statement yesterday that all the states controlled by the party in the state have quality projects to showcase in appreciation of the mandate of the people. He maintained that the policies and projects carried out by
Agagu planning LP leaders’ arrest -Mimiko From TUNDE RAHEEM, Akure
he immediate past Governor of Ondo State has been accused of attempting to rig next week’s election in the state by sponsoring a lot of unrest, as well as use policemen from the Force Headquarters in Abuja to arrest leaders of the Labour Party (LP) on trump-up charges. The Mimiko Campaign Organisation (MCO) which raised this alarm yesterday stated that this was the highlight of a plan by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State to rig next week’s election, being a fall out of a meeting held by top government officials in Abuja
lion. Mimiko said his government decided to embark on mega schools to develop the education in the state to meet the international standard with mega in teaching. On employment, Mimiko told Akeredolu not to play politics with the issue, saying it was easier to be said than done.
Wednesday night. MCO in a statement issued by its Director of Publicity and Media Relations, Mr. Kolawole Olabisi alleged that part of the plan was to infiltrate the state with paid thugs who would be armed to intimidate our leaders to perpetrate their rigging plans, while policemen would be sent in from Abuja to begin to pick our leaders all over the state beginning from this weekend. According to the MCO’s spokesperson, this latest in the series of the evil machinations of the former governor was borne out of his desperation and this, it recalled had been on for a while, culminating in a petition he wrote first to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and later the Chief
Judge of Nigeria over a fake security report, which he claimed was what the court used in sending him out of office. It listed some of those to be arrested on spurious charges to include his (Agagu’s) Brotherin-Law, Segun Ayerin, who lately decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the LP, Mr. Ade Adeniyi, Yele Akinya, Mr. Wale Ogunmade who is the Caretaker Chairman in Okitipupa Local Government, his Ose and Owo local governments council caretaker chairmen, Ogunsakin Kolawole, Adekanbi Ayorinde Olu, Alhaji Jimoh Bello, Ogunwa Oboli, Dapo Iwala and Dr. Ikeemelo amongst others.
the ACN-led states could not be compared to cosmetic, superficial and outlandish projects being carried out by Mimiko which were at various stages of abandonment. The party chief maintained that it was the Labour Party (LP) in Ondo State that was leaking, judging by the unending number of its members that are defecting to the ACN on daily basis. Awe said: “We are once again constrained to react to a flippant and insolent remark coming from a sinking LP regime in Ondo State on the purported crises it claims are happening in the states under the control of our great party. “This is yet another verbal faux pas coming from the drowning LP government gripped with fear of an imminent and inevitable disgrace from the seat of power by the good people of Ondo State on October 20. “This is a government that has failed to commission concrete projects in almost four years of its misadventure in power. “It is on record that Ondo State is riddled with many abandoned projects, which Mimiko started and has failed to complete despite collecting billions of naira from the Federation Account.
14 DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012
Kogi: Wada survives another lawsuit From GODWIN TSA Abuja
overnor Idris Wada of Kogi State has survived another legal action seeking his removal from office, as a Federal High Court yesterday dismissed a suit challenging the propriety of his inauguration by the President of the Customary Court of Appeal in Kogi. A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Oyebode Makinde instituted the suit, which suffered series of adjournments. In the suit, his counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon, SAN challenged the swearing-in of the governor and asked the court to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in the state. He premised his suit on the ground that law did not properly inaugurate Governor Wada and that the inauguration by the customary court judge should be nullified for a fresh election. Besides, he told the court that he was interested in contesting for the governorship seat when declared vacant. In his judgment, Justice Abdul Kafarati held that the plaintiff had no locus standi to institute the said case, since he did not participate in both the primary election of the PDP, where Wada emerged as the standard bearer of the party and the December 3 governorship election, where Wada emerged as the governor of the state.
Sharia not Islamic law –UNILORIN VC From LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
he outgoing Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Professor Isaq Oloyede rejected yesterday the popular description of ‘Sharia’ah’ as “Islamic law,” as he called for the termination of hereditary factors in the choice of Imams across the country, saying it has led to the retrogression of several Muslim communities. He also condemned claims that Nigeria is a secular country, saying those supporting such arguments were merely being hypocritical. Oloyede, who made the observations in his inaugural lecture, expressed concern about what he described as several misuse of terminologies that had crept into and confused issues for English audience of Islam as he called for a reinvigoration of the education programme that would cater for the hybrid of Islamic and western education in schools that are currently predominantly Islam-oriented. The title of the lecture, which came up 18 years after Oloyede became a professor and few days to the expiration of his tenure as vice chancellor, was: “Islamic: The Conflux of Disciplines.” His words: “Jurisprudence is fundamental to the understanding of Fiqh (Islamic Law). It is our view that the popular translation of “sharia’ah” as “Islamic law” has made a clear distinction between Fiqh and Usulul-Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), very difficult to explain to a majority of students of Islamic studies in Nigeria. It is the knowledge of jurisprudence that controls the interpretation of the law. Consequently, we align with the unpopular view that ‘sharia’ah,’‘Fiqh’and ‘Usulul-Fiqh’be translated to English as ‘divine guidance,’ ‘Islamic law’ and ‘Islamic jurisprudence’ respectively. “Islamic law would then be understood as the human distillation of the divine guidance-the ‘sharia’ah.’ “There are other imported Islamic terminologies that have crept into and confused issues for the English audience of Islam. One of such is the Holy Qur’an as a popular translation of Al-Qur’anul-lkarim, which is The Glorious Qur’an, while another is the translation of Jihad (striving in the way of God) as the Holy War. This critical area of distractive interpretation requires further investigation by appropriate scholars in Nigeria for a better conceptualisation, exposition and understanding of Islamic Law.
Sultan commends Jonathan over commitment to education
ultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar 111 has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his commitment to turn around the nation’s education sector. The Sultan who spoke in Sokoto yesterday while receiving the Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike in audience stated that the allocation to education in the 2013 budget confirms the President’s interest in kick-starting national development through functional educational. He said over the last one year, the nation’s education sector had witnessed the desired growth as a result of the passionate implementation of policies and programmes by officials of the Federal Ministry of Education. Earlier, Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike said eighty percent of the almajiri schools would be handed over to states by November. He said that 50 percent of the schools had been fully completed, while the remaining 50 percent had reached 80 percent completion level. Wike said the Jonathan administration remained committed to using education to improve on the living standard of Nigerians.
•L–R: Mr. Anthony ogbuigwe, Group Executive Director, Refining and Petrochemical, NNPC, Cees-Jan de Maaker, Regional Sales Director Middle East and Africa, General Electric, Doyin Fadipe, Senior Vice President Legal and Corporate Services, Genesis Electricity Limited, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, Group Managing Director, NNPC, Akinwole Omoboriowo II, CEO Genesis electricity Limited and Felix Achibiri, Director GEL, after the GE and Genesis Electricity Gas Turbine Sales Agreement to Power the Port Harcourt Refinery at the NNPC Towers Abuja.
Girl, 13, murdered, kept in freezer From EMMANUEL ADEYEMI, Lokoja
he people of Isanlu Headquarter Yagba Local Government Area of Kogi State were thrown into confusion recently following the gruesome murder of a thirteen year old girl who was deposited into a medium size freezer after been strangulated to death. The girl identified as Yetunde Rachael Samuel, a JSS 2 student of Oluyori Comprehensive College, Isanlu was killed in the night of October 5 and neatly deposited inside a medium size freezer to create impression that the girl fell into the freezer and was frozen to death without any body knowing. She was therefore hurriedly buried in the cover of the night without the parent or the guardian reporting her mysterious death to the police. But the state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Musa Katsina who got wind of the dastardly act, suspected a fowl play, arrested the guardian of the girl and ordered that the corpse be exhume for a thorough autopsy to confirm whether the girl actually jumped inside the freezer and got frozen. It was a hectic time for Daily Sun and detectives led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Zannah Mohammed who travelled down to the community with pathologist from Federal Medical Centre to exhume the decomposing corpse for autopsy. The guardian of the girl who was at the centre of the mysterious death, Mrs. Deborah Motunrayo Jaiyeoba claimed that she left the girl who was the daughter of her younger sister at home on Saturday morning and left for a marriage ceremony
According to her, when she got back from the wedding ceremony and did not see Yetunde she thought she had gone to play In her words She was thirsty and raced to the deep freezer to get a sachet of water to drink when she suddenly discovered that Yetunde was stone dead and she immediately raised alarm Mrs. Jaiyeoba, a sanitary inspector at the local government claimed Yetunde wanted to clean the deep freezer in her small retail, when she fell into it and got frozen to death Curiously, the father of the deceased girl was said to have felt indifferent about the death of her daughter, as he reportedly consented that she should be buried immediately It was gathered that mother of Yetunde was impregnated while she was in school and decided to drop the girl since when she was two years old with her sister to go and
remarry in Ilorin However, the autopsy carried out revealed that the girl was actually killed for ritual purposes Preliminary doctor’s report confirmed that the girl died as result of neorogenic shock secondary to multiple skeletal injuries most likely sustained by blunt force trauma The doctor’s report said two of the girl’s teeth were removed. With some vital parts while the entire head region was battered with blunt instrument Speaking with Daily Sun, the CP said the whole episode was a case of culpable homicide, which is not bailable He said the innocent girl was only brutally murdered, but expressed shock that the biological father of the girl did not show concern, instead, he brought a letter to his office along with somebody who claimed to be a judicial officer that the case be withdrawn.
He said when he interrogated the father; he could not even read nor comprehend the contents of the letter, which gave suspicion that some people were behind the murder. Musa Katsina called on members of the public to be more vigilante on their children and to know who to give their children to for upkeep. He vowed to pursue the case to a logical conclusion with those found guilty made to face the wrath of the law He gave the names of those arrested as 43-year-old Mrs. Jaiyeoba Deborah Motunrayo, who is the guardian and three of her children namely, Jaiyeoba Titilayo 20-year-old and Tunmininu jaiyeoba 23year-old with jaiyeoba Femi, 18 years old Others are Shade Jimoh, Chief J. I. Owolabi, Raphael Owolabi, Raphael Abiodun and Tolulope Sunday
4 more wounded, houses burnt, as hostilities between Fulanis, Beroms continue From MARIAM ALESHINLOYE AGBOOLA, Jos
ostilities between the Beroms and the Fulanis continued unabated, as unknown gunmen shot four persons in the early hours of yesterday at Bel Sho Village in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State, even as a dusk to dawn curfew has been placed in the council area. Coordinator of a Christian faith Non-governmental body, Stephanus Foundation, Mr. Mark Lipdo disclosed that the attackers came into the Berom Village in large number and were shooting randomly; making some families to flee
their homes. He said in the process, four people were shot. As at time of reporting, they were still alive receiving treatment at the General Hospital. Also, gunmen believed to have come from Tahoss Village also invaded Kagwi Station in Riyom Local Government Area and burnt down a three bedroom house belonging one Garba Makiri. Many cows were also shot. The Wakili Ardo Ganawuri, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim who told Daily Sun that the attack, which took place around 5:00a.m, was unprovoked. He, however, said it would not be unconnected with the renewed hostility between the two tribal groups. It could be recalled that in
the early hours of Wednesday, 14 people, including five children, four women and five men were killed in neighbouring Riyom Local Government Area with eight killed in Ranchol Village of Sopp Ward, four in Daliam of TarHoss Ward and two in Lo-Ton Village of Jol Ward. But the Plateau State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Emmanuel Abuh confirmed only six deaths in the locality. Meanwhile National Assembly member representing Barkin Ladi Riyom Federal constituency, Simon Mwadkom had condemned the recent killings, saying about 17 people had so far been killed in the two council areas.
DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012,
Foreign Affairs Africa shows progress on hunger –Report
•Libyan President, Mohammed el-Megarif speaking during a memorial service for slain US Ambassador Chris Stevens in Tripoli, Libya, yesterday.
frica has had more success than South Asia in tackling the problem of hunger over the past decade, according to a report on world food production. Food shortages and malnutrition have been reduced in many parts of Africa, the Global Hunger Index says. But it remains “extremely alarming” in countries such as Eritrea and Burundi. The report says India, meanwhile, which has shown strong economic growth, has a disappointing record on tackling the problem. The wide-ranging report also says the world as a whole is running out of productive land as populations increase. Produced by the International Food Policy Research Institute, Welthungerhilfe, and Concern Worldwide, the paper identifies 20 countries which have “alarming” or “extremely alarming” levels of hunger. It gives countries a score based on the proportion of people who are undernourished.
Embassy security official Syria plane carried ‘ammunition’ US killed in Yemen –Turkey PM A A
defence ministry.” He said the supplier was the equivalent of Turkey’s state-run arms supplier, the Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation. Russia’s state arms export agency Rosoboronexport “Passenger aircraft can- had earlier said it had no not carry ammunition and information about the defence equipment,” Mr Erdogan said, adding, “unfortunately there was such equipment on board”. Turkish jets forced the hinese author Mo Yan plane, coming from has been awarded the Moscow, to land in Ankara. 2012 Nobel Prize for Syria and Russia have Litrature. denied the plane was carryA prolific author, Mo has ing illegal cargo. published dozens of short stoThey have accused ries, with his first work pubTurkey of putting lives in lished in 1981. danger. The 57-year-old is the first The Syrian Air Airbus Chinese resident to win the A320, with about 30 pas- prize. Chinese-born Gao sengers on board, was inter- Xingjian was honoured in cepted on Wednesday 2000, but is a French citizen. evening by two Turkish Mo is the 109th recipient fighters and escorted to the of the prestigious prize, won capital’s Esenboga airport. last year by Swedish poet Turkey said previously it Tomas Transtroemer. had received an intelligence Presented by the Nobel tip-off that it had illegal Foundation, the award - only given to living writers - is cargo on board. Speaking to reporters in worth 8 million kronor Ankara, Mr Erdogan said: (£741,000). “He has such a unique way “This was equipment and ammunition that was being of writing. If you read half a sent from a Russian page of Mo Yan you immediagency... to the Syrian ately recognise it as him,”
Syrian-bound plane intercepted by Turkey was carrying Russianmade defence equipment destined for Syria’s defence ministry, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
plane’s cargo and denied it had any connection with the flight or anything on board. The aircraft was allowed to take off at 02:30 (23:30 GMT on Wednesday), after several hours on the ground, but Syria and Russia have reacted angrily to the incident.
They said Turkey put the passengers and crew in danger by using military aircraft to force it to land. Syrian Transport Minister Mahmoud Saeed accused Turkey of carrying out “air piracy” and breaking civil aviation agreements, according to Lebanon’s alManar TV.
Chinese author wins Nobel Prize for Literature
said Peter Englund, head of the Academy. He said Mo had been told of the award, adding: “He was at home with his dad. He said he was overjoyed and terrified.” Born Guan Moye, the author writes under the pen name Mo Yan, which means “don’t speak” in Chinese. He began writing while a soldier in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and received international fame in 1987 for Red Sorghum: A Novel of China. Made into a film which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 1988, the novella was a tale of the brutal violence in the eastern China countryside where he grew up during the 1920s and 1930s. Secretary of the Swedish Academy, Peter Englund,
announced the award Favouring to write about China’s past rather than contemporary issues, the settings for Mo’s works range from the 1911 revolution, Japan’s wartime invasion and Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.
masked gunman assassinated a Yemeni security official who worked for the U.S. Embassy in a drive-by shooting Thursday near his home in the capital, officials said, adding the assault bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida’s Yemen branch. The attack comes amid a sharp deterioration of security in Yemen and several other Muslim countries since the collapse of police states controlled by autocratic leaders during a wave of uprisings known as the Arab Spring. An elite team of some 50 Marines that was sent to Sanaa to bolster security at the U.S. Embassy after a Sept. 13 attack by protesters was scheduled to leave later Thursday and it was not clear if the attack would affect those plans, Yemeni officials said. The officials noted it was similar to a series of other recent assaults by Al-Qaida’s Yemen branch, although they said it was too early to confirm the group’s involvement. Washington considers the Yemen-based Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, the most dangerous offshoot of the terror network. It has also been increasingly targeting Yemeni intelligence, military and security officials in retaliation for a U.S.-backed government offensive in the south. Yemeni security officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information, identified the slain embassy security official as Qassem Aqlani, in his 50s. He was on his way to work when a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire at him and fled the scene, they said.
US names new ambassador to Libya
he United States has chosen a veteran diplomat who retired more than a decade ago to serve as its senior envoy in Libya following the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in a September 11 attack in Benghazi, the State Department said on Thursday. Laurence Pope, a former U.S. ambassador to Chad and
senior State Department counter-terrorism official, has arrived in Tripoli to serve as “charge d’affairs,” the title given to a diplomat who represents a country in the absence of an ambassador, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement. “Mr. Pope’s selection as charge d’affairs emphasizes the commitment of the United
States to the relationship between our two countries and to the people of Libya as they move forward in their transition to a democratic government,” Nuland said. “We will continue to assist as Libya builds democratic institutions and broad respect for the rule of law - the goals that Ambassador Stevens worked hard to achieve,” she added.
DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012
NewsPlus As River Niger continues to unleash its fury
Anambra communities in ruins • Residents weep over loss of ancestral homes, farmlands, shrines • ‘We no longer have a place to bury our dead’ By ROMANUS OKOYE
t the moment, Anam people in Anambra State have every cause to lament. Their community is still buried beneath the rampaging floodwater from the angry River Niger that has been ravaging the land with unprecedented fury. Everyone in the community men, women and children - are now refugees in foreign lands where they have been cast out like fish out of water, left to rue the disaster that has left them com- •A building taken over by flood pletely in ruins. The older ones among them recall that the last time a near similar disaster devastated their land was in 1969. Then there was heavy flooding that washed away farmlands and crops in the fields. It also affected some residential buildings and disrupted social and economic life of the people in the interim. But the present overflow of the River Niger, which has summarily sacked many communities, living along its bank, is simply incomparable. The community says never in its history has anyone witnessed such a colossal loss occasioned by the disaster. It is serious and its consequences would •A flooded barn soon break on the entire state since the area is considered the food basket of the state. The Anam people are counting their losses, which are unarguably many. They say the community’s many shrines and the deities that occupy the altars have all been washed deep into the wide, wide River Niger, leaving the bewildered residents wondering if there is anything left of their perceived powers. More than that, the floodwater has left them not even a single portion where they could bury their dead so that the departed could have their deserved rest among the ancestors. So, many people in the area and Otuocha-Ibaji-Lokoja Expressway adjoining communities are downcast, suppressed by the enormous resides in Lagos. He rushed home weight of the deluge that has left when news broke that his commutheir once bubbling land desolate. nity and the entire Anambra West But a young man identified as Alex had gone under water, as the roaring Chinedu is having a sad reflection floods had sent the people packing, on the loss of his people, which he damaging valuable economic and said was total. personal property. He wanted to see “My people have lost everything, things for himself. He told Daily their entire means of livelihood – Sun that he was shocked to see that everything we had laboured for all his ancestral home had simply vanour lives,” he lamented tearfully. ished. “Right now, everyone is “You can’t imagine that people who struggling to gather the bits and for many years have been living in pieces of their lives,” he said as he their homes and supplying food to reflected on the magnitude of the others are now the ones living in disaster. refugee camps and begging for Chinedu’s current posture mirfood; this flooding is simply a catas- rors the mood of every Anamite (as trophe.” the people of Anam proudly call Chinedu, an indigene of Anam themselves) both at home and
•Some residents of Umuikwu being evacuated from the community
•A submerged school building
abroad. A distraught man in his late fifties told Daily Sun as he soliloquised: “Truly, this is not the best of times for our people and everyone in Anambra West.” Then like a man truly under torment, he roared in anguish “What! With this ugly situation, trouble has come. Hunger is right here. It is just at the doorsteps. Our people, until now, were the suppliers of food to the entire Anambra State. But now, we have become refugees in other lands. This flood has turned us into dependants. This flood has left us bewildered. It has destroyed our farmlands, economic trees, houses – everything that we laboured to build in the recent and distant past. Indeed, our future is
bleak; only God will help us.” Ordinarily, most places in Anambra West, also called Mmbamili, experience flooding yearly between the months of August and November. But this year’s flood came earlier than the normal time. Ironically, the floods used to be a blessing for the people of Anam because in the past, it used to leave rich deposits of alluvial soil, which makes the land fertile for agriculture. Besides, each time the floods arrived, they brought with them all manner of fish which the fishermen sold for huge profit. But now the entire picture is different. Those who have good memories say it was only in 1969 that flooding of this year’s magnitude happened. But it could not be compared to the level of disaster that has sent the people into refugee camps at General Hospital, Umueri, Unity primary school, Umuoba Anam, Father Joseph Secondary School, Aguleri and Holy Trinity, Onitsha. Ironically, while some people are bemoaning the loss of their means of livelihood, some are equipping themselves for a bumper fish harvest by the time the floods start to recede. Hunters in the area are also having a field day, the reporter learnt. They are busy counting their blessings as animals displaced by the flood are virtually walking into the hunters’ hands. But a widow who painted a more pathetic picture of the woes of the Anam people said: “The situation is so bad now that it may be difficult to find dry land to bury any dead bodies should deaths begin to occur.” Meanwhile, all the churches and schools in communities in Anambra West Local Government area,
including Onono, Umuikwu, Umudora, Aniachalla, Oroma Etiti, Ukpo, Umuenwelum, Umueze Anam, Nmiata, Iyiora, Umuoba Abegbu, Oboro-Otu, Nkwo-Oji, Nzam and all their neighbours have been submerged. This has brought church services, schooling, farming and other human activities in the area to an abrupt end. “The only place we can meet for church service is at Umunta in Umudora Anam,” one man said. Right now in Anambra West, there is no drinking water. The floodwater has polluted and overrun the local stream from where the community fetches its drinking water. Even the pipe borne water facilities in the area has been submerged. A farmer in Anam who identified himself as Ogbuefi said food crops like yam seedlings, cassava sticks, melon seed, maize; pumpkin pods and others kept in barns for the next farming season have either been destroyed or washed away by the raging flood. He predicted that food items would be scarce and very expensive next year. Community leaders in Anam are calling on the relevant government agencies and corporate organisations to come to the aid of residents of the flood-ravaged areas. They call on the state and federal governments to ensure that the money pledged by President Goodluck Jonathan is spent on mitigating the suffering of the affected residents. An official of the Anam Town Union said the area contributes close to 50 per cent of the food consumed in Anambra State. He said urgent steps must be taken by government to prevent food scarcity in the area next year.
Friday, October 12, 2012
NewsPlus W-I-C-K-E-D From FEMI FOLARANMI, Yenagoa
nine-year-old girl in Yenagoa, Blessing Adeyemi, has been rescued from her guardian in the Bayelsa State capital after allegedly suffering considerable abuse. The police are holding the guardian, Mr. Andrew Dan, even as investigation continues. Blessing, the daughter of a widow, Mrs. Victoria Adeyemi, was brought to Yenagoa from Aba, Abia State, a few months back to live with Dan’s wife, her mum’s childhood friend but the man subjected the girl to untold torture, claiming she was stubborn and stayed late nights. Besides chaining Blessing like a dog, neighbours alleged that the Andrews usually beat the child with hot cutlass. The National Anti-Corruption Volunteer Corps (NAVC) recently wrote a petition to the Commissioner, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, asking that government should take custody of the girl. The petition, signed by the coordinator, Princess Elizabeth Egbe, and Acting Secretary, Mr. Keme Ndiomu, said it was responsibility of the government to protect the lives of children in the state. The petition reads: “The said child was rescued by concerned neighbours, who have been witnessing the constant torture of this child by the guardians. Mr. Andrew Dan was in the habit of putting a cutlass in the fire to beat this child on her back and chaining her around her neck and waist with two padlocks on both edges whenever they were going out. According to them, this was to prevent the child from going out to play or run around. “Operation Rescue, NAVC, SSA on Girl Child Education and the police have been working on this child issue since September 11. It is alarming that in less than two weeks, the police at that particular station have worked with us on six serious child abuse cases. It is government’s sole responsibility to provide, care and protect the lives and rights of the children of the very poor in our society. It will be suicidal to hand over this child to the mother who is looking very sickly, unkempt and obviously too poor to take care of her children without assistance. Also, the man, who has committed this barbaric act should go through medical care and check up to determine his mental status before further action is taken.”
Man chains, padlocks 9-yr-old ward like a dog • I did it to save her from getting lost, he says
•Blessing In an interview with Daily Sun, Mrs. Adeyemi explained that she sent the child to stay with her friend since she had four children and her husband was late. “We were staying in Aba, Abia State, but my husband is late. I know my friend, Mrs. Andrew Dan, right from childhood. She came to my place and requested that my daughter should come and stay with them in Bayelsa State. I obliged because I believed they would take good care of her. I have four children. It is about five months now. She was the one that came to tell me that the police had arrested her husband
and my daughter. I thank God that my daughter is alive.” Mr. Andrew Dan, a native of Nembe, said the incident would not happen again. He said: “My wife brought her friend’s daughter to live with us at Opolo about seven months ago. The child, after a few months, started sleeping outside. Sometimes, people would bring her home about midnight. I have told her severally but she would not listen. At times, she wouldn’t come home for three days and we would be looking everywhere for her. I am just afraid that since she is another woman’s child, she should not get lost or enter into trouble. I can’t take her to the office. I threatened her that I would put chain on her if she went out. I decided to put the chain on her just to prevent her from going out. “My wife has reported her strange behaviour to her mother. The girl might say she was going
to the toilet and we would not see her again. People would later bring her back in the night. But with this arrest by the police, I am going to take precaution. I would never do anything like this again. I am pleading for forgiveness; nobody is above mistakes.” Egbe, in an interview, said with the growing cases of child abuse in the state, the Bayelsa State Government should speed up the process of getting a children’s home for victims instead of the police station where they are made to stay. Her words: “I am a child rights activist and advocate as well as the coordinator, Operation Rescue and NAVC. We were called upon by the police to come and take a child that was chained by the guardian, and on getting there, we saw what we had never seen. She was chained on the neck and leg with two padlocks on both edges. “The case was reported by concerned neighbours who felt that the child could be killed because that has been the practice of the guardian. Since then, we have been working with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Child Rights to ensure that the girl’s right is not violated. Our constraint has been where to keep the child and she has been in the police station. “Today, we are giving the child back to her mother. Mere seeing the woman, you would know that she is in need of help. She looks unhealthy. We need a home for children. The governor has put that into his budget, but we cannot wait till the home is built. We want government to urgently provide a place temporarily that children who suffer cases like this are taken care of. Good, well meaning Bayelsans should also come to the rescue of these children.”
Nollywood star, group task govt on security, others By SEYE OJO group, Youth Entrepreneurship and Leadership Integrity Forum (YELIF) has produced a 45-minute documentary that summarises in details the journey of Nigeria since independence. The group also enjoins those at the corridors of power to be responsible and responsive to the plight of the masses. The documentary tagged: Nigeria: Yesterday and Today, was transmitted on the African Independent Television (AIT) network immediately after President Goodluck Jonathan’s nationwide broadcast on October 1, this year. YELIF, a non-governmental organisation has promised to ensure that the 45-minutes work is aired on all television stations across the country, both public and private. National Coordinator of YELIF, Mr. Tarila Thompson, described the documentary, which took the YELIF crew round the country during recordings, as a scorecard on President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and past leaders. According to him, the organisation embarked on the project to further showcase the diverse socio-economic dynamics of the nation. He explained that how the values affect Nigerians was also put into consideration before the documentary was produced. His words: “Since the airing of the documentary on Independence Day, we’ve been inundated with calls and goodwill messages from within and outside the country. It means that Nigerians
… As YELIF produces documentary on Nigeria really appreciate our efforts and the little contributions we are making towards making this country a great one. “The documentary was very detailed and covered all facets of our national life, including education, finance, agriculture, health, religion, security, oil and gas, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and good governance.” Thompson, a pioneer filmmaker in Nollywood, noted that YELIF was founded to promote entrepreneurship, good governance/leadership, patriotism, transparency, accountability and unity among Nigerian youths as well as the entire nation at large. He maintained that organisation has concluded arrangements to collaborate with the Nigerian youths towards skill acquisition, promotion of SMEs, integrity watch, international affiliations, analysis of government policies and other aspects that could enhance national growth and development. “As an NGO, YELIF is poised to help Nigerian youths acquire different vocational skills that will help them to be self reliant, employed and independent. Through our SMEs, we also intend to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship among Nigerian youths by using our contacts and positions. We hope to achieve this through indepth trainings, seminars and other enabling facilities,” Thompson said.
While saying that the documentary was not only shot to praise the government in the areas it has performed creditably well, he stated that it was produced as a clarion call for the government to be alive to the areas it has performed abysmally. He continued: “We are also urging Mr. President not to bow to threats from any group or sect, rather, his government should summon courage and protect the citizens always, because YELIF is watching and taking notes.” The South West spokesperson of YELIF, Mr. Segun Bakare, disclosed that the organisation would produce more informative documentaries that would reveal the true state of the nation, irrespective of cynical opinions from any quarter. Said he: “This will give the citizens a platform to align the government’s scorecard on performance. It will be backed by real time images and interviews with stakeholders, the opposition and the general public. “In YELIF, we are very independent and apolitical in our daily activities. We are out to effect positive changes in our nation. We will criticize very constructively and not because we want to be heard. We will also praise the government of the day when it performs creditably and also give knocks when it derails. “And we started our good governance campaign with a highly informative, educative and
•Thompson balanced opinionated documentary on the state of our nation at 52. “On seeing the documentary, a lot of people were relieved to see the magnitude of work already carried out by the current government in uplifting the state of our nation. Nevertheless, opinions still abound on the efficiency of the current government as relating to its scorecard on performance. We hope the government will reciprocate the messages in the documentary and act accordingly.” Bakare said YELIF comprises people of like minds from different parts of the country who are desirous of effecting positive changes in their fatherland.
DAILY SUN Friday October 12, 2012
Lateef Adegbite (1933 - 2012)
he renowned constitutional lawyer and Secretary-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Dr. Lateef Adegbite recently passed on at the age of 79. The erudite lawyer and devout Muslim died in a Lagos hospital of an undisclosed illness. With his death, Nigeria lost a foremost commentator on topical national issues as well as a moderating voice between Islam and Christianity in the country. He will be missed by all for his mediatory role in the polity . Since his demise, some Nigerians have eulogized his sterling qualities and achievements. In a moving tribute, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State described the late Seriki of Egbaland as one of the icons the State has produced for Nigeria. Amosun also said that the deceased shone like a star in the field of law and was the mouthpiece of Islam in Nigeria. Similarly, the National President of National Council of Muslim Youths Organisation (NACOMYO), Alhaji Kamaldeen Akintunde, described the late Adegbite as a distinguished Nigerian, promoter and defender of Islamic faith, as well as champion of inter-religious harmony. To former Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Sarafadeen Tunji Ishola, Adegbite’s death is a big loss to the Egba people, Ogun State and Nigeria. Born on March 20, 1933 in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Adegbite was educated at King’s College, Lagos from 1950-1956; University of Southampton, England, 1959-1962; Law Society College of Law for Solicitors, Lancaster, England, 19621962. He also attended the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, England, 1962-1963 before he was called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn, London, and later Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. The deceased served as a Commissioner
for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the defunct Western State of Nigeria from 1973-1975. He was also appointed a senior lecturer in Law, University of Lagos in 1976. Later, he went into private legal practice, specializing in commercial and corporate law. His publications include: The Concept of the Rule of Law in African Societies (1965); African Attitudes to the International Protection of Human Rights (1967); and Human Rights in Nigeria (1972). The deceased was president of the Nigeria Olympic Committee from 19721985 as well as the Pro-Chancellor and chairman of the G o v e r n i n g Council of the University of Maiduguri from 1984-1990. Though a lawyer, the deceased was best known for his role in Islam in the country. During his time, Adegbite was forthright in his views on sundry, burning national issues. He, however, never hid his proIslamic stance in all his assertions. He strongly believed in his faith and defended it till his death. He should be remembered for his spirited effort in ensuring that adherents of Christian and Islamic religions in Nigeria live in harmony through his support of inter-religious dialogue and his other mediatory roles. His moderating influence between Muslims and Christians was exemplary and worthy of emulation. He was a valuable bridge between the predominantly Muslim North and largely Christian South on virtually every national issue. Nigerians should emulate the shining example of this notable Nigerian who lived and died a patriot. We join other Nigerians and Muslim faithful in mourning the departed great Nigerian, a devout Muslim and a lover of the nation. We also commiserate with his family, the Muslim community and the nation on the great loss. May Allah grant his soul eternal repose.
Ajimobi and Oyo Chief Typists
I did not set out for this letter. I was inspired by a feeling I had while watching an emotion-laden news item on the Television network of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State a few days ago, which I found difficult to bottle up. The setting was the Simeon Adebo Staff Development Centre located in the State Secretariat. The highly elated audience in the hall rose and clapped endlessly to appreciate a trailblazing gesture from Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi. It was a gesture that marked a significant turning-point in their lives. A gesture that would have a life-long effect on their societal and economic status. A gesture that would engender immediate transformation of the fortune of the over 300 civil servants. Governor Ajimobi, by his pronouncement at the occasion gave actuality to the weather-beaten aphorism – law is made for man and not man for law. The action also amply portrayed him as a passionate leader, one with milk of human kindness running through his veins. He rekindled the hope of the
somewhat hopeless men and women and brought smiles to the lips of their teeming dependants. Interestingly, majority of the beneficiaries of the unprecedented landmark gesture are women. They are a category of civil servants designated as Chief Typists, who have reached the bar of their career in the service. In accordance with Civil Service Rules and Regulations, the officers at that level, by virtue of their academic/professional qualifications, cannot go beyond GL 09 in the Civil Service Salary Scale. In strict compliance with the rules, the over 300 officers have remained on the salary scale for over a decade, some for between 12 and 15 years. Marking time (in the Civil Service parlance) on GL 09 but enjoying annual increment on the salary scale which has 15 steps. There is an irony. In some instances, by their step placement on the GL 09 Scale, the officers earn more than some other category of officers on higher scales, even GL12. The higher take-home pay notwithstanding, benefits accruing to them are lower. Benefits and
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allowances in the service are determined by Salary Grade Level. Such benefits include Leave Bonus, Housing Loan, Car Loan and other allowances. The psychological trauma and elements of frustration the stagnant or stagnated officers have been contending with over the years are better imagined. He who feels it knows it. One could therefore appreciate the reason for the electrifying reaction of the men and women on that memorable day when Governor Ajimobi collapsed the ceiling that had sealed their advancement and prospects in the service. As declared by Mr. Governor, the Chief Typists are to be re-designated – Principal Assistant Secretaries. They can now rise to Grade Level 12 and automatically entitled to all statutory benefits attached to the salary scale. Why would they not dance as they clapped in rhythm so rapturously? Why would they not sing in praise of the man who had turned their lives around? As we say in Yoruba, inu eni kiidun ki a pa mora. It is difficult to be lukewarm when one is happy. The men and women who had hitherto lost hope are now basking in renewed hope and rejuvenated faith. They were stagnated because of limited academic/professional qualification. They are now being trained and retrained (for six months) to acquire higher qualification and higher proficiency certificate at Simeon Adebo Staff Development Centre. This is in consonance with the Ajimobi administration’s human
capital development policy. Governor Ajimobi by this singular action has set in motion endless positive concentric circles in the hitherto stagnant pool of life of the lucky officers. The new status and designation are inspiring enough. The new salary scale means an enhanced take-home package and consequently, an unquantifiable psychological relief. The compassionate action of Governor Ajimobi on this score raises a fundamental question. One is intrigued to ask – Why did it not occur to those before him to employ the in-service-training option to get rid of the frustrating, demoralizing chains from the legs of the ‘perpetual’ Chief Typists? Governor Ajimobi, by this innovative step, has amply exhibited the essence of governance. Yes, good governance predicated on concern for the security, welfare and well-being of the people as spelt out in Chapter II of the 1999 Constitution on Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy. Section 14 (2)(b) of the chapter states that - the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. I remain one with those who want this chapter of the Constitution made justice-able so that we would be empowered to challenge and legally compel those given the mandate to serve us, and care for us, whenever they fail to do so. Ayo Akinyemi, Ibadan (email@example.com) CMYK
Friday October 12, 2012
Jonathan’s one-year prayer project
uring an interdenominational church service, organized by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), to mark Nigeria’s 52nd independence anniversary in Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan announced the kicking-off of a one-year prayer project as part of his effort to develop the country. President Jonathan was quoted as saying that the initiative was necessary because the United States became great because of prayer. The president, who surmised the imperative of the prayer project, said that as prayer helped America determine the direction of their country, it can do the same thing for Nigeria. Jonathan used the occasion, too, to say that he alone cannot solve Nigeria’s problems. Despite the pervasive pessimism in the land, the president expressed optimism that the present challenges facing the country are temporary and that Nigeria would eventually overcome them. In the church service anchored on the theme, “The Weapons of Our Warfare are not Carnal,” Jonathan said that with the support from all Nigerians, like the rebuilding of old Jerusalem with ease under the leadership of Prophet Nehemiah, Nigeria would be rebuilt. Nigeria, he said, is blessed with many Nehemiahs in the three arms of government—Federal Executive, National Assembly, Judiciary, our teachers, businessmen and women. The president believed that God will use these Nehemiahs to rebuild the country. Jonathan also acknowledged with appreciation Christians and other religious leaders who pray for the country and the success of the government. As a Christian, I have no doubt over the efficacy of prayers in solving human existential problems. All religions including the received Christian and Islamic religions and African indigenous religions acknowledge the need for prayers in the life of the individual, the community and the nation. Prayer is not new in Nigeria. Nigerians did not hear of God and prayer from the white missionaries or their Arab counterparts. Our forebears had been praying and worshipping their God on the terms they knew best before the unwarranted incursion of these intruders. Yet after praying for good crop yield, they go to the farm and till the soil. They work and pray. But today, Nigerians literally depend on prayers that only prayer controls their lives. They pray to God to
Robert Obioha 08084951442 firstname.lastname@example.org heal them of headache, malaria and cough because of inefficient healthcare system. Most of available drugs are faked. Having said that let me proceed to say that Nigeria’s problems may defy prayers and I have my reasons for saying so. This is a country where almost every street is littered with prayer houses, including Churches and Mosques. The received religions have almost succeeded in dwarfing the indigenous faiths that their adherents now feel inferior to claim their God. That is the beginning of Africa’s monumental tragedy. How could a people forsake their God for a foreign God? But when their new found faiths fail them, they go back to their indigenous faith. I do not really want to contest with the president that America was built on prayer. After all, “In God We Trust,” is inscribed on their currency and Americans delight in calling their country, “God’s own country.” And every Americans always say, “God bless America” before any other thing. But at the same time, it is also important to let the president know that first and foremost America was built on the fundamental human rights and freedoms. America was founded on freedom for all hence the land of freedom. There is also the American Dream. It is a capitalist ideology which says that no matter your colour or creed, you can achieve whatever height you aspire in the United States. And the Constitution of the US was actually written by the American people. Can we say the same for Nigeria? The answer is a resounding NO! In America, citizens talk of the nation first before other matters. Hence they can think of what they can do to America and not what America can do to them. Americans love their country with passion. They treat America as their fatherland. They respect the American flag.
They work hard to make their country great in the midst of prayer. In Nigeria, tribe takes precedence over nation and we delight in flying ethnic flags. We do not need any one-year prayer project in order to develop Nigeria. If prayer is all we need to develop, what are the Imams, Pastors, Rev Fathers and Chief Priests doing? If the president asked them to pray, they will readily bail us out. In my neighbourhood, there are lots of prayers going on morning, afternoon and night that one can hardly sleep because of noise pollution. In fact, we have so many prayer warriors. What the president can do is to ask them to continue praying for Nigeria since prayer will automatically fix all our problems. The Catholic Church has devised many prayers for the country including prayer for Nigeria in distress. I believe that other churches and other religious bodies have different prayers for Nigeria’s different problems. If you go to a typical church in Nigeria, the prayer points of some faithful will surprise you. They include prayer for miraculous cure from poverty, joblessness, Boko Haram attacks, armed robbery, kidnappers, and hunger. Nigerians even pray for rain to fall. They pray for rain not to fall during burials. They pray for husbands, wives, children, good life, good health, good luck and journey mercies even when the driver is drunk and smelling of marijuana. Once they are covered with the blood of Jesus, the journey can proceed even when the vehicle tyres are in bad shape. Those, who are tired of our horrifying living standards, pray for death but a peaceful one. They do not want death via plane crash or road accident or by armed robbers. Instead of death on air mishap, some will prefer dying on road so that their remains will be seen and collected and
buried without hassles. In Nigeria, people pray for visa to travel to Europe and America, as well as examination success. They also pray for good government, good roads, good houses, clothing and free money. That is why some companies are duping Nigerians with ubiquitous sales promotions that will make them millionaires overnight without work. They believe that manna still fall from heaven today. Their belief in the supernatural is so complete that they become wiling tools in the hands of some mischievous and dubious miracle workers. If the government wants Nigeria to develop, it must start with our leaders. The new Nigeria we desire must be based on equality of all Nigerians before the law. It must be founded on basic human freedoms and rights. Nigeria I have in mind should not be ruled by evil men as General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of Nigeria, Pastor Enoch Adeboye advocated in one of his prayers. “Nigeria, evil men shall never rule you again.” Nigeria is upside down because of inept and bad leadership. I doubt if we have up to four Nehemiahs in government. We lack Nehemiahs, Davids, Moses and other saviours of mankind. I think that making prayer a government’s priority in a secular country is not proper. To me, prayer should be a private thing just like religion. It should not be part of state policy. Prayer should be left to the prayer warriors and Nigeria has plenty of them. We should spare tax payers’ money from this project. Instead, let us use the money for the project to repair one bad road. Let those in power eschew corruption and use Nigeria’s resources to develop the country. They should stop all unnecessary foreign trips. Those trips are drain pipes on the state revenue. How many times do foreign country’s leaders including their state governors come to Nigeria? I know of many countries that developed through honesty and hard work of their leaders and their citizens. I am yet to know of any country that developed only through prayers. After all, the Holy Bible warns that faith without work is useless. Prayer is good, but prayer alone can take us to nowhere. No amount of prayer will save Nigeria from corruption, nepotism and greed. Only exemplary and purposeful leadership can do the magic for us. Nigeria is crying for selfless leaders. We need leaders that are willing to die for the country. Unfortunately, they are in short supply.
Ekwueme: A timely birthday gift BY CHUDI OFFODILE
he annual awards and lecture of Leadership newspaper held at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, on September 18, 2012, provided an opportunity for the Turaki, Atiku Abubakar [GCON] to present, what I consider, a befitting and timely birthday gift to Dr. Alex Ekwueme [GCON], former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria [1979-2003], who turns 80 on October 21, 2012. Atiku Abubakar, himself, a former Vice President of Nigeria [1999-2007], while reviewing the structure of the Nigerian state at the event, had this to say: “I also want to recall that during the said 1994-95 constitutional conference, Dr Alex Ekwueme [GCON] former Vice President of the federation, introduced and canvassed for the concept of geo-political zones. I was among those who opposed it because I thought that Ekwueme, coming from the defunct Republic of Biafra, wanted to break up the country again. Dr Ekwueme obviously saw what some of us, with our civil war mindset, could not see at the time. There is, indeed, too much concentration of power and resources at the centre. And it is stifling our march to true greatness as a nation and threatening our unity because of all the abuses, inefficiencies, corruption and reactive tensions that it has been generating. Continuing, he said: “There is need, therefore, to review the structure of the Nigerian federation, preferably along the basis of the current six geo-political zones as regions and the states as Provinces. The existing state structure may not suffice, as the states are too weak, materially and politically, to provide what is needed for good governance”. Atiku Abubakar may not have intended his remarks to be a birthday gift but I am convinced that it is a precious gift that is timely and befitting, because at 80 years, Dr Ekwueme has played his part as an architect, a successful one, a politician who became Vice President and a
statesman who crafted an intelligent way forward for a country he truly love. Ekwueme’s idea connects to our history in a special way. It reconciles our past with the present and offers limitless opportunities for a bright future for Nigeria. Atiku’s intervention marks a remarkable and fundamental shift in the ‘thinking’ of the Northern political establishment. Former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida has, in the past, suggested that the country needs to be restructured. Even General Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change, made restructuring of the federation, an issue in the last campaign but Atiku was direct and specific. He acknowledged the need to review the structure of the Nigerian federation preferably along the basis of the current six geo-political zones as regions and the states as provinces. Nigeria may be moving slowly but surely towards achieving a modus Vivendi on the question of restructuring. First is to cast away the ‘civil war mindset’as Atiku has done and take a hard look at the journey so far. The way forward is a proper federal arrangement, a just and equitable power sharing formula that will command the loyalty of all Nigerians and pave the path for nationhood. The six geo-political zones as federating units is the best formula put forward so far in our long search for a stable system in postwar Nigeria. Atiku Abubakar’s candour, rare to find in our country, is quite commendable, although he was silent on the issue of rotation of power, the other leg of the Ekwueme submission at the constitutional conference. Dr Alex Ekwueme was born on October, 21, 1932 in Oko, Orumba North local government area of Anambra State. He completed his high school education at Kings College, Lagos on a government scholarship and passed the Cambridge school certificate examination with Grade One in December 1949. He was one of the first four Nigerians to be awarded the Fulbright scholarship financed by the U S State Department, following which he enrolled at University of Washington for the degree of
B.Arch in Architecture and City Planning in 1952. While pursuing his undergraduate degree in Architecture, he also earned a B.A in Sociology in 1955. Concurrently, in June 1955, he sat for the B.Adegree examination of the University of London as an external candidate in History, Philosophy and Constitutional Law and passed. He received his M.A degree in Urban Planning in March, 1957. He worked as an Architect in the United States, United Kingdom and finally in Nigeria where he set up the first Nigerian registered architectural firm in Lagos in 1958. He was elected President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects in 1965. During the Nigeria/Biafra civil war, Dr Ekwueme returned to Eastern Nigeria [Biafra] and became the Head of Planning of the Biafra National Airports Board. He obtained his doctorate degree, Ph.D, in 1978 from the School of Architecture, Building Science and Planning of the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland. Once again, concurrently with his Ph.D research work, he registered for and obtained the LL.B degree of the University of London in 1978. Dr Ekwueme was elected Vice President of Nigeria in 1979 as running mate to Alhaji Shehu Shagari on the ticket of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, [NPN]. They were re-elected in 1983 but were overthrown in a military coup in December of 1983. Several of the civilian leaders went on trial before a military tribunal set up by the military junta led by General Muhamadu Buhari. It is a tribute to Dr Ekwueme’s incorruptibility that the panel announced publicly, after all investigations, that Ekwueme had left politics poorer than he was when he entered it and that to ask for more from him was to set a standard which even saints would be unable to meet. Dr Ekwueme’s next political outing was as an elected delegate to the 1994-95 national constitutional conference where he served on the committee on the structure and framework of the constitution and where he made the ‘prescriptions’for a durable and stable polity known
as the six zonal structure. In April 1998, he led a group of eminent citizens popularly referred to as G-34 that confronted former military Head of State, late General Sani Abacha, asking him to perish the idea of succeeding himself. G-34 with other groups became the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] with Ekwueme as the founding chairman. Dr Ekwueme failed in his bid to become the Presidential candidate of the party in the 1999 Presidential election. He had delivered his local government, Orumba North, his state Anambra, and his zone, South East, as demanded by the party as a pre-condition for qualification to contest the Presidential primaries. Something went wrong but that is not the subject of this write up. Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme notified the Igbo nation of his presidential aspirations and asked them to follow him to the PDP. Asignificant number of Igbo political heavyweights, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Chief Arthur Nzeribe to mention but a few, refused and joined the APP as it then was. But Ndigbo had decided to follow Ekwueme to the PDP. The PDP swept the South East from local government elections to the gubernatorial elections. I stand on very firm grounds when I say that almost all elected officials from the South East who were elected in 1999, on the ticket of the PDP, owe their political ascendancy to Ekwueme’s effort in rallying the Igbos behind his presidential aspiration. Did we keep faith? Again, that is not the focus of this discourse. Elili malu ngwugwu, mana ngwugwu ma onye kelie! Dr Ekwueme did not become President of Nigeria and today, may not even be a powerful figure in the party he founded [PDP] but the ideas he put forth will serve this country well and his place in history is firmly assured. Ide Aguata N’Orumba, Ide Nigeria, Awolo Awka n’ekene gi. Happy Birthday, Sir! Offodile writes from Lagos CMYK
DAILY SUN Friday October 12, 2012
Aregbesola, Okojie and UNIOSUN medical students BY OLUREMI OMOWAIYE t is sheer irresponsibility and gross recklessness to seek to play politics with the lives of our youth and children, for they are the hope and the future of our community. They constitute the pivot for any society willing and aspiring to develop. It was revealed recently that the Federal Government has consistently been sending beneficiaries of federal scholarships to study in Cuba, China, Japan, Morocco, Turkey, Ukraine, Serbia, Romania, Russia and Algeria, among other places. It is then a surprise when the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Professor Julius Amioba Okojie, attacked the Osun State Government for sending some stranded medical students of its university, University of Osun (UNIOSUN), to Ukraine to complete their studies. Okojie went as far as referring to the host university in Ukraine as substandard. The Government of the State of Osun recently concluded arrangements for 98 medical students of UNIOSUN, Osogbo, who were long overdue for their clinical course to complete their study abroad on the bill of the state government. This was due to the non-availability of a teaching hospital for the university, contrary to the insinuation by apologists of the People’s Democratic Party that Osun State University Teaching Hospital was cancelled. In fact, UNIOSUN had no teaching hospital. The State Government had proposed to upgrade the State Hospital at Asubiaro, Osogbo, to a teaching hospital. If well over 1.5 billion naira was spent to ensure the accreditation of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital in 2000/2001, the Osun State Government would have had to spend no less than 5 billion naira now to upgrade the State Hospital to a functional and standard teaching hospital for clinical purposes to get the required accreditation. Personnel will no doubt pose a great challenge as well. It took the pioneer medical students of LAUTECH 10 years to graduate owning to accreditation challenges. It is, therefore, laughable for the PDPapologists to think that N850
million will put up a teaching hospital and secure accreditation. It is so sad that the medical students of UNIOSUN were stagnated for about two years as a result of non-availability of a teaching hospital for the university. All efforts made to get them admitted to tertiary institutions like Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, University of Ibadan (UI), University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), for their clinical courses failed. However, to save the situation of the medical students, the Rauf Aregbesola administration in Osun State settled for the overseas option. This was the most reasonable option available. The nobleminded progressive government decided to place all those due for clinical courses, that is, all 300 to 500 level medical students, on scholarship to complete their medical study in the prestigious V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ukraine. This decision was reported many times in both the electronic and print media. Everyone was told that the scholarship will cost the state government N146 million and not N600 million as being falsely and viciously propagated by PDP. The state government was very transparent about this matter. A total of $7,000 is to be expended on each of the concerned students. This would cover tuition fees, return air tickets and other logistics. The parents of the students would only take care of their wards’ upkeep while undergoing the course. Karazin Kharkiv National University School of Medicine at the moment has about 200 students on English Language training. The NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Okojie, misfired by referring to V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University as a substandard university. For a man who is in charge of granting licences regularly to many substandard universities, this is a very interesting charge. It was founded in November 1804 and today remains one of the largest research centers in Ukraine. It covers virtually all spheres of modern fundamental research and incorporates the Research Institutes of Chemistry, Biology, and Astronomy, the Institute of Physics and Engineering,
and the Institute of High Technologies.It is the only university in Ukraine that has trained and employed three Nobel laureates. How many of the universities that Okojie superintends have produced Nobel laureates? The university has produced Nobel laureates in medical biology, economics and physics. No single African country has produced a Nobel laureate in biology, economics or physics. Nigeria, with 160 million population, has only produced one Nobel laureate in Literature. Okojie’s “substandard” university has graduated over 130, 000 students and has several times been named the best university among the over 800 degree-awarding institutions in Ukraine. The latest webometric university ranking placed Karazin Kharkiv National University among the best 1, 500 universities in the world. Not one of the universities under Okojie’s supervision is on the list of the best 2, 000 universities in the world. The University of Benin that led other Nigerian universities was ranked 2,485th in the world. Yet, Okojie says that Nigerian universities are better than the universities in Ukraine. It is unfortunate that Okojie, a professor of forestry, who has been at the helm of affairs at the Nigerian universities apex body, the NUC, for seven years has not achieved the feat of moving any Nigerian university into the list of the best 2000 in the world. Yet, he was comfortable to make such derogatory remarks about the effort of the Government of Osun to secure the future of these innocent young ones, a gesture that has attracted the commendation and excitement of the residents of the State of Osun, particularly the parents of the affected students. A unique factor of the scholarship for these medical students was that it was not restricted to indigenes of Osun alone. The beneficiaries included students from other states of the federation, including Anambra, Oyo, Kogi, Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti and Ondo states. Omowaiye writes from Osogbo.
Tribal politics against 2015 Igbo presidency (1)
BY ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE
he gong for Igbo people to produce president of Nigeria in the 2015 elections has started to clang. The reverberation is deafening the ears than any other gong clanging contrarily. The echo of the gong for this assignment has been heard from Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu who was former governor of Abia State. Kalu is restating the need the Igbo should produce the next president of this country. His tireless campaign for this reason illustrates that there could be something going on within the powers that are against the Igbo in the forthcoming elections. And, with a persona like Kalu, who knows Nigeria and the inner-circle too well, any attempt to shortchange the Igbo from actualization of this, may not hold any water. Is it not an insult that Nigeria is still keeping the Igbo to be playing the 3rd fiddle forty-two years after the civil war? Against this influence, Kalu believes that the Nigeria/Biafra civil war has not come to an appropriate end till he sees the Igbo become a noteworthy president in Nigeria; not any other time, but in 2015. This is coming on the heels of claims in some Jacobic quarters that the Igbo are not organized; hence, they cannot produce the next president. On the contrary, Kalu has been asking whether other tribes that have produced president had two heads. On the other hand, he wants the maximum support from other tribes to make the Igbo
president of this country. Conceivably, it’s because the Igbo have not produced the president of this country significantly that has led to majority of the roads in any areas the Igbo have as their homes not tarred resulting to the dampening of the eco/socio lives of the Igbo. Social infrastructure in Igbo-land is a story for another day. Politics in the area has been the dictates of Abuja, whereby such names as “Abuja politicians” and “home-based politicians” are heard, as if politics has become a football club, where names like ‘international players’ and ‘home based’ are heard. And Kalu didn’t mince words when he said: “It has also been shown that those who boot-lick presidents in Nigeria since independence never do well; they don’t even tar the roads, they don’t give free education, they do nothing to salvage their states because they believe the president is their boss; if the president asks them to go and put their house on fire they will go and do it, which I feel is not in consonance with democratic concept.” The above could be the reason elections have been rigged in this country, because the powers that are in Abuja control the Army, Police, Navy, and Air Force. They are ready to give backup to any “Abuja politician” to defeat any “home based” in an election. Nigerians once saw this played in a South-East state where a sitting governor was molested and latter was abducted in broad daylight and the powers that were in Abuja gave maximum support to the ‘home based’ political gangsters, who were
shamelessly parading themselves as godfathers and godmothers of the state’s politics, leading to a notable Igbo son from the state rejecting a National Honour that was awarded to him, even a second time. Have Ndigbo not been manipulated enough in this country? How long shall the powers that are continue to divide Ndigbo against themselves? Kalu is squabbling today that this habit and sundry are advised against in the future elections. He stepped down from contesting in the 2011 presidential elections he had shown full blown interest in, when it was obvious that majority of the Igbo personalities and organizations had shown interest to support President Goodluck Jonathan, an Ijaw-man, who was murmured had an intention for one term and later, it would be the turn of the Igbo. But the darling of power seems has entered Jonathan’s marrow and the same murmurings, are making the rounds today that he has the interest to be president beyond 2015. Ndigbo from all walks of life, no matter their residences, gave President Goodluck Jonathan their maximum support in the 2011 elections, and it is expected that the president will in turn, give them his support to be president in 2015. So, was Kalu right when he said that it would be an insult to the Igbo for anybody to feel that they cannot produce president in 2015? It is obvious that Kalu has been fighting for the unity of this country against his own busi-
nesses and family for too long. He has always come out openly to call injustice by its name when others are clamouring for the debris they will get from the government. Somebody may be thinking that why Kalu is fighting for the Igbo to produce the next president is because he wants to be president. This is far from being the truth. Kalu has only declared that injustices that are being meted out to Ndigbo since the colonial rule to date can only come to an end, when the Igbo become the president of this country. This is the reason Nigerians should rally round Kalu in making sure that this purpose is actualized, because injustice is not monopolistic. Who knows whose turn this injustice will turn to by tomorrow, if it is not nipped in the bud today? One thing with Kalu is that he has a humane heart. Those who have such a heart know that he has come out openly in recent times and said that Nigerians will get it right this time even if they could have made some mistakes in the past. What do people know as an apology if not this? Or do certain persons want when he comes and prostrate? In earnest, he has pleaded for the peace and unity of Nigeria. Kalu’s attitude to saying that things will be right this time shows the Igbo adage that says, “Peace is for the elder to initiate”. And Kalu is suing for peace which should not be misconstrued for cowardice. to be continued Onwumere writes from Port Harcourt
Oil economy: Mutual lessons for Nigeria and Ghana
SURAJ OYEWALE uch has been written in recent times on how Ghana has been getting it right on many fronts, notably politics and the economy. Even if some of us that have strong presence on the internet are not happy with the negative and stereotypical attitude of many Ghanaians to matters Nigeriana, we still must give it to this country that best fits the description “Nigeria’s twin”, if anything like that exists. With such mixed impression about Ghana and Ghanaians, I was probably the most attentive at the Golden Tulip Hotel, Accra venue of an oil and gas tax professionals gathering, when respected Ghanaian economist and tax practitioner, Mr Abdallah Alli-Nakyea, took us through developments in his country’s oil and gas sector. That Ghana is now an oil producing country is not the news, but the management of the resources in this country that has not fared badly, even in its pre-oil era. Unknown to many people, including this writer until the Accra event, Ghana had actually started exploring for oil since the last quarter of nineteenth century, about the same time the process started in Nigeria. While hydrocarbon was discovered in commercial quantity in Ghana in 2007, Nigeria was already close to celebrating half a century of shipping crude oil. Today, Ghana produces about 120,000 bpd of crude oil in its Jubilee field. Ghana’s output per day, even when stripped to per capita terms, surely pales into insignificance compared to Nigeria’s 2.5 million bpd, but with
that country’s recent history in better management of resources, I will not be surprised if this country achieves more tangible results from its oil find than Nigeria has done in its over 50 years of being an oil producing nation. Yet, there are socio-political and economic lessons both countries can learn from each other as oil brings them further together. As we rubbed minds at the Accra event, Eben Akinyemi, a Nigerian tax expert and lead facilitator, called attention to the worrisome stagnation in Nigeria’s crude oil output. Nigeria, Akinyemi noted, had hit 2m bpd milestone since the Gowon/Murtala/Obasanjo era of the mid-seventies, and in fact the popular statement allegedly by one of the top government official at the time that our problem was not funds but how to spend it, was hinged on this boom at a time our population was one-third of what it is today. The question now is, why is our production, thirty years later, still hovering around 2m to 2.5m bpd? This is ironic given the fact that we now have many operators in the industry and billions of dollars have been pumped into the system since then. Another very important pointer to Ghana’s foresightedness was putting in place petroleum legislations far back in the eighties, two decades before commercial oil find! It is noteworthy that Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), the equivalent of our own NNPC, has been in existence since the early eighties. This is in contrast to our own fire brigade approach here. There is also the area of government take from the petroleum operations. Nigeria’s current PIB seeks to optimize (take that as increase) govern-
ment’s take from the petroleum activities. This is mainly through royalties and taxes. Nigeria’s existing petroleum taxations framework takes between 50-85% of taxable income as taxes for companies engaging in petroleum operations. The PIB seeks to abrogate that and subject petroleum operating (upstream) companies to the Company Income Tax regime that takes 30% as tax, and introduces a new tax regime called Hydrocarbon tax at 50%. This effectively brings back the tax take to 85% of taxable income. Our Ghanaian brothers appear to be more lenient with 35-50% as tax take. The reason for this may be simply adduced to the fact that the country needs investors in the industry at this time and a friendly tax climate can only be helpful to the achievement of that goal. But, a school of thought does not agree with this idea. To them, in countries where the government takes are higher like Nigeria and Angola, the investors did not leave, why then does Ghana have to bend so low? I am inclined to agreeing with this line of argument. Like many African countries, resource curse, otherwise known as Dutch Disease, is bedeviling Nigeria. Resource curse is a paradoxical situation where natural resources endowment ends up constituting setback to a country rather than bring positive impact. Nigeria as a country was better off before attention shifted to oil in the 1970s as its main revenue spinner. I attended Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, and I am still amazed at the wonder income from agricultural produce (cocoa) did. The difference simply boils down to the management of these revenues. Obafemi
Awolowo, Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikwe, and Michael Okpara of that era managed the earnings from cocoa, groundnut, rubber etc so well that with the billion petro-dollars available to successive regimes after them, the country has continued to retrogress. Probably motivated by the Niger Delta agitation they read of in Nigeria, the southern Ghana youths have also come up under various platforms to agitate for right share in the revenue from oil produced in their region, even if their logic collapses when faced with the fact that the country has been sustained on cocoa and gold produced in other regions before now. While I sympathize with our Niger Delta brothers in Nigeria, I do not think carrying arms against the state is something our coastal Ghana youths should borrow from Nigeria. The Ghanaian government, of course, will do well putting in place proper framework to take care of various concerns. Still, the Nigerian factor, as a big brother in oil economy, can be helpful to Ghana in the development of its burgeoning oil industry. Apart from the lessons, deployment of human capital from Nigeria can also be useful to Ghanaian petroleum industry. The industry has been actively thriving in Nigeria for over five decades and it has groomed an excellent set of local workforce to service the sector. Nigerians have been OPEC Secretary Generals; looking in Nigeria’s direction for development of its oil potential will do both countries good. Oyewale writes from Lagos.
DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012
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Today in History The origin of Oktoberfest 1810
On this day in October 1810, Bavarian Crown Prince Louis, later King Louis I of Bavaria, married Princess Therese von SachsenHildburghausen. The Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates. These famous public fields were named Theresienwiese— ”Therese’s fields”—in honor of the crown princess; although locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wies’n.” Horse races in the presence of the royal family concluded the popular event, celebrated in varying forms all across Bavaria. The decision to repeat the festivities and the horse races in the subsequent year gave rise to the tradition of the annual Oktoberfest, which now begins in late September and lasts until the first Sunday in October. Alcohol consumption is an important part of the modern festival, and more than 1 million gallons of beer are consumed annually at Oktoberfest.
Benjamin Adekunle, a.k.a. “Black Scorpion,” addressing his 3rd Marine Commando Division during the Nigerian civil war in 1967
100 die in Numan boat mishap On this day in October 2003, divers in Numan local government area of Adamawa State spent the day searching for the bodies of persons who drowned in the River Benue when an engine boat carrying an estimated 100 people sank into the river. Eyewitnesses said the boat, which was also said to be laden with bags of cement and grains as well as jerrycans of petrol and palm wine, hit a pillar of the Numan bridge and disintegrated before sinking into the river. There is controversy concerning the number of people who perished as a result of the disaster, but the information officer of Numan local government council, Mr. Pwafukadi Linus, told
journalists in Numan that about 100 people “perished” in the disaster. He said eyewitnesses told him that the boat was carrying between 150 and 200 people when it sank; and that an estimated 50 persons survived while about 100 were missing. However, when our correspondent visited the scene of the accident, only one of the four eyewitnesses spoken to concurred with Mr. Linus figures and one of three witnesses said the boat was carrying about 100 people and that a large number of them had survived. They could not give an estimate, but they said about 10 dead bodies were recovered in two days of search efforts. Police sources also said about 100 persons
were in the boat when it sank, but that only a few of them drowned, while the rest had escaped. The Divisional Police Officer in charge of the area, DSP Abubakar Ibrahim Argungu, told journalists that officially “only six people were missing, and three dead bodies have so far been recovered.” The operator of the ill-fated boat, who is now being held by police, Ibrahim Mohammed, claimed that it was carrying only 70 people, but admitted that it was a 100-people capacity boat laden with goods. DSP Ibrahim Argungu who told journalists that police arrested Mohammed along with the Chairman of Boat Owners’ Association in the area, Dan Azumi Ndamusa, over the disaster, said they would be handed over to the marine section of the police command that would in turn charge them in court with “carelessness.” The boat which was allegedly owned by a top government official was going to Jen town in the neighbouring Taraba State when the accident occurred.
Suicide bombers attack USS Cole 2000
At least six American sailors were killed on this day in October 2000 in what was thought to have been a suicide bomb attack on a US Navy destroyer in the Yemeni port of Aden. Eleven others are missing and at least 36 wounded after a massive explosion left the USS Cole badly gashed along one side. US President Bill Clinton said if the explosion was an act of terrorism it was “despicable and cowardly”. “We will find out who was responsible and hold them accountable,” he told reporters. Witnesses to the explosion described it as being so powerful that buildings near the port shook. It is thought an inflatable raft, packed with high explosives, rammed the USS Cole as it was apparently helping to moor the warship to a buoy. The explosion left a gash up to 40 feet (12 metres) long in the left side of the destroyer, which is now listing badly. No-one has claimed responsibility, however, and the Yemeni authorities say the explosion was not deliberate. The attack on the USS Cole is the worst on an American target since the bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania two years ago, in which 224 people died.
DAILY SUN Friday, October 12, 2012
By CHIDINELU OKERAFOR
arely one week to the Calabar encounter between the Super Eagles and Liberia’s Lone Stars, the visitors are understandably talking tough, while the Nigerian chief coach, Steven Okechukwu Keshi, has been chided for adopting something close to a panic measure, when he initially invited twenty-three home-based and fifteen foreignbased players to help him prosecute what, ordinarily, should be a plain-sailing game, come next Saturday-week. Even if, as expected, Nigeria manage to defeat the boastful Liberians, questions surrounding the truth state of our football cannot stop. For example, are we really a football power-house, fair and square? It’s one question that has proved hard to answer for decades. Are we such a mighty soccer-playing country, at least in Africa, if not worldwide? I first cross-checked what the compound word “power-house” actually means, and here, in part, is what I found: “A team considered to be the best of its class”. The next question is: who’s qualified to make the assessment of whether Nigeria, no doubt a nation of passionate football-followers, is indeed a power-house of the round-leather game? Is it Ok if we consider our football to have reached that elevated position? Or is it an assessment better left to neutrals to make? I ask these, because you and I know that a country like Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Uruguay or Argentina, will never raise any doubts in anyone’s mind that they are indeed “the best of their class” in terms of football success. Even by African standards, Nigeria’s position, football-wise, hasn’t quite been resolved yet. That’s strictly my opinion. Following early September’s two-two draw between the Eagles and the Lone Stars in Monrovia, I’ve ached to hear some Nigerians complain that the outcome ought to have been an easy victory. They say
Questions ahead of Nigeria-Liberia clash Liberia are minnows in football and shouldn’t have posed such a problem to a formidable side like Nigeria. However, those enthusiasts seem to have forgotten two key indices in the Nigerian equation: one, that we don’t yet have a standing national football team, and two, that our teams haven’t managed to be traditional success stories in away football encounters. I’m not inclined to debate whether minnows still exist in world football, because I know there are those who will be quick to trumpet the low international ratings of countries like India, Andorra, Malta, Fiji and Lesotho, among others. I’ll leave that discussion for another day, because I also know that in recent years, countries like Togo, Angola, Niger Republic, Botswana and others have emerged from relative obscurity to become game-changers or giant-killers. After comfortably defeating four times African champions, the Lions of Cameroon two-zero at their own Nations Cup final qualification, first leg tie, wouldn’t you include a side like Cape Verde in that class of giant-killers? If it wasn’t such a shock result, then, why have the Cameroon F.A. sacked their foreign-born coach and lifted the ban on inspirational captain, Samuel Eto’o, ahead of next week’s decisive return match in Yaoundé? As for Nigeria, do we honestly consider our national teams to be the best of their class? There are those who will argue, with some justification though, in the affirmative. You can hardly blame them, partly, because Nigerian sides have been the dominant force in female football in Africa since FIFA introduced the women’s World Cup in 1991. Also for long periods, beginning in 1977, Nigeria’s age-group national teams, whether the Flying Eagles, the Golden Eaglets or the so-called Dream Teams of the under=twenty-three category, ruled Africa and made impressive showings on the world arena.
It’s equally hard to argue against the fabulous record that the Super Falcons of Nigeria have set in terms of football dominance on the African continent, so much so that Nigeria have almost always emerged as Africa’s representatives in every FIFA Women’s World Cup since 1991. Now, the country’s [female] youth teams, including the under-twenty and under-seventeen, have followed suit. See! Organized football started in our country between the early 1940’s and mid-fifties. There are however no available records to prove that Nigerian soccer had fully arrived, as it were, before the mid-1970’s. The main yardstick for judging success at the time is how team’s performed at the re-named Africa Cup of Nations, which Nigeria couldn’t win for the first time until 1980. Before then, nine editions of the championship had been held by CAF. Another yardstick for measuring success was qualification for the FIFAWorld Cup, the first of which took place in 1932, but, for which our country qualified for the first time in 1994. Noone, including neutrals, can argue against the immense talent of the generation of Super Eagles players that won the Nations Cup again for the country in Tunisia in 1994 and put up a redoubtable performance at the Mundial in America, same year. The likes of Rasheed Yekini, Sunday Olise, Ben Iruoha, Uche Okafor, Daniel Amokachi, Finidi George, Emmanuel Amunike, Ike Shorunmu, Peter Rufai, Samson Siasia, Steven Keshi, Austin Eguavoin, J.J. Okocha and others: all of these lads evoke in the soccer-loving Nigerian memories of the glory days or ”golden era” of our football. Although politics had intervened to truncate their quest, it’s hard to find anyone who doubted the ability of that squad of Super Eagles to have retained the Nations Cup in South Africa in 1996. Yet, I fear that, despite the big strides that
our football has taken in recent decades, we might just be overrating ourselves nowadays. First, I’ve always had my “secret” misgivings about the actual ages of the lads we’ve paraded for age-group soccer competitions since the late 1970’s. But, let’s leave that debate for another time, because we haven’t been the only culprits in the game of age cheating. Second, I’m not sure that two CAF Champions League titles by Enyimba F.C., plus six titles in CAF’s second-tier competitions, is commensurate to the overwhelming human and material resources our country has been blessed with. I don’t doubt that Nigeria possess huge football talent. Besides, I cannot fault, because I don’t understand, the criteria that were recently used to vote the Nigeria Premier League as Africa’s strongest. However, has anyone cared to investigate how many times each that Ghanaian, Algerian, Egyptian, Moroccan, Cameroonian or Congolese club-sides have won the re-named CAF Champions League since its inception over four decades ago? Are we really, honestly and realistically, right to call ourselves a football power-house? Or is it just a misunderstanding of the English language? I’m left wondering why we always rate ourselves above Egypt, who have won the Nations Cup a record six times, or the Cameroonians and Ghanaians, who have lifted the trophy four times each. I think we, as a nation, are still obsessed with our past achievements and seem to be resting on our oars. I say so, because this seeming feeling of “superiority” cannot but stem from what many Nigerians have erroneously continued to view as our country’s period of “invincibility” in soccer: namely the era from the early 1990’s to the early 2000’s. Even back then, that squad of national team players under Dutchman Clemens Westerhof still had a lot to prove. •07036776571.
Customer service: Deciding factor for companies in Nigeria -Gloria Torres
ecently, companies from across the world celebrated International Customer Service Week, a global initiative which seeks to develop a culture of service excellence and superior customer satisfaction. DHL, the global market leader in the International express delivery business did not only celebrate the week, but also emphasised the
importance of customer service to the economic growth of Nigeria and also embark on some community projects such as planting of trees in some government schools and donations of food items and clothing items to some charity organizations. “Customer experience is one of the great frontiers for innovation and most companies have
been slow to grasp it. Yet I predict that customer experience will decide the winners and losers in the years ahead”, said Gloria Torres, Head of Customer Service for DHL Sub Saharan Africa. “Building great consumer experiences is a complex enterprise, involving strategy, integration of technology, orchestrating business models, brand management, and CEO commitment. It’s harder than you think!” commented Randy Buday, Managing Director, Anglophone Africa. Continuing, Torres said: “But it starts with having a great team and this year’s Customer Service Week also provides us with an opportu-
nity to reward our star advisors, and recognize their passion for our business and for our customers.” “We take customer service very seriously and great customer experiences are full of surprising ‘wow’ moments. In 2012 thus far we’ve already received 61 global awards for our service. As an example, earlier this year we implemented ‘Straight to the Top’ which allows any customer to bypass the call centre and go straight to the top of the organization. Furthermore, there are no machines answering calls at DHL, “you speak straight to a person at DHL.”
Ohazulike holds New Yam festival
ze ndigbo of Lagos State and President Ndiezendigbo in Diaspora,Eze Hyacainth Ohazulike (OON) would on Saturday October 13 holds its annual New Yam Festival. According to the royal father, the event would take place at Obi ndigbo, Lagos State, 102, Igwe Ohazulike Road, New Oko-Oba, Lagos. Special guests of honour include, Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, Governor of Imo state, Owelle Rochas
Okorocha,Senator Ndi (Obi) Ojeli Igbo, Senator Florence Ita Giwa and Chief Dr Slyvan Ebigweli, President Aka Ikenga. Royal father of the day are HRM Igwe Onyimadu Nwajiaku 5, Igwe Ukpor, HRM Igwe, MN Ezeh, Idu11 of Igbo Ukwu and HRM Nwankwo, OON,Eze Ohazuru ome1 of Aro-Amuro, Okigwe The event promises to portray rich Igbo culture and unite ndigbo towards the goal of cultural Ohazulike rebirth.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Among Achebe, Awo, Zik, Balewa and Ahmadu Bello W
ars, whether civil or international, are by their very nature, ever unpleasant, leaving in their trail, bitter memories with accounts, personal or official, ever partisan and even if credible, ever liable to be disputed. Every account depends on the author and the critic. There can never be an end to such accounts. Till today, Americans, whose grandparents were not yet born at the time of their country’s civil war, still engage in academic exercise of the war with special focus on their wartime leader, Abraham Lincoln, and the opposite confederals. There are also fresh books on the last two world wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. On the Nigerian civil war, which ended barely 42 years ago, the compelling need for various accounts and observations is, therefore, yet to be exhausted, especially by those who were directly involved or affected. Such accounts are ignoble if they do not generate controversy. The latest is Chinua Achebe’s book titled “There was a country.” Whatever the bad feelings of his critics, Achebe’s reputation, unlike his contemporaries, is that of a straightforward man. He has never been known to be cowardly, neither does he cringe before nor collaborate with any local or international establishment. Achebe’s character is definite as he does not charade in the day only to be settled at night. The author of the book “There was a country” should therefore be viewed from that angle. Notably, Chinua Achebe faulted one of Nigeria’s founding fathers, Obafemi Awolowo, for acclaiming starvation as a legitimate weapon in a war, specifically, Nigerian civil war. It is, by the way, wrong to accuse Achebe of writing his book over forty years after the civil war ended. Indeed, it will be a surprise if Achebe’s book is the last to be written on the civil war by a Nigerian. Furthermore, Chinua Achebe has never hidden his disagreement with Obafemi Awolowo. In fact, when the latter died in 1987 and was widely attributed as a nationalist, Achebe weighed in with his verdict that Awolowo was a tribalist. How correct is Chinua Achebe in his criticism of Obafemi Awolowo for acclaiming starvation as a weapon in a war? Even if Awolowo was not in the position to effect his belief in starvation as a weapon during the war, the fact remains that he (Awolowo) publicly took that position and was widely reported in the media in Nigeria and abroad. In fact, years after the war, critics of Awolowo, understandably from the Biafran side, so accused him and he could not deny as the evidence was there. For a devastating effect, Awolowo expressed his view on the starvation controversy as the second (though not necessarily most powerful) man in Nigerian government. As a major figure in Nigerian politics, Awolowo should therefore have counted both the short and long term omnibus consequences of such controversial views. The higher the position, the more the restraint or responsibilities. It is not as if in any war, starvation does not arise or is not employed by the stronger side to weaken the opponents. With blockade leading to shortages of essential items like food and drugs, surely starvation sets in and the stronger side pretends ignorance of the deteriorating situation on the other. In reality, therefore, starvation becomes a weapon. But such weapon is never officially or callously acknowledged as a weapon. In the build up to Second World War, German leader Adolph Hitler operated a concentration camp at Dachau under the most inhuman conditions, including starvation, mainly to contain or discourage dissidence at home. When the war began in 1939, Hitler opened another camp at Belsen, mainly for starving hundreds of thousands of Jews and other prisoners of war. But Hitler never officially or publicly hold out starvation as a deliberate or legitimate weapon of war. In Africa, starvation also emerged in civil wars in Congo and Rwanda. And less than twenty years ago during the Bosmian war in the defunct Yugoslavia, starvation and ethnic cleansing resulting in deaths of hundreds of thousands in Srebrenica, alarmed the world, such that culprit Bosnia leaders were later tried at International Criminal Court, Hague for crimes against
DURO 07059484642 ONABULE
Today humanity. Ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor was also tried in the same court for alleged crimes against humanity in the Sierra-Leone civil war. The difference therefore with these stated examples compared to the starvation in the Nigerian civil war was that no government official or public office holder came out to acknowledge that starvation was being employed as a deliberate and legitimate policy. Fortunately, during the Nigerian civil war, there was no International Criminal Court under
Awolowo which genocide (implication of starvation of opponents to death) is treated as crime against humanity. Is Chinua Achebe fair to Awolowo in his criticisms? The appropriate preceding question is: Was Awolowo fair to himself (not to mention federal side) when he publicly upheld starvation as a legitimate weapon in war, moreso during a civil war in which the outside world was disgusted with television visuals of thousands of starving and malnourished innocent children? Did Awolowo justify starvation as a weapon during a war, in his personal or official capacity as vicechairman of Federal Executive Council headed by General Yakubu Gowon? In whatever capacity, even outside government, Awolowo, considering his high status in Nigerian politics especially as one of the country’s founding fathers, should not have endorsed starvation as a weapon. If Awolowo was ever to speak on the war, such view expressed publicly, must comply with government policy on the conduct of the war. Clearly because Awolowo’s endorsement of starvation was against the stated policy of Federal Government, General Yakubu Gowon, in great embarrassment, had to dispatch delegations to different parts of the world, even Africa, to re-assure that starvation was not his government’s policy on the civil war. In truth, Awolowo created the problem for himself, moreso as he was not the prosecutor of the war. The chief prosecutor of the war was General Yakubu Gowon, who, even if he endorsed starvation, never said so publicly or officially throughout the war. Instead, Gowon, thereafter, approved, perhaps under pressure from concerned foreign governments, the opening of safe corridors through which relief materials passed to the war victims. There were also high-ranking politicians of Obafemi Awolowo’s generation in Gowon’s government who concentrated on their assignment as federal commissioners. Among them were Aminu Kano, Shehu Shagari, Joseph Tarka, Winike Briggs, Shettima Ali Monguno, Dr. Adetoro, Femi Okunnu. Tony Enahoro, (erstwhile lieutenant of Obafemi Awolowo) as Federal Commissioner for Information and Culture, for some unknown reasons, sold to the outside world the idea of a Nigerian federation
with strong centre except that not only did he break with Awolowo but also his last twenty years on earth in total regret of his federation with strong centre and therefore through NADECO and PRONACO sang a new tune of weakening of the centre in favour of more powers for the states. There was, of course, Admiral Wey as Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters. Since Admiral Wey, by the way a Yoruba, and other federal commissioners (except Tony Enahoro) did not make any provocative statements throughout
Achebe their tenure and the war, nobody is criticising them today. Obafemi Awolowo should have realised that he was not a pedestrian figure in or out of government throughout the war and the weight of his every word, must consolidate an aspiring national leader in a complex country like Nigeria. Former North regional premier Ahmadu Bello, for example, could afford the luxury of his reservation about allowing an Igbo an inch of opportunity because, according to him (Ahmadu Bello) he, (Igbo) would from there occupy a yard. Ahmadu Bello made this view known in an interview with a BBC television correspondent now reproduced on You Tube. But then, Ahmadu Bello contented himself with a regional premiership. It was a completely different story with Abubakar Tafawa Balewa throughout his nine years (1957-1966) as Prime Minister of Nigeria, as he lived up to the national standing of that office. Even when Ahmadu Bello said he did not recognise the state of Israel, thereby creating diplomatic tension, Tafawa Balewa asserted himself as Prime Minister by assuring the world that Nigeria had friendly ties with all member countries of the United Nations including Israel. Another example was deputy leader of Action Group and later Premier of Western Region, S.L. Akintola who was more vitriolic than Awolowo on anything Igbo. But Akintola never aspired to lead Nigeria and could afford to alienate any section of the country, as undesirable as that might be. Akintola’s humorous analogy of the name of Dr. Ikejiani was classic. Whatever the meaning in Igbo, the translation of Ikejiani in Yoruba was politically convenient for Akintola to complain against majority federal appointments for Igbos. According to Akintola in his memorable broadcast on the regional radio, (now also available on You Tube) there might be nothing wrong in the first appointment (Ikini ani) second appointment (Ikeji ani) third appointment (Iketa ani) etc going to Igbos, but that Yoruba too must share in the appointments. Nobody wound reject such seeming justifiable submission except that, the humour apart, Akintola’s aim was to undermine Yoruba support for Awolowo in their supremacy battle in the defunct Western region. How about Daddy Onyeama, a prominent and well-respected independent-minded judge who
in his younger days was enjoying an evening with friends (mainly Yoruba) at Island Club Lagos? Onyeama’s social friends teased him with the low status of Igbo in the scheme of things. Such ‘yappings’ are common among friends on those joyous occasions. Onyeama, innocently in return and perhaps to disarm his tormentors, assured that “Igbo domination is a question of time.” Complete political capital was thereafter made out of an otherwise social evening banter among friends, in total disregard of the circumstances. Is Chinua Achebe’s criticism of Awolowo necessarily evidence of his (Achebe’s) hatred for Yoruba? That cannot be because Achebe knows too well that on the federal side during the civil war, conscientious objectors were among only Yoruba, with some of them like Tai Solarin and Wole Soyinka clamped into indefinite detention. Also, at the end of the war, the first non-Igbo to appear in Biafra in a sole-rehabilitation effort was a Yoruba – Tai Solarin. Also, unknown to the public, even some close associates of Awolowo did not agree with him on the war. At least, one of them from Ijebu-Ode, now deceased, years after the end of the war, confided in me. That aside, Achebe’s critics on his latest book, especially Yoruba, should objectively read “AWO”, Obafemi Awolowo’s autobiography, in which throughout, there is not a single sentence complimentary to Nnamdi Azikiwe, portrayed as an ethnic jingoist. When I read the maiden edition of that book in 1961, I could then understand why NCNC (Zik’s party) rejected the offer of an alliance by Awo’s Action Group in 1959, even conceding Prime Ministership to Azikiwe. Similar offer of alliance between Awo’s party and Zik’s party in 1979 and 1983 was also laughable. The two men were uncompromisingly incompatible to give Nigeria a workable and durable political alliance. Yet, Awolowo’s criticisms of Azikiwe were never mischievously interpreted as hatred for Igbos. Nobody of Achebe’s status and with terrible experiences of the civil war could be expected to write his recollections without justifiable criticism of starvation as a weapon throughout the war. His critics just have to be realistic rather than being emotional. Awolowo’s election campaign pledge to ban importation of second hand clothes and stockfish could have been better sold (by Awolowo himself) to Nigerians than the impression that it was targeted at economically weakening a particular section of the country. Suppose the need to ban continued importation of the two items had been linked to a determination of (Awo’s) government to improve the living standard of the low class, such that it would no longer be necessary to dress in second-hand clothes and that with a stronger purchasing power, Nigerians would feed better on mainly nutritious items. Awolowo did not become head of Federal Government. Yet, since 1979, far less Nigerians today depend on second-hand clothes for their dresses. Equally, stockfish is no longer a delicacy at dinners or lunch. It is all due to the improvement in the living standard of Nigerians, the very aim of Awolowo in his pledge to ban the two items. Either by accident or by design, no aspiring head of Nigerian government can risk ambiguous or potentially misleading posture/controversy, which was the lot of Awolowo on sensitive issues like starvation as a weapon during a war, banning of second-hand clothes and stockfish, since all these touched on the physical and economic survival of a particular section of the country. By the way, some of Achebe’s critics are amusing as they don’t seem to understand why Biafra had to invade Mid-West and Ore on the way to Lagos. The logic is simple. Biafra initially said its war was with the North. But Yoruba salesmen on the federal side at home and abroad countered that it was a war of Nigeria’s survival. The war drumbeat was “To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done.” At that stage, any part of Nigeria – Ijebu-Ode, Ore, Benin city, Paiko, Makurdi, Wushishi, Gombe, or Lasa - because a legitimate target for the opposite side.
his column had been missing for the past three weeks owing to some production disruption. So much happened inbetween. It’s therefore nice to be back.
Friday, October 12, 2012
I can marr
•Says Nigeria never h
From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
ocial critic and public commentator, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, is home to controversy and says those things many fear to. It is right to say he furthered the trend in this interview with the Daily Sun. You might not believe this but the cleric, who swore to celibacy in the call of his duty, has a shocker for you as he said in response to a question on Catholic cleric and marriage that no one compels a cleric to marry or not to and with such liberty, he declared that marriage for the Catholic clergy was a matter of choice and as such he could get married if he so wished. Kukah, a former Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria and now Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, insists that the issue of marriage is a matter of choice. Hear him: “If I want to get married today, I will get married. The only thing is that I will no longer be a Catholic priest. And quite a good number of people, some whom I know, have made such choices.” Kukah, who clocked 60 recently, also spoke on why he wrote a book on the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa panel not minding that the Nigerian government clamped down on the recommendations of the panel. Bishop Kukah, in this explosive interview, was at his best as he expressed confidence in the recent statement by President Goodluck Jonathan that he would shock Nigerians in 2013. Nigeria is 52. What type of nation did you dream of as a child? The Nigeria I dreamt of was quite modest. As a child, I didn’t know Kaduna and I didn’t know anywhere outside my immediate environment. So, my dreams were very modest and my ambition then was just to visit Kaduna because for me, that was like the end of the world. You are 60. How do you feel at 60?
What do you mean? I feel like an old man. But you look young… I feel old. Very old? Very old (laughs). But I am sure that I can beat you on the football pitch. I am very sure of that. How was growing up like? Well, I grew up in a very small village, rather modest village and I went to Kaduna for the first time, I think in 1965 or thereabouts when we were going to the seminary. Much later in the 70s, we graduated to Jos and the journey started. But my horizon is open, of course, naturally after my ordination as a priest. How did you get your vocation? You get your vocation from God. You don’t pick your vocation from the road. You get your vocation from God. But it is not everybody that is like Paul who was on his way to Damascus. There are different circumstances. Why did you join the priesthood instead of law profession, medicine or something else? Well, when I was growing up, there were no medical doctors around, there were no lawyers around. There were priests around? There was a priest around. Oh! What is the name of the priest? He is long dead now. But the priest we first came in contact with, I have forgotten his name. I don’t remember his name again. It is such a long time because at the end, he was not the one who baptised me. Anyway, I mean, he was a white man and that was the first excitement. And we thought there weren’t white people around where I was growing up. The closest I came to a white person was an albino, who was a cousin of mine and we thought she was a white person. But when we saw a white man as a priest, we naturally mystified the environment but also, made you think that when this man said he was a priest, that he probably was having breakfast with God. So, it made the ambition quite tall but also, people like
my grandmother with whom I lived, couldn’t understand because she said you couldn’t be a priest because you were not a white man. The name, Father Kukah, Monsignor Kukah, and now Bishop Kukah, has been associated in many quarters with controversy. Are you controversial? I don’t know what you mean by controversy. Every time you hear something for the first time, maybe your mind is jarred and maybe that is what you call controversy. But when you are seeking to expand the frontiers of knowledge, controversy is inevitable. But controversy is a natural phenomenon and it is about new discoveries and people hearing things for the first time. What may be controversial today is just controversial because you are hearing about the first time. I imagine that when people talked about computers and what they could do or mobile phones; if you talked about mobile phones and you can pick a phone and it is possible to talk on a phone that doesn’t have a rope to call in the traditional way, people will think you are crazy. Have you ever felt bad that you are not married? If I felt bad that I wasn’t married, I would not be a priest. So, you are indirectly saying you have no wife anywhere? (He laughs) If I wanted to marry, nobody has stopped me from getting married. If I want to get married today, I will get married. The only thing is that I will no longer be a Catholic priest. And quite a good number of people, some whom I know, have made those choices. In the same way that if you feel that you are going to do journalism better by becoming an electronic journalist instead of a print journalist, you move on. Nobody is held with chains to remain a priest. But how do you view sexual abuse by priests like we have witnessed in the Western world where some priests abuse children and in Nigeria, where some priests are going out with women? For me, the reason I became a priest was to be able to serve humanity. When I was thinking of the priesthood, what the priesthood finally became for me was not what I thought. The attractions then were slightly different from what the real life was. And it is like somebody getting married. The excitement of a wedding is not marriage and you realise that life is a bit more complicated. I think it is important to understand. We focus on human sexuality. Perhaps, that is understandable and we believe in our own day-to-day life that literally, you can do almost anything as long as you don’t use the expression ‘follow women.’ I don’t know where you follow them to. But people have their own scales of values. But I think that the call to be faithful is not a call that is peculiar to me as a priest. Men, who are married have the same vocation. Women, who are married have the same vocation. There are people who are celibate and their celibacy has got absolutely nothing to do with the Catholic priesthood. People have just chosen that, that is the way they want to commit their lives to serving God. But just like every other thing else in life, people, including myself, we are falling and rising, falling and rising. I measure myself against my own personal effort. I cannot live other peoples’ lives for them. What do you mean by falling and rising? I mean, I am a human being. You do the things that other human beings do? I am a human being. I don’t know what you mean. I write articles but I am not a journalist. And like I said, I don’t think that you can define anybody purely and simply. Your sexual life is just one out of a multiplicity of things that people have to do and I think that it is important for us to
appreciate the fact that creating a world that is good, creating a world in the image that God wanted, is a vocation that all of us have. And, as I said, the call to holiness, I decided that the best way I can serve God is to be a priest and God accepted me with all my failures. I didn’t lose my sexuality, I didn’t lose my wish to have a family, I didn’t lose any of those things. It is just that from the scale of my own priorities, this is the way that I want to live my life. Priests are known not to have anything to do with worldly riches. Is Bishop Kukah a wealthy man? I don’t think you can say that we have nothing to do with worldly riches. I don’t know what you mean by riches. I am an extraordinarily wealthy man. I am wealthy (laughs). I may not be rich but I am very wealthy. Wealthy financially? If you have a lot of money in the bank, then you are rich. But if you invest in human capital, then you are wealthy. So, to that extent, I mean, perhaps if I set out to look for money as a medical doctor, as a lawyer, I would not be where I am today because despite my not setting out on a vocation that is money-seeking, I enjoy a lot of goodwill from people. But for me, what is even more important is not even the money. It is that I work around Nigeria from an aeroplane to trying to get a taxi to doing the normal thing that everybody else does. And it is frightening. Let me put it this way, the amount of appreciation and acknowledgment that you get from people you cannot buy with money. That is why if you ask me whether I am wealthy, I am wealthy. I am sure that if I want to get a brand new car now, if I pick up my phone and make two or three telephone calls, I will have a brand new car. If I want one million naira now and I pick up my phone and I call one or two people and say I am looking for one million naira, I will get one million naira. So, to that extent, I consider myself a very wealthy man. What has changed between when you were a priest and now that you are a bishop? ell, as you can see, I haven’t grown taller. My complexion hasn’t changed. Last week, I was talking to Justice Oputa and we haven’t spoken for a while and he said something to me that was quite striking. He said you are still talking like Father Kukah despite the fact that you are a bishop. And I didn’t quite understand what he was saying because we used to really crack a lot of jokes. I mean, that is my life (laughs). Then, the event I have tomorrow, my friend, Charley Boy, called and said can I bring some of my friends? I said yeah, sure, bring some of your friends. When I was in Lagos, I had some really interesting friends. I remember sometimes, people like Charley Boy would come and the gatemen would be wondering what did I have to do
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Published on Oct 11, 2012