PHCN privatisation: FG revokes Manitoba’s contract
Landmark case: N150
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2012 VOL. 7 NO. 2496
MASSOB threatens showdown ... Over state creation
Terry Waya recovers seized London property Page 3
Oshiomhole appoints Ihonvbere SSG
•Hon. Obahiagbon is Chief of Staff
OLUSOLA SARAKI Pages 5 -14
A strongman was here
• Jonathan, govs, others mourn as patriach of Kwara politics succumbs to cancer at 79 • State govt declares work-free day, three days of mourning
... His last moments, his unfulfilled dreams
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012, DAILY SUN
UK Supreme Court orders return of Terry Waya’s property By ADESINA AIYEKOTI
he Supreme Court of England and Wales yesterday reduced the confiscation order of 1.54 million pounds pronounced against an international businessman, Terry Waya to 392,400 pounds. In the lead judgment read by Justice Lord Walker, the court held that confiscation proceedings must be proportionate and that human rights considerations must be considered when deciding a confiscation order. According to the judgment summary released yesterday by the court, the justices ruled that confiscation orders are not imposed to act as further punishment, but merely to stop those that are seeking to benefit from their crimes. The effect of this ruling means that Mr. Waya whose London property is worth over one and half million pounds and which had been forfeited by prosecution authorities, should now be returned to him with immediate effect. Speaking on the ruling, Mr Waya’s councel, Mr. Jonathan Chike Epelle of CLP Solicitors, London, said that justice had been done and that the court had agreed with the position we had argued right from he beginning. He applauded the court for the common sense approach it took, stating that it was unfortunate that Mr. Waya had had to wait almost three years through the Crown Court. “It took a decision by the Court of Appeal and two Supreme Court decisions before Mr. Waya could finally get justice.” He said that in Mr. Waya’s case, there had been no loser, no victim, and any mortgage advance acquired by Mr. Waya had been fully repaid with interest within 19 months, and given that this was the case, it was regrettable that it took the fully constituted nine Supreme Court justices to change the law relating to benefit in confiscation mortgage fraud for Mr. Waya to get justice. Other justices of the court that sat over the matter were Justices Lord Phillips, Lady Hale, Lord Judge, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson, Lord Ree, and Sir Anthony Hughes. Lord Phillips and Lord Reed, in their dissenting judgment, pronounced that the confiscation order should be quashed entirely.
FG okays Nov 24-27 for Abuja carnival From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja he Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved November 24 to 27 for this year’s Abuja Carnival. Addressing State House correspondents on the carnival, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke, said 12 countries from Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean, are expected while the Prime Minister of Saint Kitts Island (an Island in the West Indies) had been invited by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu. Duke expressed hope that the carnival would fetch the country millions of dollars. This year’s carnival will feature parades by the military, paramilitary, NYSC, women groups, schools and physically challenged. State and local governments will also participate at the carnival which will feature daily musical nights and command performance. “I wish to convey the Federal Executive Council’s (FEC) approval for the hosting of the eighth edition of the Abuja Carnival from the 24th to the 27th of November, 2012. “The Executive Council was today (yesterday) briefed on the fact that so far, 12 countries drawn from Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean have expressed their desire to join us in the celebration of this year’s Abuja Carnival. “In addition to that we are enjoying collaboration (also) with other tiers of government in the sense that there is going to be participation by not just the various states of the federation but also some local government areas and some members of the legislature.” Duke said unlike the previous ones, the 2012 carnival was being diversified to include the introduction of various competitions among schools to encourage culture and tourism in schools. Also, the minister said that the Institute for Hotels and Tourism Training would be hosting food festival to enhance the carnival. A special exhibition by the National Council for Arts and Culture, National Gallery of Arts and National Commission for Museum and Monuments are expected to spice up the carnival.
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DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
DAILY SUN 5 L-R: Former President Shehu Shagari, former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo and former Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, at the presentationof a book on Gen. Abubakar in Abuja, Wednesday. Photo: BAYO OBISESAN
L-R: Mr. Andrew Yakubu, GMD, NNPC, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources and Mr. Leemon Ikpea, Chairman/CEO, LEE Engineering and Construction Ltd, at the commissioning of the rehabilitated Okrika Jetty in Rivers State, recently. The project was executed by LEE Engineering for NNPC.
Business mogul, Chief Tony Chukwu (2nd left), displaying the Certificate of Industrial Recognition presented to him in Washington DC, U.S. by Mr. Charles G on behalf of the United States Department of Commerce, recently.
COVER Saraki, patriach of Kwara politics, dies of cancer at 79 From BAMIGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE and LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
rief and mourning enveloped Ilorin, the Kwara State capital yesterday as the remains of the late strongman of Kwara politics and Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki, popularly called Baba Oloye by his associates, were interred. He succumbed to cancer at the age of 79. The late icon who was described by political associates as a rare gem and philanthropist, was buried at 6:20pm at his GRA, Ilorin residence after a special prayer held at the Eid Praying Ground, Unity Road, Ilorin. It was attended by eminent Nigerians. The late politician’s body arrived in Ilorin International Airport aboard an Overland plane at 4:30pm. It was accompanied by his widow, Florence and Senators Bukola and Gbemisola Saraki. His death was expected –Aides However, Saraki’s death which shook the entire Kwara State and the country did not come as a surprise to some of his close associates, who had observed his failing health over time. A close associate of Oloye, Alhaji Saliu Woru Mohammed, told Daily Sun that Saraki’s death did not surprise most of them as his health had failed in the last few months as he could not attend to many issues. He said the late Waziri of Ilorin for the first time in the last 40 years of his leadership of Kwara politics, did not come to Ilorin, his home base for the last Eid-el Kabir festival, saying that development portended a terrible situation of his health during the festival. Saraki’s unfulfilled dreams However, he said the late Saraki never predicted his death as he had many unfulfilled dreams, noting that top of those dreams was to reconcile all his political associates, who had split as a result of the 2011 governorship election where two of his biological sons contested for the poll under different parties.
•His last moments, by political associate ... We’ve lost a gem –Beggars Alhaji Mohammed who is the Mogaji Nda of Ilorin, was believed to be the right hand man of the late Saraki and one of the few individuals that had free access to his sitting room either in Lagos or Ilorin even in the absence of Oloye. Recalling his last encounter with the late politician, Mohammed said: “I was worried when I didn’t see Oloye to come for the last Eid-el Kabir festival. This was very unusual of him, and I’m not sure he celebrated the festival outside Ilorin in the last 40 years that he had been leading us politically in Kwara State. After putting many calls across to him, I still did not feel satisfied and that necessitated my travelling to Lagos where I met with him one on one inside his bedroom and there, he told me many of his dreams. He said he would like to reconcile his political associates who now spread to PDP, ACPN and ANPP, both within and outside the state. “Baba also told me that he would want the Ilorin Central Mosque to be commissioned in his presence and send him to the Ilorin Emirate Council that he would choose a date for the commissioning of the mosque. I delivered his message to the Emir of Ilorin and the building committee of the mosque where he served as the chairman.” He said that the late Saraki would be remembered for his forgiving spirit, humility, transparency, large heartedness, kindness, qualitative and exceptional leadership styles, noting that the late Oloye had forgiven all his political foes before he died. “He told me that he had already forgiven all those who stood against him politically. He told me he did not nurse any grudge against any individual again. His life was indeed a lesson for upcoming politicians in the country. He showed the way politics should be played and led by example,” he
added. Describing Saraki’s death as unfortunate, Mohammed said massive reconciliation would begin henceforth within Saraki’s political family to ensure that his death did not go in vain, just as he said that his son, Bukola, would emerge as the next political leader in the state. On the choice of Bukola the Saraki, a former governor of the state as the leader of the party, Mohammed said: “Bukola Saraki has all it takes to lead us in Kwara State. He’s well educated, enlightened and also exposed. He will definitely continue from where his late father stopped because he must have learnt so many things from his father who will forever remain our mentor.” He noted that the late Saraki did not die in vain as he made marks in Nigerian politics and replaced himself with a son who is a Senator. He said the Emir of Ilorin, Dr ZuluGambari would convey a meeting of the Ilorin emirate to ensure that a befitting edifice within the emirate is named after Saraki, adding that the state government would also do similar thing in honour of the late politician. Meanwhile, the people of Kwara State yesterday trooped out in their large numbers to pay their last respect for their late political icon. Many of the roads were yesterday deserted in Ilorin as a mark of respect for the late politician, just as people gathered in groups to discuss the sudden demise of Saraki, who they said impacted much on them. Even beggars who usually sleep and wake up at the gate of Saraki felt his absence as many of them wept, saying their helper and supporter had gone forever. One of the beggars who identified himself as Mallam Sanni, said: “Oloye did so much
for us. He was a great philanthropist who did not condemn any set of people. He set up businesses for many of us here in Ilorin, and each time he was at home, we were sure of our three square meals. In fact, the light had gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere. The helper of our destiny is no more..” However, scores of sympathisers have continued to throng the Ilorin residence of the Sarakis family since the news of the death of the patriarch broke out through a statement by Governor Abdullfatah Ahmed and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Waheed Oba. The governor in the statement, commiserated with the Emir, the Baloguns and other traditional titleholders, Alfas and the entire Ilorin community and Kwara State at large on the death of the Waziri of Ilorin. Tambuwal leads delegation Dignitaries at the burial include the Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, led all the dignitaries, National Planning Minister, Samsudeen Usman led the Federal Government team. Other members of his team include the Internal Affairs Minister, Comrade Abba Moro and the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdulahi. The rest include Senator Andy Uba, former Gombe State governor, Senator Danjuma Goje, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, former acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, and his predecessor, Alhaji Aliru Bello Mohammed, Chief Jim Nwobodo and Dr. Wale Babalakin, Mr. Segun Agbaje, Group Managing Director, GTB and Alhaji Kola Abiola as well as all federal legislators from the state were also on ground. At the Eid-Praying Ground, the Chief Imam of Ilorin, led the Janaza prayers at about 5.05pm. The eid arena was very crowded as many supporters struggled to catch a glimpse of the body. It took several minutes before it was brought out of the ambulance.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
OLUSOLA SARAKI 1933-2012
Sympathisers at the Ikoyi, Lagos, home of the Sarakis
Photos: OLUFEMI KAYODE
Former Gov of Kwara State and son of the late Olusola Saraki Sen Bukola Saraki (left), with other sympatisers
L-R: Former Gov. of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, Mohammed Dele Belgore (SAN) and Alhaji Lai Muhammed
Sarakiâ€™s widow, Florence, with relatives
The body of Late Olusola Saraki being carried out of his Ikoyi residence to the airport for burial at Ilorin Kwara State
Pain of a great loss More tears for the departed former senate leader
Former deputy gov of Lagos State Senator Kofoworola-Bucknor Akerele signing the condolence register Kola Abiola paying a condolence visit to Late Olusola Saraki family
Diplomats and expertriates too
Last flight ... The body is loaded into the aircraft
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012, 7
OLUSOLA SARAKI 1933-2012 Kalu, First Lady, Ohakim, Imoke, others commiserate with family From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja, IHEANACHO NWOSU and CHUKS AKUNNA, Abuja
he former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has described the late Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki, as an uncommon politician. Kalu said in an era when politics moved from seeking the good of the majority to self-centeredness, Saraki stood firm by his age-long belief of communal living and still cared for his constituent till he died. Kalu, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Emeka Obasi, said the few times he had the opportunity of visiting Saraki in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, he saw why he was popular and won elections with so much ease in the state. Obasi quoted Kalu as saying: “His eminence, the Waziri of Ilorin operated an open door policy that allowed even the downtrodden to mix with him, to the point that he eats with those that many regard as commoners from the same plate. “His humility is legendary, his giving without limit. I know of so many people whose lives he has touched and wonder if there will be anyone capable of fitting into the very large shoes he has left behind.” Kalu commiserated with the people and government of Kwara State and Nigerians in general, praying for the repose of the soul of the statesman. The First Lady, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan who described the death of Saraki as a great loss not only to the people of Kwara State but the entire nation especially the political class, said his death came as a rude shock to her. In a statement by the Special Assistant to the president (Media), Office of the First Lady, Ayo Osinlu, Mrs. Jonathan Saraki’s death became more painful with reference to his invaluable wisdom, which was required in the urgent efforts to re-engineer the development process of the country. She noted the dedication, courage and deep focus of Saraki, especially his personal accomplishments as a professional, businessman, community leader and politician. She also noted his fatherly role in the political and socio-economic advancement of Kwara State, which he faithfully served for decades, in addition to his lofty place in the political evolution of the country, especially in the Second Republic during which he shone brilliantly as leader of the Senate. The first lady commiserated with the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed as well Senator Bukola Saraki and his siblings, praying that God gives the family the strength to bear the loss. Former governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim in another tribute, said the news of the death of Saraki, came to him as a big shock. In a statement by his Special Assistant, Ethelbert Okere, Ohakim said: “Senator Saraki’s demise at this point in time is certainly a big blow to our dear country, especially when viewed against the backdrop of the current efforts by our country men and women to rediscover those nationalistic ideals for which Saraki and his contemporaries worked so hard to inculcate into our collective psyche. “We should, nonetheless, find consolation in the fact that our dear great leader and father, lived an exemplary life both at the family level and as a politician who, in spite of his effortless popularity, was an Epitome of humility and candour. Nigerians will miss him. Former Osun state governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola described the death of Saraki as the end of an era. Oyinlola said Saraki was a colossus in the politics of Nigeria who left a vacuum that would be difficult to fill. He described the deceased as a leader per excellence who ensured the development of democratic culture in his political life. The PDP national secretary said the death of the Waziri of Ilorin ended a phase in the politics of Kwara State and in Nigeria. Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke also described Saraki’s death as a loss not only to his family and Kwara State people but to Nigeria as a whole. According to him, Saraki lived a life of service and never distanced himself from the poor despite holding several privileged positions. Senator David Dafinone also joined several dignitaries across Nigeria to mourn the death of his colleague and friend, Saraki. In a condolence message to the family, Dafinone described Saraki’s death as painful, especially at a time when the country was in a state of flux. Dafinone lauded Saraki’s great concern for the unity of Nigeria and the growth of democracy. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, described him as a quintessential politician and father-figure who gave his all for the development of the country. In a message of condolence issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal said Saraki has earned his place as one of Nigeria’s most consistent advocates of democracy. The speaker said Saraki wiould be best remembered for his pioneering role in the formation of leading political parties in the country especially during the Second Republic which led to the establishment of the then National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and in the present dispensation, the All Peoples Party, now (ANPP).
•The remains of Second Republic Senate Leader, Olusola Saraki in Ilorin yesterday.
We ’re proud of my father’s achievements -Bukola Saraki By NDUBUISI ORJI
irst son of the late Dr. Olusola Saraki and twoterm governor of Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki yesterday said the family was proud of the achievements of their patriarch who died yesterday. Saraki was the leader of the Senate in the second republic and foremost political leader in Kwara State. The former governor who spoke to journalists at the family residence in Ikoyi, Lagos shortly before the remains of the deceased strongman of Kwara politics was moved to Kwara State said his father lived a great life and left behind many legacies. He said they would look at his achievements rather than the things he was not able to do. While praying that Allah would grant the departed former Senate leader eternal rest, Bukola who currently represents Kwara Central in the Senate said the family took solace “in knowing that our father lived an exemplary life of service and selfless devotion to development of his
people and nation.” He added that “We give praise to Almighty Allah who has life. He lived a great life, left many legacies. We’re proud of what he achieved in
his lifetime and all of us his children thank Almighty God for his life. “He touched many lives and we are proud of what he has been able to do. May
... He died of cancer –Son
laolu, son of the Senate Republic Senate leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki, said in Lagos yesterday that his father died of cancer.
“He has been battling cancer for about five years. He was fine this morning. He was comfortable and even said his prayers. “He died in the presence of one of my brothers, my moth-
amily members and friends wore sullen faces yesterday as the remains of the Second Republic Senator and strongman of Kwara politics, Olusola Saraki departed Lagos for Ilorin, Kwara State capital for burial according to Islamic rites. The body conveyed in a brown wooden casket arrived
er and my two sisters,” Olaolu told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at his father’s residence on Cameron Road, Ikoyi. “He gave up the ghost at about 6 a.m.,” he said.
‘How Oloye made final homeward journey’ By NDUBUISI ORJI
ameron Road, Ikoyi, Lagos State witnessed an unusual influx of visitors yesterday. Both sides of the road were taken over by cars of the many sympathizers who thronged House Number 42 to commiserate with the family of former Senate leader, Chief Abubakar Olusola Saraki, who died in the early hours of yesterday. The residents of the area
were not oblivious of the loss that befell the Saraki family and the nation at large. All a stranger to the area, who do not know the residence of the Sarakis needed do was to mention Saraki and he will get response like “ha that man who died today” and he will be immediately directed to the residence. In House Number 42, residence of Saraki’s daughter, Senator Gbemisola Saraki where the strongman of Kwara politics breathed his last, the mood was very pen-
4 private jets airlift remains, families to Ilorin By UCHE USIM
Almighty Allah grant him AlJannah Firdaus. “Let’s look at what he fulfilled rather than what he did not,” he said.
a private terminal of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, (MMIA), Lagos 3.45pm in a long convoy accompanied by his children among whom were Senators Bukola and Gbemisola. The journey to Ilorin attracted dozens of friends and family members and necessitated the deployment of four private jets to do the airlift. Daily Sun gathered that
three jets belonging to Rivers State Government and private operators conveyed the children and other sympathizers, while the fourth airplane, a turbo prop an aircraft (ATR 42 marked 5N-BCR) belonging to Overland Airways, and piloted by the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Edward Boyo was used to convey the remains of the late Senator to Ilorin.
sive. Many of the family members led by the first son of the deceased and former governor of Kwara State, Senator Bukola Saraki and his sister, Gbemisola were on hand to receive the sympathizers. As was the practice during the period of mourning, the family opened a condolence register to enable the sympathizers scribble their condolences. Journalists from different media houses were also at the residence to get the views of the family members and that of those who came to condole with the family. At about 2.03 pm, the casket to convey the remains of Baba Oloye, as the Waziri of Ilorin was called moved into the main building. The remains of the deceased werelater carried out of the house at about 2.22pm, amidst ululations by family members. As soon as the casket bearing the remains of Oloye was being carried, some sympathizers burst into tears while photo journalists and camera men jostled for vantage position to take pictures and footage of the casket.
8 DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
OLUSOLA SARAKI 1933-2012 Aregbesola, Fani-Kayode, Babangida Aliyu, others pay tributes From AKIN ALOFETEKUN, Minna, AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja and LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
he Governor of the State of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, has described the death of Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki as unfortunate and sad. In a statement issued by the Director of Communications and Strategy, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola said the death of Saraki was a big loss to the nation. The governor said Saraki’s experience, knowledge, versatility and ingenuity in the art and dynamics of lawmaking and politics in general would be missed greatly. Aregbesola said until his last breadth on earth, Saraki had very active and successful political career. The statement added that the history of Kwara State as well as Nigeria politics would be incomplete without a chapter devoted to the contributions of Oloye. Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode said Saraki, was one of the greatest, kindest, most compassionate, most generous and most selfless leaders Nigeria ever had. In a statement made available to Daily Sun in Abuja, FaniKayode said he was shocked over the death of Saraki, adding: “This news saddens me immensely. His power and influence stretched from the Second Republic when he was the leader of the Senate on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). “He made the dreams and aspirations of many come true and throughout his life, he brought nothing but smiles to many faces. “He was my late father’s close and loyal friend and he was like a father to me and so many others.” Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu in a tribute described the deceased physician turned politician as ‘one of the fathers of Nigeria’, saying he contributed tremendously to the development of not only Kwara State but Nigeria as a whole. “He gathered goodwill for himself and his family because of his generosity,” Aliyu said, pointing out that the deceased was a leader of northern Nigeria and Nigeria as a whole. Meanwhile, Aliyu said he would personally lead a highpowered government delegation to the fidau prayers of the late politician depending on the time chosen by the family. Also named to be on the delegation are the Chairmen of Mokwa, Edati, Lavun and Borgu local government areas of the state. Former Senate majority leader, Senator Teslim Folarin in his tributes said the late politician was one of the few who set the standard as leader of the Senate. “I received the news with shock. We know he has been ill for sometime, but we always feel he would live forever. I am very sad. Baba, no doubt, was a colourful politician, one of those who set the standard as leader of the Senate. He was a national figure. We thank God that his children are doing well. On a personal note, I looked up to him; he was always there to give his advice. We have lost another titan, after the death of Chief Lam Adesina.’’ Chief Ebenezer Babatope also expressed sadness over the death of the late politician, who he acknowledged was well loved by his people. “He was a great man, a charismatic leader, much loved by his people and that’s why he was called ‘Oloye’. “He told me at the 1994 constitutional conference that his greatest regret in life was that he never met Chief Obafemi Awolowo personally. He was a very frank man. It is sad that Nigerians are losing their leaders,’’ Babatope lamented. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Kwara State chapter in a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Ma’sud Adebimpe, said: “The exit of ‘Baba Oloye’ at this critical period of Nigeria political history is a colossal lost not to us in Kwara State alone but to the entire nation as a whole considering the unprecedented role this great leader played to sustained the unity of our dear country. “The selfless service and un-rivalled generosity of the former Senate leader and Northern Union (NU) and indeed his love and concern for his country, people of Kwara State and Ilorin Emirate would remain an indelible mark in our memory for a very long time to come. “While we commiserates with the Emir of Ilorin Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari and the Kwara State Government on this colossal lost of an Illustrious son whose entire sojourn in his life symbolises selfless services and hope for the people, our consolation therefore lies in the fact that he lived a life worthy of emulation. “We equally share the grieve with our leader, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the Saraki Dynasty, all traditional tittle-holders, Islamic clerics and scholars, market men and women, political associates, youths association, sons and daughter of Ilorin Emirate and the entire people of Kwara State on the irreparable lost of the great Waziri. “We pray to Almighty Allah to forgive him all his sins and grant the soul of our ‘Baba’ Aljanat Fridauz,” the statement added.
•L–R: A relation, son, Dr. Bukola Saraki and widow, Mrs. Florence Saraki at the burial of Dr. Olusola Saraki in Ilorin yesterday.
Saraki was a political colossus –Jonathan From JULIANA TAIWOOBALONYE, Abuja
resident Goodluck Jonathan has said the late Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, one of Nigeria’s most prominent political leaders, medical practitioner and democrat, who passed away in Lagos yesterday morning will be remembered as a political colossus. In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Reuben Abati, the president extended his sincere commiseration to Saraki’s family and the people of his home state, Kwara to whose service and uplift he selflessly devoted his long and very successful career in politics. Jonathan urged them to be consoled by the knowledge that their departed father, leader and mentor lived a very successful and fulfilled life, rising to national prominence by dint of hard work, uncommon generosity, political sagacity, dedication and wholesome commitment to the service of his people and the entire nation. Jonathan said he believed that Saraki would be long remembered and eulogized as a consummate politician, an astute grassroots mobiliser, and a political colossus with awe-inspiring powers of political organisation. He said he had no doubts that “this public-spirited politician will always occupy a place of honour in the hearts of his people, supporters, friends and associates across the nation.” Jonathan said he believed that the ordinary people of Kwara State in particular would always remember the ‘Oloye’ with great affection
because of the constant support they received from him. The president further noted that Saraki’s brand of peopleoriented politics and his success in building on his strong support-base to contribute positively to Nigeria’s political development as a powerful
voice in the nation’s dominant political parties, as the Senate majority leader in the second republic, and as the ultimate reference point in the politics of Kwara State for decades, had assured him of a place among Nigeria’s heroes of democracy.
President Jonathan urged Nigerians to emulate Saraki’s patriotic commitment to national unity, politics without bitterness as well as his magnificent spirit of philanthropy. He prayed that God Almighty would grant his soul eternal rest.
We lost a consummate democrat –Senate •Mark, Ekweremadu, Ndoma-Egba pay tributes From ADETUTU FOLASADE-KOYI, Abuja
enate President David Mark led the upper legislative chamber to pay tributes to one of their own, the late Second Republic Senate Leader Abubakar Olusola Saraki who died in Lagos yesterday. Mark’s Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) and Smart Adeyemi mourned the loss of Dr. Saraki whom they described as a ‘consummate democrat’. Leading the tribute, the Senate president described Saraki as ‘a political giant and shinning star of Nigerian politics’. Reacting to the demise of the late political icon, Mark said Saraki was a political tactician and a political engineer, who navigated the political environment like a colossus. He said: “Saraki was a political leader who stood to be counted when it mattered. He stood on the side of the people and worked assiduously for the liberation of the downtrodden. He was a leader who lived and worked for others. “We shall miss his fatherly counsel. He was one of our
brightest and focused political leaders.” As a parliamentarian, the Senate president noted that Saraki distinguished himself and unarguably laid the solid foundation for today’s National Assembly. Ekweremadu lamented the death of the Second Republic leader of the Senate as a grave loss to the nation. He said the late politician lived for the people, politicked for the people, and was totally and consistently committed to the people. Senator Ekweremadu said the late politician would be forever remembered in the annals of Nigerian politics for promoting the philosophy of people’s welfare as the crux of politics. On his part, Ndoma-Egba noted that Saraki actually defined the position of Senate leader, saying his death signalled the end of an era in Nigerian politics. The Senate leader recalled that senator Saraki tenaciously believed that democracy was the way to Nigeria’s greatness and its rightful place in the comity of developed economies. “In his time, he was a consummate party man who never deviated from the tenets of his party and was
able to galvanize his colleagues to achieving the goals of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the second republic Senate. “ Saraki was an enigma to so many people and it is a testament to political sagacity that he produced governor after governor in Kwara State. “He built, nurtured and sustained an enviable political dynasty which saw his first son, Bukola, became not only a two-term governor of Kwara State, but who is now a senator. Under his tutelage, his daughter, Gbemisola, was also a parliamentarian who started from the House of Representatives and also became a two-term senator. “He was a man of the people.” Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Committee, Smart Adeyemi, a political godson of the late Saraki was inconsolable when the news hit him yesterday. In a signed statement, Adeyemi recalled that the late Saraki was a major influence in his life, saying “he largely influenced my entry into politics. I learnt from him, firsthand, that the people should always come first. I also learnt from him that service to the people should be paramount for any politician.”
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012, 9
OLUSOLA SARAKI 1933-2012
Tinubu, Yakassai, Oshiomhole, Shettima, others mourn By NDUBUISI ORJI, Lagos, Desmond Mgboh, Kano, TIMOTHY OLA, Maiduguri, EMMANUEL ADEYEMI, Lokoja, NOAH EBIJE, Kaduna
he National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN) Senator Bola Tinubu and former governor of Ekiti, Mr Niyi Adebayo were among early callers at the Ikoyi residence of second republic Senate leader, late Dr Olusola Saraki yesterday, where a condolence register was opened for him. The sympathizers were received by first son of the deceased, Senator Bukola Saraki, a serving senator and former governor of Kwara state. In a tribute to the late Saraki, Tinubu who was accompanied by the National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the party’s governorship candidate in Kwara State in 2011, Mr Dele Belgore said the death of the former Senate leader was a big loss to the country. Elder statesman and Second Republic politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, also expressed condolence over the death of foremost politician, Dr. Olusola Saraki. In a press release, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai said that his demise is a great loss not only to his family and his political associates, but to the entire people of Kwara State and the nation in general. “He was a philanthropist per excellence and a symbol of national unity having his father come from the North and his mother from the Western part of the country. He as a person forged on and established bonds of friendship from across ethnic and religious divides in Nigeria” said Alhaji Tanko. Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State also described the late Senate Leader, Senator Abubakar Olusola Saraki as “a friend of the masses.” In a condolence message to the scion of the family, Dr (Senator) Bukola Saraki, Governor Oshiomhole said: “I received with shock news of the passing away of your beloved father and patriarch of the Saraki family, distinguished Senator Abubakar Olusola Saraki. I wish to convey to you the deepest condolence of the people and Government of Edo State as well as my personal commiseration.” Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State described the late second republic Senate leader, Dr Olusola Saraki as a rallying point for the masses, noting that the people of Kwara, the north and Nigeria would miss Saraki’s brand of politics. Shettima in a condolence message issued yesterday in Maiduguri and signed by his Special Adviser on Communications, Isa Gusau said “Nigeria and the north in particular, have lost one of their best political leaders who stood for the ordinary man’s welfare, ethno-religious tolerance, national unity and continued development.” He said Oloye, as he was fondly called by his supporters and admirers, was a rallying point for the masses throughout his lifetime as a political actor, adding that his love for the masses made him garnered tremendous influence not only in his political environment, Kwara but also in the north and across Nigeria. The governor of Kogi State, Capt. Idris Wada expressed shock at the news of the death of elder statesman Dr. Olushola Saraki. In a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Elesho, he said Dr. Saraki’s unique political skills and regular contributions to national discourse will be greatly missed by all Nigerians. “He was one of the very few modern generation Nigerians whose wits, patriotism,political savvy and dexterity transcended his era and comparable with those of the founding fathers of Nigeria.” Nigeria Labour Congress yesterday mourned the death of Dr Olusola Saraki and as well paid him a tribute. A statement issued by the Vice President of the NLC, Issa Aremu said, “We received with heavy heart the death of the Former Senate leader Dr. Olusola Saraki, a pan Nigerian politician and also the Waziri of the Ilorin Emirate. Late Saraki truly served humanity in spirit and out of his abundant Almighty Allah given knowledge and wealth. “Contrary to false impression of a slave master presiding over a fiefdom, Saraki emerged out of a combination of desire to serve patients at Lagos General Hospital casualty ward in the 60s (at a time it was not popular to do so). “Indeed it was the genuine appreciation by the recipientpatients of his disinterested service (not money) that set Saraki on the path of public service. Saraki subsequently showed through eventful decades how micro- (unknown) service to humanity could balloon to macro-global celebrated commitment and profound appreciation by worthy and appreciative peoples of Kwara. “In a country in which most political elite strive for what they could grab for self helps in terms of money, properties and vain tittles, Saraki’s almost singular anonymity in charity was legendary. Once asked about what he would be remembered for Saraki was as unambiguous as he was in 1960s; “I will like to be remembered as that man who helped the sick get treated, the man who helped put a child in school, the man who helped that poor woman pick her life after losing so much in business or whatever.”
•Daughters of Saraki, from left Senator Gbemisola Saraki and Mrs Tope Edu at the burial of Dr Olusola Saraki in Ilorin yesterday.
Oloye: Man in the news In 1998 Saraki became a By RAZAQ BAMIDELE national leader and member and CHINELO OBOGO of the Board of Trustees of the All Peoples Party (APP), Background profile r.Abubakar Olusola later All Nigeria Peoples Saraki the Waziri of Party (ANPP), contributing the Ilorin Emirate to the APP success in Kwara was born on the 17th of and Kogi states by winning May, 1933 at Ilorin, Kwara the governorship election of State and died in Lagos the two states. He assisted November 14, 2012. His Mohammed Alabi Lawal in mother was from Iseyin in becoming governor of Oyo State and his father was Kwara State. In 2001 he from Ilorin. His paternal was head of a team from the ancestors were Fulanis who Arewa Consultative Forum, came from Mali about 150 a Northern cultural and to 200 years earlier. He was political group, sent to meet educated at Eko Boys High and discuss common goals School, Lagos. He attended with Northern state goverthe University of London, nors and other leaders. Later and St George’s Hospital Saraki switched allegiance Medical School, London. to the ruling Peoples He worked as a medical Democratic Party (PDP), officer at the General and in the April 2003 elecHospital, Lagos and the tions supported his son, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki as Creek Hospital, Lagos. Beginning of political candidate for governor of Kwara State while his dynasty Gbemisola He first entered politics daughter, when he ran in the 1964 par- Ruqayat Saraki as senator liamentary election for for Kwara State Central Ilorin as an independent Senatorial District. His many political batcandidate, but failed to win. After the election, he tles Dr. Bukola Saraki, over returned to his medical practice in Lagos, only to three decades proved return to party-politics in beyond reasonable doubt 1978/79 when he teamed up that he was an undisputable with like minds to form the godfather and strong man of National Party of Nigeria Kwara politics. In 1978, when democracy berthed in (NPN). In 1977, Olusola Saraki the country for the second was elected as a member of time after the military interthe Constituent Assembly regnum, he anointed a govthat produced the 1979 con- ernorship candidate in perstitution. In 1979 he was son of Alhaji Adamu Attah elected a Senator of the who eventually became Second Republic, and governor in 1979 on the became Senate Leader. In platform of the National 1983 Saraki was re-elected Party of Nigeria (NPN). But into the Senate on the by 1983, Attah had fallen National Party of Nigeria out of favour with his godfather and wanted to prove (NPN) platform. that he could the independSubsequent career ent. By the persuation of the
party hierarchy coupled with the power of incumbency, Adamu Attah got the party’s ticket for a second term in office to which Saraki said “over my dead body.” And paradoxically, Saraki then transferred his support to the opposition candidate, Cornelius Olatunji Adebayo of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). Interestingly, Adebayo of the UPN became governor in a state that was predominantly NPN. The administration, however never lived long as the military struck on the eve of January 1994 and sent democracy packing. General Muhammadu Buhari and BrigadierGeneral Tunde Idiagbon came in as Nigeria’s leaders. When the whistle was blown by the military again for transition to civil rule in 1978 by Abdusalami Abubakar regime, the elder statesman pitched his tent with the All Peoples Party (APP), that later transformed to All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). And in his characteristic manner anointed yet another candidate in the person of the late Muhammed Lawal. And expectedly, Lawal won and became governor. But before the expiration of his first term in office, he also, like Adamu Attah fell out with his godfather. This must have informed the strong politician popularly called ‘Oloye’ to decide to anoint his own child, Bukola to flush out Lawal from office in 2003. He must have had it at the back of his mind that either his son would not betray him or that it would be bet-
ter for his son to betray him as his anointed political sons did. And by the the last count of the ballot papers in Kwara State in 2003, Saraki once again succeeded in installing another governor, this time his own blood, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who is now a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. His last political battle In 2011, Saraki fought what could be described as his last political battle. And, interestingly and ironically, the opponent was his own biological son and the then sitting governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki. The bone of contention between the father and son was succession. Being a political godfather that he was, Saraki senior wanted another child of his and the younger sister to the governor, Senator Gbemisola Saraki to succeed her brother. But the son saw the arrangement as very untidy and he squared up with his father by anointing another candidate, AbdulFatah Ahmed, who eventually, emerged governor of the state. To show his son that he was still the renowned political heavyweight of the state, he floated another political party, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), to fight the battle. But at the end of the day, the son won a battle that political watchers described as “no victor no vanquished,” since it was believed that, it was still the Saraki dynasty in control. Both later reconciled and members of the ACPN were reintegrated into the PDP.
10 DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
OLUSOLA SARAKI 1933-2012: BLAST FROM THE PAST
D How Buhari’s coup saved me
By FEMI ADEOTI
•Texts from one of Saraki’s last and most comprehensive press interviews.
r. Abubakar Olusola Saraki, elder statesman and strongman of Kwara State politics, died yesterday at his Ikoyi, Lagos, residence at the age of 79. He was 76, when he had this no-holds-barred interview in July, 2009, with a selected group of journalists in his Abuja home. He opened up on everything Nigerians probably never knew about him. Excerpts: Who is Abubakar Olusola Saraki? I am Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki. I am a medical practitioner but by accident, I found myself in politics. I do not regret it in the sense that I am satisfied that I am doing what I like and I am happy with it even though the road has been very rugged and rough. But if you are honest and sincere, and this is what has happened to me, you will feel fulfilled. I have been very honest in politics and in life. I have been very sincere and very considerate and so I feel fulfilled and very satisfied. I trained in one of the best medical schools. I was at the Saint George Medical College, University of London. When I was a student in London, I was a very active member of Nigerian Students Union and that was before Nigeria’s independence during the colonial days. I used to attend Nigerian students’ meetings and I used to write a lot of articles such as those “Letters to the Editor” in the West African News magazine which was popular at that time. When I qualified as a medical doctor in 1962, I came back to Nigeria. I would have gone to Kaduna to practice medicine but I never did because I was angered by the refusal of the then
Northern Regional Government to grant me scholarship to study medicine. The refusal was on the grounds that my parents could afford to train me and, so I too refused to go and work for the northern government. I worked in Lagos at the General Hospital instead. Later on I joined the Peak Hospital from where I resigned my appointment to contest election into the Federal House of Representatives in 1964 as an independent candidate, of course, I lost the election. The reason was that the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC), was a very strong party which would not accept me as the official candidate. The leader of the party and Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, announced that all the old members should be returned at the polls because the NPC believed that it was being threatened by the Action Group (AG). They believed that the devil they knew was better than the one they never met. That decision was taken barely two weeks before the elections. My people insisted that I must contest if even as an independent candidate because I was very popular with the people at that time. But we forgot the strength of the government and the party officials at that time and so two weeks before the elections, it was announced that nobody should vote for an independent candidate and that the Sardauna had a big mirror in his Kaduna office with which he could monitor anyone flouting the order. They voted for the official candidate and that was how I lost the election. But I was never daunted because I believed in what I was doing. I went back to my practice in Lagos and I was doing well in my medical practice until the return to party-politics in 1978/79. One is at a loss about your real identity because some people would call you a Fulani while others would describe you as a Yoruba. Some said your mother was from Iseyin and your wife is from Owo in Ondo State. There are even people saying you are half Christian while others argue that you are a devoted Moslem. Who really are you? My mother was from Iseyin in Oyo State while my father was from Ilorin in Kwara State. My great-great grandfather originated from Mali and I am talking about some 150 to 200 years ago. And they are Fulani and that is where we got our Fulani connection from. My great grandfather settled in Ilorin preaching the religion of Islam. A section of Ilorin came from Gwandu, they were all refreshing and they were religious but my people came there as practicing Muslims from Mali with their “own Quran”. In fact, the Emir and I used to joke that we had our own Quran and that nobody gave us Quran. My greatgrandfather brought our own Quran to Ilorin from Mali to Agbaji where we settled. The Agbaji quarters is about 200 to 300 years old. Over the years, religious piety and devotion have led the prohibition of drumming (in whatever circumstance) in the area. But because of our connection with the Southern people, a lot of the Yoruba are always in Ilorin and so we speak the same language. But if you look at the Ilorin people, the real Ilorin people like Saraki for example, the culture and their ways share affinity to those of the far Northern Nigeria. That accounts for the difference you observe between us and, particularly, people of the South-West, despite the existence, now, of Yoruba as a common language. I leave people to say whatever they like about me. Some people even say I am from Ogun State and some even say I am from Togo but I know where I am from. Even, not long ago, I had an invitation to join a Malian-Fulani organisation and that I should be its chairman. We are particular about your ancestral lineage because people always accuse you of bearing Alhaji
Abubakar Saraki when you needed votes from the North; bear Dr. Olusola Saraki when you needed votes from the South-West and Dr. Sola Saraki for the South-East and South-South. Your reaction. People are just reading political meanings to my actions. My Islamic name is Abubakar. When we were growing up in Lagos in those days, unless you were a Christian or bore a native indigenous name, you could not get a school. If I wanted to be admitted to a school, I had to drop Abubakar in favour of Sola as virtually all the schools belonged to Christian organizations. It is not correct that I was changing names to garner votes. Politicians invent those kinds of stories against their opponents. What was growing up like in those days and politics then and now? Commitment, for example, is not there now but it was in abundance in those days. Now, the greed for money has taken over the whole place and I won’t blame our members of the National Assembly alone for that. Look at what is happening at the House of Commons in England where members of parliament are fighting for very lousy money as small as £3,000 allowances for housing and gardening and all sorts of things. In those days when I was in the Senate, such things never occurred to us. We never got ourselves involved in anything except the idea to serve the public. But today, it is different. It is now what you can get and what you can grab as everything is now about money which was not so during our own time. Let me give an example. The salary as a senator in those days was about N1,000 per month; and by the time you pay tax and all those things, it came to about N750. But with that, we were fairly satisfied. But today, when you get to the National Assembly, they talk about millions and billions and it is very unfortunate that people, who are supposed to look after the welfare of the country, are not doing the right things. Look at the political parties of today, look at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for example, which everybody seems to be joining. The governors have turned leaders of the party at state level. Just as the President, in the recent past was supposed to be the leader of the party at the national level. Then, the party was supreme and whatever the party decreed was final. But now, everyone is a big man and a leader. That is the difference between politics of those days and what obtains today. I was in the National Party of Nigeria (NPN). The party, during the 1979 elections had only 36 seats in the Senate out of 95 and so could not command the majority. In the House of Representatives, NPN had only 127 out of 450 members and so fell short of majority. Yet, because of party discipline, we were able to run the National Assembly without any quarrel whatsoever and all the bills and all the budgets scaled through without any problem. Today, see what is happening in the National Assembly. A member of the PDP getting up to insult or abuse the President. In those days, you would never see a member of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) getting up on the floor to abuse Chief Obafemi Awolowo or an NPN member abusing Alhaji Shehu Shagari. It never happened. Today, there is no discipline. Everybody does as he likes and there is nobody to check them. Maybe it has something to do with the way they were voted in? I think you are right in that aspect because some of them are saying that they themselves fought for their elections and that the party never assisted them. In our own time, the party would come and campaign for you right from the wards and constituencies and even
•Continued on page 11
Thursday, November 15, 2012 DAILY SUN 11
OLUSOLA SARAKI 1933-2012: BLAST FROM THE PAST •Continued from page 10 up to the state level. I remember that in 1979, Shagari spent about three or four days in Kwara State campaigning for all of us who were running for elections. But now, it is not like that as they use aeroplanes to fly from Abuja to Enugu and from Lagos to Kano to campaign. Members once nominated, are left alone to go and source for the money. They are left alone to do the campaigning to win the elections and of course, where the party is not doing its work and where the candidate is not getting the support of the party, how can the party expect the elected member to obey its orders? You said you came into politics by accident. Was it because your medical practice was not booming then? How did you lose the 1979 NPN presidential ticket to Shagari? I had a thriving medical practice then and I still have even up till today. My income was about £500,000 per annum at that time. I had a very successful medical practice. I was looking after companies and private clients. I did not have any hospital where I admitted patients but 99 percent of my jobs then were on retainership. I was retained by companies to look after their staff and family members. If I was making as much as £500,000 per annum as at 1962 then, definitely, it was quite a lot of money. People said you made your money during the Nigerian Civil War by attending to wounded federal soldiers and getting commensurate remuneration from the General Yakubu Gowon government. How true? Civil war? That is not true. I had nothing to do with the Army at that time. I was on retainership with many virile companies like NEPA (ECN at that time), NPA, NICON and so on. NPAand ECN were the big ones. As an NPA staff, you could get treated along with your family members and my monthly bill then could come to about £70,000 or so. Some of them had up to 10 children and they all came to me and I attended to them. Like I said earlier, I found myself in politics by accident. As a doctor at that time, you had some respect and some dignity but not now. Our earning as doctors was good for us at that time than to leave that and say you wanted to go into politics unless you were committed and interested in the welfare of your people, your family or your neighbours. Why I plunged into politics It is not that I was actually cut out initially for politics. The immediate stimulus occurred during a weekend visit in Ilorin, I listened to a programme on radio about the tragic death of a nineyear-old boy. The story had it that the boy returned home from school hungry but found that there was no food to eat. The mother lamented her inability to provide food for the family because she could not find water to do the cooking with. The boy volunteered to go and fetch water from a well. Too young for the task, the boy slipped, fell into the well and was drowned. He died! And I said to myself, how many children would this woman have. I was troubled by the plight of so many of such families, unkown to the government, forgotten, abandoned. Determined to use my resources to help the people, I began voluntary provision of water, free of charge (as pipeborne water was hitherto scarce and being sold) through construction of water tanks strategically located all over Ilorin and its environs. I commenced the distribution of water which I was buying from the Ilorin water works. My detractors read politics into my actions and were determined to frustrate my humanitarian gesture by using their influence to prevail on the Ilorin water works authorities to stop selling water to me. In desperation, I had to look towards Ogbomoso (dis-
‘My identity was never in doubt, we came to Ilorin with our own Quran from Mali’ tance of about 60km) to supply all the water tanks I built. That fired my determination to go into politics and to help my people. Why I lost NPN presidential ticket to Shagari It was because I was not well known in politics then, that made me lose the NPN presidential ticket to Shagari. But not only that, prior to the party primaries, about five people who are about my age including (Alhaji) Lawal Kaita and (Prof.) Iya Abubakar had encouraged me, during the constitutional conference in Abuja between 1978 and 1979, to join the presidential race. I told them that I was not ready to contest the Presidency then as I had just set up a bank and I was about setting up flour mill as well as the soap industries. Those were the things I was setting up then but they pleaded. Their argument, when they came to my office at Investment House in Lagos was that such a move would unite the country as it would be tactless to take a candidate for the Presidency from the far North. Eventually, I agreed with them, even though we had not yet formed the party (NPN) but only about to go into writing its constitution. When eventually we formed the party, the elder members of the party said that Shagari would supply the link with the Sardauna’s legacy and that they knew him more than anybody else. The emirs also volunteered that they would back him. At the NPN convention, Shagari came first, Maitama Bello came second, Adamu Ciroma was third while I was fourth. All the runners-up decided to give it (the presidential ticket) to Shagari and that was what happened. How were you able to manage the Senate then as the Senate Leader such that it was crisis-free? It was simply because of accessibility. Immediately after we won the elections, the 36 of us, who were the founding fathers of the NPN met in a house in Ikoyi, Lagos, and decided to zone the positions among ourselves. It was agreed that Joseph Wayas should be the President of the Senate, I should be the Leader of the Senate, while Joseph Takar was made the Chairman of the Finance Committee. That was how we arranged the positions and we later told the party what we had done. When we got to the Senate, the UPN caucus argued that even though NPN had 36 senators, (or had the highest
number of seats won by any single party), Saraki could not be called the Majority Leader as the NPN was not in the majority (UPN had 28 senators, NPP had 17, PRP had seven and GNPP had seven). They then argued that although each party could have its own leader in the Senate, orderliness and national interest would require a concensus, popular Senate Leader. I was labelled “small Awolowo” By the structure of our own party, I was the leader of the NPN in the Senate. I was nominated by a member of the NPN and my nomination was seconded by Senator Jonathan Odebiyi, the UPN Leader in the Senate. They all voted me in without any further nomination, unopposed. That was why when there was problem in NPN, the party could not remove me as the Leader of the Senate because I was entrenched in the politics of the Senate such that I was referred to as small Awolowo. During the troubled period in NPN, I was accused of hobnobbing with members of the other political parties. But I told them that as Leader of the Senate, I just must hobnob with all senators but the NPN said my hobnobbing was too much. They wanted to remove me but the other political parties rose against the move and said an emphatic NO. They told NPN that it could go and appoint its own party leader but as far as they were concerned, I was the Senate Leader. Why are you always on the side of the conservatives and not the progressives despite your liberal approach to politics? I always side with conservative politicians because their attitude is always very rational. But the progressives are always irrational and they tend to always want to do their things by force and not by persuasion or by discussion and I don’t believe in that. That is why people say I belong to the conservatives. You never served any military regime but people say such your attitude is a smokescreen and that you were always consulted after every successful change of government and that you always offer military regimes advice in the dead of the night but pretend as if you are a committed democrat during the day. It is true that I was always consulted. Take for example, when General Sani
Abacha took over the government, he called me and wanted to make me a minister but I declined the offer. I told him I could not be his minister. When he demanded to know why, I told him I would be more useful to him outside his government. He tried to persuade me but I stood my ground and he asked me to nominate a minister for him and I nominated Aremu Yahaya. When Abacha later set up the Constitutional Conference, I was nominated and I was made the Chairman of the Business Committee. Anyone holding such a position doubles as the Chairman of the whole House. I was giving him advice. Abacha’s idea initially was to spend only three years and leave. Some of his colleagues convinced him that he should not handover but convert himself into a civilian president by contesting election so that all the parties at that time, nominated him. You know them? The five fingers of a leprous hand? Oh yes, and I told them and warned them in Makurdi, Benue State, that they were going to regret what they were doing. I knew that what they were doing was wrong and I warned them. I never served in any military government because I knew they have a way of using you and then disgracing you out of office one day. I know that if you are a democrat, you are elected by the people, nobody can sack you except your people. Why did you dump your party candidate to support Senator Cornelius Adebayo as Kwara State governor in 1983? I installed Adamu Attah as governor. He was here to solicit for my support and I obliged him. As governor, he would, during the beginning of his administration, seek my advice when he had any notty problem. But after some time, towards the end of the first tenure of his administration, he started preparing to take over the leadership of the party in the state, by inciting people against me. He stopped all personal contacts with me. He then formed another faction of the party, and that was why people called them “Shalaake.” They said they were no longer members of our party but that of another political party, which he formed against me. Of course, I kept my people and told them what to do when the time came. At a point, the NPN leadership
called us to Lagos, but after each round of talk, he would start another round of problem when we got back to Ilorin. He never changed but was always creating problems. When the time for election came, he thought that he had the government machinery in his hands and forgot that I have God and I had the people behind me. He was boasting he did not need Saraki’s votes. The man who had no political base but whom I brought up was saying he could win election without my support. That was when the battle line was drawn and I told my people to vote for Cornelius Adebayo. Was there no party discipline then such that you flouted the directive of your party and voted for a rival party? There was. The party tried to discipline me and they set up a committee but before it could conclude its sittings, there was the General Buhari Mohammed coup and everything just collapsed like that. But there was the rumour that you were doling out N50,000 monthly to Attah. But if that were to be true, why then must he again go back and be fighting you? I was giving him N50,000 monthly allowance even when he was governor, contrary to the allegations that the quarrel was because I was demanding large sums of money as “royalty.” Attah is still alive and so you can go to verify from him. I told him not to touch government money at all but to work, construct roads, provide water, electricity, health and so on. Apart from Attah, why did the other governors too rebel against you after you installed them, like the late Mohammed Lawal and Shaba Lafiagi before the latter returned to your fold? I do not know why they did that but it is as if it was my political stature that was haunting them. I do not know what went wrong with them because there were usually no real problems. I did not interfere in the running of government affairs. After the election of Lafiagi and even that of Attah, I told each governorelect, I had to return to Lagos. But for the formation of the cabinet, one just must be involved because of the people who worked for us to win the elections. They might not be the direct beneficiar-
•Continued on page 12
12 DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
OLUSOLA SARAKI 1933-2012: BLAST FROM THE PAST •Continued from page 11 ies but we always asked the local governments to submit nominations for commissionersip. In the case of Lafiagi, he pleaded that I should leave the Lafiagi (LGA) commissionership slot for him as he had already promised somebody special, and I did. But the rest we sat down and distributed equitably and I went back to Lagos. I did not see them again. In the case of Lawal, he wanted to have a second term and we had already given it to him. More than three times, we had danced to celebrate it but he never believed I was serious. Even his Mallam or Alfa told him not to believe me and that I would give the slot to Bukola. I told Lawal that Bukola was never a politician. He (Bukola) became governor by accident because he was not a politician at all. When people came to me in Ilorin to plead that they wanted my son as governor, I told them that Bukola was never a politician. I never knew that they were going behind me to talk to him. After he had agreed with them, they now came to me saying Baba, please, beg your son to come and be the governor and it was very difficult for me to let him go. And if I may tell you, I cried that day and it was because all my belongings, my businesses and everything were in his possession. I lamented that if they took this boy away from me now, who would look after me? That was why I cried that day. Why do you want to install your daughter, Senator Gbemisola Saraki-Fowora, as Kwara State governor in 2011 after the tenure of her brother, Bukola, as being rumoured? Who was saying those things? I am praying to God and I intend to go for the Umrah to seek the guidance of God. When I wanted to put Lawal there, I went for Umrah for the same purpose since the previous three governors did not perform to my expectation. I went to Umrah and sought forgiveness and true guidance. I prayed to God that I wanted somebody who would take care of Kwara State for me. I went to Umrah and I called Mallams to join me and together, we prayed to God. Lawal was amongst us, praying and he was saying (as I later gathered) God, “make me the one to give this Saraki man what he wanted for Kwara State.” When it became obvious that he would get the ticket, I complained to my faithful that I did not want any person with military background to be the Governor of Kwara State. I set-up a seven-man screening committee. They screened all the aspirants. I was worried that Lawal had gotten the highest mark. But I said, perhaps God wanted to use this man for the development of Kwara State. I could have changed the result if I had wanted so to do, but I told them to release the result and Lawal became the governorship candidate. After only one year in office, he began to agitate for a second term, convincing himself that I was going to make my son, Bukola, the governor. But I told him that Bukola was never a politician and that he never for once interfered in the political situation of Kwara State. But Lawal never believed me. As God answered your prayer by giving you Lawal, now if that same God answers your prayer after the Umrah over Gbemisola, would you install her as the next Kwara State Governor? I have not yet decided on who I will pick as candidate. I heard people saying that I would be giving the ticket to Gbemisola after Bukola but those are rumours, because I have not yet decided. If you ask me this question after Christmas this year, then I would be definite in letting you know my next candidate for the governorship of Kwara State. But as of today, I do not know who will be the next governor
‘Why I refused to work for Northern govt’ and I leave that to God. I want to go to Umrah and pray to God after fasting to help me. The other time former President Olusegun Obasanjo was appointing people from the Middle-Belt where Kwara State incidentally belongs to sensitive national positions, the socalled core North cried out that you were never part of them. With that stance, do you think that they would allow any of you who are not “core” northerners to be President on the slot of the North? You find out that people saying that are really not from the North. How can anyone say that? Of course, they regretted saying such and we really lampooned those who said that. There was this report that General Ibrahim Babangida tricked you by promising to make you president just as he allegedly did to others. Could you clarify this issue? When we were preparing for that, I was advised by the then Chief of Army Staff, General Ibrahim Salihu to see IBB. He arranged a meeting to give me the opportunity to find out his boss’s thinking. It was the first time. During the second meeting with him, in Minna, he told me that it was people like me, with education, good background and love for the people of Nigeria and wellknown that he preferred. But he didn’t give me any commitment. He just wished me success if I won the impending election in 1992 When, after the formation of political party, I approached him for support to my presidential bid in 1999, he never promised that he would give me financial and moral support because unfortunately, he was supporting Obasanjo. He told me that he was going to give Obasanjo support because he knew him very well. But he not only refused to give me support, he went out to destabilize my party All Peoples Party (APP), by paving the way for Chief Olu Falae to leave the Alliance for Democracy (AD) to pick the presidential ticket of the APP. The plot was to secure the zoning of the Presidency to the South. They (the IBB group) manipulated the APP presidential primaries in favour of Ogbonanya Onu who even failed to secure gubernatorial ticket of the APP in his own state. The contrived merger of small (AD) party of Falae and the APP swallowed up Onu, and throwing up Falae as the APP presidential flag bearer. When last did you practice medicine, your first calling? I would say between 1974 and 1975 Which area did you specialize? No. I did not specialise. I am a general practitioner. I was going to specialize. When I qualified in 1962, I wanted to stay for one extra year to specialize but my wife (our marriage was only five months old) preferred that we returned to Nigeria. She did not know my people then and I never met her people because we only met in London and got married. Marriage? Without the consent of your parents? Yes, marriage. But, it was not without the consent of our parents. It was only that both families had not met formally. Returning to Lagos where both our families resided was very reassuring to my wife. So we stayed on and I began to practice How do you manage your home with you a staunch Moslem and your wife a devout Christian? I manage my home excellently and we do not have any religious problem because we never discussed it. Even though I come from a most devout Muslim background, my wife’s
Christian upbringing has not posed any problem to our marriage. During the early days of our marriage, my father called and reassured me that Islam does not prescribe that a man (Muslim) should compel his (Christian) wife to change her religion. He said: “You showed her that you loved her and you married her. If there is any need for her to change her religion, it must be by her own volition. You cannot force her to go and change her religion.” Luckily for me, half of members of her family are Muslims. Even today, the head of their family (an Alhaja and my wife’s cousin), is a Moslem. That has helped me a lot such that there is no religious acrimony in my home. She is well accepted in Agbaji and we never discussed religion in my house. It does not worry us in the house at all. Whenever she was fasting, she prayed for me and if I was fasting, she prepared food for me and left me to do my fasting. We never discussed religion at all. But don’t you think that could bring a sort of religious confusion for the children who may not know where to belong? No. I don’t believe so because religion is a matter of personal belief and so I don’t agree that such could affect the children. How many wives do you have? People are insinuating that different mothers gave birth to Bukola and Gbemisola, even at that, another of your supposed daughters allegedly born for you by another woman in London is begging you to accept the paternity.
My wife is the only one I have and I can tell you quite frankly and honestly that my wife is the only one. Anyone claiming otherwise is not saying the truth because my wife is the only one I have and I have four children, two boys, two girls. The last one is Laolu and the third Bola and I have Gbemi and Bukola. What would you really say that you learnt from your parents while you were growing up that remained indelible in your heart? I would like to say much about what I learnt from my father. I began to live with my father since when I was only 17 months old and I did not get to know my mother until I was 12 years. I never really knew my real mother because my stepmother was the person I knew as my mother because she was the one that was always carrying me about. My father used to go to Accra (in Ghana) and Abidjan (in Ivory Coast) and so would take me along. I learnt from my father that one must always be near to his God because my father was very versed in the Quran. Every Thursday night, I still remember, so many Fulani people would come and pray for us. But we gathered that you never thought of becoming a doctor in the first instance? No. I never wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be an Engineer Why? Because, they made the roads better and that was my thoughts then. But this my stepmother had no child of her own and I told my father that it would be better if I became a doctor, so that I could come back and take care of this woman
‘I had a thriving medical practice then and I still have even up till today. My income was about £500,000 per annum at that time. I was looking after companies and private clients on retainership. If I was making as much as £500,000 per annum as at 1962 then, definitely, it was quite a lot of money.’
who nurtured me from nearly the cradle. I said so in her presence. As a young boy then, what were the pranks you used to play? Really, I loved to go and watch football in those days and then used to swim a lot and that is why I swim everyday today. What are the highpoints and the low-points in your life? If you ask me about the low-points, I would tell you that it was when I was detained by the Buhari and Idiagbon junta. We were about 2,000 people constantly moved between Kirikiri, Ikoyi, and Enugu prisons over a period of more than one year of fear and uncertainty. For the first four days, I was angry and sad and I was wondering whether I was ever a contractor. I never took any contract and I never gave any and even up till now, no government in this country has ever given me any contract, neither in Kwara State nor at the federal level. If I wanted it, I would get it but I never got any contract from anybody. But people know you to be stupendously rich, how did you make your money? My medical practice gave me all my money and I come from a very rich family. You can go to Agbaji and ask and they will tell you that Saraki is “a ya won lowo toke toke” (he who lends people money with the carrier bag). When I left government, I contested election and lost. When I went to my father, he gave me £10,000 to set up my private practice after I refused to hearken to the voice of some people who were persuading me to go back to government. My father was a very rich trader. I went to him and told him I needed money to set up about five clinics in Lagos. The misfortune of the Societe Generale Bank Yes. They plotted that we should fail to meet the re-capitalization deadline. On a Friday, they told us to go and pay N1.5billion to increase our share capital by 12noon the following Monday. That if we did not meet up, they would have our operating license revoked. Where could I have got N1.5billion at a weekend? We went to court and won. When are you re-opening the bank? Very soon. We are calling other people to come and join us to re-open the bank and it is going to be very soon. Would you call what is happening in the polity now your dream Nigeria of those days? No. This is not our kind of dream. I spent 11 years and 11 months in England. I went to England when I was 17 years old. Growing up like that, you followed democracy and saw how things were done and you have the hope and prayed that your country should be like that. And some of us were educated in England and we expected that some of us would be ministers and members of the Assembly. Unfortunately, personal ambition of politicians overcame all of our dreams. So what do you see as the way forward? It is very difficult to say what is going to be the way forward but I think that we just have to pray that we are united. Once we are united and pray to God, I think the unity could show us the way forward. My highpoints I thank God because life has been kind and merciful unto me. I am now 76 years old. I could have died at the age of 40 or 50 or even 60 years but I am still alive and I am active, healthy and happy which is what some other people wanted to have but which they did not. Also, in my lifetime, I see my children doing very well. They are doing what I want, especially Bukola and Gbemisola. They are doing very well and they are not projecting me in bad light.
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012, 13
OLUSOLA SARAKI 1933-2012 Shekarau, Ajimobi, Amosun, others pay tributes From YINKA FABOWALE, Ibadan and EMMANUEL UZOR, Onitsha
kiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has described the death of Saraki, as the end of an era of one of Nigeria’s political legends. Fayemi in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, said Saraki bestrode the political terrain of Kwara State and the North Central like a colossus during his lifetime. He lamented that Saraki’s death came at a time when the polity was yet to recover from the shock of the demise of former Oyo State governor, Alhaji Lam Adesina. The governor noted that Saraki touched the lives of many people in his lifetime through his philanthropy and generosity from which indigent people benefitted. According to him, Saraki had always provided leadership and direction to his political disciples in critical times, adding that his counsel would be sorely missed. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Navy, Senator Chris Anyanwu said Nigeria lost one of her best political strategists with the death of Saraki. Anyanwu, who covered the Second Republic Senate for the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), reminisced about how Saraki harnessed political differences in the chamber for the good of the country. In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, Anyanwu recalled that the late politician broke political barriers all in a bid to foster unity and togetherness in the Senate. Anyanwu described Saraki as a true champion of the masses, adding that the refusal of Kwarans to back his daughter’s ambition in the 2011 governorship poll did not diminish his love for his people. “He left a record on how to lead the masses. It was only recently when his daughter ran for the governorship of Kwara State that his people went the other way. But that did not detract from the fact that he loved his people and they also loved him in return.” Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, the Sardaunan Kano and ANPP presidential candidate said Saraki was very rare politician, a gentleman, philantropist and a community leader whose absence had created a vacuum difficult to fill. Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, described the transition of Saraki as a colossal loss, not only to the people of Kwara but also to the entire country. The governor, in a statement issued in Ibadan yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said the news of the death of the `strongman of Kwara politics’ came to him as a rude shock, describing it as very unfortunate. He said the people of Kwara State and indeed, the entire country would sorely miss the political sagacity, organizational ability and administrative wizardry of Saraki, which placed him above his peers in the political circle. “Saraki was a shining example of humility and philanthropy, as he shared virtually everything he had with the needy, irrespective of where they came from. Even though he never held any political office since 1983 when he left the Senate, he had endeared himself to the hearts of the Kwarans, thus becoming a rallying point in the politics of the state. “He left an indelible imprint in the sands of time. The vacuum created by his death will surely be difficult to fill,’’the governor said. Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, in a press release signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Funmi Wakama, described the exit of Saraki as lamentable, especially coming at this period of constitution amendment process, when his wealth of experience would have been very useful. The governor recalled Saraki’s contribution to the development of Nigeria both as a member of the Constituent Assembly in 1978 and senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 1979 and 1983. “He was also an accomplished physician,” Amosun said. Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi and member representing Anaocha/Dunukofia/Njikoka Federal Constituency, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife yesterday described Saraki as a bridge builder. In his reaction to the passing on of Saraki Obi said he received the news of the elder statesman’s transition with regret and offered his condolences to the family, people and Government of Kwara State. He said Saraki was a detribalized Nigerian in the true sense of the word, adding that this strong trait of character made him a stabilizing influence in the national politics. “I also recall that in the wake of his presidential aspiration in the third republic transition process, the late Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu embraced Saraki’s candidature for its unifying appeal. Perhaps, this politics of accommodation was only matched by his great spirit of philanthropy which endeared him to the ordinary folks till the very end.” Mrs. Uche Ekwunife while consoling the government and family of the late Saraki also described the late senator as a man whose commitment to the unity of the country was total and urged the family to carry on with his legacies. “The county has lost a detribalized Nigerian whose commitment towards the unity of Nigeria was total, we will surly miss his political foresightedness that helped him during the Second Republic when he was a leading voice of reason.”
• Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, Kwara State; Governor, Alhaji Abudl Fatai Ahmed consoling the widow, Mrs. Florence Saraki at the burial of Dr. Olusola Saraki in Ilorin yesterday.
Kwara declares 3 days of mourning, as Nigerians extol his virtues From ADETUTU FOLASADE-KOYI, Abuja and LAYI OALNREWAJU, Ilorin
he Kwara State Government yesterday announced the death of His Eminence, Waziri of Ilorin, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki. According to a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Alhaji Abdulwahaab Oba, the governor said the political icon died yesterday morning at his residence in Lagos and was buried the same day in Ilorin according to Islamic rites. Governor Ahmed commiserated with the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, the Baloguns and other traditional title-holders, Alfas and the entire Ilorin Community and Kwara State at large on the death of the Waziri of Ilorin. Meanwhile, the Kwara State governor declared yesterday a work-free day and three days of mourning, to allow the people of Kwara to attend the burial of the late Dr. Olusola Saraki, while a 20man committee on the burial has been set up. In separate statements, Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly, Razaq Atunwa, two members of the House of Representatives, Dr. Ali Ahmad and Mashood Mustapha said Saraki would be greatly missed by the people of Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole, describing him as a generous giver and kind-hearted leader. As a mark of honour for the late politician, the state House of Assembly yesterday adjourned sitting for eight
days. The Speaker of the House, Rasaq Atunwa announced this on the floor of the House after announcing the demise of Saraki. The speaker, who ordered the suspension of all matters on the order paper for yesterday described the death of Saraki as a rude shock. Atunwa who betrayed emotions directed members to observe two minutes silence in honor of the deceased. Some of the members of the House who paid tributes to late politicians described him as a rare gem and philanthropist of the highest order. The House later adjourned sitting to November 22. The Assembly’s flag was lowered at half-mast immediately the sitting was adjourned as a mark of respect for the late politician. Prof. Albert Ogunsola, one of the closest associates of Saraki in a pensive mood, said: “Saraki did not die young because whoever lived above 70, such person did not die young. I thank God that he is useful for Kwara, Nigeria as a whole. He is a great friend because God joined us together before God took him away. Last week, we spoke on phone.” Ganiyu Cook Olododo, a former secretary to the state government under former governor Bukola Saraki, said: “He is a leader of all leaders, father of masses. Baba doesn’t believe in religious affiliation. You may be his enemy today; he will take you back tomorrow. His demise is a great loss to Nigeria, it is great lost to the Sarakis worldwide and we shall misses him a lot.” To a former senior special assistant to Governor Lawal
on Media, Alhaji Rasak Gidado; Oloye’s death was unfortunate, saying he knew that Kwara politics would progress because before his demise he decided to leave the stage for the younger ones.” Among the early callers to Ile-loke, Iloffa Road residence of the Sarakis include former millitary adminsitrator of Bauchi and Osun states Col. Theophilus Bamigboye, chairmen of Elders’ Forum, Alhaji Oba Bolanta, Alhaji Saidu Alanamu serving and former political office holders, amongst others. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Vice Chairman (South-West), Chief Segun Oni described the late strongman of Kwara politics, Dr. Olusola Saraki as an outstanding professional, grasssroots man and leader. Oni, who reacted to Saraki’s death through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Lere Olayinka, said Kwara State people, Nigerians and in particular, the PDP would miss him so dearly. “Baba was truly a political timber, a colossus of wide diameter and a wonderful political strategist. “He was unarguably one of the most successful politicians in this part of the continent of Africa, having controlled the politics of Kwara State for over 40 years. “Indeed, we have lost a great man, a great man who loved his people passionately and served them diligently. ‘We have lost a kingmaker par excellence and a man who in every way exemplified commitment to the betterment of people’s life. “We have lost a great man who made an enduring foun-
dation for our party, the PDP in Kwara State.” Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State commiserating with Senator Bukola Saraki and other members of his family as well as the government and people of Kwara State over the death of their father in a message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Chukwudi Achife, described the late Saraki as a vibrant and exemplary political leader, who served the nation in many capacities and worked hard to bring development to his people. Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former governor of Ogun State while reacting to the death of Chief Olusola Saraki, said the death of Saraki has robbed Nigeria of an astute politician and elder statesman who was consistent in seeking and working for a better deal for his people and the country. Daniel said in statement by his Media Assistant, Adegbenro Adebanjo, that Saraki belonged to the second generation of Nigerian nationalists, who worked to keep Nigeria as a united country and played active roles in steering Nigeria away from the brinks at very difficult times. “Saraki was indeed a titan in his own right. He was a bridge builder who was always available to contribute his own quota especially at very difficult moments in the history of the country. His death is a big loss not only to Kwara State but the whole country. With his death Nigeria has lost a bridge builder and firm believer in politics without bitterness. He will be remembered for his close affinity to the grassroots and bond with his people.”
14 DAILY SUN
Thursday, November 15, 2012
OLUSOLA SARAKI 1933-2012
Oloye’s burial in Ilorin, Kwara State Photos: DADA OSASONA, BAMIGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE AND OLAYIWOLA OLANREWAJU
Youths who climbed a tree to catch a glimpse of Saraki’s corpse Mammoth crowd waiting at the Saraki’s country home in Ilorin to receive his body
Members of the federal government delegation and Speaker House of Representatives at the Airport waiting for the body of late Saraki
The body is brought down from the aircraft
The immdiate family of the late strongman of Kwara politics
Hon Ahmad Alli and Sen Jim Nwobodo
Sen. Bukola Saraki with Alhaji Kawu Baraje, former PDP acting chairman at the graveside at Oloye’s Ilofa residence on Wednesday
A cross section of Muslim faithful praying for the repose of the soul of the departed politician Photo: NAN
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012, 15
NEWS Soldiers arrest graduate car snatcher in Aba From OKEY SAMPSON, Aba
oldiers attached to the Aba Forward Operational Base (FOB) of the 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army have arrested an ex-student of Abia State University over car snatching. Daily Sun gathered that the ex-student (names withheld), was a member of a gang who snatched a Camry Saloon car at Umuezi in Obingwa Local Government Area of the state. The gang who was operating in a white Nissan URVAN bus with registration number, Rivers: YH 202 PHC was said to have waylaid their victim at a corner of the village which was notorious during the kidnap era, as it was home to one of the kidnap kingpins, Susu, before snatching the car. The car’s owner reported the incident to the army formation in Aba who swung into action. Luck ran out on the car snatcher when soldiers who had spread their dragnets arrested him within the main park area of the city, as he was driving in the same bus with which the gang snatched the car. Our source revealed that soldiers were making frantic efforts to track down other members of the gang who made away with the Camry car.
N12bn pension fraud: EFFC stalls trial From GODWIN TSA Abuja
earing in the N127 billion pension scam was yesterday stalled by the absence of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecution counsel. Those charged with the fraud are Dr. Sani Teidi Shuaibi, Mrs. Phina Ukamaka Chidi, Aliyu Bello and 21 others. They are alleged to have defrauded the pension department office of the Head of Service of the Federation over N12 billion of pensioners’ money. Dr. Teidi was a former director of the pensions department, office of the Head of Service of the Federation. When the matter came up yesterday, the prosecution counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Godwin Obla was not present, even as Dr. Teidi’s lawyer, Mr. Sunday Ameh (SAN) told the court that his client was ready for the trial. Ameh said there was no word from the commission to inform him or the court, reasons for its absence. “This is a criminal matter and the commission owes it a duty to show diligence in its prosecution.” But the trial judge, Justice Adamu Bello said his predicament was that the court did not sit on July 19, 2012 when the trial was earlier fixed to commence. “I don’t have the record to show that all the parties had agreed for the trial to begin today, the case is therefore adjourned to February 5, 2013 to commence the accused persons’ trial. Hearing notice must be served on all the parties in the matter.” EFCC had earlier preferred a 134-count charge against Dr. Sani Teidi Shuaibi, Mrs. Phina Ukamaka Chidi, Aliyu Bello and 21 others, for allegedly defrauding the pension department, office of the Head of Service of the Federation of Nigeria, over N12 billion pension fund. While Dr. Teidi was the former director, pension administration in the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Phina Ukamaka Chidi was the deputy director (Finance and Accounts), in the pension office. Aliyu Bello was a personal assistant to Dr. Shuaibu.
Justice Jombo-Ofo: Nigerian women head to court From GODWIN TSA, Abuja.
he outrage that trailed the refusal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar to swearin Justice Ifeoma Jombo-Ofo as a Court of Appeal justice under the slot of Abia State based on her indigeneship status has metamorphosed into a full-blown legal action, as Nigerian women have instituted a suit against the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice. Justice Ifeoma Jombo-Ofo was among the 12 newly appointed justices of the Court of Appeal before she was removed, following a petition by some aggrieved Abia State natives that she was not a native of the state. Justice Jombo-Ofo, was appointed a High Court judge on 4th November 1998, following her call to Bar in 1979, as representing Abia State, where she had served for many years after her marriage to Mr. Jombo- Ofo, a native of the state. Before the suit instituted by a non governmental organization, Incorporated Trustees of Women Empowerment and Legal aid Initiative (WELA) on behalf of married women, the issue had received wide condemnations from the Senate, Nigerians and legal luminaries including, Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), Chief Solo Akuma (SAN), Femi Falan (SAN), who described the situation as unpleasant development. The former attorney general of Abia State, Chief Solo Akuma (SAN) specifically faulted the action of the CJN, saying it was discriminatory and selective in nature.
• Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo; former Head of State Gen. Ibrahim Babangida; former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, wife of former Head of State, Justice Fati Abubakar and the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar during a book presentation on former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar in Abuja.
Disagreement greets PIB as debate begins She recalled: “From 1959 From IHEANACHO NWOSU and CHUKS AKUNNA, to date, there have been about 16 laws in our statutes regulatAbuja ing the petroleum industry. he House of Some of these are the Representatives yesterday Petroleum Profits Tax Act, the commenced debate on the Nigerian National Petroleum general principles of the Corporation Act, the Deep Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Offshore and Inland Basin with majority kicking against Production Sharing Act certain provisions in the con- among others. “ She explained that: “The tentious Bill. The Bill was submitted to Petroleum Industry Bill 2012 the chamber in July, the same is seeking to harmonize and month members embarked on consolidate all these laws to better regulate, coordinate and a two-month recess. At the debate yesterday, manage the operations of the some provisions in the bill, industry.” She listed some of the which dwelt on oil community benefits, regulatory powers objectives of the PIB which of petroleum minister, include: “Creation of a conducive unbundling of the Nigeria National Petroleum business environment for operations; Corporation (NNPC), the petroleum deregulation of the down- Enhancing exploration and stream sector of the petroleum exploitation of petroleum industry and environmental resources in Nigeria for the issues topped the debate that benefit of Nigerian people; Optimization of domestic gas lasted about three hours. Kicking off the debate, supplies, particularly for House Majority Leader, power generation and industriMulikat Adeola-Akande, out- al development;” The House leader mainlined the revolutionary nature of the Bill and enjoined her tained that the initiative would ensure the: “Establishment of colleagues to support it. According to her, the PIB if a progressive fiscal framepassed would harmonise all work that encourages further previous laws regulating dif- investments in the petroleum ferent aspects of the petroleum industry while optimizing the revenues accruing to the govindustry.
ernment; Establishment of commercially-oriented and profit-driven oil and gas entities; Deregulation and liberalization of the downstream petroleum sector; Creation of an efficient and effective regulatory agencies; Promote transparency and openness in the administration of the petroleum resources of Nigeria; Promote the development of Nigerian content in the petroleum industry; Protect health, safety and the environment in the course of petroleum operations; Attain such other objectives to promote a viable and sustainable petroleum industry in Nigeria.”
Arguing in similar fashion, Abubakar Momoh, (Action Congress of Nigeria, Edo State), pointed out that provision in the bill which makes way for the unbundling of the NNPC would produce immense positive implications for the economy. He particularly praised the clause, which seeks the establishment of a Petroleum Host Community Fund, pointing out that if the clause were passed as part of the Bill, restiveness in oil communities would become a thing of the past.
Soldier kills father of 4 children in Rivers …As angry youths shut down company From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
ne Anozie Allison of Idu Community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, has met his untimely death in the hands of a soldier attached to APCON Nigeria Limited in the area. The incident occurred at about 7:30a.m close to the company’s gate. It was gathered that the 35year-old father of four, who
was said to be the Task Force chairman of Idu youths in company with others, were staging a peaceful protest to demand their four months unpaid allowances by the company. According to an eyewitness, John Orukwowu, who incidentally is the brother-inlaw to the deceased, the youths accosted the company’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) about 200 metres away from the gate to address them on the issue.
Orukwowu said the security detail attached to the CSO threatened to shoot the protesters, and consequently, shot the deceased below his left eye. He said further that the bullet blew off his brain and he died instantly. The victim’s body was said to have been deposited at a mortuary along Ahoada/Abua Road, in Ahoada East Local Government Area of the state. The youths, paramount ruler and the Divisional Police Station, it was gathered, were meeting in respect of the incident.
The lawmaker however, criticised the provision for the establishment of Equalisation Fund in the Bill, arguing that it was in conflict with the deregulation policy, which was equally provided for in the Bill. Opposing substantial aspects of the Bill, Simeon Araboh, and Aisha Modibbo said it lacked merit in many areas. Both rejected the provision for the establishment of Petroleum Host Community Fund, pointing out that the constitutional provision for 13 percent derivation had already taken care of what the clause was seeking to do. Modibbo faulted the Bill, he said it was defective in the sense that it placed huge powers on the shoulders of the minister of petroleum. Equally picking hole in the bill, Uche Ekwunife (All Progressive Grand Alliance, Anambra) argued that the bill if passed the way it was presented by the president would not augur well. She particularly queried the clause, which gave the minister of petroleum powers over some environmental issues, contending that that would cause a conflict of role between the minister of Environment and that of petroleum resources. Ekwunife also backed other speakers who faulted the powers given to the minister of petroleum in the Bill. Friday Itula (ACN, Edo) and Abike Dabiri- Erewa (ACN, Lagos) equally opposed the powers provided in the Bill for petroleum minister. Dabiri- Erewa also argued that unlike the claim of authors of the Bill that it would promote transparency in the oil sector, the opposite was the case. She said, for instance, that the Bill does not allow for disclosure of earnings from taxes.
16 DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
NEWS FCT demolition: Falana slams N5bn suit against FCT Minister From FRED ITUA, Abuja
ontroversial human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has filed a N5 billion suit against the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, at an Abuja High Court over the demolition of 372 housing units belonging to Minanuel Investment Limited. The plaintiff is praying the court to compel the minister to pay N5billion as damages for the illegal demolition of its housing estate. The company had filed the suit for the demolished property on Airport Road, Abuja. It will be recalled that the alleged demolition occurred between September 29 and October 1, this year. In the writ of summons, which Falana filed, the plaintiff is asking the court to grant its declaration that the demolition was illegal, null and void. It added that the Minister’s action violates the provisions of sections 47,50,51,53,60,83 and 84 of the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Act (N138). Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. The plaintiff is also praying the court to declare that the demolition violates its right to fair hearing, the right to property and housing as guaranteed by sections 33, 43 and 44 of the 1999 constitution and Articles 7 and 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A9), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. 2004. No date has been fixed for hearing.
UNN honours Ngige with dignity of man award From GEOFFREY ANYANWU, Awka
ix years after he left office as Governor of Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige has been honoured by the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), for bringing character and integrity to bear in governance. According to the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Bartho Okolo who extolled the virtues of Ngige, said the former governor and sitting Senator distinguished himself in office by uplifting conditions of the citizenry. Speaking at the sixth Africa and World Literary Conference held at the university where Ngige was given a “Dignity of Man Award for Leadership in Human Development,” the Vice Chancellor said that, senator who was chairman at the opening of the conference, worked for the people and did not pay lip service like other political office holders. He said, “The University is 52 years old this year. A key reason for this massive rebuilding and retooling is to lunch the university into the second 50 years of its life, in which we expect it will be functioning more and more in the world stage. “This is one of the reasons why we are very glad to welcome guests like Senator Chris Ngige who not only has made a mark in public service, and did so at a time it was more common to see political office holders paying no more than lip services to public services and uplifting the condition of the generality of the citizenry of the country. We need people like Ngige to help attract public and private sector investment, to enable us realize our vision for this university. As you well know, the history of the University of Nigeria is closely intertwined with that of our country; we believe that the future of our great country and that of our great university are also linked.”
Oshiomhole appoints Ihonvbere new SSG From TONY OSAUZO, Benin
overnor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has made key appointments into his cabinet.
Professor Julius Ihonvbere has been appointed the Secretary to the State Government (SSG). Former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Patrick Obahiagbon is the new Chief of Staff, while Mr. Stephen Idehenre is the Deputy Chief of Staff, Governor’s Office. Mr. Peter Okhiria retains his position as Chief Press Secretary, same as Princess Theresa Erediauwa who retains her position as the focal person and Executive Director, Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Comrade Yakubu Aliyu is the Governor’s new Principal Private Secretary. Mr. Godwin Obaseki remains the Chairman of the Economic Team, while Mr. Osarodion Ogie, is Vice Chairman of the Economic Team. Born in June 1956, Prof Julius Omozuanvbo Ihonvbere holds a PhD in Political Economy from the University of Toronto. AProfessor of Political Science, the SSG-designate was former Special Adviser on Policy Monitoring as well as Speech Writer to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
•Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha (2nd right) after presentation of cheques to Obineze Samuel of Insurance Department and Anumche Cynthia of Marketing Department both of Imo State University, Owerri at the launch of the state government’s programme tagged ‘Investment for the Future’.
State creation: MASSOB threatens showdown …Vows to disrupt 2015 polls in S’East From EMMANUEL UZOR, Onitsha
he Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has threatened to disrupt the 2015 general elections in the South-East zone if an addition state was not created for the region to be at par with other zones. Leader of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike who issued this threat yesterday, said that his group would not stay back to watch President Goodluck Jonathan renege on the promises he made to Ndigbo in the buildup to the 2011 general elections. The new Igbo leader, who was reacting to the comments credited to the Deputy Senate President and Chairman of Constitution Review Committee, Chief Ike Ekweremadu who said the National Assembly’s hands were tied on the issue of creation of additional state in the zone, disclosed that the creation of an additional state was among the major promises President Jonathan made to him and the late Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. “I want to react to the statement by Ike Ekweremadu where he said that their hands were tied on the issue of creation of an additional state in the South-East geopolitical zone to bring equality in the states across the country. Creation of another state in this zone and construction of the second Niger Bridge were major promises Jonathan made to Ojukwu and I and to renege on these will bring
nothing but bloodshed and violent revolution. “I have done it before during the general census where I asked Ndigbo not to take part. If he wants to challenge me again, I will do it and this time, there will be no election in South-East zone in 2015, unless he (President Jonathan) keeps and fulfils his promises,” the MASSOB leader vowed. Chief Uwazuruike described the statement by Ekweremadu as a ploy by the Federal Government to subtly renege on the promises made to Ndigbo during the last gen-
eral election, adding that it would further bring anarchy and chaos to the entire nation. He said: “Since Jonathan assumed office through tremendous and overwhelming support of Ndigbo, he has not carried out all the promises he made to Ojukwu and I that made us to support him. Now, I can see that he used and dumped us by reneging on the promises to create an additional state in the SouthEast, and also to construct the second Niger Bridge.” He, therefore, warned that anything short of additional state in the zone and the sec-
ond Niger Bridge would not be accepted by Ndigbo, saying that any attempt to conduct elections in the zone in the absence of the above mentioned projects would bring bloodshed and violent revolution. His words: “Any attempt by the Federal Government or any other external or internal body to conduct election in South-East in the absence of the major promises made to our great leader, Dim Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu by President Goodluck Jonathan during 2011 general election will bring nothing but revolution starting from South-East and blood will be spilled.”
Ekwueme, Obi, Ezeife, others chart new Anambra economic devt •Urge Igbos to reconcile with other Nigerians
rominent Igbo leaders from Anambra State on Tuesday night converged on the Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja to discuss new economic roadmap for the state. Former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, Governor Peter Obi, former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, former chairman of Police Service Commission, Dr. Simon Okeke, among other prominent leaders who converged for the presentation of the book, “Anambra State National Summit on Security and Development,” all agreed that a paradigm shift was needed in the state to move it forward. “I will like to congratulate members of Anambra State Public Officers and Leaders Forum (ASPOF) for your
efforts in trying to promote the interest of the state,” Ekwueme praised the organisers of the event. “Going forward, more emphasis should be laid on the economic development of the state. “When we empower our people in the rural areas, it will stem the migration of people from rural to urban centres in search of non-existent jobs,” he added. In his remarks, Governor Obi said every Anambra person has the opportunity to help the state in its drive to develop. “When I took over office, I met nothing on ground and I realised that we couldn’t succeed without a clear vision. That was how we adopted the eight MDGs as our roadmap for development,” he revealed. He boasted that Anambra State under his watch has not borrowed a kobo since he
took over as governor of the state. “My doors are always open if any son or daughter of the state has any idea on how we can further develop the state,”Obi added. In a calm and sober tone, former governor, Dr Ezeife called on all Igbos to put the sad memories of the civil war behind them and reconcile with other Nigerians. “It is time for the Igbos to make peace with other Nigerians. It is time to forget all the small problems and unite with other Nigerians. It is time for the Igbos to re-integrate and be part of the Nigerian society,” Ezeife advised. ASPOF is a non-governmental, political or social organisation. Its cardinal objective is to foster the unity and protect the interest of Anambra Public Officers, elders and other people from the state who are resident in the FCT and its environs.
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012 17
DAILY SUN Thursday November 15, 2012
The Obama victory n November 6, 2012, President Barack Obama re-emerged as the President of the United States of America, which is a consolidation on his first-term historic electoral success as the first African-American to attain that height. It was indeed a landmark victory considering the fact that his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, fought vigorously and also lost robustly. Nature—Hurricane Sandy specifically —and the media, it seemed, worked in favour of the Democrats, going by post-election analyses. Generally, the Republican drubbing defied all pre-election projections and permutations! It was not just a function of political luck, but astute strategy and planning that built on earlier accomplishments and outstanding challenges. A plot of Obama’s political ascent at various levels clearly indicates a stratagem that cultivates a deliberate and organized march towards maximization of opportunities which come up along the trajectory. This, among other variables like youth generally and spinsters particularly who lavishly voted for Obama according to official statistics, underscores his latest triumph. There is no doubt that the American economy is in a potentially explosive bad shape. It is not the first time. At a point recently, there were 700,000 monthly job losses! Now, with the benefit of hindsight, the likelihood of crashing this figure is very high and in further consummation of his electioneering testament to Americans. This is one major way to buttress the overwhelming mandate given to this emotive orator whose thunderous speeches rivet the traditionally hypercritical American audiences. No American president had won reelection with an unemployment profile above 7.2 per cent as obtains currently. In fact, analysts are of the view that Romney did not exploit this angle very well. Perhaps, the second emergence of Obama may, not have been possible if he had not successfully ensured the ultimate death of Osama bin Laden whose terrorist delinquency put the entire world on the edge. It is to the glory of America that
Obama painstakingly saw to the death of Osama. If, perchance, the onslaught had turned out a fiasco, that possibly would have marked the end of the Obama presidency. In other words, the muchacclaimed termination of Osama was not just another American credit, but an immeasurable boost to the Obama political project. It is indeed soul-lifting to note that Obama lived above board. This explains why despite the formidable challenge posed by Romney, Americans opted for the one they can trust, a leader with immense potentialities and novelties with no scandalous past of any hue. We commend both Obama and Romney for the mature and issue-based campaign they carried out. There was no mudslinging of any kind. This is one lesson that politicians in this part of the world need to learn. We are also impressed with the dispatch with which the loser congratulated the winner. There were no talks of electoral manipulation or the prospects of litigation to question the result of the polls. Seeking political office is not synonymous with smear campaigns. At the organizational level, our Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has a lot of characteristics to copy from the American module. There were no logistical throw-ups or sharp practices by election officials. The objective of everyone was the conduct of a credible, hitchfree and successful election. What this calls for is good planning and institutionalization of credibility in the entire process. We congratulate Obama on his well-deserved victory and implore him to keep to his election promises. The African continent expects so much from him and America in terms of development initiatives and the Washington global transformative agenda. Bail-outs, when necessary, should be extended to needy African countries as a way of propelling their economies. Such foreign assistance goes a long way in growing the developing world, represented mostly by African countries.
Jonathan and his critics
SURELY, there are people who hit you with facts and make excellent points and there are others that make negative criticisms that are negative in tone. The two classes of people as mentioned above abound in Nigeria and there are others that make negative criticisms. But the most annoying to me are the ubiquitous, myopic and pessimistic views that this piece seeks to expose and address as far as Nigeria is concerned. It has always been destructive criticisms and never constructive. But the truth is that, it is not good enough to be perpetually disgruntled. Making a timely criticism and moves should be the in-thing. But sadly enough, the frequency at which the hyperventilating critics make their frothing negative points is a direct reflection that the present Nigeria is already a failed state (apology withheld). “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and short-comings; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, what at best knows in
the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory not defeat”-Theodore Roosevelt. Nigeria's lawmakers on Wednesday 10th of October 2012 through their dual leadership (Senate President and Speaker), expressed their anger to President Goodluck Jonathan criticizing him on three major issues: they criticized Mr. President for treating them as “rubber stamp, they termed Jonathan's administration as “high-handed” and they also referred to the 2013 budget which he personally presented to the cross section of Nigerians as “mere estimate. In the same vein, the Speaker of House of Representative criticized the President in a rather insulting manner. He did not respect the exalted position of Mr. President. Instead, he turned the vote of thanks into another marathon speech, distorting protocols. Some of the criticism he raised in his speech include the 'interim oversight reports' which he criticized in words of Doyin Okupe as 'clearly unimpressive' in terms of both the release and utilization.Mr. Speaker also criticized and complained about the Bureau of Public Procurement as being 'a bottleneck to effective capital budget implementation' as captured by SSA to Mr. President of Public
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Affairs. The Speaker also commonized the President's words as lacking corresponding actions. The Speaker also accused the President for not taking their resolutions serious. He also accused the President of delaying the implementation of they resolutions of the House in which they suggested the immediate sack of Ms.Aruma Oteh, DG, SEC and Ms.Bolanle Onagoruwa, DG, BPE. Besides, feelers from various quarters have really criticized Jonathan's style of leadership which they say is very quick in constituting committees but slow in enforcing their findings thereoff. However, when you carry out a survey on all these blame game, you will definitely conclude that Nigeria is already a failed state. It is because there is no how you will define government without mentioning 'a group of people'. Therefore, permit me here to say that: the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary as far as Nigeria is concerned, has failed the electorates. House of Representatives without exemption, has failed Nigeria. We have not forgotten the cases between Hembe and Oteh, Farouk Lawan and Femi Otedola. Since House Representative Members are also living in a glass house, they should stop throwing stones. If they want to come to equity, they should come with clean hands. House of Representative should remove the specks in their eyes before removing the wood in Mr. President's eyes. As far as I am concerned, Mr. President is not a bad leader but a firm believer in due process and transparency. Furthermore, tokenism is another negative practice that has continuously fueled hypercriticism meted on Mr. President since his inception in office as the President of Nigeria. Tokenism as a policy
always makes a perfunctory gesture towards the inclusion of members of minority groups. This concept of tokenism is as old as Nigeria which is a constitutional creation. Since Nigeria is 52 years old today, it then means that tokenism is of the same age with Nigeria. The creation of Nigeria made the Igbos, Hausas and Yorubas higher than every other ethnic group. Mr. President is from the minority, Otueke in Bayelsa State. So you can now see clearly what has ill-formed the manner in which the socalled indispensible Oligarchies treat every speech that comes from Goodluck Jonathan. Finally, before rounding up this article, it will be very pertinent to say that hypercriticism is always a toxic substance which oozes out of tokenism and not only that it is cancerous; it is also a generational stigma on any person, group or tribe. Jonathan as a person and an entity for crying out loud may not be an exemption. Have you imagined what will be going on in his mind each time he gives a national instruction or declaration, and it is not being respected? For instance, his declaration on democracy day to rename Unilag to MAU, the removal of fuel subsidy, his instruction to peg oil price at 75 dollars, his nationwide speech to cushion the effects of flood disaster which some people latter called belated intervention speech, and his recent defense against his ubiquitous criticism that led him to voice out that he will surely be the most celebrated President of Nigeria etc. Nigerians should be careful of excessive negative criticism because it may lead to perfunctory leadership. Uzoma Jude Chima email@example.com CMYK
Thursday November 15, 2012
2012 presidential election: A decisive victory O bama scored a decisive victory with a mandate in the presidential election. At least, that is the way many people, particularly the Democrats describe what happened on Tuesday night as they make rounds on various TV shows. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, acknowledged Barack Obama's resounding triumph when he said succinctly on NBC's “Today Show” on Monday, “The president [Barack Obama] won an extraordinary victory and the fact is we owe him the respect of trying to understand what they did and how they did it.” Well, with 332 electoral votes and over 50% of the popular votes, President Barack Obama was reelected on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 after a grueling campaign marked with an unparallel intensity on both sides. Obama's win was an Electoral College landslide against all odds, and in a campaign that kept supporters on the edge wondering what the outcome would be. A presidential campaign filled with vitriolic and veiled racially-tinged statements aimed at stoking fears and anger among members of a targeted group, will go down in history as one of the most negative election circle in the United States. For Obama to win in such a poisoned political environment coupled with other factors was a tall order. Winning the presidential election against the headwind of stagnant economy, high unemployment rate, and big money groups whose primary aim was to defeat Barack Obama, caused a tremendous adulation within the Democrat Party. Well, virtually tied in the national polls, with a slight edge to Barack Obama, and with a lackluster performance in the first presidential debate on October 3, 2012, President Barack Obama had to come out swinging in the second crucial debate on October 16, 2012 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. The President won the second debate. He also won the third debate about a week later to fend off what was heralded as the Romney momentum. Nevertheless, running neck-and-neck, the stakes for success were high for both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney going into the third and final presidential debate to gain the confidence of a small swath of undecided and independent voters whose votes were crucial to
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Acho Orabuchi firstname.lastname@example.org clinch victory. Determined not repeat the mistakes of the first debate, President Obama intensified the fireworks during the third and final debate by drawing sharp contrasts between the two on foreign policy-related issues while Mitt Romney played it safe by agreeing with Obama on most of the issues, and to appeal to women voters. As a result, most people saw President Obama as the winner of the debate. Succor also came when Obama received the much-awaited good news on October 5, 2012, which was the unemployment rate dropping from 8.1 to 7.8-the first time the unemployment rate has reached that low since Obama took office in January, 2009. The good news offered the Obama campaign the opportunity to stem the unsavory tide of narrative arising from his bad performance at the first debate. Most importantly, Obama won for several reasons. Needless to say that Obama ran a conspicuously thematically superior campaign throughout the cycle; he was a better candidate that needed less packaging than Mitt Romney. A point Republican Grover Norquist validated on CBS's “This Morning” when he said, “The president [Barack Obama] was elected on the basis that he was not Romney and that Romney was a poopy-head and you should vote against Romney.” Thus, Obama ran a smart campaign replete with issues that resonated among women, middleclass and the majority of the electorate. With a changing demographics, Obama built a coalition that reflected America-a coalition that included white and non-white. Significant number of minority voters voted for Obama because
they could relate to Barack Obama more than to Mitt Romney. Furthermore, the Obama Campaign was able to define Mitt Romney in negative terms before Romney had the opportunity to define himself. That was a strategic error on the part of the Romney Campaign. Bain Capital became synonym to vain. Gov. Romney's business experience in Bain Capital, which would have been an enormous asset as the unemployment rate was stubbornly high, became a liability for Romney. Painfully too, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”, an Op-ed Mitt Romney penned in the New York Times on November 18, 2008 in opposition to auto bailout, haunted him in Ohio, a state that depended on auto-related jobs. In his article, Gov. Romney said, “IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.” Mitt Romney never overcame the damage his opposition to the auto bailout caused him in Ohio. The Obama Campaign exploited the opening wisely to its political benefit. Even at that, some people were still apprehensive of Obama's victory considering the likelihood of the reemergence of Bradley-Effect and the avalanche money heaped by some billionaires to defeat Obama at any cost. However, no amount of money could save a flawed candidate with a message that never gained traction with the majority of the electorate. It was like pouring a bag of salt in the ocean.
Again, Obama's message was gaining traction. Obama litigated ending the Bush-era tax cuts on the wealthy during the campaign. At the same time Mitt Romney advocated for retaining the tax cuts and also giving additional 20% tax cuts on everyone, including the wealthy. On Election Day, the majority of voters supported Barack Obama's argument on ending the Bushera tax cuts on the wealthy. Obama argued that he would want a balanced approach to reducing the national deficit; he argued that the wealthy paying a little bit more in taxes with spending cuts will be fair in an effort to bring down the deficit. He vowed to resist any attempt to reduce the deficit at the backs of the middleclass, students, the elderly, and the poor. Additionally, the Romney team underestimated the turnout machine of the Obama Campaign to its peril. The Romney campaign thought that the electorate would be similar to 2008 and or 2010. The campaign never expected that many minority groups will have an increase in their share of the electorate, which significantly benefited President Barack Obama. Republicans are still prognosticating and pointing fingers about their shrill defeat last Tuesday, particularly blaming the mechanics and their message delivery. The salvos of excuses seem to obscure the disconnectedness of their message in relation to the composition of the electorate. In fact, focusing on the mechanics of the campaign while overlooking their policies in relation to the changing demographics of the population, may not be a wise thing to do at this time. There have been calls for the party to begin to reject the extremism-the extreme wing of the party. Republicans have to realize that the changing demographics places onus on them to start their self-reflection by focusing first on where the electorate is and not where the population was-when White votes were sufficiently enough to win in a general election. The rapidly increasing minority population that is changing the face of the US electorate has made the strategy of winning the White House based on heavy reliance on White votes archaic. You may follow me on twitter.com/achosr.
How to create credible jobs in Nigeria
BY EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO & NNEKA OKONKWO igeria is currently witnessing some of the worst scenarios of joblessness especially of her productive populace who come out of former educational trainings without any sustainable hope of gaining credible and well-paying jobs. For millions of Nigerian youth, finding good and satifying jobs is as difficult as finding white falcons thereby exposing a lot of these young persons to varying degrees of crimes even as those of them that are decnt enough to turn down tempting offers from crime lords have decided to emigrate to God knows where in search of the elusive greener pastures. Successive federal and state administrations have all but failed to take concrete and credible measures to create sustainable environment for the millions of youths to become employers of labour rather than jobless youth in search of the elusive white collar jobs. With increased rate of insecurity and high crime rate across the country coupled with the systemic failure of both the federal and state administrators to fix the largely dilapidated and grossly non-f functional infrastructure so as to create the enabling environment for willing entrepreneurs with the capital to set up cottage industries that would create job opportunities to the jobless youths, the need to search for better ways of creating credible employment opportunities for the teeming army of unemployed Nigerians has become the number one national security interest. There is perhaps no other necessity that has become imperative than creating sustainable employment opportunities for the youths because of the indisputable fact that the an idle mind is the devil's workshop and as long as the productive youths can not find credible and sustainable jobs both in the private and public sectors of the nation's economy, they will sooner rather than later find ways of busying themselves and generate some incomes to keep body and soul together even if that means getting into conflict with the law through committing some criminal activities. Constitutionally, the primary duty of government is the protection of lives and property of the citizenry and the provision of effective welfare and
the moment a government in place fails either by commission or commission to effectively discharge her constitutional duty aforementioned, then the government has not only failed the legitimacy test but has invariably and inevitably created the room and reason for the younger productive but unemployed youths to engage in different crimes including involvement in terrorism crimes all in an effort to survive and/or take out revenge on the larger society. Knowledgeable sources have over the years found out that the population of every economy is divided into two categories, the economically active and the economically inactive. The economically active population (Labor Force) or working population according to economists, refers to the population that is willing and able to work, including those actively engaged in the production of goods and services (employed) and those who are unemployed. Whereas, unemployed persons in the considered view of economic experts, refers to people who are willing and capable of work but unable to find suitable paid employment and those who have voluntarily left work (Word Bank 1998). The next category, the economically inactive population refers to people who are neither working nor looking for jobs. Examples include house wives, fulltime students, invalids, those below the legal age for work, old and retired persons. The unemployment rate is expressed as a percentage of the total number of persons available for employment at any time (Briggs(1973). Unemployment is a problem that each society faces, especially Nigeria as a nation, and each society must find a way to beat it. The question that however, begs for an acceptable and scientifically accurate answer is whether the Nigerian government is committed to finding solution to this hydraheaded monster of unemployment? How far has the Federal Government gone towards creating credible job opportunities for the millions of jobless youths in Nigeria? How have the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory searched for sustainable panacea to the vicious cycle of youth unemployment in their domains?
Has the Federal Ministry of Youth done enough to create job opportunities and/or even effectively coordinated efforts aimed at creating the enabling environment for youth employment in both the private and public sector? Only recently when the Federal House of Representatives Committee on Labour and Prodcutivity visited the Federal Ministry of Labour. it was discovered that the necessary financial releases meant for job creation have not been effectively released and utilized. It is also a fact that the Presidential offices of Millennium Development Goals and the so-called National Poverty Eradication Programme [NAPEP] have all but failed to galvanize national effort towards creation of credible job opportunities for the millions of unemployed Nigerian youths. How to create credible jobs in Nigeria has, therefore, become imperative and this is precisely what we have set out to hazard a guess hoping that the Federal and state administrations in Nigeria would pay attention and provide these job opportunities so that Nigeria would, once more, become peaceful and productive because any nation that neglects her youth sector is doomed. Government can do a lot. The only problem is that in our country Nigeria, we always wait for things to happen before action is taken. Experts through their scholarly findings have severally suggested and we agree that government can create credible jobs through the value chain in mineral exploitation, small and medium enterprises, by creating local demand and empowering local producers. The leading economies of the world today laid the economic foundation in small and medium enterprises. In fact, the strength of the American economy is in small and medium enterprises. This conclusion by scholars of repute is indisputable because even the British Government understands the essential economic strenght of small and medium scale enterprises making it possible for the United Kingdom's economy to withstand the ongoing global economic downturn which has adversely affected some European economies like Italy, Spain and Greece. We have also discovered that Nigerians will
gain a lot if the youths are empowered to acquire modern skills of the information technology and since Nigeria is arguably the largest market in the Black World, the youths can look for ways of developing their innate skills and talents to become writers or copywriters for others. From our extensive research, we found out that for people that can write and enjoy doing so, rendering services as writers on the internet is one sure way to create a credible job in Nigeria. As they say, contest is the “king of internet”. There is no business that can survive on the internet without providing contest for its potential customers. A copy writer is an expert in writing advertisement texts that woo people to buy products and services. We have also found out that education is the key to sustainable job creation across the country. Government must rebuild the moribund educational facilities, engage quality and skillful teachers, equip the schools in the rural and urban areas with comprehensive sporting facilities to catch talented sports persons in their prime because sports have become big business and big employer of labour internationally. Nigeria must leverage on the enormous talents that abound among our youth, developed these sporting talents. In this direction, the educational sector has a strategic role to play in creating the necessary skills that would enable the youths to become creators of jobs and not just job seekers. The Federal and 36 states' administrations must as a matter of national emergency lay emphasis on education. Providing enabling environment for growth of local industry is a must and the electricity power sector must and should be revived. If public fund are not stolen by officials, then the possibility that government can efficiently meet the challenges of infrastructural development in the entire country will become inevitable, and this in effect will help to launch the private sector into full potentials. Private investment has significantly stronger effect on growth than government investment (Hernandes-cata, 2000). Onwubiko & Okonkwo write from Lagos.
Thursday November 15, 2012
How to defeat an incumbent BY NATH OVABOR s it not easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for an incumbent to lose an election to a challenger? Some have stated from some quarters that that ‘needle’in the biblical proverb is not a sewing needle but a very narrow entrance in ancient Israel. I do not care, since everyone seems to agree with the fact that a camel would have to sweat blood and bleed white if it fancies going through a tight passage. We all have seen how high ranking -sitting public officers like Olusegun Obasanjo and Lucky Igbinedion in 2003, Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, Adams Oshiomhole and Mimiko in 2012 and just now Barack Obama vanquished their different opponents not necessarily because of their overwhelming achievements but for their vantage positions. I do not blame those who think it is wiser to contest for an open seat than to challenge an entrenched incumbent because in most elections incumbents have advantages of gargantuan proportions compared to their challengers. Not only have they won elections before and thus possess greater experience and name, they also have at their disposal all of the trappings that accompany public office; news coverage, recognition, patronage and increased fund raising ability and many a time they utilize public facilities for their personal campaigns apart from the fact that many incumbents steal from public treasury to fund their own campaigns (that is a matter for another day). Despite all the aforementioned advantages, I still think it is very possible for a challenger to defeat an incumbent. In the United states for example, ten incumbents were defeated in their bids for re-election; John Adams (1800), John
Quincy Adams (1828) Martin Van Buren (1840), Grove Cleveland (1888), Benjamin Harrison, (1892), Herbert Hoover (1932), Gerard Ford (1976) Jimmy Carter (1980) and George Bush (1992). Five sitting presidents John Tyler (1844) Millard Fillmore (1852), Franklin Pierre (1856) Andrew Johnson (1868) and Chester Alan Arthur (1844) wanted to run but did not win their party’s nomination. Could that be said of Nigeria, where public office holders are treated as demi gods? When they sneeze they all expect the rest of us to catch cold and if we fail to catch cold we would be declared sufferers a disease of the lungs) and quarantined for being an ‘enemy of the state’. Because of the poverty in our land, because of our primeval slavish mindset, the man in power begins to lord himself over the rest hoi polloi forgetting that his office does not make him any more superior than the rest of us but a mere primus inter pares (first among equals). In our clime it is even the sycophantic masses that often deck these public officers with borrowed robes. Though Herculean, it is not impossible to defeat an incumbent especially when the incumbent is seen to have lost touch with the people. This applies not only to legislators, who can go to Abuja and seem to ‘’forget about home’’. But also to local elected office holders who may be seen as ‘’too big for their breeches’’if the voters think they have lost touch. Here are a few suggestions of mine to make beating an incumbent a mission-possible. Many go into politics for the wrong reasons. Some see politics as a business venture where they invest money and expect profit in the long run. A challenger should not go for a position because of its paraphernalia but because of his resolve to leave
a legacy for the great good of the greater number. I know this may sound alien especially now that it looks almost natural for public officers to syphon off and get their own share of the national cake, but from the beginning it was not so. Life is too brief to be insensitive to the plight of the people around us.’’ We are nothing on earth if we are not in the first place the slave of a cause the cause of the people and the cause of justice and liberation’’. Hear what James, a first century radical said; “while here on earth you have thought only of filling your stomachs and having a good time. But soon you are like a fat cattle on their way to be butchered. You have condemned and murdered innocent people who could not fight back’’. When you steal tax payer’s money and fail to use the money for what it was allocated for, then you are responsible for every death that may occur as a result of your omission. Let’s not just think about today’s pleasure and forget the eternal consequences of our actions. Very soon, we will all be gone and what we keep for ourselves will become obsolete, what will always remain relevant is what we did for others with the opportunity that we got. Indeed, every man goes into his grave bearing in his hands that which he has given away. I must add here in all fairness that there is no need to challenge an incumbent if we sincerely believe that the incumbent deserves another term. One time, oppositions from neighbouring towns attacked the Israelites and took away their women and children. David Jesse’s two wives had been taken with everyone else. David Jesse was a political leader and a rival to the incumbent king. He was desperate, upset and was under pressure from his
people to fight the ‘opposition party’. But David Jesse said ‘’Let’s ask God what to do first’’.’’ Shall I go after them?’’ he asked God. Then God answered thus ‘’go after them, you will catch them and you shall overtake’’ and he did. The above story portrays the necessity of gaining God’s permission first in our quests no matter our desperation. Amillion politicians crash because they gained their party’s approval without seeking God’s approval. You need not defame or maim an incumbent before you can beat him. When God approves you for the job you get it, but if he doesn’t then your ‘’voyage is bound in shallows and mysteries’’. Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the lord’s purpose that prevails. Here is what James again wrote in one of his didactic letters;’’ why do you fight with each other? Is it not because you are full of selfish desires that fight to control you? You want something you don’t have and you will do anything to get it by fighting and arguing. You should ask God for it. Yet even when you ask God he doesn’t answer you because you ask just for your selfish interest’’ To challenge and incumbent clean your desire and when your desire is clean enough ask God for approval. I only suggest that you challenge an incumbent when you think you can do better, but if you are contesting just because of the pleasures of power while you sincerely think the incumbent has done well to deserve another term then you have to search for another strategist because you are not my candidate. Ovabor writes from Lagos.
The dependant independent Nigeria BY M. O. NWACHUKWU or over a year now, the government of President Goodluck Jonathan has been fighting a big war of invitations of all the world’s countries to rush into our country, Nigeria and invest in all areas of activities to get the country to grow fast and become one of the first twenty greatest countries of this world by the year 2020. The ministers rush to these countries including China, India, Japan, Turkey, Indonesia etc to offer them areas of investments which include power, oil/gas, iron/steel, agriculture, aviation, roads, food/medication products etc. Listening to each of these ministers presents an invitation of war-lords against our natural resources and other internal needs. I am so worried and perturbed as my little memory of the slavery period rushes back to remind me of how our sons and daughters were sold to the enslavers by our own chiefs and leaders. Our common understanding of investment is for profit. The investor’s target is profit as maximally as possible. Investment in our world is an to corner super profits for any minimum inputs to it. The global environment is based purely on the act of survival and hence its syndrome controls all actions within our activities. From the individual status to the society level embracing routes through family, ethnic, tribal and race links, investment actions are driven by the survival quest or desire at any level of our local or global links. Each world entity fights to remain solid or grow so and hence various crafts are employed to attain the goals. Bullet and bomb wars have been employed for long and some have been replaced by investment wars (mental or material) applied tactfully to control some ignorant sectors of the masses. Many of the eastern world sectors learnt a lot from the investment acts of the western world within their domains. They applied brilliancy and copied their technological brains. Some of these countries include Japan, China, India, Korea etc. Presently, China, once a slave country, is now vying to become the head of
our world economic bodies. How many countries are investing in China and in what fields? The Nigerian case is extremely bemusing. Minister Trade, Dr. Olusegun Aganga told us that he had planned an agreement with China for production of many Chinese products in Nigeria. In his industrial revolution fight, he presented the Eleme Petrochemical Company Ltd (EPCL) which manufactures integrated polyester products and which is being managed by Indorama of Thailand. He hopes that Indorama “will guide the country to become one of the industrial leaders worldwide and among the top 10 globally and among the top three in the African continent. Some other ministers including the Petroleum and the Aviation ones have also travelled out to beg for investments. The rest of the world sees Nigeria as a child-adult that has great hunger to consume and no hunger to produce. Their investors are guided and guarded by their home governments which have assessed our mentality and found that our country is backward and is a very miserable dependant that is ignorantly loud-mouthed, exposing what outsiders can comfortably come in to grab and enrich themselves with at the expense of the indigenes. Presently many of them have been for long engaged in many fields including heavy infrastructural re-establishment or maintenance in power, agriculture, oil/gas, transportation (land and air), health, communication etc fields. We have no indigenous scientific/ management controls over these activities as the ‘intelligence’ of these infrastructures has been presented to be beyond our capabilities to control but a slave to these external entities. Presently Nigeria is under China, India, Japan, Indonesia, US, Europe, South Africa etc. China, India, Japan, Indonesia and South Africa control most of our products through their crafty investment procedures to produce some items here and also import their home products which are marketed here through their business centers. These products include foods, drugs, vehicles, ICT products etc. No intelligent investor will be happy to lose his/her control of the investment and will apply
crafty tact to remain in charge of the project’s outputs. All external investors are struggling to suck up Nigeria’s wealth to become one of the industrial leaders worldwide. The above ensures the enslavement of our backward dependant, Nigeria, whose leaders are shameless noise makers with unbridled arrogance and misplaced pride. These leaders fail to guide the masses away from inferiority complex as they themselves are suffering from the same slavish disease. The investors feel comfortable with the mindless, selfish and heavily corrupt leaders in charge of the great wealth God gave the country. They feel relaxed to control the wealth for their own survival tracks. These corrupt, greedy, ugly citizens debase our country’s image and force the youths to follow their footsteps into the evil fields of existence. The investors have assessed the mentality of the average Nigerian and classed it in immense illiteracy that controls the individual’s actions. The ignorantly extreme hunger for materialism has grown so much that he/she has been enslaved to all actions/tools (evil and more}to acquire wealth of all forms. Let us consider the Telecoms sector as an example of an investor’s one field. This sector, like others, understands our gullibility levels and harvests abundantly craftily on it to gain massive billions of Naira on monthly bases. The investors in this field employ promo tact to convince the masses that they can win airplanes, heavy busses, super cars and multimillions of Naira in very short times or periods. The advertisements in the air (radio, TV, GSM phones etc) are so horrifying that one wonders how a caring Government can allow such indecencies to spread and pollute the masses’senses. None of these invading investors bother about training our youths in the field of science/engineering to understand their systems. But they spend so much energy in enticing them into the entertainment fields where they sing, dance, act and commit all kinds of grievous sins of indecency. The GSM groups are controlling a lot of radio stations to push out crazy adverts that tempt and capture all the ignorant citizens who have been
convinced that they all can win all the advertised prices. These poor ones join the other greedy ones to spend their little money on SMS tasks to provide billions of Naira to the GSM operators. The Science/Technology power in the developed entities is employed by them to control their investments’profits. In the health and food sectors we cannot be sure of their planned intentions to manufacture products which can be employed to control our mental growth and to keep our intelligence to low desired levels. Science/Technology controls the world’s development and no country will transfer its technology to another. The Nigeria’s case is a miserable one as privatization is also crazily chased as the investment war. Without an indigenous growth foundation wisely established, we are facing hell by allowing outsiders fighting for survival to flock into our land and decide how to plant and grow our seeds, maintain and harvest them. They will surely support heavy corruptive activities to ensure their control of their environments. The development and control of science and technology dictates the importance and greatness of any nation. Nigeria is in the outskirts of this global world and cannot get near it with the privatization of enterprises that can develop it and nurture it. A good and intelligent government must restructure the parastatals (special public sectors established for government control ). The government must establish awards as incentives and rewards for creative and inventive scientists and engineers within the parastatals through healthy competitive and challenging scenarios which should chase away corruption and drive in patriotism and nationalism. Targets must be established and set for the heads and members of the administrative team of each enterprise and monitored for punishment against failures and for awards for excellence. The engineering regulatory body, COREN with its Nigerian Society of Engineers experts will be tasked to get seriously involved in ensuring that the best human products are appropriately engaged in their services to the nation. Nwachukwu writes from Lagos.
2014: A case for Anambra North BY EJIKE ANYADUBA s the eight-year tenure of Governor Peter Obi gradually winds up political activities are slowly evolving in the flanks. Those itching to take over from him have started inching gingerly towards the political arena. As a possible way of gaining some head start, a good number of them, apart from sponsoring publications in the newspapers and granting interviews, have upped the ante by visiting flood victims in the State with relief materials. Determining all those in the race for now is as difficult a task as telling with certainty who will win the race at the end of the day. Besides, it is still a closet affair. But in no distant time, it is believed, the margins of acceptability will be crossed, and those in the race would be made public. Nevertheless, it is tempting to presume upon a successor coming from Anambra north - a senatorial zone that has not produced a governor of the State since creation. This perception, even
at the risk of spiteful condemnation, is premised upon two reasons. One is the justness of the idea. Two is based on the promise of support by the incumbent Governor Obi who, despite antagonisms, insists it is only fair and equitable to do so. However, pertinent this idea may be to sustaining political peace in the State, there are those who think it should be jettisoned. One of such persons, even if he may not be from the State, is a one Martins Nwamadi. Writing at the back page of Daily Independent newspapers of November 6, 2012 he called the idea an insult on the intelligence of Anambra people. According to him “neither the leaders nor the followers in Anambra State have set out as a body to adopt the principle of zoning in the distribution of political offices since the present Anambra State was created on August 27, 1991.” So why will a Governor Obi talk about zoning the office to Anambra north? If he were that concerned, Nwamadi observed, why did he seek re-election in 2010 since his four years and
Ngige’s three years adequately settled Anambra Central’s claim to the office? Well said, but I think he got it wrong here. Apart from expressing personal opinion, Obi never talked of zoning the office. What he said was that he will support any credible candidate from Anambra north zone, which in my view, is not a call to zoning. Zoning is worth more than that. Parroting the idea and using same to impugn an opinion as benign as this is unfortunate. The writer thinks Mbadinuju’s non-performance cost him re-election, but he fails to tell his readers what informed a choice of a successor coming from Anambra Central. Or was Anambra South, where Mbadinuju comes from, short of credible replacement at the time? It is not enough to ask what Obi’s beefs are or to make political capital out of an innocuous statement. Obi has no beefs, what he has is a mind that seeks to redress noticeable lapses. Calling him undemocratic, clannish or pinning the APGA crisis on this are spurious claims. The
APGAcrisis is well beyond where the next candidate of the party comes from. To think that Obi’s promise of support for a credible candidate from the zone will be misconstrued as a clever way of safe-guarding his business interests in Onitsha is to say the least unfortunate. “The governor resorted to cheap political propaganda to win the sympathy of Anambra north people, especially those from Onitsha who are aware of his investment portfolios in the commercial city”. Curious! How much of an investment, for example, does Sabella Abidde, the Punch columnist from Bayelsa who writes from far away USAhave in Igbo land that makes him advocate for an Igbo presidency, even more than Ndigbo. I am sure he is not saying that his kith and kin with landed properties in the North would necessarily support an Hausa man against an Igbo man in the race to the presidency. Anyaduba writes from Abatete.
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
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Today in History
Articles of Confederation adopted After 16 months of debate, the Continental Congress, sitting in its temporary capital of York, Pennsylvania, on this day in November 1777 agreed to adopt the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. Not until March 1, 1781, would the last of the 13 states, Maryland, ratify the agreement. In 1777, Patriot leaders, stinging from British oppression, were reluctant to establish any form of government that might infringe on the right of individual states to govern their own affairs. The Articles of Confederation, then, provided for only a loose federation of American states. Congress was a single house, with each state having one vote, and a president elected to chair the assembly. Although Congress did not have the right to levy taxes, it did have authority over foreign affairs and could regulate a national army and declare war and peace. Amendments to the Articles required approval from all 13 states. On March 2, 1781, following final ratification by the 13th state, the Articles of Confederation became the law of the land. Less than five years after the ratification of the Articles of Confederation, enough leading Americans decided that the system was inadequate to the task of governance that they peacefully overthrew their second government in just over 20 years. The difference between a collection of sovereign states forming a confederation and a federal government created by a sovereign people lay at the heart of debate as the new American people decided what form their new government would take.
From left,radical academic Patrick Wilmot, Azariah Kucha of Radio Nigeria and Dr. Sam Nujoma, former president of Namibia in the 80s.
FCT: 100 churches marked for demolition 2003
In November 15, 2003 in furtherance of its campaign for the demolition of illegal structures in the Federal Capital Territory, the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory revealed it has concluded arrangements for the removal of over 100 churches located in Garki and Durumi Districts of the city. Specifically, most churches located near Area 1 Old Secretariat and Durumi have been penciled down for demolition. Speaking on the development, Chief Press Secretary to the Minister of FCT, Mr. Kingsley Agha said churches to be removed from the said areas did not have approval papers.
“Most of them are ‘batchers’. They do not have approval papers from government and so they are occupying the places illegally. Churches built on sewer lines, rail corridors and green areas will be demolished but those built on proper land may be considered”, he said. But in a release signed by Brother Simeon Ajala on behalf of the churches and under the aegis of “concerned christians” said the advance by the minister on churches was tantamount to a war against christianity. “We are convinced that soon El-Rufai’s bulldozers would invade Area One/Durumi axis, where there are over 100 churches and again level them while pleading the same
excuse that they are in violation of the Abuja masterplan. In the name of God, even if this vile propaganda is true, pray, are churches the only structure in the FCT that are in violation of the ‘sacred’ master plan?”, it queried.
Plane crashes into Sri Lankan plantation On November 15, 1978 a plane carrying Muslim pilgrims from Mecca to Indonesia crashed in Sri Lanka, killing 183 people. The Icelandic Airlines DC-8 was chartered by Garuda Indonesian Airways to carry Muslim pilgrims back to Indonesia from their trek to Mecca. The flight was scheduled to takeoff from Jeddah Airport in Saudi Arabia and land at Surabaya Airport in Indonesia, with a stopover in Sri Lanka to refuel and take on new crew members. The flight went smoothly until it began its approach to Colombo Airport in Katunayake, Sri Lanka. At 10:53 p.m., the pilot of the DC-8 requested the use of runway 22 and began a normal ILS (instrument landing system) approach. Thirty minutes later, the plane crashed into a rubber and coconut plantation. A detailed investigation into the crash, using the recovered voice and data recorders, revealed that the pilots had made several small, yet crucial, errors. As the plane made its approach, the pilots failed to acknowledge the control tower and did not count down their altitude on the descent. Under most circumstances, this failure to monitor the plane’s so-called sink rate would not have affected the flight. However, the plane was actually descending too quickly as it came to the runway. At this point, the plane’s altimeter should have sounded a warning, but it had been incorrectly set to make a safety alert at 150 feet instead of 250 feet. So, by the time the pilots realized their descent was too rapid; it was too late to abort the landing.
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
Halogen offers security empowerment to Lagos schools By ZIKA BOBBY
ne of the leaders in the security industry in Nigeria, Halogen Security Company Ltd is set to celebrate 20 years of excellence with series of events lined up including a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity involving special security outreach that seeks to empower 0youths in Lagos State. The company has unveiled plans to target Secondary Schools in Lagos as the youth segment of interest for its security outreach. According to Mr. Wale Olaoye, The Managing Director, Halogen Security Company Ltd, “Halogen Security Company, in her continued definition of leadership in the security industry has deemed it fit to identify with the society in which it serves for 20 years on. The huge dearth of security awareness of these youths is what the company is trying to address with her resources. We found out that a significant percentage of them (the youth segment) are direct and indirect victims of crimes like rapes, robberies, kidnapping, trafficking, domestic violence and so on, but they are not privy to what to do or what not to do where such potential insecurity issues may arise neither do
• Marks 20th Anniversary
Senior Training Instructor, Daniel Onwuka, distributing writing materials to students of Unity High School, Oshodi.
they know how to react appropriately if and when they arise. This CSR activity is some handful investment to us but it comes with the blessings of the Lagos State Government through The Education Ministry to empower our society in which we do business.” He reiterated the importance of security to any nation, canvassing a viewpoint of effective intelligence and data mining of the nation’s citizens as well as being pragmatic about economic and social security are the fundamentals for the country’s security mechanisms to get it right. Reaffirming Halogen’s commitment to this critical area of providing preventive security information and empowerment education, the
Business Development & Corporate Affairs Manager, Richard Abiodun said the company is ever willing to partner with the schools as approved by the Ministry of Education and promised a fun and excitement-filled training package. The schools identified and approved by the government to start with this exercise include: Onipetesi High School, Ikeja Comprehensive High School, Bolade Grammar School, Oshodi High School, Mafoluku Grammar School, Oregun Senior High School, Ilupeju Secondary School, Agidingbi Secondary School, Unity High School Oshodi and Army Children Senior Secondary School, Ikeja.
Politicians invade the Church –Adejumo By SIMEON MPAMUGOH Church that Christ Built” observed that many people and CHINONYE AMADI who are in Church are not cleric, Pastor there to serve God but for Samuel Adejumo what they can get. He has decried the rate added; “this is the reason at which politicians when what they have come invade churches in for are not met, they start search of spiritual back- complaining and murmuring for women and politi- ing”. To curb the trend, the clercal offices, saying it is contrary to the church that ic advocated organizing seminars and workshops on Christ built. He described today’s truth and efficacy of the church as mixed multitude word of God. He however where many people who are noted that Nigeria still in need of material comfort record appreciable number go in search of them instead of Pastors who preach the truth adding that the number of salvation of their souls. Adejumo in a message has become slim. According to him; “when delivered at the 7th anniversary of the Christ’s a man of God is not ready Ransomed Ambassadors for the truth, or not on the Ministries, Ajangbadi, Ojo part of it, there is always –Lagos and entitled “The draught of the word. We
have Churches that are not preaching salvation and holiness but prosperity and miracles hence one sees multitudes of people running after such lucre and miracles. The result he says, is that once they miss their aim, they are no longer interested. “It is not those who have been called out to preach the gospel are in today’s churches,” he added. Asked if preaching prosperity was not part of God’s design, Adejumo explained; “There is nothing wrong in preaching prosperity, but it has to be backed up by teachings on salvation and holiness. If one who is truly a child of God is prospered, he will use it to the glory of God, rather for selfish ends”
Prostate cancer, not death certificate –Expert By ONYEKACHI JET
C o n s u l t a n t Gynaecologist, Dr. Olalekan Olaleye has revealed that about 500,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year. Of this figure, 250,000 deaths occur annually. The physician who also disclosed that over 80 percent cases of these figures occur in limited resource countries. And in such countries, annually, 10,000 new cases are recorded. These incidences he said, results into 8,000 deaths yearly. Olaleye made this disclosure at a recent health sym-
posium at the Lagoon Clinic, Ikeja, and Lagos. The one-day symposium on cervical and prostate cancer organized by the clinic at its Adeniyi Jones Avenue location was part of activities put up by the clinic to observe the month of November as the cancer awareness month. Olaleye who delivered a paper on Early Detection of Cancer in Women noted that even as people expect health interventions from government, as individuals; as organizations, there is need for self-help. He warned that it is dangerous to sit and wait for government effort before giving their health the attention it deserves, He
also disclosed that there are available opportunities that can be optimized for preventive measures against preventable cancers like cervical cancer, saying one of such measures now commonly available for every woman in the reproductive age group is the Pap Smear which according to him, has been found to be very effective. “These services are available, maybe not widely spread, but they are available. At least, we can say that, for Lagoon hospitals. And we hope that the people will take advantage of these services for their health benefits”, he asserted. Speaking at the event, the Marketing Manager, Mrs. Ronke Atoro disclosed that Lagoon clinic would in the whole of November; slash the costs of Pap smear and Mammogram by 50 percent. According to her, the Pap smear and mammogram which normally cost N15, 000.00 would for the period state, go for N7, 500.00. Describing the promotional offer as part of the hospitals Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), she advised everyone to make good use of the initiative. On his part, Consultant Urologist, Dr. Andre Mene who delivered a lecture on men’s health, with special focus on prostate cancer which is associated with men, explained that Prostate Cancer is not the same as Prostate Enlargement. He however, gave the assurance that the occurrence of the disease does not mean a death sentence.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Ribadu: A pseudo-president’s unending hangover
quick look back at Nigeria’s 2011 presidential election shows that any of four major contenders could have become Nigeria’s president. They include incumbent president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Gen. Mohammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau of the All Nigeria’s Peoples Party (ANPP) and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). I have decided to start this piece on the review of this possibility because of the relevance of one of the presidents the 2011 election never gave us, and that is Ribadu. The nation will surely miss his bravery, garrulity and theatrics. In this season when citizens groan under the pains of fuel scarcity and the burden of harsh economic climate, a Ribadu presidency would have been more entertaining, drama friendly such that we will always have reasons to “laugh away our sorrows.” Unfortunately, that is not to be courtesy of those flood of votes pulled together across the country to catapult Jonathan as the legitimate occupant of Aso rock presidential villa till 2015. In the absence of this, however, Ribadu’s fans must always have moments to refer to. That is, there will never be a dull moment. One of such recent moments was the drama that greeted the report presentation of the petroleum special task force headed by Ribadu to Jonathan. Just as that controversy was fading away, the former EFCC boss dabbled into his usual rhetoric with a view to stirring another controversy that will put him in the news and enjoy free publicity. According to a report, Ribadu was quoted to have said: “When I was removed from the EFCC, they brought people with the intention to destroy the work of the EFCC. It is easy to destroy than to build. I pity the people who are in EFCC today because they are coming after the people who destroyed it. When you fight corruption, it will fight back. We saw that corruption fought back at the end of 2007 in Nigeria when corruption took over, when the leadership of Nigeria embraced corruption and they were ready to fight those who were fighting corrup-
cores of family members, friends and well-wishers had defied the perennial traffic gridlock to converge at the residence of Sir Chux Amamgbo. They had gathered to honour the memory of Mrs. Augustina Ejerifemba Amamgbo, (Nee Nnanatu) who had answered her maker’s call. Uncharacteristically, rather than tears, tributes flowed freely. As it turned out, that was just a tip off the iceberg. Next day at the requiem mass at the Christ the King Catholic Church, the Parish Pries, Rev. Father Anthony Nyong not known for singing praises had to deviate from the norm, as he spoke of her virtues in superlatives. For Mama who would be buried on November 23 at the Amamgbo’s Ihiala country home in Umudike, Uzoakwa, Ihiala, Ihiala LGA after a Mass scheduled at St. Martin’s Catholic Church, Odoata-Ihiala, the rain of encomiums has nothing to do with the African tradition that no ill should be spoken of the dead. No. For her exemplary life, she deserves all she is getting. Her life is one that anybody who has come in contact with her, particularly her children will always be proud of and continue to draw inspiration from. Achalugo or Mama as she was fondly called was born in 1936 at Umuokarafor Umudioka Umuohi Okija, Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State. Despite the limitations of women of her generation, she was privileged to have western education due largely to her enthusiasm, courtesy of her beloved father Pa Eugene Nnanatu, a renowned dispenser at Oduga Ihiala. She attended her elementary school in Okija from where she proceeded to other higher schools of learning including the popular and prestigious Convent School of Odoata, Ihiala under the tutelage of Irish Reverend Sisters. Mama has an undying love for imparting knowledge on others, always willing to solve problems, offer a listening ear to others and willing to offer advice. This knack for imparting knowledge manifested itself in Mama’s life, as she ventured into teaching after attend-
tion and replaced those who were fighting corruption with corrupt people to turn things upside down.” It is a fact that soon after the 2007 elections that produced the the late President Umar Yar’Adua, Ribadu who was in his fifth year as EFCC chairman was technically eased out of office when he was sent on a course at the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Jos, Plateau State. His then second in command, Ibrahim Lamorde, became acting chairman for about six months after which Mrs Farida Waziri assumed leadership on June 6, 2008. It is on record that Ribadu never handed over to Waziri. He indeed handed over to Lamorde in a three-page note. Was Ribadu therefore referring to Lamorde with whom he had worked from the inception of the agency as the one who destroyed the commission since he (Lamorde) was the one he handed over to? If that was his intention, then he should be told that, that was a self-indictment. If on the other hand, he was making an implied reference to Waziri, he again needs to be told that only fools will fall for such claims that cannot be backed by the Commission’s record of achievements. It is on record that the commission under Waziri recorded not less than 450 convictions in just about three years including the only high profile case ever recorded by the commission through a court trial that got up to the Appeal Court. Ribadu needs to be reminded here that the top shot convicted in this case had once been cleared by him. It is also not in contention that the highest single recovery in the history of the commission is that of a former bank chief executive and this was achieved under Waziri.It is
Guest Columnist DANIEL OTIBU also in the commission’s records today that though about 10 high profile cases were being prosecuted in court as at 2008, this figure moved to about 75 under Waziri’s three and a half years tenure. For the first time in the life of the commission, officers were well motivated with enhanced salary packages, insurance cover for both staff and assets of the agency. Besides, Waziri initiated and commenced work on the permanent office complex of the commission on the Airport Road, Abuja. The Training and Research Institute (TRI), was tremenRibadu dously transformed. It now boasts of best training and academic facilities in the country and this has made it the hub of foreign and local training programmes for even other law enforcement agencies in the country. According to the Human Rights Watch (HRW), report entitled “Corruption on Trial?”: “Even the EFCC’s critics generally agree that the agency has done a competent job of prosecuting apolitical financial crimes, especially advance fee fraud cases. By March 2011, the EFCC had arraigned some 1,200 people for advance fee fraud, securing so far more than 400 convictions. That side of the EFCC’s work has continued apace under Waziri. “Also under Waziri, the EFCC has shed new light on Nigeria’s scandal-ridden banking sector.
Central Bank officials told HRW that they had received ‘tremendous cooperation’ from Waziri’s EFCC in their efforts to ‘sanitize the banking industry’ and ‘rid the sector of criminals.’ In the most highly publicized of several EFCC banking cases brought under Waziri, former Oceanic Bank managing director Cecilia Ibru was sentenced to six months in prison and disgorged an astonishing N190 billion ($1.2 billion) after pleading guilty to several counts of bank fraud in October 2010. The number of prosecutions targeting allegedly corrupt nationally prominent public officials is higher under Waziri (16 cases) than Ribadu (10 cases).” This assessment was based on two years of Waziri’s tenure as against five years of Ribadu’s. It is obvious that if we have to quantify leadership achievements in EFCC in terms of facts and figures as against mere grand standing and vain garrulity, Waziri in three and a half years did and achieved much more than Ribadu in his five years. I challenge him to come out clean and present his score card of what he did to develop the agency rather than to continue to dwell on this falsehood and self-glorification rhetoric that EFCC was destroyed by his successors as if no other Nigerian can successfully lead the agency other than him. Five years after leaving office as EFCC chairman, Ribadu is yet to come to terms with reality and get over the hangover. This can only be the reason why he continues to snap periodically. It is time he realised that life itself is dynamic and that no one is indispensable no matter how many “foreign gods” one has as masters. Those of us who are his fans must help him to bring this hangover to an end. And the time is now, lest we miss another chance to make him Nigeria’s president in 2015. DANIEL OTUBU, a public affairs analyst contributed this piece from Airport Road, Effunru, Delta State
Femi Adeoti will be back next week
Amamgbo’s matriarch takes glorious exit ing and finished from St Monica’s Teacher Training School, Ogbunike. She taught in several schools within her locality. Indeed, it was in the line of duty as a teacher that she met her heartthrob, Mr Patrick Amamgbo, then a higher elementary teacher. The union, which was consummated in 1957, was blessed with ten children. Despite losing three of then to the cold hand of untimely death, Mama carried on with equanimity and faith in God in the belief that they are resting with the Lord. Mama’s teaching career (1957 – 1967) took her to Mid-Western Nigeria (now Edo/Delta states) before the Nigerian civil war. After the civil war, she taught in various schools in Ihiala including St Theresa’s Primary School, Uzoakwa; Udenigwe Primary School, Mbarakpaka; Eziana Primary School; Umudimogo Primary School and Uzoakwa Central School where she meritoriously retired in 1990. “Mama Evan” as she was fondly called by her husband, friends and even colleagues at work, was known for charity, steadfastness as well as cleanliness and orderliness. She was amiable, peaceful and hardworking, that she was always willing and ready to accept, help and accommodate anyone that comes her way; be it friends, relations or acquaintances. It is on record that when Mama was to be bought a vehicle for her personal use, she opted for a more spacious vehicle (bus) so as to accommodate other people in the village during outings. Part of Mama’s life that has surprised and impressed many who know her in equal measure, is her industry and ability to combine her profession as a teacher with farming. Besides ensuring that all her farmlands were cultivated, Mama was noted for always being in the forefront to purchase fertilizer so as to ensure bumper harvest. It is from proceeds of her farm investment that made her to encourage her chil-
dren to always invest and provide for the rainy (Grotto) and in her humility, reverence and total submission to God, will always recite her day. In all of these, (her childhood, husband, chil- favourite songs; “Abum onye nuwa” and “So otu ihe kam na ayo n’aka dinwenum”. dren, and her business) Mama always gave thanks to God Almighty. She was Left to mourn Mama include: Pa Patrick a devout Christian and staunch Amamgbo (widower), Mrs Evangelin Ngozi Catholic. Mama was a dyedOmini (daughter), Sir Chux Amamgbo in-the wool Catholic: KSJI, (son) Ms. Philipina Amamgbo she was born (daughter), Mrs Prisca Odimegwu (daughinto a Catholic ter), Mrs Emmanuella Akabike (daughter), famiMs Chinyere Amamgbo and Mrs Chioma l y , Uzonna (daughter); grand children including; baptised Miss Nnenna Nnabuife, Master Chizoba Catholic, married in the Odigbo, Master Onyeka Odigbo, Master Chidi Catholic Church, and died a Odigbo, Master Casmir Morah, Miss Ann Catholic. She was an active participant in Church activities Omini, Master Patrick Omini, Miss and took matters of faith Chiagoziem Amamgbo, Miss Tochukwu seriously; she was a Amamgbo, Master Bismarck member of St Jude’s Amamgbo, Miss Ezichi Society, St Odimegwu, Master Martin’s Parish Central Kenechukwu Choir, Odimegwu, Miss Marian Chidalu Umezeoke, Movement, Miss Chubundo Akabike, Miss Holy Ghost Ifunnanya Akabike, Miss Movement, Sacred Heart of Jesus and Ifechukwu Ekwughalu, Miss Immaculate Heart Uchechi Ekwughalu, Miss of Mary Chidera Uzonna, Master Society, to menSomtochukwu Uzonna, Master tion but a few. Ebuka Uzonna, Lady Stella Ify Mama until her death remained close Amamgbu (daughter-in-law) to her Lord through and a great grand child. daily recitation of She will forever live in the the rosary, frequent hearts and memory of her chilreception of the dren, family and friends, as chariHoly Communion, visitation of the ty personified and epitome of Marian Shrine Amamgbo peace.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
ArewaReport I took over from a man who did well C –Gov Shema overnor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State has confessed that he was lucky to have succeeded the late president Umaru Yar’Adua, the man he claimed did well as governor of the state. He spoke with Daily Sun. Excerpts: Source of inspiration The source of my inspiration comes from God Almighty who at His own time decided to bestow the responsibility of this state on my shoulders. On assumption of office in 2007, the challenges were obvious. I inherited a man who did very well here, the late President Umaru Yar’Adua of blessed memory. When I took over from him, there were critical infrastructural developments going on in the state. I figured that Nigeria is littered with a lot of uncompleted projects. For political reasons, most governors on assumption of office would rather delve into new projects rather than focusing or completing ongoing projects left over by the past administration. But I felt that money invested in whatever form of for any project is money that belongs to the people of the state and should not be allowed to waste. For that reason, I focused to complete every project I met on ground
and started by Yar’Adua. And those projects were by no means very important, critical and gigantic. Emphasis on education Education should be the priority of every right thinking nation of the world. Without education you will stagnate and if care is not taken you will crumble. It is not just about building schools and the teachers’ salaries paid on time. It is equally good to focus on the need to educate the populace. Nigeria has a large chunk of her population who did not go to school. We need to focus heavily on education. All hands must be on deck to salvage education. Orthopaedic Hospital The 250-bed Orthopaedic Specialist Hospital, Katsina, is deliberately designed. We have one orthopaedic hospital in Kano State and it serves the entire 19 northern states. So, there must be some kind of intervention. And even that one in Kano is a Federal Government facility. Ours is to be the first one to be owned by any state government in Nigeria. And of course the size is
enormous for it to be just orthopaedic. So that is why we are keeping part of it as orthopaedics and part for other specialist medical activities programmes. For us in Katsina, health is serious business as a result we have to take the challenges in that sector head on from all directions. Youth Craft Centre The youth craft village was deliberately designed as a result of deep thinking for the problem Nigeria is facing in terms of quality technician. We need to encourage our youths, to develop their talents, to grow into responsible adults that would serve themselves, their families and Nigeria. Unless we guide them, we will continue to have a battery or an army of youths that are unemployed, are ruined mainly on drugs and things like that. The village has about 16 faculties and we have trained well over 2000 young boys and girls from all over the state and other states and even from Niger Republic. Girl Child Education The motivation is to try and sup-
Gov. Shema port the girl child education is something that is very obvious. In our society especially here in Northern Nigeria, a lot of girls do not get the opportunity to go to school. And when they do, they stop mid way. One thing is to try and reduce poverty in Nigeria. A lot of parents cannot afford to send their girl child to school. Secondly, because of some social cultural issues that do not encourage parents to allow their children to go to school. We felt that we should encourage them especially with the policy of the free education in the state, a lot of the children especially the girl child will have the opportunity to go to school. Girl Child education is a very important component in Nigeria not only in Katsina State and we must take it seriously, if we must grow. Incentives to keep medical professional in the state There is no state in Nigeria where you have adequate manpower in the medical profession. We have been struggling to keep them here. And with the recent problem of insecurity in the country, people do not feel too comfortable to live outside their home state while they are at work. And some of they have actually moved back. Not because they are not well paid or unsecured. Katsina State has a very good security system. We are thankful to God that with all these incidents of insecurity, we have not been affected. But indeed, we are doing our best to ensure that the packages are okay, or extremely
competitive in this part of the country. We will continue to look at ways and means to make them remain in service of the state. Internally Generatede Revenue (IGR) Our tax system in Nigeria is not correct, for the simple reason that Nigeria needs to put together a tax system that will guarantee maximum generation of revenue for the nation. Over 75 percent of revenue from developed countries comes from taxation. The same thing is happening in other developing nations. But here we are concentrating on oil. In Katsina, yes, we have some challenges but we are facing those challenges frontally. We are improving our tax drive. We have moved from initially N167 million when I came in to about N1 billion. We are driving harder or moving ahead and giving better tax management and drive. I am very confident that with the new approach we have adopted tax generation and other developmental issues we have in place, we will be making a lot in the next year or two so that the tax will drive some projects.. Legacy Nobody has the crystal ball to look into the future. We are all God’s creation and will have what God has for us. By His grace, all of us will get there. For me by 2015, I will like to leave a legacy of service in Katsina, legacy of practical tangible responsible service delivery to my people. For now, that is what am focused on and by God’s Grace, we will get to where we hope to be and ensuring that we touch the lives of our people. Infrastructural developments, you have seen some of them. We have put together 32 road projects. The beauty of all our programmes is that till date Katsina State Government has not borrowed a kobo from local or foreign banks. Whatever we get we use it in the state. We do not owe any contractor. He is paid as he completes his contract. I have followed due process.
Thursday, November 15, 2012 DAILY SUN 25
Arewa Report From DESMOND MGBOH, Kano
ormer Vice President and former Secretary of the Nigerian Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED), Kano State Chapter, Chief Valentine Ikeh, in this interview gives details of the plot to sack the dealers from Sabon-Gari Market, Kano, following accusations that the a cough (codeine) medicine they sell adds to the rising cases of drug abuse in the state. Excerpts: Closure of shops belonging to patent medicine dealers in Sabon-Gari Market We have been trading in this business, complimenting the health sector needs of the state for a very long time. We have been doing our best to measure up. That was until recently when the rate of drug abuse consumed by young persons began to rise in the state. For some unknown reasons, some youth resorted to consuming overdose of cough medicine (with codeine) to get stimulated. To the government, there was a justifiable need to try and control the ugly situation. But along the line, it was convenient for some people to point accusing fingers at our members. Rather than fight a problem that is patently attitudinal and a function of a failure in behavioral management, they unfortunately decided on the easy way out by putting the blame on a vulnerable group, on we, the dealers of patent medicine in the state. That way, they were able to provide quick answers, by claiming that we sell to these youth the cough medicine they consume in large doses. At first, we thought it was a joke. But it became frightening and it is on the verge of consuming hundreds of innocent, ordinary traders, whose only means of livelihood is being threatened daily. Faulty accusations Their argument is faulty. First, there are many drugs or substances that are consumed by youth, or indeed, by other persons, not sold by the patent medicine dealers. Second, we do not retail this cough medicine (codeine). We market them purely as whole sellers and dealers; not as retailers. So we are a party or two parties away from the buyers of these cough medicines. And that is assuming that selling of
Help! Govt chasing us out of market –Igbo medicine dealers in Kano cry out
•Ikeh cough (codeine) medicine has been legislated upon as an illegality. The truth is that there is no such law anywhere and till date. Millions of Nigerians suffer from cough everyday and get treated with cough (codeine) medicine. Third, there is no way a retailer of cough medicine (with codeine), assuming we are, will know the intentions and purposes for which a buyer will put the drugs he has bought. No notice from the state government As of today, there is no notice or direct communication from the state government. We keep hearing from the radio that the Commissioner for Health said this or that. Sometimes, we hear of threats in which we must, on or before a certain date, leave the market. We hear deadlines like December 31, 2012. But in all these, we wait to hear of an alternative location where we should go. And
that has not been forthcoming! We have not been able to see the governor since he inaugurated the task force. We are not represented in the task force and so, many things have been skewed against us and so many lies told against us by rival interest groups. How they closed our shops One day, the task force people came into the market with armed police officers and started closing down some shops. Their emphasis was on Benyline with codeine. In one of the shops; they discovered flagyl and paracetamol and yet, they closed down the shop. Just like that. Up till now, I cannot say exactly what happened and why they shut down those shops. The closed shops were about 16 in all. When they closed those shops, the owners were arrested and smartly taken to a magistrate court. These things are actually under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government and not the state. Later, they were released on bail, but their shops remained closed. The second batch of the closed shops have just been opened a few days ago, but the first batch of affected shops, those that were closed earlier on are still closed. We do hope to get the attention of the governor, they said he is a very caring person. We hope that if we present a superior argument, he will listen to us. After all, we are also his citizens. Most of us in the patent medicine dealership are regarded as Igbo of Kano. We are sure he will give us the protection we deserve. In addition to this, I think it is high time the South East governors pay more attention to the fate of Igbo people in different parts of Nigeria. Chances are that we will be treated more respectfully than the way we are often treated with disregard and disdain by our host government, if they know that our governors
care for us. I also want to beg the National Assembly not to ignore our cries for help. They are not idle cries and should be looked into. We are doing genuine business Among every 12, there must be a Judas. But that does not mean the rest are not doing genuine business. Again, we have severally appealed to the government that, if they are not comfortable with the way the market is being run, they should build a drug market for us where NAFDAC, NDLEA and other government agencies will be with us and regulate the market. Sabon-Gari is a point where people from Aba, Lagos, Onitsha, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Katsina and even Trans-Sahara countries come to clear their medicines. It is done by a Federal Government licensed clearing agent. He clears for people from all parts of the country. We are not the owners of what they showed on the television and wherever. Plot against Igbo traders Igbo are known all over Nigeria for patent medicine dealership. It seems to us that there is a plot inspired by some measures of ethnic considerations to push us out of this market. It is like we are being discouraged. Indeed, this is not the best of times for an average Igbo businessman in the state. Many things are fighting him ranging from the absence of good roads, multiple taxation and other subtle disincentives. The same system asking us to leave the market has been forward looking in supporting the youth of the state to take up the same patent medicine business. If you say that we are quacks and we are unhelpful, and we are illiterates or that we are responsible for the rising levels of drug abuse in the state, how come you are training your youth as patent medicine dealers or traders? You are even giving them government grants to set up the same business and rival us out of the market.
‘Wada should deal with Kogi LG bosses’ From EMMANUEL ADEYEMI, Lokoja
former Kogi State governorship aspirant on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria, Mr. George Olushola Olumoroti has said the huge monthly allocation been collected by council chiefs in the state has so far not translated to any meaningful development. He gave this assertion recently during an interview with our correspondent in Lokoja, the state capital. He said that it was a huge disappointment on the part of the 21 council bosses otherwise known as liaison officers that none of them had embarked on any mean-
ingful development that has direct bearings on the masses inspite of the huge monthly allocation. In his words: “It is sad that our cultural and moral values are depreciating so fast that occupiers of public office no longer see it as a means to offer selfless service but as way to line up their pockets, I feel the state governor is not doing enough to ensure that the tax payers money are not wasted, he has told us so much about transformational agenda but almost one year is gone now, we are yet to see anything whatsoever. “Although I feel one year is too short to judge the performance of a governor, but I feel he should call the liaison officers to order
because what we are hearing is not too good for the state” he said’ Honestly. We need to know what these millions of naira being collected are used for because none of the council bosses pay full salaries to their workers each month yet no project is embarked upon. We even heard that some pay a miserable sum of two thousand naira as part payment of some workers’ salaries ,this is too bad,” he stated. Asked to comment on the ongoing amendment of the 1999 constitution exercise, the former governorship aspirant said the National Assembly should ensure that rotation of governorship among all the three senatori-
al districts of the state of the federation is considered. A situation where an ethnic group would perpetually marginalise others denying them of attaining the highest position in the state is unacceptable, the kind of our home grown democracy should encourage zoning system, just as the PDP zoning arrangement on presidency, it should be enshrined in the constitution that governorship should also be rotated among the three senatorial district. Olumoroti also supported the creation of state police saying the advantages of state police far outweights the disadvantages. “I believe that state police would enhance the security situation in the country, because aside from creating employment opportunities, those to be recruited are the indigenes who know the terrain of the area to be policed. Olumoroti who recently gave scholarship awards to some students in the state stated that the problem with most contemporary Nigerian leaders is that they are isolated from the led. Most contemporary Nigerian leaders ate isolated from the led, they don’t receive accurate relevant information about pressing problems, and when they do they can not effectively processed such information. This is antithetical to what our First Republic leaders such as Chief Obafemi Awolowo stood for, isolating self from the led is the greatest calamity that can befall any leader especially in a nation like Nigeria battling with so much uncertainties. But it is unfortunate that the leaders of today only interact with the led only during the electoral process when they solicit for votes, once in Gov Gaidam office they became totally unapproachable by those they claim to lead. It will be recalled that members of the legislature to be guided Olumoroti in the 2011 governorship race had by the fear of the Almighty God in the one of the best campaign structures with the course of their assignment. best programmes for the masses of the state.
Review: Gov Gaidam seeks people’s constitution From NAFISAT BELLO, Kaduna
obe State Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has said that, to have a constitution that reflects the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians, wide consultations, especially with people at the grassroots, were necessary. He spoke in Damaturu while declaring open a public session on the review of the 1999 Constitution convened by the House of Representatives. His position was captured in a statement issued by his spokesman, Abdullahi Bego, made available to Daily Sun in Kaduna. The governor was quoted as saying: “For a country like Nigeria the strength of which lies in size and diversity, wide consultation is essential to arriving at a truly people’s constitution. Therefore the presence of representatives
of various interest groups in this hall is certainly going to enrich the outcome of the constitutional review process.” This is even as he noted that a lot of the clamour for the review of the 1999 Constitution arises from the fact that the constitution was fashioned out during the military rule and as such contained some anomalies and undemocratic tendencies that did not address the wishes and aspirations of a majority of Nigerians. The governor was, however, quick to note that repeated review of the constitution, while sometime important, is not a necessary and sufficient factor to putting things right in the country. He said good governance, sincere commitment to the rule of law and the eradication of corruption are necessary for a healthy growth of the Nigerian nation. Gaidam called for transparency in the constitution review process, urging
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
CRIME EDITED BY OLA AGBAJE E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
By CHIOMA IGBOKWE
mobile policeman in Lagos who was recently released from prison for series of Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) robberies had been re-arrested for the same offence. Onyeka Eboma who the police said, specialized in ATM robbery, was recently arrested and sent to the Kirikiri Maximum prison. Few months behind bars, the man regained freedom. Confirming the incident, Lagos State Police Commissioner, Umar Manko told Crimewatch that Eboma was arraigned and detained in the prison for armed robbery and murder. He said while in the prison custody, the police noticed that robberies at ATMs reduced drastically. According to him, when the attack on ATM started resurfacing, he ordered the officer in charge of SARS, Aba Kiyari, to find out whether Eboma had since been released. He said: “Truly, my suspicion worked out as we discovered that Eboma has been released from the prison. “We know that they were two gangs that specialized in ATM robbery and one of them is Eboma. I think with his arrest, ATM robbery will reduce.” He said: “Immediately, the police got information about Eboma’s release, the police started tracking him through his telephone number. We eventually got him in a hotel where he was planning another attack with his gang members. He was in possession of police identity card. As we were talking with him, he flashed the identity card at us, confirming he was still impersonating as a policeman, we picked him and his gang members.” Eboma who spoke with Crimewatch said: “My father bought my freedom from the prison for N1.4 million. A lawyer met me in the prison and after
CONFESSION OF POLICEMAN WHO BROKE INTO ATMS
How DPO survived death, weeks before retirement
Dad bought my A freedom for N1.4m –Suspect
By MATTHEW DIKE
•Eboma already wrote promotion test for Inspector interviewing me, met with my father who paid him N1.4 million to perfect my release.” On how he started ATM robbery, he said: “Sometimes in 2009, I was posted to the
“In the month that Eboma was released from the prison custody, we started getting reports of bank ATM robberies. So, we started investigation and we discovered that Eboma had been released from the prison”
Akowonjo branch of a new generation bank as a security detail. I later became very friendly with the marketing manager, Shola. He told me that he loved me and would want me to join him in a deal. So, he later told me how much that was coming into the bank vault and said we should help ourselves with some good money.” He said while they had perfected plans to loot the bank vault, a circular came out that the key to the vault should be handed over to another bank staff. So, Shola asked me to look for a welder which I did. But the first operation we did, I could not enter with our gang because the private security men on duty knew me very well.” Eboma said that they did not have the intention of looting ATM. “It was our intention to rob the vault but when we were not able to break into the vault, we decided to loot the ATM. From that day, we got the secret on how to break into ATM.” He said his only regret was that he had finished his promotional examination and was waiting for his elevation from Sergeant to Inspector rank when he was arrested. “It is annoying and devastating. I am regretting it seriously. If not for Shola, I would not have been involved in this mess.” CP Manko said Onyeka Eboma has since been dismissed from the force. “In the month that Eboma was released from the prison custody, we started getting reports of bank ATM robberies. So, we started investigation to know what went wrong and we discovered that Eboma had been released from the prison.” He said since the re-arrest of Eboma, bank ATM robberies have reduced. It’s now a thing of the past.
retired Superintendent of Police (SP), Adeola Raji has narrated how he narrowly escaped death from a gunshot fired by a university student. Raji, whose last call of duty was as the Divisional Police officer (DPO) for Anthony station, is still glorifying God for sparing his life. Narrating his ordeal to Crimewatch after a sent-off party organised by his friends, he said he was shot on his right leg by a student of the Lagos State University (LASU), Anthony Village Annex. Raji, who is still recuperating from the injury said he was the luckiest man on earth to have survived the gunshot weeks to his retirement. “I have been in the vanguard of fighting crime. I put in my best to the extent that my Area Commander noticed me and I won the war against criminals. Just a few week to my retirement, a student fired a shot that would have sent me to my early grave.” According to him, on the fateful day, he had led his men to the Ikorodu Road to disperse some protesters when the student’s shot landed on his right leg. “ I was persuading the student to sheathe their swords, I warned my men not to fire a shot. As I was persuading the angry students, one of them shot me on my right leg. “Well, the irony of it all was that immediately after the shot, the students cautioned themselves and dispersed, “The publisher of Vanguard Newspapers, Sam Amuka who showered encomiums on the ex-DPO, said he had done so much for the police and residents of Anthony Village. The publisher said Raji turned the station to family office as he treated matters amicably. The Chairman of Kosofe Local Government, Babatunde Sofola, said the retired DPO would be difficult to replace because of his courage, hard work, endurance and dedication to duty, adding that the entire local government would miss him.
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012 WATCH
CRIME My 11 days ordeal in kidnappers’ den –82-yr-old victim By CHRISTOPHER OJI
a Alfred Isika, 82, is still thanking God for rescuing him from kidnappers who held him hostage for 11 days. Pa Isika was abducted by seven kidnappers who stormed his home at Ubulu-Uku in Delta State. The octogenarian who recounted his ordeal recently to Crimewatch after thanksgiving at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Ifako, Agege, Lagos said the incident was his worst experience. According to him, on the fateful day, September 8, 2012, at about 10pm, he was in his new house built for him by his first son based in the United States when some armed men who had laid ambush accosted one of his sons from the main gate into the house. He said his son, Austine had driven out with his father’s Murano Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) marked Lagos KRD155AM when some armed men trailed him to their house on a motorcycle. According to Austine, he mistook them for armed robbers. As he waited for the security man to open the gate, the armed men surrounded him at gunpoint, and he was forced out of the vehicle with an instruction that he should leave the engine running. Before he realised what was happening, he was led into the house and asked to identify his father. By the time he realized they were kidnappers, he started pleading with them to take him instead of his ageing father. They refused and in a jiffy whisked me into the Murano SUV. The kidnappers soon split into two groups. While one group made up of three drove off with me, the other four waited for a while to imprison Austine and the security man in the building courtyard which was separated by a door. The door was locked against the two to prevent easy exit. “Once they had reached the road leading towards Ogwashi-Uku, in Delta State, the driver of the car stopped even as the kidnappers were communicating with their colleagues, telling them to meet them somewhere near a
•Pa Isika hotel. The driver reversed the car and in a few minutes, another vehicle carrying the other members followed from behind. “They took me to an unknown place blindfolded. I was taken into a house. I suspected the location was somewhere near Ibusa, I may be wrong. Since I did not really see where we were. I slept in the same room with two of the abductors, and one of them speaking in our local dialect asked me if my children would pay some ransom. I shook my head. “The following morning, they asked me to give them the name of my son in the United States. I told them he is Peter Isika and he is my only child overseas while the rest in Nigeria are jobless. They asked me to tell them who the
father of Mike Isika is. I replied that he is my son also. To confirm that they knew more about my family; one of them told me that Mike is a clearing and forwarding agent based in Lagos,” he said. “Subsequently, they asked me to give them the details and whereabouts of a pick-up van and other vehicles brought into the country few months ago by Peter. I replied that I did not know anything about the vehicles except the SUV which he bought for me and registered in my name. They made me to understand that there was no information they did not have about my family, so there was nothing I could hide from them.” The Octogenarian said he was incarcerated for 11 days where he was fed once a day, but that he was not harmed. “Within the first two days, contact was established with my family through my son, Austine’s GSM phone which was collected from him as they forced him out of the car. “One of the kidnappers had told me that somebody needed to talk with me and he handed me the phone. Instantly, it was my son, Austine, whom initially I could not recognise his voice. Austine asked to know if I was being fed. One of the kidnappers warned me that should my children fail to meet their demand for ransom, that my eyes would be plucked out and I would be thrown into the river. They made me believe that I was kept near a river since I could not see. “Throughout the days of my incarceration, I
understood that discussions were going on between them and my family, though I did not know the amount they were demanding. At times, the boys would become a bit restive, trying to make me believe that I would lose my life, should my family refuse to accede to their request. I was worried and at a time I told Austine when I had the opportunity to speak with him that they should sell off the family house and save my life but he kept on encouraging me to take heart. I did not know that the police were already in the picture of things and some efforts were being made. “Throughout my incarceration, I excreted only once and was not allowed to go outside to urinate, but did so inside a bucket kept near me. The odour was something else. Occasionally, I would feel like breaking down, but I had to pray that if it was my time to die, let God do it in a manner I would not suffer pains in the hands of my captors as they were bent on plucking out my eyes.” However, on the night of the 12th day, the kidnappers carried Pa Isika on a motorcycle still blindfolded and took him to an unknown bush path and dumped him. Initially, he had suspected he was being taken away to be killed not knowing that his freedom had come as no ransom was forthcoming and the abductors were running out of time. According to him, when they had left and he could not hear their voices nor feel the usual smell of Indian hemp (as they were constantly smoking), he suspected that they may have gone for good. “I remained motionless for a while until I untied the piece of cloth the abductors used in blindfolding me. Initially, my sight was hazy and there was sign of rain. It was drizzling, so I kept praying to God not to allow the rain to fall as cold would easily kill me. I was all alone in that bush with snakes and other dangerous creatures, but my God protected me even from the bullets of a hunter who came flashing some light in my direction. “Some hours later, it was dawn and I could hear the sound of vehicles plying a road. I walked quietly towards that direction and was soon on the road. I did not easily understand the road, until I saw a young man riding a motorcycle whom I could identify, and I called out the young man’s name and the man recognised me. “It was the man who took me to my house. It was a big celebration for the family. He said the greatest surprise was that no ransom was paid to the kidnappers but they took the Murano SUV. They are still in possession of the car, probably as a compensation for not paying them the ransom.
Friend deceived me into robbery –Suspect BY MATTHEW DIKE
n armed robbery suspect has blamed his friend over his
involvement in crime . Udezua (other names withheld), said Kingsley who introduced him into crime lied that armed robbery was very easy and lucrative. Udezua was recently arrested by anti-robbery policemen attached to the FESTAC Police Station, led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mohammed Mu’Azu. Udezua, Kingsley and another gang member had attacked the owner of a boutique at FESTAC Town and dispossessed him of a ‘Ghana must go’ bag loaded with clothes, mobile phones and substantial amount of money. The gang which was armed with guns also ordered the owner of the shop to surrender the keys to his Toyota Sienna bus which he obliged them. A police source told Crimewatch that Udezua was standing at the entrance of the shop when Mu’Azu and his men stormed the scene. Immediately, Kingsley and
other gang members sensed that a patrol vehicle was approaching, they escaped with the bus. The policemen succeeded in arresting Udezua while a locally made gun and a knife were recovered from him. Investigation revealed that when policemen visited Udezua’s residence at Oshodi, another locally made pistol was also recovered. Udezua, who confessed that he was introduced to crime by Kingsley, claimed he was selling batteries in Onitsha. In his confessional statement to the police, Udezua who hails from Enugu State, said: “I was a trader in Onitsha. I sold copper wire and batteries. Kingsley deceived me into joining his gang. “I have not gone for robbery before until this one. This is my first time. All the money, handsets, clothes and the car we robbed from our victims were carried away by Kingsley. I just went to bury my grandmother in the village before Kingsley lured me into this trouble. This is the work of a devil. Kingsley is the owner of the gun. I don’t know where he got it.” Confirming the story to Crimewatch, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide, said the suspect was arrested with two guns.
•The late Amobi
By OLA AGBAJE
he family of a man allegedly killed by soldiers Imo State has cried to the military authoriti demanding justice. The deceased, Chima Amobi, who hails fr Nkumeato in Ihitte/Uboma Local Government A was allegedly shot dead on October 31, 2012 by s diers attached to the state security outfit, Operat Rescue. According to a letter sent to the Chief of Army St (COAS), by the family of Chief Andrew Am through their lawyer, Theo Nwaigbo, the deceased w alleged to have been shot at close range while driv his Mitsubishi bus, with registration N0 XA912 EH
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Family petitions CP over death of breadwinner
Police are lying, we killed just 2 people –Suspected gang leader ‘...My foray into robbery, a long story’ From TUNDE RAHEEM, Akure
our members of suspected inter-state armed robbery gang have been arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Ondo State Police Command. The gang had been terrorizing motorists and citizens of Ekiti, Ogun and Osun states before their arrest in Osun State. The suspects are, Waheed Sulaimon, Philips Agboola, Adewale Adedoyin and Gbenga Ojo. The police said the alleged leader of the gang, Waheed Suliamon, had been on the wanted list of the police for
over eight months for allegedly killing a policeman and many others before he was arrested in Modakeke, Osun State. Sulaimon who spoke with Crimewatch said: “We only killed two persons and not many as the police are claiming. We killed the two persons when they tried to resist us at a camp in Oke-Igbo, Owo in Ondo State.” After killing them, we succeeded in snatching a Sports Utility Vehicle(SUV) which we sold at Cotonou in Republic of Benin.” On how he went into armed robbery, he said: “It is a long story that we won’t finish today, but I was a clean guy who hated bloodshed. My gang members don’t even know my place. We were communicating on phone because, my compound people see me as a very responsible man. I was shocked the day the police stormed my house. I wanted to escape but I ran into four armed policemen. They did wrong by coming to my place, how will my neighbours see me now? However, a detective who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Crimewatch that the gang recently shot dead a police inspector, Ayo Johnson after collecting N250,000.00 from his wife. The police officer claimed the gang also robbed at gun point a prominent medical doctor (names withheld) at Owo in Ondo State. Police spokesman, Mr. Adeniran Aremu who described the gang as notorious, said the police have declared a manhunt for other members.
•The late Hamusat
From TUNDE RAHEEM, Akure
he family of a farmer, Taiwo Hamusat, who was recently shot dead by unidentified person at Bolorunduro Village in Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State has called on the police to fish out the killer of their breadwinner. Hamusat was shot dead by gunmen who accosted him on a commercial motorcycle (Okada) on his way to inspect his farm. The deceased was said to have been receiving threat messages by some people believed to be land speculators who were warning him to leave the farmland or risked being killed. Crimewatch gathered that earlier, some hoodlums had stormed the
deceased’s farm, destroying his crops and warned him to leave the land. The man was said to have escaped and he fled from the town. The family lawyer, S.I.Nwaja of Yinka Adeyosoye Chambers, told Crimewatch that the deceased later returned home and was on his way to the farmland when he was accosted by some people who shot him dead. He said the commercial motorcycle operator who was conveying him, reported the incident at the Special Investigation Bureau (SIB), Akure. He said the motorcyclist, simply identified as Murina, has since been in the police custody. In a petition sent to the police, made available to Crimewatch, Nwaja wants the force to fish out the killers and bring them to book. He alleged that 11 people have been fingered as those responsible for the act. According to him, the police should not waste time in arresting the suspects.
Killing at roadblock:
Family demands N600m from Army
s in ies,
om •Amobi’s family Area solion along Anara-Umuahia Road. Giving a detailed account of the tragedy that taff sent the late Amobi to his untimely death, the obi letter noted that he was driving and had was already picked a woman and her son along the ing way before tragedy struck. HM The letter stated that as he was about driv-
ing off after picking the unidentified woman and her son, some members of the transport union tried to stop him, but he drove off to continue his journey. However, unknown to him, the leader of the union allegedly alerted soldiers at a roadblock.
“The victim drove past the roadblock without being stopped by the soldiers. It was only when he had passed that the soldiers got the information. “The soldiers pursued him in their Hilux van. On noticing that the soldiers were after him, the victim was afraid and wanted to know why they were on his trail. “Along the way, he diverted into Court Road, Umuhi within the precinct of Ihitte/Uboma Local Government Area. The soldiers also drove close to the victim from the main road and as Chima tried to check from the driver’s window to ascertain whether they were still pursuing him, the soldiers shot at him at a very close range,” the letter stated. The bullets blew his head off. The other two occupants of the vehicle – the woman and her son fainted and were immediately rushed to the hospital. As the news of the tragedy that befell their kinsmen spread, the youths quickly mobilized to demand justice. When the news got to the military authorities on Obinze Barracks, an officer, simply identified as Lieutenant Alex in company with soldiers who allegedly shot Amobi were said to have in the presence of members of the community personally identified the soldier that fired the shot after initial denial by them. According to the letter, it took the inter-
vention of the elders of the community to calm down the youths who were angered by the death of their kinsman. The letter noted that since the murder, nothing was done to redress the injustice done to the Amobi family making the community to be jittery. Specifically, the letter noted that between June and September, two youngmen, Ndudirim Okorieocha, and Chidubem Nwachukwu were killed on June 28 and September 7, 2012 respectively in similar circumstances. As a result of the loss of their breadwinner, the family has demanded for N600 million compensation from the military authorities to cater for and maintain the deceased’s dependants including his widow and five children. To underscore the serious nature of the matter apart from the Chief of Defence Staff (COAS), copies of the letter were also sent to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the Commissioner of Police, the Commandant of Obinze Army Barracks, Speaker of the State House of Assembly among others. When contacted, the state police command declined to comment on the matter. Efforts to speak with the military also met with brickwall.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
ARTS Artist wins competition with Human Hives By SIMEON MPAMUGOH
uman Hives, by Chinenye Emelogu a ceramist, has won this year’s National Art Competition (NAC) with a cash prize of N2Million. The event held recently at Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos. Emelogu beat Alafuro Sikoki and the duo of Omoligho Udenta and Affiko Obadina who came second and third respectively. The completion recorded 12 finalists and was made possible by Nigerian Breweries Plc in
conjunction with African Artists’ Foundation (AAF). Emelogu’s winning artwork is an ordinary, and spread like painting on the floor of the center, revealing brilliant colures and moulds. She said that her inspiration came from watching a documentary many years ago on bees and their colony. She added that the bees were almost as organized as the ants and that she was enthralled by how the bees live and co-habit with one another. Although the bees have internal and external tensions around them, they still come back to their utopi-
an communal life. Narrowing it down to the theme of the competition, entitled, Consequences, Emelogu noted: “ In Nigeria, we have everything around us that could make us a better nation, but tensions grow with nothing done about them. Everyday it is strife. If it is not Boko Haram today, it is militants, kidnapping or fuel scarcity tomorrow. And when tensions are created, it is not only the low class that suffers it, the high class also feels it”. While Sikoki’s work investigates the cultural dynamics of consumption in an over-saturated media envi-
ronment, the duo of Udenta and Obadina illustrate the effects of oil pollution on the environment in the Niger Delta Region. Emelogu revealed after her unveiling that her art piece mirrors both classes of the society in colours and moulds, adding that purple is used to reflect those in the high class, green for middle class while black and other colours show people on the last rung of the ladder. “When there is disturbance within any of the social structures, the consequence is disorder of the structure as a whole,” she added,
L-R Duo of Omoligho Udenta and Affiko Obadina, Chinenye Emelogu and Alafuro Sikoki winners of National Arts competition 2012 with their prizes The winner smiled home with N2Million, the second winner shared N1.5Million, while third place runner up went home with N1Million. Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Breweries Plc Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde said that NB Plc believes that Nigeria is full of talents in Music, Sports and Arts. Also the company has been cooperating with willing Nigerians towards youths empowerment through discovery of talents and developing them. He said that the company equally recognizes that Arts plays an important role in strengthening cultural values in any society” He felt enthralled by the beautiful and excellent works on display, pledging the company’s support and commitment to exploring several
platforms, besides Star Quest, Multina Dance Hall, and Guilder Ultimate Search (GUS) for its Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives. “In the Art sector, we have Creative Writers Workshops and the National Art Competition (NAC), which are aimed at mobilizing Nigerian talents in all areas,” Vervelde said. Uche Izoka, one of the ten judges spoke about the criteria used in selecting finalists. “We had ten judges and each one was allowed to give his or her own candid opinion. And based on such judgment, a winner was chosen on points. Points were arrived at, based on relevant themes, use of materials, and clarity of ideas, in relation to the theme of the competition.”
NANTAP honours Tomoloju, Ali-Balogun, RMD, others
he National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), holds its 14th National Convention this weekend at Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital. The two-day event begins with arrival today Thursday November 15 and departure on morning Sunday November 18, 2012. The convention which opens tomorrow Friday November 16 at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, has the theme; Taping into the arts, culture and tourism potentials in Nigeria. Expected as keynote speaker is Prof. Bode Sowande, whose paper would inspire participants to take stock of how the theatre industry can survive within the current economic realities in Nigeria. According to Gregory Odutayo, National President of NANTAP, high point of the series of events at the Convention will be the investiture of some practitioners who have distinguished themselves in their theatre career and also have served Tomoloju
the Association meritoriously over the years, with the highest honour of Fellow of Theatre Arts (FTA). The event which is hoped to attract practitioners, theatre patrons and enthusiasts from across the country will take place on the evening of Saturday the 17th of November 2012 by 7:00 pm. Amongst the recipients; are Messers Ben Tomoloju, the first NANTAP coordinator and Mr. Mahmood AliBalogun who is to receive the FTA honour as the first president of the Association. Other awardees include Mr. Peter Tadeniawo Adekunle, Hon. Richard Mofe-Damijo, Mr. Biodun Abe, all former Presidents of the Association and also the Olowu of Owu, Oba Dr. Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu and veteran actress Alhaja Zainab Buki Ajai.The Executive Governor of Ogun State Senator Ibikunle Amosun will also be conferred with the honour of Distinguished Theatre Patron.
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012 31
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Zaria artists and the way forward (1) By MATTHEW OKAMA
ne of the hallmarks of a true nationalist in the historical evolution of a nation is leaving lasting legacy and footprints on the sands of time. Webster’s New Explorer Encyclopedic Dictionary (2006) defines nationalism as “a sense of national consciousness exalting one’s nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supra-national groups.” It goes further to explain the word nationalist sum up the exploits of the Zaria Revolutionaries.’ In the words of Oladugbagbe et al (2006:10), Zaria Art School “continued to develop in the European art styles and ideology until when some of the first set of student stood up against the perceived colonization of Africa in art, subject matter and materials. The Zaria art students wishing to perpetuate African identity in art jettison the European art ideology. Thus established a social that can foster their artistic idea and expression.” Some of the fore-runners of this struggle include Okechukwu Odita, Uche Okeke, Dems Nwoko, Simon Okeke, Yusuf Grillo and Bruce Onabrakpeya. Cultural disintegration fuelled by colonialism was the compelling factor that gave birth to the formation of the body. The group of students had to look inward and call for the introduction of local elements and forms in the teaching of art as opposed to the foreign art curricula being taught them. The underlining import of this is that “a consciousness of identity for Nigerian artists at a time when colonialism was eroding cultural pride” is stimulated. Going by this antecedent, it is obviously very clear that hey commanded a conspicuous presence in the fight against cultural domination through colonialism and thus should not be denied enlistment among the players in the nationalist struggle that reshaped Nigerian’s history. This forms the basis of this writing. It is a well fact that nationalist activists of Africa descent from political and literary arena such as Dr. Azikiwe, Kwame Nkrumah and Leopold Senghor of negritude fame are notable
and renowned global figures. Their names adorn history books as great men all because of their heroics in the pursuit of African self actualization, realization and re-orientation. Sadly, the eulogy and ovation that greeted their effort and made them stood tall in both national and international hall of fame s great sons of African is not extended to the Zaria Revolutionaries’ Whose dogged righteous rebellion has left indelible marks in the reaching of visual arts from pre-independent Nigeria to date. As instrument of change, they bequeathed to Nigeria an art curriculum that is largely homemade in content which till today remain the fulcrum and pivot on which all art study in our educational system especially, art revolves. Beside art teaching, they also sowed of cultural re-awakening in the midst of looming cultural disintegration and decay that was witnessed during the colonial era. Onuora ossie Enekwe (988:31) noted that “Achebe’s pre-occupation as a writer captures
oday at the popular Terra Kulture Art Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, relations of the late Akinola Lasekan will hold a posthumous birthday celebration, symposium and art exhibition in his honour. The theme of the four-day event is Akinola Lasekan: His life and contributions to the development of contemporary Nigerian art it is expected to be chaired by Founder / CEO of Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) Prince (Engr) Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon. The exhibition which run till November, 18, beginning from 9am to 6pm daily. According to Dr (Mrs.) Olusola DublinGreen who spoke for the family, all practicing Nigerian artists, art collectors and other stakeholders are expected to rally-round the family to celebrate one of their own at the planned symposium and art exhibition. “ Akinola Lasekan (1916 -1972), is widely acknowledged as one of the pioneers and masters of Nigerian modern art, coming on the heels of Aina Onabolu but in the same league with esteemed Nigerian artists such as Ugorji, Okaybulu, Ben Enwonwu, Erhabor Emokpae and others of that genre.” The late Lasekan was described as an innately talented artist who started his professional art practice as a textile designer before veering into book illustrations for publishing companies. He has worked with many outfits, among which is CMS Bookshop and Thomas Nelson Ltd. When he made a success of these, he established an art studio and became an art teacher in 1941.
To be continued next week
By AKINSOLA OMIDIRE
ll is now set for the 14th Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF) which holds from November 16 -18 at the Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos. Organised by the Committee for Relevant Arts (CORA) LABAF aims at building knowledge for Africans. The festival has a heavy book content and a testament to the commitment of CORA that the only way to translate the teeming population of Nigeria into a true human resource is to develop their people’s minds. The theme of this year’s festival is The Narrative of Conflict and it focuses on how the written word and the literacy it endears interrogate the different conflicts that surround our current existence and past. The festival is dedicated to the veteran artist Bruce Onobrakpeya who turned 80 on Aug 30 and whose work and dedication to the arts continue to be a source of inspiration to generations of Nigerians. The festival is expected to parade both old and young writers.They include Prof. Akin Mabogunje, Prof. Akachi Ezeigbo, Rev. Mattew Kukah,Dr Kayode Fayemi,Dr Wale Osun, Toni Kan, E.C Osondu,Yewande Omotoso,Anwuli Ojogwu and others. Eminent journalists are also expected to participate in the festival.
Here comes magazine for women and youths BY CHINONYE AMADI
new magazine that centers on women and youth, Women and Youth Art Foundation Magazine, is now at the newsstand. The maiden edition of the magazine is all encompassing. It comprises stories on distin-
Akinola Lasekan lives on at Terra Kulture By DAMIETE BRAIDE
and interpret the clash between African and modern European culture resulting in the African’s loss of identity and lack of sense of worth and self confidence,” Similarly, ‘The Revolutionaries’ rejection of wholesale embrace of European artistic tradition taught in their school was geared towards nipping in the bud tendencies capable of ushering the nation unto the highway of cultural emasculation that could lead to national loss of identity and values. It is therefore amazing and unsatisfactory that today remain the outcast in the fraternity landmark achievers as they are yet to sip from the euphoric cup of great Nigerian nationalists, who have been idolized, immortalizes as well as enjoyed avalanche of national honours in reward for their contributions to nation building. Today, most African countries are still grappling with the irreparable damage colonialism has inflicted on her collective psyche such that culturally speaking; we are all at a crossroad. Same accounts for the snail speed progress in our educational and technological advancement. No thanks to be use of foreign language as vehicle of instruction in our school. In sober reflection, prolific Kenyan literary artiste, Ngugi wa Thiongo, chose to ‘rebel’in late afternoon by adopting Swahili, his native language in his recent writings. Also literary giants like china Achebe, Wloe Soyinka, etc, all dropped their English names and held on to their indigenous as a sign f home-coming and cultural redemption.
Lagos book fiesta opens tomorrow
While doing all these, he studied Commercial Art by correspondence studies with the Hammersmith School of Art in London. In 1962, he became a fellow of the Royal society of Arts London, in the UK. In his bid to pass on knowledge to upcoming generations of Nigerians, he taught art in the later years of his life at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). He established a legacy as a nationalist with his sharp political cartoons, which appeared daily in the defunct West African Pilot as the clamour for national independence increased, and in his realistic paintings on different themes from allegorical paintings on pro-nationalism to landscape drawings. Some of “ Lasekan’s popular works to be exhibited from the family collection include oil on canvas paintings such as The last political mission of Herbert Macaulay, The story of Dr, Nnamdi Azikiwe, a pictorial and historical composition, The return of Ajaka of Owo painted in poster color on paper, and Atilogwu dancers, amongst many others”. Other works to be exhibited are, three out of his early oil on canvas paintings in the collection of Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF) entitled Masquerade at the square, Cocoa cropping, and Village Market and Motor Park. Given his public spiritedness, several of Lasekan’s artworks were donated to the Nigerian National Gallery of Arts and were exhibited during the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (Festac) in 1977. Other artworks of his also exist in museums across the world and in some private and public art collections, in and outside Nigeria.
guished persons who have made it through the arts. The magazine covers arts, craft and cookery. According to its founder, Dr. Peju Layiwola the magazine was setup to equip women and youths with necessary artistic skills as a means of empowering them economically. Over the past seven years since the foundation was founded, it has taught thousands of Nigerians both at home and in Diaspora. The magazine opens by listing its contents with pictures. It consists of diverse topics such as Unfolding the WYArt story, One Percent American 99 Percent Naija, The art of bead stringing, modeling is fun: Getting married is greater fun and Adedoyin Shyllon; The prince of art. In an interview with Taye Oseiza, the founder Peju Layiwola said the foundation strives to inculcate the spirit of hard work, team spirit and resourcefulness in people. The magazine focuses on women as well as the less privileged in the society. So far, the foundation has trained over 3,000 persons; with the help of VCD’s. The VCD’s are currently used in many countries in Africa, and Layiwola said that passion has brought about success out of the VCDs. Titilayo Ajoke (Caroline Harshman) is a white lady who speaks fluent Yoruba. Titilayo is one of the five European students studying Yoruba at the University of Ibadan. She is from Chicago in America. In an interview with WY magazine Ajoke said, “I have imbibed Yoruba culture in a way that shocks many Nigerians and especially my friends and family back in the US. The magazine is illustrated with pictures. Project 1-9 deals with making different kinds of beads, key holder, tie, beaded flower vase and teddy bear etc. The annual membership subscription information column entitles the individual and students to a free workshop at the organization. The foundation also enlightens the reader on the WY art gum and fondant recipe and its preparation, this part enlightens us on how gum paste and fondant icing are used in making cakes and they used in expressing ones creativity. Project 10-19 deals with cutting out patterns from textured fondant, making a rose flower, basket with fondant and instructions, and on
page 77. There is a column for readers to get back to the editor. The magazine is a 100 page publication and there is an article on the Prince of art, Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon. Shyllon is a renowned art collector, founder and CEO of the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art foundation (OYASAF), which was established in 2007. Its mission is to promote and extend the joy and beauty of Nigerian art and culture to other parts of the world. Shyllon has promised to contribute towards the development of arts in Nigerian institutions and on pp 82-83 the picture story of the workshop coordinated by Peju Layiwola for the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos. The magazine illustrates the use of affordable and accessible materials and learning to transform things into goods of high value thereby serving as a substantial source of income to women and children. The women and youth magazine is a soft sell magazine with a reasonable cover price, it is an educative and informative publication and it is recommended for all youths, women and the public alike.
34 DAILY SUN
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Nollywood may soon go out of business I
f all what we hear is true, then retired Liz Benson, the screen goddess is about to make a comeback. But what a pity, she is bothered enough she wants to return to a winding up party? It will soon be all over for our dear Nollywood. This is really the hour for the queen of the screen to continue her rest; after all she is done quite her bit. But what could be driving Nollywood to her end, one may ask. Truth is that Nollywood is soon to go out of business. Look, it is no longer fashionable to get glued to your TV sets watching pretty girls show off their curves. Or even fine boys, who never had pimples, stump about in borrowed suits. The best video in town is happening live, and is free; no rentals or whatever. So why give up the real for the faked, especially when it trails way behind? If you are a business man for instance, would you bank on selling war films in Syria? Syria where they have the real thing going on? Just as in Syria, the reality in Nigeria is a greater, bloodier and more suspenseful box office hit, than anything contrivable by scriptwriters in Nollywood or just anywhere else. Just take the samples. What in the Nigerian home video imagination could come close to Boko haram? Real blood running, sorry, flooding the streets; and real buildings, churches, cars blown up; and those are no film effects. If you watched Boko Haram would you ever bother with tame and domesticated Nollywood? And as if we have not seen enough, the real floods are coming in to carry away whole households, into the cold hands of death. And if you thought that was tragic enough, the floods would every now and then, ferry in the odd crocodile, the hippo or the python, to take over the residences of the sacked. And if any householder survived the floods, and returned to repossess his property, these beasts will be very eager and welcoming hosts. And your new home will now, be in the belly of the beasts. Can Nollywood compete in imagination with this, real life hippos and crocs at play? Well if you are into the new media it gets even more magical. There is Cynthia Okorogwu, her e-media friends and murder thrown in. It is so stranger no imagination would have foreseen it, not even in Hollywood. So why bother with a Liz Benson clip, a poor version of the real
The Turf Game Jimanze Ego-Alowes email@example.com
Just as in Syria, the reality in Nigeria is a greater, bloodier and more suspenseful box office hit, than anything contrivable by scriptwriters in Nollywood or just anywhere else. thing? And if corporate reality show is the thing that moves your spirit, what is there on offer by Nollywood to compete with the Coscharis-Uba saga, gone sour. According
to Coscharis one Mr. Uba, 41, who flies two private jets or more, is his kid brother. And more, he Coscharis opened the vaults of the banks to the said kid brother and colluded with him to share in the profits, accruing
from the dedicated transactions over a six business-chain sessions. Of course the rites of opening the vaults, collateral free or even playing obligor, when you sit as the chairman of the credit committee of the said bank, is if not out-rightly against the law, then a very improper conduct. You are really playing the numbers racket with depositors fund in collusion with a kid brother, so called. Every man should be credit worthy enough to borrow on his own weight and not upon the weight or guarantees of a gate keeper. Gate keeping is all the credit committee of a bank is about. And to entertain us Coscharis is going about the TV houses telling tales with colors of himself as the innocent party? Boy only in Nigeria. Not even the home video clips can imagine a bank director fixing millions of dollars for a kid billionaire brother to trade with, and share in collusive profits. Meanwhile we are supposed to be running a sanitized banking supervision and system. Only in Nigeria. And just as we were closing on the Coscharis clip, Dangote came in. PhD holders of Nigerian extraction are queuing up at Dangote to take up their destinies in their hands, as employee truck drivers. If these PhD holders were Germans or Jews, I wish to wager, they would have invented a new way of transportation and be richer for it. But invention is un-Nigerian. And here in Nigeria, to sweat is the only evidence of work done. To work hard for us is to sweat the skin and her pores. But the brains which do the profoundest works, ask the Jews, never drop a sweat. And the Nigerian brain is therefore not thought of, as a work tool, no matter how highly trained. And the poor PhD holder therefore crosses the streets, to pick up a key and drive off sweating his skins up under the African sun. Can the home video imagination soar to this height? But the great danger is that if reality trumps Nollywood, spins her into recession, then there will be so much unemployment in Nigeria. The home video we are told is the highest employer of labor after government. What to do? What happens to the Bensons, Genevieves and Amatas of the industry? Well I think the RMD move is indicated. Give up morality and join the PDP or the nearest party in town. The accountants call it planned obsolescence. I think that is the way out for Nollywood stars and industry, before recession closes in on them.
Re: Atiku betrays them all… Okonjo-Iweala too Mazi Jimanze, Greetings. You see, the Great work is not in the chemical art of creating gold; it is that of directing fire, as a gardener directs water to nourish his plant. You did nourish our intellects with your piece, and at the same time, subtly disarmed a group of educated folks with sore eyes. You made my day. I join you in shouting from the mountain top, “Ahiazuwa”. Ausitn C. Ohanwe Dear Sir, Biko Jimanze leave Aunty Ngoo alone. She is the only Iroko Igbo woman standing. After all the CBN Governor put his hands in our purse, and spent millions in Kano and nothing happened to him till date. So allow Ngoo to use her office as she wishes. Nigeria is already a sold out state. Ozo. Ilorin. 08033748726 Dear Sir, Atiku, a victor-neurotic? What exactly did he win? Boko haram? And lest we forget, OBJ sourced for N40billion library fund while in office, so that we can move the nation forward. Our CBN Governor Mallam Lamido has been donating millions of naira here and there, again to move the nation forward. Our dear Ngozi doesn’t want to be left out, or is the nation not moving forward? 08033188868 Dear Sir, your article demeaning Dr. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala in the Daily Sun of 8-11-12, portrayed you as a dullard with narrow prism of judgment. May god help you. 08038517960 Dear Sir, whatever harm the Ogbonis did the Ofos, the Ofos did 1000% worse to the Mba Miris, the river people during the three year war. Biafra is not Igbo word, mind you. Sir I hate reading many of these nonsense from the Ofos who never claim any fault to the cause of the
war. After all it was a civil war? Was it not two countries at war? You as an Ofo soldier, didn’t you know that late Ojukwu ordered Hannibal Achuzia to sink Port Harcourt? I stop here. The Ofos are too loud for comfort. They are the best of God’s creations. Others are used carpenters’ sandpaper. Hmmm. 08176981178 Dear Jimanze, your thrust in Atiku betrays them all, betrays your loyalty to Biafran state; using a pitching device of Igbo against other tribes; even at a time when an Igbo woman married to an Igbo man from another Igbo state is being deprived of being sworn in as court of Appeal Judge by the CJN; a sign of possibilities in future “Biafra”. And if the sin of Ofo should not be bequeathed to Oru, why bequeath your spurious sin of Atiku to Buhari, IBB, El Ruffai and other unnamed Northern leaders on Ekwueme’s offer of six geo-political structure? Lai Ashadele, Lagos 07067677806 Dear Sir, on the fact that we are not brothers but neighbours, I say thanks for liberating me psychologically from the long nurtured Nigerian conundrum/incubus. I have been wondering what kind of brotherhood is this? Thanks Sage. Okey Ezechukwu 08035617260 Dear Jimanze, some elements like Fani Kayode are not worthy of mention in our hallowed 2TG. He is too petty in thinking and shallow in logic. Pity; Fani Kayode Pity. Uzorechi Eze. 08033057004 Dear Sir, May your sound judgment never go un-noticed, you are truly an Igbo breed. Keep the good work going. Innocent Nwobodo. Lagos 08038245695
Dear Sir, Atiku remains the worst political element Nigeria has produced. We know he is an enemy to Nigeria. Mr. Akpor Williams. 08037412117. Dear Sir, when you think deep about comments and actions of some self acclaimed personalities from the North and South-West part of Nigeria regarding men from the Eastern Nigeria you will understand that they are suffering from something greater than Victor-neurosis. 08163709070. Dear Sir, I just finished reading your article, Atiku betrays them all, and just wish to thank you. 08068637939 Dear Sir, when I see people dissipating energy over a case nature is handling in its own unique style, I feel sorry for them. As a little boy in primary school I was taught why Nigeria and Biafra went to war. But 30 years after, I have sought to find out why Nigeria has always been at war with herself, sending thousands of her citizens to their early grave year in year out, without success. It is obvious that nature is punishing her for her atrocities against a certain group in the past. Ifeanyi O. Ifeanyichukwu Abuja. 07030981551 Dear Sir, I have said it before and will say it again, you are a literary Titan, and you have said it all, Nigeria in entirety is suffering from Victorneurosis and it shows. Thanks. Ozoagbo K. 08035522527 Dear Sir, I just started reading your column in Daily Sun and must say that I appreciate everyone I have read so far. I am happy to see your honesty on issues. Dede, Keep it up.
07067718992 Dear Jimanze, you have done it again. Your Ogboni –Ofo instrument of analysis appears to explain the upsurge of Yoruba antagonism against Achebe’s latest book. Please put me through who are the Oru and Igbo? What is the difference between the two? Where are the Oru? Thanks Ibecheozo. Owerri 08033357399. Dear Sir, your piece today is good. Your district ion of Oru and Igbo is incorrect. Oru refers to riverine Igbo of Ogbaru and others, while those of us at non-riverine areas are called enualas Igbo, while those in thick forest are called Umuofia/Umuohia. Igbo is central to all these groups. Oru na Igbo refer to the same people. Ahiazuwa. Robert Obiola. 08034745922. Dear Sir, Please what is Oru? Is Oru a clan? Please clarify. 08035866737 Dear Jimanze, the God of Oru na Igbo will continue to water the fountain of your wordpower. You are simply a Rabonic. With you our line of defense is well fortified. The day our inlaw Atiku gaffed, my mind flashed back to Gowon and the dilemma he faced trying to unravel the true meaning of Aburi Accord. 07062647375. Dear Uncle Jim, good morning Sir. I just finished your comment about Aunty Ngozi. At first I laughed, but honesty I thought I was the only one who observed this act. Honestly e be like say na de air in Naija, the water and even the rain is polluted with anything go syndrome. Why? I am confused Uncle Jim. (Your small brother, comedian Akin Akindele) 08165994228
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012 35
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
Maurice Archibong 3-time winner, travel & tourism reporter of the year firstname.lastname@example.org 08056180050
Chief Eme Chukwu 1952-2012
In Togo, Nigerian masquerades thrill audience as late Igbo leader goes home in style
Ojuju Calabar in Lome
Abam war dancers at the event
Some male elders at the event
Late Chief Emechukwu
ut, for the transition and attendant loss of the person involved; it would seem that countless Nigerians in Togo and the many indigenes of the host country that watched in utter fascination as masquerades thrilled the audience no end, last Saturday, November 10; wished such outing could hold everyday. Welcome to Lome, where several representatives of beings from the
spirit world prowled this earth during the symbolic funeral ceremony for Chief Eme Chukwu, who until his death on September 11, was Chairman of Igbo Union Togo. A scion of the late Mazi Chukwu Lekwauwa Family of Umuokpo, Amankalu Alayi; Chief Eme Chukwu alias Power, who was born on August 10, 1952; also held the traditional title of Onje mba enwe iro. Preceding last Saturday’s symbolic
burial at his residence on Rue de l’Ocam, Lome; there was a Wake for the late Chief Chukwu at Eglise Evangelique Presbyterienne du Togo (Togo’s Evangelical Presbyterian Church) in Afevime, Aniko Palako on Friday, November 9. However, the burial proper will take place at the late chief’s country home in Alayi, Abia State; on December 22. On November 14, the remains of Chief Chukwu left the
Some of the ladies at the occassion CHU Tokoin (University Teaching Hospital) Mortuary in Lome for Nigeria, preparatory to the interment, which will be followed by Thanksgiving Service at Wesley Methodist Church, Amakalu, Alayi. Apart from the famous Abam tra-
ditional war dance troupe, there were at least three other cultural ensembles, which included a masquerade clothed in Esighi like Ekpe but put on a leash akin to Nnaabo. Yes,
Continued on Page 42
Thursday, November 15, 2012 DAILY SUN
The many underhand deals of local airlines
Amb. Mathew Odoli
Alh. Idris Gbadamosi
Late Igbo leader goes home Continued from Page 41 Ekpe and Nnaabo are typical Efik masquerades but the Efik people of Cross River share a lot, ancestrally and culturally with the Igbos, especially of Arochukwu, and those from Old Bende (Abiriba, Alayi, Ohafia), as well as other clans commonly called Cross River Igbos. Aside the appearances of representational spirits (aka Ojuju Calabar), the traditional dress of some member of the malefolk, which threw up Ukara and Usobo also echoed the propinquity between the Efik of Cross River and Igbos of Abia State, in particular. Chief Chukwu’s funeral was attended by people from all the Igbo-speaking states. While one could attribute this to the fact that he was Chairman of Igbo Union in Togo, it is also worth noting that; although the late Chief Chukwu hailed from Alayi in Abia, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s envoy to Togo, Ambassador Matthew Sunday Adoli, graced the occasion with his presence. In the same vein, Yoruba-born President of Nigerian Community Togo, Alhaji Idriss Gbadamosi, who resides in Kpalime, travelled more than two hours down to Lome to pay his respect to the departed Igbo Union Chairman. Alhaji Gbadamosi was accompanied to the event by numerous Nigerians from various other ethnic groups. Despite his famed genial disposition, Amb Adoli is still a diplomat to the core, and he demonstrated this through the conduct, that he is a stickler for protocol by being neither the first to arrive nor the last to depart. Ostensibly too, throughout the ambassador’s presence all exuberance was kept in check. However, as soon as HE left; the drums boomed louder and
Bandmembers that churned out danceable steps native smokescreen derived from burning palm-nuts filled the air as some traditional performers virtually set the venue on fire. Wow! From Ambassador Adoli, Alhaji Gbadamosi and other dignitaries, down to the cultural repertoire that livened up the space last Saturday; each one made everybody proud to be a Nigerian. Believe. According to Dr. Godwin Elendu, a businessman, writer and scholar; “The late Chief Eme Chukwu would indeed be missed, because he was not only a competent Chairman of Igbo Union Togo but also an embodiment of discipline and fairness to every human being, irrespective of religion, tribe or nationality”. We say QED to this apt and incontrovertible epitaph.
ravelling in Nigeria could be interesting and disturbing at same time. The interesting part of it is that, Nigeria provides you with various options and travel experience that could last you a lifetime while at the same time gives you goose pimples as templates of disquiet. How do I mean? Imagine not being sure of what to expect at the airport or the busstation as you prepare to head out of town. Though, time is factored as a major drive for any trip, this holds no water in Nigeria as it could be manipulated to cheat passengers and frustrate their travel plan. Experience has taught me to think ahead of our air and ground transport operators. If you are asked to be at airport or bus-station an hour before departure, please be there three hours ahead. This would give you enough room to investigate and get information concerning the so called scheduled trip. Sometimes, working through contacts or loose information, one could make alternative arrangements or re-strategize when operators run into problems which could occur anytime due to poor fleet management. In course of time, one had come to realize that it is helpful and needful to get to know operators and maintain contacts that could alert of you unexpected conciliation to your business or leisure trips. Don’t be deceived by one or two “smooth” and faultless trips in recent times. It is simply a bite and many have fallen to such deception which is a critical draw back on their pocket. Except your purse is heavy and you have regular cash at call, the wise thing to do is to watch and pray whenever you wish to travel. It is painful that the so called customer complaints bureau to which other climes takes as a service to the sector is largely ignored in Nigeria. The disease cuts across but that of our transport operators are worse and disrepute. The truth is that one has nowhere to run to and even the outfits with mandates to correct and address these issues frown at the ‘aggression’ of offended customers. There are no soothing balms anywhere, so you lick your wounds vibrate and swear never to use the services of such operators, only to come back again and “manage” them because you have no option or alternative. It was in this scenario I found myself on October 30th on my way to Abuja. I had a whistle appointment at 3.00pm on that day and had bought a return, with aero ticketing officers advising a first flight at 6.40 am as
More male elders
More of the women folk
Oduah, Aviation Minister
People & Tourism
Frank Meke email@example.com 08023184600 (sms only)
other flights were fully booked. I took the option because I could not stand the ticketing madness at Arik counters. It was a grave mistake as I forgot that this is Nigeria. For a 6.40 am flight, my friend and I got to MMA2 at 6.15 am, a clear 45 minutes before departure, only to be told the aircraft was full and the gate closed. Instantly, I knew something was wrong but I did trust it was something that could be worked out fast and quick as I do not have any bag or luggage. I looked out for help and found an officer who was sympathetic enough to listen to passengers on same flight who was cut in this same net. We explained and he patiently listened and patiently advised us to rebook any available flight to Abuja. Good advice but I noticed that the officer did not wear a name tag and so do many of them on duty that morning. Suddenly, there was bedlam every where, a situation made worse by the absence of any aero officer to control the situation. It was madness as it appeared that all aero passengers on that day had one issue or the other to resolve. Imagine ticketing officers asking for names of banks or pay points where a valid ticket holder bought or purchased his tickets. It was indeed very ridiculous and I wonder. All said and done, each passenger was made to cough out an additional six thousand Naira to get rebooked on a flight which we were earlier told was fully booked. In fact, to convince me that it was an arranged racket, the receipt issued us revealed that we were charged for No Show ! God, how can one justify such conclusion? We grumbled and left it at that and even some of the passengers laughed at the daylight robbery. Anyway, it is lesson for another day but who can check this underhand deals that cuts across board in our domestic airline environment?
38 DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
Forms of sin and the consequencies
Jn 5: 17a says, “All unrighteousness is sin…” This is to say that all deviation from perfect holiness is sin including backsliding. Sin includes and not limited to anger, envy, contention, strife, bitterness, unforgiveness, unbelief, malice, grudge, lusting after evil things, covetousness, unclean thoughts, back-biting, murmuring, cursing and swearing and no sinner has inheritance in the Kingdom of God. 1Cor. 6: 9- 10 says, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” By the above scriptural declaration many people are sentenced to Hell fire. Those who act contrary to right cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. He who is not a child of God has no right to the family’s inheritance, for that inheritance is for the children. Any man who is guilty of any one of the evils mentioned above is unrighteous and therefore a sinner. Unbelievers are sinners who do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He was crucified for our sin, died, buried and resurrected on the third day for our justification. The abominable are sinners who are covetous and polluted with unnatural lust. Murderers are sinners who take away the life of another for any cause, and those who hate a brother in their heart. The whoremongers who include sodomies are sinners who are involve in pornography, adulterers, fornicators, whores, prostitutes, and rakes of every description. Sorcerers are sinners who pretend to produce supernatural effects, chiefly by spiritual agency, witchcraft and familiar spirits. Idolaters are sinners who offer any kind of worship or religious reverence to anything but God. All image worshippers are idolaters in every sense of the word. And all liars which involve everyone who speaks contrary to the truth when he knows the truth, and even he who speaks the truth with the intention to deceive, i.e., to persuade a person that a thing is different from what it really is, by telling only a part of the truth, or suppressing some circumstance which would have led the hearer to a different end to the true conclusion are sinners. All these shall have their portion in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone from which there is no recovery. All those who divorced and those into polygamous marriage are sinners. Matthew 19: 3-4 says, “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man
Radiant Digest “...The letter killeth but the spirit gives life.” II Cor 3:6
By WILFRED JIBRIL
All those men who perm, weave or braid and make dread with their hair are committing sin. It is a sin for women to wear trousers, shorts and other men’s garment, likewise men wearing women’s garment like skirts and blouse are into sin. Deuteronomy 22:5 says, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abominations unto the LORD thy God”. Woman who bleach their skins, apply paints on their finger nails and toe-nails, make-up their faces, wear weave-ons, attachments and jewelleries are into sin. The Scripture says those that do such things are spoilt. Jeremiah 4:30 says, “And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life”
The wages of sin and the gift of God
om. 6: 23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” There are rewards and punishments for every action men take in this world whether of good or bad. The verse above unambiguously states that eternal death will be the punishment of sin and sinners, and eternal life the reward of holiness and holy persons. A sinner goes to hell because he deserves it, a backslider also because he refuses to repent but a righteous man goes to heaven because Christ has died for him. Every sinner earns this by long, sore, and painful service. But God gives to those who turn from sin, life eternal. It is His gracious gift, conditioned on refusing to be the servant of sin. Eze 18:20 says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” Woe to the sinners because it shall be ill with them. Although he had a good father but the righteousness of the father will not excuse him on the Day of Judgment. What he has deserved he shall get. He
shall be paid that for which he has laboured, and his reward shall be in proportion to his work. If God hates the wicked (sinner) and him that loves violence, why, then, shall I flee from the wicked men? In the Book of Esther, Haman was very great in the palace until he became wicked as he plotted to annihilate the children of God. The consequence of his wickedness was that he lost favour, and when the king abhorred him, the man at whom they had often trembled was loathed and committed to death. If we can see the black mark upon the faces of our persecutors, we shall not run away from them. Beloved, I urge you to examine yourself for the gain of the whole world is not comparable with the loss of one precious soul. The consequences of sin are terrible to behold. Any soul’s loss is an inconceivable, irrecompensible, and irrecoverable loss. Repent today by confessing your sins and accepting Jesus as your personal Saviour before it is too late. Do not exchange the everlasting joy with the pleasure of this life Mk 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Secrets of successful marriage
By PASTOR LAZARUS MOUKA
to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female” Marriage is between a man and woman, and it is for better or worse until death should separate them. If you left your first wife or husband for one reason or the other, you must bring him/her back otherwise you are a sinner. Every second, third or fourth wife or husband should return to the original home. The Scripture permits you to live with only your first spouse. All those who are into smuggling goods, smoking cigarettes and involve in drug abuse like cocaine, Indianhemp etc and those selling cigarettes or working in such places where they are manufactured are committing sin. Women who expose their armpits, waist, hips, chest and other sensitive parts of their body are committing sin. Masturbation, adultery, fornication, fraud, kidnapping and abduction are all sinful acts.
Evang. Femi Olaoluwa
arriage is a union between a man and a woman. It is not ordained by God solely for the purpose of procreation as some people are wont to believe. Its principal purpose is to provide companionship for the man. In Genesis 2: 18, the Bible says: “And the Lord God said. It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him”. Sadly, marriage is not fulfilling the purpose for which the Lord ordained it as most wives are not ‘help meet’ for their husbands. They compete with their husbands, challenging their authority over them. ‘Submission’ which the Bible recommends to the women as recipe for a successful marriage has been thrown overboard. The Bible tells us that out of genuine love for Abraham, Sarah called him lord. The question is, how many women see their husbands as their lords? In Ephesians 5:21-25, the Bible says: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church; and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore, as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it.” The import of the above passage is that wives are under obligation to submit to their husbands regardless of the financial status of their husbands. But what we see today is that the moment the man is not well-to-do or is having some financial challenges, the woman does not submit again. In fact, some cantankerous, recalcitrant and greedy women see that as an opportunity to pour venom on the man, treating him like a rag. Any woman who despises and maltreats her husband can hardly prosper in life. No matter the contribution of the woman to the upkeep of the family, she is not expected to despise the husband. It is only when a woman submits unconditionally to the man that the name of the Lord can be glorified in such a marriage. Where the woman feels too big to submit to the man, the concomitant effect of that is that the couple will live a cat and mouse life, inevitably leading to the break-up of such marriage. From the aforementioned passage, it is obvious that wives are supposed to be tied to the apron-string of their husbands just as the Church is to Christ. What that means is that just as the Church does not have a mind of its own, the wives are not to take any decision without the approval their husbands. The Bible does not permit wives to do anything without the permission of their husbands. Acting otherwise will be tantamount to disobeying the Lord and that can go a long way in hindering their prayers and blessing. The Bible says by the conversation (conduct) of the wife, an unbelieving husband can be converted. If you a believer and you are married to an unbelieving husband, the Lord expects that you will submit to him, showing him love in practical terms so that ultimately, he can see the light of the gospel and embrace the Lord. If such an unbelieving husband is maltreated by his wife, there is no way he will embrace the Lord. A woman, who wants to make her marriage work, must not add to the stress of the husband.
Wives are meant to relieve their husbands of stress on their return from work. But what you have in most cases is that the man comes from the office and faces another round of stress at home. That explains why most men reluctantly return home at the close of work. Some of them go to beer parlours to drink to stupor. There are women who subject their men to what the police call assault and battery. Women must respect their husbands more than others, even their pastors. Today, we have a situation where a wife despises the husband and holds the pastor in high esteem. Remember, your husband is your head and not your pastor. In addition, a wife who hopes to make a success out of her marriage must not deploy the weapon of sex denial against her husband as a way of settling scores. Couples should avoid involving a third party in the resolution of frictions in the home. Such frictions should be resolved amicably. Family secrets must not be divulged no matter the provocation. The woman must not be idle as there is every tendency that the man might see her as a liability which might rock the boat of the marriage. It must also be emphasized that the woman should not be taken for granted. The man should do everything in his power to love the woman and to treat her as wife and not a slave. It is unfortunate that some men have turned their homes to slave camps. Good women deserve a lot of honour from their men. So, husbands should endeavour to hold their wives in high esteem. Couples should avoid profligacy. Frivolous expenses must not be incurred by couples as this might affect their finances, thus posing unnecessary financial challenges to them. A woman, who wants her marriage to work, must endeavour to cook her husband’s meals herself. They should not leave it to house girls. The more a house girl cooks for your husband, the closer she is to him and before you know it, you are ‘overthrown’. Pastor Wilfred Jibril firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 08188464754
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
POLITICS...&Polity Day activists mobilized against corruption
•Bakare A pro-democracy group, Save Nigeria Group (SNG), is at it again. The group, under the leadership of a lawyer and fiery preacher, Pastor Tunde Bakare is no doubt known for its penchant for civil protests anytime its members feel that democracy is being threatened. In January 2010, when the Nigeria Constitution was not being followed to the letter during the sickness of the former President, Umaru Yar’Adua, the group mobilized to “occupy Abuja.” The group was also the backbone of the mother of all protests held in January this year when the administration of Goodluck Jonathan gave the country a new year gift of increase in the prices of oil products. The whole country was literally “occupied” by members of the civil society that was mobilized by the SNG until the government shifted its stance from N140 per litre to N97 per litre. Presently, the group is spoiling for another big battle with the leadership of the country, this time, on corruption. And if the threat of the group last Monday is carried out, Nigeria is in for another round of “operation occupy Nigeria.” RAZAQ BAMIDELE, who witnessed the occasion where the fresh threat was issued, reports. State of the nation ince the formation of the SNG, the Convener, Pastor Tunde Bakare and his members had made it abundantly clear that the group is out to cleanse the society and purge it of all anti-people policies and antidemocracy tendencies. They have vowed that nothing can stop them from rising against any form of oppression and injustices in the polity. It is against this backdrop that the group has taken it upon itself to organize series of seminars, symposium, workshops and annual lecture series to enlighten, educate, sensitise and mobilize the populace to know their rights and demand for them. Annual lecture series So, early this year, the first lecture, delivered by the universally renowned scholar, Professor Niyi Osundare was organized. And not satisfied with the state of the nation, the group came up with the second in the lecture series. An Associate Professor
Kuye from Department of English and Literature, Cerleton University, Canada, Pius Adesanmi delivered the lecture titled: Reparations: What Nigeria owes the tortoise. In the lecture, the don identified greed, selfishness as well as excessive corruption on the part of the country’s leadership as the cause of her backwardness, asserting that “until the nation is purged of all these societal ills, the country will continue to move from bad to worse.” While likening Nigeria’s rulers to the proverbial tortoise in the ancient fables, the lecturer narrated a couple of fables where the tortoise was reported to have ruined itself through “excessive consumption to the detriment of the collective goal of the people.” According to him, since the resources of the country were for the welfare of the generality of the citizenry, “the covenant of greed, ala, the tortoise must be broken to give way to respect for collective goal and common will of the people,” insisting that “common will of the people is sacred.” Adesanmi, who wondered that the same oil discover in Dubai that has become a blessing to that country was the same oil that has been spelling doom for Nigeria was of the conviction that everything possible must be done to evolve a natural self fashioning for nationhood where common goal would be the preoccupation of all and sundry. Waxing philosophical, the don warned that “the country would not move an inch if her leadership keeps on plagiarizing the greedy way of the tortoise and work towards a collective will of the people.” He expressed sadness that “the leadership of the country is, sadly, not even plagiarizing the tortoise but stealing, robbing and looting the tortoise intellectual property and thus owe the tortoise reparations.” He then challenged “those of us who bear the brunt of the repercussions of our leaders’ greed, corruption and selfishness to rise up against the ills,” submitting that “it is then that we will gradually find our way back to our common goal and collective will that will move the country forward.” Call for protests The lecturer’s postulation gingered the former Minister of the Federal Capital territory
Odumakin (FCT), Nasir el-Rufai, to admit that the country was at a crossroads, warning that the situation would degenerate if the people did not rise up to tackle the misdeeds bedeviling the nation. El-Rufai noted that creating what he called “Nigerian elite enclave mentality” would not shield anyone from the impending crises if the people refused to act now. According to him, people below the age of 20 currently constitute the majority of the country’s population, but they are faced with hardship and excruciating poverty. He bemoaned the decadence in the social structure, which he said had led to an unending cycle of violence and bloodletting, stressing that all these problems manifesting in form of violence and terrorist attacks, were products of corruption, lack of inadequate education, as well as the high unemployment rate in the country. So to him, people must rise up to stop corruption in the country. Toeing el-Rufai’s line was the Lagos State governorship candidate of the Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA), in the 2007 general election, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, who noted that the fight against corruption in the country could only succeed with the collective responsibility of both the leaders and the led. He called on Nigerians to resist corrupt leaders or they would be constantly pauperized by them. On her part, the President of Campaign for Democracy (CD), and leader of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said the idea of always wanting to share the “national cake” had remained an obstacle to the nation’s development. She therefore urged the government to prosecute all the parties found culpable in the controversial oil subsidy scam. “Gathering here is to prove a point that Nigeria belongs to all of us and we cannot fold hands and watch corruption tear us apart,” she said. The Chairman of the Ikeja chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association, Monday Ubani, said the country had failed but still working for those responsible for it. He called for a synergy between the public and the press to chart a new course for the nation in the fight against corruption. A former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, asserted that the country’s problem is mainly corruption,
El-Rufai regretting that 60 per cent of the nation’s budgetary allocation goes to mismanagement and corruption. He said the country was at the “emergency ward” and would go to the “intensive care unit” if the people did not act. In his closing remarks, the SNG Convener, Pastor Tunde Bakare lamented that the country is on the brink of collapse insisting that “it requires the urgent intervention of all citizens, especially through protests, to rescue it.” Bakare therefore urged Nigerians to immediately take to the streets and bring an end to corruption and bad governance, which he said were seriously threatening the survival of the nation. Even religious leaders across Christianity and Islam were not spared as he alleged that some use their positions to enrich themselves, and maintain ostentatious lifestyles, including buying private jet just as he called on the people to begin to cleanse the corrupt system by moving against such clerics. His words: “All G.O. (General Overseers) must go to prison…and all of us must be rounded up and put in jail. This is not the first time I am saying it. If the revolution does not begin in the church or mosque, Nigeria will not change. Dubai (United Arab Emirates) once came to Nigeria to borrow money. And what prevents transformation in Dubais from happening in Nigeria is the corruption of our leaders.” According to the preacher, the massive protests that greeted the removal of fuel subsidy by President Goodluck Jonathan in January demonstrated that the myth that Nigerians are a docile people, who lost the capacity to be shocked by the misdeeds of their rulers, has been shattered forever. Calling for protests to immediately begin, Bakare noted that almost everywhere in the world, democracy was preceded by revolution, and development, just as he agonized that, Nigeria had put the cart before the horse. If the clarion call for protests is heeded by the civil society, Nigerians, in no time will witness another mother of all protests against corruption and corrupt people in the country. And Bakare has assured that when it happens, it would shake the country to its very foundation.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
POLITICS...&Polity For a long time now, the nation has been caught in the bloody grip of Boko Haram, the militant Islamist sect. Every effort to get them to the round table for dialogue has hit a brick wall. But like a bolt from the blue, the sect, last week said it was ready for talks. But that is not without conditions; one of them is the arrest of Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff, erstwhile governor of Borno State, which is unarguably the hotbed of the sect. However, Alhaji Umaru Duhu, Adamawa State chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, (ANPP), has stoutly risen in defense of the embattled former governor. He said rather than being the mastermind of the dreaded Islamic sect, Sheriff is actually a victim. He spoke on the origin of the sect, and absolves his party man from any complicity during an encounter with journalists in Abuja. LAWRENCE ENYOGHASU brings the excerpts: The BOT chairman of your party, the ANPP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff was alleged to be the mastermind of Boko Haram. How does it come to you? It is rather unfortunate that the name of our respected party leader is being peddled as having links with the Boko Haram sect, even when it is common knowledge that he is the group’s number one target. The allegation is not a new thing. Some others have made futile attempts in the past to insinuate same. Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has not deemed it necessary to join issues with the embattled Senator Ahmed Zannah, who has been ranting in the past few weeks, because he knows that the man is only playing the ostrich. In the fullness of time, the truth about the whole matter will be known. The JTF which arrested the suspected Boko Haram kingpin are in a better position to tell the world in whose house they made the arrest. I agree that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has been on a virtual trial by the media over the issue of Boko Haram. I also agree that some people are bent on rubbishing his integrity, using the Boko Haram issue. I think it is rather unfortunate that people find it convenient to
‘Why Boko Haram is after Modu Sheriff’ trivialize a very serious security challenge like Boko Haram by playing politics with it. Some are pointing fingers at others instead of defending their culpability, any time our security operatives come near bursting the case. The Federal Government is not sleeping over the matter, and they have at their disposal very vital information on the matter, beyond what you and I have. The Inspector General of Police has said they are investigating. I am aware the State Security Service is doing its own part of the job. The JTF, who are on ground, may have their own findings, even as some citizens may volunteer facts. I am sure if we are patient enough, the real perpetrators may not have too long to hide from the hands of justice. But I want Nigerians to be fair to Ali Sheriff, by allowing security operatives to do the job, and not subject him to trial on the airwaves or on the pages of newspapers. As somebody close to Sheriff, can you swear that he is incapable of supporting Boko Haram. And whatever happened to his celebrated ECOMOG militia? What many people do not tend to understand is that Boko Haram did not start during Ali Modu Sheriff’s tenure as governor. It is a phenomenon that developed over time since around 1995. I have heard people propounding theories that Boko Haram metamorphosed from local political militia. One needs to look at the sophistication and modus operandi of Boko Haram to know that it is one group that does not operate on frivolities. Unlike the political thugs, who are often ragtag, Boko Haram looks a more organized group. It has been easy distinguishing between Boko Haram and political assassinations
•Duhu because of the calibre of people being targeted. Ali Sheriff has lost his own blood brother, his cousin, three of his most intimate friends, his party men, the governorship candidate of his party and many other associates, while all those trying to link him up with the issue have not lost
Third tier government deserves full autonomy – Dimaku
•Dimaku By DICKSON OKAFOR
he ongoing constitution amendment was in the front burner, in the Town Hall meeting of the people of Ehime Mbano Local Government Area, Imo State held with their representative in Imo State House of Assembly, Kingsley Dimaku recently. The community stated that the constitution should be amended to give autonomy to the third tier of government. According to them, the local government has direct bearing on the grassroots and should be allowed to perform its statutory functions. Dimaku in this interview with the Daily Sun highlighted some decisions taken at the meeting and why the constitution should be amended to allow autonomy of the third tier. He speaks on Igbo Presidency too. Excerpt.
Recently, you held a town hall meeting with your constituents on constitution amendment. What is their input? I have always believed in strengthening democracy in Nigeria and the way we can strengthen democracy is if power is with the people. The only way power can be with the people is when the member representing that constituency is strengthened. That is separation of power. The National Assembly is a typical example of separation of power because the National Assembly is autonomous, makes it effective. So my people’s view on the constitution review is that the states House of Assemblies must have autonomy. By being autonomous, it will make the Assembly a working entity from the executive and other organs of government. That is how democracy can be strengthened. Because that is not in place, you see the governors usurp the rights of the House of Assemblies and also do what they like with funds meant for local governments. That is not democracy. For instance, I represent the people of Ehime Mbano State Constituency and whatever I say; the people of Ehime Mbano have spoken. So if I’m not independent as a legislator, then what I’m doing is nothing. That means whatever the executive says, I will concur. That is not democracy, I am expected to speak for my constituency and the only way that can happen is full autonomy of the state legislature. Another point my people raised is that local government must have autonomy. According to them, a situation whereby fund allocated to the third tier of government is spent anyhow must stop. We must hold those at the local government responsible. The local government chairmen should be treated as governors. That is what
they are. That is why you have the local government Chairmen and the councilors as their commissioners. So they should have full autonomy. Let’s see what they will do. The essence of having a third tier of government is for development and democracy to get to the grassroots. The discouraging aspect is that the state government gives the local government peanuts. Some governors don’t conduct local government election, they just appoint TC Chairmen. It is against the constitution. My people say, if democracy must be strengthened, there should be full autonomy of the state assemblies and local governments. The full autonomy of the local governments is vital. We also agreed that the South East Zone deserves one more state. It is important to balance the imbalance in the state structure in the country. While other geo-political zones have six or more states each, only South East has five. My people say it is cheating. If there will be no state creation, one more state must be created in South East for equity. We are among the oil -producing regions and we are contributing immensely to the development of the nation, why then should we be marginalized? Why must we have less state? These are some of the decisions we arrived at. The demands of my people are: autonomy of the state assemblies, autonomy of the local government and the creation of one state in South East. How has lack of autonomy of LG affected development of the grassroots? The local government chairman, if you go to him, he will tell you that the governor said “I should do this or that” but if the third tier has autonomy, no local government chairman will give you flimsy excuses because the constitution has made it clear. The time has come to hold council chairmen responsible and they must be held accountable.
even the dogs in their houses. It is illogical to associate a man who from all ramifications is a victim with sponsorship of the same group that has traumatized him. I have a security report, which investigated the first crisis in 2009, under the chairmanship of Air Chief Marshall Paul Dike, the former Chief of Defence Staff, which completely exonerated Ali Sheriff. I also have the report of the Ambassador Gaji Galtimari committee, which investigated the same incident, in which the former governor was given a clean bill of health. It is, therefore, baffling, when laymen who do not necessary have adequate knowledge of the metamorphosis of the sect into a violent group, begin to make analysis and even apportion blames. Ali Sheriff does not have any fear of being investigated, whenever his attention is called on any particular issue, including the issue of Boko Haram. We should not crucify a man just because some other people detest him for whatever reasons. All those who investigated the matter are luckily still around, and they have not disowned the reports they made. I can confirm with authority that Ali Modu Sheriff is not capable of, and never masterminded Boko Haram. On the issue of the political thugs, I know that politics tend to breed a lot of miscreants, who may parade themselves as belonging to a particular party or individual. At public functions, they shout all sorts of slogans and commit mischief. This is a common denominator in Nigerian politics. But Sheriff has never supported any such acts. Those who claim to be his boys or claim to act on his instructions are on their own. If there are any evidences linking anybody with any crime, that person should answer for his sins, and not try to link same with Sheriff. This group, which you call ECOMOG, may be a coinage by some people, and if they exist, at all, they belong to that category. We observe that most of the people being killed are from a particular political party... I have said it before, that there is more of politics in some of the cases than there were other crimes. We have to accept the reality of the existence of Boko Haram. But politics have overshadowed them, to the effect that, we now have political assassinations and armed robbery, operating simultaneously with Boko Haram. So far, the ANPP in Borno State has suffered more casualties than all the other parties put together. As I speak with you, all those killed are of the ANPP, some of whom were closely related to Ali Sheriff. Only a few days ago, his closest ally, Alhaji Mustapha Floma was assassinated in cold blood. It is obvious that ANPP members are the targets of killings, and yet nobody wants to believe us. Rather, people tend to align with those who torment us, obviously to get even with Sheriff, who is the leader of the party. But Senator Ahmed Zannah has dragged the Federal Government and the JTF to court to clear his name. What do you make of that? It is left for the Federal Government to appropriately define the issues involved and address them. But it is rather amusing that the man is jumping the gun. No formal charges have been brought against him yet. It is rather curious that the man is getting jittery over the mere arrest of a suspect linked to him in his house. Like I said earlier, we should allow the security operatives to investigate, without any attempt to blackmail, cajole or intimidate them. Even the major suspect has not been charged to court yet. So, I don’t see any reason why the senator is developing cold. Of course, if there is any misrepresentation, the government will apologize to him. If on the other hand he is found culpable, then he should carry his cross. The act of going to court, or crying wolf in the media, or even trying to implicate others cannot acquit him, rather it is the proof of innocence, and the onus is on him to do so. What would you say on the call by the Boko Haram sect that Ali Sheriff must be arrested as a pre-condition to cease fire? In my understanding, they did not call for his arrest because he is their sponsor; rather it is to avenge the perceived wrongs he committed against them. It is common knowledge that he has been fighting a running battle with the group since 2009, when the crisis snowballed into violence. This call has been made before, and it is left to see the basis against which he will be arrested.
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012, 41
CONSTITUTION REVIEW Igbos’ll accept nothing less than a state from Ekweremadu, Ihedioha -CPC From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
nugu State governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC) in the last general elections, Mr. Osita Okechukwu has told Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu that he has no option than to ensure an additional state for the South East. Okechukwu who was reacting to a comment credited to the Deputy Senate President that his hands were tied over ensuring that a new state was created as demanded by the people of the South East. The CPC stalwart insisted that with the positions being occupied by Ekweremadu and Emeka Ihedioha, “there is no way they should come back home without at least one state for Ndigbo.” He also argued that with the immense support given to President Jonathan and indeed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since inception added to the fact that two Igbo sons are heading the committee for the review of the constitution, there was no good reason why Ndigbo could not get at least one state. “If Ekweremadu and Ihedioha cannot get us an additional state, then it means that their mission in the National Assembly is ‘Food is Ready,’ that they should not return to Igboland. “There is nothing magical in the procedure set out in Sections 8 and 9 to deny Ndigbo this golden opportunity.”
...As Bayelsa wants two From FEMI FOLARANMI, Yenagoa
he Bayelsa State Constitutional Review Committee has adopted the creation of two additional states and 100 per cent control of resources as part of its position in the ongoing constitutional amendment public hearing being held in the state. The Committee headed by Professor of Political Science, Prof Kimse Okoko said this would form part of the state position at the zonal hearing slated for Calabar, Cross Rivers state today. Okoko who disclosed this at the interactive session held at the state banquet hall which had in attendance the three Senators, explained that to avoid rancor and bitterness, the committee proposed the creation of two additional states bringing the total number of states to three which should be in line with the existing 3 senatorial districts. He said “There should be three states in Bayelsa and they should be in line with the three senatorial districts. So Bayelsa is requesting for two additional states in order to bring the total number of states to three. The states are Brass with headquarters in Brass, Sagbama with headquarters in Sagbama and Yenagoa with headquarters in Yenagoa”. The forum while adopting the devolution of powers to the federating states to reflect true federalism in the country, recommended total ownership of resources of the state with payments of appropriate taxes to the federal government.
NULGE wants full autonomy for councils From TUNDE OMOLEHIN, Sokoto
he National President of National Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE), Ibrahim Khaleen has urged the National Assembly to consider as the most priority the inclusion of the local government autonomy in the ongoing constitutional review exercise. Speaking at a press conference ahead of the zonal public hearing on the constitution review by the Senate, slated for 15th and 16th November, 2012 in Sokoto, Khaleen said the inclusion of the local councils with its establishment, composition, powers, function and tenure well spelt out would no doubt strengthen democracy and reduce corruption at all levels. The union also seeks for the amendment of section 162 of the 1999 constitution by scrapping the state Joint Local Government Account system, adding that “All lawful methods to stop this fraud, including judgements of the Supreme Court and other courts with competent jurisdiction have been frustrated by the state governments. We also want the removal of section 7 of the 1999 constitution because its full of contradictions and confusion. It is under this ambiguity that the state government hides to manipulate the local government by aborting the democratic governance and imposes a regime of caretaker administration,” he explained. According to him, “To replace this section, the constitution should restore the autonomy of local governments and guarantee its status as the third tier of government in Nigeria with power to exercise all Executive, Legislative and Administrative functions.”
•From left: Senators representing Ogun West and East Senatorial districts, Akin Odunsi and Gbenga Kaka; Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Prince Segun Adesegun; Governor Ibikunle Amosun; the Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo, and Head of Service, Mrs Modupe Adekunle, during a public hearing on 1999 Constitution review in Abeokuta yesterday.
Bloody clash averted in Enugu From Enugu
OBI, review before the police among other groups.
major clash between youths loyal to an Enugu Local Government Chairman Mr. Ekene Okenwa and those of Senator Gil Nnaji representing Enugu West was averted yesterday as the chairman used the police to stop a public hearing at the council headquarters. It took the intervention of Senator Nnaji to restore normalcy but shortly afterwards the police led by the Agbani DPO, Sampson Ihuaenyi (CSP) dispersed the opinion leaders and all the people gathered for the public hearing. Trouble was said to have started after a canopy reportedly put in place for the occasion was pulled down by boys believed to be loyal to the Nkanu West chairman. The canopies and chairs were returned to position by the group loyal to the senator and all was set for the public hearing on constitution
stormed the venue and dispersed everybody including the senator. Addressing the people before they dispersed, Nnaji said; “Today the good people of Enugu East senatorial district decided to hold their own constitution amendment public hearing, as you can see all the stakeholders are here- traditional rulers, the clergy, labour unions, town unions,
Unfortunately, the exercise which has been going on across all the senatorial zones has been stopped from holding here. I consulted widely, I consulted the entire Local Government chairmen in this zone, I also informed the Enugu ALGON chairman, I am suprised that the chairman of Nkanu West local government, Ekene Okenwa has refused to allow the event go
Oil producing communities demand for National Derivation Board The Oil and Gas Producing In their Memorandum subForm TONY OSAUZO, mitted to the House Communities in their memoBenin
s the House of Representatives grapples with the amendment of the 1999 Constitution,Oil Producing Ethnic Nationalities in the country have demanded for amendment to Section 162 or related Sections of the Constitution as they pertain to national resources.
Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution the Oil and Gas Producing Ethnic Nationalities from Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo Rivers, Ondo and Imo States while praying the House of Representatives to retain Sections 162 (2) (a) and (b), called for a new sub-section, Section 162 (2) (c) to be included in the Constitution.
Special status for Lagos dominates discussion By RAZAQ BAMIDELE
pecial status for Lagos State, listing of the 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDA) of the state, as well as establishment of state police dominated discussion at the Constitution Review parley organized by Senator Oluremi Tinubu in Lagos yesterday. Themed:‘Sensitisation/submission of memoranda on the 1999 Constitution review,’ the Senator gathered stakeholders within and outside her Lagos Central District to discuss the areas they wanted amended in the Constitution. In her welcome address,
on here. We set canopies yesterday and he ordered his boys to dismantle them, the same thing also happened this morning, whatever is their reason I don’t know, but it is very unfortunate. I don’t know why some people, may be in the government quarters have decided to stop this process, we will go back to the senate and report to them what happened here today.
Remi Tinubu, a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), explained that the parley was imperative in view of the importance of the document to the life of the people, stressing that the opportunity should not be allowed to slip off without utilizing it. While setting the tone of the deliberation, she called attention to the necessity of special status for the state and listing of the 37 LCDA in the Constitution in line with fiscal federalism. “We have advocated for judicial reform and demonstrated this in Lagos State through our judicial reform.
Many of us would also recall that Lagos State, as part of its commitment to grassroots development created more LCDA to foster development. These new LGs are yet to be listed in the Constitution. We should therefore use this amendment process to demand for listing of these LCDAs in our Constitution. “One other issue is that I urge members of my constituency to look into the conferment of special status on Lagos State. We have responsibility to define the special status that would be suitable to the nature and character of Lagos State,” she submitted.
randum are demanding for their 13 percent Derivation Fund to be paid to them as First Line Charge from the Federation Account through a National Derivation Board whose members would be recommended for appointment by the President on the advice of Leaders of the communities. Besides, they proposed that the Board should have an Executive Chairman and Members/Commissioners, including a member of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, as well as a Secretary to the Board with supporting staff; and the Chairmanship of the Board to rotate among the States every four years. In addition, the Oil and Gas Producing Ethnic Nationalities proposed that “the National Derivation Board shall receive and distribute the 13 per cent directly to the respective states implementation Committees whose members shall be solely nominated and appointed by the Leaders of the oil and gas communities.”
42 DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
NEWS Bayelsa govt has not abandoned pensioners –Dickson From FEMI FOLARANMI, Yenagoa
overnor Henry Seriake Dickson has reiterated the commitment of his administration to the plight of pensioners in the state. The National Union of Pensioners (NUP) had on Monday castigated the Dickson administration for failing to honour its promise to pay the pensioners their gratuities. They had served notice to embark on a peaceful demonstration and seek legal redress if their money totaling N3.5 billion was not paid. Dickson in statement signed on his behalf by the Chief Press Secretary; Mr Daniel Iworiso- Markson said he would continue to hold the state pensioners in high esteem. While acknowledging the contributions of the pensioners to the development of the state, he assured them that his government would do everything possible within the shortest period to alleviate their sufferings. Iworiso- Markson stated that the delay in the payment of the pension was not unconnected to the fraud uncovered in the pension payment. The statement reads in part: “It is not true that government is not concerned about the plight of pensioners as alleged. More than anything else, our administration has expressed genuine concern and commitment to the welfare of pensioners. You are aware that the government has set up a committee in this regard. The truth of the matter is that the issue of pension in the state is similar to the same issue of over-bloated wage bills. We have more fictitious names on the list of pensioners and government is working hard to ensure that only genuine pensioners are identified. We must stop the fraud in the system and our pensioners should support government efforts in this regard as government is also committed to their welfare.”
Nigerians in Diaspora urged to assist C’River flood victims From JUDEX OKORO, Calabar
he Cross River State Government has appealed to Nigerians within and in Diaspora to display their brotherliness by extending hands of fellowship to flood victims. The government said this is the most auspicious time for concerned persons to appreciate the affected population by donating whatever they could, including clothing, foodstuff beds and beddings, medication, building materials and other areas such empowerment and skill acquisition training for the displaced. The Deputy Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham, who made the appeal yesterday, while receiving relief materials donated by NEMA for victims of Lagdo Dam flooding in Cross River State at the premises of SEMA in Calabar, said it would continue to mobilize every venture to sustain collaboration with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in pursuance of it’s statutory duties of disaster management. Cobham disclosed that the devastation occasioned by the flood had caused frictions to the economy of the state as substantial population of the state that depended on agriculture was presently wallowing in object poverty. “We appeal to Nigerians within and in Diaspora to display their brotherliness by extending a hand of fellowship to the affected population by donating whatever they could, including clothing, food stuff, beds and beddings, medication, building materials and other areas such empowerment and skill acquisition training for the displaced,” he said. He said the gesture of the Federal Government through NEMA was palliative and assured that it would become a pivot on which the traumatized victims would spring up. According to him, the materials would be judiciously distributed, taking cognizance of severity and urged NEMA to consider the allocation of more materials for the state considering the high-level of devastation caused by the flood. Presenting the relief materials, the Director- General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi, said that the materials were for those affected by the Lagdo Dam discharge flooding. The DG NEMA, who was represented by the Zonal Coordinator South-South, Mr Umesi Emerike, listed the items to include 500 bags of rice, 400 bags of beans, 100 keys of vegetable oil, 2 000 pieces of mattresses, 2,000 blankets, 3,000 pieces of wax prints and 2,500 pieces of towels. Others are 300 cartons of tea, 150 bags of salt and 1,000 pieces of Nylon mats. Statistics made available to Daily Sun revealed that over 212 communities were flooded in the state displacing over 44,918 persons and destroyed 1800 houses, 82,361 farms, 15 churches, 13 schools and over 18 markets. At least, 13 persons were reported to have died while 34 suffered different degrees of injuries while yam, rice, cocoa, cassava, plantain, banana, potatoes, maize and vegetables farms were destroyed. Besides, over 41 culverts and bridges were destroyed and several roads washed away by the ravaging flood.
• L-R: Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, Governor of Osun State, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, his wife, Sherifat and the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti during Protocol, Security and Etiquette workshop for Female public office holders and wives of state functionaries, held at GMT Events Centre, Ring Road, Osogbo yesterday.
Counsel in hot exchange at Edo election tribunal From TONY OSAUZO, chairman, Justice Muazu Pindiga intervened and Benin calmed them down. He n application for reminded them that their adjournment at the juniors in the Bar were learnEdo State ing form their action and Governorship Election utterances in the court. Chief Akpofure continued Petition Tribunal yesterday led to hot exchange of words his application for adjournbetween counsel to the peti- ment and said: “We visited tioner, Chief Efe Akpofure INEC up till Friday last (SAN) and counsel to week and they guaranteed us Governor Adams that the materials will get to Oshiomhole, Chief Adeniyi us latest before today. But as I speak, they are yet to comAkintola (SAN). People Democratic Party ply. These are the documents (PDP) candidate, we intend to use to prove Airhiabvere’s counsel, Chief malpractice in the election. Efe Akpofure (SAN), had In the face of all these, and prayed the tribunal to with their promise to supply adjourn hearing on the peti- all these materials, we cantion on the ground that mate- not present our case piecerials requested from INEC meal, and our time is runwere yet to be fully supplied ning. “My simple application is to them. He had, while making the for your Lordships to make a application erroneously said follow-up order for INEC to Ward 2 in Orhiomwon Local make all the documents Government Area had 208 available to us and we will be able to prove our case,” Units. Consequently, Governor he said. Replying, counsel to the Oshiomhole’s counsel, Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), 1st and 2nd Respondents, flared up, saying that Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) and Orhiomwon was not pleaded Ken Mozia (SAN), opposed in the petition. “You cannot stand before my Lordships and dish out falsehood. There was no complaint against Orhiomwon Ward 2, and we cannot stand here to litigate From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba on what was not pleaded, fficers of the anti-vanAkintola replied. dalism unit of the But Chief Akpofure told Nigeria Security and the tribunal that the attention Civil Defence Corps of counsel to INEC was earlier drawn to the materials (NSCDC) have intercepted a that were yet to be supplied, tanker loaded with 33,000 and he promised to compel litres of petroleum product his client to supply the mate- illegally siphoned. Although the driver and rials to them. Following altercation conductor of the tanker with between the Senior registration number XK 800 Advocates, the Tribunal AKD escaped being arrested
the application for adjournment on the ground that documents of the area being sought by the petitioner were not pleaded, and that witnesses pleaded in the petition could be called to justify their claims while the petitioner awaits the documents. Chief Akintola said the petitioner ought to have made a written application for the materials yet to be supplied to them rather than making an oral application which he said, was delaying further hearing in the petition. Counsel to 2nd Respondent (ACN), Ken Mozia while also opposing the adjournment, said there was no valid reason to impede the proceeding of the case. Counsel to 3rd, 4th and 5th respondents, (INEC, Resident Electoral Commissioner and Returning Officer), E.R. Emukperuo aligned himself with the submissions of counsel to 1st and 2nd respondents and said INEC had given to the petitioner all
the documents he demanded as far back as early October, adding that the complaint was just being made for the first time. “The impression that INEC is holding them back is misleading. He just made the complaint to dramatize the whole thing,” he said. Mr. Emukpeuo therefore asked the Tribunal to discountenance the application for .adjournment made by the petitioner. Ruling on the application, Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Muazu Pingida, said it was only in the interest of justice to allow the petitioner access to all necessary documents that would enable him prove his case. He therefore ordered counsel to INEC to liaise with the electoral umpire to ensure that all the necessary documents sought by the petitioner were made available to him within two days. He therefore adjourned sitting to Friday. November 16, 2012.
NSCDC impounds 33,000 litres of illegal petrol in Delta
by the officers, its suspected financier was arrested in Bonsac area of the BeninAsaba Expressway while heading to Onitsha. The suspect was said to have confessed loading the product valued at N3.5 million from a vandalized oil pipeline. Confirming the incident, the state commandant of the corps, Mr. Andekin Amos Musa said the suspect was without waybill and other
title documents to convey such products when he was apprehended. Musa told journalists that the command had also arrested a member of an armed robbery gang believed to be terrorising Okonkwo Street in Asaba. He gave the name of the suspected armed robber as Kingsley Adisa, adding that a locally made pistol, and live ammunition were recovered from him.
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012, 43
NEWS NEMA tasks Nigerians on dry season emergencies From IBRAHIM AKANBI, Ibadan
s the nation gradually moves towards the dry season, the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) has charged Nigerians to adequately prepare for the challenges of its associated emergencies. These include guarding against diseases such as measles, cholera, lassa fever and Cerebral Spinal Meningitis (CMS),which are epidemics associated with the environment and often part of the season. The Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi gave the charge in his address to stakeholders during a sensitization and awareness workshop in Ibadan yesterday, He urged the public to be wary of environment associated epidemics notably measles, cholera, lassa fever and cerebral spinal meningitis, among others. He explained that these diseases were mostly found in dirty environments with polluted water and contaminated food, while CMS thrived in hot temperature as well as overcrowded environment In attendance at the workshop were health workers, district heads and school teachers drawn from all the 33 local government areas of Oyo State. Represented on the occasion by the South West Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Iyiola Akande, the NEMA director general remarked that measles, cholera, lassa fever and cerebral spinal meningitis were among the 10 most critical health disasters associated with dry season, hence the urgent need for the public to guard against them.
Ukiwe wants Nigerians to fight crime By CHRISTOPHER OJI
ormer Chief of General Staff (CGS), Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd) has called on Nigerians to join hands with government in the fight against all manners of crimes that now ravage the country. Speaking yesterday in his office in Lagos when members of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON) paid him a courtesy visit, the former number two citizen noted that the present state of insecurity in Nigeria called for the cooperation of well meaning Nigerians to reverse the trend. His words: “We cannot go on like this. Much effort is needed from all because no social or economic development would take place in the face of the present insecurity.” He urged the officers and members of AISSON to ensure that the communiqué from the recent security seminar organized by the association was sent to President Goodluck Jonathan, whom he believed would pass same to relevant authorities for implementation. The AISSON President, Dr. Ona Ekhomu said his team had come to express appreciation for Commodore Ukiwe’s presence as the special guest of honour at the AISSON conference, which held on October 30t and 31, 2012 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos. Ekhomu said: “We dare to say that as someone who loves this country dearly and who has so much to offer, you should not be on the sideline at a time like this.” He added that the security challenges were daunting, but the solutions being canvassed in the public space were less than sublime.
‘Why we need sickle cell nurse specialists in Nigeria’ By ADESINA OLANREWAJU
he Chairman, Sickle Cell Foundation Nigeria, Professor Olu Akinyanju has explained why sickle cell specialist nurses are needed in Nigeria. Speaking to journalists in Lagos, Professor Akinyanju maintained that Nigerians needed to know more precisely the causation of specific complications of sickle cell disorder and thus discover better remedies for their prevention, amelioration and cure. He noted that prophylactic anti-infective measures against pneumococcal, meningococcal and other prevalent bacteria and malaria should be freely provided for infants and children with sickle cell disorder to reduce the high death and illness rates caused by these infections. “Adequate safe blood for transfusion should be provided in all the states in Nigeria to save and support lives. The training and recognition of a cadre of sickle cell specialist nurses should be introduced to improve our capacity to deliver better health care and education to affected individuals and families all over the country.” The professor revealed that over 40 million Nigerians were healthy carriers with HB AS and about 150,000 children were born every year with sickle cell anaemia, he also lamented that in Nigeria, funding sickle cell and other health care research was very poor and the situation required government and public understanding and support by national and international funding agencies.
•The first flyover in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital under construction in Ibara-Ita-Eko .Photo: MOSHOOD ADEBAYO
Ayua emerges Speaker, Benue House EJEMBI, Stephen Onmeje, Iyana Jato (Katsina-Ala) raised a point of order stating that the enue State House of House accepted the resignaAssembly yesterday tion of the immediate past elected Emmanuel speaker as a mark of respect Ayua representing Gwer for him. Jato, who also passed a East State Constituency as its Speaker following last vote of confidence on the week’s resignation of the state Governor, Dr. Gabriel former Speaker, David Suswam and his Deputy, Iorhemba who represents Chief Stephen Lawani Guma State Constituency in stressed that the House had the House. no problem with the leaderAyua, who becomes the ship style of the governor, third Speaker of the his deputy and the principal Assembly was produced within 17 months of the seventh Assembly. He emerged after all members of the House including the former Speaker, Iorhemba unanimously voted for him folEMMANUEL lowing his nomination by From Baba Ode of Otukpo / Akpa OGOIGBE, Warri State Constituency. n aide to the commisEarlier, during its sitting sioner representing which was presided over by the Itsekiri nation on the Deputy Speaker, Dr. From ROSE Makurdi
officers of the assembly. In his inaugural speech, Emmanuel Ayua described his election as a herculean task and sued for the support of all members to enable him succeed. Last week Thursday, former Speaker, David Iorhemba tendered his resignation letter following allegation of financial mismanagement and misrepresentation of members to the executives leveled against him by members.
Iorhemba, who entered the chamber of the assembly at exactly 10:30 a.m yesterday was all smiles as he took his seat among members and voted for the new Speaker. In a chat with journalists shortly after the emergence of the new Speaker, Iorhemba, who noted that he had no regrets resigning as Speaker of the House stated that his resignation was based on personal grounds and that of his family and also due to pressure.
DESOPADEC commissioner’s aide escapes assassination
Oil Producing Area Development Commission (DESOPADEC), Evangelist Michael Diden, has escaped death by the whiskers when the car he was traveling in the Board of the Delta State was attacked yesterday morn-
Abeokuta’s first flyover nearing completion …First pedestrian bridge too From MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta
arely 36 years after it became a state capital, Abeokuta will soon boast of its flyover. The multi million naira bridge in the state capital created on February 3, 1976 is part of the ongoing facelift by the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The bridge, located in Ibara, the commercial nerve centre of the state capital will add to the beauty of the sixlane carriage way stretching from Ibara through Sokori to Totoro, which the current
state government completed to mark its first year in office. Similarly, the first ever pedestrian bridge in the state capital is almost completed at Ita-Eko, Sokori area of the state capital. The bridge, which is being handled by the Chinese Construction Engineering Corporation, according to the company would be handed over to the state government before the end of the year. The state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, during an inspection said good road network was key to economic development in the state. According to him, excel-
lent road network was a prerequisite for economic development, adding that no economic development could take place in any state with dilapidated road network. His words: “Our plan is to fix the poor road network in the state and make them motorable. We are building new ones. He adds:“Durability is also a major consideration for the roads we are constructing. This is why we have included proper channelisation and drainage system in all our road designs. We want to stimulate economic activities and ensure growth and development of the state.”
ing by gunmen suspected to be hired assassins along Eku Agbor Road. The aide, Mr. Omasan Mabiaku was traveling with two others, Messers Opiepie Destiny and Fennyson Boyo, when the assailants opened fire on their car. The sporadic shooting tore open the car airbag and riddled the car beyond repair. But for the timely intervention of soldiers from the 19th Battalion of the Nigeria Army, Koko, who responded swiftly to the distress call from Mr. Omasan, the attack would have been fatal. Meanwhile, Mr. Mabiaku Special Assistant to Diden expressed gratitude to God for sparing his life and other colleagues in his car. He said truly God reigns and shows himself in a period of danger to those who trust in him. It should be noted that the Sapele, Eku–ku Agbor Road has been a notorious area for robbers and assassins to carryout their evil act.
44 DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
US honours Tony Chukwu
he United States Department of Commerce has honoured Chief Tony Chukwu, the Group Chairman, Roudo Nigeria Limited with industry recognition certificate. The award, which took place in Washington DC, United States of America was given to Chief Chukwu in recognition of his business partnership with various American companies. Chief Tony, a business mogul has been a credible business partner to many American companies that sell heavy-duty equipment in the USA. He has partnered with Mustang-Cat of Houston Texas, Maxim Works LP, Bridgeville, Ellicott Dredger LLC, Baltimore, Wilco Industrial Services LLC, Louisiana among others, all in the United States of America. As a result of his investment in heavy duty construction equipment, such as heavy duty dredger, cranes, trucks, oversize low-beds, bulldozers, rollers, electronic pavers, graders, pay loaders, asphalt plants etc, US Department of Commerce honoured him for his contribution to the economic growth of the US and his business acumen. The US Embassy in Lagos had also honoured him for his outstanding contribution in the enhancement of business relationship between Nigeria and the United State of America. Roudo Nigeria Limited, which Chief Tony Chukwu is the chairman engaged in restoring hope, confidence and faith in the Nigeria business environment.
Nasarawa govt yet to pay N300m counterpart fund to World Bank From ABDULLAHI SHUAIBU, Lafia
asarawa State Government is yet to pay the sum of N300 million as counterpart fund to the World Bank for the implementation of community development projects in the state. Acting General Manager, State Community and Social Development Agency (NSCDA), Mr. Tanko Anthony Lawal who disclosed this while receiving Nasarawa State House of Assembly Committee on HIV/Aids and Multi-lateral Co-operation in his office yesterday also said the N100 million to be paid were that of 2010, 2011 and 2012. Lawal further explained that the agency was able to execute projects in the communities in the state worth N441 million since its establishment four years ago by law passed by the state Assembly number 78 of 2009 and that the state paid only N100 million once. On the achievement recorded by the agency, Lawal said his agency was able to improve the lives of every community in Nasarawa State, most especially in the area of education, where about 20 classrooms, examination halls/laboratories and libraries were built, out of which 15 were on-going and five completed . Also out of nine clinics in health sectors, seven were ongoing, while two completed, on water supply sector out of 61 boreholes ,44 were ongoing and 17 completed. Also, on socio-economic sector 10 market stalls, skills acquisition centres and town halls, two were completed, while eight were ongoing. He said nine communities, which include Kama, Madaki, Abuni, Alogani and Angwan Sakkwatawa as well benefitted from its rural electrification project. On transportation, the general manager said out of 18 bridges, culverts and roads rehabilitation, only six were completed while 12 were ongoing.
Katsina boosts poverty alleviation with N440m From ANDY ASEMOTA, Katsina
atsina State’s Poverty Alleviation Programme for physically challenged, unemployed persons and poor artisans has got a boost, as the state and local governments offered to bankroll the scheme with N440 million for the activities due to come into force next year, though they would be introduced gradually. The Special Adviser to Governor Ibrahim Shema on Poverty Alleviation, Bature Umar Masari, while disclosing this to newsmen in Katsina, said the commitment was aimed at encouraging over 6,500 expected beneficiaries to be selfreliant. He explained that: “There is a monthly poverty alleviation programme for physically challenged to be financed jointly by the state and local governments whereby, 1, 000 people will benefit monthly in all 34 local government areas. “It will involve medical care and financial assistance to the tune of N162 million annually,” the governor’s aide said. According to him, each of the disabled persons would receive N10, 000 every month in addition to a free health scheme for them.
•Deputy Managing Director of The Sun Publishing Ltd, Mr. Femi Adesina (middle) assisted by his wife, Nike (left) receiving his Award of Excellence from Inner Wheel Taiwo Adisa, District Chairman during the induction ceremony and award for officers of Inner Wheel Club of Iju District 911, Nigeria, held last weekend at African Model College, Ifako Ijaiye, Lagos.
APGA forgery: Court orders Masalla’s prosecution From IKENNA EMEWU, the list of witnesses, a copy of ture of one Jolly Ngbor (a sons their signatures were the list of exhibits, affidavit in member of the National allegedly forged. Abuja
nother twist has emerged in the festering problem in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), with a court directive that leader of the party’s faction, Alhaji Sadeeq Massala be tried. The order emanated from the court presided over by Justice Peter Kekemeke arising from an application brought by the police prosecutor, Frances Irabor in charge number CR/36/12. The court granted that the arraignment should be on November 21. Irabor had in his application sought for leave “to prefer a criminal charge without holding preliminary inquiry brought under Section 185(b) of the CPC and pursuant to Rule 3 of the criminal procedure ( application for leave to prefer a charge in the High Court Rules 1970) and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.” The application was supported by a copy of the proof of evidence which would be relied on during trial, a copy of
support of the application and photocopies of statement of witnesses and the accused person. The charges indicted that: “Masalla “M” 60 years No. 8 Bauchi Road, Jos, Plateau State on or about the 6th day of June 2012 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court forged the signa-
Working Committee of the APGA) on the resolution paper purporting the signature to have been appended by the said Jolly B. Ngbor, which you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offense punishable under Section 364 of the Penal Code Law.” The same charge was replicated for the eight other per-
EBSU pro-chancellor denies receiving N70m gratification From GODDY OSUJI, Abakaliki
he Ebonyi State University Governing Council Chairman and Pro-Chancellor of the university, Dr. Igwe AjaNwachukwu has denied ever receiving the sum of N70 million to influence the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) to stop investigations into the tenure of the Vice Chancellor of the Ebonyi State University, (EBSU) Professor Francis Idike. Aja-Nwachukwu who was
a former education minister also declared that its recommendation for the reappointment of Professor Idike as VC of the institution was without prejudice to the Ebonyi State University and Related Matters (amendment) Law of 2011, saying the appointment of Idike did not spell out his tenure. The Eastern zonal office of EFCC had through a letter dated October 4, 2012 and addressed to the EBSU VC, demanded from Professor Idike, list of all contracts/procurements (completed and ongoing) executed by the uni-
Atiku, Ihedioha, Okorocha, Wike to grace FGC Okigwe’s 35th founder’s day
ormer vice president Atiku Abubakar will be the guest speaker at the Federal Government College Okigwe, Imo State’s 35th anniversary homecoming celebrations on Saturday, November 17 at the school’s pavilion in Okigwe. Also expected to at the grand finale of 35th anniversary celebrations of school are Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and Minister of
The suspended members were said to have on June 19 allegedly broken into the party’s office and the conference room and addressed the press conference, where they purportedly suspended APGA’s National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh and National Secretary, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi.
Education (state) Ezenwo Nyesom Wike. A statement released in Lagos yesterday by the Federal Government College, Okigwe Old Students’ Association (FEGOCOOSA) stated that the former vice president would be speaking on: “Mentoring as stimulus for personal growth and organizational development,” which was also the theme of the 35th anniversary celebrations of the school. The D. M. Ukpe biennial lecture series was instituted in honour of the founding principal of the
school. According to the statement signed by President of FEGOCOOSA, Amara Nwokeji, Atiku would be inducted as Grand Patron of the Federal Government College, Okigwe Old Students’ Association. Also, Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and Minister of Education (state), Ezenwo Nyesom Wike would be conferred with the instruments as National Patrons of the association.
versity during his tenure from 2009 to date, as well as certified true copies of all documents relating to advertisement, bidding, award and acceptance letters of all contracts during that period to aid its investigation. However, the ProChancellor and Chairman of the governing council, Dr. Aja Nwachukwu; denied any knowledge of N70 million whatsoever and demanded that anybody with evidence of such transaction should show up. “I have never heard about and I can assure you we are transparent here; we would be very happy if anybody has evidence of that, our bank accounts are all there. So, it is not an issue as far as I am concerned, I don’t have information about that,” he added. Aja-Nwachukwu, a former minister of education, said: “We run institutions based on instruments that created that institution” adding that no violence was done to the laws establishing EBSU and denied insinuations that the appointment letter given to Idike on assumption of office was premeditated to generate the present confusion.
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012,
Foreign Affairs Ouattara dissolves Ivorian govt over marriage law
vory Coast President Alassane Ouattara has sacked his government in a row over a new marriage law which would make wives joint heads of the household. Mr Ouattara’s party supported the changes but the members of the ruling coalition were opposed.The strongest opposition came from the PDCI, which backed Mr Ouattara in the disputed November 2010 election. Analysts said the splits highlight the continued political instability in the world’s major cocoa producer. It is slowly recovering from months of unrest following the poll, in which former President Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept Mr Ouattara’s victory.
• Palestinian firefighters extinguish fire from the car of Ahmaed Jaabari (inset), head of the military wing of the Hamas Movement, the Ezzedin Qassam Brigades, after it was hit by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City yesterday. Photo:AFP
Hamas military commander killed • As Israel launches Gaza offensive
srael launched a major offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza yesterday, killing the military commander of Hamas in an air strike and threatening an invasion of the enclave that the Islamist group vowed would “open the gates of hell”. The onslaught shattered hopes that a truce mediated on Tuesday by Egypt could pull the two sides back from the brink of war after five days of escalating Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli strikes at militant targets. Operation “Pillar of Defense” began with a surgical strike on a car carrying the commander of the military wing of Hamas, the Islamist movement which controls Gaza and dominates a score of smaller armed groups. Within minutes of the death of Ahmed Al-Jaabari, big explosions were rocking Gaza, as the Israeli air force struck at selected targets just before sundown, blasting plumes of smoke and debris high above the crowded city. Panicking civilians ran for cover and the death toll mounted quickly. Seven people including two girls under the age of five were killed, the health ministry said. A second Gaza war has loomed on the horizon for months as waves of Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli strikes grew increasingly more intense and frequent. Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 began with a week of air attacks and shelling, followed by a land invasion of the blockaded coastal strip, sealed off at sea
by the Israeli navy. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed and 13 Israelis died. Hamas said Jaabari, who ran the organization’s armed wing, Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam, died along with an unnamed associate when their car was blown apart by an Israeli mis-
sile. The charred and mangled wreckage of a car could be seen belching flames, as emergency crews picked up what appeared to be body parts. Israel confirmed it had carried out the attack and announced there was more to come. Reuters witnesses saw Hamas security compounds and police stations blasted
apart. “This is an operation against terror targets of different organizations in Gaza,” Israeli army spokeswoman Colonel Avital Leibovitch told reporters. Jaabari had “a lot of blood on his hands”, she said. Other militant groups including Islamic Jihad were on the target list. Immediate calls for
revenge were broadcast over Hamas radio. “The occupation has opened the gates of hell,” Hamas’s armed wing said. Smaller groups also vowed to strike back. “Israel has declared war on Gaza and they will bear the responsibility for the consequences,” Islamic Jihad said.
Woman dies after hospital refused abortion request
he husband of a pregnant woman who died in an Irish hospital has said he has no doubt she would be alive if she had been allowed an abortion. Savita Halappanavar’s family said she asked several times for her pregnancy to be terminated because she had severe back pain and was miscarrying. Her husband told the BBC that it was refused because there was a foetal heartbeat. Ms Halappanavar’s death, on 28 October, is the subject of two investigations. An autopsy carried out two days after her death found she had died from septicaemia, according to the Irish Times. Ms Halappanavar, who was 31 and originally from India, was a dentist. Praveen Halappanavar said staff at University Hospital Galway told them Ireland was “a Catholic country”. When asked by the BBC if he thought his wife would still be alive if the termination had been allowed, Mr Halappanavar said: “Of course, no doubt about it.” He said Savita had been “on top of the world” before experiencing difficulties. “It was her first baby, first pregnancy and you know she was on top of the
world basically,” he said. “She was so happy and everything was going well, she was so excited. “On the Saturday night everything changed, she started experiencing back pain so we called into the hospital, the university hospital.” He said she continued to experience pain and asked a consultant if she could be induced. “They said unfortunately she can’t because it’s a Catholic country,” Mr
• Savita Halappanavar
Halappanavar said. “Savita said to her she is not Catholic, she is Hindu, and why impose the law on her. “But she said ‘I’m sorry, unfortunately it’s a Catholic country’ and it’s the law that they can’t abort when the foetus is live.” The baby’s heartbeat stopped on the Wednesday. “I got a call at about half twelve on the Wednesday night that Savita’s heart rate had really gone up and that
they had moved her to ICU,” Mr Halappanavar said. “Things just kept on getting worse and on Friday they told me that she was critically ill.” He said some of Savita’s organs stopped functioning and she died on Sunday 28 October. Abortion remains a divisive issue in the Republic of Ireland, but not as divisive as it once was. But the country’s abortion laws are a mess and have been for 20 years since what was called the ‘X case’. ‘X’ was a suicidal pregnant 14-year-old school girl, the victim of a rape who was initially prevented from leaving the state to terminate her pregnancy.The Irish Supreme Court ruled that the mother and child have an equal right to life but that the threat of suicide was grounds for an abortion. However, no government has enacted legislation to give certainty to doctors as to when terminations can be carried out and under what circumstances. Politicians privately admit this is due to a belief on their part that people in the Irish Republic don’t want abortion in Ireland as long as there’s a British solution to the country’s abortion problem.
European workers stage austerity protests
orkers across the European Union have staged a series of protests and strikes against rising unemployment and austerity measures. General strikes in Spain and Portugal halted transport and closed businesses and schools. Police and protesters clashed in several Spanish cities. Rallies took place in 23 countries including Greece, France and Belgium, union officials told the BBC. Hundreds of flights to and from striking nations were cancelled. Airlines recommended that passengers check schedules before setting out to airports. British Airways and Easyjet were among the UK carriers forced to cancel some of their services. The European Trade Union Confederation has co-ordinated the Europe-wide action. The confederation’s Judith Kirton-Darling told the BBC that austerity was not working.
US wealthy must pay tax –Obama
nited States President Obama has reiterated his call for high earners in the US to pay more in taxes, in his first news conference since winning re-election. He called for quick legislation to rule out tax rises on the first $250,000 (£158,000) of income, but refused to extend cuts for the wealthiest 2%. “We should not hold the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy,” Mr Obama said. The US faces a so-called “fiscal cliff” of spending cuts and tax rises.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Entrepreneur, Property & Investment guide
By CHIMA TITUS NWOKOJI
he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently issued a circular on the prohibition of further credit facilities to debtors whose accounts have been assigned to the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). In reaction to objections raised by specific debtors and the need to make the corporation’s position clear on the subject, AMCON confirmed that it supplied the list of its debtors to the CBN in the course of its compliance with due administrative regulation. But a principal partner at Victor Ukutt & Co, Mr. Victor Ukutt, who has represented some debtors whose names were wrongfully published by CBN, told Daily Sun that most of the so called debts owed to AMCON are fictitious. Excerpts:
The idea of publishing debtors’ names and the reluctance of some debtors to pay ost of the much talked about indebtedness to AMCON are fictitious. Let me give you an example. I have a client that applied for credit facility of N200 million. The bank did not give him the money...but in the record inside the bank, they put it down that the man has borrowed the money. They credited the man with N200 million and immediately transferred the money to another person’s account. From that person’s account the money went into another account, and finally disappeared. They went to Ife Modakeke and got another man to do a legal mortgage of a one and half plot of land for N200 million. When the bubble now burst, CBN wrote to my client that he was indebted to a bank for N200 million and unleashed EFCC on him. He did not understand what they were talking about. He told them that yes he planned to take a loan but it was not granted. He came crying, and we asked the bank to bring their record. He was asked whether he gave cheque or any instruction for fund transfer. The man said he did not know what they were talking about. I asked him whether he knew the property and the man at Ife Modakeke, and he said there was nothing like that. I wrote to CBN to the effect that our client saw his name in the newspapers, even when he has borrowed no money. Whether the bank has taken and shared the money, I don’t know. He did not receive one naira from the bank...and they said we must pay. We had to
Most AMCON debts are fictitious – Victor Ukutt sue the bank, CBN, NDIC and EFCC, requesting a drawdown instruction and how the man collected money. We also asked the bank to show us the cheque my client used in drawing the money, they could not. The bank gave false information to AMCON that they were selling this particular debt to it, but it was empty facility shared among fraudulent staff. So, sometimes I don’t sympathize with the so called bank directors who stole customers’ money. Some bank workers and directors sat down and plotted fictitious facilities. Sometimes they pass monies through somebody’s account and have it transferred out. That is why in the recent past you see the neck of a young banker, earning N80,000 per month as a teller, swollen like a football. He will buy big cars and build mansions. You will be wondering how he made his money, without knowing he has stolen somebody’s money. If you see the level of ‘wuru-wuru’ going on in the banking system, you will marvel. Oceanic Bank and AMCON loan e are specialists in corporate, property, oil and gas, shipping, aviation and immigration matters. We are having a case now with AMCON. The corporation claimed to have bought a loan from Oceanic Bank at the cost of N1.9 billion. The bank is now telling us to come and pay N3 billion, including principal and interest. My client said he has been servicing the debt to the point that the so called debt remains only N650 million. He borrowed N2.65 million and paid N2.75 million. So, he only owed accumulated interest. We went to court and it was established that in the eye of the law, what my client is supposed to pay was N2 million. We won the case against the bank and paid only N2 million, instead of N3 billion. Debtors who capitalize on loopholes in legal system to avoid payment o, not really. It is a combination of two; the banks are the most fraudulent in granting credit facilities. I have a department that handles banking mat-
“Some bank workers and directors sat down and plotted fictitious facilities. Sometimes they pass monies through somebody’s account and have it transferred out.” ters. Nigerian the men and women in the banking profession are the worst thieves one can think of. I have seen so many fraudulent things the banks have done to their customers. When I get information that a bank has defrauded its customer and put the blame on the poor customer to pay, I normally pull my legal knowledge and punish the bank. I have done that to so many banks. You go and borrow like N100 million from a bank, the bank will take all sorts of charges, and what they will eventually give you will be like N80 million. They will then put you on their debtors list and manipulate the account, which will make the man to become recalcitrant – the debtor he does not want to be. They compound so many more interests used to take that money. When you give a property to them, they go and register the property under N100 million. Meanwhile, they can declare less to government to enable them pay less term duty, while the loan they gave you was N2 million. Selling point tell clients the truth. I don’t want to build a false hope to my clients. There was a case where a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) had a bad case. Instead of telling his client the truth, he collected millions of naira from him. Still, the man lost the case scandalously. When pronouncement was made in court, his client was shivering like Chrismas goat. If he had told the man the truth, the man would know how to handle it. A good lawyer will tell his client to withdraw the case and make peace. The case can also be settled out of court, so that you have something to fall back on, and there will be no need of going into litigation. Most times I don’t want to go into court where I will be embarrassed by the judge. There was a client I had, who brought a case to me and, having looked at the facts of the case, though he brought much money to entice me, I told him that it is a bad case. I told him I don’t need his millions. Surviving through underground economy oday, most people cannot say they are sure of the next meal. Majority of the population of this country is surviving through underground economy. People live on pervasion, as if it is now a way of survival. They believe that if you do not cut corners you cannot make any headway. It is not helping us because if you go outside and see how they discriminate against Nigerians, you will run back. So many people outside know that they are looked at as tenth citizens. It is only when
you have the talent a Whiteman needs that he will welcome you, and when he taps into your talent and have his purpose achieved, he dumps you and walks away. Most Whitemen you see here are worse in their country, and they come in here looking for where to sell their products. If they were doing well in their countries, they won’t come here. Governance is all about the welfare of the citizen, but we are not running a welfare society. What we are running is underground economy, and see what it is doing to our people. I give an instance: A clerk in the office is ready to sell an empty office flat file to get some money. A court official has made my case file to disappear because he has collected money from my opponent. A litigant will come and they will tell him; “‘oga’, we are still looking for the file.” Eventually, when you get tired you file another one and the next thing you will hear is ‘multiple applications, case dismissed.” A female bank worker in Abuja, who is earning N50,000 or N60,000, would find it difficult to pay rent and feed well. So, she has no option than to complement her work with prostitution. That is underground economy. The people in government have forgotten that when the poor is awake, the rich cannot sleep. When the people you are governing are hungry, they will terrorize you. Data availability n South Africa, the day a child is born, there is a record of that particular birth...and if someone dies a minute after 2 am, it will be recorded in the movement control. So, five minutes later, if another person wants to use that person’s identity to do transaction, the person will be arrested. In our own case, there is no proper record of persons and incidences. We don’t have information concerning anybody. That is why people can commit any type of crime and go scott-free. How can a society grow with this level of irresponsibility? It is only this GSM that the South Africans brought that pushing us to begin to have biometric information about people. We claim to have so much resource but have no direction. Budget performance contract he fact remains that so many of these politicians do not know what they are doing. If you budget a certain amount of money and do some work, you will make more money. But in Nigeria they think leadership is all about sitting in government houses and sharing money. They are fools. When you are not doing anything and money is disappearing, people will ask questions, of course. Take the case of the recent flooding in our country, it was as if the National Assembly was begging the Executive to bring a supplementary budget and the president was dillydallying. It’s the same with most governors. Respond to the people’s cry and, if after attending to them money remains, nobody will raise eyebrow because you have done what you ought to do. It is like when most people enter into office, they lose all sense of direction. Defending the defenseless with no money involved have a pro-bono department in my chambers. It is a department that handles free cases. In this office, the poor people cover majority of our clients. I have handled so many cases for indigent clients to the point that I returned one day and asked myself if my chamber has been turned to a pro-bono office.
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
My fears over success of financial inclusion strategy in Nigeria – Princess Maxima By ISAAC ANUMIHE
er Royal Highness, Princess Maxima, belongs to the royal family in The Netherlands. But beside her royalty status, she has a unique passion for touching the lives of rural people, especially women, through her financial inclusion strategy, which is to ensure that everybody has access to financial services. This attribute has given her a voice in various international fora, where she has spoken passionately on the need to reduce poverty and achieve Vision 20-2020 through access to finance by everybody. Designated in 2009 by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, as his Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, Maxima has stuck her teeth in various African governments, financial regu-
lators, civil societies and the private sector. On October 23, 2012, the princess, obsessed by her vision of universal access to finance by both individuals and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), visited Nigeria for the first time, in spite of the security problems in Nigeria, to witness the launch of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Sharing her views with Daily Sun, after the launch, the princess recalled how she met with CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and sold the idea of financial inclusiveness, which, however, has yielded fruits with the launch of National Financial Strategy document. Our meeting It was in 2009 when I had my first meeting with Governor Sanusi in Istanbul, in one of the World Bank meetings. In that meeting we talked on what was the situation of financial inclusion in Nigeria.
Then he had just been appointed governor. Since then, we have been in close contact with some of his deputy governors to see how we could actually accelerate this issue. Financial inclusion is important because it actually gives all the people – everybody – all Nigerians and all Nigerian enterprises access to financial services. And not just credit. We are all talking about savings; we all talk about insurance; we talk about pensions. And don’t forget, we are also talking about having affordable and quick payment system that will really lower the cost of doing business in this country and really help enterprises thrive and grow and create employment. So, given the great interest of the government in developing financial inclusion, there has been a process of drafting the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion and I was extremely happy to come first time to Nigeria to help in the launch for Financial Inclusion Strategy and, basically, to
Price, quality control required to fight proliferated wood products – Emilinks By BLAISE UDUNZE
ood is the oldest building material known to man. Alongside the spread of other materials, wood remained characteristic of some areas – owing to its availability, ease of working and insulating properties. Despite the ecological rationality of wood, its character and essence, the nation’s building industry is still locked in a war against influx of substandard doors and other wood products in the market, as it is estimated that Nigerians are losing about $600 million (N93 billion) monthly. An expert in wood products, Mr. Solomon Nwadiogbu, the director of Emilinks Limited, who is into design, construction and distribution of furniture, is determined to lend a hand of support in stamping out importation and patronage of proliferated wood products used for manufacturing of furniture in Nigeria. He has called on government agencies involved...like the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and other professional bodies...to set the right rules in the industry. He stated that the challenge Nigerians are facing in the industry is proliferation and pricing of wood products, while stating that a synergy with SON would help in crashing the prices, since Emilinks harvest from the forest directly. According to him, Nigerians should be putting in place price control and quality not to put purchasing power out of the market. In an interview with Daily Sun, Nwadiogbu disclosed that Emilinks has invested over 300 million euro in ensuring that new opportunities for structural use and surface treatment in restoring wood to the prominent and visible role that it used to have in the urban and rural context. Excerpts: My vision for Emilinks Emilinks started as an IT company – the vision we had when Nigeria was operating under analogue telecom and banking; when people were using these lines to network banking. Emilinks have been in the industry by means of providing e-One circuit. e-One is like when you talk about channels, like pair in two channels, which is FRMC2, under sending sms and PRI, when making calls. Then, Emilinks was standing out in creating means of networking, transmission, interfacing of equipment, local tracking, data configuration and many more, that is how Emilinks started. Then, along the line we pushed it up into oil business; moving oil from one country to other countries, supplying some countries in
Europe and some good blue chip products. Along the line, as a young man, who started making it early, we started that making impacts in terms of achievement. So, going into developing and building industry, only to discover that there is no durable and finishing materials out there. But somehow in life, I just discovered that I have to make a formidable impact and I have a gap to fill in our generation. I never knew anything concerning doors, production; I am just a common businessman. But a long the line, having this idea, feeling and passion, guiding it only with the vision I have to make it a formidable impact, I started doing my research on woods like oak, cedar, mahogany, Manzoni, walnut etc. I had to go down to Italy to source to understand the nature of the woods, the kind of cultural development concerning the woods, the types of forest where they grow up these woods, the drying aspect of the woods and its harvesting period of the woods. Today, Emilinks have been playing round the world like Asia; we are very strong in Europe like France. Our very strong market before used to be Russian, Iran, Irac, Dubai; we have a major selling point in Dubai distributing to Asia. Today, I believe Emilinks will be able to hit Nigeria because I happen to be a Nigeria. Why passion for security products? When you talk about security aspect of these doors; like Class-3, Class-4, Class-5 depending on the type of house one is trying to build, maybe you are trying to build a home, castle or villa for yourself or just to have a covering roof over your head, depending on where you fill in yourself we have doors of N50,000 that have to do with handles, pinches, frame, door lift, complete door with all the accessories, also we do installation and that is for people who are into development and building houses to sale. We have doors for villas, which is pure armoured certified doors which is pure solid oaks. The thickness of these doors are up to 100cm which are thick and strong. Each door weighs up to 250kg. So, when you talk of area of passion concerning these security furniture, my uttermost motive of moving into this business is all about distributing super quality, for people to have value for their money. Raising the bar in wood products Being a Christian, the only place I saw in the Bible where Jesus was angry with people that captured my attention was when He did the miracle of five loaves of bread and two fishes. When they finished eating the people wanted to be playing with the remnant, He told them to gather all the fragments, this informed my research into wood products which I have invested over 300, 000 million
Euro, I have continued to spend and breaking new grounds through researches. I have to discover that human lives are based on waste because if you watch very well, a lot of people operate under high level of wastes. Our wood collections are developed and sourced in Italy exclusively for Emilinks which are associated with qualities, style, elegant, skill and durability. The whole sourcing and production process is continuously monitored to comply with Emilinks expectations. We have been able to secure over 5million cubit metres of raw woods from oak, maple, mahogany, teak, walnut, cherry, birch, Beech or pinewood. We now produce 200, 000 doors per month against the 70, 000 produced. Our products are 100per cent wood, well furnished, with inches and keys for installation, having guaranty with 50years certification on our doors. Hence, customers don’t need to wait for months before we supply the products but we operate Pay-As-You-Go system. Also, we are ready to work with distributors. Pricing The major challenge in this industry is pricing and high proliferation of wood products. Hence, stakeholders should put in place price and quality control not to put purchasing power out of the market. On our part, our on going relationship with Standard Organization of Nigeria will help in crashing the prices since Emilinks harvest from the forest directly. There is price slash on Emilinks doors with high qualities, style, elegant, skill and durability. The price slash is on our flush doors. They used to sell for N50, 000 with the architrave, frame, locks and handles but would now be selling for N30, 000 with the architrave, frame and locks. Also there is an availability of certified armored security doors, and we have crashed our prices from 900 Euros to N60, 000, 300 Euros to 90 Euros. When people understand what they are paying money for; they have to go for it. When we find out that the market is moving we have to increase our productions. When we find out that the market has got to the level of working day and night, we extend our time. In effect, what I am saying is that if we have to compete with people because I believe that life is all about learning how to compete than to complain, so if you have to compete with people despite the challenges which makes one to be the best in his field. We are not afraid of challenges, raising the bar we have stock and there for people at all time. On the pricing that is why Emilinks says, “Touch it, feel it and then use It.”
• Maxima have discussion and dialogues with different stakeholders on how implementation should look like; the type of political support and also a situation support in order to get this rolling. UN adviser on financial inclusion Basically, I have different meetings with different agencies with the United Nations. Really, they are doing something with financial inclusion whether in agricultural sector or health sector or women empowerment. We are even talking about crime and how to improve transparency in financial services. So, the UN is doing a whole lot even improving micro-finance institutions for example. Their capacity, their funding and so on. I think, in essence, the UN is doing a lot and that differs from my work within UN. Instead, I advocate for two things, not only financial inclusion. The other issue that is extremely important in the implementation of a national financial strategy are the co-ordinating mechanisms which include different stakeholders in the country, both public and private, in order to make this a reality. What do I mean by this, we really have 50 per cent of Nigerians living in rural areas and those 50 per cent are mostly excluded in financial services. If we in future want the rural people to be included in the financial sector, we will have to work together with the Ministry of Culture; we would have to work together with agencies like IFAD. We would have to work together with other private sector members like suppliers, mobile phone operators in other to really partner with them and give financial services that really make sense to the rural people. So, with this I can translate it as well, to other sectors like health. You will have to partner with the health system. So, this is not something that the Central Bank can handle alone. Without having a good identity, it will be difficult for people to open an account. These issues need to be addressed if we want to depend on the financial sector. Those are the two issues I have been advocating in the last years. Nigeria is one of the 17 countries that made a commitment in June in one of the G20 summit meetings. A commitment that was done by Turkey, South Africa, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico. All precisely committed to this to form a national financial inclusion and forming a co-ordinating mechanism that will actually develop a national plan and implement the array of the need to be addressed in other to make a financial reality. Challenges to the implementation The message I will leave behind is the commitment to make this a reality and the need to co-ordinate our efforts and to work together. The feeling I have is that this national strategy really has got a very fertile ground. Think that there is a good understanding that in order to create employment, this issue of financial research is very needy. The challenges are enormous. The challenges are reducing the cost of funding fee yourself which means having a better access to finance by other microfinance institutions. It is like trying to find out a collateral registry for movable assets which is until now nonexistent. That will improve the access to finance from small and medium enterprises. We are talking about having a common credit bureau that will double the cost of checking the credit history of potential people asking for loan.
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
Property MONEY 1004 shopping mall, residences get promoter
• The 1004 mall and residences
Residents threaten legal action against developer Stories by MADUKA NWEKE
esidents of Beechwood Estate, located along Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, have threatened to take legal action against the developer for what they termed breach of contract. The residents, who are threatening brimstone against the facility mangers, claimed that the company failed to meet up with agreements six years after they paid N2.5 million to Beechwood Estate, a subsidiary of Assets & Resource Management Co. Limited, (ARM) for a plot of land located along the Lekki-Epe Expressway. But in a swift reaction to the threat and the allegation, ARM maintained that they have fulfilled all requirements entered into with the residents in respect to the property and facilities. As far back as 2005, Assets & Resource Management Co. Ltd., through its subsidiary Beechwood Estate, sold plots of land, being part of a parcel of land located along the LekkiEpe Expressway, to members of the public who had leveraged on the said reputation of ARM; they did so with covenants of providing serviced plots to each purchaser. The Chairman of Beechwood Estate Resident Association, Mr. Nduka Dagbue, in a letter, said the residents of the estate are disgruntled as a consequence of living without all the promised amenities, and are now seeking the intervention of the Lagos State Government, well meaning stakeholders and the general public. It said: “This is November 2012, six years later, and the estate is still not delivered. The various projects are at different abandoned stages of completion, as stated by ARM. There are no timeline existing presently for the completion of these projects, as agreed in the signed documents.
“Consequent upon the said agreement yet to be fulfilled covenants including but not limited the following were made by ARM to unsuspecting members of the public who had gone out of their way to purchase the said plots: Completion of the perimeter fence of the estate to ensure security of existing properties and the lives of the occupants of the estate, Completion and delivery of electricity and water supply within the estate as stated in the agreement signed with our Client, Delivery of the approved lay out plan of the estate to enable our clients complete the processing of their building approval plans presently stalled by the nonavailability of an approved layout plan, Appropriate beautification of the front of the estate
and the other green areas in the estate and Completion of roads and Drainages. “By this breach of contractual obligation and failure in service delivery on the part of ARM, the residents of Beech Wood Estate now live in fear and perpetual darkness, as the haphazard work on the said facilities to be provided by ARM was abandoned halfway after money had been collected from the unsuspecting purchasers/ subscribers to the scheme without any actual plans or intention to complete the said work.” However, ARM in a response to the allegations explained that perimeter wall has been completed – with installed security for the wellbeing of current residents. “Currently all high tension
poles and cables have been installed, low tension installation is at 50per cent, all transformers have been delivered to site (3 of which have been installed) and 30per cent of the water distribution channel has been connected. “Atotal sum of N53, 000,000 was paid to Lagos State Ministry of Physical planning and Urban Development for the Layout Approval of the Estate in November 2011. 99 per cent of the road network within the estate is completed. Only two roads in Zone 3 (Azare and Kabba) are yet to be completed.” It also stressed that the beautification of the estate is incumbent upon the residents, as the company claimed to have assisted with clearing the environs periodically – the last exercise as of 2 months ago.
Foreign artisans, technicians taking over building industry – SON
tandards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has lamented the upsurge of foreign artisans, technicians and even labourers in the building industry, saying that the scourge is capable of destroying the nation, if not seriously checked. SON decried the seeming upsurge of foreign artisans and technicians coming into Nigeria, stressing that the development of local artisans is only a panacea that is capable of stemming the tide. SON and professionals in the construction sector, in a swift reaction to the incessant collapse of buildings in the country, bemoaned the influx of substandard materials and dearth of artisans within the building industry, adding that the increasing number of inferior building materials, as well as scarce qualified artisans within the sector, are capable of destroying the industry and the nation, if not holistically
checked. It also said apart from that, competent artisans are also viewed as catalyst to employment opportunities and consequently, improved economy, apart from their complementary roles to the engineers and other professional bodies in the built environment. Speaking at the First convocation ceremony of artisans that completed their trainings at the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTEC), Ikorodu Campus, on a topic titled: ‘Reempowerment Programme for Artisans’, put together by the LASPOTECH Konsult, in collaboration with Shelter Watch Initiative, a non-governmental organization (NGO), the Director-General, SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, represented by Mrs. Cynthia Ifegwu, lamented the evils of substandard building materials on building constructions. Odumodu noted that there is equal need for updating the
knowledge of the artisans to complement the efforts of SON in battling substandard building materials. According to him, while SON is doing its best in ensuring that both locally and imported products meet the required standard, by constant monitoring, “It behooves all professional bodies to engage in collaboration to ensure the training and retraining of the artisans.” The SON’s director general urged the professional bodies, NGOs and governments at all levels to collaborate in the development of the artisans and technicians’ skills. “We viewed the collaboration between LASPOTECH Konsult and Shelter Watch Initiative for putting together the training of these artisans, that is the first of such initiative in the country as a right step in the right direction and we enjoined other stakeholders to emulate the gesture by introducing it in other institutions.”
he 1004 Shopping Mall and Residences, an estate aimed to cater for high end corporate individuals who require high returns, has gotten a promoter. The estate has a mall capable of providing 35 units/shops on two levels, and 45 luxury apartments on eight floors. The estates, promoted by 1004 Estates Limited with the architects, Messrs Adeniyi Coker Consultants Limited, are leading other professional service providers like Ove Arup and AIM Consultants Limited as structural engineers and mechanical/electrical engineers, respectively. The 1004 Estates Limited has already obtained an approval from the Lagos State government and two financial institutions have expressed interest in solely financing the development. The proposed estate is located within the precinct of 1004 Estate, a thriving community made up of 40 per cent expatriates and 60 per cent Nigerians, who are of the upper and middle class segments. The luxury apartments and shopping mall have on the ground floor, parking spaces and utility, while the next two floors is reserved for shopping and commercial spaces such as three banking halls, modern food court, three specialty restaurants, supermarkets for pharmaceuticals, dry cleaning, as well as commercial shops and offices. The upper six floors contain two and three
bedroom luxury apartments. The developer is finalizing the details of the cost of the project in line with the recent changes in the building materials and inflationary trends in the economy due to the recent hike in fuel price are being finalised. Facilities planned for the mini-estate includes swimming pool dedicated for the building, escalators and good lift in the shopping mall as well as bar/lounge and the gym. According to Mr. Samuel Ukpong, Managing Director, 1004 Estates Limited, who spoke at the launch of Club 1004 and marketing preview of the 1004 Shopping Mall and Residences recently, disclosed that pre-construction activities and contractor selection would be concluded in few weeks time. The managing director explained that the idea behind the new development is to create an environment where residents would innovatively live, work and play. He said: “Club 1004 came about as a result of the need to give our landlords and residents alike the opportunity to enjoy certain premium services which we consider as value added service to their ownership and occupancy of the estate. Also, a Director of Mansard Insurance Plc. (formerly GT Assurance), Mr. Yomi Onifade, expressed their willingness to deliver superior value to the members in a bid to assist in improving their risk management obligations.
Conversion of Apongbon bridges under-side runs into hitches
raders doing business under the Apongbon Bridge risk ejection, if the decision by the Federal Ministry of Works to move them out of the arena finally sells. Although action in that regards has not been pronounced, there are strong indications that the authorities may likely stay action on the eviction order. The decision to evict the traders from the place, it was gathered, was not unconnected with the proposed plan by the ministry to convert the place into a car park, upon which the quit order was handed down by the Works Ministry earlier this year. The ministry, it was understood, has concluded plans to put up bids for the proposed car park as a way of displaying its seriousness to rid the place off the traders. However, pressure from highly placed indigenes of Lagos State, who are opposed to the plans to convert the place into a car park, has continued to mount, thereby necessitating the need to put the proposed plan on hold. This, coupled with the problem of evicting the traders encountered by the person who won an earlier bid for the place, made the action delayed. It will be recalled that when the ministry was known as the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, a similar idea was mooted by the then minister in charge of the ministry, where
they said that a Lagos high chief won the bid for the proposed car park. The chief whose company won the bid it was gathered is also an indigene of the state but opposition to his emergence as the winner of the bid was hinged on his resolve not to pay any form of compensation to the traders who would eventually be displaced. Asource had it that he directed the traders to the Federal Ministry of Works for refunds pointing out that the issue of compensation was not part of the brief given to him when he was bidding for the place. However, a top source at the ministry headquarters in Abuja told this reporter that, shortly after the ministry was separated, the then minister of Works over turned the decision, claiming that the concession of the place was not ‘properly done’. This development, it was learnt, prompted the need to call for another bid in spite of the resistance from the traders not to leave the place. The underside of the Apongbon Bridge is presently being inhabited by traders and artisans of different shades. In an interview with Daily Sun, the Zonal Director (South West), Federal Ministry of Works, Ejike Mgbemena, said unequivocally, that the market is ‘an illegal and unregulated market’, adding that ‘very soon’ traders plying their trade under the bridge would be evacuated.
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
BUSINESS NEWS FG gets N218bn revenue in Oct From ISAAC ANUMIHE, Abuja
ederation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), yesterday shared a total revenue of N574.940 billion for the month of October 2012, with the Federal Government getting N218.652 billion or 52.68 per cent of the statutory allocation, while the state governments got N110.903 billion or 26.72 per cent. Also, the local governments in the country received N85.502 billion or 20.60 per cent of the statutory allocation. The sum of N46.262 billion was distributed as 13 per cent oil and gas derivation revenue among the oil producing states. However, the distributable statutory revenue for the month of October was N467.007 billion and, for the first time in many months,
there was no augmentation because the revenue exceeded what was budgeted for the month. Also distributed was monthly transfer of N7.617 billion refunds by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the sum of N35.549 billion from the SURE-P programme and N64.229 billion from Value Added Tax (VAT). The increase in the receipts into the federation account was attributed “higher collections on Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Companies Income Tax. There were indications that the figures could have been higher but “crude oil production and listings during the period encountered several disruptions as a result of shut down, leakage and fire outbreaks at Trans Niger Pipeline, crude oil theft and maintenance work at Qua Iboe, Brass and Forcados terminals.”
Nigeria, China trade volume hits $5.1bn By SAM ANOKAM
he bilateral relationship between Nigeria and China has shown that the trade volume between the two countries has risen to $5.073 billion between January and June, a year-on-year growth of 2.05 per cent. A statement from the representative of the Republic of China at the 2012 international trade fair in Lagos, stated that the Chinese commodities fair since 2007 consists of hundreds of Chinese exhibitors’high quality products and excellent business opportunities each year in Lagos. Coming up with the 5th anniversary in the year, more efforts have been made on promotion, qualifying exhibits suiting Nigerian markets and selecting more exhibitions suiting Nigeria market and selecting strong exhibitors with good reputation. The fair present totally 141 standard exhibiting stands and 113 manufacturers among which there are many famous enterprises. The delegations consist of over 150 participants; products on display come from d industries of machinery, communication, construction, hardware, auto parts, automobile and fitting, building materials, factory equipments and electronics etc. The 2012 Lagos International Trade Fair is organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), with the support and cooperation of the federal and the state governments and covers all aspects of business and economic activities in Nigeria. The fair offers a unique exposition for manufacturers, suppliers, buyers and users of a wide range of goods and services as well as opportunities for investment and trade promotion and has “Promoting Trade for Sustainable Economic Transformation” as its theme for this year’s fair.
Why we’re supporting Lagos economic transformation – Wanka By AMECHI OGBONNA
anaging Director of Unity Bank Plc., Mr Ado Wanka, has restated the commitment of the bank to continue to partner all stakeholders toward the economic and social transformation of Lagos State. Speaking at the bank’s special day at the just-concluded Lagos International Trade Fair, Wanka said it was against that backdrop that Unity Bank has remained consistent in the collection of the state’s internally generated revenue and granting of credit facility to numerous customers in Lagos for the purpose of its infrastructural transformation. Wanka, who was represented by Mrs Yemi Adeyinka, said the bank was partnering the state government in the
laudable steps it was taking to reshape Lagos into a model mega city of the 21st Century. He said: “We are also involved in the area of providing affordable homes for the people of Lagos as Unity Bank is currently financing 112 housing units comprising 84 units of 4 bedrooms and 28 units of 3 bedroom apartment in the Lekki area of Lagos state , a project that is worth more N1.5billion.” The Unity Bank boss said his bank has also introduced a number of financial services in its MasterCard range in the interest of various customers, stressing that the Unity Mobile reduces the risk of carrying cash around, while the MasterCard Generic Prepaid actually makes transactions easier as it is dollar denominated.
• L–R: Former chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Lagos and District Society, Mr Dayo Babatunde; President of ICAN, Mr Adedoyin Idowu Owolabi, and Chairman, ICAN Lagos and District Society, Chief Patrick Chibo Akujobi, during the members’ forum and dinner in honour of the 48th ICAN president, organised by ICAN Lagos District Society. Photo: OLUFEMI KAYODE
Financial inclusion: FG to adopt agent banking framework From ISAAC ANUMIHE, OMODELE ADIGUN and CHIMA NWOKOJI, in Jigawa
ederal Government, yesterday, gave the indication of adopting an Agent Banking framework with a view to deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria. Managing Director of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mr
Umaru Ibrahim, in his opening remarks at the 2012 Workshop of Business Editors and Finance Correspondents Association (FICAN) in Jigawa State, noted that beside the agency banking, the government is also adopting various policies towards ensuring that the over 70 per cent unbanked Nigerians can access banking services. Other measures include allwomen micro-finance institu-
tions, automated teller machines etc. According to him, the agent banking policy, which was borrowed from Kenya, is a process whereby banks partner with pharmacy shops or supermarkets to operate banking services. “Another measure that could be adopted to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria is the promotion of all-women micro-finance institution. Evidence from other coun-
CBN, SEC to examine stockbroking firms From ISAAC ANUMIHE, Abuja
entral Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will join forces to examine the activities of stockbroking firms in the country. Speaking at the end of the bankers’ committee meeting in Abuja, yesterday, Director of Banking Supervison of the CBN, Mrs. Agnes Olatokunbo Martins, noted that the decision for the joint examination of stockbrokers was to maintain financial stability. “The CBN will be working with SEC to carry out joint examination of stockbroking firms. Presently we supervise the banks, but in the interest of financial stability we are going to be working closely with SEC to supervise stockbroking firms, especially those that are owned by holding companies that are under the new banking reforms. “It is to ensure that financial stability is maintained and it’s all part of the banking consolidation exercise and to ensure that we have financial stability,”she said. “When we carry out these examinations jointly those kind of gaps can’t be exploited. That’s the reason behind it,” she explained. According to her, the decision was taken yesterday at
the bankers’ committee meeting and the modalities will be spelt out later noting that all the banks in the country have decided to stop charges for usage of ATMs. In her own remarks, Managing Director of First Bank, Mr Bisi Onasanya, said: “Presently, when you use the ATM of a bank other than your own bank there is a charge of N100 which is borne by the account holde. We have decided that we will work out the modalities and ensure that with immediate effect we would pass on the cost to the respective banks who would bear the cost of
this service. “No matter where you are drawing your money from you would not be subjected to any charge for using the ATMs,” he said. He, however, stated that this does not cover withdrawals from inside the banking halls when the ATMs are up for transaction we call ‘not on us’. For customers of First bank to use the ATM of GTBank is free. According to him, the banks have been directed to go back to the drawing boards and take a decision as this cost will be borne by the various banks.
tries, for example Kenya, has shown that such institutions have the potential to promote easy access to credit amongst rural poor women, especially at the group level, and could also be used to mobilise large quantum of savings among these group of people,” he said. However, the NDIC Chief Executive, regretted that despite these efforts at deepening financial serves, the regulator is still experiencing challenges. “First, the distribution of microfinance banks as agents of fincnial inclusion is grossly uneven. Out of the 869 microfinance banks in existence, 346 or 39.81 per cent are located in the South West geopolitical zone, 162 or 18.64 per cent in the South East , 158 or 18.8 per cent in the North Central while only 63 or 7.25 per cent and 32 or 3.68 per cent are located in the North West and North East, respectively. Lagos, Anambra and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja topped the list in the number of MFBs. The uneven distribution had exposed the untapped potentials that require attention in order to realise the government’s policy on financial inclusion,” he explained.
Agriculture key to S’East economic devt – Okonjo-Iweala From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
inister for Finance Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, has identified agriculture as the key to economic development of the South East Zone, urging them to adopt the Federal Government’s current agriculture framework based on a value chain approach. In a keynote address at the just concluded South East economic summit in Enugu, the minister noted that the approach, which focuses on specific crops from plating, harvesting to processing, will ensure food security and dependence on food imports.
She explained that through the approach the federal government will reduce our current food import bill from about N150m a year, while investing in value chains in cassava, oil palm, rice, sorghum, cocoa, and groundnuts for export. Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala argued that if the zone can exploit its abundant arable land and water resources it could become the next Malaysia in terms of agricultural output. “Our region is blessed with rich soil and very hard working citizens; however our agricultural inputs such as plant varieties, fish fingerlings; or to insecticides which are required to reduce post
harvest losses “So we need to take a value chain approach and invest more in technology across the entire agricultural value chain; from planting through harvesting to processing. “In our South East region the potentials exist for us to invest in food production targeting food crops such as cassava, yam and plantain and also in cash crops such as oil palm ad rubber,” she added. She, however, stressed the need for states in the region to deal decisively with the problems of erosion, soil acidity and soil infertility, stressing the need for the people to remain good custodians of their natural resources.
Thursday, November 15 2012
BUSINESS NEWS Jonathan appoints sole administrators for Ajaokuta Steel, NIOMCO From DENNIS MERNYI, Abuja
resident Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has approved the appointment of Engineer Isa Joseph Onobere, as Sole Administrator for Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited, and Engineer Abubakar Yaro Ibrahim for the National Iron Mining Company, Itakpe, both in Kogi State. Engineer Onobere, a metallurgical engineer and a top management staff of the company, hails from Kogi State, while Abubakar Yaro, for the National Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe, is Mining Engineer, from Taraba State. While making the disclosure and issuing the letters of appointment to the new appointees in Abuja, yesterday, Minister of Mines and Steel Developmet, Musa Mohammed Sada, said the appointments are with immediate effect. The minister noted that the two sole administrators were appointed on the basis of their experiences and professionalism in the minerals and metals sector that they should be able to bring about the expected turn around in the two facilities. The handing and taking over ceremonies between the new Sole Administrators and the former Interim Management Committee of the two companies are expected to be com-
pleted within a week. Arc. Sada explained that what informed federal government’s decision on the appointment of the new sole administrators for the two companies was to inject new ideas into the two facilities to make them operational in line with the transformation agenda on service delivery. The minister noted that the two sole administrators were appointed on the basis of their experiences and professionalism in the minerals and metals sector, adding that they should be able to bring about the expected turn around in the two facilities. The minister advised the new appointees to add value to the two companies by making them operational and conserving the assets. The sole administrators were advised by the minister to select their management teams on the basis of seniority, experience and competence. They were also urged by the minister to carry along the labour unions in the discharge of their responsibilities for optimal performance Arc. Sada told the new appointees to start work in earnest by coming up with ideas on how to move the two companies forward because the entities are strategic to the economic and industrial development of Nigeria.
• L–R: Managing Director, Raumplus Germany, Mr Carsten Bergmann; Chief Executive Officer, Raumplus Germany, Mrs Uta Bergmann; Chief Executive Officer, Raumplus Nigeria, Mr Adelakun Adeyanju; Mrs Oluyinka Ahove, with her husband, Pastor Tony Ahove, of Conquerors Chapel International, at the official opening of Raumplus office and showroom, in Lagos.
PHCN privatization: FG revokes $24m Manitoba transmission contract By STEVE AGBOTA
ederal Government, yesterday, revoked the $24 million management contract awarded Canadian state-owned Manitoba Hydro, that was appointed by the Presidency to manage the national power transmission network, as PHCN privatization suffered a setback. The government had been commended when the contract was given to Manitoba to manage the national power transmission network, with observers describing it as a Aganga said the govern- major step forward in the onment has taken some measures to improve the country’s investment environment, including the setting up of By LOUIS IBA Presidential Committee on Doing Business and unding constraints may Competitiveness, and the pose a big threat to the Committee on Investors’ Care, execution of the work among others, respectively. programmes of some of the In their goodwill messages, firms selected as preferred Minister of Agriculture and bidders in the just concluded Rural Development, Dr. privatization of Nigeria’s 11 Akinwumi Adesina and his electricity distribution compaWorks counterpart, Mr. Mike nies (DISCOS). The distribuOnolememen pledged the col- tion companies were previlaboration of their ministries ously managed by the with the Ministry of Trade and Power Holding Company of Investment to further improve Nigeria (PHCN). the nation’s economy. Daily Sun learnt that most Secretary to the creditor institutions – local and Government of Federation, international – are wary of SGF, Anyim Pius Anyim, advancing funds (or even conwhile declaring conference tinuing in the negotiation of closed, said the present admin- releasing funds) with some istration was determined to preferred bidders, especially transform the economy, espe- those whose emergence has cially through the growth of small and medium enterprises, been mired in the eyes of the public with allegations of graft SMEs. According to him, the future and favoritism. The technical competence of the country is tied to the growth and development of of some of the preferred bidSMEs so that more jobs and ders financiers have also queswealth would be created for the tioned the competence of the preferred bidders citizenry. Anyim disclosed the gov“Financial institutions are ernment’s plan to put in place having a big burden accepting critical infrastructures like applications for credit facilities power, road, water and others by some of these winners and to facilitate economic growth some of them say they have to and improved living standards tread with caution, at least for of the people. now, following allegations of The SGF, however, fraud allegations and lack of appealed to financial institu- transparency in the selection tions to help the government in process,” a source told Daily achieving this through provi- Sun. sion of adequate funds, which “Even some of the foreign he identified as one of the chal- financial partners have withlenges facing the SMEs devel- held the initial funding opment in the country. approvals which were meant to
FG targets $16bn foreign investment in 2013 From WALTER UKAEGBU, Abuja
he Federal Government said, yesterday, that it was targeting $16 billion revenue from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), into Nigeria in 2013, to further create jobs and wealth for the nation’s teeming population. Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, who spoke at the closing ceremony of the 8th National Conference on Investment, NCI, in Abuja, disclosed that Nigeria has so far realised $8.9 billion from foreign investment. Aganga, while explaining that the amount represent 40 per cent increase from the 2010 achievement, said the government was determined to improve the country’s investment environment, so that it could take its rightful position as major player in the global economy. He maintained that the present administration was not comfortable with the current investment competitiveness ranking of Nigeria and, therefore, called for synergy between the federal and state governments, in order to improve the country’s investment environment for the benefit of all. The minister informed that 12 states presently have the one-stop shop investment centres, and promised that others, including Abuja, would have their own before the end of next year to ensure that the issue of doing business becomes very easy in the country.
going reform process. Though no immediate reason was given by the presidency for the annulment of the deal, fears were expressed in some quarters about political interference working against efforts to secure foreign investment into the power sector. “Mr. President has cancelled the Manitoba power contract with immediate effect,” Presidential Spokesman, Reuben Abati, said. He did not give any further explanations. According to Mr. Abati, the Ministry of Power is
expected to issue a formal statement later to explain the background to the decision. The privatisation programme in the power sector has been a long and tortuous journey that resulted in the proposal to select a management firm to take over and run the power transmission system, a process that enjoyed the support of the World Bank. The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), which handled the process that selected Manitoba for the contract had expected the
…As creditors shun DISCO bidders
be released by about 80 per cent to fund or support the payment of the amounts quoted by some of the preferred bidders,” he added. But the caution by creditors, some analysts pointed out, had far deeper implications to the privatization process as it may stall target benefits to investors and consumers. The government had hoped through the privatization of the 11 firms to attract private sector funds into the sector, boost power distribution facilities currently in
obsolete conditions and in the process improve power distribution consumers. That target may be threatened as a leaked copy of the Technical Evaluation Report from the National Council of Privatisation (NCP) showed that some firms who emerged as preferred bidders were not technically qualified for the commercial evaluation stage of the bid process which led to the announcement of the preferred bidders.
firm to commence work at the beginning of September, while the transmission is still in control of the government. Following the emergence of Manitoba, some powerful interests in the ministry of power were reportedly unimpressed with the arrangement to transfer the management of the transmission plants to Manitoba. An official of the company said the politics of the management contract began immediately it was sealed. No sooner had the contract concluded than the workers union of the PHCN embarked on an industrial action to protest against the new management. For several weeks, the company was not allowed to settle till security operatives were deployed to facilitate the process. The electricity transmission network is a major component of the power supply infrastructure designed to help convey power from the power plants to the sub-stations for distribution to the end users.
NIRSAL: Only N1.8bn so far disbursed – Agric minister By BLAISE UDUNZE
he Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has decried commercial banks’ lending of N1.8 billion out of N30 billion meant for agricultural sector, stressing it has disrupted the entire input supply for 2012 season. According to him, Nigerian banks lent less than 3 per cent of their commercial loans to the sector this year, despite the arrangement signed by commercial banks to provide the sum of N30 billion in lending to agro dealers and seed companies but restricted to seed companies. In addition, the Ministry of Finance has put up a risk sharing facility, backed with sovereign guarantee, to cover 70 per cent of risk of lending by commercial banks to agro dealers,
while the Ministry of Agriculture put in place an interest draw back facility of N2.4 billion at the Central Bank of Nigeria, to reduce the interest rate charged by banks from 15 per cent to 7 per cent to enable loans to be affordable. Speaking in Lagos yesterday on the theme: “The New Agricultural Transformation in Nigeria: Opportunities for Banks and Other Stakeholders in Economic Diversification.” Adesina said the poor performance of banks goes against the agreed NIRSAL principles, which assumes that banks would respond to incentives for reducing their risk of lending to the critical segment of farmers and agro dealers. The minister, who delivered a lecture at the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria 2012 Annual Lecture, stated that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has designed programmes and policies on gov-
ernment-supported private sector led agricultural transformation that is transforming the sector to be more productive, efficient and competitive to encourage banks to lend. He affirmed that agriculture was no longer being treated as a development project but as a business, as the ministry was tackling some of the critical road blocks that create both real and perceived risks to greater lending to agriculture. “The Federal Ministry of Agriculture understands that to expand financing in agriculture, we must first get the sector to work. Government policies that drive profitability and growth of the sector, and private sector investments, are the prime drivers for agricultural transformation. If government policies unlock the value of agriculture, and we fix the agricultural value chains, banks should be able to find a money trail and lend more to agriculture,” he explained.
Thursday, November 15, 2012 DAILY SUN
NFF stops NPL Congress N
igeria Football Federation (NFF) has directed the Nigeria Premier League to put on hold its 7th congress earlier scheduled to take place on Saturday. The Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, High Chief Emeka Inyama, speaking in Abuja yesterday said the federation took the decision as part of its determination to see that outstanding issues on the Premier League were conclusively resolved with a view to putting in place a credible first tier of Nigeria’s domestic football. “The NFF wrote the letter based on the need to put all lingering matters to rest before we can start talking about a new season. This is of high importance,” Inyama said. The letter, addressed to the acting Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Premier League, Tunji Babalola, and signed by NFF General Secretary, Barr. Musa Amadu, reads, inter alia: “I have the mandate of the President of the Nigeria
Football Federation to inform you “This is as a result of several linto put all arrangements for the stag- gering issues around the Nigeria ing of the NPL 7th Congress 2012 Premier League that have come to on hold until further notice. the fore and which must be fully
resolved before a congress can be called to set the date for the beginning of a new season. “You may kindly recall that the
Moroccan referees for CAF Champions League grand finale
Insurance players seek Oshiomohole’s help
layers of Nigeria National League side, Insurance Football Club, are not happy with the preparation for next season and have appealed to the Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomohole, to come to their aid. The players noted that they have not had the best of training as the league starts December 8th. The players, who spoke on condition of anonymity, implored the governor to quickly make funds available, so that the team could get ready for the next season. “Apart from the issue of snakes disturbing us in camp, we have not received our salary for a long time. There is no good bus to take us to training field,” one of the players said. “Last season, we escaped relegation on the last day after we drew 11 in Ilorin against Crown. “A club such as Insurance should not be playing in the lower league.We should be up there, competing with Rangers, Kano Pillars, Dolphins, Shooting Stars, Sharks and other teams in the Nigeria Premier League. “We have good players in the team. All that is required for us to do well is for salaries, allowances to be paid as and when due. “Once the basic things are there for us to succeed, you can be sure that Insurance will not only gain promotion to the NPL, but will begin to rank among the best in the country. “The people of Edo State want to see this team in the Premier League. But that aim may not materialise unless there is adequate motivation from the government, the owners of the team. “Something good must happen to this team and we are ready to do our best to make sure that we gained promotion to the elite division. “If everything is done to make us happy, I don’t see any team stopping us from getting to play in the Premier League”.
Nigeria Football Federation had earlier directed you to suspend plans for the commencement of a new season based on some issues. Now, other matters have been added, for which the NFF issued you a query that has only recently been answered.”
•Ike Uche (right)
onour of refereeing the 2012 grand finale of CAF’s premier club competition, the Champion’s League, has gone to the Moroccan quartet of El Ahrach Bouchaid ( referee ) Achik Redouane ( first assistant ) Bouazza Rouani ( second assistant ) and Jiyed Redouane ( fourth official ) The match, a return leg between defending champion, Esperance De Tunis and Al Ahly of Egypt, will be played at the imposing Rades Stadium in Tunis on Saturday, 6.30 pm Nigerian time. The first leg ended 1-1 in Egypt. Also appointed is famous former referee, Lim Kee Chong An Yan of Mauritius, who will be the match commissioner. Nigeria’s Paul Bassey will have the honour of leading the teams as the General Coordinator on the night. The security officer for the encounter is Medjiba Radi of Algeria. Tomorrow, a meeting of the CAF Inter Club Committee that has NFF’s former president, Sani Lulu, as member, will precede the final.
Ogba leads AFN team to Obudu
thletic Federation of Nigeria’s President, Solomon Ogba will lead the federation’s team to Saturday’s 8th Obudu International Mountain Race and the fourth African Nations Mountain Running Championships at the Obudu ranch resort in Obudu,Cross River state. Confirming this to the local organising committee (LOC) for the race in an e-mail is Maria Worphil, the Secretary General of the federation. Ogba will be the first AFN boss to grace the world class event jointly organised by the federation and the Cross River State Government. Also expexted to be in the delegation are: Mrs Worphil and the second vice president of the federation, Jide Josiah, as well as Samuel Fatunla, the only athletics statistician recognised by the Association of Track and Field Statisticians. Meanwhile, Honourable Patrick Ugbe, the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, has confirmed that all the elite athletes participating in Saturday’s race will be flown straight to Obudu from Lagos and Calabar. ‘The LOC has conclud-
ed arrangements to airlft all elite runners, both the local and foreign to the venue of the competition.We have an ultra-modern airstrip, Bedi Airstrip at the ranch which is reputed as one of the best airstrips in the
country”, says Ugbe, adding that His Excellency, Senator Liyel Imoke, inspected the airstrip last year and it has since been in use. ‘I recall that the governor inspected the Bedi Airstrip last year and
was pleased with its modern equipment. He knows that one of the most difficult tasks a pilot has to perform is to achieve a smooth and safe landing and the airstrip is fitted with the latest landing aids.
NSF: LOC boss assures on early completion of facilities
ith a few days to the commencement of the 18th National Sports Festival tagged: Eko 2012, Lagos State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, has promised that all the facilities for the sports fiesta would be ready before the kick-off of the games. The LOC boss made the assurance during an inspection of some of the venues, where she noted that work has reached advanced stage in most of the facilities. Accompanied by the LOC Secretary General, Kweku Tandoh, and other members of the committee, she visited venues such as Rowe Park Sports Centre in Yaba, and the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, where some of the athletes would be accommodated. At UNILAG, the LOC chairperson visited the El-Kanemi and Queen
Amina halls as well as the Sports Centre, and she expressed satisfaction with the level of work, while urging the contractors to speed up work and deliver before the agreed date.
Also, she received hundreds of mattresses, mosquito treated nets and toiletries, which she said would be available for the use of the athletes during the sports fiesta.
...To engage 1,000 volunteers for Eko 2012
o provide additional service during the 18th National Sports Festival tagged: Eko 2012, 1,000 volunteers will be engaged by the Local Organising Committee (LOC). The LOC Secretary General, Kweku Tandoh, making this known yesterday said the volunteers, which would be drawn from various professional fields, would assist in various areas. “I want to say that we will be engaging over 1,000 volunteers that will assist in different areas and I want to say categorically that the volunteers will not be doing the work of the subcommittees as they will only be ren-
dering additional assistance throughout the festival,” Tandoh said. The LOC scribe added that to acquaint the volunteers with their functions during the festival, a threeday training would be organised for the selected persons with the aim of updating their knowledge on what volunteerism is all about. He, however, said that various professionals would be part of the volunteers, as there are plans by the state to keep the data of the volunteers for future events in the state. Volunteer project manager, Bisi Oshunneye, said that to be part of the volunteers, willing individuals could fill the form on the webs.
Thursday, November 15, 2012 DAILY SUN
NEWS NOC scribe lauds Rugby federation By GEORGE ALUO
•Mikel and Clattenburg
Mark Clattenburg: Chelsea, FA accused of cover-up C helsea and the Football Association have been accused of a “cover-up” for not referring alleged comments by referee Mark Clattenburg to the police. The Metropolitan Police have dropped their investigation into a complaint that Clattenburg used “inappropriate language” on two Chelsea players.
The complaint was made to the police by the Society of Black Lawyers. “It sounds remarkably like a football cover-up,” the society’s chairman ,Peter Herbert, said. “It sounds remarkably like the football industry wanted to have this issue swept under the carpet.” Chelsea made a formal complaint against Clattenburg on 29 October following their 3-2 home defeat by
SCSA honours Ekeji
n recognition of his well documented positive contributions to sports development in Africa, the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) has awarded its MEDAL OF HONOUR to the Director-General National Sports Commission, Chief (Dr.) Patrick Ekeji. The SCSA Medal of Honour, which is the second highest sports awards in Africa is awarded to prominent personalities, international organisations, countries or national sports teams who have contributed positively to sports development in the continent. It is a jealously guarded and highly respected Award within the African sports movement. According to the SCSA Executive Committee, who recommends recipients of the award to the General Assembly of the organisation, “it cannot be bought”. Receipt of the Award is purely on merit. In Nigeria, the Medal of Honour had been awarded to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the senior male national football team of
Nigeria, the Super Eagles. Apart from the recent one awarded to Chief Ekeji, only two Nigerians have been awarded the medal. They are: the late Chief Abraham Ordia and Dr. Awoture Eleyae, OON, former Secretary General of SCSA (1992-2005). Chief Ekeji was awarded the SCSA Medal of Honour because of the prominent roles he has played in the development of sports in Africa. Those roles included serving as the Chairman of SCSA Technical Committee mandated to restructure the Supreme Council for sports in Africa; serving as Chairman, Africa Union Conference of Ministers of Sports (AU-CAMS) Experts Committee to draw a roadmap on the future of sports in Africa. The report of that Experts Committee is being used as a reference material on the designing of the new architecture for African sports. In awarding Chief Ekeji the Medal of Honour, the SCSA also took cognizance of the prominent role he played in resolving the issue of outstanding debts owed the SCSA by Nigeria from the 8th All Africa Games (COJA 2003).
Manchester United. A day later, the FA opened an investigation into the allegation, part of which was that Clattenburg used racial language. Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police began their own probe based on a written complaint by Herbert - not Chelsea or the FA. It is understood Chelsea did not give evidence to the police because they felt the FA was the appropriate body to deal with the matter. On Tuesday, the police investigation was discontinued because “no victim had come forward” and “without a victim and/or any evidence that any offence has been committed, the matter cannot currently be investigated”. The FA confirmed its investigation would proceed, but Herbert is furious that neither the governing body nor Chelsea has taken the matter to the police. He said the society would take up the FA’s handling of the allegations with Sports Minister Hugh Robertson. “We strongly suspect that the FA and/or Chelsea have failed to provide the information to the Metropolitan Police in order for them to conduct a proper investigation,” he said. “It’s hard to believe that just a month ago, very few in the sport had even heard of the Society for Black Lawyers. Now, the organisation and its chairman are front and centre of the game’s discourse.” “The information we had is that there are ‘no victims’. Well, if there are no victims, what on earth has been referred to the FA in the first place? “What on earth are the FA and Chelsea playing at then? Are they having some cosy exchange of statements between themselves and not giving it to the police?
ecretary General of Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Honourable Babatunde Popoola, has praised the Nigerian Rugby Football Federation for the work it is doing to build a culture of rugby in Nigeria. Popoola spoke early this week in Lagos after watching the Lagos 7s Rugby competition decided at the main bowl of the National Stadium, Surulere. “I was at last year’s Lagos 7s, and again this year, and I would like to thank the players for entertaining us with some great rugby”, enthused the newly converted rugby fan. “ I would also like to congratulate the sponsors EXP and the Nigerian Rugby Football Federation for the excellent work they are doing to develop rugby. From the talents we have seen here and with the plans in place I know Nigerian Rugby is in good hands and the future is bright. Earlier, fans had a chance to win a new Toyota Avanza in a drop-kick competition sponsored by Mandilas Motors, the biggest Toyota dealership in the country. Competition entrants had the chance to win the car valued at more than N3 million by hitting the cross bar with a drop-kick from the 10 metre line. In a nail-biting game that went into extra time, after both teams were deadlocked 7-7 at full time, the Nigerian Police beat Shell Warri 24-12 to defend the EXP Lagos 7s Rugby Festival title they won last year. Warri signalled its intentions early on in the game and took the fight to the Police who came into the tournament as favourites. Warri’s defensive line was coming up quickly giving the Police very little time and room to move and after some ferocious tackling, the Police turned over possession to the boys in blue and Ese Enajeroh broke down the left wing, brushed off one tackler to dot down under the posts for the first try of the match. Anxiously pacing up the side line Police coach, Mike Johnson, was looking a worried man; it’s not often his well-drilled team was under such pressure. He had to wait until well into the second half before the Police struck back and equalled the score, sending the final into extra time. Police broke the deadlock with a well worked converted try under the posts in the first half of extra before scoring again then with two minutes left on the clock, Warri struck again but it was a too little too late. In the earlier matches, Kaduna was too strong for Eco 11, the Ajegunle based club, winning the Shield final 24-0. Ilorin beat Lagos 7-0 in the Bowl final and Barewa, from Kano, was too strong for Racing outscoring them 21-0. CMS Grammar, one of the schools participating in the Cowbell I-Try rugby development programme, beat the American International School 5 nil in a touch rugby demonstration game. For the AIS boys it was their first competitive match.
Man United’s debt dwindles to $570m
anchester United’s debt strinked by 18 percent as the Premier League leader floated on the New York Stock Exchange and sponsorship revenue soared. United’s debt dropped to $570 million by September 30 from $639 million on June 30. With the proceeds of its NYSE floatation, the Glazer family paid off $100 million of bonds. United recorded a profit of $33 million in the first three months of the financial year compared with a loss of $8 million a year earlier. Commercial revenue is on course to reach, at least, $555 million in the financial year after it grew by 24 percent to $68 million in the first quarter.
Fans chase away ‘old timer’ Akubuike
ans power was on full display when 3SC fans rejected prospective signing veteran goalkeeper, Uche Akubuike, insisting he is past his prime. Akubuike trained on Monday and it was the first and last time he would train with the Ibadan club as fans protested against any plans to sign him. He would later be sent off by the club management the following day. “The fans protested that Akubuike cannot help their club
battle for top honours in the coming season because his better days are behind him,” a top source said. “The management, therefore, did very well to listen to their misgivings because a day after he trained with the team, they gave him transport money to return to his base.” Akubuike was considered for a place in Nigeria’s final squad for the 1998 World Cup in France. He has played for several top local teams including Enyimba, Gombe United as well as in South Africa and Asia.
American instructor arrives for NSF officiating course By JOE APU
he American instructor billed to train officiating officials of the Nigeria Squash Federation, NSF, Meherji Madan, has arrived the country for the officiating course that is beginning at the state of the art squash court at the Akim Barracks in Calabar Thursday. The officiating course which is part of the NSF’s effort to improve the lot of officiating officials in country ahead of the 18th National
Sports Festival tagged: Eko 2012 billed for Lagos later this month will see the American national referee and World Squash Association assessor will update knowledge of Nigerian officials on latest officiating. President of Nigeria Squash Federation, Rotarian Femi Ajagbe, reveals that no fewer than 82 officials from 26 states of the federation including Abuja would be in attendance at the Akim Barracks, Calabar for the officiating course that would run from today till
Sunday. Femi Ajagbe further said that the four-day event was meant to update the knowledge of the officials where resources and evaluations would be set up for the officials for proper grading. Ajagbe revealed that since Squash will be part of the forthcoming 18th National Sports Festival billed for Lagos, the course is a timely one. “I do believe that the course is coming at the appropriate time and is highly needed to correct the lapses of some of our officials.
•L-r: Jimi Okunseinde, Chairman, Southern Sun Ikoyi Hotel; Kieran Conway, Group Development Chief, Offshore and Deluxes, Southern Sun Hotel and Ebi Pinnick, Captain, Golf section, Ikoyi Club 1938 at the Southern Sun Ikoyi Hotel golf tournament prize giving cocktail
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012 53
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012
DAILY SUN Thursday, November 15, 2012 55
N150 THURSDAY, November 15, 2012 VOL.7 NO. 2495
Geometric Power to the rescue T he other day, I had the privilege of undertaking a facility tour of Aba Integrated Power Plant (IPP), the signature project of Geometric Power Limited. It was a worthwhile experience. The Aba IPP, an ambitious project conceived by Prof Barth Nnaji, is a revolution about to happen in the power sector. It is a response to the gaping hole which the absence of regular power supply created in the Aba business fabric. It is a strategic vision borne out of the overriding need to reclaim Aba from industrial atrophy. Aba, a city that once bubbled with industrial and commercial concerns, went under owing to neglect by government and other relevant authorities. Yet, the brawny and can-do spirit of the Aba artisan held on tenaciously to the inventiveness and innovation the city is known for. They have continued to make Aba a city that must command attention, regardless of the willful abandonment by those who ought to lift the city from ruin. Significantly, Aba got that compulsive attention when James Wolfensohn, then the President of the World Bank, visited the city in pursuit of the bank’s Development Assistance to Africa programme. After his assessment of the industrial potentials of the environment, he recommended to the Nigerian government that a power plant be set up in the city. The then government of Olusegun Obasanjo accepted the idea but, curiously, chose to site the power plant in Abeokuta. The infamous decision left a yawning gap in the Aba business community. It was this lacuna created by the Obasanjo government that Nnaji set out to fill when he, in 2004, conceived the idea of Aba IPP. Nnaji, a William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Engineering and Baker Research Fellow, knows what it means to create an industrial base. He knows what it means to tap into the vast industrial potentials of an environment. It was on the strength of this that he set sail. He did not need to discover Aba. The city already has a ready market. What was needed was to deliver the right industrial roadmap. Prof Nnaji saw the Aba IPPas capable of doing the magic. He was right. The project has now come to fruition. In a matter of weeks, it will be delivered to the Aba business community, and with it, things will never be the same again with the city. The $500 million power plant boasts of three gas turbines, four substations and three other substations leased from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). The plant is to serve the entire Aba metropolis and neigbbouring Osisioma and Owerinta. It is a massive facility which will make our unreliable PHCN and its handlers look green with envy. Looking at the revolution that is Aba IPP, one cannot but take another look at the on-going (or is it concluded?) bids for the electricity distribution companies unbundled from the behemoth called PHCN. We must recall that Prof Nnaji who was Director of the United States National Science Foundation returned to Nigeria with a boatload of experience. He was chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power and Special Adviser to the President on Power. He was later to become the Minister of Power. It is significant to note that Nnaji’s exposure at Geometric Power put him in a very good stead to manage the power sector in Nigeria efficiently. While he was in the saddle, he was able to resolve the many problems bedeviling the power sector. The Power Reform Act which he set up was the vehicle for the attainment of these goals.
Nnaji, former Minister of Power Apart from the leap in the quantum of power supplied, the power sector reform made it possible for the private sector to get involved in power issues. In recognition of his stellar performance, the Bankers’ Committee rewarded him with an award. Given Nnaji’s expertise and the positive
changes he brought to bear on the power sector, it is strange that the Nigerian government which sought his services on account of his expertise treated him as an intruder. While the man was working to lift the country out of darkness, some entrenched and destructive interests were up in arms against his progressive bent. From what we know and can see, he was set to midwife a transparent process in power sector reforms. But because Nigeria has been programmed by revisionists to remain a lame duck, Nnaji was seen as a strange bedfellow who was out to upset the apple carte. They resisted him fiercely. But do we really blame those who saw Nnaji as an obstacle? They are simply fighting for survival. But the regret is that they are doing it at the expense of Nigeria and the system that drives it. But the bigger regret is that the duplicity of agents of darkness was sanctioned by the Jonathan Presidency which, until the bubble burst, was still pretending that it was out to reform the power sector. If there is anything which has exposed the underbelly of the Jonathan administration in the area of power sector reforms, it is the sale of the electricity distribution companies to some firms and consortia whose competence in the power sector is questionable A company called Southern Electricity Distribution Company (SEDC) has since joined issues with the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) and the National Council on Privatization (NCP) over what they consider to be underhand dealings over the bids. SEDC lost the bid for the Benin Distribution Company in circumstances it could not understand. Consequently, some of the interests behind it, notably Governors of Edo, Delta, Ekiti and Ondo cried blue murder. But they were confounded the more when the chairman of the Technical Committee accused SEDC of submission of two different bids in contravention of the bid requirements. The controversy is yet to be settled. But the case of Enugu Distribution Company is a different story all together. Owing to the resentment for Prof Nnaji by some powerful elements
that control the Jonathan Presidency, the bid which involved South East Governors was manipulated in a manner that would ensure that Geometric Power does not have a stake in any of the electricity distribution companies. By rigging geometric out of the process, the post- acquisition success of Enugu Distribution Company now looks bleak. But let us leave the Jonathan Presidency to its devices and begin to focus some attention on Aba and its environs. The decay that the city has suffered in recent years has attracted national and international attention. A city that was once an industrial and commercial hub has become a shadow of its old self. Owing to the collapse of vital infrastructure in the city, many of the industries which used to operate in Aba have left. With their exodus, the economy of the city, indeed, that of Abia State, is bleeding. One of the most notorious factors that killed Aba’s industrial growth is power supply. James Wolfensohn was told this much when he visited. From what he saw, it was clear that regular power supply would help Aba to return to glory. This is where Geometric Power comes in. The Aba power plant is set to bring back the magic of Aba. It is believed that regular power supply which the commissioning of the IPP will bring about will make Aba to bubble again. Some of the industries that left will return and new ones will find the impetus to come to Aba and operate. But there is a snag. The roads in Aba are the new jinx that must be kicked off if the city must begin to function again. It is an indisputable fact that Aba parades the worst roads in the country today. The situation has become scandalous. I felt even more scandalized as I navigated through the macadam that is the road leading to Aba IPP. It is simply an embarrassment to the government of Abia State. We need not emphasize the fact that Geometric Power has done well to give Aba a new face. But the government must complement its efforts by making the roads in Aba motorable.
State creation in Imo State I BY LEONARD AJOKUBI refer to your BROKEN TONGUES of last Thursday on Constitution review and wish to submit that the exercise is already producing interesting results and scenarios in Imo State. On Monday this week, Stakeholders drawn from the three Senatorial districts of Imo State, during the Peoples’ Public session on the review/amendment of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution held at the Concorde Hotel Owerri endorsed the creation of Anim state as an additional state in the South-East. The proponents of the Anim State in their proposal, want it to be made up of 5 local governments from Anambra State and the entire 12 local governments from Orlu zone, Imo State, making a total of 17 local governments. But the interesting angle to it which was greeted with applause and wide acceptance was the submission of the Committee on State creation set up by South East Governors which endorsed Anim State creation provided it does not include Ohaji Egbema LGA, and Agwa clan in Oguta LGA of Imo State. For the people of Ohaji/Egbema and Agwa clan, that was the moment they have been waiting for as they have been very desirous of rejoining their kit and kin in Owerri zone of Imo State. Another interesting angle to it is that the retention of Ohaji/Egbema and Agwa clan by Imo State will make the state an oil-producing one.
The remaining Communities in Oguta LGA will join the new state. They said that the idea will make it possible for the two states in the South East to be both oil-producing and therefore viable and rich. Apart from the above, the Owerri zone insists that Ohaji/Egbema and Agwa clan in the Oguta Local government, historically and geographically, belong to Owerri zone, and regretted that they were dragged to the Orlu zone for political reasons. In a presentation containing the position of the people of the Ohaji/Egbema LGA, the Chairman, Ohaji Leaders of thought, Chief Christian Ogboefi, said that they will remain in Imo state because “Ohaji/Egbema, from historical point of view, is part and parcel of Owerri zone. The people of Agwa in Oguta Local government, who right from time said that they will remain in Imo State presented a paper containing the resolution of Agwa leaders in a meeting held at the Customary Court Hall, Agwa, on Thursday 23, June 2005, to the people of Imo State for consideration and adoption. This was in addition to the position paper of August 2010 which they submitted to the National Assembly Committee on Constitutional amendment. The document which was duly signed by many notable Agwa leaders drawn from the ten towns that make up the clan, read: “At the cre-
ation of Orashi State, with its capital at Kalabari Beach, a walking 15 kilometers away, the people of Agwa clan would be part of it. If on the other hand, Orlu state or any other state by whatever name called is created with its capital at Orlu, a circuitous 70 kilometers away and entailing traversing Owerri, capital of Imo state, the long suffering people of Agwa clan would opt out of it” “Therefore in the event of Orlu state being created, the people of Agwa clan would wish to continue to remain in Imo State, whose State capital, Owerri, is a walking distance of 10 kilometers from them”. Agwa Leaders, who said that Agwa people are not against the creation of Anim state, noted that Agwa initially belonged to Uratta County Council, Owerri, and later brought to Orlu zone for political reasons. When they put the matter to vote, the people voted in favour of Owerri zone, meaning that they want Ohaji/Egbema and Agwa clan in Oguta to remain in Imo State. The Committee set up by the South East governors consists of top intellectuals, ViceChancellors, Bishops, Senators and House members, all the Attorneys General and Speakers which worked for 2 ? months. Its report, said. “Anim state consisting of one Senatorial zone each from Anambra and Imo provided it does not include Ohaji Egbema and Agwa clan in Oguta.”
Ajokubi writes from Owerri.
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