2013 Budget SAMBO’S HOUSE TO GULP TWO BILLION •Mark, three others to Page 5 share N300m N150
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2012 VOL. 7 NO. 2510
Switzerland returns $700m Abacha loot
Adenuga donates N500m to Bayelsa Page flood victims 9
Jonathan’s brother for burial ...Says late Head of State’s son has pending case on Saturday
I will expose Ohakim – Okorocha •Imo Govt set to release probe report
Abia pensioners go on the rampage
Protesting pensioners yesterday
2013 Budget SAMBO’S HOUSE TO GULP TWO BILLION WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2012 VOL. 7 NO. 2510
Fully loaded luxury bus bombed in Kano
•Mark, three others to Page share N300m 5
Adenuga donates N500m to Bayelsa flood victims Page 9
...Says late Head of State’s son has pending case
Switzerland returns $700m Abacha loot
Abia pensioners go on the rampage
Protesting Abia pensioners yesterday
2013 Budget SAMBO’S HOUSE TO GULP TWO BILLION N150
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2012 VOL. 7 NO. 2510
Salami: Jonathan replies critics Page 6
•Mark, three others to Page share N300m 5
Witchcraft: Ekiti court remands suspected killers of 70-year-old woman Page 11
...Says late Head of State’s son has pending case
Switzerland returns $700m Abacha loot President Goodluck Jonathan (R), receiving the 2011 Annual Report of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) from the Chairman, Chief Ernest Shonekan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday.
Community tackles monarch over refusal to marry second wife
Adenuga donates N500m to Bayelsa flood victims
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Wednesday, December 5, 2012, DAILY SUN
Reps to check fund leakages •Lawmakers work to amend Fiscal Responsibility Act IHEANACHO NWOSU and CHUKS AKUNNA, Abuja
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he House of Representatives yesterday began the process of amending the Fiscal Responsibility Act with a meeting with 63 Federal Government agencies . Declaring open the session, Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal said it was time to plug the huge leakages in revenues that accrue to the Federation Account by amending the law that empowers agencies to spend the money which they make and return peanuts to government coffers. The Speaker was represented by his Deputy, Emeka Ihedioha. Some of the leading agencies include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) , Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Customs Service and National Maritme , Safety and Administration Agency . Tambuwal said the “Fiscal Responsibility Act should be amended to bring it into conformity with the Constitution and strengthen its enforcement provisions. “Asituation where actual government revenue and expenditure is unknown because revenue earning agencies of government spend the funds as they deem fit can no longer be tolerated. A situation where over 50% of actual government revenue is spent outside the national annual budget has put Nigeria in a fiscal crisis. It makes our budgeting system inefficient, ineffectual, and opaque. “It does not promote accountability, transparency, responsiveness and openness that is the hallmark of a democratic government” The speaker said the nation was heading for a serious financial crisis if the unconscionable leakages that take place daily in the system was not checked. He said that “for far too long, the menace of revenue leakages had dominated the finances of our country to the detriment of our “economy and wellbeing of the people of Nigeria. “The Constitution and our laws on revenue generation and expenditure had been observed more in breach. For the avoidance of doubts, the Constitution has provided elaborate methods of revenue collection, revalue remittances and expenditure approvals.” He noted that the “ method of remitting the revenue and the government account or fund where it may be remitted may be different, but there is no room whatsoever for discretionary approach to revenue and remittances.” Tambuwal stressed that “indeed the Constitution establishes the Federation Account (S.162); The Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation (S.80 (i); and other Public Funds (S.80). All revenue must be paid into any of these funds set up by the Constitution. If by an Act of the National Assembly, an agency is set up for a specific purpose, (S.80 (i), revenues from such agency is not for the discretionary use of the agency. Such revenues are public funds not private funds.” Faulting the brouhaha that often trail any input made by the National Assembly to the budget, the Speaker announced that the federal legislature will continue to tinker with budget estimates. He said that the chambers would be failing in their duties if they pass budget proposal the way it was presented by the President. He said, “when a financial measure is brought to the National Assembly, it is exposed to robust debate. It passes through rigorous and painstaking processes, that is made open to all stakeholders and Nigerians for their input. This enhances a better budgeting process and accountability. “This should not, and cannot be allowed to continue. The National Assembly must rise to the challenge and actualize the fiscal dreams of our founding fathers so clearly enunciated in our Constitution.” Earlier the Chairman of the Committee, Hon Abdulmumuni Jibrin, said that there were discrepancies in what the agencies take to the federal treasury and what the Constitution provides. He listed areas that his committee would focus on as “discrepancies in figures between the budget office and the agencies; reflection of surpluses in the revenue framework instead of gross collections as on other revenue sub heads ;high expenditures that wipe off revenue generated ;Internal laws of the agencies seem to empower the agencies to spend their revenues. However the constitution is clear on these issues as government revenue should be paid to the treasury as well as remittances of operating surpluses not being timely “.
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
DAILY SUN 5 L-R: Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Dr Mansur Ahmed, former Head of Interim National Government (ING)/ commssion’s Chairman, Chief Ernest Shonekan, President Goodluck, Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo and Governor of Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi after the presentation of the commission’s report to the President at the State House, Abuja Tuesday L-R: Laureates of the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM), Professors Emeritus Ayo Banjo and Ayo Bamgbose, Secretary, Nigerian National Merit Award (NNMA), Adamu Muazu, and Professor Emeritus Umaru Shehu, at the NNOM’s forum in Abuja, Tuesday
L-R:Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako, Chairman, Forte Oil, Mr Femi Otedola, Anambra State Governor Peter Obi and President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote at the National Economic Management Team meeting at the State House, Abuja, Tuesday PHOTO: Bayo Obisesan
COVER Reps walk out SEC officials, insist on Oteh’s sack From IHEANACHO NWOSU CHUKS AKUNNA, Abuja
and ing, to walk out. Jibrin said that the House has nothing to do with the organisation since the execuhe House of Representatives yester- tive was yet to implement its resolution. day walked out officials of the Recall that shortly after the House had Securities and Exchange Commission indicted the DG, she was sent on compul(SEC), saying it will not go back on its sory leave by the SEC board to enable the vow not to deal with the leadership of Ms agency’s external auditors, the Price Arunma Oteh . Water Coopers Limited (PWC), examine The House Ad-hoc Committee on the records of the commission . Capital Market that investigated the near However, in what demonstrated a vote collapse of the capital market had in its of confidence in the SEC boss and the report, accused Director-General Oteh of violating some rules governing the organisation. It specifically alleged that she was not qualified to head the establishment, and recommended that she should be relieved of her appointment. The lawmakers even passed a resolution based on a motion that it would no longer recognize her as the From ADETUTU FOLASADE-KOYI, Abuja DG of the SEC and would not deal with he Federal Government has earmarked the commission as long as she remains the another N2.3 billion in the 2013 budgboss of the federal agency. et for the designing and construction of The Presidency has, however, refused to heed the resolution that the woman be residences for Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo and the four presiding offisacked. However, the House yesterday provided cers in the National Assembly. The Vice President’s residence alone will an opportunity to put its words into action as it walked out a delegation of SEC who gulp N2 billion while the balance will be were supposed to be part of a meeting of spent on residences for the four presiding the House Committee on Finance. The officers, the Senate President, Speaker of session involved all the revenue generat- the House of Representatives and their deputies. ing agencies of government. These expenses were included in the FCT Chairman of the committee , Hon. 2013 National Priority Budget presented Abdulmumin Jibrin (Kano-PDP), asked the Chief Accountant of SEC and other by the FCT Minister, Senator Bala senior staff of the commission, who came Mohammed to the Senate FCT Committee to represent the establishment at the meet- yesterday.
comprehensive reforms she has spearheaded at the capital market, the Federal Ministry of Finance recalled her from compulsory leave after another audit report absolved her of fraud or crime in Project 50, a commemorative programme for capital market regulation. Her recall also discountenanced the Oteh many false allegations of wrongdoing leveled against Oteh especially those that the launch was about N155million and not the billions of naira, saying it was a border on Project 50’s formal launch. But auditors discovered that the cost of most prudent budget by any standards.
FG votes N2bn for Sambo’s house
•Residences of Mark, Tambuwal, 2 others to gulp N300m
The projects are located in the Abuja Municipal Council (AMAC). In the capital expenditure details submitted to the committee, apart from designing and constructing the houses, guest houses would also be built for the four presiding officers of the National Assembly. Meanwhile, the minister has said that the demolition of 31 housing estates in the FCT will continue regardless of any court order. “Which law? Which law are you asking? We have the responsibility to enforce the Master Plan. The FCDA has a law and the Abuja Master Plan is not compromising,” when asked by the committee. Committee Chairman, Senator Smart Adeyemi, asked if alternative arrangements had been provided for those who would be affected, against the backdrop that some
civil servants were found to be complicit in the demolished Minanuel Estate. Mohammed replied: “I have a law on demolishing. The law I said I don’t have is the one the chairman asked on the issue of parking. But for demolition, I have the law and I don’t even have to interfere with Development Control Law under the Land Use Act.” Although Adeyemi urged Mohammed to temper justice with mercy, the minister stood his ground, saying that the demolition will go on. “You see, two wrongs don’t make a right and for us to allow an exclusion of an exercise of impunity or lawlessness, we are not going to condone this for any reason. “They have given a lot of sentiments as a politician; I am a civil servant. We have to go through the process,” Mohammed said.
6 DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
NEWS Governors at war •Gaidam tackles Babangida Aliyu over comments From ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Kaduna
overnor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State has described as surprising, the report credited to the Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Niger State Governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, to the effect that Yobe lawmakers and the State’s commissioners had allegedly relocated to Jigawa, owing to the deteriorating security situation in the State. Speaking through his Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego, yesterday, the governor noted that his government had always confronted headlong, the security challenge facing the State, adding that government’s effort in conjunction with security operatives was responsible for the return of normalcy to the extent that economic activities and social life had since picked up again in the State. Muazu Babangida Aliyu had spoken last Monday at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, at the Sardauna Memorial lecture, where he said among things that “governmental institutions in Yobe State have moved out of the state,” as a result of the deteriorating security situation. Responding to the claim of the Niger State governor however, his Yobe State counterpart said: “As one of the states mostly affected by a mindless insurgency and the bloodthirsty activities of criminal gangs, Yobe had seen first-hand what effects a breach of the peace and breakdown of law and order could have. “But we have always risen to the challenge, working with the Joint Task Force (JTF) and other security agencies and the good people of the State – who have never relented in seeking for divine intervention. The government is able to restore the peace and ensure a return to normality. Most residents who fled at the height of the crisis have returned to their homes and social and economic activities resumed fully. “Significantly, our administration remains faithful to its mandate, and continues undaunted to deliver on its target to transform the state. It therefore came as a huge surprise that Governor Babangida Aliyu, relying on a speculative, unattributed report from one newspaper, would speak of ‘governmental institutions’ taking flight out of the state.” Insisting that as a leader, once Aliyu saw the newspaper report, which he used as the basis for his claim, he ought to have called Yobe State, to seek clarification. The Yobe governor quoted Aliyu: ‘I wasn’t very happy when I read in the papers that in Yobe State, the legislators and the commissioners were moving to Jigawa. Is it true Gwamnan Jigawa? It is true! That means we are already giving up, because if the governmental institutions moved, it means those who are after us have defeated us and have taken over. What is the best way out? How do we arrest the situation because if governmental institutions in Yobe moved, then it means gradually we will begin to move…?’ “First, if the Niger State Governor feels strongly about the report, we would expect that the first thing he would do was to contact his colleague in Yobe to find out if it was true that his commissioners and lawmakers in the state were moving to Jigawa. “Second, even if Governor Aliyu was unable, for whatever reason, to contact Governor Gaidam, one would expect him to show circumspection using a newspaper report to make such weighty comments. Interestingly, the newspaper in question had quoted the Speaker of the Yobe State House of Assembly, Adamu Dala Dogo in its attempt to balance the story, rejecting the notion that legislators had fled the state and explaining that all government officials were on ground in Yobe doing their work. Would it not be more statesmanlike that the governor also reflects on what the Yobe Assembly Speaker had said?
Jonathan’s brother for burial Saturday From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
resident Goodluck Jonathan’s younger brother, Chief Meni Innocent Jonathan who died on November 20, 2012, will be buried on Saturday, this week. In a statement, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati said that the President would leave Abuja for Bayelsa State tomorrow (Thursday) to participate in the burial ceremonies. Chief Jonathan would be laid to rest at his hometown, Otuoke, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, according to the statement. His remains would be conveyed from Abuja to Otuoke on Friday, December 7, 2012 and received by the Otuoke Council of Chiefs at the Otuoke Community Hall, at 2.30pm on the same day. There would be a Service of Songs for him at the Dame Patience Jonathan Square, Otuoke at 6pm that evening while a commendation service was expected to be held at the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Otuoke at 10 am on Saturday. He would be interred after the commendation service, the statement added.
•L-R: Pro-Chancellor Pan African University, Dr Christopher Kolade, Secretary General of the Association of Nigeria Vice Chancellors, Prof. Micheal Faborode and Vice Chancellor, Pan African University, Prof Juan Elegido during the 9th convocation ceremony of Pan African University in Lagos on Saturday. Photo: DELE ONATADE
Suleja bombing: Tears as survivors narrate accounts in court From GODWIN TSA, Abuja
ppellants, lawyers and spectators at Federal High Court Abuja were yesterday moved to tears as two survivors of the bomb blast that claimed the lives of 16 persons at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Suleja, Niger State on April 8, 2011 testified before the court. In their scary accounts, they gave graphic details of how the improvised explosive device left them with indelible bodily harm. The victims, Kayode Olatunji and Musa Audu gave narrated their ordeals as they gave evidence in the trial of six suspects alleged to have masterminded the bombing of INEC office Suleja. The accused persons who are facing a five-count charge are Shuaibu Abubakar, Salisu Ahmed, Umar Babagana Umar, Mohammed Ali, Musa Adam and Umar Ibrahim,. They allegedly conspired among themselves and others now at large, to prepare, plant and detonate Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) at various public places, which led to the deaths of 16 persons at the INEC office in Suleja on April 8, 2011. Other offences allegedly committed include the death of three persons at a political rally in Suleja on March 3, 2011; deaths of three Police officers on May 23, 2011 at Dakwa Village in Bwari Area Council of the FCT and the deaths of three persons at the All Christian Fellowship Church Suleja on July 10, 2011. The suspects were allegedly trained in weapons handling by one Ibrahim Bashir Madalla who is still at large.
Olatunji, a 300 level Student of the University of Technology Minna, Niger State, while testifying, said he had gone to check his name on INEC ad-hoc staff-list when the explosion went off. He said the impact of the blast left him with multiple fracture, nose, ear and serious eyes injuries, adding that bone and flesh grafting was done on his legs to correct the anomaly. Olatunji explained that the blast which went off at about 5 pm of April 8, 2011 caused enormous destruction to lives of innocent people, saying that he was stocked in the midst of dead bodies. “When I recovered minutes after the explosion, I saw myself enmeshed in the blood of a woman blown open by the blast. “We were taken to the General Hospital Suleja and left there without treatment for hours before we were later
evacuated to the Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital. “Five Specialists attended to me within the ten months of stay in the hospital, but my situation has not fully been addressed. “I can neither see very well nor hear very well, just as I cannot walk without the support from the clutches; I have been limited seriously,” he said. In his evidence, Audu, a teacher with Girls Secondary School, Suleja said that he had gone to check the INEC adhoc staff short-lists when he heard a “big bang.” Audu said he became unconscious as a result of the explosion, adding that, “I discovered the flesh of my legs was deeply opened.” “I was lying with dead bodies, some of the bodies were dismembered and I began to cry for help. “When help did not come, I
used my bottom with support from my hands to move away from the lifeless bodies. “They had carried out bone and flesh grafting on my left leg and I cannot still walk without a support,” he said. Earlier, a computer forensic expert from the State Security Service (SSS) simply called Reuben said he had investigated a cell-phone confiscated from one of the suspects and found it to contain incriminating elements. “In that cell-phone, pictures of how to make bombs, assault rifles, military uniforms and some bomb elements were found,” he said. This aspect of the testimony was, however, challenged during cross-examination as Mr. Emeka Okoro, counsel to the suspects claimed the cellphone could have been tempered with, to support the prosecution of the case.
Salami: You’ve no case against me, Jonathan tells activists From GODWIN TSA Abuja
resident Goodluck Jonathan has prayed a Federal High Court Abuja to throw out a suit instituted against him by 11 human rights activists over the continued suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami. In a motion on notice filed by Mr. Matthew Echo of Dr. Fabian Ajogwu‘s Chambers on behalf of the President and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) who are 1st and 2nd Defendants in the suit they hinged the application seeking to strike out of the suit on
four grounds. According to the defendants, the human rights activists who filed the suit for themselves and the Registered Trustees of the Centre for the Promotion of Arbitration do not have the locus standi to institute the action and to seek the reliefs sought, as they do not have sufficient interest in the matter to which the application relates. The 1st and 2nd defendants averred that the plaintiffs had not shown any authority granted it by the Trustees of the Centre for the Promotion of Arbitration to maintain the action on their behalf in a representative capacity. Other grounds were that the plaintiffs’ reliefs in their application were indeter-
minable as they were merely academic and as such should be expunged and that there was no cause of action against the 1st and 2nd defendants who claimed, they had always acted in accordance with the constitution in relation with the subject matter in the suit. When the matter came up yesterday, the plaintiffs’ counsel, Mr. Echo withdrew the name of Justice Dalhatu Adamu (the 5th defendants) from the suit and asked for an extension of time to enable him responds to the motion of the 1st and 2nd defendants. Justice Adamu Bello granted the application, as prayed and adjourned the case to January 17, 2013 for adoption of written addresses.
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 7
1 Killed in Lagos fuel tanker explosion By OLUWOLE FAROTIMI
ne person was confirmed killed yesterday when a petrol tanker loaded with 33, 000 litres of PremiumMotor Spirit (PMS), exploded at a filling station in Aka Town, Okokomaiko, a quiet town in Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State. Daily Sun learnt that the man, who was simply identified as Uche, was the assistant manager of the Uniccou Petroleum, at Olopomeji Bus Stop along Aka Road, Okokomaiko before his death. It was gathered that the fire occurred following a spark from the truck, which was aided by the strong fumes from the PMS, which had already spread across the filling station, setting the vehicle on fire immediately. According to Mr. Mudashiru Wahab, an eyewitness, the fire incident occurred at about 6:45 am, few minutes after Uche commenced the offloading of the PMS from the tanker into the station reservoir. Wahab, who claimed he assisted the men of the Lagos State Fire Service to put out the fire, said: “I was on my way to my office when I saw the man who was burning struggling to rescue himself from the fire. Although I don’t know the cause of the inferno, immediately I saw this, I alighted from the vehicle and rushed to the scene to safe the man.” The Managing Director of Yakoyo Eateries, located on 112 Aka Road (sited beside the petrol station) who refused to mention his name, said the incident occurred at the early hours of the day, adding “it was due to the alarm raised by his workers that drew the attention of people to the scene. “We have to remove our belongings when we discovered that the fire involved a fuel tanker.”
Gunmen kidnap FAAN staff in Lagos … Demand N10m ransom By UCHE USIM
unmen on Sunday whisked away a staff of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs Haajara Musa in Lagos to an unknown destination.
Mrs Musa works at the operation department of the international wing of Muritala Mohammed International Airport. The incident, which had sent shock waves down the spine of FAAN workers and the aviation community, was said to have occurred when she was returning from the airport after work. An aviation source told Daily Sun that the kidnappers immediately opened communication lines with her family and demanded N10 million as ransom. Prior to her kidnap, Mrs Musa reportedly attended a meeting with other women in aviation at the weekend.
Fashola tasks FG on security By OLUWOLE FAROTIMI
agos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola yesterday called on the Federal Government to give priority attention to security of lives and property in the country. The governor, who spoke at the 6th town hall meeting on security held at the Civic Centre, Lagos, lamented that the Federal Government had not been able to tackle the security challenges confronting the people. His words: “The challenge of equipping our security agencies in the face of the insufficient support from the Federal Government has continued till this day.” Fashola said the state government, through the Security Trust Fund had provided logistics valued at N8.7 billion for the police and other security agencies in the state. The state Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko said no fewer than 32 policemen had been killed in the state by armed robbers within the space of 11 months. Manko said the figure represented an increase over the number of policemen killed by robbers last year, which stood at 19. The commissioner said between November 1, 2011 and October 31, robbers killed 32 policemen while the policemen also killed 140 robbers. According to him, the figure represented a shortfall in the number of robbers killed by the police between November 2010 and October 2011, which stood at 164. He said the statistics showed increased robbery cases in Lagos as 123 armed robbery incidents were recorded in the last 11 months as against the 61 robbery cases that took place in the previous year. He said the police arrested 569 robbers in 11 months which was higher than the 522 arrested in the previous year, saying 371 arms were recovered this year, “this was against 328 recovered last year.”
• L-R: Former Minister of Information, Chief Alex Akinyele; President and Chairman of Council, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Alhaji Mohammed Ahmed Abdullahi and Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, who was conferred with the Fellowship of the NIPR during the 2012 annual public relations conference/AGM of NIPR held in Akure, Ondo State yesterday.
Switzerland returns $700m Abacha’s loot to FG From ADETUTU FOLASADE- Terrorism, which would hold in Abuja between December KOYI, Abuja 11 and 13. witzerland is set to The seminar was a collaboexpose public officers rative effort between the Swiss who stashed away looted Government and the Federal funds in the country’s banks, Government. just as it announced yesterday His words: Switzerland is that the country new laws did working closely with other not allow anonymous bank countries to combat organised accounts in Swiss banks. crime and terrorism. It The Swiss Government employs internationally bindalso announced that $700 mil- ing sanctions, in particular lion, out of the reported $1 bil- sanctions imposed by the lion loot stashed in the coun- United Nations. try’s banks belonging to the “Let me quickly touch upon late head of state, General Sani a few key words: Swiss bankAbacha had been returned to ing secrecy protects the privathe Federal Government. cy of bank clients, but it is not Swiss Ambassador to unlimited. If there are suspiNigeria, Dr. Hans-Rudolf cions of criminal activities Hodel, said this at a press such as terrorism, organised briefing in Abuja yesterday. crime, money laundering or He spoke against the back- tax fraud, it is lifted-and the drop of a proposed seminar on authorities are given access to Anti-Money Laundering and banking information. Banking Combating the Financing of secrecy is not a Swiss peculi-
arity; it exists in many other countries. “No anonymous accounts exist in Switzerland. The bank is obliged to know the identity of the account holder and of the actual financial beneficiary. Highly developed financial centres run the risk of being used to launder money and to finance terrorism. “The Swiss Act on the Restitution of Illicit Asset is an innovative tool that may speed up Asset Recovery proceedings in certain cases. The law is the result of difficulties encountered by the Swiss authorities in returning asset with insufficient structures. “To resolve cases of illicit assets of politically exposed persons (PEPs) deposited in Switzerland, the law comprises the three instruments of freezing, confiscation and restitution in situations where the state of origin of the assets
... Son has pending case From AIDOGHIE PAULI- in West Africa (GIABA), is agreed to request the World organizing the seminar as a Bank to participate in the NUS, Abuja
witzerland Ambassador to Nigeria, Hans-Rudolf Hodel, yesterday said son of former military dictator, General Sanni Abacha, Abba Abacha, has a pending case of money laundering hanging on his neck in Switzerland. Hodel made the revelation while briefing newsmen on the forthcoming seminar on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism set to hold in Abuja. He said Switzerland, with the assistance of Nigeria and in close cooperation with the regional anti-money laundering agency, Inter Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering
follow up to the Dakar seminar held last year, which took a look at aspects of money laundering. Rodel said this year’s seminar would focus more on the crosscutting aspects of money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Speaking on the Abacha money laundering case, Rodel said based on a formal request by the Nigerian government in December 1999 for a legal mutual assistance, the Swiss government was able to gather all relevant information and to proceed, between 2005 and 2009, with the restitution of the funds to the Nigerian government. Rodel added that Switzerland and Nigeria
review of the use of the funds, in the framework of a budget control process of various welfare projects. “Through this mechanism, the $700 million blocked in Swiss bank accounts has been returned to Nigeria. “In the same context, proceeding for support of a criminal investigation are still pending in Geneva against Abba Abacha, the son of the former Nigerian President. And this is an ongoing case,” Rodel said. On terrorism, Rodel said Switzerland condemned terrorism in all its forms and rejected any notion that associated terrorism with race, ethnicity, nationality, or religion.
in question is unable to conduct a criminal procedure that meets the requirements of Swiss law on international mutual legal assistance. “The law foresees a reversal of the burden of proof. In the confiscation proceedings, the account holders have to prove the origin of the funds. Failing to do so, illegality of the assets is assumed. “Money laundering was recognised as an offence in the Swiss Criminal Code since 1990. On February 1, 2009, various improvements in Switzerland’s anti-money laundering arsenal entered into force, enabling Switzerland to stay abreast of the more sophisticated international standards. “Switzerland has a fundamental interest in ensuring that assets of criminal origin are not invested in the Swiss financial centre. Swiss laws and procedures to combat money laundering, corruption and the financing of terrorism are effective means of keeping out illicit funds of politically exposed persons (PEPs).” On the returned Abacha loot, the Ambassador said: “Together with the states concerned. Switzerland seeks ways of returning assets to their rightful owners. In the last 15 years, Switzerland has returned over $1.7 billon to their countries of origin. “Examples include the Abacha case in Nigeria. $700 million blocked in Swiss bank accounts have been returned to Nigeria.” The seminar in Abuja was a follow-up to the one which held in Dakar, Senegal last year and it would expectedly focus more on cross-cutting aspects of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
8 DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
NEWS Minister blames SUBEB chairmen for failure of basic education policy From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba
he Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyeson Wike yesterday came hard on the chairmen of States Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs), saying they were responsible for the failure of the Nigerian state to deliver qualitative basic education to children. Wike argued that the critical challenge was not the inadequate funding but the failure of the administrative system manned by corrupt, inept and lazy public officials, who were unwilling to align themselves with the fundamental objectives of the Federal Government on the provision of qualitative and free basic education. The minister made the observation in Asaba, the Delta State capital while declaring open the 7th quarterly meeting of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) management team with executive chairmen of SUBEBs. He told the gathering that his ministry was not satisfied with the way SUBEBs and their local government partners were carrying out their responsibilities under the UBE Act, adding that most states were defaulting in the payment of counterpart funds. “For instance, the UBE Act provides for contributory funding between the federal and state governments for infrastructural development in our basic education institutions.
COSON to distribute N100m to musicians By WILLY EYA
he Nigerian music industry would next week receive a boost as the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) distributes a whopping N100 million to various artistes in the country. The organization is also packaging a one-week event where the nation’s music stars would converge to launch the COSON Music Foundation and COSON Song Awards from May 19 to 25, 2013. Chairman, Board of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji made this known yesterday when he led officers of the organization on a courtesy visit to the corporate headquarters of The Sun Publishing Limited, Kirikiri, Lagos. Okoroji, who called on management of The Sun to partner with COSON to publicise its activities, said Nigerian music had become one of the most important positive identifiers of the nation. The COSON chairman also said Nigeria could compete with any nation in the world in the area of music, choreography, fashion, literature and movies. He stressed the need to build an industry that would support musicians and help develop their creative potentials. Okoroji noted that the COSON Music Foundation would help to assist artistes and ensure that their talents were not wasted. “Around the country are many who have used their music to give so much happiness to many of our countrymen but who today as a result of age, infirmity or some incident outside their control spend their lives in indescribable misery. “For every Tuface Idibia that is considered a success story, there are many other equally talented Nigerians seeking a little assistance to help propel them to a better future,” he said.
Another blast hits Kano From DESMOND MGBOH, Kano
nother bomb yesterday evening, exploded in the ancient city of Kano, injuring unspecified number of persons and passengers.. Details of the blast were sketchy as at press time but Daily Sun gathered that the incident occurred after two unidentified young men hurled two improvised explosive devices at a luxury bus that was travelling out of the state. The suspects escaped thereafter before the security could take over the scene of the attack. It was gathered that the blast happened around the popular Zaria Roadabout by Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano area, after the luxury vehicle had come off the round about and was on the Express road driving out of the state. The blast subsequently resulted into a traffic gridlock on the Expressway as the officers of the Joint Security Task Force (JTF) in the state cordoned off the road forcing the traffic to take to nearby roads to make their transit. Efforts to reach the spokesman of the Joint Security Task Force, Lt. Ikedeche Iweha and the spokesman of the Nigeria Police Force, ASP Magaji Majiya for comments were unsuccessful. Recall that a similar blast occurred on Monday along the famous IBB way in the state capital, injuring a policeman, an FRSC officers and a traffic officer in the employ of the state government
• L-R Oba Rilwan Babatunde Osuolale Akiolu I, Oba of Lagos, Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Umar Manko, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State and Chairman of Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Mr. Remi Makanjuola, at the 6th Annual Town Hall meeting on Security with the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, held at the Civic Centre Victoria Island Lagos. Photo : FESTUS ODOFIN
EFCC re-arraigns stockbroker for N41m theft By AKEEB ALARAPE
30-year-old medical doctor-turned-stockbroker, Mrs Ibukun Adebayo Adedayo was yesterday re-arraigned before a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja for alleged stealing of N41, 009, 457.85 from the account of a customer. The stolen money, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) belonged to Mrs. Olajumoke Obafemi, a customer of Structured Financial Group of Ventures and Trust Limited. Adedayo had earlier been arraigned on a 24-count charge of stealing, fraud, fraudulent conversion of money, altering and forgery before Justice Habeeb Abiru, who has now been elevated to the Court of Appeal. In the charge sheet of the offences preferred against her yesterday, the EFCC alleged that the defendant stole the money from the account of Obafemi between June and December 2008. She was alleged to have stolen the money when she
was the Head of Structured Financial Group of Ventures and Trust Limited. According to the anti graft agency, the offences of stealing, forgery, altering were contrary to section 390, 467, 468 of the Criminal Code Cap 17, Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003. Part of the charges stated thus; “That you Ibukun Adebayo Adedayo on or about the 13th of June, 2008 stole and fraudulently converted the
sum of N7, 000, 000, property of one Mrs. Olajumoke Obafemi in her account with Ventures and Trust Limited. “That you, Ibukun Adebayo Adedayo on or about August 4, 2008 stole and fraudulently converted N6, 500, 000 property of Mrs. Olajumoke Obafemi, which sum you debited from her account with Ventures and Trust Limited and credited same to the account of Manamachi Technobuild Services with
ACN flays FG over plan to build N2.2bn banquet hall
he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has condemned the Federal Government’s decision to build a N2.2billion Banquet Hall in Aso Rock Presidential Villa, saying the amount could plunge the country into bankruptcy. In a statement issued in Ilorin yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it was totally unac-
ceptable and utterly shameful that a government would engage in such wastage. It said the government had beaten its own record for profligacy by its decision to build a N2.2 billion Banquet Hall in the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, which the man who announced the project, FCT Minister Bala Mohammed, justified by saying, “other smaller countries have better Banquet Halls near their presidential resi-
IGP vows to punish attackers of SARS headquarters
nspector General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, has said any officer found wanting in the November 26 attack on the Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS) headquarters in Abuja would be punished. Abubakar said this in Abuja yesterday during his official visit to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command. He said investigations into the November 26 attack by some unknown gunmen were still in progress.
Zenith Bank Plc and converted same. “That you Ibukun Adebayo Adedayo on or about the 5th of October, 2008 stole and converted N7,300,000 property of Mrs. Olajumoke Obafemi, which sum you debited from her account with Ventures and Trust Limited and credited same to the account of Manamachi Technobuild Services with Zenith Bank Plc and converted same.
“We are not resting on the issue of the attack on SARS headquarters. “We are still investigating and once we conclude, we will take the necessary actions but l can tell you, heads will roll in SARS,” he said. He added that the present police management would treat the issue of security within and outside the force seriously. On his visit to the FCT command, Abubakar said he wanted to personally assess the preparedness of the command to ensure safety of lives
and property in the territory. He assured them of the Federal Government’s commitment to permanently address problems associated with police pensions. Abubakar said the welfare of the police would be regularly reviewed to enable them focus on the duties of securing the society. The police chief however, warned that the police authorities would punish erring officers and men, especially as it concerned their duties of protecting lives and property.
dences. “In any case, nothing can justify the decision to spend such a huge amount of money on a Banquet Hall in a country where many go to bed hungry most nights, where youth unemployment is as high as 46.5per cent and where projects that could make Nigeria to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) less than three years to the target date, are almost non-existent,” ACN said. The party also condemned the decision by the Petroleum Minister to spend N6.5 billion for “sensitization” on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the President’s propensity to travel to international meetings with a bloated entourage and the continuous allocation of huge funds to purchase aircraft for the presidential fleet. The ACN advised the Federal Government to retrace its steps by spending the nation’s scarce resources only on projects that could benefit the masses, rather than a few elite.
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 9
Buchi thrills at Calabar festival
housands of fun-seekers at the Calabar Festival were yesterday left asking for more after Nigeria’s gospel sensation, Buchi performed some of his hit songs.
It was a stella performance by the gospel, whose rendition of his well known reggae gospel tunes left the crowd drooling for more. He was the main act at a choral competition tagged: Voices of Paradise, which featured ten choirs. A night earlier at Calabar, a world Aids charity concert to create awareness as well as sensitize people against stigmatization of HIV/AIDS victims, was held. Speaking at the concert tagged: Candle Light Memorial,ì which South Africaís ace trumpeter, Hugh Musekela performed at the Millennium Park, the Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Efiok Cobham, said the occasion was symbolic because it was a reflection of how the world would look like without AIDS. Cobham commended the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Obioma Liyel Imoke, who was the brain behind the concert, for ensuring that people, especially those living with HIV/AIDS got access to medicine. He maintained that in the fight against AIDS, every body was a stakeholder. He called on the audience to support Mrs.Imoke by contributing a token to save a life and commended those who sponsored the concert as AIDS is the highest killer disease in south Saharan Sub Region. The Director-General, SACA, Dr. (Mrs.) Irene Aniyom, urged the audience to take responsibility for the prevention of HIV, and provision of care and support to the infected.
•Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State(middle), supported by Mr. Nysom Ezenwa (left), Minister of State for Education, Mrs Pat Ejeteh, Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board and Dr Festus Okubor, (right)Chief of Staff, Government House cutting the tape during the commissioning of new class room blocks jointly built by the State Goverment and SUBEB in Asaba, yesterday.
Police tear-gas protesting Neighbourhood Watch staff
Mike Adenuga boosts Bayelsa flood relief efforts
From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
....Donates N.5 bn to relief fund
here was pandemonium yesterday at the Rivers State Government House axis in Port Harcourt, with people running helter skelter, as security operatives shot sporadically, manhandled some protesting members of Neighburhood Watch. Tear-gas canisters were fired at the youths, forcing some drivers to abandon their vehicles. Also, some members of the State Surveillance outfit were arrested by the Police. Problem ensued at about 1.30 pm, when policemen positioned at the Government House ordered the youths, who were protesting over non-payment of eight months salaries, to leave the place. No fewer than 2,000 youths were recruited by the State Security Service (SSS) and Police, with monthly stipend of N20,000 each. Daily Sun, who witnessed the scene, reported that there was an element of resistance from the youths to leave Government House area, which led the police to apply force on them. The armed policemen bounced on the youths, beat some of them black and blue, as well as arrested some of them. The angry youths, who, consequently, blocked the road, vented their anger on drivers, smashing vehicle windscreens.
Edo lawmaker canvasses journalists, govt’s cooperation to deepen democracy From TONY OSAUZO, Benin
he need for more robust interaction and partnership between journalists and government at all levels to deepen democracy across the country, had been canvassed. The Deputy Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Festus Ebea indicated his position during a get-together party, organized by the member representing Uhunmwode Constituency at the State Assembly, Hon. Elizabeth Ativie, in honour of the new Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ executive council members, led by Mr. Desmond Agbama. He urged the media to through its agenda setting mechanism, explain government policies and programme to the people in order to foster understanding that would bring about desired growth in the country. Hon. Ebea used the occasion to inform the people that the proposed Land Use Bill currently before the State House of Assembly had many advantages that would foster the transformation drive of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. In her speech, Hon. Ativie said the party was to formally identify with the new leadership of the Union, led by Comrade Desmond Agbama, and expressed confidence that Agbama would not misplace the confidence reposed in him by Journalists in the State. The lawmaker who traced the role of the media and practitioners in nation-building, noted that the antecedent of the new state chairman of the NUJ placed him in a position to take the Union to the next level and solicited members support to enable him succeed.
hairman and principal owner of Globacom, Nigeria’s leading telecommunications company, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr, has donated a whooping sum of N500m to support the flood relief efforts of the Bayelsa State Government. Presenting a draft cheque to the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, in Abuja yesterday, the business mogul said he was moved to make the donation because he felt touched by the plight of the flood victims, considering the magnitude of the flood and its devastating effect on the people and the state. He also commended the various steps taken by governments at the state and federal levels in cushioning the effects, both during and after the floods. He added that his contribution was intended to provide additional succour to the people of the state. Receiving the cheque from Dr. Adenuga, Governor Dickson, who led a high-powered delegation of the state to the residence of the business mongul, was full of praises and appreciation for the
Globacom boss. The governor expressed his gratitude and commended him for his deep concern and love for the people of Bayelsa State, assuring him that the money would be judiciously used along with other donations received from public spirited individuals, corporate
bodies, and donor-agencies both locally and internationally. Governor Dickson further disclosed that he had just set up a high-powered committee on post-flood management, headed by the former National Security Adviser, General Andrew Owoye Azazi along with other high calibre and very credible persons serving
Community tackles Delta monarch over refusal to marry second wife From PAUL Asaba
OSUYI, between the monarch and his throne of Igbodo Kingdom.”
he Obi of Igbodo Kingdom in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State, Obi Ikechukwu Osadume has incurred the wrath of his subjects for allegedly refusing to marry a second wife. Already, his subjects are threatening to sack him from the throne of his ancestors. The Obi is said to have concluded plans to marry a woman from Ebonyi State which his subjects viewed as a breach of the custom and tradition of the kingdom. The issue is causing ripples
people, leading to the whole community boycotting the palace indefinitely over the Obi’s alleged uncompromising stand since the past two years. According to a letter addressed to the Deputy Governor of the state, Prof. Amos Utuama and signed by Joseph I. Unomah, the Iyase of Igbodo Kingdom, Obi is allegedly disregarding and subverting “the cherished custom and tradition of the people. “The custom and tradition of our people is that the Obi must marry a woman from Igbodo Kingdom, who will give birth to the heir to the
Bayelsa youths shut Shell operations in Nembe πFrom FEMI FOLARAN- lier scheduled for Monday but ration activities of the compashelved because of a meeting ny would remain shut until the MI, Yenagoa
undreds of youths and women in Nembe Kingdom yesterday shut down oil production activities of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
This is barely 24 hours after youths of Twon Brass invaded and staged a peaceful protest at Agip Terminal, Checks indicated that the Nembe protest which was ear-
as members of the committee. The governor hinted that the choice and calibre of persons on the committee, underscored the resolve and commitment of government to ensure that monies donated towards this cause were well spent and directed to the real beneficiaries, as well as made to serve the purpose for which they were intended.
with SPDC officials, was led by Chairman of the Oil and Gas Committee, Chief Nengi James and the President of the Nembe Youths Association, Mr. Jonathan Omongor after the meeting with Shell ended in a deadlock. James explained that the people had to stage the protest because the management of Shell Company had failed to show seriousness over the demands of the community. He maintained that oil explo-
demands were met. James disclosed that the letter containing the demands of the Nembe people was presented to SPDC management in the presence of military personnel. Investigations revealed that following the protest against Agip and Shell company, security had been beefed up around oil facilities in other parts of the state, to avoid the invasion of the facilities by angry youths.
The letter, a copy of which was obtained by Daily Sun in Asaba, added that once the king had an heir from a woman in the community, the Obi could marry whoever else he chrose. “Your Excellency, this is the crux of the matter. For over two years, the whole community has implored HRM to reason with us and keep our tradition to no avail. This uncompromising stand of HRM is a serious threat to peace, harmony and future unity of our community. This threat to the custom and tradition of our people looks minor, but I can assure you that it has potentials to bring about results of very serious proportion if not nipped in the bud,” the letter further stated. The letter appealed to the deputy governor to urgently wade into the traditional impasse between the monarch and his people to avoid a face-off that could lead to the rejection of the king by the community. Although, the monarch could not be reached to react to the allegation against him, sources close to him insisted that Obi Osadume is a Christian who is entitled to only one wife, according to Biblical injunction.
10 DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
I’ll expose Ohakim –Okorocha •Gov promises to go public with probe reports By CHINELO OBOGO
mo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has set up a panel that would probe his predecessor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim. A statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media,
(print), to the governor, Ebere Uzoukwa said the probe was long overdue and the government has concluded plans to inform the public about the former governor’s activities, while he was in office. While hosting a group, the Joint Action Group (JAG),
which had earlier issued a 14–day ultimatum to the governor to probe the Ohakim administration, Okorocha said his government had set up a panel that was handling the issue. His words: “Nobody has negotiated to cover the activi-
ties of Ohakim within the four years he governed the state, rather, it may interest you to know that the panel set up to look into the activities of the former governor has just presented its report. Within the remaining 14 days of your ultimatum, we shall make his activities while he was in government known to the public. “I agree that it is worrisome that Ohakim carried out only three uncompleted projects in four years and only 87
kilometres of uncompleted projects. So, the money meant for the state must be somewhere and if that money is recovered, it will help make health care services free in addition to the free education programme. I urge everyone to be law-abiding, as the security agencies and other relevant authorities are set to ensure that the former governor faces the full wrath of the law.” Earlier, the leader of the
group, Rev. Ngozi Amadi had said though the leadership of the group had been receiving threat messages, it would not derail their persistent call for justice. In her words: “Our leadership has been receiving threat calls and messages, but it will not stop our call for justice and we will not rest on our oars until those who looted the treasury are brought to book.”
ESUT declares academic emergency to improve standards From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
•Dr. Ujam Amechi Joseph, (2nd left) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), being presented with the 2012 Best Researcher Award by the Pro-Chancellor, Dr. Chilo Offia (2nd right) at this year's Best Researcher Award and Distinguished Lecturer Award sponsored By Skye Bank Plc and First Bank Plc respectively.
•Dr. Abigail Ngozi Alio (left) of the Department of Technical and Vocational Education, ESUT, receiving documents of a new KIA car from the Pro-Chancellor.
ollowing the incident where three students of Enugu State University of Science and Technology were reportedly dismissed from the NYSC programme for falling short of standard required of a graduate, the institution has declared an academic emergency in ESUT. The Pro-chancellor, Dr. Chris Offiah, who spoke at an award ceremony to honour the 2012 Best Lecturer and Best Researcher said the emergency measure would start from 2012/2013 academic year. In line with the emergency rule, Dr. Offiah said the use of handout by lecturers was over, just as he announced the zero tolerance on indiscipline and any form of inducement for marks, which he says would attract summary dismissal. Also, students whose academic average falls below 1.00 would be asked to leave the university as there would be no more ‘let my people go’ or upliftment of grades to help students graduate. He further said each student must read at least five novels per semester and write one page summary of each novel to be given to the Heads of departments: “This will help
the student pass the vice chancellor’s course, which was a pre-requisite to graduating. The Vice Chancellor, Professor Cyprian Onyeji said the award became pertinent because of the decline in the quality of teaching, learning and research, blaming both teachers and students for the development. He disclosed that management and the Governing Council had put measures in place to facilitate the upliftment of the standard of education, part of which was the establishment of the annual awards. He pointed out that academic excellence was also being promoted and encouraged among students through the introduction of a university scholarship programme to be
Police discover illegal training camp in Ebonyi From GODDY OSUJI, Abakaliki
he Ebonyi State Police Command yesterday disclosed that it has received intelligence reports that a training camp is existing in the state, where youths are being trained to unleash mayhem during the
Imo PDP commends police over security From GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, Owerri
he Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday commended the police command over reduction in the rate of crimes, especially kidnapping. The State Chairman of the party, Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), who led other state executive members on a courtesy call on the Commissioner of Police, Baba Adisa Bolanta, noted that the security situation had improved in the last six months, stressing that the command had displaced the criminals, who hitherto held •Dr. Ujam (2nd left) and wife,as well as members of Skye Bank team after the award. Photos: sway in the state. OKORO NWOSU Duruiheoma, said the visit
given to student that earned CGPA of not less than 4.50 and sustained with CGPA of 4.10. In his speech, the state Commissioner for Education and Chairman on the occasion, Dr. Festus Uzor stressed the need to return the institution to its enviable position as the best university of technology in Nigeria. Dr. Ujam Amechi, a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering won the Award for Best Researcher and was presented with a N3 million cheque by Skye Bank, while Dr. Abigail Alio of the Department of Technical and Vocational Education won the Best Lecturer Award and was presented with a new KIA Sorrento car by First Bank Plc.
by the party was also to commend the CP for his non-partisanship, which he said the party as an opposition had feared most: “We are grateful to you for not allowing personal interest or pressure from the powers that be to interfere in you duty of protecting the lives and property of the people of the state. “We are not asking you to come and play politics with us, but we are asking that you continue to do your job professionally as you swore to do and not to veer off.” In his response, the police boss assured the delegation of the commitment of the command to protect the lives and property of people without discrimination.
Christmas . The Commissioner of Police, Mamman Sule, also told journalists in Abakaliki that the command has intensified efforts to uncover the location of the training camp and arrest the owners and the trainees. Sule, while warning those involved, urged them to desist forthwith and advised parents to counsel their wards to be law abiding, stressing that police would not fail to deal decisively with anybody caught in fomenting trouble. “The police are still carrying out investigation to uncover the location of the training camps and we will dismantle them if they are in existence, while perpetrators will be brought to book, no matter how highly placed such individuals may be,” he added. The commissioner, however, assured motorists and commuters plying the Abakaliki-Enugu Road during the yuletide of adequate security of lives and property, adding the command had put in place, new security strategies to forestall any breakdown of law and order, especially around the dreaded Ezza-Ezillo axis of the state.
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 11
SOUTH WEST NOA DG scores Mimiko high on developmental projects From TUNDE RAHEEM Akure
he Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri has described the projects of the Ondo State Government as well structured and people oriented, worthy of emulations by other governors across the country. Omeri, who made the remark in Akure yesterday during his facility tour of some of the projects described the projects as real transformation on course. The NOA DG visited the Mother and Child Hospital in Akure, the Caring Heart Mega Primary School, Sunshine Gardens Housing Estate and the International Auto mart, in Akure. He noted that the innovations were the first of its kind he was seeing anywhere in Nigeria. “I’m seeing a lot of innovative programmes here, and I wish it can be emulated by other state governors and I have no fear of contradiction in saying this. These innovations are what we can give to the rest of the world to copy, especially now that we are working towards MDG-4 and 5. “The Mother and Child Hospital model can be adopted to help in the process of eradicating polio in Nigeria,” Omeri said. He called on the people to support the governor to encourage him do more.
Zero budgeting: Generate more funds for govt, Ajimobi tasks LG bosses From GBENGA ADESUYI, Ibadan
yo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi has tasked the 33 local governments in the state to intensify efforts to generate more revenues to enable government deliver the dividends of democracy to the masses at the grassroots. The governor, represented by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Isaac Omodewu at the opening of a workshop on ‘Zero base budgeting,’ organized for chairmen and other principal officers of the councils said the old method should be reviewed to pave way for aggressive income generation and sourcing. He tasked the local government officers to contribute their quota to the success of the Ajimobi-led administration to make it easier for him to achieve his vision for the state. He said: “99.9 per cent loyalty is not enough. Its either you are part of us or not. Its 100 per cent loyalty, so that we can achieve our objectives.” He observed that the heads of local government administration in attendance were not enough, while promising to pay surprise visit to different council areas. A consultant, Mr. Olajide, while speaking, suggested that all tiers of government should embrace the use of zero budgeting, instead of incremental budgeting system being practiced now.
School proprietor awards scholarships to 65 students From MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta
secondary school proprietor in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital has awarded N6 million worth of scholarships to 65 indigent students across the country. Dr. Abayomi Jiboku of the TAIDOB College, Asero, said the students had been selected from 17 states of the federation in furtherance of his determination to assist indigent students in their academic pursuit. During the presentation ceremony, Jiboku awarded 54 university students with N100, 000 each, while N80, 000 each went to eight polytechnic students and three students from colleges of education got N60, 000 each. Explaining the rationale behind the setting up of a foundation, the ex-polytechnic don disclosed that it was through the grace of God and a scholarship that he enjoyed during his schools days that made it possible for him to accomplish his academic career. His words: “I am a beneficiary of scholarship during my school days, and I am compelled to extend financial support to less-privileged individuals in the society. I am aware of the fact that there are thousands of Nigerians students who, though academically sound, but lack the financial muscle to achieve their academic desires. “The decision to set up the foundation is borne out of a genuine and sincere mind to help indigent Nigerian youths that are academically forthcoming. It is also in the spirit to give back to the society,” he said. While condemning the inconsistency in government educational policies, Jiboku lamented what he described as a politicization of education over the years.
•Divisional Director, Globacom, West 2, Mr. Dimeji Amao (right) handing over Glo goody bags to the Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (left) at this year’s Ekimogun Festival celebrated in Ondo town at the weekend, (middle) is the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo. Globacom sponsored the festival.
Failure to share guber mobilization fee: Mob attacks ACN chieftain in Ondo From TUNDE RAHEEM Akure
he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in the October 20 poll in Ondo State, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), yesterday averted a free-for-all at his thank-you party in Akure, when a mob descended on an ACN chieftain and former commissioner. He was accused of pocketing millions of naira meant to mobilize ward leaders to facilitate Akeredolu’s victory in the election. The ruling Labour Party (LP) won the guber poll, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second while ACN trailed behind them. The party chieftain narrowly escaped being lynched by irate party members over allegation that he failed to distribute money and gift-items collected from the leadership of the party. The ACN members who had converged at the party secretariat along Ilesha Road, Akure for the ceremony organized by Akeredolu, started discussing the chieftain’s issues in groups before the arrival of the party bigwigs, condemning his failure to distribute enough money to all the 18 local government areas despite the huge amount of money he allegedly received from the national leader and other party top shots across the SouthWest. As the aggrieved party faithful discussed, Akeredolu’s convoy entered the venue, Akeredolu and his entourage were welcomed amid pomp and ceremony. The programme was on the verge of being commenced when the accused party chieftain arrived the venue.
As soon as the politician alighted from his car, the atmosphere became charged, they poured inventive on him for contributing to the ACN’s loss, despite the huge financial resources deployed. The development took a dramatic turn when some aggrieved youths started throwing pure water sachets in the direction of the politician, while other chieftains who did not want to be insulted hurriedly left their seats under the
pretence of appealing to the mob. They accused him of collecting over 70 motorcycles to deliver to all ward leaders for onward distribution to the party loyalists across the state, which he kept in his compound, while money running to over a billion naira given to him by the party leadership meant for election mobilization was allegedly not properly shared. As the irate mob were
throwing pure water sachets towards his direction, they were also marching towards him, when Akeredolu, who was holding a brief discussion in one of the rooms at the secretariat came out and appealed to the members to calm down. It took Akeredolu over 20 minutes to pacify the aggrieved members before they could listen to him and later went back to their seats. The accused party leader fled the scene.
Witchcraft: Court remands suspected killers of 70-yr-old woman in Ekiti From CHARLES ADEGBITE, Ado-Ekiti
he Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti yesterday refused to grant bail to three persons accused of killing 70-yearold Mrs. Rebecca Adewumi. The woman was allegedly tortured to death in Omuo Ekiti, in Ekiti East Local Government Area of the state on May 11, 2012, over alleged witchcraft. Justice Oluwatoyin Bodunde, who refused the plea of the counsel to the defendants, Oladele Adedeji that the pending bail application be heard, ordered that the accused persons remain in prison custody, pending the time the bail application would be disposed off. The defendants, Chief Dayo Olatunbosun Orojo (1st defendant), Mrs. Adesola Adeyemo (2nd defendant) and Abey Feranmi (3rd defendant), who are natives of Omuo Ekiti, were accused of conspiring with some youths, who are at large to torture Mrs. Adewumi to death for allegedly inflicting one Ola
Adewumi with a strange illness. The accused persons were arraigned on 6-count charge of felony, conspiracy to commit murder, unlawful accusation of witchcraft, unlawful participation in a trial by ordeal, unlawful deprivation of liberty and murder, which contravene various sections of the Ekiti State Criminal Codes. They were arrested and detained on September 4, 2012. Counsel to the defendants, who submitted that the 1st defendant is hypertensive and had been placed on medication by his physician, said continued incarceration of Chief Orojo in particular, had further worsened his health situation. Adedeji averred that the second defendant and mother of the late Ola Adewumi, a boy alleged to have been inflicted with terminal illness by Mrs. Adeyemo, was bereaved and ought to be mourning the death of her son. Justice Bodunde, in her ruling stated “ I am particularly very happy that the counsel to the defendants have disclosed
that the prison officials have been helping in taking the 1st respondent to the hospital. It would have been a different thing if he was deprived of such right while in detention. “I hereby ordered that on no account should any of them be deprived of attending to his or her health needs or be denied access to medical care.” Justice Bodunde also added that the case was coming up for the first time and that only the substantive case was to be heard and not the bail application. “It was pathetic that these people are being incarcerated, despite their conditions, but court don’t adjudicate on matters based on sentiments or emotion, or else we would not get anywhere in the dispensation of justice,” Justice Bodunde said. Earlier, prosecuting counsel, Mr. Femi Onipede, said the state government had already filed an objection to the bail application. The matter was adjourned till January 17, 2013 for ruling on the bail application.
12 DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
AREWA Jaji blast: JNI lambasts army over shake up From NOAH EBIJE, Kaduna
he apex Muslim organisation in Nigeria, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has lambasted military authorities over the removal of two senior military officers from office after the attack on Jaji military cantonment, alleging that the military authorities did not conduct proper investigation before the shake up. In a statement signed by the Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar, which was made available to newsmen yesterday, JNI said the attention of its headquarters had been drawn to a report by some national dailies that the Defence Headquarters had redeployed the Commandant of the Armed Forces and Staff College, Air Vice Marshal Abdullahi Kure and the Corps Commander, Infantry Jaji, Major General, Muhammad D. Isa. JNI was particularly disturbed that the affected officers are Muslims and one of them resumed work just few weeks ago. The Muslim organisation said a proper investigation should have taken place over the unfortunate bomb blasts that claimed 15 lives before any decision was taken. “While reiterating our condemnation of the blasts and emphasizing the need for the immediate thorough investigations into the matter, we want to state that the removal of the two officers did not speak well of the military authorities that are known to be careful and objective in dealing with sensitive issues of national interest. “The fact that the two officers who were removed are Muslims, and replaced by two non-Muslims officers makes any discerning observer to be suspicious of the motives behind the whole exercise.”
FRSC records 77 deaths within 2 months in Nasarawa From ABDULLAHI SHUAIBU, Lafia
he Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has said it recorded 77 deaths between August and September this year in Nasarawa State. State Sector Commander, FRSC, Mr. Francis Udoma who disclosed this during a courtesy call on the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs. Victoria Titi Monde, also said about 589 persons were injured during the period. Udoma further disclosed that about 27 of the number died in Lafia while 130 sustained injuries within Lafia, the state capital. The FRSC boss who attributed the accidents to bad road network, carelessness on the parts of the drivers, under-aged drivers as well as dangerous driving, called on the government to provide good road network which would not only generate revenue for the state, but would also reduce road accidents. Monde pledged to partner with the FRSC to curtail road accidents in the state.
Slain banker: Witness’ absence stalls hearing By AKEEB ALARAPE
he ongoing trial into the murder of a lady banker, Titilayo Omozoje, allegedly by her estranged husband could not continue yesterday, as a defence witness was absent in court. Thirty-year-old youth pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Akolade Arowolo, was charged to court for allegedly stabbing his wife to death, on June 24 2011, at their residence located at 8, Akindeinde St., Isolo, Lagos. But the trial could not proceed yesterday as the second defence witness was said to be sick. Arowolo’s counsel, Mr. Olanrewaju Ajanaku told the court, presided over by Justice Lateefa Okunnu that he was not aware of the sickness of the witness until Monday, when he was informed that the lady was down with malaria. The defence counsel said the witness was in court at the last hearing, which, he said, showed that she was prepared for the matter. He asked the court to adjourn the matter and give another date pending the recovery of the witness and her readiness to give evidence. Prosecution counsel, Mrs. M. A. Balogun did not oppose the request for an adjournment. But the trial judge cautioned the defence counsel not to delay the trial, saying that the defence ought to have gotten other witnesses ready to give their testimony. “If one witness is not available, you should be able to present other witnesses you had planned to present before the court,” she said Justice Okunnu later adjourned the matter till January 22, 2013.
•Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State (4th left) and government officials in a group photograph with 50 graduate trainees in agriculture before their departure from Maiduguri to Thailand on a three-month course yesterday.
Niger to spend N83.8bn in 2013 From AKIN ALOFETEKUN, Minna
he Niger State Government has projected N83,798,860.00 for both its capital and recurrent expenditure in the 2013 financial year. Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu, who made the budget presentation before the state House of Assembly yesterday, said the budget was 9.2 per cent less than N95 billion projected for the outgoing year.
Out of the budgeted amount, Aliyu said N71.7 billion would be for recurrent expenditure while the balance of N12.06 billion would be for capital expenditure. The governor said N53.7 billion would be generated from the Federation Account, N8.5 billion from the Value Added Tax (VAT) and N2.8 billion from Sure-P while the internally generated revenue would rake in N6.6 billion. Aliyu disclosed that the recurrent expenditure was put at N46.7 billion made up of N25.1 billion which is for per-
sonnel cost and N15.04 billion as overhead cost and consolidated fund charges at N6.5 billion. According to him, the economic sector got the highest allocation of N11.3 billion followed by the social sector, which was allocated N10.9 billon and the regional sector got N4.6 billion with the administrative and science and technology sectors getting N10.08 billion and N50 million respectively. The governor said the administration would continue with its free education policy
… As Yuguda presents N137.3bn From PAUL ORUDE, Bauchi
overnor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State yesterday presented a budget of N137, 342, 108, 137 to the House of Assembly for the 2013 fiscal year. According to the governor, the budget was made up of N63.3 billion as recurrent expenditure and N73.9 billion as capital expenditure. He said N94.5 billion, which was the recurrent revenue estimate, would be made up of internally general revenue of N10.03 billion and N84.5 billion expected from statutory allocation. Yuguda put the recurrent expenditure estimates at N63.3 billion with the breakdown as N25.9 billion and N23.8 billion personnel and overhead costs respectively, and consolidated revenue fund charges at N13.4 billion. He said the capital receipts of N73.9 billion was made up of N31.1 billion transfer from consolidated revenue fund of N15 billion local government joint projects, and N7.8 billion Federal Government grant. Others in the capital receipts are N7.2 billion and N6.2 billion as internal and
external loans respectively, technical assistance N524.6 million, opening balance N.5 billion while N3.5 billion goes to miscellaneous. Yuguda gave a breakdown of the figure as follows; Works and Transport had the lion share of N6.1 billion followed by SSG’s Office and Ministry of Education with N5.6 billion and N5.5 billion respectively. Others with high allocations are Ministries of Health Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Yankari Power Company N3.5 billion, N3.3 billion, and N3.04 billion
respectively Also the budget allocations included the Ministry of Rural Development N2.7 billion, Commerce and Industry N2.6 billion, higher education N2.4 billion, Finance and Economic Planning N2.2 billion, and Rural Water Supply Agency N2.1 billion. While appreciating the good working relationship between the executive and legislature, Yuguda appealed to the lawmakers to give the budget proposals dispassionate consideration and speedy passage.
to cushion the effect of the global economic meltdown on parents and to encourage more children to go to school, adding that agricultural mechanization would also be given a boost to serve as income generation and employment avenues for the government and its people. Aliyu also said the administration would also in the new financial year concentrate on provision, maintenance and improvement of water schemes across the state, adding that the Mokwa, Gwada, and Ibeto water schemes would be reactivated while efforts would be geared towards the completion of Kuta water supply scheme. Speaker of the House of Assembly, Alhaji Adamu Usman assured that the budget would be given speedy attention to ensure quick passage. Usman, however, challenged all ministries and agencies to be more responsive to their assignments and fast track their implementation procedures, remove red tape and deploy a sense of urgency in the handling of projects in the interest of the people.
… Kogi budgets N130bn From EMMANUEL ADEYEMI, Lokoja
ogi State Governor, Captain Idris Wada yesterday presented a budget proposal of N130, 996, 844, 415 to the state House of Assembly for the 2013 fiscal. Governor Wada said the capital expenditure would be N65, 595, 793, 24, while the recurrent expenditure would be N65, 401, 510,169. He said the 2013 budget, tagged: Budget of
Transformation, was 3.5 per cent (about N4.7 billion), higher than the 2012, saying the administration would make a paradigm shift to enable the state to meet the rising challenges. Wada said in order not to rely on the federal allocation, the state government would go to the capital market for bonds to generate revenue. The governor stated that the 2013 budget was packaged with a view to re-invigorate the internally generated revenue strategy of his adminis-
tration According to the governor, this would enhance the domesticating of the Federal Government Taxation Reform Act of 2007 and other allied laws to enhance internally generated revenue capacity of the state for a sustainable growth and development. Wada pointed out that there would be a general reduction in poverty level of the citizenry through provision of conducive environment for job creation, youths and women empowerment.
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012, 13
NEWS Develop facilities now, Shonekan warns FG From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
he Federal Government has been urged to demonstrate enough political and change its strategy in addressing the critical aspect of development and bridge the gap in infrastructural development. Former Head of Interim Government of the Federation, Chief Ernest Shonekan, has warned that Nigeria’s infrastructure deficiency would continue except the government rose to the occasion. He gave the warning yesterday when he led the Governing Board of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), to present the 2011 annual report and audited financial statement of the commission to President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja. Speaking more on the way-forward to address the nation’s infrastructure deficits, he said: “It is not only in this country that we have infrastructure deficit. If you look round now, even the developed countries have infrastructure deficits. “The way forward is what everybody seems to be doing and that is to see how they can reduce that deficit. So each and everyone of us have to put our thinking cap on to see how we can bridge that gap within a short period of time. “With all these disasters that have been happening round the world, even western countries which started their infrastructural development well before us are now thinking of doing fresh infrastructure. “This is because the infrastructure they had in the last century are becoming antiquated. We have an opportunity now to be able to do our own infrastructures. I think the best thing is to get people who are interested in the development of infrastructure to assist us in doing our own. “That is why we said we will need the political will of the Presidency and all the others each and every one of us must have to contribute our own quota to make sure that we developed our own. Without infrastructure, there will not be much progress,”Shonekan said.
Police nab 9 over plan to assassinate coy’s MD By CHRISTOPHER OJI, MATTHEW DIKE and GIDEON AMEDU
he Lagos State Police Command has arrested nine suspects who may have planned to kidnap and assassinate the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of a construction company (names withheld) situated in Ikoyi, Lagos. The suspects were alleged to have also plotted to attack the company’s bullion van, with the intention of robbing them of the money. The suspects, aged between 26 and 35 were arrested by police detectives attached to Area ‘E’ FESTAC Town Command, led by the Area Commander, Mr. Dan Okoro, an Assistant Commissioner . Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) paraded the suspects in her office in Ikeja, yesterday. Braide said the police command recorded a tremendous success as they arrested some of the suspects who wanted to rob a bullion van and kidnap, rob and assassinate the managing director of the company situated at Ikoyi area of the metropolis. Braide said three of the suspects were in a hotel at FESTAC plotting how to carry out the dastardly acts when detectives arrived the scene and arrested them. The police spokesperson also said one of the suspects identified as Nathan was the driver of the managing director. She said the criminal intentions of the suspects were Nathan’s longtime dream. She also said the Assistant Human Resource Manager of the company, identified as Emmanuel, did not mince words as he owned up to the allegations.
‘How PDP can win Lagos State’ By NDUBUISI ORJI
head of the 2015 general election, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Mr Willy Akinlude has said the party could win the governorship election if all its members work together. Akinlude, told Daily Sun in Lagos that the state was ripe for harvesting by the PDP but that unless there was genuine reconciliation, the party could not make a head way politically. He lamented that though the party had a lot of members that would perform creditably in government and improve the fortunes of the state, intra party squabbles had not allowed it to prove its mettle in the politics of the state in terms of winning elections. Recall the state chapter of the PDP in recent years had been bedevilled by internal wranglings that had made it impossible for it to present a united front during elections. The chieftain, who is also a former state publicity secretary of the party, noted that the state was looking up to the PDP for a people-oriented leadership, especially in the wake of what he calls anti-people policies enunciated by the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) .
• Director, Alumni Relations, Lagos Business School (LBS), Mr Henry Onukwuba (left), presenting an LBS publication to the Director-General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mr Emeka Ezeh, during LBS Alumni Association’s lecture in Abuja yesterday. With them are Secretary, LBS Alumni Association, Abuja chapter, Eno Inyang and Chairman, Samson Okoronkwo.
Abia pensioners baricade Aba road ...Protest non payment of pensions, gratuities ONUOHA, the pensioners were going round the tower in a ritualistic manner . Thier conditions looked so bia Pensioners, number- pitiable that even the policemen, ing over 300 aged men who were sent to disperse them and women barricaded could not utter a word, but the old tower point of Aba looked on until they were done. They painted a picture of a Road, yesterday near the Nigerian Union of people depraved and denied as Journalists’(NUJ) office, which many of them who walked is a stone’s throw from the office round the tower looked weak. They were demanding for the of State Pension Board, along Bende Road, protesting non- payment of their gratuities as payment of their pensions and well as pensions from the state government whom they alleged gratuities for many months . The protests took many hours as had not been fair to them. They decried that their memmotorists were held in traffic as From CHUKS Umuahia
bers were dying as a result of lack of care due to non-availability of fund to take care of themselves at their age, having wasted their vibrant lives for the state. A spokesperson of the pensioners, who who doesn’t want to be named explained that few months ago over 10 pensioners died as result of their inability to procure necessary drugs . He appealed to the state government to ensure that the welfare of the senior citizens were taken care of since the governor, who retired from the state Civil Service was aware of the difficulties pensioners were fac-
Lawmaker’s wife abducted in Ogun From MOSHOOD Ita-Ofu residence in Ogun ADEBAYO, Abeokuta and Waterside Local Government. ADE ADEYEMI, Ijebu Ode Daily Sun reliably gathered that the wife of the lawmaker ife of a member of was kidnapped at mid-day yesOgun State House of terday by four men at her husAssembly, Mrs. band’s site where she had gone Folashade Onademuren was to inspect an ongoing building yesterday afternoon allegedly project. A security source further abducted by unidentified group of persons in Ijebu-Ode told Daily Sun that the gunmen abducted Mrs Onademuren area of the state. Mrs Onademuren is the few minutes after she arrived wife of Mr Samson the site and was immediately Onademuren, representing Ijebu North East at the House of Assembly on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria ndo State Governor, (ACN). Olusegun Mimiko has The incident came barely hailed the The Sun three months after a popular Newspapers for bagging two businessman and hotelier in medals at the prestigious Ijebu Ode, was kidnapped and Celebrity Media Awards cerlater released. Within the same emony held in Lagos last period, another popular busi- weekend. Congratulating the media nessman, Alhaji Safiriyu Araba was kidnapped from a outfit for the feat, Dr Mimiko mosque located opposite his said it was a well deserved house at Molipa area of Ijebu- honour considering the Ode, while observing the 6 mature and professionalism with which stories from The o’clock morning prayers. The incidents were preced- Sun were processed and dised by the abduction of the seminated. According to the governor, mother of the House of The Sun had demonstrated its Representatives member, knack for robust and responAbiodu Abudu Balogun at her sible journalism, which he
whisked away along with her close female friend in a white Opel car with no registration number. An eyewitness account stated that the kidnappers had driven past the site when they noticed that two women and others were at the site, ordering occupants of the building to lie face down after which the lawmaker’s wife was whisked away among others.’’
ing. But in a swift reaction to the yellings of the pensioners, the Chairman of the State Pensioners Board, Chief Daniel Egboghu said people were dying everywhere , not only pensioners. “After all, if pensioners are dying in the state, they are not the only ones dying, death is everywhere,” Egbogu said. Another pensioner, who was carrying green leaves like others, which indicated anger, was shaking as he walked along with others during the protest. He lamented that the state government was owing him payment of six months. Egbeogu said, “There are a lot of ghost pensioners in the system and that is why the state government has set up a committee to verify the genuine pensioners before payments are made. “As I speak with you, the panel is in Isukwuato Local Government council to fish out ghost pensioners, that is why there is delay in payment but as soon as Governor Orji returns from Aba I would convey the message that Abia pensioners barricaded Aba Road protesting the non-payment of the pension,” Egbeogu promised.
Mimiko hails The Sun over media awards
said was needed at this time to stabilise the country especially the body polity. He urged The Sun not to rest on its oars by maintaining the standard for the good of journalism in particular and the nation in general. Recall that the Deputy Managing Director, Mr Femi Adesina, was honoured at the event with the Babatunde Jose Distinguished Professional Medal for his contributions to the development of journalism. The medal is jounalism’s highest honorary medal conferred on deserving media executives, as a mark of honour and promotion of the ideas of
Nigeria’s doyen of journalism, the late Alhaji Babatunde Jose. Also Mr Sam Otti, an Education Reporter, bagged the Aremo Olusegun Osoba prize for Best Investigative News Story for year 2012 for a story entitled: ‘The Big WAEC Scam...Untold story of WAEC scandal in Enugu published in the Daily Sun of May 15, 2012, even as the newspaper’s former managing director and Editor-inChief, Mr Mike Awoyinfa and his deputy, Mr Dimgba Igwe, who still write for the newspaper, also bagged the Lifetime Achievement Awards.
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Foreign Affairs Runny nose turns out to be leaking brain fluid
woman who complained for months about her runny nose was horrified to find out that fluid was leaking from her brain. Several doctors had reassured Aundrea Aragon from Tucson, Arizona, that the clear liquid was simply caused by allergies. “I was scared to death and desperate,” the 35year-old mother said. “I knew it could not be allergies. The fluid would come out like a puddle.” The steroids and antibiotics she was prescribed had no effect. “I was walking around with toilet paper shoved up my nose and changing it every ten minutes,” Mrs Aragon recalled. Surgeons at the University of Arizona eventually noticed two small cracks
in the back of her sphenoid sinus, which were caused by cerebral pressure. While the human body replaces brain fluid, Mrs Aragon was at risk of developing meningitis, according to surgeon Dr Michael Lemole. “If you are leaking brain fluid out your nose then you have the potential for catastrophic meningitis, the kind where bacteria crawls into your brain and 24 hours later you are essentially in a coma or dead,” he explained. Using an endoscopic procedure, doctors were able to avoid invasive surgery and fix the condition with a minimal recovery period. They used tissue from her nose and belly to repair the cracks. Mrs Aragon is now recovering well at home after the operation in October, but she will need to be monitored for the rest of her life in case of another leak.
• A man looks at his damaged house destroyed by strong winds brought about by Typhoon Bopha in Butuan City, Agusan del Sur, in southern island of Mindanao, Philippines yesterday.
Protesters force Egyptian president out of office • Media on strike against him
• Mrs Aragon
gyptian police battled thousands of protesters outside President Mohamed Mursi’s palace in
Cairo yesterday, prompting the Islamist leader to leave the building, two presidential sources said. Police fired teargas at
Syria-Turkey border: NATO approves deployment of missiles
ato has given the go ahead for Patriot surface-to-air missiles to be deployed along Turkey’s border with Syria, according to an official. Turkey, which has strongly supported rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar al Assad, said it wanted the missile interceptor systems to counter the threat of attacks from Syrian weapons, possibly carrying chemical weapons. Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
said: “We stand with Turkey in the spirit of strong solidarity. To anyone who would want to attack Turkey, we say, ‘Don’t even think about it!’” The alliance’s 28 members said the use of Patriots would be limited solely to the defensive purpose of protecting Syria from missiles, mortar rounds and shells from Syria. Five Turks have been killed by mortar and rocket fire from the conflict across the border. The deployment was a “significant moment” in the
US denies Iran’s drone claim
ran said yesterday it had captured a United States intelligence drone in its airspace over the Gulf in the last few days, but the U.S. military quickly denied having lost any unmanned aircraft in the Middle East. The incident highlighted tensions in the Gulf as the Islamic Republic and the United States demonstrate their military capabilities in the vital oil exporting region in a standoff over Iran’s disputed nuclear program. Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz through which about 40 percent of the world’s seaborne crude oil is shipped if it comes under attack. U.S. commanders have said they will not let that happen. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said on its website that the ScanEagle drone had been flying over the Gulf in the last few days and was “captured” when it strayed into Iranian airspace. A spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain said no U.S. drone had gone missing in the region recently. “The U.S. Navy has fully accounted for all unmanned air vehicles (UAV) operating in the Middle East region. Our operations in the Gulf are confined to internationally recognized water and air space,” Commander Jason Salata said.
22-month conflict. “It requires extra Nato troops to move these Patriot missile batteries into Turkey, right up to Syrian border,” according to Sky’s correspondent. “It may just be in the low hundreds but it is still a moment where hundreds of Nato troops, possibly, arrive on Syria’s northern border.” Mr Rasmussen said the Patriot systems - which includes missiles, radar and other elements would in no way support a no-fly zone over parts of Syria nor aid any offensive operation against the regime.
demonstrators angered by Mursi’s drive to hold a referendum on a new constitution on December 15. Some broke through police lines around his palace and protested next to the perimeter wall. Several thousand people had gathered nearby in what they dubbed “last warning” protests against Mursi, who infuriated opponents with a November 22 decree that expanded his powers. “The people want the downfall of the regime,” the crowd chanted. “The president left the palace,” a presidential source, who declined to be named, told Reuters. A security source at the presidency also said the president had left the building. Mursi ignited a storm of unrest in his bid to prevent a judiciary still packed with appointees of ousted predecessor Hosni Mubarak from derailing a troubled political transition.
Riot police at the palace faced off against activists chanting “leave, leave” and holding Egyptian flags with “no to the constitution” written on them. Protesters had assembled near mosques in northern Cairo before marching towards the palace. “Our marches are against tyranny and the void constitutional decree and we won’t retract our position until our demands are met,” said Hussein Abdel Ghany, a spokesman for an opposition coalition of liberal, leftist and other disparate factions. Meanwhile, newspapers and television stations known for criticizing President Mohamed Morsy are falling silent yesterday and today to protest the country’s new draft constitution and an edict the head of state issued nearly two weeks ago to expand his powers. As Egyptians count down to a public referendum on the
draft constitution to be held in less than two weeks, some newspapers disappeared from news stands yesterday. Others printed the same protest picture of the press symbolically behind bars with the headline, “No to Dictatorship.” Article 48 of the draft constitution ties media freedom to the framework of society and national security, which many Egyptian journalists see as vague terminology. State news agency Egynews confirmed the media strike, sourcing the head of Egypt’s Journalists’ Syndicate. State-owned outlets will remain open, said Gamal Fahmi. There was one exception, when journalists at stateowned news website AlAhram joined in the protest, Fahmi said. Four privately owned television stations will go off the air Wednesday in solidarity, according to a statement by participant broadcaster ONTV.
Typhoon kills 40 in Philippines
ore than 40 people have been killed after a powerful typhoon swept across the southern Philippines, according to local media reports. Typhoon Bopha made landfall on Mindanao, bringing heavy rain and wind gusts of 210 km/h (130mph) and forcing 40,000 people to be evacuated. The storm has also caused power cuts, travel disruption and flooding in areas at risk of landslides. The mining province of Compostela Valley was among the worst affected. At
least 43 people died and 25 were reported injured when torrents of water rushed down a mountain on to Andap village in the valley, local news sources reported. The region’s governor, Arturo Uy, said the victims included villagers sheltering in the village hall which was engulfed by the waters. An army truck carrying soldiers and civilians was also swept away. The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council said that it had reports of four additional confirmed deaths. Three of those who died had been hit by
trees and one person had drowned, it said. Benito Ramos, of the national disaster agency, said the death toll was expected to rise once soldiers and police gained access to the far-flung villages isolated by floods, fallen trees and damaged communications. According to one report, quoting a military spokesman, about 20 people including six soldiers were missing after fast-moving water swept through an army base. The eye of the 600-km wide storm was moving west at 26 km/h and was expected
to sweep over southern and central provinces before reaching the South China Sea on Thursday, forecasters said. Dozens of domestic flights and ferry services in the central and south of the country were suspended and schools and businesses were closed. Bopha comes a year after Typhoon Washi killed more than 1,500 people in the southern Philippines. President Benigno Aquino had urged people in the typhoon’s path to take Bopha seriously. The evacuations had prevented the toll being higher, officials said.
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Bank PHB: Atuche, others seek recall of EFCC’s witnesses By AKEEB ALARAPE
ormer Managing Director of Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank), Francis Atuche has urged a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja, to recall two prosecution witnesses for fresh cross-examination. Atuche, his wife Elizabeth and the former Chief Financial Officer in the bank, Ugo Anyanwu are standing trial over allegations of stealing preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The two witnesses to be recalled, Mr. Diamond Uju and Elizabeth Ebi had, in their earlier testimonies, denied requesting for loans from the bank. Specifically, the duo had told the court, presided by Justice Lateefa Okunnu that they never had any relationship with the bank prior to the advancement of loans to their companies. But the embattled former bank boss and his co-defendants said recent facts and available documents had shown that the witnesses had a banking relationship with the bank before the loans were advanced to their companies. Atuche’s counsel, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) urged the court to recall the witnesses for further cross examination, saying recalling the two witnesses would assist the defence team alleging that what the witnesses did was to tell the court half truths. According to him, it is in the interest of justice that the witnesses be recalled to answer questions over some documents they made but was tendered by the EFCC’s witness thereby denying them the opportunity to cross-examine them on the documents. Sylva Oguemoh, counsel to Ugo Anyanwu, the third defendant, also urged the court to recall the witnesses in a separate application, pointing out that the prosecution has not stated the injury they are likely to suffer by recalling the witnesses. EFCC’s counsel, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), however opposed the applications and urged the court to dismiss them for being premature and abuse of court’s processes. Pinheiro stated that the power given to the court to recall a witness could only be at the instance of the court and should be when the prosecution has closed its case. He said the defence had the opportunity to cross examine the witnesses on the said documents but failed to take it while the third defendant’s counsel even refused to cross examine Mr. Daimon Uju, the first prosecution witness during the trial. After listening to both parties, Justice Okunnu decided to reserve judgment on the matter.
Meanwhile, the court has ordered the EFCC to provide the defence with flash drive of a chart presentation of one of its witnesses, Hamanda Bello, aimed at supporting his oral testimony before the court. Bello, an operative of the EFCC, was about to show a chart to collaborate his oral testimony before he was stopped by the defence on the ground that they were not aware of the content of the document. Justice Okunnu in her ruling ordered the prosecution to furnish the defence with the flash drive in the interest of fair trial and adjourned till tomorrow for continuation of trial.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 17
NewsPlus Why Lagos deserves special status, by Mark, Fashola By TOPE ADEBOBOYE
or long, their desperate cries dominated the airwaves, even though no one seemed to be listening. But right now, hopes are on the rise that all might not be lost yet on the agitation by prominent Lagosians that the city be accorded a special constitutional status as Nigeria’s former administrative capital. Indeed, since Lagos lost its position as the country’s capital, it has not remained the same. Even though the seat of the Federal government no longer resides there, Lagos has remained Nigeria’s financial and commercial capital. Close to 20 million people make Lagos their abode, yet each day, thousands troop to the metropolis in search of greener pastures. Naturally, the state’s infrastructure, already abandoned by the Federal authorities, is being stretched to unimaginable levels. Public utilities hitherto maintained by the Federal government have been left to decay, and the state obviously lacks the financial wherewithal to cope with the daily expansion. Mark Over the years, several stakeholders in Lagos have made the case that with politicians, political and comLagos should be placed on a special munity leaders, journalists and mempedestal. The state governor, Mr. bers of the civil society, among othBabatunde Fashola (SAN) has been ers. Among the guests were virtually at the vanguard of such calls, joined all the federal and state lawmakers from the six states in the South-West. by other stakeholders. In his opening address, Mark said These days, a new light appears to be emerging. Indications that the it was a normal practice across the pleas by Lagos leaders might soon world that former capitals are receive a favourable response came accorded special recognition by govrecently as the Senate President, ernments. To him, there was nothing David Mark, adduced reasons Lagos spectacular in such calls, adding that must be granted a special status by it was given in such places as the United States, India and Brazil. the Federal government. In his words, those demanding During the South West public hearing on the review of the 1999 that Lagos be accorded a special staConstitution held recently at the tus are not making a bizarre request. Airport Hotel, Ikeja, the calls “But I am here to collect the views of became more vociferous. At the the people,” he clarified. “I believe event, the Senate President wormed Governor Fashola’s view on the spehis way into the hearts of millions of cial status is the view of Lagos peoLagos residents when he openly ple. But we are not here to impose aligned with their position, affirming our views. We are all here to collate that Lagos indeed deserves a special the views and review our federal recognition. According to Mark, constitution based on what people Lagos deserves the same treatment want.” He explained that his “humble being accorded former capital cities like New York in the United States, suggestion” was borne out of the Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and New realisation that the federal practice in some countries usually entails that Delhi in India. The process of the constitution former capitals are placed on a spereview came alive on Saturday, cial position. “This position only represents my November 10, when public sessions were held simultaneously across the humble suggestion, and it is built on 360 Federal constituencies in the the federal practice in different councountry, spearheaded by members of tries of the world, mainly those that the House of Representatives. The have had cause to change their capimove was replicated by members of tals. All of you are conversant with the Senate when they held their own New Delhi in India, Rio in Brazil public hearing on the constitution and New York in the United States. I review across the 109 Senatorial only know former capitals have speDistricts in the country. This was fol- cial status in these countries,” he statlowed by the public hearing in the ed. With the Senate President’s seemsix geo-political zones in the country. In Lagos, the Airport Hotel, Ikeja ing support for a special status for venue of the event was packed full Lagos, many left the venue happy
Gov. Fashola that a major hurdle had been scaled. They expressed satisfaction that Lagos might yet get its due in the proposed new constitution. Beyond that agitation, however, the event had other items on the agenda. The stakeholders also discussed extensively on the amendment of Section 214 of the constitution to favour the establishment of state police as well as the amendment of Section 8 (3) which will place the power to create additional local governments in the hands of the state government. Senator Mark also implored his fellow lawmakers against putting all the issues on the table at the same time, warning that with that arrangement, nothing might get done at the end of the day. Said he: “Since 1999, my idea has been that if we try to chew so much at a time, nothing will happen. But we would take time to prioritise all the issues and then the ones we could take we would take. I would suggest humbly and innocently that any amendment we are making must take two critical issues into consideration. Any amendment that will improve security should be priori-
tised. Any amendment that will bring development nearer and quicker to the people must be seen as a priority. “There are a lot of issues we want to discuss. There are issues we should address from a patriotic and nationalistic point of view, not only a selfish point of view. Or else, everyone will want to have their own local government. But the essence of this meeting is to allow Nigerians participate fully in the amendment so that the slogan that the military bequeathed to us a constitution will no longer be there.” Speaking at the event, Fashola explained why state police was germane in Nigeria. According to the governor, policing involves those that understand their various communities. He stated also that the Nigeria Police, as it is presently constituted, lacked the capacity to combat crimes in the country, especially terrorism, kidnapping and other emerging crimes that the security agencies are currently battling with. He regretted that crimes such as rape and other forms of sexual abuse were assuming a new dimension now as the police were being inundated with other bigger crimes.
‘There are a lot of issues we want to discuss. There are issues we should address from a patriotic and nationalistic point of view, not only a selfish point of view. Or else, everyone will want to have their own local government. But the essence of this meeting is to allow Nigerians participate fully in the amendment so that the slogan that the military bequeathed to us a constitution will no longer be there.’
He explained: “The Federal Government has been unable to recruit enough men to distribute across the state. There are state laws relating to local issues that even the federal police are not bothered about anymore, because as the level of insecurity increases, the attention of the federal police moves to higher issues. A few years ago, the most important item on the agenda was armed robbery. But that agenda has now changed to kidnapping and spiced with a dose of terrorism. So, where is the capacity of the police to deal with issues such as rape? These include the key matters that the states can effectively deal with.” Another issue raised by Fashola was the urgent need for the institutionalisation of an authentic Federal system in the country. The governor explained why he was passionate about the issue. Hear him: “The best way is to allow each independent state to develop at its own speed, to develop its own resources and its own ability in a way that the prosperity of each state can become the prosperity of Nigeria. Issues such as fiscal federalism and political federalism should be put on the top of the ladder.” Governor Fashola also spoke on why the powers to create new local governments must reside in the states, noting that the states are closer to the local government system than the federal authorities. “Our constitution must allow the states to deal with the problem of adding and creating local governments within the territory of their states so long as the boundaries of the states are not expanded or adjusted,” he said. He also reacted to the agitation in certain quarters for the creation of a new Ijebu State (from the current Ogun State) and the creation of the Lagoon State from the existing Lagos State. He cautioned that the creation of additional states must be considered side by side with the country’s current financial reality. He spoke further: “The people of Nigeria are strong in their views that there is too much money being spent in government. Therefore let me advise that the constitution does not create any organ without responsibilities. With responsibilities come personnel. With personnel comes funding. So if we decide to create more states and more regions, it could mean more money going to government.” Fashola, while supporting the call that traditional rulers in the country be given constitutional roles, quickly cautioned that the traditional institution mustn’t be nationalised. He also asserted that the current federal system in the country must be guarded with all sense of responsibility, saying that is the only way the country’s diversity could be adequately exploited.
DAILY SUN Wednesday December 5, 2012
Declining university education
he university system in Nigeria is in dire straits. This much was confirmed by the report of the Federal Government on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Public Universities. The report underlines the fact that Nigerian universities have been unable to compete favourably with their counterparts across the globe owing to a combination of infrastructural and manpower challenges. Apart from the steady decline in the quality of physical infrastructure such as lecture theatres, classrooms, laboratories, hostels and residential quarters for teaching and non-teaching staff, there is also the problem of deficit in lecturer to students radio, shortage of high quality lecturers like professors and doctorate degree holders. The result is that many of our universities now rely on visiting lecturers and have also resorted to inbreeding to shore up the number of lecturers in the system. This is the unfortunate state of affairs in our universities. But the universities are not isolated in this state of decline. Their condition is a sad reflection of the general decadence in Nigeria. A country which started on a sound educational footing at independence with the establishment of universities that produced well-rounded graduates has seen itself plummet in a number of areas. The rat race in the society has eaten so deep into our social, political and educational fabric that every sector is squirming in discomfort. In the area of education, we abandoned merit for favoritism and nepotism. We have come to the sorry stage where lecturers are freely compromised by students in the quest for unmerited grades. In a clime where there is a sense of decency and decorum, university teachers will see such a practice as a cankerworm that will destroy the essence of university education in the country. But our corrupt values encourage those who are steeped in it. It is ironical, however, that a country where holders of doctorate degrees are in short supply is still saddled with unemployed Ph.D holders.
Whereas the university system badly needs them, some are said to be roaming the streets in search of job placements. It is therefore little wonder that Nigerians were recently treated to a bizarre story which has it that Ph.D holders applied to be employed as truck drivers in a certain conglomerate. Such a story, whether true or false, is an embarrassment to government and the university system in Nigeria. It is a sad commentary on the level of decadence that the system has suffered. If the story is true, then it is utterly lamentable. It goes to show that even some of the minds that are supposed to be tutored have lost the essence and value of university education. They are wanting in the area of learning as a requirement for the award of degrees. Such deficiency must have been bred by a system that is standing on its head. If the story was meant to embarrass the government and the university system, it hit the right target because the scenario betrays the sorry state of affairs in the country. The way out of this quagmire is not to lament the decline. It entails a return to the ethos and mores upon which our society was originally founded. As a people, we know how we stepped unto the wrong arena. To return to the path of sanity, we have to begin to retrace our steps. In the area of higher education, the solution does not lie in setting up hundreds of universities. We should rather equip and fund the existing ones. It makes better sense to have a few well established universities than to have them spring up here and there. Proliferation is part of the problem university education in Nigeria is facing at moment. The National Universities Commission (NUC) whose responsibility it is to regulate university education should take another look at this and act accordingly. Above all, it has to insist on standards in our universities. But it is even a shame that university administrators who ought to know the right thing to do are waiting to be guided by NUC. This laxity must stop if the rot in our university system will be taken care of.
LETTER Re: APGA’s unending crisis NDUBUISI Ugah’s analysis captioned APGA’s Unending Crisis, published in a national newspaper, made interesting reading because of so many reasons. He first traced the crises in the All Progressives Grand Alliance to December 15, 2004 when, according to him, the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) suspended its pioneer Chairman, Chief Chekwas Okorie, “for alleged gross anti-party activities”. Ugah then went ahead to discuss how Okorie filed several suits in the courts to challenge his suspension and eventual expulsion. Thirdly, he dwelt on the judgment of the Supreme Court, which affirmed Okorie’s expulsion; and then stated extensively, albeit smartly, the numerous contributions made by Chief Victor Umeh (who assumed the chairmanship of APGAat the National level following Okorie’s ouster) to the electoral success recorded by Governor Peter Obi in 2010. The writer also made mention of the role played by Umeh to reverse the impeachment of Gov. Obi ; how he (Umeh) saw to it that the APGAticket was not only taken from George Ozodinobi ( to whom
the Okorie faction had given it), but also “made sure Obi defeated the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and Action Congress of Nigeria’s Chris Ngige” at the 2010 gubernatorial election. It is necessary at this point to state that the aim of this piece is not to argue that Chief Victor Umeh as National Chairman of APGA did not contribute anything to Governor Obi’s re-election in 2010 or to the growth of the party. After all, if as the National Chairman, he took Governor Obi’s completed Governorship form to Abuja for submission to the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) as was the procedure, it amounted to a contribution; if he accompanied Obi to campaigns and spoke at campaign grounds, it was another contribution. One is responding to Ugah’s piece simply because it was an attempt to paint Gov. Obi in bad light- portray him as an ingrate who, having risen to power on the platform of AGPA, now denigrates not only the party, but also Victor Umeh without whom, probably, he would not have made success
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in his political expedition. All the talk about Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, Governor Rochas Okorocha , Massala, etc were merely calculated ‘digressions’ deliberately aimed at convincing readers that Victor Umeh is a political wizard for whom even the great Ikemba Nnewi, Ezeigbo Gburugburu and APGA leader doffed his cap. Throughout Ugah’s piece , there was no categorical statement that showed the spectacular role played right from the outset by Mr. Peter Obi to nurture APGA from its inchoate stage, through the trying period ( the campaign period in 2003 to the stealing of a mandate freely and massively given to him and his party in 2003) and then more importantly, how he wrested and recovered his mandate from the political buccaneers. Why, one may ask, did Ugah find it inexpedient to state that Obi was almost the sole financier of APGA and has remained so, even now? Why did he fail to state how Chief Umeh, the then National Treasurer of APGA, transmuted into its National Chairman when Okorie’s role became suspect? Why should Ugah use the phrase “Obi’s alleged stolen mandate” when he wrote thus: Together with other stakeholders, they (meaning Victor Umeh and others) were able to recover Obi’s alleged stolen mandate from Ngige? Is the stealing of Obi’s 2003 gubernatorial mandate still an allegation? Didn’t the Election Tribunal and Appeal Court confirm the thievery by affirming that Obi won the election? If they did not confirm that, why was Ngige sent packing mid-way into the 2003-2010 tenure? Why
did the Supreme Court hold that Obi should be allowed to complete his tenure, a judgment which sent Andy Ubah away from the Anambra State Government House.Today, the news media are awash with comments from APGA UK, APGA USA, APGA this, APGA that. The pertinent questions are: Where were all these APGA groups in 2003, 2010 and even a few months before now? What have they contributed to the growth and nurturing of APGA? Do the members of these newfound groups have APGA membership cards? Do they know their wards? When last did they visit Lagos or Abuja, not to talk of Anambra State? It is indeed heart-warming to read that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has taken an interest in resolving the crisis or do I say crises in APGA. Crises are ill winds that blow no one any good. I do not believe that any sane fellow will destroy a house which he has built. I find it very difficult to fathom that Mr. Peter Obi contemplates dumping APGA. If he enjoys good relations with the Federal Government today in spite of his membership of APGA, why must he dump APGAat the twilight of his administration? The crisis in APGA is not a Peter Obi affair. It is not Peter Obi versus Victor Umeh. It is a move by the APGA as a party to retool for the better. One hopes that CAN will help bring about the desired change in the affairs of the party. Mike Udah Awka, Anambra State . CMYK
DAILY SUN Wednesday December 5, 2012
Joyce Banda: A lesson for President Jonathan
resident Goodluck Jonathan and his team have a few good lessons to learn from Joyce Banda, president of fellow African country, Malawi. Last week, this woman who succeeded Mr. Bingu Wa Matharika as president of Malawi earlier in the year, was named alongside Nigeria’s Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Prof. Chinua Achebe among 2012 100 Global Thinkers by the influential international magazine, Foreign Policy. Banda was ranked 22nd, Okonjo-Iweala, 51st and Achebe, 68th, on a list of 100 global figures whose deep thinking portend great positive impact on their countries. Why do I recommend Banda to Jonathan? I think the president and the Federal Executive Council (FEC), which recently approved the construction of a bigger banquet hall at a cost of N2.2 billion for the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, need to learn lessons from people like Banda, on the role expected of leaders of troubled nations such as Nigeria. They need to learn why leaders of a nation plagued by soaring unemployment, insecurity, poverty and all other manner of ills should be more concerned about how to get the country out of its many problems than the building of gargantuan edifices that offer little or no value to the ordinary people of the country. The reason proffered by the presidency and the Federal Executive Council for the building of this party hall in Aso Rock is as frivolous and “unthinking” as could be imagined. The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, who broached the plan for the new banquet hall said it is to be built because other countries that are smaller than Nigeria have better banquet halls near their presidential villas than the one Nigeria presently has in Aso Rock. A case of Nigeria’s presidential banquet hall must be bigger than those of certain other countries to reinforce the fact that we are a rich country! Another Nigerian foolish case of “My Mercedes is bigger than yours!” This line of reasoning is simply appalling! The minister probably expected Nigerians to rise up and give a thunderous applause to this initiative as he waxed eloquently on the plan for a hall that would have facilities such as hall conveniences, technical room and enhanced press briefing room so that the president can make national broadcasts within the villa.
Wale Sokunbi CURRENTS 08056180228 email@example.com But the president and the FEC that approved this white elephant are wrong. For their sake, I think Foreign Policy needs to have another ranking for “Global Unthinkers” and put our own dear president and his team at the top of that list. Jonathan is, unequivocally, the antithesis of presidents such Jose Mujica of Uruguay who drives a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle, and Malawian Joyce Banda, who has attracted worldwide attention for reasons that I will enumerate shortly. There are so many reasons why a bigger banquet hall should not be a priority for Nigeria at this time if the country had a thinking government. The nation’s poor performance on all indices of development should suggest to our leaders that there ought to be a departure from the way this country has been run for many years now. The country’s damning human development statistics are too well known to need repetition. At 46.5 percent currently, about a half of Nigerian youths are unemployed. Over ten million children who ought to be in school are out of school. Life expectancy in the country, at 51.9 years, is much lower than that of much less endowed countries. It is comparable only to that of war-ravaged countries. Poverty is ravaging the land with about two thirds of the population living on the less than two dollars a day; infrastructure is dilapidated; education is at a crossroads. In the midst of these disheartening statistics, this administration is thinking of building a bigger banquet hall because countries that are not as endowed as Nigeria have better banquet halls near their seats of government. When this plan for a new 150-seater banquet hall for Nigeria is juxtaposed with the fact that the State Dinning Room where the Prime
Minister of the United Kingdom hosts his guests reportedly sits only 65 persons, the reason Nigeria is not getting anywhere in her quest for transformation of the lives of the people becomes all too clear. Apart from corruption, which has been reported to have cost Nigeria N5 trillion in the two and half years of Jonathan’s administration, profligacy is walking on all fours in the country. We have a leadership that is not worrying about how to address the many problems plaguing the country, but one that cares more about building white elephants to demonstrate the “giant-hood” of Nigeria to visiting dignitaries. If this is not a tragedy, I really wonder what it is. In comparison with President Jonathan, let’s look at the profile of Joyce Banda, who became president of Malawi following the death of President Bingu Wa Mutharika in April this year. Although the wife of the former leader had derided the then Vice President Joyce Banda, saying she cannot be president because a “fruit seller cannot be a president”, this lady has proved the former First Lady and her other critics wrong by not only becoming president, but by taking steps that have held her out as a good thinker who should be emulated by other leaders. Banda, as soon as she assumed the presidency of Malawi, put the former president’s $12 million presidential jet and his 60 luxurious Mercedes Limousines up for sale. While the former President Mutharika had argued that a presidential jet is a “must” for a president, Banda has said a president does not necessarily need a private jet. She told her people that she would travel by private commercial airliners since she is already used it. This is happening at a time that
the Nigerian government set aside N1.9 billion for the purchase of yet another presidential jet in the 2012 Budget to boost a presidential fleet that is already believed to be bloated. N1.5 billion was earmarked for construction of guesthouses for some ranking lawmakers, and N18 billion for maintenance of presidential planes in the 2011 Budget. .In contrast to this profligacy, Banda, on assumption of office, announced a 30 percent reduction in her salary, dropping it from 35,000 pounds to 26,000 pounds a year. In everything also, this visionary leader has demonstrated concern for the plight of the poor, the aged and children in Malawi. She has shown that she is ready to lead her people by example, and not by building gulfs between herself and the ordinary people of her country. On her decision to raise money through sale of the presidential jet and to cut her salary, she was quoted by Foreign Policy to have told her people: “I can as well use private airlines. I must demonstrate to Malawians that we are in this together. I must be the first person to set an example.” These, indeed, are the words of a leader who fully appreciates the state of her people and is ready to lead by example and do all that is necessary to improve their condition. Instead of this type of mindset, Nigeria has a leadership set that is unmindful of the deplorable conditions under which Nigerians live. A leadership class bent on profligacy and wasteful exhibitionism at the expense of the toiling masses of the people. I commend the Banda example to Nigerian leaders, especially the president. This administration’s penchant for investment in grandiose projects that cannot in any way improve the sorry condition of the people is deeply regrettable. There are so many areas of national life begging for the attention of government today. The construction of a bigger banquet hall is not one of them. The present banquet hall, which the FCT Minister described as “inconveniencing”, is the same that was used by past Nigerian presidents, including Olusegun Obasanjo and Umaru Yar’Adua. If the hall was good enough for Obasanjo and Yar’Adua, it should be good enough for Jonathan and his guests. Nigeria should not commit N2.2 billion to build a bigger one.
Ribadu Report and official dishonesty BY RASHEED OLOKODE
s Nigerians, we have always believed our government is never to be believed. Since the contamination of governance by the khaki in 1966, as beleaguered citizens, we have got to always confirm the truthfulness of ‘Good Morning’ greetings from official lips through weather observation. Thus, we are always at pain to concert with them even when they appear to champion plain truths – our successive public office-holders have the common trait of skillful deployment of truths as a façade to masquerade untruths. It is against this background that the latest naked dance performed in the market square by our supposedly exalted Presidency comes as no surprise to the least discerning mind. To be sure, the poorly scripted drama that marked the submission of the Nuhu Ribadu-led Petroleum Resources Special Task Force (PRSTF) belongs to the class of low comedy that requires the least rigour of wit to discern. Although many out there would regard it as tragic, considering its supposedly grave implications on the image of Nigeria and Nigerians as well as its anti clock-wise effect on our history as a Nation, I deliberately refrain from honouring this shameful awada kerikeri (hilarious comedy) with the phrase, tragic, which, in itself, is a semantically and psychologically-serious epithet. For me, our officials (‘leaders’ in quote) have long battered Nigeria with their unceasing dishonesty, turning the country into a dying entity gasping for breath. I doubt if any twist of fate, however unfortunate, can be tragic for a person or entity already accustomed to woes in its fivedecade-plus existence. What I would, however, find as tragic would be gullible reactions from Nigerians. Really, I doubt if those who masterminded and acted that show of shame actually meant to convince their national and international audience about their sincerity. What I see is a situation whereby Ribadu’s report, having been submitted to the Minister of Petroleum Resources in advance, had been found as a ‘risky’document which required some urgent ‘solution’. The government could
have applied the ‘normal’ solution of quietly receiving the report for the mere purpose of boosting the unknown quantity of national reports that populate our presidential trash can, but what it knows too well about the former anti-corruption czar as well as his international reputation did not allow that. The failure of government was actually what the administration had discretely set out to achieve. It had embarked on an outwardly noble and populist mission of ascertaining both the potentially accruable and the actual resources accruing to the government from the Country’s oil resources, with a view to establishing loopholes shortchanging it (the government). But, fully aware of its own phenomenal credibility deficit and complicity as well as the apparently oily hands of its conniving pool of untouchable oil merchants, the Jonathan administration opted for Ribadu as the head of the committee with the intent of deploying the famed integrity of this former presidential candidate to create a credibility base for a projected report it had fated for manipulation. It failed. Ribadu, whom its strategists had positioned for manipulation through an intended ‘rehabilitative’ appointment, disappointed it. Rather than allowing the Nigerian in him to take control of him, Ribadu went unNigerian. He resisted the lucre of office, refusing to see his calling as an opportunity to regain what he had lost on his abortive presidential dream. That another opportunity may never come his way mattered not to him; he tried his best, within the insufficient time allotted by his appointers, as a booby trap, patriotically digging as deep as time permitted. I suspect the Adamawa-born disciplinarian wittingly avoided the use of consultants that must have been planted and strategically positioned by the framers of his terms of reference. To be realistic, which special consultants would Ribadu have used? Was it possible for him to have conjured saints, in a bid to avoid the existing pool of oil and gas experts that have long been contaminated by the widespread rot in the industry? The case of many ‘reputable’ finance consultants already diminished by the contagious opulence of oil, as exemplified by the established fate of the duo of Akintola Williams and Co and Adekanola
and Co in the on-going subsidy palaver, is adequately instructive. On Ribadu’s claim of alleged attempts to compromise him, the theatre of the absurd that featured in the formal submission of the report, certain events preceding it and the post-submission reactions of the government actually combined to not only confirm dishonesty, on the part of the government, but also help Ribadu to let the public know the alleged culprits he has not named. In the first place, I would urge my compatriots to ignore the illogical submissions of Dr. Doyin Okupe, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, in defense of the appointment of Mr. Steve Oronsanye and Mr. Ben Oti into the Board of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) not long after their appointment into the Ribadu-led Committee which was actually put together to objectively examine and sanitize the same NNPC. Okupe’s explanation that it is not out of place to appoint internal members into such a committee to guide its operation definitely defies any known logic. Even at that, the pertinent question is whether the two were internal members of the NNPC as at the time of their enlisting in the Ribadu team. They were not, and their post committee transformation into NNPC directors did not automatically confer on them the requisite internal knowledge to guide the committee as canvassed by the Presidency. Still on the two new NNPC directors who doubled as the investigators and the investigated, my challenge to this government goes directly to that erudite scholar, world-class Economist cum imported integrity personification brought in to shore up the credibility of the administration. I mean, Dr. (Mrs.) Okonjo Iweala, the Finance Minister and the coordinating Minister of the economy. I would totally acquiesce if this Amazon, well grounded in the workings of government and leadership in saner climes, can come out to publicly defend this controversial co-incidence. Really, it is shocking that Madam is yet to enact, in our country, the commonplace option usually embraced by average public officers, in the other world she came from, who find themselves in leadership situations that are less integrity-dimin-
ishing than the entangling web wherein she presently hibernates amidst pre-destined co-incidence. What a co-incidence! Not a single but double coincidence. It is interesting that the same twosome, whose appointment into the NNPC Board merely ‘coincided’ with their being members of the PRSTF, were also, ‘coincidentally’, the dramatic persona that attempted to publicly rubbish the final report of the Committee during the formal event chaired by the President. From this, it is obvious that Oronsanye and his co-traveller yielded to the alleged compromising influence Ribadu failed to – one man’s meat is another man’s poison. If this drama of coincidence is not sufficiently communicative, the rash reaction of the Presidency to the submitted report and Ribadu’s allegation of manipulation attempts are an open attestation of dishonesty that has assumed a normative status in official quarters. The lightening speed by which the Presidency fastidiously detected and publicized perceived flaws in Ribadu’s work is a pointer to its double standard on a document the Presidential Spokesman still, finally, promised would be implemented to the letter in the same speech contrived to condemn it. Perhaps, the principles of consistency and non-contradiction mean a different thing to successive governments in Nigeria, as distinct from their universallyacknowledged status of truth determiners. My take is that Ribadu and his team have successfully moved us forward in our quest for sanity in the most crucial sector, the golden goose that lays the golden egg for the nation. They have been truthful for refusing to claim perfection in view of the fact that even a 12-month period may be inadequate for the herculean job assigned to them. It is high time our government borrowed a leaf from saner climes whereby such reports as Ribadu’s are passed on to truly independent investigators for further works. This habit of having the chief suspects cum culprits in investigations serving as advance receivers of such results, in advance, would only aid our descent into the precipice rather than rescue us. Olokode writes via firstname.lastname@example.org CMYK
Wednesday December 5, 2012
NDIC’s equivocation on banks T
he Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has just released a dysfunctional document on the performance profile of banks operating in this country. In summary, the agency waxed lyrical in double-speak. There was absolutely no substance in the prevarication that passed for public information. It reminded this columnist of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo’s smooth gobbledygook as the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the status of banks before and after consolidation. He so dazzled senators who summoned him for elucidation on the policy that they started clapping for him like ignoramuses! The controversial intervention of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who succeeded him, opened an unprecedented can of worms. I do not blame the NDIC for its resort to speaking from both sides of its mouth because it does not have anything tangible to tell us. Issuing from this, therefore, it is not surprising that the NDIC, like most other public institutions in the country, could embark on self-assigned public deception. If it did not have anything meaningful to tell patrons and prospects of these banks, it could as well have just kept mum instead of last week’s charade on banks’ health or ill-health. What does the NDIC want its audiences to do with the empty data that merely played on semantics? It is either a bank is healthy or not. There is no middle ground as the key variables for the establishment of a bank’s condition are very clear at least in the time of Sanusi—except we want to return to the jolly-good-fellow era of Soludo! In the present circumstance, therefore, I do not understand the pulling of wool over our eyes by the NDIC through nonsensical terminological sophistry. This idea of not mentioning names of the decomposing banks and the few ones with a thinline clean bill of health on the grounds that it will lead to a run on the institutions and endangerment of the national economy does not make sense to this columnist because such secrecy makes no difference. Even with the non-disclosure, most people know, off the cuff, the banks that are doing fairly well and those that are struggling. The interesting thing about the marginal banks is that from outside everything looks good with so much make-believe. The decadent system is such that most employees are unlikely to know about the rot until the bubble bursts! How much less for the outsider who does not have any access to the cooked accounting books, which when subjected to forensic audit gives the true picture of the fiscal decay? I do not want to go into the issue of ‘settle-
Wabara 08055001948 email@example.com ment’ of external audit officials who compromise to give ‘fairly acceptable’ reports. This is common knowledge—it is only when the case becomes glaringly irredeemable that nobody plays games anymore. What does the deposit insurer mean by stating that only five banks are sound and that there are no unsound banks? What kind of illogic is this? The juvenility is further stretched by the affirmation that 13 banks are satisfactory, while two are just marginal. Is this not sheer euphemism? In its classification of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) as contained in the just-released 2011Annual Report and Statements of Accounts, the NDIC had A-E representing: Very Sound, Sound, Satisfactory, Marginal and Unsound. It pointed out that none of the banks qualified to be rated as very sound, adding that no bank was unsound as at the end of the 2011 fiscal year. The more you make forays into the NDIC latest assessment of banks, the more perplexed you become. The two unnamed marginal banks are most likely to be two of the three nationalised banks which have been battling to stay afloat since their inorganic creation. The managing director of one of them not long ago abruptly resigned, thus deepening and confirming the rot in this category of banks. Until this development, there had been no such incident in the post-Soludo era. It is apposite to point out here that in 2010, both the CBN and the NDIC undertook a joint target examination of the insured DMBs that underscored extreme weakness in corporate governance, poor credit portfolios, insider credit in excess of 10% paid-up capital, concentration of credits (like First Bank with 95% credit exposure in the South-West), inadequacy of capital in some banks and credit in
excess of single obligor limit. These were the same undercurrents that characterised the tenure of ‘good guy’ Soludo! In the area of risk-based supervision by these two regulators, it has been established that there are still ridiculous corporate governance practices in banks, poor risk management arising from a poverty of human capital and banks’ disinterest in holistic risk management and compliance. They are habitually unconcerned when it comes to such statutory requirements while preferring underhand resolution of infraction. Overall, nine of the banks did not show any significant improvement in their financial condition in the preceding year, just as the equity capital in the industry in the year under review decreased approximately by 12% from N249.71b in December 2010 to N220.21b in 2011. In all, the NDIC should either make this yearly ritual of account rendition of investigations into banking meaningful or simply spare us the routine technical verbosity shrouded in anonymity. The outcome of such pigeon-holed examinations should be kept in its cabinets for reference purposes during further consolidation which is inevitable, ultimately. The NDIC should borrow a leaf from the CBN which demonstrates clarity in its public communication. Even though some of the apex bank’s policies are thoughtlessly conceived, there is no confusion in the grain of its messages. And if there is nothing worthwhile to be disseminated, the NDIC is not under any compulsion to reel out useless figures of un-named banks whose resources when pooled do not equal one of the big financial institutions in South Africa. From the foregoing profile it is not difficult to
rationalise why only one or two Nigerian banks rank among the first 1,000 banks in the world by just even reason of portfolio size which determines liquidity before coming to global best practices norm among other benchmarks and fiscal variables. This aversion therapy that smacks of deliberate grand deception by the NDIC must be stopped. It does not add value to the poor reputation of Nigerian banks. Rather, it leaves a cloud of suspicion, doubt and distrust as investors and the banking public do not know the actual state of these banks because of the NDIC’s connivance with these banks to give the public the impression that all is well despite internal haemorrhage afflicting them! What can the average bank customer make out of the maze of deceitful jargons contained in the NDIC’s yearly report cards on banks? It is simply an exercise in tomfoolery! The NDIC just gives out nondescript figures perfunctorily and expects its audiences to sift them! If the public cannot be availed of banks’ quarterly or yearly performance specifics in clear terms, let us be spared the distraction so that we could continue with permutations on the health of these banks amid supplication in the absence of credible official information. In other economies, up-to-date and correct regulatory and supervisory statistics on all sectors are easily available and accessible online. But in our locale, official abracadabra spearheaded by the NDIC and its co-travellers is the vogue. With my six-year experience as an integrated marketing communications manager in a bank, the category ‘B’banks (no Nigerian bank meets the ‘A’ class), in my assessment based on fundamental industry key performance indicators and NSE daily equity summary remain preferentially: First Bank, UBA, Union Bank, Zenith, GTB, Stanbic-IBTC, Diamond and Fidelity. Of course, the nationalised banks and others that evolved from mergers and acquisitions are precariously managing, rather pretentiously, the NDIC blindfold notwithstanding! The truth of the matter is that most banks are in a terribly bad shape just like the national economy—the CBN, the NDIC and most people know this fact! We certainly need more bank M & As. Let the NDIC tell the public the detailed rating of banks and leave patronage decision to customers. This will lead to increased competition—not run on fledgling banks. Unofficially, we already know how each bank stands and there has been no run on the few weaklings.
Hard knocks for private jet ownership
BY ALIYU NUHU Boeing Business Jet currently used by President Goodluck Jonathan costs $80 million, while the other jets favoured by other private individuals like Aliko Dangote and Mike Adenuga are the Gulfstream (400500 series), which cost $45 million. Other favoured jets used by our elites are Hawker Siddley, Bombadier Challenger 600 series, Global Express, Embraer Legacy and Falcons, all depending on the depth of the pockets of the buyer. The least price of this category is $35million. Forbes magazine claimed that Nigerians spent $6.5 billion on planes in the past five years. You will probably need a scientific calculator to get the Naira equivalent of that amount. Between 2007 and 2012, demands for private jets by Nigerian class of the rich rose by 650 per cent. In year 2000, Nigeria had 20 private jets shared among the presidency, NNPC, Shell and few individuals. At that time, Obasanjo and EFCC would have sniffed the accounts of any politician and businessman that ventured to buy a plane. This number has increased exponentially many folds as corruption and easy money gained ground during Yar’Adua administration and the present government, which showed no interest in the fight
against corruption. The result is an avalanche of expensive jets parked in the sun as status symbols of Nigeria’s greedy and boisterous elite. This year, The Guardian reported a total number of private jets at 200 in number and still counting with new orders placed in US and Canada. The figure is ten times the combined number of commercial airplanes in the country. There are presently only 20 operational commercial aircraft servicing the entire 160 million Nigerian public! According to reports released by Bombardier Corporation of Canada, Nigeria is only behind US, China and UK in placement of orders for private jets. We can excuse US and China. At least, they are the world’s biggest economies and China has 300 billionaires and over 15000 millionaires, the highest concentration in the world. All of them made their money through real time investments and hard work. Corruption in China attracts the death penalty while US punishes corruption with long jail terms. Both countries’ laws respect no status. Nigeria, since Obasanjo, has stopped punishing people with corruption cases. It is now a regret that Obasanjo did not get his third term. His continuation would have been far better and in the interest of this nation than our present situation.
Buhari said there would have been no way things would have gotten this bad with him in power for those eight years. I believe him. Poverty and unemployment are at epidemic and unacceptable levels now in Nigeria. While Federal Bureau of Statistics put graduate unemployment figure level at 50 per cent, the Federal Ministry of Labour put it at 45 per cent. We don’t know which to believe. Nigeria is notorious for inaccurate statistics. The World Bank, however, put national unemployment figure at 56 per cent, meaning that a population of 167 million Nigerians will translate to 60 million jobless, the equivalent of the combined population of the entire countries in the sub-continent, lumping Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast together. I think World Bank is being modest. Actual unemployment could well be 80 percent. Nonetheless, these are grim statistics and a real threat to growth and national security. Because our rich elites have no regard for cost saving, they care less about the monumental waste of maintaining a plane. A private jet is a huge liability, costing money even when parked on idle ground. It costs 20 times 1st class commercial jet ticket to travel to London on a private jet. Private planes are not like cars that you can just enter and drive off to your destination. To fly a plane, you
need all sorts of permits. Ironically, you cannot even taxi out of the hangar without permits, which usually cost money.Servicing a plane is something that needs an entire life savings to do. It is usually done out of this country, which takes weeks to complete and is highly regulated. To service a plane, you need checking, removal and replacement of components, usually plugs, oils and hydraulics, replacement of tyres, plates, cylinders and compressors that must all conform to stringent regulation and a certificate must be issued to back it up. Also there are the routine A check, B check, C check and D check, depending on the aircraft cycle. IThe trajectory here is that it is both wicked and ungodly to own a private jet in a land where frustration is written in capital letters on virtually everyone’s face. Warren Buffet, who owns the largest plane manufacturing company in US, flies economy class in commercial airlines and has been known to drive a Lincoln car for 22 years and lived in the same flat since 1970. Bill Gates does not own a plane and drives a Lexus car for over 10 years now. When he came to Nigeria with his wife, Belinda, he flew commercial economy ticket. So, what is wrong with the Nigerian rich? Nuhu writes from Lagos.
Distractions and perfidy in Oyo State
BY AYODELE ADIGUN
mong the myriads of problems facing most elected or appointed government officials holding very sensitive positions in present day Nigeria is the challenge of sourcing the services of quality and competent aides who will work in tandem and in congruence with the visions and aspirations of their principals. While there are a few exceptions in present day Nigeria, most professionals who can deliver while working with such top level drivers of our system would rather prefer to avoid the murky waters of associated politicking, mudslinging and tantrum throwing and sometimes the blind loyalty required by some really difficult and obstinate principals. For those who are unprofessional, many of such aides have contributed to the downfall of their principal’s regime especially when they occupy such positions with hidden agenda of personal aggrandizement and financial benefits. An unsuspecting principal may not see the real interest beneath the various grandiose proposals, recommendations and suggestions from such aides. I would have been a bit perturbed at the argumenti-causa of Festus Adedayo in his response
entitled ‘Disconnect of Reasoning on Oyo N50 Billion Bond’in the Sunday Tribune of November 4, 2012, if the vituperations and tantrums had come from financial professionals within the government who I’m certain would not literarily translate a mention of the word ‘loan’as a banking loan. Anyway, it was soothing a bit that at least he identified that ‘bond’ is also a borrowing instrument that attracts a repayment of both the principal and interest though with a longer duration. Curiously, instead of addressing the various critical issues that I raised in my earlier piece, he was evasive and silent on the advice of consideration of various other alternatives such as Public Private Partnership arrangement, which obviously would be the preferred option to finance most of the projects he mentioned in his response. It is a known fact that the global practice in governance in recent times is in tune with less of government participation in direct investment and business enterprise but more of creation of enabling environment and sound policy formulation and sustenance as impetus and attraction for investment opportunities and stimulant for the growth of the economy. Even roads are being constructed using the PPP initiative. The argument is that government should subject the needs of the State to a more critical
analysis rather than believing that it has all the solutions. Or, how else can any Government in Oyo State start thinking of building housing estates when the ones constructed by Ladoja and Lam Adesina administrations have not received warm public reception and patronage? Oyo State is not Lagos State or Abuja where there are significant housing problems. The best that can be done is to provide site and services like the Kolapo Ishola and Samonda Estates by previous administrations and they did not float any bond for them. Besides, the idea of building roads like the Circular Road could best be approached through the private initiative angle with a Build Operate and Transfer (B. O. T.) arrangement which will not involve any financial strain. The idea of constructing silos is as puerile as it is infantile because the Federal Government has silos at Iwo Road, Ibadan, Oyo and all over the country. Besides, Oyo State has produce warehouses at Ayete and Iseyin and all are grossly underutilized. Pray, where are we to get the excess grain from for storage when we are not even producing enough in Oyo State and in Nigeria? I also do not seriously believe that any government should get itself involved in the hospitality industry as private initiatives abound in that field. The maxim that government has no busi-
ness in business should have come in. It is on record that I was the desk officer during the repayment period of Oyo State Government bond that was handled by UBA as an Assistant Director of Budget to complete the construction of the Adamasingba Shopping Complex and New Gbagi market. The projects had direct financial multiplier effect and revenue generation values with the proceeds used alongside reserved allocations to offset payments of both the principal and interests within the stipulated time. The notion that I don’t know the difference between a bond and loan is, to say the least, unfortunate. The fact is that whether it is a bond or loan, both are debts that must be repaid with interest. It is obvious that Festus Adedayo’s response was suggestive of the allergy of the ‘they’ in government to objectivity and constructive criticism that is unbiased and reflective of most stakeholders’ opinion of our current government. For the umpteenth time, no amount of tantrum throwing, unbridled arrogance and uncouth expressions, will dissuade right thinking and expressionism in Oyo State. Adigun writes from Ibadan.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 √DAILY SUN
Memories Today in History
Hundreds die in Brooklyn theater fire December 5, 1876, a fire 1876 On at the Brooklyn Theater in
New York killed nearly 300 people and injured while hundreds more. Some victims perished from a combination of burns and smoke inhalation; others were trampled to death in the general panic that ensued. The play The Two Orphans starring Harry S. Murdock and Kate Claxton was showing at the Brooklyn Theater on the night of December 5. The theater, built five years earlier at the corner of Johnson and Washington streets, was very popular at the time and all 900 seats were filled. Sometime near the start of the performance, a gas light ignited some extra scenery stored in the fly space behind the stage. It wasn’t until midway through the play that stagehands noticed the quickly spreading flames. Unfortunately, there were no fire hoses or water buckets at hand and the fire spread, unbeknownst to the cast and audience. Finally, someone shouted “FIRE” and despite Murdock’s best attempt to calm the crowd, bedlam ensued, particularly in the balcony and rear of the theater. A narrow staircase was the only the exit from the balcony (there were no fire escapes) and panic resulted in a stampede in which many were crushed and others remained trapped. Meanwhile, the fire grew out of control. Witnesses saw Murdock return to the dressing room to change clothes; he then tried to wiggle out of a small window. He couldn’t get through, and died when the floor gave way and he fell to the baseMiss Grace Tinuke Oyelude, Miss Nigeria 1957 ment.
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Aircraft squadron lost in the Bermuda Triangle On this day in December 1945, at 2:10 p.m., five United States Navy Avenger torpedobombers comprising Flight 19 take off from the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida on a routine three-hour training mission. Flight 19 was scheduled to take them due east for 120 miles, north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile leg that would return them to the naval base. They never returned. Two hours after the flight began, the leader of the squadron, who had been flying in the area for more than six months, reported that his compass and back-up compass had failed and that his position was unknown. The other planes experienced similar instrument malfunctions. Radio facilities on land were contacted to find the location of the lost squadron, but none were successful. After two more hours of confused messages from the fliers, a distorted radio transmission from the squadron leader was heard at 6:20 p.m., apparently calling for his men to prepare to ditch their aircraft simultaneously because of lack of fuel. By this time, several land radar stations finally determined that Flight 19 was somewhere north of the Bahamas and east of the Florida coast, and at 7:27 p.m. a search and rescue Mariner aircraft took off with a 13man crew. Three minutes later, the Mariner aircraft radioed to its home base that its mission was underway. The Mariner was never heard from again. Later, there was a report from a tanker cruising off the coast of Florida of a visible explosion seen at 7:50 p.m. The disappearance of the 14 men of Flight 19 and the 13 men of the Mariner led to one of the largest air and seas searches to that date, and hundreds of ships and aircraft combed thousands of square miles of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and remote locations within the interior of Florida. No trace of the bodies or aircraft was ever found. Although naval officials maintained that the remains of the six aircraft and 27 men were not found because stormy weather destroyed the evidence, the story of the “Lost Squadron” helped cement the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, an area of the Atlantic Ocean where ships and aircraft are said to disappear without a trace.
Egypt severs ties with Arab hardliners President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt on this day in December 1977 broke all relations with Syria, Libya, Algeria and South Yemen. He ordered their diplomats to leave Egypt within 24 hours and recalled his envoys from the countries. The move is in retaliation to the four nations and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation signing the Declaration of Tripoli. The document is an official pledge to “freeze” relations with the Egyptian Government. Hostilities have been growing between Egypt and her former allies in the region after Mr Sadat visited Israel last month and became the first Arab leader to recognise the state. The agreement in Tripoli is said to have formed a unified military front against Egypt which includes sanctions against any Egyptian company or individual doing business with Israel. The coalition is also considering moving the headquarters of the Arab League from Cairo. It called on all Arab states to give full financial, political and military assistance to Syria as the main confrontation state and it condemned Mr Sadat’s visit to Israel as “high treason”.
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Imansuagbon to distribute over 500,000 bags of 25kg rice in Edo State
espite losing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election held in Edo state in Feb.2012,Barrister Kenneth Imansuagbon has continued to keep to the promises he made to God by ensuring that Rice and other food items are given yearly to the less privileged people of Edo state during festivities such as Christmas. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chieftain who is fondly called ‘Rice Man’ by the people for his magnanimity, care and love for the common man on the street, disclosed that he is doing it
because of the convenant he made with God. Adding that there was a time in his life that his parents could not afford one square meal until “God came to our rescue,” and based on this backdrop, I told God that if only he can bless me, that I will make it a rule to give to the homeless, the less privileged, the fatherless and the motherless in my state “As you are aware. this is not my first time of distributing food items to the less privileged people of the state, I have been in this for the past five years, it is what I have promised God that I will do. The name ‘Rice Man’ in which people of this state call me did not come from
the moon, it is as a result of my magnanimity. “The name Kenneth Imansuagbon is a house hold name in the political history of our state, yes I contested in the last PDP governorship primaries and lost gallantly, but that did not stop me from keeping to the promises I made to God and the people. More so, this is my state. I own God the obligation to bless people from the ones he has blessed me with.” he said.. Commenting on the mode of distribution he said: “ We have our method of distribution, we go to local government by local government and make sure the items are given to the right people, I do not want
greedy people to hijack my hard earn sweat, it is not government money, so we will personally go to the people, at market square, village meeting points” among others. The former governorship aspirant who declined to comment on his future political ambition said the future will determine for itself. Meanwhile, Dr. Osagie Adoghe, another (PDP) chieftain who spoke on the issue said the party really regretted not giving Kenneth Imansuagbon the governorship ticket, adding that they where misled by some key leaders of the party.
Poverty alleviation: Rep expends N30m on constituents By RAZAQ BAMIDELE
House of Representative member from Epe Federal Constituency of Lagos State, Lanre Odubote has expended about N30m on poverty alleviation items including a 64 seater bus to convey primary and secondary school students to and from school free of charge. Other items distributed included sewing machines, barbing and hair dressing equipments, grinding machines, generators, fishing nets, phone call materials and coolers. A total number of 155 people benefited from the largesse. The event, which took place at Epe mini stadium was the grand finale of a weeklong activity which included
football and table tennis competitions among various secondary schools in the area. The Lawmaker said the gesture was in appreciation of the mandate given to him by his people to represent at the National Assembly, saying he embarked on the poverty alleviation programme in order that his people would enjoy better living. He then assured that similar gesture would be extended to more people in the entire constituency. “This is just for my people in Epe Central, other areas in Epe Federal Constituency will soon have smiles on their faces,’’ he assured.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
PABULUM -Food for Thought
nce again, I am craving your indulgence to suspend the series on President Goodluck Jonathan to return to write about the 1957 – 61 West African School Certificate class of our legendary Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti established in 1933 to which I belonged and its 1962 – 63 High School Certificate extension about which I penned from November 30, last year to July 4, this year. I will one day write on the advantages of treating issues in piecemeal articles and having more than one topic per edition. Which was underscored by people like Hon. Ike Nweke (080-2666-5479) of Abuja and Mr. Ya’u Adamu of Lagos (080-7367-4828) who respectively came across the write-ups on President Jonathan thirty-two to fifty-two weeks after they started and requested me to make available to them all they had missed and their readiness to pay to have them. Another popular series and one to which I will return to write about was the one on remembering my great dad who died on February 23, 1972 at the age of 67, which ran from February 23, last year to January 11, this year. The impact it made was such that four people including Chief Ebenezer Babatope (080-5500-1735), Minister of Transport from November 1993 – March 1995 when General Sani Abacha was Head of State (November 1993 – June 7, 1998) and Mr. Agbo Ajona Ode (081-3317-0149) advised me to write a book on my dad. Something which I began to do this morning because today was the day my old man was born one-hundred-and-eight years ago (1904). The next series on him which I will do early in the new year under the title of the legacies of my legendary dad is coming because there are still lessons to learn from him, including how
The Sina Adedipe Column
Great reunion of XT’s school 1957- 61 & 62 - 63 sets among other things he united members of the Elemo Adedipe Chieftaincy Family of Akure through the initiation in 1949 of a monthly meeting which is still on 63 years after it started. His kindness in starting a scholarship scheme in the 1940s to sponsor brilliant but indigent people particularly from Akure who included the late Hon. Justice Akinola Aguda, the first Chief Judge of Ondo State in 1976 for university education in either Fourah Bay College, Freetown, Sierra Leone or in the United Kingdom. His exemplary demonstration of loyalty to constituted authority which he showed to Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the leader of the Action Group during their party’s crisis in 1962. And above all, his manifestation of genuine Christianity that as a traditional chief and member of the Kingmakers Council as the Elemo of Akure (1959 – 72) he forsook performing rituals and instructed that he be buried in the Anglican Church cemetery instead of in the chieftaincy palace where rituals would be carried out on his remains before interment. Although most members of the Adedipe chieftaincy family, Oba Ademuagun Adesida and the Kingmakers’ Council protested that tradition be followed we honoured our dad’s request and buried him at the St. David Anglican Church cemetery in Ijomu, Akure. It has been the happiest day in my life when eleven years
Prof. Nathan Uzorma Protus
ago Almighty God during one of our discussions told me that my dad was a righteous person while on earth and one who already had the grace for His Kingdom in Paradise and that I don’t need to plead with Him to forgive his sins. I am returning to writing about our Christ’s School 1957 – 61 WASC set and the 1962 – 63 HSC class because of the reunion we had in Ado-Ekiti last Saturday and the lessons to be learnt from our achievements in the last one year by the members of the other alumni associations of the institution and those of others across the country who are not into it yet. I am also writing to encourage secondary school students and university undergraduates of the present generation to emulate the achievements of Professors Oladipo Adamolekun and Ajibola Mesida of the 1962 – 63 HSC class. One of the benefits of our reunion last December after a 26-year break is that unlike in the past when we did not know where most of us were, we have since our coming together a year ago begun to phone ourselves and the camaraderie on Saturday was greater than that of last year. Instead of having a luncheon at Fountain Hotel, Ado-Ekiti as we did last year or go to another hotel or event center this year we were hosted by retired Air Vice Marshal Ernest Olawunmi Adeleye of the 1962 – 63 HSC set and the Military Administrator for Rivers State
from 1987 – 90 at his home in Igede-Ekiti about 15 kilometers to Ado-Ekiti. And we enjoyed the session more than last year’s. When they celebrated their 40th, 50th or 60th anniversary we did not know. But this year some of us attended the church services and parties held by five members of our twin sets when they marked their 70th birthday milestone. They were also given gifts or cash. While financial assistance is now rendered to members who need it. To be continued next week Wednesday
Nigeria’s families of judges & lawyers (15)
am starting the families with three lawyers with that of Chief Obafemi Awolowo (1909 – 87), the Leader of Government (1951 – 55) and first Premier of the defunct Western Region (1955 – 59) because he was a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and the one I have information on among them who has grandchildren who are also barristers. The eldest of his five children, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo (1938 – 63) and his fourth born, Mrs. Ayodele Soyode (1944 – 2010) were attorneys. And each of them had a son who is a lawyer in Mr. Segun Awolowo Jr. and Mr. Soyode whose first name my source could not remember. More to come next week
“Dear Prof, greetings of love. I must say that God is mightily using you in this generation. The oil I ordered from you unbehalf of my friend who was struck with madness by his uncle just because of a piece of land his father left for him before he died, worked very well. His uncle wanted him (the only son together with her only elder sister) to die so that he could own everything his father labored for before he died. Thus he made him mad and useless. When I got the oil, i managed to meet with him and used the oil on him for seven days as you instructed me, to my amazement, he became normal and his uncle confessed and started running mad thereafter. Again her sister that has been pregnant for four years due to attack from the same source, she used the oil as you instructed and put to bed a baby boy. Though, the baby had already died before we prayed with the oil. Man of God thanks a lot and may God bless you.” Brother Okwudiri Okechukwu 08069256620.
hen the lady contacted me, I prayed for her and revealed to her what I am saying now. She was amazed to know that all she has gone through in life was as a result of wearing the same cloth with a (witch) friend. I introduced my anointing oil to her and she used it, had her bath with it and did all the prayers that I gave her to do. In the end, she was happy because the same man called her and reconciled back with her and today they are married and the marriage which took place last month is full of expectation to the glory of God. You could imagine how by mere exchanging cloth with an agent of darkness one was kept in bondage for years. Begin to think of your case, you may not know that the little thing you have been neglecting may be responsible for all you have been going
Attack in the realm of the spirit (II) (The summary) through. There is also a covenant one enters into mistakenly. One never planned to get involved. The forces of darkness may plan it in a way that the person will find himself acting a script he does not know how it was written. This may happen to weak Christians and those who are not born again. Some who do not have Christ are made to suffer all kinds of afflictions just because they shook hands with an agent of the devil. The agent could be a relation, a friend or a colleague in the office or school. Like a Pastor once told me that his father an agent of darkness manipulated his wife to death, this happened before he was introduced to this column. I did inform him that if he had known me by then, his father would have accepted Christ by force. The pastor told me that his father prepared food and invited his wife to eat with him; the woman refused and informed him that she had eaten and had no appetite to eat again. The father in-law insisted and urged her to taste the meat. “If you are satisfied, you can at least the meat”, he said. The young woman of God dipped hand into the soup and took a lump of meat, ate it and went her way. That same night she dreamt and saw his father in law telling her to prepare and get ready for a meeting. She replied, “Which meeting are you talking about?” “Witches meeting of course” answered the father in law. The woman of God wanted to resist but could not because a contact had been established in the physical through the meat. So she went to
the meeting with them on top of a tree and came back with a serious sickness that finally killed her in the physical. The pastor lamented that he came in contact with my column late because of what he went through before his wife died. Anything can happen to anybody who is not too careful. Be warned! I have extensively discussed issues on attack in the spirit realm and I am most grateful to God for the deliverance he has done in the lives of many through this exposition. I have received too many testimonies that have shown that God has never changed, no matter how we try to modernize him; he is still “the ancient of days”. Some of the testimonies we have published here are the ones we got the approval of people to publish. Some are not comfortable to let others know what they are going through or what they have gone through in life. Those who in one way or the other appreciated God through my expositions are quite appreciated in return. For instance two weeks ago I received an email that I was instructed not to publish, but I must say that the testimony contained in that email shall help to advance the faith of so many if published. I have therefore decided to share the testimony to the glory of God while keeping to the instruction of not making known the testifier. The young man wrote to inform me that he came from a place where he was hated even by his father who according to him killed his mother and married another. His father being a native doctor never wanted him to succeed
in any of his endavours in life. He loved his father so much and was willing to do anything for him. His father on his part also wanted him dead at all cost. Fortunately, he was introduced to this column by one of his friends who wanted him to be set free by God too. According to him, he became addicted to Philosophical Reflections (being my column in the Sun Newspaper). He got deeply involved to the extent that he was borrowing money to buy the Wednesday Sun Newspaper. On one occasion, he was amazed at the type of testimonies oozing out of this page of the Newspaper. Thus he decided to order for the oil through the effort and assistance of some good friends. Not knowing that his evil father together with his step-mother had concluded an arrangement of killing him through invocation killing or shooting, which I have discussed in this column as Sympathetic magic-Death without contact. This nature of spiritual attack is going on from time to time. Before they decided to embark on killing him though invocation, the young man had already gotten my anointing oil and had started the (6am to 3pm) fasting that accompanies it. For those of you who have done it, you know that I have always recommended 12am to 2am midnight prayer in the process. So the young man was doing his midnight prayer when according to him something like a stone hit his chest and he almost became unconscious and his hands went to the place he kept the anointing oil, “he broke the rules” by using the oil to anoint himself.
24 DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
South-East Report Rice mill relocation: From GODDY OSUJI, Abakaliki
he relocation of the Rice Mill Company Nigeria Limited, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State to three clusters in the three senatorial zones of the state, millers in the state said, has brought untold hardship to them with some of them struck by devastating ailments that have made the industry experience major setbacks. Daily Sun checks revealed that many stalls in the mill have been under lock and key due to dwindling production occasioned by low patronage from traders who come to the mill from different parts of the country to purchase rice. Daily Sun also gathered that one of the patrons, Chief Chukwuka Okonkwo, had slumped and died shortly after he received the sad news of the relocation. Okonkwo, it was learnt, had wanted to sell his milling engine, but nobody indicated interest to buy and out of frustration he died. The engine, according to a source, was worth N1.6 million, but nobody could afford to buy it even at N300, 000 and that broke his heart because the rice mill was relocating and everybody was afraid. Also Mr Elias Nwogu, 40, a father of six, who said that he had trained some of his children in both secondary and university from the proceeds of the rice business which he has been doing since the age of 15 lamented the relocation. Speaking to Daily Sun, Mr Augustine Obasi, a father of four and one of the workers at the rice mill from Ezza North Local Government Area of the state said that he joined the rice business in 1991, and thus was at a loss over government’s decision to relocate them. “I feel very sad about the relocation policy of Governor Elechi. I feel very, very bad. Since my life I have never felt this way. Immediately the government relocates us from this place, I will either go to Lagos or leave the country. I feel like dying. If you go to the villages, you see people crying because of the relocation. I know many people will die. We have aged men and women who cannot do any other business except this one,” he said. Also Mrs Eucharia Ogwutor said she joined the business since 1989 and has been buying from the farmers to do the final processing. Her words: “The Ikwo village is very far from here. No buyer would like to carry his money and go to such a distant place to buy. If Governor Elechi relocates the rice mill from here, people should just forget about the Abakaliki rice. “We have never had problems with the community or villagers where the rice mill is located; the villagers are given scholarship as compensation for donating their land. I am begging government to amend its policy of relocating the rice mill. Let this rice mill stay; and let the government’s own new rice mill also stay. Even if Ebonyi State has 10 different rice mills, it’s still good for the economy of the state because we need more food, not less food. The Chairman of Abakaliki Rice Mill, Mr Joseph Ununu also told Daily Sun that the policy of relocation of the rice mill and its attendant cases of threats and intimidation have brought untold hardship to them and the trauma bringing about the untimely death of 15 rice millers as a result of heart failure. The announcement of the government decision to relocate the rice mill, the chairman said, came to them as a surprise, adding that it scared many customers away with most of them losing hope to come back due to the fear that government might bulldoze their machines when they return. “We lost many of our members during that period. About 15 members died of heart failures. It has scared all our customers away. The nearby states that come here to buy rice
Elechi has brought hardship to us –Mill association chairman, Ununu
The lock-up stalls (inset) is the Chairman, Mill Association don’t come again. We are still having that shock over the relocation by the state government,” he said. Ununu recalled that during the creation of the state, Abakaliki rice mill industry was the only existing industry in the state. “Records have it that the mill boasts of over 5,000 workers; 2,500 rice milling machines and a production capacity of more than 11,000 tons. But government relocation plans will tear the high-profile location apart,” he said. With the popularity and peculiarity of the Abakaliki rice, which has been salted by nature, Governor Elechi decided to upgrade the industry for more quantitative and qualitative rice production by constructing rice clusters in each of the senatorial zones. But this move has received heavy knocks from well meaning Ebonyians, owing to its 59 years of settlements and difficulties in accessibilities by local farmers. There was, however, sign of relief as an industrial court sitting in Enugu gave an injunction restricting the state government from interfering with the activities of the millers. Ruling on motion ex-parte brought by Mr Pius Akpogwu, vice chairman of Rice Mill Owners Association against the government of Ebonyi State and eight others, the court, presided over by Justice A. Ibrahim, ordered the parties to refrain from taking any step that would lead to breakdown of law and order, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice. The chairman said, “what prompted the legal battle against the state was not its decision to relocate the industry, but it cannot wake up one morning to use intimidation and threat to forcefully chased us away for no genuine reasons. “The rice mill industry gave birth to Ebonyi State. You cannot get up to chase us away like
that and if there is anything that would chase us away, we will equally know and will not resist that,” he said. But, the government explained that the pollution from the rice mill and its husks constitute environmental hazards to the neighborhoods, especially the university community. “We are talking of human beings here. We are not taking your lands. We know it was legally acquired, but what we are saying is to go to any of the three rice clusters in each of the zones and do your normal businesses,” the government said. Inside the rice mill established in 1957 lies an expanse of land measuring 1938.464 square meters, with various workers – machine operators, dust carriers, bag stickers, off loaders, barrow pushers, on-loaders, accountants, water suppliers, security men and among others. Every month, the industry presently pays N55, 000 as revenue to the Abakaliki local government council and another N55, 000 as payment for business premises to the state government monthly, Ununu said. He regretted that since the company came into existence, neither the state government nor the local government authority has rendered any meaningful assistance to it. “It is disheartening that since the company’s existence, there hasn’t been any meaningful assistance to us, the roads within the rice mill premises were constructed through the assistance of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo. “The government can’t boast of putting one pin here except that former President Olusegun Obasanjo who visited here and felt impressed after seeing the rice mill, he then decided to tar the roads in the rice mill,” ,” he disclosed. Also, Chief Sunday Oketa, 46, who said he started the rice mill business at the age 18
said: “As a child, I joined the industry as a ‘dust carrier’ and later trained for one year and six months as a machine operator. My father was alive then and he was one of the founders of the rice mill. The entire family members were trained properly in farming. “Early in 1971, we sold a bushel of rice at N10 here and by then there was nothing like foreign rice. All Ebonyi people were farmers; we never knew any other handwork except farming. And when you come here, you see enough rice, food stuffs such as cassava, yam and that’s why we name Ebonyi State, the Food Basket of the Nation.” He remembered the way back in the 1980s when people from as far as Lagos, Benin, Port Harcourt usually come to buy Abakaliki rice. “In those days, 15 trailer loads of the commodity, 50 to 60 Mercedes Benz 911 lorries, apart from other small vehicles such as pick-up vans leave the mill every day, but the importation of foreign rice into Nigeria now is killing the business here. “Even if you want to buy N50 billion worth of rice from here, all you need to do is just be patient and within some hours, you will have the quantity you paid for,” one of the officials boasted. A female cleaner who said she joined the company in 1993 and has so far served under six different chairmen disclosed that the rice mill has contributed immensely to the reduction of crime as well as prostitution in the state. However, the chairman disclosed that since the court injunction, there was sign of the industry picking up gradually again. “Today, our customers are gradually coming back because many felt that we are in court now and on hearing that injunction has been granted, members who have lost hopes have regained the courage to return to business,” Ununu said.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
South-East Report State creation: ‘Ekweremadu missed the mark’ By DICKSON OKAFOR
chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Tobby Anumaka has faulted a statement credited to the Deputy Senate president, Sen Ike Ekweremadu, who is also chairman constitution review committee. According to Anumaka,Senator Ekweremadu was quoted to have said that “Nigerians should not expect new states from the senate”. Anumaka said, Ekweremadu’s statement tends to defeat the struggle of the zone have one additional state created in the South East geopolitical zone. He insisted that getting a President from the zone in 2015 is not negotiable. Excerpt.
The statement credited to the deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu that Nigerians should not expect creation of new states from the senate, has created doubt, what is your view? The need for South East to have one additional state cannot be overemphasized. Other zones have 6 and 7 states each but only 5 in the South East. It has always been like that from the era of regions when we were given just East Central state up to the time when the country had 19 states. Then South East had Imo and Anambra states. If actually the civil war is over, then there should be equity. It’s unfortunate that the Deputy Senate President Sen. Ike Ekweremadu who is the Chairman of the Constitution review committee in a statement credited to him, said
Nigerians should not expect new states from the senate. If the National Assembly cannot create new states I wonder who will do it. Nigerians have spoken “We want more States ”. That is the wishes of the people and elected representatives must obey the wishes of the masses. However, I have a feeling that the Deputy Senate President may be quoted out of context. I am still trying to reach him on phone to ask him whether he actually made the statement. I believe he was not quoted accurately. My suggestions for constitutional amendment I’m in support of 4 years 2 terms for the President and governors but I’m against 6 years one term for President and governors considering the complex nature of Nigeria. We are impatient people, therefore staying too long in office may not go down well with the people because Nigerian politicians are greedy, and I’m a politician if we must tell ourselves truth. So if you give a Nigerian politician one term of 10 years he will loot the treasury at ago because he will not seek reelection. So, let performance be the yardstick to measure how long an elected representative stays in office and not where he or she comes from because 8 years is enough for any leader to make impact. However, my input includes, autonomy for local government, its a pity council chairmen don’t have an establish tenure reflected in the constitution as the governor can wake up one morning and dissolve an elected council. Some governors have not conducted council election for 8 years, in fact the governors are Emperors because council chairmen have no say even in their domain as they do only what the governors wants them to do. Let’s remove the council chairmen from the grip of the governors. There is no proper local government election in Nigeria, the governors just select those they want and ask the ISEC to rubber-stamp them. Let’s give constitutional backing to the local government. The third tier of government is closer to the grassroots and should be autonomous. For instance, if the President dissolves the State Government, National and State Assemblies there would be anarchy, which is exactly what the governors are doing to the local government chairmen. Another thing I would want to be contained in the new constitution is true federalism where the three tiers of government would be independent and concentrate on service delivery to the people. Another thing the new constitution must contain is indegeneship, a place where I have lived for over 15 to 20 years, where I pay my tax and contributed to its development, I suppose to be an indigene of that place. Unfortunately if I buy a plot of land to build a house, some people will come to demand money from me before I can build claiming to be land owners (Omonile). Nigeria should be Nigerians; we cannot be foreigners in our land.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
South-East Report Ndigbo honour Martin Agbaso By PETER ANOSIKE
digbo in Lagos used the occasion of the last Igbo Day Celebration to honour one of its illustrious sons in the person of Ochudo Martin Agbaso. Distinguished Igbo sons and daughters among who were former Minister of Information, Walter Ofonagoro, Alison Madueke, Ndubuisi Kanu, Pascal Dozie, Joseph Ikem Odumodu, and Prof Anya O Anya attended
the occasion, which was marked with pomp The royal Father of the day was Eze Eze kalu Kalu Ogba of Abiriba in Abia State Agbaso was bestowed with the award of Great Igbo leader Speaking before the presentation of the award the president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Lagos State Chapter and in Diaspora, Chief Oliver Akubueze said that Ochudo Agbaso was chosen for the award because of his illustrious service to Igbo land in par-
ticular and Nigeria in general. Akubueze said that Agbaso has distinguished himself in different fields of human endavour, adding that it was because of his rare achievement in the service of mankind that he was chosen for the award. His words “ I want to say that Ochudo Martin Agbaso is a man of many parts and he has distinguished himself in all of them. He is somebody that we can say this is our own because we are very proud of
him and it is because of this that we decided to use today to honour him with the award of Great Igbo leader in appreciation of his services to his father land. Responding, ochudo Agbaso said that he was humbled by the fact he was the only one chosen among the legion of distinguished Igbo sons and daughters to be honoured. He said that the honour would inspire him to redouble Ochudo Martin Agbaso displaying his certificate of award, his efforts towards the service beside him is Sir Oliver Akubueze president Ohaneze of his father land. Ndigbo, Lagos State.
Court fixes hearing on fraud allegations against Enugu lawyer From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
he Federal High Court sitting in Enugu has fixed December 5th (today) for hearing in a case of fraud brought against an Enugu based lawyer by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Mr Christian Ebuzoeme, a lawyer was arraigned on a three count charge bordering on intent to obtain money by false pretenses and was remanded in prison custody by Justice Mohamed Shaibu who declined request for argument on bail application.
In an interview before he was arraigned, Ebuzoeme who is also the Managing Director of Yardenit Services Nigeria Ltd expressed shock that he was being held for an offence committed by his former business partner, one Amaechi Okoye who the EFCC said was at large. He dismissed allegations contained in a press statement by Ag. Head, Media & Publicity EFCC Mr. Wilson Uwujaren that he, as the Chief Executive of Karchack Services Limited defrauded innocent citizens through a phoney investment scheme involving over N600million.
He recalled how Mr. Amechi Okoye approached him and he sponsored the establishment of a telecommunications outfit on the condition that he (Amechi) would have to run it since he was in full time legal practice. “The company has full dealership with Etisalat corporate office in Port Harcourt and Trade Key Account in Enugu. We bought CUG lines from the Port-Harcourt office and other products like recharge cards, sim cards, phones, modem etc. We also have sub-dealership with Globacom through Beyond Bridges International (BBI ) that has full dealership
with Glo through a contract agreement. “He became managing Director and CEO in charge of the day to day running of the company while I was chairman. I sent in my brother in-law to be my eye as General Manager; I did not know that Amechi had a written script which is gradually unfolding. “I later discovered that he was not sincere in the running of the company and an external auditor was employed where it was discovered that so much liabilities had been incurred and I told him I could not go on with him and we divided assets and
liabilities. Ebuzoeme noted that after he separated with his partner he continued his business under a new name Yardenit Services Nig Ltd while Amechi retained Karchak Services Ltd. “I started settling liabilities until the amount remaining was not much; something that could be settled in six months or there about; I called the customers and told them about the losses and they agreed with me, and I continued paying but he wasn’t paying. “Along the line, one of the customers arrested him and took him to EFCC. I travelled then;
my wife called and said EFCC also wanted me. When I came back I reported to EFCC but then they had granted him bail. I explained to them but they are refusing to understand that we have shared assets and liabilities. “And the customers who are being owed are those he inherited after the separation; but here they are still associating me with his company. Its unfair that I am going to answer for his mistakes under Karchak Services Ltd after we had separated and I now run Yardenit. They should get him to face trial.”
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
POLITICS...&Polity PDP, OBJ and discipline controversy In the light of a recent statement by former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lacks discipline, REMI ADEFULU in this report examines the contentious issues. The genesis hat former President Olusegun Obasanjo is no stranger to controversy is not debatable. Though he has had his fingers burnt on some occasions, he remains his old self throwing punches at the least opportunity. It was vintage Obasanjo again at the recent caucus meeting of the South-West chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The parley was said to have been convened to address some of the challenges confronting the party in the zone. And trust the former president, he did not fail to throw jabs at his fellow party members, accusing them of indiscipline. Hear him: “Our party is not sufficiently disciplined. People run from the South-West to Abuja to claim that they are the authentic group in the party. We should be tolerant. If you respect us, you shall be respected. The issue of structure is a serious problem in the PDP. Some people believe once they have the structure, they have all it takes. This is the tool they are using to destroy the party. Whoever ignores the words of wisdom will regret it. I want all of you to know that whatever your ambition, you cannot unilaterally elect yourself.” But after Obasanjo’s stance on discipline within the party, questions have continued to trail his comments, some of which called to question the ex-president’s justification regarding party discipline. These were based on Obj’s score card on the issue of discipline as a serving and former president. Flashback That former President side-tracked relevant authorities in his bid to assert his authority as serving president is not in doubt. A cursory look at some of the actions he took as the former number one citizen showed him as having had his way on issues which naturally the PDP ought to be a major stakeholder. During that era, the all-powerful president was hardly challenged even when he was wrong. It is on record that against PDP’s constitution, he unilaterally removed Chief Audu Ogbeh and Barnabas Gemade, two former national chairmen of the party from office. Similar treatments were meted onto Senators Adolphus Wabara and Chuba Okadigbo. Wabara for instance was ‘sentenced’ for corruption charges by Obasanjo on national television along with the present Benue State governor, Mr. Gabriel Suswan, though Suswan was not indicted. Against global practices, the former president breathed down the neck of National Assembly members during his administration. But for his courage and colleagues support, former House of Reps speaker, Ghali Na’aba almost lost his seat during the period. Even former Governor Rashid Ladoja (Oyo), Joshua Dariye (Plateau) and Ayo Fayose (Ekiti) were not left out. In the build-up to the last general elections, he used his position to thwart the emergence of Gboyega Isiaka and 39 others PDP candidates Ogun State in various position in the last election after the National Working Committee of the party had ratified their candidature. Ogun PDP remains in ruins till date. Altercations with Jonathan Slowly, recent developments are beginning to show that all may not be well between President Goodluck Jonathan and ex-president
Obasanjo. Curiously, the silent war most times is sparked off by criticisms of the sitting president by Obasanjo. These attacks suprisingly are being launched through the media. Though Jonathan’s camp has countered on different occasions, worries have been expressed in different quarters by the former president’s action. Indeed, Jonathan’s loyalists are particularly angry that the man who had a running battle with critics of his administration would use an “inappropriate” channel to launch his offensives. According to Tobi Onajobi, a chieftain of the PDP from Ogun State, this is totally unacceptable from a man of Obasanjo’s stature. He said: “This is gross indiscipline. How can he (Obasanjo) be attacking the president who was elected on the platform of his party on the pages of newspapers. It’s unimaginable coming from somebody who should know. It’s gross indiscipline.” According to Onajobi, Obasanjo wouldn’t have taken such actions lightly, especially coming from a senior member of his party, just as he recalled how he openly abused a clergy man Amidst celebration of Adams Oshiomhole’s inauguration as governor for a second term, the governor suffered a loss in the election trial at Appeal Court , Benin division. What does the future hold for the governor and the state? NDUBUISI ORJI writes.
forth night ago, the Edo State government roled out the drums in celebration of the completion of the first tenure of the governor, Adams Oshiomhole. And the inauguration of the government for another term of four years. But as the governor and his men were still celebrating, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recorded what it terms a major victory against Oshiomhole in Appeal Court. The inauguration attracted guests from different walks of life. From the political class, civil service, and the ordinary folks. Even school children were not left out of the carnival like ceremony. Political pundits say the massive turn out at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, venue of the event was a sort of appreciation to the governor in the way and manner he has piloted the affairs of the state in the past four years. A former chairman of Etsako West local government area of the state Mr Gani Audu said the large turn out at the event is a vote of implicit confidence in Oshiomhole and the
“That former President sidetracked relevant authorities in his bid to assert his authority as serving president is not in doubt. A cursory look at some of the actions he took as the former
number one citizen showed him as having had his way on issues which naturally the PDP ought to be a major stakeholder. During •Obasanjo government above his. This, he reasoned is that era, the all-powerful president most unexpected from a democratic leader was hardly challenged even when because by virtue of being Nigerians, these men are entitled to their opinions, not minding he was wrong.” whether they are wrong. Onajobi’s position was reinforced by a Lagos-based rights activist, in Plateau for criticizing him. The late renowned professor of Economics, Chika Okafor, who stressed that it was an act of Sam Aluko equally had a taste of his anger as •Continued on page 31 he described him as senile for rating Abacha’s
Oshiomhole: The challenges ahead “But barely three days after the inauguration of the government, Oshiomhole suffered a major loss in the election petition challenging his victory at the July 14 governorship poll. The Appeal Court, Benin Division
in a ruling ordered the Election Petition Tribunal to hear suit challenging his eligibility to contest the governorship poll.” Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government in the state. He said the large turn-out of the people of the state to witness the governor’s swearing –in for a second term “ is a clear demonstration that the governor is a man of the people. With the crowd you have seen here, it shows that the governor is connected to the people. In the last four years, the people of Edo state with his government. The confidence that he has built for himself, the people are showing appreciation to support him”. Audu expressed optimism that in the next four years, the state would witness more developmental strides than it did in the first tenure of the governor. This is because according to him, the governor would be building on the solid foundation he has laid in the past four years. Similarly, Mr Emmanuel Usoh, a lawyer and member of the Edo State Internal Revenue Board told Daily Sun that the government in the past four years has brought about massive Infrastructural development, educational development and pursued people oriented policies since 2008 when
Oshiomhole assumed office as governor. In his words “The last four years of Adams Oshiomhole administration has been challenging, eventful, with giant strides in various fields of endeavour. The administration has brought to bear real human and capacity development.” But barely three days after the inauguration of the government, Oshiomhole suffered a major loss in the election petition challenging his victory at the July 14 governorship poll. The Appeal Court, Benin Division in a ruling ordered the Election Petition Tribunal to hear suit challenging his eligibility to contest the governorship poll. The three-man appeal panel headed by Justice Helen Ogunwuniju said the tribunal erred by striking out the petition on the ground that it lacked jurisdiction to hear part of the petition by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Major General Charles that deals on academic qualification of Governor Adams Oshiomhole Airhiavbere had gone to tribunal to challenge the declaration of Oshiomhole as winner of the election on the ground that the governor does not possess the requisite education qualification. But on September 7, this year, the Chairman of the State Election Petition panel, Justice Suleiman Ambrusa struck out several paragraphs of the pleadings and disqualified itself from entertaining the relief on qualification, on the ground that it was a preelection issue that only the regular court ought to adjudicate on. That panel was eventually disbanded following a petition by PDP protesting the ruling. With the verdict of the Appeal Court on the qualification issue, the matter would now be heard on its merit by new Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. As soon as the judgement was given, the supporters of the PDP candidate went into
•Continued on page 31
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
POLITICS...&Polity ‘Indiscipline in PDP not in doubt’ •Continued from page 30 indiscipline for a sitting president to publicly engage his citizens in a shouting match. According to him, “we all knew the former President dislikes people who have guts to confront him, but it is the height of indiscipline to refuse to adhere to global practices.” Okafor reiterated that given Obasanjo’s experience and exposure, it was unexpected of him to openly attack Jonathan, no matter the frustration. To keen watchers of developments in the polity, it was no news when Jonathan’s aides started a “fire for fire” approach each time the former president attacked their principal. Though many agree that it was unethical for such to come from presidential aides, the latest development may be Abuja’s strategy of keeping Obasanjo in check. In September, this political adviser to president Jonathan, Gulak had taken exceptions to Obasanjo’s open criticisms of his boss, declaring that the former president was not God on allegations that he may quit the PDP. Even Doyin Okupe who served as an aide to the former president had also in an interview pointedly described his former boss as “any other Nigerian.” Hear Gulak: “I will like to say with all sense of responsibility that Nigerians should not make God out of Obasanjo. Obasanjo is not
God and it is only God who gives people power.” Consensus That the presidency has not distanced itself from Gulak’s statements speaks volume. While some political observers see it as a sign of the time, others say it only exposes the rot within (PDP) as a party lacking discipline.
Curiously, Obasanjo who was first to raise the issue stands accused. As somebody who most times presents himself as a disciplinarian, his actions and inactions have called to question his discipline score card. Observers say, his pedigree and constitution of his party forbids many of his ‘sins’, just as many must not forget that while it may be said
that Okupe and Gulak overstepped their bounds in the discharge of their duties, the former president was also guilty of the same offence. Reason: When he held sway at Aso Rock, his former aide, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode openly abused former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon for tackling the Ota farmer and he was not reprimanded.
‘Oshiomhole exudes so much knowledge’ •Continued from page 30 frenzy. One of them who spoke on condition of anonymity said the implication of the judgement is that the governor’s days in office are numbered. The PDP candidate enamoured by the Appeal Court ruling said it is only a matter of time before his party takes over the reins of government in the state. Airhiavbere told some of his supporters “I will assure you it’s the beginning of good things to come to the state. We can now breathe fresh air. Like President Jonathan said, fresh air has come to Edo State. By the special grace of God, it’s going to stay. Edo state will return to PDP.” However, a former Secretary to the State Government, Pally Iriase said there is no
cause for alarm. The case in the tribunal seeking to sack the governor from office would come to naught. Iriase, while urging politicians to always accept defeat in good faith told Daily Sun that act of challenging very clear victories in the Tribunal by politicians will help the course of democracy in the country. According to the former SSG who is now a member of the House of Representatives, the opposition is merely fishing for all kind of allegations in order to whittle down the importance of the people’s mandate. “This cannot stand. The truth is that Adam Oshiomhole when you come in contact with him, you will know that he exudes so much knowledge. So much intellectualism. So much articulation that you cannot accuse such
one of not being educated. There is nothing in the tribunal. Nigerians need to borrow a leaf from more developed country, as we are moving gradually away from poor electoral system, we should also imbibe the culture of being good losers. You know a situation where a clean clear victory will be caricatured by the opponent, will not help our democracy.” He added that “The people of Edo state freely and willingly gave their mandate to Adams Oshiomhole. And there is nothing that can reverse that. I am very confident of that. Why the judiciary is free to do what they have to do, they will later find that the opponents just came to waste their time. That is my honest assessment. I know that nothing untoward took place during the election.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
POLITICS...&Polity Mr. Ayo Opadokun has taken a critical look at Professor Chinua Achebe’s latest book, “There was a country,” and declared the aspect that accused the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo of genocide during civil war as a lie. He spoke with RAZAQ BAMIDELE. My take on the book ell, I want to start by saying the write-up lifted from Professor Chinua Achebe’s book creates an unnecessary controversy. I believe that any living soul ought not to be dancing on the grave of a departed colleague. That is what I would imagine that Professor Achebe has done in a book of his. It is now over 25 years that Chief Obafemi Awolowo died. Achebe is busy grandstanding in his writeup that Awolowo was the cause of his (Achebe’s) so called undefined genocide in Igboland. Let me make a clear statement that my concern is much more for what the consequences of Achebe’s diatribe against Awolowo can tell the younger generations. I believe that the handshake across the Niger ought to be given more impetus. And those of us who are still alive should realize that we should stop sowing the seed of disunity amongst various ethnic nationalities in the country. I want to say that, l expect Professor Chinua Achebe to be much more mature in his desire to leave positive collaborative historical message along his path. Vindication
Civil war: Awo didn’t cause genocide –Opadokun I also want to say quite frankly that the falsehood in Achebe’s book in describing Awolowo has now been brought out by the second Military Head of State in Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon, who just debunked the lies of Professor Achebe. General Gowon restated that strongly that Chief Awolowo and himself have nothing to be ashamed of, and that the charge of genocide against them is totally irresponsible, uncalled for. General Gowon said he that is alive is ready to face International Criminal Court of Justice to know what happened under Biafra, and finally ended up by saying Professor Achebe is ignorant of the very situation he was talking about. In his response, Gowon said the Federal Government, in fact organized to have a corridor through which food and medication could be brought to Igboland. Who to blame? It was Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu and his Igbo leaders, who rejected it. So, how can they, for their selfish reasons transfer the guilt that normally belongs to them unto other innocent people, so to say under this circumstance? So, I believe that Professor Achebe has not helped in the build-up of
“Gowon said the Federal Government, in fact organized to have a corridor through which food and medication could be brought to Igboland. It was Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu and his Igbo leaders, who rejected it.”
much more cohesive society particularly between the Yoruba nation and the Igbo nation. I expected much more better service, better candor in his conduct of affairs in the twilight of his own life also. He too will soon depart no matter how far he is given •Opadokun the privilege to stay on. He cannot be here Nigeria country, so that all of us would be for ever. I expect that being an elder in this happy for it. circumstance, he has to do his own utmost Possible effect on Igbo 2015 presidento bring people closer to make them delight tial project to help Nigeria to build a nation out of Let me tell you, people in my status are not excited about any prospect about presidency for any one, not only from the Igbo race. We keep on putting the cart before the horse. We have seen now, this is the third person that is in office in this so called demhave done it for over 38 years and only suc- ocratic experiment. We are all witnesses to ceeded in ruing in the country. the great disaster that Obasanjo Presidency Achebe’s book and Igbos’s 2015 presi- was even for the Yoruba nation. What is it dential quest that anybody can point to that he has done After the war, when our people came back, for the Yoruba race? He was there for eight they were welcome. But after some time, the years. No road was constructed. The ones issue of space for farming became a major he met in Yorubaland, that were fairly okay, contention in most part of the east and there he helped to destroy them in several ways. wasn’t enough food to go round. Not long There were no economic reasons for after again, many easterners left the East to go uprooting the toll gates. So, my first reaction to the implication of and reside in other parts of the country and then became more individualistic. Igbos are Chinua Achebe’s book could have for the republican by nature and they are individual- Igbo’s presidential ambition, I want to say istic. The war made us have more excessive that the situation does not command the individualism but we are picking up again. respect of the people like me. As I speak When it is important, we speak with one pur- now, on the premises of what the Igbo young folks are already doing, there is a pose and we stick together. It is true that we have so many voices, but group called ALADIMA, in Igboland. if you listen well, you will observe that we are They are pointing the Igbo race to the path saying the same thing. That old way of think- of sanity. Their position, which is credible ing that Igbos are disunited is no longer pop- and which I subscribe to, is that what the ular. It is what they want to sell to us and Igbo race should be clamouring for is not make us believe that we are the cause why we the presidency but the national restructurcannot produce the president. We can pro- ing. I subscribe to that. I am equally of the opinion that, were it duce the president, but we need to make to take an angel to occupy Aso Rock as it is friends first with the rest of Nigeria. We today, he probably would fail until we should make friends with the host communirestructure the land. The structure you have ties where we live, to understand the other that enable the motley crowd of military side of Nigeria. We should find out why the upstart and jack boots that are probably not rest of Nigeria reacts to us the way they do. up to ten, to decide to annul the freest, For instance, if you are a Tiv man who fairest election won by a fellow Nigeria and lives in Makurdi and you have not built any got away with the murder is a structure not good house, then an Igbo man you may have to be allowed to remain. And because of the employed starts working for you by disposing evil circumstances of our country and how your dung , then later, he builds a small kiosk powerful the bad omen has had on our in front of your house and before you know nation, one of the principal architects of what is happening, he has built a big house, such dismissal of pan Nigerian in person of will you not begin to develop negative feel- MKO Abiola, is now the President of the ings towards the person? That kind of thing Nigerian Senate! David Mark said he breeds jealousy. would rule only on his dead body. He and The Jews succeed anywhere they go and his cohorts got him arrested, detained him that is why they were hated. So it is time for and killed him. us to make friends with the rest of the counFaulty structure I repeat finally on this score that while it try and understand the reason why others are usually envious of us. It is not hatred, but jeal- is the prerogative of the Igbo race to camousy that an Igbo man can succeed where paign for Nigeria’s Presidency, my attitude others have failed. We usually give out schol- is to ask the would-be presidential candiarships and make a lot of donations to people date to listen to the voice of wisdom and who are in need so it is time for us to make sanity in Igboland as currently being represented by the agenda of the ALADINMA. friends with the rest of the world. It will serve the Igbo race far better.
Achebe wrote what he saw –Ezeife Dr. Chuwkuwemeka Ezeife is the former governor of Anambra State and he speaks with CHINELO OBOGO on the controversy over the book written by Prof. Chinua Achebe where he accused Chief Obafemi Awolowo of formulating policies that caused the death of women and children during the civil war Igbos should not dwell on the civil war am calling on the Yorubas and the Igbos to sheath their swords for the sake of the peace of the nation because there is no point fighting over split milk. Chief Obafemi Awolowo defended himself when he was alive. It is true that he formulated economic policies when he was minister. One of which was the 20 pounds was given to each Igbo man after the war ended. Whether they had more than that or not, I don’t know. But this is a historical fact which cannot be disputed. I do not know about not giving food to Biafran women and children. It is very important for us to respect the facts of history and not allow it to becloud our reasoning. For example, we have a meeting point between the South-east, the Yorubas and the
South-south and that is the direction which we are going to. We are no longer going in the direction of rivalry and bitterness. What Awo said about Biafran soldiers intercepting the food aid meant for the women could be a historical fact but as far as I am concerned, I do not think that it is important. The man Awolowo Awo was a truthful person and I do not think that he lied about what he did. If he said it, it means it is true. Achebe is also a truthful person and he said what he observed. When you see something, it is either you react to it or you don’t. The way we react to issues is of greater consequence than the issue in question. If a truth is told or an observation is made, what do we do with it? Do we fight and kill each other over it? It will be very stupid to fight over things like that and I say it was unintelligent for both the Yourbas and the Igbos to fight and bicker over what happened many years go. Achebe fought in the war, so he knew firsthand what must have transpired and he also has a very good way of writing books which people enjoy to read. In fact, the book even became popular before it was released and it has even made it more popular. But I do not think that Achebe will support the counter reaction of our people over the issue because he does not stand for bickering. I do not think that he intended that what he wrote will be taken as an attack on Awo, but we have gone beyond that. In the past, we would have said that the Hausa people want to insinuate things to make us fight but these days, I think that we should leave the Hausas alone. What we want is for them to leave the governance of Nigeria alone because they do not know how to do it. They
“Achebe fought in the war so he knew firsthand what must have transpired and he also has a very •Ezeife
good way of writing books which people enjoy to read.”
Wedneday, December 5, 2012
POLITICS...&Polity PIB: Interest my committee will protect at all cost –Bawa From IHEANACHO NWOSU, Abuja Ishaku Bawa is the Chief Whip of the House of Responsibility and the Chairman of an ad hoc committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). In this interview he speaks his new assignment and what Nigeria should expect from his committee. The PIB his bill is long overdue and there are lots of agitations for the rebirth of the bill. Its existence and the intent of the bill is to reorganise or to give proper shape to our oil and gas industry in Nigeria. The preliminaries we have are based on the contributions of members during second reading. I believe that every member welcomed the bill except for some reservations expressed during the debate. All that we are going to do is ensure that at all cost we provide a legislation that will protect and serve the interest of Nigerians. Their interest first before any other interest. If there is any interest that is in conflict with the collective interest of Nigerians I assure that that of Nigerian will prevail in that bill. And justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done to every section of this country in the course of passing the bill. So at the end of the day, we will bring a bill that will bring no problem or conflicts between the sections of the country . Individuals or oil companies’ will be encouraged to attract investment into the sector and the government will also be protected and the ordinary Nigerians who are the owners of the all properties will be protect-
To curb the increasing waste of lives and property occasioned by incessant killings and insurgences in the country, the Territorial Leader of The Salvation Army, Commissioner Mfon Akpan has advocated the translation of the Nation’s constitution to all local languages. He spoke with SIMEON MPAMUGOH It is said that Nigeria’s economic and sociopolitical situation is a spiritual phenomenon. What is your reaction? efore anyone starts talking about economic and socio- political situation being spiritual phenomenon, I think we should first allow the economy and political institutions work optimally. All countries have its own challenges and Nigeria is not an exception. God has been so good to Nigeria. One can see in recent times that God loves Nigeria. Many countries around the world have not experienced half what we have experienced; yet Nigeria is still united. Nigerians should be diligent in seeking God’s face for guidance in all their dealings, so that the country would be able to move progressively to her promised land. I believe Nigeria would soon pull through its challenges through every individual’s collective and positive contributions. Every Nigerian has the right to express his or her religion. People want to express themselves spiritually and also be allowed the freedom to exercise right to persuade others into their belief. Nations who think it is crime to preach one’s religion are making a terrible mistake. Nigeria has been described at different fora as a failed state. What is your response? Nigeria is not a failed state, if it were so, we would be here today. It is true that we have challenges as a nation, which leaders of Christian Movement s have been praying for divine intervention and direction. All the advanced democracies are much older than Nigeria. If one checks the progression of these countries, they went through similar or worse situations than Nigeria is undergoing at the moment. The question is: what lessons have Nigeria leant from them? Are we moving in the right direction? Every democracy tries to
ed. All of us who are in government are there for the interest of the people. So their interest first before any other. A similar bill was forwarded to National Assembly by late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua in December 2008, before it was withdrawn by President Jonathan in 2010 and the revised version sent some months ago, do you have the mandate to incorporate the Yar’adua version? What we have before the National Assembly and particularly the House of Representatives is the bill sent by President Goodluck Jonathan and if there is any other version, for now , it is not known to us. But as far as law making process is concerned , in the course of our work as a committee opportunity will be given to everybody to present their memos and make inputs, amendments, alteration and expunge any section. So if there is anybody who feels that another version of the bill is much better such person can bring it because we will call for memorandum. But the bill we have today which came from President Jonathan is not sacrosanct that is why we said let us legislate on it. Otherwise we will say let us rubber stamp it and then pass it but we said it must go through the process of law making. But some people especially the executive believe that the PIB as handed is good enough and should not be tinkered with, would you not be inviting rift with the executive if tamper with what is given to you? It has never happened and it will never happen. Whatever we will do would be subject to the interest of Nigerians and that is why
the bill will be subjected to the scrutiny of the public. Nigerians must scrutinise it and like I said earlier we have no alternatives to doing the bidding of those who elected us, that is the Nigerian people. When is your committee kicking off its assignment especially holding public hearing on the bill? Actually before us now is the appropriation bill we want to see how we can fastrack the passage of the 2013 appropriation bill and immediately after we will commence work on the PIB. I believe before the end of the year we should pass the 2013 budget , by December hopefully. But we have started preliminary work such as the modalities as provided in our rules on how to go about it , so we are holding meetings and then every member of the committee is looking at the bill to be acquainted and conversant with the wording and intent of the bill before we commence. Some investigations by the House ended in controversies. How do you think that your own will not follow similar path? Let me tell you one thing, my antecedents is known to those who know me. I started politics as a member of the Taraba state House of Assembly, I have always stood for justice and fair play. I know this assignment involves sacrificing your own interest, we to ensure that we do not compromise the interest of Nigerians. The interest of Nigerians is what I pray all my life so that I will always do what will benefit Nigerians . If I do not benefit now my children will benefit after me. That is what I stand
‘Nigerian Constitution should be translated to local languages’ imbue itself with some special features that make it unique. Some democracies are just a delusion of monarchy, while others are an amalgam of military dictatorship and Civilian elites. Yet many are genuine attempts to create a government of the people, by the people and for the people; a government under the rule of the law where individual freedom and equality of all are protected. Not a few countries run systems, which can be described as truly democratic. It would be advocated that every nation inject the degree of peoples’ participation that would guarantee security, peace and development, while pursuing justice and fairness, equality and tolerance. Nigeria’s current democratic evolution can be said to be tilting in the right direction. It has all the ingredient of democracy, but the evidence so far, does not seem to confirm that it is genuine democracy, especially judging from the way its political parties and government agencies operate, to the way its judiciary administers justices and interprets the laws. And most institutions in
Nigeria are what they are supposed to be but lack the substance. What are the solutions to the lingering cases of killings and lawlessness across the country? It is unfortunate we have such occurrences in Nigeria. But I feel that those people who perpetrate such wicked acts should be re-orientated on the need to avoid taking laws into their hands. It also boils down to the fact that law must be made easily accessible them and others in the grassroots to read and understand. How has The Salvation Army helped victims of several natural and man-made disasters in Nigeria? We are not blind to the disasters that has befallen Nigerians in the past, especially the last flood. We have our team on ground that are already accessing the situation and areas of urgent needs. We understand that people who go through such ill fate need an immediate assistance in terms of foods, medication and utensils to start a new life. The Salvation Army is one the largest Social Care Providers in the world. The movement was founded in 1865 by William Booth and has spread from London, England to many parts of the world. It is an integral part of Christian movement, although, distinctive in government and practices. It has as objects, the advancement of Christian religious education, relief of poverty and other charitable aims beneficial to society. The Army spontaneously embarks on schemes for the social welfare of the poor. In Nigeria, we have responded to the various disasters that have occurred; the Movement was on ground for the first Boko Haram onslaught in Maiduguri in 2009 and the Kalakato crisis in Bauchi, distributing food and Non Food Items (NFI).
•Bawa for . For now I think all Nigerians are looking at us since this bill is the central nervous system of life of Nigerians we must do what is right. So, if you are in my position now, between me as an individual and over 150 million Nigerians out there whose interest should prevail? Even if I am to die today by any means provided Nigerians will be better off so be it. I am more than 45 years old now and I have over 10 children and my concern is for my children, that is, securing a good future for all our children and the generations to come. We must build a solid foundation for them if not they will be perpetually enslaved to Western countries. We are rich but we have failed to move the country beyond what it should be. I am telling you that the interest of Nigeria is what I stand for. I have never compromised in anything i’m asked to do. Can you tell us when you may be able to complete the assignment and submit your report to Text of Hon. Ishaka Mohammed Bawa interview on PIB I won’t fail Nigerians Those who know my antecedents and when I started politics as a member of the Taraba state House of Assembly, know who I am and what I always stand for, but I don’t want to be judge in own case but the issue is between sacrificing your won interest and compromising for the interest of Nigerians. The interest of Nigerians is what I pray all my life so that I will always do what will benefit Nigerians so that if I dong benefit now my children will benefit after me. That is what I stand for and for now I think all Nigerians are looking at us since this bill is the central nervous system of life of Nigerians so if you are in my position now, between me as an individual and over 150 million Nigerians outside there whose interest should prevail? Even if I am to die today by any means provided Nigerians will be better off, so be it. I am more than 45 years old now and I have over 10 children and my concern is for my children and securing a good future for all our children and the generations to come. We must build a solid foundation for them if not they will be perpetually be enslaved to Western countries. We are rich but we have failed to move the country beyond what should be. I am telling you that the interest of Nigeria is what I stand for. Never any time in my life I compromise anything I continue to pray that God will see us through. When is your committee hoping to conclude the assignment and turn in your report? There is no time given to us by the Speaker. The Speaker did not mention the time we should submit our report but we will submit it within a reasonable time. We don’t want to leave it too long to give room for some other things. But the most important thing I am saying is that no matter when we submit it the interest of Nigerians must prevail.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Ice Prince tells his success story at MTN Link Forum
anshak Zamani (a.k.a) Ice Prince said hunger and passion are his driving force to success. He disclosed this at the MTN Link Forum held in Abuja recently. Ice Prince, one of the guest speakers, shared his success story with young entrepreneurs and professionals at the forum. The Oleku crooner said, “ his hunger and passion for the industry had constantly propelled him to do more. I was at the BET awards recently and I can tell you that a lot still needs to be done in terms of global recognition of our music and the artiste. “Americans, are not very receptive of our music, we need to further prove to them that we can match them one on one when talking music and that is one of the factors that drive me, the hunger to make world recognized songs and the
passion I have for good music,” he stated. Also, Ifeanyi Christopher Oputa, MD, Colvi Ltd (Studios24), said there is the need for intending entrepreneurs to first solve the psychological problem of fear. Usually when you think of entrepreneurship, the first thing that comes to one’s mind is fear. No one wants to start up something and then the next thing, he can’t continue for lack of funds. Muhammad Zanna, Managing Director/CEO, Regional Group of Companies, called on employers of labour to invest more in human capital as this ultimately impacts on the quality of service delivery. “You want the best out of your business, you have to strive hard to offer quality by investing in human capital. Whatever you give in, is what you get at the end of the day,” he stated. Speaking on the essence of the forum, Kola
•Unu Akogun, Christopher Oputa, Muhammad B G Zanna, Ice Prince at the MTN Link Forum in Abuja. Oyeyemi, MTN’s General Manager, Consumer Marketing, who was represented by Joseph Ogbuka, Specialist, Progressive Segment, MTN remarked that te network is continually seeking ways to enrich the lives of its consumers. “As an innovative brand, MTN prides itself with initiating ICT products and services that make life easier and comfortable. While we are here to get fired up by the success stories of the guest speakers, we are also taking the advantage to connect and engage our customers, by introducing them to some of our products and services designed to help them run their business
BITS Damiete Braide
Johnnie Walker unveils “The Striding Man”
orld leading Scottish whisky, Johnnie Walker, will unveil “The Striding Man” award to one of the three nominees at this year’s Mode Men magazine’s “Men of the Year” Awards. The Johnnie Walker philosophy is reflected in the lives of many Nigerian achievers and as the 2012 edition of awards nears, Johnnie Walker in association with the magazine have stepped up preparations toward the successful organization of the event. It will take place at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki on December 8, features 17 award categories and will have musical, comedy and other engaging performances that will match up with fun and glamour of the evening. The Brand Manager of Johnnie Walker, Amaechi Okobi, talked about the similarities that Mode Men shares with the iconic Whisky brand, saying that the determination to achieve excellence even in the face of weighty challenges is something that should be recognized and rewarded. He noted that the Johnnie Walker man is a work in progress, he keeps striving and looking for the next challenge, He keeps walking. “The Johnnie Walker brand has five bold variants in the Scottish Whisky family. This goes to show that keeping faith with one’s dreams will always yield progress and success. Editor-in-Chief of Mode Men magazine and convener, Men of the Year Awards, Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa connects this position taken by Johnnie Walker with the vision that gave birth to the event. He said: “After five years of sharing the exploits of the Nigerian men both at home and in diaspora, the Mode Men team decided to set aside a day for these successful individuals whose noble actions have profoundly affected lives in the society.” He noted that the highpoint of this year’s event would be honouring Generals Olusegun Obasanjo and Theophilous Y. Danjuma with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ugowan Nwoyen, Racheal Oniga and Tony Abulu, the film producer
•Pastor Idris, KSA and Folashade
MTN introduces new vista into Nollywood
ast month, MTN was one of the sponsors of the cross-border film, Dr. Bello produced by Tony Abulu at the Genesis Deluxe Cinema, Victoria Island, Lagos. The movie also features Hollywood’s top artistes like Isaiah Washington, Vivica A. Fox, Jimmy Jean Louis while Nigeria’s top stars like Genevieve Nnaji, Stephanie Okereke-Linus among others, participated. The story is built around Isaiah Washington (Michael Durrant), a medical doctor whose inquisition into the potency of African traditional medicine drives him across the Atlantic to OkeIdanre, Ondo State. His pursuit is for the cure of cancer. As strange as that sounds, even to himself at first, he comes to believe in the possibility of a cure, for the deadly disease, when he witnesses Dr. Bello, a Nigerian traditional doctor, who lives in Brooklyn,
Amaray set to release My Say ast rising gospel sensation, Nwankwo, Amarachi Angela Nwankwo, is one of top emerging song-stresses. The fairAngela Amarachi (aka Amaray) is set to Nigeria’s complexioned singer had been gaining a lot of release her debut alum entitled: My Say, plaudits and applauds from music buffs ever at the Cyprian Ekwensi Center forArts and since she released her latest video, Ebi Ebi Culture Complex, Area 10, FCT, Abuja, on which was directed by one of Nigeria’s finest December 16 by 4pm. directors Toka Mcbaror. Amazingly, her foray The 12-tracker album has tracks like Ebi Ebi, into the music industry is already giving critics Dreamer, Agaba Ku Judah, Riwo Riwo, the vapours as one of the most exciting and Everything Na you among others. original female singers-cum-songwriters in the Most of the songs were recorded at Raw Gold Nigerian music scene. Studios with state of the arts equipment and At age 16, the magnificent songstress joined produced by Patpeaz and Spellz and the Zonal Head Quarters of mastered by Joe Gilder in the Church of God Mission Asaba, United States. Delta State where she became a Acts such as: Chris Morgan, Six lead female vocalist in the choir. Foot Plus, Jahdiel, Femi Sax, She later became a member of Favour Johnson, Solomon Lange, the House on the Rock Choir in Kingjames, Effizee, Enenche D Calabar, following the same Comedian, Steve Willis, direction musically; and in Kennysam, Pastor Holmes and Abuja, she is the Music family from the U.S and several Director of Champion Faith others are expected at the event. Assembly. Chief Executive Officer of Raw Amaray has ministered in sevGold, Paul Edeh, a lawyer said the eral Christian events and conunveiling would mark a beginning certs such as Worship of an epoch for the young but Revolution, Reinard Bonke and impactful outfit. Calabar Christmas Festival. •Amarachi
New York, United States, administers it to cure a dying boy at his New York hospital. The movie’s message is that of the possibility that ‘indeed cures for cancer and other ailments plaguing humanity can indeed be discovered in Africa’, says the co-producer, Tunde MacAlabi. The movie communicates the relevance of Africa to the well-being of the entire world. And MTN, being part of this initiative, besides the company’s partnership with Afrinolly, is commendable. These are: entertainment and message. The two elements are consciously adhered to in the scripting of the movie. The movie features short scenes and the use of clear and simple English mixed with Yoruba dialects, at crucial instances which makes the characters believable in the message. With MTN introducing a new possibility in film-making, Nigerians look forward to a greater level of global recognition for the Nigerian film industry.
KSA, Fatai Rolling Dollar, ignite Mowe
ast Friday, at Christ Revival Rain Mission International, Mowe, gospel musicians thrilled friends, guests with various genre of music. The artistes include Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, Pastor Adelakun, Funmi Aragbaye, Imole Ayo, Foluke Awoleye, Bisi Alawiye Aluko, Senwele Jesu, Yinka Ayefele, Tope Alabi, Dupe Olulana, among others. Prophet Idris Taiwo of Christ Revival Rain Mission International, Mowe said, in obedience to God, he started the weekly praise programme in November 2011 without ceasing. “The church organised a week-long programme which came up from November 19 to 25 with each gospel artiste singing every night. Among the early arrival was the octogenarian Fatai Rolling Dollars. When the service was on, the auditorium became charged with the arrival of King Sunny Ade. King Sunny Ade, Fatai Rolling Dollar, Tope Alabi and others also performed to the delight of the congregation. Prophet Taiwo gave thanks to God for fulfilling His word in his life and the church while his wife, Lady Evangelist Folashade Idris smiled all the way as she assisted her husband during the event.
Lagos organises Nollywood Upgrade workshops
he Lagos State Government in its bid to move the Nigerian film industry and its practitioners to the next level, through its Innovate Lagos Programme recently held the maiden edition of the Nollywood upgrade training and workshops at the PSSDC, Magodo, Lagos. The programme was aimed at supporting and assisting the film industry to withstand challenges such as piracy. The ceremony was opened by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Lagos State, Miss Moji Rhodes. The laudable initiative was the brainchild of Nollywood Workshops, a global NGO
that empowers independent filmmaking through consistent professional training and production. The Nollywood Workshops team is led by Aimee Corrigan, a film producer, new media strategist and digital educator. Also on the team was Bond Emeruwa, a Nollywood filmmaker, former national president of the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN) and incumbent chairman, Coalition of Nollywood Guilds and Associations (CONGA). Others are Robert Caputo, a renowned National Geographic photographer and filmmaker with multiple feature films and Fracco Sacchi, who directs, produces and
edits award-winning films with focus on economic development. According to the team, through a widely transparent application process, thousands of entries were received from filmmakers across the country. “This workshop covered core areas in cinematography, screenwriting, post-production, directing, sound, acting and the business of film and distribution, taught by leading global film professionals. Participants were selected through a competitive and transparent application process that considered their experience, skills and willingness to train others in the industry.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 DAILY SUN
L-R: Sen. Ben Obi, Arco GMD Alfred Okoigun and Dr Greg Ero at the National Gas Conference
Echoes from 2012 National Gas confab •Optimism as participants call for more action on gas as way out of Nigeria’s economic woes
By COSMAS OMEGOH
n each occasion, the Conference Hall of the up market Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja was filled to the brim. Every one in attendance was focused on the big event – the recent two-day 2012 National Gas Conference. It was a gathering that attracted captains of industry and commerce, industry technocrats, government functionaries – major stakeholders in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. Among the high net worth attendees were Dr. David Ige, Executive Director of Gas and Power at the NNPC who represented the Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke; outgoing President of Nigerian Gas Association, Dr. Chima Ibenechel; Ernest Nwampa, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board; Chief Sena Anthony, Member Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Committee; Mr. Bolaji Osunsanya, Managing Director, Oando Gas & Power Ltd. Also present were Mr. Alfred Okoigun, Group Managing Director, Arco Petrochemical Engineering Company Plc., the Chairman of the Board of Arco Chief J.J Akpieyi who is also the former Managing Director, Warri Refinery,
as well as Senator Ben Obi, Special Adviser to the President on Interparty affairs. Indeed, the list of attendees was long. Everyone was united in one accord: improvement in the country’s capacity to become a bigger player in the gas industry on the world stage. The event, which was hosted by the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), was part of the stakeholders’ plan to draw a clearer road map for the country’s gas industry. It was put together with the kind support of active players in the sector including the NNPC; Shell Petroleum Development Company, Total, Arco Plc., Oando, Seplat, Warri Industrial Park, Addaz Petroleum, NIPCO, Chevron etc. Indeed, the programme was well attended. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Allison-Madueke could not make the opening session of the event to deliver the keynote address as earlier scheduled. The Ministry however released an Executive Director for the assignment. The NGA felt pleased with the Minister’s speech as it set the tone for the issues that were to be raised as events progressed. Dr. David Ige, an Executive Director, Gas and Energy at the NNPC did a good job of the presentation of the keynote address. Later that same day, he made a fluent deliv-
ery of his own paper on the gas road map. His conclusions lifted the spirit of the audience that at least, Nigeria is turning attention to her gas resources to salvage the dwindling fortune of the economy and eventually for tangible development. The conference became an eye opener. So many actions are happening on the gas front yet very little information was available in the public domain. In one breath, speakers talked about Nigeria’s road to glory in the gas sector. That was cheering news. In another vein, some experts raised doubts about the nation’s seriousness in pursuing the gas revolution it voluntarily declared. For instance, it was good news to know that Nigeria was until 2010 supplying 10 per cent of the total gas supply in the world market, never mind that she could do a lot more. However, it’s bad news that by 2011, the country’s contribution had dropped to eight per cent and the country is moving down to five percent if care is not taken. The large audience at the conference was downcast when it was mentioned that the Brass Liquefied Natural Gas Project and its counterpart at Olokola were now in fits and starts. The projects were running behind schedule and no one seemed to have the reasons for that and a clue on how to complete the projects. There were more revelations however that gas would play a prominent role in raising the level of power generation in Nigeria to a large extent. Industries that would spring up as a result of the economic use of gas in Nigeria would create millions of jobs. Mr. Bolaji, the representative of Oando Oil and Gas who presented a paper at the conference drew the attention of the audience to the need to saturate the media with information on what is going on in the gas
sector so that a lot more Nigerians would begin to understand the complexity of the activities in the sector. Mr. Okoigun agreed with the views expressed by Mr. Bolaji. He told correspondents that his own company had appreciated the need for dissemination of information and public enlightenment on gas issues for a long time. He said that Arco knew right from the moment of its incorporation that Nigeria ought to treat the issue of gas the same way that of crude oil was being handled. A situation whereby the foreign oil companies mining the oil concentrated on just crude oil and flared away the associated gas was not the best practice in the oil producing countries in the developed world and even in some areas where they operate. Unfortunately, the Nigerian governments at that time were overwhelmed by the sudden rise in the country’s revenue that gas was relegated to a non-fiddle. Mr. Okoigun said his organisation felt so restless about it all that it single-handedly launched a national enlightenment campaign, which targeted the government and other stakeholders in the oil and gas industry. Chief Akpieyi elaborated on what Okoigun had said during the conference dinner. He made reference to 1982 when Arco was still a tottering firm aged less than two years but took up the responsibility of sponsoring an international seminar on gas reinjection. During the seminar, it was disclosed that associated gas from oil wells was not a waste product that should be discarded. It could have been gathered and used for economic purposes. At the time Nigeria was burning off its own associated gas, many of the oil producing countries with similar situations were exporting the gas for revenue. More
importantly, the right technology had been developed to the extent that the gas could have been re-injected into the ground and kept for as long as desired. Arco’s move, many believed could have been what lent weight to the passage of the first set of laws on the need for gas re-injection and penalties, though not tough enough, for gas flaring. Chief Akpieyi also mentioned during his dinner speech at the gas conference that the 1991 Arco/Nigerian Society of Engineers sponsored workshop on ‘Gas as an Alternative Transportation and Industrial Fuel’ generated a lot of interest. Dr. Pius Okigbo who was the chairman of the workshop was shortly after the event named as the chairman of the board set up the Federal government to look after a full-fledged development of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG. The Arco board chairman appeared to have taken his audience by surprise when he said that Arco and Otis Consult sponsored yet another seminar in Lagos on ‘Oil and Gas Management and Financing.’ Against this backdrop, some stakeholders were compelled after the conference dinner to ask if Arco was a fortuneteller. Mr. Okoigun noted that he was abreast of developments around the world on gas issues and felt that someone should bring the facts home for proper appreciation, consideration and actions at his own cost. He went on to say that in further pursuit of this mission, Arco in 1990, sponsored Nigerian technocrats and energy correspondents to the Natural Gas Vehicle Conference NGV ’90 held in Buenos Aires, Argentina as well as to the Gas Exhibition in Brazil during the same trip. Three years later, he went on, his company sponsored captains of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and journalists to the international seminar on Hitech Compressors and Gas Turbines in Florence, Italy. The reason, he said was to enable the beneficiaries of the programme to return to Nigeria and authenticate what Arco had been saying all along that many gas producing nations in the same league with Nigeria were ahead of Nigeria in gas as an export commodity and for electricity generation and industrial purposes. That effort did not go unrewarded as the National Association of Energy Correspondents gave the 1993 Energy Press Award to Arco for its dogged determination to raise the level of awareness of what gas could do to energise the Nigerian economy. Then the GMD of Arco added during the gas conference that he was happier that Nigeria was now a gas exporter and the right attention was being directed towards the use of gas to increase power generation and for the establishment of new gas related industries across the country. He however cautioned against complacency. He said that the Nigerian Gas Association should “stay on the case.” Concluding he said: “The calculated speed with which Nigeria develops her economy around her abundant gas resources will determine the degree of transformation of the nation’s economy and consequently the much talked about improvements in the lives of the ordinary Nigerian.”
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Olaosebikan, ex-Lam’s aide celebrates 50 with disabled From IBRAHIM AKANBI, Ibadan
he inmates of Ceshire Home, Sango, Ibadan, Oyo State capital, an abode for the less privileged and handicapped persons, felt a touch of love and hope recently. They felt remembered when consummate journalist and former Chief Press Secretary to ex-governor of Oyo State, late Lam Adeshina, Alhaji Kehinde Olaosebikan celebrated his 50th birthday with them. It was a birthday unusual as the ex-journalist shunned the urge to mark his golden anniversary in grand style with his family, relatives, well wishers, political associates and elitist friends and decided to remember the dreg of the society. The former Chairman of Oluyole Local Government under the administration of Adebayo Alao Akala said: “My life has always been about sadness. It has always been about moving close to the needy as well as serving and promoting mankind. I think at 50, there is no other way to celebrate my birthday than making it an avenue to extend love to those people by putting smile on their faces and at the same time appreciating the Almighty God. One has to share with those in need, or give out of what had been provided him or her by God. I
will say my coming here today has further expanded my horizon about life. I have not come to celebrate only but to interact with them.” The milestone event took place at the main auditorium of the Ceshire Home, which was filled with visitors and about 20 inmates, some on wheel chairs and a few others mentally disabled. The sight was wonderful and interesting as the celebrant in white attire engaged in series of activities ranging from the cutting of the cake, to the sharing of refreshments and gift items. He also danced with the inmates of the home, who beamed with smiles during the photograph session. Comrade Adeola Soetan a friend to the celebrant and President of Feed Nigeria Initiative, in his opening remark at the event condemned stigmatisation of the less privileged by the society and urged them to move closer instead to the needy. His words: “We should appreciate and show love to them rather than stigmatise or even sympathise with them. They need words encouragement and motivational support. They can be seen as the less privileged, but among them you can find our future leaders and they can also be useful in various aspects of human endeavour.”
•Olaosebikan (in white) and others celebrating with the inmates He called for inventions of facilities that would be designed in a way that benefits inmates of the home. An elated Alhaji Olaosebikan, who told Daily Sun, he felt fulfilled, donated a cheque of N10, 000 towards the building of a toilet for the home. He also urged well-endowed Nigerians to reciprocate by donating to the poor and needy clothes and other belongings. Giving the vote of thanks on behalf of the home, one of the inmates, Mr. Pepple, expressed happiness and gratitude for the kind
gesture by the celebrant, which he said should be emulated by other members of the public. Said he: “I am happy someone could remember and also extend to us love. I pray to God to continue to bless his family and to also grant him long life and prosperity.” The wife of the celebrant, Mrs. Omolara Olaosebikan, amidst joy, sang songs of praises in gratitude to God for sparing the life of her husband, who she disclosed just recovered from a serious ailment. “I thank God for sparing his life. He was in a state we all thought he wouldn’t make it, but I thank God he is hale and hearty to celebrate today.”
NGO grants 19 financial empowerment By RACHAL AGUNTA
t was payday recently for the pair of David Kekere-Ode and Igwe Ifeanyi. The duo were given big cause to smile this season when they were handed the sum of N200, 000 each by Life Track Foundation to boost their respective businesses and improve on their streams of income. Life Track, a non governmental organisation which holds monthly seminars in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, was said to have given out similar packages to tens of indigent folks this year in three of the aforementioned centres. In a chat with Daily Sun, the foundation’s visioner, Dr. Alla Ibanibo, said the organisation is a life- changing platform meant to mentor, inspire, motivate and empower people on how they can improve on their
businesses, life style and thinking. “ Life Track has a humanitarian focus and mindset. We are committed to improving the lots of some people through this programme. It is a reach out thing. Life Track is about life. It is about going to the fundamentals of our values. We have a country so blessed, so rich and so endowed yet we have a whole army of very active segment of the society that is helpless. That is why we are stepping in to fill the gap.” On how the organisation gets get funds, Dr Ibanibo said God has blessed him and he did not want to be selfish. That is why he can give out little, even though he said he was looking forward to when the foundation would be giving out bigger packages in the region of millions of naira to serious minded people so as o improve their lives. “I’ m taking this project as seed sowing venture.
I believe that wealth is not necessarily about the amount of money or material possessions one has. It is about living in the hearts of people. And that is a very fundamental value for me. That is why I am making this sacrifice. When I do what I do, it gives me joy to hear testimonies of how people have been encouraged, inspired, motivated and have once again regained hope that all is not lost after all. That is my reward.” He noted that “we started this programme in October last year and we don’t ask nobody to pay anything. And we don’t collect anything from any body. The seminars, hall and The bneficiaries entertainment are free. Everything is free because we don’t want anybody Ibanibo said: “Basically, my greatest to have any misconceptions about challenge is acceptance. Naturally, our intent and purpose. So we want when you throw out something like people to stay focused that this is a this and you are not demanding money from anybody, people tend to different thing all together.” Speaking about his challenges, be skeptical, especially in the light of
Again, Divine Mandate brings succour to widows, orphans By HENRY UTSALO
or the past seven years, a Lagosbased non-governmental organisation, the Divine Mandate, a faith-based charity organisation, has been a channel of blessing to hundreds of widows, orphans and the underprivileged. Scores of widows and orphans, among others, have benefitted from the benevolence of the organisation. Members of the organisation have visited many orphanages and homes for the physically-challenged and donated food items, princely sums of money and other items to the inmates. Founder of the organisation, Revd Onyido Eugene, said during a recent encounter with Daily Sun that widows are the focus of the NGO for this year. According to him, a programme tagged Vision Support Project has been initiated to empower many widows in Lagos, the nation’s commercial capital. The programme will hold in Lagos on Saturday, December 1, at the End
Time Power Global Evangelical Ministry Incorporated, 213 Kirikiri Road, Osondu Bus Stop, Olodi Apapa. Under the scheme, Eugene noted that many widows have been empowered. He promised that the organisa-
tion would not relent in its effort to advance help for widows, especially those who could not take care of themselves and their children. Eugene stated that many widows would still benefit from the scheme, irrespective of their religious and cultural affiliations. His words: “We don’t have a particular church we are attached to. Anybody from any community or any church can take part in this project. It does not matter whether you attend an orthodox church or a Pentecostal church. What really matters is that you must be a widow to participate in the project. Our concern is to save lives and encourage women.” While urging some widows who were wealthy enough to take care of themselves and their children not to participate, Eugene enjoined poor widows who could not provide for their children to maximize the opportunities in the project. He expressed optimism that the project would restore lives and win souls into God’s
kingdom. Eugene said he was also grateful to the General Overseer of the Christian Pentecostal Mission (CPM), Revd (Dr.) Obiora Ezekiel, a district pastor of CPM, Dr. Tony Akwashiki and De Jones Oil for their support to him and his organisation, saying they have been of immense help to the underprivileged. Eugene said the Divine Mandate planned to establish a school for orphans and those who do not have enough funds for their education. He lamented that many children have dropped out of school because of inability to pay school fees as low as N5, 000. He noted that lack of money has turned many girls who have no parents to commercial sex workers. The founder of Divine Mandate further stated that the Vision Support Project would make many Nigerians to be more patriotic. The project, he said, would assist people in the prisons and hospitals. He also appealed to individuals and corporate organisations to support the needy.
the fact that a lot of NGOs nowadays are platforms for exploitation and abuse.” He said he had the confidence that the organisation would be able to surmount all its challenges. “People are a bit cautious but we will be able to surmount it. We have released funds, though as little as it was because I believe that every great today had a small yesterday. We have done the same in Abuja and PortHarcourt. In all, we have given 19 people financial assistance and we believe that by next year, the number will increase rapidly,” he said. Reacting to the fears that the beneficiaries might fail to invest the money well, Ibanibo said: “We believe they will, because that is why we have spent one year mentoring them. We also have a mentoring team that will continue to monitor them. The exercise is a continues one. We will continue to mentor them and encourage them to have the same spirit of mentoring other people. Expressing their gratitude, David of Broadsky Education Services and Ifeanyi of Golden Havilah Microeconomics Studio Ltd, appreciated the gesture of the coordinator and his willingness to help and assist others. They both believe that the gesture will help them to improve their businesses and better support themselves and their families.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
is excitement knows no bounds; it is so palpable he practically wears his heart on his sleeves. Few people can suppress such enthusiasm if they have had a painful tumour blocking their anus that made faecal excretion a nightmare for two years, especially after spending millions of naira in hospitals only to find a cure in a church without the doctors’ prescribed surgery and at no cost. It was therefore understandable that Maduabuchi Ojukwu, a close relation of the late Ikemba Nnewi’s and a consultant to Innoson Group, manufacturers of motor vehicles and spares and other industrial products, accepted that photographs of his then-diseased anus, complete with his dangling genitals, splashed on the pages of newspaper. But decency prevented the use of the photographs. Also, he could not hold back his passion to tell the whole world that he got the miracle cure from the Synagogue, Church of All Nations, where its founder, Prophet TB Joshua, merely gave him a compact bottle of anointed water which he only sprayed on the malignant tumour on his anus and hey presto! It disappeared pronto. Unbelievable? To convince the doubting Thomases,’ he took the photographs of the spot before and after the healing. “A friend once told me: ‘Are you not ashamed for the world to see your anus and your privates? Why would you even allow another person to photograph your anus?’ And my response is: ‘If I had died, would I have been able to stop anyone from seeing them? So why should I be ashamed to show them to prove what God has done in my life?’” he explained. Ojukwu said so dramatic and
‘How anointed water saved me’ incredible was the recovery that even the male and female doctors who examined him at Nile Hospital, Wuse 2, Abuja, before and after, have joined him in celebrating the miraculous work of God. ‘Both male and female medical doctors I consulted who examined me did their diagnosis and recommended medical surgery to cut off my anus growth and free my anus of painful faeces excreting have joined me to celebrate God’s power.” Has he made this fact known in the church? Hear him. “Oh, I have given testimony in the church, but I feel that the testimony is not enough to reach out to a good number of the Nigerian population, especially those who have not had the opportunity of going to the church or watching Emmanuel TV but who read newspapers on a daily basis. It’s an opportunity for them to be availed of the information, and if they have similar
sicknesses or afflictions, they could then say, oh, they have a place for solace, a place they could go and get succour.” Ojukwu is full of praise for TB Joshua. “Truly, truly, the man is a true man of God,” he enthused.” On how he went to the church for healing, he said, “I never had any fears going there because if I wasn’t led by the Spirit of God to go there, I wouldn’t have gone,” the Anglican-born stated. “Before I went, I prayed and God said I should go, and when you hear ‘Go’ from God, you should move. I heard ‘Go’ from God and I moved and behold! It is history today.” How he was healed. “ God answered my prayers because the Servant of God, immediately I explained my problem to him, because I was opportuned to have a one-on-one contact with him, he stretched out his hand and collected a
•Ojukwu bottle of anointed water, presented it to me and said: ‘Go home and spray it on the spot in the name of Jesus Christ, and I did; and immediately I sprayed it, I noticed the manifestation of the power of God.” Continuing, he said, “That was not all. “Actually, he gave me anointed water and VCDs, gave me the church sticker and other ornamentals, and I didn’t pay any dime for them.” He explains how the healing occurred: “I felt some sensation around the spot on my anus. The sensation lasted for a few seconds and everywhere became calm. I noticed thereafter that the protruding growth on my anus was no longer there.” Just like that? Ojukwu nods in the
affirmative. “I couldn’t feel it anymore. I had to use my hand to dip into the anus to ascertain if what I was feeling was real. And indeed, it was real. I never had the feeling of the growth again.” On the behaviour of the workers said to be sometimes rude and unapproachable, Ojukwu said he didn’t have such an experience but if there was, he attributed it to the general difficulty in the management of human beings especially when they are dealing with the kind of large number of people that patronize the church weekly. Synagogue, Church of All Nations is a place where thousands from all over the world go every week, he stated.
Couple gets twins 12yrs after marriage
•The couple carrying their babies By DAMIETE BRAIDE
orrow may tarry for a night but joy comes in the morning, so says the Holy book. This scripture holds for the family of Ven. Elizabeth Victor Ohaegbu and his wife, Elizabeth. They have every reason to dance like the biblical King David in appreciation of the goodness of God to them. After 12 years of marriage, God blessed the family with twins –a boy and a girl. Extended family members, friends, wellwishers and members of the Anglican Church of the Nativity, fondly called the Arena of God’s Glory, Okota, Lagos State, joined the Ohaegbus in wide celebration. Then young Victor and Elizabeth – the later a graduate of Linguistics from Imo State University, tied the nuptial knot on December 2,
2000. She was 26 then. At that time, the bride just completed her mandatory National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) in Delta State. But little did the couple know that it would take them 12 years before they would become parents. It wasn’t that Elizabeth did not conceive during the period. She got pregnant shortly after the wedding but miscarried it. In an encounter with Daily Sun in Lagos, Elizabeth said: “After marriage, the expectation was to get pregnant and deliver a baby. After three months, I became pregnant and had miscarriage four months later. From then, myself and my husband thought that it was something that would end in a year or two but I didn’t know anything about pregnancy until January 2012. “As a child of God, I kept on believing God. All manners of prayers, fasting, vigils were done but I never lost hope because I knew that the Word of God must come to pass which says
‘there shall neither be a barren woman in the land.’” Medically, Elizabeth stated, nothing was wrong with her and her husband. According to her, that was where the confusion started. She explained that the family had to wait on God and follow His directives. “That is why I called my son, Somachukwu which means ‘Follow God’ and Belusoschukwu, which means ‘If not God,’ she noted. Elizabeth explained that she tried some herbal concoctions at some time, against her husband’s wish, but nothing positive came out of the move. So, she repented and joined her husband to trust God. On how she coped with pressures from her in-laws and parents, she said there was no pressure as they also joined them to petition heavens over the childlessness. She described her parents and her in-laws as good Christians who always stand on the word of God. On whether the situation discouraged her from active services in church as a pastor’s wife, she responded: “No, it made me stronger. It made me to hold God like never before.” Elizabeth also described how she felt when it dawned on her that she had got pregnant. On that day, she and her husband went for a test and the result confirmed she had conceived of a bay. “We looked at each other and the doctor asked us if we had gone for test anywhere, we were a kind saying of it was true. I felt elated,” she maintained. Soon after that, fear came into her life. She suddenaly remembered how she lost her four-
month pregnancy in 2001. But she held on to God, who had shown her in a dream she had in 2006 that she would conceive. But her fear this time was not without basis. She went for a scan and the doctors said they saw fibroid in her womb, adding, “we began to prepare and we started praying. We didn’t fold our hands. We knew that whatever had stopped it for 12 years could still try to shake us but God was in control.” Her advice for couples who are still experiencing childlessness in their marriages is to hold on to God. She enjoined them not to welcome devilish advice, saying the period should be a time to believe God’s word, pray, fast and have personal relationship with God. The promise, she averred, might tarry, but it would come to pass if they trusted God. Speaking to our reporter, Ven. Ohaegbu said: “I was not worried that the children were not forthcoming but I was worried because people were talking and talking. I was anxious because of the situation. A lot of people thought we were impotent but for the fact that in the first year of our marriage, my wife conceived and later had miscarriage. “I believed God has the capacity of doing the impossible thing. Today, I thank God that he has proved to be the God of heaven and earth who has the power to do the impossible. I felt elated when my wife gave birth to twins. “People should cast their burdens on God and He will do it at his own time. Our God is a God of purpose and will. They should depend on the perfect will of God and not the permissive will of God.”
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
City SUN From ALOYSIUS ATTAH, Onitsha
n response to the appeal by the Anambra State government to individuals and organisations to join hands in rehabilitating flood victims in the state, a humanitarian group, Ebube Foundation recently flooded the camps with relief materials. Days after the visit, it was still being talked about in various parts of Anambra even with some of the internally displaced persons describing the donation as unique. Overwhelmed by the rare display of humanitarian gesture by the foundation, a Transition Council member in Anambra East local government, Hon. Augustine Erioba declared that Ebube Foundation and the man behind it must be announced to the world. The crowd cheered at Father Joseph Memorial School, Aguleri as the members of the foundation led by the Co-ordinator, Omeife. I. Omeife began to offload the contents of their truck. This included: 2,500 bags of rice, 2,500 pieces of canned fish, several cartons of bottled water, water tanks and other valuables. To ensure equity and fairness, the foundation divided the materials according to the numerical strength of the displaced persons in different camps. Some camps received between 50 to 250 bags of rice each. Among the camps visited were Umueri General Hospital, Father Joseph Aguleri, Unity Primary School, Umuoba Anam, Crowther Memorial Primary School, Onitsha, New Bethel Primary School, Onitsha, Atani Local Government secretariat camp, Ogbaru and other camps in Odekpe, and Ochuche. Som of the members on foundation who paid the visit were Chief Kevin Ajufo, sectetary, Chief Pius Onwuka, treasurer among others. Addressing the camp co-ordinators at Aguleri,
Joy in Anambra flood camps …As foundation shower gifts on inmates the Ebube Foundation co-ordinator said they came in fulfilment of the commitment of the founder of the foundation, John Nwosu to touch lives positively and to wipe tears off the faces of the afflicted. “We are like the forerunners coming to announce the arrival of the master. We came on behalf of a true son of Anambra and an indigene of Nnewi, John Nwosu. He has asked us to inform you that he feels your pains. What you are experiencing here is a passing phase, which will bring joy in future. We saw the situation first in the papers and the television and decided to come and help in alleviating your sufferings. We urge you to remain steadfast and we shall join hands with the government and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that your lives are reorganised positively even when the flood finally recedes,” he said. Responding, the camp coordinator, Hon. Theresa Okoye thanked members of Ebube Foundation for their noble gesture and also prayed for the actualisation of every good aspirations of the founder. She said Anambra State government had shown adequate commitment to the welfare of the people in camps by appointing a seven-man
•Members of Ebube Foundation with Rt Revd. Ezeofor and Bishop of Ogbaru at the camp committee that oversees the day-to-day activities in the camp. She regretted the loss of one person who died in the camp and promised that the donation made by the Foundation would be judiciously utilised. Ebube Foundation secretary, Chief Ajufo hinted that the foundation had visible presence in all the local governments in the state and had been involved in various humanitarian works. “Coming here to see you is part of our work. We cater for the welfare of the downtrodden and many widows have benefited from our empowerment programme. We have also given scholarships to several students for studies both within
Igbo leader donates items to Warri flood victims From EMMANUEL OGOIGBE, Warri t was a display of fellow feeling recently when an Igbo chief donated various items to alleviate the suffering of flood victims in Delta State. Chief Jonathan Onyema, an indigene of Mbosi in Anambra State handed out items to flood victims from Ijaw ethnic group sheltering at Chief Edwin Clark camp in Warri. Onyema, a chieftain of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Delta South and Central Senatorial District said at the occasion that he was touched by the hardship faced by the displaced persons. “I have been a friend to the Ijaw Community of Ogulagha for over 14 years when I was working with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in various capacities. I must say that the people here were very nice to me,” remarked the Igbo chief who retired as head of the Forcardos terminal. “We are sad with flowing the present predicament which has made people strangers in their own area of residence. This is as a result of the devastation caused by the natural disaster,” Onyema, the Ichie Obi Madukaibie of Mbosi further said. According to him the flood was an act of God which had also ravaged other countries of the world in various forms like tsunami, tropical revolving storms, cyclones, typhoons, earth quakes among others. “You have to endure it, start life afresh and leave the rest to God. We are fully aware that your rehabilitation is a very serious challenge, but we are glad that the state government is taking appropriate measures to contain the devastation caused by the natural disasters,” he said. Chief Onyema who is presently a marine safety consultant, then donated food items such as bags of rice, gari, yams as well as used clothes to the displaced persons. Receiving the items, the Special Assistant to Governor Uduaghan on Special Duties, Mr. Francis Ikpagbi, lauded the effort of Chief Onyema for remembering the people in distress. He likened the gesture of the Ohanaeze
•Chief Onyema presenting the items to the victims Ndigbo stalwart to a section of the defunct national anthem, which says: “though tribe and tongue may differ but in brotherhood we stand.” He promised that the items would be shared judiciously to the displaced persons and called
on private organisations and well-meaning persons to emulate Chief Onyema and assist the flood victims. It would be recalled that a baby boy was delivered few hours before Chief Onyema and his team arrived the camp.
and outside the country but we do all these with little or no hype because of the humble disposition of our founding member, John Nwosu.” Responding, the Parish Priest in charge of St. Joseph Catholic Church,Aguleri, Rev. Fr. Luke Omaliko said life after the flood was a great worry for the victims. “As at last week, we had 6,721 people here in camp and more people are still joining. Kogi people are also here and there is need to provide cassava seedlings and other cash crops for these people so that they will continue to farm when they go back to their homes.” At Crowther Memorial Primary School, Onitsha, the Onitsha South co-ordinator of Ebube Foundation, Hon. Emma Nzediegwu introduced the members and presented relief items to the camp. The camp co-ordinator, Samuel Ozoekwe declared that the glory of God would continue to follow Ebube Foundation. It was another moment of joy and appreciation in different parts of Ogbaru Local Government when the group moved to the area. Receiving the delegation with their relief materials, the Anglican Bishop of Ogbaru, Rt. Rev. Sam Ezeofor acknowledged the humanitarian efforts of the foundation. He said that those who were visiting the area now that flood had started receding gradually might not know the magnitude of damages and losses incurred by the communities. “Fifteen communities in this area are under water and we didn’t have any choice than to run for our dear lives. That was why we set up camps in Ochuche, Ogbaru High School, Central School Odekpe, St. James Anglican Church, Onitsha South secretariat among others. Hunger is here and we thank God that this gift from Ebube Foundation will also add up to other assistance from different groups and government all geared towards the welfare of the victims. We also need vaccines for preventing water borne diseases and other long term measures so that life will continue after the flood,” he said.
Alake’s reign huge blessing to Egbaland – Egba Chief character and patriotism to the community. I have always been a leader wherever I find my self - at the place of work or other social fora. I traditional chieftaincy title holder, Chief guess it is the up rightness people see Muyideen Shokunle of the in me that make them thrust me into Owonikoko community of position of leadership,” he said. Ifelodun Local Government Area, Ogun The Egba chief who hailed from state, has described the Alake of Egba Ilogba-Ota in Abeokuta said that his land, HRM Oba Gbadebo, the Alake of duty as Otun Baale is to ensure that Egba land, as a great leader whose exemthere was peace and tranquillity in the plary leadership skills has continued to community by reporting issues, setbring peace, harmony and development to tling conflicts and working with other the entire Egba kingdom which comprischiefs and grass root politicians to es communities in Ogun States. ensure that justice and fairness were Shokunle said this on the occasion of achieved in the community. his conferment with the traditional title of He paid homage to the Alake, the the Otun Baale of Owonikoko town and Baale of his community, and wished its environs. other Egba chiefs successful tenure in Disclosing that he doubles as the Baba office. Shokunle also advised the Adini (religious head) of his community’s Federal government to seek the paramosque and traditional title holder as the Otun Baale, Shokunle said there was no •Chief Shokunle (2nd right) showing off his certificate mount rulers’ advice on ways to address the Boko Haram menace. confusion in holding the two titles: “The of confirment of title By WOLE BALOGUN
two titles may be of different religious background but they are not antagonistic. In any case, I have got the titles as a result of my good
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
CHURCH World with
Theresa Onwughalu email@example.com 08056361634
eneral Overseer, Pentecostal Canaanland Mission, Inc, Ajao Estate, Lagos, Pastor Nick Medo-Uwa, has urged government, organizations and well to do individuals to wake up to their responsibilities to the underprivileged in the country. He made the call when he hosted children from two orphanages: Hephzibah Homes lbereko, Badagry and Arrows of God Orphanage, Obadore during the church’s annual programme entitled, Laughter 2012. They were led by Miss Eka Konsir and Miss Chiamaka Okonkwo. The cleric, who sang and danced with the children, said he has discovered that the only thing that can give people joy and contentment is when they touch the lives of others positively. His words: “Some of us are blessed not as a result of our hard work or because we are more industrious than others, it is just the grace of God and we should also realize
Medo-Uwa urges Nigerians to remember the poor
•Pastor Nick Medo-Uwa, (right) his wife Pastor (Mrs.) Ebere (2nd right) and members of the church presenting food items and materials to Miss Eka Konsir, Administrator of Hephzibah Homes lbereko Badagry.
that it is God that keeps us alive and need to extend love to people around gives us good health and wealth. us and if that is done, the crime rate If we have this understanding, we will reduce across the country.”
... As AG lifts physically challenged with 231 wheelchairs
s a way of fulfilling its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the General Council of Assemblies of God (AG) Nigeria, through its Special Social Ministries, (SSM), recently distributed 231 wheelchairs to the physically challenged in Enugu and Lagos. The Lagos event where 91 wheelchairs were earmarked for distribution took place at the Apapa District of AG, 7th Avenue Festac Town, following a similar event at Enugu, where 140 wheelchairs were given out by SSM. SSM, an arm of the Mission Department of AG, was created few years ago by the General Council to cater for the underprivileged mem-
bers of the society, particularly the poor, the downtrodden, the blind, deaf and dumb, crippled, emotionally unstable, and mentally retarded. Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), was represented at the event by President of God’s Compassionate Ministry, Mrs. Obie Mordi. Other dignitaries that witnessed the distribution of the wheelchairs were the Acting Consul General, United State of America (USA) Embassy in Lagos, Fred Armand, Evangelist Mrs. Nkechi Eze, wife of Senator representing Enugu North in the National Assembly, Senator Ayogu Eze and relatives of some of the beneficiaries. Similarly, clergymen such as the Assistant General Superintendent of AG, Rev. Chidi Okorafor,
Superintendents of Apapa, Badagry and Lagos districts, Rev Michael Ogunbola, Rev. Henry Ogbonnaya and Rev. Joseph Okafor were at the event and also offered words of support and encouragement to the beneficiaries. Also, at the event were AG presbyters as well as the National Coordinator for SSM, Rev. Georgian Ugah. One of the beneficiaries, Nosa Abacha said the wheelchair gift was an answer to his prayers. He said for long, he had desired to possess a standard wheelchair. Another recipient, Praise Emmanuel (a juvenile), was full of prayers for the donors. Also, Tata Osho, said moving around, had been extremely difficult after his former wheelchair was damaged.
Explaining the programme, he said, “We call it laughter because it is the time that heavens intervene in the affairs of men. According to divine direction and inspiration, God told me that we should gather every year to celebrate Him and that He will come down to bless the people just like in the Bible days of Shiloh. “Part of this year’s event is an empowerment programme for the underprivileged. We set a day apart just to touch the lives of the orphans. We approached two homes to bring the orphans here so that we can pray with them, encourage them and also give them foodstuff. Through this, we want to let them know that though they may not have fathers and mothers but God loves them.” According to Medo-Uwa, the essence of the church is to care for the people. “During Jesus earthly ministry, He preached the gospel, fed the people and also healed them of their diseases. So Jesus cared for both spiritual and physical needs of the people. “The church cannot do it alone; the government should come to the assistance of the people because people’s suffering is increasing daily and there is no way that crime will not increase as long as people are suffering. “So, instead of government to celebrate wealth, they should channel such wealth to the welfare of the needy. They can also establish some vocational centers where many Nigerians can be empowered. Awarding scholarships to the children of the underprivileged will go a long way in helping poor parents.”
Cleric warns young Christians on proliferation of churches young Christians on the proliferation of churches in the country. The regional pastor who made this known while on a visit to Sango Ota district, Ogun State, said that the increase of churches in Nigeria is a sign of end time, adding that the perilous time is here already. His words: “It is saddened that today, some pastors use charms to pull crowd in order to have fame and wealth. Pastor Adeogun (standing) and Many of us are not seeking for the salPastor Elijah Abina (GO) (sitting) vation of souls but income generating. Young believers do not want to be astor-in-charge of Region 7, under any superior rather they want to The Gospel Faith Mission be on their own to fulfill their will and International (Gofamint), not the will of God. God’s will for Michael Adeogun, has cautioned
Nigerians is their salvation and very few pastors found churches because of this.” He further warned: “Do not found church for wealth because when income is not forthcoming, it leads to many devilish practices which are dangerous to our souls. The cleric urged Nigerians to allow God to prove His awesomeness on those who are shedding innocent blood in Nigeria. “According to the book of revelation, let he that’s truthful be truthful, and let he that’s unrighteous be unright-
eous still, He comes quickly and His reward is with Him to give to everybody according to his work. It is not the Nigerian government that will judge but Jesus will come to judge the churches and perpetrators of evil against innocent lives in Nigeria,” he stated. He advised young Nigerians to hear God’s voice clearly before instituting a church because “Moses heard God’s voice, Abraham and Jesus, our Savior heard God’s voice before they went. You must hear God’s voice”, he added.
Be transparent, YWCA tells supervisors to flood victims camps NWABUEZE OKONKWO, ONITSHA
embers of the Young Women Christian Association of Nigeria (YWCA), have charged supervisors of various camps of the flood victims to have fear of God in the distribution of the relief materials donated to victims by governments, individuals and nongovernmental organizations. YWCA also charged the supervisors to ensure that the Federal Government intervention funds voted for the victims get to them intact. The National Vice President of the Association, Lady Chikwue Ochiagha, made the charge recently when she led a delegation of national and Anambra State executive of YWCA to flood victims’ camps in the state to donate relief materials and food items worth thousands of naira. She explained that they were touched by what they read in the national dailies and seen in electronic media about the plight of the flood victims and they decided to task themselves to raise a total sum of N500,000 with which to visit the flood victims in all parts of the country. She was flanked by members of Anambra State Executive Council, including Lady Amaka Anyaegbunam, the state secretary/chairperson of Ogidi branch of the association; Lady Nkoli Chukwura, member, state executive council/chairperson, Obosi branch and Barrister Joy Ikebaku. The YWCA delegation had earlier visited Bishop Crowther Memorial Primary School, Onitsha, and donated some relief materials.
Thoughts for the week Know ye not? That, the Lord is your helper. He will help and preserve you. Friends, Psalm 121: 1-3 say, “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepeth thee will not slumber.” Really, the Lord will defend thee. Until next Wednesday, remain blessed.
Showers of blessings at All Nations Assemble of God
espite the heavy downpour, members of All Nations Assemble of God, Ijegun, Satellite Town, Lagos came out en masse to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the church. The gailydressed faithful sang and praised God all day. Founder, Rev. Peter O. Eche, said: “God has done it for us in the Rev. Eche past12 years. We thank Him for keeping and giving us testimonies. The rain is a blessing to the ministry and it is a sign of showers of
blessings. Speaking on the topic, You have circled too much, Rev Eche said, this means that God has asked them to move ahead adding that, efforts are in top gear for the church to move into its permanent site very soon by God’s grace. Guest speaker, Rev Dr. Peter Sukpa, said the annual thanksgiving service is a time to show gratitude to God for what He has done. “God is merciful to us because He has kept us alive up till this moment. I believe that God is moving the church from one level to another
•Holyghost Mass Choir performing during the annual Night of Mercy, organised by the Holyghost Christian Centre, at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, recently
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
... On their fathers’ graves Continued from back page
And the couple ‘of spoilt children’ soon split. The marriage collapses, and everyone returns to his or father’s house to constitute a silent heartbreak for the parents. Of course, because many of us from poor families don’t see these inner hurts of the rich, and we continue to look up to the silver-spoon kids and their families. We also aspire to such wealth. In the process, we throw away the good thing that we have ( i.e. rising from poor/modest backgrounds to make something of our lives) and instead of passing on that great work culture and ethic to our children, we rather launch them into the life of obscene opulence – to enjoy without working. Our ready explanation for it is: ‘I don’t want my children to pass through the hardship I faced growing up’. It never, for a moment, occurs to us that it was that ‘hardship’ that made us the ‘good’ citizens we are today. That it was that ‘hardship’ that made us realize (and seize) genuine opportunities when we saw them. So, when we die, it suddenly dawns on our children that they actually have no means of livelihood and that it is too late in the day to begin to learn a trade. Although they went to the best schools, they were probably too busy painting the town red to learn anything. They allegedly graduated with top grades but have never put this ‘famed’ learning to use, besides being listed as directors of their fathers’ companies. They have set very high living standards for themselves and suddenly realize, with their father’s death, that the only way they can sustain such lifestyles is to grab as much of their late father’s estate as possible. Everybody in the way of that goal then becomes an enemy that must be destroyed. It does not matter if that person is their brother, sister, mother, uncle, anybody. But even that realization only comes to those of them who are not too stoned to think straight. Others would have been so far gone that their only concern would be for the next fix. Once they get that, they may never even realize that the old man is dead. Luckily, God also has a way of adding to these families woes as soon as the old man is gone. It suddenly comes to light that they may not be the only children the man fathered. The wife who had been parading herself as the ‘one and only’ suddenly finds out that her seemingly faithful husband actually had a full compliment of family elsewhere – complete with wife, children, in-laws and outlaws. She would be lucky if there is only one other family outside her own. And she would also be shocked to discover that some of her most trusted allies in her husband’s family always knew about this other family (or families). Of course, since the Good Lord is the ultimate master of the game, these other children are so physically made that they are the ones that would not need a DNA test for anyone to tell they are their fathers’ sons. So there is usually no controversy over partenity. If they are from a certain cerebral lawyer-politician, they would come out with that trademark UpAwo gap tooth. If they were sired by a certain billionaire politician, they would come bearing those unmistakable roofing-sheet ears. And if they were from the loins of a certain General, they would come with all the bulgy eyeballs and beards. It does not matter whether they are mentioned in the old man’s Will or not. Suddenly, it turns out that the estate they thought could last them a lifetime is almost not enough to pay the next set of bills. So, let the looters go on looting. We shall all meet at the probate, when the time comes for reading of their Wills.
Jonathan: Damaged by style and awful aides W
hen President Goodluck Jonathan casts his eyes back over the past 20 months of his government, he must wonder why a man like him who enjoyed so much goodwill and public support when he served as acting president now courts controversy and bad feelings in the public sphere. Whatever he does, no matter how he evaluates his government, Jonathan must take full responsibility for the blunders committed by his government in the past one year and eight months. His character flaws and his lack of management skills coupled with appalling advice from his platoon of aides have cast Jonathan in the image of a clueless president who is just hanging on, waiting for his tenure to end. Everything Jonathan touches, every decision he rolls out has received negative appraisal in mainstream news media and in online discussion forums. Jonathan, it must be admitted, is facing a highly cynical audience that has lost faith in his government. His profile has suffered. To some people, Jonathan is a secondrate president who should not have been elected. He needs to change his style of leadership and at the same time craft new policies designed to move the nation forward. So far, everything just seems to be falling out of alignment. Look at the way terrorists have been striking very close to the centre of government and the heart of the highest levels of security apparatus in the country, including military institutions that ought to be impregnable to terrorists. Is Jonathan an unlucky president or is he a man weighed down by the misfortunes of governing at a time of rising insecurity and growing public demands on national leaders? Jonathan must understand that he has not impressed Nigerian people with his slow pace of government, and his inability to identify, stick to and work on key issues that should impact positively on the lives of the people. Jonathan has received major knocks because he has paid lip service to the fight against corruption, because he has failed to move beyond rhetoric in his campaign to deal with the much troubled and intractable power sector, and because of his inability to resurrect deteriorating infrastructure, to mention just a few. I would also argue that Jonathan has been undermined by his own uninspiring leadership style, his failure to demonstrate accountability and transparency in government business, his refusal to drop from his cabinet unproductive ministers, the lack of solution to the escalating state of insecurity across the country, and the general feeling in the public that the government talks more but achieves little or nothing. Everywhere you go, you will find that people are disillusioned. They wonder whether they
have a government. The situation is so bad. Perhaps the coming Christmas and New Year holidays will offer Jonathan a valuable opportunity to reflect on the misfortunes that have befallen his government. He should go on a retreat where he would have to reflect on these problems, organise his government better, provide clear direction for his ministers and assistants, and commit to implement more pragmatic programmes designed to improve the lives of ordinary people. By 2015, Jonathan will be judged not by the number of promises he made but by the number of meaningful projects he was able to complete. Jonathan has barely two more years to make a difference and to change the way the public perceives him. He must think quickly about the legacies he would like to leave behind when he departs the stage in Aso Rock. He must operate beyond the realm of promises and step up to the podium of practical achievements in which the accomplishments of his government would serve as irrevocable evidence of what his government has bequeathed to the Nigerian people. If anyone has been questioning why Jonathan has been unlucky in government or why he and his ministers have continued to attract negative press at home and abroad since he became substantive president after the demise of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, it is best to start from his first concrete proposal in office, and on to his unfulfilled promises, including of course his bogus election campaign speeches last year. Soon after Jonathan settled into his palatial presidential home in Abuja, he proposed a seven-year single tenure for the president and state governors. That was clearly a misplacement of priority by a president who clearly ought to understand that Nigerians want the government to assist them to improve their socio-economic conditions. Jonathan’s proposal was widely perceived as self-centred. It brought back to everyone memories of Olusegun O b a s a n j o ’s insidious attempt in 2006/2007 to prolong his presidency by covertly seeking to tamper with the constitution that would allow him to stay longer as president. J o n a t h a n ’s proposal was vigorously criticised by the Nigerian people. In the end, he was exasper- • Jonathan
ated and he abandoned his pet project. But the damage had already been done. A president who was elected on the platform of his promises to improve the lives of ordinary people suddenly turned his back on the people with a proposal that had nothing to do with enhancing the welfare of people but more to do with improving the wellbeing and happiness of the president. That first blunder by Jonathan led civil society to question the man’s capacity to appreciate serious issues that ought to attract urgent national attention. Beyond that, Jonathan showed during his election campaign last year that he was very good at manufacturing meaningless promises. For example, in one of his campaign speeches in 2011, Jonathan said: “We will fight for justice, we will fight for all Nigerians to have access to power, we will fight for qualitative and competitive education, we will fight for healthcare reforms... We will fight to create jobs, for all Nigerians, we will fight corruption, we will fight to protect all citizens. We will fight for your rights.” More than one year since Jonathan was elected president, no one has seen him fight for fairness for the common people. No one has seen Jonathan fight for the underprivileged to access political and economic power. No one has sighted Jonathan fighting for university and secondary school students to have access to quality education. No one has observed Jonathan fighting for public access to improved healthcare. More tellingly, Jonathan’s promises to create jobs, fight corruption and protect the citizens were just as lame as the man who rolled out those pledges. That’s Jonathan for you, the man with unpretentious upbringing. Jonathan also told the audience last year at the heat of the election campaign: “I discovered that by sheer willpower, I could end the long queues and price fluctuations in our petrol stations. Today, all our refineries are working, saving us huge amounts of funds spent on
importation of petroleum products.” Jonathan has been in government for nearly 20 months and Nigerians are still experiencing long queues at petrol stations. Jonathan said that all the refineries were working. Well, if that were to be the case, no one would be queuing for hours and days at petrol stations. No one would be buying petroleum products at cut-throat prices, well above the subsidised prices. It is safe to say that Jonathan has a track record of making dubious promises. That is a fact. As VicePresident and also as chairperson of the presidential steering council of the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), Jonathan promised Nigerians on 16 March 2009 that, within 15 months, they would have stable supply of electricity. More than three years since that promise, the power sector has remained problematic for consumers. Jonathan’s awkward profile has not been helped by conflicting statements on national issues issued by himself and his aides. Here are some specific instances that have exposed Jonathan to public ridicule. During Jonathan’s last media chat on Sunday, 18 November 2012, he denied that the government had entered into negotiations with Boko Haram to end the bloodshed and bomb explosions. He said the government could not negotiate with an organisation that lacked an identifiable public face. However, one of his special advisers had told the nation weeks before the media chat that the government had started small scale negotiations with Boko Haram. Whose version should we believe? Additionally, Jonathan said during the media chat that his government had not revoked the electricity contract awarded to Manitoba, a Canadian company. But, days before the media address, Reuben Abati, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, was widely reported by newspapers to have said that the contract had been cancelled. The newspaper reports were neither denied nor refuted by Abati and the Presidency. Again, whose account is correct? Perhaps the most embarrassing case of inconsistency emerged when the President’s wife, Mrs Patience Jonathan, travelled overseas secretly for medical treatment. Not only did the presidential spokespersons mishandle media reports concerning the health of Mrs Jonathan, they also misled the public in a deliberate manner. Despite the secrecy surrounding Mrs Jonathan’s medical trip, the Presidency spared no expenses to stage a boisterous public reception for a woman whom we were informed had travelled overseas for a well-deserved rest. These inconsistencies and blunders have done incalculable damage to the image of Jonathan and his government.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Prominent Nigerians network on Airtel platform at Night of Influence By CHIDO NWANKANMA
n line with its positioning as the best friends’ network, the Airtel brand Sunday November 18 proved to be the preferred platform for exchange and interaction among high-achieving Nigerians. The occasion was the aptly titled Airtel Night of Influence featuring CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. The brilliant CNN anchor shone brightly as he dissected the political economy of Africa, Asia and America and made recommendations that would help developing nations out of their economic doldrums. For Nigeria, he asserted, rapid growth can only happen with a focus on developing education, providing power and building infrastructure. Former Lagos Business School director, Prof Pat Utomi introduced Zakaria. The speaker harped on the importance of building strong institutions and anchoring policies on merit as the path to progress. The presence of stars and luminaries from various spheres justi-
CNN anchorman Fareed Zakaria meets President Olusegun Obasanjo with Airtel chairman Oba Otudeko and Oba of Lagos Rillwan Akiolu fied the name Night of Influence. Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd), Oba of Lagos Guests included former President Oba Rilwan Akiolu, former Olusegun Obasanjo, Commodore Minister and Bharti Airtel Director
Dr. Kathryn Oby Ezekwesili, former Health Secretary Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi.
GOtv berths in Enugu
etails Nigeria has announced the launch of GOtv, the newest pay television service on the latest Digital Video Broadcast (DVB-T2) technology. The Digital Terrestrial Television was recently launched in Enugu, South East Nigeria. GOtv deploys the latest DVB-T2 standard technology which leapfrogs the outdated T1 system that is still been utilized by some pay television services in the digital migration process. The DVB-T2 technology allows for up to 21 channels per frequency while the DVB-T1 only allows for 12 channels per frequency. With the DVB-T2 technology therefore, GOtv gives countries a dramatic improvement on the dividend of terrestrial frequencies. It offers subscribers
the most advanced technology and broadcast system in Africa and the rest of world to date, and currently the only digital television pay service on DVB-T2 technology in Nigeria. Featuring two bouquets, GOtv offers great family entertainment channels and viewers will be able to enjoy selection of local and international channels; a total of 34 channels for GOtv plus and 26 channels for GOtv at an affordable price. Also, GOtv bouquet and GOtv Plus are priced at a monthly subscription. The complete system sells for Nine thousand, Five Hundred Naira (N9,500). However, as a special introductory offer, we are giving out the GOtv Plus bouquet (which has 34 channels) with the hardware device and three months subscription for only Nine Thousand, Five Hundred Naira (N9,500) only. At
L-R: Mr. Dare Kafar, Marketing Manager, GOtv Nigeria; Mrs. Susan Obi, Chief Broadcast Content Officer (NBC); Mrs. Elizabeth Amkpa, General Manager, GOtv Nigeria and Mr. Segun Fayose, Head of Public Relations, MultiChoice Nigeria, during the Press Launch of GOtv in Enugu State, SouthEast Nigeria, held recently at the Golden Royal Hotel, Enugu State.
the end of three months, subscribers have the option to continue with GOtv Plus or downgrade to GOtv bouquet at a monthly subscription. First launched in Ibadan, South West Nigeria 2011, GOtv offers great family entertainment channels and viewers will be able to enjoy selected local and international channels in the comfort of their homes at an affordable price. “GOtv is uniquely placed to become the home of African television. We firmly believe that there is enough rich content created here on the continent to make a case for packaging great African entertainment and we have committed ourselves to making this a reality thus, offering channels made in Africa for Africa”, said the General Manager of GOtv Nigeria, Mrs. Elizabeth Amkpa. She concluded by saying that GOtv will be giving out the grid antenna for free to early subscribers in Enugu. Subscribers to GOtv would have access to news, children’s programming, documentaries, series, sport, and movies. Some of the channels that will be available to GOtv subscribers in Enugu include AfricaMagic Movies, AfricaMagic World, AfricaMagic Yoruba, AfricaMagic Hausa, E! Entertainment, Discovery World, eTVAfrica, Select Sports, Al Jazeera, CNN, Channel O, Disney Junior, Kidsco, Islam Channel, One Gospel and Sound City amongst others. Subscribers can also look forward to the introduction of an exciting all-purpose martial arts channel which will be introduced in December 2012. So far, GOtv has been launched in Ibadan, Port Harcourt and Lagos and will soon be launched in other cities in the country. GOtv works on a plug and play system and is easy to install. All it requires is a GOtv decoder and a grid antenna.
Prince Ajibola Afonja, chairman, led the First Bank team, and there were Mr Ayo Gbeleyi, Special Adviser/DG Office of Public Private Partnership as well as former Group MD of NNPC Chief Chamberlain Oyibo Present also were Mr Goodie Ibru of Ikeja Hotels plc and Chief Olusegun Osunkeye of Lafarge plc, Chief Tola Mobolurin and Chief Michael Ade Ojo, chairman of Toyota Nigeria and chancellor of Elizade University. From the academia came University of Nigeria Vice Chancellor Prof Bartho Okolo, Pan African University Vice Chancellor Prof John Elegido, and Lagos Business School dean Dr. Enase Okonedo. Media big wigs included Tony Onyima, Managing Director of The Sun, Eniola Bello, managing director of Thisday and Deputy Managing Director, Kayode Komolafe, Editor in Chief of The News Bayo Onanuga, and chairman of MITV Ahaji Busari Muri Gbadeyanka as well as Ms Comfort Obi of The Source and Mr. Akpandem James of Daily Independent. Guests received a copy of Zakaria’s latest work The Post American World, a New York Times best seller that explores “the rise of the rest” of the world and continued growth of emerging markets. Airtel chairman and distinguished industrialist Oba Otudeko was the host with the huge smile as he welcomed the eminent cast of truly outstanding personalities. Airtel used the occasion to leverage its brand further, launching the suite of products in the Airtel Business package as well as offering opportunity for attendees to be not only the first on its new numbering scheme but also to get the privilege of special self-designed numbers. The 0701 number adds to the existing series of 0802, 0808, 0708 and 0812. Introduction of the new numbering scheme soon to be formally unveiled also underlines the significant growth on the network following acquisition and management by Bharti Airtel. Officials assure that the Airtel network has capacity for double the existing 20million subscribers. Airtel is growing subscription at a rapid pace and gaining from its deft deployment of the marketing mix elements of product, price and promotion to the benefit of consumers. It has changed the paradigm in tariffs, as well as in available product packages to enhance the capacity of subscribers to stay connected.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Loya Milk picks Don Jazzy as brand ambassador, as promo takes off P romasidor Nigeria, makers of quality food products, has chosen Michael Collins Ajereh also known as Don Jazzy as the face of its Loya Milk brand. At the unveiling ceremony, the company also commenced an online based promo to give consumers an opportunity to feature in a Loya TV commercial with Don Jazzy. The Commercial Director, Promasidor Nigeria, Mr. Kachi Onubogu while disclosing reasons for selecting Don Jazzy as brand ambassador for Loya Milk, said a brand ambassador will help the brand further reach its target audience. “Our choice of Don Jazzy as brand ambassador is driven by the essence of the brand and its proposition to its target audience. Loya Premium Milk is a brand with class and taste; it is a brand with distinction and excellence, a brand that constantly rewards its loyal consumers. ” Speaking on the promo mechanics, Onubogu made known that Loya milk will begin an online promo new that will run from December 1st till December 31st. “From today, December 1st till 31st December Loya milk will start a new promo. It is going to be an online promo. All consumers need to do is to link up with company’s facebook or log on to the promo website where they will enter their details name,
L-F: Mr. Olusegun Koleoso, Business Development Manager Mr. Kachi Onubogu, Commercial Director both of Promasidor Nigeria Limited; Don Jazzy, Loya Milk Brand Ambassador and Mr. Andrew Enahoro, Head Legal and Public Relations of Promasidor at the dinner/unveiling of Loya Milk Brand Ambassador in Lagos. phone number and e-mail address. Each winner will walk away with a Samsung Galaxy S3 Smartphone, a night in an hotel and also an opportunity to be in a Loya TV commercial with Don Jazzy.” He further made known that the brand Loya Milk is one that stands out as best in the industry and is loved by consumers. “Loya Milk is a brand that is loved and well respected by consumers. It is known to be a brand that never hesitates to give back to its consumers. It is to be recalled that in 2011, the brand
rewarded its consumers with a total of N50m in a promo that lasted for about 90 days. Known for being charitable, Don Jazzy, the new brand ambassador is a multi award-winning Nigerian record producer, singer/songwriter, and current CEO of the Mavin Records label. Recently rated as the 36th ‘Most powerful celebrity in Africa’ by Forbes, he is an avid user of social networking sites with Twitter being his top. Don Jazzy has over 200, 000 followers and noted for giving birthday shout-outs to fans, airtime recharge
cards, and even money via Twitter. Loya is a premium milk brand on the stable of Promasidor. It’s brand promise is to deliver consistent, premium quality milk powder that assists in keeping the family strong and healthy and contains calcium, proteins and Vitamins A and D, essential for the growth of a healthy body. The high calcium milk was relaunched in October 2010 to reposition it as a premium offering in the Nigerian milk market, It is targeted at stylish and sophisticated women who seek the best in quality.
Nokia out with Windows Phone 8 flagship devices, Lumia 920, 820
eading mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia, has unveiled in Nigeria its most anticipated Windows Phone 8 devices, the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia Lumia 820, widely regarded as the world’s most innovative smartphones. Nokia Nigeria is offering consumers the chance to pre-order the devices in MTN stores to secure their units before they hit the shelves early next year and get the new Nokia Wireless Charger Plate for free. The devices which come in a variety of colors, are poised to give consumers the best smartphone experience ever with their unique features, including an inbuilt wireless charging system, Nokia’s new PureMotion HD Plus display with a 1280 x 768 resolution, Nokia Maps and Nokia City Lens, which is a unique augmented reality app that helps users locate places by just holding up their devices. The Lumia 920 also comes with the latest innovations in PureView imaging technology. This includes advanced floating lens technology that takes in five times more light than other smartphones, enabling users to capture sharp, crisp pictures and videos even indoors and at night, without using flash. This is complemented by Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), a first of its kind feature which prevents pictures and videos from blurring when users are on the move. The devices were unveiled in partnership with leading Software maker, Microsoft and telecommunications giant, MTN at the Silverbird Cinemas. Those who buy the devices will enjoy 6 months free internet on the widest network in Nigeria, MTN. Vice President, Nokia West Africa,
James Rutherfoord told reporters and VIPs at the event that the Nokia Lumia 820 and Nokia Lumia 920 are ready for Business with a full Business suite right out of the box, comprising of Microsoft Office suite, Sky Drive and Microsoft Lync. He explained that Nokia hoped to satisfy the needs of business and non-business smart phone owners with its current and future range of Lumia devices. “These are the best devices we have made in the smartphone category and we believe that this is going be much appreciated by our consumers. At Nokia, our focus is to bring the very best of technology to our consumers which aid, excite and benefit their work and social lives,” he said. “In addition to the brilliant applications on the devices, we have launched them exclusively on the widest network in Nigeria, MTN, to enable consumers to have a 360 experience of the various features on the devices. With the groundbreaking technology incorporated in these devices, we are giving consumers every reason to switch to Lumia. What’s more, we are also giving them the opportunity to pre-order the devices in MTN stores and get the chance to win a wireless charger,” he added. “With the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft unveiled a reimagined Windows to the world,” says Emmanuel Onyeje, Country Manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa. “Whether you want to work or play, Windows 8 delivers a personalized experience that fits your unique style and needs. And now, thanks to our partners Nokia and MTN, Nigerians will now be able to get their hands on Windows Phone 8 - the most personalized smartphone there is. ”
As the market leader in innovation, MTN is delighted to partner with Nokia and Microsoft on this highly innovative device. The new Lumia
Windows 8 devices on MTN’s widest data coverage guarantees a truly life enriching experience” says Larry Annetts, CMO, MTN Nigeria.
Olisa appointed Sole Administrator, Rivers State Signage Agency
he Rivers State government has announced the appointment of Mr. Christopher Olisa as Sole Administrator overseeing the operations of the recently established Rivers State Signage Agency. Prior to his appointment, Olisa was an Associate Director at Mindshare Media Agency, a leading generalist Media consulting firm, part of the WPP Global network. His responsibility was to grow the Out Of Home arm of the business, cutting across several blue chip clients. Olisa brings on board to this new responsibility over two decades experience in advertising and outdoor media practice in leading agencies. Athorough-bred marketing communications and brand building expert, Olisa had during his years of practice in top rated advertising and outdoor media agencies such as Ogilvy Benson and Mather, Prima Garnet Ogilvy and Mediashare Nigeria, distinguished himself as a rare brand building expert and marketing communications strategist. Industry watchers are excited at the prospects of his immense proficiency, ability and goodwill in regulating and bringing sanity to outdoor and signage practice in Rivers state. One of the rare stock of well trained and versatile media specialists, his profile and pedigree reveals that Olisa had at different times in his years of practice been involved in the building of leading iconic brands in diverse sectors of the nation’s economy including, Financial services, Telecommunications, Health, Oil and Gas, Insurance, Satellite Television, FMCG and Pharmaceuticals. Saddled with the responsibility of designing the blueprint for the take-off of the new agency, industry analysts and experts have been unanimous in their position that the Governor Rotimi Amaechi led administration is truly one that has mastered the skill of fitting a square peg in a square hole.
L-R: Country Manager, Microsoft Anglophone West Africa, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje; Vice President, Nokia West Africa, Mr. James Rutherfoord and General Manger, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Kola Oyeyemi, at the launch of Nokia Lumia 920 &820, held recently at Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos.
GE committed to sustainable development of Nigeria –Angbazo
azarus Angbazo, the President and CEO, General Electric (GE) Nigeria, has said that the company is committed to the sustainable development of Nigeria. Angbazo made this remark ahead of the 3day 18th Nigerian Economic Summit that comes to a close today. GE has joined forces with the Federal Government of Nigeria in the private and public sectors to support sustainable development in Nigeria, while contributing to the economic development and improved quality of lives for Nigerians. Speaking on the alliance, Angbazo explained that the alliance with the Federal Government, especially in the health, rail and power sectors, is aimed at delivering government priorities for vision 2020. “GE is a trusted and strategic partner
to the Nigerian government and the people of Nigeria. Our commitment to grow in Nigeria with Nigeria is demonstrated by our holistic approach to investments in the country,” he said. Also going on to reiterate GE’s commitment to the growth and development of the nation, Angbazo stated that in providing the infrastructural and technological needs in the power, healthcare and rail transportation sectors, the company’s diverse technologies are well positioned to help the country become a top 20 economy by 2020. “GE is committed to localizing global innovation capabilities, home grown solutions to Nigeria’s problems and collaborating with Nigerian stakeholders to broaden the innovation play whilst building strong partnerships.” “Today, our electrocardiogram and
ultrasound healthcare equipment helps Nigerian doctors with early detection of health risks, health maintenance and preventative health measures. Our rail locomotives are designed to use advance monitoring technology to move passengers and freight across Nigeria, reducing road and port traffic. In the power sector, our superior oil and gas compressors and energy power turbines are helping to boost Nigeria’s oil and power-generating capacities,” Angbazo reiterated while speaking on some of the activities of GE in Nigeria. GE is a trusted and strategic partner to the Nigerian government and the people of Nigeria. Its business activities in Nigeria have grown to involve oil and gas, power and water, transportation, healthcare and investments in various communities.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
FACES AT THE SUMMIT
18TH NESG SUMMIT, ABUJA
FG engages oil majors on improving tax regimes, investment climate ``The PIB introduces priceFrom: AMECHI OGBONNA based royalty for crude prices Abuja beyond 70 dollars per barrel inister of Petroluem and that prices beyond 7 dolResources, Mrs lars per million BTU ``Also, all cost based incenDiezani Alison Madueke yesterday said tives has now been replaced Nigeria is discussing with with production based incenmulti-national oil companies tives, because government revin the country on ways of enues come from production improving fiscal terms under and not from cost. ``This therefore imposes the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which the stricter discipline on cost escamajors consider very lations and de-incentives gold unhealthy for their invest- platting. Alison-Madueke also told ment. Mrs Alison-Madueke, who participants and panellists at spoke in Abuja at the 18th the NES that the proposed bill Nigeria Economic Summit in also seeks to harmonise oil and a panel discussion on ``PIB gas fiscal systems. ``Gas fiscal terms are now and the Future of Nigeria’s Oil Industry,’ described the fiscal being integrated into oil fiscal terms proposed in the PIB bill terms and this is the first time, this has happened in Nigeria. as fair. She said the bill, which is She argued that Nigeria still remained one of the most attractive countries in terms of fiscal regime or ``government take’’. According to her, the total aring any other techni“government take” in the draft calities that may arise - meaning its total share of oil from a proposed public revenues after all taxes and hearing slated for the first royalties - was 73 percent, up quarter of 2013, the House from 61 percent in current of Representatives Tuesday, deals with oil majors, adding hinted it may finally pass the that current deepwater terms controversial Petroleum were negotiated in 1993, when Industry Bill (PIB) by the secoil prices were just about $20 a ond quarter of next year. barrel. This would be coming ``We feel that the fiscal twelve years after the draft of terms are fair and we will con- the executive bill was spontinue discussions with our part- sored by stakeholders in year ners, looking in a way in which 2000, which was also about the both sides of the scale go for- time that the nation’s telecomward.’’ munications deregulation pro-
still before the National Assembly, seeks to provide a legal, fiscal and regulatory framework for the petroleum industry in Nigeria. Broadly speaking, she explained that the proposed reforms in the PIB have been divided into two areas namely the fiscal and non-fiscal reforms. • L-R: Funsho Philips, Chairman NESG with Frank Nweke, DG NESG.. According to her while the non-fiscal reforms relate to institutional and policy reorientation, the fiscal reforms represents the ``largest overhaul of government petroleum revenue system in the last four decades.’’ She listed four central objectives of the fiscal reforms to include simplification of collection of government revenue and capturing windfall profits in the case of high oil prices.
... As Reps move to pass PIB bill in Q2 of 2013
Oshiomhole advocates deregulation of economy He frowned at the present From AMAECHI OGBONNA AND WALTER UKAEGBU, high interest rate among banks, wondering how one would Abuja borrow at 22 percent interest which accounting to him is overnor of Edo State damaging to the poor and the and former President economy. He was of the opinNigeria Labour ion that policy makers play Congress (NLC) Comrade with the high interest rate. Also I believe that the power Adams Oshomole has lent his supports for the deregu- sector should be deregulated lation of the Nigerian econo- even if 10,000 million jobs will be lost. Those who got jobs my. Oshomole who was making through politicians uncles and a key note speech during ple- political associates as you nary session on Economic know may not have qualified Transformation at the 18th to work in the private sector” Nigerian Economic Summit he maintained. He also frowned at the however sounded it loud and clear that he does not believe release of dollars to the that Nigeria should deregulate Buream De change which he said makes the dollar one of for the sake of it. “We should try to under- the easiest currency to come stand the Nigerian situation but by. Oshomole advised that however I am for deregulation those issues should be re- visitif you ask me. It was the failure ed so as to make the interest of deregulation that brought growth to go down. The former labour leader the reckless economic downfall of the west, but I am for disclosed that most successful responsible deregulation,” he economies have followed the path of sensible deregulation said. The Governor asked that as a means of promoting priNigerian people should ask vate enterprise and rapidly themselves what led to the fall growing critical economic secof those industries formerly tors. Recent success stories scattered at Apapa and Ikeja in Lagos which has given way to according to him include East the establishment of Asia, Latin America and comPentecostal churches in those munist countries of former former industries warehouses. Eastern Europe.
gramme teed off. Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, Mr Jones Onyeneri, who represented the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal said while speaking in one of the panel discussions that the house was giving the bill an expedited treatment since it was dear to it as it is to other stakeholders in the industry. Onyeneri who said the bill has since passed the second reading at the House explained that whatever delays anyone was seeing would have been necessitated by the desire to have things done in line with the rule of law. He said “ PIB is the most important bill for us at the National Assembly today. We had to change our agenda to bring in the PIB because the house leadership believes it is one that everybody must speak on at the plenary and we have deliberated on the bill very extensively. The goodnews is that it has passed the second reading and we have now sent it back to the relevant committee which will now conduct a public hearing on it in the first quarter of next year.” According to him immediately after the public hearing the committee will now articulate its findings and forward to the committee of the whole house for final deliberation before its passage. He said from the look of things the house will pass the bill in 2013 so that Nigerian economy will receive the boost that is expected of it from the bill, which observers believe would further open up the economy. Commenting on the fraud allegation against former Chairman of Education Committee, Mallam Farouk Lawan, Onyeneri said the case was still on as a committee set by the House was expected to bring the recommendation to the committee of the whole in plenary.
•L-R: Wonu Adetayo, CEO/MD Softskills Management Consultants with Shola David-Borha, CEO, Stanbic IBTC Holdings
• L-R: Annette Fisher, former President, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) with Yemisi Kuti, NNN GO.
•L-R: Ituah Ighodalo, Pastor with Robert Add-Odiachi.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
BUSINESS NEWS Daily Domestic Flight Schedule
ARIK AIR Lag-Abj: 07.15, 09.15, 10.20, 15.20, 16.20, 16.50, 18.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun). Abj-Lag: 07:15, 09.40,10.20, 12.15, 15.15, 16.15, 17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun); 12.15, 15.15, 16.15 (Sun) Lag-PH: 07:15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.10, 17.15 (MonFri) 07.30, 11.40, 15.50 (Sat) 11.50, 3.50, 17.05 (Sun) Abj-PH: 07.15, 11.20, 15.30 (Mon-Fri) 07.15, 16.00 (Sat) 13.10, 16.00 (Sun) PH-Abj: 08.45, 12.50, 17.00 (Mon-Fri) 08.45, 17.30 (Sat) 14.40, 17.30 (Sun) Abv-Beni:08.00, 12.10 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 08.56, 12.10(Sun) Benin-Abj:09.55,13.30, (Mon-Fri/Sat) 10.50, 13.30(Sun)
PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (PMA) Elcrest brings 50,000 barrels onshore block on stream 1Q 2013 TENOR
RATES% ISSUE DATE
By LOUIS IBA
lcrest Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited is to commence crude oil production activities from its recently acquired onshore oil block (OML 40) as from the first quarter of 182 Day 50,000.00 13.03 07 Nov. 2012 2013, officials have said. The announcement comes at a time Nigeria is 1 Year 47,786.39 13.05 07 Nov. 2012 experiencing a decline in its crude oil production capacity and reserves following an investment apathy by operators who are treading cautiously with investments until the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) MAJOR EXCHANGE RATES – PARALLEL MKT is passed into law. Oil Mining Lease 40 was previously owned by the NNPC and Shell Petroleum (AIRPORT AS AT 9/11/12) joint venture, but the Anglo/Dutch multinational its 45 stake in the oil block to Elcrest in CURRENCY BUYING (N) SELLING(N) divested August this year. USD 154.74 155.74 The NNPC still retains its 55 per cent equity in the block. Shell had been operating the block since POUND ST. 246.6865 248.2807 1975 for the joint venture and experts said only EURO 196.7829 198.0546 about 50 million crude oil had been drilled out of Source: FMDA
07 Nov. 2012
the block so far from seven wells. The entire block is believed to hold a prospect of yielding over 500million barrels of crude oil for the new owners. Daily Sun learnt Elcrest would start drilling activities as from the first quarter of 2013 with an initial 3,000barrels per day production target. The firm would then progress, over a four year period, to increase capacity to the target 50,000barrels per day production. Elcrest, is in itself a joint venture between Eland Oil & Gas and Starcrest Nigeria Limited. According to Mr. Leslie Blair, Chief Executive Officer of Eland Oil & Gas, about 2,000 jobs would be created for Nigerians by the time OML 40 is brought on stream next year. He said the bulk of the jobs would also be executed by indigenous contractors. “We believe that there is a significant exploration upside on the OML 40 block,” Blair said.
Los-Abv: 09.55, 13.30(Mon-Fri/Sat) 10.50, 13.30(Sun) Lag-Enugu: 07.10, 13.45, 18.30(Mon-Fri) 07.10, 14.00(Sat) 10.20, 13.45, 18.30(Sun) Enugu-Lag: 08.30, 12.00, 18.25 (Mon-Fri) 08.30, 12.00, 15.40(Sat) 12,00, 18.25(Sun) Abj-Enugu: 08.30, 12.00, 18.25, (Mon-Fri) 08.30, 12.00, 15.40 (Sat)12.00, 18.25 (Sun) Abj-Enugu: 10.30, 17.05(Mon-Fri) 10.30(Sat) 17.05(Sun) Enugu-Abj: 08.50, 15.25 (Mon-Fri) 08.50 (Sat) 15.25(Sun) AERO CONTRACTORS Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (MonFri/Sat/Sun), 12.30(Sun) 16.45(Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/-Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) Lag-Benin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat) 14.00 (Sun) MED-VIEW AIRLINE Los-Abj: 07.00, 12.00, 15.30 (Mon-Fri) 08.00, 12.30 (Sat) 12.00, 16.30 (Sun) Abj-Lag: 09.00, 14.00, 18.30 (Mon-Fri) 10.00, 14.30 (Sat) 14.00, 18.30 (Sun) Los-Phc: 08.00, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri) 08.30, 13.30pm (Sat) 12.30, 17.00 (Sun) Phc-Los: 10.00, 14.40, 19.00 (Mon-Fri) 10.30, 15.30 (Sat) 14.40, 19.00 (Sun) IRS AIRLINES Lag-Abj: 9.45, 11.45, 2.45 (Mon-Fri), 9.30, 12.45 (Sat & Sun) Lag-Kano: 6.15 (Mon-Fri), 16.30 Sat&Sun Kano-Lag: 07.30 (Mon-Fri), 10.30 (Sat & Sun)
L-R: Executive Director, Business Development, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri; Managing Director, Presco Plc, Mr Uday Pilani and Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema at the Facts Behind the Figures presentation of Presco Plc at the Exchange recently.
Reps begin moves to amend Fiscal Responsibilty Act By IHEANACHO NWOSU and CHUKS AKUNNA, Abuja
he House of Representatives yesterday kicked off the process of amending the Fiscal Responsibility Act with a meeting with 63 Federal Government agencies. Declaring open the session, House Speaker, Hon Aminu Tambuwal, said the time had come to plug the huge leakages in revenues that accrue to the Federation Account by amending the Act that empowers agencies to spend the money they make and return peanuts to the coffers of government. The Speaker was represented by his Deputy, Emeka Ihedioha. Some of the leading agencies include Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Porty Authority, Nigeria Customs and National Maritme and safety Administration Agency. Tambuwal said the “Fiscal Responsibility Act should be amended to bring it into conformity
with the Constitution and strengthen its enforcement provisions. “A situation where actual government revenue and expenditure is unknown because revenue earning Agencies of government spend the funds as they deem fit can no longer be tolerated. A situation where over 50 per cent of actual government revenue is spent outside the national annual budget has put Nigeria in a fiscal crises. It makes our Budgeting System inefficient, ineffectual, and opaque. “It does not promote accountability, transparency, responsiveness and openness that is the hallmark of a democratic government” Tambuwal said the nation was heading for a serious financial crisis if the unconscionable leakages that take place daily in the system was not checked. He observed “For far too long, the menace of revenue leakages has dominated the finances of our country to the detriment of our “economy and wellbeing of the people of Nigeria.
“The Constitution and our laws on revenue Generation and expenditure has been observed more in breach. For the avoidance of doubts, the Constitution has provided elaborate methods of revpoue collector1, revalue remittances and expenditure approvals.” He submitted that the “method of remitting the revenue and the Government Account or Fund where it may be remitted may be different but there is no room whatsoever for discretionary approach to revenue and remittances.” He stressed that “Indeed the Constitution establishes the Federation Account (S.162); The Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation (S.80 (i); and other Public Funds (S.80). All revenue must be paid into any of these funds set up by the Constitution. If by an Act of the National Assembly, an agency is set up for a specific purpose, (S.80 (i), revenues from such Agency is not for the discretionary use of the agency. Such revenues are public funds not private funds.”
OVERLAND AIRWAYS LAGOS LOS - ILR Mon - Fri 0715hrs LOS - MNA Mon, Wed & Fri 0715hrs LOS - IBA Mon - Fri 0715hrs
Fuel subsidy scam: PPPRA saves N671bn in 10 months – Stanely
IBADAN IBA - ABV Mon - Fri IBA - LOS Mon - Fri
From DENNIS MERNYI, Abuja
ILORIN ILR - ABV Mon - Fri 0900hrs ILR - LOS Mon - Fri 1630hrs ILR - MNA Mon, Wed & Fri 0900hrs MINNA MNA - ABV Mon, Wed & Fri 0920hrs MNA - ILR Mon, Wed & Fri 1520hrs MNA - LOS Mon, Wed & Fri 1520hrs ABUJA ABV - ILR Mon - Fri ABV - IBA Mon - Fri
… Says agency shrank number of briefcase marketers from 128 to 38
he Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) broke its long silence since the discovery of the monumental fraud in the fuel import scheme by announcing that it has successfully saved over N671billion in subsidy claims. PPPRA Executive Secretary, Reginald Stanely who made the disclosure in Abuja explained that the feat was achieved through the deployment of stringent and proactive reform initiatives being put in place in the management of fuel importation as he also disclosed that his agency has been able to shrink the size of briefcase marketers from 128 to only 38. Highlighting the payment data in the course of the year, he affirmed that, “out of the N679 billion sub-
sidy payment made between January and October, the NNPC got N337.7billion, while other marketers received a combined figure of N342 billion. This is as against N1.351 trillion paid within the same period last year (January to October).” Mr. Stanley said that the figure represents 49.7 per cent when pitched against the October, 2011 subsidy payment of N1.3 trillion on PMS stressing further that the figure is likely to rise by the end of the year. According to him, ‘we have also been able to shrink the size of briefcase marketers from 128 to only 38. “In other words, we successfully cleaned out 90 companies, while setting stringent regulatory conditions which would make it difficult for mar-
keters to short-change the system. “Our efforts have not stopped here, as we are more than determined to refer any matter to the EFCC, should we notice any infraction,” he disclosed. Mr. Stanley identified the support of the dedicated and hard working staff of the agency as being key to the achievements so far in the regulatory agency. In his words, "the Federal Government has done extremely well in the area of halting fuel subsidy scams in the country. Today, such efforts at transparency and accountability are beginning to yield positive results.’ The PPPRA boss averred that the new agency remains a model organisation that is alive to its responsibilities, as its activities within the past year have pointed to the fact that a lot is being done to sanitize the sector and make it both sustainable and profitable for honest operators.
47 Monday, BUSINESS August 1, 2011 49 NEWS
DAILY SUN Wednesday December 5, 2012 DAILY SUN NAME OF CURRENCY BUYING
US DOLLAR 154.74 155.24 POUNDS STERLING 246.6865 247.4836 EURO 196.7829 197.4187 SWISS FRANC 163.0902 163.6172 CFA 0.2814 0.2914 WAUA 235.6235 236.3848 YEN 1.9535 1.9599 YUAN/RENMINBI 24.7757 24.8562 RIYAL 41.2607 41.394 DANISH KRONA 26.38 26.4653 SDR 236.3808 237.1446 Official exchange rates as at 9/11/2012
SELLING 155.74 248.2807 198.0546 164.1442 0.3014 237.1462 1.9662 24.9368 41.5273 26.5505 2379084
Call 7 Day 30 Day 60 Day 90 Day Source: FMDA
10.8333 11.1250 12.2083 12.5833 13.2500
-1.33 -1.67 -1.62 -1.68 -1.52
09 Nov, 2012 09 Nov, 2012 09 Nov, 2012 09 Nov, 2012 09 Nov, 2012
FG to boost SMEs funding, creates 5m jobs By GBADAMOSI OLADIMEJI
ederal government is set to reduce the cost of accessing funds by SMEs within the lifetime of the current administration as part of strategic efforts to create jobs, generate wealth and enhance economic growth. Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, disclosed this in Lagos. He said that he has already directed the Bank of Industry (BoI) and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) to collaborate on creating about 5 million jobs within the next two years. The cost of accessing funds to start and run SMEs includes costs associated with securitization as well as Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) processes among others. With the presidential directive that
the BoI, which lends at single digit interest rate be recapitalized, many more SMEs will be able to access cheap funds at minimal cost when the cost reduction process is completed, the minister said. He noted that SMEs empowerment had become the main economic growth strategy all over the world, considering the high employment generation capacities of SMEs, adding that with about 17 million SMEs in Nigeria, the creation of five million jobs was very possible. “Recent data provided by the national MSMES collaborative survey undertaken by SMEDAN and the National Bureau of Statistics put the number of MSMES in Nigeria at 17,284,671with total employment put at 32,414,88. He noted if each of the SME is empowered to create one job each, that makes about 17million jobs, if 50 per cent of this figure create one job each, that means 8.5 million jobs will be created.” he said.
International Flight Schedule
Ethiopian Airlines Lagos-Addis Ababa (daily) Departure time: 12:15 pm, Arrival time: 1:15 pm Contact no: 014611869/029
BRITISH AIRWAYS Lagos-London Heathrow (daily) Departure time: 11 pm, Arrival time: 5: 50 pm Contact no: 012792690 0r 014615870-5 TURKISH AIRLINES Lagos-Istanbul Mon, Tue, Thur Sat Departure time: 10: 10 pm, Arrival time: 8: 10 pm Customer care no: Not available DELTA AIR Lagos-Atlanta (daily) Departure time: Btw 3pm and 5pm, Arrival time: 10:30 am Contact no: 014483111 EMIRATES Lagos-Dubai Daily (2 flights) Departure time: 3pm, 8.50pm, Arrival time:1pm, 6pm Contact no :01-2717600 LUFTHANSA Lagos-Frankfurt (daily) Departure time: 10:05 pm, Arrival time: 19:08 Contact no: 014612222, 0414480963 AIR FRANCE Lagos-Paris (daily) Departure time: 11 pm, Arrival time: 14:14 pm Customer care no: 01-4610777, 012617959 SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS Lagos-Johannesburg (daily) Departure time: 10:30 pm, Arrival time: 8 or 9 am Customer care no: 2702681-5
Product Manager, UBA-MoneyGram Services, Mrs Stella Okojie; Group Treasurer, UBA Plc, Mr Emmanuel Onokpasa; a customer, Mr FestusOye Udunukan; Business Development Manager, Anglophone West Africa, MoneyGram International, Mrs Oluwakemi Okusanya, during the UBAMoneyGram 15 years Anniversary promo draw, held at UBA House in Lagos yesterday.
PIB: FG to privatize refineries in 18months From AMECHI OGBONNA, Abuja
s part of its strategies to enthrone a new dawn in the nation’s oil and gas sector, the federal government Tuesday indicated its intention to sell all of the nation’s four refineries over the next 18months to set stage for a more efficient downstream industry. Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diazeni Alison- Madueke, who stated this in a panel discussion at the ongoing 18th Nigeria Economic Summit in Abuja, said the decision was part of the fallouts of the Dr Kalu Idika Kalu Committee set up by the government to review the state of the nation’s refineries. The disclosure is coming as the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, stated at the opening ceremony of the NESG that government
was still considering the options of embarking on Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of the refineries or selling them outright to private investors. Although she did not say how much equity government would be expected to retain in the companies after the sale, the minister explained that a special committee set up by her ministry to review the recommendation has already held very crucial meetings with President Goodluck Jonathan and that the implementation of the privatization programme of the refineries would be completed over the next 18 months. Alison-Madueke pointed out that though it was a very popular and easy decision, government was determined to proceed with the project of privatizing the refineries to make the downstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum industry more efficient and competitive. She stated “Government wants to strike a balance in the privatization of these parastatals”
According to her, a national oil company of Nigeria would be incorporated under CAMA to handle supervision and regulation of the downstream and upstream sector. The minister also pointed out that the assets of the industry would now be managed by a new national Asset Management Corporation (NAMC) that would specially be created for that purpose with two loans. She stated that the passage of the Petroleum Industry (PIB) now before the National Assembly will turnaround the fortunes of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, as NNPC will be unbundled into three independent companies with two regulatory and supervisory entities Alison- Madueke also assured that the synergies arising from the exercise will increase Nigeria’s reserves through a robust and more efficient acreage management, adding that PIB will increase the participation of new players in the sector as the constraints that have impaired entry into the business.
Nationalised banks saved depositors N800bn – NDIC By OMODELE ADIGUN
ustomers of the three nationalized banks with various savings should now be thanking their stars as their total deposits of over N800billion would have gone down the drain with loss of close to 7,000 jobs had the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) not intervened in the lenders’ affairs through the bridge bank option. According to the Managing Director of NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, who dropped the bombshell Tuesday in Lagos at the opening ceremony of the International Association of Deposit Insurers(IADI), the bridge bank option became a cost-effective resolution option that has helped to boost both creditors and deposi-
tors’confidence in the nation’s deposit insurance and banking systems. Umaru explained that the bridge bank option, adopted in 2011, is still novel within the Africa Regional Committee. “Through the adoption of the bridge bank option, the sum of N809.4billion total deposits, as well as about 6,667 jobs of the three banks were saved”, he added. The NDIC boss stated that the Corporation was able to achieve this feat despite enormous liquidation-related challenges, such as poor funding and low public perception, confronting the organization. He explained: “They arose from the loopholes that existed in the NDIC Act and which the bank owners often exploit to scuttle the liquidation process initiated by the Corporation. This particular challenge earned the corporation a Materially Non-Compliance rating on IADI Core Principle 17 by the IADI assessors during
the December 2011 Core Principles Compliance Assessment that was carried out on our Deposit Insurance Systems (DIS).The outcome of the assessment exercise has, among other things, caused the corporation to seek for amendment to its enabling Act so as to strengthen its resolution process as well as enable it discharge its mandate more effectively.” On funding, Ibrahim said that the size of NDIC Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF), relative to the quantum of insured deposits in the banking system , is far from being ideal. Adequate funding is critical to the effective implementation of DIS. Premium contribution by insured institutions constitutes the bulk of funds available to NDIC for the discharge of its mandate. The cumulative premium contribution by the insured institutions is referred to as DIF.It is due to this that the Corporation has since been paying close attention to the growth of the DIF.
QATAR AIRWAYS Lagos-Doha Daily Departure time: 9:45 am, Arrival time: 7:55am Contact: 012798888/014633333 KENYA AIRWAYS Lagos-Nairobi (daily) Departure time: 11:05 am, Arrival time: 10:42am Contact: 012719433 EGYPT AIR Lagos-Cairo Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri & Sun Departure time: 2pm, Arrival time: 1pm KLM Lagos-Amsterdam (daily) Departure time: 11pm, Arrival time: 8:30pm Contact: 01-4610777, 01-2617959 VIRGIN ATLANTIC Lagos-London Heathrow (daily) Departure time: 10:20 am daily, Arrival time: 5:30 am Contact: 01-4612750, 01-4612747 ARIK AIR Lagos-London Heathrow (daily) Departure time: 10:05pm Arrival 7.00pm Lagos-New York Tuesdays and Thursdays Departure time: 11:20pm Arrival 6pm Lagos-Johannesburg (daily) Departure 11.15pm Arrival 4.15pm Lagos-West Coast (Freetown, Banjul & Dakar) Mon, Wed & Fri Departure 8:00am Arrival 6.45pm Lagos-Accra (daily) Departure 8.00am, 5pm 8.45pm, 5.45pm Contact: 01-2799999.
DAILY SUN Wednesday, December 5, 2012
BUSINESS NEWS Okumagba backs Sanusi on government spending
anaging Director of BGL Limited, a stockbroking and investment management firm Mr Albert Okumagba yesterday threw his weight behind governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Lamido Sanusi over his call for optimization of government spending to release more funds f development projects. Commenting on the controversy generated by a recent statement in which the governor was quoted as calling for the mass rationalization of Federal Government employees, Okumagba said the call for proper allocation of government spending has become imperative considering the huge infrastructural needs of the nation. Okumagba said the controversial issue of staff rationalization in federal establisment was something that must be handled
because it is critical to the development of infrastructural development that grows the economy He explained that the idea was one that some states of the federation including Lagos and Akwa Ibom states have since began, having recorded very impressive records in infrastructure development. While pointing out that such adjustments that will free funds for capital project financing, Okumagba said, this could also be achieved by training and retraining government employees to a level where their level of productivity would be enhanced. According to him, government business is serious President Goodluck Jonathan (r) receiving the 2011 Annual Report of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission business which ought to be (ICRC) from the Chairman, Chief Ernest Shonekan, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on yesterday. handled by the best minds in the economy, stressing that with the best brains working for government most of the problems rampant in the public sector will be a thing of the past. By CHIMATITUS NWOKOJI FRC, Obazee Jim Osayande ry authorities or risk adminis- ing that registration with the
SAS 32: FRCN demands standard accounting method from NGO’s, religious orgs
‘Insecurity is Obstacle to Nigerian economy’
and CHIMZURUM NWAOCHA
By JAMES AKWU
resident, Society of Security Practitioners of Nigeria, Mr. Davidson Akhimien, has lamented the spate of insecurity in the country; saying that it is one of the major obstacles to the development of the Nigerian economy. Speaking at the November 2012 Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN) Awards held in Lagos, on the topic: “Rising up to the Rising Security Challenges in Nigeria,” Akhimien said insecurity is one of the major causes of foreign companies relocation to other countries. He stressed that so many companies have found their ways to other countries due to security challenges facing the country. In his words on the effect of insecurity on the Nigerian economy “What I want to point out to you is that security challenge is not only dealing with crime but also, the economy of the country. Insecurity is the major obstacle to national development; it is only in condition of peace and security that most foreign direct investment can strive, but due to the insecurity in our country, most of the foreign investors have been driven away to other countries.” He said there are some challenges facing the Nigerian economy. Such challenges according to him are: Arm robbery, political assassination, vandalization of public infrastructure, religious intolerance, burglary, decadence and above all corruption. To overcome the challenges, Mr. Akhimien said the public
security agencies should know their roles in securing the country; the private security should not be left out in their roles to securing the nation. He further stated that corporate organizations in the country should be supportive to ameliorate these challenges, adding that they should see themselves as the direct beneficiaries of security in the country. In his words “the direct beneficiaries of security in Nigeria are the private organizations; it will help develop the country’s economy if these organized bodies can as well rise up to these challenges rather than leaving everything to do with security to government.”
BA launches leaders for tomorrow in Nigeria
ix lucky students from Nigeria will have the opportunity to spend four days working at British Airways head office at London Heathrow. Their exciting internship will include shadowing Keith Williams, British Airways CEO for a day in London and shadowing Kola Olayinka Country Commercial Manager Nigeria for a day in Lagos, to get a unique glimpse into the workings of a global airline.
The competition will be open to all schools and universities across Nigeria to find the six top performing students who will have the rare opportunity to spend time with the leaders of British Airways, and to advise British Airways on what customers of tomorrow are looking for, from a global airline. All of the interns will receive a British Airways accredited certification to mark their graduation from the Leaders of Tomorrow.
t shall no longer be business as usual for NonG o v e r n m e n t a l Organizations (NGOs) and all registered religious organizations in terms of accountability, as the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN), has demanded compulsory adoption of a uniform accounting standards known as SAS 32. At the presentation ceremony held at Sheraton Hotels Lagos, the executive secretary/Chief Executive Officer,
said SAS 32 is expected to establish a uniform basis for accounting and reporting of activities of Not-For-Profit organizations. According to him, financial statements of NGOs are not uniform and comparable. They differ from one type of institution to another, and sometimes among institutions of a particular type, therefore time has come for promoters or members of charitable and religious organizations to render proper, uniform accounting to their stakeholders and present same to appropriate regulato-
trative, civil and criminal sanctions. “This statement establishes measurement, recognition, presentation and disclosure standards for financial statements of Not-For-Profit organizations. “You cannot take money from the citizen and walk away unconcerned. So long as these organizations are registered as companies limited by guarantee, government rules must be applicable to all of them. Going forward, non-registered organizations should get registered or risk closure” he said stress-
Okada ban: Importers send SOS to Govs, FG By DAVID ONWUCHEKWA, Nnewi
newi Importers Association has sent SOS to the federal government as well as state governors who banned okada operators in their various states which the association said had come along with its down turn in business, describing the policy as counter productive and injustice to the low income group. Speaking to reporters at the office of the association in Nnewi, its Chairman, Pastor L.O .Chukwuma said that government had lost sight of the vicious circle of the ban and also been insensitive to the plight of thousands of okada riders affected by the ban and their dependants that had been thrown into untold hardship. “How can you fight crime with unemployment because when thousands of okada riders are thrown out of business without an alternative means of livelihood, how then do you expect crime to reduce. “By that action you have not just banned okada riders, you have put thousands of motorcycle mechanics out of job, dealers in motorcycles out
of business and these people affected have chains of dependants they take care of. What do you think will be the result of it? In fact this is economic Boko Haram, to say the least,” Pastor Chukwuma said. He noted that Sport Utility Vehicles and GSM telephones were used to commit heinous crimes and wondered why government had not banned them, “or is it because okada riders belong to the lower
class.” Government, he said, should rather take pro-active measures including installation of street cameras to capture criminal activities and other intelligence gathering “other than creating problems to solve problems.” He said that any okada man caught in crime should be treated as an individual and not a blanket ban of the operators.
Corporate Affairs Commission is now done within 24 hours and can be done online. The scope of SAS 32 covers fund accounting for organizations to provide a brief description of the purpose of each fund reported; inter-fund transfers which do not result in increases in the economic resources of an organization as a whole are reported. Accounting for NotFor-Profit organizations shall include: statement of accounting policies, statement of financial position, statement of activities, statement of changes in net assets, statement of cash flows, notes on the Accounts, and fiveyear financial summary. Challenging Churches to be more responsive to accountability, Osayande said compliance with accountability “is even what religion preaches.” Religion he said teaches people to be accountable to how they live their life here on earth so that when they get to heaven they will not have complications.
US, Nigeria conclude bilateral talks on trade and investment framework From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
he Assistant United States Trade Representative for Africa, Florizelle B. Liser, on Monday met with the Nigerian Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga over the progress made during the seventh meeting of the US-Nigeria Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council. Liser and Aganga discussed several common objectives, including market access, cooperation in the World Trade Organization (WTO), issues affecting the commercial environment, implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA),
Intellectual Property Rights, and improving the bilateral investment climate between the United States and Nigeria. Nigeria is the United States' 14th largest goods trading partner with $42.2 billion in twoway goods trade in 2008, an 18 percent increase over in 2007. “Under our TIFA, we worked cooperatively with Nigeria over the years to make significant strides towards improving the environment for business and trade. “The US-Nigeria Trade and Investment Framework Agreement is part of a comprehensive US effort to support the Nigerian Government's efforts to advance trade and economic development. “We are using the USNigeria TIFA Council to devel-
op specific initiatives to expand economic opportunities for workers, farmers, businesses, and consumers in both of our countries,” Liser stated in a statement made available to Daily Sun in Abuja. The United States-Nigeria Trade and Investment Framework Agreement was signed in 2000. The agreement provides a mechanism for regular, highlevel dialogue on enhancing US-Nigeria economic ties and improving coordination on multi-lateral and bilateral trade and investment issues. The total US-Nigerian trade was valued at $38.5 billion in 2011, nearly 12 percent from 2010, largely due to higher oil export volumes and prices.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
‘Win in Japan or get sacked’
55 No drug test yet for athletes By MONICA IHEAKAM
ko 2012 Sports festival athletes have so far maintained a clean slate in the areas of doping. The medical commission for the games has confirmed that no urine samples have been taken for dope testing since the beginning of the festival. Daily Sunsports checks revealed that no athlete has been tested even as they confirmed that everything required for carrying out such test is provided. A source at the Rowe Park Medical Centre disclosed that it has been smooth sail so far. “No such tests or cases related to doping has been received. Perhaps, it will come as the games progresses, but so far, no such thing has been brought to our attention. “The situation is, indeed, a heartwarming development as athletes are beginning to understand and appreciate the damming consequences of loading their systems with banned substances. Interestingly, flexi banners condemning doping and warning athletes to resist indulging in performance-enhancing substances are conspicuously displayed at all the venues for the games.
As Eko 2012 battle shifts to athletics, Ojokolo declares
Rivers ’ll swim in gold By GEORGE ALUO
ormer African female 100m champion, Endurance Ojokolo, now Rivers State athletics coach, has declared that it will be fight to the finish as the athletics events of Eko 2012 hot up at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. Rivers is expected to give Delta, Lagos and Edo a good
•Action from the soccer event of Eko 2012. Photo: AYODELE OJO
Continued on page 52
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 DAILY SUN
Ondo zooms to finals of volleyball event
Eko 2012 Festival
Anambra’s boxer selected for national camp O
• Beat Imo 3-1
By MADUABUCHI KALU
abastine Uche, 67kg boxer, who gave good account of himself though lost his bout against the boy from Ondo State, was yesterday selected by the Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF) for trials. In a chat, Uche said that he was ready to wear the shoes of Samuel Peters if given the necessary training and support. “I’m happy fighting at the ring, even though I lose my fight to my
opponent from Ondo State, I think I have proved myself. This is my first time of fighting in such a competition, and I did not train enough, if I had trained well enough, I would have given that guy a knock-out. But I want to assure you that if we meet again in the ring, it is going to be a different ball game. My dream is to become a professional boxer, I have always wanted to be a boxer, and thank God that I have the opportunity now. All I want to ask for is support of our state govern-
ment. You can see that many of us from the East have not done very well, we need good facilities for training, so that we can equal our contemporaries form other states. I promise that if I have the opportunity to be in the national camp, I will make Nigeria proud. And government should also support the development of other sports. I’m happy that I represented Anambra State in this festival. We are not there yet, but give us time we shall get there,” he said.
Imo basketball team disqualified
•400m men at the Eko 2012 games. Photo: AYODELE OJO
By MONICA IHEAKAM
Operation Calabar 2014!
Athletes seek highest bidder By MONICA IHEAKAM
s EKO 2012 National Sports Festival is gradually winding up, athletes have started spreading their tentacles in search of states that would offer them better contracts ahead of the 2014 games to be staged by Cross Rivers State. The athletes have subtly wormed there ways into the hearts of some state officials who are equally on the lookout for a good buy to execute the next festival.
Daily Sunsports’ investigations revealed that the various games villages have become a negotiation ground for scouts from states and willing athletes on the prowl for greener pastures. It was gathered that athletes whose states have failed to adequately provide for them especially in the areas of paying them daily allowances since the beginning of the festival and offering them employments in their sports councils have laced their running shoes to join other states.
Swimming: Delta in early lead By MADUABUCHI KALU
fter the conclusion of the seven events of the first day in swimming, Delta State has taken an early lead having won three gold, two silver and two bronze medals. She is trailed by Ondo State with two gold and one silver, while Lagos state is placed third with one gold and two bronze medals. Edo is placed fourth with one silver and one bronze medals. According to the Secretary General of the Nigeria Swimming Federation (NSF), Mrs Gloria
Ekwempu, 19 states registered for the swimming events of the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival tagged: ‘Eko 2012’. So far, only four states have put their names on the medals table and it is expected that at the of the second day of competition at the swimming pool of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surelere more states would register their names on the medals table. However, it is yet to be known whether any state can topple Delta State because swimming is another area of strength for Delta State, even as the state is still leading on the medals table.
ndo State yesterday qualified for the final of the volleyball event of the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival (NSF) taking place in Lagos. The Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s boys showed why they are the defending champions of the event as they equally won the event last year at the Garden City Games in Port Harcourt. The Ondo State boys showed the stuff they were made of as they came from behind to beat the Governor Okorocha’s boys 3-1 to qualify for the finals. The Imo State Volleyball ball team disappointed its fans, who had thronged the venue cheering the players. The Imo team had given the fans hope in the first game as it won in record time only to relapsed and defeated by the Ondo team at the Volleyball court of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere. While speaking with Daily Sunsports at the venue of the match inside the volleyball court of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, the coach of the victorious Ondo State volleyball team, Pastor Adesoji Ahmed, expressed gratitude to God for his team’s qualification to the final despite what he described as kangaroo arrangements and intimidation to edge his side out of the competition. He equally expressed hope that his boys would defend the tittle they won in Port Harcourt last year. Pastor Ahmed, speaking further, expressed gratitude to the state governor for his encouragements to volleyball. He said outside football, volleyball was the next sport that Governor Mimiko has really done much for and on their part, they have reciprocated by doing the state proud in various competitions. He noted that if the same hand of fellowship was be extended to other sports in the state, the Sunshine State would certainly be a Mecca of sort for sports in the country. He promised that his team would continue to do the state proud in its further sporting engagements. He also paid tribute to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs, who he said is the patron of the Ondo State volleyball team, who happened to be a former volleyball player. An excited Patron of Ondo Volleyball team and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs, Hon.Temitayo Oluseyi Oluwatuyi, making his views known after the interesting match, said he felt on top of the world as his boy zoomed to the final of the volleyball event of the on going games. He expressed hope that his wards would defend the medal they won in Port Harcourt. “Having qualified for the final, I hope we are going to win the gold medal back to back. “As a patron of the team, I feel on top of the world and the team has really done the state proud both within the country and outside the country. I thank God that despite all the kangaroo arrangements and intimidation, we are able to qualify for the final and I hope that we triumph at the final. “If we are pitched against Lagos, we will not be intimidated, rather it will bring out the best in us, even if they bring all Lagosians to this court, we will never be intimidated. “I will even like my boys to face Lagos because the coach of Lagos volleyball team happened to be my coach. I would like to show him that what he taught us, we have been able to impart to our boys,” he said.
Dozen of athletes interviewed and who don’t want their names in print said that they are ready to go to the highest bidder. The athletes said they were not in Lagos to count bridges, but to lay foundations for better tomorrow; take up contracts from states that understand the gimmicks of attracting the best athlete to win medals. According to them, the National Sports Festival is an avenue for them to make good money and they already have in mind the states they would love to work with for the next festival. Interestingly, Cross River which is the host state for 2014 top their list of choice states, followed by Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Edo and Lagos States. “We didn’t come to Lagos to count bridges; we are here to find our level. the athletes quipped “We know where the money is, the states that are ready to spend money and we are on the lookout to doing business with them. “Most of us have suffered from our various states because of their attitude and lip service approach to the sports festival “Our contemporaries who have pitched tents with the states we mentioned are having the best of times, so we are available to negotiations.
eam Imo’s woes have been compounded as the male basketball team has been disqualified from further participation in the sports festival. The team has played four matches so far in the games and was disqualified on the basis of using a non-registered player to execute its preliminaries. The bubble burst on the team during its match with Ekiti State, who filed a protest that a non-registered player had been featuring for the team. After thorough investigations, it was discovered that the player, who has been wearing jersy 99 was, indeed, not registered for the sports festival, prompting the officials and key members of the Nigeria Basketball Federation to axe the team and stripe it of the points it has garnered in the preliminaries. In some of the matches played so far, Imo defeated Enugu 40-34, she lost to Kwara,50-65, beat Ekiti by 69 points to 49. She went ahead to lose to Lagos by 37 -58 and also was humbled by Plateau 41 -47. Imo is far down the ladder on the medals table, occupying the 18th place with 1 gold, 5 silver and 10 bronze medals.
Igali thumbs up Eko 2012 By MONICA IHEAKAM
ayelsa State House of Assembly member and Technical Adviser Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Hon. Daniel Igali, has thumbed up the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 18th National Sports Festival in provision of facilities. Igali, narrowing down his assessment to the wrestling venue for the games, said the hall provided was better than what was provided at the last festival in Rivers State. “Strictly from the point of view of wrestling, this is far better than what we had in Port Harcourt. “The organisation, the mats and venue are well laid out. The hall is spacious enough, with the galleries where spectators are seated watching the matches, I think Lagos has done well in this area. Igali is not the only sports administrator who gave kudos to Lagos State for her organizational acumen in putting together EKO 2012. It would be recalled that Benue State Commissioner for Sports, Aondowase Chia, Ogun State firmer commissioner for Sports, Bukola Olapde, had equally commended the LOC on various aspects of the games.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 DAILY SUN
How Nigerian referees embarrassed NFF in Cairo F
or the second time in two years, Nigerian referees have embarrassed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) at the headquarters of CAF in Cairo. Latest exclusive reports said that two of the three Nigerian referees who represented the country at the CAF Elite Course just ended, escaped death by the whiskers as it was found out that they had heart problems and were barred from continuing with the course. Our Cairo source has it that in stopping the referees from participating in the course, CAF recalled a similar situation last year when a referee sent by Nigeria was found to have a heart problems and sent back. “Our doctors in Cairo tested them before the course and found them to have blood pressure problems which means either doctors in Nigeria did not do their work well or did not do their work at all “ Referees for the Elite Course were those penciled to feature at the Cup Nations in January in South Africa and as it stands, only one Nigerian referee as was the case in Equatorial Guinea-Gabon last year, will feature in the Nations Cup. Further investigations back home revealed that Nigerian referees are in the habit of either bribing medical personnel or doctoring their papers to give false impression of their physical fitness. Also paramount is the predominant issue of false age declaration that has been the bane of Nigerian refereeing over time. With the chairman of the NFF Referees Committee away to Mali with the Golden Eaglets, we could not get an authoritative comment on this issue. However, feelers have it that the NFF has received the complaint from CAF and has decided to wade into the matter to eliminate
the impending disaster looming in the house of refereeing. Three years ago, two referees dropped dead in Abuja, while struggling to pass the physical fitness test that will qualify them to handle matches both in the domestic league and continental scene. Mr Tunde Ogunmola, a sports
commentator, said yesterday that the situation could be traced to corruption and greed. “ There is so much corruption in the system that everyone wants to be a referee to benefit from the wanton bribes that permeate our domestic league. The Nigeria Football Association should not only estab-
lish a data base that will henceforth track the ages of referees in the country, but should flush out over ninety per cent of those who are currently operating as most of them are bad eggs, especially the leadership that encourage malpractices” he said.
•Peter Utaka in action
NFF pledges support to Eaglets
he Nigeria Football Federation has pledged total support to the ambition of the Under-17 national team, Golden Eaglets, to conquer the continent at next year’s African Under-17 Championship in Morocco. Head Coach, Manu Garba (MFR), was assistant to the late Yemi Tella when the last Nigerian squad at the continental competition (Togo 2007) lifted the trophy, and following a blistering campaign by his boys in the qualifying race, the former international midfielder is already looking forward to laying his hands on the Cup in North Africa. Speaking in Abuja, NFF President Aminu Maigari said: “The NFF is delighted with the perfect qualifying campaign that these young lads have conducted. It is a long time we saw a Nigerian team completely dominate its qualifying series with so much gusto. “On our side at the NFF, we are ready to give the team every support towards bringing glory to our country at the finals in Morocco next year. What I can say is that the team will get adequate preparation that will enable it to conquer Africa,”Maigari said. On arrival in Lagos on Tuesday evening, the delegation connected Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State, where a commemorative match to mark Governor Godswill Akpabio’s 50th birthday anniversary against Akwa Ibom Selected awaits on Sunday. After the match, the Eaglets will break camp to resume sometime in February next year.
...Gives NPL green light for congress
2013 Nations Cup
Eagles fly out to Portugal Dec 27 T
igeria will depart for an AFCON training camp in Faro, Portugal on December 27, officials have announced. The Eagles are expected to resume
camp in Abuja on December 17 with players from the home league. “The home boys would be in camp from December 17 with the successful players heading to Faro, Portugal
Sand Eagles begin defence of Copa Lagos title against Lebanon he Copa Lagos match day schedule has been unveiled, the 3-day beach soccer tournament starts on the 14th December and ends on the 16th December at Eko Atlantic (V/I). Copa Lagos officials have already revealed that Nigeria (defending Champion), 6 times European Champion Portugal, Argentina and Lebanon will all be competing. Match day 1 (14th December) will see all 4 teams in action, the opening game is being billed as the clash of the titans as Portugal with 5 time FIFA Golden Boot winner, Madjer, take on South American power house Argentina at 2 PM. Nigeria is next as she takes on the Cedars of Lebanon. Nigeria will need to keep Lebanese hot shot, Fattal, quiet if she is to make a positive start at the tournament. The second day of the tournament (15th December) will see Portugal takes on Lebanon in the first match, kick off is scheduled for 2 PM, this game will feature two teams who love getting forward, the key battle will be Madjer versus Fattal. The second match is a mouth-watering prospect; Nigeria versus Argentina. This fixture is always entertaining and never fails to deliver. Nigeria has proved she is capable of beating South American
opposition. Nigeria beat Argentina’s bitter rival, Brazil, to the Copa Lagos trophy last year. Argentina will be looking to show that she can do what Brazil couldn’t and beat Nigeria in Lagos. The grand finale is being built up as super Sunday (16th December), Lebanon will do battle against Argentina in the first match at 2p.m.
After the match, the traditional celebrity match will take place. Last year, Jay Jay Okocha, Victor Ikpeba and Peter Rufai were among the big names that graced the match. The super Sunday showdown will see defending Champion, Nigeria, takes on Portugal. Many pundits said the game would decide the destination of the trophy.
on December 27 in preparation for the Catalonia friendly on January 2,” disclosed spokesman of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ademola Olajire. “The foreign-based stars are to arrive from January 4 to allow the coach beat the January 9 deadline of submission of the squad list for the tournament.” Olajire said that Coach Stephen Keshi was expected to return to the country this weekend. “Coach Stephen Keshi is expected to return to the country this weekend and back to Abuja on Monday after which he should make his homebased list public,” he said.
Dickson, sports friendly gov –Obordor
ayelsa State Commissioner of Sports Development, Chief Mitema Obordor, has lauded the efforts of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson for laying a solid foundation for sports development in the state. Chief Obodor said this after inspecting the ongoing upgrading works at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa. The sports commissioner said that immediately after the inauguration of the present administration in February, the state government went into action by embarking on the upgrading of existing training facilities to meet international standard and started the construction of additional ones that were not available in the
state. Chief Obordor announced that work on the swimming pool, installation of floodlights and scoreboard, and the renovation of hostels for athletes had all reached advanced stages. He also disclosed that the state government had also embarked on the construction of facilities to promote Polo in Bayelsa State as a way of boosting sports tourism. Besides, the commissioner said that Governor Seriake Dickson had expressed the intention of the present administration to build an Olympic size stadium in Yenagoa. As part of efforts to recognise and promote excellence in sports, government, he said was planning to build a Sports Hall of Fame in the nearest future.
Chief Obordor used the opportunity to explain that the government’s decision to establish a sports academy in the state was to correct the old practice where youths that pursue careers in sports ignore the academic component. He announced that the academy would take off as soon as logistics are put in place. On the ongoing National Sports Festival holding in Lagos, the commissioner said that Dickson had made adequate provisions for the state contingent to perform well. He added that with the massive investments in the upgrading of facilities, he expressed hopes that Bayelsa State would do extremely well in the next edition.
he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday gave the Nigeria Premier League the go-ahead to hold its 7th Congress. Following a letter dated Monday, 3rd December by the NPL requesting approval, the NFF replied on yesterday that the Nigeria Premier League could go ahead and hold its Congress. NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, wrote, inter alia: “You may recall that this same issue was tabled before the Executive Committee of the NFF at its emergency board meeting of Wednesday, 28th November, 2012 wherein a decision was taken to grant the NPL approval to go ahead and conduct the Congress. “Consequently, therefore, I am directed to write to the NPL and give express approval for the holding of the 2012 NPL Congress in line with your statutes and to forward to the NFF the outcome thereon.”
Olowora wins first gold in athletics Team Lagos’ Aminat Olowora, on yesterday emerged champion in the women’s 1500metre to win the first gold medal of the athletics event. Olowora, a former table tennis-turned distant runner, beat national champion, Delta’s Deborah Pam to claim the coveted gold. The athlete, who won the only medal in athletics event for Team Lagos at Rivers 2011, has also promised to add 1500 and 10000 metres events to her medal haul.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Sports festival ensures unity, progress of Nigeria – Ugwu •Swimmer
Photo: AYODELE OJO
‘Rivers ’ll swim in gold’ Continued from page 49 fight in the athletics event where more than 16 gold medals were up for grabs on day one. Ojokolo, who spoke yesterday told whoever cared to listen that all she was looking forward to was a harvest of gold medals. She said her wards were battle ready and would burn the tracks in style. “We came to Lagos prepared and as the battle begins in athletics I am looking forward to gold, gold and gold,” the ever-flamboyant Ojokolo declared yesterday. The men and women 100m finals are scheduled for today’s evening. A good showing in athletics could see Team Rivers turn the table against Delta on the medals table where Delta and Rivers are currently placed first and second respectively. Analysts, however, believe Delta is at the games with a strong athletic team that would be difficult to beat. It would be noted that Rivers won the Garden City games at home last year, while Delta came second. Delta had insisted that Rivers won using home advantage, declaring that Lagos would be a venue to prove who is the real champion of the country’s sports. With only four days to the end of the games, a look at the medals table shows that host Lagos appears to be out of it as far as winning the games is concerned, as it is a straight fight between Delta and Rivers. The host is, however, beating its chest for taking the games to the next level. LOC scribe, Kweku Tandoh, noted yesterday that Eko 2012 would go down in history as the first game that did not suffer any postponement in recent times. Hear him:“ For the first time in the history of the National Sports Festival, the date scheduled for the event has not be uttered by the host state, while many innovations have also been introduced to the sports fiesta. From the day the protocol agreement was signed to the start of the festival, Lagos has kept to all details. Eko 2012 has, indeed, thrown a major challenge to other states hoping to host the championship.”
Amaju reveals secret of Delta State winning streak By MONICA IHEAKAM
elta State Commissioner for Sports and Chairman Delta State Sports Council, Amaju Pinnick, has revealed at the 18th National $ports Festival tagged: Eko 2012 that Delta’s athletes winning streak is boosted by the promising life offered to them after service.? He said that the hope of being engaged profitably by the state government after retiring from active competition had been the tonic that had boosted the performance of athletes to dust their peers. According to Pinnick, Delta has had a proper strategic planning before the festival, thus the stella performance did not come as a surprise. “What we do in Delta is that we have a progressive arrangement for all athletes and what we are witnessing so far in the ongoing sports festival is not a surprise. “We offer our athletes a new lease of life after they serve us. Once an athlete understands that after winning gold, there is a reward, he or she will be committed.” Any athlete that wins gold for Delta State in the festival, automatically has earned employment with the state.” This is the gains of our proper planning. Our lead on the medals table is not a fluke because we intend to sustain the tempo till the end of the festival.
•Bench of Enugu football team at Eko 2012. Inset: Benedict Ugwu By IKENNA OKAFOR
rstwhile Rangers international of Enugu and Nigeria’s defender, Benedict ‘Surugede’ Ugwu, says that the National Sports Festival is one of the reasons Nigeria’s unity is sustained. In this chat, Ugwu bears his mind on decision to join the Enugu State coaching staff, while also addressing the problems of foot ball in the country.
AS THE COACH OF THE ENUGU STATE MEN’S FOOTBALL TEAM TO THE 18TH NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL, CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOUR DECISION TO GO INTO COACHING AND WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR PRESENT ASSIGNMENT? A majority of coaches you see in football are people who have played the round leather game in the past. The ability to train football players comes from an individual’s long years of being involved with football. I played football for a long time and I can tell you that, I have no regret about the decision or my past. Football is a game that has given me so much in life and I am happy that I am now the coach of the Enugu State men’s football team. The only way that I can give back to the state that had given me so much in the past is to pay back in the same line. I am here to win the football gold medal for the state and this is the same philosophy I have inculcated in the players.
THE NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL STARTED ABOUT A YEAR AFTER THE COUNTRY HOSTED THE ALL AFRICA GAMES IN LAGOS IN 1973. IF WE LOOK BACK TO THAT PERIOD AND THE PRESENT DAY, WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT THE FESTIVAL AND ITS EFFECT ON NIGERIA? The idea of the festival was conceived to strengthen the unity of the country after the civil war which ended in 1970. The military government believed that peace and unity could be strengthened through sports. Before the sports, it was difficult for the various ethnic groups to trust one another because of the hatred and disunity caused by the civil war.
SO, YOU BELIEVE THAT THE FESTIVAL WAS A VERY IMPORTANT FACTOR THAT THE GOVERNMENT USED TO CEMENT THE UNITY OF THE COUNTRY AND BREED LOVE
AMONG THE VARIOUS ETHNIC GROUP?
WHAT HAPPENED IN YOUR TEAM’S MATCH AGAINST ZAMFARA STATE?
Yes, there is no doubt about that. The most important way of escape when there is a situation as the one the country witnessed, is to use sports as a bridge to link the warring parties together. At the inception of the National Sports Festival, it was remarkable seeing an Igbo man engaged a Yoruba or Hausa man in sporting activities. Over the years, the festival has come to be a mainstream in fostering a peaceful coexistence in the country. Despite the issues of insecurity in the country, it is heartwarming to see people from different states living together in the hostels because of the national sports festival. I have many friends now who are not Igbos. I have been able to mingle with the Hausa and the yoruba. in the football event, We have played against Gombe and Zamfara States from the North, Osun and Kwara from the West and Cross Rivers State from the south- south. It is very interesting to hear the other state’s coach speak a language you don’t understand and at the end of the match you greet one another in English language which is the country’s main language.
The bad officiating by the referees, who were ready to give the game to our opponents, but for the team spirit of my boys. The match officials were very partial and this is one thing that kills football in general. Every move we made towards attacking the goal of the Zamfara State team was seen as an infringement. It was one of the worst officiating I have ever seen in my many years of football. Our referees should be well-trained if football is grow in this country. A football player will be happy to showcase his talent if he knows that the referee is not against him.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT DEVELOPMENT OF SPORTS IN ENUGU STATE AND IN WHAT WAYS HAS THE STATE BENEFITED FROM THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE PAST AND PRESENT GOVERNMENTS IN THE STATE? Enugu State Government is one of the best in Nigeria when sports development is the subject of discourse. We have always been part of the sports festival, which is a reflection of the government’s commitment to the development of sports in Nigeria. I am happy that the state has never been found wanting in sports. Enugu Rangers was and is still a force to be reckoned with in Nigerian football. The Enugu State team in all the sports is competing favourably against their opponents.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE CHALLENGES FACING FOOTBALL IN NIGERIA? The problems are many but many can be done to make the situation better. I believe that we have to tackle the problem from the lowest to the highest. The match we played against Zamfara State was a typical example of one of the numerous factors hindering the growth of football in the country.
THIS YEAR’S EDITION OF THE NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVAL, EKO 2012, HAS BEEN RECEIVING COMMENDATIONS FROM PEOPLE AS THE BEST IN THE HISTORY OF THE EVENT; DO YOU AGREE? Yes, I agree with them. It is the truth and I am happy that people in Nigeria now appreciate what is good. Lagos State has done their best and only a cynic would complain about the organisation and standard of the 2012 sports festival. It is pertinent to note that the state government really paid special attention to the issues of transportation, security and the provision of standard facilities. We have all seen the facilities and I believe many people are happy about what they have seen here in Lagos. Although, I am not surprised because the state governor is a sport-loving man who have done well to ensure that the state host a perfect festival.
FINALLY LET’S TALK ABOUT THE SUPER EAGLES AND THE 2013 AFCON IN SOUTH AFRICA. WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE TEAM TUTORED BY STEPHEN KESHI? The team is capable of winning the tournament in South Africa. I don’t think the oppositions will be able to stop the super Eagles attack but we have a problem with the defense and that problem must be tackled before the competition starts in January. I watch some of their qualifying matches and the friendly played against Venezuela and I must say that I am very proud of what Stephen Keshi is doing at the moment. I wish the team well at the tournament.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
BASKETBALL Gasol struggles under D' Anthoni
au Gasol has endured his share of struggles off the court in his career. Only last season, the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to send him to the Houston
Lagos can't intimidate us, Kaduna’s coach insists T
oday decides the medal prospects in the women's category of the basketball event of the 18th National Sports Festival tagged: Eko 2012 and the first game of the quarter-finals between is one that is sure to attract fans as the Lagos girls go up against Kaduna girls in what the coach of Lagos, Adewunmi Aderemi says is their ticket to the semis. But coach of the Kaduna side, Chubi Emmanuel, says he and his girls remain undaunted and cannot be intimidated by the Lagos fans or the players because the court would decide who carries the day. According to coach Emmanuel, he has seen the Lagos girls in action and don't think they are fantastic enough to stop the dream of his girls to return to Kaduna with a medal. “The Kaduna girls finished fourth place at the last festival in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State and this time round, it's only proper that we better that position.” Though, he admits that the teeming fans of Lagos would turn out in large numbers to cheer their team, he insists that he and his girls would turn a deaf ear to all the chants meant to disorganise his side. “We did not come to Lagos just to watch the beautiful bridges but to play basketball and return to our state with a medal and that's just what we'll do. Lagos can't cut short our ambitions now,” he insisted. On his part, Coach Adewunmi Aderemi of Lagos says he is not bothered about whatever opposition that comes his way but notes that the only thing at the back of his mind is winning gold to compensate for all the hard work the girls have put into training during camping for the festival. “I've got the right players with a good sense of winning the festival. No opposition can stop
us even as we don't intend to underrate any team. The Kaduna side has an experienced crew and we respect them but this is certainly their bus stop. While Rivers, Coach Ezinne Briggs, is set to slug it out with Ondo in the second quarter-final game, she says that they are focused on the final as they are looking forward to retaining the gold they won when Rivers staged the festival last year. “We're not taking anything for granted against the Ondo side despite the fact that we're highly depleted. Our aim is to go beyond this stage and then aim for a place in the final. Ondo, according to her, is a strong side that can't be taken for a ride. Every game is important to us
Results Group A Ondo 34 - 43 FCT Adamawa 29 - 50 Niger Taraba 08 - 74 Lagos FCT 99 - 48 Adamawa Niger 67 - 36 Taraba Lagos 82 - Ondo 38 Lagos 71 - 34 Niger Taraba 27 - 67 FCT Adamawa 47 - 90 Ondo Adamawa 48 - 45 Taraba Niger 52 - 55 Ondo FCT 26 - 64 Lagos Lagos 109 - 42 Adamawa Niger 52 - FCT 82 Group B Ogun 31 - 45 Delta Kaduna 32 - 42 Rivers Abia 36 - Delta 93 Rivers 44 - 38 Ogun Kaduna 61 - 39 Abia Rivers 38 - 40 Delta Abia 38 - 54 Ogun Delta 45 - 35 Kaduna Rivers 20 - 0 Abia W/O Kaduna 38 - 54 Ogun
Ball Sports award excites Diogu
ke Diogu, who was part of D'Tigers' team to London Olympics, last week won the Ball Sports Year award of the Nigeria Sports Award and said through friends that the award excited him as Nigeria has done him the honour. A veteran player in the prestigious American NBA before he journeyed for greener pasture in Europe said that he regreted not being on ground to receive the award but stressed that he remained committed to Nigeria. Diogu has played with the senior men's Nigerian national basketball team. He competed at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and was instrumental to the team high performance. During the 2012 CBA playoffs, the Xinjiang Flying Tigers signed Diogu for, at least, the rest of the 2012 CBA playoffs. Diogu was a replacement for Gani Lawal during this time. After the playoffs, Diogu signed a contract to play for the Capitanes de Arecibo. In the fall of 2012, Diogu signed with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of China. In fact, he was on his way to his new job when the award was held.
and I must tell you that we're ready for the battle.” While Delta will aim to overrun Niger in the third game of the day, same cannot be said of the Ogun game against Abuja girls. Aisha Sule, captain of the Abuja side coached by Emma Odah told Freethrow that they are in Lagos to prove a point in basketball. She says that they are not afraid of the girls from Ogun and in fact are looking forward to meeting Lagos in the final. “The game against Ogun would be tough but we're determined to win because we want a medal in this our first outing. Every match here at Eko 2012 is important to us and we look forward to proving ourselves as the youngest side to win gold.
Photo: AYODELE OJO
Malabo 2012: ABC’s coach targets second round
oach of the Abidjan Basketball Club, ABC, Coulibaly Christian, says that his team will make it to the second round of the competition despite the opposition at the on going Champions Cup holding in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. He says that the main target for the team is to put the team back in the main stream of African Club championships "The first goal is to reach the second round, after which we take game by game and try to be on the podium. After five years of absence, there may be a problem of lack of experience, but most players have already participated in several African competitions, you just need to perk up
at the mental level, it is the beginning of the competition will be difficult. "The ABC is a team that is prepared to go all the way to the top of the African Cup. Preparation was conducted in three phases: Physical preparation, the pre-tactical and tactical phase. “The three phases went well, because we went straight to league playoff (Monrovia) then we resumed immediately after workouts. "At enrollment, we recorded the return of Blaise Amalabian and the arrival of two Nigerian interiors. We had a problem in the domestic sector and my application is satisfactory, because we had a real problem inside to take the bounce and rotate."
Rockets as part of a three-team trade that was to bring Chris Paul to L.A. from New Orleans. The NBA nixed that deal, though, and Gasol´s career hung in limbo as other potential trade scenarios involving him were discussed. It was an agonizing stretch for the Spanish basketball icon. He ended up remaining with the Lakers, a club that he'd won a couple of league crowns with and one that helped make the 2.13m superstar one of the most famous players in the world. Now, Gasol is experiencing a major struggle on the court as he attempts to adapt to the style of play that new coach Mike D'Antoni wants the team to play. A player who has operated in the low post for the majority of his career, Gasol is now being asked to screen and roll, and handle the ball more than he has at any time in his career. His ability to play on the low blocks is not in demand as much as it used to be now that Dwight Howard is a Laker, following his trade from the Orlando Magic during the Olympics. Complicating the situation for the 32-yearold Gasol is that he is being bothered by tendonitis in both of knees. Normally a player on the court in crunch time at the end, Gasol left Sunday´s game with just over six minutes to play and the Lakers on top by a point. He didn't return and the Lakers lost, 113103, to drop to 8-9 on the campaign. Gasol doesn't like to sit on the bench and watch. "I like to be out there," Gasol said. "It's upsetting for me as a player but I won't allow it to irritate me." Lakers superstar, Kobe Bryant, huddled with reporters after the game and answered questions about Gasol. "It's frustrating, but at the same time it´s an opportunity," Bryant said. "Pau has to make some adjustments to his game, obviously. He may not be posting up as much as he likes. "But he just has to adjust. "The reality is, I've adjusted. I've never had to do this many screen-and-rolls in my entire life, but I've worked on it. I've worked on handling the ball, worked on coming off screens, making plays. "I´m used to being in the post much much more. But you have to adjust. You have to master what it is that we are trying to do here. "Pau is talented enough and good enough to be able to do it." When Gasol was traded to the Lakers on the 1st of February in 2008, he had already been named MVP of the 2006 FIBA World Championship. Since then, he has captured a couple of NBA titles, two EuroBasket gold medals and a couple of Olympic silvers. He was also named MVP of EuroBasket 2009. Gasol hasn't given up, but finding life with the Lakers very difficult right now. When asked how to keep Gasol connected when he's not playing long stretches of the fourth quarter, as was the case against Orlando, Bryant responded: "Put your bigboy pants on. "Come on, just adjust. You can't whine about it. You can't complain about it. Like I said, I'm 34 years old. I'm running screen-androlls out there because Steve (Nash) is out (injured) and my ass is running up and down the court more than I ever have in my entire career." Howard has yet to hit his stride with the Lakers as well. He has endured some almighty struggles at the free-throw line, including Sunday when making just nine of 21 and seven of 14 in the last quarter. "His biggest thing is just conquering the free-throws a little bit," Bryant said. "If he makes those free-throws, the guy would be averaging 30 points a night."
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
EURO ROUND UP Ahead Manchester derby
Fletcher, Maicon in war of words M Stories by GEORGE ALUO (With Agency reports) anchester United’s midfielder, Darren Fletcher, says it’s time for derby momentum to swing back in their favour as his side faces city rival, Manchester City, this weekend. Manchester City’s six-point haul in the local dust-ups via the 6-1 October 2011 humiliation of the Reds at Old Trafford and the vital 10 win at the Etihad Stadium i n
April’s key run-in cost United a 20th crown. And Fletcher says it is time league leader United turned the tide. “Last season we lost twice against City and we lost the league, so that was a major factor in that,” he admitted. “We don’t want to give them any advantage by beating us. It is about time we got a result against them.” As Fletcher is busy talking tough, City’s Douglas Maicon says they will continue to dominate United. Maicon, who played in derbies in his native Brazil, as well as in Italy, knows from personal experience how victory in such encounters can change the course of a season. “All over the world, the derby is a different game to any other,” he said. “It’s a passionate game, whether you’re in Manchester, Milan or Brazil, and I’m sure Sunday will be just the same. “I played for Cruzeiro against Atletico Mineiro, at a time when Mineiro was the better
team. We won and it changed our whole season for the better. “This is something built into derbies – it can give the team a boost of confidence for the rest of the season.”
No romance with Old Lady
anchester City’s striker, Mario Balotelli, is excited by the prospect of moving to AC Milan in January. Corriere dello Sport says Milan’s President, Silvio Berlusconi, is ready to pull the trigger on a winter market deal for Balotelli. The Rossoneri plans to take Balotelli on a six-month loan with the option to sign permanently in June. Milan’s Coach, Massimiliano Allegri, has already approved the move, while Balotelli is excited by the potentiality of playing with Stephan El Shaarawy and Kevin-Prince Boateng. AC Milan’s vice-president, Adriano Galliani, admits Stephan El Shaarawy has exceeded their expectations. The young striker is in his first full season with Milan and currently Serie A’s top goal scorer. “He’s gone beyond all our expectations. He turned 20 years of age last week and I do not know how many strikers of his age are scoring with this continuity,” said Galliani. “When he arrived from Padua he had a lot of problems. But now he is well and is one of the major talents in the world. His shooting is amazing and puts the ball where he wants with a great sense of goal. “Stephan is a serious guy and mature. He seems to be older than his biological age.
Real to go for Messi if Ronaldo leaves
eal Madrid president Florentino Perez has told Cristiano Ronaldo he’ll replace him with Lionel Messi if he pushes to leave. AS says Florentino made the claim to Ronaldo during their infamous summit in September. Since that meeting, the pair have barely said two words to eachother, with Ronaldo angry over the president’s reluctance to discuss new terms and a shakeup of his image rights. The former Manchester United star is also angered by Florentino’s remark that he’d replace him with Barcelona superstar, Messi. “Cristiano, if you go, we’ll use the money we make on you to sign Messi,” Florentino is said to have snapped at Ronaldo.
Balotelli seals Milan deal
hakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu says that his men will always go into matches to come out victorious ahead of today’s Champions League clash against Juventus. The Ukrainian champions currently sit top of Group E and are through to the final 16 in the competition, however, according to the Romanian trainer, the table standing should not influence the approach his team will take going into the match. “Shakhtar is always there to win,” the 67year-old told Tuttosport. “If the [game on] Wednesday will end in a tie, it will mean that it was fate.” Lucescu also warned that the Bianconeri might go into the fixture with more motivation, since a loss on Wednesday combined with a Chelsea win can still prevent the Italian side from proceeding to the knockout stages of the competition. “The fact that we are playing against Juve should be motivation enough for us. Great players thrive on these comparisons. Speaking of motivation, it is clear that Juve has more,” he continued. And the coach expressed concerns that his side could be feeling fatigued after a lot of matches in a short amount of time, especially focusing on the Brazilian players in his team. “It has definitely been a hard time and we are starting to feel it,” he said. “All they think about are the holidays, especially Brazilians who cannot wait to go home, where they will find the summer.” He added: “The danger? Holidays in Brazil.” Lucescu also said he felt there were two favourites to win the Champions League trophy, saying: “In their [domestic] leagues, they are all strong teams, but in the Champions League it is becoming increasingly difficult for everyone. “However, I like Barca [Barcelona] and Bayern •Lucescu [Munich].”
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
EURO ROUND UP
We ‘ll repeat Nou camp miracle –Jesus
enfica’s Coach, Jorge Jesus, is hopeful that his side can seal qualification to the next stage of the Champions League on match day 6 against Barcelona tonite at the Nou Camp. The Lisbon giant claimed a 2-1 victory over Celtic in its last outing and currently sits in third place in Group G going into the final round of games. “Our aim against Celtic was achieved because with the win, we are still in Europe. We will not change because we have a game plan we have worked on for years,” he told reporters.
“Now, we will go to Barcelona to chase qualification. They are the best team in the world, and there is one player (Messi), who makes the difference, but there are many others.” Looking back on the clash with the Scottish side, Jesus said that his side deserved to win, but admitted that Neil Lennon’s troops are also in a strong position to progress. “Celtic has been lucky in the Champions League. It beat Barcelona and it is in a good position because of that. In my opinion, it can get through but Benfica and Spartak are stronger than Celtic.”
Badstuber’s injury worries Bayern
Win in Japan or get sacked Abramovich tells caretaker coach
•I’m ready for it –Benitez C
helsea’s boss, Rafa Benitez, must return from Japan with the Club World Cup if he is to survive the axe. Benitez has, however, dismissed the threat as no big deal, declaring that Chelsea players lack character a situation that makes things difficult since he is not a magician. Daily Express says sources close to Russian owner, Roman Abramovich, said he was furious at the manner of their second-half capitulation at West Ham United and could make a quick and dramatic U-turn on his decision to appoint the Spaniard as temporary successor to Roberto Di Matteo. Benitez will be in charge for the Club World Cup next weekend, but embarrassment in Japan could force a rethink. Reacting to the threat, Benitez slammed his players,
claiming they’re not a patch on Jose Mourinho’s former title winners. Benitez, who was again booed by Blues’ fans, after the West Ham match said: “Normally, when you lose, you are not happy — but I was angry. We did not manage their physical game, the long balls, the second balls, the corners. “We gave them too many options to play their game and we could not be comfortable in possession. “That is when you have to show character and quality — and we did NOT do that. “Character and leadership is always necessary in a team. “Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team had a lot of character but it is a different time now.”
astian Schweinsteiger has said that Holger Badstuber’s knee injury is a huge blow for Bayern Munich as he says the centre-back is one of the best defenders in the world. The 23-yearold tore the cruciate ligament in his right knee in Bayern Munich’s 1-1 Bundesliga draw against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, and will possibly be out for the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign as he will have to go under the knife. “Holger’s injury is massively disappointing. He’s a very important player for us and still very young, and he’s only recently returned from a thigh injury,” he told the official Bundesliga website. “I think he’s one of the best defenders around.” The influential midfielder then went on to discuss Bayern’s Champions League ambitions, and is confident they can go far in the competition this term. “We reached the final twice in the last three years and hope to go far this season, too,” he added. “And we will be among the contenders as long as we’re left to do our job. I know first hand about the huge potentiality within our team.” Bayern has already secured progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League, and takes on BATE Borisov today in their last group stage game.
Stallions’ forward dazzles in France
urkina Faso international, Jonathan Pitroipa, scored the winning goal for Rennes in their victory against Troyes 3-2 on Sunday, during the 15th week of the Ligue 1. The Bretons were down 2-0 at the break, but managed to reduce the gap at the start of the second half through Alessandrini, before equalising in the 81st minute on a Féret goal, perfectly assisted by the Stallions’ offensive midfielder. And in the dying moments of the match, it was also Jonathan Pitroipa who grabbed the three points for a victory for his team with a beautiful shot curled in from the left, after being set up by Mevlut Erding. It was the fifth goal by the 26-year old Burkina player this season. Pitroipa, born in Ouagadougou, has earned himself about 30 caps for his national team and should play a prominent role for the Stallions in the AFCON 2013. Burkina Faso will face Zambia, Nigeria and Ethiopia in Group C.
N150 WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2012 *VOL.7 NO. 2510
Writes on: ‘Jonathan: Damaged by style and awful aides
Dancing on their fathers’ graves
FRANK TALK 08055001934 firstname.lastname@example.org
fter all the noise the federal government has made in recent times of how all bad federal roads would be made motorable for Christmas, how real reconstruction would begin in full swing immediately after the festivities and how some N57 billion (or is it N40 billion) has been released for all that, the minister of works came to Lagos a few days ago to announce that the Lagos/Ibadan road would be ready in eight weeks. Now, eight weeks from December 2 and we’re already in February 2013. What does that mean? Good roads by Christmas might not be feasible after all. But that is not my concern here. I also learnt that the SURE-P people are planning to spend some N60-something billion on local travels in 2013. I consider it a rumour. But if it is true, I want to resign and join the team. And then, there is the ‘rumour’ that the petroleum ministry wants to spend N6.2 billion to convince us Nigerians to accept the Petroleum Industry Bill. Yes, the same PIB which, by the way, we have all agreed is the only way to go, if we are ever to make sense of our oil sector and stop the national bleeding that the oil people are causing our country). They say it is awareness campaign. I just love this country! But I will not say anything until I see them actually spending the money. Yes! Like the proverbial madman in my village folklore, I’ll not say anything to the machetewielding man who just went behind my back, until when I discover that my head is no longer sitting on my neck. This week, I’m rather interested in the issue of Wills and how, in recent times, the families left behind by late respectable men (and women) are now dancing naked in the market place. In the part of the country where I come from, it is said that while the madman may have lost every sense of
shame, it is usually his kinsmen who always suffer the shame of his madness. That is why I often feel the shame on behalf of shameless families who squabble in public over the estate of their late relations. While the poor fight over rooms in face-me-I-face-you bungalows, the rich squabble over mind-boggling billions and real estate that we didn’t even know belonged to their late parents. I don’t want to mention names, but I believe everyone knows some of the more celebrated recent cases. One is from the South-west, another is from the South-south and yet another, is from the South-east. May be it has to do with the fact that I am not the son of a stupendously rich father, but I still find it hard to believe that fully grown men and women, who are not handicapped in any way, would spend a large part of their lives battling over the property one dead man or woman acquired in his own lifetime. They do not spare a moment to ask themselves that: so, I can’t make anything of my own life without parasiting on my father or someone else? Oftentimes, if you look at the ages of those fighting over the property, you’d find out that their late benefactor acquired most of it when he was not even as old as those now fighting over it. Then, you begin to wonder: what makes these grown up men and women think that they cannot make anything of their lives without inheriting some other person’s property? That is why I have always admired the position of one retired jurist from the South-west who insisted that all he owed his children was Education – the best that he could afford (and to whatever level they were willing to go). After that, he could put in a word for them wherever they were seeking employment, and his bit is done. The children are on their own from then on. Although the jurist had many cars, he was not going to pass any to any child. Ditto for his houses. And to underscore his seriousness, now that he has retired, he has sold off all his house everywhere else (US, UK, Lagos, Abuja etc) and retired to his country home in the village. Even that country home, I recently learnt, has also been willed to a school – which would take possession as soon as the respected legal luminary dies.
Conversely, I lost all the respect I had for another legal luminary from the same SouthWest the day I read in his interview that he would not even let his children train their own children. Yes, he was still paying the school fees of his grandchildren because he is not sure that his children (their parents) would give them the kind of quality education he (the grand dad) wanted them to have. Can you imagine that! The problem with Nigeria today; why corruption does not appear to be in a hurry to leave our shores, is rooted in this mindset. If everybody in government stole just enough to train his children (even if he sires a whole village) and guarantee him/her (and the spouse) a comfortable retirement, our country would not be in the sorry state that it is today. Our problem today stems from the fact that both the people in public office and organized private sector steal for their children and children’s children. In the process, they encourage the children to be lazy. The children learn everything about how to spend money and nothing about how to make money. And because they have everything at their beck and call, there is no longer any drive to work, to create, to struggle, to make money – which is actually the excitement for those of us from poor fathers. The kids whose dad have stolen and stockpiled all they would need (even before they were born, grow up never knowing the excitement of earning your first salary, saving up to be able to finally rent an apartment of your own, buying your first car, building your own house, making your first million, and all those things that make life worth living. They had all those things without leaving their fathers’ houses. And since there is no excitement anywhere else, they discover new friends in drugs. Something must blow the excess money! They become party animals, hopping into private jets to attend drug-fuelled wild parties from one corner of the globe to the other. Some of them could even crash and die in the process. Today, we can’t send our children to the schools we went to, we wouldn’t let our children use the public transport, we chaperon them like agric fowls everywhere, scared that kidnappers would grab them the moment they step out of our sight. We forget that while growing up, we always heard tales about gbomo gbomo (Yoruba for kidnapper), but our parents taught us how to keep safe and avoid getting into trouble. Now, instead of passing on these life’s lessons to our kids, we have resorted to keep carrying the risks for them – including crossing the road for them. That is why a father would go and break bank in order to give his son a befitting wedding, forgetting that he (the father) funded his own wedding according to the size of his pocket when he wedded. Today, the only part we want our children to play at their own weddings is just to make themselves available and attend. We take up all the expenses, thinking we are doing the young couple a favour (and to impress our friends and fellow millionaires and billionaires). Of course, few months after the ‘high society wedding’, it turns out that we only funded a wedding, not a marriage.
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Athletics: Lagos, Rivers in medal rush By MONICA IHEAKAM
ost, Lagos State, on Tuesday evening, started the athletics events on a promising note, winning gold and silver medals in the 5,000m women event and long jump.
Not left out in the gold rush is Rivers and Delta States. Aminat Olowora from Lagos got the 5,000m women gold with a performace of 18:47.89 seconds, the silver went to Deborah Pam from Delta State, who returned in a time of 18:58.96 seconds. Iwamger Akaha from Benue ran for bronze on 19:07.51 seconds. In the men’s 20km walk final, Hussain Yinusa of Rivers State returned with a performance of 1hr 53min 10.38 seconds, while Joy Davis, also from Rivers, walked her way to gold in the women’s 20km walking at a performance of 1:59;39;96 seconds. The silver went to Bolanle Kazeem from Delta and the bronze to Ugochi Obi from Imo State. In the long jump event, Ese Bruma from Delta State jumped to gold with 6.18m. The silver went to Abire Uyoyo-Oghene Mercy representing Lagos State. She jumped 6.01m. Meanwhile, some heats were concluded in 400m men and women and 200m women heptatlon. Athletics activites continues tomorrow at the main bowl of the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Ogun gives instant cash rewards to athletes By EMMA NJOKU
gun State athletes, who have so far won medals at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival, Eko 2012, have been given instant cash rewards. During a brief ceremony yesterday at the Team Ogun’s camp site at the Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, Lagos, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Olugbenga Otenuga, said the reward was to encourage the athletes and to remind those that were still competing that there would be instant reward for handwork. While congratulating the athletes for doing the state proud, the commissioner urged others who are still competing in their respective events to strive hard to win medals so that they would benefit from the reward system. He also used the opportunity to assure the athletes of adequate welfare during and after the festival, noting that Governor Ibikunle Amosun is committed to grassroots sports development. The instant reward is outside the state’s award ceremony, which is within the purview of the state government. As at the time of going to press, Ogun has won 4 gold, 12 silver and 14 bronze medals.
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