Issuu on Google+

N5,000 note: Sanusi blasts Obasanjo N150

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 VOL. 7 NO. 2454

•Says Page 56 ex-President is a bad economist

BIZARRE!!

Woman gives birth to horse •Doctors express shock, disbelief

See story, photo on Page 6

2015 polls: No automatic tickets for Jonathan, govs – PDP Page 5

Delta demotes 5 principals for misconduct Page 10

Page 11

HISTORY MAKER...

Andy Murray savours the US Open trophy after he made history as the first Briton in 76 years to win a Grand Slam title. The Scot (World No.4) defeated World No.1 Novak Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 at the Flushing Meadows, yesterday. Photo AFP

Five robbers paraded naked in Onitsha


2015: No automatic tickets for Jonathan, govs – PDP

North has oil deposits N150

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 VOL. 7 NO. 2454

Page 6

Page 5

– Maitama Sule

BIZARRE!!

Woman gives birth to horse •Doctors express shock, disbelief

See story, photo on Page 6

•700,000 displaced

Page 13

Flood submerges Makurdi Sailing in their compound... Flooded Tunga Community in Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State yesterday. Photo: NAN

Kogi: Man kills •CBN gov blasts ex-President over comment on N5000 note mum over N59,000 ...As Bankers Committee endorses new denomination

Page 56

Obasanjo, a bad economist –Sanusi

Page 8


GCON:

Why we honoured Adenuga N150

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 VOL. 7 NO. 2454

–Presidency

Page 5

BIZARRE!!

Woman gives birth to horse •Doctors, others express shock, disbelief

See story, photo on Page 6

2015 polls: No automatic tickets for Jonathan, govs – PDP Page 5

Man, 22, kills mum over N59,000

Page 8

N5,000 note: Sanusi blasts Obasanjo HISTORY MAKER...

Andy Murray savours the US Open trophy after he made history as the first Briton in 76 years to win a Grand Slam title. The Scot (World No.4) defeated World No.1 Novak Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 at the Flushing Meadows, yesterday. Photo AFP

•Says ex-President may be a good farmer but definitely a bad economist

...Bankers Committee endorses new denomination Pages 56 & 55


GCON:

Why we honoured Adenuga N150

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 VOL. 7 NO. 2454

–Presidency

Page 5

SHOCKER FROM BENIN

Woman gives birth to horse •Doctors express disbelief

See story, photo on Page 6

L-R: Hon. Israel Jolaosho; Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Suraj Ishola Adekunbi, Hon. Babatunde Edunjobi, Gov Ibikunle Amosun, Hon. Harrison Adeyemi, Hon. Odofin Sonuga, and state chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria, Alhaji Tajudeen Ola Bello, during the visit of three PDP lawmakers who decamped to ACN to the Governor’s Office in Abeokuta, yesterday.

Ondo VC escapes workers’ wrath

Pages 56, 55

...As Bankers Committee endorses new denomination

Oyo NURTW: I’m authentic chairman –Tokyo Page 12

N5,000 note: Sanusi blasts Obasanjo

Page 12

Page 5

2015: No automatic tickets for Jonathan, govs – PDP

Page 8


2

DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Wednesday, September 12, 2012, DAILY SUN

3

SUNG GIRL

Onuoha is chair, S’East PPA

T

he Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) reconstituted its South-East zonal executive committees with Ezeogo Emeka Onuoha as zonal chairman. A statement issued by the National Secretary, Comrade Peter Ameh, announced Chief Emeka Okafor as the Chairman, Abia State chapter, Lady Frances Mgbada is Chairman for Ebonyi State while Chief McDonald Ogoke takes care of Imo State. Meanwhile, the National Chairman, Chief Sam Nkire, has appealed to members, to remain loyal as the party is being repositioned for the general election. Chief Nkire was speaking when the Anambra State Local Government Chairmen’s Forum visited him in Abuja. The PPA National Chairman said the care-taker committees would run the affairs of the party until congresses were conducted in the affected States. He also called on all those, who left the party during the last general elections to return and take their rightful positions as bonafide members. He said PPA was the party that believed in human capital and not necessarily in money, adding that the party attached more importance to human resources than money.

Pomp as NB shows off Legend award

N

EDITOR’S NOTE: Do you consider yourself stunning enough to grace our Page 3? If yes, sign our consent/release form, send your pix/bio-data to 2, Coscharis Street, Kirikiri Industrial Estate, Apapa, Lagos.

Name: Uniquesharon E. Kenny Phone: 08037824676 Email: honeyboobs4ever@yahoo.com

igerian Breweries (NB) PLC. has presented the prestigious international Gold Quality Award it won recently at the 51st Monde Award ceremony held in Athens, Greece to consumers, the media and the public. The presentation, which held at the Nightshift Coliseum, Lagos, was witnessed by top NB management, editors, consumers, entertainment stars and special guests. MI, (aka) Africa Rapper No. 1, performed to the delight of the audience as he rolled out many hits that kept them on their toes all through the night. Speaking at the event, Mr. Walter Drenth, NB’s Marketing Director, said every time Legend called, it did so to share and celebrate good news. “You are all living witnesses to the tremendous strides the Legend brand has made over the years, establishing itself as a real stout on many counts and refreshing its outlook uniquely. “Over the past 20 years, the Legend brand has continued to position itself as a credible choice of stout, fully brewed the way an original stout should, giving Legend the credibility to be called the ‘Real Deal,’ a sincere proposition that has sustained the brand’s growth since the re-launch and acceptance in 2009,” Drenth said. He reminded the consumers that the campaigns at the re-launch further rode on the brand’s real brewed positioning with emphasis on the production processes considered desirable for a real stout. This innovation, according to him, has had a tremendous positive impact on the brand’s volume, market share and overall equity. “Today, Legend has an unprecedented story of being the fastest growing stout brand in the Nigerian stout market, extremely outclassing others in the category. Thanks to the loyal consumers for their patronage and steadfastness. I have no doubt that you are aware of our high performances over the years, both in blind tests and several other testimonies from consumers; Legend has remained remarkably unique in taste and quality,” Drenth noted. Senior Brand Manager, Legend, Mr. Funso Ayeni, said the award was for the Nigerian consumer that had stood with and believed in the brand over the years. “Our consumers have been great over the years; they encourage us to continue to brew the best tasting stout brand in the country. The fact that this award came from a renowned authority, after passing through a series of quality control tests, goes to show that the quality of Legend is unique,” Ayeni added.


4

DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

5

L-R: Group Managing Director, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza and Director, Corporate Communication, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Ugochukwu Okoroafor, at a Press conference on the Bankers’ Committee meeting in Abuja, Tuesday. Photo: NAN

Project Consultant and former Nigerian international, Chief Segun Odegbami (left) and Director of Events, Globacom, Mr. Bode Opeseitan (right), presenting the Academy coat to the Team Manager and former African Footballer of the Year, Victor Ikpeba during the launch of Globacom Football Academy in Lagos, Tuesday.

L-R: Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof Abdullahi Mustapha, discussing with Prof. John Edward Philips of College of Humanities, Hirosaki University, Japan, during the latter’s visit to the vice chancellor in Zaria, Kaduna State, Tuesday.

COVER 2015: No automatic ticket for Jonathan –PDP From TAIWO AMODU, Abuja

N

o plan to give automatic tickets to President Goodluck Jonathan and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors in 2015, the National Working Committee (NWC) said yesterday. In fact, the NWC denied the claim that it has no intention to amend the party’s constitution to achieve such plan. In a statement, the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh, dismissed the allegation. He said that the national leadership of the party ‘’is not involved in any process to amend its constitution at the

moment. The 2012 amended copy is now the ground norm of the party and we intend to strictly abide by its provision. The PDP does not exist solely for the purpose of perpetual amendments of its constitution,” Metuh said. The PDP’s NWC further restated its earlier stance that performance would be the yardstick for its tickets in 2015. ‘’We have already made our position known that holders of elective positions can only secure another term based on their performances and their acceptance by the people in a free and fair primary election where all party members shall be guaranteed a

level-playing ground. The PDP, under Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, shall never short-circuit the will of its members under whatever guise. “We also wish to make it clear that the PDP has its own constitution where processes for candidates’ selections are clearly spelt out. We are therefore, only bound by the provisions of this constitution and not the conventions of any other party, anywhere else in the world. We are no copycats. “We therefore, urge our members to disregard this idea as we suspect that it is the handwork of mischief-makers who are desirous of causing disaffection among our •Jonathan members,” the party’s spokesman noted.

Air Nigeria passengers stranded in London as airline closes shop By UCHE USIM

H

undreds of Air Nigeria passengers are yesterday stranded in London as the airline shut its operations on Monday without making plans for the return of its passengers. The passengers are in a fix as the airline’s staff at Heathrow Airport have allegedly disappeared without a trace as they have also switched off their phones. Some passengers who phoned in from London said they were struggling to raise fares in the UK to return home, having purchased return tickets beyond September 10, before the Chairman, Jimoh Ibrahim, summarily sacked about 800 workers and grounded his airline on Monday. A passenger, Biodun Odunsi, said the airline had allegedly deceived them to believing that

adequate arrangements had been made by the carrier. “We’re shocked that the airline lied to us. We were told the airline will carry all passengers already booked before it shuts down. But we just discovered it’s a lie.” Another passenger, Wale Akin, said it had

been hell discovering that his London-Lagos trip is in jeopardy. “I bought my round trip ticket for N168,000 and I can’t find anyone to airlift nor refund me. I’m billed to return on September 16 and they closed shop on September 10. You know UK, who do I turn to, to raise money to buy another

ticket? Do they want us to turn beggars here?”, he asked Akin said many passengers had booked return tickets directly from Air Nigeria and were scheduled to return in weeks or months but had not heard from Air Nigeria since it announced that it would stop flying.

Globacom chairman, Adenuga, deserved GCON –Presidency From

T

TAIWO AMODU, Abuja

he Presidency yesterday defended its nomination of business mogul and Chairman of Globacom, Dr Mike Adenuga Jnr. for the award of Grand Commander of the Niger [GCON]. Adenuga and other awardees will be decorated next Monday in Abuja. He is the second eminent person to bag the award after another business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group. He

got the honour last year. But reactions have been trailing the inclusion of Dr Adenuga on the list of awardees, against the backdrop of the alleged involvement of his oil company, Conoil Oil, in the fuel subsidy scam. But reacting to the comments over Adenuga’s nomination, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, said that the Federal Government was not aware that Consolidated Oil was indicted, just as he admonished Nigerians to learn to separate an individual from his company.

“We don’t know that Consolidated Oil was indicted. We must be able to separate a person in his personal capacity from what his company does. “The man is one of the biggest employers of labour in the country. If he had a problem with one arm of his companies, what about others? We all know Globacom is doing well and we are all proud of it… but I am sure that any company that had run foul of the law will be reprimanded,” he said.


6 DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NEWS

Bizarre! Woman gives birth to horse From OLALEKAN MOS, Benin

BAD-

•It’s unimaginable –Doctors

D

P

rayer session by members of World Liberation Ministry located at Evuoriaria Community, off Benin-Sapele Road, ended up in confusion yesterday when a woman gave birth to a horse-like creature. The pony however came out dead from the woman. The identity of the woman was hidden from journalists who visited the church. Some church members who spoke with journalists said the woman was screaming during the prayer session and they noticed that she was bleeding from the vagina before the horse finally came out of her. General Overseer of the church, Evangelist Rev. Silva Wealth said he was also in shock and amazement at what came out of the woman. He said a revelation came to him during prayer session that there was a woman with an issue and that something was blocking her womb. Evangelist Silva said as prayers intensified, the woman started screaming and bleeding and then the object came out. But he couldn’t confirm whether the horse was dead or alive because he didn’t go near it. “I can’t describe the object. We have seen people vomiting several things during our service, but not this type of thing. God has been blessing our ministry with prophesies and miracles,” he said, adding that people rushed to the church to catch a glimpse of the horse when news of the delivery filtered into town. The cleric who confirmed that there had been several prophecies in the church said: “I wouldn’t know, I was not focusing on her and I didn’t go back to her after the

•A horse-like creature delivered by a woman at the World Liberation Ministry Centre, Benin yesterday.

prayers. I have been in my office administering and counselling members. “We have been having series of miracles in this church, but this was a surprise to members who were present that morning. I was amazed

that it’s quite different from what we have been seeing during our prayer sessions in which God has always intervened through various miracles.” The woman was said to have gone for medical check up but Silva promised to

make her available to journalists. Meanwhile, elders and leaders of the Evboriaria community have launched investigation into the strange delivery, described as bizarre.

octors who reacted to the story of a woman who reportedly gave birth to a horse in Benin yesterday have described the incident as unimaginable. They claimed there was no scientific basis to establish such an occurrence. Expressing shock and disbelief over the news, Consultant Surgeon, Dr Emmanuel Enabulele explained that medically, fetuses are formed when the gametes of opposite sexes of same species meet after sexual intercourse, under enabling internal homeostasis or environment, to form a zygote that will eventually develop to a baby. He stressed that for the above process to successfully take place, a number of factors must be in place, one of the most relevant, being that the copulating sexes must be of the same specie. Enabulele pointed out that they have to be the same specie for the genetic materials that will develop into a baby to match, cross and exchange genes which will be noticed in the baby when eventually delivered. “That is why a child takes a bit of both parents characteristics. If the gametes are not compatible specie-wise, there is no way there will be fertilization. “You cannot use the semen of a horse, for instance, to fertilize the eggs of a human being. They are not compatible, it cannot work. Neither can you use the semen of a man to fertilize the egg of a horse or goat, it cannot work. “We’ve had instances of men sleeping with goats and

fowls, did they get them pregnant to deliver human beings? It is not possible. “Genetic materials of different species recognize each other and interact as such. Nature has made it so, science has proved it. So a woman giving birth to a horse is bizarre. I wish I was there to witness it personally. It is completely out of place,” he said. However, Enabulele reluctantly agreed that witchcraft and sorcery could bring about bizarre things like this. Enabulele was not the only doctor that held that only spiritual interpretation could explain what actually happened. In her reaction, Consultant paediatrician, Dr [Mrs] Agnes Showunmi said scientifically and medically, the development was impossible, but with spiritual manipulation, things like that could happen in our environment. According to her, ”this is not the first time I am hearing such bizarre stories in our environment. There was a case where a woman was said to have delivered a lizard. “But it would be wrong for us to start interpreting developments like this medically.If you point at witchcraft or sorcery,it is more like it,it has nothing to do with science and medicine. “It is shocking and a big intrique,but there is no doubt that spiritual manipulation can produce results like this.My heart goes for the woman, it is a pity,”she said in shock.

We’ve oil deposits in the North, says Maitama Sule From DESMOND MGBOH, over the recent discovery of oil in their land, praying that, “if Kano we come together to explore lder statesman and all these things, we would be Nigeria’s first post-inde- economically very, very pendence minister of strong.” He said that the summit Mines and Power, Alhaji Maitama Sule, yesterday in would help revive the past Kano, reiterated claims that glory of Kano, noting that there are oil deposits in the from time immemorial, Kano had been “a rendezvous of core-North. He disclosed this on the business men, a commercial occasion of the first Kano- and industrial centre, includRepublic of Niger Trade and ing being a cosmopolitan Investment Summit, where he place where different people added that apart from oil and tribes converged.” He recalled that Kano and deposits, the core-North could boast of unexplored deposits the Niger Republic had of gold, diamond, silver, ura- always been together religiously, economically, socially nium and tin. “I know we have them. I and politically. In his remark, the Governor was the first minister of oil and perhaps the longest serving of Kano State, Dr. Rabiu Musa minister of oil. I know we Kwankwaso stressed the need have them. We have oil in to promote the relationship Sokoto and uranium in between his state and Niger Gombe. And so many other Republic. He regretted that despite the things,” he declared. He expressed happiness efforts by the various arms of with people of Niger Republic governments in the two coun-

E

tries, the daily trading activities across the borders had been facing several forms of corrupt practices, intimidation and undue delays at the border posts, which resulted in losses and discouragement of the traders. Kwankwaso lamented the

wave of smuggling of goods across the border of the two countries, which resulted in the flooding of the market with substandard goods and products. He also lamented the lack of awareness among the transborder traders on modern

business techniques like cashless transactions and e-payments despite the existence of ECOWAS bank in both cities. He regretted that till date businessmen in both cities were in the habit of entering into transactions without writ-

ten documents and without notifying the relevant authorities of their respective home governments, saying most of the businesses ended up with losses arising from breach of contract from either of the parties.

Auto crash: Victim’s remains recovered 11 days after

T

he remains of Alhaji Suleiman Jibril, the late deputy manager, finance of the Kaduna Petrochemical Refining Company (KPRC), have been recovered 11 days after he died in an auto crash. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jibril died when the car he was travelling in plunged into a river at Jere Bridge along the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway. The accident occurred on Friday, August 31, at about 8.30 p.m. with three persons, including Jibril, his nephew,

Omeizah and the driver, Dahiru, plunging into Jere River. Dahiru’s body was found two days later, six kilometres from the crash scene. Jibril’s body was found strapped in the vehicle with a seat belt in the passenger’s front seat inside the mangled Toyota Hilux van that was lifted from the bridge by a crane at about 12:15 on Monday. The remains of Jibril’s nephew, Omeizah, is yet to be recovered as he was not found inside the vehicle they were

travelling in. The Public Affairs Manager of KPRC, Alhaji Abdullahi Idris, had said at the scene of the incident that the driver’s body had been taken to Zaria, his hometown, where he was buried. The vehicle was discovered by the combined efforts of experts from Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), professional divers from Warri in Delta and local fishermen from Jere town. Idris said the crane used was reinforced before they were able to get the vehicle

out, adding that the operation was successful as they were able to get the vehicle out with the body. He said the agencies involved in the search and rescue had been urging people living along the bank of the river to be on the lookout for the remaining body. Eyewitnesses said the Hilux van plunged into the river while trying to manoeuvre between two articulated vehicles on the bridge. The remains of Jibril was buried after he was identified by his first son.


DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 7

NEWS Borno appoints new HoS From TIMOTHY OLA, Maiduguri

G

overnor Kashim Shettima has approved the appointment of Yakubu Bukar, a permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice as the new Head of the Civil Service (HoS) for Borno State. Bukar succeeded Alhaji Abba Ashigar, who died last Monday in Maiduguri. A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Communications, Isa Umar Gusau, said Shettima made the appointment in accordance with the powers conferred on him by Section 208, Sub-Sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution. Gusau said the governor appointed Bukar as the new head of service based on his valuable experience as a permanent secretary who had selflessly served in different ministries with flawless integrity. He said the governor urged the new HoS to sustain government’s renewed commitment to the general welfare of civil servants in Borno State. “The governor also tasked the HoS to sustain and enhance cordial working relationship between government and Labour unions using his wealth of experience, human relations and knowledge of relevant laws given his academic background as a Barrister of Law,” Gusau stated. Governor Shettima said he had immense confidence in the HoS and believed he would justify his appointment in due course.

Amosun is out to kill us –Nigerian Compass, Westerner allege By FAITH OMORUYI

T

he Nigerian Compass Newspaper and The Westerner magazine have alleged that Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, is trying to destroy them. In a statement signed by ‘Sina Kawonise, the managing director/editor-in-chief of the publications’ publisher, Western Publishing Company Limited, they alleged that the Ogun State Government was trying to blackmail them when it accused them of a libelous story before the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) and threatened to demolish their building. They further alleged that the state government had earlier caused the withdrawal of the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of the publications’ parent company. “The latest weapon of warfare against the company is the persistent blackmail of the publications on state-owned OGTV and OGBC over the spurious allegations that the publications committed libel against the governor and his administration. “We want to affirm that libel cases are not established and proven on radio and television but in the court of law. We are in possession of letters from the lawyers of the governor and we have since affirmed that we stood by our story. We still stand by the veracity of the reports published. “We are anxiously awaiting both the court summon and the invitation by the NPC, which will afford us the great opportunity to disprove the manipulated documents being paraded to deceive the public,” the statement said. However, it vowed that the papers would continue to edu-

ACN urges Jonathan to call Lamido to order

T

he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has call on President Goodluck Jonathan as leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to prevail on the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, to stop persecuting Alhaji Abubakar Hassan Falata, the state ACN leader. The ACN accused Lamido of over-reaching his democratic powers and conducting himself contrary to constitutional norms by subjecting Falata to indecent and repressive treatment simply because he had the courage to challenge legally the governor’s victory at the election. In a statement issued in Osogbo and signed by the party’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy in the State of Osun, Kunle Oyatomi, the ACN accused the Jigawa government of political persecution of an opponent whose only crime was that he challenged Lamido’s victory in the court of law. “Since June 2011, when this case was heard in court, the ACN leader in Jigawa State had been physically assaulted by PDP thugs, arrested and detained by police for over a week without charge, his wife who works with the state government had been evicted from her official residence and above all, the threat to Alhaji Falata’s life has become a matter of concern for both the ACN and all lovers of peace and democracy in the country. “The ACN is, therefore, compelled by this anti-democratic and primitive conduct of the Jigawa State governor to call on the highest authority in the country and his PDP party to bring Lamido under control.”

•Ikeja forum office of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission during the commissioning by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) at Obafemi Awolowo Way, Alausa, Ikeja yesterday. Inset: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (3rd right) cutting the ribbon during the commissioning. With him are Minister of State for Power, Darius Dickson Ishaku (2nd right), Representative of House Committee Chairman on Electricity, Abike Dabiri (left), CEO Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, O.C. Akamnonu (3rd left), Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Taofiq Tijani (right), Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel and Metallurgy, Phil Tanimu Aduda (2nd left)

$15m Ibori bribe: Court orders IGP to investigate Uba, bizman

A

Magistrate Court, sitting in Wuse Zone 6, Abuja, has ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to conduct a thorough criminal investigation against Senator Andy Uba and businessman, Chibuike Achigbu over allegations surrounding a $15 million bribe. Chief Magistrate Okagu gave the order yesterday. The IGP was further ordered to report back to the court with his findings on September 26. The order followed a direct criminal complaint filed in the court by Mr. Festus Keyamo against the two men accusing them of conspiracy, abetment and bribery in respect of the bribe. Keyamo had already written to the Inspector General of Police forwarding the certified true copy of the court order for his attention and action. In a press statement two weeks ago, Keyamo threat-

ened to go to court if the government did not take appropriate steps to terminate a related case that was in court and properly investigate all the suspects in the matter. The $15 million bribe money was allegedly given

by Chief Ibori, the former Delta State governor, to the then chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, in an effort to circumvent the law. “What kind of country will

Asiodu wants president’s salary pegged at N30m a year From GODWIN TSA, Abuja

F

ormer federal permanent secretary, Chief Philip Asiodu, has advocated a yearly salary of N30 million for President Goodluck Jonathan and future presidents as part of efforts to reduce cost of governance in the country. The elder statesman, who blamed the current economic down turn in the country on greed and bad leardership, further said no state governor should take home more than N25 million a year as salary and allowances.

He spoke at a lecture entitled: Public Service and Transformation Agenda! Redefining the roles of Engagement, organized by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in conjunction with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Abuja. Asiodu, who was the guest lecturer on the award of the Mohammed Lawal Uwais Public Service Award, said it was criminal for a national lawmaker in Nigeria to be going home with as much as N200 million per year in a prevailing poverty situation confronting the nation.

We’re thinking beyond Boko Haram –Ihejirika From AKIN ALOFETEKUN, Minna

C

hief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, has said the Nigerian Army is looking beyond the menace of Boko Haram in its determination to stamp out terrorism and insurgency in the country. Ihejirika stated this in Kontagora, Niger State at the passing out parade of 1, 952 soldiers trained in basic counter terrorism course and counter insurgency as well as the commissioning of the Nigerian Army Training Centre (NATRAC) complex

want to recover exhibits that are the proceeds of crime, without first arresting the culprits, investigating them, tracing the origin of the money, charging them to court and securing conviction?” he asked at that time.

named after him. According to Ihejirika, the test of a nation does not lie in its ability to solve only current problems, but in handling future ones that include armed robbery and other violent crimes. He said soldiers must not relax rather they should always devise means of dealing with both current and future issues of security. Ihejirika enjoined Nigerians to remain steadfast in their support and co-operation with security agencies in the nation’s determination to rid the country of terrorist activities, stressing that the menace of Boko Haram had been dif-

ficult to deal with because it was not a conventional warfare. He said because members of the Boko Haram were living among the people the security operatives were always mindful of the lawabiding citizens so as not to put their lives in danger. The Army helmsman disclosed that some 400 officers and 1, 500 soldiers were to be drafted to the centre to receive similar training in counter terrorism course, while another set of soldiers were to be trained in Sokoto, pointing out that ‘Jaji was too conducive for serious military exercises.

To bring the economy back on the right track, he canvassed that the cost of governance must be drastically reduced at all levels in the interest of the poverty stricken generality of Nigerians. To start off the economic recovery, Asiodu said henceforth, the heads of the National Assembly, judiciary and minister should be placed on maximum salary of N24 million a year. He said this became necessary because Nigerians per capital income was just N300, 000 per year. The technocrat also called for reduction in the number of national and state lawmakers and that their job should be on part time basis. Asiodu, a former presidential aspirant, claimed that the National Assembly members were not facing the hard reality of the country economic crisis with the mouth watering jumbo allowances and salaries being paid to them. He told the gathering, which comprised ministers, senators, traditional rulers and top government functionaries that American president was earning less than N500, 000 per year while the lawmakers in the country were collecting less than N100, 000 and wondered why the Nigerian politics and democracy were made money-consuming ventures.


8 DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NEWS It’s time to diversify Nigeria’s economy, says Uduaghan From EMMANUEL OGOIGBE- Warri

D

elta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, yesterday, charged the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to prevail on the governments of the federation to diversify their sources of revenue. The governor, who gave the charge when the Chairman of RMAFC, Mr. Elias Mbam paid him a courtesy visit said it had become urgent and necessary given the dwindling revenue accruing to the governments. According to him, the sole reliance on oil and gas as the nation’s source of revenue was creating serious funding challenges for states and the Federal Government. He explained that the reduction in the federal allocation this year due to a drop in the benchmark as well as the new tax law, which made workers to pay less tax had complicated the issue of improving revenue generation for the states. He, therefore, charged the commission to sensitise states on diversifying their economies and creating more avenues for generating internal revenue. He called on the commission to sensitise states on how to depend less on federal allocation and device means of increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to be able to carry out infrastructural developmental in their states. His words: “This is the right time to inform other states on how to improve on their IGR and depend less on federal allocation.” Uduaghan thanked the commission for acknowledging the state’s initiative, “Delta Beyond Oil,” explaining that the programme enabled the state to diversify into other sectors of the economy such as agriculture, tourism, transportation, among others. He noted that Delta had a law stating that 50 percent of the state’s derivation would go to the development of oil producing areas saying, “we have formed the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) to ensure that 50 percent of the derivation go to the development of the oil producing areas directly.”

Security expert suggests N150,000 minimum wage for police By OYE OGUNWALE

S

ecurity expert, Chief Ebere Ubani, has suggested a minimum wage of N150,000 for a police constable if Nigeria is to get an ideal police force and stamp out corruption. Ubani said a monthly salary of N25,000 presently being paid to a police constable was too low compared to the risks attached to their daily duties. He pointed out that a minimum wage of N50,000 being recommended for the police by the inspector-general of police was out of tune with the present economic reality of the nation. According to Ubani who is the president-general of Igbospeaking community in Lagos State, called for a total reorganisation of the entire police force to raise its standard and command respect. He said a police constable earning N50,000 per month would be careful to involve himself in corruption. The wage also would attract good candidates into the police force. Speaking to Daily Sun during an interview, Ubani said, “the Nigeria police force today is nothing to write home about. It is faced with many years of decay in infrastructural development and awareness such as poor funding, no good operational equipment and materials, lack of adequate vehicles, communication gadgets such as walkie-talkie, good accommodation, poor salaries and remuneration, no insurance policy,” and many others. Ubani said if a local government councillor was earning about N400,000 per month because he was elected by the people, nothing stopped a police constable to earn N150,000 a month. He explained that the police authorities had a good intention to restructure the police force but lacked the funds to carry it out. He said the categories of policemen suffering in the force were the constables to inspectors who did the main and risky jobs of the police force.

Chief Osita Idaboh Chimezie for burial

T

he death of Chief Osita Idaboh Chimezie, the husband of Apostle Fidel Chimezie, founder of Nigerian Ministers Project (Nimpro) has been announced. He died of cancer of the lungs at LUTH, Idi-Araba, at 61.The Service of Songs and wake keep will hold on

September 18 at 12, Asiri Akofa Street, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos, at 2p.m. His Pastor, Wale Adefarasin of Guiding Light Assembly, Parkview, Ikoyi, will minister the word. He will be buried on September 28 in his hometown, Umuoji in Idemili North, Anambra State.

• L-R: Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Dr Dayo Mobereola, Lagos State Assembly Committee Chairman on Transport, Commerce and Industry, Mr Bisi Yusuf, Vice Chairman, Mr Basir Oloto and member, House of Representatives, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, at a stakeholders’ meeting to announce the planned reconstruction of the Lagos-Ikorodu Road highway.

Man, 22, kills mum over N59,000

From EMMANUEL they had nabbed a man iden- of the state were engaged and consignment and fled to the tified as Bright Simon who subdued by the police bush. ADEYEMI, Lokoja

T

he Kogi State Police Command has said that a 22-year-old Fulani man macheted his mother to death in a bid to prevent her from knowing he stole her N59,000. While conducting newsmen round some vehicles and firearms recovered from men of the underworld in the last two weeks, the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Katsina, narrated how the man, identified as Idris Mohammed committed the heinous crime. According to the commissioner, Mohammed came from Suleja to visit his mother, Uhura Garuba, 40 and met her counting the money. The police boss said he later carted away the money and fled back to Suleja but when his mother threatened to consult a spiritualist to ascertain who the thief was, Mohammed agreed to follow her only to ambush and machete her to death. Katsina also disclosed that

had been sending threat text massages to people that they would bomb the Obajana Cement. He said it was discovered that the threat messages were masterminded by a staffer of the company. Also, three suspected robbers who snatched N400,000 at gunpoint from a woman in Ofu Local Government Area

ambush squad. The money was recovered with three AK47 riffles and a jackknife. Katsina also disclosed that a truckload of substances suspected to be Indian hemp were neatly tucked in 129 parcels and seven bags. He said the driver of the vehicle, along with the passengers, on sighting the police left the vehicle with the

Oyerinde: Court grants Ugolor bail From OLALEKAN BAD- tody by an Oredo Chief MOS, Benin Magistrate Court on August 31, by Chief Magistrate enin City High Court Francis Idiake alongside nine (Criminal Division 1), others accused of killing presided over by Justice Olaitan. Philip Imoedemhe, yesterday The Summons to Admit to granted bail to Rev. David bail sought by Olayiwola Ugolor who was detained for Afolabi, counsel to the alleged complicity in the accused, had relied on murder of Olaitan Oyerinde, Section 118(2) of the principal private secretary of Criminal Procedure Law, Governor Adams CAP. 49, Vol. 11, Laws of Oshiomhole. former Bendel State of The environmental rights Nigeria, now applicable to activist was earlier arraigned Edo State. and remanded in prison cusLeading two other lawyers,

B

NDLEA discovers drugs in carpets By UCHE USIM

O

peratives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) last week, aborted plans by a drug syndicate to smuggle 24.5kg of heroin concealed inside carpets into the country. The consignment was described in the airway bill as Pakistani hand-knotted new woolen carpets originated from Lahore, Pakistan. It left Karachi Airport in an Emirate flight as unaccompanied cargo and taken to Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Shed at the Murtala Mohammed

Similarly, the police boss said some robbers who snatched an exotic car from a woman in Gwagwalada with some money and apparels were arrested in Kogi while transitting to Anambra State. Items recovered include six vehicles, three Ak47 riffles, three locally made pistols, assorted handsets, among others.

International Airport (MMIA), Lagos. The estimated value of the drug was N294 million. It was the first discovery of drug inside carpets in the country. NDLEA Airport Commander, Mr. Hamza Umar, said the consignment was examined by the agency when it was abandoned by the importers. “The suspicious cargo was monitored by undercover operatives for a week after it arrived. We decided to conduct the search when nobody came to claim it. In all, there were 12 pieces of carpets but only six contained heroin. “The heroin was packaged

in tiny bits inside plastic hollow treads and weaved in a way that makes it difficult to detect unless it is unfastened,” Hamza explained. He also added that the information on the airway bill was found to be incorrect by investigators. Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, who described the seizure as breathtaking promised to unveil the importers. “The drug syndicate did their best concealing the drug but it was not good enough to go undetected. If drug barons will not lack concealment methods, we will not also be tired in detecting narcotics.

Afolabi argued that the evidences advanced before the court by the respondent (police) were not enough to hold Ugolor, adding that the Department of State Security Service (SSS) had established a case of conspiracy and robbery. Counsel to the state, Mrs. Adekumbi, however, opposed the bail application, saying the police were yet to complete their investigation on the murder case in which Ugolor was fingered. Having listened to arguments of both parties, Justice Imoedemhe held that police argument lacked sufficient evidence, stressing that the statement of the first accused, Garuba Usman Maisameri wherein Ugolor’s name was mentioned, which were part of the evidence adduced by the respondent, were not enough reasons to keep the accused person in perpetual detention. He, therefore, granted the accused bail in the sum of N1 million and a surety with landed property in Benin City. Reacting to the ruling, Kola Edokpoyi, a member of Coalition of Civil Society Groups, described the judiciary as truly the last hope for the common man.


DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 9

NEWS Expert bemoans Nigeria’s failing healthcare system From OLALEKAN BADMOS, Benin

T

he National President of Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), Dr Godswill Okara, has bemoaned the downturn of the Nigeria’s health services in the last few years. Okara who spoke in Benin yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 48th Annual Scientific Conference/AGM of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN), said the nation had continued to search for solutions to the declining health services and the worsening health maternal and infant mortality rates, and the growing number of patients seeking medical attention abroad. Quoting from the 2011 Mo Ibrahim African Governance Index, he said Nigeria’s health care system now ranks 51 out of 53 countries in Africa, as against in the 60s and 70s, when Nigeria was ranked 4th in the commonwealth. He also disclosed that ‘a recent study revealed that over 20 percent of foreign patients seeking medical attention in India were from Nigeria.’ He said the workshop would provide the platform to proffer solutions to the problems of the health care, adding that ‘the Medical Laboratory remains the key to the cure as in the motto of the International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Science Treatment without diagnosis is a waste of resources.’ Earlier, the Registrar/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MLSCN, Professor Anthony Eberibe, said the Council had vowed to declare war to rid the profession of quacks. Eberibe said the Council, more than ever before had resolved to rid the profession and the country of these few elements who had given the profession a bad name.

Airtel, Buyright partner to halt students’ poor results in exams

P

oor performances by students in JS3 and SS3 in examination across the country would soon be a thing of the past following the intervention of leading telecoms service provider, Airtel Nigeria and a new technology distribution company, Buyright Africa Dotcom, to unveil a winning formula for students’ success tagged the “Airtel Zinox Whizkid2 bundle offer’’. The Zinox Whizkid2 which, has consistently produced 91% success average in the past two years, comes standard with Windows 7 Starter, is embedded with an Airtel SIM card bundled with free 500MB of thee months data plan and over 100,000 simulated exam questions and answers for JAMB, WAEC, NECO, and Post UME examinations. The Whizkid2 also has a Zinox Card - a web based eknowledge tool that empowers users with the world’s largest e-library service complete with over 2 million e-books downloadable in any PC. In addition, the Whizkid2 is stuffed with knowledge icons like Encarta Premium 2009 including Encarta Kid and Encarta Dictionaries; Skool Nigeria – interactive learning and teaching resources – a collaboration between Intel and Zinox; and Explore Nigeria - highly interactive learning resources with cutting edge technology endorsed by the Federal Government. Speaking on the partnership, the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Airtel Nigeria, Deepak Srivastava said the joint intervention is in sync with Airtel’s drive for knowledge empowerment for the youth through the provision of affordable and quality education.

Workers oppose Lagos govt’s planned rationalization of tertiary institutions

•L-R: Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Saka Onimago, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold and Commissioner for Finance, Mr Ademola Banu, at the foundation laying of International Vocational Centre at Ajasse-Ipo in Kwara State yesterday.

Obama’s convention: ACN blasts PDP over comment on Tinubu T he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), has described the ongoing smear campaign and reaction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s attendance of the Democratic Convention in USA, as symptomatic of an indolent, frightened and seemingly intimidated government suffering from misplaced priorities and whose past time is peddling rumours, half truths and disinformation. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said if anyone was guilty of mischief, falsehood and deliberate attempt at disinformation on this matter it is the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government. According to the party, in the first instance at no time during this entire needless controversy did the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) issue a statement concerning

By GABRIEL DIKE and Ebere Egekwu

P

urported plans by the Lagos State Government to carry out rationalization exercise in the four state-owned tertiary institutions has hit the brickwall as the staff unions kick against the proposal. Opposition to the impending exercise was revealed after a meeting of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) made up of representatives from the Lagos State University (LASU), Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED). In a communiqué signed by the chairmen of the staff unions of the institutions, they frowned at the proposed rationalization warning that the exercise would lead to loss of jobs of their members. Rather than embark on rationalization exercise, JAC urged the state government, as a mater of urgency, release intervention funds to the four tertiary institutions to avert a collapse of the educational sector in the state. “Lagos State Government should be prompt in releasing subvention meant for salaries of workers in the state-owned tertiary institutions, whereby salaries are paid late is not acceptable,” JAC warned.

Tinubu’s attendance of or invitation to the Democratic National Convention and we challenge the PDP propagandists-in chief to produce evidence to the contrary. Rather, the party explained it was the Tinubu Media Office that issued an unambiguous selfexplanatory statement excerpts of which we reproduce below unedited for the benefit of all Nigerians. “Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria will from Monday join the American President, leaders of the Democratic Party and thousands of party members and donors to attend a three-

day National Convention of the Party in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Tinubu who was invited to the Democratic Convention in his right as the leader of the opposition and an influential figure in Nigeria will be at the ringside as the Democratic Party conducts activities that will culminate in the nomination of President Obama, as its candidate for the November 2012 Presidential Elections in the USA. “Tinubu received a gold card which is prime and with this, he will be joined by three other eminent personalities Governor Kayode Fayemi, Mr. Dele Alake and Lagos

JTF bursts another Boko Haram arms cache

From TIMOTHY Maiduguri

OLA, the remote Waka Biu community in Biu Local Government Area, south of he Joint Task Force Borno. JTF, through a statement (JTF) in Borno State said it arrested some signed by its spokesperson, Boko Haram commanders Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, disand burst their arms cache at closed that the task force acted on information given to

T

We don’t need N5,000 note –David-West By AKEEB ALARAPE

F

ormer minister of Petroleum Resources, Prof. Tam David-West has said that the N5,000 currency note to be introduced by the Central Bank is not a necessity to Nigerians. Reacting to the controversy generated by the suggestion, the renowned Professor of Virology said Nigerians do not need the note. Rather, he advised that the money that would be used in printing the new note should be channeled into paying the minimum wage. “To me, it is not a priority

Speaker, Ikuforiji. “Where except in the jaundiced mind of the PDP can anyone infer from this statement that Bola Tinubu claimed that he was personally invited by President Barrack Obama or that Obama signed gold card for him as being sales sly peddled by the PDP and agents of the Federal Government. “Is it not clear now to all people of goodwill that the PDP and the Federal Government twisted this innocuous statement to serve the agenda of persons who at all cost want to smear Tinubu and the Action Congress of Nigeria, the party asked.”

but a very negative and nonsensical suggestion. Sanusi (CBN governor) is a brilliant man. His brilliance should go to better things than this one. N5, 000 notes? If you lose one you are finished. Five thousand naira is somebody’s salary for a month. “Do we need it? We don’t need it. We are going to spend millions to print it. Why don’t we use those millions to pay the minimum wage? It is not a necessity,” he stated. The former minister, who decried the high cost of living in the country, said the existence of N5, 000 note would only aid fraudsters and

money-launderers in their nefarious activities. “It’s madness. If you go to Britain, the highest amount you can get from the banks is 50 pounds. If you need 1000 pounds note, you have to apply specially for it. “I used to support Sanusi, especially when he had this controversy over the Islamic banking, but he had done a number of things that made me uncomfortable. “Why do we need N5, 000 notes? It would only make it easier for fraudsters and money launderers to carry money,” he added.

it and conducted a raid at Waka Biu, a hilly settlement near Biu, headquarters of Biu Local Government Area, south of Borno on Monday and arrested some suspected leaders of the sect with huge arms and ammunition, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and bomb, making equipment. The items recovered from the arms cache, according to Musa were seven AK47 rifles, one sub-machine gun, 1568 rounds of ammunition (various types), 12 empty shells, 19 IEDs, five riot tear gas, four tear-gas canisters, two handcuffs and two cameras. Others included one binocular, one police helmet, a pair of combat boots, one Yoshita empty tank, one driller machine, 36 primed IEDs and three metal cutting machines. The JTF assured the people that it was committed to ensuring law and order as well as the security of the people.


10 DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

SOUTH SOUTH Akpabio advocates Dubai model to attract investors

G

overnor Godswill Akpabio has advocated the adoption of the Dubai model to attract foreign investors to help in the development of the country. Akpabio, while answering questions from Government House reporters at the Government Lodge, Uyo on his return from a two-day advocacy workshop on Economic Diversification and Enhanced Revenue Generation for the South-South Region organized by Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in Asaba, Delta State Capital, stated that this was the model adopted by Akwa Ibom State. He explained: “Provide infrastructure and investors would come in. In a population of less than two million in United Arab Emirates and Dubai has a population of less than 400,000, the people provided infrastructure and today, they have more than 400 million visitors and tourism is at its peak. They have one of the longest shoreline of shopping mall of about 60 kilometres. That is Dubai without crude oil, yet they use oil money to do that. “That is what Akwa Ibom is looking at. Akwa Ibom State looks at a situation where we can build the infrastructure, do more road networks, connect all the local government areas, do all the drainages, complete Tropicana Entertainment Centre, build classical hotels with another international airport and deep seaport in Ibaka at the best location and allow large ocean liners to come. When we prepare all these infrastructure, the investment will come and job opportunities will be created,” the governor reasoned.

A’Ibom govt steps in to salvage NDDC poorly handled road From JOE EFFIONG, Uyo

T

he Akwa Ibom State Government has agreed to partner the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) on the dualisation of the Eket-Ibeno Road within the shortest time possible. Governor Godswill Akpabio, a few months ago, expressed his disappointment over the poor quality and slow pace of work on the said road and asked the contractors to own up if they could not handle the road so that it could be awarded to another contractor. The Eket-Ibeno Road is the only access road by to the ExxonMobil facilities, including its operational headquarters called Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) at Ibeno but it had been in a deplorable state for many years even after contract for its construction had since been awarded. But the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Nsima Ekere, during the send-off ceremony for the former executive director and general manager, Public and Governmental Affairs of Mobil Producing Nigeria, Mrs. Gloria Essien-Danner, in Uyo on Saturday, recalled how Akpabio had indicated the state government’s willingness to partner on the project during a tripartite meeting with the NDDC and MPN at Qua Iboe Terminal, Ibeno, a few months ago. He said the state government wanted the expansion of the scope of the NDDC contract from a single lane road to a dual carriageway and was ready to send in consultants and bear part of the cost, if necessary. Ekere congratulated Mrs. Essien-Danner on successfully completing a meritorious and colourful career and urged the people of the state to cultivate the habit of celebrating the very best among them instead of pulling such persons down. He stated that Mrs. Essien-Danner and Mr. Udom Inoyo had blazed the trail for Akwa Ibom by rising to the positions of executive directors. “They wiped away the tears of Akwa Ibom people. Before, it was very difficult to get Akwa Ibom engineers employed in Mobil not to talk of executive directors. The excuse was that Akwa Ibom did not have qualified persons. Today, I make bold to say that Akwa Ibom can boast of the very best professionals all over.”

Akinyemi to address Ayo Oritsejafor lecture By VERA WISDOM-BASSEY

A

s part of a triple jubilee and commitment to the Nigerian Project, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s Word of Life Bible Church has concluded plans to host a lecture in the Warri, Delta State to fashion out ways of sustaining the Nigerian nation of the founding fathers’ dreams. The lecture scheduled for Tuesday, November 13, would be delivered by former Foreign Affairs minister, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi who is expected to speak on: “The Nigeria of our dreams: Towards the consolidation of the national unity.” A Press statement issued by the martriach Pastor (Mrs.) Helen Oritsejafor said the occasion is expected to coincide with this year’s Jubilee Word Festival and would mark the triple celebration of the CAN president’s birthday, his 40 years in the ministry and the 30th anniversary of the church.

•Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke in a chat with Chairman, Anti-Deforestation Task Force in the state, Mr. Peter Jerkins (middle) flanked by other members of the team when he visited the Drill Banch conservation centre in Calabar.

5 principals demoted in Delta for misconduct

F

ive principals of public secondary schools in Delta State were yesterday demoted to classroom teachers for professional misconduct and negligence of duty. Professor Patrick Muoboghare, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, disclosed this in Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta during a meeting with principals of public secondary schools. Muoboghare accused two of the principals of ignoring the directive of the ministry by leaving their base and travelling to Minna, to enroll their students for the NECO examination. He warned that the ministry would no longer fold its arms and allow officials entrusted with responsibilities to behave as if there were no laws and order. The commissioner said that the two principals in St Pius X Grammar School, Onicha-Ugbo in Delta were

demoted because they could not explain the whereabouts of a 25 KVA generating set installed in the school. He said the principal of Mein Grammar School, Kiagbodo could not explain how 40 pieces of computer sets in the school were stolen. Muoboghare warned that the ministry would deal decisively with any principal found wanting in the discharge of his or her duties. He advised principals of

state-owned schools not to admit more than 40 students in JSS 1 in the new academic session, adding that exception to the directive must come from his office. He also directed that only those, who passed the cognitive placement examination, should be admitted; adding that only approved levies should be collected. Responding on behalf of the principals, the first Vice President, All Nigeria

JTF seals off fuel station in Port Harcourt …Destroys bunkerer’s tanker From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt

T

he Joint Military Task Force, JTF, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield, on Monday, sealed a petrol station, NENCO Oil, located along Eleme Road near Port Harcourt, Rivers State. It also burnt a fuel tanker with registration number Ebonyi XP 689 AKL, sus-

pected to be carrying illegally refined Automated Gasoline Oil, (AGO). There were indications from a JTF source that in a matter of days, the fuel station would be demolished alongside eight mini buses used in the illegal business. Taking journalists to the back of the station where the owners were producing the products, spokesman of the 2 Amphibious Brigade, Nigeria

Fear grips Bayelsa LG workers over plans to downsize workforce

F

ear has gripped workers of the eight local government councils over purported plans by the Bayelsa State Government to downsize the workforce. The administration of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson-led administration in Bayelsa State has declared its intention to carry out reforms in the councils in what it labeled “rightsizing of staff for effective service delivery.” Recently five local council chairmen were sacked over allegations bordering on financial irregularities and total collapse of the local government administration as funds meant for development were alleged-

Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) Mr. Edafe Udoma-Edoka, urged the government to look into the issue of promotion of its members. He also called for an upward review of the boarding fees for students in the state Model Secondary Schools, as the present amount was not enough to feed the students.

ly being shared among few officials. Based on the revelations of anomalies at the councils, the state government had set up eight verification teams headed by eminent Bayelsans to probe activities at the councils. In a meeting held at the Government House, which had in attendance the state deputy governor, Rear Admiral John Gboribiogha Jonah, the chairman of Association of local Government of Nigeria, Chief Ebikitin Doingoli and leaders of the various verification teams for the local government councils which includes Claudius Enegesi (Ogbia), Inatimi Rufus Spiff (Brass),

Mr. Douye Diri (Kolokuma/Opokuma), John Brambaifa (Sagbama) and Dr. Timiebi Okara (Yenagoa), the state government said there was no going back on its plans to sanitize the councils. Jonan who presided over the meeting while observing that most of the councils could operate with workers less than half of the present workforce, stressed that steps would be taken to reposition the councils and make them more accountable to the people. He lamented a situation whereby council chairmen borrow money to augment their over-bloated wage bills and expenditure.

Army, Bori Camp, Major Michael Etete, described the act as economic sabotage. Etete said that men of the JTF, on Sunday, arrested the suspects at about 5:30 p.m. at the premises with full tanker load of products suspected to be AGO. “Operation Pulo Shield on Sunday arrested a group of notorious oil bunkerers at about 17:30hrs. The tanker was carrying illegally produced AGO. We are going to destroy the tanker and the station.” Responding to questions from journalists, on why the station should be demolished, he said JTF had confirmed details of the illegal oil bunkering existing there. He appealed to members of the public to assist the outfit in fighting criminal activities in the society. The JTF also paraded two suspects, the driver of the truck and a vulcanizer. On interrogation, the driver, Bernard Eze, denied that he was the driver of the truck, saying that it was handed over to him by a fellow driver named Nnamdi. He said Nnamdi told him that he had a wedding to attend on Saturday.


DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 11

SOUTH EAST FRSC convicts 510 offenders in Anambra, flags off ember months campaign By DAVID ONWUCHEKWA, Nnewi

F

ederal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nnewi Unit command, Anambra State yesterday flagged off a one-week public enlightenment campaign against road crashes and deaths during the ember months. The event, which attracted the Zonal Commander RS5, Benin, Edo State, who was represented by Commander Segun Akinyemi, Acting Sector Commander, Anambra, Awka Sector Command, Stanly Chinedu, Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, Nnewi branch, Murphey Okeke, among other officers drawn from Awka and Nnewi witnessed road show that caused traffic jam within the industrial community for hours. Chinedu said the exercise was to educate and enlighten the road users on the danger of reckless driving with emphasis on the ember months, which he said more road traffic crashes and deaths were recorded. He noted that it was the period most people got drunk because of the festivities. “You should drive to stay alive and not to end up in mortuary or hospital. There is no spirit behind the ember months. It is our attitudes because many people get drunk even on steering or while riding motorcycles, which impaired their judgment about traffic rules and regulations. He said the commission had made a considerable effort to reduce road carnage in 2012 through visiting churches, schools and re-orientation of road users. He attributed most carnage to over speeding, making calls while driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and other attitudes against traffic rules. According to his comparative analysis of road traffic crashes for the first half of 2012 in Anambra, there were a total of 122 road traffic crashes as against 268 cases within the same period under review in 2011, which he said was a 54.48 per cent reduction. Between January and June this year, 9, 448, he said, were caught with 9, 991 offences, 527 prosecuted, 527 vehicles impounded and 510 offenders convicted. While commending the FRSC in its effort to reduce road carnage in Nnewi and its environs, Chairman of NBA, Nnewi, Okeke appealed to Anambra State Government to construct more roads in Nnewi which he said had become a busy town because of the industrial cluster and commercial activities to help reduce road accidents.

Lawyer drags Orji, 3 others to court over CJ’s appointment From OKEY SAMPSON, Aba

A

n Aba-based lawyer, Columbus Ukpabio, has dragged the Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji and three others to court over the appointment of a substantive chief judge for the state. Others joined in the suit instituted in Umuahia, the state capital included the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kalu Umeh; the Speaker, state House of Assembly, Ude Okochukwu and the Acting Chief Judge, Justice S. O. E. Nwanosike. In his originating summons brought before the vacation Judge, Justice Ogechukwu Okeahialam, Ukpabio who represented himself wanted the court to determine whether the three months duration of the tenure of an acting chief judge of a state when the office was vacant as envisaged under Section 271(4) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended in 2011 included the re-appointment of a person whose appointment had lapsed. In a 33-paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons, Ukpabio averred that since December 2010 when the former chief judge of the state retired, no substantive chief judge had been appointed for the state till now, a development he said was not in the interest of the judiciary in the state. He equally averred that by the provisions of Section 271 (5) of the constitution, the re-appointment of an acting chief judge for a state in pursuant to sub-section (4) shall cease to have effect after the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment. His affidavit reads in part: “That the 2nd defendant (the governor) has turned the judicial system in Abia State to the game of sport, particularly hand ball, where a judge acts for three months as acting chief judge and throws the ball to another judge for another three months and this trend is ongoing since December 2010 when the then chief judge was retired from service. “That the 2nd defendant is not ready to appoint a substantive chief judge for the state as he has always found favour in running institutions in the state including the judiciary with transitional committees/caretakers/acting chief judges. “That I know as a fact that with this present method adopted by the 2nd defendant, the independence of the judiciary is not guaranteed in the state as prescribed by the constitution.” Ukpabio was, therefore, seeking a mandatory order for the

• Demolition of illegal structures by the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority (ECTDA) at Ogbete market in Enugu yesterday. Photo: NAN

5 robbery suspects paraded naked in Onitsha The five suspects were intervention of the policemen From EMMANUEL UZOR, paraded naked at the Ochanja from CPS saved the suspects Onitsha Roundabout to the admiration who were immediately uck ran out on a five- of passersby including whisked away in a police man armed robbery gang women and children who patrol vehicle to the police that specialized in van- trooped out to watch the sus- station where they made condalizing Power Holding pects before the arrival of the fessional statements. The DPO, Mr. Yusuf said Company of Nigeria (PHCN) policemen from CPS, Onitsha and NITEL installations in led by the Divisional Police the gang had been on the the commercial city of Officer (DPO), Mr. Abdul wanted list of the police in connection with similar Onitsha as a team of local Yusuf. Meanwhile, the prompt crimes, adding that they spevigilance group arrested and paraded them naked yesterday. Daily Sun gathered that the five-man gang had been on the wanted list of the police From OKEY SAMPSON, attention to the deplorable condition of Aba roads and and other security agencies Aba put together by the activist’s for crimes ranging from vancombined team of NGO, Save Aba Group dalizing PHCN, NITEL and policemen, civil (SAG), was to be held on other telecommunication defence personnel and September 24, in the cominstallations within and other security agents yester- mercial city. across Onitsha. However, at about 9.00 However, the suspected day stormed St. Micheal’s armed robbers, after they suc- Road, Aba, the commercial a.m, as Ogbonna, who is also cessfully vandalized NITEL hub of Abia State and arrested a publisher of a local newspacables behind Toronto a social critic and activist, St. per was putting finishing Hospital, Upper Iweka, Moses Ogbonna over what touches to the letters he Onitsha were given a hot was said to be his involve- would send out for the rally, chase by policemen attached ment in a planned rally enti- over 20 policemen, civil defence personnel and other to the Central Police Station, tled, “Weep for Aba.” The rally meant to draw unidentified security men CPS Onitsha and later interreportedly led by Rabiu Dayi, cepted by local vigilance group in their hideout. The leader of the local vigilance group, who pleaded anonymity while parading the suspects naked at Ochanja Roundabout in the From VAL OKARA, Owerri commercial city of Onitsha, said the suspects were arrestmo State Police Command has dismissed a text message ed in their hideout after they circulating that a set of kidnappers had invaded Owerri, the escaped from police arrest. state capital. “They went and vandalIn a press statement by the command’s Public Relations ized NITEL cable at Upper Officer (PPRO), Mr. Vitalis Onugu, urged the public to disIweka and when they sighted countenance the text message purported to have been issued police patrol van from CPS, from the office of the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Baba Onitsha, they took to their Adisa Bolanta. heels and thought they had The text message reads: “Owerri is currently on ‘red flag’ escaped but fortunately, we as regards the deplorable security situation. Present were patrolling the area and Commissioner of Police said citizens should totally avoid immediately swooped on lonely places, driving on exotic/flashy cars especially jeeps. A them and arrested them. They group of 16 kidnapping gangs are now in Imo State. Police are have confessed to being battling to track them down but no success yet.” responsible for other act of Onugu said detectives from the intelligence unit of the comvandalism in the commercial mand had been dispatched to investigate the source of the false city,” he said. text message.

L

cialized in vandalizing telecommunication installations within and across Onitsha. He said the suspects confessed to the crime, assuring that they would soon be charged to court while appealing to residents of the state to give security agencies information about different crimes in their localities.

Police arrest ‘Weep for Aba’ rally organiser

A

Police to investigate source of false text message in Imo

I

the Aba area commander, accompanied by the Transition Committee Chairman, Aba South Local Government Area, Emeka Nwogu, invaded his office and arrested him. Before Ogbonna was taken away, the security operatives were said to have ransacked his office at No. 49, St. Michael’s Road and took away laptops and other office materials. Ogbonna was reportedly taken to the Aba area command’s office first before he was later transferred to the State Criminal and Investigation Department (SCID), Umuahia. A close aide of the arrested social critic told Daily Sun that some time last week, his boss was invited by officials of the State Security Service (SSS) on the same issue and that after explaining the reason for the rally to them and how it was being planned to be non-violent, he was allowed to go. He expressed surprise at the arrest of his boss, saying it amounted to cowing persons who had chosen to speak for the majority who were suffering and dying in silence.


12 DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

SOUTH WEST Oyo NURTW: I remain authentic chairman –Tokyo From GBENGA ADESUYI, Ibadan

F

ormer chairman of Oyo State council of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Lateef Akinsola (aka Tokyo), has said he remained the authentic chairman of the state transport union. Tokyo said this was in spite of alleged insincerity of the state Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Mr. Bayo Ojo. He accused Ojo of being economical with the truth, saying he had not allowed Governor Abiola Ajimobi to know the truth about the case. Tokyo, reacting to the petition written by the attorney general against his reinstatement as chairman of the union, showed a copy of the recent judgment by a Federal High Court in the state, which dismissed the case filed by the governor of the state and the state commissioner of police against the judgment delivered on July 12 in his favour. He said he decided to be quiet because he did not want violence but chose to go to court instead. He stated further that he had on several occasions turned down the request of his followers to occupy the motor parks in the state by force. According to him, the three months given to the caretaker Chairman of NURTW, Taofeek Oyerinde (aka Fele), had expired, noting that he remained the authentic chairman of the union going by the judgment of the court.

My administration is women friendly – Ajimobi

G

overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State yesterday lauded the Nigerian women for impacting positively on the socio-political and economic development of the country, stating that his administration was women-friendly. The governor, who spoke while receiving the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina, who paid him a courtesy call in his office, also expressed his administration’s commitment to women empowerment in the state. According to him, women could not be wished away in the scheme of things in Nigeria, saying they had contributed, in no small way, to national development in virtually all aspects of human endeavour. Governor Ajimobi also acknowledged the contributions of women political office holders to the successes so far recorded by his administration. “I like to state that our women political office holders were not just appointed to fulfill the 35 per cent affirmation or to just add to the numbers. Rather, they were brought on board because they were well qualified. And I want to say that they have not disappointed us as they have contributed significantly to the successes so far recorded by our administration,’’ he remarked. The governor said his administration would continue to empowerment women in the state so that they too could contribute their own quota to the development of the state economy and that of the country. He said his administration’s restoration, transformation and repositioning agenda was borne out of the need to bring out the state from the ruins of the past and reposition it for further development in the areas of education, health, environment, infrastructure and wealth creation.

We won’t borrow to pay salaries –Amosun

O

gun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has said his administration will not resort to borrowing to clear the arrears of salaries owed by the previous adminis-

tration. The governor disclosed this yesterday in Abeokuta when he addressed the non-academic staff of Tai Solarin College of Education, Omu, who came to protest the non-payment of 10 months of salaries by the past administration between 2009 and 2010, non-inauguration of the governing council of the institution and non-implementation of the new minimum wage. Speaking through the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, Governor Amosun lamented the plight of the workers and promised to pay the arrears of salaries when the finances of the state improved. He, however, said a responsible government should borrow to execute capital projects rather than recurrent expenditure. “So many workers from virtually all the sectors were owed by the previous government and we have begun piecemeal payment of those arrears. Even a worse case was the pensioners who were owed for 29 months. But we have started paying these people within the limit of the resources available to us,” Amosun said. The governor reminded the protesters of the debilitating debt profile inherited by his administration but promised to do everything possible to clear the backlog of salaries.

•Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (right) welcoming the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina (left) who was on a courtesy visit to him in his office yesterday. With them is the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Community Development, Poverty Alleviation and Social Welfare, Mrs. Atinuke Oshunkoya. Photo: OYO STATE GOVERNMENT HOUSE.

VC escapes attack by striking workers T here was bedlam on Monday afternoon, at the vice chancellor’s office complex at the Adekunle Ajasin University, AkungbaAkoko, in Ondo State, as striking non-academic held the Vice Chancellor (VC), Prof. Olufemi Mimiko and his management team hostage for hours. The incident later degenerated rapidly as the workers, who massed around the imposing structure singing solidarity songs, hauled stones and other dangerous articles at the building where Prof. Mimiko and his management team had just ended a meeting with leaders of the striking unions over payment of arrears of hazard allowance as captured in the Federal Government and unions agreement of 2009. Attempts by the VC to exit the premises after the meeting was delayed for several hours as the workers, led by Messrs Ayo Falade (JAC-3), Akingbesote (SSANU), Giwa (NASU) and Aguda (NAAT) virtually held him hostage as war songs rented the air. The VC’s exit was ultimately facilitated by some top offi-

cials of the Department of State Security Services (DSSS), who, reportedly, had been around all day to discourage the striking workers from taking any action that could impair the delicate peace in the state less than 60 days to the gubernatorial election. Two of the security officials were also rough-handled. Labour Party had a few days ago in a press statement accused opposition parties of planning to disrupt the peace of the campus with a view to giving the impression that the state was not being properly governed. An aide to the VC, who

insisted on speaking only on condition of anonymity after the VC had been spirited out of the complex, decried the development, which he said was unfair. His words: “It was a horrible experience and to think that some workers could go to this extent to pursue arrears of a package that more than 90 per cent of universities in this country have not even started implementing at all is quite unfortunate. I just thank God for the presence of the state security people. The situation would have degenerated. Indeed, anything could have

3 Ogun lawmakers dump PDP for ACN From MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta

T

he intra-crisis within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State continued to claim casualties, as three members of the party in the state House of Assembly dumped the party for the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The members are Babatunde Egunjobi, Harrison Adeyemi and Sola Sonbuga

who represent Ogun Waterside, Egbado South and Ikenne state constituencies respectively. While dumping their former party, the lawmakers said they were forced to take the action because of the inability of the leadership of the party at the national level to settle the intractable crisis within the party since 2008. It would be recalled that PDP in the state had been polarized into major groups

Court remands woman for encouraging teenage sex contrary to Section 222a (1), From BAMIGBOLA GBO- and Idi Ileke (16). She was alleged to have 226 (1) and 86 (1) of the LAGUNTE, Osogbo

A

n Osogbo Magistrate Ccourt presided over by Mr. Olusola Aluko yesterday ordered a 50-yearold woman, Yemisi Olalekan, to be remanded in prison custody for allegedly encouraging the seduction of two underage children for prostitution. Mrs Olalekan was arraigned on a four-count charge of seduction, unlawful detention, exploitation and threat to lives of two children identified as Omogbe (14)

happened.” All attempts to get the VC to make a statement proved abortive. He was, however, seen giving instructions to his security aides as he was driven past the mob. In his earlier address to the striking workers, the JAC-3 Chairman, Ayo Falade, had indicated that his members would leave no stone unturned to collect the arrears, noting that contrary to the claim by the university management, his union, SSANU, had the approval of its national executive to embark on the threeday protest.

encouraged the seduction of the two children by allowing different men to have unlawful carnal knowledge of them and detaining them by using rope to tie them so that various men could have carnal knowledge of them. The accused woman was alleged to have committed the offence at Ade Compound, Ipetumodu in Ife North Local Government Area of the state. According to the police prosecutor, Isiaka Ajadi, an inspector, the offences were

criminal code cap 34, volume 2 of the laws of Osun State and Section 28 (a) of Osun State Child’s Right Law 2007. The accused, who was not represented by any counsel, pleaded not guilty to the fourcount charge and prayed the court for leniency. Delivering his ruling, the presiding magistrate ordered the accused person to be remanded in Ilesa prison custody and adjourned the case till October 18 for mention.

with former president Olusegun Obasanjo, former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and Prince Buruji Kashamu leading groups. In their different letters to the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Suraj Ishola, the defectors expressed lack of confidence in the PDP and instead preferred to working with the ruling party. Welcoming the new ACN members, the state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun described the defection as historic. According to him: “History has been made today. The legislators have heeded the call of members of their constituencies. The people and the lawmakers have seen our good work and have decided to join us in order to increase the pace of socio-economic development of the state. This is democracy at work, as the will of the people have prevailed.” While decrying what he described as campaign of calumny by a section of the opposition, he welcomed the critical voice of the opposition, which he said must be constructive for the progress of the state as well as good for democracy.


DAILY SUN Wednesday, September12, 2012, 13

AREWA Doctors’ exodus hits Kano govt hospitals –NMA From DESMOND MGBOH, Kano

N

igeria Medical Association (NMA), Kano State branch, has warned of an imminent collapse of the infrastructure in the state’s health sector, saying no fewer than 100 doctors had left the service of the state from January to date. Speaking during a press conference held in the state capital, the Chairman of the association, Dr. Shehi Ali Abubakar alleged that there was a systematic decay in the available facilities, tools and equipment necessary to attend to patients, especially in emergency situations in all the state-owned hospitals. Flanked by the members of his executive, he regretted that the situation had led to the influx of patients to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, a tertiary facility, which should be concerned with research. He lamented that no less than 65 doctors working at the Murtala Mohammed Specialists Hospital, Kano, had left the service for other offers, while estimating that less than 40 doctors would be remaining in the service of the hospital by the end of the year, if the trend was not checked. He recalled that only recently a whole pediatric ward of the hospital was closed down due to manpower challenges and added that another ward in the same hospital might soon be closed down for the same problem. The association’s chairman linked the manpower challenges to the failure of the state to fully implement CONMESS, despite being the first state in the region to commence it. The doctors warned that there was a general lack of morale among their members in the state hospitals and urged the state government to immediately commence talks with them. The doctors urged well-meaning members of the society, especially those who had prevailed on them to suspend their industrial action last year, to intervene and persuade the government to commence the full implementation of CONMESS.

Nasarawa revokes firm’s C of O over N7.2m ground rents •We’re not owing a kobo –Firm

N

asarawa State Government has made the first revocation of land owned by HAR Petroleum Service Limited in Karu, along Abuja-Keffi Road following the firm’s default in payment of ground rents since 2001 when the titles were issued. The land is 41 hectares, located behind Karu International Market. The letter of revocation by Governor Tanko Al-Makura was sent to the firm on September 6, after the expiration of the onemonth grace given them to clear up their outstanding charges of N7.2 million accumulated over the period of nine years. The decision to revoke the land titles including Certificate of Occupancy and Right of Occupancy was approved by the State Executive Council (SEC), in its last meeting, according to the Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Town Planning, Mr. Sonny Agassi, who gave the file number of the titles being revoked as NS7549. The commissioner said the revocation was carried out in compliance with the provisions of Section 10(b) of the Land Use Act, CAP 2002 Laws of the Federation, 1990, which spelt out the conditions for holding a C of O and R of O, just as he said the governor used his powers to approve the revocation under Section 28(5) and (6) of the Land Use Act, CAP 2002 Laws of the Federation, 1990. HAR Petroleum Service Limited was issued the land titles on July 10, 2001 by the then governor, Abdullahi Adamu. “The SEC approved of this decision. Their (firm’s) C of O now stands revoked by that decision. We are using this one example to send a clear message to property owners that we are no longer ready to tolerate evasion. We sent demand notices, not once, to HAR Petroleum Resources Limited, holders of the land titles on property number NS7549, the last being on August 3. We had no response. They got the C of O in 2001 and since then, they have not paid a single ground rent, apart from one single payment they made some time back. “Now their bill has amounted to over N7 million. The ministry sent them demand notice in 2002; there was no response. Another demand notice was sent them five years later. This year, we sent them another demand notice, giving them one-month grace. No response. So we were compelled to revoke their titles because they have not lived up to their obligation,” the commissioner said. The firm has, however, denied it owes Nasarawa State any ground rents, insisting too that it “never received any demand notice(s) for any payment of ground rent or any other related fee in respect of her C of O NS7549.” HAR Petroleum Service’s denial was contained in a letter written to the commissioner by their lawyers, St. Dominic and Company, dated September 7 and signed by George Ukaegbu. The letter claimed that the firm visited in August 2011 and cleared its outstanding ground rent and therefore, demanded that the revocation be withdrawn within seven days from the date of the revocation.

•L-R: Guest lecturer, Chief Philip Asiodu; Chairman on the occasion, Chief Alex Ekwueme and former chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammed Uwais at the presentation of Public Service Award to Justice Uwais in Abuja yesterday.

Flood submerges Makurdi •700,000 rendered homeless EJEMBI, Udges Quarters Extention all on Makurdi- Gboko Road as well as Rice mill area of he release of water from Wadata. When Daily Sun visited the the Ladgo Dam in Cameroun has contin- areas yesterday, people were ued to wreak havoc in Nigeria making frantic efforts to salas over 700,000 persons have vage their belongings while been rendered homeless and several others were stranded more than 300,000 houses not knowing where to go. Mrs. Terver Gbeda, a submerged in Makurdi, the mother of three who lives Benue State capital. Affected communities about eight kilometres away include Kutcha, Gyado Villa, from the River bank is one of From ROSE Makurdi

T

the victims of the water surge. According to the confused mother, the water which began to rise Sunday morning had continued with houses submerged forcing people to vacate their homes. “When the water started rising on Sunday morning, everyone in the area thought it would soon subside. Instead, it continued to rise more and more. My house is about eight kilometers away from the River bank but the water has risen to chest level.”

Gunmen kill 3, injure 7 in Bauchi bus attack From PAUL ORUDE, Bauchi

T

hree people were killed and seven others injured on Monday when gunmen attacked a commercial bus along Tafawa-Balewa Road in Bauchi State. Daily Sun learnt that the incident occurred at about 3.30 p.m. when the bus carrying passengers from Bauchi to Tafawa-Balewa was waylaid by the gunmen. Eyewitnesses’ accounts said the gunmen appeared from the bush and ambushed their victims with guns and sophisticated weapons. It was further learnt that they immediately disappeared into the bush after the heinous crime. According to the story, soldiers on patrol at Zwall heard gunshots but before they got to the scene the gunmen had disappeared. Two of those killed were Mimi and Linus, children of Mr. Ezekiel Mazadu, a lecturer with the College of Administration and Business Studies, Azare. The other victim was said to be from Kanke Local Government Area of Plateau State. Also, the newly appointed

Sole Administrator of Bogoro Local Government Area, Bukata Taimako was said to have narrowly escaped attack by the gunmen. Hundreds of his supporters who were reported to have escorted him to his office to resume duty on Monday, barely three days of his appointment, also escaped death by the whiskers. The Bauchi State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Ladan, could not confirm the attacks in a telephone interview with newsmen as at the time of filing this report. Meanwhile, the Northern States Christian Elders Forum, Bauchi State chapter, has condemned the attacks on Christians in Misau, Yana and Tafawa-Balewa Local Governemnt Area of the state. This was contained in a communiqué made available to newsmen yesterday and signed by the Chairman, Mr. John Jimra Sara. Sara called on Governor Isa Yuguda to immediately curb frequent killings in some flashpoints in the state. The elders lamented that despite the security challenges in Tafawa-Balewa and Bogoro, Governor Yuguda had not visited the troubled area to condole with families

of victims. They also lamented that both State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had not visited the areas to provide relief materials to the victims of crises.

The story of Mr. Romeo Dajoh and Tyor Michael was not different as they were also trying to rescue what was left of their property and move them to safer areas of the state. Dajoh, however, decried Federal Government’s lackadaisical attitude at tackling issues that affect the people, saying if the River Benue had been dredged before now, the effect of the flood would have been minimized. Meanwhile, Benue State Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam, who visited the affected areas on Monday evening for an on-the-spot assessment sympathised with the victims and promised to relocate them to a community school in Makurdi. Few weeks ago, the Benue State Government had advised those living close to the River bank to relocate to safer areas to avoid flooding of the area.

Katsina begins registration of pupils next week

From ANDY ASEMOTA, parents and guardians to take advantage of the registration Katsina exercise and the commitment head of the resump- of the state government to tion of primary and free education to enroll their nursery schools for children and wards and new academic session in ensure their regular attenKatsina State next week, the dance in school to become state Universal Basic useful members of the socieEducation Board (UBEB), ty. The board chairman also has flagged off the registration of new intakes for the solicited the support and 2012/2013 academic session. cooperation of stakeholders The Executive Chairman in the education sector in conof the SUBEB, Dikko tributing their quota for the Suleiman, who kicked off the rapid transformation of the exercise in Shinkafi Primary sector, especially the primary School, in Katsina described schools, which he described education as a veritable tool as the foundation. According to him, Islamic in fighting illiteracy and religion enjoins all parents to poverty. Suleiman, in a statement ensure that their children by the spokesman of the acquire sound education as board, Kabir Umar, urged one of the legacies they could receive.

A


14,

DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Foreign Affairs World leaders hail Somalia’s presidential election

21 killed in Pakistan shoe factory blaze

I

nternational leaders, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, have hailed the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as a “great step forward” for Somalia. Mr Cameron congratulated Mr Mohamud on his victory and welcomed the role played by his predecessor, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. However, Islamist militants said the election was organised by the “enemies of Somalia”. Somalia has suffered 20 years of war. Accepting his defeat, former President Ahmed said it was the first fair election in Mogadishu for 42 years - since Mohamed Siad Barre took over in 1969. President Mohamud, a moderate Islamist academic, was sworn in immediately after it was announced that he had beaten Mr Ahmed by 190 to 79 votes in a ballot of newly elected MPs. “I promise that Somalia reclaims its place in the world community as of today and to do that, we must ensure that we move forward,” he said in his victory speech. Both the British prime minister and UN envoy to Somalia Augustine Mahiga warned there was still much to do. “Somalia’s leaders must now work together to build a more representative and transparent system, tackle corruption and strengthen security and stability,” said Mr Cameron, who hosted a major conference on trying to bring peace to Somalia in February. Mr Mahiga said the Somali people had “taken a great step forward on the path to peace and prosperity”. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has called up Somalia’s new leader to congratulate him, according to the AFP news agency. However, the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabab still controls many southern and central parts of the country, and has staged frequent suicide attacks in the capital since it was driven out of Mogadishu last year by African Union troops and pro-government forces. “We will only recognise a process run by Somalis and not manipulated by Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti • Pakistani rescuers carry a shoe-making factory worker after a sudden fire trapped and the West,” al-Shabab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud dozens of workers in the factory in Lahore yesterday. Photo:AFP Rage told the AFP news agency.

A

t least 21 people have been killed in the Pakistani city of Lahore in a fire at a shoe factory. Firemen fought the blaze as they attempt to rescue workers still trapped inside as at press time. Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has expressed his shock and grief over the deaths. It was not immediately known what caused the blaze in the country’s second largest city. One report said it may have been due to a faulty electricity generator. Medical officials said that some had died of suffocation while others were burnt alive as the fire took hold. According to a senior police officer quoted by the Associated Press, six people were also injured in the blaze. He told the news agency that the fire broke out as people in the building tried to start their generator after the electricity went out, igniting chemicals in the factory. Video footage on Pakistani television showed a three-story building with flames leaping from the top-floor windows and smoke billowing into the night sky. Many people in Lahore have set up shoe factories in their residences, few of which follow building and safety regulations.

Al Qaeda leader’s brother offers to mediate UNITA challenges Angola’s presidential peace deal between West, Islamists poll result T A he brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri is proposing to mediate a peace deal between the West and Islamists. In an exclusive interview with CNN, Mohamed al Zawahiri unveiled his proposal for the first time, saying he is in a unique position to help end the violence and that both sides need to make concessions. As the al Qaeda leader’s brother, he said they are ideologically inseparable, and that if anyone can talk his brother out of violence it’s him. Zawahiri said his offer puts him at risk from radical

Islamists, but said he is not acting from weakness or for personal gain. His six-page proposal offers a 10-year truce if the following terms are met. In brief they are:: • U.S. and West to stop intervening in Muslim lands, • U.S. to stop interfering in Muslim education, • U.S. to end the war on Islam • U.S. to release all Islamist prisoners. The document also calls on Islamists to change their behavior too: • Stop attacks on Western and U.S. interests, • Protect legitimate Western and U.S. interests in Muslim lands and • Stop provoking the U.S.

and the West He is like so many former prisoners I’ve met calm, collected, focused and utterly convinced by long held views examined, tested and reforged in incarceration. Mohamed al Zawahiri is not a physically imposing man. His long beard is shading from grey to white, his features and figure drawn. Ramadan is long over but he still fasts until the sun goes down. Mohamed spent 14 years in Egyptian jail on charges including terrorism and involvement in the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat 1981. He denies

the charges. For five years he was in solitary confinement in a cell 180 cm by 180cm (6 feet x 6 feett) where, locked in with his own thoughts, he had plenty of time to plan what to do when released. That day came a few months ago in May. He wants peace, he says, between Muslims and non-Muslims and has written a proposal that outlines the terms. He says he’s offering to be an intermediary between Islamists and the United States and the West. “I don’t represent a certain group. My role is a mediator between the West and them.” A source with

direct knowledge of Egyptian government talks with jihadists in the Sinai says Zawahiri is helping negotiations. The source says Zawahiri has the respect of the Islamists and the trust of the new government. Through his steely determination to get his voice heard and his message out it is hard to gauge how much hope Zawahiri is really investing in his initiative. Is he trying to get back in the jihadist spotlight he once occupied before his incarceration? Back then he was military commander of Islamic Jihad that would later ally with al Qaeda.

I was unaware of my role in Bin Laden’s death – Pakistani doctor

T • Mohamed al-Zawahiri

he Pakistani doctor involved in the United States search for Osama Bin Laden has been quoted as saying he was unaware of his role in the al-Qaeda chief’s death. Shakil Afridi reportedly

told Fox News from jail in Peshawar that after the 2011 killing he had been kidnapped and tortured by Pakistani intelligence. He also reportedly said the ISI agency regarded the US as its worst enemy. But Dr Afridi’s

Americans mark 11th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

M

emorial ceremonies marking the anniversary of the September 11 attacks began yesterday under clear blue skies that recalled the crisp morning 11 years ago when nearly 3,000 people were killed by airliners hijacked by Islamist militants.

Two of the jets brought down the Twin Towers of New York City’s World Trade Center, another extensively damaged the Pentagon outside Washington and a fourth crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania when passengers aboard that flight

revolted against the hijackers. At Ground Zero in New York where the towers once stood, more than 1,000 relatives of those killed and others gathered for the annual reading of the list of 2,983 people killed at the three sites.

lawyer told the BBC he was not confident about the authenticity of the interview. Samiullah Afridi said his client was kept under “very strict security”, and was even prevented from seeing his family and lawyers for months at a time. “How a journalist can set up an interview with him in jail is beyond my comprehension,” the lawyer said. Prison officials contacted by the BBC were taken by surprise by reports of the interview, but did not rule out that a phone could have been smuggled into his cell. The Fox News interview raises many questions. Dr

Afridi’s lawyer wonders how a journalist could set up a phone interview with him in a maximum security prison cell. A jail official speculates that if anyone could smuggle a phone to him, it could only be one of the close relatives that visited him in jail twice in August.

• Shakil Afridi

ngola’s main opposition party UNITA yesterday challenged the results of a national election last month in which it finished a distant second behind the ruling MPLA party, calling the vote unfair and a “fraud.” UNITA’s challenge, filed with the national elections commission (CNE), had been widely expected after the August 31 vote, which won broad approval from electoral observer teams from the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, and the Community of PortugueseSpeaking States. Full provisional results announced by the CNE on Friday showed President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos’ governing MPLA party winning with 72 percent of the votes, far ahead of former rebel group UNITA with nearly 19 percent. The win gave Dos Santos a new five-year term to extend his nearly 33 years at the helm of Africa’s No. 2 oil producer, but swelling discontent over the unequal distribution of oil wealth could still strain the MPLA’s grip on power. Before the vote, opponents of Dos Santos such as UNITA leader Isaias Samakuva and civil society activists criticised the preparations as one-sided and plagued with irregularities.


DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

15


16

DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NewsPlus In Awka, residents, others vow to make Anambra clean From ALOYSIUS ATTAH, Onitsha

A

nambra State is often derided as the dirtiest state in Nigeria’s South East. Travellers and tourists, coming into or passing through the state often murmur immediately they cross the Asaba end of the Niger Bridge Head. Onitsha, a globally renowned commercial hub, has been described as an eyesore, going by the indiscriminate dumping of refuse and the attendant chaotic traffic situation. Analysts have often blamed the government for the ugly situation while some have also put the blame on the residents’ carefree attitude to waste disposal. The government has also made spirited efforts in the past to ensure a cleaner environment. A private firm, LAGA International, was contracted by the state government to work hand in hand with the Ministry of Environment to ensure that wastes are not only properly disposed but are channeled into positive use by recycling. Yet, all efforts made over the period had little or no impact, as more days resulted in mountainous refuse dumps, garbage and filthy environment. Perhaps in finding a lasting solution to the problem, the state government recently repealed the act establishing the former Anambra State Environmental Protection Agency (ANSEPA). A new body known as Anambra State Waste Management Authority (ASWANA) was formed. The former

•L-R: Okonkwo, Odoh and Okoye at the event ANSEPA Managing Director, Dr. Emma Udeakpe, was also removed while Dr. Anthony Okoye, a former university lecturer, was appointed as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. The new helmsman has hit the ground running immediately, knowing fully that the tasks facing him are quite enormous. Recently, he organized an interactive session with stakeholders in Awka to roll out an action plan and chart the way

forward for a cleaner Anambra. Participants at the session included traditional rulers, church leaders, executives of landlords associations, market men and women, transporters and civil society organizations. Welcoming participants to the session, the ASWANA MD, Dr. Anthony Okoye regretted that Anambra people have one of the highest manpower resources in Nigeria, regretting

… As crisis-torn community toes peace path From DAVID ONWUCHEKWA, Nnewi

A

t last, relative calm has returned to Osumenyi, a community in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, as the Osumenyi Town Assembly (OTA) has resolved the decadelong leadership crisis that nearly tore the community of 23 villages apart. The crisis had taken its toll on the community. There was little government presence in the area and individuals from the warring factions had to embark on some road projects. People in the town chose not to have a traditional ruler, but two parallel town union executives - Osumenyi Town Assembly (OTA) and Osumenyi Development Union

•OTA women entertaining the guests

(ODU) emerged as a product of the crisis, each claiming the rightful leadership of Osumenyi. At this year’s Ahia Olu (New Yam) festival organized by the OTA at Enyiukwu Plaze (Osumenyi Town Hall), President General of OTA, Chief Cyprain Nzekwe said the peace moves started manifesting when some members of the other faction were crossing over to OTA, an indication that peace was at sight. He said the process got to the climax when the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi Diocese, Most Rev Bishop Odili Okeke and his Anglican counterpart of Amichi Diocese, Rt Rev Ikeakor intervened. Chief Nzekwe said the weeklong event was packaged to rejuvenate the cultural heritage of Osumenyi people and to discuss prob-

lems confronting the town. One of the past leaders of OTA, Sir D. O. Nnubia traced the crisis in the community to when it was alleged that one its prominent sons showed interest in becoming the Igwe. He said during his administration as the President-General, a memorandum of understanding was signed by the stakeholders in the community to the effect that no one would be made a traditional ruler of Osumenyi without the consensus of all the 23 villages that constitute the town. Sir Nzekwe, who handed over to High Chief S. N. Ukachukwu, did not rule out the possibility of an Igwe emerging from Osumenyi but insisted that due process must be followed as enshrined in the community’s constitution. Chief Ukachukwu gave the assurance that members of the opposing group would all be warmly welcome. According to him, Osumenyi should no longer be seen as a community where crisis thrived. Chairman of Lower Peace Committee of OTA, Sir Boniface Ekesiobi said the committee had achieved a lot to ensure that peace reigned. He expressed optimism that in no distant time, Osumenyi would be one united community. Barrister Mbazulike Chinweuche, legal adviser to OTA, however, regretted that some politicians were feeding fat on the crisis, adding that such politicians had been busy fueling the crisis. Meanwhile, OTA has embarked on some developmental projects, including over 300 lock-up stalls, schools, road rehabilitation and erosion control.

that the same state has been synonymous with ‘dirt’ since its creation in 1999. He said that waste management is not only the responsibility of the government but also the governed. Okoye said that managing solid waste requires greatest amount of citizen cooperation in order to achieve success. He enumerated various health hazards associated with poor solid waste management and called on all stakeholders to make Anambra a cleaner state. The chief executive also said enforcement officers have been recruited to deal with offenders while an action plan, on short term basis, has been marshalled out. He promised that Anambra will become the cleanest state before the end of October this year. In a keynote address by Professor Boniface Egboka, Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and Dr. Bernard Odoh, Director, Water Resources Capacity Building Network of the same university (presented by Dr. Odoh), the duo noted that waste management issues have been relegated to the back seat by many of the previous or successive governments in Anambra State and beyond. They said there has been the absence of a broad study on Anambra State Solid Waste Master Plan (ASSWMP) to determine the solid waste generation rate and their characteristics by any administration in Anambra. They also identified lack of stable financial resources from town unions as well as local and state governments through proper funding, adequate equipmentation and machinery support as major obstacles to the sound management of waste disposals and landfill sites. They called on the people to have a rethink in their behaviour towards dumping of waste, charged government to remain committed to the project and called on the invited stakeholders to take home the message and live it out practically. “We are the way we are because of our lawlessness. Onitsha is an eyesore no doubt. Unemployment is also a big challenge to us but this is an opportunity for employment. The way we behave is a function of our environment. We need to take this message to our various groups, villages and towns. In our society, the most respected are the clergy, so you should also take the message to your congregations. The biggest opportunities are found where we have the biggest challenge. We don’t need one million people to effect a change if we have the willpower,” Odoh said. A magistrate, Mrs. Genevieve Osakwe educated the audience on the various laws guiding ASWANA. She warned that her court would not spare any environmental defaulter whether individual or corporate bodies. The Head of Enforcement Unit, Agunecheigbe Osita Okonkwo gave further insight into how this outfit will work to make the citizens abide by the environmental rules. He paraded the newly recruited Sanitation Marshals and solicited the cooperation of the public. Okonkwo also said the era of brigandage and use of maximum force while enforcing rules has gone in Anambra. He warned, however, that people should be law abiding. Dignitaries present during the forum included the traditional ruler of Nnewi, Igwe Kenneth Orizu, the Anglican Bishop of Nnewi, Rt. Rev. G.N Okpala and the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most. Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor represented by Rev. Fr. Maximus Muojeke among others.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

17

NewsPlus By TOPE ADEBOBOYE

I

t is called the Sunshine State and right now, the Ondo State Government is bringing sunshine to the residents of rural communities across the state. Since flagging off his campaigns for a second term in office, Governor Olusegun Mimiko has been received by massive crowds everywhere he goes. However, the reception has been more spectacular in the rural areas, leaving everyone, wondering why the governor has been so popular with folks in both urban and remote communities of the state. But it could not have been otherwise. According to the Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, since mounting the saddle as governor in February 2009, Mimiko has always betrayed the special passion he nursed for the development of the rural communities. An assessment after the governor’s first two years in office early last year indicated that Mimiko had committed huge sums of money into rural and community development in the state. “Within the space of just two years, the Mimiko-led government had demonstrated so much passion and commitment to the rural development in the state such that about 400 confidence building projects, gulping N2, 594,795.00, were executed in 305 communities across the state. Some of the projects erected in these communities include cottage, basic health centres, classrooms blocks, culvert, open market stalls, and solarpowered boreholes and staff quarters, among others,” Femi Adepoju, Special Assistant on Media to the governor, told the reporter. Right now, virtually every community in the state has benefitted from the Mimiko’s initiative on rural development, Akinmade asserted. In a recent interview, the commissioner informed that over N3billion has been spent on about 425 projects in the various communities across the state in the last three years. Already, over 300 of such projects had been completed while the rest are at the final stages of completion. The commissioner and the governor’s special assistant are not the only ones exulting about Mimiko’s transformational strides in Ondo State. After a visit to Ondo State, both the National Planning Minister, Dr. Shamsudeen USman, and the European Union Envoy in Nigeria, Ambassador David MacRae attested to the wonders being performed by Mimiko in the rural communities. They both spoke at the flag-off of the Micro Projects Programme (MPP9) in Akure, the state capital. The MPP9 is a programme of the European Union and the federal government, and its purpose is to reduce poverty in the rural and sub-urban communities in the nine NigerDelta States, including Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa,Cross River, Delta , Edo, Imo Ondo and Rivers. Usman lauded Mimiko’s efforts in rural and community development. “As the National Authorizing Officer of EU programmes in the country, I feel honoured and privileged to be associated with this success story,” he said at the event. MacRae also said at the event that he would take back Mimiko’s success story in community development to his home country, asserting that the governor’s efforts have been very impressive. But Akinmade said Mimiko’s success in rural development was a result of a meticulous planning that started even before the medical doctor emerged as governor. He said the governor developed a pragmatic approach to rural development through the 3I’s Initiative. Now what does that mean, you wondered. “The 3i’s initiative is designed by the state with a special focus on rural and community development, using the participatory, community-driven “bottom-up with top down support” approach,” the commissioner stated. He continued: “The 3I’s is an acronym for Infrastructure, Institution and Industry. The first “I” which stands for “Infrastructure” is

Ondo brings sunshine to rural communities

•Basic Health Centre at Arigidi Oja

•Town Hall at Idiroko aimed at building confidence and trust; the second “I” which stands for “Institution” is aimed at empowering communities for sustainable development while the third “I” which stands for “Industry” is aimed at enriching the people of Ondo State.” Akinmade told the reporter that the initiative was designed to rebuild the confidence of the people in government through the provision of basic infrastructure, implementation of community projects such as electricity, water, access to primary health care and education within rural communities. “Through the initiative, government identifies existing institutions and encourages the setting up of new ones. Government then supports such institutions by building their capacities and providing financial support for development. In the area of industry, the government identifies potential and viable industries within the communities that are now being expanded to encourage commerce and generate income for the people,” he said. It was learnt that the government despatches teams to different communities in the state where such communities are allowed to identify their desired projects. “It is whatever projects the natives demand that are committed to native contractors resident within the community and are well known to the residents. Details of the contract are also made open to the community members,” he said. Residents of rural and sub-urban communities in the state daily roll out the drums in celebration of how the state government has

totally transformed their lives, Akinmade said, informing that all the 18 local government areas of the state have benefitted immensely from Mimiko’s developmental agenda. In Owo Local Government area, Akinmade said a number of communities are daily blessing the governor for providing basic amenities for the people. Some of such towns and their projects include a cassava cottage industry and a mono pump project at Ilaleji; a basic health centre and a mono pump at Igbe; a town hall and mono pump at Iyere while Uso has a town hall. Ijebu Owo, Osabiya, Idasen, Igboroko, Isaipen, Iloro and Ehinogbe all have mono pumps. Asolo, Ipele, Isuada, Ajagbale, Ago Alao, Ago Panu, Agbowa, Amurin, Sanusi, Sajiyan and Molege were all provided with basic health centres, among others. Other communities, including Eporo, Ojana, Ipemen, Odofin, Adanigbo, Emure-Ile and Obasoto also have different projects, courtesy of the Mimiko administration. In Ifedore Local Government area, Akinmade said Ilara-Mokin, Ero, Owode Owena, Igbara-Oke, Ajebamidele, Olorunda, Araromi Omoladan and other towns and villages have been variously provided with their desired amenities ranging from lock-up shops to open market stalls, classroom blocks, high court complex, basic health centres and town halls, among other projects. The commissioner said Mimiko also wormed himself to the hearts of the people in Odigbo Local Government area with basic

health centres, classroom blocks, boreholes, transformers and open market stalls in places like Ore, Agbabu, Ajue, Obadore, Mile 10, Odigbo, Omifon, Koseru, Orotedo, Legee, Onitea, Oniparaga and other parts of the local government. Communities across all the local governments that make up the Akoko area all have a cause to smile with the provision of their hearts’ desires by Mimiko, said Akinmade. According to him, open market stalls, basis health centres, town halls, classroom blocks, solar-powered boreholes, mono pumps and other amenities were provided in Auga, Okatedo, Ise, Surulere, Ajowa, Ogbagi, Semerin, Ikun, Aiyegunle, Ipe-Igbede, Epinmi and Isua-Oke, among others. In Ilaje, Akinmade said basic health centres, skill acquisition centres, public toilets, town halls and access roads, among other projects were provided for the communities. In his words, residents of Itebukunmi, Igbo-Egunrin, Ode-Etikan, Agerige, Ugbo-Nla, Odonla and the rest are rooting for the governor to return for another term. In Ile Oluji, the situation is the same. Akinmade said places like Okeigbo, Igbo Olodumare, Idiroko, Onpetesi and indeed, every community in the local government has benefitted immensely from the Mimiko administration. Projects like basic health centres, town halls, open market stalls and solarpowered boreholes have been provided. In Ondo area, the commissioner said Oloruntedo, Ogho, Ilunla, Okeogun, Owode Elepo, Onichurch, Demule, Dejo, Oladapo, Owena Elesin, Obada, Urowo, among others, have been blessed with town halls, open market stalls, basic health centres, road rehabilitation, and other projects. “Scores of communities in each of the 18 local government areas of the state have benefitted from the administration of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko through the 3I’s Initiative. It is a novel developmental programme that has worked wonders. The government has committed billions of naira to its implementation and both the government and the people are happy because there are results. That is why you will see genuine happiness on the faces of the people wherever Mr. Governor goes in the state. And more are being added on a daily basis,” Akinmade said.


18

DAILY SUN Wednesday September 12, 2012

The revenue sharing formula

T

he Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) has renewed agitation for a review of the current revenue sharing formula. The members of the association, in a communiqué issued after their meeting last week, reiterated their demand for higher allocation to the Northern geo-political zone. According to the governors, the present revenue-sharing pattern is inimical to development in that part of the country. They declared that the 13 per cent given to the oil-producing states at the moment is unfair to other states in the country, pointing out that the fiscal defect is largely responsible for the socio-economic dislocation and human capital subjugation in the North. Expectedly, the South-South governors have debunked the insinuations and allegations of their Northern counterparts. As far as the SouthSouth governors are concerned, even the existing 13 per cent given to them is not enough to address the debilitating oil exploration challenges in their area that have diminished quality of life of their people over the years. In the circumstance, they advocate an increment from 13 per cent to 50 per cent of the entire revenue. This raging controversy brings to the fore, once more, the contentious issue of resource control canvassed by the South-South citizens which became the vogue in 2008 during the tenure of the late president, Umaru Yar’Adua. Recommendations of a committee set up by the government then were turned down by the Northern elite who still saw it as being deleterious to their already precarious situation. At the heart of these discordant voices is the lack of true fiscal federalism, which incidentally is a time-bomb waiting to explode if not properly managed now. There is no doubt that a lopsided allocation framework or bad resource distribution could lead to underdevelopment, if not stagnancy, for those who are disadvantaged in such schemes. Apointer to this is the well-known spoliation and degradation of aquatic life in the South-South zone due to the activities of oilprospecting companies whose operations run counter to healthy living for their host-commu-

nities. This tragic circumstance has been on since 1959 when oil was discovered in Oloibiri in Rivers State. The Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) had in 2008 proposed what it considered an equitable and fair formula for wealth distribution in the country such that the federal government will get 53.69 per cent, states will receive 31.10 per cent and local governments will mop up the remaining 15.21 per cent of national revenue. This suggestion was equally thrown away for allegedly being unfair to some of the stakeholders. It is unfortunate that no government in this country—including the military—has been able to resolve this fractious matter. All the past rulers had established commissions or committees without any resolution of this feisty challenge that has the potential of undermining our sovereignty if mishandled. The Goodluck Jonathan administration must summon courage to break the revenue sharing jinx lest the country is exposed to untoward and cataclysmic consequences that are quite avoidable. The time to resolve this lingering crisis is now and in doing this, the overall consideration should be the country’s interest—not pandering to unrealistic sectional desires. This government must demonstrate strong determination and evolve a mechanism to tackle this potentially explosive issue. It may be impossible to fashion out a generally acceptable formula because of unparalleled zonal and regional peculiarities and differences. We implore the NGF, South-South governors and other stakeholders to bury the hatchet, as it were, and accept the existing revenue sharing formula. That is the best way forward. Grandstanding on this matter can only spell doom for our country, as the latest suggestion for the abrogation of the derivation principle arising from the onshore-offshore resolution which gives Niger Delta oil-producing states 13 per cent will cause more problems than it will solve. Let us not reopen the dichotomous littoral states debate.

COMMENT

LETTER Nigeria’s power boost and the rains IT is very easy for some Nigerians, many of them candidates of fabulated allusions, to think that because we are in the rains, the steadiness of electricity in the country owes its credit to the abundant waters in Nigeria’s hydroelectric dams. Nigerians have held this age-old misconception that during the rains, the waters at our hydroelectric dams are at peak, so it drives and rotates the turbines much faster, hence, the abundant electricity. By implication, Nigerians believe that during the dry season, there is a shortage of water in the dams, thus, less or no electricity. To the ordinary Nigerian, rain equals electricity. No rain, no electricity! But this is not the case. Nigerians must have been receptive to fabricated drivel. The account that when there is rain there is electricity is, at the charitable best, unintelligent. A conventional (if conservative) thought like this reflects on one hand a one-dimensional grasp of hydrology—

the scientific study of earth’s waters—and on the other hand a narrow sense of potamology—the study of rivers and the volume of water they carry. It also, at the superlative, deduces a trivial knowledge on the regime of the River Niger; that hosts Nigeria’s major hydroelectric dams. A little lesson: the Niger is the third longest river in Africa. It rises from the Futa Jallon highlands in Guinea, and flows a length of 4200 kilometers before emptying in the Atlantic Ocean. The rains at the Futa Jallon that helps to amass an overabundant flood of Niger’s waters couldn’t arrive in Nigeria during the rains! It is said that the runoff reaches Nigeria six months later. In other words, the peak water level in Nigeria’s major hydroelectric dams is not realized during the rainy season owing to the long distant travel of water from the river’s source. Therefore, the supply or lack thereof of electricity as a consumable commodity in Nigeria

THE DIRECTORATE TONY ONYIMA Managing Director /Editor-in-Chief FEMI ADESINA Deputy MD/Deputy Editor-in-Chief ETHEL NMEZI Executive Director, Finance/Admin ALAN JONES Executive Director, Technical PAUL ONYIA Executive Director Marketing ERIC OSAGIE Executive Director, Special Services EDITORIAL STEVE NWOSU Editor, Daily ONUOHA UKEH Editor, Saturday FUNKE EGBEMODE Editor, Sunday SHOLA OSHUNKEYE, Editor, Magazines ABDULFATAH OLADEINDE Deputy Editor, Daily FEMI ADEOTI Deputy Editor, Daily IKENNA EMEWU Deputy Editor, Nation’s Capital BRUCE MALOGO, Deputy Editor, Saturday BEIFOH OSEWELE, Deputy Editor, Magazines EMEKA OKOROANYANWU Group Business Editor CHIDI OBINECHE Political Editor CHRIS ANUCHA Acting Bureau Chief, ( South-South) CHIDI NNADI Bureau Chief, (South-East) YINKA FABOWALE Bureau Chief (South-West) ISMAIL OMIPIDAN Bureau Chief (North-west) EDITORIAL BOARD AMANZE OBI Chairman, Editorial Board CORPORATE SERVICES NETA NWOSU A.G.M. Corporate Services ADVERTISING/MARKETING DEMOLA ABIOYE Business Development Manager NNENA SHUAIB Asst. Manager Business Dev. (Abuja) SALES & OPERATIONS DAMOLA LAJUMOKE AGM, Sales & Operations NWOKOCHA OBI Sales & Distribution Manager REMI QUADRI Manager, Copy Sales FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION OBIOMA OGUKWE Accountant JOHNSON OGWUMIKE Internal Audit Manager PATRICK ENILAMA Principal Human Resource Manager IFY ANYALECHI Procurement & General Services Manager

MISSION ‘To practise journalism in the classical newspaper tradition of presenting the news and features in an exciting style, with impact, objectivity and appeathat generate returns to all stakeholders: the society, the investors and the practitioners’

has nothing to do, for now, with the rainy season. It is a story that has everything to do with the utterly exceptional incompetence on the part of the government. If the government wants to provide electricity to Nigerians, it can do so with or without the rains. If you pay a visit to any of Nigeria’s hydroelectric dams during the rainy seasons, chances are that you’ll notice that the dam’s spillways are closed. Does this give any clue? Yes! It means that the water levels in the dams are not at peak, deserving of a spillover. Others argue that during the rains, the relatively cold atmospheric temperature aids in electricity generation and distribution far more than it would during the dry season under relatively hot weather. Although this explanation might be technically acceptable, it is logically lacking. Countries in the Middle East experience excessively hot weather conditions but nevertheless generate abundant electricity just like countries in Euro-America do. So it all goes down to corruption in government. Accepting petty convolutions as reasons for the supply or lack thereof

of electricity in Nigeria is itself, petit-bourgeois condescension. For all its worth, it seems that corruption and corruption alone is responsible for Nigeria’s lack of electricity. Can���t we remember how the Ota farmer, former president Olusegun Obasanjo, was alleged to have “spent” between 10 to 18 Billion US dollars on electricity in Nigeria without anything to show for it? Can’t we remember how his FCT Minister, Nasir El Rufai, was able to come out shamelessly to shield his boss’derelictions by claiming that it was not 10 to 18 Billion US dollars but only 5 Billion US dollars that was spent? Perhaps, the Vanderbilt University History Professor, Moses Ochonu, captured it cleverly when he wrote “$5 Billion is the entire annual budget of some countries. In Nigeria, the figure is little more than an exculpatory rhetorical number summoned to minimize a crime.” Mohammed Dahiru Aminu, mohd.aminu@gmail.com Yola. CMYK


DAILY SUN Wednesday September 12, 2012

19

Return of Dana Air S Wale Sokunbi CURRENTS ince Wednesday, September 5, when the Federal Government restored the Air Operators Certificate of Dana Air, many Nigerians have been seething with anger over what appears to be a clean bill of health given the airline by aviation authorities. The airline’s MD-83 Flight 0092 which crashed in Lagos and killed 153 passengers and crew on board alongside other persons on ground in the Iju-Ishaga area of the town occasioned understandable loss of confidence in the quality of aircraft in its fleet. With the tragic death of so many people in the disaster; the confusion on the release of corpses of victims and reports of problems with the airline over settlement of claims of relatives of the dead and those who lost property, the impression in many quarters is that the restoration of the operating licence of the organisation is hasty. When considered alongside the fact that many of the victims are yet to be buried and the pain of the loss is still so heavy, it is no wonder that the question on Nigerians’ lips is whether Dana Air and its fleet have truly been found to be okay to continue with the business of flying passengers in the country. It will be recalled that in the aftermath of the air crash, there were so many negative reports on the state of the crashed aircraft. The fire of the crashed craft had not even been put out and those who died in the tragedy had not been evacuated when a supposed worker of the organisation came on air to allege that the aircraft was in very bad technical shape and should not have been allowed to fly at all. That was not all. Shortly after that allegation, a number of other Nigerians came out with stories of how previous flights on the ill-fated aircraft were always delayed while its technicians attended to faults. There was an allegation, also in the media, that the engine of the aircraft once had to be started manually when it failed, mid-air, and a South South state governor was also reported to have claimed that many fliers from his area had complained to him about

08056180228 walesokunbi2003@yahoo.co.uk the state of aircraft in the Dana fleet and he had personally conveyed their complaints to the airline management before the ill-fated crash. Although media reports at the time said that the airline claimed that the aircraft that crashed was not the one over which there were reports of technical faults, the fears and complaints of Nigerians over the state of aircraft in the Dana fleet appear not to have been sufficiently addressed before this restoration of its operating licence. This is more so as neither the state governor who spoke in the wake of the crash and others with many complaints over one aircraft or the other in the fleet have denied what they said. Neither have the authorities availed the nation with detailed results of tests conducted on the airline’s aircraft to reassure the people that they are okay. It would have been reassuring to have detailed responses to all these allegations before the airline is allowed back in the air. Again, reports in the media at the time of the crash focused so much on the age of aircraft operating in the country. The result of a study on ages of aircraft used for commercial flights in Nigeria indicated that many of the airlines used aircraft bordering the 21year age limit on aircraft to be imported into the country. The study threw up Arik Air as having the youngest fleet in the country and reports say this has since reflected in its patronage. It is important that all the other airlines are encouraged or mandated to bring in newer and better maintained aircraft to improve air safety in the country. Aviation Minister, Mrs. Stella Oduah,

told the nation while announcing the restoration of the Dana licence that the suspension of the airline was done in error in the first place because withdrawal of licences of airlines whose aircraft are involved in crashes is not standard international practice. But, then, the sundry allegations of the poor state of the aircraft are not “standard international occurrences”, either. The allegations, even without the aircrash, are enough to call for a grounding of the fleet for evaluation in any country that is serious about the lives of its citizens. The idea that the licence was suspended in error should, therefore, not have come in at all. It really actually ought to have been suspended before the crash to ensure a comprehensive technical audit of the planes. The complaints ought to have called for recertification, but then, does anybody really care enough to do this? Even with the restoration of the licence, the question still remains: What caused the crash of the aeroplane? The minister’s vague explanation that the cause of the crash was “very technical” is unsatisfactory. It can do little to counter allegations immediately after the crash that the plane was not fit to fly. The situation is worsened with the explanations that the airline could still be sanctioned after the full report of the crash and what led to it is ready. If the full report of the crash is not ready, why, then, the hurry to give the airline a clean bill of health? What, exactly can we understand by the explanation that the airline will now have to be re-certified after its Air Operators’ Certificate has been restored.

Why restore licence before re-certification? Also, the lingering issue of compensation of victims has not been fully resolved. Although it may not be international best practice to ground airlines over the crash of an aircraft in a fleet, and this makes sense, since you should not really ground airlines that may have hundreds of aircraft over the crash of a single one, the peculiar situation of Dana Air and other Nigerian airlines, which have had allegations of poor quality fleet made against them is peculiar, and this ought to be taken into consideration. Unfortunately, as with everything Nigerian, rumour mills have gone agog on the “real” reasons behind the restoration of the Dana licence. The word out now is that the owners of the aircraft are “highly connected” to “certain persons” who successfully pressed buttons on their behalf. This may or may not be true. It is reassuring, however, that the minister has said that the government would not hesitate to apply appropriate sanctions once the final results of investigations of the crash are released and the airline is found culpable. Perhaps, the anger over the restoration of Dana’s licence is a fallout of Nigeria’s past experience with past airlines which are no longer operating since their aircraft crashed some years ago. However, it is necessary that Dana aircrash investigation be speedily concluded and made public to fully clear the airline. A prompt re-certification of all aircraft in the fleet of the carrier will also go a long way in restoring the confidence of the people in its operations. Beyond legalism, government must be mindful at all times of the sensitivities of the people. Having Dana Airlines flying again with some victims’ corpses yet to be released to their families and those who lost properties not yet compensated smacks of gross insensitivity on government’s part. Recertification of all aircraft and airlines that have had allegations of poor quality made against them is critical. It is better for the authorities to err on the side of caution in the matter of air safety.

Great Ife: Celebrating ‘Harvard of Africa’ @ 50 BY SURAJ OYEWALE

T

his month, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, one of Nigeria’s first generation universities, marks 50th year of its establishment. Expectedly, drums have been sounding from the ever proud alumni, students and management of the institution and, not surprisingly, the school’s name has been the trending (term used to describe the most mentioned word on Twitter in a region in a period) word on Twitter in Lagos and Nigeria in the last few days. Established in 1962 by the venerable Chief Obafemi Awolowo-led government of Western Nigeria, Obafemi Awolowo University (known as University of Ife until 1987, shortly after the demise of the founding premier) has established itself as a force to reckon with among Nigeria’s tertiary institutions. It is one of the reference points in lessons on what visionary leadership can do. A number of classic issues around the school’s establishment, like others of its generation, easily come to mind when discussing the now elusive good governance in Nigeria. One, it was established at a time the now neglected agriculture, and not crude oil, was the main revenue spinner for the government. Two, the then premier of western region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his deputy, the equally respectable Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, never sited the university in their villages(Ikenne and Ogbomosho respectively), rather in Ile-Ife, the ancestral home of their Yoruba people. Sir Ahmadu Bello and Dr Nnamdi Azikwe, of Northern and Eastern regions respectively, also did the same by siting their government’s universities, not in their villages but in Zaria and Nsukka respectively. With all the petrodollars available to subsequent governments, none of them has been able to build an institution of these universities’ structural standard. What we have today as universities are a number of poorly designed buildings scattered over an expanse of land. The hometowns of the president or the governors or their wives and concubines are the pri-

ority choice of locations for institutions today, even when they are not the best suited. In its five decades of existence, OAU has contributed its fair share to the manpower requirement of the nation, with products that are high flyers not only in Nigeria but also at the global level. Although the last one to two decades have witnessed decline in quality, it is nothing but a reflection of the generally waning standards of education in the country owing to successive governments’failure to give education the attention it deserves. OAU has especially suffered more neglect from the governments in the last one decade. It would be recalled that in the runup to his election as civilian president of Nigeria in 1998/99, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, while on a visit to the institution, suffered unjustifiable ignominy from the mass of Ife students, who believed his military regime was anti-students, with the infamous Ali-Must-Go crisis of 1978 that led the killing and brutalization of Nigerian university students, Ife students actively involved and also victims, the signpost of his education-insensitive posture. Not a few observers hold that the neglect OAU suffered throughout Obasanjo’s eight years in office, when other schools like ABU, Unimaid and Unilorin got billion Naira projects, can be traced to the 1998 brush he had with the nationally relevant, politically conscious Ife students. The result of this was acute shortage of funds to manage the school and lack of new, modern projects. But in the last five years there has been a re-awakening championed by the private sector and some well-heeled alumni. First Bank, Skye Bank, Intercontinental Bank, Chams, Mr Jimoh Ibrahim and a number of other alumni have changed the face of the school in the last few years. More is still in the pipeline, as Mr Segun Adeniyi, an alumnus and former media adviser to late president Umaru Yar’adua, noted in his column in Thisday newspaper earlier this year. Although this has been threatened in the last few years, OAU provides a model of what an ideal university should be. It is a community, not just for direct learning and researching, but also

providing a voice that cannot be ignored in the national polity. With vibrant students’and workers’ unions that regularly lend their voice to national issues, Ife has maintained its tradition of being a watchdog for good governance in Nigeria. From the Ali-Must-Go uprising of the late 1970s, through the June 12 1993 rape of democracy, to the struggle against the despotic regime of the goggled one, Ife students have been at the forefront of the civil struggle. Small wonder Nigeria’s most celebrated political critic, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, at the point of his death, mentioned Ife varsity as the institution deserving of having his corpse if the family decided not to bury him. It should be noted that the now nationally quoted Senior Advocate of the Masses (S.A.M) honour for Gani was conferred on him by the Great Ife students in 1988. It is also noteworthy that Ife is the breeding grounds for most of Nigeria’s finest progressive minds, notably Itse Sagay, Femi Falana(P.R.O, Ife Students Union 80/81), Mike Ozhekhome, Lanre Arogundade, Justice Oyewole of Bode George trial fame, Opeyemi Bamidele(also ex-P.R.O, Ife Students Union) Bamidele Aturu, Paul Usoro most of whom started their activism in their Ife days; not to mention the likes of Wole Soyinka, Dipo Fashina, Biodun Jeyifo, G.G Darah, and other leading progressive intellectuals connected to Ife as ex-teachers. One unique feature of Ife that is also worthy of mention as the school celebrates its golden jubilee is the post-school spirit of solidarity among its products. No other school in Nigeria boasts of such sense of belonging. Apart from having the largest alumni networks across the world, the Ife spirit easily comes to life in any gathering where two or three Ife products meet. From informal gatherings like wedding ceremonies to formal ones like conferences, you can’t but recognize Ife alumni with their predictable Great Ife banters. Although every tertiary institution in Nigeria, including those that are no more than a number of uncompleted storey buildings, freely arrogate the epithet ‘Great’ today, Nigerians know the authentic owner of the epithet.

Yet, we will be deceiving ourselves if we say all is well with our university today. As I noted in my article, ‘OAU: Metamorphosis of progressive varsity’ (Thisday, November 12, 2010), the vivacious intellectual fireworks that our institution emitted in the 60’s to early 90’s has practically been put off. The seminal contributions to global and national intellectual discourses through the world class teachers it paraded in years past is fast fading away. Since the exit of world class teachers like Professors Jacob Olupona, Biodun Jeyifo(both the only two Nigerian tenured-Professors at Harvard, as Segun Adeniyi brought to light in his Thisday column (August 4, 2011), Wole Soyinka(who got a Nobel prize), Sam Aluko(unarguably one of the top three most cerebral Nigerian economists ever), Babatunde Fafunwa, G.G Darah, Itse Sagay etc, Ife has not been able to fill the shoes of these breeds, much as the remaining legends like Dipo Fashina, Adebayo Lamikanra and few others are trying. This intellectual depletion, caused majorly by the brain drain of the 80’s to 90’s, hits Ife more than any other Nigerian university of its generation. As we celebrate our great alma mater @ 50, it is pertinent for us to reflect on this low point. Segun Adeniyi impressed me by dedicating three consecutive editions of his weekly column to calling Great Ife alumni to stand up for their university. Wole Olaoye (Daily Trust), Tommy Odemwingie (BusinessDay) and several other columnists have also joined him in eulogizing our alma mater in their columns. Leadership and The Nation newspapers have also dedicated recent editorials to the Great Ife golden jubilee celebration. We must count ourselves lucky to have passed through the four walls of this great citadel of learning, which to us, is the greatest university south of the Sahara and North of the Limpopo. The only way we can be grateful to this university that has shaped the lives of many of us is to rise for it. Who else is ready? Oyewale, a Chartered Accountant, is a 2006 Economics graduate of OAU. CMYK


20

DAILY SUN

Wednesday September 12, 2012

FCT: Bala Mohammed’s 2020 Vision T

his headline is not suffering from hallucination. And it is neither a hypothesis nor malarial prophecy! Don’t even call it a dream. It transcends the speculative realm as the optimistic positivity is profusely informed by current realities. Once President Goodluck Ebele (my variant namesake!) Jonathan begins his second term in office in 2015, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, will also retain his current portfolio to complete his on-going restoration agenda—a key componential element of President Jonathan’s holistic transformation agenda that will start yielding fruits in the next one year and approximately 2020. The only variable that can alter this ministerial come-back summation is if Senator Mohammed goes ahead to take over the governorship of Bauchi State on a platter in 2015. The almost insurmountable challenge in the city remains habitation insufficiency. This costly development wouldn’t have arisen if the late Gen. Sani Abacha had not stampeded federal public servants and all embassies and missions in Lagos to relocate to Abuja without consideration for the acute housing shortage then, which has even worsened now because of its socio-economic and political allure. As you read this, Abuja Township still remains the exclusive preserve of the bourgeoisie. The downtrodden folk who do not belong to this group but claim to be FCT residents live a fringe life on the outskirts of the city! It is an irony that most colleagues of mine refuse to leave when they are transferred from Abuja because of the superfluity of free funds and opportunities that are barely enough in other parts of the country. After all, they posit, Abuja is the city of unity and equal opportunities for all Nigerians! When President Jonathan appointed Senator Mohammed the FCT Minister on April 6, 2010, it was clear to everyone that the Abuja municipality will experience a new dawn since a member of the Senate—that hypercritically had reservations about FCT administration—was now in charge. So, in his inaugural speech that focused on his redemptive policy thrust, Senator Mohammed promised to preeminently tackle the problems of garbage and lack of potable water in most parts of the city. Twenty-nine months after his appointment, are there visible improvements? It will take someone who had spent at least three days in Abuja between 2000 and 2010 to comparatively understand and appreciate the revolutionary transformation splendidly going on in the territory today. A first-timer to

Ebere

Wabara 08055001948 ewabara@yahoo.com the city may likely think the FCT is not part of Nigeria because of its unprecedented speck and span environment that displays an array of architectural ambience that can’t be found anywhere else in the country—except, perhaps, Calabar with a marginal aspiration. The FCT highways are so appealingly clean that only an insane person could litter them! The only snag is that the multiple-lane highways are so spectacularly smooth that vehicular mishaps occur rather too frequently! With filth eliminated, the next port of call is the Katampe Tank Two Water facility which has doubled water supply in Abuja from 50, 000 cubic litres per hour to 100, 000 in a combined capacity structure at a cost of N7.2 billion. The city’s total water supply has been increased from one billion cubic litres to two billion cubic litres daily under the FCT water projects facilitated by the Lower Usman Dam. All satellite towns, including the suburbs, now have water to drink, thanks to the senatorial mayor. Not too far from this is the Jabi service unit infrastructure of massive housing structure sited in 15 districts all of which cost the FCT N18 billion. If I may hazard a guess, I am sure Senator Mohammed must have moved on to other aspects of his restorative roadmap for Abuja having clinically sorted out the maze of garbage and potable water inadequacy. Still on the city’s ecology, right now there is a central sewage plant where all domestic and industrial wastes collected from the length and breadth of the city through a network of pipes are treated. From my experiential synopsis, the multifarious irregularities that characterized FCT administration from creation to 2010 have vanished since the emergence of Senator Mohammed largely because of his transparency apostleship. He has brought sanity to the invincibility of sleaze in land adminis-

tration here. Duplicitous documentation and other improprieties with official connivance by hitherto superfluous departments and units under the FCT have become history, almost. Even as the cleansing of the Augean stables is going on, Senator Mohammed strongly believes that he has foundational things to do ahead of making the FCT one of the five leading capital cities in the world by 2020, a vision that conduces with President Jonathan’s guaranteed—mark my words, again!—second-term blueprint amid other cardinal goals. That is the senator’s focus and does not want to be distracted by rudimentary and sublime issues that border on land racketeering and institutional graft. Most Nigerians are consensual on the dislocations and derailments in the original master-plan for Abuja. Concerted effort is on by the Senator Mohammed leadership to correct some of the physical defacements and structural distortions. The FCT helmsman insists on public occasions that the city was not intended to be a slum. There is need to tighten the noose on fraudulent tendencies in the FCT and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), particularly. The manipulation of allocation once money intervenes deserves Senator Mohammed’s passing attention because it is in such strangulating transactions and clientelistic documentation that graft and other sharp practices are nurtured. This kind of public perception contradicts your inimitable reputation, robust credentials and nobility as a distinguished senator that is different from other lawmakers who do not have your kind of referential pedigree. Dear mayor, do not allow your rapacious subordinates to besmirch the profundity of your aristocratic antecedents and the ascendant profile of your catalytic march towards Abuja renewal and

marred it or not knowing that you cannot stop pollution with pollutants as evident in the composition of his cabinet with exception of few. Jonathan is a good man by nature who has good intention for Nigeria. But if your target is to make Nigerians happy,how do you meet the target with people who are used to smiling to the bank when others are crying? It is like trying to pursue peace with those who make a fortune out of crisis. How can you rehabilitate local refineries or build new ones with people who are shareholders of bigger refineries abroad or oil magnates who claim subsidy for fuel not imported or diverted to neighboring countries? It is as difficult as trying to revive the rail system with big time road transporters. Importers of generating sets will always want to frustrate efforts to improve power generation just like those who win elections by thuggery will not want a plan to reduce unemployment to see the light of the day. If we are truly working towards a cashless economy, why should we spend N40 billion to produce a five thousand naira note that will only increase inflation? However, some positive changes are beginning to take place in the power sector though with sustainability threatened by the sudden resignation of the visionary Barth Nnaji. Another mistake is too much reliance on

Oxford and Harvard products, most of whom were born and brought up abroad, who come from IMF and World Bank to introduce policies that can hardly work beyond the highly developed economies of Europe and America. No domestically realistic person will advise the president to remove fuel subsidy without palliatives on the first day of the year even when it was clear that it would throw Nigerians into untold hardship, thinking they will adapt. It is also dangerous to be totally loyal to unpatriotic and unproductive godfathers most of whom have lost their economic and, to a reasonable extent, political relevance to technological and scientific advancement. It is sad to note that these men still dominate the lists of government contractors maybe as compensation for their electoral support. Even with inflated figures and speedy collection of mobilization fees, non or poor execution of these contracts has continued to make Mr. President look like a man of empty promises. The same group or cabal messed him up with the fuel subsidy casino which made the country poorer by over N1 trillion as revealed in the Farouk Lawan panel report. Nigerians are waiting for the law to take its full course. A refund of N1.06 trillion without prosecution will still be unfair.

enthronement of a model city presently. Always remember that your leadership quintessence over the years—since you proactively abandoned journalism in the 90s!—is not circumstantial, but a natural endowment that must be especially shielded. Good luck, like your foremost friend and boss who believes unreservedly in you because of your coincidental Mohammedan character and prodigious competency—both rarities among Nigeria’s ruling class! As I take my flight back to Lagos with stop-over at the National Stadium and three other irresistible sites en route to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, I do not want to accept that Senator Mohammed is running a cartelistic and parochial administration in the FCT as I overheard! He is too liberal for such a cabalistic disposition that is a function of absurd pettiness, primordial subscription and mundane inclination. Perhaps the boldest edifice in the FCT and indeed in Africa today is the Olympic dimensional National Stadium, Garki. You need to visit this sporting complex. Divided into three sections— main bowl, indoor games hall and a gymnasium/swimming pool—the magnificent complex includes a 690-unit games village used for the 2003 All-Africa Games, which Nigeria played host to amid unprecedented squander mania! The design and construction of an interceptor foul sewer line and 100, 000 PE sewage-treatment plant earlier mentioned had a scope of works that involved excavation of trenches, provision and laying of reinforced pre-cast concrete pipes, in trenches and the construction of man-holes and cast-insitu concrete compartments and the procurement and installation of electromechanical equipment. The plant absorbs sewage generated in Mabushi, a part of Katampe, Utako and sections of Jabi districts. For the laudatory job he is silently doing in the FCT to ensure that it conforms to what a federal capital of Nigeria’s status should be, Senator Mohammed, a 1982 English language graduate of the University of Maiduguri, deserves the national award of the Commander of the Order of Niger (CON) that will be bestowed on him next week. If you have not visited Abuja recently, please do and revert! You will appreciate why he got this additional national recognition. The foregoing developments explain why the governor of Bauchi State, Mallam Isa Yuguda, will find it increasingly a futility trying to stop the mesmerizing train of Senator Mohammed!

Jonathan: A good man and his mandate BY EMEKA EJERE onathan, a zoologist and former lecturer became the man of the moment when, in 2010, he was sworn in as the president of Nigeria following the death of his boss, making history as the first Nigerian to occupy Aso Rock in a most effortless manner. But the mandate was not to maintain status quo or even get worse but to change things for better. It was not to say “Let’s pray” but to use the constitutional powers to make things happen. It was not to make emotional speeches when road or air mishaps occur but to fix the transport and aviation sectors. It was not to lament the rate of unemployment in the land but to create jobs. It was not to compensate families with N5 million each but to ensure the safety of corps members is guaranteed anywhere in the country. It was not to be reactive to terrorism but to be proactive. It was not to increase inflation but to reduce it. It was not to have the interest of friends and party members at heart but the interest of the masses. Needless to say unfolding events seem to have left Nigerians disappointed in the man they so much trusted. The first mistake Jonathan made was to think he could make Nigeria with the same people who

J

Until a round pole is put in a round hole and a spade is called a spade, it will remain business as usual. Until a thorough shake-up is carried out and the right people are given the right positions, we will continue to have a minister of transport that will shed tears at Lagos/Ore road and the road remains a death trap after many years. It is not too late to get things right. Time is still enough to go back to mandate. Jonathan can still prove himself the Moses of our time. But one thing he has to know is that it is difficult or almost impossible to please the people and the political pharaohs at the same time as their interests are always in conflict. Also he should know that it is difficult to succeed as a leader without stepping on toes. Then he should stop compensatory appointments and award of contracts. This is the only way Nigerians can be sure of dividends of democracy. This is the only way the masses will know that he is still the good man they voted into power. This is the only way they can trust him and his government again. There is no better time to take a bold step than now. Ejere writes via emekaonline20@yahoo.com

State Police: A welcome development?

BY KINGSLEY OMOSE an two walk together unless they are agreed? In the case of Nigeria, this wisdom becomes even more difficult to apply as we are dealing with a nation having over 250 ethnic nationalities. This makes for a complex and combustible environment, which is in addition compounded by the fact that access to resources of the state and political offices are determined based on ethnic identities. So, in any discussion regarding the future direction of the state especially regarding what structural and systemic changes are to be made in Nigeria, we are well advised to start from the point of where we find common agreement, and on issues where we cannot find common agreement this should be determined by Nigerians preferably through the use of referendum and not by elected law makers supposedly acting as representatives of the Nigerian people. On the issue of State Police which seemingly appears to be generating much controversy, especially with the divisions in the ranks of the Nigeria Governors Forum pitching governors of states in the North against those in the South, a closer examination of the state of affairs in

C

the 36 States of the Nigerian federation will reveal that we have more in common on this issue than public discourse is at present indicating, proving that there is consensus on this issue. We already have Hisbah Police in some of the 12 northern states such as Kano, that introduced Sharia some years back, who clearly participate in policing and law enforcement duties albeit with regards to infractions of the Sharia laws imposed some years back, effectively backed with a court system that handles criminal prosecution of those who have been charged under such state laws. Lagos State was the first to introduce its own environmental police known as Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) and is own traffic police, the Lagos State Transport and Metropolitan Agency (LASTMA), and though the LASTMA officials work in conjunction with the Nigeria Police, this idea of traffic and environmental policing has now been adopted by all the other states in the South West including some of the South South states, such as Edo and Rivers states. In the South East, we have MASSOB, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, that already engages in some form of vigilante work

and crime fighting like Odua Peoples Congress in the South West, so let us stop deceiving ourselves that the time has not come for State Police. Wh at is more important is to define their modalities, duties, recruitment and training policies, equipping requirements and relationship and jurisdiction with Nigerian Police. The key worry by many who are opposed to State Police is not really the worry that they will be subject to the dictates of state governors, but that state police will be used as instruments for checkmating the long running election rigging role played by the Nigeria Police in federal elections, and become tools for rigging local and state elections, and by extension federal elections which are conducted in the 774 Local Governments across Nigeria. Since we already have one form of state policing or the other across the 36 states of Nigeria, is it not better that we stop playing the ostrich on this most critical of issue that has the potential to bring policing closest to the people at the grassroots by concentrating on the positives of this policy as opposed to heightening our fears over the negative aspects of state policing and work to offer solutions

that will reduce or minimize these fears. Key concerns for me on the issue of state police are recruitment, which should be based on residency and tax status as opposed to ethnicity, Local Government or State of Origin, and control which cannot be exclusively left for the Executive Governor of States but shared with a State Police Service Commission similar to what obtains with the appointment of judges of State High Courts and Chief Justices, and finally the issue of jurisdiction which must be well defined, responsibilities spelt out and distinguished from that of the Nigeria Police. The issue of State Police should not be framed in a national but within a state context because the creation of a Lagos State Police Force with jurisdiction confined to the state should be of no significance or consequence to those residing in Rivers, or Benue State but the legal status, mode of operation, recruitment and training, duties and responsibilities and weaponry have to be well defined. Omose writes from Lagos.


DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Memories

Philip Nwosu 08176449110

21

R YOU S U SEND HOTOS P OLD wosu@yahoo.co.uk phillipn e-mail:

Today in History Steve Biko dies in custody On September 12, 1977, the leader of the black consciousness movement in South Africa, Steve Biko, died in police custody. The 30-year-old’s death was confirmed by the commissioner of police, General Gert Prinsloo. It is understood Mr Biko died in hospital in Pretoria. The government minister of Justice and Police, James Kruger, stated that Mr Biko had been transferred 740 miles (1,191 km) from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria for medical attention following a seven-day hunger strike. Mr Biko had been in custody since 18 August when he was arrested and detained under the Terrorism Act. He is the 20th person to die in custody during the past 18 months. Steve Biko was born in King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape of South Africa in 1946. He became active in the anti-apartheid movement in 1960s when he was studying medicine at the University of Natal. He initially joined the National Union of South African Students’ (NUSAS) but resigned in 1969 because he felt it did not represent the needs of black students. He set up the South African Students’ Organisation (SASO) in 1968 and was elected its first president the following year. In 1972 Biko was expelled from medical school and began working full-time for the Black Community Programmes (BCP). He also started writing regularly for the SASO newsletter under the pen-name of Frank Talk.

1977

Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, and the Premier of the Eastern Region Sir Michael Okpara at the Party Headquarters in Onitsha in 1959. Photo: Courtesy; Elisofon, Eliot photographer

Nigerian wins literature prize in the U.S 2003

Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, based in the United States of America, on this day in 2003 won the N1.5 million 2002/3 David T. K. Wong Prize for Fiction, a PEN International literary award. In a letter by trustees of the International PEN Foundation Terry Carlbom, International Secretary and Gilly Vincent, Administrative Trustee, the organisation disclosed that Adichie won the 2002/3 “The David T.K. Wong Prize for Fiction” with her very highly successful Biafran story, Half of a Yellow Sun. The novel version of the story will soon be

published. Excerpts from the PEN letter to the publishers of the book read: “The David T. K. Wong Prize for Fiction - We are delighted to tell you that your entry Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has won the 2002/3 David Wong Prize for a Short Story. “As you will remember, all the entries were sent to the judges anonymously - that is, their name and country was not revealed - and a preliminary panel of three-British novelists Georgina Hammick and Frank Delaney and literary agent Barbara Levy - selected a short list.

“The final judges, J. M. Coetzee, William Trevor and Michle Roberts chose the winner.” The formal announcement of the winners will be made at PEN’s International Congress to be held in Mexico City this November. The writer and her publisher have been informed to come to the congress, for the presentation of the cheque for £7,500. If she is unable to attend, then the organisation will have no choice than to organise a cheque to be sent to her publishers.

US declares war on terrorism On this day in September 2001, the President of the United States described the destruction caused in New York and Washington as an act of war against all freedom-loving people. In a statement broadcast at 1053 local time (1553 BST), George Bush vowed the US would use all its resources to avenge the worstever attacks on American soil. But he warned an angry and wounded nation they would have to be patient and said any action could be a monumental struggle. The president has also been seeking the backing of world leaders for an international campaign against terrorism. As the estimated number of dead rose into the thousands the day after the tragedy, members of the US government began talking openly of war. US Secretary of State Colin Powell said: “It isn’t going to be solved with a single counterattack against one individual, it’s going to be a long term conflict.” Expressions of support have come quickly from American allies, and also from countries not known for their sympathy with the US - the leaders of Libya and Palestine both condemned the attacks in the strongest terms. Only Iraq has endorsed the atrocity, saying the attacks were a “lesson for all tyrants and oppressors” and the fruit of American crimes. Tony Blair offered the unequivocal backing of the UK, echoing President Bush’s words in his press conference announcing the recall of Parliament.

2001


22

DAILY SUN

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Help save my life, man with strange leg tumour pleads By GILBERT EKEZIE

M

Needs N1m for surger y

r Samuel Uffort, is an indigene of Akwa Ibom State suffering from a strange leg tumour. He’s been battling with the life threatening tumour since 2010. His ordeal started at work at Ruby Carrier where he used to work as a business development executive. He complained and was asked to go for treatment. He headed to an hospital in Bariga Lagos where he was examined. According to him, nothing was found out after the various tests. So, he was referred to National Orthopaedic hospital Igbobi for further tests and treatment. Uffort told Daily Sun that after much treatment at Igbobi, his condition did not improve as expected. He could not walk freely without crutches. Thereafter, he was discharged from Igbobi to be attending for treatment from home. After three months, his employers sacked him in September 2010 for inability to meet up with his official obligations. “My company sacked me because I was unable to do my job as a result of my ill health and paid

me salary arrears up to August.” Unfortunately, he used the arrears he was paid to settle hospital bills, yet his problem persisted. “I spent almost N350, 000 at the hospitals I attended, hoping that my problem would be over. Igbobi hospital later recommended surgery for me. But I have no money for that. As I am busy thinking on how to raise money for the surgery, my landlord gave me notice to quit. So today, I am confused and helpless.” He, therefore, called on government, non governmental organisations, corporate bodies, religious groups and individuals to assist him raise money to undergo the surgery. “I am passing through pains as a result of the tumour. I need the surgery urgently and that is why I am appealing for support to raise about one million naira. People should please donate to save my life because I am dying. Samuel Uffort Account Number is 6014624228, Fidelity Bank. He could also be reached through 08025843689 or his residence at 3, Jebina Street, Bariga, Lagos.

Specialised trade exhibitions for Lagos trade fair

T

he new concessionaire to the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Aulic Nigeria Limited, yesterday, said it has completed plans, in conjunction with its foreign partners, to host specialized trade exhibitions at the multi-billion naira complex. The theme of the trade exhibitions scheduled to hold in October, November and December 2012 is: Boosting Nigeria’s Development through Trade Exhibitions. The exhibitions are expected to attract participants from leading entrepreneurs and industrial giants from across the globe as well as other participants and key players from within the country. The organizers said they want to showcase the investment potentials of Nigeria to the world as well as keep the local participants abreast with the latest technology and trends in the business world. The exhibitions are designed to create forum for fruitful interaction among the participants. It is expected that the participants will exploit the window of opportunity provided by the events for investment diversification and market penetration. A statement from the organizers said the trade exhibition will bring in Foreign Direct Investment into the country as many firms from abroad have indicated their intention to participate. A representative of the foreign interest involved in the exhibition, Mr. Kim Sylvanus said that the event promises to be different in scope and organization. Meantime, the organizers have embarked on massive renovation and reconstruction work in the at the trade fair complex in readiness for the hosting of the mega exhibition.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

PABULUM -Food for Thought A

profoundly warm happy birthday greetings goes here from me to His Royal Majesty Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida, Afunbiowo II, the 45th Deji of Akure Kingdom, who last week Wednesday, September 5th turned 62 and clocked two years on the throne of his forefathers to which he ascended on that day in 2010 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his coming into the world. The same age at which his grandfather, Oba (king in Yoruba) Olofinlade Adesida, Afunbiowo I (1837 – 1957) the 40th Deji who reigned for sixty years became king in 1897. This article is also to congratulate in advance His Royal Majesty Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, Okukenu IV, the Alake of Egba Kingdom who will be 69 in two days time, Friday, September 14th. I phoned Oba Adesida last week Wednesday to felicitate with him on his doublebarreled anniversary celebrations which came a day after my 68th birthday milestone on Tuesday, September 4th and will do so with Oba Gbadebo on Friday. I have two reasons for making my homage to Their Royal Majesties public. The first is that they read my column and have given me word of encouragement as Oba Adesida did last Wednesday when we spoke on phone. And as I reported in the column of July 11 as the Alake did on July 4 when he called to give me additional information on the number of judges produced by the family of one of his predecessors on the Egba throne, Sir Ladapo Ademola II, who reigned from 1920 – 62. Oba Adesida who has a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ibadan and Oba Gbadebo who obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arabic language from the same institution and a retired Army Colonel, were not buying the Daily Sun until about two years ago when they heard that I write a column in the Wednesday edition of the newspaper. My sec-

Birthday greetings to kings of Akure and Egbaland ond reason for this public tribute to the two monarchs is the good reports I have about their performance which I want other traditional rulers in the country to learn lessons from in order to endear themselves to their subjects and promote peace and the development of their domains.

The first lesson I want other traditional rulers and other prominent personalities to learn from Oba Adesida, the king of my hometown whom have known since 1956 is that as he did a week ago today they too should organize a church service (or if a Moslem worship in the mosque)

Jonathan avoid Abiola and IBB’s mistakes with God (54)

T

oday, I am addressing the misconceptions many a Christian have about the statement of Apostle Paul in the Bible Book of Romans 13:1 that: “Everyone must obey state authorities, because no authority exists without God’s permission, the existing authorities have been put there by God” (Good News Bible). What this statement means is that nobody can become a head of government or state or monarch without the Heavenly Father permitting it. It does not mean that anyone who attains such a position or any other one is a candidate of the Ancient of Days. The Lord in Leviticus 18 verse 22 spoke against homosexuality and in Deuteronomy 27:26 placed a curse on anyone who will not

obey all His laws and teachings. President Barrack Obama of the United States has now come out to support homosexuality. Does it make sense to say the Most High who is against the sexual misbehaviour brought him to power in other to come and promote the sinful act? What I believe is that the Lord may allow some tyrants or other rulers to come into power to punish a people for their sins or those of their ancestors. As can be seen in the Holy Bible only a few people like Abraham, Moses, Mary and her son Jesus Christ are men or women of destiny. And it is not all that happens to a person in life that are ordained by God. My opinion is that only a few things in a human being’s life are predestined. To be continued next week

on the exact date of their birth anniversary or ascension to the throne. They should not do so during the regular service on the Sunday or Friday immediately after their birthday or ascension anniversary. More to come next week Wednesday.

National Assembly reject renaming of UNILAG (12)

U

nlike in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Egypt and Libya the other countries where tertiary institutions had been renamed in Africa, the exercise in Nigeria has not only been mindlessly and outrageously carried out but also frivolously and irresponsibly done in one instance. Except in South Africa and Libya where two were carried out only one was renamed in each of the other six African nations. And as I disclosed when I wrote about each one, the changes were made in the name of the country or a town and not to immortalize a political or religious leader as has been the case in Nigeria. Where in 28 years sixteen tertiary instiOoni of Ife from 1930 – 80 and Governor of tutions (not 14 as I thought before) have been the defunct Western Region from 1960 – 62, renamed coming to an average of one every two years. A very alarming, scandalous and embarwho are legal practitioners are 23 not 20. rassing trend which I am appealing to National Next week the family of Chief Christian Assembly members to put an end to. Onoh which has seven lawyers and those of Justice Kalu Anyah and Chief Chike Next week: The 16 public institutions renamed in Nigeria. Ofodile that each have six attorneys.

Nigeria’s families of judges and lawyers (8)

P

rince Adewale Aderemi phoned me on Saturday to make two corrections in the information he gave in my column last week. Instead of seven, he says his late elder brother, Justice Aderoju Aderemi has six children who are lawyers and that the grandchildren of their father, Sir Adesoji Aderemi, the

Philosophical Reflection

profnathanuzomah@yahoo.com 08138731416

Demonic manipulation in economic arena (3)

“D

The Sina Adedipe Column

adesina_adedipe@yahoo.com 08055958583

Prof. Nathan Uzorma Protus ear Prof. I am grateful to God for answering my prayer. After using the oil you gave me, I passed out a strong stone while excreting. This is in addition to my former testimony last week. May God bless you. My mother is very happy for the freedom. Please we need more of the oil…” Mr. Joseph Chimankpa. 08102274735 God has a way of working in the life of many people. The man who shared his testimony on how the angel of God flogged his debtor, who consequently paid him after that experience, has started a new life to the glory of God. The reason for this piece of information is to authenticate the function of prayer and how same is used by God to do great things. For more information get your copy of my book, “How to Pass a Decree and Receive it within 20 days.” Very soon, I shall begin to write on prayers and how same is used by God to destroy the forces of darkness in the world of man. There is a serious ongoing manipulation in economic arena, which has destabilized so many people; making the great to feed from hand to mouth. This is so designed to make many suffer. The Bible says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” 3rd John 2. I wish to emphasize here that it is the will of God for his people to be blessed. At the same time, I do not preach prosperity before repentance because one must receive the BLESSER before receiving his BLESSINGS. Today the topsy-turvy of truth with regard to God’s blessings is preached daily. As a result people no longer attach importance to SALVATION messages; their emphasis is on material blessing without putting accepting Christ as Lord and

DAILY SUN 23

personal Saviour into consideration. This is how the truth of the Gospel is upturned. We must do something about it. It is as a result of this that Churches are so many which in turn attracts much multitude; yet majority of people attending Churches are not saved. According to Paul, “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect, yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught. But wisdom, which God ordained before the world into our glory…. 1 cor 2:6-7. I must say here that man is a unit of a higher energy and therefore generates hidden energies within him that are geared towards consolidation of his spiritual and physical being. It is consequent upon this that various aspects of his bodies vibrate in accordance with the forces of light to pass or emit information to the gross material body. This is the hidden wisdom imbedded in the unit of the super-conscious being-man in order to guide him in the right path. It is unfortunate that many people negate this and pass on in life in conspicuous penury, excruciating and deplorable conditions. “We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery.” In this ground braking wisdom there is nothing that happens to man, that nature which God ordained within him does not give him earlier and direct information about it. Some know it, many ignore it and few appreciate it and enjoy their relationship with God. Every part of our body is a divine agency center (Temple of God) through which God communicate to us. This communication could be through signs, signals and much more. A born again Christian Brother called me some weeks ago and said to me that the lower

part of his left eye was twitching and quivering seriously when he wanted to undertake a serious business venture. He prayed and was prayed for by his pastor who finally instructed him to pay his tithe from the money he was going to buy goods with. The Christian Brother consequently obeyed the man of God, paid his tithe and decided to proceed to his journey. But before he went he called me on phone and informed me of the signs he was receiving from the lower part of his left eyes. He also sought for the meanings, I told him to wait and watch before undertaking the journey. He replied, “Prof, my pastor has prayed for me and God is in control…” Following his confession, I asked him to do what the Holy Spirit has instructed him to do. The young man ignored the whole body signs and proceeded to his business trip. When he got to Lagos, according to him, he picked his money from the bank and on his way; he was robbed and shot on his left leg. The bible says, “A prudent man foreseeth the evil and hideth himself, but the simple pass on, and are punished” proverbs 22:3. From the bible assertion, one may ask, how does the prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself from it? The signs are means of communication. Your being prudent is based on the understanding and interpretations of such signs. The simple therefore is the man who does not see reason to understand such signs and its meanings. The fellow becomes like the pastor who prayed and instructed the boy to go ahead against the true instruction from theReal-Divine that came through signs. Today he is still in the hospital receiving treatment. It could interest you to know that after that incident, the twitching at the lower part of his eyes stopped. How could one interpret such, Omen or

superstition? There are many ways God talks to man let us not be hypocritical about this. The moles on our bodies are subtle electromagnetic centers that convey serious massages in connection with the activities and destiny of man. This is not superstitious at all! No wonder the Igbos call it Ahumara-chi meaning mark of identification by God or birth mark by chi-God. The moles speak much about the person, his economic and spiritual life. This is not my focus in this article, but let it be known to you that the science of physiognomy and prosopomancy exposes some hidden qualities and nature of a person, both his temperament and much more. Before I proceed, it is imperative to note here that we as children of God should not be in a hurry to dismiss hidden truth and wisdom of God buried in our higher and lower self which is a serious and dynamic avenues or channels through which God transmits information. I am saying this because there are people that up till date, an itching on the palm of their right hand signifies that they shall soon receive money. This happens to them irrespective of their Christian faith. It is not demonic in any form as some may think. One should Endeavour to study himself and meanwhile serve the king as Aristotle would say “Let us first of all know more about life, meanwhile serve the king”. Socrates concludes, “Man know thyself”. In knowing yourself, you should understand yourself in relation to how nature interacts with you. Nature is another voice of God in creation! The interpretation of these signs should not be generalized because it is solely individualistic and should be studied in that manner. From a higher science of life, do you know that if a man’s hair is very black, short and curling is an indication that the man may be given to liquor, somewhat quarrelsome and of an unsettled temper? There are more than the eyes can see.


24

DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

25

ABUJAMetro THE COMPREHENSIVE

FCT MAGAZINE

September: The parents’ nightmare

•Bills pile as kids commence new academic year •Abuja schools where fees are denominated in dollars

•Turkish International School

this month, we took a sample of some schools in some parts of the city to find out what applies in rates they charge. It seems there is competition in town on who charges most and parents also tend to have a trend of believing that the higher a school charges them, the better the quality of education they have. A school manager, braved it to tell Abuja Metro that “most parents see a school that does not charge as much as those around it as inferior and would rather take their children to the one with higher bill to pay.” Well, if that would be a surprise to you, how would you feel hearing of those schools in Abuja where fees are paid in dollars. However, the schools, from Abuja Metro’s findings give parents the option of paying the fees in the naira equivalent of the dollars. Some are in Gwarimpa, Maitama, Asokoro, parts of Garki, etc. In naira equivalent, the fees per child per term in these schools range from between N450,000 and N1.7 million. A school Abuja Metro sampled its fees indicated that at admission a pupil pays $1000 dubbed Capital Development, that is followed by another N240,000/term fee.

By AIDOGHIE PAULINUS and KEMI YESUFU

T

his is September. It is a special month, and to some extent a nightmarish month for parents.It is a month associated with high spending, shopping, borrowing and changes in location for families and parents.

The parent that is alert to his/her duties always plans ahead in expectation of September because it is a month to pick heavy bills. The reason bills escalate is because the school year starts in September and many parents would tell you, after picking the bills, their peace returns and those who could not easily do that live in frenzy and panic. If you ask those parents, who are tenants and have their tenancy renewable in September, they will tell a better story of how tense it is to remember September. Bring issues of spending in September to any parent and the response you get is: “That should wait until after the children’s fees are paid.” The city of Abuja is one carved out for high cost of living, especially in house rent and children’s school fees. Because the use and patronage of public schools has really declined, parents live at the mercy of private school owners this time of the year. Here in Abuja, as in most parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), school fees come in startling digits and right now, the heat is on as Abuja Metro spoke with parents on what the month has in stock for their bills. Before the encounter with parents on what they face

Parents’ preparation Checks by Abuja Metro in some schools revealed the hassles parents go through in trying to meet the needs and demands of their children’s schools. Schools like •Daria

Continues on Page 26


26

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ABUJAMetro

DAILY SUN

September: The parents’ nightmare Continued on Page 25

Carjacking epidemic grips Abuja PAGE 3

Nigerians say N5,000 note, not necessary PAGE 29

the Turkish International College, Wuse 2, and the Centagon International School, Maitama, revealed the exorbitant fees parents pay in either enrolling their wards or as they resume in a new session. Investigation at the Turkish International College revealed that enrolment of new students into the junior secondary school, costs a total sum of N1,495,000, at the beginning of a session. This amount, according to our sources, covers all that the student needs, excluding toiletries. The amount, our sources said, is paid at the beginning of a new session. But the situation was different at Centagon whose fee for new students is pegged at N1,470,000. Unlike Turkish where the student does not need to pay additional sum at the beginning of a new semester, the situation is different at Centagon where each student is supposed to pay N1,180,000. One of the school’s staffers, who attended to Abuja Metro, said “at the beginning of a new session, a secondary school student is expected to pay N1,180,000.” A parent, Barrister Georgina Ehuriah, a Deputy Director in the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund, Office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, however differed in the preparation of wards for a new session, saying it is not really difficult as such. She said one had to plan. “Planning is the key to making sure that your children return to school without stress. As soon as they go back to school, you start planning by putting something aside every month. For those of us, who are salary earners, you have to really plan. Otherwise, you will start having difficul-

Cynthia murder: Youths say no going back on social media PAGE 31

15 years as Super Eagles players’ pimp PAGE 39

•Regent International School

ties, trying to raise school fees if you wait until it is time to go to school. It will be difficult.” The mother of two, who, however, refused to disclose how much she pays for her children, also said as soon as her children are back from school on holiday, she asks them to do a list of everything they require and picks them early enough. “And because I plan and I am very strict with it, I find it a bit less stressful.” But for Mrs. Daria Ezem, Manager, Corporate Services, Red Sapphire Nigeria Limited, an event management firm, it is really difficult, preparing one’s children for a new session. Ezem said: “It can be difficult in this present kind of situation in this country. For each of my three children, I pay N48,000 at the beginning of a new session. As they resume school, since they are still at the primary level, they are expected to pay like N48,000 and that is too hard on me. It is not funny at all,” she said. Asked if she enjoys the escalating school fees cost, Ezem said she always planned ahead because failing to plan ahead will make things too difficult. “During the period when they were on holiday, I planned for their resumption. I was more like prepared for them.” Whichever angle one views resumption time in Nigeria, for both the rich and low income earners, there is no gainsaying that preparations could be biting. However, it is discernible to note that the economic hardship is biting hard on parents, even as they prepare their wards for a new session right now.

+Million naira schools Loyola Jesuit Turkish International Centagon International Others Regent Schools, Gwarimpa – N450,000 Siloam School, Gwarimpa - N102,000 The Future Hope School, Gwarimpa – N95,000, bus fare – N20,000 Aduvie Primary School - $1000 (Capital Development) N240,000 fees brainyVille, Wuse 2 – between N135,000 – N180,000 (Creche to primary)

•Ehuria


ABUJAMetro

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

27

CRIME TRENDS

Carjacking epidemic grips Abuja By IRENE CHIDINMA NWOYE

R

age and disquiet continue to intensify as more and more residents of the Federal Capital City (FCT) become victims of current trend and threat of carjacking. Car thefts, which have become rampant in areas like Wuse, Garki and Gwarinpa and Utako have left law enforcement agents helpless cars get increasingly nicked at gunpoint. The hoodlums not only do away with cars worth millions of naira, but also help themselves to other valuables of their victims including money, phones, laptops and ATM cards. They are snatched at gunpoint and also taken away from parking lots. Mohammed Saleh, a property developer in the FCT, had his 2011 Mercedes E550, license plate FCT MS550ABC, stolen on •Car snatching scene Friday, June 8 on his way to the office to Chinyere Obi-Obasi, a lawyer, writer is retrieve his laptop at around 10:00pm close plaint. They radioed the other police stations and checkpoints. The police told me also another recent victim of the sprees. to Sharif Plaza at Wuse 2. “They cut me off. I thought it was a bad to go to Maitama because the incident She got the dose on Friday, July 20 at driver so I braked really hard and before I occurred under Maitama Police Station. I 8:00pm. “I was coming back from work in the could even finish stopping, three armed went to Maitama Police Station, by then it men jumped out of the Toyota Corolla in was around midnight, and I made an offi- evening and one of the robbers opened the cial report in writing. gate of my house in Garki. It was raining front of me,” he said. “We called someone at MTN to track my hard; all the generators were on so no one The men who accosted Saleh threatened him with guns before taking him to the phone and they tracked the signal to airport would have heard me call for help. Three backseat of his car. “He put the gun to my road, Lokogoma and then lost the signal,” men accosted me and followed me to my house, where my husband and children head and told me to put my head down. The he said. Despite the efforts of the robbers to stage were. They are young people around their second armed one got into the front passenger’s seat, while the third that was unarmed the operation as a targeted one, late 20s and early 30s. They took my jewMohammed explained that the phone call elry, the television, our computer monitor drove the car,” he said. During the drive, the carjackers quizzed was ‘rubbish’ as the carjackers did not even and then the car,” she said. Fortunately for Chinyere, her car was Mohammed on how much money he had know how to drive the car. recovered later that night. Apparently, the on him. After taking the money, they also thieves abandoned the car after it stopped. took his ATM cards. Nonetheless, the upset mother of five “They counted my cards and asked encouraged residents to be careful of the which one had money. I told them. They people they employ into their households asked for the ATM pin and I told them. such as security men, plumbers, carpenters They said if it was the wrong pin they were and even maids. “People should know the going to shoot me.” background of their workers or use credible According to Mohammed, one of his agencies to employ such people. abductors received a phone call and began “Abuja is not safe again. When I came to say things like: “Yes boss, yes boss. We here from Lagos in 2003 people could are with him boss. Ok boss.” After the leave their doors open. Everywhere was phone call, he informed Mohammed that free. Nobody followed you and there were he had learned that they could get N10m no thefts. But increasingly now, you hear of from him that night. people’s cars getting stolen even as early as When Mohammed told his abductors that 4:00pm. One of my friends went to see their alleged informant was wrong and he someone in Utako and as soon as he did not have that kind of money, they made stepped down someone collected his car.” more threats: “They said my family will Apart from these few instances, there are never see me again. One of them said I several other incidents where the victims wasn’t serious and asked another to shoot no thefts. But increasingly now, swallowed the pill and refuse to speak to me in the leg.” Abuja Metro on their experience. Some of During the ride, the abductors stopped you hear of people’s cars getting them feigned indifference speaking about and let him out on the Mabuchi road lead- stolen even as early as 4:00pm. them as they argue that that would not bring ing to Gwarinpa. Mohammed then took a One of my friends went to see back the lost car. taxi to the nearest police station. someone in Utako and as soon as For those lost at parking lots either at “I used the cab’s phone to tell my brothhome, public functions and on the streets, ers what had happened. I went to Wuse he stepped down someone colthe means of the use of masterkeys to Zone 3 Police Station and lodged a com- lected his car”

“Abuja is not safe again. When I came here from Lagos in 2003 people could leave their doors open. Everywhere was free. Nobody followed you and there were

unlock cars or smashing the windows to have access into them. A victim said he was at a pub and left his car key on the table when someone picked it when he lost concentration and made away with the car. He advised those that go to rowdy places for drinks or to watch football to watch it. The carjackers also target cars locked or unlocked by remote access, and clone the range, especially those that lock their cars via remote access from a distance. But what troubles her most is: “Where are they taking all these cars to?” Doris England, Public Relations Officer of the FCT Police Command, said the epidemic can probably be attributed to unemployment and some other social pressures. According to her when the police receive reports of cars stolen at gunpoint within the FCT, the FCT Command responds immediately. “When the report is made, it is relayed to radio transmissions and internal communications that link all the patrol teams and divisions within the FCT. The message being sent, every other police station is listening, so they are getting the message and the patrol team that is on ground will immediately swing into action, looking out for the particular vehicle that is reported.” On how the FCT sensitises the public on security tips and its helplines, she revealed that the FCT police command has emergency numbers which have been circulating through media houses, like the FCT Command Police Programme on NTA called ‘Call The Police’ which airs every Tuesday between 9.00pm and 9.30pm. “They can call in at any time and there will always be someone to respond to complaints and observations and relay the information to the areas and divisions concerned.” With regards to stolen ATM cards that are used, Mrs. England told Abuja Metro that they have not ‘really’ got complaints of money withdrawn through stolen ATM cards. “If we have complaints on that then our investigations will follow the trend.” She advised members of the public, particularly those whose cars are snatched at gunpoint, that it is imperative they report the incidents immediately and as lucidly as possible to the nearest police station in order to hasten police intervention. Furthermore, she urged motorists to use security tactics such as trackers, and steering locks. “They should also register their vehicles because sometimes you find out that most of these are vehicles not registered. They can equally have the vehicle registration number inscribed on the side glasses, headlights and any other part of the car. This might be a deterrent to a car thief because the aim of someone stealing a car is to dispose of it immediately and a car that has inscriptions doesn’t really have much market value,” she said. She added that the FCT Command has made a couple of recoveries, following up cars in Nasarawa and Niger states. Even cars stolen from other states have been recovered in the FCT. Between April and July, the FCT Command recovered about 62. This is out of some hundreds snatched. Like Mrs. England, Chinyere Obi-Obasi advised fellow FCT residents to be security-conscious and lock their cars while driving. “They should watch their backs and know if they are being trailed.” “Everybody should be his or her neighbour’s keeper. Everybody should be vigilant. When you see young men milling around parked cars, find out their mission or call the police to interrogate them.”


28

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ABUJAMetro

DAILY SUN

FCT NEWS FG to adopt int’l reporting standards

FCT August IGR drop causes stir

By FRED ITUA

From FRED ITUA, Abuja he Federal Government has ontroversy has conreiterated its commitment to tinued to trail the the adoption of International N1.072 billion Financial Reporting Standard uncounted money (IFRS) and International Public supposedly generated Sector Accounting Standards by the Federal Capital Territory (IPSAS). This was made known when the (FCT) administration in August Accountant-General of the as part of its Internally Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, visit- Generated Revenue (IGR). Documents obtained by Abuja ed the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Metro indicated that the FCT Mohammed, as part of sensitisation administration generated N400 of the Federation Accounts billion, as against N1.472 billion Allocation Committee (FAAC) for July and N1.101 billion for sub-committee on roadmap for June, thereby creating a shortfall of adoption of IPSAS in the country. N1.072 billion. A document, dated August 28 The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on July 28 approved and signed by the director in charge adoption of the provisions of IFRS and IPSAS for private and public sectors. Mr. Otunla further affirmed that the committee was working towards ensuring a standardised uniform chart of accounts, budget and general purpose financial statehe Nigeria Police has disments that will conform with interpatched more that 140 national best practices as practised policemen and women to the by IPSAS, noting that the implewar-torn Somalia. mentation process would assist in It was learnt that the new batch of peer review mechanism of financontingents, which included all the cial reports, among the three tiers of necessary personnel was led by government. Chief Superintendent of Police, Mr. Ahamufu. The contingent was rcreated by the African Union Mission (AMISOM) in Somali in collaboration with the United Nations. According to the director in By ISAAC ANUMIHE charge of the Nigerian Police Directorate of Peace Keeping, hairman of the Revenue Deputy Commissioner of Police Mobilisation Allocation (DCP), Kayode Aderanti, the and Fiscal Commission, Police contingent to Somalia is (RMAFC), Engineer Elias sponsored by the United Nations. Mbam, has told the oil-producing states to use the 13 per cent derivation to develop the oil communities. He said it was necessary to clarify that a larger percentage From FRED ITUA, Abuja of the 13 per cent derivation s part of its Cooperate fund meant for development of Social Responsibility host communities was diverted (CSR), the management of to other areas. Speaking while receiving a MTN Nigeria, through the MTN delegation of traditional rulers Foundation Security Project, has from Delta State, who were on a procured 60 vehicles to augment courtesy call, the chairman security operations in eleven states lamented that the law, establish- and the FCT. According to the Director, ing States and Local Foundation, Mr. Governments Joint Account MTN was an encumbrance on suc- Akinwale Goodluck, who spoke cessful operations of the 13 per- in Abuja when he presented five cent derivation principle, since of the vehicles to authorities of the law confers absolute control the Federal Capital Territory of the fund on governors rather (FCT), the gesture is to assist than local council chairmen, the government to improve who govern the host communi- security operations in the country. ties. “Through the MTNF-SSP initiaHe advocated for an amendment of the States and Local tive, the MTN Foundation has proGovernments Joint Account vided 60 fully-equipped security Law to allow the LGAs take patrol vehicles with communicadirect control and administra- tion gadgets to 11 state governtion of all funds meant for them. ments and the FCT,” Akinwale He said the on-going review stated. “We are constantly expanding of the revenue allocation formula would also address some of the scope and depth of our unique the grievances of beneficiaries model of CSR by adding true value of the federation account in a to the society in addressing real needs. Today’s event demonstrates just, fair and equitable way.

T

C

•Minister says no cause for alarm of FCT treasury, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed Bomai, gave a detailed breakdown on the amounts generated by the different departments and agencies of the FCT administration. According to the document, the Abuja Geographical Information System (AGIS) and FCT Water Board that generated N989.14 million and N190.88 million respectively in July drew blank in August, indicating that they generated zero revenue. Other departments and agencies of the FCT, which did not account

for any revenue in August, going by the document, included Archives and Historic Bureau, Federal Capital Development Authority, Treasury and FCT Scholarship Board. Others were FCT College of Education, FCT Secondary Education Board, FCT Mass Education and Abuja Digest. Although the Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, gave an excuse, citing an unspecified pending case in court against AGIS and Water Board, two of the departments of FCT administration as

being responsible for the shortfall of over N1 billion. The Public Relations Officer of AGIS, Mrs. Zamani Grace, when approached by Abuja Metro, refused to make a comment, regarding the excuse given by the Minister of State that a case was in court. Efforts to get further details on the low income from the Media Assistant to the Minister of State, Mr. Oluyinka Akintunde were not successful, as he shifted the responsibility to the office of the senior Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed.

140 Police peacekeepers for Somalia –Ben Okezie

T

RMAFC charges oil states on use of 13% derivation

C

•Hon. Kingsley Kuku (in T-shirt), Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and head of the Niger Delta Amnesty Office watch as one of the 30 trainees of the amnesty project sign to obtain his letter of employment by a Dubai firm in the Amnesty Office, in Abuja, last week

MTN gives 60 security vehicles to 12 states

A

our continued commitment to addressing real societal needs.” Reacting on behalf of the FCT administration, the Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, said: “We appreci-

ate this gesture. What you have done shows that you are living up to your CSR. We are encouraged by this kind gesture. MTN has come a long way with us. In the FCT, security is our concern.

This gesture will encourage us further. “Government can’t handle the security challenges alone and that is why we are particularly gladdened by this gesture.”

FCT provides farmers N250m loan From FRED Itua, Abuja

T

he Federal Capital Territory administration (FCTA) has provided

about N250 million community empowerment agriculture revolving loan for 385 poor communities in the six area councils.

Abuja metropolitan council clamps down on illegal business places

T

he Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) Reuben Okoya has condemned the activities of traders and artisans operating in unauthorized locations within the Federal Capital Territory. During the removal of shanties and other illegal business premises at Dawaki, a suburb of the capital city, the coordinator frowned at the attitude of traders that violate the city’s master plan by operating

their businesses in unauthorized premises. He stated that the council has taken steps to monitor all the areas cleared of illegal structures to ensure that those removed from the settlements do not retune to the areas as the department of Parks and Recreation has been mandated to fence off the demolished areas to forestall the resurgence of the squatter settlements.

Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, disclosed this last week during an inspection of farms in Kuchibuyi and Guita Communities of Bwari Area Council where she met farmers. The Community Empowerment Agriculture Initiative is the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Project Support of the FCTA under the Department of Economic Planning, Research and Statistics (EPRS). The minister was accompanied by the chairman of Bwari Area Council, Hon. Peter Ushafa; Director of EPRS in FCTA, Alhaji Ari Mohammed; Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat in the FCT.


ABUJAMetro

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

29

BUSINESS

Nigerians say N5,000 note, not necessary By ISAAC ANUMIHE

T

he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has announced it will introduce into the market a N5,000 note, the highest currency denomination in Nigeria when it debuts. Apart from the new addition, the CBN will pick a hefty budget in billions of nara to remodel existing denominations and turn some into coins. But this is not palatable to so many Nigerians as they speak up. The other denominations introduced recently into the market are the N100, N200, N500 and N1,000 which were issued in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005 respectively. While the N1,000 note is protected by a number of sophisticated security features which are sensed by touch and sight, with the aid of a magnifying lens or under ultraviolet light, it is not clear yet what the features of the new note are made of. When the N1,000 note was introduced in 2005, there were speculations that the e-payment system or the cashless policy would be affected but the then Deputy Governor of the CBN, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman allayed the fears of the public, saying: “The introduction of the N1,000 currency note is not to suggest that we have jettisoned the e-payment project but to address the cash component of the payment systems. The e-payment project is still on-going. The reality is that cash transaction has refused to die. You cannot have a cashless society. It’s not possible, not even in the most advanced economies with all the technology. The introduction of the new note will not amount to a reduction in the volume of the lower denominations. All the denominations will continue to be issued in the right mix and volume to meet the demands of Nigerians and the general public.” The N1,000 note was to be the last in the series of higher denominations approved for issuance by the federal government. But, according to sources, the N5,000 note will not only enhance the cashless policy of the federal government, it might also be used to immortalize the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua who gave so much to the country. Daily Sun was privy to the coming of the new currency and broke the news, and therefore sampled opinion of Nigerians on the development. It was simply surprising that though the interviews were conducted before the CBN made official admission of the plans, the same names our respondents suggested should be on the note were the ones announced by the CBN later. Since news of the N5,000 note broke, it has elicited comments from stakeholders.

•Onwubiko

• Lamido

Some Nigerians say the major challenge facing an average Nigerian today regarding the naira is not about the singleness of the N5,000 note, but about the availability of economic opportunities that will enable him to generate and earn such amount productively. The dilemma of the ordinary citizens who are used to poverty is that the naira is almost worthless in value as to secure any reasonable thing.

small scale firms due to high interest/lending rates by financial institutions and the imminent threat of food insecurity. Farmers are not getting the needed financial lifeline from banks to expand and modernize their farming activities to meet with the large demands for farm produce. The Central Bank of Nigeria ought to begin the implementation of projects and policies to promote local industrialization and to bring down the lending or interest rates charged by banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria . Certainly, the introduction of N5,000 note is not the issue at this moment. The best way to promote cashlessness is to To start with, Nigeria is fix the necessary planning against next year facilities to enable cashless system to start with cashless socie- the work. A nation ty. If you are talking about without the modern socio-economic cashless society, mobile facilities like elecmoney, why are you talk- tricity and other ing of another denomina- technology-driven infrastructure are not in place to tion?”

“I don’t think that having another denomination Comrade of naira is Emmanuel Onwubiko, going to solve Rights activist I believe it is our problem. It unnecessary and does not have irrelevant at this critical time of our anything to do nation, particularly when the country is with the econafflicted by severe economic adversi- omy right now. ties such as unemployment, high crime rate, underindustrialization, capital flight, invasion of the local economy by quacks and unfit persons from abroad who breach the expatriate quota and the constant closure of

implement any economic reform. By and large, the proposed N5,000 note is not needful now. Most people are going electronic banking and we have points of sales machines and automated teller machines and online channels. So, with all this in place why do you need N5,000 note when we want to institute a cashless society?. To even contemplate using the portrait of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, former president who incidentally appointed Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as CBN Governor is to say the least patronizing and selfish. If indeed Nigeria needs icons and heroes to use their portraits in any naira note why not adopt the photo of Mrs. Margret Ekpo or the lady who led the Aba Women’s riot instead of using pictures of these same politicians of contemporary times that have led Nigeria into this economic mess through corruption? Sanusi Lamido Sanusi should stop introducing divisive policies like his arbitrary award of N100,000 unbudgeted assistance to Kano victims of Boko Haram attacks and now this weird idea of N5,000 note just few months after he introduced the unpopular Islamic banking that violates Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution. Ayodele Sebiotimo, media rights activist I don’t think that having another denomination of naira is going to solve our problem. It does not have anything to do with the economy right now. To start with, Nigeria is planning against next year to start with cashless society. If you are talking about cashless society, mobile money, why are you talking of another denomination? I don’t have anything with the former president, late Umaru Yar’Adua. He contributed his quota. But it has always been the Nigerian issue - sentiments. Why do we have to whip up sentiment and put Yar’Adua’s face on the note? We have a lot of Nigerians who have done better than him. They deserve to be recognized. But right now I don’t think we need another denomination of the naira. Abdulwahab Isa, Economy analyst Although CBN has not officially affirmed that they are going to release N5,000 note and N2,000 inclusive, to me we already have inflation on our hand and CBN has not been able to bring inflation to single digit that they have been trying to achieve. So, why do we want to have another currency denomination when the one we have now has not even improved our economy. We have enough currency denominations now that can serve our purpose. That will even enable the politicians to ‘steal’ our money the more.


30

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ABUJAMetro

DAILY SUN

CELEBRITY

Blake Resort band leader, Kaycee Klein, who started playing at 9 By KEMI YESUFU

S

ince 2005 the Great Sensationals Band has performed seven days a week at Abuja’s hot spot Blake Excellency Resort. For majority of mature fun seekers in the capital city, the Garki hangout is the place to be when it is time to let their hair

down. Unlike other lesser joints, Blake has all the trappings of an Abuja hangout. Those who visit get to see lots of girls, men with roving eyes, a busy group of waiters serving orders for drinks, plenty of roasted fish and other small chops. There is however one feature that stand Blake out. For those who have made this colorful joint their first choice when it is time to spend money on leisure, it largely boils down to the refreshing live music performed there. Thanks to a history of versatile bands. Most people being initiated to night crawling in the capital city are often taken to Blake to get a feel of downtown Abuja. Thanks to an unquenchable passion for music, the Great Senationals Band has kept fun seekers captivated for seven years. A famous face at Blake, the leader of the in-house band, Michael Onyinbo Kaycee aka Kaycee Klein told Abuja Metro this much. “We have a passion for music. Each day you wake up and remember the appreciation that comes from your audience, you look forward to going on stage later in the evening”, he gushed. Still speaking on how his band has helped the hangout exert a hold on its patrons, he said: “Some of our fans call us doctors because our music sooths their souls. Basically music heals; it is like a drug that if taken at the right time heals the sick. When people come here, they come to free themselves of stress and we do all we can to ensure that they leave us with a smile.” Klein, who started his music career as drummer in the church choir at the age of nine is proud of the caliber of the people who he entertains 365 days a year. He said of the Blake congregates: “Most of the people who come to Blake

By UBONG UKPONG

F

or widows in Abuja, the condemnable Boko Haram insurgence in Maiduguri, Borno State that caused Ignatius Newman Ezeigbo, to flee to the nation’s capital, has turned a blessing. Twice every month, he showers them with food items and money for smallscale businesses. The widows, who counted their blessings to Abuja Metro, said that since Ezeigbo came with his empowerment, they have noticed great improvements in their lives. The founder of Rock of Ages Foundation and a lay preacher with the Catholic Church, said in spite of the insurgence by Boko Haram, he had been at Maiduguri where he cared for over 1000 widows in the past two years through his foundation. When the security problem became unbearable, he had no option than relocating to Abuja, where he now continues with his philanthropy. At the time he commenced the programme early this year, over 400 widows in Abuja were already participating, but some months later, the number of beneficiary widows rose to over 800. He said the beneficiaries get assistance in finance and material provisions at least twice every month, where they meet at a garden in Abuja city to sing and dance in appreciation to God before collecting food items and money for small scale businesses. The foundation also avails them med-

Excellence Resort are mature people who want a place to spend time with friends and when they come here we give them all the entertainment they seek. So we hardly have problems with the audience. “Our audience is made of mature music lovers who show us so much appreciation. My band is big in Abuja because we are dynamic. We play all kinds of music including fuji, highlife, hip-hop, RnB and calypso. So there is hardly anyone who leaves us unsatisfied.” Seven years after he took over the music department at Blakes few weeks after he formed his band, Klein revealed that it takes discipline and humility to run a big band like his. “It takes a lot of discipline to manage a band like ours. You also need to be humble by remaining on the level of your band members and the other guest artistes that perform with you. For you to manage a band in a place like Blake Resort you have to understand where an artiste is coming from.” The Delta born musician who has an album show your logo to his credit has come a long way in the world of music. And as he told Abuja Metro there is no looking back. “After leaving school, I came to this town in 2004. I met the group - The Heroes Band led by King Faj. I started working with him but the management of the band had problems and this led to members of our group branching out to other things. I managed bands before I came into Abuja so I saw the problems with The Heroes as an opportunity for me to go back to what I was doing before I came to this town. I assembled a new band, which is the foundation for what we are seeing today. Five of us formed this band, and for you to say that we are one of the biggest bands in Abuja, then we must have done our jobs well.” Klein who holds an HND in Mass Communication from the Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Enugu, has no regrets settling for a career in music. “I got into playing in bands since 1997. I must confess that I have never regretted choosing music. I studied Mass Communication but I see what I do as connected to what I studied. My first album Show Your Logo was released years back. I have started

work on my second album. My lead single which I featured Style-Plus is enjoying airplay so it goes to show that I am moving deeper into showbiz.” Even his parents knew that their son would end up at the stage. This led to their ensuring that he first attended a tertiary institution before plunging into music full time. “My parents knew that I would end up in music. They only •Kaycee Klein advised that I complete my education before I start. My parents are late but they supported me all through, the same for my siblings. For me, you have to choose a career that makes you happy. You can see that I am doing well financially. I live in one of the good neighborhoods in Abuja. I pay my bills. I have trained four graduates from this business. I am not complaining especially as I know that even with what I have achieved, my future is bright.” Handsome with good fashion sense, it is amazing that the man behind the Sensationals is single and still searching. When Abuja Metro disclosed disbelief, a smiling Klein insisted that he relates with female fans professionally. He doesn’t relate with them as a potential lovers. According to him not even the leggy lady with him then is spared the professional treatment. He said, “I am still single and searching. I have many female friends but I don’t have a girlfriend. Yes, female fans do come around and I just try to be friendly because they are important to me. But I am only connecting with fans by attending to them and nothing more. “Yes it’s possible to keep a formal relationship with female fans. There is no artiste that doesn’t know how important female fans are so we know how to deal with them without taking beyond our working relationship.”

Here’s Abuja’s husband of widows •Cleric who fled Maiduguri over Boko Haram, now has over 1,000 Abuja widows in his care ical and psychological services leading to a reduction in the cases of high blood pressure and stroke, which are common among people of their class, as they testified. “Widowhood is not a curse. It is a stage in life. Widows must know that it is God who called their spouses away and the same God will always be there for them at all times. These women have been able to embrace these teachings. At the beginning, we noticed that so many of them had cases of high blood pressure, diabetes, but by the grace of God, in the course of the programme we have helped them out through lectures and medical assistance. “They have come to understand that they are not alone in their situation, that it is a stage in life one would one way or the other encounter by losing a dear one. So many of them today look forward to our fortnight sessions here. There are so many of them that look forward to it because when they come, they sing, they praise God, in fact they encourage one another. When you look at others and discover that you are not

•Ezeigbo

the only one, that gives them some strength to carry on. You may even be crying that your situation is the worst but when you see another person whom you are even better than, you become encouraged that you can survive your situation. With that and the word of God encouraging every one of them, it has built their faith and confidence”, Ezeigbo assured.

Although the foundation is relatively young, it has already given out about N2m at N10,000 each to over 195 widows in Abuja to start small scale businesses. On Saturday June 23, the Foundation led over 800 widows in Abuja to mark the International Day for the widows and also gave each of them a bag of rice and other food items, making them wear smiles once again.


ABUJAMetro

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

31

Cynthia murder: Youths say no going back on social media •They only ask patrons to be wise By CHINAZA SYLVIA ONOH, HEAVENS KELECHI and DIANE CHIDINMA EZEH

N

igerian youths are part of the world rave of InfoTech influence that has sometimes been elevated to addiction by many. It has eaten deep into the fabric of socialization and today it comes with its peculiar prob-

lems. One of such problems is the security of the individual who indulges in it. The trend has spawned a chain of platforms popularly known as social media. They serve as means of creating chains of friendships and social connections. Most times the friends hardly get to know each other physically, but most get so intimate through internet interactions that they feel as good as being close. The most prominent of the networks include Facebook, Twitter, 2go, Badoo, Blackberry Messenger and many others. The development had been viewed as harmless, at least in Nigeria until two weeks ago when the killing of Cynthia Osokogu broke. In other worlds, deaths through Internet relationship have been so rife that they are already part of the laws of such nations. That is the basis for the creation of a vocabulary called Internet homicide. Cynthia’s death in the hands of friends she met on the social media raises question on the safety of persons who develop relationships through this platform, and Abuja Metro asked youths if the social media is still worth patronizing. Uju Okonkwo Chika, 18, UNIBEN I had friends I had not contacted since I left secondary school and I was thrilled when I learnt that most of them are on Facebook. So, I decided to join and since then, we have been able to make up for the lost times. Social networking is good. Through it, it is easy to learn about things happening in the world especially facebook and twitter. The problem, however, is that most people allow these networks to affect them tremendously. Some people spend so much time glued to the screen and this can affect their sight. As for meeting my internet friends live, I see nothing wrong with it. I have a friend who met her husband on facebook and they are very happy together. I do not advise people to travel far and wide just because they want to meet their 2go or Facebook friend. Chioma Eze, 25, UNN It is not bad to meet internet friends. But caution is important. Meet with the person in a public place, probably in a park or in a restaurant. It is absurd when people go to hotels with people they do not even know. Everything should be out in the open. Of course I have got very positive things from the social networks I use, like, meeting old friends, making new ones. It has not affected me negatively because I am conscious of everything around me. If I see that I am spending so much time on it that it begins to affect my studies or thinking, I withdraw. I think everybody should do the same. Tony Brendan, 22 People should meet in public places instead of seeing in enclosures like a hotel room. When one knows that an internet friend cannot harm in any way, it can be taken to the next stage. I also think that people should be mindful of first impressions because it matters so much. People pretend to be who they are not these days. It is the last impression that always matters. If you are to meet someone you have never seen, do not take the person’s word for sure. Try and know them in the way they act before you begin to trust them. But I benefit a lot from the social networks. I meet friends, and advertise my goods there. I sell clothes and

•Chidi Ugwu

•Chioma Eze

•Chinedu

•Chioma

shoes and through these means, I have been able to make good sales. But like I said, I study people before meeting them. Idee Mbaba, 24, LASU From the recent incident, I have learnt that one should be very careful in meeting internet friends because you do not know who is who. What people tell you is not what they really are. That is not to say that meeting them is bad. But I think Cynthia, whose death is now a major issue was wrong. How can a girl travel far to meet someone she hasn’t seen? If the person wants to see me, he or she should come and meet me in my home or school. If I talk to my parents about it, I am sure they will receive him. I think she has become an example to every youth that not everyone can be trusted. Kelechi Eze, 23, UNIJOS

I think people should meet their internet friends because you do not know who will help you tomorrow. Millions of people meet everyday? Wasn’t there a day you first met your husband or friend or even you business partner? Did you just wake up one morning to discover that you know everybody? Internet is just another means by which we make friends. It is the same with every other means of interaction. People should stop using one person’s bad luck to make unreasonable conclusions. Everything in this life has merit and demerit and it is left for us to be mature enough to separate them. You can’t abide by the rules or disobey them if you do not know what they are. My business is successful today because of social networks. Also, I am the type that enjoys learning a lot from people’s experience and I think social networks helps me more. Ifeoma Okeke, 23, UNN Social networking is what I have come to call a parasite, gaining from the users without the users gaining anything from them. I will continue to despise Facebook or Twitter or whatever that is. I am not in any of them because I see it as thorough waste of time and money. I feel disgusted when I see people pressing phones on the road. In fact, I will be delighted if those people are knocked down by trailers. Worse, people spend useful money uselessly buying N1500 credit just for pinging. That money could be used for books or even helping the poor. As for meeting internet friends, I find such people stupid and not well trained, especially ladies. I actually do not pity anybody who gets killed or raped in the process. There is no useful benefit in social networks. They are only agents of destruction and dehumanization, one of the things westerners have developed to keep neo-colonization going. I am not and will never be part of it. Kyande Innocent, I share a common view with majority of youths who agree that the social media are helpful though some people tend to use them for illegalities. I can’t discard the possibility of meeting good and reasonable friends. Accepting friends is good but one has to be reasonable. One has to be careful and know whom to accept as friend and the reason for meeting with such a person. It must be important and used for enhancement and not just leisure. Odey Moses I express my sympathy considering the relevance of information management and regulation of facebook. If there is a possibility that regulatory agencies or the government can let them access and investigate online transactions. I do not think that will amount to infringing on people’s privacy for as long as it will serve public interest.

•Dickson

•Mbaba

Yemi Mohammed The social media and facebook are very important when it comes to acquiring news. People get news on facebook and keep abreast of current happenings on the social media. I must say that making new friends is important, but knowing your friends is another thing so I think I can’t just write off making new friends. However, you can’t be my friend online and I’ll consider you as my real friend. Friends online are treated differently from real friends. Rita Okenwa Chioma Let Facebook be banned, and that is my position. I think the damages it does to youths are worse than whatever they gain from it.

•Innocent

•Odey

Continues on Page 34


32

Wednesday, September 12 2012

DAILY SUN

- ABUJAMetro

Fun in T By KEMI YESUFU

I

t is where Nigeria’s powerful, moneybags and privileged few love to do just about everything. Their serious business, crucial meetings, leisure, frivolity and money-making all have space here.

The Abuja Transcorp Hilton is the preferred location for people of high taste and high spending. No matter how viewed, the city will still take some years to get something that rivals the spot. This explains why the Hiltonia membership card, which gives its holder access to all the facilities at the hotel is highly sought after even when acquiring it is costly. The Hilton hotel is an international brand of reputation. The multinational rivals among the best and most spread all over the globe. Wherever it exists, it attunes to the international standards defined in the Hilton model. So, this in Abuja fits squarely into that mould. Regular folks often visit the five-star hotel located in the Maitama District thereby making it one of the most popular locations in the country. Even a JJC (stranger or uninformed) cab driver will safely drop off passengers at this popular spot. But it is the big spenders most of whom are unbelievably unbending about hanging out at luxuriant settings that have kept the Abuja Hilton relevant. Expatriates and members of the diplomatic corps also love this cossy place. Despite a number of name changing from the days of Nicon Hilton to the present Transcorp Hilton, courtesy of changes in ownership, the persnickety lot who won’t stay anywhere else but the Maitama hotel has ensured that aspiring competitors postpone their day of takeover as Nigeria’s topnotch hotel. Some would simply say that it is the effortless cool and sophisticated character of the Abuja Hilton that makes it tick; others would argue that its alluring appeal lies in the fact that you can bump into just about anyone at the hotel. From international celebrities to powerful Nigerian politicians, the Hilton lobby is one place that chance meetings have changed many lives. It is no wonder that the immediate past General Manager of the hotel, Andre Herrenschmidt described his seven-year stay in Abuja in exhilarating terms. “At the Abuja Hilton, you meet the world”, he said. “It is actually an exceptional landmark. I have great memories of receiving so many key players in the world from Bill Gates, Bill Clinton to the members of the International Olympic Community to the organisers of FIFA Under-17 football competition. But the highlight will remain the State Banquet at the presidential Villa held for the 50th Anniversary of Nigeria.” While Herrenschmidt take on the Abuja Hilton is irrefutable, tourism experts also point to the physical and operational size of this hotel which has 670 rooms, over 20 meeting rooms, seven restaurants and bar, a massive swimming pool, a play ground and courts for lawn tennis as well as three other games. Interestingly within the cultured class that lodge at this hotel, there still exists the ultrasophisticated group who only stay at executive rooms on the 9th and 10th floors. The 10th floor also hosts the presidential suites. Abuja Metro can disclose that aside from visiting global dignitaries, Lagos born billionaire Ambassador, Dehinde Fernandez stays in the presidential suite each time he lodges in the Hilton. Abuja Metro investigations also showed that rooms at these two exclusive floors start

Abuja Hilto meet the w

•670 suites, 20 m bars distinguish from N320,000 a night. This explains why the 10th floor has its own facilities, such as its receptionists, a bar and meeting room. To stay on these floors, you either pay in cash or in kind. To pay in kind, the Transcorp Hilton management has a standing offer for a complimentary night stay in an executive room for any client that purchases a bottle of Hennessey Richard at N2m or Hennessey Eclipse at N600,000. Whichever of the rooms lodgers can afford or however they choose to pay for it, one thing that makes sleeping at the Hilton refreshing is the clear view of the city landscape from many of its rooms. Notwithstanding its largely impeccable reputation, what better way to scrutinize the Abuja Hilton than sneaking in on a Friday night? Though the capital city had emptied out for the sallah celebrations when Abuja Metro visited, all of the restaurants and bars at the Hilton were busy on the night. Just as this reporter checked in for a night of exploration, the voice of a

female c As you what is h Drummi initely w restauran But, th Bukka fo drumme bring you It takes n Away most rev ple of Ab a medley the Capi stay civi The C its discot


ABUJAMetro

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

33

THE SUN

on: Come world here

meeting halls, 7 it

crooner at the popular Piano Lounge engulfs a wide radius in the hotel’s main entrance. u saunter in there to take a seat to listen to the singer and her back-up pianist, you pause to see happening at the nearby Lobby Bar where a jazz band is entertaining a group of fun seekers. ing that sounded like one from a village square can be heard around the Bukka restaurant. It defwould draw any curious mind wondering what a traditional group is performing in front of a nt well past 9pm. hose that know the Hilton hotel well will tell that traditional groups routinely perform at the oyer. The successful recreation of the scenery at a typical local bukka ends with the dancers and ers. Not only does the spick and span condition of the Hilton Bukka and its buffet styled service u back to reality, the cost of eating at the restaurant is ten times higher than any mamaput around. not less than N4600 to eat at the Bukka. from the Bukka, it doesn’t take much thinking for many who want to party at the Hilton. For velers the best place to start is the Capitol Bar. Live-band music remains the favorite of the peobuja. Those who stick with Capitol Bar do so because it is the only raucous free place to enjoy y of live music. Unlike other often noisy hangouts in downtown or boring bands in some hotels, itol Bar is a good blend of lively musicians, cold drinks and a livened audience that manages to ilized. Capitol Bar is also the place you can get tasty chicken wings. But the hottest spot at the Hilton is theque. You have to walk through the casino to get to Safari nightclub where all the action ends

on Fridays. Majority of fun seekers in the Hilton congregate in Safari nightclub once the curtain is drawn at all other in-house bars. The best time to go into Safari is a little after midnight. If the performers at the in-house bars were at their best the two DJ’s in Safari did not impress on the night. They committed a musical sin by not playing a hit song for the first 30 minutes of the club’s opening. It was much later that one of the DJs started dishing out tracks from rave acts such as Wizkid and P-Square. The below average performance of the Disc-Jockey notwithstanding, those at the club danced till the early hours of Saturday. It was obvious that they just wanted to have fun no matter what. There were also no complaints about the food or the drinks as orders were promptly served. It definitely is fun hanging out at the Abuja Hilton, though many would say it is costly to do so. But for those who want service of international standard here in Nigeria, the Transcorp Hilton remains the place to go especially as it is considered one of the safest places in the capital city.


34

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

ABUJAMetro

CELEBRITY

We must promote Nigerian languages for tourism –Ify Acholonu conserve what we have in our history so that our children cannot suffer to know where they come from. All state governments depend on the federal government for the monthly allocation even when they can create money for themselves through tourism. If they tap into the sector, they will not have to depend solely on allocation. All states in Nigeria have tourism sites that can be developed to generate income. By the time our infrastructure is in good shape, the citizens will be motivated to travel round the country without the fear of being hurt. I want to suggest heavy private sector collaboration with the governments to improve the sector. The private sector has the wherewithal as well as interesting ideas on how to improve the sector. They can come in and help fix the roads, provide power and help reduce the load on government and work out a way to make their profit from the investments. The Lagos State government has sought private sector collaboration in developing the state and it is working so if the private sector can come in and sign MoU with governments, the infrastructure crisis we face will be out of the way. There is no doubt that Nigerian economy can be tourism-driven.

From ZION ZADOK, Abuja

T

ourism in Nigeria is not celebrated, at least, not by Nigerians. And gone are the days that the outside world visited the nation for tourism and this is because of the security challenges we face. It will be difficult to convince foreigners to come and explore our tourism potentials. In order to change this trend, Miss Ifunanya Acholonu, a lawyer, in expressing her fascination for tourism believes that the only way to salvage the sector in the country is by making it home based, making it inviting first to Nigerians before the outside world. If it should be home-based, then it must have high local content, and that means our thoughts and life concepts must be readily expressed and preserved in our local tongues. Ify’s message sounds interesting given her background. She is a child born into a highly educated family – a medical doctor father and a professor mum. All these have never been deterrents to her awareness that it’s selfdeception to live like we are inferior or have no identity by teaching the children only the English language to the detriment of Nigerian languages. That is the kernel of her espousal in an interactive with Abuja Metro. Our tourism Nigeria is blessed with a lot in terms of tourism but we have not gone far in exploring those potentials compared to what obtains in other African countries. I have observed how the tourism industry functions in other countries, and what they do to improve on the sector. I think we need to do better. I admit that tourism agencies in Nigeria are doing their best, making some concerted efforts to improve the sector, but I think more should be done. I know that the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has made efforts to promote Nigeria at the international scene to see that the country gets recognition. Sometime ago a US based international body - The International Council for Tourism Partners appointed Nigeria as a destination member so even though we are facing some challenges right now in insecurity, poor infrastructure, apathy on the side of our leaders to improve our tourism industry but that is a step in the right direction. Also the Ministry of Tourism and the National Orientation Agency are trying to improve on the sector but it has not been so easy because of the challenges. A different angle The NTDC has done much to promote our cultural heritage. I know they have organised some Nigerian fashion shows where some locally based Nigerian fashion designers, craft people showcased what they have and they have been doing that from time to time not only in Nigeria but also abroad. The NTDC organised what they called mobilisation tourism to promote the image

•Acholonu

of the country by attracting the youth to a competition. Because in Nigeria today our youths are not exposed to our heritage or our history, so they tried to create an avenue to promote it by attracting the youths into their culture, through the mobilization package. A non-governmental organisation recently came up with the seven wonders of Nigeria so whoever wants to visit any part of Nigeria that has some historical background will have to visit the seven wonders. The first wonder is the National War Museum, in Umuahia in Abia State, the second is the Benin City walls, in Edo State, the third is the Suker Kingdom in Adamawa State. There is an ancient palace there but right now it is deteriorating because the authorities are not doing anything about it in terms of attracting tourism. Another wonder is the Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State. While the competition is a good idea it was not promoted the way it should have been. I got information of the competition from the internet but when I spoke to some youths they didn’t have any idea of it. The handlers didn’t do much in sensitizing the people of the contest.

problems we face in the country today in insecurity, nobody will come to Nigeria on tour. Even within the country, you cannot go to certain states because you feel threatened so we will have to do more in trying to convince foreigners to come to Nigeria and feel safe. We have to do all we can by fixing the security problem, when that is done and people know they can be safe in Nigeria, then we can think about attracting people but for now we just have to see how we can encourage each other in Nigeria to learn our history, to learn more about our heritage. Another problem is the lack of infrastructure, our road network is very poor, people in Nigeria provide virtually everything for themselves. No good water for the homes, communication is so poor, even our airlines are not safe, so whom will you convince to come to Nigeria, nobody will. Infrastructure development has to take place in the country before people can come. Nigeria is endowed with so many natural and cultural tourism facilities, we have a rich and diverse heritage, rich and diverse historical resources but most of them are deteriorating. I can tell you about Zungeru in Niger State, where the amalgamation of Nigeria Promoting tourism took place. I am sure most people don’t even I feel that the major way to promote know about that. The importance of that city tourism in Nigeria is by engaging in home- where even Zik was born is fast escaping based or domestic tourism. Because of the from the awareness of Nigerians. We need to

Cultural tourism Language is a major part of our culture, you cannot advertise yourself to the outside world if you cannot promote your language, and our parents have a role to play in this. They owe that responsibility to their children to understand and speak their indigenous languages. When parents expose their children to the outside world, it is not bad to also make them learn their native languages. I mean it is good that children know how to speak other languages, but the place of the indigenous language should not be overlooked. Our schools should adopt our cultural ideals into our children, our children living abroad should come home from time to time to know where they come from, so language is key. I told someone the other day how I wish in Nigeria we had one indigenous language to identify with. In Tanzania, while they have different languages, they have a unifying language, one that if I am a Tanzanian and you meet me outside, you will know by the language I speak. In Nigeria we have over 250 ethnic groups and over 400 languages, but if I hear someone from any minority group speak outside I will not even recognize the person is a Nigerian unless he speaks Igbo or Hausa or Yoruba. If we have a unifying language it would have been beautiful. It will bind us. The place of language cannot be overlooked and should be imbibed in a child. The youth market is a major opportunity for the growth of tourism because as they are becoming more informed they are becoming more adventurous and more mobile especially because of the social media Tourism agencies should use the social media to promote Nigerian tourism and that can make us achieve a lot.


ABUJAMetro

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

35

CHARITY

Redeemed Church preaches welfare gospel in FCT, Nasarawa to mark 60

•Farinruwa Women Leader, fetching water donated by RCCG

By UBONG UKPONG

S

uccor has come the way of some communities in Abuja and Nasarawa State, near Abuja, as the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), donated some boreholes to ensure they have water supply. The pastor of Region 10, popularly called

the Abuja Family, comprising the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasarawa and Niger states, Pastor Joseph Olaade, on July 29, commissioned several water projects within the region on behalf of the General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye. Although he said these were parts of the church’s Corporate Social Responsibility to the communities where the parishes (SCR)

exist, the projects were basically used to mark the 60 years of the church. But for people in those communities, the reason behind the boreholes seemed unimportant to them. All they care about is that through the efforts of the church, they now have clean, potable and accessible water that eluded them for several years. Tungamaji, near Zuba and Dutse Alhaji along Bwari road, both in Abuja, within the FCT Province Two of the church and Farin Ruwa in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, within the Nasarawa Province One of the church, are some of the benefiting communities of the church’s gestures. Abuja Metro was at the commissioning at Farin Ruwa, where the people expressed the relief the borehole has brought them, vowing also to protect and maintain it for continuous use. The community head of Farin Ruwa, Umaru Bala said Farin Ruwa means clean or pure water, but ironically, they were not opportune to have such clean water before the church’s intervention. From inception, the natives got their water supply from a small stream around, flowing from a rock, which they carefully secured, being a vital factor in their existence. However, with the movement of the federal capital from Lagos to Abuja, and the creation of Nasarawa State, Farin Ruwa gradually grew into a big shantytown as most people, who originally came to live and work in the FCT, due to shortage of accommodations, build and live in Farin Ruwa and sink their boreholes either for private use or for commercial purposes. The chief was thankful to God and the church that now residents, especially those

who had been buying water have a relief with this free public borehole. He was happy that the days of suffering and spending to procure water in the homes was over. “Honestly, we find it difficult to get water especially in the dry season. Even if you want to buy, from the water vendors, it will take you two hours before they can deliver”, he said. Hajiya Asabe Abdullahi, who was first to fetch the water as it was commissioned said she represented the women. For her, it was a big relief for the women, whose duty it is to ensure there is water in the home. “We thank God and thank the church. The water is very close to us and now within our reach without any trouble like we used to face. We will not have to go far any more in search of water. We will not suffer to look for or buy water again. Now you can just be cooking and rush out to fetch water and your food will not burn. We can even ask our children to fetch little water from the borehole and it will be very easy. The church has done a great thing for us in Farin Ruwa,” she said smiling. The pastor in charge of the Nasarawa Province One of the church, Titus Adedoyin, assured that more projects including maternities, would be provided by the church but water is what the church could give now even to all communities in Nasarawa State if possible because of its importance. “In addition to evangelism, we look at special ways to impact on the lives of people in the communities where we reside. We have primary schools, there are plans for secondary schools, maternity is in progress and we shall soon commission them too.”

Cynthia murder: Youths say no going back on social media friend. I advise youths that it is not a crime to make friends on facebook but do it with extreme caution. The social media should not be banned because there are even people that have got married through it.

Continues on Page 31 Ugochi Njoku The problem is not the social media or facebook in particular. I can’t condemn facebook use because it is still very important. All I want is adequate punishment for those that killed Cynthia. Gbenga Adeleke, 27, I joined facebook to re-unite with old friends I had lost contact with and I have gained a lot by being on facebook. But on Cynthia’s death, I think her idea of going to meet someone she does not know was a very wrong one. She took the joke too far to have trusted a strange man. I can only advise youths to be careful with the kind of friends they add on facebook and also mind the sort of information they disclose to people. But the social media has its benefits and I don’t think it should be banned. Dickson Atarhe, 27 I had no particular reason joining facebook but as time went on I saw it as a wonderful social network. It serves as an avenue to spread the gospel, motivate and inspire people. I can only express sympathy over Cynthia’s case. She was just a victim of the bad side of technology and they took advantage of her open mindedness. I can only advise youths to exercise caution before they accept a friend on the social media. There should be the need to investigate •Kelechi

•Ugochi

•Okonkwo

deeply before accepting anybody’s friendship. But I wont suggest or support ban of facebook because it has served as a medium of inspiration to many people and also a good way of communication. Chidi Ugwu, 21 I joined facebook to get in contact with friends I have not seen for a very long time. Being on social media is a benefit because it helps in creating associations with people. Cynthia’s death is just a different matter and pathetic, I have to admit that and her leaving school to meet a friend on facebook was very wrong. The incident is a very big lesson to youths who are not only on facebook but other social networks. When chatting, discussing with friends, I think it should be on beneficial things. But facebook should not be banned because it has enhanced business careers and also serves as an avenue to meet job opportunities.

•Brenda

Emmanuel Obigozie, 22 Facebook serves a great purpose in linking lost contacts and many have gained by joining facebook. On Cynthia’s death, I can say what happened to her could as well happen to any other person and the girl in question might have been friends with this guy for long that should be enough reason for her to go and meet him. I can only tell youths to pray and be careful. But Cynthia’s case is not enough reason for Facebook to be banned because this kind of incident happens almost everyday Anthony Junior, 22 Facebook has helped many including myself to meet new people. So, Cynthia did not commit any crime by going to meet someone on facebook, the mistake she made was not informing her parents before embarking on the journey or even being in company of a trusted •Okeke

Shehu Oloyete, 25 Through facebook and other social media we meet friends that are even outside the country. My view about Cynthia’s death was that she did not commit any crime by making friends on facebook it is so unfortunate that she was taken advantage of. If you are good don’t think every other person is good. No matter how close you are to somebody be very careful. Despite the incident, I don’t support the ban on social media because it connects people around the globe and also one could get job opportunities on facebook. Aderibigbe Esther, 24 Through the social media, I have gained a lot, especially the facebook. We get information on recent events, job opportunities and scholarships around the world. Cynthia’s death could have happened to anybody. She wouldn’t have gone into closed doors meeting no doubt even if she wanted her goods to be marketed. While using the facebook or any other social media, I don’t add to my list one I have not really known and I carefully chat with friends. No attempt should be made at banning facebook or any of the social media because they have their benefits to the generation.


36

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

ABUJAMetro

EVERYDAY LIFE

Angwan-Hausawa where disorder is the order By GODWIN TSA

A

cacophony of noise and heavy human traffic welcomes one to Nyanya Tipper Garage, a growing ghetto at the Nyanya axis of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) From mini commercial activities to the most dreaded and bizarre human transactions, the bustling community is wrapped in the underbelly of an evil seed. Deprived of the beautiful architectural edifice and infrastructure development in the city centre, the ghetto, also known as Angwan-Hausawa, still remains a noticeable feature for both petty businessmen and fun seekers. From the little mosque tucked at a corner of the main entrance, overlooking the Nyanya-Keffi road to the muddy paths and rusty structures with a cluster of churches, at the tail, the area is alive twenty-four hours. Although replete with multiplicity worship centres, its notoriety in immoral lifestyle is unparalleled despite the singsong of preachers against such indulgence. Densely populated by artisans, thugs and jobless youths, the area is notorious for high-wire prostitution and gay activities. Local food joints and mini kiosks dot the sneaky pathways that lead into the cluster of shafts used as residential houses by artisans and women of easy virtues. At these local food joints, flies and filth compete vigorously with customers as they hover around indiscriminately. Nearly 95 percent of the houses and shacks lack toilet facilities. This compels residents including women and children to pass excreta in any available space not caring about privacy. But the brave ones among them run to uncompleted buildings to answer the call of nature. After the rains, pools of water usually dot everywhere, serving as fertile breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Residents of this ghetto, suffer regularly from malaria bouts. Also the area lacks any functional health centre to tackle the numerous health problems of the less privileged people. Besides the fear of contagious diseases, the stench that oozes from the collection of waters is everything but nauseating. But the most dreaded problem in the area is not malaria fever or typhoid. It is the activities of the ‘bad guys’ who sell and take hard drugs in broad daylight. They are dangerous and deadly! Abuja Metro was warned.

•The neighbourhood of Angwan-Hausawa

It was observed that these drugs are concealed in folded cardboard paper as decoy and passed over to potential buyers after a fee has been paid. Sex life in this ghetto is not restricted to sex, age or a particular time of the day. The large number of women and teenagers who hawk around, calm down people with high libido at a ridiculous fee. These women, predominantly from the northern part of the country are seen sitting in front of their makeshift accommodation constructed with rusty corrugated iron sheets. Some work as food vendors. During one of the visits to the area, Abuja Metro saw a man and woman locked in each other’s arms in ecstasy as they murmured in uncoordinated voices. At a distance, another couple was seen entangled in the stomach of a 911 truck that was parked opposite a shack. While the reporter stood stiff, surprised at the brazen acts, a man with kolanut-coated teeth, intuitively murmured in Hausa language: “Mallam, mai ka tsaya kalo haka, kai sabo zuwa ne? (Why do you stand gazing at

them, are you a visitor here?) Dressed in a stained flowing caftan that exhibited a strained relationship with water, the man, whose name was later identified as Yusuf, a popular mai-shai (tea seller) at the area, told Abuja Metro that it was part of life that makes Angwan-Hausawa a lively place. He explained that at the ghetto, anything goes and people are expected to mind their businesses. Corroborating this position, a lanky but lively Usman, a cobbler of many years standing said life at Angwan Hausawa is a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly as anything goes. “If you want woman, you get am for here, anything fa,” he quipped. The extreme of the suburb is used as an arena for entertainment where drama and dance competitions are performed by Muslim youths. Here, empty sacks, which are cut into pieces, are joined end to end to barricade the arena from the outer reaches. Admission fee into the arena is N50. Long wooden seats are arranged in the interior as spectators pavilion. Inside the arena, it is music, dance and drama. It is an entertainment joint for the rich and the poor. No discrimination here. While expensive cars announce the presence of the rich in the society, motorcycles on the other hand, are the trademarks of the less privileged. The dance competition is usually between a girl and a boy at the centre of the arena to the admiration of the spectators. Hausa disco music is played to an ear-shattering tempo as the dancers wriggle their bodies to the rhythm. At the end of the competition, winners are announced by a team of judges who usually take their seats at the far corner of the stage. Usually, participants are identified by their pet names such as ‘Lady B’, ‘Tu Face’, African Michael Jackson etc.” It is usually a nightlong affair. Pickpockets and other petty actors in crime are common features that keep spectators on their toes. Cigarette smokes in tiny ropes, roll into the sky and descend in a wave-like movement. They finally curl on the faces of people. Beside these, disagreements that usually end in scuffles and activities of some urchins are also noticeable at the dance arena. All these features and many more are what make Nyanya Tipper Garage, another destination of chaos where disorder has come to be the order in every life.


ABUJAMetro

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

37

CITY TRENDS

N49,500 for FRSC officer that escaped haywire cab driver’s mauling By UBONG UKPONG

O

n Saturday June 9, at Kubwa, Abuja, a Road Marshal Assistant III, of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Smaila Ibrahim, almost knocked at eternity’s gate. A cab driver that went berserk aimed at him with his car and caught him napping. As he landed on the bonnet of the car with a heavy thud after being gored like in a Spanish bullfight, the driver sped off with the officer sprawled and hanging between life and death until the driver was done with his James Bond expensive stunt and allowed him to drop off almost lifeless. Abba Ahmed, the terror cab driver got himself in jail after the act. An Abuja Senior District Court, sitting at Kubwa tucked him behind bars for a half-year duration, probably to have enough time to reminisce on his ill temper and possibly come out cleaner and saner. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Sector Commander and Corps Commander of the FRSC, Kayode Fanola, told Abuja Metro that the officer was on guard duty at the Unit Command that fateful day, when Ahmed, was arrested and

brought in with his taxi impounded by the Corps. Ibrahim, while on guard, had sighted the cab driver and moved to close the gate as the accused forcefully sped off and hit the gate open, prompting the officer to rush and clutch the •Abba, FRSC convict wipers and door of the car, thinking that it could dissuade the cab man from his escape bid. Not deterred by the delicate position of the officer on the bonnet of the car, the accused bent on escape from custody drove on with the officer dangling as he headed towards the expressway. Fanola said that policemen at a checkpoint on the highway towards Madalla, arrested the accused, rescued the officer and handed over the driver to personnel of the Corps. He said the accused was subsequently

handed over to the police that charged him to court for obstructing a public officer, causing hurt without provocation and criminal intimidation. The police had to take over the prosecution of Abba Ahmed because the nominal complainant and immediate victim, Ibrahim, is a public servant and as such, needed protection of the state. The accused was arraigned by Corporal Sandra Opangwu, prosecutor, before Abdulazeez Anka of the Senior District

Government convoy hits, wrecks man’s car, runs away •I can’t talk, lest they victimise me further –Owner By HEAVENS KINGS KELECHI

A

grey Toyota Carina II car with Kano registration number AJ 570 TRN is possibly the latest victim of governments bullying in Abuja. The car was terribly bashed by a government convoy along AsokoroKubwa expressway. The victim, who refused to speak to Abuja Metro, was left stranded and confounded beyond words after being hit by the escort van, a Toyota Hilux, one of the vehicles in the government convoy, escorting, which Abuja Metro could not identify because they had left the scene at the time of our arrival. The driver of the Hilux alongside other cars in the mad drive left the scene without apology or concern. The scene was in front of the WU Bassey Army Barracks. The incident, which occurred in the early hours of August 30, portrays further the cruelty of government officials who ply the roads with less caution to traffic rules and regulations. It was further demonstration of the lack of impor-

tance government officials in Nigeria attach to citizens. Such scenes and incidents are very common in the history of Nigeria, with some victims even killed. The victim, though irate, could not utter a word about the incident since according to him the government was involved and he feared for the aftermath of speaking against the powerful bullies. According to the owner of the car who refused to disclose his name, “this involves government and I do not want to be involved. Different governments have come and gone and they are all the same. I do not want to get caught up because I might speak a word they can use against me. I am not privileged enough in Nigeria to talk of this injustice.” He just expressed gratitude to God for preserving his life as he made immediate arrangements for the repair of his terribly damaged vehicle.

•Convoy victim

Court of FCT, and was represented by Ahunanya Onyedikachi, the accused person’s counsel. To make the trial brief, the accused pleaded guilty to all the charges preferred against him. He told the court “yes, all the charges are true. I committed an offence at the Kubwa expressway and my vehicle was taken to the road safety office and I drove dangerously to the gate. I hit and took Ismaila Ibrahim on my vehicle to Kubwa road and was shouting that he was a thief in the process.” After admitting guilt, the court asked him to show cause why he should not be convicted. He just asked for leniency for being new in Abuja, and that news of his mother and son’s illness back in Kano got him nervous leading to the commission of the offence. His reasons were not enough to cause the court to acquit him, though acknowledging his contrition. The court handed him sentence on liberal and compassionate grounds. Deriving from section 78 of the Penal Code, and section 365 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the convict is to pay N49,500 compensation to the complainant, with a right to appeal valid for 30 days.


38

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

ABUJAMetro

CITY TRENDS

It was chaos in Abuja during fuel scarcity


ABUJAMetro

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

39

SPORTS

15 years as Super Eagles players’ pimp •Macho Ghanaian says Nigerian ladies woo him to date footballers By ROMANUS UGWU

A

lthough of Ghanaian descent, and having spent more than 15 years in Nigeria, ebony black bouncer, Patrick Ossai, is certainly no longer among the ‘Ghana must go’ category.

In fact, he has made himself relevant, an indispensable asset and an integral part of the Super Eagles team. He has held sensitive positions as bouncer and pimp to majority of the foreign-based Eagles players. “I have been in Nigeria for the past 15 years and I should be a happy man to have left my country Ghana to be part of the Nigerian senior national team. I don’t feel Ghanaian any longer but Nigerian and I have equally done everything useful to help the Eagles win their games,” he noted emphatically. The Ghanaian has so established a powerful physical and psychological chemistry with the players and even their families that according to him, they are always very uncomfortable if they don’t see him around them while they are camping in Nigeria. Pato, as friends and acquaintances fondly and famously call him, has become part of the Eagles brand that many followers of the team and players would easily notice his absence during some of the times he was, hostilely, forced out of the team. He has served many of the Eagles coaches, from the Shuaibu Amodu’s day to the current gaffer, Stephen Keshi. Part of the secrets of his longevity with the team is his understanding of the lascivious, lewd and romantic disposition of the players. Standing as a stopgap between them and Nigerian ladies, he described as desperate and bent on getting close to the players, has caused goodies to roll into his pockets over the years. He narrated to Abuja Metro the operation that has now become his traditional function to the players, disclosing that apart from securing them from the masses, he also arranges bashes and nightclubbing for them in, according to him, the most bubbling nightclubs in town, after sweating it out during national assignments. “Nigerian girls are so desperate and direct when they want to have relationship with the players. Some of them would come to beg me to allow them toast the players. However, in most cases, I seek the opinion of the players and if they approve of such plan, I grant the ladies their wishes. “If any player requests that I invite a lady he admires, I also approach the lady for her response. Let me however emphasize that I don’t force any lady on any player and vice-versa. Many of the ladies want to take pictures with the players,” he quipped. Pato, took us behind the curtain of his journey into the national team, his pimp role and security functions to mostly the foreign-based players. He no doubt says he enjoys the role. Joining Super Eagles I am part of the Super Eagles technical crew, as an assistant equipment manager. I have been with the team for over six years. I have come across many Nigerian players because the expectation from every Nigerian, anticipating •Ossai

the team to win at all times, has resulted in constantly changing the players and coaches. Periodically, I work with different sets of players and coaches and noticed that each of the coaches comes with his style of play and approach to the game. Most times, I see strange faces in the team, which is a testimony that football talents abound in Nigeria. Aware of the situation, I have always welcomed any player invited to become part of the team. I take them as my friends because us young men, I know what they need. I make the relationship very intimate by calling them even when they return to their base in Europe and every other part of the world. Our relationship has also gone beyond the activities in the team to sharing ideas to help us grow. The bouncer We have policemen always guarding the team in camp, but sometimes police cannot do the whole job of protecting the players. We know that every Nigerian player in Europe is famous in the eyes of most Nigerians. Moreover, because many Nigerians want to identify with these big players, they want to touch and feel them, they want to talk to them even when they don’t have their time, so, I have to be the stopgap between the players and the fans. That is why I go the extra mile to provide them security. As a bouncer, I have edge over others in protecting the players because I also do body building. I have established such chemistry with the players that I know when to stop the interaction between them and

the fans. I started preparing for this function 10 years ago when I commenced bodybuilding. I have equally taken my bodybuilding to another level by becoming a fitness coach. I love going to the gym to improve my looks and use that advantage to help in the protection of the players. My happiness is that the players appreciate the security I give to them because some time they even use it as joke, telling each other that but for Pato, somebody would have removed my chain or wristwatch. What has really helped me is the understanding of the disposition of the players. We have established a strong telepathy and able to communicate with signs and body languages on what I should do at a particular time. They really appreciate my closeness to them because I have always made them happy that they always feel bad and complain anytime they come for national assignment and did not see me. The truth, as I said earlier, is that having stayed with them, I have known what they want from me at any point in time. People ask why I don’t give the same protection to the home-based Super Eagles players, but to me, where the players ply their trade does not matter so much. However, if we should tell ourselves the truth, there is a difference between the big players in Europe and the ones based at home. You know that the home-based players are already close to the people unlike the pros many Nigerians see only on television. It is easier for the home-based players to find their way at any given circumstances. Monetary reward I am so happy that the players love what I do. They know that I am not in the team just to pick balls. I do a lot of things to the players including protecting them even in their homes whenever they come on holiday. For example, I was at Obafemi Martins home in Lagos throughout his stay in Nigeria last December. Let me also inform you that I have some security pact with Mikel and Nsofor to protect their parents. I visit their parent to do many things. Sometimes I run errands for them. Reveling and womanizing I am based in Abuja and that means I should know all the important outlets for the big boys in the FCT. The players would want to enjoy themselves whenever they are in the country. They would want to go to the highest nightclub and other bubbling and happening outlets in town. I don’t have the power to compel them to attend parties, but I can only inform them about the best place to unwind and ensure that they are adequately protected during their night out. Almost all the security personnel in most nightclubs know me because of my bodybuilding coaching job. It makes my securing the players very easy. Desperate ladies Nigerian girls are so desperate and direct when they want to have relationship with the players. In those instances where the players strike deal with the ladies, my responsibility would be to take care of the ladies because the players won’t have time for them before the game. I can never choose the ladies for the players because I am a small person compared to them but I can always deliver with dispatch any lady they want to have. There have been situations the players would tell me to do everything possible to have a particular lady they were desperate for. In the same vein, there were situations some ladies would beg me to allow them talk to a certain player. We hold all these relationships with the ladies only when the team wins its matches or when the players are holidaying in the country. The players don’t even leave their hotel rooms if the team losses a match. However, if the Super Eagles win a game, the players out of happiness would want to paint the town red. They would tell me to take them where they can go and pop champagne.


40

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ABUJAMetro

DAILY SUN

CITY GIST

Zone 6 recreation garden that turned robbers den

By CHINAZA SYLVIA ONOH

T

he former minister of the Federal Capital Territory between July 17, 2003 and July 27, 2007 Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, on coming into office, swung into action with a land allocation plan.

His target was to return Abuja to the master plan. In doing this, no sacred cow was spared that even the renowned author, late Cyprian Ekwensi had his only plot allocation revoked. El-Rufai’s target, as he continually said was a beautiful city built on its original plan. Pitiably, some heads rolled in a bid to achieve this goal. The ex-minister came up with the idea of parks and gardens where people could sit out and relax or stay for any recreational activity. In doing this, he had to pull down churches, mosques, homes and markets. After the demolition came the beautiful parks as every neighbourhood had one for recreation and it was well appreciated by the people. But a particular park that was built for recreational activities in Zone 6, Wuse has turned to safe haven for armed robbers. Every night, any time from 7.30pm, the garden around Sudan Street turns a dreaded zone as people walking past the area are often molested by robbers who jump out of the garden and rob and run back there. In one of such incidents last week, a lady was not only robbed but was also injured with a knife. It has also turned to a mini market where goods ranging from pirated films,

clothes and several other things are sold. But this is just during daylight, because at nightfall, the business mode of the garden turns violent. The irony is that just across the park in Zone 6 is a police barrack. This location of quarters for law enforcement agents has never been a restraint. A resident of the area who spoke with Abuja Metro

lamented that they live in terror of the criminals who inflict fear and pains on people. “We hardly return late. Anybody, especially pedestrians who cross the area anytime from 8.00pm are sure to be attacked. Sometimes, even cars are attacked. It has been a serious matter and we need the intervention of the security agents to save us from this problem before it worsens.”

Sh-h-h-h

Did you meet and marry through the facebook or any social network? Call or text 08078011807 and tell us your story

ABUJA METRO E D I TO R I A L T E A M

Deputy Editor: Ikenna Emewu Correspondents: Juliana Taiwo, Isaac Anumihe, Dennis Mernyi, Kemi Yesufu, Fred Itua, Mudashiru Atanda, Molly Kilete and Bayo Obisesan Layout & Design: Paul Nnayereugo Abuja Metro is a monthly publication of THE SUN Publishing Ltd. 2 Coscharis Street, Kirikiri Industrial Layout, Apapa. PMB 21776, Ikeja, Lagos. 01-8980932, 6211239 Abuja Office: Guoba Plaza, Ekukinam Street, Utako District. 08037275566 Email: ikeroyal@yahoo.co.uk Website: www.sunnewsonline.com

Candid shot


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN 41

South-East Report From KASSIDY UCHENDU, Nsukka

M

embers of the House of Representatives Committee on States and Local Governments, who visited Enugu State recently were quite amazed. They were stunned to see a local government system that was working perfectly and which the local people are happy with; thus, they wasted no time in calling on other states that are still making use of the transitional chairmen to make haste to discard the system and emulate Enugu State in local government administration. Honourable Kayode Adebayo, leader of members of the committee, who toured the 17 local government areas in Enugu State, said they were impressed by the high level of achievements made by the Chairman of Igboeze North Local Government Council, Mr. Bonaventure Onu, especially in the areas of rural electrification, roads, youths empowerment, education and agriculture. The House of Representatives committee members, therefore, commended Onu for embarking on projects that have impacted on the lives of the people. “We attribute this to the fact that the governor of the state, Sullivan Chime does not tamper with funds meant for local governments, but releases them as they come. The impact can be seen in all the states as the chairmen are using the fund to embark on projects that impact on the lives of the countryside dwellers. We are calling on Chime’s counterparts in other states to emulate him and stop the use of caretaker communities and transition committees. “Generally, in Enugu, my impression is quite different from some other states. We are impressed by the projects we have seen in Igboeze North. You (journalists) went round with us and also saw the massive electricity

House committee happy with local government administration in Enugu

•L-R: Adebayo, Onu and Anthony projects,” Adebayo said. Earlier, the council chairman disclosed that his council was able to embark on massive projects through the co-operation of the legislative arm of the council, staff and above all, the non-interference of the governor in local government fund. Onu also pointed out that he inherited uncompleted projects, but assured he would complete them alongside the new ones he initiated before the end of his tenure. He disclosed that he had to embark on

streetlight projects at Ogrute town, the headquarters of the council because of the evergrowing security challenges in the rural communities. “I decided to tackle the construction of chairman’s residence to make it comfortable for serving chairmen to live with the people,” he said, adding that it was only by residing with the people that a chairman could feel their pulse and know their need. He also disclosed that the council has embarked on numerous projects among them,

roads, rural electrification, health centres, schools. To benefit from the rural electricity projects are: Umuogbo Ekpeshe, Umuopu, Ishigwu Umuossai, Uda, Olido, Umuegbo Iyi, Ukwuinyi Ogrute, Umuegbo-Onyi and Ogbodu. The council boss also said that the council has procured four 300 KVA transformers to be distributed to deserving communities. According to him, five health centres are being constructed simultaneously in the following communities, Ikpamodo, Nkpo Umuida, Ogrute, Ufoda, Iyionu while schools are being constructed in Ameze Imufu, Ikpuiga, Onicha Enugu, eight rural roads are undergoing repairs and reconstruction at old Aji Ogute road, Umuidoko, Agu Ibeji, Nkwo Umuida, among others. Igwe Ekere Wilfred, the traditional ruler of the host community, Ogrute and chairman Igboeze North Traditional Rulers Council, told Daily Sun that he was impressed by the achievements of Mr Onu under a very short period, describing him as a humble and honest man, who has the interest of his people at heart. He said that what marveled him most was that there are ongoing projects in the 20 wards of the local government area simultaneously. “I thought it was only in my community that projects are being undertaken, but I later discovered that projects are simultaneously going on in all the 20 wards in the area. “This is a young man from a very humble root who was even accused of kidnapping his own relation, but God has vindicated him,” Igwe Ekere said.

The Sun man’s mother-in-law buried amidst glowing tributes From: OKEY SAMPSON, Aba

O

n September 1, all roads led to Enen Atai Itam in Itu Local Government of Akwa Ibom State for the burial of the late Madam Eno Phillip Mofat Akpan, the mother-in-law of Mr. John Okon, acting plant manager of The Sun Publishing, Aba Plant, Abia State. The late Mrs. Eno Phillip Mofat, popularly known during her life time as Eno U.A Ekeffre, was born 65 years ago. She was the fifth in a family of seven in Obong Itam also in Itu Local Government of the state. A devout Christian and business woman, who had her hands into many businesses during her life time, the deceased was before her demise a staunch member of the Church of Christ where she was said to have held many positions. She took ill last month and later died. Preaching at the funeral service conducted at the field of Enen Atai Itam Primary School, the minister in-charge of Church of Christ, Ikot Essia admonished the living to always work according to the dictates of God, saying eternal life awaits those who abide by this injunction. He advised that people should stop looking for things where they could not find them, stressing that as the pathfinder, it was only drawing close to God that mankind would have peace and other appurtenances of life. Quoting copiously from the Bible, the clergyman said no one would find peace and have eternal life if he was not in Christ, pointing out that the way which leads to eternal life was narrow while that which leads to destruction was wide. Describing the late Eno as one who gave her life to Christ and lived a good Christian life, he urged her seven children to emulate her virtues and continue to serve the Lord the way their mother did. In his tribute, the husband of the deceased,

Elder Phillip Mofat Akpan said he had lost not only a wife, but a sister, friend and above all a mother who was always alive to her responsibilities. He said in fact he has lost the bone of his bone. Describing his late wife as the author of his success in life, Mofat opined that her better half who he said never had quarrels with him during her life time, stood behind him during periods of trouble as her advice served as panacea for any such problem. With grief laden heart, Mofat said the vacuum created in his life by the death of his wife would be very difficult to fill, stating that she was the person that encouraged him to build and donate a church for Christ and prayed that her soul may rest perfectly in the blossom of the Lord. The Commander of Police Mobile Force, PMF 55, Aba, Mr. Wilson Dankwano who is a

friend of the family advised the living to lead exemplary life so as to be remembered for good whenever they die as the woman had been remembered. He said that since death was inevitable and their mother lived a good Christian life, they should not mourn like people who had no hope, but to take solace in the Lord and the day of resurrection. He urged the children of the deceased to emulate the good works of their late mother while alive as was attested to by many who attended the burial ceremony. In his own tribute, one of the sons-in-law of the deceased and the acting Plant Manager of The Sun Publishing, Aba Plant, Mr. John Okon said it was unbelievable that the woman he used to call Mama because of her unflinching love towards him was dead. This, he said, was more so as he visited her

a day before her death and there was no sign the woman would not survive her sickness, but had instead raised the hope that she would soon get well, making Okon to say that nobody would question the will of God. He said that his late mother-in-law’s qualities stood her miles apart from her peers which he said she transferred to her children through the training she gave them. One of her children, Mrs. Patience Iloegbu said their mother lived a fulfilled live, caring and loving her neighbours to a fault thereby fulfilling one of the commandments of God, that we should love our neighbours as ourselves. She said it was gratifying to note that since the demise of their mother, testimonies had been pouring in of her goodness and how she sacrificed her own interest for others and said she would always uphold her legacy of love.

Peace returns to Enugu community From KASSIDY UCHENDU, Nsukka

A

t last, peace has returned to Ulunya community in Igbo Eze South Local Government Area of Enugu State, following the reconstitution of its defunct Neighbourhood Watch, a vigilante group. For some time, the peace of the community was rattled by the scramble for the leadership of the group. But on assumption of office, the Chairman, Igbo Eze South Local Government Council, Chief Festus Ozioko, vowed to ensure that vigilante groups in the communities where they have contentions would be reconstituted and in tandem with this, the Ulunya Community Neighbourhood Watch, which had become moribund as a result of the criusis, was reconstituted to the delight of the people of the area, who have experienced

unprecedented rise in crime rate since the Neighbourhood Watch went comatose. The realisation of Chief Ozioko’s objective, was courtesy of a 12-man committee set up by the council to look into the contention that have bedeviled the community’s neighbourhood watch made up of 104 villagers. In a welcome address on the occasion, Ozioko expressed joy that at last peace has returned to Ulunya and charged the members of the Neighbourhood Watch to eschew favouritism, nepotism, and indolence in the discharge of their duties, but always discharge their onerous duties with devotion, transparency, and justice. The chairman warned the members not to take the law into their hands or see themselves as policemen. Instead, he said, “you should see yourselves as volunteer, who have come to help the

police in the fight against crime.”, He assured the community of the fair share of the local government cake and urged them to give peace a chance. The state Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation, human capital development and neighbourhood watch, Mr Godwin Ogenyi while inaugurating the local security outfit, stressed the need for neighbourhood watch and charged the members to work hard in the interest of the community. In his response, the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Emmanuel Ukwueze, thanked the chairman, the commissioner, the governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime and his subjects for making the reconstitution of the neighbourhood watch possible. He urged his subjects to embrace peace since no progress could be made in a state of rancour and acrimony.


42 DAILY SUN

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

South-East Report From GEOFFREY ANYANWU, Awka

I

t is an annual ritual for the people of Okwoaka Amichi in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State, as they celebrate their new yam lunch (Ili ji), one week after the traditional ruler had organised the New Yam Festival (Iwa ji). But this year’s Ili Ji Okwoaka Amichi held recently was special and at the same time remarkable, as the Okwoaka, the immediate past Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Chief Maja, used one arrow to kill three birds. Okwoaka, who celebrated the year’s event in grand style used it to thank his people for the tremendous support he received from them while in office as commissioner just as he received in a special way the Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Barrister C. J. Okoli-Akirika, who replaced him in the slot of the Nnewi South Local Government Area at the State Executive Council. It was a mixed crowd of the kings, nobles, rich, poor and commoners, who defiled the rain to honour Okwoaka. The event which took place at the expansive compound of the Okwoaka saw in attendance all traditional rulers in the state known to be culture friendly, like Igwe Dr. Martin Ezeh (Igwe Igboukwu), Igwe Alfred Onwuneme (Igwe Ikenga), Eze Obidiegwu Onyensoh (Eze Nri), Igwe Christopher Idigo (Igwe Aguleri), Igwe Dr. Felix C.N. Onyimadu (Igwe Ukpor), Igwe Emmanuel Nnabuife (Igwe Iseke) and the monarch of Amichi, Igwe Ofobuike Ume-Ezeoke. In attendance from the government circle included Commissioner for Lands who was received at the ceremony, Bar. Okoli-Akirika; Commissioner for Commerce, Hon. Robert Okonkwo; Commissioner for Science and Technology, Chuba Okoli; former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Dubem Obaze; exlawmakers, Ejiofor Egwuatu and Egwuoyibo Okoye and some incumbent lawmakers. Another thing that marked out this year’s new yam lunch of Okwoaka Amichi was the thanksgiving mass held earlier in the compound celebrated by Rev. Fr. Chike Onwuegbusi of the Holy Family Parish, Umuoji. Preaching the sermon at the service, Rev. Fr. Dr. Humphry Anameje of St. Francis of Asisi Ozubulu called on the people to always remember that whatever they are or have come from God and to Him should all the

Maja Umeh becomes Okwoaka as community celebrates new yam Okwoaka Amichi with Hon. Robert Okonkwo and Igwe Christopher Idigo

Okwoaka welcoming his traditional ruler, Igwe Ume-Ezeoke

glory return and not to idols. He commended Umeh for realizing that and opting to have a thanksgiving mass to thank God for the gift of good harvest and food rather than going to the idols to make sacri-

fices. Rev. Fr. Anameje said, “God has given us individual talents and his grace has always been with us. It is important that we remember to be responsible and hard working and to

Dividends of democracy: Ebonyi lawmaker gives account of stewardship From GODDY OSUJI, Abakaliki

I

n appreciation of the trust his people bestowed on him by voting for him to represent them in the Federal House of Representatives, Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency, Hon. Tobias Okwuru, during the Christmas showered democracy dividends to his constituency aimed at alleviating their sufferings. In fulfilling his election promise, the lawmaker had introduced some palliative measures to alleviate the sufferings of his people by awarding scholarships, providing social amenities and securing job opportunities for the indigenes of his constituency. Some of the job opportunities were five in the federal Ministry of Health, two in the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) one in NAFDAC and one in the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA). He is still following several other applications of his constituents and assured that the list would continue to grow. At various occasions to show appreciation to the stakeholders and end-of-year party at both Onueke Ezza South Local Government Area and Onuebonyi Ikwo Local Government Area, Okwuru recalled that it was the rare manner in which the mandate evolved in the

face of daunting odds and high competition that make the mandate they gave him sacrosanct. And for him, “it is a call to duty and a challenge to represent you in a positively different way. Granted all these favours from both God and men, I have no other option except to glorify God Almighty through my words and actions to continue to pursue the common good and to always appreciate you, my dear constituents, who were created in the image and likeness of our great God. It was this conviction that made me to convene this gathering, and I am grateful to you for giving me this great opportunity to say thank you and to gauge the feelings of my very good and great people of Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency”. He, however, noted that within the 197 days the 7th National Assembly lasted, he had never been absent from the National Assembly sittings even just as he has always been around in the home front to support the wonderful programmes of Governor Martin Nwanchor Elechi and to fraternize with the people. According to him, “I have co-sponsored five bills and three motions in the National Assembly. In the various committees I belong to, I am also rated as one of the most active

members. Added to these are my proactive comments on burning national issues all aimed at protecting the interests of our people. “Pursuant to my avowed commitment to better the lots of our youths, I have secured meaningful job opportunities for nine Ikwo and Ezza South youths in the following federal establishments. In the 2012 budget, several people centered projects have been captured for the benefit of our people and I can assure you that the project will be closely monitored to ensure their timely execution. The contract for Abakaliki-Afikpo Road has just been awarded. My colleagues from Ebonyi State and I am working hard to ensure its proper execution so as to break the jinx of abandonment which has been the trademark of the road in the recent past. In the coming years too, I will ensure the religious execution of all constituency projects captured in the National Assembly budgets”. The lawmaker used the opportunity to dedicate the mandate given to him to the glory of God and for the service of mankind where 100 women, 100 youths, the 546 PDP ward/local government executives in the constituency, as well as 100 stakeholders of the party appreciated his little way of expressing his gratitude to the people for the love and the trust they have for him.

do things at the right time. “It is wrong to see our culture as being bad. This celebration today calls us to be honest, to know that having known Christ we should maintain our culture in the light of Christ as it would be heartbreaking for us to give thanks meant for Christ to idols.” After the service came the new yam lunch proper as the chief celebrant, Chief Umeh officially came out to the arena in the attire known only for the nobles, with the Igba dance group escorting him to move round to welcome his visitors as he waved to the crowd, after which he took his seat, an ancient seat meant for the nobles alone and he happened to be the only one that day. He prayed for the entire community and his guests with the kolanuts, blessing them and urging God to keep all alive to celebrate the next year’s festival which he said would be greater. After the prayers, he was helped by the royal fathers to officially eat the new yam as the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Ume-Ezeoke had earlier performed the Iwa ji ceremony. Umeh who also used the occasion to receive Okoli-Akirika, described him as a brother even as he gave him a gift, which he said would assist him in his job. He urged him to work in the fear of God and having the interest of his people at heart just as he thanked the people of the community for giving him maximum support while he served the state. Responding, Okoli-Akirika expressed gratitude to the Okwoaka, noting that in the history of the state and the community nobody had behaved the way he did by the reception he gave him and promised not to disappoint him and the people. He also commended Umeh for giving him the baton of office, noting that for them in the area it was a relay race, promising that the baton will not fall in his own hand as he would deliver it to the one that would come after him. He said, “It has never happed in the history of Anambra State and in this Nnewi South that a Commissioner who has just left office will receive a new Commissioner in this way, it is something worthy of emulation, it is something worth to be praised and I say to you Okwoaka, you are a great man, your are a great mind.” Speaking to Daily Sun on the celebration, Chief Umeh said, “Today as the Okwoaka Amichi, I am celebrating my annual new yam lunch (Ili ji Okwoaka Amichi). I normally have lunch traditionally one week after the traditional ruler of my community had done the Iwa ji, the Okwoaka Amichi will normally celebrate the new yam. It’s a mark of thanksgiving to God for the life he has given us in the year and for the gift of food and for all other things, good health and the rest of them. “But today, this year’s own is different in that I have invited our people also to thank them for all their support when I was the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in Anambra State and also to receive the Hon Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Barrister C J OKoli-Akirika who is my brother and has just been elevated to the position of a commissioner. So, it is a three way thing, we are receiving the commissioner; we are thanking our people and celebrating a new yam in thanksgiving to God, that’s why everybody is here.” On the title Okwoaka, he said, “Okwoaka Amichi is my grandfather’s title, so I am sitting on my grandfather’s throne. Is a mark of nobility, it’s a throne of nobility in Amichi.” Asked to comment on his service to the state, Umeh said, “For me I did my best, as Commissioner for Information I served to the best of my ability, it is left for the rest of the world to judge what happened and assess me, I’m not going to assess myself, but I know I did my best and I have a lot to show on my records for it.” The climax of the event was the paying of homage to the Okwoaka which saw groups and individuals, including the royals bringing gifts to his feet while he sat on his noble seat and blessed them as they came.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012 Divine intervention My name is Tope Akinlade, l live around Challenged area of Ibadan. I go to church not to serve God but to get paid. l play the instruments and l get paid for it. l usually don’t believe in the church thing so l don’t usually pray. But there was this Wednesday Breakthrough Prayer programme held at Lesekese (Instantant) church, a prayer was raised in the church that we should all pray against death. Somehow for the first time in many years something just moved me to pray the prayer and l did. The next day my mother insisted that l must not leave the house before she left for the shop and l obliged. But later in the day, a very good friend of mine who kept pestering me on the phone to go with him

DAILY SUN

43

DIVINE INTER VENTION with

REV PAUL TIOLUWANI 08056344719 e-mail: tcpf@skannet.com

on an outing with some girls. came. l finally succumbed after an initial rejection and l headed for the door and right there in my room an angel appeared to me and told me not to go, he locked up the door himself and make sure l went to bed. By the time l woke up l saw the key by my bedside. The next day, I received a phone call from a man who said my attention was needed at my friends place, when l got there I discovered that the man was a police officer investigating the death of my friend, another friend and two other girls, who all got burnt in the house after they arrived from the party I was supposed to attend with them. l was shocked. The police who invited me said they had to interrogate me because my number was the last number my friend called before he died. I should have been with them and could have died with them but because of the Angel the Lord sent to me to save me. Praise God.

Bedweting stopped

My name is Confidence Olubunmi, l lived and work in Europe. The man of God, Rev.(Dr) Paul Tunde Tioluwani came over to Austria for a programme at Christ Apostolic Church Wosem, l went for the programme with a child of mine who has an embarrassing problem of bedwetting when he goes to bed. All medical efforts with regards to this did not bring any meaningful impact. But to my surprise and to the glory of God after my son was prayed for, the bedwetting stopped . Praise the Lord.

Blessed with a child

I’m a female military officer in the Nigeria Army and l live around Omole area of Lagos State. Since my marriage l have had difficulties getting pregnant an having my own baby. I have tried medical line and l have also gone around without success. My sister attends Lesekese(Instanta) family church in Lagos and advised me to come see the man of God, Prophet Paul Tunde Tioluwani (lesekese), which l did and he told me to do some prayers, he also said l will fight with two animate demons and win before l can have my child. To my surprise it happened as l had to fight with two boa-like snakes and to the glory of God, l succeeded in killing them. That same month l missed my period and got pregnant. Today the Lord has blessed me with a bouncing baby girl. Praise the Lord.


44

DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

45

POLITICS...&Polity Delta 2015:

Many rivers to cross for Anioma nation From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba

A

s political leaders in Delta North Senatorial District continue to intensify lobby for the governorship position of the oil-rich state in 2015, fresh hurdles are being created in the way of actualising the tall dream. Delta north, peopled by Anioma nation, claims that for the relay race to be complete, the incumbent governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who hails from the south senatorial district, must hand over to an Anioma son or daughter in 2015. Uduaghan succeeded James Ibori, who hails from the central senatorial district in 2007 . As a result, subtle moves are being made by various groups, which have sprung up of late in the area to ensure that the ultimate goal is achieved. The groups, which are not less than five at the last count are already making consultations with stakeholders on the need to consider the zone for the exalted office. However, Anioma nation, which has its hands full in dealing with the seemingly intractable problem of disunity, would now also have to contend with controlling the excesses of these groups that have proliferated the political landscape of Delta north of late. Investigations revealed that these interest groups were not devoid of political and ethnic colourations; a situation, analysts have predicted might truncate the dream yet again. Some of these social and political pressure groups are built around the interest of some aspirants, using it to further their governorship ambition. Yet some others are built around ethnic groups, which are insisting that one of their own must emerge the candidate should Delta north be given the free hand to produce the governor. Delta North Senatorial District, with nine local government areas, has three ethnic groupings loosely knitted together as a result of slight differences in language, cultural practices and political orientation. Ndokwa Unite, an umbrella body for the Ndokwa ethnic stock, for instance, feels that the constituency, which has three local government areas, is the most neglected in terms of occupying exalted political positions in the state. While claiming that Aniocha/Oshimili, with four local government areas, had taken shots at the deputy governorship and Ika ethnic stock with two local government areas had been acting governor, Ndokwa Unite insists that nobody from Ndokwa constituency has ever occupied such positions, maintaining that 2015 is an opportunity to make amends. According to Steve Uweh, a member of the Board of Trustees of the organisation, Ndokwa Unite is also committed to an Ndokwa son or daughter, emerging as governor of Delta State in 2015, stating that “it can be achieved as we are working with one mind, commitment and reaching out to all Deltans.” Besides this ethnic sentiment, it is the belief

•Ezeagwu

•Utuama

in some quarters that the agitation for Anioma 2015 governorship ambition is built around the ruling People’s Democratic People (PDP) which is dominant in the area and the state. It is been claimed that opposition parties do not have the chance of springing up electoral surprises in the 2015 polls. In fact, the coordinator of Anioma Agenda, Alex Onwuadiamu described the existence of other political parties except the PDP as flags of convenience, insisting that the 2015 ambition would be actualised on the platform of the umbrella party. “We recognised the fact that there are other political parties, but we are aware that Delta State is predominantly a PDP state. All of us here are politicians, but I do not know of any of us from another political party. Other parties are flags of convenience. We all know that and we know that when it come to politics of Delta State, PDP is the in-thing and that is why we are addressing the issue from the perspective of the PDP constitution because a lot of us are PDP members,” he declared at a recent media briefing in Asaba, the state capital. His declaration seemed to have struck the right cord in the main opposition party, the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP) who it was learnt, is discussing with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for possible merger.

Chairman of the DPP in the state, Tony Ezeagwu would not want to be dragged into the agitation by Anioma person to be governor in 2015. Ezeagwu who hails from Delta north, told Daily Sun in an interview that zoning does not exist in his political party “for now” and that he was not a party to the gentle arrangement about rotation of political offices within the PDP fold. “When you talk about Anioma people clamouring, I will not say what anybody is doing is wrong or right or I am supporting or not supporting. The issue is I am in DPP and the state chairman for that matter. You know that it has been clamoured long ago in PDP that Anioma man must be their candidate based on their zoning arrangement which I am not part of. “As far I am concerned, if an Anioma man comes to my party to take form, I will not deny him. And if an Urhobo man comes to take form, I will not deny him either, because in my party, there is no zoning arrangement for now, our party is open for all Deltans. What we believe in is not even who governs the state, but who gives the people what they want, dividends of democracy,” he stated. The DPP chairman, who also confirmed alliance talks with the ACN, noted that Anioma politicians were given opportunities

“Investigations revealed that these interest groups were not devoid of political and ethnic colourations; a situation, analysts have predicted might truncate the dream yet again.”

in the past at various levels of governance but failed to achieve the expected result. “When you clamour Anioma, Anioma, Anioma, are you saying that Anioma people were not in Ibori’s government? Anioma man was a deputy governor in Ibori’s government, we had a lot of them who were commissioners, who were board chairmen, what did they achieve?” he queried, insisting that Anioma 2015 project was another propaganda tool by the PDP to hoodwink the people of Delta north. But the national coordinator of Anioma Welfare Initiative, Elder John Ehikwe says his group is made up of men and women of proven integrity who would not destroy their hard earned reputation on the altar of political patronage. He described as pedestrian that argument that since Anioma sons and daughters did not perform in political positions in the past, they should not be given the opportunity again. “What you are telling me is that if you have ten children and the first and second dropped out of school, would you say you are not going to send others to school because the first two did not do well? Do you know what God has put in the other ones? You can’t say the governor should sack all our commissioners and other appointees because some have not done well in the past and let the other tribes represent Anioma people in government. The people who are coming with that kind of argument are daft and demented,” he frowned. Ehikwe claimed that his group, Anioma Welfare Initiative is the umbrella body for Anioma nation in the actualisation of the governorship ambition, adding that other groups are welcomed to join the fray, even as he stated that the issue of disunity was not peculiar to Anioma nation. He told Daily Sun that the group was after majority and “once we have majority, what else do you need, these groups who are already working for individuals will soon fizzle out, while AWI will finish the race. We are gathering momentum because soon, people will begin to see the difference between the shaft and the substance. We are the substance, these other people are political jobbers and they are being paid for their services, but in this group we have people of integrity.” The agitation for Delta north to produce the next governor is hinged on the fact that since the state was created in 1991, nobody from the area has occupied the exalted office. Delta central produced the first governor (Olorogun Felix Ibru) whose administration was terminated when the military seized power through the late General Sani Abacha in November 1993. At the inception of the present democratic dispensation, Delta central peopled by the Urhobo ethnic stock again produced exGovernor James Ibori who occupied the office for unbroken eight years. Delta south comprising of Itsekiri, Ijaw and Isoko ethnic groups is serving out its second term through Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.


46

DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

POLITICS...&Polity As the race to the Government House, Akure gathers momentum, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised to give Ondo State and, indeed, the entire nation, the fairest and most credible election ever in the country. The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Akin Orebiyi, gave the assurance in an interview with Daily Sun recently. Orebiyi spoke on the electoral umpire’s preparations towards making the poll not only fair to all the stakeholders but also the best on the integrity chart in the annals of Nigeria. He, therefore, asked vote riggers to steer clear as any breach of the nation’s electoral law will be met with severe sanctions. YINKA FABOWALE, Ibadan) and TUNDE RAHEEM (Akure) brings the excerpts: Which of the parties is involved in the fake registration you recently blew the alarm on? t’s not a registration, it’s compilation exercise done to all party supporters. It’s just a misconception on the part of the media and the public. The compilation involves political parties going from house to house to take the particulars of their voters card. There is only one registration process. There are different things said in the media about this thing and this is an opportunity to correct what has been said. Why did the so-called compilation exercise ruffle feathers then? It is an attempt to undermine law and order and to threaten peace and security. I give you a scenario. Somebody knocks at your door, you are not the only tenant in that house and you don’t know what party the others belong to, and trying to pursue you to vote for another party, that can foment trouble. The idea behind the compilation process was misconceived; it was blown out of proportion by the press. The other issue is that nobody is ever sure of who you will vote for and who will vote for him until election day. So, it is really preemptive of the entire election process. Campaigns are normal, you can even do door-to-door campaigns and tell people what you have in stock for them, your programmes, which is allowed. But it’s presumptive that you are compiling names of your sympathisers, that you yourself don’t even know; that has a tendency of fomenting trouble and also being misinterpreted, as the media have just done by calling it a registration. So, there is need for us to be alert and be on top of the situation and also be ahead in our thinking not to assume some of these things may come to pass and also to let people have confidence in us. So, what happens with the suspect you said was arrested for the illegal exercise? I do not want to go into details deliberately. The person was apprehended, taken by the police, but it has been sorted out. Managing pre-election issues is very sensitive, and by the time you start mentioning names, if you are not careful, you can raise the tension in the state and we are meant to manage tension not to raise it. So, the issue has passed through due and legal process and that is how far we have gone in handling the situation, and we have asked parties not to do that What lesson are you bringing to bear on the success of this election in view of the experience we had in the recently concluded Edo State gubernatorial poll? When we came back here, we had a session to go over the entire process in Edo. We looked at the negative aspect which we want to build upon here. Secondly, we also looked at the positive aspect which we have also been correcting; one has to do with lateness of electoral materials as you’ve said, so we have placed enough men and materials for various polling stations, but I can’t go into detail about that. In order again to forestall electoral malpractices, we have urged security agencies to deploy their men especially police officers on the eve of the election, so they will take custody of the various divisions they were posted to. So, here we are ready with our materials and forces. What we did the last time is what we’re going to do. We have a terrain, in Akure North which is known as a ward, from the

I

Ondo guber poll:

resort to self help in order to obtain power by every and all means, and to also go through the use of violence. But the signal they’ve given us so far from what happened in Edo State, in which the security agents was everywhere is also a pointer to how to deal with anybody who wants to foment trouble here. INEC will keep on building relationship with them, reaching out to them through our line. So it’s an effort and assignment on our path (INEC and press) to let them know that politics shouldn’t be a do or die thing in this country. For the upcoming generations we must get the principle of conducting a free and fair election right, because without these, we cannot get anything right. So, with these, we will experience the conduct of a free and fair election, come October in Ondo State. Acceptability of election result has been the issue in Nigeria, due to politicians resort to electoral malpracices. What do we expect from your commission in respect of integrity of the forthcoming poll? Firstly, in Yoruba, we usually say that: “Bi eja bama baje, ibi ori loti ma n bere,” that means when a fish is about to get spoilt, it starts from the head. Indicating that leadership is crucial to anything and everything we do. We have had the benefit of having a trustworthy leader as head of INEC today and a man of his word who adheres strictly to his principle and his name enters into the record of history of this country who conducted the fairest, credible election during his own term. This has been the instruction he has been passing across -to do it well, be objective, be transparent, be open during elections. So, down here, that has been the message I am passing across to members of staff of INEC at every level (senior, middle and junior management), I have gone round to drum that into their ears that based on my credibility in the past which people have known me for, I won’t involve myself in any form of electoral malpractice which may tarnish my image and that •Orebiyi of the nation at large. The election will be a mother of subsequent election in this country, and if there is any report of any member of INEC, bring it forward and we shall take decisive step to deal with such person before it happens at all. Therefore, the process is the most important “The days of the riggers are over forever in the future of this country, it is now in the past, it’s an aberration so, thing. Politicians may want to tame and lure corps members, so, we have sent signal to their whoever that wants to rig, such person will be apprehended and dealt with.” director against any form of malpractice. So headquarters of Akure North which is Iju, Ita- the Muslim community were duly represented the success of anything lies in the process ogbolu, it’s a four hour drive across every other in the August 8 meeting in which they have involved, provided nobody undermines the local government. If we’re going to set out agreed that the election should come up on system. What is your word to riggers? even at five in the morning, there no way we’d October 20. To be sure, that date was The days of the riggers are over forever in get there by 9 or 9:30am but what we did last announced on April 4 but we didn’t get reactime was that we didn’t allow them to wait till tions from the muslim community not until the future of this country, it is now in the past. morning, but dispatched in the night, so we late in May and early June, and by the time we It’s an aberration. So, whoever that wants to stayed in contact with the help of the security got letters from them, INEC headquarters in rig, such person will be apprehended and dealt agents accompanying them to get to the INEC Abuja mandated us to have a stakeholders with. So they should stay clear, it won’t work. headquarters and we got there at 2am and the meeting and to see the possibility of either The only thing that can work is adhering strictly to the electioneering process, so there is no village commended our efforts. retaining the date of the election or shifting it place for riggers again in this country. As I am talking to you, we have visited Ilaje by a week forward or backward, but by the What preparation has the commission local government which is in the riverine area, time we took the position of the stakeholders it has about 271 polling units, 181 of them are meeting held, we had to retain the date, so the made so far for the election? Well two days ago, we went around and on water, 90 on land, that is two third of that election result will be out five days ahead of local government is on water. I was there the Eid El kabob and as such it will not affect we’ve deployed two of our officials to meet myself and about 15 secretaries with heads of the preparation towards the festival, which with community heads as to where polling departments and the electoral officers from the was one of the concerns voiced out by the units should be, because it can also foment trouble on the election day, where a communiarea as well as logistics heads, public affairs Muslim community. heads and a number of other officials who are Tension has been gathering momentum ties will be arguing with one another where the familiar with that area and we were in compa- in Ondo State concerning the election, polling unit ought to be and may barred themny of Nigerian Navy headed by commanding What exactly are the security measures to selves from voting and even the political parofficer operating in the area. contain violence pre and post the election? ties may see that as an opportunity to foment We have a very good synergy, in fact, there What I see is that, there are pockets of vio- trouble or even to steal the entire ballot materiis hardly a day that the Commissioner of Police lence, disobedience among the political par- als and play pranks with them. and I don’t talk, we still spoke yesterday and ties, which was one of those things that So, the community heads have agreed to not only him, also with heads of other security brought the DIG to the stakeholders meeting. cooperate with us during the election. We are agencies. We are working on daily basis on So, after the meeting, for a week now, the ten- working day and night to ensure everything is how best to achieve the goal of conducting a sion has considerably come down and don’t ready ahead of the election. Also, the voters smooth, free and fair election come October forget that at the meeting, a committee was set register was one of the causes of delay in Edo 20. We had a joint stakeholders meeting, a first up that will look at the campaign schedule of State; whatever is omitted, destroyed or misof its kind recently, Wednesday, August 8, the all parties so that there won’t be clashes during placed probably if the machine develops faults Police and INEC met, even the Deputy the campaign. So, there is continuous meeting or even crashed is updated by the manual back Inspector General of police was there from which cannot stop before or even after the up register which is called the anadendom (i.e Abuja representing the IG to address all stake- election I believe that if they have the assur- an addition). So, the difference between the holders we also have heads of other security ance of INEC on the conduct of the election of Electronic Voters Register (EVR) and the managencies in attendance as well. free, fair and credible election, to some extent ual is that the manual does not take photoWhat’s your position on the demand of they will be assured of some confidence in us. graph, so whoever his/her picture does not Muslims that the election should be shifted The means by which politics is being prac- appear on the voters slip is not fake, so we because it coincided with Sallah day? ticed in this part is that people want to also want our people to understand this fact. That has been settled, I am even happy that

Days of riggers over –REC


Wednesday, September 12, 2012 Vice President, Namadi Sambo left, presenting honorary degree award of doctor of political science to the senate president, Sen. David Mark (middle), during the passing out parade of 59 regular course cadets, and convocation ceremony in Kaduna on Saturday. With them is the commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Maj.-Gen Chukwuemeka Onwuamaegbu.

Vice President, Namadi Sambo (right) presenting a sword to Ifeoluwa Adeleke (left) as the best all round winner of 59 regular course cadets. With him is Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy, MajGen Chkwuemeka Onwuamaegbu.

Vice President, Namadi Sambo (left), presenting certificate of honorary degree award of doctor of Management Science to the president of the Republic of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johson Sirleaf (middle) at the passing out parade. With them is the commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy, Maj-Gen Chukwuemeka Onwuamaegbu.

L-R: Alhaji Surai Oyewole Owolabi, Coordinator of Special Marshals, Irewole/Isokan, The Akire of Ikire Kingdom, Oba Olatunde Falabi, Lambeloye 111 and the Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Gbongan Unit Command, Ayodele Ajadi, during the “FRSC nationwide Operation Public Enlightenment All Through” at the Akire Palace, Osun State recently.

DAILY SUN

47

L-R: Emir of Misau, Alhaji Mohammed Manga 111, Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu, and Emir of Katagum, Alhaji Mohammed Umar, at the wedding fatiha of Governor Isa Yuguda’s son in Azare Central Mosque on Saturday. Photos: NAN

L-R: Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu, Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi and Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe at the wedding.

Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi (left), with PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, at the wedding.

Papal NUNCIO to Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Kasujja (right), and Ibadan Catholic Archdiocese, Archbishop Felix Alaba Job, at the opening mass of 2012 second plenary session of Catholic Bishops’ conference of Nigeria in Umuahia on Sunday.

Catholic Bishops on a procession into Mater Dei Catholic Church Umuahia for the pontifical holy mass celebration. Photos: NAN


Wednesday, September 12, 2012 DAILY SUN 48

Mid-week Magazine Complaint of F lopsided management in INEC is political

By PETER AGBA KALU

–Prof. Oba, Chairman, Federal Character Commission

Prof. Oba

ederal Character Commission (FCC) is one of the fourteen independent bodies established by section 153 of 1999 constitution . Its composition, functions and powers are prescribed by the constitution and amplified by the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act Cap F7 LFN 2004. As a result, it has been mandated to enforce the federal character principles, which is aimed at ensuring fair and equitable distribution of posts and socio-economic amenities, infrastructural facilities amongst the federating units. Lately, however, there have been revelations about the lopsidedness, going on in INEC, hence the decision to hear the commission’s own side of the story. In actual fact, the expression “Federal Character” is defined in Section 14(3) of the 1979 Constitution, as: “The distinctive desire of the people of Nigeria to promote national unity, foster national loyalty and give every citizen of Nigeria a sense of belonging to the nation, not withstanding the diversities of ethnic origin, culture, language or religion which may exist and which is their desire to nourish and harness to the enrichment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’’. The Executive Chairman of The Federal Character Commission, Prof. Shuaibu Oba Abdulraheem, OFR (Taliba Ilorin) was born on the October 22, 1947 in Ilorin, Kwara State of Nigeria. He attended Ahmadu Bello University and graduated with B.A. (Hons) degree in English in 1974. He proceeded to the United Kingdom and graduated from the University of Sheffield and the University of Kent Canterbury in 1977 with Masters Degree (M.A.) English and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) English respectively. Prof. Shuaibu had written several scholarly publications in local and international journals as well as books. “Essay on Northern Nigeria Literature” is one among many. He is a member and Chairman of several professional Academic organisations.

Prof. Shuaibu has held senior academic positions in the Bayero University, Kano as a Senior Lecturer in English, 1984. He later became the Dean, Post Graduate School from 1991-1995. He was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin from 1997-2002. Some of the previous appointments include Chairman of Governing Council, Kwara State Polytechnic and Member of the Governing board of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). We had a chat with him recently. In amending the constitution, is there any aspect of the federal character law that you will like to be amended? Federal Character Commission and the Federal Character Principles are both products of the 1999 constitution. I think that the enactment of the adoption of the 1999 constitution, there has been quite a few attempts by stakeholders to thinker with either the law or with the constitution. There are two issues now tinkering with the constitution or with the law. As far as one can see, the constitutional provision is very well conceived. It has national interest as its background and backbone. To the best of my knowledge a law needs not flipper or too talkative. As far as l can see, there is still no need for any addition to the existing provision of section 14/3 and 14/4 of Federal republic of Nigeria constitution. Aschool of thought does not share your opinion. They are of the opinion that the constitution does not make for progress by recognizing ethnicity and therefore giving room for appointments based on ethnicity. This is anti-merit. How do you balance it? Let us not base our views on individuals limited by their sense of exposure, their education and their non-commitment to the Nigeria project. Nobody who is an interested promoter of the spirit of Nigeria would take that kind of chance that you have just described. The Federal Character principle as far as the constitution is concerned is not to promote sectionalism or ethnicity. Actually, what it intended to do is to remove the rough edges, the effect of the plural society that such factors like ethnicity could pose. The Federal Character Principle is intended to capture the reality of the Nigeria situation. Nigeria is a multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic society. Therefore there is no way for Nigerians to stick together and attain the constitutional goal of national unity unless through the kind of provision that makes for an all inclusive provision for all manners of interest in Nigeria to come together to ensure national integration and ultimately national unity which is the goal of the constitution itself. The people holding this view believe that the Federal Character Law is one of the factors that led to the fall in our standard of education and Civil Service. They believe that in an attempt to accommodate some sections of the nation standards were lowered and compromised? I think that Nigerians need to be properly educated on this issue. You are properly in my own area of specialty. I am an educationist by profession. For any one to feel that the so called fallen standard in education should be linked to the provision of the Federal Character Principles is due to ignorance. The two have nothing to do together at all. The fallen standard in education is an entirely different kettle of fish, when you talk about the Federal Character Principle. I think the insinuation that people are making by lumping them together is wrong. The promoters of the wrong concept that the Federal Character Principle has no regard for merit and was established to promote particular sectional interest should be totally discarded. Educated Nigerians should do away with such concept. We should rather focus on if the Federal Character Commission and the Federal Character Principles are both working towards achieving the objective of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Federal Character Commission was established to ensure equitable distribution of public service beaurocratic and political appointments across all sections. The Nigerian section is in such a way that no particular section

•Continued on page 49


49

DAILY SUN

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mid-week Magazine •Continued from page 48 is marginalised or underprivileged. The idea that merit was being sacrificed is a very myopic one. If you look at the laws establishing the Federal Character Commission, particularly if you look at the guideline approved by the commission to all employers of labour, you will find that we have made specific emphasis on the need for merit. We believe that there is not part of Nigeria that cannot produce any kind of human skill required for building Nigeria, if we look closely enough. So for a particular section of the country to appropriate to themselves the superiority of producing the best, is a bit on the myopic side. And again for some group to have the concept that there is some part of the country that can not produce some kind of skills, with due respect the proponents of such idea are people who are engaged in this NorthSouth dichotomy thing. The insinuation has been that the Federal Character thing was used to promote and elevate backward people of the North, beyond their merit. But I can tell you that they are educated as any other Nigerians. I can tell you that you will find as much poor people in the north as you can also find in the south. Such as you can find as many stack illiterates in the south as you can find in the north. There are states in the south that are educationally disadvantaged than some states in the north. If you look at the university admission criteria, Nigeria is grouped into educational advantaged and disadvantaged; even at that level, you will find that Lagos State is grouped among educational disadvantaged states in Nigeria. This also includes Rivers, and Ebonyi States, Zamfara and Taraba States etc so for anybody to think that this is common with a particular region is wrong. What we do is that in promoting persons to positions of employment, we must prescribe minimum qualification. In any case, the Federal Character Commission is not an employment agency. It is essentially a regulatory body and we provide guidelines for the employers, that when observing the Federal Character Principle of equitable distribution, merit must not be sacrificed. Therefore employers of labour who are to observe these regulations are the ones that are encouraged to design from the beginning the minimum qualification for the kind of position they require. Do you have offices in all the states? By law, yes. The Federal Character Commission has an office in each of the states of the Federation and the Federal Capital territory. So we have 37 offices throughout the country. Are they functioning effectively? Yes, they are very effective because the job they are supposed to do is the outpost of the commission in the states, while they monitor the activities of all Federal agencies located in that particular state. They also monitor the efforts of the states administration in compliance with the need for equitable distribution, even within the states itself. So these are the kind of things the offices in the states are supposed to do. Sir, let me take you up on this. The first schedule of the constitution, section 34 says, “It shall be the duty of the board of directors of every state owned enterprise to recognize and promote the principle of Federal Character in the ownership and management structure of the companies. These seem not to be the case and your commission seems to be doing nothing about it why? The Federal Character Commission is just about two decades old. The first decade was for putting things in place. The second decade is the one we are witnessing actual implantation of activities. Now, if you compare that to the long history of the existence of Nigeria, you will find that we need to tamper our views with historical background. The idea of Nigeria as a nation is being hosted by plurality of tongues, cultures and religions. Now if you create a Federal structure midway you must find a way to sustain that federal structure, and the instrument for maintaining that structure properly is the Federal Character Commission. I think that states’ being brought along in any case… for now every state government is interested in what the Federal Character Commission is doing and to know the position of its own people in the Federal Service. By that very fact, it becomes an obligation on the governors and governments of the states to also do on to others what they want the federal government to integrate them, they also must in their individual states integrate all sections of that state by giving it a state character as prescribed by the

FCC focuses on public service recruitment

Prof. Oba Federal Character Principle. Do you compel? Yes, the law allows us to compel. However, there are reasons why we are being very conscious about implementing certain things. But we are taking things gradually, one at a time. Once we establish our foot hold properly in one area, we then go into another. We should not be going outside compelling the state governments to observe, but we are encouraging them, by asking them to witness what is happening at the center, as a kind of lesson and instruction on how to do things at home, because when they come and say that their citizens are not properly represented, we tell them it is our duty to ensure that all the employers of labor at the federal level take care of all your interest, then the interest of all other parts of Nigeria. We have the perimeters for doing that. Now, we have the modalities for determining the level of interpretation. First of all, no state should have less than 2.5% interest in the establishment of any particular organization. That is the ideal that we target. This is achievable now because, there is a historical transfer of inequity which we inherited before the current aggressive drive towards the enforcement of the Federal Character principle. So we give allowance for that. But ultimately we do at the center what we expect the states to do with the resources available. I was reading an article, few days back, even though the author personalized the issue, it was like, “Professor Oba was intentionally looking the other way while what was going on in INEC goes on’’. But, the fact remains; that is the issue on the burner now. So, what really happened because there is the issue of imbalance in the executive management structure of INEC, where it looks like many of the executive directors, the secretaries are from the North and your commissioner did not do any thing about it? What a clear misconception, miss representation. You have to understand and properly too where the Federal Character Commission starts. Look at the law; look at the constitution, the Federal Character Commission mandate is essentially focused on the public service recruitment, at the entry point only. That is when we ensure equity of opportunity for all persons to be able to enter into an establishment by drawing the benchmark for merit. Once they get in there thorough that platform, the level of rise or fall of the individual depends on their productivity, their native intelligence and their ability to do the work. So they rise unimpeded whether they come from the north or south. That has nothing to do with how they perform within the system. The system has its own way of regulating their productivity so we don’t naturally interfere with the promotion, demotion of persons in institutions or establishments. That is essentially not our duty; our duty is at the point

of entry. The other point which we get interested is at the management level, which is where the INEC thing you are talking about comes in. we encourage all establishments that when it comes to management positions, there must be practice of equity of distribution of offices among the various interest groups in Nigeria. The issue of INEC is about the management structure which is arising from the internal development of the individuals within that structure up to a particular level. Yes there are some issues there, but it is not intentional in the sense that at the management level we have given instructions, guide lines. Our circulars are there, that for all establishments, all management positions must be advertised and made public, even while we are practicing equitable distribution, but some institutions have been sufficiently clever enough and have been protected by whatever forces, I don’t know how they are able to manipulate the internal structures and appoint persons into, for instance, management positions without advertising. Well, by the civil service rule which many of them pay allegiance to, that is okay. They promote persons internally, even within the main civil service structures, they don’t advertise the positions of directors, they promote them into it. It is the internal business of the management of INEC to actually look at that case and do a correction. If they have not done so, of course they deserve any kind of criticism that is being done. But I want to believe that these ones have nothing to do with the political insinuations that are being read into the structure. Those who are raising alarm are doing so in good terms. But I think that there is much more to it than just merely the issue of operational efficiency of INEC. But I want to say this, the president appoints the chairman, commissioners of INEC, and the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria confirms the appointments. Therefore, in the composition, it has been assured equitable distribution; otherwise it would not have passed the tests. Then why the hue and cry, are there more commissioners from a particular state? Is that what they are saying? But the appointments and promotions of persons internally depend on the qualification and competence of each person. You appoint each one to a position where you think the qualification and experience can best serve the organization to grow. It is good to take the best materials on ground to fit into the most suitable positions. But if somebody now thinks that, that is an ethnic practice, you need to show that persons there are incompetent and that the person you prefer is the most competent. But I think that driving ethnicity, statetism, regionalism into this thing is driving us into far beyond the reasonable in this country. I know it is all political games every body is preparing for 2015 elections. But I want to say that the same structure that is under criticism now was the same structure that was on ground in may 2011 when the last elections, were concluded. That is the reality, why are some people crying foul now. Between now and 2015 there is enough room for INEC to call attention to itself and make amendments. But I think it is uncharitable for people to read ethnic jingoism into it. Given the background and standing of Professor Jegga, I think he is beyond reproach in terms of ethnic jingoism. But if there are structural and managerial problems, nobody is beyond that; you can call his attention to that and he will amend; but to link it to the national political warfare is quite uncharitable. It is not to the interest of INEC or to our national interest. Now that attention has been drawn to it, INEC should use its internal mechanism machinery to do the necessary adjustments; that is the only way. I don’t think we should over politicize the issue. The truth is that in trying to do justice to the question, you have brought us back to my initial question because the fact remains that the issue here is that many of the people concerned are form the north and you rightly said that they are there on merit. They have served over the years. Now you are going to retire them to be able to have somebody else into office in order to

have ethnic balance. That is why some people quarrel with the Federal Character Policy? Not quite long ago, there was this reform in the civil service, with the sudden exit of directors who have spent eight years on position. Many of those who were affected are only licking their wounds for the past abdication and manipulations. So if the same thing happens now, just wait, it will always come when again the political scenario will change and put them off. Then they will now cry and say that they are marginalized. It is in the best interest of every group not to put all their eggs in one basket. Once you put every person in one basket and there is a disaster, all of them will go with it. So you don’t need to teach any body any lesson on that. If for instance, there is any massive change in INEC, at this management level, the entire group would go and those who are now crying foul would now move there. They would now enjoy the same position. At that point, somebody would again be shouting that they are too many there. So it is the management that has the responsibility to save Nigeria from this kind of disaster by opening its eyes to its internal structure and adjusting it in such a way as to create a guarantee for each and every one within the structure or establishment. When you came into office, What did you meet on ground what was your mission statement and when you will leave, what do you intend to leave behind.? When I came on board here, the Federal Character Commission had been properly established. It has a strong structure and administrative management, but lacked visibility. It was working as if it was a normal civil service establishment, where you are seen but not heard. The fact of the matter is that the Federal Character Commission is a political structure. You cannot hide a political structure. You must educate people, to let them know what you are doing. I think that is one of the things that we have achieved. We self appraise ourselves and decided that we need a new mission statement, a new structure that we will re present to the public consciousness, a refurbished volatile, and vocal and ready to meet Federal Character Commission. The first thing we did within the first six weeks of our inauguration was to have a national interest retreat in Bauchi, where we set out the action plan for the next four years and then a medium term plan. We are working hard and I think we have achieved some kind of positive national attention. People now respect the Federal Character Commission, when it says no, they recognize that we mean no. it is not as if we can achieve the best in one day. There is no organization that does that because, we know that on the scale it will tilt in the direction of positive, in the activities of the Federal Character Commission in the last four years. So we are satisfied with what we are doing. We have not got there yet, but we will get there, the more important one which we are very much concerned now is the issue of getting jobs and university education that is where you need ethnicity and merit. But the other issue is colour blind and that is the issue of promotion, monitoring and enforcement of equitable distribution of infrastructural amenities, which are within the second segment. This segment is what I will like to call the people’s mandate, which is the one that touches on the lives of every citizen in Nigeria. Regardless of religion, ethnic loyalty, political association because when we ensure that the infrastructures are evenly distributed among all the components of the constituent parts of Nigeria, that is when we eliminate the fear of domination, the fear of religious and ethnic oppression by any ethnic or religious group. When you do a very efficient transport system, for instance railway and it is functional and effective, every Nigerian regardless of tribe or religion will fight, make case, quarrel, will make-up and still remain Nigerian, not ethnic jingots. As such the benefit of these reaches down to the very grass-root where it is possible for person living in the remote village on the Plateau to enjoy the same kind of life that the person at the deep waters of Bayelsa will do. That is most important mandate that we are trying to pursue.


50

I

DAILY SUN

t was a celebration of Africa and her glorious heritage, a reawakening of African pride and a rekindling of the hope of a renaissance as Coca-Cola Nigeria officially launched its wave making new campaign themed “A Billion Reasons to Believe in Africa”. The event tagged “An Evening with Coca-Cola”, which took place on Thursday 6th September, at Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos, reaffirmed Coca-Cola’s belief in the continent’s boundless opportunities and its confidence in the sustainability of the upward trajectory that Africa is recording on most social and economic growth indices since the past decade.. Rufai Ladipo, an advertising guru and Chief Executive Officer, STB McCain said, “Coca-Cola, through the consumer launch of this campaign, has brought about a fusion of Afro-tainment, creating an excellent ambiance of hope. The campaign is aptly targeted at the next generation of leaders in all spheres of life. This is a wake-up call for a paradigm shift among Nigerians to begin seeing themselves as the much needed change. Today, Africa was showcased in her full glory and this campaign is greatly applauded and welcomed as it resonates very well with all of us present here.” The event, a fusion of fashion, arts and music out of Africa witnessed a large turnout of top Nigerian stars such as comedian Jedi Baba, Big Brother Africa Stargame Nigerian housemates, Ola Bakare and Chris Asekomeh, poets, writers, A-list fashion designers, industry moguls as well as a gallery of optimistic youths amongst others dressed in their finest traditional attires. High points of the event included performances by “Kukere Master” Iyanya, African Rapper Number 1, M.I and the sensational Soul singer Omawunmi. Poised to herald a new wave of optimism amongst Africans, CocaCola’s continental campaign encourages Africans to believe in and celebrate their strengths, achievements and milestones despite the struggles and hurdles of everyday living. The world has been observing African’s ability to overcome obstacles and embrace opportunities through positive mindsets. This campaign celebrates the African never-say-die spirit fuelled by optimism, passion, resilience, creativity and a drive to excel and make a difference in their little space. Ijeoma Nwosis, a 25-year-old biologist, who won a ticket to the event via her entry on Linda Ikeji’s blog, recounted her experience, describing it as an honour to attend the grand event. “The event was fun and was indeed an avenue to relax and unwind. The campaign is indeed a right step in the right direction as it will enable Nigerians and Africans to appreciate our her-

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

An evening with Coca-Cola itage more and inspire us to appreciate the continent more rather than turn to the West for succour and rediscovery,” she said. Another follower of the campaign, Engineer Adejoh Emmanuel living in London, said on the Linda Ikeji Blogsite, “Africa is the true final frontier. Being African is more than just a continent; it’s a passion for success, an unquenchable zeal, a hunger to showcase to the world our inestimable and inexplicable talents. Give me an Africa with an enabling environment and I would give you a new world.” Reiterating the cultural pride of Africa in line with the “A Billion Reasons to Believe” Campaign, Olufemi Ashipa, Brand Manager, Colas, Coca-Cola Nigeria said, “With nearly a billion people in Africa including an estimated 160 million Nigerians, our greatest resource is the human capital. We are strong in nature and our success stories supersede our present realities and challenges, and we are breaking grounds for new growth. The campaign draws its strength from seeing the success stories of every African, inspiring us with reasons to believe in our rich heritage.” Ashipa observes further that

“This campaign will rewrite Africa’s image, pointing Africans to ‘Open Happiness’ via their testimonies. In the last decade, cutting across music, fashion, business, leadership and innovation, Africans are celebrated for their many successes. Coca-Cola Nigeria via the ‘A billion reasons to believe in Africa’ campaign is providing the necessary platform for Africans to tell their story in

their own way.” Nigerians are encouraged to upload in their testimonies/unique on the Coca-Cola Nigeria Facebook page, with the heading “My Reason To Believe in Africa”. Twitter is also another platform as individuals may send a tweet to @Coca- Cola_NG. The best stories and tweets would win gifts courtesy the company. Coca-

Cola’s ‘A Billion Reasons to Believe in Africa’ is more than a campaign; it the celebration of Africa taking its pride of place in world affairs. Coca-Cola Nigeria is a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing co sumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.

(L-R): Head, Ecosystem Developer Experience (EDX), Nokia West-Africa, Teemu Kiijarvi; one of the Imagine Cup Awardees, Oludayo Alli; Marketing & Business Operations Director, Microsoft Nigeria, Awawu Olumide-Sojinrin; another Imagine Cup Awardees, Timi Okoya; Segments Marketing Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Edmond Idokoko and Developer & Platform Evangelism Lead, Microsoft Nigeria, Shina Oyetosho, at the Microsoft/Nokia Developer/Imagine Cup Phone Awards Press Conference, held at Microsoft office recently.

Legend celebrates international quality award

F

or meeting international quality standards which has made it the toast of stout consumers in Nigerian, Legend Extra Stout - the premium stout from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc - has received the prestigious Gold Quality Award at the 51st Monde award ceremony held recently in Athens, Greece. And true to its style of always putting its consumers first, the brand held an elaborate celebration party at the Nightshift Coliseum to officially present the award to the consumers and other stakeholders. Speaking at the event, Mr. Walter Drenth, Marketing Director of Nigerian Breweries said that, every time Legend calls, it does so to share and celebrate good news. “You are all living witnesses to the tremendous strides the Legend brand has made over the years, establishing itself as a Real stout on many counts and refreshing its outlook uniquely. Over the past 20 years, the Legend brand has continued to position itself as a credible choice of stout, full brewed, the way an original stout should - giving Legend the credibility to be called the ‘Real Deal,’ - a sincere proposition that has sustained the brand s’ growth since the re-launch and acceptance in 2009.” He reminded the consumers that the campaigns at the re-launch further

•Fetes consumers rides on the brands’ real brewed positioning with emphasis on the production processes considered desirable for a real stout. This innovation, according to him, has had a tremendous positive impact on the brand’s volume, market share and overall equity. “Today”, Drenth added “Legend has an unprecedented story of being the fastest growing stout brand in the Nigerian stout market, extremely outclassing others in the category. Thanks to the loyal consumers for their patronage and steadfastness. I have no doubt that you are aware of our high performances over the years both in blind tests and several other testimonies from consumers; Legend has remained remarkably unique in taste and quality.” Not done with what stands the brand out after such a short time playing in a market where there is a dominant brand that has been around for more than a century, the Marketing Director stressed that the brand custodians’ passion for consistent quality check over the years pushed Legend to take another bold step to validate its quality by participating in an internationally recognized taste and quality evaluation Panel named MONDE Selection Institute, independently evaluating for quality since 1961 and

based in Brussels, the capital of Europe. “Bearing in mind, the ever reliable and independent nature of the quality evaluation of Monde selection process, which is second to none in the entire world, Legend entered t h e 2012 quality challenge alongside over 3000 contestants including other brands in the stout category from Nigeria. You will agree with me that it takes excellence in the crafting and delivery of music to win a Grammy. To win an Oscar, it takes the ability to hold an international audience spell bound with great acting; and just of recent, we observed in the Olympic, winning Gold takes the combination of preparation, peculiarity, diligence and strength.”

Funso Ayeni, Senior Brand Manager - Legend, stated that the award is for the Nigerian consumer that has stood with and believed in the brand over the years. “Our consumers have been great over the years; they encourage us to continue to brew the best tasting stout brand in the country. The fact that this award came from a renowned international authority, after passing through a series of quality control tests, goes to show that the quality of Legend is unique.” Ayeni added. Monde Selection, an International Institute for Quality Selections is the originator of the annual international event organised to identify and recognise outstanding global brands. Founded in 1961 in Brussels, the capital of Europe, the Institute tests consumer goods from different global markets and grant them internationally renowned quality award based on independent quality evaluation of products submitted for evaluation. Other stout brands from the Nigerian market also submitted

•Continnued on Page 51


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Domino’s Pizza now berths

A

t a time when Nigeria is seeking for foreign investors and the expansion of its economy to create more employment for her citizens, Domino’s Pizza - world’s renowned leader in Pizza delivery is set to launch into the Nigerian market. The opening and running of the Domino’s Pizza brand will be championed in Nigeria by Eat’n’Go Ltd as local franchise partner The company will commission the first outlet in Victoria Island, Lagos to give Nigerian consumers that pizza experience they have never had. The company has a precise development plan to open more outlets nationwide. In a statement issued by the company, the Managing Director Eat’n’Go Ltd, Mr. Eric Andre, said that, Domino’s Pizza is a world recognized brand that has provided long lasting pizza experience to a whole lot of consumers around the World. Through its primarily locally-owned and operated franchised system, Domino’s Pizza operates over 9,000 franchised and Company-owned stores in the United States and over 60 international markets. During the second quarter of 2011, Domino’s Pizza had global retail sales of over $1.6 billion, comprised of nearly $793 million domestically and over $810 million internationally. The company had global retail sales of over $6.2 billion in 2010, comprised of over $3.3 billion domestically and over $2.9 billion internationally”. Mr. Andre added that, with all this fantastic records in providing consumers with the best of pizza production and delivery that is second to none, Eat’n’Go is proud to announce the arrival of Domino’s Pizza in Nigeria. Eat’n’Go is a restaurant group dedicated to bringing the best F&B brands to Africa. Our Domino’s Pizza Nigeria store is opening soon and our team is in Miami at the moment exploring the international flavor and learning International quality with tasty delicious local flavor. Eat’n’Go is keen to excite your taste buds and wet your appetite with diverse F&B brands. So far our growing family consists of Domino’s Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery. Eat’n’Go is a restaurant group on a mission to become the premier food operator in Africa. We bring Africans the best brands. The brand core values includes: putting people first,

S

Legend receives International Quality award Each quality selection has its own •Continnued from Page 50

products for evaluation, but Legend was awarded Gold ahead of Guinness Extra Stout, its main competitor, which came second with Silver award. Averagely, No less than 3000 products, coming from over 80 different countries, are usually tested each year in the following categories: Spirits & Liqueurs, Beers, Waters & Soft Drinks, Food Products Chocolates & Confectionery, Cereal Products, Diet & Health products, Cosmetics & Toiletries. Each year, from October to January, products are registered at Monde Selection. Then, over a 4 month period, the Institute calls upon more than 70 internationally renowned experts to evaluate the quality of the products presented.

ultiChoice Nigeria, the country’s leading pay-TV service provider, has announced that it is moving forward the implementation date of its special subscription discount promotion from October to September this year. The implementation of the discount promotion was moved forward by a month from October to September to reward subscribers for their loyalty and support to the company’s DStv service. To this end, all monthly paying subscribers who pay their subscription in September before they are due for disconnection attract a 10% discount with immediate effect while annual pay-

Ocean Basket comes to Nigeria outh Africa’s Ocean Basket, family oriented restaurant synonymous with friendliness, homely atmosphere and fresh in the pan seafood has stretched its services to Nigeria. The latest brasserie is a stone throw from the shores of the Lagos Bar Beach. Flaunting its Ocean Basket identity with pride, the new franchise restaurant that boasts of a massive 250 seat capacity, offers customers a choice seating of either inside or outside terrace and in the garden. “You’ll warm to the ‘family’ ambience that heightens your dining experience and you’ll appreciate the convenience of the on-site parking. If you don’t feel like the formality of dining out, there’s a take-away and delivery service” stated Ocean Basket Nigeria in a statement issued to the media. Ocean Basket Nigeria delivers world-class and exotic seafood at really affordable prices, backed by the usual superb service. The menu includes a wide range of Mediterranean starters, main courses of superb fresh fish, including calamari, line fish, hake, and prawns, all served with chips, rice, stir-fried vegetable or salad. There are also platters and combinations of seafood treats to share and feast on. As for the sushi menu, it includes all the popular options - sushi/nigiri, sashimi, maki, hand rolls, fashion sandwiches, rainbow rolls, California rolls, a sashimi platter and a salmon platter.

experienced jury. Judges will then evaluate the product by filling in individual evaluation forms with up to 20 different parameters. Each jury is made up of minimum 8 experts and is chaired by a long experienced judge. For further laboratory tests, Monde Selection cooperates with public and private institutions such as CERIA, BRUCEFO, Institut Meurice and Euroconsultant. Legend is the only real brewed stout with a complete brewing process that delivers an exciting bitter taste with rich long-lasting foam head giving Legend the sole respect of being called “The Real Deal.” Being a brand that has been around for over two decades, it is the fastest growing and widely affordable stout that excites consumers.

The eatery states that its full complement of staff just back from training at the franchise headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa are capable of offering services of first-class services comparable to standards of any of the nearly 190 Ocean Basket restaurants worldwide. According to the South African restaurant there will be more Ocean Basket restaurants opening in Victoria Island, followed by launch in Abuja, creating ever more employment

51

MultiChoice Nigeria to offer subscription discount

M L-R: Human Resource and Training Manager, Eat n Go, Olusola Adeeko, Managing Director, Eric Andre and the Marketing Coordinator, Abdul Richard at the press briefing to announce the entrance of Domino’s Pizza and Cold Stone Creamery into Nigerian market. Domino’s Pizza’s vision illustrates demanding for integrity, striving for customer loyalty, delivering with a company of exceptional people on hustle and positive energy, winning a mission to be the best pizza delivery company in the world. by improving result every day.

DAILY SUN

opportunities for Nigerians. Ocean Basket originated in South Africa and is rapidly expanding worldwide, with almost 190 restaurants, some as far afield as Mauritius, Dubai and Cyprus. And now the franchise is in Victoria Island, a stone’s throw from Lagos with its eight million people, and part of the exciting vibe of worldclass restaurants, shopping malls, hotels, bars, night clubs, movie theatres, schools and businesses. L-R: Former Assistant Inspector General of Police Lagos State, Tunji Alapinni, Consul General South Africa High Commission, Mr. Mokgethi Monaisa and Managing Director Ocean Basket Nigeria, Mr. Kayode OluMartins, at the Official Launch of Ocean Basket in Lagos recently.

ing subscribers also attract a 12% discount across all bouquets with immediate effect, provided they make payment before they are disconnected. The discount is across all the five DStv bouquets. For monthly paying subscribers who take advantage of the special offer, the 10% discount translates to N1,350 from N1,500 (N150 less than the new rate) for DStv Access; N2,700 from N3, 000 (N300 less than the new rate) for DStv Family; N4, 500 from N5, 000 (N500 less than the new rate) for DStv Compact; N6,750 from N7, 500 (N750 less than new rate) for DStv Compact Plus; and N9, 900 from N11, 000 (N1,100 less than the new rate) for the DStv Premium. For annual paying subscribers, the 12% discount translates into N 15,840 from N18,000 (N2,160 less) for DStv Access; N31,680 from N36,000 (N4,320 less) for DStv Family; N52,800 from N60,000 (N7,200 less) for DStv Compact; N79,200 from N90,500 (N11,300 less) for DStv Compact Plus and N116,160 from N132,000 (N15,840 less) for the DStv Premium bouquet for annual paying subscribers. “Initially, we informed our subscribers and members of the public that subscribers can only qualify for the price discount effective from the 1st of October this year but we have decided to bring this forward to September as a token of appreciation to our valued subscribers,” says John Ugbe, Managing Director of MultiChoice Nigeria Mr. Ugbe added that with this new discount, subscribers will pay less than the current subscription rate if they keep their subscription running without interruption. He also emphasized that DStv will continue to avail its subscribers quality programming and more value. “This underpins our commitment to our subscribers to provide unparalleled selection of world class entertainment on a consistent basis,” he said

Royco ignites the market with more seasoning powders

T

o give Nigerians women much better aroma and taste from their everyday cooking, Unilever Nigeria has introduced two new additions to the Royco family –the new Royco Seasoning Powder for Stews, and another for soups. Speaking at the launch of the products, Marketing Director for Unilever Nigeria, Mr. David Okeme, noted that “At Unilever, we continuously improve on our brands because we always want to provide our consumers with products that help them get the best out of life” With the new Royco Seasoning Powders, women now have the brilliant opportunity to enjoy the consistent superior Royco quality, as well as an irresistible aroma from their cooking,” he added. Also speaking at the event, the Assistant Category Manager, Savoury, Aurora Monye explained that the decision to come to market with the new offering was in response to consumers yearnings for affordable and more improved seasoning for cooking. On what would be the impact of the

new product on the fortune of the brand in the market, the Assistant Category Manager stressed that it would further increase the brand market share in the market and accord it a competitive advantage. “As a company, Unilever has always been committed to what will bring the highest satisfaction to consumers at all level of the market. After a research and survey, we discovered that the market is in need of another tantalising seasoning that would appeal not only to the people at the upper echelon of the market but also the mass market, hence the introduction of Royco Seasoning Powder for stews and soups,” Two loyal consumers of the brand; Mrs. Ogozi Egbochukwu and Mrs. Rasheedat AbdulRasaq also spoke about the uniqueness of Royco among other seasonings in the market. Egbochukwu, who spoke after the sampling of the product at the event, admitted that it was an innovation that would add value to the lives of consumers, especially woman. The business woman who claimed to have been selling the brand for close to two decades disclosed that the demand is always encouraging.

For AbdulRasaq, what gladdens her heart most is the fact that her husband is always enjoying whatever she cooks with Royco. According to her, “My preference for Royco is not only because I like it but because my hubby prefers it in whatever I cook. For this simple reason, I can say Royco has played a significant role in the sustainability of my 7 year old marriage,” The new Royco Seasoning Powders has a unique formulation that brings out the richness in our Nigerian dishes and gives them the best aroma, taste and colour. All this goodness from Royco is obtainable at just N5 for a sachet. This is because Royco seeks to enrich the lives of all Nigerians, regardless of their social and economic status, with “more mmmmm” The Royco seasoning Powder for Soups and for Soups and for Stews is available in 6g sachets, in attractive red packs and available in shops and markets across the country. Each sachet of the Royco seasoning powder is equivalent to 2 stock cubes, and guarantees an irresistible aroma in your meals. Your shopping basket is incomplete without the Royco Seasoning Powder.


52

DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012


DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

53

City SUN How Cross River boosts tourism, water supply By TOPE ADEBOBOYE

Assiga Small Town Water project

I

f there’s anything that bothers Chief Akin Ricketts, the Commissioner for Information in Cross River State, it is what he terms the general ignorance among many Nigerians about activities of his governor, Senator Liyel Imoke. Ricketts told the reporter recently that some people have been reading the wrong meaning into the state governor’s reluctance in blowing his own trumpet. “It’s unfortunate that some people think that since Governor Imoke is too modest to start making noise over his many achievements in the state, not many things are happening here. That is far from the truth. With all sense of responsibility, I want to tell you that Governor Imoke’s administration in Cross River State has done so much in all facets of human development. The governor’s modesty, which abhors fanfare and self-acclamation is indeed, one of his strongest, most obvious virtues and likely to be one of the reasons for his staying power in public administration,” he said. The commissioner informed that a notable mission of Governor Imoke’s administration is to create wealth for indigenes and residents of the state. He insisted that with careful planning and implementation of certain policies and programmes, the governor has to a reasonable extent, successfully achieved that. He said the governor’s strides in agriculture, tourism, qualitative education and the provision of social security schemes to banish poverty in the state have worked wonders for the residents. “The governor has also done more, including the institutionalization of basic health care delivery system that would meet the needs of both the urban and rural dwellers, institutionalization of policies that encourage the growth of private enterprise as well as building, expansion, upgrade and maintenance of infrastructure through the provision of urban and rural roads, electricity, and water supply, among others,” he stated. One area through which the governor makes life worth living for residents of the state is in his provision of potable water, said the commissioner. Chief Ricketts asserted that besides the completed water scheme for residents of Calabar metropolis, the Cross River State Water Board Limited was also working on delivering three key water schemes. These, he said, included the second National Urban Water Reform Project, a World Bank/French Development Agency (AFD) assisted scheme; the rehabilitation of the Itigidi, Ogoja, Obudu and Ikom Water Supply Schemes being executed by the state government under its Quick Impact Intervention Programme, and the Phase I of the Development of Water Production and Distribution Systems for Itigidi and Ikom respectively. “Upon completion, these water schemes will provide potable water to several communities in Ikom, Ogoja, Itigidi, Obubra, Obudu, Obanliku and Okpoma. This is aimed at significantly improving the livelihood of the citizens as well as complement the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” the commissioner said. Chief Ricketts said one of the major

Ricketts achievements of the government was the empowerment of the State Electrification Agency (SEA) which was given a mandate to bring electricity to communities across the three Senatorial Districts. According to him, Governor Imoke was determined to electrify all the communities in the state by 2015. “Besides ensuring that electricity is made accessible and affordable to the people, the state government, through the agency, will also make provision of electricity sustainable through continuous investment in building new electricity infrastructure and regular maintenance of the existing ones. The State Electrification Agency has successfully energized 67 projects covering over 167 communities. Currently, the agency has constructed about 39 relief stations in addition to the construction of 82 Inter Town Connection (ITC) and Town Distribution Network (TDN).” According to him, many communities across the 18 local government areas of the state have benefited from the inter town connection and town distribution network. In Abi, four communities benefited while five have so far been electrified in Akamkpa. Akpabuyo has three communities, Bakassi, three, Bekwarra, five, Biase, five while five communities have also been electrified so far in Boki.

Ekom-Agoi Ekpo rural electricity project The commissioner said each of Calabar Municipality, Calabar South, Etung, Ikom, Yala and Obanliku Local Government areas has four communities provided with electricity. While Obudu, Odukpani and Yakurr local government areas have five communities each enjoying electricity, Chief Ricketts said six communities in Obubra and seven in Ogoja have been electrified by the Imoke administration. Another major area that Imoke has focused on is the tourism sector, according to the commissioner. “In fact, it is a major flagship in the state’s index for growing the economy, creating wealth and generating employment in both the formal and informal sectors,” he said. While noting that tourism could hardly grow without the basis framework in place, the commissioner said the appropriate legislation and installation of basic equipment at the various tourism sites must be in place for tourism to develop. “The administration of Senator Liyel Imoke has upgraded facilities at the Obudu Mountain Resort. We have also installed equipment at the Bebi Airstrip, Obanliku, to aid air travel to and from the Obudu Mountain Resort. In fact, the Bebi Airstrip is one of the best equipped airports in the country, parading such facilities as the ILS & DVOR,” he said.

The commissioner said Governor Imoke also established a Hospitality Training Academy, an institution set up to provide the quality manpower needed in a tourism destination like Cross River. “Under Governor Imoke, the Carnival Calabar and the 32-day Calabar Festival have all been repackaged to attract private sector participation and sponsorship. The Obudu Mountain Race is also growing in leaps as a result of Imoke’s creativity,” said the commissioner. To ensure that youth restiveness noticeable in parts of the South South and South East never comes near Calabar and other towns in Cross River, Chief Ricketts said the governor instituted policies that would discover talent and keep the young men and women busy. According to him, soon after the administration was inaugurated, Imoke embarked on a comprehensive sports development programme aimed at meaningfully engaging the youths of the State in different strata of sport development. “A sport consulting firm, KIMA International, was engaged by Governor Imoke to engage in aggressive grassroots talent hunt in the primary and secondary schools across the state. The firm was also mandated to improve on the performances of athletes from Cross River State in sporting competitions,” he added. And has this yielded any results? Of course, replied the commissioner. “One of the immediate results of this programme is the improved medal hauls by the state at both the Kaduna and Port-Harcourt Games of the National Sports Festivals in 2009 and 2011 respectively. The state clinched the top spot at the National Schools Sports Competition, which the State hosted and the All Nigeria AFN/ Cross River State Athletic Championship.” He informed that two schools in each Senatorial District of the State have been designated as Centres of Sport Excellence. He also informed that the government is currently building two stadia in Ikom and Ogoja to further boost sports development. He said the governor is also planning for the future by putting in place amenities that would take care of the projected expansion of Calabar and the other cities. “That is why Governor Imoke has conceived such projects like the Calabar International Convention Centre and Hotel, The Calabar Riviera Club (Resort and SPA), The Cross River State Civil and Public Servants Housing Estate at Akpabuyo, Ikom Township Stadium Project, Ogoja Township Stadium Project, Calabar International Market, The Calabar Energy City Project and the Calabar Golf Estate, among others,” he said. He informed also that the governor’s passion for the future glory of the state was responsible for many other projects, including the Cross River State House of Assembly Administrative Block, the Administrative Block of the Office of the State Auditor General, the Cross River State Geographic Information System and the Budget and Treasury Management Information System Project, all of which he said have been completed and commissioned.


54

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DAILY SUN

City SUN

Sheikh Abou’s day of 90 cheers By RAZAQ BAMIDELE

J

ust before the conclusion of the recent Ramadan fast, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) and Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar led eminent Nigerians to the Lagos Central Mosque, Idumota. They were there for the 90th birthday of the first Nigeria to obtain a post-graduate degree from AlAzhar University, Cairo, Egypt, Sheikh AbdulHafeez Abou. Sheikh Abou is one of the few Nigerians from the South-West to graduate from Al-Azhar University, which is one of the oldest universities in the world. It was founded in 970 BC in Cairo, Egypt. At 32, Abou became the first Nigerian to obtain a post-graduate degree from the institution when he earned a Licentiate in Islamic Law. And 58 years after that feat, the Muslim community in Lagos, led by the Chief Imam, Sheikh Garuba Akinola Ibrahim, held a special prayer to commemorate his entry into the nonagenarian club. The calibre of guests that thronged the Central Mosque at Idumota on Lagos Island that Friday had the weekly Jumat Service taking a new dimension. As early as 9am, the expansive premises of the mosque could not contain the array of personalities that thronged the venue of the celebration. The Sultan of Sokoto, who doubled as the President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) was ably represented by Ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu. The event, which was low-key partly due to the Ramadan fast, commenced with recitation from the Holy Quran by two Iranians before the Mufasir of the Central Mosque, Sheikh Mujitaba Giwa delivered a short sermon. Sheikh Giwa congratulated the celebrant, saying the attainment of 90 years on earth was a rare occurrence these days.

• In Lagos, Fashola, Sultan, others celebrate Islamic cleric

By IKONNE OKECHUKWU

A

Sheikh Hafiz Abuo, (3rd right), Fashola (4th right), and others. “It is a blessing on few people to attain this special age bracket, even when life expectancy is put below 50. I thanked Allah for your life, our dear Baba Adinni,” he said. He urged the congregation to emulate the old man’s selfless service and move closer to him to tap from his wealth of experience. “Some of us that have been relating with him over the years can testify to his magnanimity and God-consciousness. We could not but wish him more fruitful years on earth,” the Mufasir said. As soon as he finished speaking, an ovation heralded the arrival of the state governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who was clad in jalabia and a cap to match. Fashola, after exchanging pleasantries with the guests, quietly took his seat on the floor like others.

Thereafter, the Chief Imam mounted the podium shortly after the call to prayer was made by the Muazzin for Jumat prayer. After the Jumat prayer, Fashola prayed for the long life and prosperity for the celebrator just as he hailed Sheikh Abou for his role and contributions in moving the state forward. Fashola however seized the opportunity to appeal to Lagosians to always abide the new traffic laws, and other laws in the state, asserting that no society grows in a lawless environment. Fashola wondered why anyone would leave a worship centre and start to engage in acts that are contrary to the law. Overwhelmed by the accolades showered on him, Abou thanked Allah for making him attain the age of 90. He beseeched Allah to grant him more grace to serve Him the more.

Rotary members empower blind man By TESSY IGOMU

“G

In Lagos community, Igbo folks celebrate New Yam

to any one willing to become a useful citizen. He disclosed that Adeleke walked into their meeting one day seeking for help. “Rotary Club of Agege members are united by the same desire to participate in fellowship and community service. We are united as one towards ensuring that someone like Adeleke is not left in the lurch.” The astute banker noted that the club, which was formed in 1984, has been delivering practical assistance to communities and persons in need as well as fostering peaceful co-existence among Agege residents. Eradicating the crippling polio disease, he stressed, has been the focal point of the club, noting that the job is 99 per cent achieved. Rotarian Adaba disclosed, that another debilitating disease that has become life threatening was malaria, even as he said it has caused an estimated 655, 000 deaths, mostly among African children. “Malaria is preventable and curable, with

ive a man fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This Chinese proverb became a reality recently when Segun Adeleke, a visually impaired man was empowered by the Rotary Club of Agege. The 43-year-old father of four was given a dual diesel grinding machine and starting capital to help him work and meet his obligations to his family. This gesture was made during the fund raising and installation ceremony of the club at Golden Tulip Hotel, AmuwoOdofin, Lagos. The event, anchored by Yemi Shodimu, an ace radio-television presenter and Nollywood star, was well attended by notable personalities in the society. Linus Enesi Adaba, who was described as a commercial banker of repute, was installed by the outgoing president, Rotarian Agnes Olatubi in a glamorous ceremony witnessed by friends, family members, business associates and members of other Rotary Clubs from within and outside the country. Speaking on why the club decided to empower the visually impaired man, the newly installed president noted that part of the club’s responsibility was towards the less privileged, adding that such gesture was open Adeleke (4th left) with his gift

good sanitation and hygiene. Increased malaria prevention and control measures are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places. Africa can be free. Assist Rotarians to fight this cause,” he appealed. Highlighting projects that would be funded by the club during his tenure, the president disclosed that they intend supplying filtration containers to schools as well as sponsoring a programme tagged ‘Feeding of School’. “This would cost 6.2 million naira. With our micro-credit scheme, we intend to disburse to 30 applicants the sum of N3 million naira at N100, 000 each. For our Health Week, we intend to spend about N3 million naira on eyes screening, medicated glasses and cataract operation for 500 people between the age of 50 and above. The total amount of money needed to fund these projects is N19 million.” Speaking on the theme, Creating Peace Through Service – Case for Polio, Reverend Father Melitus Uchenna Eze, priest, Catholic Diocese of Issele-Uku, Delta State, thanked the Rotarians for their effort at eradicating polio in the country. He urged them to do more, as the war against polio was yet to be worn. The cleric noted that for a very long time now, Polio had domesticated itself among Nigeria’s rural infants and children, explaining that as a devastating disease, it has continued to threaten and dash the hopes of parents. He noted that in spite of the successes recorded so far in the fight against polio, corruption, funding, training of field workers, rapid spread of the disease to even areas hitherto considered to be polio free, have continued to be huge impediments.

n Igbo social cultural and nonpolitical organisation in Surulere area of Lagos, Olu Ndigbo, recently celebrated the New Yam festival. The event was held at the Stepfield Schools, Ikate, Surulere, on August 18. It was the maiden edition of the festival by the group. Tagged “Iri Ji culture is dynamic, the event attracted prominent Igbo people within and outside the area. Dignitaries included Chief Udo Uwasomba, a renowned chartered accountant; Chief Obinna Ugwu, Chief Clement Offo, Ezeji Chima Adawa, Ezeji Romanus Iheanacho, Ezeji Emele, Chief Charles Nwaiwu, Chief and Lolo Samuel Enyioko, Mrs. Chinyere Okoro, and Elder Innocent Emeka Madubuokwu, among others. Naturally, the event started with the presentation of kolanut, which was conducted in Igbo language. In his remarks, chairman of the group, Chief Udo Uwasomba, told the gathering that the group was just doing a test run of the New Yam festival even as he reiterated the group’s commitment to rally round Ndigbo whenever and wherever. According to him: “We use this forum to remind ourselves of where we came from, so that our tradition and culture would not die. He joined other Igbo men to join the group. Chief Uwasomba called on all Igbo traditional and cultural leaders to ensure that the new Yam festival, which had been moved to October and November in some climes, was returned to August, which he said was the traditional month for the festival. He said the Eze Ndigbo in Lagos and Surulere were in support of efforts by the group to revive and remodel the New Yam festival. Also speaking, Hon Ugwu called for continuous unity among the Ndigbo. He warned that infiltrators must not be allowed to wreak havoc on the activities of the group, even as he charged his kinsmen to always report the truth at all times. In his address, Master of Ceremonies and chairman, planning committee, Comrade Uche Ihuaku said Ndigbo must always give all glory to God the creator who actually gave the people yam and other crops, and not Ahianjoku who was just a creature. According to him, pouring libation and making incantations to trees was nothing more than worshiping creatures, instead of the creator. Quoting verses in Deuteronomy 20, he insisted that yam was made for man, and not man for yam. Before the festival proper, the kings of yam, (Ndi Eze Ji) took turns in identifying the different yam species, including JiIgwe, Ji-Oko, nku-okpagwa, nku-okpuzo, Ji-nkpoku, Ji-aga, and Ji-ocha, among others. A loud applause reverberated in the area when the chairman cut a slice of boiled yam, dipped it in a bowl of stew, munched and, as someone shouted “in the name of Jesus”, he swallowed. A thundering shout of “amen” rent the air. Different kinds of yam dish were available, including pepper soup and ugba na okporoko. Assorted drinks were not in short supply. There was also singing and dancing till late evening when the event was rounded off at 7.23 pm with a closing prayer by the chairman.


DAILY SUN

BUSINESS NEWS Bank chiefs endorse CBN’s N5,000 note From ISAAC ANUMIHE, Abuja

B

ankers Committee yesterday approved the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s currency restructuring, saying that the N5,000 denomination would push down the cost of currency management and, therefore, bring down interest rate. Addressing newsmen at the end of its 309th meeting in Abuja, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Mr Philip Oduozo, argued that the unit cost of currency printing is the same, no matter the denomination, and it is costlier moving a smaller denomination than moving a higher one. According to him, it takes a

… Say currency restructuring will bring down interest rate bullion van less runs to transport a higher denominated currency than the smaller ones. He said that the extra cost of moving a smaller denomination is pushed down to the customer as high interest rates, high lending rates. “It is going to be beneficial to the government, to the banks, and to the customer,” he said. Moreso, the N5000 note will be given on demand, and it is not for everybody. For instance, following the prudent management of printing currency, the printing cost has gone down from 47 per cent in 2009 to about 36 per cent now adding that the surplus money from the management is returned to the Federal Government to provide infra-

SEC to license FirstBank, CitiBank, two others as securities lenders …Stocks trading at par value shut out of market making By KELECHI MGBOJI

A

head of the September 18 take-off date for securities lending initiative at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may lisence FirstBank of Nigeria Plc. and Citibank to join UBA and Stanbic IBTC, as securities lenders. Both First Bank and Citibank are currently awaiting licensing by the SEC to join the other two as part of the market making initiative expected to boost liquidity in the Nigeria capital market. Addressing capital market stakeholders comprising regulators, operators and financial experts at a one-day workshop on market-making and securities lending yesterday in Lagos, Oscar Onyema, NSE chief executive officer, explained that securities lending and short-selling structure was key to ensuring vibrant market making. He, therefore, urged “all stakeholders to actively understand the mechanics for effecting securities lending and borrowing, as well as short sale transactions.” Onyema also encouraged major asset holders like “the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Pension Fund Administrators, insurance companies and other entities to participate and earn additional income through the process, while helping to improve liquidity in the market.” He, however, disclosed that companies whose stocks are currently trading at 50kobo par value will not be admitted in the market-making programme except the liquidity providers willingly decide to make market in any of those stocks. According to the NSE boss during the roll-out stage going to take six months, only institutional investors, domestic and international investors, including PFAs, AMCON, asset management companies, and fund managers are going to participate. The whole idea of market

making, short selling and securities’ lending, he stated “is to develop liquidity in the market place,” warning that there will be zero tolerance to infractions. Onyema explained that new rules and sanctions were being put together to protect investors whom he assured that at the end of the roll-out stage which is a learning process, more issues that were not envisaged earlier would crop up. “At the end of the roll-out stage we would be able to hold the primary market makers to better standards. Our goal is not to drive prices of securities, but to ensure a good quality market.

structure. He noted that high currency denomination has a longer shelf life than the lower ones because of the careless way people handle the lower currency adding that research has shown that counterfeiters don’t counterfeit high denomination because it is few and not popular among people. He used the occasion to announce that no contract has been awarded for the printing of the currency as against the reports that the printing will cost N40 billion. Concerning converting N5, N10, and N20 into coins, he argued that there is no empirical evidence to show that it will cause inflation. Besides, the Federal Government is introducing some technologies that will make usage of coins inevitable. He mentioned toll gates and the rails whose payment may be in coins. However, the coins will run side by side with the notes and anyone that is more acceptable will be phased out, he said. Oduozo noted that the economy is doing well with over $40 billion foreign reserve which can service six months importation. He noted that inflation has remained at 12 per cent and exchange rate has remained stable. Present on the occasion were the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Fidelity Bank, Mr Reginald Ihejiahi, and CBN’s Deputy Director and Head, Public Affairs, Mr Ugochukwu Okoroafor.

Fuel scarcity: Import volume drops by 33 per cent …Finance ministry commences audit of marketers By LOUIS IBA

R

ecuring scarcity of petrol currently experienced in parts of the country may bite harder in the days ahead, as the volume of imported products and supply to marketers is said to have dropped by about 33 per cent, over the last few weeks. Isaac Alabere, secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), told Daily Sun that members could only load and distribute what was made available to them by the system, pointing accusing fingers at importers for current scarcity. “NUPENG and tanker drivers are not on strike; we don’t keep stock and we only load and distribute what is made available to us and, if the product is not available, then there is bound to be scarcity and queues at filling stations,” Alabere said in a telephone chat on Tuesday. Daily Sun learnt that the importation and supply of petrol, currently the monopoly of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is under threat, as most other marketers involved in the import project had

backed out, following the inability of the Federal Government to promptly settle arrears of subsidy payments running into more than N200 billion. It was also learnt that the Federal Ministry of Finance has commenced the audit of marketers involved in the importation of fuel to ascertain allegations of fraud leveled against some of them by the special probe panel chaired by Access Bank CEO, Aigboje Aig-Imhokboje. The result of the probe committee was seen as flawed by some of the marketers, but the ongoing audit will provide the marketers an opportunity to tender documents to clear their names, just as it facilitate the payment to with outstanding arrears who scale through the audit exercise. Sources at the Lagos ports and the depots where imported products are brought in, loaded into tank farms and finally discharged into trucks for onward supplies at retail outlets, said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was only able to supply two out of the three vessels containing imported petrol which they had pledged to make available to marketers to bridge the huge gap between supply and demand and curb the scarcity witnessed in parts of the country.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

55


3. Biznews, Wed, 12-09-12

56

11/9/12

22:04

Page 1

DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BUSINESS NEWS Presidency, NERC, Taskforce panic over drop in power supply From DENNIS MERNYI, Abuja

T

he Presidency, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the newly inaugurated Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) are in frantic moves to salvage the reported significant drop in power supply by over 1000 megawatts (mw), shortly after the sudden exit of the former Power minister, Professor Barth Nnaji. The Federal Government and its agencies involved in the management of activities within Nigeria’s power sector had a tough moment throughout Tuesday in Abuja, making desperate efforts to refute or counter the development reported in one of the national dallies (not Daily Sun). The development, which many are insinuating to have been one of the negative fallouts of the resignation of Prof. Nnaji, forced the Federal Ministry of Power, NERC and the PTFP to swing into action to explain the development, while denying there was significant drop in

power supply. Addressing newsmen in Abuja Tuesday, NERC Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi, however, noted that the country has lost only 300mw from ongoing maintenance work on Geregu power plant, adding that the loss was insignificant to destabilize nationwide power supply. Dr. Amadi added that there is marked progress in the power sector reform programme of the government, explaining that “these past few weeks, Nigeria has been able to achieve a significant milestone in its history of power generation. “For the first time, the power sector attained a maximum peak generation of 4,321 megawatt on August 31, 2012. For over a month before then and ever since, daily generation has been maintained within a range of 4,100–4,200mw. “This was a remarkable departure from the days of attaining peak generation and plummeting down by as much as 1,000mw within a few days, in some cases,” he said.

Fuel subsidy probe report hasty, flawed, says Capital Oil By LOUIS IBA

I

ndigenous oil marketing firm, Capital Oil & Gas Limited, has described the fuel subsidy probe report that indicted it for graft as hasty, noting that the premises upon which the probe committee drew its inference were flawed. The company stated that given that most of the transactions it embarked upon was funded by banks, it was a near-impossibility for an operator to defraud the system when all monies paid under the subsidy scheme were mandatorily paid through creditor banks, which also kept records of all transactions. Capital Oil also cited its transactions as having been verified and approval granted from key regulatory agencies like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), bank surveyors and external auditors as well Customs, and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) officials. The Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede-led probe committee had accused Capital Oil & Gas Limited of collecting subsidy payments without proof of existence of mother vessel bill of lading or daughter-vessel bill of lading. It also accused the company of collecting subsidy payments for which mother vessels were not found in locations claimed at the time of transshipments. It said in honouring the invitation to appear before the probe panel, it had furnished the committee with all relevant documents to show evidence of both mother and daughter vessels, including bill of lading and letters from product supplier Vitol S.A and Delany – both internationally recognized oil trading companies. “All the above bodies (DPR, PPPRA, Customs, bank surveyors and external auditors etc) witnessed every process of the transactions and all the necessary documents relating to these transactions were tendered to the committee and yet they could not confirm or fault any of the documents tendered,” the company said in a media statement, faulting the committee’s report and describing it as a “deliberate mission to impugn on the company’s integrity ad inflict grave damage to its strong standing in the industry. “We are at a loss as to how the committee arrived at such an unbelievable and hasty conclusion when there is a clear evidence of bank funding of the transactions beginning with the opening form ‘M’ approved by a government appointed agent, COTECNA,” the company said. “And also there is the establishment of Letters of Credit, appointment of an inspection agent by the bank to monitor all operations from loading of the product from the mother vessel to the discharge at the jetty and also the monitoring if the truck-out from our depots of the same product. “All subsidies paid in respect of all transactions y our company till date under the petroleum support scheme were domiciled with the banks that funded each transactions ad a refund on the credit extended to us and none was discounted top a third party for any other purpose,” the company added.

• Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema; Director General-General, National Pension Commission, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad, and Executive Director, Market Operations Technology of the Exechange, Mr Adeolu Bajomo, at Market Making, Securities Lending and Soft Selling workshop, organized by the Stock Exchange, in Lagos, on Tuesday.

Arik to raise N500bn from capital market By UCHE USIM

A

s more domestic airlines battle to sustain their operations, Arik Air is warming up to get listed on the main board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by selling its shares to the investing public. The planned share offering, which is still kept under wraps, is expected to be unvield to the public in the next few weeks, when all regulatory approval would have been secured. Investigations by Daily Sun revealed that the airline, which

is the largest carrier in West and Central Africa, targets to raise at least N500 billion, to expand its domestic, regional and international operations. The spokesman of the airline, Banji Ola, who confirmed the development to Daily Sun in a telephone conversation, said the plan to go public was at advanced stage, adding: “We are discussing with our financial advisers and will come out with a statement at the appropriate time.” Industry watchers have lauded the development, saying it will afford Nigerians the opportunity to buy shares of

the airline and save it the problems associated with ownership syndrome since more experienced shareholders would now be on the board to help determine how it operates. It was further gathered that Delloite of the United Kingdom is currently looking on the books of the airline as part of preparations for going public. Chairman of the airline, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide, in an interview with Daily Sun last year, hinted of the airline’s would go public but did not give a precise date.

You’re a bad economist, Sanusi blasts Obasanjo over comments on N5,000 note From ISAAC ANUMIHE, Abuja

G

overnor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, yesterday gave it back to the former president, General Olusegun Obasanjo, over his comment on the proposed N5,000 note, calling him a bad economist. Obasanjo had said that the N5,000 note will be counterproductive and would kill the productive sector, while calling on stakeholders and government agencies to rise up against the policy. But speaking at the 6th Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Abuja, Sanusi said Obasanjo’s comments demonstrated clearly that he had a poor knowledge of economic issues, despite being a successful farmer and a respected national leader. Making clarifications on major policy measures of the regulatory institution, Sanusi said all the monetary policy measures being undertaken by the bank were intended to stabilise the financial system and enable it play its catalytic roles as a major source of pooling funds to grow the economy. He described the reported comments by the former president and other analysts that printing the N5,000 notes

would exacerbate the inflationary trend of the economy as not premised on sound economic logic. According to Sanusi, if printing the N5,000 notes will trigger inflation as being insinuated, then President Obasanjo should be seen as the greater factor responsible for the high inflation in the economy, having printed about five of the existing denominations during his tenure.

He explained that contrary to the widespread rumours about the cost of the exercise particularly the cost of printing the N5,000 notes, which the public had been informed would cost a whopping N40 billion, the whole exercise when it eventually becomes implemented will cost the country just between two to three billion naira while it has the potential of saving the government at least N7 billion yearly.

Arik Air becomes the third airline in Nigeria to go public, after the defunct Albarka Airlines Plc. and ADC Airline. Commenting on the development, Akin Olateru, an aviation consultant, said the major problem of domestic operators remains lack of quality management and poor business model. He added that if Arik succeeds in going public, the new management would be forced to evolve a sound, safe and profitable airline to guarantee returns on investment. Arik today has 23 aircraft and operates 120 daily flights from Lagos and Abuja hubs. It is the first African operator of A340-500; first African operator of CRJ900 and Q400 and is expecting a new Airbus A330-200 before the end of the year. The Federal Government’s plans to carry out a safety and economic due diligence on domestic carriers, in conjunction with Boeing, has put most airlines on their toes. Moreso, the few existing scheduled airlines like Aero, Arik, IRS and Overland are rather striving to survive amidst the scorching operating environment.

N562.2m PHCN pension fund: FG to unravel signatories to foreign accounts From DENNIS MERNYI, Abuja

F

ollowing disclosures by the Mr. James Ajiboye-led audit panel’s report that over £2,204,814.18 (about N562.2 million) of the controversial Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Superannuation Pension Fund may have been stashed away in a United Kingdom (UK) based bank, the Federal Government may direct its investigation committee to unravel all signatories to those accounts. Daily Sun checks at the Ministry of Power, on Tuesday, confirmed government may equally ask the audit to verify if there are other such accounts

operated by the workers for the pension, and find out how much was in the accounts that was supposed to be remitted for the pension fund. The government according to a reliable source at the Ministry of Power in Abuja disclosed that it would also probe the cost of the abandoned PHCN estate at Mabushi in Abuja, and how much has been spent on the project so as to apprehend the contractors to explain why the project was abandoned. The former Power minister, Professor Barth Nnaji had, early last month, set-up an eight-man investigative audit panel on PHCN pension led by Mr. Joseph Ajiboye, who is also a former Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF) to audit the

controversial PHCN Superannuation Pension Fund. But report submitted on Monday in Abuja, to the Minister of State for Power, Arc. Darius Ishaku, said that the panel could not ascertain if officials of PHCN had continued to remit pension and gratuity deductions to the foreign account, considering that the last expatriate pensioner of the utility was reported to have died. The amount, totalling £2,204,814.18, which has been in Barclays Bank for about 21 years, was discovered to have accumulated from pension deposits for expatriate workers of the power utility and was believed to have been transferred by its officials long before the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) metamorphosed into PHCN.


DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

57


58

DAILY SUN

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sanusi, please consider N5,000 coins Continued from back page

result of inflation or senseless printing of higher and higher denominations. All I have is this native intelligence (although I don’t know if I still have, after the July gunshot to my head – whether the bullet wound has not affected my reasoning), which tells me that whatever we want to achieve with notes, we can also achieve with coins. Moreover, there is also a host of other advantages to the N5,000 coin Considering all the security details that go into the notes, would it not be cheaper to just mint coins? After all, we don’t have to cast it with 24 carat gold or diamond just because it’s N5,000. We could even borrow a leaf from the organisers of the last London Olympics: the metals with which they made the gold, silver and bronze medals were hardly worth the price of wood but that did not take anything away from the medals. Or their value. Finally, since our politicians not only like carrying a lot of money with them but also live dangerously, I think large quantities of N5,000 coins in their pockets (especially in the breast pockets (close to the heart) and in the agbada pockets (close to the intestines and lungs)) could help deflect bullets in a way that no note would ever do – even if it is a N10,000 note. But, most of all, N5,000 coin would effectively address the suspicions of we the masses that public officials are not planning (with this their N5,000 note) to put all our money in their back pockets and stroll out of government house as if they are not carrying anything. And before we realise what hit us, they have reached the Chadian border enroute Sahara Desert and Europe. So, Oga Sanusi, we are not opposed to your introducing the N5,000 denomination. We just wish you could bring it in coins. We have looked all over the world and found out that everyone else is using their coins with pride, except Nigerians. We are now ‘proudly Nigerian’. We now want to grow this culture of using coins. In fact, we are already feeling very nostalgic about our N1 and N2 coins, which were sent to their early graves as soon as they were ‘downgraded’ to coins. Don’t downgrade the denominations that are already in existence. Just bring the new one (N5,000) in coins and, I assure you, we’ll use it.

Information mismanagement by the Presidency T

he way the Presidency mishandled media reports last week about the health condition of Mrs. Patience Jonathan has exposed the Federal Government to public ridicule. Last week, the media gave speculative accounts of the reasons for Patience Jonathan’s overseas trip. A section of newspapers reported that the president’s wife was in a German hospital where she had undergone surgery to repair a broken appendicitis. Another report suggested Mrs. Jonathan was in Germany to receive treatment for food poisoning that she contacted during a trip to Dubai. And yet a third report said she was originally scheduled to be flown to a specialist hospital in Italy. All three reports pointed to Mrs. Jonathan’s ill health but all three reports were promptly denied by spokespersons for the Presidency, who insisted that Mrs. Jonathan was resting overseas. Ayo Osinlu, the Special Assistant on Media to Mrs. Jonathan, initially told journalists that the First Lady and permanent secretary in the Bayelsa State Government had been compelled to take a rest overseas, owing to her hectic schedule in August. However, as journalists requested for more authentic information about the purpose of Mrs Jonathan’s overseas trip and the country of her visit, the special assistant became uptight. He was not going to face further inquisition by the media. His voice rose and fell and his tone took an angry dimension. He told a group of journalists: “Nobody is going to put a gun on my head and force me to talk when I have no fresh information.” The use of a metaphor more appropriate for a man, facing public execution was unnecessary. Information management is a major challenge to experienced and inexperienced mind managers at the Presidency. Media advisers and special assistants in Aso Rock, in their role as information fire fighters, have to grapple regularly with how to deny or explain rumours that have been published in the media in a context that will make their version of the information meaningful and believable to the public. In this age of electronic media, social media (including mainstream media) constitute a thorn in the flesh of elected politicians and public office holders, particularly those who seek to withhold information from the public. A former premier of the state of Queensland in Australia, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, once exasperated by media coverage of his government, suggested a bizarre way to curb the power of the media. He said: “The greatest thing that could happen in the state and the nation is when we get rid of the media. Then we would live in peace and tranquillity and no one would know anything.” Unfortunately, Sir

Joh forgot that the media represented an institution of society. They cannot just disappear. While premiers, prime ministers and presidents come and go, while politicians live and die, the media will remain and survive the good times and the bad times. Whenever unofficial news (particularly news of the negative genre) about the president or any member of his family or his ministers breaks in the public sphere, information managers in Aso Rock are confronted with how to fight the metaphorical •Jonathan bushfire on several fronts. They sweat profusely while they figure out how to respond to the embarrassing leak. In trying to suppress uncomfortable news, media advisers and special assistants become jumpy either because they lack requisite skills on how to deal with damaging rumour or because they are scared of the impact of the rumour on the image of their bosses. In response, they threaten the propagators of rumour with the “Holy Ghost fire”. In a marketplace of ideas, particularly in a market dominated by a sceptical community, getting the public to accept official lines of explanation is nearly impossible. Nigerians are generally cynical of their political leaders. Political leaders are viewed with suspicion not only because of their sustained record of telling lies but also because of their failure to fulfil election promises. In an environment in which the citizens are distrustful of their leaders, official explanations are usually dismissed as propaganda. This is the scenario in which information managers at the Presidency, who engage in hysterical attempts to deny leaked news reports are seen as fighting a lost battle. Worst still, the Presidency is known to be averse to proactive release of official information in the public sphere. There are four predictable ways through which media advisers and special assistants in Nigeria respond to unofficial information and rumour about their bosses. The first response is to deny the report outright or to offer an alternative that is at odds with the truth. The second is to challenge the credibility of the sources of the information. The third is to contest the veracity and soundness of the information. The fourth response is to wring their hands in denial of knowledge of the information. If media advisers and special assistants at the Presidency are upset

about spiralling rumours about the health condition of Mrs. Jonathan or her location overseas, they must take some of the responsibility for mismanaging the situation. Rumours about Mrs. Jonathan’s health condition worsened because someone failed to clear the fog of uncertainty about the woman’s overseas trip and the reason for that trip. There are questions awaiting official and credible answers. What is the president’s wife doing overseas? Is she on holidays? If so, was the vacation endorsed by the Bayelsa State, who appointed her as a permanent secretary in the state public service? If Mrs. Jonathan is unwell, what kind of illness is she suffering from? Is Mrs. Jonathan suffering from food poisoning, as widely reported by the media? If true, how long is she expected to stay in an overseas medical facility? In which country and in which medical clinic or hospital is she receiving medical treatment? Media advisers and special assistants in Aso Rock should feed the public with convincing information about the purpose of Mrs. Jonathan’s overseas trip. If she took ill, the Presidency mismanaged the situation by failing to release that information swiftly. Mrs Jonathan is human. As a human being, she is susceptible to occasional bouts of ill health. There is nothing in human nature that says our First Lady cannot fall ill. There is too much secrecy in the way political leaders do things in Nigeria. During Yar’Adua’s ill health in 2009, the man was so irritated about leaked media reports, concerning his ill health that some staff of the Presidency were compulsorily administered with official oath of secrecy. It was a useless exercise because the oath did not prevent further leaks. In the absence of official and credible information about Mrs. Jonathan, the public has decided to pose questions and invent answers

to the same questions the Presidency is unable to deal with. Whenever Mrs. Jonathan returns to resume her exalted seat as permanent secretary in Bayelsa State, the president must review promptly how media advisers and special assistants mishandled the news report. That review must determine who is authorised to speak whenever Jonathan or his wife travels overseas on official or unofficial duty. A number of lessons must be learnt from this experience. The Presidency must treat Nigerians with a modicum of respect. We are not a cohort of kindergarten kids whom the government can feed inaccurate information clearly designed to mislead. There is nothing sacred about the health of the president’s wife. The president’s wife is a public figure, at least, in her capacity as a permanent secretary. A public figure enjoys limited privacy. If Mrs. Jonathan is in poor health, it is in public interest to inform the nation. A culture of secrecy has undermined rather than enhanced the image of the government. Rumour thrives when official sources of information are sealed or corrupted. In his book – Africa’s Media, Democracy and the Politics of Belonging (Zed Books, 2005) — sociologist and Cameroonian author, Francis Nyamnjoh, explains the reasons rumours thrive in his home country, as they do in Nigeria. According to Nyamnjoh, “rumour flourishes as a legitimate source of information for the marginalised majority. Thus rumour..., is like the voice of the voiceless, seeking to challenge passivity and the oppressive discourse of officialdom”. Nyamnjoh argues that “rumour targets those in the limelight. A person must be perceived as having a certain standing to be earmarked for comments, rumours and calumny”. Patience Jonathan, as permanent secretary and the president’s wife, fits that description. Nyamnjoh argues that excessive censorship of official sources of information in Cameroon (and Nigeria too) has led to the emergence of rumour as a vibrant alternative source of news. The mind managers in Aso Rock should read Nyamnjoh’s book. Ceaseless rumours about Mrs. Jonathan’s overseas trip suggest that Nigerians are trying to find answers to questions about their First Lady. In the absence of dependable information, people have decided to invent outstanding rumours to satisfy their appetite for official information. In Nigeria’s public sphere, the slogan is that if the Presidency cannot answer public questions, the public will make up its mind and disseminate the kind of information that fits the pictures in our heads. That is one problem you have to deal with when you allow rumour to evolve.


DAILY SUN

59 Inyama on NFF

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

We ’ve done well 60 Fallout on battle of Monrovia

On Enyeama I stand – Shorunmu

By GEORGE ALUO

S •Shorunmu •Enyeama

uper Eagles’ first choice goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama may have fumbled in last weekend’s game against Liberia in Monrovia, but the goalkeeper trainer of the team, Ike Shorunmu, says Enyeama remains his beloved one in whom he is well pleased. Shorunmu, who spoke exclusively to Daily Sunsports after the match in Liberia, said Enyeama was not the architect of Nigeria’s failure to win the hard-fought away first leg match of the Nations Cup qualifier, pointing out that if the strikers had done their job well, Eagles would have left Monrovia with victory song. Shorunmu, who stressed that the draw in Monrovia was not a bad result, said given the way things were before, during and after the game, a victory for Nigeria at the Samuel Doe International Stadium would have cost some blood. “My brother, I am ruing the draw we got in Monrovia. The Liberians were too desperate and hostile to us. If we had won the game, may be we would have been telling a different story. I wonder how we would have left that stadium in one piece,” Shorunmu stated. ���Even when the match ended in a draw, it took the intervention of Nigerian soldiers on peacekeeping mission in Liberia to save our lives. The Liberians were simply barbaric in their approach to the game. “Talking about Enyeama, he was not the only player on the pitch and as such, he should not be

blamed for the draw. Eagles created a lot of chances to score, but all their attempts were wasted. If the strikers had taken the chances, Nigeria would have won the match with good margin. “Before the match in Liberia, I watched Enyeama in action in his last two matches for his club and he was impressive. He was equally excellent during training on the eve of the match in Monrovia. We didn’t pick him to start the game because of his status, but because of his form. “I am not one of those that are blaming Enyeama for the draw we played in Liberia. For me, he did well and I must tell you, he remains the best shot stopper in Eagles,” he added. It would be recalled that just like in Monrovia, it was Enyeama’s blunder that saw the Eagles not running away with a victory in the World Cup qualifier against Malawi early in the year. He fumbled with a crossed ball on the dot of the hour and recorded an equaliser for Malawi in Blantyre. The same goalkeeping problem was responsible for Nigeria’s inability to qualify for the 2012 Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea/Gabon. That time, Dele Aiyenugba, who manned the post for the country against Guinea at the National Stadium in Abuja, conceded two cheap goals that allowed Guinea secure the draw she needed to go through ahead of Nigeria. However, with the 2-2 draw in Monrovia, all that Eagles need on the October 13 return leg at the U. J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar to land in South Africa for the 2013 Nations Cup is a scoreless draw.


60

DAILY SUN

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

After two years on the saddle, NFF board gives self pass mark, declares: By GEORGE ALUO

T

he Aminu Maigari-led board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has not been on the good books of Nigerian soccer fans for obvious reasons. Many Nigerians have yet to forgive the board over the country’s failure to qualify Nigeria for the Equatorial Guinea/Gabon 2012 Nations Cup decided early this year. Nigeria’s failure to be at the ‘African World Cup’ came on the heels of the country’s poor outing at the South Africa 2010 Mundial, a situation that made things worst for the board. But after going the half way mark of its four-year tenure, the board acclaimed that its reign has not been a bad one, insisting that the rebuilding process it started in Nigerian football is very much on course and the country would soon bounce back to the top of African football with the programme the federation has on ground. Chairman Media Sub-Committee of the board, High Chief Emeka Inyama, who spoke on Monday in Lagos, said the current board of NFF, which was elected in August 2010, has made grassroots football development its priority, a measure he said would yield great dividends in the near future.

FOCUS ON DEVELOPMENT Inyama said that the focus on development was what informed the board’s decision to float a national Under-13 and Under-15 teams, a move he said would help the country in catching young players, who would play for the country within their right age brackets. “Our focus in the last two years has been on grassroots football development. We resolved to start from the scratch with the Under-13 cadre. We want to stamp out age cheats in Nigerian football so that we can be playing FIFA age group competitions with players who are truly within the specified age brackets. We want to raise players, who will, after playing at the Under-13 level today, will graduate to the Super Eagles in the next 10 to 15 years time. “We are serious with what we are doing. We conduct our own MRI tests on the players to ensure that none of them cheats with his age. We have resolved that players from the academies and secondary schools would populate our age grade teams. No league players should get close to our age grade teams. “This is a board that believes in the players that are plying their trade on the Nigerian soil. That is why we had often arranged

As a board, we are equally going to look into the sponsorship deals existing between the federation and its marketers. We need money to run the game and we won’t hesitate to revoke deals that are not helping us.

‘WE ’VE DONE WELL!’

Grade A friendly matches for the Super Eagles, which we executed with home lads. Our joy is that the experiment has already started to yield dividends considering the number of homeboys in Coach Stephen Keshi’s current squad.”

NPL LEAGUE To further strengthen the domestic scene, Inyama said the board would from next season pay more attention to the nation’s Premier and Amateur Leagues. “We are not going to run the leagues, but we have to play our oversight function of supervising the proceedings. Before the 2013 season starts, we will meet with both the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) and the Nigerian National League (NNL) to discuss how we can make the league better. “Thank God peace has returned to our football. The over 27 cases that were in court have been withdrawn and with the litigations no longer there, we can now have a better focus on the programmes we have for Nigerian football. The Honourable Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi needs to be commended for the role he played in resolving the crisis in Nigerian football. We will now sit down with the NPL to ensure that we have a better league, a league that will produce worthy champions and as well, attract sponsors. We just have to make the home front better and focus on developing the game.”

lot in the area of capacity building for the nation’s indigenous coaches. “We have in the last two years organised a series of refresher courses for our coaches. We have done CAF A, B and C coaching courses. We were on t h e

verge of getting a foreign technical director when the minister stopped the board. We are awaiting further directive from him on that. But the truth is that we are giving our indigenous coaches total support, even as we want them to be up and doing. “Stephen Keshi is doing a good job and we hope he delivers on his mandates, which include to qualify the country for the Nations Cup and World Cup, as well as to win the Nations Cup in South Africa. “I see Nigeria winning in Calabar on October 13 to qualify for the 2013 Nations Cup. Our desire is not just to qualify, but also, to win the Cup, and with the kind of interest the nation’s number one citizen, President Goodluck Jonathan, has shown in the national team, we have no option but to go for the trophy in South Africa. Our biggest challenge now is to see Eagles return to the winning ways.”

RECONCILIATION “I am the chairman of the NFF Reconciliation Committee and we have gone ahead to woo all those that were aggrieved and those that went to court to come back fully so that all of us can build the house together. Fortunately, our effort is already yielding result. Dr Sam Sam Jaja was the special guest of honour during the Federation Cup final in Lagos. Barrister Ray Nnaji was in Calabar when we played Malawi. We are reaching out to every stakeholder and we want all to come together as members of one family. “It is only when we have peace that sponsors can identify with our football. Sponsorship can’t thrive under rancor, we need all the peace to attract partnership from corporate bodies and as we all know, without money, we can’t run the game. “As a board, we are equally going to look into the sponsorship deals existing between the federation and its marketers. We need money to run the game and we won’t hesitate to revoke deals that are not helping us. We want to see clubs that are playing in our competitions smiling home with cash in victory. For the first time, the winners of the Federation Cup, Heartland of Owerri, got N2 million for their effort. We considered it a peanut, but it was a step forward. Hopefully, the prize money for both the Federation Cup and the league will get. “At the level of the NNL, we have succeeded in reengineering the National League, the next phase for us is to secure sponsorship for it and then put it on television. The games may not be live, but we would be packaging highlights of the matches for Nigerians to watch.”

VERDICT “In all, the Maigari-led board has done well. As I said earlier, the last two years have been full of challenges, but our happiness is that peace has returned to Nigerian football and with the current standing, we hope that things can only get better.”

COACHING Inyama noted that the current NFF board has done a

Inyama


NEWS DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012 61

SUN SPORTS

NEWS

Chukwumerije inspires kids at taekwando workshop By MONICA IHEAKAM

C

aptain of Team Nigeria to the London 2012 Olympics, Chika Chukwumerije, has remained a role model to the younger generation, who he recently inspired at a taekwando training workshop in Abuja. The four-day event, organised by the Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation (CCSF) for Under-20 athletes, was held at the Korean Cultural Centre in Abuja. The event drew 18 athletes from six states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The exercise, which was in its third edition, had top resource persons like two-time All Africa Games gold medallist, Margaret Achibi, two-time British champion, Martins Obiorah, Beijing 2008 Olympic medallist and founder of the foundation, Chika Yagazie Chukwumerije, as well as the Head of Physiotherapy, National Sports Commission (NSC), Oladipo Odunuga in attendance. During the event, which was supported by GlaxoSmithkline (GSK), the athletes were tutored by Korean Olympic Coach, Master Sihwan Keum, who introduced the youngsters to the use of electronic system 'Daedo' in training and competition in the sport. At the end of the exercise, taekwando equipment and souvenirs were handed out to the excited participants. For 12-year-old Happy Aigbozoma from Edo State, participating in the workshop was highly rewarding considering the knowledge and skills he acquired from the exercise.

Glo launches Soccer Academy …Reiterates commitment to sports development

L

eading telecommunication company, Globacom, has demonstrated its commitment to sports development in West Africa as it unveiled the Glo Soccer Academy; a TV Reality show tagged: The Dream Team in Lagos yesterday. Speaking during a press conference held to formally launch the project, Globacom's Director of Events and Sponsorships, Bode Opeseitan, said the Glo Soccer Academy was conceived to discover and train talented young footballers in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic. He said the company is "proud to float the Glo Soccer Academy which is expected to discover young talents, teach and groom them to become world-class footballers who can compete with their contemporaries anywhere in the world and shine like trillion stars”. He said the academy aimed at providing a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for young talented footballers to kick-start their career in professional football, adding that the Academy is designed to scout key locations in West Africa to screen thousands of promising youngsters out of which 33 talented finalists will be camped in a soccer academy in Lagos and trained by celebrity coaches from West Africa and Manchester United for five weeks. From the lot, 16 participants will emerge as the best of the pack with mouthwatering pecks, including cash prizes, scholarships and a training tour of the Manchester United Soccer Schools in the UK. “Our Sponsorship of the academy is in line with Globacom's commitment to constantly develop and promote the game of football in Africa as a socially responsible indigenous company,'' said the Glo representative. He called on youths in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin to make utmost use of the opportunity provided by the academy as a first step towards realizing their potentialities, adding that Globacom is “confident that the academy will motivate young players, coaches and administrators to work harder, thereby leading to further development of the game.

EKO 2012 Team: Ogun is on course – Soaga By BABS OYETORO

T

eam Ogun is seriously building up to the National Sports Festival scheduled for November this year in Lagos even as the athletes are in camp perfecting strategies for the sporting fiesta. The chairman of media/publicity committee, Alhaji Ayinde Soaga, took a general overview of the athletes' preparations so far and expressed satisfaction, noting that the state team is on course. Soaga hinted that the state government had been able to provide enabling environment for the athletes to prepare for the event stressing that everything was going according to plan. The veteran broadcast journalist noted the state Governor, Senator Amosun Ibikunle, could not afford to treat the welfare of athletes with levity because he too was once an athlete . He added that this would explain further the essence of the insurance scheme put in place for the athletes as part of their welfare package. “You see, we are not just being concerned about winning the festival but rather we are delighted in investing on our athletes to make them more useful for the state and nation as well, even after the National Sports Festival”, he stressed. Meanwhile, the media/publicity committee headed by Alhaji Soaga has other members- veteran journalists, Yomi Opakunle, Rotimi Oduniyi(secretary), Kola Lebi, Dr. Oye Olubunmi and Babs Oyetoro.

...His girlfriend

Murray proudly displays his trophy

US Open

Murray breaks 76-yr jinx T

here was one word that summed up Andy Murray’s realisation of a dream that he feared may never come - relief. The Scot defeated defending champion, Novak Djokovic, 76 (12/10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 in the US Open final to finally win his first Grand Slam title at the fifth time of asking. It was somehow fitting that the match was a rollercoaster, mirroring the journey Murray has taken to get here, as at once stage he looked poised to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The 25-year-old said: 'It was an incredibly tough match and obviously it felt great at the end. Relief is probably the best word I would use to describe how I'm feeling just now. 'I'm very, very happy that I managed to come through because if I had lost this one from two sets up, that would have been a tough one to take. 'I was still doubting myself right up to a few minutes before going on to play the match. It's something I have never done

before. I have been in this position many times and not managed to get through. 'I am just so relieved to finally have got there and I can put this one behind me and hopefully win more. 'I think just proving to myself is probably the most pleasing part about tonight, because there were times when I didn't know if I was going to be able to do it.' It was a match that really had everything. In windy conditions, Murray was twice a break up in the opening set before finally

clinching it on his sixth set point. He then let a 4-0 lead slip away in the second but still came out on top to move to within one set of victory against a man who had not lost a Grand Slam match on a hard court for two years. But Djokovic was not about to give up his crown without a fight and, as Murray got nervous, the Serb upped his game, drawing level and carrying the momentum into the fifth set. The start of the decider was

…Hits £100m jackpot

A

ndy Murray has been tipped to earn up to £100million after he became the first British man to win a Grand Slam singles title for 76 years by claiming victory at the US Open. And today the 25-year-old looked a new man as he appeared on US television to be interviewed following his

thrilling five-set win against defending champion, Novak Djokovic. Murray, who was made to sweat for almost five hours before winning the match point, looked much more relaxed in the CBS studio as he answered questions about his first Grand Slam Perhaps it was because the Scot had celebrated with only a soft drink after the match - while

It’s great victory – Cameron

D

avid Cameron hailed Murray's triumph as a 'truly great victory' that continued Britain's golden summer of sport. The Prime Minister took to micro-blogging site Twitter to lead congratulations over the Scottish tennis player's historic win. He tweeted: 'Delighted Andy Murray is continuing a golden summer of sport by winning the US Open. A truly great victory.' Speaking outside 10

crucial and a little surprisingly it was Djokovic who faltered, trailing 3-0 and then giving away another break to leave Murray one game away. The Serb was struggling physically, understandably after almost five hours, and he was booed by the raucous crowd as he took a medical timeout. But Murray did not waver, setting up three match points and taking the second when Djokovic fired a make-or-break return long.

Downing Street later, Mr Cameron said: 'I'm absolutely delighted for him. It's a huge achievement. 'For 76 years Britain has waited for a grand slam win in tennis and Andy has done it in huge style. 'It (takes) immense physical and mental endurance to win a game like that. 'I'm a keen tennis player myself and I can hardly last five games, let alone five sets. It's a huge achievement for him. 'You are all on your own in singles tennis - there's no one to

blame but yourself when it goes wrong - and he should have all our praise for such a magnificent game. 'The forecast was made yesterday that the great summer of British sport was over, but he has given us another immense prize to wake up to.' Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said: 'Congratulations to Andy Murray on what was a fantastic performance. 'This is another brilliant win over Novak Djokovic and continues an amazing year for Andy.

his 30-strong entourage ran up a bill of more than £4,000 at an upmarket New York restaurant. Publicist, Max Clifford, said the US Open triumph had crowned Murray a 'tennis king' with an earning potentiality of £100million. Mr Clifford added that Murray's astonishing year - he was Wimbledon runner-up and won gold at the London 2012 Olympics before becoming champion in New York - had changed the public perception of him from a 'miserable Scot' to a potential Sports Personality of the Year. 'Andy has had the most amazing summer in terms of changing public perception of him,' Mr Clifford said. 'The British public have warmed to him since he cried at Wimbledon. He came across as a miserable Scot but his image has had a massive improvement. 'In addition to the success he has had, he is a tennis king - the first since Fred Perry. 'He has broken into that sports elite class with Federer and Nadal.


62

NEWS NEWS

DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

SUN SPORTS World Peace Cup on Facebook

Rubin Kazan: Martins remains our player

T

he organisers of the maiden edition of the World Peace Cup have opened a Facebook account for the event that is billed to hold in the country from November 2-16, 2012. A statement by the Secretary General of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Jide Salau, said that those wishing to get information about the Peace Cup could sign up with the facebook group named World Peace Cup project. The statement also advised those seeking latest information about the World Peace Cup to do so through info@worldpeacecupproject.com. Other sources of getting information about the World Peace Cup can be sourced through the event website on www.worldpeacecupproject.com.Those wishing to reach the organisers without having to go through the above named channel can do so through sms 0091723250972 for those who want to sign for peace. The World Peace Cup is being organised by the Great Power Uti Worldwide Sports Incorporated, which is the franchise owner. It is organising the event in collaboration with Continental Wrestling Alliance (CWA) International. Last month, the World Heavyweight champion and also the CWA heavyweight Champion, Power Uti addressed a world conference in the USAwith the Peace Cup handed over to him by the CWAPresident, Jean Andre Pamphile. The championship aims at arresting the dwindling fortunes of professional wrestling in the country.

T

Mikel

Osaze

Eagles don't need Mikel, Osaze – Ikpeba

F

ormer Africa Player of the Year, Victor Ikpeba, says that Nigeria can carry on with her building process under Stephen Keshi without

John Mikel Obi and Peter Osaze Odemwingie. Ikpeba made this statement as a guest analyst in a football magazine show, Monday Night

...No, they need them – Iroha …Urges Yobo to work with home-based defenders By ROMANUS UGWU, Abuja

N

igerian former international, Benedict Iroha, has urged Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, to recall the trio of Ukraine-based left wing-back, Taye Taiwo, England-based Mikel Obi and Osaze Odemwingie, for the return leg of the Nations Cup qualifier encounter against the Lone Star of Liberia. Speaking with Daily Sunsports from USA, the Golden Eaglets’former assistant coach argued that contrary to the report credited to the former international, Victor Ikpeba, urging Keshi to forget the Englandbased duo, they are still very relevant to the team. “As for your question on how I feel about Ikpeba urging Keshi not to invite John Mikel and Peter Osaze, my reply is that we still need them. They are among our best legs in Europe. “Yes, we equally need Taiwo's experience because you don't do away with experience just like that. Again, he is still playing in a big league, there is nothing wrong in recalling him,” he noted. Reacting to the discomfort of the Super Eagles skipper, Joseph Yobo, over the home-based dominated defence line-up, the former Eagles left wing-back told the Turkish-based defender to adjust since he has no choice on the partnership Keshi was currently fostering. Well, I understand Yobo's point and frustration about the home-based dominating the defence, but he should under-

stand that this is what we have now. So, he has no option for now than to adapt and work with them. He should try to understand them,” Iroha urged Yobo. On whether the 2-2 draw with the host, Liberia, last weekend was a good result, Iroha noted that considering the fact that no country is a minnow now, the result is good to see the Eagles through during the second leg. “It was a good result. Don't forget it was an away match. The good thing is that we will finish

it up at home in the return leg. We should understand that every country is playing good football now. So, if you ask me, I would still say we got a very good result in Monrovia,” he noted. Should the Eagles technical crew bow to pressure and drop Vincent Enyeama as the best choice goalkeeper, Iroha, tactically dogging the question, said: “I think Ike should be in the best position to know better because that department falls into his area.”

Abu Aseez eyes Copa Lagos title

A

bu Aseez of the Sand Eagles, one of the stars of the maiden edition of Copa Lagos 2011, has set his sights on reclaiming the coveted Copa Lagos title. The 2nd edition of Copa Lagos is to run from 14th - 16th of December 2012 and will be held at Eko Atlantic Mega City site. Aseez is confident that the Sand Eagles can reproduce the dazzling form which saw them overcome former World Champions, Brazil in an epic finale. Despite the lack of confirmed friendlies before the tournament, Aseez remains defiant about the Sand Eagles chances: “For now, we are training with our respective clubs, but psychologically, we are ready for the games. With God on our side, we will be ready” When asked of the Sand Eagles chances of repeating their Copa Lagos success, Aseez had this to say: “Nobody gave us a chance to win against Brazil but we did. This

was owning to our determination and commitment. Winning the tournament has given us a huge morale booster. The team is eager to emulate what we did in 2011. With God on our side I believe we can win” The Sand Eagles begin the defence of their Copa Lagos title on the 14th December 2012.

Football, on SuperSport. The winner of the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations was responding to Keshi leaving out the duo from the 2-2 draw in Monrovia against Liberia last weekend in the 2013 AFCON qualifying tie. "Nigeria can do without Mikel and Osaze. Nigeria is bigger than the two players and, after all, both players were part of the team that played against Guinea last year. And what happened?" asked Ikpeba. "Keshi tried to call the players and their responses weren't the best and he had to take a decision. If I were Keshi, I don't think I will call them to the team again." Ikpeba also defended Keshi's building process with the Super Eagles and said that the 2-2 draw in Monrovia guaranteed Nigeria a "70 to 80 percent chance" of reaching next year's edition of the AFCON. "Stephen Keshi is on the right path with the team and what he's doing with the team is very brave. And I must say the 2-2 draw against Liberia is a good result because it gives Nigeria a 70 to 80 percent chance of qualifying for the 2013 Nations Cup," said the Nigerian former striker. Nigeria will play hosts to Liberia in the return leg of the 2013 AFCON qualification in Calabar on October 14.

here were reports at home and abroad that Rubin Kazan had terminated the contract of Nigeria international Obafemi Martins, who signed for the Russian club in the summer of 2010, but has seen his first team opportunities limited this season. The Russian club, through its spokesperson, Maxim Lopukhov, has clarified the position of the FC Ebedei’s former wonder-kid. Championat.com citing Ria Novosti said that Martins remains a player of Rubin Kazan. ''Martins is a player of Rubin. This is the information that I have today," says Maxim Lopukhov to the news agency. After seven rounds of matches played in the Russian Premier League, Martins has not been considered for selection by coach Kurban Berdyev. Spanish sides, Levante and La Coruna, had been linked with the 27- year- old attacker in the last few days.

Musicians, comedians to grace boxing show

T

op Nigerian musical stars and comedians have signified their support for the October 1st professional boxing show tagged: Ring Rivalry which is put together by Freels and Threels Promotion in association with Lagos Television. The professional boxing show, according to the General Secretary of the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBBofC) and Chairman of Freels and Threels, Mr. Remi Aboderin, is taking place at the Blue Roof of the Television Station at Agidingbi. Daddy showkey, Gbenga Adeyinka the 1st , Queen Funmilola Atewogbola, Essence, Big Sheff (the son of queen Salawa Abeni for Alhaji Kolington Ayinla), MC Kirkiri and Itu Baba Ita have all signified their intention to support the promotion and help bring professional boxing to the fore front of Nigerian sporting activities again. Remi Aboderin, expressing appreciation to the Permanent Secretary of Lagos Television, said without the good gesture of Mr. Lekan Ogunbanwo, professional boxing activities in Nigeria would not flourish in the little way it is now doing, I sincerely don't know any other television station in Nigeria that dedicates a whole programme to boxing information, kudos to Lagos Television for Sports Splash. The programme that's anchored by Godwin Enakhena and Co. for their incisive information concerning boxing every Friday. The Ring Rivalry will parade seven boxing bouts with the major attraction being two Nigerian titled belts that will be at stake in the evening. Nigerian Light Welterweight title holder, Sunday Ajayi, will defend the title which has been in his kitty for more than five years against Policeman, Sadiq Ahmed. The Featherweight title, which is vacant, will be contested by Kid sensation, Waidi Usman, who will take on Dynamite Dare Oyewole. Other supporting bout is a six-round Super Middleweight challenge between Jude Ilo and Bassey Ekpenyong. Saheed Olayiwola will slug it out with Ahmed Yusuf in an eight-round challenge contest also in the Light Welterweight. Another six rounds contest in the Super Middleweight category will feature Alani Suleiman vs Isiaka Akinsola; Ademola Faniyi will square it up against Rafiu Olanipekun in a six rounds Cruiserweight Challenge, while Abolore Olamide will call the bluff of Thompson Chukwuemeka in a six rounds Lightweight Challenge.

Keshi promises new look Eagles

S

uper Eagles’ handler, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, says he's not too happy with news making the rounds that he quarreled with his first choice goalie, Vincent Enyeama, during the 2-2 draw recorded last weekend in Monrovia. “Haba, there was nothing like that and if there is anybody to be blamed, it's the team, not an individual: Keshi declared. Speaking from Abuja, where he is at the moment, Keshi said that

the issue regarding national team performance cannot and must not be placed at the doorstep of a single individual like Enyeama, even as he assured that he will produce a new national team that Nigerians at all levels will be proud of. “We will score goals aplenty, but I understand the apprehension of Nigerians, and what I have always asked for is patience, I need much of it to succeed”. The former national team skipper of the famed Tunisia 1994 squad was speaking against the backdrop of news

making the rounds that he has chosen to blame individuals rather than the team for the failure to win in Monrovia. “I never at any moment said that Enyeama, who remains our first choice keeper, caused the draw in Liberia and, in fact, I think that he is one of the best in the world, but at times like these passion rules over reason, but we must not bring individual players into our poor performance, it's a collective failure to win”, Ben Alaiya, Super Eagles Media Officer, quoted Keshi as saying.

He also assured hat he was at the point of releasing the team list that will help Nigerian fight well against Liberia in Calabar early enough so that those players, who might not be ready for the October 13 duel, will let him know on time, insisting that there will be no compromise about arrival in camp. “The list of invited players will be made public early enough and we are assure that we will not only win but win well and plead with Nigerians including enemies of the team for support”.


DAILY SUN Wednesday, September 12, 2012

63


Writes on: ‘Information

N150 WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 *VOL.6 NO. 2454

mismanagement by the Presidency’

Sanusi, please consider N5,000 coins

STEVE NWOSU

FRANK TALK 08055001934 styveng@yahoo.co.uk

A

fter reading all the arguments marshalled out by the Central Bank as to why it is important we have the N5,000 denomination, I have become convinced that we actually need it. So, let the CBN and its agents stop this charade of sponsored supporters of the new denomination. It makes one want to puke. Similarly, let the lawmakers stop this grandstanding and blowing of hot air about how they are determined to stop it – because we know they won’t. Meanwhile, those organising protests against the new notes should also find another job. Out-of-office politicians and other quasi rights activists should not just lurk in ambush in anticipation of some seemingly unpopular government policy to re-launch themselves into relevance by riding on the backs of other gullible, but equally jobless, Nigerians. People should just stop fouling up the air and raising unnecessary dust in the polity – so that we can clearly see when the politicians, and their counterparts in the civil service, are genuinely taking us for a ride. Like I said earlier, I’m now an apostle of the new Sanusi denomination and I will take the gospel of the N5,000 denomination to every corner of the earth. I will preach it in Kano, Suleja, Maidugri, Isuochi, Otuoke, Lagos, Abuja and all. “Repent, all ye doubting Thomases, for the salvation of the Naira and our economy has come!!” I, Apostle Steve (an inheritor of the goodwill of Stephen the Martyr), have seen the light. I now know that we need N5,000 note if we sincerely want to address the Boko Haram menace. For how can we hope to revive the textile mills and factories of Kaduna and Kano without this gbogbonise denomination? How can any sensible person talk of checking the rising wave of armed robbery, rape, suicide and road accidents in Nigeria without the cure-all N5,000 note?. Sure, N5,000 note is also important if we are ever to fix our bad roads, halt election rigging, stop the endless strike by

NUPENG and PENGASSAN, curtail the excesses of the subsidy cabal, provide more funds for the education and health sectors so that ASUU, NMA, CONMESS and all the other ‘messes’ that dog our public service can become things of the past. And, lest we forget, we also need Sanusi’s N5,000 notes to fix the problem in the aviation industry, where our otherwise flying coffins have suddenly lost their ability to fly – and started dropping off the sky like Sanusi dry leaves from trees. Yes, we will need N5,000 notes to drive the cassava bread project. Most of all, we also need the new notes to strengthen our anti-graft war. Most of all, however, we also need the N5,000 note to finally phase out the culture of Ghana-Must-Go bags. With Ghanaians, flushing out Nigerians from their country, we too do not only want to chase away the Ghanaians in our midst, we actually want to uproot every vestige of the Ghanaians’ misadventure into Nigeria by also discontinuing the use of the Nigerian-made bags, which we have, over the years, come to know as Ghana-Must-Go bags. Our CBN governor, a first class graduate, knows the people, who use the bags the most (or who gave it its notoriety) are right there in government quarters. So, he has hatched up an idea to eliminate their need for the bags: a higher, more encompassing denomination. With the new N5,000 note, a usual note wrap of 100 pieces would instantly translate into half a million naira. The five-wrap bundle alone, which any normal person can conveniently stuff away in his trouser pockets, would come to N2.5 million. You can then imagine how much a lawmaker can conveniently stuff into his Shagari cap alone. If you then place this against the fact that the Shagari caps always complement an agbada (babanriga), which is in itself, a collection of exaggerated pockets, you can then imagine how much an Agbada-clad politician would be carrying on his person. Furniture allowance, housing allowance, ‘spare tyre’ from the purchase of official cars, vote for constituency projects and even severance allowance can all be carried on one moving politician – and it would not even show that he’s carrying anything extraordinary. I think our politicians would then become bullion vans on

Page 58

Nigeria Paralympic team returns

...O’Jez hosts contingent By MADUABUCHI KALU

N

two legs. The reverse side of it all would then be that instead of armed robbers now hijacking bullion vans and battling to open the safe inside (after engaging in suicidal gunbattle with security operatives), they would just look out for any agbada-wearing politician, turn him upside-down to empty his pocket and smile to the bar (sorry, bank). However, those of us on the popular side (opposed to the introduction of the new note) have been debating over this N5,000 note palaver and how to make the best of it, knowing that it is already a lost battle. We have since come up with a brilliant solution that would not only save our economy, but also save our politicians: Let the CBN make the N5,000 in coins!!! Since the proponents have sworn that the new note is not our leaders’ way of stealing more while carrying less, it then means that they would not mind if the new denomination is in coins. Now with my recollection of O/Level Economics, O.A Lawal, Adekunle Aromolaran, O. Teriba and even Aboyade, I can’t recollect them saying that paper money has more value than their coin equivalents. So, whatever sophisticated international trade and foreign reserve and other technical reason the Naira dogooders are advancing for this new regime can still be adequately achieved. I have never travelled to America, so I am not going to tell any stories of how $1,000 note is the highest denomination of the United States or how it is hardly ever seen in circulation. I never went to Mobutu’s Zaire nor have I ever gone to Zimbabwe – to tell how they sometimes need a bagful of Zimbabwean Dollars to buy a loaf of bread or whether this is as a

Continued on Page 58

igeria Paralympic team arrived the Muritala Mohammed international Airport yesterday afternoon and were driven from the Airport in Team Nigeria buses to the national Stadium to the cheering and jubilant Nigerians, who had laid siege to welcome their heroes and heroines. It would be recalled that Team Nigeria disappointed the country when they could not win a single medal at the summer Games in London. No wonder the excitements by Nigerians, who defied the rains yesterday to come and share in the excitement. It was a carnival of sort as Nigeria Football and other Sports Supporters Club were on hand to supply music to the jubilant crowd at the O'Jez section of the National Stadium Surulere. The Managing Director of O’Jez Entertainment Limited, later hosted the Paralympic team that did the country proud in the just-concluded Paralympic Games in London. Speaking during the hosting by the O'Jez Entertainment, one of the special athletes that won gold at the Paralympic Games,Anozie Grace Ebere, told Daily Sunsports that she was excited for doing the country proud despite all odds. While adding her voice, another gold medalist, Obiji Loveline also expressed joy at winning gold for the country. It is record that the special athletes wiped away the tears of Nigerians, who were heartbroken for the inability of Team Nigerian to do the country proud at the London Games. It will be recalled that Nigerian Paralympic athletes did the country proud by winning a total of 12 medals made up of six gold, five silver and a bronze medal. Answering questions on what informed his being the first person to host the special athletes on arrival from the Paralympic Games, the Managing Director of O’Jez Entertainment Limited, Chief Joseph Anayo Odobeatu, explained that he was excited for what the athletes have done for the country, more especially as they have succeeded in ensuring that the tears in people’s eyes are dried up through their exploits at the Paralympic Games. He also explained that what the special athletes did for the country should be lesson in the sense that no individual created by God should be relegated to the background or forgotten, saying there is ability in disability.

FIFA U-20 Women World Cup

Falconets’ 4th position, no mean feat – Omagbemi

A

fter two weeks of intense competition at the Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, the Falconets of Nigeria returned to the country yesterday with their heads held high despite that some of them still feeling they should have done better than fourth position. The team’s highest goal scorer at the championships, Francisca Ordega, is still pained that they could not win the trophy. “I still feel very sad that our dreams were not realised but we thank God for what we were able to achieve.” However, assistant coach, Florence Omagbemi, said the girls did very well. “I am proud of all the players for putting up a good show in Japan. Although our target was the trophy, placing 4th in the world is no mean feat. Kudos must go to the girls for rising to the occasion.”

Published by THE SUN PUBLISHING LIMITED, 2, Coscharis Street, Kirikiri Industrial Layout, Apapa, P.M.B. 21776, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. Telephone: 01-8980932, 6211239, Fax: 5895396 Advert Hotline: 01-7900632, 6211236, ABUJA OFFICE: 2nd Floor, Gouba Plaza, Utako District, Phone: 09-8700273-6. ISSN 0795-7475. All Correspondence to the above mail addresses. Website: www.sunnewsonline.com •Printed simultaneously in Lagos, Aba & Abuja EDITOR: STEVE NWOSU

CMYK


Sun News - September 12, 2012