WHY WE’RE SOFT ON BOKO HARAM – JONATHAN
•They are our brothers, sisters August 11, 2012 *Vol.9 No.502
–PAGES 13 & 14
Again, mass failure in WAEC
•Over one million fail May/June exam •649,156 obtained 5 credits including English, Maths •112,000 results withheld for exam fraud –PAGE 10
Declaration of independence
PLEASE, DON’T GO Gov. Peter Obi (middle), flanked by Wife, Margaret (right) and Gov. Adams Oshiomhole (left) at the burial of Madam Rebecca Ayomike, the mother-in-law of the Gov. of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan at Warri yesterday
Jilted nurse found killed, roasted •Family fingers ex-boyfriend
–Govt begs Bakassi people
•OPC, MASSOB support declaration •It’s treason –ACF –PAGE 12
August 11, 2012 *Vol.9 No.502
ACN DOESN’T BELIEVE IN PRIMARIES – LAI MOHAMMED
–PAGES 64 & 65
Again, mass failure in WAEC
•Over one million fail May/June exam •649,156 obtained 5 credits including English, Maths •112,000 results withheld for exam fraud –PAGE 10
WHY WE‘RE SOFT ON BOKO HARAM – JONATHAN
Jilted nurse found killed, roasted •Family fingers ex-boyfriend
‘They are our siblings; you can’t set the army to go and wipe out your family’ 13–PAGES & 14
ILESA ROYAL RUMBLE N200
August 11, 2012 *Vol.9 No.502
•Crisis rocks traditional council over oath-taking •Oba suspends high chiefs, tension mounts –PAGES 7 & 57
Again, mass failure in WAEC
•Over one million fail May/June exam •649,156 obtained 5 credits including English, Maths •112,000 results withheld for exam fraud –PAGE 10
WHY WE’RE SOFT ON BOKO HARAM – JONATHAN
•They are our brothers, sisters –PAGES 13 & 14
ACN doesn’t believe in Jilted nurse found killed, roasted primaries
–PAGES 64 & 65
•Family fingers ex-boyfriend
August 11, 2012
Agusut 11, 2012
Attah-Mills, smooth transition in Ghana, worthy examples for Africa –Jonathan …Immortalise him –ECOWAS president From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
resident Goodluck Jonathan in Accra Ghana, yesterday called on African leaders to emulate the exemplary leadership qualities of the late Ghanaian President, John Atta-Mills and his efforts at promoting the very essence of democracy. In his tribute to the late President Atta-Mills at the Independent Square in Accra, Jonathan lauded his achievements and recommended Ghana’s smooth and prompt transfer of presidential power to President Dramani Mahama following the death of Atta-Mills to emerging democracies on the continent. He also hailed the significant legacy of the stable and enduring democratic institutions of governance established and nurtured since 1992 in Ghana. He described the late Atta-Mills as a “dependable leader, an affable gentlemen, soft spoken but firm, a self-assured man of honour and of intellect, who loved his country, his continent, his race and who served humanity with all his heart”. “John Atta-Mills did his best as a leader and servant of his people. “We honour him today as a great teacher, administrator and political leader who dedicated his entire life to the service of his country, Africa and humanity. “The people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria join you in praying that God Almighty will grant him eternal rest from his earthly labours,” he said. On his own part, President of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, said the greatest tribute to the memory of Ghana’s late president, Professor John Atta-Mills, is to immortalise the ideals of peace-building and demonstrate a passion for regional integration, which he lived and died for. The ECOWAS chief described the late president as a great leader and democrat who led by example and from whom the region would draw great lessons in democratic governance. “We will miss his wisdom, his simplicity, tolerance and quality leadership, which contributed to the unity and stability of not only his country, Ghana, but also our region and the African continent,” Ouédraogo said. Sixteen heads of states, five vice presidents and other high powered international dignitaries attended the funeral and burial service of the late President at Accra stadium. Among the dignitaries were the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, Chairman of AU and President Benin Republic, Boni Yayi and former UN Secretary-General and UN and Arab League Special Envoy to Arab Kofi Anan, who is also a Ghanaian.
Anarchy, chaos loom in Nigeria –Anglican bishop From NOAH EBIJE, Kaduna
he Bishop of Anglican Communion, Kaduna Diocese, Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has warned that greater anarchy and chaos would soon befall the country unless political leaders change their flamboyant lifestyle. In an address delivered at the first session of the 19th synod of the church, Idowu-Fearon noted that deliberate and reckless display of wealth by political leaders in the midst of alarming poverty was enough to plunge the nation into political turmoil by the aggrieved citizens. He said the enormity of the impending political doom would be such that the country’s leaders would not be able to control, stressing that government must rise to its responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of Nigerians who voted them into power to further avert the chaos. “Unless there is a definite attitudinal change on the side of our politicians, they may not be able to control implosion that is already rumbling and which may erupt very soon. “The blatant display of wealth amidst hunger, profligacy, recklessness in the spending of money meant for development by our leaders, all these in the face of poverty must stop. Bishop Idowu-Fearon also said that another way to avert the political danger ahead is for President Goodluck Jonathan to implement the recommendations of the Shiek Lemu Panel as well as giving financial assistance to all who were affected by the post-presidential election crisis.
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August 11, 2012
August 11, 2012 ,
•Romance •Society •Life more
Love conquers all By RACHAEL AGUNTA and OMOLADE OGUNMILUYI
hey will tell you that theirs is love made in heaven. The one (man) is physically challenged and the other (woman) physically whole. The one (Nasiru Aruna) is from Edo State and the other (Grace Ibrahim) is from Kogi State. In spite of these, both found love in each other. Last weekend, they were joined as husband and wife at the Renewed Christian Assembly, Egan, Igandu, Lagos. Nasiru is a Statistical Consultant and he runs his own company, while Grace is a teacher. Nasiru and Grace met at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) as students. According to Grace, “we met at UNILAG where we both were doing our Master’s degree programme. Nasiru was studying statistics and I was studying chemistry education.” They became friends and in no time, the friendship developed into a good, intimate relationship. And “today,” she said, “I thank God that our dreams have come true.” Ordinarily, it would seem that they would be obstacles on their way as their relationship developed; that they would have challenges as a result of their obvious disparities. There was, but not as serious as would be expected. According to her, “I had no challenge or problems with him. We are good friends and we understand each other very well. The only challenge I had was how to convince my family that he is the will of God for me.” And that turned out to be unwarranted at the end of the day. Of course initially, Grace’s family was not expected to jump at the news of their daughter’s choice. Amos Ibrahim, her elder brother, said it was a tough decision for the family. “It was not easy initially. The first time she talked about it, I acted as if I did not hear her. I thought perhaps, too much learning and education has made her mad. She kept on telling me about the young man and one day I set a test for her. I asked her if she would still choose Nasiru if someone else, who is as educated as Nasiru comes. She said unless the person is as intelligent as him. Thereafter, I began to think positively about them. “At first, I told her to bring the man but told her not to give him the impression that the family will be biased. When he came, I realized that he is not as disabled as I thought. More so, from our discussions I discovered he is educated, intelligent and sound.” And that was it. Amos then asked his sister if she would be “proud enough to tell the world that Nasiru is her husband and she said yes. I further asked her if he would be able to perform sexually and she told me that God is in control and will take care of that. Having taken her through these tests, I consented and gave them my blessing.”
•She is unique –Man •He’s the will of God for me –Wife
The couple And for Nasiru, “I never had problems talking to her. I am always a ladies man. They flock around me. If you come around, you will see them. Grace has been my best friend. I enjoyed her friendship for five years before we finally got married today.” Elder brother of the groom, Oshio Aruna, expressed joy and described the day as great
for the family. “The wedding is a beginning of a dream for us and both families. “My brother, Nasiru is a source of inspiration to us all in the family. We never thought he was not going to get married. He is well learned, hardworking and runs his own company. Our prayer was that he should get a lovable girl and that is what we are rejoicing
about today. We were happy and glad when he told us about her because that was the next natural stage in his life.” He said Nasiru is independent and does everything on his own. “I don’t like using the word disabled for him because he is not invalid. He gives all of us joy in the home and he is a committed Christian, loveable person and believes in himself. He is a real man. I must thank God for the woman He has given to him. She is humble and gentle and I wish them success in marriage.” On what attracted each to the other, Grace said that he is loving, friendly, caring, brilliant, intelligent, sound and never sees his condition as a barrier to greatness. For Nasiru, “I love the fact that she is herself. She is unique among all my friends. I have so many female friends but she stood out among them.” Nasiru did the proposing. And how did he do that? Grace said they were in school when he told her about it. Initially she thought he was joking but as time went, she became convinced that he meant it. She said she prayed about it and God convinced her that he is her husband. And Nasiru said he did not find it difficult proposing to her because they were already friends, which made it much easier for him. “It was not difficult for me. It was easier because she was my friend. She also loves and wanted me, but was pretending about it.” Grace’s pastor, Rev Julius Ladeji, the General Overseer of The Renewed Christian Assembly, said the wedding was an answer to their prayers because they had been praying for Grace to get married. “All along, we have been praying for her that there should be breakthrough because she is of age to get married. When she came up with somebody, we decided to pray along with her. We also called on other men of God to join us in prayer and they all confirmed that it was the will of God for her. As at the time we confirmed it was the will of God, we did not even know the condition of the man. Even after kn`owing that he is physically challenged, it was confirmed that it is the will of God. For her, it was not really the pressure of age, it was built on pure love.” When he was ill as a child, Nasiru was given a wrong injection that affected his nerves. And how sexually active is the man? Nasiru, who is not abashed to discuss such private matter, said he is a perfect man and as active as one can think. “I am a perfect man. I am equally active. I have not had sex with her but if you doubt me, come back in nine months, 25 days and you will see the proof.”
August 11, 2012
EverydayLiving From GBENGA ADESUYI, Ibadan
ongues are now wagging among residents of AkeetanBaale in Oyo town, Oyo State over the death of a 21year- old nurse found tied and roasted inside her father’s house 24 hours after her boyfriend threatened to deal with her. Tolu Esuola was burnt beyond recognition inside her room in her family’s compound after a raging fire engulfed the house around 11.00pm on Tuesday, July 24, 2012. The death could have passed for one that occurred due to a fire accident but for the fact that after residents and fire fighters succeeded in putting out the inferno. The deceased was found inside her room with her hands tied with insulated cables, thereby raising questions that somebody might have killed her before setting the house on fire. Also, the door leading to the room where she was found was locked from outside, thereby raising more questions about the cause of Tolu’s death. Residents said there was no scream from inside the house during the raging fire. Tolu was the only person inside the whole building as her mother, Julianah and other siblings had travelled to a village near Oyo town, while her father was away in Ogbomoso where he works. The deceased was found with her head placed down on the bed suggesting that she was already dead before the fire outbreak. Tolu, who graduated from the School of Health Technology, Osun State, was preparing to resume work at Momoh Hospital, Oyo where she worked before the incident. However, her family has accused Alfa Yakubu (Tolu’s boyfriend) of being responsible for their daughter’s death, having allegedly threatened to deal with her after a misunderstanding between the former lovebirds. The two were said to have been dating for sometimes and planned to get married. In the course of their relationship, the deceased got pregnant and opted for abortion. Alfa Yakubu, now known and addressed as Kunle, became an adopted son of the Esuolas having been converted by Mr Femi Esuola (Tolu’s father) to Christianity and had since been living with the family after his conversion. Their relationship, however, turned sour when Tolu discovered that Alfa Yakubu (Kunle) was also having love affair with the daughter of a poultry farmer he was working for. She was so bitter at the apparent betrayal that she reported Kunle to his boss, alleging that the latter had also impregnated the lady, the man’s daughter. Kunle was said to have seen Tolu’s action as an act meant to block his means of livelihood as his boss who had promised to lend him some money changed his mind due to Tolu’s report. He reportedly threatened to take action. An uncle to the deceased, Mr Oluranti Esuola, while speaking on the incident, said : “We appealed to him that it should not get to that level, but he rushed out in anger”. Shortly after Tolu’s death, Kunle was said to have played smart as he went to the police station to make a report that he was being blackmailed that he killed the lady, but, according to the family, the incident had earlier been reported at the police station. The suspect, according to sources, insisted he was in Minna, Niger State on the day of the incident. “When I asked where he was, he said he was in Minna, but around the same time, he called another sister of Tolu, telling her he was in Ibadan and after three days he went to the police station and reported that he was being blackmailed. Unknown to him, the family had reported the incident at the police station, forcing the officers to promptly arrest him”, Oluranti said. A conductor of the vehicle, who allegedly conveyed Kunle from Ogbomoso Road to Owode in Oyo town, said contrary to his claim, Kunle was indeed in Oyo town that Tuesday evening before Tolu’s death. “The conductor said he and his boss even chatted with Alfa Yakubu (Kunle) till they got to Owode, where he was dropped off. Because they couldn’t take him home, he was given N30 to take a bike (okada) to his house,” the source said. Aside this, Saturday Sun gathered from an elderly man in the neighbourhood that he saw both Tolu and Kunle together that night before the incident, but never suspected any foul play since Kunle had become part of the Esuola family. Also, another man, Mr Wahab Ajani, whose house is close to the burnt building said when the fire was noticed in the building around 11pm, nobody believed anybody could be inside because there was no screaming from anybody from within. “We poured all the available water around our area on the fire but could not extinguish it. It was after the fire fighters had battled it that the body of the deceased was found on the bed”, he said. Another uncle of the deceased said: “In the evening of that day, Tolu was in our house, she received a call from Kunle. In their conversation, Kunle asked for Tolu’s mother and she said her mother had gone to Orowole village with her other siblings. He also asked after her father and she said he was in Ogbomoso. He then asked whether she would be the only one to sleep in the house that night, to which she answered in the affirmative, saying that nothing would happen to her. When my wife confirmed that it was Kunle that called, she rebuked Tolu for still having contact with Kunle, despite his beating her recently and the fact that she aborted the pregnancy she had for him contrary to their Christian faith. She later left for home and that was the
Jilted nurse found killed, roasted •Family fingers ex-boyfriend
The burnt house
The couple... When the going was good end. Upon her death, it dawned on us that Kunle was calling to ascertain the movement of Tolu for him to carry out his plan”, he said. After the deed had been done, Kunle was said to have called some relatives of the deceased telling them that he heard there was a fire incident at home, but according to Oluranti, “what baffled us was that he asked for Tolu, that she mustn’t be allowed to get burnt in the fire. I then asked why
such conclusion if he did not know it was only Tolu that was in the house that night. Faced with all these fingers pointing at him, Kunle insisted before the police at Ojongbodu, Oyo that he did not know anything about Tolu’s death. He maintained that he was in Minna on the fateful day distributing eggs taken there to customers on behalf of his boss, Pastor Ayegoro.While lamenting the death of her daughter, the bereaved mother, Mrs Juliana Esuola expressed regret that Kunle, whom she and her husband had been taking care of for over four years could turn around to hurt them. She said: “From all indications and the circumstances surrounding his actions and movements, I believe Kunle knew about my
daughter’s death”. In his case, Tolu’s father, Femi Esuola, resigned to faith, praying that God should intervene and judge accordingly. He said he took Kunle as an adopted child in Christ and did everything possible to make him happy to the extent of obtaining loan to purchase a motorcycle for him. He said he was stunned about the news of his immoral relationship he heard existed between his daughter and Kunle as she confided in a sister, who eventually divulged it. Mr Kunle Babalola, the Secretary of the Oyo town branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said he has been briefed by the deceased’s family of their readiness to prosecute the case to its logical conclusion. Kunle has been transferred to the Central Police Station, Iyaganku, Ibadan, where he is being interrogated by detectives. The Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mrs Bisi Clet-Ilobanafor Olabisi, confirmed the incident, saying that investigations had already started.
Don’t let Amarachi die By EMEKA ANOKWURU
or 16-year-old Miss Amarachi Jennifer Uwazie, life looked sweet, good and full of expectations. As an SS11 student of Tonia International College, Coker, Lagos, her academic activities remained uppermost in her mind, and like her peers, she looked forward to fulfilling her dreams of completing her secondary school and university careers. Amarachi, who lives with her parents at Surulere, Lagos, hoped that one day, she would become somebody in the society. She would be a change agent and a role model. As a woman, she would marry and take care of her siblings and aged parents. But all these dreams may be put on hold, as the young girl was diagnosed to have developed kidney infection late last year. Since then, she had been a regular caller at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba, where she receives weekly dialysis treatment. Between 2011 and April 2012, the infection had developed to chronic level and her latest medical report revealed that she must undergo urgent kidney transplant to live a normal life. A medical report from LUTH signed by Dr. R.W. Braimoh, Consultant
Physician and Nephrologist confirmed that Amarachi’s case was referred to the hospital on April 29, 2012 with features of nephropathy. She was assessed initially to have an acute exacerbation of chronic kidney disease and managed conservatively and she improved considerably. However, the report explained that a more detailed evaluation revealed she had indeed developed an advanced kidney disease and would require a renal replacement treatment. Since then, Amarachi has been placed on maintenance Hemodialysis, daily drugs and her family subsequently advised on the need for renal transplant which according to the experts at LUTH, is a better option as it best improves the quality of life of the patient in this situation. Her father, Mr. Ndubuisi UwazieOgbata, a company worker, who confirmed the health challenge to Saturday Sun, appealed passionately to the public to assist him raise the sum of N8 million required for the treatment. “I cannot afford that huge amount with my meagre income. Therefore, I use this opportunity to ask for your favour and appeal to concerned individuals and corporate organizations for assistance, to donate generously towards her medical bills. That way my daughter will live her nor-
Uwazie mal life” As the young girl battles for life, urgent financial assistance would help her live a normal life again. Donations could be made to Amarachi Jennifer Uwazie at Diamond Bank Plc Account number 0026663398, or UBA Plc Account number 2057870867. She could also be contacted through 07031148560, and 08028984814.
August 11, 2012 ,
EverydayLiving From BAMIGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE, Osogbo
he crisis rocking the traditional council of Ilesa in Osun State under the leadership of the paramount ruler of Ijesha land, Oba Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran, seems to be gathering momentum. The commotion this has generated is creating a state of insecurity in the town and its environs. The crisis, which has divided the Ilesa traditional council, has also polarized the entire town, as a section loyal to the traditional ruler pays homage to him, while the other loyal to his second-in-command, the Obanla of Ilesa, Chief Oyekanmi Ogedengbe, boycotts the palace. Even now residents of the town are apprehensive of where all of this would lead. Already, not less than five traditional chiefs, including the Lejofi of Ilesa, Chief Abiola Ojo, have been suspended by the monarch, Oba Aromolaran. The chiefs are barred from participating in palace and other traditional activities in the town, while the Obanla of Ilesa, Chief Ogedengbe who is next in hierarchy to the traditional ruler was, until last week, detained on the order of an Ilesa Magistrate Court over a clash between him and Oba Aromolaran. Trouble started in Ilesa, the ancestral home of all Ijeshas, in June when the Owa Obokun of Ijesha land, Oba Aromolaran mandated all the traditional chiefs in the town to swear to an oath in order to continue with their positions as chiefs, an order which was spurned by some of the chiefs. These ones rebuffed the order because, according to them, they took that same oath when they were installed years ago, even before Oba Aromolaran ascended the throne. Particularly, Chief Ojo, who is fourth in command to the monarch, said he swore to similar oath in 1978 when he was installed, arguing that Oba Aromolaran, who ascended the throne in 1982, should not now be asking him to do the same thing all over again. But the monarch insisted that all the chiefs must take the oath again, saying, any of the chiefs that did not take would cease participating in palace and other traditional activities in the town. Until this issue erupted, Ilesa has been such a peaceful town, hosting both Yoruba from other states and none Yoruba alike. It is the commercial nerve centre of Osun State with viable economic status. It has been suggested that one of the things that sparked off the crisis could be traced to a recent incident in which it was alleged that Chief Ogedengbe was implicated for testifying against Oba Aromolaran over a disputed land. It is also suggested that, as a consequence, the Oba’s order to all the chiefs to take the oath was to extract allegiance from them. But Chief Ogedengbe and those other high Chiefs sympathetic to him, declined. However, it is obvious that the present state of affairs is a result of the Oba’s order to the chiefs concerning the oathtaking. While some of the Chiefs took the oath as ordered by Oba Aromolaran, some declined. Among those that refused to take the oath, said to be blood-oath, are Chief Ojo and Chief Babajide Oduwale, the Oba Odo who is the third in hierarchy. Oba Aromolaran, in a letter signed and dated May 8, 2012 and addressed to the two suspended chiefs, directed them to resign their appointments as his chiefs without further delay if they failed to take the oath. He also directed them to withdraw from all palace and traditional activities with effect from the date of the letter and return only when they decide to comply with the order.
Chief Oyekanmi Ogedengbe, the Obanla Ogedengbe IV with his Olori Chief (Mrs) Mary Olanike Ogedengbe
Ilesa royal rumble
•Crisis rocks traditional council over oath-taking •Oba suspends high chiefs, tension mounts
The letter, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent, reads in part: “As you are quite aware that other senior chiefs like the Obanla, Ogboni, Odole, Loro of Ilesa and others have individually taken their own oaths, you have no other option than to take your own oath of office and allegiance or resign your appointment as my chief without further delay. “In view of the foregoing facts, you are hereby directed to withdraw from all palace and traditional activities with effect from the date of this letter and return only when you have completed your installation rites as specified above. “For the avoidance of doubts, the final stage of any senior chiefs’ installation is the swearing of the oath of office and oath of allegiance to me as the Owa-Obokun Adimula and Paramount Ruler of Ijesaland, just as local government councillors, chairmen, state governors and their executive councils members and the President of a country and members of his executive council take oath of office and oath of allegiance, respectively.” The two suspended traditional chiefs are insisting that they would not take the oath before the monarch, claiming that it is the monarch who is supposed to take the oath before them, according to the tradition of Ijeshaland. They argue that if it is true that their chieftaincy installation rites were not complete without the oath 35 years after, then the appointment of Oba Aromolaran is also defective. In which case, the state government should probe the process that brought him to office. They also maintained that the Owa has no power to suspend the traditional chiefs from the palace, describing his order as unlawful and vowed that they would resist the attempt to banish them from the palace, holding that the palace is a public place for all indigenes of the town. The traditional chiefs claimed that the Owa’s decision is partly as a result of their opposition to the way he has been managing the monthly federal allocation to the Ilesa traditional council.
Continued on Page 57
SATURDAY SUN August 11, 2012
Fresh hope for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis cure
resh hope for prevention and cure of the dreaded Human ImmunoDeficiency Virus, the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and tuberculosis, emerged at the recent 2012 International Conference on AIDS in Washington, in the United States. The world learnt that a drug named Truvada has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for preexposure prophylaxis for HIV. Made by Gilead Sciences Inc., the drug is acclaimed to have the ability to reduce, by 96 per cent, chances of infection with HIV in exposed persons who take it once a day. In another cheering development, three persons who received bone marrow stem cell transplants from HIV-immune persons were reported to have been cured of the infection. These two developments, and the news that the HIV preventive drug, Truvada, will be available in the market from October this year, are pointers to the fact that the longawaited cure for HIV/AIDS is in sight. The import of the good tidings is that HIV/AIDS can now largely be prevented with Truvada, while HIV/AIDS victims may, in the near future, only need to receive bone marrow stem cells from a person naturally immune to the infection in a risky transplant operation to get a permanent cure to the dreaded disease. However, only one per cent of white persons, particularly Northern Europeans, are said to be naturally immune to the disease. The FDA also said a milestone for better treatment of tuberculosis, a leading cause of mortality among AIDS patients, has also been attained. It is a multi-drug combination regime with 99% curative efficacy. It is also cheaper than existing treatments, eliminates use of injections and also significantly reduces the period of treatment by as much as six months. These giant strides in the search for cures for the two dreaded diseases are, indeed, good news for a troubled world. For three decades now, HIV/AIDS has been a scourge and a blight to the best efforts of scientists from all parts of the world to find a cure. Since the virus was first identified 30 years ago, 30 million people have been reported to have died
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from it, according to United Nations records. The international agency, last June, said the infection has continued to spread at the rate of 7,000 people per day globally, with 3,000 of them, youths. 4.3 million people are said to be living with AIDS all over the world. In Nigeria, 70,000 babies are said to be born with the infection every year. Tuberculosis, on the other hand, is said to kill 1.4 million people every year with 9 million new infections annually. One third of the world population (about 2.5 billion people) is said to have a latent form of the disease. It is good, therefore, that efforts have not been spared to arrive at these latest breakthroughs. These are remarkable strides deserving of commendation and encouragement. The latest discoveries offer the greatest impetus yet to the search for a cure for AIDS since anti-retroviral drugs, which reduced the infection from a sudden death sentence to a manageable disease, were developed in the 1990s. Scientists have, however, advised that the AIDS preventive drug should be used in conjunction with other proven HIV prevention methods such as the use of condoms, counselling on risk reduction and frequent HIV testing. Truvada is the first drug to be approved for prevention of HIV. It is also recommended that it be prescribed only on presentation of a negative result from an over the counter HIV test. We commend the efforts to find cures for AIDS and tuberculosis. These efforts are in the right direction. For many decades, the world has been searching for permanent cures to these debilitating infections without much success. With the antecedents of the US Food and Drug Administration, there is hope that the drugs will to a long way in winning the war against the two diseases. Scientists all over the world must, however, not rest on their oars until cheap and safe drugs are developed to eradicate these diseases. For now, the challenge is to make the new drugs available at affordable prices in all parts of the world. Nigeria should also strive to contribute to the effort to develop cures for diseases. The government should support local scientific research. We should also facilitate research into our local herbs to improve their efficacy in treatment of serious diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS. The task of finding cures for diseases is a responsibility for all. All health authorities, scientists and alternative medicine practitioners the world over should contribute to the effort to rid the world of debilitating diseases.
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August 11, 2012
Abubakar: A chip off the old block By ANDY ADIBEMMA
have always seen the new police Inspector General, M.D. Abubakar from the angle of generalization. That is, same of same if you understand what I mean. Over time, the Nigerian Police has acquired a notoriety that eclipsed the shining lights within the force. Until recently, the image of the force was as black as the uniform worn by its rank and file. The coming of the new IGP has put a fitting end to all that. Upon his appointment, Abubakar talked of dismantling roadblocks; those deeply hated ‘toll gates’ mounted by members of the force. Many thought he was just rehashing an old promise, since before now his predecessors had talked tough on the same issue to no avail. But the abolition of checkpoints has come to stay. The rank and file now appreciate that there is a better way of policing the highways with out the help of used tires, bricks and tree trunks. Police image is the better for it thanks to Abubakar who stood his ground against the entrenched cabal in the system who did not want their shameful streams of filthy lucre to dry up. Of course, we can point to isolated checkpoints here and there, more so at odd hours of the day, but these types remain just that- isolated cases. One can now ride from Onitsha to Benin without encountering a single police
checkpoint. In Imo State, you can travel from Owerri to Umuaka without a checkpoint in sight. This road of less than 40 kilometres used to habour over 10 police checkpoints in a given day. The Abubakar’s ‘new’ police has a new uniform. Today, the Nigerian Police step out with a trendy camouflage. It is a far improved look from the old dark regulation wears. The new uniform seems to have come with a new spirit. There is a new culture in the force: a culture of civility. Maybe other para-military services will borrow a leaf from IGP Abubakar and spruce up their uniforms and image. The IGP and the police earned more kudos with the conduct of the July 14 Edo governorship election. Initially, so many were of the mind that the police would disappoint. This feeling arose from the hard evidence of past elections. This time round, the police under the leadership of Abubakar, effectively provided security and showed exceptional neutrality. More to the point, there was not a single case of misconduct involving the police. The Edo experience reveals that the integrity of the man at the top will always influence the conduct of his subordinates. The police acquitted themselves well in this election because the IGP was on hand and took personal interest in the activities of his foot soldiers. Over the years, police barracks across the country have the well-earned reputation of
glorified hovels, ghettoes and shanty towns. From Obalende in Lagos to Shell Camp in Owerri, and everywhere else for that matter, the squalid environment under which the nation’s crime fighters live is an enduring national scandal. This picture is one M.D. Abubakar has undertaken to change for good. Speaking during one of his numerous visits to police formations in the country, the super cop said: “Efforts are on to improve their (police) welfare. As I am talking to you, even at the police council, they are looking at many issues, welfare, remuneration, barracks, office accommodation and transportation, everything you can talk of”. The IGP clearly appreciates that until these issues are cleared up and officers and men put in high spirits, the effectiveness of his men will remain poor. So far, his body language suggests that he is determined to tackle these perennial problems of the force. A mind well-tuned by adequate sleep and relaxation will discharge assigned duties better than one which lay awake through the night because of leaking roofs and all. This, the IGP knows. That is why he is making serious efforts to change not only police uniform but police accommodation. Another landmark achievement of the new IGP is in the area of crime prevention. He has in a short time in office given new impetus to reduction in crime and criminality. When he said on assumption of office that he was going to fight crime headon, cynics did not take him
seriously. After all, the police are paid to fight crime and they have not shown excellence in it. The coming of Abubakar not minding the distraction called Boko Haram has recorded improvements in crime reduction. Criminal activities are on the decline. Everyday, you read about the police busting one criminal gang or the other. And this is happening without police checkpoints. The improved effort in undercover operations is bearing fruits. One hopes this will continue. Before he took over from Ringim, Boko Haram visited Louis Edett House; leaving huge cracks and destruction. Abubakar has seen to the repairs and reconstruction of that magnificent building. He has been able to remove the gaping sore on the psyche of the police by repairing that edifice. As he promised after his confirmation, a new vigour, action and efficiency is at work in the police effort to fight crime and protect lives and property. This has also given flip to the force’s image which is on a positive bend. Left to mature, his commendable initiatives will soon be a new song for an institution whose public image has received much battering over the years. We hope that much deserved confirmation of IGP Abubakar’s appointment, will spur him and his able lieutenants to harder work and greater laurels in the months ahead. •Andy Adibemma writes from Owerri, Imo State
Mimiko and the Southwest By IMEFV EFUDA
or several years now, Idowu Akinlotan has been a must read for some of us. The incisiveness of his analysis, his boldness and clarity of his thoughts are always so refreshing that one’s Sunday was hardly ever complete without browsing through ‘Paladium’, his column in The Nation newspaper. By the way I still have that same sentiment about Olatunji Dare whose mastery of the English Language makes his pieces a school in language proficiency. Needless to talk of Dare’s marvellous deployment of the satire genre. Let me start by saying that it is unfortunate that the change in editorial orientation of The Nation has entirely reduced the professionalism that was palpable in the newspaper a few years ago, such that today the paper has become a pathetic political broadsheet in which unbelievable lies are peddled in the name of propaganda! And all of these are predicated on the assumption that the average reader is indeed a fool who would hardly be in a position to decipher and pick their way through the maze of lies and illogicality that has now become the lot of the newspaper. In all these, I pity those great writers and professionals who, I am sure, at some point in the past thought they had a professional point to make and were working in that direction to build a real paper of stature. Now, the chicken, as they say, would seem to have come to roost, and you then suddenly find the like of Idowu Akinlotan becoming pathetic caricatures of what they used to be. I recall that when, without the requisite information that ‘Idowu Akinlotan’ was actually a pen-name, an attempt was made to bring the real writer on board the page, there was an uproar, which made the paper beat a gallant retreat. And thus ‘Idowu Akinlotan’, the norme de guerre, would now seem to have become ‘Idowu Akinlotan’ for real. This writer was one of those who felt we were being shortchanged then as there was no way for us to know these intricacies until the clarifications were made. Now to what Idowu Akinlotan did on his page on Sunday, July 29. It was a pathetic attempt to serve the master, and it brings to the fore the conflict writers as writers, without a means of their own to create a platform, go through everyday. Reading through the piece, one could see that it was so far away from the type of thing Idowu Akinlotan would have loved to write but for the fact that the master, The Emperor, had decreed; and it is like the case of ‘She, who must be obeyed!’. The piece is so flat in logic, so subjective in presentation
and so plebian in conclusion that you cannot but pity the writer and the clan of writers who just have to write to survive and therefore know-tow to the owners of their platform; the carpet-baggers you may want to call them, as they strive to find a place in a space where they are evidently uncomfortable! Our man started by taking Ebenezer Babatope to the cleaners for having the effrontery to celebrate a performing governor and for the audacity in making the point that if he had a choice, he would be too glad to vote for Mimiko, the candidate of another party running against his own PDP’s. Rather than look at the democracy and good governance-supporting nature of that confession, the democratic in Idowu Akinlotan chose to take the old man to the cleaners because that is what The Emperor has decreed must be done! The embarrassment that Idowu Akinlotan’s position has elicited now derives from the fact that his position and those of the most rabid PDP elements in town are in tandem. Those PDP people, who are simply determined to take over government, any government, for purely primitive accumulation, have also berated Babatope to no end, as his position is seen to contain within it the seed of the inevitable loss of Ondo State to the LP once again. One then wonders, what type of logic would place a self-styled progressive like Idowu Akinlotan and his party, ACN and a party like the PDP in the same shoe on an issue as important as the paradigm of governance in a State. Well, in an age in which the ACN, is now trying to robe even Gen. Muhammadu Buhari in the garb of a progressive, nothing is impossible anymore in the hands of the party. But accepting without conceding that all the nasty things said about the man Babatope were correct, what do you say of other emxinent Nigerians that in the past one or so years, and as the Mimiko phenomenon became better known, had had cause to voice their endorsement of this new paradigm of governance which incidentally I understand not a few ACN governors are now wont to copy? We understand some, especially neighbouring Osun State, send in emissaries to come under the cover of darkness to take photographs of these landmark projects all over Ondo State, and some, who are humble and noble enough write to ask for guidance, and appropriately so too, in replicating some of these programmes. Now beyond Babatope, look at the array of opinions that had endorsed Mimiko in the past one year – Professor Oladipo AKinkugbe, Professor Akin Mabogunje, the World Bank, Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi, Gen. Olufemi Olutoye, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, Otunba Gani
Adams, Senate President David Mark, Governor Peter Obi, Chief HID Awolowo, Nigerian Tribune, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, NULGE National President, NLC, TUC, Professor Oladapo Ladipo, President of Association of Productive and Family Health, Most Rev. Francis ALonge, Alhaji Najim Yasin, NURTW President, Chief Wole Olanipekun, Comrade Mohammed Haruna, President of NANS, former Governor Bamidele Olumilua, Gbenga Adefaye, President of the Nigerian Guild of Editiors, Onnoh Rhul, foremer World Bank country Director for Nigeria, Mohammed Garba, President of NUJ, Mrs Adenike Akande, Mrs. Ganiat Fawehinmi, Barrister Mohammed Fawehimi, etc, etc. Are Idowu Akinlotan and his principals saying in good conscience that Mimiko paid all of these people to make the claim that he has done well for the people of Ondo State? Pray has Nigeria now become so corrupted that all of these people are no longer in a position to make an objective statement? Now is it not pathetic that in the service of The Emperor, an Idowu Akinlotan, not an Akanni Aluko, not an Abiola Ogundokun, not a Daniel Kanu, not an Arthur Nzeribe would be making this insinuation? Akinlotan would put down what Mimiko has done in Ondo State these past three years down to ‘the illusions in Akure’; as ‘tokenism and propaganda’! This indeed is quite interesting, and you could hear several Ondo State citizens chorusing, if this music is illusion, please play it on! That much they expressed on July 25 when Mimiko indicated his desire for a second term of office. All that an IA should need do is to go back to the clips of the crowd that gathered at Mimiko’s inauguration in February of 2009 and the one that gathered on July 25, 2012. He would, if The Emperor would permit, see some comparison in terms of number and enthusiasm and know that the voters of Ondo State are still as enarmoured by Mimiko in 2012 as they were in 2009! If again The Emperor, who like Emperor Nero of old would even demand that his subjects seek his approval before they commit suicide, would allow, Idowu Akinlotan would agree that Ondo State people couldn’t have displayed that level of passion we saw on July 25 about a governor in the twilight of his tenure, except, of course, you say the people are a pack of ignoramuses. Commendable attempts at putting in place infrastructures without which development remains a mirage is being put down as illusions by Idowu Akinlotan and his band of progressives in the ACN. Efforts by the Mimiko administration to take the most vulnerable of our population, the women and their children, from the streets through a market renewal pro-
gramme are, to Idowu Akinlotan, an illusion! That the same people that were taken out of the old shackles we called markets when they were to be re-built into modern centres of commerce were the ones returned there upon completion and not the wives of money bags is, to Idowu Akinlotan, an illusion! Providing free bus ride for school children to and from school every day is, to Idowu Akinlotan, mere tokenism! Intervening to change the orientation of drivers who account for the carnage going on our roads everyday by renewing the motor parks in the State and providing brand new buses and taxis for inter and intra-city services is, for Idowu Akinlotan, an illusion! The need to bring down child and maternal mortality through the Abiye Safe Motherhood programme with demonstrable result is, to Idowu Akinlotan, mere tokenism! The fact that undergraduates in the Ondo State-owned Adekunle Ajasin University at Akungba-Akoko at N25,000.00 per session pay the least tuition fee in the entire country is an illusion to Idowu Akinlotan! The fact that within a year of his coming to office, Governor Mimiko paid out billions of naira to settle all arrears of pension owned to citizens of the State is, to Idowu Akinlotan, an illusion! The fact that within one year of making the promise, Governor Mimiko completed the now widelyacclaimed Gani Fawehinmi Diagnostic Centre in memory of the late legal icon is, to Idowu Akinlotan, mere tokenism! Obviously space would not permit a full tracking of all that the Mimiko administration has done these past three and half years. But I think the sense in which we speak here is such that we have often felt that given his antecedents, if Emperor (is that not what ‘Jagaban’ or whatever, stands for?) Bola Tinubu himself had had an inkling of how well Mimiko has done, he, in most probability, would not have taken the course he took in seeking the fall of his younger friend simply because the latter pleaded to be left alone in his own Party. This again, is the position we understand several of Tinubu’s and Mimiko’s mutual friends and acquaintances have taken. For me, this constitutes a complement to the former Lagos Governor which some of no longer think he deserves now that he has transformed so rapidly from the status of a fearless fighter for the good cause to an unrepentant godfather in the mould of a Tony Anenih, with his long hands all over his vassal States, claiming without regard to the pains and shrieks of agony of the people his progressive ACN is governing, what the Yoruba will call his Isakole! •Dr. Efuda, a Consultant and Public Affairs commentator, writes from Abuja.
August 11, 2012
WAEC records mass failure By GABRIEL DIKE and ADEWORAN OLUWASEUN
nly 38.81 per cent of 1,695,878million candidates that sat for the May/June 2012 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), obtained five credits in English Language, Mathematics and three other subjects, thus are qualified for admissions into universities and polytechnics. Also, no fewer than 1,046,722 million candidates that wrote the school examina-
•Over one million fail May/June exam …112,000 results withheld
tion failed to score five credits including English Language, Mathematics as well as three other subjects meaning the West Africa Examinations (WAEC) for the fifth year running has recorded mass failure in the May/June WASSCE. Announcing the release of the school examination at its Yaba headquarters in Lagos, yesterday, outgoing Head of Nigeria National Office
(HNO), Nigeria WAEC, Dr. Iyi Uwadiae, said the results of 112,000 candidates were being withheld for their involvement in examination malpractice. Giving the breakdown of the results, Dr. Uwadiae disclosed that 1,545,004 candidates, representing 91.10 per cent had full results released while 150,874 candidates, representing 8.90 per cent also
had few of their subjects still being processed due to some errors due to the fault of the candidates during registration or writing the examination. According to him, out of the total number of candidates that wrote the exam, 771,731 candidates (46.14 per cent) obtained six credits and above, 952,156 others (56.93 per cent) got five credits and above, 1,107,747 candidates (66.24 per cent), scored credits
and above in four subjects, 1,246,729 candidates (74.55 per cent) recorded credits and above in three subjects while a total of 1,380,596 others (82.56 per cent) secured credits and above in two subjects. On performance of candidates, Dr. Uwadiae said there was an improvement on those who obtained five credits including English, Maths and three other subjects compared to May/June and Nov/Dec 2010 and 2011 WASSCE. The WAEC boss said 46 schools failed to submit its stu-
dents Continuous Assessment (CA) meaning the candidates results would not be processed, noting that the council has contacted the affected schools even as he noted that two or three state governors owe WAEC the examination fees of the candidates they presented. He explained that candidates who wrote the May/June 2012 WASSCE can check the details of their performance on the council’s results website: www.waecdirect.org within the next 48 hours.
Leave Ohakim out of Imo crisis –Group
he allegation that former Imo State governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim is behind the travails of his successor, Governor Rochas Okorocha on the ongoing crisis in the state has been described as infantile and product of frustration. A group, the Campaign for the Deepening of Democracy in Nigeria, said it was unfortunate that the state government has decided to engage in malicious campaign against Ohakim instead of addressing allegations of abuse of office, corruption and disobedience of court order levelled against it. The leader of the group, Dr. Zeek Martins Nnadozie, was reacting to Daily Sun report alleging that a former governor had concluded plans to remove Governor Rochas Okorocha from office. Dr Nnadozie, a former security adviser to the state government, described as diversionary and laughable the blame game antics of the government instead of explaining to Imo people how local government funds had been utilized since last year. “Imo people want to know what has happened to the N57 billion allocation to local governments since last year and what the government did with
the N70 billion state allocation. Ohakim has no control over EFCC which is asking the question”, he submitted. He described as cheap blackmail the allegation that Ohakim boasted of investing N25 billion on President Goodluck Jonathan campaign and, therefore, has the powers to remove Okorocha. Dr. Nnadozie said there was no way the former governor could work against his successor, noting that the current woes of Okorocha were selfinflicted. Said he: “Was it Ohakim that told Okorocha to award contracts without due process? Was it Ohakim that told the governor to run the state like a private firm or to sack local government and traditional rulers without recourse to the law? He said the reinstated local government chairmen didn’t need to be incited by Ohakim to assume their duty posts as proclaimed by the Court of Appeal. “The truth of the matter is that government is jittery over certain matters. In my local government, Ehime Mbano, a total allocation of N20.1 billion was made to it in the last one year. But there is no single culvert or borehole there.
•Dr Uwadiae (m) displaying answer script damaged by a candidate while Mr. S. B. Taiwo, Director of Admin and Mrs. E. Oyedotun, director of Finance watch with interest. Photo: GABRIEL DIKE
Police rescue kidnapped bank manager, arrest hotelier in Anambra
nambra State Police Command yesterday said it has arrested a popular hotelier and owner of Arthur Garden Hotel, Umusiome, Nkpor, near Onitsha, Mr. Arthur Udo Christopher, in connection with the kidnap of the Operations manager of Zenith Bank Plc, Nkpor Branch, Mr. Vincent Ohiagwu. Arthur Garden Hotel, Umusiome, Nkpor was last Sunday sealed off by Anambra State Government following alleged information that it was a hideout for kidnappers and
...Okorocha appoints DAGS as sole administrators From VAL OKARA, Owerri
arely 24 hours after an Owerri High Court presided over by Justice Ngozi Opara vacated the exparte order restraining Governor Rochas Okorocha from sacking council chairmen from office on August 8, the state government has announced the appointment of Directors of Administration and General Services (DAS) as sole administrators for the councils. A statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, Okorocha directed all DAGS in the 27 LGAs to take over the affairs of the
councils. According to the statement, arrangements are being made to conduct council elections in accordance with section 7 of the 1999 Constitution as amended “His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha hereby directs the Directors of Administration and General Services to take over the administration of the affairs of the Local Governments in the Interim, while arrangements are to begin as soon as possible to conduct elections in accordance with section 7 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.” Saturday Sun recalled that Appeal Court in Owerri on
July 5 ordered Okorocha to reinstate the 27 elected council chairmen in the state as he has no constitutional power to sack them.
the subsequent arrest of four kidnap suspects in the hotel. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ballah Nasarawa, who disclosed the arrest of the hotelier to newsmen in his office said, Mr. Christopher was picked up in Enugu after the four arrested kidnap suspects made confessions that led to the rescue of the bank manager and one Mr. Osita Okafor from Uga on August 4. Nasarawa gave the names of the kidnap suspects as Chinedu Eze, Obumneme Madugha, Okezue Chukwuemeka and Okoro John, adding that two other branches of Arthur Garden Hotel located at Afor-Nkpor and Anglican Lane, Off Limca Road, Nkpor have also been sealed off by the police. But in a swift reaction yesterday, the family of the hotelier disputed police’s claim
2 killed, 18 injured in Rivers auto crash From CHRIS ANUCHA, Port Harcourt
wo persons were killed yesterday and 18 others injured in a road mishap. The crash took place at Ahoada end of East-West Road, Elele Alimini, Rivers State. Confirming the accident, the Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr. Kayode Olagunju, said the accident occurred, 20 kilometres from Ahoada, to Port Harcourt.
He disclosed that it was caused by head-on collision, involving two vehicles, a Toyota Corolla car, with registration No. SAP 244 AA and a Toyota Hiace bus, with registration No. LG 30 ABU. Dr. Olagunju further disclosed that the Toyota bus, belonging to a local government in Rivers State was badly damaged. According to the Sector Commander, the injured persons were rushed to General Hospital, Ahoada, while the bodies of the victims had been deposited at the hospital’s mortuary.
that kidnappers were arrested at the hotel, challenging the command to parade the kidnappers if it was true that they made any arrest. A spokesman for the family, Mr. Augustine Udo, who said he was the executive consultant to the hotel, insisted that no kidnapper was arrested in the hotel, alleging that the
whole story was politically orchestrated to portray Christopher, the hotelier in bad light. Meanwhile, the state police boss said the command was still on investigations aimed at arresting the kidnappers of the monarch of Ukpo, Igwe Robert Eze, who was freed last Tuesday by his abductors.
Female banker kills LASTMA official in Lagos By CHRISTOPHER OJI
33-year-old Hammed Balogun, a staff of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) was yesterday allegedly killed by a banker along Lekki-Ajah Expressway, while at his duty post around Mega City, Ajah area of Lagos. The driver, whose identity was revealed by the Auto Inspector device as Yinka Johnson, a staff of IBTC drove a green Landrover Jeep SUV with registration number, CY 276 LSD, against traffic from Mega Chicken inward toll Plaza two and was intercepted by three officials of LASTMA led by the Head of Operations, Mr. Quayum Asafa for traffic violation. Johnson started driving recklessly in order to escape arrest and in the process ran over the officer. The deceased was rushed to Germaine Hospital where he later died as a result of injury sustained
from the accident while the corpse was deposited at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital, Ikeja for autopsy. When the gravity of the offence dawned on her, she escaped and ran to Ikota Estate, Ajah with the security men shutting the gate permanently. The situation became riotous as the security attached to the gate refused to open the it until the intervention of the Area Commander J, Mr. Felix Uwamli who mobilized and called for back-up . The suspect was finally arrested and taken to Ajiwe Police station from where she was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department, Panti for further interrogation. Confirming the incident, the General Manager of LASTMA, Engr. Babatunde Edu lamented the callous killings of two of his officers within a month and attributed this to impatience and indiscipline on the part of drivers in the state.
August 11, 2012
National news PDP chieftain slams ACN over Tukur By VINCENT KALU
•L-R: Wife of Nigeria’s president, Dame Patience Jonathan, Mrs. Roli Uduaghan and her husband, Gov Emmanuel Uduaghan during the funeral service of the late Madam Rebecca Ayonmike at First Baptist Church, Warri. Photo: BRIPIN ENARUSAI AND OKAFOR SUNNY
Dana plane crash: Families bury human parts By AZOMA CHIKWE, NKIRU EVONGWA, ONYEKACHI JET, JOB OSAZUWA and JOAN IKEKHIDE
ome families have been burying just body parts of the victims because of the fatality of the plane crash that made some victims lose several parts of their bodies in the accident. That explains why most of the victims’ corpses are not laid in state before burial because what was inside the coffin were dismembered bodies, a human leg, head, hand or other parts of the body. However, Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof.
…LASUTH explains delay in collection of corpses David Wale Oke, said that it is was better than mass burial and it is what is practised in advanced countries when such fatal accidents happen. He told Saturday Sun exclusively that the handling of the victims of Dana plane crash would be compiled into a report and presented in an international forum to show Nigeria’s advancement in managing such crisis. He also said that in a meeting between Lagos State government and the victims’ families, it was agreed that the victims be buried separately as against mass burial, which is outdated in modern societies. He recalled a mass burial of victims of a plane crash done at Ejigbo, a suburb of Lagos
State, where some relations of the crash victims can not visit easily because of distance. He commended Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola for taking the bold step to carry out the forensic analysis of the victims to ensure that each family buries its dead and that each victim has a personal grave side. Prof. Oke noted that the precedence set by Lagos State in handling the Dana plane crash victims will serve as a pathfinder in case of future occurrences in the country. “This is because the experts that handled the Dana Plane crash victims are here in LASUTH, are Nigerians and with the experience they have gathered, can handle similar
accidents if called upon.” LASUTH CMD further explained that the delay in collection of the bodies of the Dana plane crash is partly because some families have the next-of-kin of the victims outside the country. He also officially apologised on behalf of the hospital for the beating of a journalist, Mr. Benedict Uwalaka at LASUTH mortuary on Thursday. Meanwhile, activities continue at teaching hospital as relatives turn out in their numbers to finalise the process of getting their corpses released after which they would place them back in the morgue to pick them at their convenience.
Don’t be pessimistic over insecurity, Muslim board tells Nigerians From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, growing insecurity in the country. Abuja He said that the state of he Executive Secretary, insecurity should not be an Abuja National Mosque issue that should make people Management Board, to be pessimistic, saying: Alhaji Ibrahim Jega, has “People have to be optiadmonished Nigerians not mistic.” Speaking during the to be pessimistic about the
Ramadan Iftar organised by the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in collaboration with the Maryam Babangida Foundation at the Abuja National Mosque, Jega said challenges are not only peculiar to Nigeria, adding that challenges are peculiar to
Boko Haram: Police beef up security in Bauchi From PAUL ORUDE, Bauchi
otorists and motorcyclists in Bauchi yesterday were held up in heavy traffic for hours following security checks by police in the state. Many residents, who were held in the traffic along Yelwa Road, Wunti, Central Bank roundabout, Awala junction, Wunti Dada road and Gombe road, complained bitterly that the development had made them to miss many appointments and business deals. “I was going to the Federal Polytechnic for an important appointment when I was held up in the traffic at Vannilla roundabout, “ a resident, who pleaded anonymity, said. Residents using motorcycles popularly called okada were stopped at police checkpoints, pushed their bikes and
passed on foots. “I tell you it is not funny at all. But what is amazing is that the police don’t even bother to check car boots and bags properly. For instance, I was travelling to Jos carrying a bag but the police did not even bother to check my bag. So, if I was carrying a dangerous weapon, I would have easily passed,” he said. Another resident, Chief Austine Tsenzughul, who resides in Tsohon Konfani along Jos road, observed that the check is a mockery of thorough investigation or the normal stop-and-search because the policemen merely look at motorists and don’t ask them to open their car boots or lift the seats of motorbikes to see what is inside. In addition, they don’t even ask people carrying bags to show them the contents because they might be
carrying dangerous weapons” Residents observed that the new trend of security checks has heightened as a result of recent serial killings of police officers in the command; at least six policemen had been killed in the last two weeks in the state capital alone. Reacting to the situation, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Auyo told newsmen that the checks were normal in view of the security situation in the country. Auyo, who is an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), said policemen had been deployed to all nooks and crannies of the state as a preventive measure against security breach and appealed to members of the public to cooperate with security operatives, adding that it was in their best interest.
all developing and even, developed nations. “This is a challenge, this is a period of trial and this period, as far as I am concerned, my belief is that it has come and it will go and afterwards, Nigeria will wax stronger and more prosperous,” Jega said. Asked if he was confident that the perennial state of insecurity would fade away soon, Jega answered in the affirmative, saying: “Absolutely! Absolutely! It is a trial period but it will be over. On the visit by the Iranian Ambassador to his office and the Embassy’s participation in the Ramadan Iftar, Jega said it was an honour to the National Mosque, to the Muslim Umah by personally coming to the National Mosque and to also take Iftar to the Muslim community. “It is a clear indication that they have concern for us and they have love for us as Muslim brothers,” he said. In his remarks, the Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, Saeed Koozechi, said it was a great honour for him and his colleagues to participate in the Iftar and to visit the National Mosque of Nigeria, especially in the month of Ramadan.
chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State, Hon. Casmir Osuoha has carpeted Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) over its call for the resignation of national chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur because of the trial of his son, Mahmud Tukur over alleged fuel subsidy scam. Hon. Osuola, a former member of lmo State House of Assembly, in a chat with Saturday Sun, said the position of ACN on the matter is diversionary and defies all logic. Drawing inference from the Holy Bible, Hon. Osuola said, the sin of the father can not be visited on the son and vice versa, even as he pointed out that the allegation against Mahmud has not been proved and established before a court of competent jurisdiction and
noted that it would be wrong for ACN to adjudge him guilty. The former lawmaker berated ACN for making so much noise about morality when its hands are not clean. “Why would ACN with its dictatorial tendency and disdain for internal democracy talk about morality? They have not commented on the corruption allegation against the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Adeyemi Ikuforiji. The party is playing the ostrich in this matter and yet talks about morals. While cautioning the ACN to be constructive in its criticism, Osuoha noted that the children of the PDP national chairman are upright and some of them like Hon Awwal Tukur, distinguished himself as Committee Chairman on Aviation in the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003.
JTF recovers another arms cache in Borno, nabs 2 for extortion From TIMOTHY OLA, Maiduguri
he Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State, has again recovered a large consignment of arms and ammunition in Maiduguri, the state capital. Field Operations Officer, Colonel Victor Ebhaleme, who issued a statement yesterday on behalf of the JTF Commander, said the recovery of the arms and ammunition was possible because of intelligence reports available to the task force from arrest made previously by the JTF troops and other security agencies in the state. Col Ebhaleme, who also showed the arm cache to
journalists in Maiduguri yesterday, said a raid was conducted by JTF in the metropolis, leading to the recovery of four AK 47 rifles, one GPMG, nine RPG bombs and 11 chargers. Other arms recovered, according to the Ebhaleme, include 1, 032 rounds of ammunitions, three AK 47 magazines and three wooden butts. He also said the JTF arrested two suspects who were allegedly involved in sending anonymous threats through telephone text messages to individuals and demanding money. Col Ebhaleme urged residents “to always report such threats to security agencies early enough for prompt action.”
House committee declares war on oil thieves By RACHEL AGUNTA
he Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (upstream), Hon. Saubana Ajibola Muraina, has decried the monumental loss of revenue through stealing of petroleum products by vandals. He said the Federal Government suffers incalculable loss of revenue through the unwholesome activities of hoodlums, who vandalise petroleum pipelines across the country. To checkmate the activities of these vandals, Muraina said his committee had fine-tuned the various
contracts it had given since the inception of the Third Republic to wage war against criminal activities. “This war, which is against the perpetrators of this dastardly act, must be fought with all arsenals at our disposal”, he said. Saturday Sun gathered that some notable consultants have been engaged to beam the searchlight on the activities of petroleum thieves at the various export terminals, following concerns that the Federal Government was losing substantial revenue from crude oil. The consultants have identified some black spots where such activities were paramount, while efforts have been perfected to swoop on the culprits.
August 11, 2012
From Duro Adeseko, Lagos; Judex Okoro,Calabar; Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka; Abdulgafar Alabelewe, Kaduna; and Desmond Mgboh, Kano
he gale of self-autonomy declaration that hit the southern part of the country has spread to Cross River State where the people of Bakassi peninsula have declared their independence from Nigeria, a move that brought government to its knees yesterday with a plea that they should please reconsider their action and rescind their decision. Almost a decade after their land was ceded to Cameroon by the Nigerian government following an International Court of Justice judgment on the disputed territory, Bakassi indigenes on Thursday declared themselves independent of Nigeria, hoisted their own official flag and launched a radio station as marks of their independence. The action by the Bakassi Self-Determination Front (BSDF), which is the rallying point for the development, is coming barely a week after the Ogoni in Rivers State declared their own independence, hoisting their flag and floating a radio station. The first reaction from the Nigerian government, which came through the Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, is however a plea for dialogue. He appealed to the people of Bakassi not to take laws into their hands in their quest for justice and equity in Nigeria. This is even as the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) said the recent moves by the Ogoni and Bakassi people is a signpost that Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder. On its part, the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC said the decision to declare self-autonomy is in order, while the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF declared the move as treason. Imoke said the decision by the Bakassi people to hoist their own flag and launch a radio station is an “unfortunate development, unnecessary and uncalled for”, stressing that his administration believes in the peaceful resolution of the crisis. The governor argued that the only sustainable way of resolving the crisis is dialogue and peaceful conducts. “In line with this posture, the governor has appealed to the people of Bakassi not to abandon dialogue. He urged them to give the Federal Government the chance to look into their grievances and find solutions to them. “He said the recent visit of members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Treaties and Agreements to the area with regards to the Green Tree Agreement is an indication that the issue had get the right attention from the appropriate quarters. The governor, therefore, wants the people to reciprocate the Federal Government’s gesture by returning to the path of peace”, a statement by the governor’s chief press secretary, Christian Ita stated. In his reaction to the development, President and founder of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr. Federick Fasehun said that what the Ogoni and the Bakasi people have done amounts to unilateral declaration of self-independence which is supported by the United Nations, UN. He, however, argued that it would have been better if the groups declaring independence await the proposed national conference that would sooner or later be held in the country. He said the UN recognizes such declaration and the autonomy of such groups. “The United Nations supports and recognizes the autonomy of the people declaring self-independence”, he added. In its own reaction, MASSOB said Nigeria as a nation needs no other prophecy to convince her that an end is in sight. MASSOB’s Director of Information, Comrade Uche Madu, who spoke to Saturday Sun, said that what was happening was a clear indication that the 1914 amalgamation, which he described as a false marriage, has broken. “The introduction of Ijaw national flag, coat of arm, emblem and other identification of statehood by Bayelsa State government, the hoisting of Bakassi national flag with declaration of Bakassi Republic by Bakassi freedom fighters, recent declaration of self rule of Ogoni people by MOSSOP and Boko Haram terrorist war against Nigeria are open evidence that Nigeria is finished. “The faulty foundation and false marriage of 1914 amalgamation has broken, it’s a dangerous sign of doom for Nigeria. Nigeria is sitting on a time bomb that will explode in a shortest time”, the MASSOP’s spokesman declared. He stated that MASSOB was pleased with the ethnic nationalities for taking bold step, adding that their actions were a justification of the movement’s agitation for the Biafra. “MASSOB welcomes and congratulates this bold, eloquent step of self-determination by these ethnic nationalities. It’s a justification of MASSOB’s agitation for Biafra”, he added. The movement urged the political elite to drop the deceptive preaching of good governance as the game was as good as over. “The political leaders should stop deceiving themselves with preaching of good governance, the sycophantic religious leaders should stop their false prophecy of peace and unity in Nigeria because the centre no longer holds. “The OPC will soon rise to portray the true meaning of its creed, the Middle Belt group will soon rise against Nigeria, and some Christian fundamentalists will soon rise against the muslim establishments. Igbos residing in the North should leave immediately before Murtala Mohamed bridge is broken”, he stressed. The pro-North Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, however, took a different position on the development which it called treason. National vice chairman of the body, Senator Joseph Kennedy Waku, who spoke with Saturday Sun on the matter said: “It is total indiscipline and this shows how unserious and incompetent this government is. What the Ogoni and Bakassi people are doing is treason, their actions are a clear threat to the
Don’t go please, govt begs Bakassi people •As Bakassi declares independence •Hoists own flag, launches radio station •ACF, OPC, MASSOB, others react
Nigerian state.” “It is obvious they are all taking these steps one after the other because of government’s incompetence or tacit support. Otherwise, how do you explain Federal Government’s inaction and continued silence on the development. We believe there is a conspiracy and it is part of a hidden agenda but we see how far they can go”, he added. The Northern Youth Assembly (NYA) also took the position of the ACF in its own reaction, saying that Nigerians should demand explanations for the actions of the groups from President Goodluck Jonathan, as a Nigerian leader who hails from the region. National Chairman of the NYA, Barrister Ibrahim Waiya, who spoke to Saturday Sun in a telephone interview, argued that the groups were sponsored by the Jonathan government. According him, “government should demand explanation from President Jonathan. Because, if he keeps mum, we would be forced to conclude that, he is behind the treasonable actions of the groups”. NYA president, who also described the declaration as sabotage, attributed it to failure of government at all levels, saying that, Nigeria is bigger than any group or section of the country. While pointing out that Bayelsa State receives more than five northern states from the monthly federal allocation, Waiya condemned the move coming from such state, which was benefiting that much from the federation. He also condemned the actions of Asari Dokubo as treasonable, saying that Dokubo was a certified militant who had no locus standi to hold brief for his people. “The utterances of these frustrated elements of the Niger Delta amount to an affront on the constitution and total disregard to the rule of law and, therefore, Goodluck Jonathan has to order the arrest of Dr. Goodluck Diigbo for the inciting statements capable of undermining the peace and unity of the Nigerian nation. “The people of Niger Delta should understand that their unguarded and uncomplimentary utterances will not qualify them as heroes, but rather reduce Goodluck Jonathan to a weak leader. “Let them be warned that the people of the North are not fools but rather peace loving people, and, therefore, should not take our silence as cowardice and we are for them at all time, even at war”, he stressed Former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Alhaji Abubabar Tsav, in his own reaction, faulted the inaction of the Federal Government over the self -autonomy declaration by the leader of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, (MOSOP), Dr Goodluck DiIgbo. Dr. DiIgbo, he insisted, ought to have been arrested and questioned by the State Security Service (SSS) in respect of his August 5 declaration by now.
The retired police boss, who spoke to Saturday Sun in Kano, also reacted angrily to the threats of war by some Niger Delta elements; especially the one by Asari Dokubo, the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF). Dokubo had threatened war should any harm happen to President Jonathan, adding that those seeking to remove the president from office were fanning the embers of war. He accused northern leaders of encouraging the atmosphere of insecurity in the country. But Tsav said that the incessant cases of individuals and groups threatening civil war in the country is inimical to the peace of the country as it would serve as precedents for other groups and persons in other regions to join the trend. He maintained that the present security challenges in the North called for the concerted efforts of all, adding that its solution still lies in dialogue with Boko Haram rather than accusing northern leaders of complicity. He argued that the former president, the late Alhaji Umaru Yar Adua had extended dialogue to youths in Niger Delta as a result of which peace was restored in the region, saying same could still work in the present case. He applauded the new National Security Adviser, Mr Sambo Dasuki for visiting some of the affected states to hold talks with their community leaders, adding that though the bombings and killings had not abated, there is hope that his efforts would yield fruits in due course. As the situation gets tensed up in the peninsula, Camerounian soldiers have piled up arms in the area ready for any action as the Bakassi group had issued a two-week ultimatum to its people still living within the ceded territory to vacate or be crushed in a cross-fire. The Bakassi’s radio station started transmission on August 6 at noon and operates on 4.2MHz and 5.2MHz band. The station, otherwise known as “Dayspring”, is part of efforts by the group to ensure the liberation of Bakassi people as well as disseminate information on developments. In his maiden broadcast, the Commander-General of the BSDF, Ekpe Ekpenyong Oku, said: “Please, for the umpteenth time, we plead with our people to leave Abana now. The fight is going to be thickest and fiercest now that our brothers from the northern and eastern flanks have fully arrived. Bakassi we hail thee.” Oku revealed that arrangements had been concluded with some international liberation groups to assist the Bakassi natives in the battle ahead. The Bakassi militant leader did not disclose details of the international liberation group, but noted: “Ours will be a classical story of the elephant and the ant. The elephant will soon be driven frantic with ants all over its enormous bulk. The elephant will be so harassed and will find no respite and will dash itself against a tree trunk. “Throughout history, injured people have had to resort to arms in their self-defence where peaceful negotiations fail. Bakassi people are no exception. Our right to self-determination is imminent; some will die, but some will live to reap from our labour.” The BSDF warned all travellers on the sea to stay away as “August 11 and 12, 2012 this week will be bloody and is not good to travel on the sea. No sea movement so that you don’t have cause to regret. There shall be no movement of boats from Ikang or Marina beach to Cameroun on these two days. Be warned. “We call on men of goodwill, individuals, human rights organisations and the indigenous people of Bakassi to join hands in resisting and fighting the present international conspiracy.” In the wake of the Green Tree Agreement (GTA) in 2006, a group under the name ‘Bakassi Freedom Fighters’ had threatened to seek independence if Nigeria renounced sovereignty. The group even went ahead to hoist the then Bakassi flag of the rising sun in Abana, the headquarters of Bakassi now in Cameroun. But a few days to handing over Bakassi to Cameroun at the Government House in Calabar, Cross River State, the leader of the militant group, Tony Ene, died in a mysterious road accident along Calabar-Itu highway. The federal and state governments were strongly fingered in the death of Ene. Now, tension is high in the peninsula as some Nigerians have started fleeing the area for safety as it is alleged that the village head of Ekoi, near Abana, Chief Okon Effiong Esu, is missing and there is the fear that he might have been killed by Camerounian soldiers.
Cover Story SATURDAY SUN
August 11 2012, PAGE 13
WHY WE’RE SOFT ON BOKO HARAM —JONATHAN
•Says ‘they are our brothers and sisters’ By JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE
resident Goodluck Jonathan has told Nigerians home and abroad that he has deliberately been soft on members of the Boko Haram islamist sect because they are part of the Nigerian family and as the head of the family, he cannot afford to mobilize soldiers to wipe out members of his own family. “On Boko Haram, yes we have challenges there and we are working very hard to resolve it. You will agree with me that before now, none of us would have believed that a Nigerian would tie explosive on his body or in a car to go and commit suicide bombing; it was never in our system. In 2009, when a Nigerian was picked up in an attempt to blow up an American airline, we all said it was because he grew up in
the West and that suicide bombing was not a part of us. But today, the reality has dawned on us. We never had security architecture to deal with that, especially when you have suicide bombers that are your own siblings. It is extremely difficult to deal with them. You cannot mobilise the whole soldiers to go and wipe out your entire family. So, it is more delicate”, the president declared during an interactive session with the Nigerian community in Trinidad and Tobago. The president had during his last media chat on national television network admitted that the sect which has been responsible for violent attacks in which hundreds of persons have been killed across parts of the country, has remained a major headache to his administration. Before departing the oil-rich island after a two day visit, President Jonathan said instead of
deploying the full weight of federal might to crush the Boko Haram menace, he has chosen to go soft because of the delicate nature of the security challenge posed by the sect. According to him: “I recall when I had a meeting with elders from Bornu State – because Borno and Yobe states are the headquarters of Boko Haram – one of them said that even if one of your sons is a member of Boko Haram you will not know. So, it is easier to deal with foreigners than with your brothers. “But we are dealing with the situation, we had to quickly build up our own security architecture, we have been able to frustrate a lot of attacks. We cannot rest until we get to zero bombing. “The reasons behind Boko Haram might be religious, political but whatever the reason, the activities of Boko Haram are inimical to our
progress and development and we must do what we can to bring it to an end and by the grace of God we will succeed. “Yes you might feel scared going home, luckily we are in this region of reggae music and they have a song that says he who fights and run away will live to fight another day. If your country faces a problem, we must just join hands to solve that problem. All these countries you are enjoying, people fought and died even for our freedom, to be an independent nation people fought for it. To crush the apartheid in South Africa, people fought and died for it, we cannot surrender our country to Boko Haram. And government alone cannot succeed in fighting terror, if you read about terror all over the world, it is not solved only by confrontation that is just 25 per cent, 75 per cent is other
Continued on Page 14
August 11, 2012
‘Confrontation not panacea for terrorism’ Continued from Page 13 means which we are also adopting. Confrontation is the first attack to reduce the damage they will cause. Confrontation does not solve terror problem anywhere in the world. You must have seen how long it took America with the sophistication in killing Osama Bin Laden even at that they are still fighting terror.” While updating the gathering on some of the successes he has recorded since he assumed leadership as the president of Nigeria, Jonathan said he has succeeded in building a foundation for stabilizing the nation’s democracy through credible, fair and free election. In his words: First when the issue of my contesting election came up, a lot of Nigerians said all we wanted was a free and fair election because it is the beginning of development in any society. A situation in which the voter’s card has no potency to remove an officer of government that is not performing, of course, people will be frustrated. “When I came in as a Vice President, our elections in 2007 were perceived to be flawed and whenever I travelled out, I was made to feel so guilty and that had made me to vow that should I find myself in a position to conduct a free, fair and credible election, I would not hesitate to do so. I did just that and insisted that the power of the people must not be usurped by anybody because when you do that, you are creating a situation where people will revolt, because if voter’s card cannot change government, you are courting the gun. It is only when our voter’s card can change government that you can keep the military in the barracks. “I always say we know what happened in the First Republic but that of the Second Republic is more vivid, three months after election the military struck, yes people said it was as a result of corruption and all that but note that the way the elections were conducted was quite frustrating, people realised that their voter’s cards could not change a bad government and so they looked for alternative way to change government. “That is why we said in this era where the whole world is celebrating democracy that Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind. We have been able to achieve that because when we came in 2007, it was even difficult for other heads of state to congratulate us because they felt the elections were flawed, but that of 2011 we received calls from everywhere and we promised that subsequent elections will be better than that. The Edo election has come and gone and up till now nobody is in court to contest it and I believe that we should not go back to where we were before. “I had to start with elections because there are number of things that are not right in our country and to start to fix them, anything you try to do properly, you will offend so many people. And these people will not keep quiet, they must come after you, they must look for reasons and means of discrediting you. There is nothing you will not read, especially in the social media about the government. But let me encourage you to come back home, you will see that most of those things are fabrications. We will continue to do our best, we have sanitised the electoral system. The fertilizer procurement processes, before now, every year, Nigerian government spent billions to procure fertilizer and less than 12 per cent got to the farmers. Where did the rest go? And even the ones that got to the farmers, some of them were mixed with sand. “We also wanted to do the same thing with fuel subsidy, but of course, they moved the civil society against us and unfortunately we couldn’t get to where we want to. But at least to some extent we have gone very far to ensure that the sector is sanitized and some of those with shady deals are being properly examined. We have also vowed to bring crude oil stealing to zero. It started years back, not in Jonathan’s time, but people refused to confront it frontally then. In some of the companies, the amount of oil being
stolen are more than what we produce, how can we continue that way? The oil belongs to all of us, is our own common resource and is for us and our children and people are stealing it. That will also come to an end. In his response to a demand for direct air flight between Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago, Jonathan assured the Nigerian community that his administration is working on how to solve the problem. “On having a direct flight, one of the reasons both countries have not been able to have a very viable airline, is that in the case of Nigeria, poor management has deprived us of having a viable airline. We hear all sorts of name like Okada Air, Oriental Air before you know it they are no more. Now we have Arik and we hope they will continue for a long time. That is one of the problems we have in Africa, to travel within Africa is so cumbersome, at times travelling to other African countries you might have to get to London first or Dubai. This, at times, is attributed to the population of those countries. So, at times the foreign air lines have to go these longer routes in order to break even. “But these are areas we are working on and we had agreed with the government of Trinidad and Tobago when we were in Australia to look into and explore ways we can resolve it. You must first make travelling within Africa easy if you must encourage trade and investment and also we have a lot of things in common with some of the Caribbean countries and even other American countries. For some that came with me, they had to travel through London before getting here and that is waste of resources but the issue is quite germane and we are going to address them. “On the Nigerian Embassy funding, we are of the view that there is no reason it should be dilapidated. I have to thank you for speaking for the Embassy because at times they find it difficult to complain about the challenges they face. You are complaining for them, this is a situation where another man has headache and another is taking phensic for him. “It will encourage us to have good links culturally with our brothers and sisters from Trinidad and Tobago, so we will look into that”.
Speaking earlier at the forum, Professor Edwin Ekwe, who is the president of the Nigerian community, had said the interaction provided an opportunity for them to air their problems, seek government’s intervention in whatever challenge they are facing in their host country, consular problems, and also to hear first-hand from President Jonathan what he is doing to erase the wrong impression in the outside world about Nigeria. While the Nigerian High Commissioner, Musa John Jen and president of the Nigerian Community, Edwin Ekwe chose to eulogise President Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience for their achievements back home, a member of the audience, Oritse Thiemeyin U. Mewe-Pira chose to seize the moment to outline their challenges. “Our major problem is the immigration problem. For a Nigerian to come to Trinidad and Tobago, you must pay for the visa and also to pay a bond that is $21,000 which Nigeria does not require of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago if they are visiting Nigeria. “The other hurdle is that those that overstay their visa are put in jail, two years, three years. Some years I think it should be during Obasanjo’s time, Nigeria was trying to break relationship with Trinidad and Tobago because of the same immigration problems. The government of Trinidad and Tobago must be made to deport them or take them to court. Some of them are married to citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and have kids but all these they have chosen to ignore. “So, I am asking Mr. President to use his good offices to look into that aspect, this bond thing and if the government of Trinidad and Tobago cannot and would not desist, then the Nigerian government should impose same on Trinidad and Tobago citizens in Nigeria. But besides these two issues, the country has been good to us. “Also, it is high time we told our government back home to remove politics when it comes to diplomatic postings. I have been looking for a telephone number of any media organisation in Nigeria to tell them that the quality of ambassadors and the diplomats that are being posted should be devoid of politics because these men
and women cannot serve. This is 2012, if they want Nigeria to be a progressive state, they must not do it on the basis of tribe and politics. They must be able to choose people on the basis of merit and competence”. Earlier, Ambassador Jen had commended President Jonathan for his commitment to implementing the transformation agenda. “We have experienced relative stability in spite of the efforts of sectarian elements in Nigeria to bring instability and try to rubbish the gains of the democratic dispensation. Mr. President has continued undeterred and we want to express our appreciation for that”. Jen praised Jonathan’s administration for bringing stability to the political arena, saying, “for the first time in the history of Nigeria we have had peaceful transfer of power and one of the freest and fairest elections that were conducted. Whenever I pass through the US, some of our friends in the US will be congratulating us for making good progress in our democratic dispensation by conducting a free and fair election that was acceptable to all, including the international community in Nigeria.” President Jonathan, accompanied by his wife, Patience, arrived at South Terminal of Piarco International Airport, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago after 10-hour flight to a royal welcome. He was met by President George Maxwell Richards and his wife, Dr. Jean Ramjohn-Richards; Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and almost all of her cabinet, many of them in African wears; Chief Justice Ivor Archie; House Speaker Wade Mark; Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith; High Commissioner of Nigeria to Trinidad and Tobago, Musa John Jen; and other members of the diplomatic corps and other officials. Other notable members of the delegation were Emeka Offor, the CEO of Chrome Oil, who is also the patron of the Nigeria/Trinidad and Tobago Chamber in Nigeria, co-chair of the Nigeria/Trinidad and Tobago Chamber. There was Hon. Awwal Bamanga Tukur, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, and former Attorney General of the Federation, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode and some senior aides of President Jonathan.
August 11, 2012
Cover Story By DURO ADESEKO
ice presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 elections, Pastor Tunde Bakare, is convinced that the trial of oil marketers accused of oil subsidy theft is all a show. Or “I can guarantee you that the best is to ask them to refund the money they took and they will not tell us whether it was refunded or not.” To the cleric, there is nothing unlawful in using his church to make political demands or calling for social change. He also told Saturday Sun in this interview that, since the president admitted that Boko Haram has penetrated his government, it would amount to chasing shadows by fighting the sect since it has members in the arms of government. On the threat to impeach Jonathan, he said the resolution is empty, adding that Nigerians should adopt a wait-and-see attitude; although he admitted that the point the House made has merit. Excerpts:
What is your position on the threat by the National Assembly to impeach the President if the budget is not implemented in its entirety before September 18? My opinion is that the impeachment threat is one year late. So, I can’t take them seriously. I do not think they will pull it through. They should have acted on the admission of the government spending two trillion without appropriation. That is an impeachable offence. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala responded by saying that there is no government in the world that does 100 per cent implementation. That they have moved from 39 per cent in May to 53 per cent in July and before the year runs out, they will still do more. Whatever percentage they agree upon within them, we will wait to see if the House can prove that it is not a toothless bulldog. Is the Senate not going to be involved? You know they are not working together. The House and the Senate have their own agenda. Each Chamber has its own agenda. Especially when both the heads of the House and the Senate have their eyes on the highest seat in the days to come. They can’t work together. Two cannot work together except they agree. They are already eying where they would go. Let us wait to see if they will get anywhere. Some are saying the threat is empty. The spirit behind it, the argument and all that Gbajabiamila said deserves some applause. At least we can say somebody is speaking. Outside of that, as far as I am concerned, they can’t travel far. The Security people invited you and you told Nigerians that it would not, in any way, change your approach to national issues. The questions many ask is, why say these things on the pulpit? That is the platform I have. Jesus called Herod fox while he was preaching. The prophets challenged the authorities either in their own domains or Mount Camel when they invited them to a public encounter. Except I am invited to a public domain, the domain I have is what God has given me. It is the place of the call of God and I am talking to my primary constituency – the church. I have every right under the law to preach the word of God and to do so under the ambit of the law. If they can prove that I have violated any law, then they have cause for concern. They should go and use their secret service and their intelligence and abilities to investigate Boko Haram and leave people like us alone. The complaint in some quarters is that you use Sunday service as your political platform. Go and check all the messages I preach and see if I have no other job other than political preaching. By the way, if I use that platform to do what I am doing and the people in the church appreciate what I am doing; enlightening them about their responsibilities to the state and to their families… The church is the salt of the earth and the light of the world that is set up on a hill that cannot be hidden. The Bible says from the lips of the priest, men should learn about the law because he is the messenger of God. They should come to him about knowledge. Clergymen should not be lazy men. Partisanship is not a crime, neither is it a sin. You spearheaded the trial of those accused of subsidy theft through the Save Nigerian Group. Are you satisfied with the way it has been handled so far since prosecution has started? I can’t trust the Federal Government, neither can I trust any agency under them and a leadership that condones corruption cannot checkmate corruption. You see all the people, if you look at them in the newspapers and television, all the people arraigned were laughing. They know it was a show. It is going nowhere. The people of this country must find alternative that are lawful to prosecute the war against corruption. It is not going to go anywhere. I can guarantee you that the best is to ask them to refund the money they took and they will not tell us whether it was refunded or not.
There won’t be election in 2015 The Yoruba say the man who stole palm oil is not the only thief; the man who receives it is also a thief. It is all in the Internet that some of these people gave money to Diezani for the election of Mr. President. There has been no denial from them. At best, they ask them to refund or at the worse scenario, they will sentence them to two years imprisonment in VIP prisons, part of which they will spend in five star hospitals.
are behind it. It takes a thief to produce a thief. If your father is a thief, what else would you be? If the children of the powerful are behind the oil theft, their fathers are thieves that show them the way-Ali Baba and 40 thieves. They say in Yorubaland that: You see the face of a thief and you did not catch him, Your son is not a drycleaner, He is bringing cloth home, You see the face of a thief and you did not catch him. Like the lecture, Professor Niyi Osundare gave: His father was invited for a party sponsored by one of the village truants who had gone to town and came back and in a shot peri-
The surprise is that the children of public office holders
Continues on Page 16
– Tunde Bakare
August 11, 2012
‘Subsidy trials are mere shows’ Continued from Page 15
struck children and suckling, whereas there were children and servants of the king who were given the command first and they did not touch the priest. So, they are either the Doeg the Edomite without conscience because it is an Edomite, a bundle of flesh, or they are servants of the king with conscience.
od very rich and Professor Osundare’s father said he was not attending such a party, where did he get his money from? Less than six months after, the man was brought back home in handcuff. Where I come from, if you are sent to jail, you never return. You go to Oke-oya – beyond the Niger, to live because we have compound and the name to protect. They have neither names nor compounds. A thief begets thieves.
But the parents said their children are old enough to defend themselves and in any case, they have not been convicted. As far as I know, parents of these people are law-abiding citizens. If their children behave in a way that is not consistent with their value system, it is not wrong to distance themselves because if they have trained their children in the way they should go and they now depart from it, something is wrong. However, if they say their children are old enough to defend themselves and that they have not been convicted, that is double speak. I would be concerned if my son is found in the midst of armed robbers. I would be concerned if my son or daughter is found among those who are pilfering from public treasury because that is not the value I gave to them. That will give me concern. Look at a clear example of Mutalab. The father went to the embassy to report that his son is behaving in a way that is not consistent with the value that he had given to him. If he had not done that, he would be roped in as one of the sponsors of terrorists. So, let us see what happens whether these fathers have enough value system in themselves to dissociate from the activities of their children or whether at the end of the day, what happened in a courtroom in ancient Yorubaland would happen to any of these fathers. A son was about to be convicted and sent to prison and as the judge announced that he will give sentence, he said please let me speak to my mother. The mother came near the son and the son used his 32 teeth to cut off the ear of the mother. He said: “You are a wicked woman. You didn’t tell me that what I was doing was wrong. Each time I stole and brought it home, you took from me. You are a wicked mother.” Let us see what will happen because Jesus said: “ Do not think I have brought peace on earth. I have brought sword – father against son and son against the father.” We would soon see whether they are birds of the same feather or they are people who are a chip of the old block. The old block may be corrupt-ridden or might be corrupt-free. Let us talk about Madam Patience Jonathan who is the First Lady and at the same time a permanent Secretary in Balyesa State. Is it a normal development? It would be normal to political imbeciles and morons. That was what I said at a press conference. It is like you are the Imam of a mosque and at the same time you want to be the Seriki of the mosque. It is greed. It is covetousness. At best, it is a preparation for a key position in Niger Delta Republic if they succeed in balkanizing Nigeria (laughter).
How do you rate the Edo State governorship election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission? Perhaps, it gives a glimpse of hope that the next general election, if the table is cleaned up, the next general elections may be free, clean, clear and credible. But it is not yet uhuru as I said elsewhere because when you have three soldiers to one civilian voting, it is not a good sign. It should be a picnic time when citizens are free to make their own choice of candidates that would represent them.
Bakare to happen in Nigeria. But it would now be a conflagration of all the movements in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya like a sandwich for Nigerian situation.
But some people described Nigerians as docile. That is what it used to be until January. From January 2012, Nigerians are no longer docile. They are only waiting for quality leadership. Social mobility is no longer frozen in Nigeria. That is the miracle of our time that is shocking the Again, it has been reported that Patience and wife of powers that be. You heard how arrogantly Jonathan the late President Umar Yar’Adua, Turai are fighting announced that they are not going to back down on how over a piece of land in Abuja and it has gone to court. I am not aware that they are fighting over a piece of land. I much they have fixed the pump price and that agitation produced the PIP law that is now being sent to the legislature as wish them well. well as all the investigations going on including that of Nuhu Ribadu. It is not a personal matter. Turai has an NGO and Patience has an NGO and both are laying claim to the You also talk of revolution? land. I am convinced there would be a people’s movement that What is not personal in it? The NGO of a former first lady and the NGO of another first lady are personal issues. I think would say no. I am not interested in blood flowing and heads all that is happening with the revocation of a piece of land is rolling. The God that I serve does not drink blood. I don’t want the blood of anybody to flow. But people must say a payback and a show of power that we are now in charge. enough is enough. You have stolen enough. We take it from Once upon a time your husband was in charge and this is their hands and start afresh. how my husband was treated. Now, we show you we are in charge. Vengeance has no foresight. By the way, the military stopped anti-subsidy rally at Ojota. What do you say to other political parties teaming up The military did not stop it. The military came in the night. for 2015? They couldn’t come in the daytime. They are cowards. I wish them well, if there would be a 2015. The problems on ground should give concern to people and we should be But they prevented you from going to the venue? addressing the issues of today. Let such parties demonstrate We were not planning to go back anymore. We had finthat they have what to offer Nigerians now. I wish them well. ished on Friday and we were looking for strategies to use. We were not making any plans. They were the ones chasing You said there might be no election in 2015. Why do shadows. Show us where we told the people we would meet you say that? on Monday. We told them that we would tell them what Well, the House is threatening to impeach the President. The Vice President is hands-and-foot involved with the presi- would happen next. We would get in touch with them. We wouldn’t have exposed the lives of our people to danger dent. Both of them could go. The Senate President becomes the acting president and you must conduct election within 90 because we know the people who do such obey the last order, whether evil or not. That was why I pointed it out in days. Besides that, as we are behaving now, people’s revolt can set the things that happened in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt the Bible yesterday. Doeg the Edomite killed 85 priests and
Would you want that repeated at the coming governorship election in Ondo? By the grace of God, we pray that the election in Ondo would be free, fair and credible. I tell you what? The man that is there and all the report I got so far from associates and colleagues, is that he’s put landmark things there that the people are also speaking about. If he’s done so well, he deserves a second term. Are we winning the war on Boko Haram? I know the story of a woman who gave birth to seven children and all the seven of them, one after the other, were convicted on armed robbery and shot. The press carried it many years ago. That story has kept coming back to me any time I consider Boko Haram. It is clear to me that you cannot fight your own shadow. The further you want to run away from it, the more it pursues you. What am I saying? Jonathan said Boko Haram is in the executive arm of government, it is in the legislative arm of government and it is in the judicial arm of government or the judiciary. That simply says that he knows those who are there. Jonathan himself is Boko Haram. That is why he can’t fight it. Boko Haram is insisting on Islamizing the nation. Boko Haram cannot be true Islam. If you want to see true Islam in action, go to Dubai, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi or Indonesia. They have the largest Muslim population in the entire world. Boko Haram is not progressive Islam. Don’t believe a lie. If Islam means peace and just like a derivative of Shalom, Islam means peace. If it means peace and these people are behaving this way, they do not represent the culture of true Islam. Besides all that, the truth of the matter is that there are three or four groups that call themselves Boko Haram- criminal Boko Haram are bombing the banks, political Boko Haram is known to PDP, security Boko Haram is organized by the security services to justify the expenditure and the high expensive vote that they have voted for themselves. Of course,, there is the religious Boko Haram that is in the North East. Remember the story of our nation. Mitasine threatened the nation in Kano the same way. But decisive leadership quelled it. Now we have clueless leadership and all those Boko Haram, he said, are dipping hands in his own bowl and they are eating from the same plate.
Saturday People AUGUST 11, 2012
NICHOLAS OKOYE Making millions not a priority You are in telecommunications, of all industries. Why’s that? I actually have quite a number of industries that I am e is humble; he speaks without putting the involved in, not just the telecommunications. You know it’s a focus on him, his personal achievement and mass-market product. But I am involved in the finance induswhat is in for him. His interest, according to try, I am also involved in the capacity building industry, that him, is the other person, especially younger is the Anabel Leadership Academy, and also involved in the Nigerians who need to be empowered so they technology industry, Anabel technology. We build platforms can contribute to the development of the and software application that allow groups to work together country. Mr. Nicholas Okoye, owner of Ananbel Group of in an organizational environment. Companies and co-chairman of the Investment and Trade Commission of the Nigerian Summit Group, tells What especially do you find so fascinating about your of his efforts to give younger Nigerians a head-start work? through his investments. He said all this in this interview. What fascinates me, first of all, is the ability to engage in He also discussed some aspects of his business concerns work. You have to be passionate about what you do to be and, of course, Nigerian business environment. successful in life. So, I am very passionate about a lot of Excerpt. what I do. I like to affect people’s lives; I like also to work By SUNDAY ADEBAYO
on initiative that can create jobs. At Anabel Capitals, for instance, we are about to launch an initiative, which is called Job for Nigeria. And we are going to use technology to amalgamate the availability of jobs for Nigerians all over the country. How long did it take you to plan all these? I have always been interested in contributing to the society; I don’t believe in taking from the society. I believe in adding, and like any other entrepreneur, while you are adding, you are also making money and earning a living. But at the same time, you are affecting people’s lives, creating opportunities. If not for the corrupt political system we have here, I would have run for office in order to affect lives, but I am not interested in doing that. However, I believe I can still affect life from the private sector by empowering and giving people the opportunity to create jobs
•Turn to pg 18
August 11, 2012
Saturday People •Continued from Pg 17 for themselves, and by linking people up with the job opportunity and by making a kind of seamless approach. With the technology platform that we are planning, people in Sokoto will be able to identify opportunities in Port Harcourt, using our platform and we are going to link them together. So, we are trying to use technology to solve problems and to help people advance their lives.
‘We want to build army of phone technicians’
Looking at your areas of business with so much competition, how well are you competing? Well, competition in business has always been there and it will always be there. So, you don’t go into business hoping that you will be a monopoly and all that. So, that’s not really an issue. The issue is, are you achieving your set-goal, and are you growing at the pace at which you wished to grow? A lot of Nigerians want to come out in business and blow in just one year or thereabouts, but they don’t really know that everything requires patience and it takes time to get there and dedication and commitment. You set your goals, targets and then achieve them and go. And that’s not the way businesses should go. Dangote, one of the largest companies in the country and in Africa today, did not just start yesterday. It takes time to grow companies, especially companies with significant value and capacity building. So, we understand that it takes time, and we are committed and dedicated to our goals. Would you say you have achieved the objectives? We have achieved some; we did not achieve everything. But that is due to several factors. The Nigerian business environment is very tough. In our office, we have two generators; we have flooded roads and several other challenges. One of the challenges we have faced is the quality of staff. The educational system in Nigeria has been destroyed, sorry to say. Most of the people that we interview on a daily basis cannot even express themselves, and this is really bad. And to build a viable enterprising business, you need quality people and that is very difficult to achieve. But in spite of that, we are still around and committed to our goals. How have government policies helped your business over the years? There are quite a number of government policies that are good, but are not being implemented. For instance, one of the great policies that have come out is the local content policy, but that is for the oil and gas industry. Some Nigerians have benefited and Nigerians are beginning to grow oil and gas businesses and jobs are being created. There was also a policy that came out sometimes – the Cabotage Law, which also affects the shipping industry a lot. It is also a local content policy, which allows Nigerians to own ships. We need to expand that concept; we need to extend local content, especially because most of the dollars are going into international forex and the only way we can benefit is for legislation to come and maybe compel these telecoms giants to start doing business. But it is very unfortunate that all these telecoms businesses, apart from Globacom, are international companies. What have you, as an entrepreneur, done to help achieve implementations of these laws over the years? I am presently the chairman of the Investment and Trade Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group. So, I have access to some of these government functionaries and I do talk to them on oneon-one basis at every opportunity I get. So, we do that. And having said that, we are in the process of putting a group together on global entrepreneur so that we can create advocate for local content in communication. Because some of the private talks do not seem to be getting to the right ears, right people are not taking action. I believe that it is
clearly within the purview of the Nigerian Telecommunications Commission, but since they have not taken action, maybe they need a little more pressure and I believe that by the time some of them come together, which we are doing now, they will definitely implement something. As the co-chairman of the Investment and Trade commission of the Nigerian Summit Group for private sector, what are some of your assignments and how effective have you been? Well, in trade and investment, it’s just the private sector group, we do more of advocacy. We have networked our private sector participants, we have identified what the problems are and they have told us what we need to do and then we present those issues to the government periodically in the economic conference. And I also can you tell you that the DG, Mr. Frank Nweke, jnr, has been able to work very closely with the Minister for National Planning and they have now got a situation that everything that comes out from the summit gets submitted to the government agency in charge on a regular basis. So, I believe we have made a lot of progress. When will you say you get to the point of stability in business? Well, stability is relative. It’s a function of your set-goals. I can set up a small community convenient store down the road and within a week I could be stabilized. So, it’s relative. It’s very difficult to say when it will happen because, as businesses grow, more
opportunities come, more ideas come, and more expansion also sets in. For instance, two years ago, we did not have Bell Lab; now we have that. We have technicians; we are training people. So, we want to build an army of technicians that understands how to assemble, manufacture, repair, service and maintain phones. So, when people start manufacturing phones in Nigeria, there will be an army of people who can do it. And that is the contribution we are making to the society. We are also giving a lot of scholarship to participants. Having been in business for a while now, when would you say you made your first million? I am not one of those who will say I made my million at 19 or at 21, I have just been working and focusing on affecting people’s lives; empowering people, which is really what I love to do. So, making million is not the priority. As long as we can affect lives, we are content. In terms of telecommunications development, will you say Nigeria is getting close? For now, telecommunications is provided as a service in Nigeria, which we need. But we haven’t yet used the industry to build capacity, not just in terms of economic capacity, but to create jobs and build capacity. There is so much we can do in that industry which we have not yet started. What we have now is that we have services, but are Nigerians benefiting? I doubt it. So, it beholds the regulators to take a step back and see the industry in totality.
As a very busy man, how do you relax? I relax by watching movies. I swim, but my best area of sport interest is walking, running and I also play badminton. You have travelled far and wide, where would you say is your best holiday spot? It’s the Caribbean. There are quiet a number of islands like Bahamas, Jamaica and Dominican Republic – but I will say the Caribbean; it’s a lovely place. If you were to go to an island for a weekend, what three things would you take along with you? My swimsuit. That’s my number one, number two, and number three. If I open your briefcase, what five things would I find? You probably will find my jotter, my electronic pad, my pen. You always look good, who clothes you? I have a number of stylists that I work with. But looking good is good business. In my opinion, people should always dress the way they’d love to be addressed. If you look good, you can never go wrong. What are your most cherished fashion accessories? It depends on what you mean by accessory, but if we look at fashion generally, I will say my suit. That would be the most cherished, followed by shoes.
August 11, 2012
Saturday People My son’s kidnap pushed me to start training ex-militants By JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, just back from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
n December 2011, the National Energy Skills Centre (NESC), Trinidad and Tobago, signed a landmark training agreement, for the training of Nigerians benefiting from the Amnesty Programme of the Federal Government, with Qess Services Limited’s CEO Godfrey Paul, at NESC’s Skills and Technology Centre, Point Lisas, Trinidad and Tobago. They were to be trained in various skills, including Automotive Service Maintenance, Heavy Equipment Operations, Crane Operations, Millwright and Shielded Metal Arc Wielding and Industrial Mechanical Maintenances. For their excellent result, which is the first since the establishment of the 64-year-old National Energy Skills Centre (NESC) in Trinidad and Tobago, 10 out of the 57 exmilitants that participated won scholarship up to master’s degree level at the Caribbean University. The training of the 57 Nigerians cost the Federal Government of Nigeria over $6 million. Fifteen of ex-militants, who were initially 100, were dropped as a result of health challenges, while 28 were deported for lacking in character and threatening not just Nigeria’s image but also the relations between both countries since 50 years. Godfrey Paul took time out, during the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan, to chat with Saturday Sun. Excerpts: You are instrumental in the training of some Nigerians in various skills under the amnesty programme. Why is that? Well, my quest for the freedom of the oppressed, which is intrinsic in my character and in my person, pushed me and also because I was a victim of kidnapping. My son was kidnapped and it caused my family and I so much pain before we secured his release. It was after that experience I decided to dedicate myself to be part of a programme that will liberate the people. Education is the tool of liberation. There is no freedom without knowledge and that is my interest. I am actually doing this programme not strictly because of the little money involved but because of my intrinsic motivation and interest to contribute my quota to the success of the government of President Goodluck Jonathan.
formance and this was acknowledged by the Chairman of NESC himself, Mr. Feeraz Khan.
Are there jobs for these graduates? Well, you will agree that it will take time to allow those people that have occupied our local content position, who are not Nigerians, to go. But also included in this programme is entrepreneur programme, whereby you could easily be self-employed and be employer of labour, so much so that you will not find it attractive to return to the creeks for militancy. For the entrepreneurship, I have been able to meet 18 banks but before that process could kick off, I discovered that the Nigerian government had some loan in place for those that want to start their own businesses. How many people have so far been Nigeria is a great country with diversified trained under this programme in Trinidad interest and purpose. I will be surprise if any and Tobago? of the 57 graduates will go back to seek a job I was assigned 100 people to train. Fifteen because the opportunity is huge and is bigwere dropped as a result of health challenges. ger. Eighty-five were brought in here for the The officials here were thrilled to hear training, but in order not to jeopardise some of the personal stories by some of the Nigeria’s image, 28 were deported because, Nigerian graduates. One of them, Darego character wise, they did not measure up to Obu-Dennis, said he worked as a gas station expectation and we concentrated on the 57 attendant and came to Trinidad to pursue that were left. Out of the 57 that came for the training in Millwright Trade in the hope of nine- month training, which is an equivalent making a valuable contribution to his comof Ordinary Diploma, 10 that graduated with munity in Nigeria. Another one is Dodo distinction were given scholarship up to mas- Mojo, whose interest in automotive technoloter’s level at the Caribbean University in the gy began at a young age. Having graduated, various disciplines they excelled. They are he hopes to move into the realm of entrepreall success story of the National Energy neurship with his own automotive shop in Skills Centre. The first batch that were in the Nigeria. pilot programme were trained on steel metal under water wielding, heavy duty equipment, Why are you also pushing for the estaboperation and maintenance, industrial equip- lishment of training centres back home? ment maintenance and automobile and rig all Nigeria spends a lot of money training associated mechanical in the oil and gas people overseas. I have decided that after the industry maintenance and repairs. 57 success training programme today, to be These guys are very intelligent and for the part of train-the-trainer programme rather 64 years the school has been in existence, that sticking to training alone. This is the they have never had such distinction in peronly way the youths in six geo-political
zones will utilise the opportunities in our polytechnics, colleges of education and technical education to change their stories. As you heard, the President and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Hon Kamla PersadBissessar, they have sign an agreement with us as drivers of this project. I am the plan pioneer of this project and will go the long way to enable us carry along other geopolitical zones to have the train the trainer programme interest rather than limiting to Niger Delta only. The oil and gas are not owned by Niger Delta alone; they is owned by Nigeria. We should spread beyond the present picture if we don’t want a repeat of this militancy in other parts of the country, because the greater •Paul cooperation of us living together as one country will come from the cooperation we get from technical interest.
We are already experiencing terrorist insurgency in the North. How does the government go about tackling Boko Haram? When the Boko Haram started, it was not in a bigger picture. In the Niger Delta today, people come to steal oil. I was a big time player in the Niger Delta struggle before now. So, I know issues of militancy and I am warning that if we do not address Boko Haram issue as geo-political interest and we narrowly choose to look at it from one angle, time will come when others will ask questions. This is one programme that you don’t need to read and write to participate, but by the end of nine months you read and write and spread it out. It is important because a time is coming when the questions will not be in peace but in war. When a people are hungry and the people are jobless and knowledge is limited, the option becomes violence and when the violence is not guided, it takes a dimension that no security can handle. So, my advice on Boko Haram issue is that government should empower the youths of Nigeria on equal treatment. If this happens, with all the geopolitical zones having the same state-of-theart facilities for training, we will be able to export labour. When people are limited by knowledge, what they can do is beyond explosion. Education is a factor of freedom and the Nigerian government, under President Jonathan, must not miss this opportunity to correct this injustice, which is caused by hunger, poverty and oppression of the poor by the rich. Gradually, you cannot even make your money and enjoy freely in Nigeria any more. People are fleeing but truth be told, there is no place like home. I am championing this cause to ensure all our youths stop being willing tools in the hands of selfish and evil Nigerians.
Towards a Peaceful Living (Vol. 3) By Josiah Bonire 07055822097 email@example.com
Critical thoughts on Behaviour (Section Five):
Chapter One What Is Worthy 2162. A wise man grabs sense wherever he finds it, the motive of its producer notwithstanding. 2163. Watch your ambition. It gives little value to whatever is not its aim. 2164. For more success and peace, face the life you have to live than the one you imagined. 2165. A wise man seeks the uses, but a foolish man seeks the faults. 2166. Only simpletons and the idle seek things to quarrel about. Tackling Problems 2167. A fool tries to use his head to live through the world, though he understands not the world. But a wise man turns to the creator for guidance, for He best understands the world He made. 2168. To be sure you follow the right way, in darkness, first seek light. 2169. It can be easier adjusting yourself to work in the atmosphere you meet, than it can be to adjust the atmosphere you meet to your working condition. 2170. A man concentrating on an idea finds little time for others. 2171. To bail the water, first block the spring. 2172. Those who succeed often have one thing in common: they give what they do the attention it requires. 2173. Whatever makes a man to find joy in what he does designs success or ruin for him. The man works on happily, but unfortunately he cannot tell much if the efforts will lead him to happiness or sadness. 2174. Don’t be afraid to work hard. All recorded success and greatness so far have come through hard work, and inability to see much into the future is a universal human failing. 2175. Seek not just knowledge, but also wisdom to use the knowledge. To possess knowledge is to possess the tools, but only wisdom shows which of the tools to use. 2176. A too strong bid to carry out an ambition can blind away from what is workable. 2177. Doubt deprives a man of the ability in him, but faith makes a man put all he has into what he does. 2178. Don’t be scared of a project because of its size. A weed pulled away from a bush makes the bush clearer. 2179. Don’t be so stingy as not to exhibit what you want to sell, lest you make no sale. 2180. Greed makes a man embark on many projects at a time so as to have it all. But a selfless man leaves some openings to others and concentrates on a few, for the success of everyone. 2181. In the world of man, torture and pain often line the route to success, chiefly because of man’s poor knowledge and little wisdom. 2182. It is disappointment in expectation that exhaust the spirit, not hard work. TODAY IN HISTORY:
August 11, 1960: Chad, the first of the four territories which had formed French Equatorial Africa, achieves independence with Francois Tombalbaye as president
August 11, 2012
with Omoniyi Ayedun 08027537357
The installation ceremony of Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins as the Archbishop of Lagos, took place at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.
Rev. Martins addressing the congregation
Anthony Cardinal Okogie (middle) reading his speech
Most Rev. Jude Ayodele Arogundade, Bishop of Ondo State, Most Rev. Augustine Kasujja, Papal Nuncio to Nigeria and Most Rev. Felix Femi Ajakaye, Bishop of Ekiti State
Dame Marie FatayiWilliams and Mr. Seyi Martins, Esq
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), former Lagos State Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Victoria Akran and Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji
Rev. Gabrael Osu, Rev. Martins being ushered to the venue of the event by the Boys brigade. Chief Omolade Okoya Thomas, HRH Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Alake of Egbaland and wife, Tokunbo.
Cardinal Anthony Okogie and Rev. Martins (middle) with other Archbishops.
Rev. Mary Anne Martins (EHJ) and Chief Adesoji Ajayibembe, the Obanikoro of Lagos Cross section of the participants praying for peace in Nigeria
August 11 2012
EVERY WOMAN FASHION POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY &LIFESTYLE
BY NKECHI CHIMA-ONYELE firstname.lastname@example.org
I believe i n d i v o rc e
â€”Collette Orji, actress
exy and good looking, Abuja-based actress, Collette Orji has distinguished herself in her career with her articulation and brilliance. No wonder she interprets her roles convincingly. She has featured in such films as Weeping Soul, Behind Conspiracy and Strength of a Woman, among others. In this interview with Saturday Sun, the Anambra-born actress talked about herself and why she embraced acting as a career. You have a voice like that of a baby; how old are you? After this interview, I will call my mum once again to give me the date. I appreciate the fact that people admire my voice but it is a gift from God. It has a positive influence anyway. Where do you hail from and tell us about your growing up experiences? I hail from Ufuma in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State. I grew up in Cameroun with my parents and six siblings. I had the best childhood experiences with love from my three elder brothers who are financially buoyant and my industrious parents from whom I got my inspiration. I grew up in a country where our parents gave us freedom of
Continued on page 22
August 11, 2012
‘I felt like Stephanie the very first time I acted’ Continued from Page 21 expression and ability to be independent. It is a belief in Cameroon that once a child gets to the age of 18, he or she needs freedom. So, we are free to take any decision as long as it wouldn’t bring ridicule to our parents. I had my primary education at St. John’s Catholic Primary School. I also bagged OND in Geology at University of Buea. When we relocated to Nigeria, it was very bored adapting to the people and the environment in Enugu, since I was unable to speak Igbo. So, my late father, Mr. Godwin Orji, who passed away in March 23 2012, advised I apply for HND programme at IMT Enugu where I bagged HND in Chemical Engineering. How did you get into the industry? Actually, I had been nursing the idea of becoming an actress while in school. One fateful day I visited my aunt and luck smiled on me. At my aunt’s house, I met a famous actress, Stella Okwaegbu, who was having dinner with my aunt. After the introduction, I used the opportunity to tell her about my interest to become an actress in Nollywood. She gave me her support and made my dream a reality. Did your parents accept your idea of going into of acting? When the news got to my parents, they accepted it and gave their consent because my aunt was the brain behind it. I owe them gratitude for helping me realize my dream. Though I never imagined it was going to become a full-time career when I started, it is becoming fun for me. I enjoy every bit of it. Today, I am proud to say that it is my job and of course, a serious business for me. Despite the do’s and don’ts, it is still the best job in the world. What is the title of your first movie, and your experiences on set? It is Two Aside. It featured people like Jim Iyke, Patience Ozokwo and Chiege Alisigwe, among others. I got my first role through an audition the very first day I went on location. It was not easy facing the camera and working with people I perceived as role models. In fact, my head was swollen, my feet were flying. If you had met me that day, you would understand the joy that engulfed my heart. I was already feeling like Stephanie Okereke. How many movies have you featured in? I have featured in over 25 movies such as Weeping Soul, Girls cot season 2, Blackberry babes season 2, Strength of a
Woman, Diary of a Player, beyond Conspiracy, Dust and Ashes, Paulicarp and perpetua, Implication, Princess Rihanna, Hidden Treasures, Street President, Amaka Mustapha, Room 202, Forest Traitor, Pregnant pastor and War Against Tradition, among others. Which movie would you consider most challenging? It is War Against Tradition. Though it is yet to be released into the market. There is a lot to talk about in this movie. I rarely had moments of joy, because I cried from the very beginning till the end because of one sad event or the other. It was really tasking. I shot into the nights after starting very early. I played major lead character in the movie and I acted alongside Emeka Ike, Nonso Diobi, Olu Jacob, Joyce Kalu, and Queen Nwokoye. I have just received a script where I am expected to ride on a horse on an epic movie. I am presently doing the rehearsals. It is an awesome script. Have you played a role which you later discovered was abusive to your personality and would you turn down such scripts when it is given to you again? Yes! I
played a very romantic role with Jim Iyke where we kissed and romanced for real though so many people on set were watching us. It was not easy for me to get myself to play that role but as a professional actress, I had to do it. In any case, acting is a make belief where you have to convince your viewers that it is real but in our society, people judge you by the role you play as an artiste. Since after that role, I became very selective when choosing a script because of people’s misconception about my personality which is very paramount to me, because I come from a very humble family. What turns you on? Believe it or not, I go into a trance when I am listening to Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s preaching. Do you know I could stand somewhere for hours when he is teaching the message? I have listened to him so much that I have become a product of what I learn from him. It might sound odd but the normal thing you expect to hear is not what
turn me on. Then, if you are not a loud person, you will be my friend. If you are intelligent, smart and knowledgeable too, right there, you turn me on. Who is your ideal man? Someone who believes in God and is consistent. I like someone who is busy and a man who understands the civil society. Are you in any relationship? Yes! But I just walked away from the relationship few weeks ago for certain reasons which I would not like to disclose to the public. I am single and searching for my ideal man. I can be faithful to a fault but I believe in monogamy and divorce. So, I pray to God to give me a man after my own heart. How do you handle your male admirers? I love them and I have the opportunity of having so many fans both in Nigeria, Cameroun and Ghana. Though, sometimes they would be annoying me by calling at odd hours. Nevertheless, I have learnt to keep them at a distance, in order to maintain a good relationship.
he Yoruba have a saying that the womb is like a passageway for all kinds of children and that if you compare one child with another, you are likely to scold or beat one of them to death. I am often reminded of the truth in this saying when I see the different characteristics and preferences of my four daughters. At the birth of my first daughter, I was working full time as a journalist, so there was no opportunity for exclusive breastfeeding. In addition to that, my mother-in-law would have nothing to do with expressed breast milk. She said she was more comfortable with infant formula and so after two months of exclusive breastfeeding, I introduced my daughter to formula. She was not a guzzler, but did not give me cause to worry, as she ate at her own pace and was looking very healthy. My second daughter ate better, I was able to give her breast milk and water for six months after which time I introduced her to cereals. What that meant was that she did not take infant formula at all. We soon found out that she did not even like the cereal, she preferred whatever we were eating at home. So, without wasting time, I gave her what she preferred and she saved us a lot of money we would have used in buying infant cereal. My third baby ate whatever she was given and still does today and it shows as she is very chubby! She took breast milk for five months, cereal and home made meal from six months. At the arrival of my fourth daughter, I experienced what parents whose children did not eat much go through. After nursing her on breast milk and water for five months, I introduced her to infant cereal which she refused. I tried pap; cornmeal; wheat meal, and everything I thought a baby may like; to no avail. What was of great concern to me was that she was not gaining as much weight as she should. Apart from that she was clinging to me and begging to be nursed every now and then which was not convenient at all! When she turned one, the only thing she took readily was breast milk, every other thing she either refused or collected and threw on the floor! I was really worried but lacked experience concerning how to manage this.
August 11, 2012
everydaymother with Grace Oluwole 08028288582 email@example.com
Different strokes for different babies My elderly friend who is a retired nurse advised that I weaned her and that she would eat if she had no other option. I was reluctant to wean her because I thought that she would starve’ How wrong I was! Two weeks ago, I decided to wean her. The decision was sudden after she cried herself to exhaustion because I refused to nurse her during a visit to a friend’s house. That night she screamed for hours refusing the cup of milk I offered. By morning we were all tired and my baby girl had not given the infant milk a trial. I kept offering it and finally she took the cup but pushed the cup away after a few sips and cried some more. While I was resolved to wean her, I was soon tempted to break my resolve when my breast became so engorged that I started considering nursing her not for her sake but so
that I could get some relieve from pains! When the pains became almost unbearable I had to research and see what I had done wrong. That was when I found out that when you stop breastfeeding suddenly, you would have to bear the pains as your body would continue to produce the milk as if the child was still sucking! That I had nursed three children before now did not make me an expert because I had not had an experience like this one, I had just been lucky that I did it the right way without knowing that there was a wrong or painful way of stopping breastfeeding. I learned that it was best for both mother and child not to stop breastfeeding suddenly. For the mother, the pains of engorgement would be the beginning of the wisdom in not stopping suddenly. And for the child, the distress of the sudden withdrawal of its mother’s
milk which is a source of nourishment and comfort can be traumatic. If you are thinking of stopping breasfeeding, the best way to wean a child is by gradually reducing the number of times you breastfeed your baby and substituting your milk with infant formula or baby milk depending on the age of your baby. The baby would get used to the substitute milk and the mother’s body would start reducing milk production in such a way that when the baby finally stops sucking, the body would also stop producing more milk. Stopping suddenly was the reason I suffered engorement for eight days! In all this, the greatest lesson I learned was that contrary to my fears that my revolting daughter would starve, she surprised me by eating everything she was offered as soon as she realised that there was no more breastmilk! In fact, she even cried for more when she was not satisfied. Many of us look at our children and think that they are not wise, but children are wiser than we think. They know how to manipulate us to get what they want using everything possible, crying topping the list! When my daughter saw that I was not ready to yield to her tantrums and near hunger strike, she started eating what she was offered! Today, two weeks later we are making great progress. I just make sure that I give her infant milk as often as she asks for milk. In addition to this, I also give her lots of hugs and attention just to reassure her that she is still my baby, not withstanding the fact that breastfeeding has stopped!
Sex: Frequently asked questions, answers and testimonies (156): New products
ello again everybody. Today we continue revealing our new arrivals for this summer and beyond. In this edition, we will talk about new organ enlargers, performance enhancers, books, masturbators and vibrators. So without further delay, here is what’s new. Organ Enlargers/ Vaginal Shrinkers Size Matters Enlargement Strap: Unlike all the other penis enlargers we have been talking about for years, Size Matters Enlargement Strap is not a tablet, cream or pump. It is a device worn on the penis over night for the enlargement of the penis. This device comes highly recommended and guarantees a bigger, longer and thicker penis within a few weeks. It works by stretching the penile tissues and enabling your skin cells divide and multiply. Before you know it, you’ve got a third leg. So in addition to penis enlargement tablets like Max Size, enlargement creams like Mega Me Cream and penis pumps like Pistol Pump, you’ve also got the Size Matters Enlargement Strap as well. Reverse Vagina Tightening Gel. Whereas men take a lot of pride in having big penises, women on the other hand want to be tighter down there. The Reverse Vagina Tightening Gel is a new vagina tightening gel that enables women get tighter instantly for better sex. The results last for a few hours and you can reapply as often as you want. It can also be used as a regular lubricant. Adult Books Marathon Sex: Marathon Sex is a loaded full colour book that teaches prolonged lovemaking through incredible sexual techniques and positions. Not only will you learn to last longer but your orgasms will be even better than before. This book is for all men who want to keep their women. A Pumper’s Hand Book: This book is a necessity for men who make use of Penis Pumps either for the purpose of enlargement or for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. A Pumper’s Hand Book teaches you how to use your penis pump to get the best results and the kind of pumps that are best for penis enhancement. Mastering Multiple Position Sex: Are you bored of doing the same things in bed over and over again? Are you worried you might cheat on your spouse in your search for excitement? Then this book is for you. Mastering Multiple Position Sex is a full colour book that takes the traditional sex position book to new levels by outlining entire bedroom scenarios, from seduction to foreplay to sex positions, including the transitions in between. It teaches sexual partners what to do, how to do it and how to elim-
inate any awkward or disappointing moments while creating the sexual tension that leads to earth shattering climaxes. Sex Toys for Men and Women Sasha Grey’s Cream Pie Masturbator: This masturbator for men is an exact replica of Sasha Grey’s lady parts. Sasha of course is one of the biggest and most successful adult movie stars in the world and recently went main stream, featuring in movies by Steven Soderberg and Mark Whalberg. Pipe Dream’s Extreme Fanta Flesh Masturbator: Yet another superb masturbator for men made with materials so real and skin-like that you forget the difference. What I love most about masturbators is that they keep men out of trouble. If your wife or girlfriend is not in the mood, there is no need running after your secretary, house help or the prostitute around the corner. With a good and portable masturbator, you can take care of business any time of the day. No cheating and no sexual frustrations to deal with. That’s problem solving the modern way. Lucid Dream Water Proof G Spot Vibrator: This month of August is all about the G-Spot vibrators and we have many of them. G-Spot vibrators are special vibrators responsible for female ejaculation. If you are a female looking for the best and affordable orgasm that money can buy, look no further. Lucid Dream Water Proof G Spot Vibrator is your man. Inflatable Vibrating Strap-On: This is a one of a kind strapon for women that vibrates and can be increased in size to fit your needs by pumping it. The straps are also adjustable and fit most women. Performance Enhancers for Women and Men Climax Female Sexual Enhancer: This is a superb performance enhancer for women with low libido, low arousal and low sexual enjoyment. Climax Female Sexual Enhancer is very effective. Max Testosterone: Max Testosterone is a supplement that helps men with low libido regain their sex drive. It is ideal for middle aged men and older men who need a boost in performance. And that’s it for today. We will continue discussing more new products in the coming weeks. Men and women in need of these treatments/novelties can call 08027901621 or 08051924159 or any other number here to order or they can also order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries, send your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org — Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.
August 11, 2012
By VIVIAN ONYEBUKWA email@example.com or quite sometime, pearls have had a dazFTheir zling role to play in high fashion. popularity continues unabated, and pearls are owned by women of all ages, and from all walks of life. They are simple and elegant. A well-chosen piece of pearl jewellery is a valuable investment; their elegance and beauty keeps them fashionable, no matter what the current trend. Their versatility keeps them in couture collections year after year. When it comes to accessorizing their new creations, designers always turn to pearls for their beauty and versatility. The same long rope of pearls that suits a long flowing dress can be doubled and worn in the latest fashion to suit a sharp ensemble. They’re so lovely, and can be made to match with anything. A well-chosen set of pearls will last a lifetime and bring a classic, elegant touch to your style.
Pearls make fashion statement Dangles
ne of today’s hottest pearl styles is to wear multiple strands of pearls. To take your look from demure to dramatic, layer on the pearls. This sassy secret has worked wonders since the beginning of time. Mix different pearl sizes and lengths with reckless abandon. Multiple strands of pearls work for both day and evening.
earl dangles are hot. Long, swinging pearl earrings are the number one fashion choice. Sexy pearl chandelier styles are perfect for evening and long, geometric pearl ear-
rings in white and yellow gold have become the look of choice for daytime. Sensuous, shoulder-sweeping pearl earrings create a feeling of glamour like nothing else.
hite isn’t the only Pearl colour. Pastel colours are in and freshwater pearls are available in natural colours that range from pink to peach to lavender. Multi strand pastel freshwater pearls in multiple colours with a large silver clasp are perfect summer evening wear. A single strand of pink or peach freshwater is fashion dynamite with a hot pink or peach bikini.
earl bangles are back. Arms are on the fashion fast track right now. Pearl bangles and pearl bracelets, big and small have taken center stage.
ariats are not just for cowgirls. Pearl lariats are “open” pearl necklaces that you wear like a scarf. They are sophisticated and chic. Styles range from white gold chains with pearls on the end, to long strands of pearls that you tie like a necktie.
Can STDs, fibroids and hormonal changes lead to male and female infertility? By PAUL TORTY
acteria infection like Staph aureus is an immune crasher or immune destroyer which attacks every tissue of the body such as the lung, thereby leading to pulmonary and respiratory condition the result being difficult breathing and cough condition. Staph attacks the heart leading to a change in the blood pressure and purse rate. Staph also attacks the blood leading to crawling sensation on the body, skin irritation and biting sensation as well. Staphylococcus attacks the brain leading to menigitis ( a brain infection) and most times result to brain acess. I also noted last week that staphylococcus attacks the muscles leading to joints and muscular pains. Staph attacks the sperm thereby leading to azospermia and oligaspermia a condition of scanty or no spermatozoa at all. Staphylococcus causes homonal changes in women as it leads to suppressed menses, irregular menstruation or no menses at all (amenorhea), high or low prolactin etc, Staph leads to abdmonal pains and occassional discharge among women and also attacks the womb, the ovary and leads to uterine tubal blockage leading to female infertility and at times ectopic pregnancy. However, bacteria infections like staph is not the only cause of female infertility. Fibroid also contributes to female infertility and there are basically three kinds of fibroid as follows: Subserous myoma: This grows outside the wall of the uterus i.e the womb Intramural myoma: This grows on the wall of the uterus Submucous myoma: This grows partially in the uterus cavity and the wall of the uterus and this causes execessive bleeding and menstrual flow. We have antineoplastic, emenogouge and antispasmodic which means these herbs are effective to shrink and dissolve fibroid and other tumours, and also prevent further growth of fibroid, while controling bleeding, restoring normal menses and generally having positive effect on female sex homones to allow for conception. The herbs also relieve pains associated with fibroid, ovarian cyst, tumours while dissolving them. Our documened herbs are effective in dissolving fibroids and ovarian cyst and other obstructive mass to female fertility. Clinical studies of 25 per cent of women in their reproductive age have fibroids, surgery is not a lasting solution. According to Institute of Female Medicine U.S.A recurrent rate is high, fibroid grows back after surgery by 12 to 64 per cent among women in their reproductive age. Clinical studies show that 25 per cent of women in their reproductive age have fibroids and 3-12 per cent of fibroid are attributed as the cause of female infertility. Though, if fibroids are not properly detected, shrank and dissolved or inhibited from growing, it can hinder pregnancy or lead to a complicated preganancy or delivery. Essentially small size fibroids found in the uterine region such as the submucous fibroids, intramural and subserous fibroids can be shrank and dissolved with our documented and effective anti tumour herbs. Recently a man in his late 40s visited my clinic. He had been married for well over 10 years without a child. He accused his wife of being barren and infertile and therefore responsible for their inability to have children. When I asked him whether they have done any medical laboratory tests for the past ten years since they could not have children. He said No!. But somehow, he agreed to do some fertility tests in our clinic and surprisingly when the results came out, the SIEMEN ANALYSIS AND culture proved that he had oligospermia, a medical condition which could mean that he is responsible or partly responsibfor their infertility for the past 10 years. Again laboratory urine culture showed that he had mixed growth of staphylococcus and coliform. These are bacteria infections which may be responsible for the low sperm count which he had suffered unknowingly. I decided to give this account to the reading public because on regular basis men dissociate themselves with issues and questions of infertility. This attitude is very predominant in the African setting, once couples are married if the woman does not conceive on time, accusing fingers are easily pointed at the woman. No doubt, women have their own fertility problems ranging from hormonal imbalalnce, fibroid, ovarian cyst, infections and tubal blockage. But there must be understanding by the couples that they must both conduct laboratory examinations for proper treatment. In our IdimuIkotun and Ikeja Clinic in Lagos, we have medical laboratory facilities for male and female fertility tests. We also run MCs and VDRL tests to determine if there are infections such as staph, syhilis,
August 11, 2012
ecoli and other S.T.Ds that can affect fertility over time. I am worried that even the elite and very well educated in the society battle with certain symptoms and they don’t know what to do and these infections keep killing our people gradually. Such symptoms are internal heat, body weakness, waist pain, itching, discharge, crawling and biting sensation on the body. In a website of female health, it is noted that most women do not know that certain infections such as Chlamydia trachomatis, e coli, trichomoniasis, staphylococcus and bacteria vaginosis that affect most women leads to vaginal dischares, irritations and itching. These infections, according to certain medical experts, constitute the major cases of Pelvic Inflammatory Disesases - P.I.Ds among women –which if not treated over time results to female infertility as it affect the ovary, block the tube and may lead to ectopic pregnancy. The infection also changes a womans menstrual cycle leading to scanty or no menses at all – Amenorhea. Whereas in the case of men, infections like staphylococcus can destroy and lead to oligospermia where sperm count is less than 20 million sperm per mililiter of siemen or even azospermia where there is not ejaculation of spermatozoa at all. Our people need to be enlightened and adequately informed. While streptococcus manifest more on the skin causing serious irritation on the body. Streptecoccus also is noted to Otuya attack the lungs leading to streptococcus pneumonia. Please, note that we have new researched documented herbs for hepatitis, Diabetes, Hypertension, Athritis, asthma, pile, fibroids, ulcer, prostate enlargement, weight loss and weight gain herbs etc. For treatment, Call Dr Torty on 08037140368, 08051625888, and 08083860575. email: firstname.lastname@example.org. website: www.drpaultorty.com. Lagos offices: Suite 11 and 12 upstairs, Ariket Plaza, Alake Bus Stop Idimu-Ikotun road. We have offices in Enugu, Abuja and Port Harcourt where you can only access our herbs. By SAM ANOKAM Dr Torty is the editor of Maximum Health Link magazine and the CEO of the THE SAINTS HERBALS and everend Dr. Mrs. Priscilla Otuya and the biblical Deborah recorded in the book of Judges have some things in common. One is a Nigerian, the Our offices are: other an Israelite. They are women who have made history in different Lagos office: Ariket Plaza , Alake Bus ways. Stop, Suite 12, last floor, Idimu; Both of them took reversals of role in their different callings. In a male Aishetu Emeowa Plaza, off Lonlo Bus Stop, dominated position in old Israel, Deborah was found worthy of becoming a Iju; leader at a time of distress. Otuya recently made history to become the first 41, Awolowo Way by Ecobank, Opp. Ipodo woman to assume the mantle of leadership in United Gospel Churches Market, Ikeja. Association of Nigeria, UGCAN, as its first female president after 30 years Abuja: 268, Ado Bayero Block, Garki 2, domination by men. Ultramodern New Market, Abuja. So, it was understandable when the woman of faith set Rockview Hotel, Enugu: Shop B2, Ifesinachi Plaza, by Ogbete FESTAC Town, Lagos, agog when she gathered family, friends, fellow minMain Market, close to Holy Ghost, Enugu. isters and well-wishers to her swearing in ceremony as well as the celebration Port Harcourt: 2 Awkwuzu Street, off Ikwere of her birthday. Street, Mile 1, Diobu, Port Harcourt. Describing the epoch making event, her predecessor, Bishop Jacob Okose who is president of International Mission Association, said: “When you experience the unusual, you make history. We live in a man’s world, so it is a big achievement. Women are very intelligent, detailed people. She is a go-getter. Against all odds, change has been achieved. Our mission is to build ministers so that we would have one voice.” He added that his administration was able to introduce a broad-based continuity and worked for continuity, among other things. In her inaugural speech, newly elected Otuya promised not to lose sight of the mission before her for four years as well as her vision and work for the body. She also eulogised the sterling qualities of her predecessor, who among other things, taught her not to collect money from government or its officials, adding that his exemplary lifestyle has given hope to godly men in Nigeria. She said: “There is more to life and ministry than money and I use this opportunity to announce to my colleagues and co-workers in UGCAN that we won’t be party to running to government for money and anyone expecting that, would be sorely disappointed. It is written that men would entreat our favour and kings shall come to the brightness of our rising, and so we won’t reverse the order”. “A new Nigeria we all have been craving for is, therefore, possible only with the help of God and it is high time we gave God His rightful place in the affairs of the nation. It is to this end that in the new UGCAN, shall initiate projects and events aimed at providing God’s people with platforms and opportunities to be the change agents they are meant to be. God gave Deborah what I call divine strategy in solving Israel ’s problems and in the same vein, God will give us divine strategies on how to restore peace and prosperity in Nigeria .” Explaining her plans for the association in the nearest future, she identified three major projects which are: The Connect Conference-aimed at uniting gospel churches in Nigeria as well as foster love and reconciliation among God’s people, sensitizing them on the need to work together as one for Christ is not divided. She also planned to establish Civic Education Project as people are praying for righteous leaders and the righteous are either not sure they should be involved in matters pertaining to governance or are not properly prepared or groomed for leadership; the civic education project is, therefore, aimed at preparing the Christian faith in community in Nigeria to become active, engaged citizens. As for the Business Club-under the welfare department, UGCAN would set up a Christian business club through which empowerment programmes would be initiated and run in partnership with relevant governmental and non-governmental agencies towards financial liberation of her members. The highlight was the cutting of the birthday cake as she was ably assisted by her husband, Bishop Okose and wife. Her son, Joshua rendered a special song to his mother.
Otuya emerge first woman leader of UGCAN
SATURDAY SUN August 11, 2012
EW RADIANT LIFE with
Evang. FEMI OLAOLUWA
08056158736, 08022556887 email@example.com
Empowered to make difference Texts: Gen.1: 27-28, Lk.19: 11 or one to make difference in life, you should learn to take a step and discover the authority that God deposit in your Ugbah life so as to represent Him in whatever you find yourself. And this can be made possible by the following steps: Reset your mind to positive results: Remember that the difference between the actions and responses of the three men in Lk.19: 11 is not really in the number of the gifts or talents given to them but in the attitude. In the same vein, your attitude as a person in whatever you are going through in life makes a lot of difference. That is more reason that the complaint folks are usually the most unproductive people. (Luke. 5:24, John 20:21-23, Matthew.28: 18-20, Mk.12: 22, Jer.1:4 ,Lk.19:11-13) Desist from victim mentality and always endeavor to use what you have. Note that it was David’s positive attitude that really killed Goliath. Before you set out to change others, begin the change from yourself first. Mtt.5:13, Mtt.7:3-6,1Timothy 4:12. Be transformed by renewing your mind; be impact conscious and remember that a self-centered person can never positively impact the lives of others. Last but not the least, as a believer live the life that is relevant to the purpose of God. Note: For your life to be empowered to make difference, you need to surrender to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Personal Saviour. For prayer and other spiritual assistance, Call on: Rev Sunny Faith Ugbah on:08035777007,08023165538. He is the head pastor of Church of God Mission International, Mafoluku, Lagos. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
My father’s prominence influenced my appointment —Funmilayo Eso-Williams, SA to Osun State gov on Women Affairs
Childless, other life challenges: Dangers of doing nothing Gen18:14, Gen Text:2 king 7v 3-5 21:1). he above scripture Now readers, narrates the story what are you four lepers who doing about that took a decisive and unpleasant situawise decision against tion of childlessall odds. They did not ness, loneliness, fold their arms and lack of job of watch their destiny many years? decay unlike many, Remember that even some Christian Samson doing nothing who do nothing about could be very dangerous. their unpleasant situation. Open up, because a closed Dearly beloved, there is no better day to do something for a mouth could lead to closed deschange in that unpleasant situa- tiny. So talk to God and His tion than today and in most people about your plight: your cases it is your responsibility to need of a job, baby, house, and create one. Remember that the marriage. There is somebody prodigal son in Luke 15: 18 somewhere who has a solution made a prompt decision to arise to what you are passing through. and go to his father. Do not believe the negative Beloved, remember that doing nothing is equal to getting report that all prophet or pastors are fake. God is a good God. nothing. In Gen 30:1 the Bible Nahum1: 7. Repent of your sins described Rachael as a woman and appreciate God for His who was so beautiful, well ever-increasing love to forgive and forget your bad past-trust favored but barren. Note: A barren woman will God for new life in Christ Jesus. Note: Life gate International soon lose her beauty and favor if she does nothing about it. And Churches Waiting Mothers & so the Bible says:” And when Fathers Conference comes up Rachael saw that she bears August 12, 2012 (2p.m) @ Jacob no children, Rachel Intercontinental Garden Hotel, envied her sister, and said unto Imabi Road, Amarata, Yenogua, Jacob give me children or I die. Balyesa State. Ministering: Bishop Samson Grace Gen 30:1 Bishop Samson Grace is the Note that Rachael’s decision in the above Scripture spurs up Presiding Bishop of Life gate spontaneous reaction from her International Churches, Ikeja, husband who eventually pointed Lagos. For prayer and counselcall 08051138664, or directed her to the source of ing, all miracles- GOD. (Also read: 08066890291.E-Mail:bishopPsalms 113:9, Gen11:30, samsongrace@ya hoo.com
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Call or SMS Evang Femi Olaoluwa (08056158736) for inspiring Christian films, RADIANT Drama Tracts and information to publish your Christian message/movies in The Sun
Williams By TAIWO OLUWADARE email@example.com
rs. Funmilayo Eso Williams, a lawyer and banker, is the Special Adviser to Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola on Women Affairs. Interestingly, she is the daughter of retired Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Kayode Eso. According to her, she was born 50 years ago into the family of Justice Kayode Eso, a renowned Jurist with many awards and degrees. In this interview with Saturday Sun, she bares her mind on her adventure into politics and matters bordering
on women. Excerpts. What is the difference between life as a spinster and as married woman? I had a lot of time to do wonderful things when I was a spinster. I went to school abroad and had my degree in London. If you call it silver spoon, I don’t know but I schooled abroad, did my A level there, though I had my secondary education in St. Louis Grammar School, Ibadan. So, there were no worries during spinsterhood but when I married, I thought that was when I started having responsibilities to myself, family and children. So, it is not easy because I have a lot of people relying on me for money, stability and all that.
Continued on Page 27
EW Continued from Page 26 do it. That is just the case. It is a privilege and honour How would you describe your father as a prominent personality in the country? My father is a very wonderful man. He is a loving father in a true sense of what a father should be to his children. We are two of his children, my brother and I and he has a lot of time for us. He made us travel virtually all over the world from Europe to Greece, Paris, Rome, Asians countries like India, Singapore and many other countries. And I thank God for what he had done for this country. Are you married to the popular Williams’? No, Williams is a very common name in Lagos. How did you come into politics? It is just by sure chance. I’m a lawyer and I was a banker for about 23 years. I worked in the former Afribank now Mainstream Bank. I retired voluntarily when I saw that I had enough of what the bank is doing. I felt we are just working for some people and making money for them and the satisfaction is no longer there. I decided I had enough, therefore, retired from the bank. My mother owns a school. When I left the bank, I went to assist my mother to manage the school. It is from there that his Excellency, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola called me to this office as Special Adviser on Women Affair in the state of Osun. Would you say it is by your father’s influence? Of course, because I’m not a politician rather I’m a technocrat, a lawyer and a banker. Do you believe St. Louis students are full of pride? I don’t know that. I’m only hearing that from you for the first time though we might be girls of high profile.
What’s your advice to women? Women have to be very patient. We have to be a good listener, mother, sister and wife. And the only way to improve on our home front is to be able to balance our life and even our emotions. It takes God’s grace and personal effort to achieve this by communicating with husband and children as a lifewire of any relationship. You have to carry people around you along what you are going through to be able to enhance mutual understanding. Why is increase in cases of divorce? It is because there is no mutual understanding between husband and wife. It happens when there is no communication and interaction and unfortunately if the children are young, they suffer it. Again, tolerance is the succour to misunderstanding in a relationship. What solutions does your office proffer? We have family court and that is the end result. Before it gets to that stage, we give them counselling but when all that fail and children are involved, they go to the family court which is a very understanding court. In order not to let the children be abused sexually, emotionally and financially, we harbour the children pending when the family is reconciled, though we can’t go to homes to take the children, but they come to us to seek refuge.
What is your take on indecent dressing? When I go out and see women and young girls in indecent dressing, I say to myself, I must be getting old, because I went to a function and I saw how peoHow do you strike balance between work ple dressed. To me it is no dressing but undressing. and home front? You will be disappointed at the way even women are It is easy if you plan yourself well. I’m parading themselves half-naked and they say they are just lucky that my children are grown up. My doing fashion. That is not fashion but indecent assault two children are schooling in United States. I in the eyes of the public. My candid opinion is that don’t have to see them everyday; I talk to they should be arrested because it amounts to sexual them everyday. My husband is in Lagos and harassment and other relative acts in the society he doesn’t mind. If you have passion to do because when you expose your body to the public something, you will always have a means to that means you are asking for it.
that I’m called to serve this state with a democratically elected governor. So, I have come to make a difference in this state as there is much poverty in the state. Do you believe women are marginalized? Definitely yes, though in some quarters like in Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s cabinet, there are seven member females there which rarely happen. And they are women of high intelligence, educated women who have degree in various fields. They are engineers, medical doctors, educationist, pharmacists, lawyers and so on. But I believe we will get over the situation.
August 11, 2012
with Osondu Anyalechi firstname.lastname@example.org
Missing an opportunity
ast month I wrote about the good thing that could come out of a mess using Dana Air crash and the text message a victim, Alvana, sent to her brother that she would soon meet the Lord Jesus Christ. I received text messages and calls from people in appreciation. One person asked if her corpse was recovered. Another said that they were in the same Law office. The issue is not whether her corpse was recovered or not but that she has gone to stay with Jesus. Since we never met here on earth, we will do so in glory, Heaven, the believer’s home and hope. I wrote that since the victims were aware of their imminent death, some of them must have made the most out of the painful situation by making peace with God. In that case, physical death would have meant nothing to them. But some might have died without cashing on that, thereby missing a glorious opportunity. Today, we will examine the danger of missing an opportunity. An opportunity is good but the problem is the tragic consequence of missing it since it may only come but once. Apart from Alvana’s text, I know that the crew might have alerted the passengers of their looming danger. In 1980, we flew from Florida to Houston amidst turbulent storm. It was so bad that we cheered the Pilots when we landed. In 2000, we distributed tracts in our Amsterdam-Lagos-bound plane. Some passengers accepted and some snubbed us. When we reached Lagos, the Pilot announced that he could not land because of bad weather. For forty five minutes we were hovering in the air. Knowing the implication, I kept on praying that we would not run out of fuel and for God’s wisdom to the Pilot. Praise God that we finally landed and when I requested that we prayed, they obliged, including those that snubbed us. Two criminals were crucified, one on either side of Jesus. They had many things in common. Both were condemned to death and their death was by crucifixion. Both listened to the Words of Jesus and His prayer of forgiveness for His murderers. One confessed that Jesus saved others but blamed Him for not saving them so that they would continue their criminal activities. The other thief rebuked his comrade-in-crime and pleaded with Jesus for a place in His Kingdom, an evidence of repentance. That was his last opportunity for salvation and he got it. ‘Today,’ the Lord told him, ‘shalt thou be with Me in paradise’. The other criminal kept quiet and missed that unique opportunity and perished in hell. Two people again, but not on the cross, but probably in a king’s or enviable palace, were raised together. One of them later became Herod, the tetrarch, and the other was Manaen – Acts 13:1. They ate the same food and probably slept on the same bed. It was likely that they belonged to the same synagogue and listened to the same messages. But while Manaen repented and became a Prophet of God, it was Herod that condemned Jesus. He would have been a Jesus man like Manaen and not a murderer. Ah! He missed it! Thomas, one of the Apostles of Jesus, was not around when the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples after His resurrection. There, He blessed them and breathed on them. Thomas missed that blessing, that rare opportunity. Bartimaeus was blind but not deaf. When he heard that Jesus was passing by, he made up his mind not to miss that golden opportunity. When he was advised by the disciples to be ‘nice’ by not shouting so that he would not disturb the peace of Jesus, he curiously increased the pitch of his voice. He got what he desired – restoration of his sight. That was also what the woman with the issue of blood did. Being sure that it was Jesus, the Giver of life, she threw away decorum and touched Him and was healed. A Nigerian lady flew from the U.S. to Cameroon, where Pastor W.F. Kumuyi was ministering. The protocol that was mounted prevented her from meeting him during the days of the crusade. As she was walking to board the plane, she saw the pastor going also to board the same plane. She introduced herself to him and requested for an appointment from him. ‘What is the problem?’ he asked her. ‘Just give me an appointment and I will keep it,’ she pleaded humbly. ‘You are with Kumuyi and you are asking for an appointment, what is the problem?’ Bro. Kumuyi asked her again. She told him of her ailing body. He prayed and she was healed on the spot. Thank God for the man of God who pressed her to tell him her need and she did. If not, she would have gone home comfortably with an appointment but missing her healing! Are many people not like her? Imagine her willingness to meet him at an appointed time, not minding the time and cost! But as the man of God was with her, she was putting off her need, planning for a future she was not sure of. ‘Today,’ so warns the Bible, ‘when you hear His voice, harden not your hearts’. It still pains me how we met in Amsterdam, Pastor Kumuyi and a few of us, during Billy Graham’s International Conference in year 2000. We embraced, took photographs and he prayed for us, telling us to meet him any Sunday the Deeper Life Bible Church was having a combined service. That was okay with me but I would have told him to write it on his complimentary card. All our efforts to reach him in Nigeria have been futile. We missed a great opportunity! Apostle Paul ministered in Athens and while some people turned their hearts to God, some postponed theirs, saying, ‘We will listen to you next time’. They never had that ‘next time’ for he never passed through that territory ‘next time’! For further comment, please contact Osondu Anyalechi on 0802 3002-471; email@example.com
August 11, 2012
KISS &TELL CAN YOU FIGHT OVER THE ONE YOU LOVE? By RACHAEL AGUNTA and OGUBUNKA CHISOM t is common these days to see people especially ladies, fight each other over a man. A lot of stories have also been told of women who pour acid on other ladies because they believe they are going out with their husbands or boyfriends. To some people, it is not right and to others, it is a way of protecting what one has interest in. Saturday Sun spoke to some people on the above question, and they responded as follows.
KELECHI OGBAJIE I will fight over someone I love, if the person is my husband. But if the person is not my husband, I can not do it.
KELECHI OBASI No, because another person loves her too. Fighting over her when I am not married to her is not advisable. CHIOMA NJOKU C. Why? But seriously, I can’t. In fact, that is absurd for me to try such. Even to die for my kid will be hard let alone my spouse.Turn the situation around,will he lay down his life for me? Well, there’s no need to stretch it. I’ll not, point blank. KINGSLEY NWODO IGWE I am not the fighting type, but when it comes to necessity, fighting for the one I love becomes necessary. There is a saying that goes this way, “When you are in love, you become a slave to it”. This is true because you will do anything to protect it. Being in love makes one to behave so stupidly as if he is under the influence of alcohol. Also, it makes one to behave as if he or she has lost the ability to think straight. In fact, I will fight for the one I love. JOY DIKE I can’t imagine bringing shame on myself because of a man. I can’t imagine fighting on the street over a man and people would be watching me. If I find out that my man is seeing another woman, I will confront him. If he admits that it is true, I will let him be. I will go my way, after all, he is not the only man in the world. I can’t fight with anybody. It is not worth it. MICHELLE JOHN I cannot fight for any love, because it does not exist. Men are so crude that the man you are fighting for may not even separate the fight when it is on. Moreover, fighting with another lady over a man makes me an amusement park where people go to have fun and be entertained. I cannot reduce myself to that because of a man. To be frank with you, most men do not get married to the ladies who fight over them. I cannot risk my precious blood for love. BALARABE MUSA HUSSEIN I cannot fight with anyone, not in this my life time, because it is not good. What happens if the person I love turns out to be in love with someone else? The worst thing that can happen to someone is to fight for someone who is not in love with you. I will be very much ashamed of myself if I have an exchange of words with someone over issues concerning love.
LORETTA IBEKWE Fighting with someone over someone I love means that my man does not love me back. It simply means that he is pretending to love me while he is seeing another woman. So, to fight for such love is very bad because if he loves me, there won’t be any reason for him to have another person that will challenge me. Simply put, I cannot do such a thing. IGBINEDOM ANGEL If I find out that my love is seeing another person, I will just let him know that I am no longer interested. I will prefer that to fighting another lady over love. If I do that, God will someday give me someone else that will truly love me. STELLA UMUNNA No, I will not try it because it is not wise. I think that very few things in life are worth fighting for these days, because everything comes so easy. So, when I have those rare things that are actually worth the fight, the struggle and the pain, then I will do it. If not, I will surely regret it. To be frank with you, I better let go than to fight my fellow lady. KENNETH KDCAME Yes, I can fight for her. My reason for saying such is this: if I truly love this person, I wouldn’t want anything to harm her. I will make sure that anything that concerns her will be my priority. To me, she is my dearest and I wouldn’t want any story at all. So, I can give a hard blow to anyone that comes near my dearest lady.
OBIDI PAULOY Yes, I can fight for her sake but only if I find out that she truly loves me. If she is being treated badly or people under-estimate her, I will stand by her. I will make her know that she is not alone in the case and I believe that will make her happy. I will ensure that she is mine; just as we have agreed before the altar of the living God to stand for each other till death do us part. LILLIAN KALU No, I cannot fight with anyone. My reason is because I do not know if the person I am fighting for is in love with another person. He can pretend to be in love with me whereas he is not. Moreover, what if I go to fight another girl, having the full assurance that he is in love with me and reaching there, he defends the lady instead of me? You see, men are unpredictable. To me, fighting for them is not worthwhile. KENNY NNAMANI You don’t need to fight for something that is yours. There is this popular saying that when you catch a bird that doesn’t want to stay, it will be there just for a while, then it will fly away, but when you catch the one that loves to stay, it will take your nest as its home. If I love a woman and she wants to stay, she will simply behave very well, if not I will let her go after anyone that she wants. For me, I cannot fight for love.
JOHN MCCASKELL Yes, I will always stand by her because she is my all and the port of my heart. I will defend her in all course not withstanding what it will take me and how far and length the fight will reach. I will make sure that she is satisfied with my fight. Moreover, fighting for her will make her to love me more. So, for me to be loved and show love, I must fight for my love.
TAIWO BOSE Men are not worth fighting or dying for. I cannot even fight over my husband let alone an ordinary stupid boyfriend. Men should be the ones fighting over me and not the other way round. It grieves my heart when I see a woman pouring acid on a fellow woman because of a useless man. The annoying thing is that, most of these guys are not responsible because a responsible man does not involve himself in multiple affairs. If I see my man with another woman, I will take my leave. To be candid, if you see your man with another lady and leave when he thinks you would fight, he will begin to respect you. So, I don’t think that it is right to fight over someone in the name of love.
AGNES HASSAN I can fight for my man so that ladies will know that he is a nogo area. If I do not fight for him, then it means that I don’t love him. I cannot be alive and allow someone else to take away what belongs to me. I can fight anyone that dares to do such a thing. He is mine and mine alone.
OLAJOBI JOKE What will be, will be. If a man is mine, come rain come sunshine, he will come back to me. If he likes, let him sleep with all the women in this life, he will definitely come back to me. I cannot fight over a man. I will wait patiently if I truly love and want him.
HENRY UBA The last thing I will do in this life is to fight someone over a girl. Before I can even court a lady, I will ask questions. I would like to know if she has other men that love her. I can’t fight anybody just because of love, for I know that love does not exist. SANDRA GODWIN I will fight if I find out that the guy in question truly loves me. But if he does not love me, then I will not fight.
•NEXT WEEK’S QUESTION: Who is your next of kin? Send your comments and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org Next week’s question: Who is your next of kin?
29 SATURDAY SUN August 11, 2012
Editor: SHOLA OSHUNKEYE
YOUR SATURDAY MAGAZINE
The horror that made one of Africa’s richest men a billionaire – PAGE 30
August 11, 2012
The pain that put the fight into a tycoon South African multi-millionaire, Raymond Ackerman, has carried a deep scar for nearly half century. It drove him to become one of the richest men in Africa. By VUYO MVOKO Forty-five years later and now among Africa’s 30 richest people with a net worth to match–he is worth more than $545million–Raymond Ackerman still bears the scars from the worst day of his life. The day still gnaws at his mind, fresh, like it happened yesterday. It has driven and defined his life. “It was a Monday morning in 1966,” Ackerman, now 80, recalls. “Norman Herber, the chairman, called me in and just said you are out.” The least Ackerman thought he deserved was an explanation. Certainly, for someone who had served the company with distinction, for the previous 15 years–at least as far as he was concerned. He had joined the retail group, Greatermans, as a 20-year-old trainee, rising through the ranks to become MD of its struggling groceries division, Checkers. He had built the besieged subsidiary from three stores to 85 by the day of his firing. To Ackerman’s shock and horror, Herber was in no mood to explain, nor did he seem to think he owed anybody anything, least of all his underling. “I said Norman, what went wrong? He wouldn’t explain. He just said ‘Raymond, I know we are close. But from today you are out.”’ With his last paycheck, off went Ackerman to his wife, Wendy, who was at the time heavily pregnant with their fourth and last child. Although equally devastated, she would give her husband the best advice he ever got. “Raymond, this is the best chance of your life–open your own business.” But where was the capital going to come from? As Ackerman pondered the question, he remembered an American businessman he had met during the time he was learning the ropes at Checkers. He had told him: “Business is 90% guts and 10% capital.” For the next few months
Ackerman and an accountant friend would go around speaking to a wide range of potential investors trying to convince them to buy into their business idea. About 40 backers would line up and the following year, 1967, a new retail group, Pick ’n Pay, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Ackerman and company would start out by buying four small Cape Town stores, laying the foundations for what is today a US$6.76-billion turnover company. Pick ’n Pay is now South Africa’s second largest food, general merchandise and clothing chain. The group boasts 775 stores, mainly in South Africa but also in neighboring countries: Botswana; Zimbabwe; Zambia; Mozambique; Namibia and Swaziland. The company is also in Mauritius. According to the latest annual report, 100 more stores are due to open over the next financial year. The company employs more than 38,000 people. With that kind of achievement many men of Ackerman’s age would probably want to spend the rest of their lives in peace–traveling the world; looking after their grandchildren or simply tending the garden. The last thing you would expect from such an achiever is appetite for a new, if not hazardous, struggle. Well, like an old war-horse sniffing gun-powder, Ackerman is bracing himself for a new war. In it, he wants to gallop ahead of younger stallions, including his eldest son Gareth, whom he anointed as his successor and chairman in 2010. Ackerman discloses, during our interview, that he has drafted himself into a select and close-knit team that is working hard and spending a fortune on a battle plan to fend off marauding United States invader, the world’s biggest and ruthless retailer: Walmart. Walmart-a multinational both feared and respected–bought a majority stake in Massmart, South Africa’s third largest retailer. It was an acquisition opposed by unions that went through a turbulent hearing at the Competition Commission in Pretoria. Many in the unions feared the company’s rough-and-
ready approach to labor relations. Other South African retailers feared they’d be undercut and shoved out of the market by Walmart.
In the aftermath of regulatory approval, the US outfit made no secret of its intention to capture a much larger market share in South
Africa by starting a price war with the likes of Pick ’n Pay. “With Walmart coming, we want to be the best in every part of our
August 11, 2012
business. We’ve redone our buying; we’ve redone our warehousing and we’ve redone every aspect of our business. We are gearing ourselves for the fight, a very big fight.” And fighting, it must be said, is something Ackerman is used to. After all he has spent a lifetime fighting his South African rivals OK and Checkers in the cut-throat world of supermarkets–where the cheapest baked beans can be a shot to the jugular. I put to Ackerman that Walmart, with its deep pockets and huge operations around the world, could prove to be the toughest, if not most formidable, opponent he has ever faced. “We’ve done our homework and will fight a good fight,” he says. “I’ve studied deeply what they’ve been doing but I don’t want to get into that. I don’t think they’ve succeeded everywhere. We are looking at the weaknesses that we’ve picked up around the world, what countries they’ve done well in, what countries they’ve failed in. We are gearing ourselves to fight a good fight, not against a ruthless guy, but against a company that has shown that it’s got weaknesses.” It also turns out that Ackerman’s much-publicized retirement, announced two years ago, never really was. Or, as he prefers to put it, he is “technically retired.” Ackerman still goes to work everyday. He still arrives at 8am. In addition to attending to social responsibility programs, he advises the executive management team on administration and merchandising. What happens when his son, Gareth, and his team don’t take his advice? “I try not to interfere with the day-to-day running. They listen to some of my advice and sometimes they don’t. When they don’t take my advice I get upset but I don’t take offence. If I took offence, then they would feel that I’m interfering. It’s not easy, by the way. It’s not easy retiring when you’ve built a business from scratch.” What some may call meddling or refusing to let go, Ackerman merely calls passion. “I’m passionate about what I do. I want to build a company that will last forever”. The only way to make a business last forever, Ackerman advises, is by sticking to good values–something he says he tells everyone who cares to listen to the story of his success, including the scores of entrepreneurs, business leaders and students he always gets invited to inspire and motivate. It all goes back to advice a Professor gave Ackerman and his class back in 1949, at the
University of Cape Town, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. The lecturer asked all those who wanted to go into business so that they could make money, to put their hands up. Almost everyone raised their hands, including Ackerman. The professor then advised the class: “If you think making money is the purpose of business, you are going to fail.” Ackerman took the advice and it is his motto to this day. It is something he says analysts always miss, whenever they examine his business performance. “Analysts are meant to analyze a company by this triple line and corporate governance–but analysts will never ask me about what I do on social responsibility, what I do for my people. They just want to see profit…profit…profit. I want to build a company that will last forever. The analysts just want profit growth, profit growth, profit growth.” “South Africa, in my opinion, needs desperately more business involved with triple line reporting. You must give back to the community. The more you give, the more you will succeed. By giving, Pick ’n Pay removed an albatross from around its neck. When Nelson Mandela came into power after South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994, one of his first moves was to ask the country’s white business establishment to sell a stake to their black counterparts, in a program now known as Black Economic Empowerment. Ackerman says he grabbed the opportunity with both hands, by creating franchise for black entrepreneurs. The result was a win-win solution that helped both black entrepreneurs and Pick ’n Pay grow. Ackerman converted some of his underperforming grocery stores into franchises and has been bui9lding scores of new stores in townships. Many of the franchise stores are owned by black entrepreneurs. “It was a major shift for Pick ’n Pay, now half our stores are franchised. I thank Mr.
Mandela for influencing me,” he says. Ackerman’s relationship with politicians, though, has been strangely ambivalent–at best. In the dangerous days of apartheid South Africa in the 1970s and 80, when the country was in flames; many well-off whites were emigrating. “Sure, I had misgivings about our decision to stay. Thank God we decided to stay with it,” he says. In those difficult days, Ackerman met politicians. He vividly remembers a talk with Prime Minister, B.J. Vorster, who was in power when black students took to the streets and were mowed down in Soweto in 1976. It was
‘I’m not saying I’m different. I’m not saying I’m clever,
I’ve just worked my whole life to rebuild myself after I was fired’
on Vorster’s watch that more opponents of the apartheid regime were detained in a climate of racial conflict. “It was quite an amazing thing, we wanted to promote black managers but it was against the Group Areas Act, (the legislation that apportioned land by race). I went to see him (Vorster) and said we are doing it. He said, ‘I know you are doing it, and it’s against the law. I said, ‘here are letters from ministers’ wives saying how courteous this or that manager is’. I showed him these letters that my wife had prepared. He turned around–I won’t forget that day–and said, ‘Mr. Ackerman, go ahead, even if you are breaking the law I won’t arrest you’. I asked, ‘do I have your word? Can I have it in writing?’ He said, ‘go ahead, I won’t arrest you’. I said, ‘give it to me in writing’ and he said, ‘I won’t but you must do it’.” In 1980, Ackerman went to see Vorster’s successor, P.W. Botha, a very stubborn man–who was called ‘Die Groot Krokodil’”, Afrikaans for ‘the big crocodile’, who oversaw the most violent years of apartheid rule. Ackerman wanted to discuss several issues, including a housing scheme he was contemplating for his black managers: “I asked him why we can’t have houses for blacks Why not have a 99-year lease like they have in Sweden and Finland. He called in one of his ministers. I think it was Connie Mulder. After about a week of discussions, Botha came up with a 99-year-lease-hold, which was later changed to full ownership.” Ackerman would also meet F.W. de Klerk, who was a senior Cabinet minister at the time. “There was such a breath of fresh air about him,” Ackerman says of the man who would go on to succeed Botha, and later, release Mandela from prison. “I’m not trying to say we played an enormous role,” Ackerman adds quickly, “but we played a role.” Even in the so-called “new South Africa”, where there’s “tons of things going wrong,” Ackerman says he will, in his small way, continue to play a very positive role. That’s not to say he’s happy with everything that’s going on inn the country. For example, he wouldn’t mind being taxed more–a call that has been made by such people as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in part as a gesture towards reconciliation and redress. “I’d be happy to pay an extra tax to uplift and help entrepreneurs help businesses start,” Ackerman says, “but we’ve got to deal with corruption.” He adds, however, that he always reminds people that corruption is not just in government, but also in the private sector, and that inequality and unemployment were “twenty times worse in the sixties and seventies.” As a believer in entrepreneurship, in a free economy, he was delighted to hear South African President, Jacob Zuma, reject the calls for mine nationalization. “You can’t create jobs through government. You need to excite the entrepreneur to invest capital and to invest in new things. I respect the fact that the government has by and large left a free economy.” He is also delighted that government is not agreeing with the Congress of South African Trade Unions–the biggest workers union, which is also an ally of the governing African National Congress–that labor brokers should be banned in South Africa. “Unions hate labor brokers because when there’s a strike, the labor brokers come in and soften the strike and we can run the business without them. I hope he (President Zuma) doesn’t listen to labor unions. If he cuts out labor brokers he’s going to play into the hands of labor unions for strikes,” Says Ackerman. So, when all’s said and done, what would this doyen of retailing and grandfather of 12 like to be remembered for? “I’m not saying I’m different. I’m not saying I’m clever, I’ve just worked my whole life to rebuilt myself after I was fired.” The lesson for entrepreneurs? “Find something you are passionate about, and make it your life’s work.” Culled from Forbes AFRICA Magazine
August 11, 2012
Rage of bulldozers
Mansions, hotels, churches crumble as the reconstruction and expansion of the Oshodi-Badagry Expressway enters another phase. By CHRISTIAN AGADIBE (email@example.com) The ongoing demolition at Maza Maza to Agboju axis in Lagos is another cry for help, though occupants know exactly that their cry cannot make a mould. The place, ‘Maza Maza’ as the name suggests, means to hurry up. But this time, they would never be in a hurry to forget three days this week (Monday to Wednesday) when bulldozers came roaring and charging at their shops and/or homes, reducing them to rubble in
a jiffy. The buildings including an all-marble hospitality facility, a church, and many business facilities, were brought down by the heavy machines, courtesy of the ongoing construction works to expand the strategic international trade route by the Federal and Lagos State Governments. The expansion project, which includes an electric rail service that would traverse and connect strategic parts of Africa’s fastest growing city, aims at making the nation’s commercial capital one of the most important commercial destinations in the world. To facil-
itate the plan, property owners whose buildings had been marked for demolition had been served several notices in the last three years to quit. But responses to the notices were varied. While some took the notices serious, others, perhaps, thought they were ‘one of those things’ that would fizzle away with time. How wrong they were. They woke up on Monday and saw reality starring them in the face like a sore thumb. The bulldozers came roaring, charging like angry bulls, bringing sorrow, tears and, perhaps, blood on their trail as we
learnt that a woman lost her life. She couldn’t just handle the shattering scenario unfolding before her eyes. Despite that, the bulldozers have not stopped roaring. They have not been appeased since then. For most part of Wednesday, ‘victims’ could be seen running helter-skelter to salvage whatever they could before and after the bulldozers reduced their shelters to rubble. For many of the victims, sorrow mixed with anger, to yield even more anger and tears. They heaped tons of blames on both Lagos and federal governments
for what they termed insensitivity to their plight. Their main grouse: they said they were chased out like birds from their nests without any compensation by government. “Fashola shows no mercy to citizens whenever he strikes,” says a wailing trader who bluntly refused to be named in an interview with ASPIRE. “They must put an human face to all of these. They must pay us compensation. Any government that wants to embark on this kind of demolition ought to have provided viable alternatives for affected citizens.
August 11, 2012
...More to go By TEMITOPE DAVID-ADEGBOYE and ADAEZE ATUEYI-OJUKWU
Ebele and her sister
There should have put alternative arrangements in place before carrying out this kind of demolition. Any government that does not consider the source of living of the less privileged before taking their homes and means of livelihood from them is heartless.” Indeed, hell has no fury than a hotel proprietor who just stands, helpless, and watches akimbo as his financial empire crumbles before his very eyes. “If only this man driving this bulldozer knows what it caused to build these structures, only if this man knows that some lives are indirectly destroyed each time his bulldozer hammers on the wall of any building, he would have gone to find another job,” says the hotelier, who snaps at the reporter when asked for his name: “what does my name matter?” “We are saying they have killed us by killing our means of livelihood,” he continues. “This is very unfair. The governments are not building, yet, they are destroying the houses that people suffered to build, without providing any alternative for those residents and businesses that have been displaced.” The mourning mood that trailed the demolition was more palpable at the Maza Maza end where scores of transporters clustered in groups counting their losses. “I’m just confused,” says a car hire man, banging his car. “I don’t know which garage to go. I have been in this Maza Maza garage (bus stop) for ages, and now, they say we should go elsewhere. Where am I going?” A 74-year-old grandmother and a landlady who has “some landed properties” at Maza Maza, who identified herself as Alhaja Rabiat Balogun, says the demolition exercise would accelerate the death of some landlords like her because “that is our only source of livelihood.” She dis-
closed that she has been a landlady in the Maza Maza area for more than 32 years and she and 14 of her siblings actually who inherited the property. “They gave us notice over three years ago that the government will come and demolish the area,” she continues, “but till date there is no payment (compensation) for our properties. We have the C of O for the five building belonging to us, from the same government. Yet, they seem to have no plan to compensate us. “Most of our tenants had stopped paying rent since they served us notice three years ago. The government once told us that they would give us another place, but they have never made good their promise. Fashola and Tinubu are our brothers; we voted them into power. They should not keep us in the dark. A lot of people have died because they demolished their houses. Even most of those alive, like me, don’t have anything else to live on. I will advise Fashola to be considerate when next he plans to demolish buildings. Let property owners be compensated before going ahead.” It was a different kettle of fish for another property owner, and a mother, Alhaja Modinatu Salihu, who vowed to take her children to “Fashola`s house until he makes alternative provision for them.” Despite her personal losses, she came hard on those saying government did not give them enough notice. Disclosing that the demolition never caught them unawares as “we have already packed our things over a year ago,” she says whoever claims that he or she was not given any notice is not being sincere. “Go round,” she commands the reporter, playing the government’s advocate. “You would see that they have already packed their things out (from the demolished or about-to-be demolished buildings). If we
Uncertainty still hangs around the fate of hundreds of landlords, and small-scale businesses along the Lagos-Badagry Express Road, particularly between Maza-Maza and Okokomaiko, as work on ‘Lot Two’ of the road expansion project began on Monday. Already, demolition of shops, structures and shanties standing on the Right of Way (RoW) of the project has commenced. Affected in the demolition exercise is part of Maza-maza down to Agboju Market, which has been reduced to rubble, with hundreds of traders, sent packing. Also to be affected, as the work progresses, are filling stations along the corridor. ? Though the government had invited affected landlords for verification and certification of their qualification for eventual compensation, many of them were not prepared for the eventual demolition which began on Monday. According to many of the landlords spoken to, having gone for the verification, they were waiting, hoping that, as government had promised, they would be paid before their houses would be demolished. It, however, turned out that government was not ready with the compensation. Adetayo Yusuf, a manager of one of the affected buildings owned by his uncle, stated that though they were aware of the impending demolition, having been served with notice of demolition since 2008, they, however, thought the money from government would have reached them before the process began. Yusuf revealed that the two-storey building was worth N65million six years ago when a band bided to buy it. “In this country, we know how things work,” he said. “We are not new here. We follow everything that is happening and we are aware that the government has earmarked some money for compensation. Before the late President Musa Yar’Adua died, we learnt he released N2billion extra to Governor Fashola to compensate people whether they have Certificate of Occupancy or not.” While some landlords claim to have been adequately informed, many of the tenants were, however, in the dark as to whether or not their buildings would be affected. One such person is Emma Egwa. According to Egwa, a windscreen dealer, who claims to have been there for seven years, he went round to inquire from other occupants whether their building was going to be affected in the demolition. All of them claimed not to have known. To his amazement, the structure where he occupied two floors was brought down leaving him at a loss as to where to begin from. “Right now,” he laments, “we just have a warehouse that we took some of the glasses that we were able to rescue to. But there is no office space for anybody there. We tried to salvage some of our goods, though it was not possible to get everything out before the building was brought down. But majority of the goods in the building were destroyed during the demolition.” Asked to quantify his loss, Egwa says: “What we have lost here is up to N25million. Apart from
Continued on page ??? Egwa
that, the psychological and emotional pains this demolition has caused cannot be qualified.” Also speaking on the psychological impact of the demolition process, Afeez Balogun, a landlord of one of the affected residential buildings revealed that though he had been informed and was quite aware that his building would eventually be demolished, he is yet to get over the shock. “It still came as a shock and I am yet to get over it,” Balogun confesses. “Can you imagine for you to wake up in the house you have lived in for years and the next minute you see it being demolished without a feeling of devastation? “No matter your awareness, it is still a shock. We have been aware for the past five months that the demolition will take place one day but we never imagined it would start today. But, much more worrisome is the fact that we were supposed to have been paid the agreed compensation before the demolition would start. He also reiterated that though they had provided documents of the building to the government officials when they met with them and were verified with a promise of compensation, they were yet to get compensated for anything. Balogun appealed to the government to pay up their compensation as soon as possible. When ASPIRE visited the long stretch of the road, several traders at various markets along the road, especially those at Agboju Market were seen in groups, hands across their bosoms, discussing their fate, as bulldozers deployed by the contractors revved through shops and shanties at the popular market. ?? The traders said they were taken aback by the sudden arrival of bulldozers at the market last Thursday.?? “We had heard that work would soon start on the second phase of the road, but we didn’t expect that it will come suddenly. I have actually been thinking of relocating my business, but I have been slowed down by inadequacy of funds to rent a new shop elsewhere,” Tochukwu Ezeibe, an affected trader, said??. Many of the traders were, however, seen packing iron, zinc and woods used in the construction of their now destroyed shops, as they lamented that the development has thrown them out of business and taken away their means of survival. Another trader, Uche Anayo, who deals in travelling bags and whose shop has been demolished, said she was yet to secure a new place to relocate her business. “As I speak now, there is nowhere to go, but I am hopeful I will find a place,” she said as she loaded her wares into a waiting van. Also affected was Chinyere Okpara, a food vendor who has been at Maza-maza axis for eight years, operating a makeshift shop. She counted her losses, declaring that the canopy, some chairs and some of the foodstuffs that she bought the previous day were destroyed during the demolition exercise. Asked about her next line of action, Okpara said: “I don’t know. It’s only money that would determine that. This is where I have been managing for years and so I don’t know where to go from here. But at the same time, we cannot say government should not build roads. Since it will be to the benefit of all.”
August 11, 2012
Receive with one Hand, Give with the Other If there was any doubt about the philanthropic intentions of wealthy Africans – think again, writes Belinda Otas In Africa, the act of selfless giving for the betterment of the community – a form of ubuntu – is hardly new. The entrepreneurial spirit has long been alive and well too. Now it seems that as business has boomed in sectors from mining and cement to sugar and telecommunications, these two things have collided to create a large number of high-net wealth individuals who appear to have a deep desire to give back. According to a report in 2010 into the global culture of philanthropy by Barclays Wealth, South Africa ranks as one of the top four countries in the world – alongside Ireland, India and the United States – to donate significant amounts of money and time to charitable causes. The report, which surveyed 2,000 high-net worth individuals, found that cultural differences fuel the desire to give in different places. Whereas in the US philanthropists are driven mainly by a sense of responsibility to encourage creativity and innovation, in South Africa it is mostly about bridging divides. But it is not just wealthy South Africans who are giving to philanthropic causes. Forbes magazine’s list of the 40 richest people in Africa crisscrosses the continent from South Africa to Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt. And while they may not grab the global headlines in the same way as the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates or The Rockefeller Foundation, some of these Africans are giving and, better still, their money is staying close to home. In recent years, notable entrepreneurs like Nigerian Aliko Dangote, listed by Forbes magazine as Africa’s richest man, and his compatriot Tony Elumelu, one of the most successful banking executives on the continent, have set up philanthropic foundations. Dangote recently donated $500,000 to the victims of the munitions blast in the Congolese capital, Brazzaville, which claimed the lives of over 200 people. Oil magnate Theophilus Danjuma, another Nigerian and former defence minister, has established a foundation with the mantra ‘By Nigerians, In Nigeria, For Nigerians’. He has invested $100 million of his personal wealth, the largest in the history of philanthropy in Nigeria, towards work in healthcare, education and poverty reduction. Meanwhile in Liberia, entrepreneur Saran Kaba Jones is bringing change to rural communities by making safe drinking water available via her non-profit organisation Face Africa. The Harvard graduate, who was born in Liberia but left aged eight during the country’s civil war, founded a social enterprise platform to generate fund for her work. There is a perception, however, that philanthropy does not exist in Africa. Wanjiru KamauRutenberg is the founder of Akili Dada, an educational, non-profit organisation based in Kenya, with a mission to raise young African women leaders. She thinks she knows why: “When an mzungu does it, we call it ‘philanthropy’. When Wanjiru does it, it’s not until an mzungu recognizes it that we say, ‘Wanjiru is a philanthropist,’” she says. “No one was calling me a philanthropist before. Let’s be honest, it’s only because Americans started saying there’s this African doing something that my African brothers and sister were like, ‘Oh! Really?’” Kamau-Rutenberg is part of a new generation of Africans who are in the business of giving – and trying to make their mark in an ‘industry’ that is growing daily. And according to Bhekinkosi Moyo, an expert in philanthropy, civil society and governance at TrustAfrica, the practice is crucial if the continent’s reliance on external donors is ever going to be diminished. Definitions, though,
Aliko Dangote remain a problem. “I don’t think we have a word that could be equated to philanthropy,” he says. “So when people first hear the word, they think it is associated with an American or European tradition.” This certainly doesn’t mean philanthropy has never existed in Africa. On the contrary, says Kamau-Rutenberg, who points out that while philanthropy is portrayed as a concept foreign to the continent “the act of ‘giving’ is integral to African identity.” Moyo explains that this philanthropic giving by some of Africa’s richest individuals is deeply rooted. “In most [African] cultures, a rich person is looked upon scornfully if he or she does not
CARING CASH $64.9bn – the combined wealth of Africa’s 40 richest people £11bn – the estimated net worth of Nigerian Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest man $170m – amount donated by South African Francois van Niekerk, one of Africa’s top five biggest givers $575m – the amount received by South African Mark Shuttleworth for the sale of his online security firm Thawte in 2002 $45m – the amount Shuttleworth has donated $100m – the largest amount given to Nigerian philanthophy by former defence minister Theophilus Danjuma 28,000 – the number of bursaries and scholarships for orphaned children by the trust of Zimbabwean telecoms tycoon Strive Masiyiwa Sources: Forbes Magazine, Barclays
Tony Elumelu put resources forward to help the development of the community,” he says. “The reason they make profits is because the community allows them to.” “Danjuma, for example, will tell you he is rich because the Nigerian community has been good to him,” he says. “Elumelu has also recognised the private sector was good to him while he was the head of a bank and that he has a responsibility to groom others. Maybe these people realise they are only as good as their community.” The African disapora also has a key role to play in African philanthropy. According to Solome Lemma, co-founder and executive director of Africans in the Diaspora (AiD), Africans living abroad have “engaged in philanthropy for many years, whether formally or informally”. Currently $40 billion is sent back to the continent each year in remittances. This provides access to education, employment or healthcare – a practice not often thought of as philanthropy. “The most recent East African food crisis showed the ways in which the African diaspora
“A new generation of Africans are in the business of giving”
communities are empowered, with many throughout Canada and the US mobilising resources and networks to raise funds for famine relief. Moreover, members of the diaspora communities have played a critical role in promoting philanthropy within Africa, says US-based Lemma, who is of Ethiopian descent. However, Kamau-Rutenberg says Africa’s wealthy and powerful could be giving much more. The benefits are obvious, she says: “We end up being a richer society from different perspectives. People’s engagement with community improves and this too is valuable and not to mention that life improves. Giving gives and reproduces itself. Giving multiplies upon itself.” Her point is a valid one but it also demands some careful attention. Despite the fact that African economies are still growing – unlike in the West – the global economy is broken. Now is as good a time as any to rethink where private, public and philanthropic investment is directed for the most meaningful outcome. Some, like Elumelu, have argued that giving needs to be done in a way that involves African leadership and the private sector rather than from a purely charitable perspective. One area where Africans could direct more of their wealth is to support innovation through research of science and technology. The South African technology entrepreneur, Mark Shuttleworth has been leading the way in this field. African policy makers are said to be working on a fund that allows money from business to be directed into this area. But experts say that more could be done to encourage this through, for example, tax relief. Belinda Otas is a London-based freelance journalist. Additional reporting by BBC Focus on Africa magazine. •Culled from BBC Focus on Africa
August 11, 2012
Leaders on Leadership ANTHONY AKHIMIEN, FPSN
A good leader is never afraid of mistakes
Praises? forget it
By BEIFOH OSEWELE The question of good leadership is one that daily confronts us. Everywhere you turn, and on a daily basis, it is one issue you cannot run away from. Or pushed to the background. But ask Mr. Anthony Akhimien, a Knight, and he would readily tell you that leadership or being a leader is more serious business than a lot of people reckon with it to be. And as erstwhile national president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and managing director of Theo Pharmacy, the man fondly called Sir Tony should know better. “A good leader must have integrity and must be able to lead by example,” he offers. In as much as he believes integrity is key, he is not of the view that a good leader must be popular so long as what is doing has utilitarian value. In other words, if as a leader, you think taking a particular decision or action would bring the greatest good to the greatest number of persons, he should have the guts to carry it through, even if it means stepping on toes. According to him, “Good leadership is not a popularity contest. He doesn’t have to be loved or liked, so long as he knows he is doing the right thing.” Born on November 25, 1955, Akhimien had his elementary education at St. Philip’s Catholic Primary School and Annunciation Catholic College, Irrua, Edo State. He worked briefly with the Federal Office of Statistics, Ikoyi, before proceeding to the Federal School of Science, Lagos where he obtained his Advanced level in 1977. He was admitted to the University of Benin where he bagged a degree in 1983. He was elected to the plum office of the PSN in 2006 having served the association in various other capacities. He was also council member, International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Here are his views. What is your concept of leadership? Leadership entails the ability to perceive the
A leader should come out making more enemies than friends, provided that he knows he is doing the right thing and taking the right steps for the common good of the followership. current issues and be able to forecast for the future and deal with them in an appropriate manner. Are leaders born or made? Some are lucky to be born, while many others are made. Some people might have gone through several phases of life and in an attempt to do that, they come out refined. We’ve seen very few leaders that are made. Very few. They are uncommon. Any difference between made and born leaders? The ultimate is that they’d do the same thing. Good leaders should be able to excel in whatever they’re doing. He should be able to kind of guide the followership, lead the people or the organization or whatever. For me, there’s really no difference. What they are able to achieve is the ultimate goal. Whether born or made, they should be able to achieve the same result. What should be the relationship between a leader and followers? As a leader, the followership must be able to assess you. There is no way a leader can actually assess himself. That is what has happened to most African leaders; they probably do not look at what the followership are saying, because they are the only ones that can judge whatever you are doing; whether you are leading them well or not. They should be able to voice it out. For me, a successful leader is one who is able to accommodate criticisms from the followership
and utilize them to excel. He must be able to use those criticisms to look at areas he knows he has some weaknesses and deficiencies. That is the only way he can come out as a refined leader. But when you lead without listening to your followers, it is a serious problem; and that’s what we find in most African countries. They do not listen to their followers. They do not even listen to public opinion or columns written by refined newspapers. And then, they are surrounded by sycophants who would tell him only the things they want to hear. So, to me, a successful leader is one who is actually able to listen to the voices of, and accommodate the citizenry and is able to utilise those weak points or criticisms so as to be able to lead them properly. Is a leader infallible? A leader must not be afraid to make mistakes at any point. He should believe in himself and have the confidence. Aleader should be ready to step on toes of enemies, friends and family when he knows he’s doing the right thing. Any leader that is afraid to make mistakes or step on toes is a weak leader. We have so many weak leaders like that around. They are so many. Fear is not an attribute of a successful leader. In fact, a leader should come out making more enemies than friends, provided that he knows he is doing the right thing and taking the right steps for the common good of the followership. Most times, you have a lot of people who might not like what a good leader is doing, because they are selfish. But a good leader is able to step on toes of people, even those of friends and family members without minding the consequence. Good leadership is not a popularity contest. He doesn’t have to be loved or liked, so long as he knows he is doing the right thing. A good leader should not even be very popular. But he must do the right thing, provided he is convinced he’s taking the right step in the interest of the people he is leading. Can you recall any instance when you had to stick to your gun despite criticisms? Many times, I did that. One of those occasions was when I set up a disciplinary committee. There was uproar. They were saying why should I summon professors, university vice chancellors to a disciplinary panel? I said it was not all about persons, but about the profession. I said there must be discipline. I told them that even me, as president, shouldn’t be above the Constitution of our profession. As a result of my insistence, I made a lot of enemies. But I made my point. At the end of the day, when I got to Council, it was all applause. But initially, there was uproar; ‘Oh, why should this man set up a committee and professors are coming before a disciplinary committee and all that? I told them that it was not an issue of professor. It was an issue of what did they do that was against the ethics of the profession, that breached the Constitution that we all swore to uphold? I told them that as president, it was my duty to defend the Constitution, regardless of whoever you are. At the end of the day, it paid off. Everybody had to sit up Is it correct that people get the kind leaders they deserve? Well, it might not be all the time. But you see, the issue is when a leader is weak, for example, and the followership cannot access that leader because there are some sycophants surrounding him who wouldn’t allow him hear what the common people are saying, then it is a problem. So, it cannot be true all the time that a leader comes out as a representative of what the people are. It is not all the time you find such a thing, because so many instances, people are not able to voice out their opinion freely. Even though there’s freedom of expression, opinion etc, it is not in all cases you’re able to say exactly what you perceive or what you think your leader should be. This is because most times, there are roadblocks and barriers before you can reach the leaders. And that’s exactly a replica of what we have in the larger society today.
Jonas Agwu, FRSC, PEO Do you know that Mr. Jonas Agwu, national public education officer of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) once mulled dumping his job? A timely advice from his pastor saved the day. He made this confession in an interview shortly before he was redeployed from Lagos as sector commader. Hear Him: The best advice I ever got is the one that said to me, ‘In this job, if you’re expecting people to commend you for whatever you do, then, you’re fooling yourself, because this assignment is a God-given assignment. God never brought you here to have men commend you. Just keep doing it and leave the rest to God.’That advice came when I wanted to throw in the towel and walk out of FRSC. I wanted to walk out because I just felt I was not being appreciated by the people I was working with then. This was in 2007/2008 when I was at the FCT (Abuja). I think it has also happened once here in Lagos. I mean, it got to a point where I just felt like, I have had enough. I felt that somebody should tell me, well done, but you need to improve in these areas. But there was nothing like that. If my friend, who of course, is my pastor, Pastor Sam Adeyemi (Daystar) had not stepped in at the right time, apparently, I just would have walked out of FRSC and go home. Whether I would have regretted it or not, I don’t know. My favourite bible quotation is the one that says a man’s gift would make a way for him. It would bring him before kings and princes. And that’s what I hold. That’s what drives me. I do my work using whatever God has given me. I must tell you that the things He has given me are mostly what I have learnt through the media. My transition from the newsroom to traffic management was a difficult one. I left the newsroom where I had been groomed by the likes of the Tunji Bello and Sam Omatseye to be a critic of what government is; as a Concord staff, we needed to pinch governments and tell them, wake up. And here I was now on the side of the government. And seven-nine months in the FRSC, I was moved into an area where I would end up being a mouthpiece. It wasn’t really an easy transition. But what I said to myself was yes, you’ve learnt some of the rules of the media under some of the best hands in the industry. Now how do you marry that with what obtains here? But I was also lucky that my second point of call was to work with the likes of Yakubu Attah, who of course, was a media person. He made the job easier because the very moment I was appointed assistant director, public enlightenment under Attah, it was as if I was entering a fresh dimension of newsroom- he made me do every press statement and speech. It was Jonas do this, Jonas do that. I was not his P.A. Maybe I didn’t understand that I was being groomed by him. He just kept pestering me with write this, write that. I was not reporting news, but I was busy preparing press releases that were going out. What I loved most was that within that period, if there were 11000 press releases that left that unit, there were less than a 100 that came out published in a different format (edited). And that got me excited, especially when some of my colleagues (journalists) in Abuja would say to me, Jonas, thanks, you make my job easier. They would say to me, whenever you press statements get to my office, I just send them like that. Oh, I found that exciting. When finally I took over the mantle of the image maker for FRSC, I tell you, the commendation I was getting from the FRSC was, oh, your men love you.
August 11, 2012
August 11, 2012
In Livingstone, don’t be shocked if monkeys visit your hotel room By FEMI ADESINA What was the mission in Livingstone, Zambia’s scenic and historical town? To witness the launch of GOtv, the new digital terrestrial transmission (DTT) service, provided through a partnership between MultiChoice and the Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). How did we get to Livingstone? First to Johannesburg from Lagos, aboard an Airbus A340, operated by South African Airways. Landing time was 4.50a.m, which was 3.50a.m in Nigeria. And the connecting flight to Livingstone was not till 11.00a.m, South African time. The airline? British Airways. Never knew they ran regional services on the African continent. Why were they then not in Nigeria? Surely, they would run most of our airlines out of town. Or rather, out of the skies. Everyone wants to fly safe. And fly sound. And British Airways has got both. But the airline has chosen to ply its trade in South Africa and Zambia, and not in Nigeria. Sad. The frolic to Livingstone was part of a bigger package. This year’s CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards was being hosted by Zambia, and a number of us had been invited from Nigeria, apart from those who had been nominated as potential award winners. The list included Gbenga Adefaye, Editor-inChief, Vanguard and President Nigerian Guild of Editors, Debo Adesina, editor, The Guardian, Gbenga Omotosho, editor, The Nation, Joseph Adeyeye, editor, The Punch, Tunde Rahman, editor Thisday on Sunday, and myself. Also in the travelling party were John Ugbe, Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, and Shumani Gereda, Head, Regulatory Affairs, Nigeria and West Africa. Ugbe is Nigerian, and Gereda South African. Curiously, however, Ugbe looks South African, while Gereda looks every inch Nigerian. How did it happen? Their great-grandfathers have questions to answer (if we can see them). Even at 35,000 feet above sea level, you saw the ground clearly in the almost two hours flight to Livingstone. In Nigeria, at that height, you were unlikely to see the ground, as your eyes would be confronted with thick vegetation across most parts of the country, all year round. What a blessed but blighted country. Flying over Zambia, you would think the country was desert all through. An interesting sight was the salt belt, which looked like a vast field of snow from the air. It took the pilot to tell us what it was, after none of the airhostesses could provide an answer. Touching down at the Harry Nwaanga Nkumbula Airport after a smooth flight, memories came flooding in. I had read Zambia Shall Bee Free as a literature text in the late 1970s, in secondary school. The book is written by Kenneth Kaunda, the father of Zambian nationalism, and one name that featured prominently in the book was Harry Nkumbula. They had fought the battle of independence together with people like Simon Kapwepwe, John Sokoni, and many others. Nkumbula is dead, and he has an airport named after him. Kaunda is still alive, a grand old man knocking hard at 90. The airport is quite small, but clean and efficient. In a few minutes, we were done with customs and immigration formalities, and on the way to the Royal Livingstone Hotel, our abode for the next 24 hours. But first, a stopover at the GOtv transmitting station, where you saw that MultiChoice was really ready for business. It had rolled out earlier in Zambian cities like Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe, and
Nigerian delegation at the CNN Multichoice/African Journalist Award
Royal Livingstone Express Livingstone was the next. Here, vehicles drive on the right lane, unlike back home where we do it on the left. So, each time you turned a corner, and a vehicle approached at top speed, you developed some kind of trepidation. A crash? No, that is the way they do it here, and they’re at home with it. But surely, it would take the Nigerian some getting used to. The Royal Livingstone Hotel is a luxury resort built right in the belly of a games reserve, on the bank of the great Zambezi River, a shouting distance from the Victoria Falls. Is there ever a better hospitality and holiday site in the whole wide world? Or was this where the biblical Garden of Eden was located? Imagine the concentration in one place: luxury apartments, a games reserve, the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls roaring less than five minutes
away. Heaven is surely on earth. See Paris and die? No. See Livingstone and live. Africa, the exotic, enchanting, fascinating land. Why do they call you the Dark Continent then? Yes, your people are dark in colour, but save for your selfish, greedy leaders, this was no dark land. It is the land of light, of life, of the finger of God. See the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, the animals ranging freely around you in the National Park, and you know that this was no dark continent. Welcomed into my room by Matthew, who said it was his duty to make me comfortable, the first thing I asked him to do was turn off the air-conditioner in the room. It was winter in Livingstone, and the weather was about 12 degrees cold. For a man coming from 32 degrees in Nigeria, that sure was cold. And we were in Africa, not Europe, so one didn’t expect
Monkeys at the park this kind of cold. (It was to drop to about seven degrees by the next morning), and we were all decked like Eskimos in winter jackets provided mercifully by MultiChoice. The GOtv launch was by the bank of the Zambezi River, and what a sight! As I approached the venue and saw the massive river ahead, I remembered the primary school song: The rivers of Africa, Nile, Niger, Senegal, Congo, Orange, Limpompo, Zambezi. I have seen a good number of the rivers. But this was my first sight of the Zambezi. And I saw it with infinite pleasure. The Nile flows through Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. River Niger is in my own Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Guinea. Orange River straddles South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia, while Limpompo waters Mozambique, South Africa,
Zimbabwe, and Botswana. River Congo is in Angola, DR Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, while river Senegal is in Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, and of course, Senegal. There are seven great rivers of Africa, and the last but not the least is the Zambezi River, which flows through Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia and Mozambique. Now, I was at the bank of the Zambezi, where GOtv was being launched for the people of Livingstone. It was about 6.00p.m (5.00p.m Nigerian time) and the sun was going home to rest, after a hard day of business. Come and see the spectacle, as the evening sun shimmered, dazzled, and diffused its light on the waters of the Zambezi. The phosphoresce was simply ethereal, out of this world. And from the Victoria
Falls nearby, you saw something like smoke erupting. It was no smoke, it was just the sheer force of the waters. No wonder they call it the “mighty smoke that thunders.” See the Zambezi River at sundown and live. Live in the awe of God, the wonders of Nature, the magnificence of creation. Let thy servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen thy glory. Top government officials were on hand to attend the GOtv launch. It was a night of amusement, with the Master of Ceremonies playing the stand-up comedian to the hilt. He loved poking fun at Nigerians, and there was this irreverent joke he told about a Nigerian lady whose name he gave as Chineke. (The next day, I met him at another event, and told him Chineke meant God, and so the name he had in mind must have been Chinenye.) Well, Chinenye was a Nigerian Nollywood actress who was in Zambia for a research. The MC said he served as her guide round the country. After a long day of hard driving, they retired for the night at a hotel. Unfortunately, the hotel had only one room left. “I asked Chineke (Chinenye), what do we do? She said no problem,” the MC declared in his typical Zambian accent. “She said we could share the room as there could be two beds in it.” When they got into the room, however, there was only a single bed. The man offered to sleep
on the floor, while the lady takes the bed. But Chinenye refused, saying, “you have been driving all day. Let’s share the bed, and we will put a pillow in-between us.” And so they did. The next morning, they had their baths, dressed up, and went to breakfast. As they were eating, a gush of wind came, and blew Chinenye’s headgear across the high fence. The man said he rolled up his sleeves, his trousers, and was set to jump across the fence to retrieve the headgear when Chinenye hissed and said: “What are you doing? All through the night, you could not jump over the pillow, see you now, you want to jump over the fence. Stupid man.” The audience almost died of laughter. From the bank of the Zambezi, we went for a unique kind of dinner. Aboard a train, the Royal Livingstone Express, which is over 100 years old. As the restored steam locomotive and carriages powered through 20 kilometres of the historic Mulobezi railway line through the heart of the Zambezi River Valley, we were treated to a four-course meal. It was a grand opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of Livingstone from a steam train. Back to my hotel room, it was then I had the
chance to read a letter from Giulio Togni, the Hotel Manager, which had been conspicuously placed by the bed. Addressing me by name, he welcomed me to the Royal Livingstone, “where we pride ourselves on being more than a destination, but rather an unforgettable experience.” With all I’d seen so far, I agreed with him. The hotel manager continued: “Our resort, located in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, and part of UNESCO World Heritage, requires special care and attention. To ensure that our business does not impact negatively on the environment, we have in place a robust environmental management system to ensure that future generations can enjoy our pristine setting.” I also agreed with the manager. While we were ferried in carts to and from our rooms, I’d seen different kinds of animals. The zebra, cats, monkeys, rare birds, rabbits, and many others. But his next paragraph sent me scurrying to the door and windows, double checking that they were firmly and securely locked: “Please note that the resort is also situated within a national park, and therefore there are a number of wild animals on the resort, such as impala, zebras, giraffes and monkeys. These are wild animals, and should therefore not be approached. As the monkeys are very inquisitive, we further recommend that you do not leave your sliding doors open, as they will enter the room in search of food. Kindly refrain from feeding any animals, in particular the monkeys, during your stay.” The payoff of the hotel is ‘Arrive in awe, depart thunderstruck.’ And I confess, I was thunderstruck at that point. Monkey in the room? What if one had crawled in while I was out? I checked under the bed, opened the wardrobes, peeped into all corners in the toilet. Monkey, are you there? Why should I fly all the way from Nigeria, only to be clawed and chewed by a monkey? Frightening, I tell you. I dived into bed, and because it was very clod, I burrowed deep inside. I was covered by many blankets, bedsheets, and I even piled the pillows on myself. Let’s see any monkey that will scale all those hurdles to do any mischief. As we concluded departure formalities next day at the Harry Nkumbula Airport, on the way to Lusaka, I asked God to give me grace to return to Livingstone one day for a proper hol-
iday – monkey or no monkey. What an enchanting town, named in 1904 after David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary who first explored the region. It later served as the capital of the British Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia, as Zambia was known during colonial days. In my room in the hotel, there was a portion of a letter written by David Livingstone on November 3, 1863, and engraved on a cardboard: “In the event of my being cut off in the midst of my efforts to open up the interior of the continent to the sympathies of enlightened or civilised Christians of other lands, I beg those into whose hands this may fall, to convey it so that it may reach my family. I leave for the North West next week.” But for us, we were headed to Lusaka, for the CNN/MultiChoice African Journalist Awards, after a memorable time in Livingstone. The journey was aboard a chartered flight, a British Aerospace Jetstream 41 with propellers, operated by Proflight Zambia. Compared to the Airbus, or the Boeing 737 we had boarded during the inward trip, this was like a toy. A number of my colleagues expressed their worries, and the airhostess did not help matters when she jocularly said the journey would last three hours. Someone said he’d rather trek. But we needn’t have worried. The pilot had said it was a beautiful weather to fly, and it turned so. Smooth, pleasant voyage, and we landed in Lusaka in one hour. We flew at 17,000 feet above sea level, compared to the 35,000 by the British Airways on our inward journey. You could almost touch the ground, if you wanted. No dull moment in Lusaka. There was a session on Journalism Ethics, in which our own Gbenga Adefaye was part of the panel. There was another session on Leadership in Africa. Equally, some co-sponsors of the African Journalist Award like Coca-Cola, Ericsson, and UNICEF had opportunity the next morning to speak on ‘Business and Community Partnerships: Benefits and Challenges.’ The session was beautifully moderated by Isha Sessay of CNN. Award night. The finalists and the guests thronged the Auditorium Hall of Government Complex Convention Centre, Lusaka. Among the finalists were Nigerians like Tunde Akingbade, a freelance with The Guardian on Sunday Ahaoma Kanu of National Daily, Peter Nkanga, Elor Nkereuwem, Muskiliu Mojeed and Idris Akinbajo, all on joint nomination from NEXT on Sunday. Ahaoma Kanu won in the tourism category, with his work, Badagry: A walk through the slave route. He was the only Nigerian that scaled the final hurdle. Tom Mboya and Evanson Nyaga of Citizen TV, Kenya, won the overall award, for an investigative report about an African tribe in India. However, the country’s flag was proudly hoisted again, as Gbenga Adefaye stepped forward to receive the Free Press Africa Award. It was given to the Nigerian media, which has had its head bloodied by insurgent attacks in the country, but has remained unbowed. In Zambia, they never let you forget that they are the reigning African champions in soccer. Their national team, Chipolopolo, had won the African Cup of Nations in Gabon earlier this year. Round the country, you still feel the vibes of the victory, on radio, TV, billboards, posters. Chipolopolo, I was told, means Copper bullet. And truly, the Zambian national team hit the mark in Gabon, sending Didier Drogba and his Ivorien counterparts home in tears.
SATURDAY, August 11, 2012
The State of Our States
The Mbanefo Report at a glance Yesterday, we served you the first part of what the States Creation,Local Government and Boundary Adjustment Committee set up by the late General Sani Abacha in 1996 recommended on creation of more local government areas in Kaduna State.Today,we continue with that aspect of the committee’s assignment. Continued from yesterday KEBBI STATE POPULATION: 2,062,226
EXISTING LGAs: 16
RECOMMENDED LGAs: 23
REQUESTED: 45 S/N
NO CHANGE. EXISTING LGA .
NO CHANGE. EXISTING LGA .
AS PRESENTLY CONSTITUTED. NO CHANGE
WHAT IS LEFT OF PRESENT LGA AFTER CREATING SHANGA LGA
WHAT IS LEFT OF PRESENT LGA AFTER
KOGI STATE POPULATION: 2,099,046
EXISTING LGAs: 16
RECOMMENDED LGAs: 31
REQUESTED: 67 S/N
AREA COVERS OGAMINANA, OSARA, NAGAZI,IRUVUCHEBE AND IDAMIHA’A COMMUNITIES
AREA COVERS ADA VI-EBA, EGE, IDAKOIVO, KUROKOII, KUROKO, INIOZIOMI. IKARAWORO, OSISI AND IKPAKU COMMUNITIES.
EXISTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA. NO CHANGE
AREA COVERS ANKPA DISTRICT.
AREA COVERS. OJOKU DISTIRCT.
AREA COVERS OGODU, IFE AND ENJEMA DISTRICTS.
AREA COVERS BASSA KWOMU DISTRICT.
AREA COVERS BASSA NGE AND MOZUM DISTRICTS
AREA COVERS DEKINA DISTRICT.
AREA COVERS OKURA DISTRICT
AREA COVERS BIRAIDU DISTRICT
AREA COVERS IDAH DISTRICT.
AREA COVERS IDORU AND IGALAMELA DISTRICTS.
AREA COVERS !BAJI DISTRICT.
EXISTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA NO CHNAGE
EXISTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA. NO CHANGE
AREA COVERS LOKOJA AND OWORO DISTRICTS
AREA COVERS KAKANDA, KUPA AND EGGAN DISTRICTS. EGGAN(KKE)
SATURDAY, August 11, 2012
The State of Our States
EXISTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, NO CHANGE
AREA COVERS ITOBE, AND UGWULOWO DISTRICTS.
AREA COVERS IGALA-OGWA DISTRICT.
AREA COVERS OBANGEDE DISTRICT.
AREA COVERS IHIMA DISTRICT.
AREA COVERS OKENE TOWN DISTRICT.
AREA COVERS AGEVA AND AGASSA DISTRICTS.
AREA COVERS OGORI LAND
AREA COVERS OGUGU AND OLAMABORO DISTRICTS
AREA COVERS IMANE DISTRICT.
AREA COVERS EJUKU AND ISANLU DISTRICTS.
AREA COVERS MOPA, IFEYAGBA AND AMURO DISTRICTS PLUS ILAI AND OKE-AGI COMMUNITIES.
AREA COVERS EJUKU AND ISANLU DISTRICTS.
AREA COVERS MOPA-IFE-YAGBA AND AMURO, DISTRICT ILAI AND OKE-AGI COMMUNITIES.
YAGBA - WEST
ODO - ORE
EXISTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA NO CHANGE
YAGBA - WEST
KWARA STATE POPULATION: 1,566,468
EXISTING LGAs: 12
RECOMMENDED LGAs: 20
AREA COVERS LAFIAGI EMIRATE
AREA COVERS PATEGI EMIRATE
AREA COVERS TSONGAAND TSARAGI EMIRATES
EXISTING LOCAL GOVERNMENTAREA. NO CHANGE
EXISTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA NO CHANGE
EXISTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA NO CHANGE
AREA COVERS SHARE DISTRICT
AREA COVERS OKE-ODE. ORO-AGOR. ILE-IRE. AGUNJIN AND ORA DISTRICTS
AREA COVERS IGBAJA. OMUPO AND IDOFlAN DISTRICTS.
EXISTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA NO CHANGE
COMPRISING OF: OSI, OPIN -12 VILLAGES. OBBO路AIYEBUNLE. ETAN. OBBOILE. ISHAPA. ERUKU. KORO COMMUNITIES
COMPRISING OF: ILOFFA. ODO-OWA. IDOFIN. EKANMEJE COMMUNITIES
AREA COVERS OMUARAN AND AJASE-IPO. ORO AND ESIEIJAN DISTRICTS.
AREA COVERS ISIN DISTRICT
EXISTING L.GA NO CHANGE
AREA COVERS OKE-OYI DISTRICT
AREA COVERS IPORIN DISTRICT
To be continued tomorrow
August 11, 2012
with Henry Akubuiro firstname.lastname@example.org
Change beyond the text: Assessing the Nigerian writer By ANDREW BULA
his piece is meant to examine the role of the writer in the society, especially in Nigeria. Indeed, there are varied opinions on this subject from writers and critics as Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Christopher Okigbo, J.P Clark, Kolawole Ogungbesan and others in Nigeria and elsewhere. However, since some of the expressed opinions miss the point and even those correct have done little or nothing to convince many writers to practically bring about the change result needed in the ever worsening situation of the Nigerian society, discussion on this subject is not yet closed, hence this essay. During the emergence of modern African Literature, prominent among the discussions that prevailed among African writers in defining this body of writing were the following on the writer and the society: Does the writer have a role to play in the society? If so, what is his or her role? If a writer engages in political activism to bring about change in the society, should such a role still be seen as the writer’s? Expressing his view on this in an essay, ´The Modern Writer and Commitment’ by way of berating Chinua Achebe for his literary stance in a lecture in 1965, Kolawole Ogungbesan says ´it is a betrayal of art for the writer to put his writing at the service of a cause, even if it is such a laudable and uncontroversial cause as the ´´education´´ of the people’(7). Prior to this in the article, he says: ´There will always be many issues which threaten to turn the writer away from a complete commitment to art’(6). But lest he be thought advocating the doctrine of art for art’s sake, Ogungbesan goes on to say ´this is not to say that it is the duty of the writer to ignore the social and political issues of the day’(6). Despite the carefulness of his argument, it is all too clear not only in the part quoted here but in the entire essay that Ogungbesan persuades writers to embrace the idea of art for art’s sake, as he thinks that writers’ prime concern should be with their art and not with social and political issues. In fact, in another essay, ´Literature and Society in West Africa’, Ogungbesan is even more assertive when he warns: ´writers who link their worlds too closely with the contemporary social and political milieu run the risk of being outdated’ (30). However, it is instructive to note that, as with a great many human undertaking, every peoples’ artistic engagement, especially African, has usefulness, however marginal. Even if a poem merely celebrates the moon or a painting on canvass only extols a pastoral idyll but succeeds in eliciting feelings of happiness from the reader especially when he/she is sad, the utility of art and literature is thus evident. In other words, literature exists to serve human needs—both of pleasure and of education. For as Chinua Achebe, one of the excellent minds of the 20th Century literary establishment, known for his incisive dissemination of information, asserts in his essay, ´Africa and her Writers’: Our ancestors created their myths and legends and told their stories for a human purpose(including, no doubt, the excitation of wonder and pure delight);they made their sculptures in wood and terracotta, stone and bronze to serve the needs of their times. Their artists lived and moved and had their being in society, and created their works for the good of that society (19) Literature, then, absolutely has social and political impact and writers, who link their worlds very closely with the contemporary social and political milieu do not run the risk of being outdated! For there is the energetic Wole Soyinka, whose entire oeuvre is steeped in the social and political issues of Nigeria since 1960.And, even from ‘his alleged seizure of the tape of a speech by the Akintola Government and substituting it with one he called ´´the voice of the people´´ asking Akintola to´´get out´´(13);from having ´suffered incarceration and military confinement in various Nigerian gaols for more than two years (1967-1969)´(9)when he tried to stop the Nigerian Civil war in 1967 ´on allegations that he tried to help Biafrans in their rebellion against the Federation´(9), as Olu Obafemi informs, to being involved in protest marches against one form of anomaly to the other in the national polity, Soyinka has remained to this day a literary force to reckon with in Nigerian, African and world letters. He has also shown through his political activism that writers have conscience, witness to truth, live by their con-
victions, desperately seek to right a wrong, that literature should be harnessed in practical and concrete ways to better society and that writers, through leading by example, can show that literature is capable of transforming individuals to effect change in the society. But Soyinka’s stance does not go unchallenged by some of his contemporaries, including the Ghanaian, Kofi Awoonor, who contends that Wole is taking a militant position on politics now and he is coming off with a lot of deliriously committed political statements. He sees the artist and therefore sees himself, as a man who leads the army of the revolution into the promised land. I would argue that I have a right to refuse to lead my people anywhere, because I don’t even know my people except as everyman in that artistic sense. Well, we will seize our radio stations and we will defy the systems of law in the courts and be tried for treason, etc. These actions cannot be confused with art. They will not be a substitute for artistic creation itself (qtd in Apronti,80-81). Oddly enough, a writer who lacks the vision and passion to make a change, who, in fact, has set a limit for himself, disagrees with another expressing antithetical liberty as him! But, again, Awoonor is not alone in thinking so as J.P Clark argues similarly: …it seems to me that people are creating for the writer an almost superstitious role which I find unbearable, as if he were a special kind of human being who has certain duties, functions, privileges mystically set apart from other human beings. I don’t at all assume that kind of romantic position. I’m not impressed with the social or political life a poet leads outside of his profession if he doesn’t produce poems. He is a poet because he composes poetry; he is a playwright
because he writes plays, not because he is out killing people or getting himself killed. That is a different role entirely, one for another type of citizen, I mean a soldier (qtd in Asein,109). Thus, both Awoonor and Clark are agreed that by engaging in political activism, writers do what they should not do. Even, they deride their fellows for this. But how these two fail so completely to see that a writer is first of all a human being as others who, though frail, has passion for truth, justice, beauty, has self-worth and so must not be discouraged if he or she seeks to make the society in which he lives habitable outside of artistic expression remains a wonder! Happily, while Awoonor may be unrepentant about his expressed view, or Clark peacefully changed course (as will be seen later), it is interesting to find that the eminent Nigerian poet, Christopher Okigbo, who had expressed a similar view when he said: ´the writer in Africa doesn’t have any function. …I have no function as a writer’(105), moved so far away from this position that during the Nigerian/Biafran war he enlisted in the army fighting on the side of Biafra against Nigeria and was killed. In fact, it is fascinating how Ezechi Onyerionwu, a vibrant new Nigerian critic, enthused about Okigbo: If the world thought that Okigbo’s romanticizing had come to a head when he divorced his wife over the telephone(in obvious pursuit of a poet’s vision of life!),it was stunned cold when he went ahead to drop the pen for the gun during the Nigerian/Biafran war, and paid the supreme price in the bid to put flesh on the framework of his poetry(227). True, not every writer naturally has a bent for changing society in the violent manner of Okigbo or of rugged Soyinka. But all Nigerian writers can and should engage in as much practical ways as match their temperaJP Clark ments to bring about change in Nigeria. For example, Nigerian writers can come together and make efforts to relieve poverty from among the poor that have been very much a subject of their literary discourse. Nigerian writers can also come together especially now that the country is under the stranglehold of jihadist terrorists called Boko Haram and, being highly noble and imaginative, persuade as well as proffer solutions to the Federal Government that would bring an end to this social malaise. For one of the benefits of literature is as Terry Eagleton conceived it, saying: [What] it means to be a better person, then, must be concrete and practical—that is to say, concerned with people’s political situations as a whole—rather than narrowly abstract, concerned only with the immediately interpersonal relations which can be abstracted from this concrete whole. It must be a question of political and not only of ´moral’ argument: this is to say, it must be genuine moral argument, which sees the relations between individual qualities and values and our whole material conditions of existence(qtd in Ile, 100). Writing recently on ´Literature and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria’, in Saturday Sun, a proponent of the ideological posturing of conflict resolution and how literature can be made to become practically useful, James Ileh (sic) from Nigerian Turkish Nile University, Abuja, fully subscribes to this idea when he states that […] since the information in Nigerian texts is a carrier of knowledge, the scholar/critic should also be able to appropriate the information in them and transform them into knowledge—knowledge of the Nigerian condition, the corruption, injustice and ethnic conflicts—and then transform that knowledge into action; for example the resolution of the
Continued on Page 41
August 11, 2012
literaryworld ‘Nigerian writers must participate in nation building’ Continued from Page 40 ethnic conflicts. Trying to resolve the Nigerian ethnic conflicts is an effort to make a change. Therefore, the scholar/critic should be able to manage the change (38). Contemporary Nigerian writers are also scholars/critics. Unfortunately, the change they seek to make has not had impact beyond the text as only a few of them have actually transformed their knowledge into action. In fact, this is most representative in the way Nigerian writers under the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) have carried on with their affairs. If one has at least attended two ANA conventions then one knows exactly what is implicit in the foregoing—ANA convention is just an annual ceremony when writers exchange pleasantries, theorize about the problems of society, buy books, win awards and contest elections at the close of an administration of the association! What this means is that Nigerian writers have been selfishly occupied nursing their writing career thereby disregarding the plight of Nigeria about which they pay lip-service. There is strength in number and oneness. So, if ANA and other Nigerian writers under different guilds such as Abuja Literary Society (including, no doubt, student-writers’ associations across our universities like Writers’ League in Benue State University) come together and take practical actions in deciding the fate of their country as has already been thrown into sharp relief, change must be experienced in Nigeria. Nigerian writers must stop being selfishly concerned with pursuing their career. They must realize that identifying selflessly with the problems of their society would rather make them successful writers as the history of literary pro-
duction in Nigeria has shown that the most accomplished Nigerian writers are those who have genuinely hated the imbalance in the national polity and have sought to correct it, even outside the artistic domain. Even JP Clark, whose already quoted view is diametrically opposed to the foregoing, once sought change outside of art. For Soyinka details in his very lengthy, revealing and qualitative memoirs, You Must Set Forth at Dawn, that when General Mamman Vatsa, the poet-soldier and bosom friend of General Ibrahim Babangida, then Head of State, was accused of masterminding his friend’s overthrow, found guilty and was to die by firing squad, it was JP Clark who introduced the idea of going to see Babangida at Dodan Barracks and plead for Mamman Vatsa to Soyinka and Achebe and the three responded(288-90).And although their intervention did not alter the situation, it serves as an excellent example of what writers can and should do. Thus, both Achebe and Soyinka are correct when the former thinks that the role of the writer is to ´act rather than to react’ (qtd in Ogungbesan,87) while the latter declares: ´When the writer in his own society can no longer function as the conscience, he must recognize that his choice lies between denying himself totally or withdrawing to the position of chronicler and post-mortem surgeon’(qtd in Apronti,80). Nigerian writers should realize that they must participate in building Nigeria, not only through writing but, what is more, by being directly involved in the socio-political situation of the country. Andrew Bula is with the Centre for Life Long Learning, Nigerian Turkish Nile University, Abuja.
Works Cited Achebe, Chinua.´´Africa and her Writers´´. Morning yet on Creation Day:Essays. London:Heinemann,1975.19-29. Apronti, E.O.´´The Writer in our Society´´. Literature and Modern West African Culture. Ed.Nwoga, D.I.Benin:Ethiope,1978.77-89. Asein, Samuel O. ´´Literature As History: Crisis, Violence, and Strategies of Commitment in Nigerian Writing´´.Literature and Modern West African Culture. Ed. Nwoga, D.I. Benin: Ethiope,1978.97-116. Ile, James. ´´Literature and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria´´. Saturday Sun 9 June, 2012. Ile, Onyebuchi James.´´ The Nature of Ethnic Conflicts and Their Representation in Selected Nigerian Literature: A Case Study of Literature for Conflict Resolution´´. Diss. Westfälische Wihelms-Universität, 2009. Obafemi, Olu. Nigerian Writers on the Nigerian Civil War: Anguish, Commitment,Catharsis. Ibadan: J.Olu, 2007. Ogungbesan, Kolawole:´´The Modern Writer and Commitment´´. Literature and Society in Africa. Comp. and ed.David I. Ker.Ibadan: Spectrum, 2004.3-19. —-.´´Literature and Society in West Africa´´. Literature and Society in Africa.Comp.and ed.David I.Ker.Ibadan:Spectrum, 2004.20-31. Onyerionwu, Ezechi.´´The Poet’s Vision of the World: Celebrating Wole Soyinka at 75´´.Nigerian Literature Today: A journal of Contemporary Nigerian Writing. Eds. Onukaogu, Allwell Abalogu, and Ezechi Onyerionwu. Ibadan:Kraft Books, [c.2010]. Soyinka, Wole.You Must Set Forth at Dawn:Memoirs.Ibadan:Bookcraft, 2006.
Caine Prize winner, Babatunde, reads in Lagos
overs of literature are invited to a Book Reading Forum tagged, “Rotimi Babatunde: The Man and His Works” on Saturday, August 11, 2012, at NSIAC (Nigeria Society for Information Arts and Culture), 54 Magazine Road, beside BookSellers) by 4 pm prompt. Rotimi Babatunde recently won the 2012 Caine Prize for African Writing with his story “Bombay’s Republic”. This event is meant to honour the award-winning writer, who made Nigeria proud. ANA President, Professor Remi Raji, will be among dignitaries expected at the event, while Eghosa Imasuen will be reading from his latest book, Fine Boys; with Funmi Aluko performing one of her poems.
book Renaissance of Igbo traditional society review Women of Steel, Feli Publishing, Marlboro, USA, 2012, pp. 238 By MATURE OKODUWA
he last has not been heard of the Aba Women Riot of 1929. It has just been recreated in Women of Steel, a novel by Matthew Uzukwu, a master storyteller. Structured in 16 chapters with an epilogue, it is recounted in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus narrative technique, capturing the life of Nwachi, a widow and heroine of the book and other women of Umuloko and their community, in a scintillating tale of the fight against the imposition of Warrant Chiefs on the people of Umuloko. The plot opens in Umuloko, an eastern part of Nigeria, in the 20th century and depicts Nwachi, a woman of about sixty years, whose living depends on farming and palm oil making. She has lost her husband, so the products from her farm become a major source of livelihood. Uzukwu brings back to life a renaissance the Igbo traditional society, of a rare and unique era; hammering on the language and culture of the Igbo people. In this book, common things assume grandeur, like kolanuts and garden eggs, as exemplified in how they are used to welcome visitors in Igboland. Men offer kolanuts to their guests while women offer garden eggs. Another thing that makes Women of Steel an interesting read is the use of traditional adages and wise sayings that are well imbibed, thus helping to heighten the story and enrich it greatly. There is occasional use of Igbo words to lace sentences as evident in some pages: “bekee onye aghugho,” (a cunning white man) p.62; “Tufiakwa,” (disgust-
ing) p.74; “Ala,” (the earth goddess); p.94 “Nne anyi,” (our mother); p.96, etcetera. This helps to drive home clearly the message and brings one closer home to the people of this ethnic group, especially one conversant with Igbo culture and belief. The main issue that sets the novel rolling begins when Charles, one of the men that work for Warrant Chief Ugo, comes to conduct a census of Nwachi’s household. She asks why her household should be counted since she is a window and whether it is for
taxing purpose; but Charles can’t offer a reasonable answer; he rather begged to do his job. Misinformation leads to the trouble that ensues between Nwachi and Charles, and the development of the plot of the novel revolves around this singular incident. To make matters worse, Charles fights Nwachi after a hot verbal exchange and some women rushes in to settle them. These women are already angry with the appointment of Warrant Chiefs; their reasons being their questionable backgrounds and character, which they regard as unacceptable. Warrant Chief Ugo, who worked under Witherspoon, the District Commissioner, is arrested, but subsequently tried under Ted Lampley and imprisoned. This victory becomes a motivating factor for other women from other parts of Igboland. His use of hyperbole, like the mention of how a thousand women assembled for the onward journey to Ugo’s house to sit on him, helps to make the story better. Uzukwu’s power of dialogue is evident throughout the length and breath of the book. When the market people behold green lorries coming towards the market, they run helter-skelter into the bush. Such humour adds spice to the strength of the book. The fight that breaks in Umuloko soon spreads to other parts of Igbo land and the women from these other areas send delegates to Umuloko to pay homage to the women leaders of the first riot: Nwachi, their leader, Adannia, Enyidiya and Ugochi from Umuahia. Ironically, the non-violent nature of the women struggle can be likened to the Black American struggle led by Martin Luther
King Jnr. But like all known non-violence movements, sometimes it has to embrace violence from the opposition. Trouble soon breaks out in Aba after the successful removal of Warrant Chiefs in several Igbo land, their fight with armed soldiers left twenty-five women dead and many more seriously injured. The dead women are laid to rest besides the Barclays Bank building and a tree planted in their memory. My people perish for lack of knowledge, so says the Holy Scriptures. This same quotation is applicable to Nigeria where adults, parents, youths and children have little or no historical knowledge of our past (cultures, traditions, belief). How can a man shape the future without the past? How can a nation prosper with a link to the past-their history? In Women of Steel, the narrator tries to recall some of the contributions of the white man to our general development as a people. The coming of Christian Missionary Society (CMS), the building of schools, the spread of the English Language, and folktales are not left out in the story when the people talk to one another in the novel. Mathew Uzukwu’s Women of Steel is one book that will help to bridge this gap and reawaken us to our lost heritage and glory. This book is historic – a step by step account of women struggle, told by a story weaver himself; one who knows the craft of writing. Again, this book is timely and highly welcomed at this stage of our social-political development as a nation, where man’s inhumanity to man has become the order of the day. A book like Women of Steel should be introduced to our school system at all levels and use in general studies in universities in Nigeria and abroad.
August 11, 2012
Opportunities for the Parable of the snakes young ones abroad Touch the Sky Let's Talk Opportunities
DELE ABEGUNDE email@example.com 0807-788-7880 The volume of calls on the article “Minnesota Opportunities” prompted me to write today on the possibilities open to young, bright and forward looking Nigerians. My concentration will be on three nations that I visit on a yearly basis and where by God’s grace, my children, my friends’ children and my brethren’s children are. These are Great Britain, Canada and the United States of America. I want to bring in what my friend of forty five years, Architect Okunola Odusote sent to me today and I took his permission to use it here. It is apt for this article because a lot of our young ones are now hiding under religion to become lazy, complacent and unachieving. This is what he sent: ARISTOTLE: “Unemployment is good. It enables a man to participate in philosophy and politics”. VOLTAIRE: “Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice and poverty”. Work is a good thing for human life, a blessing and not a curse. It is the way out of want and a vehicle for opportunities or favour. The notion that ‘it is by favour, not by labour’is not known to any honest experience or learning. Such sentiments are growing in our present Nigerian condition where a patently dishonest atmosphere that is toxic to all forms of growth constantly robs work of its rewards and makes its promises hollow. “In every labour, there is profit”(Proverbs 14:23) is the Bible’s position. Favour is never placed before labour in the Judeo-Christian worldview of physical work. We have the duty to rid our society of graft and demeritocracy: a practice that confers favour based on relationships, not on qualification. There has been such brazen attempts to smuggle this into standard Christian worldview, but there is simply no basis for it. Hard work pays. Hard work brings out the best in individuals and societies. Jesus said, “My Father keeps working up to this point and I’m at work as well” It is on this premise that I write today. I must mention that the opportunities in Great Britain are fewer and far in between when compared with those of Canada and the US. For the bright young Nigerians, there are opportunities for you to have the best of Western education from these three great countries. The usual reaction is that, that is for the rich, but I beg to differ. Though in the last five years, during I have attended one graduation ceremony yearly from Universities in these three countries, majority of the young Nigerians graduating there are from the homes where they seriously pampered. The ones who have stood distinguished have been from homes where it was the brains that paved the way. Those are the ones that I am addressing today. Let it be said that everyone could access education overseas. This is how to go about it, there are universities in Canada and the US that will give you
scholarship or grant if you obtain high scores in the international qualifying examinations. A financially disadvantaged but brilliant student will pull through with high scores. The American and Canadian universities for undergraduate level, require that you pass SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). For good universities for SAT, a score of 1800 or above is required, while for TOEFL, you need 100 or above. For Masters Degree or PhD, you need GRE (Graduate Record Examination) and TOEFL. Good universities ask up to 1400 in GRE. For MBA, you need GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and TOEFL. For GMAT, the average score is 550. In the UK, you need to pass TOEFL and IELTS examinations before admission can be granted. In some universities there, you need to have got scores in GMAT, GRE and SAT to pass the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). This is because its acceptance is more global. An excellent score in IELTS is 7 or above. The reason why I have gone to this extent is to aid our outstanding boys and girls who would have been global stars if they had this information but are held down due to lack of it. These exams could make your dreams come true if you pass them exceptionally, that is, with very outstanding marks, well above average. There is no leakage in these exams because everything is computerized and the level of their proficiency is high. For a very determined student or young man or lady, the cost of accessing these exams is not prohibitive. You could save for them by coaching other students or doing any other honourable job. You could get assistance from the religious body that you belong to or your town’s society or association. Just get the money righteously and prepare for the exams with your life. There are several relevant courses over there that are not available right now in Nigeria, you should get a grip of them all and decide on which one to tackle to become a world changer later on. It is important that you know the months of admission in every single year. Most are done twice a year but what is important to note is that whichever period or month you pick, you need to give yourself at least six months to process the admission and your visa. The process is more cumbersome in the UK and Canada than the US. UK may require your paying part of your school fees before visa is issued. However to beat all these, read exceptionally well to break the records in all the exams that you are required to take. Once your scores are forwarded to the schools of your choice, the offer of scholarship or at least a grant is as predictable as the sun rising in the east. I have a beautiful testimony of a young teenage Nigerian girl going to Harvard this August just by her share brain power. She had turned down offers from Yale and other Ivy League colleges to opt for Harvard. Just share brain power and supportive parents (not really rich) who are knowledgeable about these opportunities. There are so many of such young ones in Imo, Ekiti, Kogi, Anambra, Niger and some other states who should be encouraged to try this option. It is for you that I am writing today. All that is required is your focus, determination and commitment to achieve excellence and it will come your way. Don’t be deceived by the favour preaching going on today. Favour follows hard work and opens the door to the diligently prepared young man or woman. Just like Mr. Cosmas, the owner of the Coscharis Brand in Nigeria said, success is predictable after hard work. The opportunities spoken about today are purely educational, but this is the key to the global future. This is what the Japanese and South Koreans have been using and even now, the Chinese are using to enter into the US colleges on scholarships and grants. They beat the records and these countries celebrate the best. Nigerian young men and women, please go for it and God bless your efforts with outstanding success.
PAAGO ALEELE IMABEL firstname.lastname@example.org, 08023620564
I will like to share a parable with you today. It’s not found in the bible so it’s not popular by any stretch of imagination. But I will need your imagination stretched a bit to fully grasp the content. Imagine for a moment that you are in a seminar or a church service. Imagine that there are 70 of you present in the room. Imagine that in the middle of the presentation – (maybe during the choir ministration, or the pastor’s message, or the guest speaker’s lecture) a snake drops from the ceiling with a big thud into the centre of the room. What do you think will happen? Generally, there will be only two reactions: some persons will run off immediately before they even begin to think. Most of the people in this running category will not even know why they are running. They will not see the snake but they will run because others are running. The second reaction will consist of one or two persons who for different reasons run to attack the snake and kill it. Why do they run to the danger others are running away from?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has Is it that they do not have families who will miss them? Is it that they are the most powerful people in the room? Or is there something else driving their action? We will come back to these questions in a moment. But for the time being, imagine that after that unwelcomed visitor was killed all the people that ran away came back and settled down for the meeting to continue. Then just after everyone had settled down, 70 snakes now dropped from the ceiling into the room – one snake for each individual. Now what do you think will be the reaction at the venue? Your guess is as good as mine. Even the men that stayed back the first time to kill the first snake will probably be the first out of the door. The air will be filled with screams of “Jesus” and whatever else the people there call when they are in trouble. No one will stay back. No one. Or would you have stayed back?
But think about it. These are snakes. Each person can kill a snake but when you put 70 snakes in a room unexpectedly with 70 grown up men and women, the human beings are the ones that run away, not the snakes. The human beings can communicate – the snakes cannot. The human beings have technology, the snakes do not. The human beings have tools the snakes do not except for their fangs. So why do 70 unthinking, unarmed snakes win over 70 able-bodied men? Finally imagine that amongst these 70 participants there was a woman with her only child. She had been married for 10 years before she gave birth to that child who happened to be barely 7 months old. She also happened to have been the only person outside when the 70 snakes dropped into the meeting room but her baby was sleeping somewhere in that room. What do you think this woman would do in the midst of the commotion? Aha! This one woman, who ordinarily will run away from a rat in her house, cannot and will not be stopped by 70 snakes in a room no matter how fierce they are. She will run into the building and will prefer to be killed than to imagine that one snake touched her only child. Eventually she will not kill 70 snakes, but she will get her baby or at worst die trying because one human being is still greater than 1000 snakes. In her actions we find the answers to all our questions. It is not that she is not afraid of snakes, it is not that she has more power than the men who ran out, it is simply that she has placed more value over what she has at stake in that room than anyone else. That is the parable of the snakes. So do you need an interpretation? Imagine your organization – family, business, church, etc – with all your members gathered together. A snake represents an unfriendly and poisonous situation that arises with the capability of destruction but not if ONE person took action to stop it. A snake could ruin your church or your family or your business. But the snake (the condition) does not have the thinking capabilities that you and the rest of your members have. It does not have the technology available to you or the power of teamwork that you can harness to overcome it. Yet we all run because of this poisonous condition rather than face it and overcome it. Hardly will an organization face a situation where each individual is given a different snake. But even if that were possible one individual who has something at stake more than all others; one person who puts more value on the team over and above himself/herself, will rise up to the occasion and usually that one person will make the difference. There are 160 million Nigerians. Our problems are not 160 million problems. Why has it overcome all of us? Why can’t we solve the five or ten or twenty or even hundred problems that we are faced with? Is it because we have not placed a greater value upon our nation than ourselves? It took only one Joseph to save Egypt from national disaster. It took one David winning the entire army of Palestine. It took one Esther to save Israel from extinction. They won at great personal threat, some lost their families, some their comfort but they eventually became heroes. They faced the snakes and conquered. Will you? “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has,” Margaret Mead. I know without a shadow of doubt, that we can make that difference when we put our mind and actions to it. Let’s stop paying lip service. The Save Nigerian Schools Inauguration Ceremony is coming up next Saturday, August 18th in Lagos. How can you assist us? Whatever you do will be greatly appreciated. So go ahead and call me to see what you can do for posterity.
August 11, 2012
Winning Ways 1000
business books you must read before you die
Put your dream to the test:
10 Questions that will help you see it and seize It Review by The Publisher: What’s the difference between a dreamer and someone who achieves a dream? According to best-selling author, Dr. John Maxwell, the answer lies in answering ten powerful, yet straightforward, questions. Whether you’ve lost sight of an old dream or you are searching for a new one within you, Put Your Dream to the Test provides a step-bystep action plan that you can start using today to see, own, and reach your dream. Dr. Maxwell draws on his forty years of mentoring experience to expertly guide you through the ten questions required of every successful dreamer:
By JOHN C. MAXWELL
The Ownership Question The Clarity Question The Reality Question The Passion Question The Pathway Question The People Question The Cost Question The Tenacity Question The Fulfillment Question The Significance Question More importantly, Dr. Maxwell helps you to create the right answers, giving you principles and tips so you can make
good decisions and maximize every moment to achieve your dream. Don’t leave your dream to chance. This book is a must-have and can make
Change is what you need Life is designed to work. Business is supposed to yield profit. Marriage is to be enjoyed. The ministry and all professional careers are supposed to bring fulfillment. Examinations are to be passed. Families are designed to be happy. All aspects of man’s life are supposed to be success. Therefore, if what you are experiencing is contrary, I counsel you to stop for a while, think, examine, and evaluate the situation and see if there are areas you need to consider a change. The people I fear most are those who despite that they are not getting results in what they are doing, but still carry on with their fruitless effort, the same way, the same pace and in the same place. Such people live an average life; in most cases, they waste away without accomplishing anything in life. If your life is stagnant; if you retrogress instead of progressing; if you find it so difficult to feed; if you always fail in examination; if your business is not moving as desired; if your marriage is collapsing; if your spiritual life is zero; if your health is falling; if nothing is working for you in life, I think the first thing to do is to stop and check what is wrong. If you care to think and look inward, out-ward, analyze the situation, the solution to that seemingly unsolvable problem may just be that you need to apply change, for instance, a vendor that record very low patronage may need just to change the location In order to enjoy high sales. Also, a marriage that is collapsing
may require just a change of attitude and character of the spouses. In the same vein, a student that always fail his or her examination may need to turn a new leaf by embracing diligence, remain focused and concentrate in his or her academic work instead of being lazy and indolent. When you are working and nothing is working for you, why can’t you stop for a while and think of where change is required -trying new things, get a new direction and
‘If nothing is working for you in life, I think the first thing to do is to stop and check what is wrong’
make necessary corrections. If you desire success in life, embrace change. Nothing in life is permanent, the only permanent thing in life is change. If you are ready to change, you will adjust to external events; you will open your mind to wise counsel, which might suggest change. If you employ the power and benefits of change, you will reap the rewards of change, which is resounding success. The problem of the poor is that they fail to embrace change even when what they are doing do not yield results. This set of people is self-opinionated. They like to hold tight and defend their beliefs. They have a life style, which they refuse to change. Their beliefs produce nothing but poverty, problem and pains; yet they refuse to let go of them. To enjoy the benefits that changes produce, take note of the following: (1) Decide to break old habits (2) Remove anything that may stand as obstacle to effect a change that is necessary (3) Do not rush to effect change; take one step at a time (4) make symbolic changes. That is, take action and make a deliberate change (5) celebrate the progress you have made through changes you have allowed (6) focus your energy in changes you have made. Let your actions help you to achieve your goals (7) Monitor you thought (8) Nurture your mind body and soul. As you have decided to enjoy the benefits offered by change, get rid of worry and anxiety, eat nutritiously, spend quality time with yourself, use
the difference between failure and success. Most people John Maxwell encounters have a dream. In fact, he has asked thousands about their greatest aspirations. Some describe their dream with great enthusiasm and detail. Others are reluctant, almost embarrassed, to talk about it. Regardless of their zeal or fear, the same question drives every person with a dream: Can I achieve it? Sadly, most people have no idea how viable their dream is. They hope to achieve it, yet hope is not a strategy. What people need is a way to test their dream. In Put Your Dream to the Test, New York Times and Business Week bestselling Maxwell brings the subject of a personal dream down to earth. You will receive practical and powerful direction for your life by asking the ten questions that will help create a clear and compelling pathway to your dream. John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold over 13 million books. His organizations have trained more than 2 million leaders worldwide. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP and INJOY Stewardship Services. Culled from leadershipnow.com
DADA Z.I. (The Educator, 08028471149, 07029309472) Dadazi2000@yahoo.com
your body for work, recreate, relax and make friends of people of like minds, sing, laugh often and enjoy what you are doing at the moment. If you hate change, you can never be in charge. Be ready to adapt, then adopt new methods, new orientation, new strategies, new discoveries, and new life and enjoy new success.
August 11, 2012
Lagos demolition blues Continued from page ??? were not given any notice, how come they packed their things before the bulldozers came? But that is not to say that anybody is happy at what has happened. In fact, I feel very bad like every one of them. That’s why I’m calling on Governor Fashola to visit us to commiserate with us and reassure us. “Anytime he demolishes, he should try to pay compensation on time because it is killing many people quietly. Maybe he doesn’t know. People are becoming poor and sick because of the untold hardship in the country. Let him settle whoever he has demolished his house. They are killing. Fashola should think well. A promise is a promise. They promise and would not fulfill it because they are government. And you can’t fight them, even if you go to court. It is only God that can fight for the common man. As for my children, maybe I will pack them to Fashola’s or Tinubu’s house to feed them.” Mrs. Rosary Anyaogu, 48, says she has been doing business in Maza Maza since 2000. She pours her anger on what she calls “the indifference of government” to their plight. “I came to Maza Maza about 12 years ago,” she begins. “I have two shops where I sale drinks and food. They have just destroyed the two of them. I am not feeling fine at all. They didn’t inform us on this demolition unlike the last one they did in 2009 when they told us and we packed our loads. But this one, we were not informed. And they have not said anything about the compensation because a lot of damages were done. We actually thought they were going to use only the other side of the road, facing Badagry because they abandoned our side for a long time. But all of a sudden, they came without giving us notices and they destroyed our houses. I have five children. How am I going to take care of them? Government should help us; we have no other thing to depend on for survival.” Like Anyaogu, it is not a laughing matter for another long standing resident-cum-trader in the area, who simply identifies herself as Mrs. Edith Mbaonu. Like the formal, the woman, who claims to have been trading in Maza Maza for the past 20 years, had her two shops destroyed. And she is even too devastated to count her losses. “We have been here since this Maza Maza started, when this Maza Maza was all bushes; full of water, no road,” she recounts, raising her voice. “We were all surprised when they came yesterday (Tuesday). They didn’t even allow us to remove a pin from our properties. “There is even an old woman close to my shop, who begged and begged, still, they didn’t allow her to remove a pin. The next thing we saw was that the bulldozers came charging at our shops and buildings. Even when we attempted to remove some things, the policemen would not allow us. They chased us out with
Jonathan horsewhip and guns. Look at all our properties there now. They have damaged our juices and fridges. They have destroyed everything. Upon all these, nobody is talking about compensation. Neither are they making any effort to provide any alternative for the people. Yet, we have children; some of them are in secondary schools and universities. How are we going to pay their school fees? How are we going to take care of our children?” For the transporters, who had dominated the Maza Maza/Agboju axis of Badagry Expressway, life couldn’t have been more miserable. When we visited he scene again on Wednesday, as we did the previous two days, they cut a pathetic picture. They gathered in clusters and lamented the horror unfolding before their very eyes. Several others hurdled inside their vehicles in the blazing sun, sweating profusely like the proverbial Christmas goat. Their offices that used to shelter them had succumbed to the bulldozers. According to one of their directors, Chief Chike Mbaonu, though the exercise was long expected, they, nonetheless, deserved compensation. “I cannot say it is unexpected because they had been telling us they might come today or tomorrow since 2009,’ he admits frankly. “That ‘one day’ came today. But all is not lost. Some of us here can still continue business because they left little spaces for us. We can make use of the little space we left. But what about the food vendors, shop owners and average people who survive with their little businesses? How are they going to cope? And no compensation is being done.” For another businessman, Marcellus Ugwummadu, 45, who sells cars within the vicinity of the devastation, it was mixed reac-
Yar’Adua tion. Like others, he said he saw it coming. “They gave us letters three times that they were coming,” he says. “Where I am very unhappy is that the government has not provided an alternative accommodation where people would be relocated. We are not sure whether they are going to compensate us or not. I used to sale cars here and for you to get another place is not easy to see. I have been here for almost 15 years now.” Alani Olupode, 40, who has been doing business over 10 years, was a study in devastation. He was moody, and kept ruminating on his losses, especially his destroyed shops. “What do you expect me to say, my brother?” he asked nobody in particular. “Today is my saddest moment. As you can see, I am still busy packing the little things I can salvage. I don’t know what to do and there is no alternative provided for us” Mbaoku Onuoha, another car dealer who claims to have been doing business in the area for the past four years, confirmed to ASPIRE, that government, indeed, had served them notice since last January, but lamented that no provision was made to resettle them. “It is very unfortunate that this is the only country that can demolish houses without making alternative provisions for affected people,” he says. “They just come, overnight, and crush everything you have built over the years. There is no alternative. If government has provided an alternative place, let them speak out. In Europe, where I have been opportune to be, if you are working before government displaces you, they would have made where you would be before taking action. Here, they just toss you into the cold like a worthless animal, despite paying your taxes. What they are busy destroying is beyond what the road might even
Fashola take at the end of the day. This demolition is going to create serious poverty and hardship and lots of social problems. “Take for instance that woman food vendor whose shop was destroyed; they also destroyed her house. I begin to imagine how the woman would cope with her three children. That is a very big disaster for her. Where she sells rice is affected and where she is living is affected. Where will she start? At the end of the day, you discover that her children might turn out to be armed robbers (God forbid) as a result of the problem that government has caused for her. You find that if care is not taken, these children might turn out later to terrorize other innocent citizens. It is very unfortunate because even government that caused these problems, you cannot even see them because they have surrounded themselves with all kinds of security. It is we, the poor, that will suffer for it.” To say that the entire stretch of the demolished area is tensionsoaked is to state the obvious. Tuesday afternoon, when this reporter visited the area, some women engaged some street urchins, popularly called Area Boys, in local parlance, a fierce battle. One of the women, Queen Ebele, 35, along with her sister, were fighting the Area Boys who were trying to loot planks and metal railings from the ruins of her late mother’s demolished building. Queen told the magazine that her mother died from shock in 2009 when she was informed that her three buildings had been marked for demolition. She had a massive stroke and later died. “We are yet to recover from our mother’s death when this (demolition) happened,” Queen laments. “This is one of my mother’s properties. It is a painful thing to see what she has laboured
for years to disappear like that. This is all what we have. It seems as if government asking us to leave Lagos State for them. This demolition has cost my mother her life. And it’s not just this one that you are seeing, she has two other buildings that were also affected. Nobody will come and build where government has not approved. They (government) know that this is going to happen, why did they approve it at the initial stage? The worst part is that they came to demolish without compensation. For god’s sake, this is a civilized country. They should compensate before the demolition. That’s how it’s done. “The most painful part of it is that we lost our mother because of this. She died because of this. When she heard that they were coming to demolish her building, she fell and could not stand that how she had stroke. It was too much for her to bear. Imagine a woman who suffered so much to bring up her children, trained them single-handedly, now coming to face this at a time she ought to be relaxing and enjoying the fruits of her labour. Just when she was about relaxing, government came and asked her to vacate her personal property. And they came and destroyed everything. They (government) did not give us any alternative place and there is nothing to indicate that they will compensate us. We are in a society where government does not respect the rights of its citizen.” Femi Hamzat, Lagos State commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, argued against the traders’ position, insisting they (traders) were informed well ahead of time to vacate the RoW of the project. “They have been instructed several times to leave the road, but you know people always wait for the last minute,” he said, reaffirming the determination of the government to see the project through.
Kunle Afolayan emerges Africa’s new generation leader
IG petitioned over N14m wedding car gift to Naeto C
AUGUST 11, 2012
ENTERTAINER Edited by Tosin Ajirire 08056008696 (sms only)
I won’t impregnate any lady beside my wife –Tee-A By SAM OLATUNJI
or Tunde Adewale, who most people know as TEE-A, comedy is a passion. Right from secondary school, he had been a comedian. When he graduated into cracking jokes every last Friday of the month at Ali Baba and Lagbaja’s shows, it was still for the fun of it. Today, the rookie of yesterday has grown into a fullfledged professional who lives on comedy. In a chat with The Entertainer, TEE-A opens up on his journey to fame and fortune. Enjoy: Going into comedy Basically, it was not as if I thought of it as a career, no, that never happened. What we did was just working, it never occurred to me that I will have an office, I will have assistants, people that are booking me for shows, all that was never on my mind, all that was on my mind was ‘let’s just get an opportunity to perform’, and I can also speak the same for Ali Baba. It was not for the money, it was just about ‘let’s entertain’. A lot of people knew me when I was performing for Lagabja and Ali Baba. We were not doing it for money. It was just a ritual that before the last Friday of the month, I must have a joke, I must have a material and that was the fun of it. And then, once you go there, you do it, business comes and people will say ‘Ali, we can’t afford you, can we use Tee-A?’ and Ali will say
AUGUST 11, 2012
ENTERTAINER ‘Tee A go and do it’, it was just about business and when it was getting big like you need someone to help you draw invoice, do letters, it was not like a gamble, it was being focus on work.
Tales by Moonlight The funny thing about me is that it has really never crossed my mind to work elsewhere. All I have done revolved around entertainment. Right from the time I finished secondary school, before I gained admission into the university, I was already doing Tales By Moonlight. I remember when Wale Adenuga came to recruit some of us from the Theatre Arts department for his production. We were the first set of cast for Papa Ajasco & Company, so we had already known that that was the direction we were heading. Discovering my passion Did I even discover my passion? I just got used to those feelings. I used to mimic lecturers in school. When we were in secondary school, there was no teacher I could not mimic, and everybody will just laugh. The same thing followed me to the university. It is just natural for me to want to entertain, to look at things and look at the funny side of it. Parental opposition My mother will just say as long as it does not affect your education you can go ahead. I started quite early, when it was time for riddles and jokes, I was the person they used to push forward. I remember my English teacher, Mrs Oto will say ‘this boy is just a clown’, she will ask me to do something and I will just do something else, everybody will just be laughing. When everything is dry they will just say ‘Tee-A, go and pick the microphone’. I remember from JSS 3, comedy has been a part and parcel of me. Even if by tomorrow I say I don’t want to entertain any more, that I want to be a pastor, I can’t still kill the humour side of me. Why I studied Theatre Arts I was admitted to University of Lagos to study African and Asian Studies, and I also gained admission into University of Ibadan to study Theatre Arts, it was Diploma in Theatre Arts, and it was my experience in UI that really inspired me. I wasn’t there for long; it was just for the period of the auditioning and the training. The school had a registration process then, the student would go to the department to register and then apply, if you were selected, you would then go for the audition. So, when I was going for my audition, they had some senior students, who were helping some new students with their audition tests. One of the most brilliant students in t h e school t h e n was a young and pretty lady called B i m b o Akintola. I met her
and started calling her mummy and aunty. I would ask her that ‘aunty, come and help me with this and that’. Thankfully, she liked me and told me she would help me. That was how Bimbo took charge of preparing me for the exams, she taught me a lot of things, helped me in many ways especially with my auditions. Of course, she was a brilliant actress and singer and also very popular on campus. My experience after I passed was that I would help someone from the way I was helped. I had to come back to UNILAG, that was how Bimbo and I became very good friends, till tomorrow. If I see her now she would say ‘’ah my son, come here’’, that’s the sort of close relationship we have and share. Theatre 15 I was in the Theatre 15 at the time in UNILAG. It was when my set was leaving that the school created the Department of Creative Arts. Theatre 15 had a lot of students at the time; there were students from Architecture, Engineering and all sorts. Uncle Tunji Bamishigbin was a member, also Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi; so many prominent people were members of that group. When I started in school, Princess was there, Koffi too, these people are much known today and that gives me joy. One day, we went for a show in Benin, Ali Baba and Trybesmen and I, the show was in UNIBEN, that’s was where we met Basket Mouth for the first time, he was just a student there and today look at him. AY too was there, I remember he would come to Lagos to book Ali Baba for shows. My joy now is that what we started then is now paying off and has produced so many young and great people. That on its own is an inspiration. My TV show It is not as if we are making so much more money from the show, it’s just another platform, not everybody gets to see you at events, nobody gets to see you do stand-up and you have to reach out to everyone so it’s like broadening your horizon. We have quite a number of fans, just expanding the horizon to
reach out to more fans, that is what the TV show is all about. It has its own fan base and they follow us even when we do events. We stopped the show to rebrand and repackage, you have to keep re-inventing yourself, I don’t believe in being stuck to one thing that I have done. I have done TV, I have done radio; there is always something to do at every point in time. A talented person should find various ways to express his talent other than sticking to one format. But thank God for his mercies, the new show has gone far above my expectations, the show is a year and a couple of months old and landmark achievement has been made within that limited time. The feedback we get from fans and viewers has been very encouraging. The show has also been very constructive, though, we get some criticisms and encouragement here and there, we try to take everything and come out with a better production, which is what we have done with the season three. Going to Ghana The reception in Ghana has been very encouraging. Prior to this time, I could go anywhere in Accra and do anything I like but on this last trip, I couldn’t go anywhere without one or two people recognizing me. They were like ‘I think I know this face, you appear on television’ so it shows that people are watching. On Tyme out Lounge Nothing really went wrong; it was just some little issues here and there, which we thought we w e r e going t o sort
AUGUST 11, 2012
ENTERTAINER out by moving to a bigger and more spacious venue. We changed our focus and decided to focus on the TV show instead. When we do get what we are looking for, we will get back to it; the whole template is still in existence. I don’t settle for less, if I don’t get what I am looking for, I don’t venture into it. Another major issue is that we are no longer looking at renting, if we are going to acquire it, it has to be the kind of property that we want and in the area we want. Strengths and weaknesses I am still making money because I know my strengths and weaknesses. I thank God that every week or every weekend there will be an event to handle. Maybe what you meant is that there is low patronage in comedy, the credit crunch and fuel subsidy will affect everybody but what will judge is the purchasing power. But, I have been surviving, there have been one or two things we have been able to do in terms of events, there are clients who have remained faithful to us, there are clients who have stuck with us, who we have been working with for years, so I can’t complain. Between Tunde and Tee-A Do I even strike a balance between Tunde and Tee A? Tee A is a workaholic, Tunde on the other hand is a quiet person, who will rather love to stay with his family, watch movies, and cook something at home. Tee A is the side that likes the red-carpet events; there are two different entities, when one is not available the other one takes charge. On being comedian and MC Funny enough, what I have heard is a different variation – MC/comedian, not a comedian or MC, that is what I have heard. If you need an MC who is also funny, if you need a comedian who can also MC so I have been called a MC/comedian. I think it is humbling to have been seen as someone who can match those two functions together. There are times when people will call you for events and tell you ‘please, anchor this event, it is a serious event so we don’t want jokes’ and some will say ‘just do comedy’, and sometimes when you anchor events some people will ask why is he not cracking jokes, is he not funny again? Without knowing that it’s the brief you got to make it a straightforward event. I think it is a thing of honour to be seen as someone who can combine both effectively. Comedy challenge The major challenge which no one takes time to understand is the fact that you might not be in the mood to crack jokes. That is one pressure that entertainers particularly comedians and MCs face. There are times that you are not just in the right frame of mind; there are days that your mood has gone from bad to worse. On the other hand, the client doesn’t care about that because you have been paid to do that job, so that’s one of the major pressures entertainers and comedians face because they are actually human beings. There was a partic-
ular event that I had having lost a very close friend of mine in the morning; we rushed him to the hospital and he died before we got to the hospital. I was the one driving the car and he was the one behind me. We drove to the hospital where he was pronounced ‘dead-on-arrival’. From the hospital we took him to the mortuary, I had an event that evening, and I still went ahead to perform. We were taught in the theatre that no matter what happens, the show must go on. That is a real pressure because it could be personal or even more than personal, so much could be happening but the show must go on. J o l l y good fellow I am just a jolly good fellow. I am very flexible, I blend into so m a n y backgrounds, and it’s just the grace to be flexible. I am really very flexible and I think over the years that is one thing that has really worked for me. Comfort Some of the people I went to school with are bank managers; I just look at them and laugh. I would say ‘look at this Mufu that couldn’t talk when we were in school’, so if you have stayed 16 years in an industry, you are entitled to some level of comfort. If I have dedicated 16 years of my life to one industry, I deserve some level of comfort, which includes roof over my head, shoes on my feet, and clothes on my body. It can be better but I am grateful for everything that I have. Marriage and responsibility Marriage has added a lot to my life. Before I got married, I could afford to be cheeky, I could •Tee A with wife
afford to say anything but now there is a form of responsibility I shoulder. As a married man, I have learnt a lot and have grown so I show maturity in my entertainment, in my performances, and even in my personality. One thing that marriage has taught me is accommodation. You should be able to accommodate all manner of people in different circumstances. My wife is a very accommodating person; I think I learnt that from her. There is nothing anyone can do to me that would do so much damage to my being because I understand that we are all humans and are bound to make mistakes. I don’t keep issues in my heart, my heart is free and clear, I am an easy going, lucky fellow and there is nobody I can’t talk to. I will tell you my mind right there and that is the end of it. My heart is very big because I don’t harbour certain thoughts. On having kids Initially, it was a choice not have a baby at a certain point because that time that we got married, my wife wanted to do her Master’s programme abroad which involved her traveling back and forth, so we decided that for that period, we should calm down and put child birth on a hold. After that phase ended, we decided to start trying and we are still trying. No, not having kids doesn’t bother me. The Bible says: “in His time, He makes all things beautiful”. It is human to want to think about it but when you remember the promises of God, as human beings we will keep working on it day and night. Me impregnate a lady? No, there is no room for such a thing. I am very comfortable and happy with the person I am with and that is my wife, kids will come at God’s own time. My future For me, the future holds great promises. I follow the Bible especially as it concerns this issue. It says: “the glory of the latter days shall be greater than that of the former”. I believe its talking about me there, I believe it’s my portion, no matter what I did in the past, no matter what you think I am doing now, I believe the future will definitely be bigger than everything I have done in times past. I attend The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) headquarters. I am Bishop Okonkwo’s boy.
48 AUGUST 11, 2012
Glamour, panache at the premiere of Last Flight to Abuja held penultimate Friday at Genesis Cinema, Lekki, Lagos
Obi Emelonye, producer, Last Flight to Abuja with family members
Monjaro and Freez
â€˘A guest, Mrs Makun and Uru
Omotola with husband, Captain Ekehinde
Philips Oduoza, CEO, UBA with Julius Agwu
Augustina, Oyinye and Omolola
Eniola Badmus and Uti Nwachukwu
Captain Ekehinde with duaghters
AUGUST 11, 2012 49
IG petitioned over N14m wedding car gift to Naeto C I
• Mr and Mrs Naeto C
• The controversial car
Here comes battle of the musical clans A
musical competition that will incorporate aspects of reality TV and straight stage competition is in the pipeline. Tagged, “The Battle of The Musical Clans”, the competition is designed to discover “King of Nigerian Musical Clans” and will run on primetime as well as reflect today’s national musical culture. Unlike any other music competition, the project is divided into 26 musical clans with Lagos having 15 of the clans, while the rest of Nigeria will make up the remaining 11 clans. Some of Nigeria’s musical clans include Festac (FTT), Ajegunle (AJ-City), Surulere (SL) Akoka (AKOKA), Okoko (Oko Town), Ojo (OJ City), Port Harcourt (PH City), Benin (B Side), Ibadan (IB), Imo-Enugu (East-siders), Kano-Kaduna (K Town), Warri-Sapele (Wafee), Agege-BarigaOmole-Yaba, Jos (J Town), Abuja, and
Calabar (Caly). Each of the musical clans is any area/community, which has more than 50 star artistes. Each clan will have three mentors who are popular artistes who will groom the base representatives selected through a “Base Slam” (auditions) at the base. The programme is not a talent hunt as the base representatives could be stars or up-andcoming recorded artistes. The competition will have different stages and musical tasks for the base representatives and performances by base icons (superstars from the base), which also scores. Eviction will be based on a combination of factors like successful execution of musical tasks, voting from audience, appraisals from judges etc. A multi-episode show, the programme, which will be televised twice weekly for the pre-recorded base slam (auditions) and weekly, from the second round on national and cable satellite TV, will last for three months.
The package aimed at celebrating and promoting Nigerian music and talents, will in the future become a West African and eventually a pan-African event. One of the programme’s many objectives is to create a forum for healthy competition, which will foster a spirit of unity and help bridge the gap between the young and veteran musical artistes. It will also afford different categories of music artistes the opportunity to work together, pool ideas and resources and showcase talents in agreement as they strive to emerge tops in this unique event. Charles Nwafor, project’s coordinator, says: “The winning clan which will be dubbed “King of Nigerian Musical Clan” will receive the “Golden Microphone” and a cash prize of N 6 million while the two runners up will each receive N3 million. The first seven clan representatives referred to as “soldiers” to be evicted will get N50, 000 each”.
Ace pianist, Dapo Dina thrills Soyinka, others at Mandela Day T
he recently held Mandela day celebration in Lagos was a wellattended event to honoUr the living legend, Nelson Mandela fondly called Madiba. The event organized by the South African High Commission in partnership with entertainment gian, Silverbird was held at the Galleria in Victoria Island, Lagos. Amongst the dignitaries present at the event were Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, Consul General, South Africa High Commission Ambassador Monaisa, seasoned broadcaster, Soni Irabor and chairman, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Mr. Foluso Philips to mention a few.
Part of the activities of the day was the revelation of Germanybased Nigerian pianist, Dapo Dina, who left guests spellbound as he and his band which included ace saxophonist, Segun Atoyebi and Bassist, Joshua Fashina performed to the delight of the crowd. Dina showed dexterity on his Clarinova piano, which he specially bought to the event because of what he called its ‘weighted’ keys. In between the various activities for the day, he was on hand to deliver traditional South African tunes from Miriam Makeba, Abdullahi Ibrahim and also several Nigerian traditional standards. His mastery on the piano left Professor Soyinka thrilled as other notable
guests also commended his artistry as a musician. Dina has over the last five years featured in many festivals abroad with his favourite performing spots being European and South African. In Nigeria, he is expected to feature prominently in the forthcoming “The Tale Of Two African Cities” Fusion showcase between Nigeria and South Africa and the MUSON Jazz festival amongst other events. The musician, who draws his musical influences from musicians like Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Gonzalo Rubalcalba, is set to release his latest work Wealth of Knowledge into the African market under the auspices of Inspiro Productions.
n response to a media report on the car sales controversy between Megapoint Automobile Limited and Mr. Dumebi Kachikwu, the latter has denied allegations of wrongdoing in the business. Kachikwu in his reply to what he called calumny against him by Megapoint CEO, Mr. Larry Onuegbu stated that, he is the one victimized in the car sales business by Onuegbu. Kachikwu has petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IG) urging him to intervene and investigate a case of alleged fraud against him by Megapoint in the sale of a Porsche Cayene car to him. He alleged that while he had ordered Onuegbu’s company to deliver to him the car meant as wedding gift to Naetochukwu Chikwe (Naeto C) on Naeto’s wedding day, his friend, Kachikwu, ordered that a brand new Cayene be delivered to him as gift. But Kachikwu alleged that while he ordered that the car be a new one at a cost of N14m, the dealer, Onuegbu allegedly delivered a refurbished car to Naeto C. Kachikwu is urging the IGP to investigate the allegation that he was intentionally swindled by the act. Kachikwu’s lawyer in the petition claimed that: “Onuegbu was under clear instructions from our client to show him the said vehicle for inspection before it is presented as a gift to Naetochukwu Chikwe on July 12 but in a twist, he rushed the vehicle to the wedding venue without enabling our client to inspect same as earlier agreed and upon our client’s arrival at the wedding venue, his fears were confirmed when it was discovered that what Mr. Onuegbu delivered was instead a refurbished 2009 version of the requested Porsche Cayenne which present market value is about N9,000,000. This behaviour greatly irked our client, especially in the face of previous fraudulent dealings by Mr. Larry Onuegbu in supplying him with used but refurbished vehicles on the pretext of selling him new cars. This action, which runs counter to our client’s agreement with Onuegbu is clearly a case of obtaining money under false pretences.” Making reference to earlier transactions, Kachikwu’s counsel also claimed that: “our client further found that Onuegbu had also sold a 2010 Infinity Jeep to him also purporting same to be a 2012 model. “In December 2011, the same Megapoint sold a purportedly new 2012 Rolls Royce Ghost for N65m to our client but after the car stopped on the road twice due to inherent faults, our client contacted the Rolls Royce head office and they informed him that they had no record of the car. He urged the IGP “to apply your good offices in causing an immediate investigation into the business activities of Onuegbu to ascertain the extent of his culpability in this act against our client and to compel him to refund the monies paid to him without excusing further.” When the matter broke, Onuegbu had gone to press alleging that the misunderstanding in the business was the fault of Kachikwu for not abiding by the terms of the sales and also claimed being owed by Kachikwu instead.
50 AUGUST 11, 2012
Kunle Afolayan emerges Africa’s new generation leader
or award-winning film director cum actor, Kunle Afolayan, its time to roll out the drums once again. The producer, who has distinguished himself in the art of filmmaking with his groundbreaking cinematic pieces, recently received another nod for his meritorious work on the continent. Last month, the African Leadership Network (AFL) recognised Afolayan as “New Generation Leader for Africa 2012”. This came via a thorough process where thousands of suitably qualified young African candidates were presented to AFL’s selection committee. The honour, relayed to Afolayan by a statement signed by Fred Swaniker, co-founder, African Leadership Network, also confers him with automatic membership of the network. Each year, AFL scours the continent in search of a new generation of leaders for Africa –leaders who despite their relatively young age, have tremendous influence and so are uniquely positioned to play a role in taking Africa to a new era of prosperity. With this recognition, the enigmatic film maker whose latest film, Phone Swap won the award for Best Achievement in Art Direction at the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), assumes a global identity with the capacity to intervene in relevant issues which relate to the continent. Phone Swap is currently going round the cinemas globally, while the UK and US
Don’t say goodbye, Daddy Fresh By DANIEL IJIOMA OKEREKE
f you are a fan of Daddy Fresh and you’ve been wondering what’s up with the dancehall act, you need not
worry any more. As you read this, The Entertainer can authoritatively inform that Daddy Fresh is warming up to rock the entertainment industry with his new album entitled, Don’t Say Good Bye, which should hit shelves any moment from now. Currently on location shooting videos, Daddy Fresh revealed that the album is a 15- tracker and he has put in a lot of efforts in ensuring that every song on the album is a hit. “Don’t Say Good Bye is a real life experience. It is the story of a close friend of mine. I wrote the song because I wanted the world to know that love is patient, kind and does not envy among others. It always trusts, hopes, and always perseveres. So, when you find the right person, show appreciation and do no wrong to him or her but if by any means you do, always apologise.” Those featured in the
track include Ras Kimono, Tuface Idibia, Rock Steady, Buzz Man, Black Face, Orisha Femi, Dabeat, and OGV among others. What does Daddy Fresh have to say to his fan’s out there? “First of all, I Thank God Almighty for all he has been doing in my life and for rebranding me afresh; I can’t thank Him enough. And to all my fans and those who believe not just in me but my music, I want to say I love you all and I promise to always be original, giving you the best of music as the Dancehall king.”
premieres in collaboration with OHTV is expected to hold in September. Presently, fresh out of his two-year ambassadorial contract with Nigerian telecoms company, Globacom, the director is both delighted and humbled by the AFL recognition and the responsibility that comes with such honour. Hear him: “AFL picks top shots from different life endeavours for this recognition; examples this year are Biola Alabi, MD, MNET Africa; Wale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc and Asa, the musician, amongst others. For me to have been picked as well, is an acknowledgement of my work and that I really appreciate.” He added: “I will put in my own contribution as an African and as a young entrepreneur, but I am open to further collaborations with multinationals on impactful projects. I enjoyed the opportunities I benefited from Glo while the contract lasted and I am also excited about our brand association with business entities like Blackberry International, IRS Airline, Unilever, GSK, MTN, Seven-Up, Virgin Nigeria and many more.” Historically, Afolayan comes from a line of brilliant and consummate art personalities -his late father, Adeyemi ‘Ade Love’ Afolayan, was one of the renowned veteran thespians of trado-modern cinema industry in Nigeria; in contemporary times the family has produced actors, singers and art academicians of note. With an educational background in Business Administration and a Diploma in Digital Film-making from the New York Film Academy, USA, the younger Afolayan continues to extend the frontiers of film making techniques with his daring thematic treatment. For his profound work on 2009 thriller, The Figurine, Afolayan went home with five 2010 AMAA statuettes including the one for Best Picture. “The main thing in my career now is to produce a movie that does not only represent Nigeria, but also Africa and possibly earn Nigeria the first Oscar or Golden Globe nomination. Golden Effects Pictures is hoping to shoot a new film this year, set in 1960, a significant year in the history of my country. We will also embark on training to build capacity in the local movie industry. So, it is a new beginning for us basically”, he concluded.
ENTERTAINER E D I TO R I A L T E A M
Entertainment Editor: Tosin Ajirire Deputy Entertainment Editor: Sam Olatunji Correspondents: Sam Anokam and Braide Damiete Contributor: Tony Ogaga Ehrariefe Layout & Design: Paul Nnayereugo THE SUN ENTERTAINER is a weekly publication of THE SUN Publishing Ltd. 2 Coscharis Street, Kirikiri Industrial Layout, Apapa. PMB 21776, Ikeja, Lagos. 01-8980932, 6211239 Email: email@example.com Website: www.sunnewsonline.com
‘I’m afraid I can’t get a lover’ Case 1: am a young man dating a 32-year-old lady. I am prepared to marry her. We’ve dated for two years now. I have been doing everything for her, but she has never let me have sex with her. Please, what is wrong with her? Help! From Desperate Man, 08056926133.
Case 2: My name is Chima. I am 24 years old and a student of the University of Lagos. I’m afraid I will never find a girl who will truly love me because of my speech predicament. Please, advise me. From Chima, 08060355061. Love Doctor’s Advice: Dear Desperate Man, how could you have dated a lady for two years without resolving the issue of sex before now? Issues bordering on sex ought to be discussed and resolved by both parties not long after the start of a relationship. Two years ago, you and your girl ought to have discussed this matter and arrived at an amicable agreement on whether to include sex in your relationship or not. The lack of an initial agreement between the two of you has led to this desperate situation. You didn’t state if the 32-year-old lady you are dating is a virgin or not. However, if she is a virgin and she has previously told you she is saving her virginity for marriage, it is better to bear with her for now until you fulfill your promise to marry her. On the other hand, your girl might not be a virgin at 32 and may just be using or
deceiving you. You said you’ve been doing everything for her. Why are you doing everything for a woman who is not your wife? Are you trying to use your money to buy her love? You need to investigate. Find out if she is using or deceiving you for her selfish end. Perhaps, she doesn’t love you and is only ‘dating’ you because you’re using money to force yourself on her. She probably thinks you are a fool for love or a foolish rich man who thinks he can buy love! Several men have fallen for this kind of deception or bondage. If or when she finds a man she truly desires, she’ll probably dump you and leave you heartbroken. Open your eyes and stop being a fool for love. It’s your choice to either continue suffering in silence or end the stalemate once and for all. One way to find out if she truly desires you is to go ahead immediately with your marriage plans and see her reaction. Find out the truth and the truth will set you free. Again, the fault might be from you. Are you sufficiently romantic towards her? Does your personal hygiene or approach to sex turn her off? Maybe your girl is sexually turned off by you. Check yourself and have a frank talk v with her to determine if you’re personally responsible for this situation. Again, your girl’s attitude towards sex might have a psychological, biological or medical origin. So, if you suspect there is something medically wrong with her for shying away from sex for two years, both of you might need to see a medical doctor. Dear Chima, When the constitution of the United States was about to be written, the founding fathers understood perfectly that every
human being has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And these principles became the bedrock of the American constitution. Therefore, don’t ever think that because you bear a speech predicament, your right to finding love would be aborted. Your problem is how to attract a girl. Personality is the first law of attraction. When it comes to matters of the heart, your personality is all that matters. A girl will love you because of who you are. She will love you because you’re the one who makes her smile and gives her happiness each day. A real woman would accept you for who you are, not for what you have or do not have. Therefore, focus on making your personality a most pleasant one and you will definitely attract a woman of virtue. Final Thought: The two of you seeking advice this week have issues bordering on attraction. The first man just can’t attract his woman to the bedroom, while the second is afraid he can’t attract a woman. Getting intimate with someone or taking a woman to bed is a function of attraction. Basically, both of you are facing the same challenge, because you are both struggling to attract the opposite sex. Therefore, both of you need to focus on developing your personalities. The fact is, even if you do ‘everything’ for a woman, you won’t succeed in winning her heart, because money can’t buy love. Only your personality will attract somebody for you, a person that will truly love you. Download or listen to the song: “Somebody For Me” by Heavy D. The real you will attract the one for you, not the wrong person. Good luck! *Call the above if you have more advice.
Men seeking relationship/marriage •Engineer Onochie, 47, widower, fair, 6.3ft, from Anambra, in Lagos, wants a responsible lady of 35-45 years for marriage. 08160934354. •Uzochukwu, 48, businessman from Anambra, needs a tall, pretty, slim, Igbo lady of 30-40 years for marriage. 08060554060, 08057175577. •Benson Obi, 32, needs a cool lady for a serious relationship. 08022293330. •George, 42, 5.10ft, dark, businessman in Lagos, needs a working woman of 38-40 years for marriage. 08052762851, 08084980449. •Nnaia, 43, deals on pharmaceutical equipment, in Onitsha, from Enugu, needs a caring, educated, working nurse or lady from Enugu or Anambra for marriage. 08023654749. •Mike, 35, HIV-positive, wants a working, HIV-positive lady in PH for marriage. Text 07083235808. •Raphael, 33, needs a working lady for
marriage. 08030933373. •Nonso, a graduate, wants a tall, beautiful, medical doctor of 23-30 years from Anambra for marriage. 08099876887. •Duron, 27, 5.4ft, graduate, in PH, slim and handsome, needs a sugar mummy. 08071065117. Chris, 26, in Abuja, needs a caring lady for a serious relationship. 08179435671, 08030728371, 08074000922. •Mohammed, in Enugu, wants a sugar mummy. 08082808216. •Victor, 24, in Lagos, wants a lady of 26 years+. 08061342645. •Sampson, from the East, needs a working lady for a serious relationship. 08158010741, 08120209207. •Ejiro wants a sugar mummy. 08060544722. •Chike, 30, works in Anambra, needs a caring, sugar mummy. 08069221740.
Dozie, 29, in Owerri, wants a sugar mummy. 08098707074. •Richard, 40, from Edo, works, needs a good woman above 35 years for marriage. 07068378366. •Macjolly, 30, needs a responsible lady of 30-60 years for a relationship. 08166517792, 07054720378. •Uche, 41, in Abuja, wants a woman of 3040 years for marriage. 08093751780. •Montana, 27, in Lagos, wants a beautiful woman of 35-45 years to love. Text 08171079823
BlackBerry Pin(g) Hookup: Tosin, female, 27, Ibadan, wants to hook up. BB PIN 27C56CDC. *Connect to Love Dr on BlackBerry Pin: 21978F71 for details on how to send your BlackBerry or Smartphone hookup requests.
...with Emeka Friendship, Dating Relationships counselling, love/sex tips &more
Relationship advice: Personality is the first law of attraction
Dear Love Doctor,
August 11, 2012
Lovers’ Answers Game: The rule: Ask the opposite sex one question about love, and choose your lover from the top 3 answers. Ngozi, 23, fat; 08174049157, is asking all men: “Why can’t a girl get a guy for a lasting relationship just because she’s a virgin?” •Call Love Dr: 07031028714 to send questions or issues.
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52 SATURDAY SUN
August 11, 2012
Kiddies World With Rachael Agunta, email@example.com, 08021055176
New York. hail from? A K A Why? IN I CH EB o BI M DU ADAO Obukwe, Im How I was told it is UO UG AG Sate. old are beautiful. Which local very hat is the name you? W go ve rn m en t I am of your school? area is it? e nin The name of my don’t I is years school know. ry rse Nu old. ate dm an is Gr What Primary What ’s and er th here are so many ways to pray. Prayer can be done kneelfa ur yo e is th . ol ho Sc ing or lying down, it can also be done standing up. name? name of What would you Whichever way one prays depends on the individual. My daddy r y o u e to be in future? lik What is important is that no matter how one prays, God didn’t tell me school? I will like to be an answers so long as the person prays according to His will. his name. T h e tress and a ac Kiddies World went to town to ask children how they pray. We What is your me of na lawyer. came back with these views: favourite food? y m How do you f llo jo e lik I is ol ho sc pray? do? rice and chickyou come from? elta I pray by kneelHe sells things. he e t M a l LI A u D H c a m . en m es EBUBE I do I am from t Wha ing down and putIf you are to trav- ting my hands State. Brain Academy.daddy’s name? u? ll? yo se e How old ar What is abroad, where What is your hinaka. He sells food. ur ven years el uld you like to together. rC se te es am I lv Sy bi yo ? O t the name of ul wo What abou u are beautif old. Do you think yo od created me your school? mummy? go to G se e au m ec Where do you B t. ! lis es The na na Y ur jo a is e Sh e. of my school in His own imagyou like to be in What does a jour What would your state? is Sunshine nalist do? you in? s. ? ie Yes, because I re or tu or st Nursery and fu ct es do M ic rit as BE w al B U e ic ID ed Sh in m CH a am l. I be mineral oo u I want to drink Primary Sc GANA How do yo O . ne l. O e . ve lik er tra u I ng yo n si he Do and a What is w What is your pray? . ? ay hy pr W oto your school? pe n I sit dow ant to save the name of daddy’s name? It is because I w Yes, because t do you pray ha W y o u r e m His name is ple’s lives. they teach t? ol? ou ho ab sc ? od G u l. I yo el ny. at e Are very w I tell God th The name ToWhat is your to give them lif No! but I want use me. What is your need brothers and of my school mummy’s name? ill because God w pray? daddy’s name? s. er Rybeka st si is u is yo e Her name is s How do nd His nam any do ha m y m ow d e l t H o pu n, M i w b do e l m ee u d kn u I Tochukwu. kw hen I you need? School. u? C h u close my eyes w d an her ot What does your th br ge o to How old are yoars Halim. tw I want here do od. W G to ur ye ay yo t pr gh ei to is t um m my do? wan I am What ers and a sister. you live? e? m na She cooks food.t s y’ m do d. o ol mum Why I live at N e abou ar is s e as cl m What na t Wha Her Emordi you want 64 y? dd •NEXT WEEK’S QUESTION: your da you in? y Ijeoma.t does your just a sisStreet. He goes to I am in primar e Wha at st r? ch te hi W do? e work. is four. It u daddy is a business do you com How do you e ar Where do yo I He d e ol us beca How ? om fr pray? live? you? aji man. t type of want only I am from In Jesus’ name. s ar I live at Bol ye Wha e . er fiv st si am a I . ta el he D ss does Banwo. old. do busine Do you like e ar Which state s as cl t Wha
How do you pray?
What promise do your parents always make to you? Event
School choir presentation
Ekanem Victoria and Onuoha Chidera on the stage
Discipline your children, pastor tells parents
t was an atmosphere of glory and excitement recently at Redeemer’s Nursery and Primary School, FESTAC Town, Lagos, as it held valedictory/graduation and prize-giving day. The graduating pupils,116 in number, were all radiating in their wine red, pink and orange outfits. In his speech, the Chairman of the occasion, Pastor Olise Omede, who took his text from Proverbs 22:6, admonished parents to train up their children in the way they should go so that when they are old, they will not depart from it. He thanked the parents for counting them worthy to entrust their children to them. “I appreciate you all for committing your children into our hands. But please, be careful the way you handle these children because the moment you don’t train a child, you have lost a future. The devil has entered into all facets of the society. These days, we have children cult and you should also be mindful of the kind of things they watch
on TV because some cartoons are very demonic. Know who you are leaving your children with, what you are saying to them and what they see you do. Children learn by what they see their parents do” He also implored them to discipline their children whenever the need arises. “ Discipline a child any time he or she needs to be disciplined. Caning in school is not so much permitted but whenever a child is caned, there must be a reason. We will never abuse children.” He further stressed that some parents bring their children to school very late which is not good for a child as assembly is part of education. He promised that by next session, the library and the play ground will be ready. According to Omede, there will be air conditioners and fans in all the classrooms as the school will not relent in doing things that would make the school conducive to learning. Activities that marked the event were pre-
sentations by the graduating pupils, school choir, choreography, balle dance and presentation of prizes and certificates to the graduating pupils.
Send your comments, short stories and poems to the above e-mail address
SATURDAY SUN August 11, 2012
with Kunle Hamilton firstname.lastname@example.org 08033028029
Awodiya’s passion for public speaking...
e is a crusader on a mission. For 28 years, he worked his way up the ladder of academics in the United States of America till he earned full stripes as a Professor of Human Communication seven years ago. For a few months, Daniel Olawale Awodiya visited Nigeria recently to give back to his alma mater, the Mass Communication Department, University of Lagos (Unilag) where he graduated in 1980. He came without airs or chips on his shoulder. He taught PhD and master degree classes in that time. It was the perfect thing to do along with his other professorial projects, namely; launching his seventh book, Human Communication: Principles, Processes and Contexts (2nd ed.), and hosting an executive workshop on Public Speaking, which he designed for public servants and middle to high level managers in the private sectors of trade and industry. Both the workshop and book launch took place within Unilag at different venues; the Conference Centre and Afe Babalola Auditorium. Awodiya’s passion found good ventilation from dawn to dusk that Thursday, July 26, 2012. His select group of workshop participants, which included Lagos State government officials and media chiefs from The Guardian, Thisday, Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, Prof Daniel Awodiya and Mr. Olumide Vanguard, Champion, Nation, Sun Ogundero, at Awodiya’s book launch Digitally fired up, Awodiya and Yes! Weekly were stunned by his passion for public speaking. biggest book yet (over 600 pages) for his Suffolk County Community College, “I am on a crusade to infuse Public Brentwood, New York. He has authored books departmental library. Speaking into the academic curriculum of It is safe to say that all professors love ponon Customer Relations, Principles of Public Nigerian universities and secondary schools tificating, but Awodiya’s passion is more Speaking and Effective Employee and and by the time I am done, a positive and engaging. He wants everyone writing and Management Communication among others. wholesome transformation would have come speaking well in public and with confidence, Impressed by Awodiya’s efforts, the chairover our academic and public lives as and has designed this communication crusade man of his book launch, Prof. Ralph Nigerians,” Awodiya announced to both his to pervade the entire structure of education in Akinfeleye, Head, Mass Communication workshop and book launch audiences. the country, from secondary schools all the Department, Unilag, bought 10 copies of his Awodiya teaches communication at the
way up. “Every college kid in America is taught quite early to speak out. They know the rudiments of public speaking and writing. Here in Nigeria, we are masters of theory but when it comes to the application of knowledge to provide solution to diagnosed problems of institutions, organisations and the society at large, we are usually at a complete loss, and this can be traced to our biased educational orientation. This we must change” he said. Awodiya has been honoured as one of top 50 Nigerian academics in the United States and Canada. Akinfeleye, himself a don of international acclaim, also issued an official letter of commendation for him to take back to America. Master’s degree students and PhD candidates that held court with Awodiya left an indelible impression on him and so did students of the Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, Lagos whom he’d addressed at a morning assembly. It seems certain that he will be heading back to America next week with a yearning to come back and see his crusade through.
Ibifuro-Danielle, making her Mark in UK R
ivers-born Ibifuro-Danielle Onisarotu scored the bullseye in raising Afro-cultural awareness with her makeover of Father (Rev) Mark Hackeson, the priest in charge of Catholic Parish of the Lady of the Annunciation Parish, Poringland and Loddon, Norwich in Norfolk County of the United Kingdom, recently. She made her mark on Mark. It was at a fundraising Parish Feast Day. Ibifuro-Danielle and her two children were the only Africans at the fundraiser. Naturally, their colour stood them out. In addition, she cooked various delicious Nigerian dishes like jollof rice, fried plantains mixed with vegetable, stewed spinach and chicken, and sold them to adventurous guests and parishioners, to boost charity proceeds at the event. She told HAMILTONSTYLE, “The meal proceeds were dedicated toward providing educational materials to orphanages in Africa. I dressed up Father Mark in Rivers State chieftaincy attire complete with a colourful hat, which caught everyone’s fancy. “Despite the appalling wet weather, so many people and local organisations came over to see the priest and took pictures with him. The EDP local Norwich news and BBC filmed the proceedings as well as interviewed the priest and me.” Ibifuro-Danielle is the President, African Law Society (ALS), University of East London (Uel). She was born into the popular Onisarotu Lagos family, but raised in Rivers State. At Uel where she is about to round off her masters in law, she has made giant strides just as she keeps doing in her local community
Ibifuro-Danielle, squatting left, showcasing her handiwork on a cultural array of European models in Norwich. Recently, she was approached by the BBC Voices Norwich; she and her children were chosen for a documentary. “I was interviewed in my house. They filmed me cooking Nigerian meals and showcased my collections and memorabilia in celebration of the diamond jubilee of the Queen of England including books and old Nigerian coins that had the Queen’s crown on them” she said. Not only that; in November 2009, she had been selected by the Writers Centre in partnership with BBC Voices Norwich as a showcase for Norfolk film-makers for The Shahrazad stories – a true life project supported by the EU and ICORN. For more than two years the BBC collected stories from people across the
Norfolk County about their lives and thoughts on issues faced by others. Ibifuro-Danielle had a driving reason to study law. “My life story is based on human rights and wrongs. I had an ordeal in an American court during my divorce. A lot of injustice was foisted upon my daughter and son. Running to Norwich, England in 2003 was
a life-saving escape” she told me. Norwich is still today an international city of refuge. Other European cities of refuge include Stockholm, Stavanger, Barcelona, Brussels and Frankfurt. Her BBC docu-drama was one of the choice 40 selected out of several hundreds. Fortunately, she and her children finally found justice in the same American judicial system after 10 years. Her education, sojourn and ordeal across three continents – Africa, Europe and America – may have prepared her for sterner responsibilities after her LLM. A Nigerian female with triple citizenship made ready for the home run.
Ibifuro-Danielle Onisarotu and her real life mannequin, Rev. (Fr) Mark Hackeson
August 11, 2012
with Omoniyi Ayedun 08027537357
The founders’ anniversary and thanksgiving service of Motailatu Church, Cherubim and Seraphim Worldwide International Sub-Headquarters tagged, ‘Whosoever keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit’, took place recently at Sanctuary auditorium, Alakuko, Lagos.
Apostle Kola Onanuga presenting a trophy to the 1st prize winner in the Bible quiz competition
The Most Eminence Archbishop, Dr M. Akinadewo, founder, Motailatu Church, C & S Worldwide, offering special prayers for Nigeria
Dignitaries with Archbishop M. Akinadewo (middle)
Special Apostle Israel Akinadewo presenting a copy of his book, Sancutary Message to Primate Niran Aluko. With them is Rev. Sam Ogedengbe, Senior Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Religious Matters
Women leaders praising God
Primate King Abiloye and Special Apostle F.A. Ashade
Most Senior Mother in Israel, Queen Akinwumi, Pastor Toyin Olanitan and Apostle Mother Elizabeth Akinadewo (JP)
Head of Army of Salvation, Pastor Gabriel Afolayan, Snr. Apostle Kola Onanuga, Chairman, OAIC, Lagos; Snr. Apostle E.B. Ogundunmade and Apostle Akinadewo Cross-section of the choristers at the event
August 11, 2012
saturdaypanorama with Adaobi Nneka Ifebi 08037050065 email@example.com
More honours for Seriki
Dr Bello says ‘I do’ to heart-throb, Bola
ext time you see Engineer (Mrs) Florence Seriki, the Group/CEO of OMATEK Computers PLC , congratulate her on another feather of honour on her cap. The International Centre for Comparative Leadership for Adricans and Blacks in Diaspora and Accolade Communications Limited just honoured her with Woman of the year (2012) award. Not new to recognition, Seriki already got the no.1 award in Nigeria, the national honour Member Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR) in 2008 and has not ceased to win awards since then. According to the organisers, Seriki has successfully built OMATEK Computers into a reputable brand by dint of hard work. In all of these, the woman substance simply gives God the glory. “I thank God for his goodness and mercy. He makes all things possible just as all things work together for good unto those that trust God.” What else can we say but “congrats, ma’am?”
can still remember our first kiss and I still think about you everyday and night because I can’t take the world without you in my life.” Which lover does not know these lyrics? Playing out this tune and with lingering eyes saying, “my dear, now, that I have found you, this is where my heart will stay,” Dr Owolabi Bello of LASUTH took his heartthrob Bola, one-time Fashion Editor, now CEO of Chanterelle Concepts, a one-stop event outfit, to the altar to say ‘I do’ and pray that they would live together happily ever after. Present were their parents, Alhaji and Alhaja S. A Bello, Barrister Bunmi and Mrs Adeola Akinboade, President of Omo Ajorosun Club, Engineer Bisi Shittu that led members of the elite club in Ibadan that plays ‘host’ to governors and captains of industry (to support one of their own, the bride’s father), doctors and journalists. A merry party that displayed the peak of fashion, ex Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (2000), Dr Mathilda Kerry was the Chief Bridesmaid; she is still beautiful in a designer dress by Mai Atafo, also the bride’s designer. Essence and Headmaster were masters of ceremonies and had guests eating out of their palms with hearty laughter. With make-up by Tayo Gidado of Morewa Makeovers and the army centre that hosted the reception in highbrow Victoria Island decorated by Kenny Onabanjo of Finesse Events, drinks supplied by H2F, cocktail by Taiwo Kenny Ajao’s Skott Angels, dessert by Makabis Event and music by Don Praizzy band, Dr Bello gave his bride a memorable wedding.
At last, bad news to mobile phone thieves
ver seen a phone with a tracking device or a computer system that an internet site is declared unsafe for browsing if it is virus infested? Thanks to Total Defense Internet Security Suite, a guy’s best friend (the phone) and a babe’s best friend (the laptop) can now enjoy these features and more. You can install Total Defense Internet Security Suite on two mobile phones and a laptop or two laptops and one mobile phone. With mobile security, the anti – theft device locks and locates a phone if it is misplaced or stolen. All you need do is log on to the page where you manage your mobile security, click ‘scream locate’ and the alarm continues ringing until you find it where you misplaced it or the ringing gives the phone thief so much misery since he cannot use the phone once it is switched on and the alarm is ringing. Also, it enables parents to monitor kids’ activities on the internet. With enhanced malware protection, Total Defense provides security against new and emerging internet threats and actually detects dangerous link in social network such as Facebook and others.
The dirty girl
H Dr. Bello and his wife, Bola
ave you ever seen an incongruous couple and wondered what one sees in the other? Either, the man is too good for the woman or the woman is too good for the man, the fact remains that there is just one thing that the spouse is not getting elsewhere. Watch Nigerian movie, Dumebi, The Dirty Girl and find out what.
Day students made parents proud
hange the old tune “I love you Daddy” to “I love you, my child” and that will be the exact scenario at the Graduation and Prize Giving of Rosyland School, Mafoluku Oshodi, last Saturday, July 21, 2012. The merry party in St. Jude Catholic Church field had double celebration as parents joyfully stood by their kids as they received prize of excellence. Four sets of prize recipients stood out – the Rosyland Complete Students, Ayonekiola and Ajeero Amarachi who started from Rosyland Kindergarten to Primary and Secondary School. Four debaters, who distinguished themselves with eloquence – Onyema Onyeka, Miriam Chikezie, Favour Akolade and Itoro Eyeme and the Best Graduating Student from S.S.3, Chizoba Ejiofor who the emerged best student in English Literature, Biology, Agricultural Science, Commerce and C.R.K. Also, Miriam Chikezie emerged the best pupil in the primary school with first position in class, the Best Pupil in English Language and Debaters’ prize. Indeed a day of fun and laughter, Yoruba, Igbo and Efik dancers gave audience a good laugh besides the talk that two guest speakers held sway.
Author of bestselling novel, Disciples of Inverted Cross, Pastor Stanley Ohanugo gave a speech on The
Dangers of Cultism. His words: “Cultism is rife today even in secondary schools; kids join out of curiosity because they have already been told not to join. Cult is not a social group of people who come together to fight common interest. It is diabolical, satanic and new age idolatry.” The second speaker, Chief Dr (Mrs) Osueze concurred while talking about Effective Time Management. “It is when you use your time well and become useful that you run away from cultism.” Also, the Proprietress, Mrs Rose Uche Alisiobi with the school motto, On Christ, We Stand. “The best legacy to our children is good education. Today is a day of emulation in the sense that kids without prizes will emulate the winners so that the next time we gather here, their parents will also be happy to come forward and receive prizes with their children.”
One reason you must shun red meat and eat fish Ebohon
s a child, I loved meat so much that I never knew I could eat enough of it. I thank God that like St Paul that thought like a child while a child and grew up and outgrew kid’s behaviour, I grew up and outgrew this
love especially for red meat. A good decision taken side by side the medical counsel that ‘cutting back on red meat can reduce risk of cancer.’ Need I say that fresh fish is a lovely option?
August 11, 2012
SOCIETY PEOPLE ALEX OTTI OPENS MORNING SIDE SUITS
Hajia Fatimah Tinubu ups the ante
umility best describes this notable socialite, and the widow of the late Alhaji Gafar Tinubu, the legal icon from whom the governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola learnt leadership. Hajia Fatimah Tinubu, is the mother of Lagos big boy, Wale Tinubu, the chairman of Oando Oil. Also known to have a large heart, her friends and family were not surprised when she decided to float Fatimah Charity Organisation, an NGO which focuses on widows and single mothers. Last week, the organisation organised a Ramadan lecture, which had the crème de la crème of the society in attendance. The lecture focused on how to behave during and after the ongoing Ramadan fasting and how emulate the way of the Allah. People, who attended the event, were Alhaji Sheik Akinola Ibrahim, Alhaji Gbajabiamila, Hajia Shekinat Yusuf, Olori Oniru and Alhaja Shabi Khadijat, among many other Muslim leaders and socialites.
e have it on good authority that the Goup Managing Director of Diamond Bank, Alex Otti has just opened a luxury boutique hotel on the island, and for those who have visited the place, it is best described as state-of-the art masterpiece. The hospitality haven, which was opened weeks back, was named Morning Side Suits, and it had at the opening socialites and few friends and family of the banker. The new hotel, we gathered, is located at a very cozy area in Victoria Island, Lagos. We further gathered that this has long been the dream and first love of the banker, and now he has finally hit it. Top socialites and business executives came for the opening, among them were Bobby Taylor, Dr. Robin Sanders, former US Ambassador to Nigeria, Society woman Fifi Ejindu, Uncle Willie & Nkiru Anumudu, Amb. Greg Mbadiwe, ThisDay Style editor, Ruth Osime, etc.
opular socialite and one of the party crawlers in the social circle, Yemisi Alufa, is out of our shores as you read this piece. Information reaching SP from a reliable source confirmed that the socialite, who doesn’t miss any social event, is out of town for a reason best known to her. Further investigation revealed that she might have gone there for a business pur-
Yemisi Alufa off to the United States pose, but whatever it is she has gone there to relate, we shall update you as soon as we get her.
All is set for Abibatu Mogaji’s grandson’s wedding
ll is now set for the grand society wedding of Prince Adedamola Kasunmu, the award-winning grandson of the revered Iyaloja-General of Nigeria, Alhaja (Dr) Abibatu Mogaji, OON and nephew of Lagos State Governor-Emeritus, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The exceptionally brilliant dude, who shies away from publicity, will be tying the knot with his fiancée, Miss Oluwaseun Akomolafe. Information from the exotic invite currently in circulation within the high society circuit in Lagos reveals that the epic nuptial starts with the Engagement Ceremony on Friday, August 31, 2012 in Ibadan while the church aspect will take place the following day, Saturday September 1, also in Ibadan. Further details for the invite also indicates that the aso-ebi for the event comes in three categories: N40, 000, N45, 000 and N85,000.
Olumide Aderinokun resumes work
lumide Aderinokun, is back to work after taking a short break to venture into politics. The young man, who is a nephew of the late GTBank’s MD, Mr. Tayo Aderinokun, is now fully back to his first love, Real Estate. His company, Davade Properties, has been in the fore and prominent among the best in Lagos. Olumide, who made known his intention to contest for an elective position in Ogun State before he bowed out for certain reasons, is now occupied with the usual activities that lined his business schedule. For sometime he was also absent at social circles after he lost his beloved uncle, but he has now placed the odds behind and is back with news that he is set to dump bachelorhood soon.
Adedamola and Seun
Trace Lounge berths in Lagos
or fun lovers and revelers in the Ogba, Ikeja axis of Lagos, bated breaths and sighs of relief are the order of the day. This is because of the new fun hangout that will be opened in a few weeks in Ajayi Road, Ogba, which is certain to change the face of nightlife on the mainland – Trace Lounge. Like a new bride, many cannot wait for a feel of the much talked about bar and lounge. Certain to be different from what is presently obtainable on the mainland, fun lovers are in for a swell time. Sources reveal that already, state-of-the-art equipment are being shipped in from all parts of the globe, and that the gadgets are certain to be second to none. Society People’s findings revealed that the property where the lounge will be located has undergone a massive makeover parlour that will leave all who see it absolutely amazed. As it opens for the first time later in August, many cannot wait to be the first to enjoy the club owner’s ingenuity. Already, socialites and celebrities alike are making big plans to hold their nightly enjoyment at the fun spot. Music and movie icons like Earthquake, Yomi Fash-Lanso, Jay-one, Taiwo Aromokun, St. Janet, Sound Sultan among others, will grace the much awaited opening.
August 11, 2012 ,
Fears from barber’s shop •Panic as Alfa is arrested for collecting people’s hair for unknown purposes
By CHIOMA IGBOKWE
hose who cut their hair in public barber’s shops now have cause for concern. Recently, a man was arrested for always carting away people’s hair from a barber’s shop for undisclosed reasons. Saturday Sun gathered that the man (name withheld), who’s a Muslim cleric (Alfa), had always taken away hair in a barber’s shop on Imegbon Street, Fadeyi, Lagos. It was gathered that this had gone on for a long time until the bubble burst recently. On the day the man was arrested, he had gone for his regular hair collection only to be told by the barber that it had been thrown into the waste bin. The man went to the waste bin placed by the road side, in front of the shop, and scooped. When he did not find the hair, he was said to have confronted kids playing in the neighbourhood and demanded what happened. They kids were said to have told him that the dustbin had been emptied at the dumpsite. According to an eyewitness, who simply identified himself as Tade, “the cleric walked straight to the dustbin, in front of the barber’s shop and searched. Seconds later, he called the children playing around there, demanding to know what had become of the hair dumped there. He was told that it had been disposed off at the nearby dump site. “He hurriedly went to the dump site and returned 10 minutes later, fuming with anger. He told us that the barber used to give them people’s hair every day. He was angry and threatened to beat us up if we failed to show him where the hair was hidden. People, who heard him shouting, came around to know what was happening and discovered that he was actually demanding hair from the barber’s shop. They descended on him and wanted to lynch him before the barber intervened. The barber denied giving him hair from his daily operations. Also, the man denied looking for hair at the dustbin. “When people threatened to deal with the barber, he promised to report the case to the police. This he did and the Alfa was arrested. But we heard that he was later released.” Seun, one of the kids, the Alfa confronted, also narrated what transpired that day: “He came and asked us to show him where the barber kept the hair that he accumulated after the day’s job. We told him that it had been swept away and he asked us to show him where it was dumped. We directed him to the dump site and he left. Minutes later, he came back and accused us of lying. He insisted that the barber gave him the contract.” Another eyewitness, Mama Beji, said: “It is terrible and I have instructed all my children to always pick their hairs after barbing. The hair is the glory of anyone. Who knows
how many destinies this man has destroyed? Whether government believes it or not, there are evil spirits in the land; they should pass a law that will ensure that such people would pay for their sins on earth.” Confirming the arrest, a police officer at Onipanu Police Station, where the case was reported, who pleaded anonymity, said that the barber made a complaint, hence the arrest. He said that after listening to both parties, no
crime was established, but that the cleric was cautioned. It is good that the barber reported the case.” When contacted, Lagos Police spokeswoman, Ngozi Braide, said that as long as crime has not been established, the cleric would not be charged for any offence. “He was arrested and his statement taken; caution has also been given in an event that crime is established,” she said.
‘I’ve no hand in my chief’s travail’ Continued from Page 7 In this wise, both chiefs have sought an order of the court to direct the Osun State Government to set up a panel of inquiry to investigate the schedule of salary payment of Ilesa traditional chiefs from 2006 till date. Furthermore, the chiefs have called on the state government to direct the auditor general of the state to audit Ilesa-East and Ilesa-West traditional council account from 2006 till date. This development has thus led to tension in all parts of the ancient town and some stakeholders are currently making efforts to settle the crisis with the support of the Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who is also an indigene of the town. It is alleged that both Oba Aromolaran and Chief Ogedengbe are at loggerheads because of the insistence of the former not to collaborate with the traditional ruler on a land dispute between him and the family of Owa Atayero in the town. The monarch, who was said to be inter-
ested in the case, had reportedly ordered Chief Ogedengbe who was a witness in the case to favour him during crossexamination in court, but Chief Ogedengbe did not, hence the beginning of his problem in the palace. Chief Ogedengbe had been in detention for two weeks and was released only last week Friday. The first time his case was supposed to be heard before an Ilesa Magistrate court while still in detention, it was not mentioned and the presiding Magistrate, Mr. Adebayo Azeez, did not give any reason. His admirers and supporters, many of whom are traditional chiefs and youths in Ilesa, had thronged the court, thinking that he would be released on bail. But they went home disappointed. That alone aroused the restiveness of the youths. They attempted to protest his continuous detention, but were stood down by traditional chiefs who were in the court for similar purpose. Meanwhile, the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Aromolaran in his reaction to the allegations, absolved himself
of any complicity in the travail of Chief Ogedengbe, saying that he had no hand in the arrest and detention of the embattled high chief. Oba Aromolaran said he was neither in control of the police that arrested the high chief who he said was accused of fragrantly trespassing residents’ properties, nor the magistrate who subsequently ordered him to be remanded in prison. The monarch alleged that the high chief was facing his current travail following a report to the police over illegal possession of some peoples’ landed property in the town. Specifically, the traditional ruler said the matter before the court was between the high chief and one Mrs. Omotunde Adediran, a widow whose husband’s property along the stadium road, Ilesa,z was trespassed. On the controversial blood oath-taking, the monarch said there was nothing unusual in his order, saying that it was according to the tradition of Ijesha kingdom. His words: “There is nothing unusual
about taking oath of allegiance. It is not a blood oath, and even if it is a blood oath, it was not forced on anybody. Public functionaries take oath of office. There is nothing unusual about it. Even husband and wife, before getting married, take oath of allegiance. “In the palace here, initiation is part of our culture and it is not in any way against God’s will. When I asked all my chiefs to take oath of allegiance, everyone of them complied except two. One gave excuse that he was already a communicant, while the other, who is 86 years old, gave old age as reason for his refusal.” He concluded: “In our palace here, we don’t have a place for altar. No church and there is no mosque, all what we have here are shrines.” Meanwhile, the impasse stands. The two chiefs, Ogedengbe and Ojo still stuck to their guns. They say they will not consent to the oath-taking and the Oba insists that they remain outside. How the impasse would be broken, only time will tell.
August 11, 2012
August 11, 2012
SaturdayInterview No longer business as usual From IKENNA EMEWU, Abuja
he Federal Ministry of Education just concluded distributing books to all primary and junior secondary schools in Nigeria. The Minister of State of the ministry was in charge of the project, which he concluded two weeks ago. It took him to all the six geopolitical zones during which the books were unveiled and handed to the pupils that would make use of them. The minister, Chief Nyesom Wike spoke exclusively to Saturday Sun on the project and other things the Federal Government has been doing to revive quality education. Why did you embark on the distribution of the books by your ministry as nationwide project? Yes, I have to say the question was expected and it is good you asked that because I know some might have misunderstood that or taken it as just an intention to tour the nation without good reason. I remember reading in the media where someone said the Federal Government spent billions to tour the zones and distribute the books. It is an impression I would want to correct. It is untrue and totally misleading. Let me tell Nigerians that what we did was deliberate and it was meant to create the awareness among the citizens that the government of President Goodluck Jonathan is delivering on the promises it made the nation on the improvement of the nation’s education as part of the 2015 target for the actualization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). There is nothing bad in explaining or making the nation know what the government is doing. And the distribution or books and other instructional materials to the schools are old projects that started in 2009. We handled it quietly and saw how they ended. At last we were not satisfied with the final implementation where we had incidents that the books at last never got to the end users. Remember that Nigeria is a member of the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU) the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) and others that adopted the MDGs. Education is a prime clause and focus area of the MDGs. The target is not just availability or accessibility of education to the average citizen. But the president has always said that his view and idea about access to education is actually viable and qualitative education. We tried the distribution of instructional materials in the past but the awareness was not there. The outcome was the diversion of the materials in most of the states, and they ended up in the open market for sale. If you don’t not know that the books government provided pupils are not meant to be sold, you would not raise an eyebrow if you see such in the market. Now that everybody heard and knows that there are books from the government to the pupils and are not meant for sale, it will be easy to spot them anywhere they are put out for sale. The public would serve as the police and monitoring team to ensure that these materials are properly utilized. I must also say that the project embarked upon by the Federal Government is a great intervention that genuinely demonstrates the resolve of President Jonathan to tackle the problem because he is a believer in the fact that until there is mass literacy and proper education, the development of the society will remain stunted. No illiterate would understand the rules of democracy, how to vote, or to protect one’s rights or maintain security in the society. What really causes the heightened insecurity in the nation is the lack of education. No educated person that has self worth would allow himself or herself to be used for security breach even during elections. The basic schools – primary and junior secondary, are under the supervision of the state and local governments, but the Federal
–Wike, Minister of Education
Wike Government intervened through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) because the president believes and insists that before we get the tertiary education under the federal purview right, we must get it right at the basic level. So, we created the awareness and also donated the materials to complement the efforts of the state and local government universal basic education boards, and the target is to ensure quality education for the nation. That remains the surest foundation for a better Nigeria. The materials we distributed are to be handed down to the users through the state basic education boards. And it would sound ironical to tell you that before now, some state governors never knew the Federal Government brought books through their basic education boards, the reason most of them were diverted. Yes, you have taken the step of awareness creation, how do you enforce compliance to make sure the children get these books? That is simple. There is no longer ‘business as usual’ tradition in the handling of the materials because everyone has known and heard that the government went round distributing books to states and schools. We have bodies and means of supervising the availability of these books and materials to the children and upon this supervision, when we don’t see the books, then the SUBEB in the states would answer some questions. I say it again that the people – media, the parents, the PTAs, town unions and managers of schools really have to be part of this and monitor the use and availability of these materials
It is good to give books to the pupils, but there must be teachers to handle them. Is there any plan to improve on teachers’ capacity? That is a very vital area the federal ministry has really intervened. Yes, the Federal Government does not have this mandate or obligation, but we have still stepped in to train and improve the capacity of the teachers. You can give books. That is good, you can build new structures, but without viable teachers, all these come to nothing, so we have done so much in capacity enhancement of the teachers. Through the National Teachers Institute (NTI) alone, last year the Federal Ministry of Education trained at least 22,000 teachers throughout the nation. In continuation of the task, more went to South Korea for training in specialized modern teaching methods. Last year, teachers training took the Federal Government at least N5 billion distributed to states for teachers’ capacity enhancement, and all the states get equal amount. I personally flagged off the training for last year in Port Harcourt. This year, I did the same in Bauchi and the fund had been released to states between N140m and N150m each. The sacrifice has been heavy, but it is quite necessary.
Admission of children into unity schools is always marred with fraud and other considerations that relegate merit to the background. Is anything being done to make a difference? This allegation is confusing. Honestly I feel confused whenever I hear this. The same Nigerians say the children of the privileged and powerful don’t go to public schools, any more, so do the same people influence admission into public schools? I cannot, however, fault that there are misgivings here and there, but I will only assure that since last year, we have been on the resolve of doing it differently. There must be considerations of some underprivileged states having candidates and again we deliberately encourage the girl-child education in some states that are far below the mark. Zamfara State has the worst case.Therefore, considerations are made for such places and also the educationally underdeveloped states. To such exceptions, the rules of admission are lowered to accommodate them because if where they should be. we keep to same standards everywhere, there are even schools among the 104 that won’t have What subjects are covered in the books? We didn’t print or make books available in students enrolling in them. every subject of instruction. They are basically What about the unity schools directly under on the principal or major subjects that cut across all school curricula. That is in English the watch of the federal ministry? Oh yes, these have been centres of decay to Language, Mathematics, Social Studies and the extent that most parents no longer wanted Introductory Technology. their children there. None of the 104 unity secondary schools was any longer worth the name. What is the quantity of the books? We distributed 19 million materials in all. It got so bad that about 1352 teachers in these Fourteen million of them are textbooks and five schools had been teaching on part-time and on million library, introductory technology and the payroll of the PTAs for at least 10 years. laboratory materials in all the public primary Their salaries remained at an average of and junior secondary schools cutting across all N10,000 per month for these years. We felt this the states of the federation. We have data of the was improper and should be corrected. And number of the schools from the states. May I how would you expect commitment or dedicasay it clear that no public school is exempted tion when they have no future in what they do? As we stepped in, their appointments were from the benefit. All benefited. regularized immediately and they are paid well When will you commence compliance mon- with a future for growth in the system, that way we would expect them to give their best. itoring? Even after these steps, we found that enough The schools are on vacation right now. Whatever could be done in that direction has to qualified teachers were lacking in the basic subwait till schools resume. But nobody is going to jects, therefore, we employed 1000 good hands announce to anyone that we would come. We to those schools that needed them most. That was not all because we know that have to handle it quietly and secretly so that if there is any default, we would swoop on such today’s education has no boundaries, so we had to seek liaison with foreign partners such the dereliction and take the right action. Japanese Japan International Cooperation How much did the materials cost the feder- Agency (JAICA) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to train teachers al government? I know it is between N7 billion and N9 bil- in basic science, infotech and mathematics. lion. Last year, the allocation from UBEC for Over 500 teachers have been sent to Japan and basic education funding was about N6 billion. Korea under the auspices of these agencies to train. So, we have an increase this year.
Continues on Page 59
August 11, 2012
August 11, 2012
August 11, 2012
August 11, 2012
POLITICS ThisWeek We must unite to achieve greatness –Sen Okonkwo By VINCENT UKPONG KALU firstname.lastname@example.org
after hearing about the activities of Boko Haram. It is just like asking someone to go to Afghanistan or Iraq and invest. Boko Haram has caused more damage to the country. So, we need to sit down and discuss. You remember what happened when militants rose in agitation, the government discussed with them and they were given amnesty. And today there is peace in that region. I still think that we must sit down and agree on how we can live. This I believe would be a solution to the violent agitations we have been encountering as a people.
he President of C-21, a pan Igbo socio-political organisation, Senator Clement Annie Okonkwo, has advocated for equal sharing of revenue among the six geo-political zones. Sen. Okonkwo, who represented Anambra Central in the sixth Senate on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the call is necessary if the agitation for equal number of states for all the zones does not materialize. In an interview with Saturday Sun, Sen. Okonkwo gave reasons why he dumped PDP for All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and said the time has come for Nigerians to seat and decide on how to live together. Excerpts: What is C21? C21 was formed to reposition the Igbo man in the mainstream of Nigerian politics. A lot of people are saying that we are marginalized and indeed, we are. We are no where in the scheme of things today. We are nowhere in the executive and the legislature, and will go nowhere with this kind of position. So, our people believe that there is urgent need for us to come together and restrategize. The group is all encompassing, because very notable people are involved. We started by seeking the face of God for His mercy because we believe that what is happening to us is not ordinary. More so, with God, all things are possible. We involved the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) members from South East in this direction. A lot of people may be calling for the disintegration of this country, but we in C-21 believe that the more united we are, the more greatness we can achieve. We can see that Europe is trying to be united, while America is united already. So, we also must unite in order to achieve greatness as a nation. We need to fashion out a situation whereby everybody would have a sense of belonging and not a society where a particular tribe would believe that it is more privileged than other regions of the country. We as Nigerians, at this moment, should combine our strength and weaknesses, so that we can stay together. That is what C-21 stands for. We still want to make sure that no zone is relegated to the background in Nigerian affairs.
Is there synergy between C-21 and other pan Igbo sociopolitical groups like Ohaneze and Aka Ikenga? Yes there is, because C-21 is all encompassing. Some members of Ohaneze and Aka Ikenga are members of C-21. But our group has force and would be more forceful in our agitation. We want to change the approach that had been employed in the past in the quest for socio-political relevance of the region. We are carrying all concerned members of the South East along. It is no longer a lip service thing; we are going about this now with more vigour and determination.
•Okonkwo You said Nigeria stands to benefit if united but there are agitations from various component parts. Boko Haram in the North is fighting for the Islamization of the region. How do you reconcile this? The truth about the state of the nation is that we need to sit down and discuss, but if you are on the other side, that is the National Assembly, you would oppose it, you will argue that there are already elected people in the National Assembly who can do that. But the bottom line is that what is happening in this country is not normal. We can not pretend that every thing is okay. The Boko Haram, is not only affecting the north, it is affecting the whole country. For instance, we are talking about direct foreign investment, but with the situation, foreign investor would not like to come to Nigeria
N200 AUGUST 12, 2012 •VOL. 6 NO. 791
There has been agitation for more states for the South East. Now the Constitution is about to be amended. What is your group doing in concrete terms to achieve this? Secondly is the Igbo presidency in 2015 achievable? It is a big challenge to us, because there are two things that we want to happen from the review. The first is that there must be parity of states in each of the zones. A lot of people may try to kick against it, but South East needs one state. If they are not going to create another additional state for the region, then the revenue accruable to this country must be shared among the six geo-political zones. So, each zone can home to divide its own among the component states and councils. But we can no longer accept this disparity. People should not take the South East for granted because we have been quiet in the past. This time around, its either we get one more state like other regions or they share the revenue based on the six geo-political zones. On the Igbo presidency, people may be thinking that we are not taking the 2015 agenda serious, but the truth is that we are more united for Igbo presidency in 2015 under C-21. We would go round and talk to other zones to make them realise that we deserve the presidency in 2015. That is why I said that we are strategizing on this. It would only be fair that somebody from the South East is given the opportunity.
Mom bought my first talking drum –Ayanbinrin
Impeachment threat is legislative tyrany
–Ex-Adamawa Gov. Boni Haruna
Harvest of deaths Smelly loot for Okada robbers •How Ex-Commissioner shot wife over bushmeat •Man abducted from bar, found in mortuary •Okada rider killed by customer
...“They snatched the bag thinking something valuable was inside, but it was my new baby’s faeces”
IT’S VALUE FOR YOUR N200
SATURDAY SUN August 11, 2012
ACN doesn’t believe in primaries By DURO ADESEKO
igeria’s leading opposition party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) says the fuel subsidy regime introduced by the Federal Government to cushion the harsh effect of rising cost of petroleum on the masses is nothing but an avenue to fund the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its leaders. ACN, which has also of late come under criticisms about the undemocratic method of picking its flagbearers in elections, is contending that the outcome of recent probes into the fuel subsidy management and the ongoing trials of some indicted persons is a clear confirmation of its stand on the issue. “It is not by coincidence that people who have been charged with subsidy scam are either sons of past chairmen of PDP, present chairman of PDP or generally people who have contributed immensely to the campaign of the PDP. “This is the position of the party. The scam is a PDP scam. Most of the characters involved are either directly related by blood to the PDP chieftains or they are business fronts for PDP chieftains. This is why we said that for as long as he remains the PDP chairman, the perception out there would be that nothing would come out of the trial. It is not also by coincidence that one of the former chairmen of the party was the chairman of the PPRA, which is equally important to the subsidy scam. Our position agrees with common sense and logic”, ACN’s national publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed declared in an interview with Saturday Sun. But beyond the party’s puritanic posture on national issues, many political observers in Nigeria complain about the absence of internal democracy within its fold especially when it comes to vying for its tickets to contest elections. In this interview, Mohammed defended the party’s position on the fuel subsidy controversy and its modus operandi in determining the choice of its candidates. He specifically narrated the process that produced Oluwarotimi Akeredolu as governorship candidate of the party in the election scheduled to hold on October 20 in Ondo State. He justified what many regard as imposition of candidates by the national leader of the party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. His words: “If you want to hang a dog, call it a bad name. I think there is nowhere in the world where a son does not live on his father’s political pedigree to run for office provided he has qualification and the capacity. For crying out aloud, Bola Ahmed Tinubu can grow successors, not just within Lagos State but made leaders everywhere in Osun, Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo, Adamawa, Benue and Akwa /Ibom. Once he identifies a good material he put resources behind him. Simply because his wife ran for Senate and we say again that not only is she eminently qualified to run for Senate but we forget easily what was the price some people paid for this democracy? “Between 1993 and now, some people put everything they have on the line for democracytheir lives, their freedom, and the future of their children so that we can have democracy. Tinubu was one of them. I do not see that allegation sticking. You see people who complain about imposition and nepotism are the same people who have benefited from that system. But when it no longer sweets them, it becomes imposition, it becomes nepotism. There is nowhere in the world where you don’t have dynasties. Nobody complains about the PDP.
Lia Mohammed Today, we have the wives of many governors in the Senate from the PDP. There is Kure, in Yobe State, we have the husband in the Senate and the wife in the House of Reps. Okadigbo’s wife is in the Senate and nobody is complaining. Why must you complain because she is the choice of the people? If it is ACN, it becomes nepotism.” He spoke further on this and more. Excerpts:
the sin of the father on the son? If anybody reads carefully our press release, we said while every person charged is presumed innocent until proven guilty, two courts would decide this particular matter. One is the court of public opinion and the court of law. In the public opinion, people would be of the view that as long as Bamanga Tukur remains the chairman of the PDP, there can’t be a free trial and that he would use his enormous influence You recently called for the resignation of to pervert the course of justice. We now said it the chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, is better for him to relieve himself of that moral (PDP) Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. Is it fair to visit burden by stepping aside. I think people are just
being mischievous. In other climes, he won’t wait for us to ask him to resign before he would resign. Recently, a nominee for ambassadorial position had his name withdrawn because his son was involved in a scandal. Secondly, it is not by coincidence that people who have been charged with subsidy scam are either sons of past chairmen of PDP, present chairman of PDP or generally people who have contributed immensely to the campaign of the PDP.
Continued on Page 65
August 11, 2012
‘Ondo guber poll must be free, fair’ Continued from Page 64
sible administration, what they would do is to engage the National Assembly and say these are the challenges we are facing. That is why we have not been able to implement the budget. But don’t patronize them. Don’t blackmail them. If you do so, both sides would now dig in and they would all take hard positions. Is this the first time impeachment notices have been given to government? The way to resolve it is not the way this government is going about it.
This is the position of the party. The scam is a PDP scam. Most of the characters involved are either directly related by blood to the PDP chieftains or they are business fronts for PDP chieftains. This is why we said that for as long as he remains the PDP chairman, the perception out there would be that nothing would come out of the trial. It is not also by coincidence that one of the former chairmen of the party was the chairman of the PPRA, which is equally important to the subsidy scam. Our position agrees with common sense and logic. The PDP has reacted saying that you missed the point and that Bamanga Tukur is above board. I think I would say they probably missed the point. Bamanga Tukur is not on trial in any court of law. But he is on trial in the court of public opinion. In our reply, we said Tukur has built up his reputation over the years. He should not allow himself to be messed up. I remember some years ago, when Kofi Annan’s son was involved in an issue. There were calls for the resignation of his father as the Secretary General of the United Nations. It is not just a political issue, it is a moral issue. As chairman of the PDP, you are probably one of the most powerful people in the country. You have easy access to the president; you have easy and unfettered access to ministers and you have access to all involved in the subsidy regime. It does not matter whether he hearkens to what we are saying or not, but as long as he remains the chairman of the PDP, people would treat with suspicion the trial as if it is a charade. Clearly, there is no way any of the sons could have been eligible for the subsidy regime or be involved in importing and subsidy if they have not been so connected politically. This is why we believe that the party now saying they are washing up their hands from the scam is very disingenuous. Not everybody in Nigeria can apply and say I want to be bringing in refined products. It is the biggest gravy train in Nigeria. It is not by coincidence that almost everybody that is involved in this scam are people who have access to government patronage, which is the PDP patronage. This is the point that the PDP wants to confuse us about. We want to know how many people in the opposition also benefited from the regime. Let them tell us. Did ACN members apply? They would have applied, but they would be denied. It is not just by competence. What we learnt from the House of Reps probe was that a couple of years ago, only a handful of marketers were involved in the subsidy scheme. They were about 13. In the last couple of years it has gone to 50 or thereabout. It became a source of patronage and settlement. What is really earthshaking if a man must resign because of scandal that is involving his son? It is done everywhere in the world. When Margaret Thatcher’s son was involved in a scandal in South Africa, there were calls for the resignation of Margaret Thatcher. What are we talking about? What is wrong there? Was it ACN that called for her resignation then? Was it ACN that called for the resignation of Kofi Annan? We must be able to bring our politics to higher level. Why is it that you leaders of ACN don’t believe in primaries? There is nowhere in our (party) constitution that there are primaries. What we have in our constitution is nomination exercise. In our nomination exercise, we try to be very equitable and very fair. Every party is different from the other party. What you tag internal democracy in your own party may not be the way we do it in our own party. From what I have explained to you, is there anything fairer and more democratic from what we have done? Supposing we say let us hold primaries and you now pick Olu Agunloye, would it be fair to all concerned giving the fact that the last time governorship was zoned to the
But the government has engaged the National Assembly in discussion. Good. I think the bane of this administration is that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. If the president is engaging the National Assembly in discussion, then they should stop muddling the water. Talks such as: “This is a plot to remove the South south presidency” would not help the matter. Unfortunately for this administration, there are so many unofficial spokespersons that we don’t even know who the official spokesperson of the president is.
Lia Mohammed north it went to an Akoko man and the senator is from Akoko. Is equity and fairness not part of democracy? Or, supposing we tell everybody to go for primaries and the fellow who wins the primaries is the fellow who is being funded by the PDP or by the Labour Party? Then, they pick somebody from the central or south and the whole state agreed on one thing that power must shift. You as party leader have to take into consideration many factors in arriving at who is going to be your candidate. Primaries could be transparently corrupt in the sense that if I have money today, I can buy the delegates and they will vote the way I want them to vote. If it is the transparency on television, fine. But what of what went on before the show on television? What of the dollars delegates collect? A party must be careful that in the process of nominating, it must not lose the soul or lose its integrity as leader. Our decision, we can sleep with because we’ve been fair to all concerned. Again, there is some information made available to the leadership of the party, which is not available to the people outside there. There is a lot of information that inform our decision that we cannot air publicly. But this policy enables you leaders to present your children for elective positions. If you want to hang a dog, call it a bad name. I think there is nowhere in the world where a son does not live on his father’s political pedigree to run for office provided he has qualification and the capacity. For crying out aloud, Bola Ahmed Tinubu can grow successors, not just within Lagos State but made leaders everywhere in Osun, Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo, Adamawa, Benue and Akwa /Ibom. Once he identifies a good material he put resources behind him. Simply because his wife ran for senate and we say again that not only is she eminently qualified to run for senate but we forget easily what was the price some people paid for this democracy? Between 1993 and now, some people put everything they have on the line for democracytheir life, their freedom, and the future of their children so that we can have democracy. Tinubu was one of them. I do not see that alle-
gation sticking. You see people who complain about imposition and nepotism are the same people who have benefited from that system. But when it no longer sweets them, it becomes imposition, it becomes nepotism. There is nowhere in the world where you don’t have dynasties. Nobody complains about the PDP. Today, we have the wives of many governors in the senate from the PDP. There is Kure, in Yobe State, we have the husband in the senate and the wife in the House of Reps. Okadigbo’s wife is in the senate and nobody is complaining. Why must you complain because she is the choice of the people? If it is ACN, it becomes nepotism. What is your position on the threat to impeach the President if the budget is not implemented 100 per cent by September? I think the questions we would have to ask ourselves are the following: Does the House of Representatives have the constitutional power to impeach the president? Under what conditions can the president be impeached? Two: Is non-implementation of budget a ground for impeachment? These are the pertinent questions. I have seen the reaction from the presidency. It ranges from: “It is because of Lawan Farouk.” “They want to bring down the president”. “Gbajabiamila: whoever wants to go to equity must go with clean hands.” “How can the House that is riddled with corruption want to bring down the President?” Those are beside the point. If you don’t believe in the ability of the police, can you take the law into your hands? The questions I have asked, if the answer is yes, then I don’t see anything wrong in the notice given by the House. Not yet notice but threat. It depends on how you look at it. They said if by the time we come back in September, you do not implement the budget 100 per cent we would start impeachment proceedings. My understanding of governance is that it is an invitation for engagement. It is like saying: We have these powers and we can deploy it. To sen-
Why is it that you leaders of ACN don’t believe in primaries? There is nowhere in our (party) constitution that there are primaries. What we have in our constitution is nomination exercise. In our nomination exercise, we try to be very equitable and very fair. Every party is different from the other party. What you tag internal democracy in your own party may not be the way we do it in our own party. From what I have explained to you, is there anything fairer and more democratic from what we have done? Supposing we say let us hold primaries and you now pick Olu Agunloye, would it be fair to all concerned giving the fact that the last time governorship was zoned to the north it went to an Akoko man and the senator is from Akoko. Is equity and fairness not part of democracy? Or, supposing we tell everybody to go for primaries and the fellow who wins the primaries is the fellow who is being funded by the PDP or by the Labour Party? Then, they pick somebody from the central or south and the whole state agreed on one thing that power must shift. You as party leader have to take into consideration many factors in arriving at who is going to be your candidate. Primaries could be transparently corrupt in the sense that if I have money today, I can buy the delegates and they will vote the way I want them to vote. If it is the transparency on television, fine. But what of what went on before the show on television? What of the dollars delegates collect? A party must be careful that in the process of nominating, it must not lose the soul or lose its integrity as leader. Our decision, we can sleep with because we’ve been fair to all concerned. Again, there is some information made available to the leadership of the party, which is not available to the people outside there. There is a lot of information that inform our decision that we cannot air publicly. But this policy enables you leaders to present your children for elective positions. If you want to hang a dog, call it a bad name. I think there is nowhere in the world where a son does not live on his father’s political pedigree to run for office provided he has qualification and the capacity. For crying out aloud, Bola Ahmed Tinubu can grow successors, not just within Lagos State but made leaders everywhere in Osun, Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo, Adamawa, Benue and Akwa /Ibom. Once he identifies a good material he put resources behind him. Simply because his wife ran for senate and we say again that not only is she eminently qualified to run for senate but we forget easily what was the price some people paid for this democracy? Between 1993 and now, some people put everything they have on the line for democracytheir life, their freedom, and the future of their children so that we can have democracy. Tinubu was one of them. I do not see that allegation sticking. You see people who complain about imposition and nepotism are the same people who have benefited from that system. But when it no longer sweets them, it becomes imposition, it becomes nepotism.
August 11, 2012 SATURDAY SUN
Sports SATURDAY SUN
Baton error costs GB relay
Sports Minister, Abdullahi confesses...
reat Britain’s sprint relay woes continued as another baton changeover mistake cost them a place in the 4x100 metres final at the Olympic Stadium. The host nation were disqualified when anchor leg runner Adam Gemili set off too early as he was about to take the baton from Danny Talbot. The 18-year-old slowed down dramatically, but the changeover still occurred outside the designated area. The mistake continues a woeful record for Britain in the event, who, aside from the one glorious exception at the Athens 2004 Olympics, have lurched from one failure to the next. Dropped batons at the Olympics in Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000) and the World Championships in Edmonton (2001), along with a disqualification at the last Olympics in Beijing and the World Championships in Daegu (2011) have ended their chances. They also went out in the first round at the last European Championships in Barcelona two years ago, while at the most recent Europeans earlier this summer they also failed to get the baton round. Jamaica, without Usain Bolt,
qualified safely, but the United States was the quickest through in a new national record of 37.38 seconds. Gemili told the BBC: “I went off and maybe I went a bit hard-
er...I don’t know. “We really could have been in contention in the final had we made it. “It really is disappointing. I think I went on the check mark maybe a tiny bit early.”
No retirement plans yet for Bolt
here can be no doubt that Usain Bolt is now, in his own words, a living legend, but what the future holds for the Jamaican superstar remains open to debate. While Bolt insisted he had no intention of retiring after becoming the first man to win the sprint double in successive Olympics, he did admit he would need to find a new goal to remain motivated. And the 25-year-old also admitted he would find it hard to defend his titles once more at Rio 2016 with the compatriots he led home in Thursday night’s 200m final - Yohan Blake and Warren Weir - both only 22. “I think it’s going to be a hard mission,” Bolt said. “Both guys are 22. They are going to be 26 and I’m going to be 30 (his birthday is August 21, the day of the closing ceremony in Rio). “Both of them are running
extremely well right now. I think I’ve had my time. It’s going to be hard. In life everything is possible, but for me this is going to be a hard reach because there’s going to be a lot more talent coming up and these guys have really stepped up already. “For me I’m not looking that far. I’ve made myself a legend. I’m just going to enjoy it right now. To have set a goal for oneself for years to become a legend and then to accomplish that goal is just a wonderful feeling.” Such comments prompted a question about whether today’s 4x100m relay final could even be his last race, but Bolt insisted that was still some way in the future. “No, no, no, I’m not ready to retire yet,” he added. “I love this sport, I have got all my success through this sport, all my fans through this sport, so, I’ll always continue to run.”
Nigeria relies on prayers, luck to win medals British Airways measures Britain’s Olympic mood By GEORGE ALUO
ports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has confessed that banking on luck and prayers to do well at major competitions cannot take Nigeria anywhere. Abdullahi, who was in London, said for the country to excel in sports, it has to work very hard for it and has to invest in sports the way other countries are doing. “We have relied so much on luck and prayers to win some medals at previous international competitions. I don't think this is proper. Henceforth, hard work should be the yardstick for us. “Medals are won by those who work hard, not those who prayed the most. We have been banking too much on luck, but God has asked us to go and work. We're in a very difficult situation, but we need to start from somewhere and forge ahead,” he said. Mallam Abdullahi said that the rebuilding process in Nigerian sports would start from the EKO 2012 National Sports Festival billed for Lagos State in November, before heading for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 ahead of the next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At each of these stops, the focus would be on discovering and development new talents since our current athletes have proved in London that they could not carry the aspirations of Nigerians on their shoulders. The minister appealed to corporate Nigeria and wealthy indi-
viduals to be ready to partner the government in reviving sports in Nigeria, because “hard cash is involved in planning and working for medals.” Continuing, Abdullahi said: “Olympic medal is about hard cash. It is not a coincidence that the medals' table appears to reflect the level of economic development of the countries. But having the resources is one thing, making the right strategic investment is another. “Team Great Britain largely owes its dramatic success to what is described as 'unprecedented financial investment' totaling more than £740million spread over a period of 15 years. The current annual spending on sports stands at £100million. However, only 40 per cent of this comes from the government treasury, while the remaining 60 per cent comes from lottery funds. “Conversely, Australia finished fourth in Sydney with 16 gold
medals. In London, the country has fallen outside the top 10 with six gold medals. And Australians have blamed reduced funding for elite athletes and a lack of facilities at the grassroots levels for their current form. Every medal is clearly projected and carefully planned for both in financial and technical terms over a sustained period of time. “Only years of intensive, unrelenting training and preparation can win medals. There is no short cut. Medals are won by people who worked hard not by those who prayed hard. We can only win medals by building systems that are capable of producing medallists and champions, not by selecting athletes that we hope can win medals.” “We are returning home to go and plan. We will do the right things henceforth and in another four years, the story would be different,” he said with an air of optimism.
a social barometer, the first of its kind to measure how Brits are responding to the
school sports plan agreed to ensure a grassroots legacy for the Games. Speaking at a press conference on the Olympic legacy, Mr Johnson said: "The government totally understands people's appetite for this, they can see the benefits of sport and what it does for young people. "They understand very, very clearly the social and economic advantages. I would like to see, frankly, the kind of regime I used to enjoy - compulsory two hours' sport everyday. "I've no doubt that is the sort of thing that would be wonderful for kids across this country. "It is of profound importance for the happiness and success of this country that we have more sports in schools." the mayor said.
ritish Airways says it is bringing to life the mood of the nation with
London mayor urges 2hrs of sports daily for pupils
chool children should be made to do two hours of sport a day as part of the Olympic legacy, Boris Johnson has said. The London mayor wants to build on the public's renewed appetite for sports, adding it would be "wonderful for kids across this country." The coalition has been criticised for removing the requirement that schools in England provide pupils with at least two hours of sports a week. But it has pledged £1billion investment in school sports in the next few years. Labour has called for the twohour-a-week target to be re-introduced and a cross-party 10-year
Brazil, Mexico clash for soccer gold
razil and Mexico will clash in the final of the men’s football competition today, with the victor ending their long search for a gold medal. Despite being recognised as one of the best international teams, Brazil has yet to claim a gold medal at the Olympics. Two silvers came in 1984 and 1988, while it has also secured bronze in 1996 and 2008. Meanwhile, Mexico has yet to claim a single medal in an
Olympic competition, although that wait has been ended with the South American outfit guaranteed at least a silver medal this time around. Brazil, installed as favourite ever since the launch, has won all five of its matches at the Games this summer, topping Group C following wins over Egypt, Belarus and New Zealand. The quarter-final pitted it against Honduras, where it twice fell behind before beating its 10-
man opponent. Meanwhile, a comfortable 3-0 win over South Korea guaranteed its spot in the final. Mexico finished top of Group B following a draw against South Korea and wins over Gabon and Switzerland, but it needed extra time to beat Senegal 4-2 in the quarter-final. The semi-finals saw it clash with Japan – that was unbeaten without conceding a single goal but it recovered from one-down to win 3-1.
London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The barometer turns Olympics related social media chatter into a moving visual sound wave and creates a symphony based on the number of people commenting on certain athletes, events and venues including tweets with the British Airways home advantage. The social barometer will rise and fall with each tweet, update and blog post. The user sees and hears the wave change, growing and shrinking as the volume of social media ‘noise’ flows. They can interact with it too, thereby affecting the sound and appearance of the barometer. The barometer can be found at ba.com and on the airline’s facebook and twitter pages. Richard Canavan composed the unique soundtrack specifically for British Airways.
Falconets cage Widek girls
igeria’s U-20 Women National Team, yesterday continued its build up to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup with a 4-1 victory over Widek Univeristy female team in a warm up match played at the Namhae Public Stadium in Korea. Nigeria’s goals were scored by Ebere Orji, CharityAdule, Chisom Henry and Asisat Oshoala in both halves of the encounter.
First Assistant Coach, Florence Omagbemi commended the level of opposition. “It was a good game for our team and a good build up to the World Cup. So far we are satisfied with the sides that we have played since coming to Korea,” explained Omagbemi. The second string team was fielded by the technical crew unlike Tuesday’s friendly which was to gauge the strength of its bench.
SATURDAY SUN August 11, 2012
LEAGUEUNLIMITED ...with EMMA NJOKU 08059423225
Sunshine, good advertisement for Nigerian League - Bassey I nternational sports journalist and FIFA/CAF Executive Media Officer, Paul Bassey, has hailed Sunshine Stars Football Club for its great comeback in the group phase of this year's CAF Champions League. The Nigeria's only surviving flag bearer in the continental competition, on Sunday, defeated ASO Chlef of Algeria 2-0 at the Dipo Dina International Stadium in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, to put its semi-final qualification in the championship back on track. The victory came on the heels of an impressive goalless draw with Tunisian giant, Etoile du Sahel in faraway Sousse a fortnight earlier, after the team's disastrous start in the money-spinning stage of the competition with 0-2 home loss to defending champion, the Esperance of Tunisia, in the first match of the group stage played in Ijebu Ode. Bassey, who watched last Sunday's match, described the Akure-based Stars as 'a good advertisement for Nigerian League'. His endorsement corroborated the recent rating of the Nigerian League as the best in Africa by the Historical and Statistical Unit of FIFA. “We were here when Sunshine Stars opened this competition (group phase of the CAF Champions League) against Esperance of Tunisia. They (Sunshine) were a disaster. They lacked the willpower and overrated their opponents. Even when they came back in the second half, they couldn't do anything,”
Bassey recalled moments after Sunshine's 2-0 defeat of the Algerian side last Sunday. “But today, we saw a different Sunshine Stars. We saw a side that knew that even a draw would not be good enough for the team. We saw a side that fought for every ball. From the beginning, the entire team was fantastic right from the attack to the goalkeeper.
Then I said to myself, this goalkeeper has just been invited to the national team and he has proved that he deserves the call up. “My hope has been redeemed. I'm so happy today unlike the last time I was here. What I saw here today is a good advertisement for Nigerian football. I'm proud to be a Nigerian,” the man fondly called Sports Bassey, relished.
Gov Amaechi confirms sale of Dolphins, Sharks
ivers State Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi may have confirmed a recent report published in a website that he has put up Premier League sides, Dolphins and Sharks Football Clubs, both of which are financed by the Rivers State government, for sale. In what appeared like double speak, Governor Amaechi, while on a state-owned radio station in Port Harcourt, said he was not aware of any plans to sell the clubs, but would not hesitate to sell them should any buyer declares interest. “I am not aware that they want to sell both clubs (Dolphins and Sharks), but the truth is that if a buyer comes along, I am going to sell,” the governor said. “The monthly expenditure on
both clubs is very huge and if a buyer comes tomorrow morning, I would be glad to sell.” Sharks FC has been under the budget of the Rivers State government since 1972, but Eagle Cement FC was bought over from Eastern Bulkcem Company by the government in 1999 and was renamed Dolphins.
No winner for Iorfa's N.5m top scorer's prize?
ice Chairman and Technical Adviser of Lobi Stars, Dominic Iorfa, might just pocket the half a million naira prize money he pledged for the highest goal scorer in the
New trophy for league champion
he club that will emerge as champion at the end of the current Nigeria Premier League (NPL) season will be crowned with a new trophy. League Unlimited can reliably confirm that the current board of the NPL has already awarded the contract for the design of the new giant trophy. The trophy, expected to measure about one foot high, will have a cover with NPL's logo on it. The body of the trophy will also be beautifully embossed with the football body's emblem. This much was confirmed
by NPL Chairman, Chief Victor Rumson Baribote, in Abuja, on Wednesday after the executive management board of the league body met to finetune activities for the end of the season. “Our league has been rated the best in Africa, therefore, we want to justify the rating by presenting the champion of the league this season with a trophy that will befit that status,” the NPL boss remarked. Three clubs are in top contention for the coveted trophy. They include Enugu Rangers International and Kano Pillars, both of which are tied on 61 points after 36 games, with Rangers occupying the top
•Dolphins celebrating victory
spot courtesy of its superior goal difference of +23 as against Pillars' +22. Lobi Stars of Makurdi has 60 points from 36 matches to currently place third on the log with two matches to go. The Makurdi side, however, looks favoured to clinch the trophy, as it will host Rangers at the Emmanuel Atongo Stadium in Katsina Ala in a Week 37 match that is generally touted as the decider for the league title. Pillars' remaining two matches are away fixtures against Akwa United in Uyo and Sunshine Stars in Ijebu Ode.
current Nigeria Premier League season. Barely two matches to go in the current season, no player has come close to the 25 goals benchmark the former BCC Lions of Gboko supersonic forward placed as yardstick for winning the prize. Niger Tornadoes' striker, Sibi Gwar, currently tops the scorers' chart with 17 goals, three short of the 20 goals record set by Jude Aneke in the Nigerian League last season. The Benue State-born forward still needs to score as Week 37 Fixtures Lobi Stars v Rangers Sunshine v Kwara Utd Sharks v Wikki Jigawa v Enyimba Akwa Utd v Pillars Tornadoes v Dolphins ABS FC v Kaduna Utd Warri Wolves v 3SC Ocean Boys v Rising Stars Hearland v Gombe Utd.
Kaduna Utd owes Cooreman N16m
aduna United still owes Maurice Cooreman about N16million more than seven months after the Belgian tactician parted ways with the club early this season to pitch tent with Warri Wolves. Cooreman, who confirmed this to League Unlimited, expressed surprise that an official of the Kaduna State Ministry of Sports recently, claimed in a media report that Cooreman has been paid all his financial entitlements by the club.
“I'm surprised to read in the newspapers that a secretary from the ministry said that I have been paid all my money and the club no longer owes me. That is a lie. The total money I'm being owed by Kaduna United is not less than N16million,” he claimed. Meanwhile, the Warri Wolves' gaffer, who is currently passing through a defining moment in more than 12 years of his coaching career in Nigeria, plans to embark on holidays to his native country, Belgium at the end of the current league season.
“It has been a very difficult season for me. I was so confident that I would achieve something with Warri Wolves with the quality of players I met on ground when I arrived here. My players that are in the national team were the ones that let me down. I can't really understand what went wrong. “We were not supposed to crash out of the CAF Confederation Cup to the team from South Africa. My plan was to make up for the disappointment in the continental competition and the league
with the Federation Cup. But we had to pull out of the Federation Cup due to the security concerns in the country and I quite understand the position of the management of the club in that regard. It's very unfortunate because that was not our dream for the season,” he rued. “I just want to take a holiday and travel to my country to see my family, because I have not seen them in a long time. I need to rest for a while to clear my head and prepare for the coming season,” Cooreman said.
many as seven goals in the remaining two matches to claim the Iorfa's N.5million prize money. “I made myself clear before the season kicked off that I shall reward the highest scorer at the end of the season with N500,000.00 provided he scores up to 25 goals in the league,” Iorfa reemphasized. “I instituted the award to bring the best out of the strik-
ers in our league. The beauty of football is goal scoring. What football fans want to see are goals because that is what makes them happy. “I was the fans' delight in my playing days because I used to score goals. I cannot, for instance, give out half a million naira to a player for scoring 15 or 16 goals all through the season when somebody scored 20 goals last season,” he argued.
August 11, 2012
August 11, 2012
August 11, 2012
THE KALU LEADERSHIP SERIES
August 11, 2012
OrjiUzorKalu Former governor of Abia State e-mail: email@example.com
Building functional executive/legislature synergy
he drafters of the 1999 Constitution, fully aware of the need for the existence of mutual cooperation and harmonious relationship among the three arms of government that, took it upon themselves to clearly define and entrench the responsibilities of these arms in the same constitution. They probably learnt their informed lesson from the experiences of other nations that practise the presidential system of government. A classical example is the United States that has almost perfected the presidential system, having practised it for over 200 years now. Initially, just as is the case today with Nigeria, the U.S. did not have it too smoothly. It took several experimentations and legal interpretations to build the near-perfect system the United States has achieved and which has inspired the whole world. It should be stated, however, that the United States seems to have solidified its grip on the presidential system of government for the simple reason that its citizens and their leaders have worked conscientiously with one accord to ensure that the system works by divesting their selfish interests and placing the American interest in the front burner of national development. The beauty of the American democratic structure is that each arm of government enjoys unfettered autonomy, while at the same time complementing one another for the overall good of the people. The central focus of constitutional democracy in the United States is the defence of the nation’s sovereignty and fundamental rights of its citizens, which are rooted in the rule of law and obedience to constituted authorities. This is why everything looks and works perfectly. It has been observed, nonetheless, that despite the solid foundation on which the American dream was founded there have been hiccups here and there in the administration of its affairs. Though these hiccups occur from time to time they have never posed any serious danger to their democratic life. Interestingly, they have emerged from each bitter experience rather stronger and better focused. Take for instance the Obama Health Reform Bill. It has experienced countless legislative and executive jigsaws without tearing their nation apart. Each arm has pursued its convictions, aspirations and dissensions over the bill with deep patriotism, transparency and gentility. As the interpretative arm of government, its judiciary stepped in when it mattered most to break the festering deadlock between the two. It may not be out of place at this point to draw attention to the American model for resolving crisis that involves any two of its arms of government. It has always worked without heating up the polity unnecessarily. Curiously, in that model is entrenched a potpourri of ideals - top of which are the common good and integrity. One would have thought that the heated debates over the Obama Health Bill would have been enough for the Republicans to call for the head of the President. But they never did. They instead paid attention to the issue at stake and its impact on the lives of common Americans, not necessarily the person of the president. Gradually, they are reaching a compromise on the issue. Regrettably, Nigeria’s democracy has been skewed ab initio to serve some specific (often selfish) interests. Some commentators argue that the military designed the 1999 Constitution to suit their egocentric desires. How true the argument is what I cannot say. For all I know, the 1999 Constitution was a product of the Constituent Assembly convoked by the military in the twilight of their interregnum. The Assembly comprised men and women of intellectualism, integrity and vision who were charged with the onerous duty of drawing up a constitution which, in my estimation, is a functional, imperative document for the administration of any democratic governance. Contrary to the insinuations in some quarters, there is nothing inherently wrong with the 1999 Constitution. And there had never been either with any other constitutions prior to it. The major problem lies with the implementation of the constitutional provisions to serve the interests of the people and not those of a clique. My submission here does not mean in any way that there is nothing wrong at all with the constitution, particularly in relation to our geo-ethnic diversities. There may be a few identifiable flaws, which are normal with such a document, but they are not enough to render the entire document ultra vires and or unjusticeable. The ongoing war of words between the Presidency and National Assembly over the implementation of the 2012 budget has exposed the lack of resilience and mutual trust between the two, which has existed for a very long time. It only came to the fore, this time, because of some powerful interests that want to cut their pound of flesh. It is only a blind man that cannot see the writing on the wall. The issue of budget implementation has lived with us since the return of democratic governance in 1999. Can somebody tell me: which year had the budget ever been satisfactorily imple-
mented? I have asked this question to set us thinking. Budgeting in Nigeria has constituted itself into an intractable problem that requires a surgical operation to fix. Every year government would appropriate trillions of naira and yet at the end of the year nothing concrete is achieved. In most cases unspent funds are returned to the national coffers, while infrastructure and other needs continue to beg for attention. How could government return money to the national treasury when the majority of the people are hungry, sick, ignorant and defenceless? Is this not sheer wickedness? As far as I am concerned, the budget impasse is just a smokescreen to cover the real grouse each nurse about the other. The National Assembly accuses the President of halfhearted implementation of the 2012 budget, while at the same time counting the number of bills he has refused to assent to. What is then the real cause of the rift? The nonimplementation of the budget just came up, as I indicated earlier, for the National Assembly to even up with the presidency and show it that it can bark and bite. Just like in Shakespeare’s epic novel, Merchant of Venice, the National Assembly is bent on cutting their own pound of flesh from the President, by threatening to impeach him if by September he failed to implement the budget satisfactorily. Since the threat of impeachment evolved, there have been conflicting figures making the rounds. The rumour mill has been agog with all kinds of stories. Even the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has also bandied a few of such figures, forcing the Senate’s special Joint-Committee to summon her before it. While the Minister initially said that the budget had been implemented up to 56 per cent the House of Representatives thought it was 34 per cent. The figure later came down to as low as 21 per cent. The appearance of the Minister of Finance before the Joint-Committee of the Senate last week doused the tension somewhat. Let us wait and see what happens next. For the first time in his presidency, Goodluck Jonathan was visibly jolted to reality. He swung into action to see how he could save his government from the impending disaster. All the ministers were kept on their toes with each making concerted effort not to be caught unawares. The polity has been tense since the House of Representatives issued the threat of impeachment. The joining of forces between the Senate and House of Representatives on the issue has sent a clear message that the constitutional provision of delineation of powers among the three arms of government will be jealously guarded. This is what it should be. Much as there should be cooperation and mutual understanding among the three arms for the delivery of democracy dividends to the people underhand deals should not be encouraged. No arm is expected to be subservient to the other in the discharge of their constitutional roles. Unfortunately, the present National Assembly had operated before now as if it had been de-clawed by the executive, managing to hold its head up on a few occasions. This is what happens when one fails to take up one’s challenges fearlessly. It is baffling that it had to take the threat of impeachment for the National Assembly to be accorded its due respect and recognition. The truth of the matter is that all over the world legislators are respected when they live aboveboard and shun manipulation. This is the only way they can checkmate executive recklessness and imperviousness. In the case of Nigeria’s National Assembly, I think, they have suffered in silence for too long. Imagine bills sent to the president for assent not receiving commensurate attention for as long as 12 months. What then is the purpose of making laws when they will not be implemented? Unfortunately, most of these bills passed by the National Assembly and which gather dust in the file cabinet of the president will have direct bearing on the welfare of the masses if assented to. But they have been left unattended to for reasons best known to the gladiators. Looking critically at all the facts at issue, it is easy to discover the communication gap that exists between the executive and the legislature, which hampers efficient service delivery. Superficially, both are perceived as Siamese twins, but beneath the veil there is a smothering animosity between them. What gave rise to the mutual mistrust is what commentators should make effort to identify. But in my own assessment, there is something between them many of us do not know. So, when they quarrel, as is the case now, it gives one cause for concern. I am aware that the present National Assembly has cooperated reasonably with the government at the centre for reasons best known to them. Therefore, it is expected that such support should be equally reciprocated. I must not fail to point out that the Nigerian mentality fea-
Jonathan tured significantly in the present imbroglio, going by the approach the presidency has adopted to deal with it. I had expected it to have long established a functional synergy between it and the legislature instead of the fire brigade measure it took in quelling the heightening tension occasioned by the impeachment threat. If this kind of relationship had existed the problem would have been nipped in the bud. Let us tell one another the truth: there is no way we can develop as a nation without enforcing budget discipline. The implementation of the budget is a critical issue that determines the future of a nation and its people. It is one thing to appropriate, it is another to execute conscientiously. From available records, some budgets in the past were not implemented up to 40 per cent. What then is the purpose appropriating? We know that budgets are based on mere estimation, but such estimation derives from a conscious, efficient planning methodology. It is not, therefore, mere conjecturing. For this reason, I had expected the executive to carry the National Assembly along as it gathered revenue for the actualization of the budget. Where there is the need to notify the National Assembly of any intended changes such should be done with openness and altruism. As much as the Presidency is culpable in a way as charged by the National Assembly with regard to the 2012 budget, there is no need to resort to impeachment to settle the scores. Rather they should bury the hatchet and find a middle-of-theroad course in resolving their differences. I do not think that ego or personal idiosyncrasies should be allowed to take the centre-stage as they work to move Nigeria forward. What should guide them is the love of country and the burning desire to deliver on the mandate that Nigerians have ‘freely’ given them. The problems on our hands are already stifling life out of our once-beautiful and peaceful country and it will be suicidal to add another trouble of impeaching a sitting president to it. As I wrote last week, our nation is at siege and the forces of darkness have vowed to make us lose sleep. As an advocate of peaceful and mutual coexistence among all Nigerians, I urge all those aggrieved one way or another to sheathe their swords and embrace dialogue. There is no problem, no matter its magnitude, that cannot be resolved amicably if all parties are sincere in finding permanent solution to it. I urge the President to be more proactive in tackling critical national problems, especially those that border on the unity and sovereignty of Nigeria. History will judge him well if he did not allow himself to be cajoled by anybody or group as he works to develop Nigeria. He should remember that the buck stops at his table and he will be the person to answer for the good or bad of his government. This is why he should shun armchair advisers and hagiographers whose stock-intrade is ego-singing and cult worship. As for the National Assembly, I advise them to maintain their dignity, remain at the alert at all times and continue to work for the general good of the majority of our people.
KALU LEADERSHIP SERIES BUILDING FUNCTIONAL EXECUTIVE/ LEGISLATURE SYNERGY August 11, 2012 Vol.9 No.502
Fashola’s father of all tributes PressClips BY MIKE AWOYINFA firstname.lastname@example.org 08051271177 (SMS only)
h, what a night it was! A night that was my biggest night as a journalist. A night of knighthood and tributes. A night that gave me the assurance that in choosing journalism, I chose the right profession. A profession God chose for me from the early beginnings. An Olympic night it was indeed. And there at the Banquet Hall of Sheraton, Ikeja, I stood on the podium like an athlete who had just won a gold medal in the Olympics of life. Tears welled in my eyes. Tears of joy. The emotion was too powerful. Now, I know why athletes cry when the flag is unfurled and their national anthem is played in a rare moment of history and accomplishment. From far and near, from the past and present, they came to honour me. Inside that hall gathered the crème de la crème of Nigerian journalism, editors, past and present, hall-of-fame journalists, my colleagues from the Concord Group and Weekend Concord days, my colleagues from The Sun where I once served as the pioneer managing director and editor-in-chief, commissioners and special advisers representing the governors of Lagos, Delta, Ogun, Osun, Kwara and Ekiti States; my colleagues from the print and electronic media, my friends from the corporate world, my lord bishop and pastors, my family and loved ones, my fans and readers. Aremo Olusegun Osoba, one of Nigeria’s finest journalists and a consummate reporter was the chairman of the occasion. And on the high table was Dr. Doyin Abiola, the woman who gave me the chance to edit the Weekend Concord, an idea which she originated and asked me to captain into roaring success. And the rest, as they say, is history. My friend and brother, Dimgba Igwe had planned a dinner of 100 Mike Awoyinfa friends but it turned out that more than expected, people came, overcrowding the place. It became inevitable that some people just had to be turned back, something for which I
apologise. It was a night that far exceeded all our expectations. There were tributes upon tributes, with speaker after speaker describing Mike Awoyinfa as thorough-bred professional who changed the face of journalism in Nigeria with his human angle approach to journalism. We give God all the glory! It was not all praises. For Dimgba Igwe, it turned out to be Mike Awoyinfa’s Day of Judgment. He had not come just to praise Caesar but to tell the world about Mike Awoyinfa, the bad boy who used to sleep out on Thursdays in the days of the Weekend Concord, pretending to be doing “production night.” As a biographer, Igwe says he believes more in the white man’s tell-it-all style than the black man’s praise-singing biographical style. But then, Igwe also said some nice things about me for which I am thankful. He went into the deep recesses of my past to recapture things, some of which I had even forgotten. Beware of your closest friend who knows too much about you, especially if he is also a writer! I thank Mr.
Igwe for hosting me to a night of feasting and tributes and thanksgiving to God for the 60 years of adventurism in journalism. May I use this forum to thank everybody for all the nice things said about me during this period of my 60th birthday celebrations. I hear there will be a Mike Awoyinfa Colloquium on Tabloid Journalism on August 15, organized by City People magazine. Thank you Seye Kehinde, a young man who has also blazed a trail in Nigerian journalism, for this surprising honour. My dearly beloved, I thank you all for your gifts, for your tributes, for your prayers and your good wishes as I move into another phase of my life. For those who are not yet 60, I pray that you will reach 60 and far beyond. The bullet of the enemy will not hit you. I thanked you all at Sheraton and I am thanking you again. In my thank-you speech, I ended with a note from Steve Nwosu, the journalist who survived a bullet in the head. Shortly after reading my column on him last week, he sent me this moving text message: “The night I was shot and I discovered that I was alive, I knelt down to pray, but just did not know what to tell God. I simply cried. This morning, when they brought a copy of The Sun to me, I felt the same way. I don’t always know how to say thank you. But I have managed to ask God to help me say thanks to you, and everything that is anything to you.” *** Beloved members of Press Clips Pentecostal Church, there were tributes from people in high and low places, but perhaps, the most outstanding came from the no-non-
sense Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola which was read at the Sheraton the venue of the 60th birthday dinner. The Fashola we all know is not a politician who plays with his words, but a principled man of integrity, a great leader and an achiever in our great nation. He is a man I have great respect for and to think that he equally has respect for me is a nirvana. I will keep this message, frame it and hang it on my wall as my national honour: “TRULY A LEGEND”—A TRIBUTE TO MIKE AWOYINFA AT 60 The measure of a man’s worth must surely be the legend he becomes in his lifetime, his ability to reinvent and keep reinventing himself and in the legacies he leaves behind when he eventually meets his maker. Over the last few days, I have read with interest and admiration, how journalist after journalist; themselves of no mean repute, have showered acclamations on you as their boss, friend and brother. Every tribute I have read, recounts in enviable glowing terms how you influenced, mentored, taught, encouraged and acknowledged. How you were generous with your praise and unafraid to share the spotlight. This speaks to a most uncommon largeheartedness that is probably the most compelling reason for you had such a positive impact in your chosen profession; and on your superiors, peers and subordinates alike. Those of us who are not of the journalistic bent also have our own story to tell. How you singlehandedly shaped our appreciation for weekend journalism when you headed the Weekend Concord newspaper and quite literally laid the foundation upon which the magazine-like newspaper that sits so well on a relaxed Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon, was built. Of course, since our paths recently crossed, I have had the privilege of observing your skills at close quarters. Truly, I testify to your professionalism. On behalf of my wife, Abimbola, I wish you a very happy 60th birthday, many happy returns and many more years of literary excellence. Happy Birthday! Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN Governor of Lagos State
Ramadan Talk Prophet Muhammad said: “One of you will not have (perfect) faith until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself.”
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Editor: ONUOHA UKEH
Published on Aug 10, 2012