God forbid, I can’t be second wife
–Bidemi, Jide Kosoko’s daughter
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 •VOL. 6 NO. 491
CRACK IN PDP
Governors boycott Tukur’s book launch •Jonathan meets with them
PROPHET THREATENS TO BOMB CATECHIST
•Villagers allege prophet’s gay
Abu Ibrahim’s revelation
Tenant saves man, 90, wife
Opposition’s new game plan
Son: My aged parents looked •Buhari, helplessly as the water surged Tinubu can run forward PAGE 10
PAGES 5, 7
DEADLY FLOOD N200
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 •VOL. 6 NO. 491
North has become graveyard –Abubakar Tsav
Tenant saves man, 90, wife Son: My aged parents looked helplessly as the water surged forward PAGE 10
Abu Ibrahim’s revelation
OPPOSITION’S NEW GAME PLAN •Buhari, Tinubu can run
Prophet threatens to bomb catechist •Villagers allege prophet’s gay PAGE 9
PAGES 5, 7
CRACK IN PDP
Governors boycott Tukur’s book launch •Jonathan meets with them PAGE 11
Deadly flood Tenant saves man, 90, wife N200
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
•VOL. 6 NO. 491
•Son: My aged parents looked helplessly as the water PAGE 10 surged forward
Lagos robbers cut victims’ wrists PAGE 12
PROPHET THREATENS TO BOMB CATECHIST PAGE 9
•Villagers allege prophet’s gay
2015: Buhari, Tinubu can run PAGES 5,7
–Abu Ibrahim •Opposition’s new game
God forbid! I can’t be second wife –Bidemi, Jide Kosoko’s daughter PAGES 23-25
Prophet threatens to bomb catechist
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
•Villagers allege prophet’s gay
*VOL. 6 NO. 491
Lagos robbers cut victims’ wrists
Arms haul in Ogun
God forbid! I can’t be second wife
•3,000 shotgun cartridges seized
–Bidemi, Jide Kosoko’s daughter
2015: Buhari, Tinubu can run PAGES 5/7
•Opposition’s new game plan
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
Be security conscious, Comptroller advises promoted officers By CHRISTY ANYANWU
OMPTROLLER of Nigeria Immigration Service, Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Mrs. Rebecca Ayuba, has charged all cadres of immigration officers at the airport to be disciplined and also put up a positive attitude to overcome the security challenges facing the country. “For us to conquer security challenges our attitude must change and we must be seen as people who are disciplined to the core, people who are dedicated to their duties without any reservation. We must be seen as people who are intellectually biased, but professionally inclined. Therefore, in this area, you need to revisit your own orientation so that we can have core oriented people, who are not only officers of high rank but officers we can be proud of.” The comptroller said this while decorating the new rank of 76 promoted immigration officers and men operating at the MMIA, Lagos, on Thursday. “Your duty posts are areas you have to be more vigilant in your surveillance, monitoring of movement of persons, clearance of passengers, particularly at our gate. As you are at the MMIA, you are supposed to have your ears on the ground, open your ears wide and inculcate every other aspect of professionalism you haven’t touched yet into your own array of already imbibe way of detecting suspects and people who are supposed to be a threat to the security of this country as they arrive or depart from this shore.” Ayuba also advised the promoted officers to embark on selftraining in the use of computers, noting that their workloads at the airport are based on IT. “Many of us who do not know how to manipulate computer appropriately and proficiently must go and develop yourselves in computer management. The senior staff cannot just supervise the junior, you are here also to manipulate and be computer literate and proficient. According to her, the promotion is in recognition of their hard work, diligence, patriotism and imminent contribution to the growth of immigration service in particular and the nation at large. However, she added, the immigration service on behalf of the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, also congratulate the officers, expecting them to put in their best to see that Nigeria Immigration’s image is highly and better portrayed to the global world. Admonishing the officers, she said: “We have showed you the way and manner by which you can detect and identify people who are traveling as to study their documents and people who are security threats, how to observe their posture and their attitude during the process of your clearance of passengers, and you must not allow such sneak through your fingers unabducted,” she warned. The decoration exercise was also attended by Acting Regional Manager of FAAN…
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 SUNDAY SUN
Sunday, September 16, Weather Report CITY
26ºC T Showers
Abuja 27ºC Heavy Rain Shower 27ºC Benin 23ºC Thundery Shower
Birnin-Kebbi 31ºC T Showers
Calabar 27ºC Thundery Shower
Enugu 27ºC Thundery Shower
Ibadan 26ºC Thundery Shower
Ilorin 28ºC Heavy Rain Shower
22ºC Thundery Shower
Kaduna 26ºC Heavy Rain Shower 22ºC Kano 29ºC Heavy Rain Shower
Lagos 26ºC Thundery Shower
Maiduguri 31ºC Heavy Rain Shower 5ºC Onitsha 27ºC Thundery Shower
P/H 24ºC Heavy Rain Shower
Sokoto33ºC Heavy Rain Shower
Zaria 27ºC Thundery Shower
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SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 SUNDAY SUN
2015: Opposition’s new game plan •Buhari, Tinubu can run –Abu Ibrahim
By ADETUTU FOLASADE-KOYI
enate Deputy Minority Whip, Abu Ibrahim, analyses chances of opposition political parties on plans to morph into a mega party for the 2015 presidential poll. In this interview, the three-term senator from Katsina State (CPC) and close associate of General Muhammadu Buhari and Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu believes that only a change of guard in Aso Rock can save Nigeria from an imminent collapse.
Can the alliance of opposition political parties work for the 2015 polls? First of all, if you look at Nigerian political parties, there isn’t any serious ideological differences between the ACN, CPC and some political parties. Look at our manifestos and you would see that they are identical. Now, the issues are the personalities and I know that Bola Tinubu, who is a very close friend of mine has very strong respect for General Buhari. Before the last elections, I went with Tinubu to meet with Buhari at least seven times. So, they know themselves. Our biggest mistake was that we started those talks very late. That is why we are starting early now. We commenced those talks when elections were almost at the corner. That will not happen now. Did the alliance fail because the plan to make Tinubu deputy to Buhari in the 2011 presidential poll did not sail through? No. Look, we have passed that level because the ACN, at a point brought another person. They brought the former Attorney General of Lagos State, Prof. Yemi Osibajo, who was even a pastor. They brought him (to be the deputy) but when we start things very late, when peo-
ple think they can win elections themselves, these are the things that constitute cogs in the wheel. Well, when the people who surround the leadership of these political parties decided what they wanted, well, what can we do? Personally, when I saw it, my personal view at that time was that there was no way that we would win that election without going with the ACN; even if you look at the voting population, the South West and the North west combined control 48 percent of registered voters. Now, even if it were General Buhari, even if it was not Tinubu but with the consent of Tinubu, the CPC/ACN alliance then may (have) been able to take at least 50-60 percent of the total votes. And certainly we could have garnered votes from the North East (Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Borno). Are you referring to Gombe State which was controlled by the PDP at that time? Yes, Gombe State. Are you saying you don’t know that the CPC was very strong in Gombe State. I challenge you to do your survey; ask them. We were very strong there and also in Maiduguri, Yobe State, where we could easily have gotten another 15 percent of the votes. Does this not buttress the perception out there that CPC is only strong in the North? That is why we need this partnership from the south. That is why I said we could have harnessed the voting population from the North West and the South West in the 2011 polls. From the analysis I just gave you, most of the votes would be for CPC. How about the North central? We have a governor in the North centralNasarawa State. How does that translate to political strength for the CPC in the zone? At least, we have governor in the zone.
We are also strong in Niger State which is also in the North Central. Must General Buhari be the face of the opposition or that of the CPC in the 2015 polls? People are not aware of one thing: General Buhari has very, very large support among the peasantry. Let me buttress that with one incident which happened recently: We went to Kano, four weeks ago, to open an office and General Buhari could not even alight from his vehicle because of the large crowd that was there. And that was just to open an office yet, he could not get down from his vehicle and you know what happened? He had to appeal to them. So, with him still inside the CPC, he would bring the voters. But another school of thought says that General Buhari is old and should give way to young people Ha, Ha! Who told you he would not do that? He may do it but the same people are saying that we should form a credible platform for winning elections that would be able to beat PDP for the sake of Nigeria. Look at all the indicators of growth for any economy or any country and you will see that we are going backwards! Go and check! If you look at the statistics given by the Peer Review Mechanism for the continent, the indicators of growth for development over which they give awards in Africa, we are actually retrogressing. Nigeria is actually going backwards; no development when you compare us with other African countries. Okay, let’s even come back home. Look at the figures released by the Bureau of Statistics for this year; the poverty levels. Go and read them and you would discover that over 100 million Nigerians are poor and I ask you, how many are we? We have actually gone backwards in terms of development. We have not improved at all! Are you implying that the CPC/ACN
and the alliance of opposition parties would offer a better alternative to PDP? We will address the rot. Look, if you don’t remove PDP from power, Nigeria may likely collapse. Why do you say so? Because they are not even improving on growth and the country as a whole. During my campaign for this office in 2011, I was always calling PDP (Poverty Development Party). That, to me, is the meaning of PDP. They are developing poverty rather than stimulating growth. Tell me where there is ever growth since PDP took over? Look at power, how many billions were spent during the administration of former President Olusegun (Obasanjo). Have they improved power? But President Goodluck Jonathan has promised Nigerians that beginning from next year, Nigerians would begin to see results. Don’t you support that? There is nothing like that on ground. There is no indication of that at all. At least, he has done one year in office and can you say there is even one sector where you can say there is improvement? No, you tell me. Or have you seen one? If you have, please tell me and where. You should tell me and not the other way round Why should I tell you? You have more information than I do and you are even more critical than me and more information at your fingertips than me because it’s your job to look for information. Will the CPC allow ACN produce the presidential candidate in 2015? Look, these are political parties and it’s not from one man’s mouth that you would get that. But you are a stakeholder in the CPC and by extension, the opposition. I agree that I am a stakeholder and I am
•Continued on page 7
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 SUNDAY SUN
Resurgence of armed robbery in Lagos
COMMENT HE recent attack on Lagos by a gang of rampaging armed robbers boldly highlights serious lapses in security arrangements for the nation’s commercial capital. The gangsters, who struck between 1 pm and 3 pm on September 9, took advantage of slack policing of Lagos on Sundays to launch serial attacks in different areas including Ogba, Agege, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Bariga, Ijeshatedo, Surulere and Gbagada. Moving in three vehicles, including a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) reportedly snatched earlier in the day, the robbers boldly spread terror as they unleashed violence on the city. Some recharge card outlets and bureau de change and restaurant operators, were robbed. About six people, including three policemen, were killed by the robbers while a number of others, among them a one-day old baby, suffered gunshots and are receiving treatment in hospitals. The attack left many Lagosians seriously traumatized and scandalized. The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Dikko Abubakar, and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, have since rightly articulated the anger of Lagosians on this outrageous incident. The IG, while expressing his disappointment, attributed the easy ride of robbers over Lagos to the fact that the police went to sleep on the day in question. He directed the State Police Command to beef up security, arrest the robbers and ensure that such incident does not recur in the state. The Lagos State government has also handed over 114 security vehicles procured by local councils in the state to the Lagos State Security Trust Fund to boost security. This rage of robbers in Lagos is deeply regrettable. It is a failure of policing that deserves every condemnation. There is no gainsaying the fact that it is very embarrassing and quite unacceptable that gangsters hold a city to ransom for two hours, without a robust response from the police. The free reign the criminals enjoyed can only encourage similar occurrences in future.
The incident is, undoubtedly, a result of slack policing that is quite noticeable in Lagos on Sundays and in the evenings. This should not be so. Policing should be a 24hour, seven-day affair. Policemen should not drop their guards on Sundays or at any time. We wonder what happened to the antirobbery squad in the state during that period. It is also necessary to ask why the aircraft procured by Lagos State for crime patrol sometime ago was not put into use. The invasion of the robbers has also underscored the need for Lagosians to be watchful and pay attention to details. If this had been the case last Sunday, the police probably could have been availed of the make, colour, registration numbers and possible direction of vehicles used by the robbers as they crisscrossed the state. This might have helped in apprehending the robbers. Nigerians also need to have the police emergency numbers on their fingertips, so that they can pass useful information to them during occasions such as this. We decry the growing insecurity in the country, and the rising wave of armed banditry in Lagos, in particular. We believe the situation is fuelled by the complacency of the police. As frequently said, vigilance is the price people need to pay for security. The police and all Nigerians should, therefore, buckle up and be security conscious. Good enough, the improvement in telecommunication facilities is a plus to the fight against insecurity. People should call the police to give useful information on security in their areas. The police, on their part, should be proactive and rev up their response mechanism. They need to be at alert and discharge their responsibilities to the people at all times. As the IG has warned, this type of serial robbery should not repeat itself in Lagos or anywhere else in the country. His prompt and vibrant response to the incident has clearly underscored the seriousness of the matter. Lagos police authorities should, therefore, take his advice on the need to restrategize seriously and design a security framework that cannot be so flagrantly rubbished by robbers. Generally, more policemen should be employed to beef up manpower available for deployment to patrol duties in all parts of the country. There should be no vacuum in policing, and the 114 vehicles donated by Lagos councils for security duties should be used strictly for that purpose. We commiserate with the families of those killed in this gory affair. Every necessary assistance should be given to the injured to help them overcome this trauma.
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SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 SUNDAY SUN
Sunday Interview ‘Nigeria’ll crash under PDP’ •Continued from page 5 close to General Buhari and also very close to Tinubu. What I’m saying is that unlike others, we are a democratic group and there is an order to the course of things. I am not precluding anything; I’m neither saying yes or no because we are a democratic group and we will do everything according to the tenets of democracy but we will not stop anybody from contesting the Presidency come 2015. We will not stop anybody. If Buhari wants, he will contest, if Tinubu wants, he will contest but eventually, the decision will be made for the best interest of Nigeria. What I’m telling you is that for the sake of Nigeria, we are forming this coalition or this new part. When the opposition come together, are you going to assemble under just one name, one political party? For now, the parties are setting up committees and sitting down to negotiate on these issues. All I’m telling you is just being pre-emptive because I do not even know what would happen at the end of the day. For instance, ACN has set up its own committee, CPC is going to set up its own committee, I learnt; ANPP has its own. They would start holding meetings and our hope is that by early next year, we have something entirely new so that there would be enough time for the party to take roots. Are you looking at disenchanted members from the PDP to join your ranks? Of course! We are even talking to them. That’s why I told you that if that party comes on stream, if that arrangement goes through, PDP would lose control of the Senate because I have at least 15 Senators who want to join this new group. Do you support the inauguration of the Sovereign Wealth Fund considering the initial opposition of state governors? The current trend, all over the world, especially in wealthy, oil-producing countries is that the SWF is the way to go. I think the SWF is better rather than money accumulating and dividing it and every year, every quarter and allowing the states to mismanage such funds. I think it’s a wise way of saving money, putting aside money for the rainy day but the moment you put it in the Federation Account, it would be shared What happens to the Excess Crude Account? Well, my understanding is that it was funds from there that was used to set up the SWF. It would be replenished every year and they would take from the Excess Crude Account and put it there. What the National Assembly has always advocated, if for example, N1 billion is received and the Presidency receives N500 million, that N500 million should be appropriated properly. When the states get their share, their respective Houses of Assembly should appropriate such funds properly. That, in essence, is what we are saying. That is the argument of the National Assembly concerning the Excess Crude Account all these years. We are not against the Excess Crude Account; it is the way the funds were being distributed without going through the budgetary procedure that we frowned at. The National Assembly has embarked on a fresh amendment of the 1999 Constitution and state police is now an issue. Nigerians and even state governors are presently divided over state police. What’s your view on that?
Well, I have mixed feelings about that. How do you mean? I feel that there is need to have a localised policing system. What I mean by localised is that I want the Police to be drawn from the network of those in their respective zones because of communication and language is very important. If we take a typical policeman who is not even good in spoken English; for the sake of argument, let’s assume he’s good in English but if you take him to say, a typical Yoruba village, who will communicate with him in English? He would become a ‘foreigner’ because he would not be able to communicate with them. But for effective policing, he has to know the environment very well, he has to communicate with the people very well, he has to know the ins and out of the community under his control very well. So, if you take someone from one locality or region to another, one; he would have language problem and two, if you take him too far away, the problems would be there because even the pay system does not allow him to have decent accommodation, feeding and ability to pay his children’s school fees. So, you in effect disorient him and he may end up collecting money to take care of his family obligations. You post him to Enugu and you don’t give him a house; you give him only his salary, how do you expect him to be effective? He doesn’t even have the language to talk to the people around him. That was why I said at first that I have mixed feelings about state police. One; on state police, on the one hand I agree with it but it should be limited to certain functions such as issues pertaining to law and order. But when it comes to elections, such policing functions should be reserved for the Nigerian Police; even if there is state police, there should be federal police as well but federal police should be given certain responsibilities on certain issues including handling elections. In America, they even have the FBI but we can mix it. Election matters should come under the
federal police and even when it comes to criminal issues, there are certain things that are beyond the local police and those things can be handled at the federal level. Petty matters can be handled at the state level but unfortunately, those governors talking of state police have not exhibited the leadership qualities required of them. Imagine a state governor recruiting thugs! It is the height of irresponsibility for the number one citizen of a state to be seen to be sponsoring thugs and even setting them up? That kind of man is not fit to be a governor and if such person can go to the extent of recruiting thugs and arming them, what will he not do with state police directly answerable to him? That is why I’m saying that state police should not handle election matters; anything to do with elections should be left with federal police but the federal police’s presence will be minimal in the state because they •Abu should provide leadership when it comes to criminal matters, investigations, terrorism and things like that. So, you could localize functions and give them to the state police while major national issues should be given to federal police. I wouldn’t also like local police being armed though. The CBN is insisting on the N5,000 note. Do you support the idea and do you believe it would aid its cashless policy? Well, before I tell you my view on that, let me relate an incident that happened last Saturday when the Nigeria Defence Academy NDA) conferred a degree on the Senate President. There was a small gathering and the Senate President was there, I was there, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, some state governors were also present and there was an argument which was quite heated about the introduction of the N5, 000 note and the CBN governor was quite passionate in his defence. Unfortunately, everybody seated was opposed to it; even the Senate President and the state governors were against it, even though he did most of the talking to convince the people. He canvassed serious issues in his arguments but, unfortunately, too, the issue of mistrust was overwhelming because Nigerians seem to be convinced that this new note would be for rich people; to hide corrupt proceeds especially. Nigerians are convinced on that score. Even all the economic rationalizations he espoused there did not convince them. But, if you listen to him, there were rational reasons he espoused. Should the subsidy scheme be discontinued then? The subsidy scheme is a double-barrelled kind of situation in the sense that you can see the rot, the mindless stealing. We have seen it and we have also seen that this government cannot clean that corruption. How are they going to do that when they are their financiers and founders. If we have our own refineries working, how can something like this happen? Can you imagine that a country like Niger Republic
is setting up refineries and some states bordering them like Sokoto and Kano are taking their fuel from Niger? It’s a shame. The fuel subsidy scheme was aided because we don’t have functional refineries. If we refine our fuel here, of course, petroleum products would be cheaper for the people. My view before the scam was that we should stop the subsidy; we should allow it to go and if we can devote time to put our refineries back in shape, we should do so and we should have six refineries in the six geo-political zones. They don’t need to be big; they could be smaller ones which would be quicker to assemble and where pipelines go through, put refineries there so that we would produce for local consumption and then, we would have cheaper cost of production and cut the cost of transportation and cost of taxation. Obviously, this would help reduce subsidy. Those were my views before. Do you still hold the same views now? Well, right now, I think the only thing is that we have to reduce the subsidy itself since the price of fuel has been increased and government should make sure that at least new refineries are built. I hear Niger is building its second refinery and how many barrels of crude do they have? Now, they look towards Nigeria for market, for business. They are so wise. All their production would find its way into Nigeria. On single term tenure for the President and governors I support two terms of four years. Why? Because there is motivation to come back. If you have two terms of four years, there is that motivation to work hard at being re-elected but if you have just a single term of say six years, you could get a bloody tyrant, a corrupt person who would just lock himself up and leave but if its four years, there is a motivation to come back. Will the present Constitution amendment succeed considering the weighty issues involved? It depends on the issues at stake. There would be no wholesale amendment; we are going to do it one item after the other. As you know, I’m a member of the Senate Constitution Review Committee and we have itemized everything. We are yet to sit down to decide the issues to tackle because it’s not a wholesale review of the Constitution. It’s going to be piecemeal. Last time, it was election matters. We are yet to sit down to say let’s look at so, so, so and so. Now, we will sit down to look at the issues although some are saying we should look critically at state creation, local governments creation. They are saying we should deal with it. Some people are talking about devolution of powers; sharing of power between the federal, state and local governments. So, the committee will now sit down and determine the priority areas and deal with them. Next year, we look at other issues and deal with them, too. Can Nigeria afford more states now considering the country’s economic situation? There are issues and circumstances where you allow public opinion to prevail. I am from a state where we request creation of one more state and I am the leader of that state creation request. We want Karadua State and we are doing everything possible to get it. So, obviously, as a representative of that area, our major request is creation of Karadua State and we will get it. That’s all I have to say on the matter.
SUNDAY SUN SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
The Sunday Interview
Why I left PDP for ACN –Ihonvbere
From AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja
WO-TIME governorship aspirant for the Dennis Osadebey House, Edo State, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, has given reasons why he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The former Special Adviser to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo on Policy and Programmes Monitoring, in this interview says the ill-treatment meted out to him by the leader of the party in the state made him to dump the PDP for the ACN. He also speaks on the election of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state among other issues. Excerpt… Why did you pitch tent with the ACN? Well, let me say it was a combination of factors. First, I have invested a lot in the PDP in terms of time, energy and resources. I have ran for governor twice, I have done four national conventions and participated in four national conventions of the PDP and I played a major role in the election of President Jonathan. I counted majority of the votes at his primary. I was in the presidential campaign councils and I have done several committees like the Niger Delta Technical Committee, Vision 20:20:20. I represented Nigeria in the Forum of Federations which is an international forum, a non governmental organization for countries that practice federalism, and so on and so forth. While I was doing all these, I don’t think I got any credit or serious recognition. It began to appear like the PDP will use me and when it came to the dividends of politicking, I would be forgotten. Since I left office in 2006, the party has never given me any substantive appointment. I have never even had a board membership. Yet, there is no year I was not involved in one activity or the other of the PDP. In Edo in particular, aside from helping to revive the party when it was almost down by running a three year campaign towards the 2012 governorship primaries, I chaired the reconciliation committee that brought together members of the Ogbemudia group and the other group. I chaired the fund raising committee for the Etsako Central re-run election. I have also served in various other committees. I have contributed resources even when the president was visiting Edo. I mean, I contributed generously to the best of my ability, attended meetings, and participated in elections. But whenever it came to time for distributing jobs and appointments, it went somewhere else. I didn’t join politics to work for other people. I joined politics in order to contribute to nation building; to building a solid foundation for democratic practice, for building bridges, for promoting understanding and for consolidating democracy. But at the same time, to make sure that I also benefited from what comes from politics. After all, I have bills to pay. I am a human being. I put my vehicles on the road and I have to fuel them. I have staff to pay. But this never happened within 2006 and when I left the PDP. In your opinion, why do you think you where mistreated in the area of appointments? The essential thing was that in the Edo PDP, the process of distributing the opportunities arising from politics and politicking has become a bit centralized. It was no longer a collective decision making. I recall when Lucky Igbinedion was there: if there were board appointments, they would call an expanded stakeholders meeting. They would share the positions according to senatorial zones and each senatorial zone would nominate people for the positions allotted them, put it together and take to Abuja. But after Lucky Igbinedion, we have never had anything like that. It was done by an individual and that was where the problem came. So, if you did not fall into the good books of that person or you were not favored for whatever reason or your credibility has been eroded by the gossips and lies of some people who want to undo you for narrow political interests, you would never get anything. So, that was one particular reason. The second reason was that in Edo politics, my interests and reasons for being in politics were not being met. I did not have the kind of room to participate in robust politics, to contribute to governance, to exercise my intellectual abilities in the rigors of trying to promote an intellectual foundation for political engineering. This, was not there. I can’t recall ever having a seminar, or a conference in the state on how to move the state forward, how to consolidate democracy, how to build party discipline and party loyalty. Nothing like that ever happened. The meetings called were often to settle quarrels and we had hundreds of reconciliation meetings
because the party was factionalized always by the leaders always quarrelling, always fighting amongst themselves and thereby dividing the people. And this was being carried on and on. And then, the final reason was that each time I ran for the governorship seat, the primaries were rigged. And it got to a point when I said enough is enough. The first time I ran in December 2006, it was rigged before my very eyes. Before we started voting, the leader of the party took the hand of my opponent round the field like he had already won. On a victory tour! And one of the other aspirants who had been stopped, also did the same. Before we started voting. Secondly, when the Central delegates were voting, it was very clear that the ballot boxes had been spiced because they were not going to the table. You were supposed to go to write the name of your preferred aspirant and if you couldn’t write, you call the agent. Rather, they were giving them the ballot papers and they were taking them straight to the ballot box. And I had to openly protest and when the leader saw it, they stopped the voting temporarily before they continued but the damage had been done. And the second time was February, 2012. Openly before my very eyes, somebody who has just come into the party, because he had a lot of money and whatever, the primaries were again manipulated. I don’t need to dwell too much on that because if it had not been manipulated in spite of whatever claims they were making, they would not devote so much time and resources going from aspirant to aspirant, begging them not to be angry. At least, I know they went to Osunbor, they went to iduoriyekemwen, they came to me, they went to Imasuangbo, begging us to please come and join the campaign. But many of us were so disgusted by the process, by the brazing nature of the rigging that none of us actually participated. For me, I have had enough. My supporters have said this was it: you are not a leader if you don’t have supporters. And many of my supporters were saying look, how long do you want to suffer in this party in Edo state before you know that you will never be considered for anything. For over six years, not even one board appointment. All the elections you ran were rigged in your own very presence. So, what more punishment do you want? Is it until they kill you? And many of them independently, without consulting me, had begun to leave the party and I think it got to a point where the way the politics of the post-rigged primaries were handled, I wasn’t satisfied with it and I felt it was better for me to relocate my political interest and political agenda. That was why I left. There was the insinuation that you were not favored by the godfather, Chief Tony Anenih, because considering your intellectual prowess, you would have been too much for him to handle if you eventually got into office. How true is this? Well, I would say that I do not know exactly why Chief Tony Anenih never felt he should support me. He never disclosed it to me. I went to him several times to ask and he would say there was no problem. But he never disclosed it to me. One thing I do know is that whether in 2006 or the recent one, I was better qualified, better exposed, better connected nationally and internationally. I am more intellectually solid to provide the kind of leadership that would change the face of Edo state with all due respect and sense of humility to others who are also qualified in different ways. But I know that none of them had the level of international connections I had that would have brought in investors, created jobs, brought in people to put in new infrastructural developments and contribute to internally-generated revenue. None of them had, with all due respect to my fellow professors, the breadth of political exposure and experience both in terms of practical struggles from the trade union movements, student union movements, pro-democracy movement or intellectual production in terms of academic output which is evidence of serious research abilities across the world. So, for me, I think the problem they had was that they never considered merit. They never looked at merit, they never looked at capability, they never looked at capacity and they never looked at exposure. All they were interested in was their own narrow definition of loyalty. How do you see your coming into the Edo State Chapter of the ACN? The coming into the ACN which I forgot to point out earlier on, was that the PDP delivered the biggest insult when they picked their deputy governorship candidate from my own ward without even consulting with me. And I felt that was a very big sign of disrespect. Information had reached me that the individual had gone around saying that I was an Abuja-based politician. He said they
should just leave my local government, Owan West, to him that he would deal with me there. But I think the results showed clearly that I won my ward and I won the local government. We now know who is the real politician. The truth is this: my coming into the ACN was to contribute. I think the ACN would have won even if I didn’t go because the performance of the governor was there. The people were disillusioned with the PDP. They had moved away enmasse from the PDP. The PDP had not re-invented and re-produced itself. In the late hours, it was talking of a new PDP without explaining what happened to the old PDP. So, people had no confidence in the party. The two people they had picked had no colour, no presence and no ability. With all due respect to the General, he has attained a lot as a military man no doubt but as a politician, he was a neophyte. Being a General, or being a Professor or being a Chairman of a business does not translate into political dexterity and ability. After all, when Ross Perot ran against Clinton, he was trounced, though he was a billionaire. Clinton could hardly feed himself. He was not earning as much as his wife. So, politics is a completely different game. I think it added to it. Many of the people in the ACN were people I had known for many years. Some of them were with me in exile. Some of them were in the trade union with me together, some were in the student movements, some were in the human rights movements; so there was no need for any introduction. We came from the same philosophical and ideological background. In fact, from all of us who were in exile fighting the military, I think I was the only one probably, who was in the PDP. But then, it was where I was and if they were behaving in Edo State as they ought to have behaved, things would have been different. But the way they operated their politics was becoming a bit too frustrating, too unacceptable and too undemocratic for me. So, you came out the second time to correct the image of the PDP? Well, I would not say to correct the image of the PDP. It became clear to me that the PDP did not deserve to rule Edo state at that point in time. They had no track record to hang on to, they had no credible candidate that they were presenting that I would say waooooh, this man has international connections, would bring investors, he knows how to create jobs, he is an astute manager of people, he has civil society credentials, he has trade union credentials and he has peoples credentials. These were not there for any of their candidates. And this is what politics is all about at the end of the day. For me, I could not imagine myself campaigning on the platform with the people I would say I don’t know their politics and I cannot vouch for what they will do when they got into power. And that point was better for me to go and work for somebody whose performance was visible. When I was running, it was not that I did not know that Oshiomhole was working. I mean, you may pretend, you may criticize him but those things are irrelevant. For the people, they saw the roads, they saw water, they saw the schools, they saw the hospitals and they saw the down to earth grassroots, people-driven leadership. But my thinking was that if the PDP gave me the ticket and I engaged Oshiomhole and if I won, I would continue from wherever he stopped and improve on what he has done because one must admit that no governor in the history of Edo State has done as much as Oshiomhole in such a short time. How do you see the just concluded election in Edo state? The just concluded election in Edo state has two dimensions. One, is that it is the hand of God. I am not a deeply, deeply, deeply religious man but I do believe there is God. One, there was no rain in the rainy season. No rain at all! Two, not a single ballot box was snatched. No violence. People came out enmasse. Even where there were no ballot papers, ballot materials, voting materials did not arrive for four hours, they waited patiently and exercised their civic responsibility. To me, I think God wanted to send a lesson to Nigerians and to Edo people.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 SUNDAY SUN
Top stories From ALOYSIUS ATTAH, Onitsha
self-appointed prophet in Edem community in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State has threatened to blow up the catechist of a Catholic church in the area for allegedly discouraging people from going to his prayer house. It was gathered that trouble started between the two men of God when the prophet identified simply as Ekene, noticed that people no longer trooped to his church. He was said to have made inquiries and gathered that the catechist of St. Dominic’s Catholic church, Mr. Joseph Ugwu,, allegedly acting on the orders of the Catholic parish priest, Rev. Fr. Patrick Ujah, had repeatedly announced in the church that members of the congregation should desist from visiting the prayer house. Sources stated that this did not go down with the prophet who had stormed the town like a cyclone for some time, seeing vision for people and thereby pulling crowd to his church. He held vigils almost every night and people trooped to his centre because of “mind-blowing testimonies” from those who visited him. “Things assumed a dangerous dimension when the prophet allegedly applied some Catholic doctrines in his prayers apparently to attract more people. He began his prayers with the sign of the cross, while the rosary was also said in every gathering. “However, the style of his vision brought confusion among people, enthroning rancour, and mutual suspicion. People began to see their brothers as the source of their problems, while some who visited the prophet insisted that the names of their enemies should be revealed to them,” a source said. It was gathered that the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Patrick Ujah, had sent for the prophet and told him to get authority from the Catholic secretariat in Nsukka
Prophet threatens to bomb catechist •Villagers allege prophet’s gay and identification from his home parish before he could continue with the mode of worship, but he failed to do so. Consequently, the priest forbade Catholics from visiting the prophet or risk excommunication. Enraged by the adverse effect of the order on his church, the prophet sent emissaries to the catechist to mind his business. Sensing that the catechist was unperturbed, the prophet personally confronted him and allegedly warned him to steer clear or risk being bombed out of existence. He was also said to have threatened to become ruthless at those who would not let him operate the way he deemed fit in the community. Community sources also told Sunday Sun that the deafening noise from the prophet’s prayer ground had attracted the attention of the traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Odomeh of Ozi Edem, who also invited him to his palace. On interaction, the prophet was said to have told the royal father that he was a Catholic, but when the latter asked if he had the permission of the parish priest before conducting prayers, he said he planned to do so. The Igwe consequently told him that he ought to have met with those in charge of the community before pitching his tent in
the place. However, things took another dimension when youths of the community arrested the prophet for allegedly defiling some boys in the community and took him to the Igwe’s palace. The accusation was further corroborated by two of his victims. On interrogation, the prophet allegedly confessed that he committed the offence adding he learnt the filthy act from an Onitsha-based popular musician. Sources told Sunday Sun reporter that he would have been lynched but for the timely intervention of the traditional ruler who handed him over to the police. When contacted on telephone, the Police Area Commander, Nsukka, declined comment on the incident. Also, the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, told Sunday Sun reporter that he had not been officially briefed on the matter. However, sources stated that the prophet was granted bail, and has “temporarily” fled the community.
Villagers at war with council over compensation From JUDEX OKORO, Calabar
cold war is raging between officials of Ikom Local Government in Cross River State and Atimaka village in Nkun/Yala community over alleged non-payment of N8million compensation for acquired land. The villagers accused the council of forceful acquisition of their land and intimidation of the families that own the land. According to them, some members of the families were arrested and forced to renounce their ownership of vast farmlands. But the Council officials in turn, accused the community of insincerity and attempted sabotage of government’s rural development programmes. Checks by Sunday Sun revealed that the immediate-past council led by Ogar Ndoma Egodo, acquired some parcels of land from Nkun/Yala community for the construction of a trailer park at Ikom and promised to pay compensation to the land owners. However, trouble started when the council failed to fulfil its promise even though it had taken possession of the land. Instead, it allegedly resorted to intimidating some village heads that dared to ask for the compensation. In their petition to Governor Liyel Imoke, the 12 families in Atimaka village alleged that Ikom Council leadership acquired their land without consultation and compensation. The petition, which was signed on their behalf by the Executive Director of Rainforest Resources and Development Centre [RRDC], Mr. Odey Oyamah, stated that the families “lost their ownership of land in their ancestral homes and have nothing again to bequeath to their children.” They protested the measures adopted for the acquisition of the land that was their means of livelihood and alleged harassment by the police. “Even as we remained peaceful despite the forceful acquisition of our land, we are now tired of intimidation and unlawful arrest without any specific charge, by the
police at the Area Command, Okuni and the Ikom Divisional Police station. “Some of the affected persons were even detained against their fundamental rights and compelled to pay bail fee of N60, 000 each to secure their release. Evangelist Alfred Asaba Akong, one of the family heads and land owners is presently in hiding due to the numerous threats to his life in respect this matter”, the petitioners said. Consequently, the families urged the governor to direct the Ministries of Lands and Housing, Justice and Local Government Affairs, as well as the State Land Allocation Committee and Ikom Local Government Land Allocation Committee “to investigate the matter without delay, to stem any unpleasant consequences and ensure respect for the constitutional rights of the people of Atimaka village.” Also, they appealed to the governor to direct the Commissioner of Police in the state to restrain his officers and men from allowing themselves to be used for the purpose of stripping law- abiding citizens of their God-given rights. They specifically urged Governor Imoke to prevail on the Ikom Local Government chairman to desist from “further acts of disrespect for the laws and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” Reacting to the petition, the Ikom Local Government Chairman, Dr. Tony Mgban, denied any form of harassment or intimidation by his officials, saying that the parcels of land were acquired after due consultations with all relevant stakeholders. “The council agreed to construct a trailer park and went ahead to acquire land from Atimaka village. We agreed to pay N8 million as compensation and we have already paid N2 million. “I want to say without fear of contradiction that we followed due process in getting a community land. The only problem we have is paucity of funds that made it difficult for us to pay up all that we promised the community. But in no distant time, things will be okay.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 SUNDAY SUN
Top stories From DAVID ONWUCHEKWA, Nnewi
90-year-old man and his wife, narrowly escaped death in a flood that sacked five families in Umudioka village, Amamu community in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, thanks to a courageous tenant. But for the deft move by one of their tenants who carried them off harm’s way on his back, Pa Jude Ezedimbu Udora and his 79-year-old wife, Theresa, could have drowned in the surging flood that invaded their home. Several buildings and other properties including livestock were destroyed in the flood induced by a downpour that started at about 4 pm on the fateful day. Narrating his parents’ close shave with death, Mr Ignatius Udora, said that although the rooms where the old couple lived in the family’s six-room bungalow was submerged, they were too feeble to run out. Mr Udora, a customary court registrar, said that apart from his parents, children and a tenant, the occupants of the building and their neighbours were out for the day’s business when the rain started. The consequent flood flowed over the poorly constructed drainage system into the houses of five families including the Udoras. The younger Udora said that his parents could have drowned but for the timely assistance of
Tenant saves landlord 90, wife from flood •My aged parents looked helplessly as the flood surged forward –Son the tenant who was at home. “As the flood surged forward, my aged parents looked at it helplessly until all the rooms in our building were submerged. My parents could have drowned but one of our tenants braved the flood and carried them on his back one by one, to our neighbourhood for safety. “If that tenant were not there, the story would have been different even though I lost all my documents and household property to the flood. All our economic trees and domestic animals were not spared,” he said. The father of six said that the entire family took refuge in the neighbourhood, “because our house is quite uninhabitable now.” When Sunday Sun spoke with Pa Udeora, he was short of words to describe what happened. He simply said: “Look at me now, I’m homeless.” Reacting to the incident, a native of the community, Barrister Chike Okafor condemned the shoddy drainage
and road construction that was suspected to have caused the disaster. He urged that the matter should be properly addressed and compensations paid to the victims. Also, youths in the area warned that they might be forced to take laws into their hands if the contractor failed to return to site to render quality job. The leader of Umudioha Youths Assembly, Mr Alex Mbatugosi, said that the youth had drawn the attention of the construction company handling the Nitel-Umudioha-Ogboro Road where the incident occurred, to what they described as “half-hazard job execution”. He appealed to the Federal Ministry of Works and Anambra State Government to prevail on the contractor to do a quality job in the community and compensate the affected families. In a letter to the contracting
firm, copies of which were endorsed to the Federal Ministry of Works, the Member representing Ihiala One Federal Constituency, Hon Fort Dike; and the area’s representative in the state House of Assembly, Hon Modestus Ohazurike, the youth leader said that the people lost properties worth over N100 million to a similar disaster that occurred in the community some time ago. Speaking during an on-the-spot assessment of the damages, Hon Ohazurike also condemned the poor drainage system and assured that he would take the matter up with the appropriate authorities.
•Madam Theresa affected by the flood
I shed tears for the girl child –Olajumoke By CHRISTY ANYANWU
he girl child’s lot is increasingly getting worse by the day as teenage girls continue to be victims of sexual molestation, prostitution and human trafficking. However, recently, Mrs. Durosimi Musilimot Olajumoke, wife of the chairman of Ojo Local Government, held a Girl Talk 2012 themed “Educating The Girl Child” aimed at sensitizing girls on the values and morals that would propel them to the next level. The event, which held at Ojo Town Hall, brought together teenage schoolgirls from Ojo Local Government Area.
The platform was used to address issues such as discrimination against children and women in areas of health, education and violence. They were educated on ways to combat sex exploitation, bonded labour and other forms of child molestation. Delivering her lecture, the resource person, Mrs. Funke Orenuga, tasked the girls to exhibit good behaviour and look for profitable things to do to keep themselves busy outside school hours and while on holidays. She admonished parents to give
equal love to their children, irrespective of their sex. Orenuga chided mothers who prefer to have their children out of school in order to help at home. “Some of these teenagers here today hawk and sell food and pure water in traffic jams. If your child is crushed to death by a careless driver while hawking in traffic, what happens?” she queried. Mrs. Olajumoke, visioner of the girls club, said there was need to educate the girl child because when she is educated, she is better prepared to make •Olajumoke healthy life decisions, exercise leadership in her family and community and develop goals for her future wellbeing. Revealing why she organized the event, she said: “I was invited to a seminar at Sheraton Hotel by an Non-Governmental Organization, where our girls in Badagry division were used as case study. That fateful day, I felt ashamed and almost in tears over what our children go through to make ends meet. As a mother, I felt I should go back home and do something that would bring a positive change in our community.” Talking about activities of the club, she said, “We have four categories; the first is the primary school level, secondary, vocational and others. The programme was meant for young girls who are out of sec-
ondary school and have nothing to do because no one is assisting them. We could get a GCE or JAMB form, help her to prepare and sit for these exams, and if she performs well, we could support her for university education.” Olajumoke said that sex education was chosen as topic for the day because most teenage girls were often sexually abused. “They were either raped or go into prostitution. That is why I invited the resource person. I took some of the women leaders in the wards to visit some places and we saw these girls involved in unholy acts. “After counseling them that fateful day, these girls confessed that they were into prostitution to help fend for their parents and siblings. They said that they wanted a change. We introduced skill acquisition in three local governments areas. “We started researching and I told my husband that this indecency must stop. That action led to the founding of the Girls Club. In the club, we have four categories including primary school, secondary school and vocational levels. At the local government, we have started looking inward for the girl child’s needs. We interviewed these girls to know who among them is ready to further her education after primary school and we encouraged them to get into secondary schools. We also assist them with books, school sandals, etc. It’s going to be a continuous project, even after my husband’s second tenure. I hope to use the forum as my NGO to assist our youths, especially the girl child in this community. That is my own widow’s mite,” Mrs. Olajumoke said.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012,
NEWS Crack in PDP
Governors boycott Tukur’s book launch From TAIWO AMODU, Abuja
HE raging cold war between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors and the party’s national leadership played up yesterday in Abuja, as most of the governors boycotted the launch of a book in honour of the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. The presentation of the book, The Global Villager, a biography of Alhaji Tukur, was part of the activities that marked his 77th birthday. Out of the serving 23 PDP governors, only three were present at the event that took place at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, while two others sent
their representatives. Those in attendance were Governors Isa Yuguda, Theodore Orji and Patrick Yakowa, of Bauchi, Abia and Kaduna states respectively. Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State and his Plateau State counterpart, Jonah Jang, sent their deputies. But the Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, apologized on behalf of his colleagues, as he told the gathering that he had their mandate to pick 10 copies of the book for them.
The governors and the PDP national chairman have been engaged in a battle of wits over the party’s supremacy. Before the Abia State governor mounted the podium to make his remarks, his Bauchi State counterpart, Mallam Yuguda, was called to speak on behalf of the PDP governors ,but he declined. Instead, he told Governor Orji to speak on behalf of their colleagues. The Abia governor told the gathering of mainly party chieftains that included
President Goodluck Jonathan and some serving ministers, that the governors were absent due to circumstances beyond their control. “I have been mandated by PDP governors in the PDP Governors Forum to come and speak. To all the PDP governors in the Governors Forum, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur represents the Iroko in the forest. If you enter the forest and you don’t see the Iroko, it is no forest. Where you see the Iroko is the forest. Bamanga Tukur is
From left: Book Presenter, Prof. Jerry Gana; president Goodluck Jonathan, and PDP Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, at a book presentation to mark his 77th birthday in Abuja on Saturday.
From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
OVERNOR of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio, has urged Nigerians to be thankful to God for the dividends of democracy they were enjoying in the country. He said looking back over the last 13 years; he could say Nigeria has made some modest achievements. Chief Akpabio made the
assertion in Abuja over the weekend after being conferred with the Honorary Fellow Award of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP). He said Nigerians should avoid a blanket condemnation of democracy, as it has led to the development of various sectors of the economy. Represented by his deputy, Mr Nsima Ekere, the governor
From ROSE EJEMBI, Makurdi
evening in a Mitsubishi bus with registration number FKJ 450 XA. He declosed further that the suspects killed two persons and carted away an undisclosed sum of money from the bank.
said even as he was aware of the achievements of his other colleagues across the country, the infrastructural development in Akwa Ibom State in the last five years has been phenomenal and unprecedented. He cited the achievement of the administration to include free and compulsory education; construction of 205 roads covering over 1,000 kilometres;
Police arrest 8 armed robbery suspects
IGHT dare-devil armed robbery suspects, who allegedly robbed a bank in Katsina-Ala town of KatsinaAla Local Government Area in Benue State, last Wednesday, are currently cooling there heels in police net. The robbery suspects, who were yesterday paraded at the headquarters of the Benue State Police Command in Makurdi, allegedly arrived at the bank in commando-style, shooting sporadically into the air while making their way into the bank. Speaking with newsmen on the development, Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Christopher Katso, said the heavily armed robbery suspects allegedly invaded the Kastina-Ala branch of a first generation bank on Wednesday
that the best is possible in this country; he symbolizes the life of perseverance in times of adversity.’’ President Jonathan also recalled Alhaji Tukur’s contributions to economic integration and unity in Africa in his official capacity as Chairman of African Business Forum. The chief launcher, Chief Arthur Eze, who launched the biography with N10 million, described the PDP national chairman as a straightforward individual and appealed to him to continue to support President Jonathan. “He is a straightforward man. I know him, and I respect him. I don’t belong to any political party, but I respect individuals. I want to urge you, please, don’t listen to anybody; just listen to your president and support him to complete his term,’’ Eze said.
...As Jonathan meets them
Democracy has paid off –Akpabio
the leader in our party. “Let me apologize on behalf of PDP governors who aren’t here because of circumstances beyond their control. Some of them have sent their representatives, but of course, an event for Bamanga Tukur isn’t one for excuses.’’ President Goodluck Jonathan described the PDP national chairman as a man of honour, a detribalized Nigerian and an enviable businessman, who “has promoted businesses more than any other businessman in Africa”. “Today gives us an opportunity to honour a man, who has done well in contributing to the economic growth of Nigeria. We are here to honour a man of honour. His life’s story is that of patience and orderly rise to the top. He didn’t suddenly become rich. He has lived a life that symbolizes
Those allegedly killed by the robbers included an engineer who was invited by the bank to work on its faulty generating set, as well as another young man on his way from Tarkum in Taraba State to Zaki-Biam in Benue State. The suspects, who were being chased by the police, Sunday Sun gathered, had allegedly stopped the young man, shot and killed him after which they abandoned their vehicle and made away with his car, a Honda Accord, with registration number, ABC 535 AE. The commissioner of police
said the suspects were intercepted after several hours of gun battle between his men and the suspects. However, the police pursued until the suspects were cornered at Kastina Ala-Zaki-Biam Road, where seven of them (suspects) were arrested on the spot, while one was later nabbed following a tip-off. The state’s police boss confirmed that the suspects sustained various injuries during gun duel with police, adding that one of his men was also injured and is currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital. Items recovered from the suspects include a large cache of AK-47 ammunition, fully loaded AK-47 magazine, two rifles, several charms and three other vehicles.
building of five brand new General Hospitals and a soonto-be completed International Specialist Hospital; a brand new airport with the longest runway in the country; massive construction of new school blocks to cater for tripled school enrolment, among many other achievements. In a citation at the ceremony, President of the institute, Mallam Kabir Yari, said Chief Akpabio was selected as a fellow of the institute because of his achievement in the last five years, which has made reputable organizations locally and internationally to recognize him, and urged him to sustain the pace of development in the state. Other governors also conferred with the honorary fellowship included Governors of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi; Lagos, Mr Babatunde Fashola; Niger, Alhaji Babangida Aliyu; and their Benue counterpart, Hon Gabriel Suswan. In his acceptance speech, Chief Akpabio thanked the institute for the recognition and dedicated the award to Akwa Ibom children whose future, he said, the administration was working hard to secure, hinting that with the aggressive industrialization the state is embarking upon their education would have a good future.
RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday held a closed-door meeting with governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled states. Details of the meeting, which started at 6:25 p.m. and ended exactly 10 minutes after was not made known, as the Chairman of Governors Forum, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, told newsmen that nothing was dis-
cussed. “What will you discuss in five minutes?” he queried. Those in attendance were Governors of Abia, Theodore Orji; Akwa Ibom, Godswill Akpabio; Bauchi, Isa Yuguda; Ebonyi, Martins Elechi; Kaduna, Patrick Yakowa; Taraba, Danbaba Suntai; and Kogi, Idris Wada. Others were Deputy Governors of Adamawa, Bayelsa, Delta, Gombe, Katsina, Jigawa, Plateau and Kano.
PDP threatens to sue Aregbesola
EOPLES Democratic Party (PDP) has threatened to take the Rauf Aregbesola regime and Infrastructure Bank based in Abuja to court over a N17.8 billion loan recently given to Osun State government by the bank. Osun State chapter of the PDP in a statement issued by its Chairman, Alhaji Gani Ola Oluwa, on Saturday said the party’s lawyers had been instructed to look at the propriety of the N17.8 billion loan on the dualisation of a 45km road initially billed to cost N8 billion. Managing Director of Infrastructure Bank Plc, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, last month announced in Abuja that the bank was giving Osun State government the N17.8 billion loan to fund the Osogbo-IlaOdo road dualisation project. The PDP said it decided to challenge both the terms of the loan and the N17.8 billion cost of the project, which was actually designed by the Olagunsoye Oyinlola administration as second phase of the Gbongan-Osogbo- Ila-OdoKwara boundary road with a total cost of about N8 billion. According to the PDP, the 23km Akoda-Osogbo first phase of the project, including
the massive second Osun bridge, was constructed and completed by the Oyinlola government with about N3 billion. The party noted that even at that cost, the then opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said N3 billion was too much for a 23km road, stressing that it was waiting to see how the ACN government would justify the almost N18 billion cost for a 45km road in the savannah part of the state. It added that it would also ask the court to determine whether it was proper for the Aregbesola government to commit the state to such huge indebtedness without the approval of the state’s House of Assembly and without the contract going through due process. The PDP further said it is also interested in knowing whether it was just sheer coincidence that all the principal actors in the transactions, including the contractor, were from the same town in Kwara State as the wife of the governor of Osun State. It said this became necessary following insinuations that the Kwara man behind the firm that got the contract is a brother-in law to Mr. Aregbesola and that there is also a link with the Infrastructure Bank boss, Oyinloye, who also hails from Kwara State.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012,
Lagosians beware: You may lose your hands to robbers By VICTOR EBIMOMI
AGOS State Police Command’s determination to rid the state of criminals, especially armed robbers, may not be an easy task, unless advanced strategies are quickly adopted. Reason: some criminals have devised a heartless way of forcing their victims into submission and in a manner that hardly raise suspicion. Instead of guns, they now use short cutlasses, the type popularly called “UTC” in Lagos. And when they attack their victims, they usually go for the wrists. The criminals operate mostly in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government Area. Sunday Sun investigation revealed that one of their favourite areas of operations is around Tolu area of the council and the most notorious
axis is Kumuyi Street and its environs. According to our source, the reason for the concentration of their nefarious activities, which occurs mostly at night in that axis, is because of a very busy road known as Amodu Tijani, through which people link up Apapa with commercial boats. Sunday Sun learnt that the criminals always lurk in dark corners from where they suddenly pounce on their victims before they dispossess them of their valuables. Our source informed that in most cases, if they are not satisfied with the victim’s possession, they give him/her a deep cut on the wrists, perhaps, as warning that he/she should work harder. Some residents in the area told Sunday Sun that the criminals have become more than a pain on the neck for pedestrians
and inhabitants of the area. “Those boys are really terrorizing us in this area and it seems the police are helpless. They have guns, but these days they use cutlasses and they always like to cut their victims’ hands,” said a resident who claimed she knows some of the victims. Another resident added that the criminals are taking advantage of the thriving night life in the area to rove around until they are ready to begin operation. “The night life in this area is almost round the clock, and you can hardly know who is who,” the resident said. It was gathered that a victim was terribly beaten and given machete cuts because he had nothing that interested the criminals when he was accosted. Sunday Sun investigation
revealed that there are uncountable joints in the area where local gin otherwise known as Paraga are sold and those are veritable hide-outs for the criminally minded. Also, there are several hotels where young jobless youths while away time with prostitutes, smoking all sorts of hard drugs, particularly marijuana. It was gathered that police from the nearby Tolu Police
We’ll not allow fraudsters in Oyo –Ajimobi they were merely exhibiting ignorance, and that he would not be governor with a civil service riddled with maggots. “It is common knowledge that Oyo State civil service, which used to be a reference point in the country, is now at the brink of the precipice. But we are determined to bring the past glory back. However, in doing this, we will not allow thieves to stay in the system; we will not allow certificate forgers and fraudsters to be in the system,’’ he said. According to the governor, but for his administration’s benevolence, some of the recently sacked workers ought to be prosecuted because they had committed criminal offence. The governor said the initial number of civil servants allegedly involved in one malfeasance or another were over 8,000, and it was his intervention that reduced the number to less than 3,000. “But whatever it will take, we must improve Oyo State. And to improve the system is to improve the structure and human resources,’’ he said. The governor congratulated the 300 typists who had stag-
From ATTAHIRU AHMED, Gisau HE Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has berated Zamfara State government for its inability to host the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union scheduled between September 17 and 20 this year in the state Addressing journalists at
Bishop ordains ministers, admonishes leaders more matured in your minALOFETEKUN, istry”. Bishop Yisa expressed hope that the two clergymen would ELIGIOUS leaders give themselves wholly to the have been advised service of God, and devote to not to rely on their God their best powers of mind strength in the discharge of and spirit so that they may their spiritual responsibili- daily follow the rule and ties. teaching of Jesus Christ with Rather, they should trust in the heavenly assistance of the the grace and power of God, Holy Spirit. as well as pray earnestly for In his sermon, Venerable God’s Holy Spirit. Godwin Mgbemena told the Bishop of Minna Diocese of new ministers not to be spirithe Church of Nigeria tual undertakers who kill the (Anglican Communion), Rev. churches they are posted to Daniel Yisa, gave this advice shepherd. Neither should they at the ordination of two minis- be spiritual caretakers who ters of God at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, in Minna, care less about the growth and development of their churchNiger State, at the weekend. He urged the ministers, Rev. es. Mgbemena urged them to Philibus Danjos and Ordinand be spiritual risk takers, who Alexander Bawa, to pray that God will each day enlarge and continually and relentlessly strengthen their understand- make exploits and go extra ing of the scriptures “so that miles to ensure the growth of you may grow stronger and their churches.
the NUJ Press Centre, Gusau, on Saturday, National Vice President of the union (zone A), Comrade Haidara Suleiman, lamented the action of the state government, which had forced union to postpone the event until further notice. He said the proposed NEC meeting was the first NUJ would have held since inauguration of the new national executive members, adding that after all the necessary arrangements were made by the union, both at state and national levels, it was unfortunate that the state government had now clearly come out to tell the union that it may no longer host the meeting. According to him, the national body of the union has condemned the action and hopes the government would change its mind and host the meeting as earlier scheduled. Comrade Suleiman maintained that the action of the state government was a
clear indication that the governor was inaccessible to some people, including his pen friends, saying this was unfortunate. However, the state’s Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Birnin Magaji, explained that the NUJ letter did not mention that the state government was to host the meeting. The commissioner said the state government had only asked the union to postpone the meeting because of the airlifting of intending Muslim pilgrims that would start on September 17, for which the governor may not be around and the deputy governor would lead Zamfara delegates as Amirul Hajj. He appealed to the union to see reason for the postponement of the historic meeting as well as visit to the state by journalists, who may be coming for the first time.
Army gives succour to families of slain soldiers
nated on Grade Level 09 for From several years, but whose bar DESMOND MGBOH, Kano had been raised to Grade Level R I G A D E 12, urging them to reciprocate Commander, 3rd government’s gesture by Brigade of the Nigeria rededicating selves to service.
From AKIN Minna
a resident who preferred anonymity said. A police source at Tolu Police Division confirmed that the area is a notorious place and some teams from the station have been going there constantly to dislodge the criminals. “Yes, there are criminals there. Our patrol teams sometimes go there to raid them,” the source said..
NUJ bemoans postponed NEC meeting
L-R: Guest speaker, Professor Wande Abimbola; Alafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, at the grand frinale of Oranyan festival at the Alaafin’s Palace, Oyo State, on Sunday. PHOTO: Bada Osasona. OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on Friday said his administration had very low tolerance for forgers and other misdemeanor in the state’s civil and public service. Ajimobi said to achieve this effectively, his government will continue to ensure enthronement of a civil service that would be highly efficient, effective and positioned for good service delivery. He also promised to ensure that sanity was restored into the system, warning that fraudulent workers and those with criminal records would not be allowed to stay one day longer in the state’s civil service. The governor said this while addressing a group of typists whose bar had just been raised to Grade Level 12 during their training session at the Simeon Adebo Staff Development Centre, Secretariat, Ibadan. He described the civil service as the bedrock of good governance and development. He said the service would be reformed to conform to contemporary civil service, adding that in achieving that, human capital development would be accorded priority. Governor Ajimobi also lashed out at critics of recent sack of some civil servants with criminal records, saying
Division occasionally raid the black spots to dislodge the bad boys, but they return as soon as the police leave the scene. “The police sometimes raid the place, but they come back shortly after they leave. Some of them come from outside the council. They just come around, stay in the hotels with prostitutes till late night. In fact, it is very easy to identify them, because they smoke Indian hemp openly in public places,”
Army, Brigadier-General Illyasu Abbah, has assured that the Nigerian Army will continue to defend the corporate existence of the country. He spoke in Nguru, at the 241 Battalion of the Nigeria Army, during a visit and presentation of financial assistance to families of nine soldiers, who were killed recently following an attack by a suicide bomber. Eight soldiers were also injured in the tragic attack, which occurred in Shuwarin Low Cost Housing Estate, Palawi Area, when the suicide bomber rammed into the patrol vehicle of the late soldiers. Brigadier-General Abbah, who extended the sympathies of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Onyeabo Azubuike Ihejirika, and Major General Garba Wahab, admitted that the country is presently faced with serious security challenges, especially in the North East and North West region. He, however, declared that the tragic incident will in no way deter the Nigerian Army from defending the corporate existence of the country, while tasking the officers not to
relent in their efforts to protect the area from activities of the insurgents. To the affected families, Brigadier-General Abbah said the nation and the Nigerian Army in particular, would continue to remember the departed officers and pray for their souls. He presented a sum of N1.2 million to the next of kin of each of the nine soldiers, as well as another N600,000 to the wounded officers, saying that while the Governor of Yobe State, Alhaji Ibrahim Giedam, donated N1 million and N500,000 to each of the deceased and the injured officers, the Chief of Army Staff contributed N200,000 and N100,000 to each of them. General Abbah added that the gesture was not a replacement of their full military entitlements, adding that their military entitlements would be paid to their families in due course. Sunday Sun observed that many of the widows wept profusely during the solemn ceremony, while relatives of the deceased commended the Nigerian Army and the Yobe State Government for the empathy shown.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012,
Customs intercepts 3,000 shotgun cartridges in Ogun
By MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, early hours of Thursday in a Abeokuta Honda CRV at Agosasa bush path. ARELY one week in The controller lamented what office, the Area he described as the grave conComptroller of sequences of the ammunition Customs, Ogun State if it had been successfully Command, Prince smuggled into the country. Ademuyiwa Dosunmu, has “The illegal consignment of made a rare seizure of 3,000 arms could cause mayhem as shortgun cartridges as well well as other security chalas 40 bags of weeds suspect- lenges that would have been ed to be cannabis sativa pop- unbearable to all and sundry if ularly known as Indian the smugglers had succeeded hemp. in their nefarious act,” In his maiden address yes- Dosunmu said. terday, Dosunmu said the He put the street value at seizures were made in the N768,000, and also disclosed
that the driver of the ash-colour SUV fled after sensing danger. While noting that the seizure was made possible through the vigilance of officers and men of the command, he said that ordinarily, nobody would have known the vehicle was carrying ammunition. “It looked like just any vehicle passing-by; but it was through close scrutiny that my men discovered it was carrying contraband or dangerous items, particularly as the driver on sighting our officers and men jumped into the bush, leaving behind his vehicle,” an
elated Dosunmu said. Men of the command also intercepted about 1,288 cartons of smuggled frozen poultry products, which he described as not only highly injurious to Nigerians, but posed serious threat to the economy of the country. “I want to appeal to Nigerians to desist from engaging in this unholy trade as well as consumption of same, which is injurious to their health and hinder patronage of local poul-
•Senator Atiku Abubakar Bagudu casting his vote at Garakamai Alelu ward in Birnin-Kebbi yesterday during the state’s local government election.
FRSC introduces Road Safety Curriculum in schools
pen, they are caused. Around the world, over 3,000 people die every day from injuries associated with road crashes. The issue of road safety is paramount to all of us and the era when people used all manner of rickety and overloaded vehicles to convey children to school has passed. A school bus must be handled by a professionally licensed driver with an assistant, who will not only conduct the children properly but can also drive perfectly when the need arises. They are also mandated to undergo mental health and acuity test,” he said.
He reminded the school principals that as molders of children’s future, they should take the message of road safety serious, as a lot of lives depend on them. Omeje also educated them on various causes of road crashes in Nigeria and restated the readiness of Anambra Sector Command to continue its aggressive public enlightenment programme in line with the mandate of the Corps Marshal to reduce carnage on roads to the barest minimum. He also encouraged them to set up road safety clubs in their various schools so that the children will take road safety as a lifestyle. He promised FRSC’s Hon. Kingsley Kuku, who ensuring safety and security readiness to assist such schools oversees the programme, in of lives and property,” the in educating students on the programme. order to score cheap political statement added. points.” The statement added that perhaps, the sponsors of such protests have become •Publishers lament NCC’s inaction uncomfortable with the ris- From ALOYSIUS ATTAH, Format Publishers. Others ing profile of Mr Kuku, par- Onitsha include Lamb Tales by ticularly in his home state of William Shakespeare and Ondo. OLICE have arrested published by Longman “For the avoidance of a book pirate, who Publishers, Palm-wine doubt, the amnesty proreproduces authors gramme is insulated from and publishers’ original Drunkard Published by Spectrum Books, Udala serving the interests of any works in Onitsha. Omumu by Penmark political party and has been The pirate whose name religiously executing its could not be ascertained at the Publishers, Chike and the mandate of training and time of filing this report was River by Prof. Chinua Achebe reintegrating beneficiaries allegedly arrested at Anionwu and published by Heinemann, regardless of their political Street in Odoakpu area of Born to Win published by Macmillan Educational leaning. Onitsha while reproducing “We therefore, urge those some printed works, which Publishers and other books Africana Fep trying to drag the pro- included about 30 titles owned under Publishers’ titles, among othgramme unnecessarily into by local and famous authors ers. politics to desist. and publishers. Speaking with the press at “We also implore security Some of the titles recovered the Onitsha Police Area agencies in the country, par- from the suspect were Mbido ticularly in the Niger Delta, Igbo by F.C. Ogbalu, Exam Command, Chairman, Nigeria Association, to be alert to their constitu- Made Easy Primary 1-6, an Publishers tional responsibility of Igbo novel titled Erumma by Onitsha, Mr. Ethel Uyanna, and secretary, Engr. Felix C.
‘Don’t drag amnesty programme into politics’ HE Presidential Amnesty Office has been alerted about a plot to cause mayhem in the Niger Delta by some seemingly disgruntled youths in the region. A statement signed by Head, Media and Communications, Mr Daniel Alabrah, said: “We have been reliably informed that the amnesty programme is the target of a series of proposed politically-motivated protests to begin from Uyo in Akwa Ibom State and spread to other oil-producing states. “We deem it necessary to inform Nigerians and the unsuspecting public that some politicians have surreptitiously been funding illmotivated campaigns, which have taken the form of protest marches against the amnesty programme and the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta,
Jonah Jang, as well as members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) at Government Banquet Hall, Uyo, stressed the need for journalists to always highlight the positive things happening in the country like their foreign counterparts. Akpabio stated: “Nigeria must not always be looked at by other countries from the negative angle. With this conference in Akwa Ibom State, journalists must always portray Nigeria in good light through their profession. “When reporting news, positive things must be reported or written about our country. The conference is not only hosted to transform the state or country but also to change the board of media houses. Whether Moslem or Christian, I pray God to give you wisdom to carry out the good deeds of your profession. In your daily activities, always allow God to guide you,” the governor said.
He described the conference in Akwa Ibom as an uncommon one, saying: “On the recent attacks of the United States of America Embassy in Libya where an American ambassador was killed, I can say we must sanitize and teach our Nigerian children that it is only God that fights His war. Whether we are Moslem or Christian, we must embrace peace.” Akpabio described Chairman of the occasion, Aremo Segun Osoba, as a role model for every child to emulate and for the world to see Nigeria through him, thanking him for serving as chairman of the occasion and the guild for bringing this year’s conference to Uyo. President of the NGE, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, lauded the governor on his development strides and support for the conference.
Expert lauds Obi’s education initiative ANDOVER of schools by Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, to the missions has been described as a worthwhile initiative that would ultimately produce the right results. Paul Collier, a Professor of Economics and Director, Centre for the Study of African Economies, at the University of Oxford, who said this, lauded Obi for not only handing over the schools to the mis-
Police nab book pirate in Onitsha
hand clothing, shoes, children’s clothes and motorcycles. Dosunmnu also disclosed that 140,000 litres of petrol and 256 bags of imported rice were also seized at Idi-Iroko and Abeokuta axis of the state. He urged traditional rulers at the border areas to assist the Customs Service in the Herculean task of combating and checking smuggling within the jurisdiction of the command.
Akpabio tasks journalists on Nigeria’s image IGERIAN journalists have been advised to use their profession to portray the country in good light to the international community. Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill O. Akpabio, who gave the charge on Friday during a banquet for Governors of Delta and Plateau states, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and
From ALOYSIUS ATTAH, Otuocha zones of the state. Speaking on the topic, Onitsha “Safety on Our Roads, the S part of efforts to School Bus Approach”, Omeje create more aware- said the corps has concluded ness on road safety in arrangements to apprehend Nigeria, the Federal Road school proprietors who use any Safety Corps (FRSC) has kind of vehicle to convey childeveloped a curriculum on dren to school. He said there is an already road safety to be used in public schools in the country. set standard on the kind of Anambra State Sector vehicles to be used as school Commander of the FRSC, buses, capacity, colour and Hyginus Omeje, disclosed this other necessary approvals and yesterday in Onitsha while permit that would be obtained delivering a lecture on road before such schools would be safety at the Conference of allowed to operate school Principals of Secondary buses. “Accidents don’t just hapSchools in Awka, Ogidi, and
try farmers trying to grapple with the economy.” In line with the Federal Government’s directive and regulations on frozen poultry, the poultry products were later destroyed in the presence of other security agencies in the state. Among other seizures made were 147 kegs of 25-litre vegetable oil, both with duty paid valued of N4,659,600, as well as 23 vehicles, bales of second-
Ogbalu, decried the high level of book piracy in Nigeria. They accused the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) of not living up to their responsibility by curtailing the upsurge in book pirating in the area. They lamented that the trend has discouraged famous and talented authors from further writing as their works of creativity are being reaped by other individuals and therefore, called for stringent measures to discourage pirates from their illegal business. Confirming the arrest, the Onitsha Police Area Commander, Mr. Benjamin Wordu, urged the public to continue giving useful information to the police, adding that the suspect would soon be charged to court after investigation.
sions but also taking care of their teachers’ emoluments. He said this had made the teachers’ positions safe and secure as well as not altering their financial incentives despite the hand-over. Collier said this development would make an important difference in the education sector, as the school management put in place by the churches would emphasize commitment. “Teachers are encouraged to refresh their sense of duty and stewardship towards the children for whom they are responsible,” Collier said. He further stated that the management, which was connected through the local church, would not only be more motivated than many bureaucracies, but would be more readily connected to parents whose attitudes and support were also important in bringing the best out of the children. According to Collier, a synchronised large scale change of management as Governor Obi had done could achieve a quantum improvement as everyone involved could reasonably expect the future to be different. “What is needed is a range of such experiments. Some will work better than others, but if combined, Nigerians can learn what works best,” Collier said.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 SUNDAY SUN
Lawyer gives Obi ultimatum, tasks lawmakers By DAVID ONWUCHEKWA, the demolition, as it was their only source of livelihood, Nnewi adding that the demolition human rights lawyer affected mostly the downbased in Nnewi, Mr trodden, who could not do E m m a n u e l anything. “Demolition is not illegal. Chinweuche Mbazulike, has tasked Governor Peter Obi to Even the constitution provides pay compensation and relo- that government can acquire cate those displaced in the property and so on, but the ongoing demolition exercise same constitution talks about in the state or meet him in compensation. You cannot just demolish someone’s court. Reacting to the demolition means of livelihood and throw exercise, Mbazulike said he him/her out of business withwould not close his eyes to the out looking for a way to cushwailings of those affected in ion the effect by way of com-
pensation, at least, to enable those affected start life afresh,” the lawyer said. He said he witnessed many places the demolition took place and shared the grief of those affected, adding that most of them complained that they were not given notice before the exercise. According to Mr Mbazulike, government carried out the same exercise in 2011 without anything to show for it in terms of beautifying the places or expanding the roads in the areas demol-
ished. “Last year government did the same thing and promised to do the roads and all that, but nothing happened in Nnewi except the one it managed to do during the funeral of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, which has been washed away by the rain.” He said lawmakers, past and present, had not justified the mandate given them, as he made particular reference to Oba-Okigwe through Nnewi federal road, which he said had been politicised. According to him, constituents had been told severally that the road was in federal budget only to be disappointed each year hope was raised. He challenged Senator Andy Uba, who represents Anambra South Senatorial zone, and his counterpart representing Nnewi North/Federal constituency, Engineer Chris Azubogu, to make a difference.
National honour may soon lose value, says Archbishop Benjamin •The Comptroller of Immigration MMIA, Mrs. Rebeccah Ayuba and the Comptroller of Customs, MMIA, Mr. Charles Ejike Eporwe decorating the PRO, Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr. Issa Olaniyan during the decoration exercise of newly promoted officers at MMIA recently. Photo: Christy Anyanwu
‘Govt should subsidise cancer treatment for children’ By ONYEKACHI JET and OGE OKONKWO
hile countries in other climes are recoding 80 – 90 percent cure rate in childhood cancers, Nigeria is lagging behind with less than 20 percent success. Reasons according to Dr. Nneka Nwobbi are due to lack of awareness and the prohibitive cost of cancer treatment. Nwobbi who disclosed that childhood cancer is among the major health concerns of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), stated that a greater number of people are still ignorant of the fact that children do suffer cancer. She noted that the high cost of treatment often scares away parents of children affected by cancer. The medical practitioner, who is founder of Children Living with Cancer Foundation (CLWCF), said globally, the month of September is set aside by WHO to create awareness for childhood cancers.
“Because childhood cancers are represented with gold, we try to paint the town gold during September to let people know that children also do have cancers”, she said. Like every other ailment, she said early detection, appropriate treatment lead to cure. “Abroad where they
know about childhood cancers, they have about 80 - 90 percent cure rate unlike in Nigeria. Here, we have less than 20 percent. But WHO seeks that developing countries achieve 25 percent cure rate by 2025. This is why it has the slogan, “25 by 25”, she explained.
Nestle set to hold value forum BY OGE OKONKWO
ith the world population estimated to reach nine billion in 2050, Africa’s and Nigeria’s population is expected to double as well as the demand for agricultural products. From records, only a small percentage of Nigeria’s arable land is being cultivated by small scale farmers using unsophisticated farming techniques. Speaking at a media briefing, the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager of Nestle Nigeria, Dr Samuel Adenekan said that the forum which has been tagged ‘the role of business in food secu-
rity and nutrition’ is aimed at helping the private sector and youths see opportunities in the agricultural value chain. He said the forum also motivates them to get involved in ensuring food security in Nigeria using the abundant natural resources like natural gas, water, arable land and government commitment to achieve the objectives. Adenekan said Nigeria’s yield per hectare which is a major driver of agricultural competitiveness is between 20 to 50 percent of what is obtainable in similar developing countries thereby leaving her to augment what is produced locally with imports.
By VICTOR EBIMOMI
he groundswell of criticism against the National Honour List for 2012 released recently by the Federal Government has continued to gain momentum as a renowned cleric, Archbishop Samson Mustapha Benjamin, has said the exercise might soon lose its value unless it is reinvented to reflect true public acceptance. The General Overseer of Resurrection Praise Ministry International, Lagos, while speaking with journalists lamented that some of the nominees had no reason to merit the list. “ Honestly, some of them have no business being on the list. Although you and I don’t even know the criteria they are using, but before you confer an important honour such as the national award on anybody, we need to ask what he has done for the country. Has he ever spent one Naira for the country without asking it to give him back in one way or other ?” He asserted that there is always the need to ask what such person has done voluntarily for humanity positing that: “ it looks as if people are just lobbying here, lobbying there for the honour”.
Only prayer, confab can save Nigeria –Pastor Ogundare By VICTOR EBIMOMI
s Nigeria grapples with a myriad of problems, the General Superintendent of Christ Redemption Bible Church, Pastor John Ogundare, has stated that the solution lies in fervent prayer and convocation of a sovereign conference. The cleric who spoke during the kick-off of the
church’s 15th convention and dedication of its international headquarters in Lagos said although the country had gone so bad, all hope was not lost. He urged Nigerians irrespective of religious denominations to make supplication to God in unison because, “He is the only one that has the solution to our problems”. He particularly tasked the nation’s leaders to do what is
right at all times and fear God. The cleric said apart from prayers, the country needs a sovereign national conference so that all the aggrieved can vent their grievances. He said resorting to regional agendas would only compound the nation’s problems. “I believe in a sovereign conference where we can solve our differences. Regional agendas will not
help the matter”, he said. The man of God differed on the planned introduction of N5,000 currency denomination, saying it is an avenue for corruption because it would make it easier for corrupt people to move stolen funds. He advised President Goodluck Jonathan to reject the idea and align with the feeling of the generality of the people who are opposed to the plan.
More details emerge on U.S. ambassador’s last moments
hree days before the deadly assault on the United States consulate in Libya, a local security official says he met with American diplomats in the city and warned them about deteriorating security. Jamal Mabrouk, a member of the February 17th Brigade, told CNN that he and a battalion commander had a meeting about the economy and security. He said they told the diplomats that the security situation wasn’t good for international business. “The situation is frightening, it scares us,” Mabrouk said they told the U.S. officials. He did not say how they
responded. Mabrouk said it was not the first time he has warned foreigners about the worsening security situation in the face of the growing presence of armed jihadist groups in the Benghazi area.The main building in the compound is in charred ruins. The suite where the body of the ambassador was found was protected by a large door with steel bars and the windows had steel bars. His body was recovered after looters broke into the room. It appears his security detail left him in the room while they tried to deal with the attack.
...As anti-American fury over film hits Australia
he fury over an anti-Islam film that targeted American diplomatic missions has spread to a number of other Western facilities in the Muslim world, raising the specter Saturday, of a widening protest. Attacks on German and British embassies in Sudan, the ransacking of an American school in Tunisia, a fire at a U.S.-based fast-food restaurant in Lebanon and attacks against multi-national peacekeepers in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula were among the latest targets in protests that turned violent. The unrest reached Australia, where hundreds of demonstrators clashed Saturday with police outside the U.S. Consulate in Sydney. Top Western diplomats warned leaders in countries where the unrest has been most pronounced to ensure the protection of its missions and its people. “I am following the unfolding events with grave concern and call on national authorities in all countries concerned to swiftly ensure the security of diplomatic missions and protect diplomatic staff,” Catherine Ashton, the European Union foreign affairs chief, said in a statement. “It is vitally important leaders across the affected regions should call immediately for
peace and restraint.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took it one step further, warning that the United States would take action to protect its diplomatic facilities if the countries in question did not stop the violence and seek justice for the attacks. “Reasonable people and responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts,” she said Friday. “And we will keep taking steps to protect our personnel around the world.” From Morocco to Malaysia, thousands of Muslims have taken to the streets in recent days — with sometimes deadly results — over the release of a 14-minute trailer, privately produced in the United States, that mocks the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer, child molester and ruthless killer. Despite the firm condemnation by U.S. government officials, some in the Muslim world — especially those raised in regimes in which the government must authorize any film production — cannot accept that a movie like “Innocence of Muslims” can be produced without being sanctioned by Washington, said Council of Foreign Relations scholar Ed Husain.
Catherine’s topless photos carried in Irish Daily Star tabloid
he Republic of Ireland edition of the Irish Daily Star has published photos of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless while on holiday in France. Its editor, Mike O’Kane, said the pictures did not feature in the Northern Ireland or British editions,but a St James’s Palace spokeswoman said there could be “no motivation for this action other than greed”. On Friday, it announced it was suing the publishers of French magazine Closer which first published the photos.
O’Kane said he was “taken aback” by reaction to the story in the UK, claiming the printing of the pictures is only causing upset in Britain and not the rest of Europe. “The duchess would be no different to any other celeb pics we would get in, for example Rihanna or Lady Gaga. “She’s not the future queen of Ireland so really the only place this is causing fury seems to be in the UK.” Speaking to the BBC News Channel, O’Kane added that he printed the photos of the duchess as a “service to our readers”.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
Vista Air crashes in Nigeria and the weekend phenomenon From FEMI FANI-KAYODE HE Dana Air crash and the recent lifting of its suspension from flying in Nigeria once again brought to the fore the issue of plane crashes and the safety of air travel in our
country. The fact of the matter is that ninety nine per cent of fatal air crashes that occurred in Nigeria in the last 10 years took place on a weekend. The question is, why is this so? Is it mere coincidence or is there something more to it? What is so different about those three precious days of Friday, Saturday and Sunday that make up our weekends? What makes planes and helicopters drop from our skies; causes the blood of our people to flow and cuts short so many precious lives on those three days? The facts are as follows: EAS Airline crashed in Kano on May 4, 2002 resulting in the loss of 77 souls. This took place on a weekend. An Aenail spray aircraft belonging to Berfieex Nigeria crashed in Bauchi state on March 6, 2004 and all the souls on board were lost. This was on a weekend. A Nigerian Air Force jet crashed into some farmland in Yar Kanya, Kano state, on Jan 28, 2005 resulting in the loss of the souls on board. This took place on a weekend. Bellview Airlines crashed in Lisa village just outside Lagos on October 22, 2005 claiming 117 souls. This took place on a weekend. Sosolisso Airline crashed in Port Harcourt on December 10, 2005 with 108 souls lost. This took place on a weekend. ADC Airline crashed in Abuja on October 29, 2006 wasting 105 lives. This took place on a weekend. An aircraft belonging to Harka Air crashed in Lagos on June 24, 2005 and all those on board perished. This took place on a weekend. A Nigerian military plane crashed in Oko village, Benue state on September 17, 2006 killing 15 Generals of the Nigerian Army. This took place on a weekend. Four persons died when an OAS service helicopter crashed in Warri, Delta state, on November10, 2006. This took place on a weekend. Wings Aviation
Airline crashed on March 15, 2008 in Cross Rivers state with the loss of six lives. This took place on a weekend. In 2009 and 2010, there were series of small light aircraft crashes including an Air Force jet and helicopter crashes in which several lives were lost. Most of them took place on weekend. An OAS helicopter crashed in Ife Odan in Osun state on July 29, 2011 killing three persons. This took place on a weekend. On June 2, 2012, a Nigerian cargo plane shot off the runway into the highway behind Accra’s Kotoka International Airport crushing 10 Ghanaian nationals that were driving past the airport in a bus to death. This took place on a weekend. The following day, on June 3, 2012 Dana Airlines crashed into a residential area in the suburbs of Lagos leading to the loss of 176 souls. This took place on a weekend. Curiously, the Dana crash of June 3, 2012, took place exactly 10 years and one month (less one day) after the EAS crash of May 4, 2002. This clearly represents the end of a 10-year sacrificial cycle. Another curious fact is that there was an ADC Airline plane crash on November7, 1996 in which 142 souls perished. Exactly 10 years (less nine days) later, on October 29, 2006, another ADC Airline plane crashed killing 105 persons. This again represents the end of a ten-year sacrificial cycle. If sceptics were ready to waive away the weekend crash phenomenon as mere coincidence that had nothing to do with the paranormal, what would they say about the ten-year cycle? Is that a coincidence too? I do not seek to create panic or alarm by sharing this information; neither do I wish to disrespect the dead or be insensitive to the feelings of their bereaved loved ones. I rather believe that we have a duty to find out and expose precisely who and what were responsible for their deaths and do all we can to ensure that such terrible things and strange pattern of events do not reoccur. We owe both the living and the dead that much. Without digging deep, looking within ourselves,
indulging in spiritual reflection and thinking outside the box, we cannot possibly do this. Quite apart from that, I am very mindful of the fact that knowledge is power and we need to begin to gather all the relevant facts and do the research in order to fully appreciate and understand precisely what we are dealing with. All that was done in darkness must be brought to light and all that was hidden must be exposed. Secrecy, strange practices, spiritual wickedness in high places, rituals, sacrifice, ignorance, occultism and mysticism must give way to the power and workings of the Holy Spirit and to the light of truth. They say that to solve a problem, one must first recognise it for what it is. In order to break this jinx and free ourselves from this strange pattern of events and frightful cycle of crashes, the Aviation authorities must continue to work very hard, the necessary reforms must be put in place, the airline operators must be far more mindful of their responsibilities, the flying public must be far more vigilant and, most important of all, we must all pray to the Living God to keep our airspace and our air travellers safe and sound. The importance and efficacy of such prayers cannot be over-emphasised if this evil cycle and pattern must be broken. The great philosopher, C.S. Lewis once said that the greatest trick that the devil ever played on mankind was to make him accept the idea that he does not exist. Many have fallen for that trick, yet the sad truth is that he not only exists, he is also alive and well on planet earth. Worse still, he has many followers and many delight in doing his bidding. After the attack on the United States of America on September 11, 2001, George W. Bush made the following famous statement, ‘’It is enough to know that evil, like good, exists. In those that do such things, evil has found a willing servant’’. This is wisdom. Sadly, evil has found many willing servants in our beloved country, Nigeria. May the souls of those that perished in our skies continue to rest in perfect peace. Happy flying. •Femi Fani-Kayode is a former Minister of Aviation.
Igbo factor in Nigerian history and politics By ABIA ONYIKE INCE Nigeria came into being as a creation of British colonialism, the Igbo nationality – one of the three major groups in a nation – state of over 200 ethnic nationalities – has notably demonstrated two main approaches to resolving the national question in Nigeria. The first approach or tendency is what may be referred to as Zikism (the ideas and practice of Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe’s pan-Nigerianism) and Ojukwuism (the struggle for Igbo selfdetermination/Aburi Accord or outright quest for autonomy as an independent nation-state). The paradox in Nigeria’s political culture is such that the two main strategies put forward by these Igbo sons in the course of their struggle to survive and contribute to the advancement of humanity, have often been distorted and disparaged by revisionists and rabble-rousers whose main preoccupation is to ensure that Nigeria remains permanently in confusion and without direction. Thus, while the Igbo are castigated for being too Nigerian, they are also at the same time discriminated against for having fought to pull out of the Nigerian federation. The revisionists often overlook the fundamental fact that the Biafran struggle was in the main a resistance against the genocidal politics of the Northern hegemonists and their allies in the Western region. Pan-Nigerianism was promoted by the Argonauts (the first generation Igbo intelligentsia, who studied in the United States of America), after their return in the 1930s and 40s. Their American education and exposure to Western political ideas made them to adopt a positive mindset on the need to build a modern Nigerian nation. These leaders, which included Azikiwe, Nwafor Orizu, Ozumba Mbadiwe and Mbonu Ojike, played active roles in the anti-colonial movement, which led to Nigeria’s independence in 1960. In fact, Azikiwe – a pan-Africanist who was greatly influenced by Marcus Garvey
and Gweggy Aggrey, was committed to the liberation of Africans from colonial racism. To underscore his vision for Africa’s emancipation, his earliest works were two books on Africa, namely: Liberia in World Politics (1935) and Renascent Africa (1937). With the formation of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), led by Herbert Macualay, Zik became the first General Secretary and took over leadership of the party after Macaulay’s death. Azikiwe created the most powerful newspaper chain in the colonial period, The West African Pilot. Thus, the Nigerian Youth Movement and the nationalist front, which it created (NCNC) bequeated a legacy of “sharp anti-colonial rhetoric and mass oriented activities”. According to Timothy Uzodinma Nwala, “it was the NCNC and its leadership that infused radical ideas in the Nigerian youth and the masses in general.” It was in recognition of these facts that Adebayo Williams once remarked that, “Zik fired the imagination of the young Nigerians with his political daringdo, through his numerous lectures and speeches. It was thus in the Nigerian press that the intellectual and political foundation of modern Nigerian nationalism was laid.” The barrage of anti-imperialist write-ups let loose by the West African Pilot, the general strike of 1945 led by Michael Imoudu and the anti-colonial drive of the militant youth organization - the Zikist movement - in the 1940s did not go down well with the colonial authorities. They came down heavily on the movement. The Zikist organization was banned in 1948, while its leadership cadres were arrested and jailed. Some of the leaders of the Zikist movement included Osita Agwuna, Nduka Eze, Mokwugo Okoye, Ikenna Nzimiro, M.C.K. Ajuluchukwu, Kola Balogun, Tony Enahoro, Sa’ad Zungur, T.O.S. Benson, Sunday Achara, Bob Ogbuagu, R.B.K. Okafor, Peter Osugo, Raji Abdallah, etc. Within the same period, the colonial overlords worked on a strategy of balka-
nising the anti-colonial movement. The British intelligence service sponsored and financed the emergence of tribal and separatist political parties in the Western and Northern regions to short-circuit the NCNC. This gave rise to the emergence of the Action Group (AG) in 1951 - an offshoot of the Egbe-Omo Oduduwa (formed in London in 1948), and the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) - an offshoot of Jami’iyyar Mutanen Arewa. These developments, coupled with the cross-carpeting saga in the Western Region Assembly in 1954, put a final nail on the coffin of panNigerianism. Nigerian politics became a study in tribalism and ethnicism and was stalemated in the run-up to the pseudoindependence of 1960. Shortly after independence, the Northern feudal oligarchy, which controlled the NPC, commenced a major foray into the Western Region through a process of internal subversion, infiltration and co-optation. Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, who was Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s right hand man and with whom he sailed back to Nigeria on the same ship after their law studies in London in 1948, decided to align with the Northern oligarchs. Akintola, the Ogbomosho-born journalist, lawyer and charismatic politician, fluent speaker of Hausa language, may have decided to reconnect with his childhood Northern friends, having been taken up North by his father in 1914, when he was barely four years old. Before the confrontation between Awo and Akintola (and by extension the Northern oligarchy, which Akintola worked for as their lackey in the Western Region), certain events which were to alter the Nigerian political scene were taking place. Awo was in touch with Samuel Goomsu Ikoku – Nigeria’s first economist and well-grounded Marxist intellectual. Ikoku graduated (1949) from the London School of Economics and Political Science with a masters degree at the age of 21, having studied under the influential British socialist ideologue, Harold Laski, who advised his African students to go home
and make revolutions in their countries. Ikoku’s father, Dr. Alvan Azinna Ikoku, a personal friend of Kweggy Aggrey, also graduated in 1928 from the University of London and was President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers in the early 1950s. Ikoku introduced Awolowo to Kwame Nkrumah (two of them being alumni of Achimota Grammar School in Ghana). Ikoku also brought Awo into socialist political pedagogy. Ikoku accompanied Awo to the 1953 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada, and they spent three weeks in the study of socialist dialectics and how to apply it to the Nigerian situation. By 1962, Awo had turned full circle. He abandoned the conservative politics of aboriginal ideology and asked Ikoku to prepare the working documents for the adoption of “Democratic Socialism” as the ideological platform of the Action Group. At the 1962 Jos Convention of the party, Akintola and his supporters were expelled, while Ikoku took over from Ayo Rosiji as General Secretary of the AG. So, it was the struggle between the Northern and Western regional power blocks, which reached a crescendo with the crisis of the 1964 general elections and the crisis surrounding the 1965 causes figures as well as the imprisonment of Awolowo, that gave birth to military intervention in January 1966 with the countercoup of July 1966 and the pogrom, which triggered the slide to the 30-month civil war in Nigeria. The contribution of the late Biafran leader, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, to Nigerian politics was to make the point that if pan-Nigerianism, which Zik and the Argonauts articulated, was collapsed by the intransigence of ethnic irredentists and their fellow separatists, the Igbo nationality had an inalienable right to struggle for self-determination. Given Nigeria’s past and present realities, the Igbo factor in the making of the Nigerian nation remains a permanent imprint on the conscience of all patriotic Nigerians.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
Opinion Realities of new Lagos Traffic Law IGERIA is largely a lawless society where many people feel that resistance to positive change is a way of life. While some states are making laws and executing policies and programmes to stem varying degrees of lawlessness, many others are indifferent and lack the political will to act, particularly those who use thugs to rig elections. To anybody who has lived in the chaotic city of Lagos for a long time, the Lagos State Government could not have been wrong in the idea behind the new traffic law, which came into effect on August 2, 2012. It is long overdue for a city that is making a difference and showing the way to go in Nigeria. No matter how slow the process might be, if Lagos State must transform into a megacity and remain the centre of excellence and flagship state in Nigeria, the government and people of Lagos State must take certain harsh decisions even though they may not sound sweet in the ears of those who don’t want change for the benefit and progress of the state and Nigeria at large. The Lagos State Road Traffic Law 2012 replaced the Road Traffic Law of 2004 and it is intended to address seeming gaps, which were not covered in the old law. According to Fashola, the new law, among other things, seeks to “eradicate the diverse, anti-social, abnormal and dangerous practices associated with traffic operations in the state; and envisages a condition of free flow of traffic and orderly transportation as part of its mega city blueprint project.” Road transportation must concern Nigerians because it is in truth the only existing means of intra transportation except for a little percentage of marine and rail transportation. It is for this reason that everything good, bad and ugly happen on the roads and for a crowded city like Lagos, effective traffic control measures cannot be over-emphasized. All over the world, traffic laws are made to primarily ensure order and free flow of traffic for the safety of all road users, including the erring drivers. So therefore, penal provisions in such laws merely serve to ensure compliance with the traffic laws. We dare say they should not be generally intended to harass, intimidate and extort money from motorists. However, there are some realities the new law and its implementation must address. This is so because the Lagos State Government cannot
afford to be seen first as barking motorists, and without biting and secondly as a this leaves the wicked and insensitive governdriver confused, ment. Therefore, a balance must especially if he is be struck. not used to those An analysis of some of the routes. And in reasons why motorists break such difficult traffic rules in Lagos or other times and notoriparts of the country will show ous places, that in some cases, the governd e c e n c y ment has not done all that is demands that required of it in terms of provithere should be a sion of infrastructures like BY EMMA OKAH traffic control pedestrian bridges or road operative to just email@example.com, repairs, posting effective and point at the right 08033211999 bold road signs in appropriate direction and the places, enlightenment, etc. This driver will simwill help to streamline compliance and help traf- ply follow. On the contrary, what you see in fic flow rather than waiting for defaulters and some places where such difficulties exist is that collecting fines. the traffic officers, rather than help out, hide Where a road is under construction, the con- somewhere nearby in wait for anybody to make tractor and LASTMA should be duty bound to the expected mistakes and they jump out to place bold road signs showing new directions of extort money or arrest the driver. traffic flow, diversions and distortions or creation There are cases where a driver may be conof ad-hoc routes, etc. This is because, although fused or missing his way and would need the ignorance of the law is not an excuse, ignorance assistance of a LASTMA official to help him of the facts can be in some cases. The govern- point to the right direction, but they will not be ment must be satisfied that the erring motorist there. The LASG needs to work on this because has every reason to know the facts constituting the essence of the new traffic laws is not to his offence. If therefore, he chooses otherwise, ensnare or enslave the people, but to make them then he has himself to blame. use the road infrastructure conveniently and live The traffic control measures have generated happily in Lagos State. employment for a good number of people and Severity of punishment under the new law is a we must commend the Lagos State government source of great concern. It is difficult to change for the bold step in removing idle hands from the people overnight, but in order to achieve some street. However, this does not obviate the fact level of sustainability through people participathat these are Nigerians and they possess all the tion in the new traffic regime; the law must take good and the bad about us. It includes the get into account the prevailing economic circumrich quick syndrome, inability to handle tasks stances of our people. Majority of Nigerians are efficiently without close monitoring and horse- living generally below poverty line and cannot whipping, corruption and impoliteness in their afford additional burden. relationship with others. The average Nigerian is The provision of the law relating to forfeiture angry, bitter and hostile in many respects. These of vehicle for a mere traffic offence is rather draoperators must be watched closely and sanc- conian and should be revisited. This sanction is tioned in appropriate cases. strange and extreme. It cannot be justified that Therefore, the first reality LASG must face is for simply driving against the traffic, especially the training and orientating of all traffic opera- if there is nothing more than that, the driver or tives to be people-friendly. owner who may not be the driver should forfeit Sometimes, on-the-spot enlightenment can the vehicle to the state. What will happen if the help a lot than just setting traps for innocent vehicle in question belongs to Lagos State govmotorists. There are situations where certain ernment? In our view, this is unjust before man road junctions, roundabouts and spots are not and offensive before God and should be amendproperly marked by road signs to guide innocent ed to wear a human face.
In the same vein, the imposition of fines as much as N20,000 or more for simple traffic offences will also need review. Many motorists who pay half of that money as fine for traffic offence at this time of economic hardship go home pained and may not likely commit such offences with their two eyes open. The fines for traffic offences should at least be humane, while strict implementation is guaranteed. Prohibiting counting of money, eating or drinking, while driving without further qualification is also unrealistic and difficult to enforce; no driver will eat amala and ewedu or akamu and beans while driving, but to expect that drivers cannot even eat gala or drink water while in traffic jams is clearly off the point. Sometimes, Lagos traffic could be chaotic, especially when it rains, and keeping people on the road for hours without biscuit, sweet, snack or water to refresh looks unrealistic. While we support sanity in our roads, especially in Lagos, some of these provisions and many more in the new law may be difficult to enforce. All kinds of offences have been listed under the law and some are as trivial and elementary as, for example, if you listen to your radio in the car or wave your hand to a fellow driver. The way the law stands today, LASG will require one traffic official to every three vehicles to fully implement this law. When provisions of a traffic law designed to address a serious situation like we have in Lagos State are seen as watery, trivial and difficult to enforce, they will become laughable and no longer serve the intended purpose. Although the implementation of this new law also has its revenue potential and economic advantage, road users and the Lagos State government are expected to co-operate so that sanity is restored on our roads. There is need for arresting officers to exercise moral discretion in the discharge of their duties to achieve this. Driving an unregistered vehicle, for instance, would attract a penalty of N20,000 for a first offender, and N30,000 if repeated. What happens if the arrested vehicle is on transit from Cotonou or has just been bought from a car shop and would need to be driven home before registration? Will the law also punish such a driver? While we commend the new law, there is need for a review of some of its provisions for the good and happiness of the people of Lagos State.
Power supply: A journey of promise By UCHE ANEKE IGERIA, with a population of over 160 million people at the moment, can only boast of peak power generation capacity of 4,322MW with an installed available generation capacity of 6,174MW and an average power generation of 3,834MW. This figure is very insufficient compared to the energy needs of the country. For instance, South Africa, with a population of 47 million people, generates 40,000MW, yet the country has been experiencing power outages and load shedding: an indication of demand outstripping supply. And similarly, even India with 170,000MW cannot keep up with demand. Even though there are reports of alleged drop in power supply in some parts of the country, Nigerians are not melancholic about this poor state of power supply and growth. Instead, there has been wild jubilation across the country over the recent increase in the peak power generation. The reason for this jubilation is not far-fetched. It has never been so for a very long time in the history of Nigeria. In short, what we had in the past years had been very low and epileptic power supply, or put succinctly, dark days. Critics of this new development were quick to describe the recent increase in power supply as mere seasonal increase, arguing that the increase will fade away after the raining season. This position has, however, been flawed as those who understand the workings of the power sector were quick to acknowledge that the increase in power supply was due to obvious commitment of the Federal Government. Mr. Simon Kolawole, immediate past editor of ThisDay, in
a television programme was quick to remind the critics that the level of power supply available now has never been achieved before. In his words, “The level of power supply available now was not available this time last year or the year before, even with the rainy season.” What can be deduced from this argument, whether for or against, is that power supply has increased. The Nigerian government takes credit for this development due to methodical and efficient implementation of the Roadmap for Power Sector Reform, which was launched by President Goodluck Jonathan in August 2010. The sector has not only witnessed steady growth and rise in the power delivery since then, but has experienced tremendous reforms resulting in increased generation as a result of rehabilitation of existing FGN plants and addition of new generation capacity through the NIPP. Speaking on this development in the power sector, Chief Emeka Aroh, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Enugu State, described the present power situation as a ‘ray of hope’ for the people of this country. He said he was happy to see residents of Enugu State enjoy uninterrupted light in recent times. Similarly, Alhaji Sule Mohammed, a businessman resident in Kano, while acknowledging the improvement in power supply in the state called on the government to redouble its efforts to ensure sustained rise in power supply. The testimony cuts across the low and mighty. President Jonathan, while declaring open this year’s annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association, publicly gave an endorsement of the success in the power sector, particularly the rise in power supply. The new Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP), Engr Reynolds Dagogo-Jack, while fielding ques-
tions from State House Correspondents, stated that the Task Force could only ensure an increasing trend in power generation capacity. He expressed confidence in the ability of the staff of the Presidential Task Force and that of the Ministry of Power in ensuring continued rise in power supply. Given the Power Sector Reform institutions and enablers already in place and the total value alignment achieved, in addition to investors’ confidence evidenced by increased investment and signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU), the future of the sector is very bright. Minister of State for Power, Darius Ishaku, a diligent, hardworking and team leader, who the responsibility of moving the power sector forward has been entrusted following the resignation of the former Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, is focused and well-positioned to move the sector forward, having been equally on the driving seat since the implementation of the Roadmap for Power Sector Reform. Professor Nnaji affirmed this ability in the Minister of State when he described him as very dedicated during his hand-over ceremony. In addition to the Minister of State for Power’s ability to move the power sector forward, there are a number of ongoing activities that would surely stimulate growth and speed up realization of government’s power delivery targets. For instance, there has been upgrade and improvement of power plants in Shiroro, Ughelli, Egbin and Omotosho aimed at improving the nation’s power supply. Similarly, government has also increased gas supply to thermal generation plants such as Geregu, Ughelli and Olorunsogo power plants. This is in recognition of the fact that gas supply to power plants still remains a major determinant to power genera-
tion in the country as 70% of Nigeria’s power generation comes from thermal stations, while the remaining 30% is from hydro stations. The National Integrated Power Generation Projects are not left out. The Omothoso, Sapele, Geregu and Ihovbor power projects are progressing as scheduled. The gas turbine construction at 5 ELPS-linked plants is expected to be fully completed by December 2012, while the combined cycle at Olorunsogo is to be completed by March 2013. The simple cycle turbine construction at Alaoji will also be completed by December 2012. There are other new initiatives in the area of Hydro Power Projects and renewable energy; when achieved these will lead to additional increase in power supply. Added to this is government’s focus of delivery on scheduled TCN and NIPP transmission lines. The government is also working towards ensuring a successful privatization and smooth hand-over of FGN generating assets to private sector, which would ensure efficient power supply in the country. It is on record that bids from shortlisted companies for generation and distribution were received on July 17 and 31, 2012, respectively. Government is duty bound to ensure the successful completion of privatization of the power sector while maintaining integrity in the entire process as well as safeguard the public and investors’ interest. This will definitely ensure that the country gets it right in the power sector and further enhance increase in power generation capacity of the nation. •Uche Aneke, Public Affairs Analyst, Abuja 08033481569 Uche_aneke@yahoo.com
September 16, 2012
Sports By ONYEWUCHI NWACHUKWU ime appears to be ticking away for Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, following the deluge of criticism that has trailed his
performance in the team’s 2–2 draw in the first leg, final qualifying round of the 2 0 1 3 Nations C u p against the Lone Star
Gold medallist calls for improved welfare By MADUABUCHI KALU
…Happy with Jonathan’s promise
gold medallist at the 2012 Paralympics in the 82kg weight category and world recorder holder in powerlifting, Grace Ebere Anozie, has called on the federal government to improved the welfare of special athletes in the country. Anozie, who is one of the special athletes that made the country proud at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, said that the government should take the welfare of special athletes seriously, so that it would be a source of motivation to other physically challenged
individuals in the country to take to sports instead of wasting their lives ruing their condition. “I want the Nigerian government to rehabilitate the physically challenged persons in the country using sports as a platform. The welfare of physically challenged persons in Nigeria as it were, is nothing to write home about. “Any time an athlete has a serious injury, that would be the end for him or her because nobody cares for them. Our general welfare is nothing to talk about.” Anozie continued: “Government should insure our lives, we need cars, we need homes of our own and we want our children to go to good schools. In some other countries, once you are known as a sportsperson, the government would be taking care of you and would make your life meaningful to the envy of nonsports personalities. “Unfortunately, many of us in the country cannot afford our children’s school fees and yet, we are representing our country, winning and setting world records for the nation. I would, therefore, advise President Goodluck Jonathan to ponder over this and do something urgent in this direction,” she pleaded. The athlete expressed her joy for winning gold after the disappointing outing of Team Nigeria at the main Olympics, also held in London last month. She was grateful to President Jonathan for making a promise to set
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Gush! Nigerian girls are beautiful –De Kruif …Says I almost passed out first day I took pepper soup By ONYEWUCHI NWACHUKWU
ike soldiers and policemen, football coaches are usually far away from their homes while discharging their duties. On the road, they are exposed to all kinds of temptations
of Liberia in Monrovia last weekend. Though the Chief Coach of the team, Stephen Keshi, has quickly risen to the defence of his fumbling goalkeeper by exonerating him from any blame in recent interviews he granted members of the press. A n
official of the team revealed that the coaches were actually miffed by Enyeama’s inconsistent displays in recent times for the team. The official, who is an integral part of the squad, disclosed that Keshi was actually trying to dispel any insinuation that there were cracks in the team by coming to the defence of the Israeli-based goaltender. “The truth is that the coaches are fed up with Enyeama’s antics in front of the goal, but Keshi had to do what he did to prevent his case from further tearing the team apart,” the official, who was in Monrovia with the Eagles revealed. Commenting on why the technical crew had chosen to stick with Enyeama despite glaring signs that he was match rusty, which was orchestrated by his inactivity at Lille in France throughout last season, the official explained that the coaches felt that since the game against Liberia was a big one, Enyeama, having tasted action at the highest level of football at World Cup finals, should be able to rise to the occasion. “We agree that Enyeama has been fumbling in the recent time, but the thinking of the coaches was that as a big player, he would have been able to live up to his pedigree by putting up a credible performance and at the same time, inspire and coordinate the other members of the squad, especially the defenders. But unfortunately, he rubbished all the indices the coaches used in giving him a place in the starting line up ahead of Austin Ejide and Chigozie Agbim.” Our source also dismissed fears in certain quarters that the other goalkeepers in the team might be worse than Enyeama if given the nod to man the goalpost, insisting that the duo of Ejide and Agbim was in the form of their lives and could do better anytime they were called upon. “From what I saw during our training sessions, Ejide and Agbim are top quality goalkeepers. Their abilities are not in doubt, but as you know, it is the prerogative of the coaches to chose who starts a particular game.” According to the official, the worst aspect of Enyeama’s antic was the nonchalant posture he usually portrays after committing horrendous blunders in goal. “We all make mistakes, but the attitude we put up after such mistakes sends some signals across. In the case of Enyeama, his attitude after committing blunders is usually quite appalling. He believes that conceding cheap goals is no big deal. “What most players do is to show respect to their teammates and coaches by apologising after committing such blunders, But Enyeama would never do that. I think he needs to imbibe the virtues of humility and try to show remorse for his mistakes because arrogance will take him nowhere.”
courtesy of the scores of delectable women they come in contact with in the absence of their loved ones, especially their wives. For Lodewijk de Kruif, the former Dutch coach of Nigeria Premier League side, Heartland FC of Owerri, his case was made worse because his wife and two children were based in Holland, while he worked in Owerri, a city where beautiful women and enjoyment are not in short supply. Endowed with good looks and a fabulous physique, the Dutchman must have definitely had hell of a time trying to steer clear of Nigerian ladies that got attracted to him or vice versa. Asked how he survived the lure of the bevy of ladies in Owerri and other cities he visited while travelling round the country with Heartland to play away matches, de Kruif admitted that Nigerian is blessed with women who could melt the heart of Pharaoh. But he was quick to add that the thought of his wife and two children back home in Holland would always keep him focused. “Honestly, I have seen very beautiful girls in this country, but I cannot afford to get entangled with women here because, as you know, I have a wife and children who are back home in Holland,” the ex-Heartland tactician told Sports Splash. It was vintage De Kruif, who shot from the hips about the politics that surrounds his planned return to Heartland FC after almost two years on the saddle, his favourite Nigerian delicacy and why he would share in the credit of Heartland's recent Federation Cup victory, even when he was not on the bench during the matches. Enjoy the interview. Favourite Nigerian food We, the Europeans, are not used to spicy foods, but when I arrived in Nigeria, I discovered that there were a lot of nice delicacies around. It took me time to get used to some of the meals. However, as time went on, my friends started encouraging me to eat more of Nigerian food and in the process, I began to get used to some of them, especially pepper soup. I like chicken pepper soup. But I was discouraged the first day I took it because I almost got chocked to death due to the enormous pepper that spiced it up. My friends later taught me how to eat it without getting into trouble with the pepper and since then, I have not looked back. I enjoy it! Contract with Heartland The first time I joined Heartland, I signed a oneand-half-year contract with the management of the club, which expired in June 2012. After the expiration, I met the governor (Owelle Rochas Okorocha) and we have been negotiating on a new contract, which would see me return to the team. In fact, during our discussion, the governor asked me to go back to the team, but the people at Heartland refused to allow me to take charge. I have a lot of respect for Owelle Rochas Okorocha. He has proved to be a good friend and I believe that both of us will reach an amicable conclusion soon. But where it fails, I'll gladly move on to discuss with any other club that indicates interest in securing my services. Players more important than officials For me, players should be given preference before any other segment of people in a football club. That is why in my management style, I do everything possible to protect the interest of my players. If they are not motivated, your job as a coach becomes more difficult and risky. Any coach, who fails to take his players into consideration, is very close to his sack because players, who are not inspired, cannot give their best. Nigerian players I usually categorise players' abilities into three mentally, physically and tactically. Nigerian players are immensely talented. They are sound tactically and physically, but I think they have some problems in the mental aspect of the game. However, it is the responsibility of De Kruif
Continued on page 59
September 16, 2012 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
SundaySUN Sports True confession
I went to Olympics Katsina agog! with only one boxer T
…As 2012 MTN Int’l Polo takes centre stage
By MADUABUCHI KALU he last Olympics in London could pass as the worst outing for Nigeria since she gained independence from Britain in 1960. The country won, not even a single medal at the 2012 Summer Games despite participating in many sporting events. Boxing, which used to be one of the country’s strength in the past did not fare better either, as the most Nigeria could attain in that event was the quarterfinal ouster of the only female boxer in the country’s contingent. Meanwhile, the Nigerian boxing team, made up of three boxers, it has been revealed, were reduced to only a boxer during the actual competition. Sunday Sunsports got this much from the Secretary of Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF), Dr Patrick Uwagbale in a recent chat in his office, while throwing light on what transpired at the Olympics that ended last month. Dr Uwagbale, however, assured that effort would be made to ensure that Nigeria would not be disgraced in future international sports events. Meanwhile, the Edo State-born sports administrator was full of praises for the only female boxer in the team for her exploits, even as he declared that he knew that there was no way the boxer would have won gold at the Games since she was not ranked by the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA), just like no Nigerian boxer is ranked by the body. It might sound unbelievable, but for coming from the horse’s mouth, there is no reason anybody should doubt the authenticity of the fact that Nigeria went to the Olympics in London with an injured boxer. “I can’t deny that fact, it’s true that we went to London with an injured boxer and the second one, probably because of lack of exposure, developed emergency high blood pressure when his event was about to commence. His blood pressure shot up to 180/100 and somebody in that health condition couldn’t have entered the ring for a fight. I believe that it was fear and inferiority complex that caused his sickness,” Dr Uwagbale stated. “With two of our boxers out of the contest, it was only Edith Ogeke that was left out
of the three, and she did very well. I must confess that she performed beyond my expectations. She fought up to the quarterfinals, which was a no mean feat for a first timer. “Ogeke beat world No. 2. At a point, people were asking about where she came from considering the fact that she is not rated by AIBA just like every other Nigerian boxer. So, even if Ogeke had beaten every boxer at the Olympics black and blue, no judge would have declared her the winner because, as far as AIBA is concerned, she is an outside. “That was exactly what happened to Chika Chukwumerije in Beijing in 2008. Chukwumerije was openly robbed in Beijing because he wanted to unsettle the system, which the organisers would never allow to happen.” The boxing administrator continued: “Another major problem we have in the country is lack of training facilities for our athletes. There is no standard gym in the country, no camp, except the one in
– Uwagbale Benin, which is poorly equipped. So, we have many factors to address if we truly
want to reposition boxing in Nigeria,” Dr Uwagbale explained.
he ancient kingdom of Katsina is awash with excitement of the 2012 Katsina International Polo Tournament, which got underway yesterday with telecommunications giant, MTN, leading the way as big names in Nigerian polo vie for honours in the annual festival. As the first tournament of the Nigerian polo season, the Katsina outing is clearly one of the biggest annual events in the country, which has continually attracted the biggest crowd ever, even as it has remained a must-attend for all the top teams in the country. The event, which galloped off in grand style at the legendary Usman Nagogo Polo Ground in Katsina, seems to be the most competitive and the most exciting in years with the traditional backing of MTN Nigeria. Revered as the ‘Home of Nigerian Polo’, Katsina 2012 attracted a record line up of popular Nigerian polo teams and players, whose show of talents and skills complemented the participation of renowned international players from Europe, Argentina and South Africa. A record of about 35 teams, an unprecedented number of 500 thoroughbred horses and over 200 battle ready players were confirmed for the fiesta. According to the Katsina Polo captain, Prince Umar Kabir-Usman, over 20 teams of different categories were competing for top honours in the 10-day extravaganza. The teams came from Abuja, Kaduna, Zaria, Bauchi, Minna, Jos, Yola, Port
Egbunike, Onyali to partner Team Anambra By OJIEVA EHIOSUN nambra State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Dr Edozie Okay Aroh, has revealed that the duo of Innocent Egbunike and Mary Onyali, with other sports professionals in the state, would partner Team Anambra at the Eko 2012 National Sports Festival slated for November. The renowned banker turned sports administrator, stated this while inaugurating a 13-man Main Organising Committee (MOC) for the Eko 2012 at the Government House in Awka, Anambra State. The commissioner maintained that the Sports Ministry was fully ready to rewrite Anambra State history in Lagos in November this year. His words: “We have discovered in recent times that Anambra State has had dwindling and series of poor performances in major sports competitions in the country and we are not happy about it. So,
now that we have people who are totally committed to the development of sports in the state, we are ready to turn things around for good. “We are not only going to Lagos to harvest medals, but we are going there with the mind set of rewriting the sports history of Anambra State and as well, take the state back to its premier position in Nigerian sports.” On the state’s decision to seek the services of key Nigerian Olympians, he added: “We appreciate the contributions of some Nigerian professionals in developing sports in the country. The like of Innocent Egbunike, Mary Onyali, Chioma Ajunwa, the late Sunday Bada to mention a few, did the nation proud through their individual efforts. So, our decision to partner with them was based on their track records in sports. “Don’t forget, Egbunike and Onyali are indigenes of Anambra State. We believe in them and feel that they still have a lot to offer us. Their
presence in our camp, we believe, will ginger our athletes to go for laurels at the forthcoming National Sports Festival in Lagos. Make no mistake about it, Team Anambra State is out to break the age-long jinx and shake off the underachiever status that has trailed the state in recent times in sports outings,” he said. As part of the build up for the National Sports Festival, Anambra State has fixed September 25 - 28 for its own sports festival aimed at fishing out raw talents that would be prepared for the forthcoming
sports fiesta in Lagos. “To show our total commitment to the development of sports in the state, we have fixed our own state sports festival for September 25 - 28. We intend to use the event to fish out talents and give them the necessary training they might require so that they can be useful to themselves, the state, and the society. World over, the people that excel in various sporting events are children from poor homes. So, we want to use sports as a vanguard to take our youths out of the streets and keep them off crimes.
Harcourt and Sokoto, which would be playing its first Nigerian Polo Federation (NPF) after it had made several attempts at reviving the game in the ‘Seat of the Caliphate’. According to Dahiru Bagiwa, Katsina as host, fielded teams for all the major prizes at stake in the rumble that would be decided over eight days of top-flight games. “The expectations are very high this year because we are fully prepared for the challenges ahead. All our teams would be well mounted for the battle royal, which would pit top rivals in a winnertakes-all warfare,” he said few days before the tournament kicked off. “There are plenty of reasons to play for in Katsina. Apart from the fact that it sets you off for the rest of the season, its ambience and the history behind it makes it a mustwin for any serious polo player or team, and Katsina teams will take everything on their stride to ensure a good take off this season,” he added. “The facts are there that the Katsina event has always been competitive. But we are no strangers to high profile competitors, particularly from Kaduna, Abuja and Bauchi. My only advice to them is that they should come fully prepared and fight till the last ounce of their blood because the home teams are in killer mood,” he warned. The combatants in the high stake Katsina polo rumble will include Mohammed Babangida’s Kaduna Profile, Hadi Sirika’s Abuja Rubicon, Abubakar Kari’s Bauchi Kari, Hon. Aliyu Wadada’s Keffi Ponys and Dawule Baba’s DeeBee Farms, which is the defending champion. The ancient kingdom boasts a number of medium and low goal teams like Katsina Kangiwa, Katsina Max Air, Katsina Gobarau, Katsina Danmasani, Katsina Masanawa, Yar’Adua’s Hajara Farms, Sani Stores’ Katsina Tarno and lately, Katsina IT Sec, among others. On the road, one or two of the Katsina teams are usually enough to work up the crowd before their teeming fans at the legendary Nagogo Ground, where they play with the full compliments of their resource, they let the sparks fly all over the ground all too easily. Over the years, Katsina players may have created such an intimidating reputation, but the top prizes won’t necessarily follow them home. Quite often, they do get as much as they give, especially from Kaduna, Abuja, Yola, Bauchi and now, Zaria, which is firing on all cylinders.
September 16 , 2012
SundaySUN Sports Osaze ruins West Brom ut-of-favour Super Eagles’ striker, Osaze Odemwingie, became a villain by bagging the red in the 37th minute as his club, West Brom, fell 3–0 to Fulham at Craven Cottage in one of the English Premier League matches played yesterday.
The Nigerian winger, who had been promoted to the Baggies’ starting XI following an impressive substitute appearance in their 2–0 win over Everton, lost possession before wildly swiping at Fulham’s rightback, Riether, from behind. Referee, Roger East, had no option than to brandish the red card and it left Albion facing an uphill task, as the team failed to extend its best start to a Premier League season to a fourth match without defeat.
English Premier League Results Norwich C. Arsenal Aston Villa Fulham Man. U. QPR. Stoke C. Sunderland
0-0 6-1 2-0 3-0 4-0 0-0 1-1 1-1
West Ham Southampton Swansea C. West Brom Wigan Athletic Chelsea Man C. Liverpool
Gold medallist calls for improved welfare Continued from page 57 up a committee that would look into the plight of physically challenged athletes in the country to ensure that their welfare and training facilities were improved. “I am very happy for winning gold in my class and setting both Paralympics and world records. I am highly delighted. “I also want to express my gratitude to President Goodluck Jonathan for remembering that people like us exist. I am happy because, before we returned to the country last Monday, we were informed that Mr. President has announced that he was going to set up a committee to look into our welfare and our sports. For mentioning that, it means that he knows that we exist. Even if nothing is done afterwards, which is not my prayer, I still thank him for remembering us,” Anozie said.
‘I almost passed out first day I took pepper soup’ Continued from page 57 we, the coaches, to help them overcome their mental deficiency. Another thing I discovered was that the most talented Nigerian players are not even playing in the Premier League or division one competition, but they are on the streets playing football in all corners of the country. Credit for Federation Cup I didn't feel bad that I was not on the bench when Heartland defeated Lobi Stars to lift the Federation Cup at the Teslim Balogun Stadium recently. I was at the stadium that day. Even though I was not allowed to sit on the bench, I was there to give my moral support to the team. I wished the team well throughout the game and my joy knew no bounds when eventually Heartland won the game. In fact, because of the level of elation I felt, I had to restrain myself from jumping onto the pitch when Brendan Ogbu scored the winning goal in the dying minutes of the game. I want to state unequivocally that winning the Federation Cup was the culmination of the work we had done together in the team in the past two years and everybody who follows football closely in the country knows where the credit should go.
SUNDAY SUN SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
POWER GAME SERIES
North and quest to review 1999 constitution From: ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Kaduna
ONG before the National Assembly set up its committees to review the 1999 constitution, the northern leaders through the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), led by its chairman and Niger State governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, began the agitation for the review of the current revenue formula. They insisted that there was need to deplore more resources to the states, especially the northern states, so as to tackle the endemic poverty in the region. While the agitation lasted, the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), led by Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, sent in their contributions on what they felt should be tinkered with in the alteration of the constitution. Chief among the proposals was that all but one, voted in favour of a state police. Weeks after making the submission, the NSGF, again through its chairman, Aliyu, came out to distance themselves from the earlier position of the NGF, saying that contrary to the earlier position, the 19 northern states, as a body was never in support of state police, even as it backed the retention of the two term of four years for President and governors, as against President Jonathan’s proposal of a seven year single term for President and governors. But Jonah Jang of Plateau State, has since publicly declared his support for the establishment of state police, just as the Bauchi State governor, Isa Yuguda has equally cautioned his northern brothers not to resurrect the already settled offshore/onshore matter. As the controversy over some of the issues likely to be up for amendment rages, stakeholders have continued to meet to discuss on how best to go about the issues and the amendment. The most recent being the meeting of President Goodluck Jonathan with Civil Society groups and other professional associations at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Speaking on the occasion, President Jonathan noted that the desire to bequeath to Nigerians a “people-oriented constitution” which would ensure development, progress and prosperity of the nation, informed the decision of the government to organize the retreat. According to him, his government believes in the rule of law, and as such believes that the country’s constitution should be amended according to its provisions, adding that the Presidency would soon send its proposed bill for the amendment of the constitution along with the Belgore’s Committee report on the Review of the Constitution, to the National Assembly’s committees on the Review of the 1999 constitution. Hear him: “Our collective aspiration must be realized in our time. In a democracy, sovereignty lies with the people and it is the people that can create the constitution that governs their daily existence. We must consolidate the virtues of our common heritage, reaffirm our common destiny and indeed, collectively resolve to guarantee the greatness of our dream country. “These cannot be realized without creating understanding and securing consensus through dialogue, and commitment to the cause of our nationhood. One instrument that has served as the ligament that holds the nation together is our national constitution. It would be important therefore that the constitution must be the people’s construction. “Constitution-making or review in a democracy should not be an elitist undertaking. It must be processed through a strategic and far-reaching consultation with the people. That is the spirit of democracy. “A constitution that can guarantee true democracy must flow from the ideas and experiences of the people, not just the people in the corridors of power, but also the people in the market places and the public squares,” he added. To the Civil society groups, Jonathan said: “you were invited because you are close to the people and understand their fears and desires. There is a compelling need for us to work together in this historic enterprise of the constitution making. We cannot complete the constitutional review process until we hear all the voices of the people of Nigeria. “You have been invited to this retreat because I believe that you share with me a passion for a Nigeria that is built on justice, equal opportunity, responsibility and a deep sense of community. I truly believe that together we can achieve this vision for today and for tomorrow,” the President said, adding that “we do not want to extract from you any commitment on any of the proposals for the review of the constitution.” On his part, the Deputy Senate President and Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review, Ike Ekweremadu, appealed to Nigerians and the current leadership at all levels of government to show statesmanship and exhibit highest
•Aliyu Chairman (NSGF) level of patriotism in the on-going efforts at evolving a “people’s constitution.” He advised Nigerians not to reduce any matter up for amendment to regional or ethnic colouration, but should be debated principally on their merit, so as to enhance the political and economic growth of the country. In his paper, entitled, “Strategies for evolving the People’s Constitution,” Ekweremadu expressed disappointment over insinuations in some quarters that fiscal federalism, as being proposed in some of the submissions to the National Assembly, was to further impoverish some parts of the country. While arguing that every state in the country had no reason to be poor, with graphical details of solid minerals deposits in each of the state waiting to be harnessed to buttress his point, Ekweremadu said, “besides the fact that fiscal federalism was proposed by memoranda submitted by Nigerians, it is also an inalienable feature of federalism. “More also, the decline of the nation’s economy and development recorded at the time of the nation’s agro-based economy can be directly traced to the replacement of fiscal federalism which engendered hard work and healthy competition with a ‘feeding bottle’ federalism which has continued to churn out indolence, poverty, and underdevelopment.” He added that “importantly, the table (making reference to the graphical details) shows that every part of this country is too richly endowed to be poor,”. He further noted that while the lawmakers as representatives of the people would do everything within their powers to ensure that the on-going efforts produced a constitution that would reflect the views and aspirations of all Nigerians, both the leaders and followers must be ready to abide by the spirit and letters of the constitution. But he noted that there was nothing like a perfect constitution anywhere in the world. Ekweremadu also pointed out that the constitution of the United States of America written by a few of their statesmen at the time remained about the shortest constitution in the world, noting that “nevertheless, it has survived all the trials and triumphs of that nation’s history, including civil war to steer the USA to number one global force, and a politically, economically, and socially virile and viable nation and above all, a reference point in democratic governance.” He added: “Like heavens, constitution and democracy help those who help themselves. Even the best constitution in the world cannot yield the best of democracy dividend or drive the lofty dreams of a nation unless there is a general commitment by the leaders and citizens to live by the principles and letters of that constitution. So, we must learn to uphold our constitution. If we chose which court rulings to obey or not to obey, that is not the fault of the constitution. If local governments are run by brazenly undemocratic caretaker committees, that is not the fault of Section 7 of the constitution. “While the fiscal woes of most of the LGAs across the
country could be attributed to the loophole created by Section 162 (6) of the constitution, it cannot rightly be inferred that it is the spirit or intendment of the constitution to incapacitate the local councils in the discharge of the responsibilities which the same constitution has prescribed for them”. He assured Nigerians that the National Assembly would make certain that only the views of majority of Nigerians counted in the whole process and final outcome as the “National Assembly will drive the constitution review with a view to entrenching national unity, good governance, and prosperity of Nigeria. He further stated: “We have no position on any issues except those taken by the Nigerian people through their inputs, whether through their memoranda, contributions at public hearings, and their elected representatives at both the National and State Assemblies. “We bear no allegiance to any, except that which we owe to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We have no interest to protect, except that of the generality of the Nigerian people and posterity. We will be driven by the force of superior argument and public will. What the National Assembly owes Nigerians are leadership, legislative due process, transparency, inclusivity, and popular participation,” Ekweremadu declared. Former Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN), and chairman of the Presidential Committee on Constitution Review, Justice Alfa Belgore, who incidentally was the chairman on the occasion, noted that despite the upheavals in the country, Nigeria cannot break up as some people have predicted, adding that any attempt to do that would result in blood letting. Hear him: “Many Nigerians cry foul and sometimes predict the break-up of the country. I assure you Nigeria cannot break- up. Attempt to do so can only bring unfortunate bloodshed. “Pessimists have been predicting the break-up of Nigeria. Some even say in 2015, Nigeria will disappear. I can understand their fear. At little under 200 million people, certainly, Nigeria is a great country but those envious of what future Nigeria can be, always try to destabilize us. They have succeeded to a certain extent. “But what we want is a viable, politically and economically great and stable country that will always remain a pride to Africa and for all human beings wherever they are,” Belgore added. According to the former CJN, Nigeria has suffered more political instability, than economy mismanagement, adding: “our poverty level is caused by instability. We must have a constitution to allow for stability. If there is stability, and there is enough on the ground for the happiness and unity of Nigerians wherever they are, we shall be more stable, united and be able to make the country great. “The constitution is the mother of all the laws and if there is enough for everybody on the ground, there will be no excuse for any Nigerian to be poor.” The President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Peter Esele, on his part, charged government to come up with a constitution that would stand a test of time and one that would last for posterity. Also speaking on the occasion, Lagos lawyer and rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) said since 1914, there has been no constitution, saying that what presently operates in the country as a constitution, was though legal but not a legitimate document, insisting that there was a lot of difference between legal and legitimacy, and therefore called for a referendum on the issue. He also commended Jonathan for what he called “noticeable improvement” in the power sector, especially with regards to electricity supply in the country. He was however quick to add that rather than sell PHCN to foreign investors, they should come to Nigeria and start theirs, so as to compete with PHCN, insisting that is the way to run the economy. On role of traditional rulers in the constitution, Falana is of the view that if they must be assigned any role in the constitution, then the institution must be democratized, so everyone can aspire to contest for the stool, whenever it was vacant. As it stands, beyond the issue of state police, Offshore /Onshore dichotomy and the quest to get more money from the federation account, all of which the region is yet to reach a consensus on, let alone push it as its common agenda, it is yet to be seen what the leaders will bring to the table, as the effort towards amending the 1999 constitution reaches its crescendo. What is however certain for now is that from the outcome of the presidential retreat, Nigerians have opted for the current process as the only way of amending the constitution.
SUNDAY SUN SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
POWER GAME SERIES Boko Haram
North has become a graveyard –Tsav
From ROSE EJEMBI, Makurdi
ORMER Lagos State Commissioner of Police and public affairs analyst, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav (rtd.) has said that Nigeria is not yet ripe for the establishment of state police. According to him, such a development would afford selfish politicians the opportunity to unleash terror on their rivals. He expressed fears that if state police is established in the country, it would be the medium through which Nigeria will witness another civil war. In this interview, he speaks on a wide range of national issues. Excerpts… You have been an advocate of dialogue between the Federal Government and the Boko Haram sect. Now that they have agreed to dialogue, what is your take on that? I think it’s a very good development because peace is never secured through the use of force or war. Even if you fight, you must at the end sit at a round table and agree on peace. So, the fact that they have agreed to dialogue now is a very healthy development and I think it will ease the devastation going on in the North now because the economy of the North is destroyed and the North has become like a graveyard where nothing is happening. But are you not worried that the sect this time around, did not use its usual medium of communication to inform Nigerians about its willingness to dialogue? Yes, the whole situation is very disturbing because these people have refused to identify themselves. They are acting like people behind the mask. They are doing what they are doing without disclosing their identity. Now that they have agreed to dialogue and communicated same through Sahara Reporters, it is cheerful news but at the same time, one is not sure because they have not identified themselves. Who are you going to dialogue with? Are you going to dialogue with Sahara Reporters who will in turn convey it to them? Or are you going to dialogue directly with the people involved. The first thing government should try to do is to encourage them to identify themselves. Government should in so doing, give them the assurance that nothing is going to happen to them and they should sit and discuss just the same way the late President Musa Yar’Adua did with the Niger-Delta militants. And you see, the case of Niger-Delta started like a joke. But we have been able to have relative peace in the area and the militants are enjoying for being criminals. Their leaders have been employed to provide security for oil installations in that region. And some of their members have been trained overseas while some have been employed in Dubai while others will be employed in South Africa. They should extend that to Boko Haram too. There is a lot of idleness and unemployment in the North. Youths are being wasted. We have vast agricultural land but there is insufficient fertilizer to cultivate these farms. And even if you try to cultivate this land, there is no organized market to sell the produce. We used to have marketing boards during the days of the old regions. Marketing boards can buy these commodities and send them overseas to generate foreign exchange for the North. But these things are not being done. Individual farmers are allowed to farm the way they want. The farmers are very enthusiastic in their farming activities but government is not helping them. So, if holding dialogue with these people will create jobs for the teaming masses of the North, I think it will be very good and then these senseless killings will stop. But in one of your past interviews, you said Boko Haram has been proliferated. Now that the supposed authentic group has agreed to dialogue, are you not worried that the federal government may not be dialoguing with the right group? That is why I am saying they should come out and identify themselves because as it is now, we have political Boko
Haram, criminal Boko Haram, religious Boko Haram and so on, all fused together to operate under the name, Boko Haram. But if they should identify themselves and come out and say yes, we are the leaders of the real Boko Haram, then this dialogue will be meaningful. But if we do not go about it that way, may be we will be dialoguing with the wrong people and in the end, it will not help us at all. You know there are people who take chances; you may have the real Boko Haram and you may have the fakers and these fakers will come out and pose as the real Boko Haram, hold dialogue with the government and take money and then, divert it to their own use while the real Boko Haram will be smoldering like fire and they will come out with a bigger threat and consume the country again. So, we need to be really very careful. Don’t you think agitations by politicians ahead of 2015 is further compounding the insecurity problem we have today? It is very challenging and let me tell you honestly, I feel very sorry for this country because we don’t have politicians who have the love of this country at heart. All they want is to hold political offices and that is why they are not bothered about this security threat in this country now. All they are concerned about is their re-election and political position. During the Obama campaigns, you saw how people came out to speak; see the type of speech, Mitchelle Obama presented; see what Clinton presented. We don’t have the set of people who will come and talk to the country; people who will come and talk about opportunities provided for Nigerians. Everybody who comes up talks about himself. That is why we are having a lot of problems. That is why it is very important that we must try and resolve this Boko Haram issue before the 2015 elections come in, otherwise, we may not hold these elections at all. If we don’t try to talk to them, appease them, hold dialogue with them and resolve the matter once and for all, may be in the midst of these campaigns, you will hear bombs being exploded here and there and people will be afraid to go out for campaigns; and may be there will be no elections. I think for now, our politicians should de-emphasize their ambition to be this or to be that. They should wait until the electioneering year before they start campaigning so that we try now and tackle the insecurity situation in the country. This is because while they are trying to deal with the issue of Boko Haram, some states down south are carving out National Anthem for themselves, designing flags for themselves and all what not trying to distract attention and this is not good at all. I know that people must try to do things that will help them move ahead and develop but let us take the security of this country at heart because that is the most paramount thing to do because if there is general crises in this country, there will be insecurity and no one knows who will be victims of the whole thing. Recently, the Bakassi people started beating the drum of cessation, don’t you think that all these point to the fact that if care is not taken, Nigeria may disintegrate just as the US had predicted? Yes, I agree but Bakassi should not be our problem because it has been ceded to Cameroun. Whatever threat comes from Bakassi should be the problem of Cameroun. It has nothing to do with Nigeria. So, it is Cameroun that should feel threatened, not Nigeria. But again, the effect may spread towards Nigeria’s towns and cities and we may have insecurity. But we have a terrible situation in this county. The prediction of the Americans may come through or may not come through; we don’t know. But again, it is our own people that will be used to destabilize this country due to inordinate ambition by some of our politicians and I think that is what is going to happen. Everybody wants to be this or that and that is why you see these serious agitations for creation of states. Everybody wants to have something because they
feel that they have a state where they don’t have the opportunity to become governor or senator but if they carve a state, they will be the spokesman and then have the opportunity to become either governor, senator and so on. People are doing this not because they love this country but for their selfish interests. So, I think government of Jonathan should try and address this issue of insecurity before they even think about campaigns for elections. After all, we are three years away from the elections. Why can’t we spend two years and try and solve this problem of insecurity? That is what should bother us because if there is general insecurity, nobody knows who will be consumed. If there is general insecurity in Makurdi for instance, we will not be able to go out. So, I think it is very important that we address this issue of insecurity before we talk about 2015 elections. Again, I seem to blame the government of Goodluck Jonathan because when the man was going out for campaigns, he made a lot of promises to the people and when he took oath of office, he said he was going to provide security and welfare for everybody in this country. Now, he has failed. When there is general insecurity, you cannot provide welfare and if you cannot provide welfare for the people, there will be discontent everywhere. People will be agitating. There will be no justice and above all, there is a lot of corruption and that is why there is general insecurity here. People are making money. Look at Obama; he is talking about creating opportunities for the people and not making money for himself. But here, as soon as we come into office, you just look for land and then carve out your estate. You want to have everything to yourself and the good thing about this is that when you die, you will not go with any of those things. So, I think the emphasis should be on trying to solve this issue of insecurity, otherwise, we will be walking very fast but will remain where we are. Recently, some Anambrarians gathered together and were calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to re-contest in 2015. If you are to advise Jonathan in relation to 2015, what will that advice be? If I were him, I will say enough is enough. I have had the opportunity to rule this country. After all, when he started from the beginning, he had no shoes but now he has rooms filled with shoes. So, if I were him, I will not try to amputate the younger generation because he has legs but had no shoes to wear but the present sets of children we have, have legs. So, he should not try to amputate their legs because if he does, they will have shoes but no legs to wear them. If I were him, I will say enough is enough, let me just sit down and become a member of the council of state. If you watch him very carefully, you will see that the man is losing weight; he’s not looking fresh; he’s not looking fat like when he came in because he has a lot to bother about and aside this, he is incapable of running this country. People are running this government for him. is the Deputy President. On the issue of state police; to be or not to be, what is your opinion? As a matter of fact, we have never had state police in this country. What we had before was local government police. And Local government police gave us a lot of problems particularly in the western region. They caused the whole thing because during their era, politicians used them against other politicians and there was no justice, there was a lot of corruption; it is what the governor wanted that the Superintendent General of Police in those days, Olujobi did. And that was what brought this problem. And when there was break down of law and order during ‘Operation Wait Here’, they could not contain it. The police came in but could also not contain it. The problem degenerated until it threw us into the first coup and then, the civil war. I think the state police may in future be necessary because we are advancing. But that is when our politicians will be tolerant and civilized but for now, we are not. We are greedy.
SUNDAY SUN SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
POWER GAME SERIES 2015
North wants power at all costs –Maxi Okwu By WILLY EYA (email@example.com
S the federal government battles the insecurity situation in the country, National Coordinator of a civil society group, Patriotic Alliance of Nigeria (PAN), Chief Maxi Okwu, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to sit up and fight the Boko Haram sect headlong. The legal practitioner and politician also believes that the Boko Haram insurgency is not unconnected with the quest by power brokers from the North to recapture power in 2015. In this interview, he bares his mind on various national issues. Excerpts… From your vantage position, what do you make of the current state of the nation? Some of us are beginning to sound like cracked records on the national situation. It’s obvious except to those in government and their close circle of friends and associates, that the nation is on a spiral into the abyss unless we get a divine intervention as usual. We concede that we have had an unprecedented 13 years of unbroken civil rule but that is as far as we are prepared to go. If you juxtapose potential and delivery of dividends of democracy, it is an unmitigated disaster. Corruption, mal-administration, and now terrorism of the suicide bomber type, has wrought havoc on the national psyche and fabric. Let me conclude by saying that the last 13 years of the PDP-led administration at the center has been years of the Locust. It’s all the more regrettable that just a little imagination, commitment and patriotism would have given a totally different result. In short, it’s a failure of Leadership. Do you think that the present administration under President Jonathan would win the war against Boko Haram? What I think is really beside the point. The present administration of President Jonathan is enjoined by section 14 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, to secure the lives and property of Nigerians. That section states clearly that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. President Jonathan swore to uphold the Constitution. It is therefore his duty to secure Nigerians. He must rise to the challenge of Boko Haram as indeed all other security challenges in Nigeria and defeat it. That is why he was elected to be President. Now forget about those who lobbied him to be president; he on his own volition opted to present himself; he campaigned hard for the job, so he has to be a Commander- in- Chief. President Jonathan has tried several strategies including overhauling the hierarchy of the nation’s security agencies but the problem of insecurity seems intractable. What is the way forward? We recall that at the time of the first major security outrage in Abuja on October 1, 2010, we had called for the overhaul of the top echelons of the nation’s security apparatus. You can see how long it took the administration to do that. That is one aspect of the problem. The second is that in this age, security and intelligence have gone global and hi-tech. It’s no longer a matter of brawn but brain. Professor Condi Rice, the NSAto President Bush was never in the US Armed Forces but she served creditably as NSA. This tradition of our using retired military men as NSA must be reviewed. Like we have argued, you don’t log onto the internet with a type-writer. The nation must call in the aid and assistance of nations that have faced similar security challenges particularly of the fundamentalist, suicide-bomber type. Anew security template must be worked out. Key elements of this strategy should include counter-terrorism, better intelligence gathering and processing. Whenever I travel and see all the military fortifications on the road I just laugh. That is just not the way to go. In the long term, we must review our policing methods and emphasize more on community policing. This would require re-assessing the present police structure which is a legacy of prolonged military rule and out of sync with a federal state. Do you agree with those who insist that insecurity in the North is a strategy by the power elites in that part of the country to recapture power in 2015? I do not discountenance that argument. It’s clear from past examples that intimidation and or terror has been effectively deployed by some sections of the country to get power ceded to them. I speak of 1999 when the departing military administration had to appease the South West by ensuring that the two contending platforms of PDP and APP/AD Alliance fielded only Yoruba Presidential candidates. It would be recalled that it was the South West essentially, that sustained the agitation for the restoration of the June 12 mandate truncated by IBB regime. The National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) also internationalized the struggle and fought the Abacha regime all the way till he kicked the bucket.
The insurgency and armed struggle by Niger Delta militants also gave them political clout.This must have played on OBJ’s mind when he selected Jonathan to be the running mate of late Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua. The consequential series of events though not foreseen at that time, has now played out in favour of the agitators. The Boko Haram menace began on a different note and confined to local politics in Borno State. It has now acquired a life of its own, and gone regional if not national. I would not be surprised if some desperate politicians from the area key into its momentum to score politically or intimidate President Goodluck at the very least not to seek re-election. With the seeming desperation by the North to recapture power from the South, do you think Nigeria would ever remain the same? No, definitely it cannot be the same again. The battle for the nomination in the dominant political party as at today the PDP, would be intense. President Jonathan as an incumbent has the advantage and should he decide to run, most likely would corner the nomination. However, I see a stiffer opposition to his emergence this time around. Going by the PDPzoning policy, President Jonathan has taken the residue of the North’s unexhausted turn with the sudden death of Yar’Adua. It does appear that key elements in the North are resolved to recover this at all costs. The sabre rattling from the South South by persons like Chief E.K. Clark, Asari Dokubo and co, is also helping to firm up their resolve. In the event that these northern elements fail to stop President Jonathan’s renomination, I predict they would sabotage his efforts in the general elections, either from within or by joining another party. That is why the present efforts at merger, by Tinubu and Buhari should be looked at more closely. Corruption is arguably the most challenging problem facing the country today. Do you think Jonathan has the strength of character to fight it? The war on corruption has gone on an armistice with the Goodluck Administration. Maybe it will be continued after his tenure, but for now, no war is going on. My take is that the president lacks the guts to tackle corruption head on. The moment he refused to climb the moral high ground by publicly declaring his assets, as token and tame as that is, I knew it was all over. You may recall his ill-advised retort, ‘I don’t bloody care.’This about sums it up. Many are afraid that there might not be a country called Nigeria after the 2015 election. Do you share that pessimism? I do not, or I refuse to be that pessimistic. I concede that right now the signals are not good, and that we are at crossroads. However, Nigeria seems to be tailor-made for brinkmanship. We have come to such nadir on many occasions but somehow have always bounced back. I believe we shall overcome again. The cocktail of problems confronting the nation now is as a result of fundamental distortions in the polity generated by prolonged civil rule. These distortions have been swept under the carpet by the succeeding civilian leaders who want to just coast on and not rock the boat. Well, the chicken has finally come home to roost. Do you think the current move to amend the constitution
would reduce the political tension in the country? The tinkering with the Constitution is just like a palliative; it is no cure. The malady afflicting the nation is attitudinal and goes to the very foundations of our union. The structural dimensions of our national malaise needs a total restructuring not tinkering with the ground norm, the constitution. The present Constitution came into being as a schedule to Decree 24 of 1999. It tells a lie about itself where it says that the people of Nigeria resolved to make it. Nigerians never resolved, as it was Abdulsalam Abubakar and his caucus who agreed. Nigerian leaders in the late 50’s at Lancaster House London, agreed on a Federal Republic of Nigeria with certain key elements like fiscal federalism enshrined or understood. With prolonged military rule, all the basics in that agreement have been truncated. Secondly, you now have an amorphous 36 state structure, an FCT which is like a state, and 774 local governments, all these under a ubiquitous federal government. That is not what the founding fathers agreed on. We need to get back to the table and renegotiate our union; period. We delay at our own peril as it is inevitable. What are the most critical issues that the National Assembly should be looking at in the current move to amend the constitution? I am an advocate of a holistic review of the Constitution through a popular method. The agreements must be subjected to a referendum of the people of Nigeria. The formal enactment without doctoring can then be processed through the National Assembly. All the cutting and joining would eventually be rendered nugatory, by which time all the jumbo funds spent on this worthless and barren exercise gone down the drains. Some are kicking that state creation should not be part of the amendment. The argument to support this position is that even most of the existing states are no longer viable. As one from the South East, do you agree with that position? I am of the view that we have carried on the state creation exercise to the point of absurdity. But to round up the anomalous situation, maybe we should round up the states in all the zones to seven. That is one each in all the other zones except North West and two for the South East. I believe that the states should no longer be the federating units but rather the zones. If any zone then wishes to waste scare resources on big government, it could on its own create numerous states and LGA’s in its zone. Secondly, we have a bigger absurdity in Local Governments Areas. The military met 309 LGA’s in the 1979 Constitution, and created an additional 465 making a total of 774. These were created without any objective criteria in mind. In many cases, hamlets or a commune of some huts became a local government area, whereas towns and cites were in one local government. Please local government should remain a local matter. Secondly, it should not be an integer for federal revenue allocation. It seems the dream for an Igbo presidency may never be realized considering that it is most unlikely that Jonathan would handover to another southerner. And are Igbos ready in the event that such an opportunity calls especially against the perception that they cannot speak with one voice? In the first place, unanimity is anathema in democracy. Even in heaven, unanimity was not achieved, as Satan and his cohorts rebelled. So why should Ndigbo be expected to speak with one voice? When the Yoruba nation spoke in 1999, did they speak with one voice? When Shagari, Yar’Adua were elected in 1979 and 2007, did the North speak with one voice? It’s only in a garrison that people speak with one voice and not in a democracy. The Igbophobists set up this ‘one voice’hurdle for Ndigbo so as to pin them down. Some of us reject it please. As a practicing politician, I am aware that nobody is ever ‘dashed’power. If you seek power, you go after power. And politics being the art of the possible, you have to find the right matrix to secure your victory. The power calculations in PDPare obvious to some of us outsiders. I would believe that Ndigbo who are members of that party are all the more aware, and I expect them to play accordingly. They should go straight to the ‘cousin’ Ebele Azikiwe and hack out a deal with him. We, outside that platform will be contesting come 2015. Are you not worried over the infighting among governors of the South East in recent time? The South East is nearly evenly split politically between PDP and APGA. So why should I be worried? Even if they were all of the same party, individual prejudices and idiosyncrasies cannot be ruled out. So long as it is not unhealthy rivalry, but developmental rivalry, I say it is well and good and all for the better. Do you support the economic integration of the South East? I sure do. I believe it should go beyond that to include the other states in the Niger Delta that make up the former Eastern Region. That is the way to go. This ‘feeding bottle’federalism with everyone looking up to Abuja has to stop. This is one way of looking inwards and tapping local and regional potentials.
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POWER GAME SERIES
Nigeria’ll split in 3 years –Rev Chidi (GO, Kings in Christ Int’l Ministries) By FELIX ASIMOLE (egbujondubuisi yahoo.com)
EV Anthony Innocent Chidi is the Founder and General Overseer of Kings in Christ International Ministries. According to him, his church, which is located in Ajao Estate area of Lagos, is one of the fastest growing churches in the South-West. In this interview Rev Chidi extols the power of unity; saying when a people unite nothing can stop them in accomplishing whatever they imagine to do. He also speaks on contemporary issues in the polity. Excerpts… How would you advise the Federal Government to handle the issue of insecurity in the nation? In the eyes of man it is impossible, but with God everything is possible. I have said times without number that the human wisdom has failed us. The Federal Government is trying; they have done everything they are supposed to do. The only thing that can clear this mess, as far as I am concerned, is God’s intervention. Telling President Goodluck Jonathan to step down is not the solution, because I know very well that God placed him there for a purpose. But one thing is clear, he needs clear direction, he needs prophets who can tell him how to handle certain situations. But you and I know very well that the people around him are not helping matters, they are even the people creating the problems. So, he needs men of God, prophets that can tell him the mind of God. A situation like this only needs God’s intervention. Now, he cannot gather everyone that claims to be a prophet, which men of God would you advise him to invite? I like that question. You see, there are prophets and there are prophets. In the Scripture Ezekiel, Isaiah and Jeremiah are prophets, but Elijah and Elisha are also prophets. There are major and minor prophets. And when you talk about major prophets in contemporary times, I think I am one of them, and I know other prophets also, two or three that can gather together and seek the face of God, and I think God will intervene. For instance, when the people of Israel were in captivity in the land of Egypt they cried unto God and God sent them Moses. Though it was not an easy task for Moses, but at the end the people were liberated. So, we need the Moses of this generation, there are Moses’ as far as Nigeria is concerned and they would open the President’s eyes to find the right solution to this problem. Who are the major prophets you have in mind? When I am invited, that would be the right time to disclose the names of these prophets that will seek the face of God. Somebody suggested in the newspapers recently that churches should raise their own security outfits to guard members while worship services are going on. What is your take on this? If God does not watch the city, in vain does the watchman. Even if we bring all the security forces together, like they have all over the place now, the Boko Haram still had their way. But
when God is involved, the so-called Boko Haram will not see that place. Would you subscribe to Christians carrying arms to defend themselves? If Christians carry arms then, what are we preaching? That means we can protect ourselves, that means automatically we have lost faith in God and believe in human strength and power. As a Christian, I don’t want to carry gun around, because I believe the hand of God is upon me, there’s an angel guarding me wherever I go. So, I don’t subscribe to the idea of carrying gun around. Now, corruption has become endemic in the country, how do we tackle this cankerworm? The problem is from the head. When the head is rotten it affects the whole body. So, the corruption started from the head. For instance, which of the governors arrested and charged with stealing billions of dollars and naira by the EFCC has been jailed? They only deceive us by showing then on the television and before we know it they have been discharged and the case is automatically sealed. So, if we want God’s intervention we must have to start something; there’s this saying that heaven helps those who help themselves. The corruption started from the head, so those who want to fight corruption must start fighting themselves first. When they clear themselves that is when they will bring sanity to the nation. If only they accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour, that’s when God will give them the power to steal no more. The problem is that our leaders refuse to accept Jesus into their lives, refuse to accept God. And because they refused to accept God, God gave them up to a reprobate mind to do those things that are not even convenient for them, so says the Scripture. Corruption will cease when our leaders give God a chance to govern their lives. The National Assembly has threatened to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan over poor implementation of the 2012 budget. Do you think this is enough reason to impeach him? I don’t think that is enough reason to impeach him. And I want you to understand that nobody can remove him from that office. Jonathan did not put himself there. If you check how he assumed that office, you will know that it is divinely authored. God appropriately put him there, he did not fight for it; he did not struggle for it. So, we need to give him time. And I like said, he needs divine guidelines, he needs people that would tell him the mind of God, there is what we call the permissive will and the will of God, permissive will is of man, the perfect will is of God. Now, when we seek the face of God and know what God says concerning this nation, a direction will be given and he has to follow this direction, and automatically the nation will be at peace, the poor masses will begin to derive joy and happiness in this country. What I am saying is that it won’t do the country any good if they impeach him. The National Assembly is also talking about constitutional review and the creation of states is one of the issues on the front burner, but they
are going about it as if it is a general thing instead of dwelling particularly on bringing the South-East at par with other five geo-political zones that have six and seven states, with the South-East having five. What do you think? Yes. I wanted to say something about it. This is the time for the South-East to be like other geopolitical zones. They should give the South-East their right because we all are in one Nigeria and because we are all in one Nigeria it is not supposed to be lopsided in favour of any ethnic group. The injustice has been unnecessarily prolonged and nobody wants violent agitations before the right thing is done. The National Assembly should, as a matter of urgency, create at least one more state in the South-East to balance the equation and remove the cheating and injustice going on. No nation makes progress on the basis of cheating. Still on the issue of cheating; the North particularly, has been cheating the rest of the country since the military era that was dominated by soldiers of northern extraction. All the decisions they made was in favour of the North. Even now they are pressing for jettisoning the 13% derivation given the oil-producing states. So, why is it that the northerners always want to dominate and what would you advise to make Nigeria a balanced country? It started from day one. If you check how many years the northerners have been on the seat of power, both as civilian and military leaders, and compare this with people from other parts of the country, you will know that the domineering spirit has been in the northerners for many years. And you see, there is how God works, like one of my friends said why are we worried about Boko Haram, after all, northerners are killing northerners, if they like let them kill themselves, and I said that is your own reasoning, but in the presence of God we are all the same. Even though they are Muslims, they are also our brothers. But northerners should adopt the wisdom of stooping to conquer; they have been
there for a very long time and even now President Jonathan is dancing to their tune; that is why I said he needs people who can show him the direction to go. Meanwhile, the northerners should pipe down, other parts of the country are Nigerians too; they should have the same opportunity the northerners have had. Some people in the South believe the agenda of the North is not based on one Nigeria; that they want to Islamise the South, which is part of what is happening in Plateau in the Middle Belt, where a kind of jihad is going on. Do you buy this idea? There is no how they can take their jihad to the South. It cannot work. Such thing will never come to pass. However, jihad or no jihad, I see Nigeria splitting into three countries, the way things are going, unless this trend is arrested or God intervenes, within the space of two, three years Nigeria will split. If you are saying that this is the North’s agenda, I am not even surprised. The three years you just said corresponds with the US forecast that Nigeria will split in 2015. You agree with the Americans? I am not saying this based on what America said, but what God has showed me, and if we don’t come together to seek His face, this country will split. What do you think about the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); is CAN doing enough in the face of all the killings by the Boko Haram sect? CAN is doing its best, but its best is not good enough. Papa Ayo is a good man, but I don’t know how he is handling the situation, I think the CAN leadership should meet the President and see what role they could play in finding solution to all these killings. Now, 2015 is around the corner and the South-East believes it’s their turn to take a shot at the Presidency, but somebody said recently that there are no politicians in the South-East that what we have there are businessmen. Do
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SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 SUNDAY SUN
POWER GAME SERIES ‘Military can never rule us again’ Continued from Page 63 you agree? Yes, I agree. Mention one person in the SouthEast, except Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the governor of Imo State, that’s the only person I see as a good politician given what he is doing in Imo State. Do you think he is good enough to take a shot at the Presidency? He is the only good politician I see in the South-East, for now, who can fill that position. He also has an ambition, he’s a good politician and he’s doing a good job. I have nothing to do with him even though I am from that state. But I drove all the way from Lagos to the East to vote for him. I know he is God-send. When a nation cries to God, God always sends somebody, just like when the children of Israel cried, God sent Moses and in the Book of Judges God sent Samson, so when the people cry God always hearkens to their voice and sends somebody. That man is a messiah as far as Imo State is concerned. I heard he said he would not be going for a second term, but I pray he goes for a second term in the interest of Imo State. He is the best. You say he is the best, but they are fighting him over there. Yes, that should be expected because bad people are everywhere. Bad people always oppose good things. How do you assess a man? Is it not by the things he does? I am talking about the things I have seen, not what I am told. Although he is in court with the local government chairmen, but whatever the court decides will not take anything away from him, because I know that the man, Governor Rochas Okorocha is Godsend. Let’s talk about your church. Is your church affiliated to any other church here in Nigeria or abroad? No. Our church is on its own, it is a registered church and it has other branches; one in South Africa, one at Alagbole, Ogun State, and another at Aba, Abia State. And we are not affiliated to any other church. What is your vision for this church? My vision is to make heaven at last. To change lives, because God gave me a vision and I saw a lot of people being chained and I also saw a seat, on the seat was a crown, and I was crying and the Lord said those people being chained the crown was meant for them. He will use me to deliver the captives and bring them to the reality of their destiny. That’s the vision. Where do you hope to take this church to in the next five to 10 years? We are relocating any moment from now to our new site. Some countries like Germany and Switzerland are contacting me to come and set up branches of this church there. Do you think the new site would be more accessible to worshippers? Yes, it’s very close to Cele bus stop and that place is a wonderful site, about three minutes’ drive from here. Do you have any challenges leading your church, as in opposition by some people in the church or around this vicinity? We are creating a gateway as far as Ajao Estate is concerned. You know that any tree that bears fruit, watch the body of that tree, children will stone it, adults will climb to pluck the fruit, and you don’t expect the body of that tree to look fresh. But the body of any tree that does not bear fruit is always very smooth. So, there have been challenges here and there, a lot of people have been saying a lot of things about this church because this is one of the fastest growing churches as far as Ajao Estate is concerned. This is just my seven years in Lagos and if you come here on service days you will see the crowd yourself. What actually is the issue? You know, if you work hard and God begins to bless you, some people would begin to say you are a ritualist. What I am saying in essence is that some people would say they have not seen this type of church before, where the lame walk and the blind see, and these things come to pass within few minutes. So, some say it is occultic power and so on and so forth, and I use spiritual
•Rev Chidi cotton wool to cover my ears. Another question I ask is if they don’t believe in miracles. Some say that a cripple made to walk is not of God. And I ask, do they think that Satan has power more than God? I also tell them that whatever the devil can do, God will do better. So, they say whatever they like, but that’s not my concern. Recently, OBJ and IBB issued a joint statement, assuring President Goodluck Jonathan that the military will not truncate the present democratic dispensation. Now, we know that just a year ago these two called themselves fools on the pages of newspapers; what do you think about this development? Can they be trusted? I think they can be trusted. The truth is that there is no way the military can rule Nigeria again; Nigeria to enter into autocratic government again? It is impossible. But then, the erstwhile foes coming together portends good for Nigeria, maybe they have realized their mistake and have decided to close ranks. As for IBB, he cannot think of ruling Nigeria again, he is about 71 years old and the Bible says the old shall dream dreams. If the South-East loses the Presidency in 2015, do you think it should be given back to the North after what Boko Haram is doing in this nation? I don’t think the North is thinking of the presidency in 2015, because Jonathan has not completed his two terms. Even at that, the South-East would have to take a shot at the presidency before any other geo-political zone. But the North is asking the President to go after his first term. You see, that is why I said the President needs to know the mind of God. One with God is majority, when you are with God you don’t need to be afraid of anybody. You know what happened in the Book of Exodus between Moses and Pharaoh, if you were in the shoes of Moses you would have succumbed, because you are fighting a man that has all the power in the world at that time, but Moses prevailed because God was with him. It is not an easy thing for somebody to be number one citizen in this country. I know the pressure is there, I know he has a lot of enemies, I know there are people that wish him dead. But then, again, he should not panic, let him seek the face of God by picking people that would tell him the mind of God concerning that
office he is occupying. If you check the Bible, every king had a prophet; therefore, it is not out of place for the President to have a prophet that would tell him the mind of God. He should not be afraid of any man, after all, if somebody had told him 15 years ago that he would be on that seat, would he have thought it possible? He never dreamt of it. So, God is with him, he should not be afraid of anybody or anything. The only thing is for him to know when God would say move or don’t move. So, the northerners should wait, it is not yet their turn. Are you in support of the dialogue going on between the Federal Government and the killer Boko Haram sect? How can we have dialogue with the devil? Have you seen someone eating with the devil? It’s like trying to make peace with the devil; therefore, I don’t see such dialogue bearing any fruit. If they are dialoguing already, that is a wrong advice and a wrong move; it automatically means that the so-called Boko Haram is greater than the Federal Government and sooner or later they would begin to give directives to the Federal Government like they did when they asked Jonathan to convert to Islam, and when the government fails to follow their directive, they will threaten to do what they only know how to do - killing innocent people. It’s like dancing to the tune of blackmailers. Yes, that’s what they are, blackmailers! They will make one demand after another and when you stop giving in to them they will commence another round of killings. Really, for the Federal Government to enter into dialogue with Boko Haram is not a good move. You talked about Nigeria splitting, what format do you think this will take? Would you recommend a National Conference where the issue of separation would be decided peacefully? You know the last time the South-East wanted to pull out of Nigeria it resulted into a war. Nigeria has experienced civil war; I don’t think anyone looks forward to such experience again. But the Federal Government refuses to constitute a Sovereign National Conference under which such a matt could be resolved peacefully… I don’t know how it will happen, but I know that if this nation fails to seek the face of God, it will split not in two but three parts. God knows
how He will do it, but I know that Nigerians have experienced civil war and would not pray for it again. God knows how he would do it. After all, He knows how Jonathan got into that office, some people had worked so hard for it, yet they could not get there. Look at how God put Jonathan there; check that man’s life and you will know that God is with him. So, concerning the splitting of this nation, God knows how to do it, that is, if we don’t come together to seek His face. Now, this issue of fuel subsidy scam. Some of the indicted oil marketers are refunding the monies they stole, while others prefer plea bargain. What is your take on this? You see, this is why corruption is increasing instead of abating. A nation in which thieves want to decide how they would be tried cannot see the end of corruption. They arrest these people, show them on TV and newspapers and charge them to court. The next you hear is they have been granted bail and that is the end of it. What I am saying is that those involved must be made to refund all the monies they stole; they are thieves and must be treated as such. The Federal Government should not show them any mercy because they are enemies of the nation. Can you assess President Jonathan’s performance in the area of power supply? As I am talking to you I can hear your generator working. Would you say his promise to improve electricity supply is on course? Has there been power supply improvement in this area? No. It is still the same in Ajao Estate area where I live. But, somehow, we are used to the situation. In this country before you set up a business the first thing you do is to buy a generator. But we are full of expectations and I think Jonathan will deliver on his promise to improve power supply. I am a man that believes in President Jonathan. What do you think the South-East should do to make an impact or realize the dream of occupying the Presidential Villa in 2015? The problem we have is that when that time comes, everybody in the South-East would want to become president. But look at the northerners, even though they are no longer as united as they used to be, they would still rally round and present one candidate and stand solidly behind him, and it looks as if they know politics more than the easterners, no, no, no. It’s the unity. If you read the Bible in the Book of Genesis chapter 11 verses 4 to 6, it says “And the people came together and were of one mind and one language to do one thing.” If you read further it says, “And the Lord came down to see the handwork of men.” Remember they said, “Let us come together to build a tower upon the face of the earth that would reach heaven so that we would not be scattered upon the face of the earth.” And when God came down to see the work of men, God was surprised. Why should God be surprised because of the unity of men? And God said, “Behold, the people are one and speak one language, whatever they imagined to do, nothing shall stop them.” So, that means in being surprised, God realized the people are more powerful in unity, which means that unity is the strongest weapon of man. The problem with the South-East is lack of unity. If only the SouthEast could unite, then nothing can stop us. We don’t have many presidential materials just like any other geo-political zones, but if we could get the few we have to give way and support the best candidate and we stand solidly behind him, then something will definitely happen. How possible can this be when some states in the South-East want to grab everything for themselves? There is no unity in the South-East because of greed. Greed is the only reason why those who know their betters would not step down for them. They want to extract some kind of favours before they do so. They are willing to batter away the presidency to other regions because of their personal greed. That is the problem the South-East is having till tomorrow. And until this spirit of greed is subdued, this problem will continue. And the only way to subdue this spirit of greed is to accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
Export potentials in grasscutter farming
ANIMAL FARMING By Arinze Onebunne www.jovanafarm.com 08033262808, 08029373076
IGERIAN non-oil exports are still significantly below potential. The gradual decline over the last 49 years is especially saddening when we look at past data dating from 1961. We supplied 43 percent of the global shelled groundnuts; today it is almost zero percent. US, Asia and Argentina now have universal dominance of the groundnut market. Also, in 1961, we exported 19 percent of the world’s cocoa but have been rapidly overtaken by Ivory Coast and Palm oil and shea-butter is another great example.Nigeria produces one of the purest forms in the world, and yet we are an irrelevant, almost non-existent, exporter in the global market. This is sad given the fact that any nation that imports virtually everything will not survive in the long run. The business of producing, processing, exporting, transporting, financing and servicing grasscutter products should give employment to many people. Rearing of grasscutter for local consumption will decrease importation of frozen meat, chicken, fish and turkey into the country and producing grasscutter for export will greatly enhance the economic potential. It will firm up the Naira, improve the GDP, reduce both inflation and create more jobs for Nigerians. In addition to these facts,
grasscutter is free from cultural and religious taboos. This makes it to be a universal favourite, breaking all barriers, religion, creed, culture, ethnicity, age grouping, colour etc. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in a recent study observed that over 950 million people are starving everyday and this situation affords the investor the opportunity of raising grasscutter for international trade. The demand for grasscutter meat is very high within the international market like Italy, Germany, Canada, the UK, France, the USA, especially where you have large concentration of Africans, black people. Many people now prefer grasscutter meat because it is white meat instead of beef that is red. The reason is that the later is not good for health. The thought that Nigeria cannot export grasscutters have been debunked. Even though such ventures currently enjoyed special export licence, but now that homestead grasscuter farming is gathering momentum, it is a matter of time production will reach a level whereby cross border markets and transnational grasscutter export from Nigeria will by precision start to happen in a large scale. Entrepreneurs have the ability to explore this initiative and I am very much convinced that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) will show real interest in such venture. Exportable grasscutters could be live, smoked, canned, salted, frozen and dried etc. Jovana farms organizes nationwide sensitization training seminars on the practical ways of making it through small scale farming. Attend our nationwide seminars nearest to you to know more opportunities in grasscutter farming. Visit www.jovanafarm.com for more details. Choose also the nearest venue from the advert box in this page.
The Great Teacher goes home By Louis Oko Azegba
Life and times of Chief Fabian Amedu Azegba (1935-2012)
ON. Fabian Azegba (born Amedu) was born in 1935 in the present Ubolo, Iyaya, Umuida, in EnuguEzike, Enugu State into the family of a peasant, humble but generous farmer, Azegba Omada (nwa Ape Ukwueze Agbenu). He was the first son in the family of three children but lived with many adopted siblings who were being catered for by his father. He went to St. Thomas Catholic School, Umuida in 1946 where he attended only the preparatory classes – the Kindergarten. After his preparatory classes at St. Thomas Catholic School in 1948, he went to Aguibeje to continue his Standard one class and in 1950, he moved to St. Mary’s Catholic School, Ogrute where he obtained Standard Six certificate. He was baptized in 1950 when he was in Standard three at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Ogrute. After Standard six, Fabian went for the Preliminary Teacher College (PTC) in 1954. After graduating from the PTC in 1955, he taught for one year before enrolling for the Teacher Training College where he obtained the TCII certificate (then known as Higher Elementary) in 1959. In 1960, in the wake of Nigeria’s independence, Fabian began teaching as a trained teacher. He taught for one year before being promoted exceptionally to the position of headmaster. He succeeded Mr. Silas Eze from Iheaka and became the first indigenous headmaster of St. Thomas Catholic School, Umuida, his village. Though he was a headmaster, he also taught the Standard two class. As headmaster in Umuida, he introduced a lot of reforms and opened a new era in edu-
cation in the village. He was a strict disciplinarian and a reformist, who hardly gives up on any pupil. He was the teachers’ teacher. During Fabian’s era as the headmaster in Umuida, he had to embark on house to house campaign to convince parents to send their children to school, and followed up on exceptionally brilliant ones. He was transferred to several schools within the then Igbo Eze Division (in Anambra State). He taught and headed 15 schools in 14 different villages in the division. In January 1st 1979, he retired voluntarily from teaching and went into active politics. He also had a stint in politics even as a teacher because he was elected the County councilor for Umuida county council, a position he held between 1961 and 1970. After retiring from teaching, he contested for a legislative seat in the then Anambra State House of Assembly under the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP). He won the election and represented Igbo Eze Central constituency between 1979
and 1983. Hon Azegba continued his crusade for qualitative education in the House of Assembly. One of his major successful bills sponsored at the assembly was a bill that sought to make Igbo Language compulsory in both primary and secondary schools in the then Anambra State. In a publication titled “Front-runners in the Anambra State House of Assembly” published by the governor’s office in 1982, Chike Egbuna of the Governor’s office summarized Hon. Azegba’s legislative profile as follows: “Born at Enugu-Ezike, Igbo Eze Local Government Area, about 1935, Hon. Fabian A. Azegba, as someone who taught for several years before voluntarily retiring and going into politics, subscribes to the view that efforts should be made to establish at least one University in every State of the Federation, and that states or voluntary organizations who wish to do so should be encouraged, provided the usual safeguards are taken to avoid fall in educational standards and free exploitation. “Son of peasant farmers, Hon. Azegba worked his way to the top through sheer doggedness and determination to succeed..... A legislator who will do anything and everything in his power to enhance both the standard of education and the position of teachers in our society, Hon. Azegba is pleased that his party, The Nigerian Peoples Party, is irrevocably poised on the brink of keeping its promise to work towards providing free and qualitative primary education, free and qualitative secondary education and free and qualitative university education. He is satisfied that the party is doing its best to improve the standard of education at all levels, and that the NPP administration has, right from its inception, been paying attention to the
improvement of the moral content of education and to the indigenous values of the African continent by involving parents in the formation of school policies”. Fabian was appointed a customary court judge at the Igbo Eze North customary court, years after leaving the State House of Assembly. He was a great community leader, mobilizer and religious leader. As devout believer in the Catholic faith, Fabian made so much exemplary sacrifice to the local church, St. Thomas catholic church, now St. Theresa’s Parish, Umuida. He was a leader and a patron of the church for several decades. He married Alice Oyima Azegba nee? Abugu in 1966. The marriage is blessed with eight surviving children – Ngozi, Nnaemeka, Okonkwo, Obiora, Chukwudi, Chekwube, Okechukwu and Onyinye. He was a devoted husband and a great father to both his children and others. He was an avid reader. After retirement, he took to studying the bible and any other book he could lay his hands on. He also did small scale livestock farming to keep fit. He will be remembered for the statesman role he played all through his life. He was a mediator and a conciliator. In the classroom, he was firm; in politics, he was fair; in the faith, he was devoted and in social life, he was generous. He was above board in terms of integrity and sincerity. For those who passed through him, he was a great teacher both in and out of the classroom. For the teachers he headed, he was the teacher’s teacher. For the members of the Catholic church, a father figure. For his political associates, a motivator. For his community, a selfless statesman. For his family, a great father. He lives on in the lives of his pupils, many of whom he inspired to great heights.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 SUNDAY SUN
POWERGAME SERIES Uduaghan will handover to Anioma son –Elder Ehikwe E
lder John Ehikwe, a second republic politician, is the National Coordinator of Anioma Welfare Initiative (AWI), one of the groups rooting for the emergence of a native of Delta North senatorial district as Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan’s successor in 2015. In this interview with Sunday Sun, he reveals the group’s game plan and how the Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghanled state government supports the group. Excerpts.
Our dream for Delta First is the change of baton. We expect that in 2015, the governorship position of the state should be handed over to Anioma nation; that is Delta north senatorial district, to finish the race in the power shift relay. Secondly, we feel we should join other states to practice true democracy. In the last election, Delta state was one of the very few states in the country that were not democratic in nominations and other political decisions taken before the last election. That explains why we have some bad eggs as our representatives. The people did not play the desired role as in other states that gave power to the people to decide who would represent them. This time around, we want true democracy in Delta state. It is not a question of whether an Anioma person would emerge because in the relay race, the baton will be handed over to Anioma, Delta north. So the choice of aspirants will be made from Delta north and it is not going to be an Urhobo man in Delta north or Edo man in Delta north; it must be an Anioma person. We are confident that one of our persons will emerge as candidate. Why our ambition seems built around PDP It is because the PDP is the dominant political party in the state. The PDP has ruled the state since the inception of this democratic dispensation and if they put their house in order, they are likely to win again in 2015. So that is our first point of call. But in all the statements that AWI has made, we have said that this is not restricted to PDP. We are carrying the mission to other political parties that are likely to field governorship candidates in Delta state. They should be committed to us. We want to sell the idea, the family values and practice in this understanding of power shift to them. So, we are not stopping any party from fielding candidates but the candidates of all the political parties must come from Delta north. Look, the power shift understanding is not restricted to PDP. The understanding basically is within Delta state. We are going to tell the national bodies of other political parties that this is the practice here in the state and that we are looking up to them to support us. We are carrying the fight to the National Assembly, to be precise. Zoning that produced Jonathan no threat President Jonathan did not emerge on his own as the PDP candidate for the 2011 election. He ran a joint ticket with the late Yar’Adua. What we are saying in Nigeria is that a term is four years and after four years, if you did well, you could be allowed for a second term. Your second term is dependent on merit; that is, your performance in the first term. In the case of the presidential candidate, the rotation was between north and south. So, Jonathan presented him-
self as a candidate for that election which he was qualified to do, in 2015, the party will decide whether he deserves a second term or not. If people feel that he does not deserve a second term on grounds of poor performance, he cannot insist that he has not completed his term because a term is not eight years. The Constitution says that an individual can have two terms and not more than that. Past appointments of Anioma natives inadequate 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. Achieving AWI’s dream without govt’s support It is not without government support. Who is the government? The governor of Delta state is Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and he has said it many times (I am sure he is going to read this, and he should challenge me if I lied), that it is the turn of Anioma (Delta north) to be the governor of the state. He said it to my hearing, and the press quoted him on a number of instances. We are doing this job for him; we are carrying on because he cannot do what we are doing now. This is what he wants; it is his aspiration that this power shift must continue because it did not start with him. It got to him and it cannot stop with him. He has said that it must continue and we are just the loud speakers to Dr. Uduaghan. So, we have one hundred percent support from the government through him. His critics can’t kill our dream Like it or not, today, our governor is Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. He is not supporting us as Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, he is supporting us because he is the head of government. His government has to support us and he has pronounced it. Now, the question of whether he performed or not does not stop him from being the governor, it does not stop him from going ahead. If they knew that he did not perform they should have stopped him in 2011. Moreover, that he did not perform will not make the other senatorial districts to retain it for 12 or 16 years. We are not in a primary school system where you fail at the end of the school year, and repeat the class. No! There is no room for repeating beyond the constitutional requirement. Whether Uduaghan performs well or
not, he is playing his role as the governor and all us including those who voted against him, elected him. Support from politicians in the area To a large extent, we have their support. For instance, between the end of last year and the beginning of this year, most of them were tried to campaign and AWI felt that it could cause a lot of damage. We advised them to leave the field and go back to whatever they were doing – if you are a bank manager, go and manage well; if you are a senator, go and perform, and if you are a legislator, go and do your job. They listened and retreated, but we have appealed to them to hold on, maybe till next year, when we must have dotted our Is and crossed our Ts. For now they have given us that respect and support. Some of them have sent messages to us that we are doing a noble job. We’re aware some already have structures There is nothing new about that. It is in readiness for when the whistle will be blown. They are not campaigning against the south or central; they are campaigning for their individual aspiration and I don’t see anything wrong with that. You do not wait until the rain starts before you go and buy an umbrella. Advice for impatient aspirants Well, you can hardly advise diehard politicians. When they have ambition, they only see one way. They do not see any obstacle and the people that surround them, tell them that they are there already; that their photographs are already in the Government House. But if people like us tell them the truth, they will say that we do not want their progress. However, let me tell you that I have warned them that they are digging their graves. They are spoiling their chances by spending their money and firing their bullets too early because when the time comes, the men will be separated from the boys and they will realise that they have a battle in their hands but have exhausted their ammunitions. How we intend to sustain the struggle We are already on and we must sustain it because people know that we are on the right course. Some politicians are ready to support us financially but some of them want to finance this kind of project 100 percent to curry favour and I am not for that kind of purpose. One, looking at the people in this group, we are not formed by any politician but we are there to work for them. So they will be supporting us halfheartedly and whatever they bring is welcomed but we are not stopping there because this is a fight for every Anioma Okada rider, Anioma vulcaniser, Anioma taxi driver, Anioma trader, Anioma lecturer and whatever; presidential adviser, ministers from Anioma nation, Anioma in Diaspora. This is the fight and we all must key into it. Whatever you have would do a lot in achieving this aim. When Barrack Obama started, he had $1 million in his pocket and that could not have funded one week’s media campaign but a student in the secondary school fired the first shot by donating $5 of his pocket money to Obama’s campaign. And that set the fire that spread throughout America at that time; money started pouring in from everybody. So we are expecting a repeat of that for the Anioma people all over the world.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 SUNDAY SUN
Works Minister: This is a case of national emergency RALPH EGBU firstname.lastname@example.org
08186958958 (SMS only)
ew weeks ago, I did a piece entitled, “Works Minister, are you still there?” That discourse or revelation was not intended to deduct from the efforts of the Minister. The intension was to help the Goodluck Jonathan administration serve Nigeria better by pointing out omissions that make leaders fail woefully against their desire. Come to think of it, I could not imagine that in the 21st Century, when serious nations want to relocate to the moon, that any Nigerian, much against his wish, would have cause to spend the night unprotected on the road. That was my experience on the Aba end of Port-Harcourt-Enugu Expressway. From what I know, the situation has not changed; instead, it has gone worst. Well, this is not about Port-Harcourt-Enugu Expressway (even though the state of the road is one big point giving the Jonathan administration a big negative tag). Today’s outing is about Umuahia-IkotEkpene-Calabar road and Ikot-EkpeneAba road. The situation I had on hand was like the case of a man complaining about shoes until he saw his mate without legs. I was bitter when I drove to Enugu and saw the deplorable state of the PortHarcourt to Ishiagu end of the PortHarcourt-Enugu Expressway. It grew into anger when on another occasion I almost slept on the road. I have been in this state of anger when last weekend I made a strip to Calabar, passing through Umuahia-Ikot-Ekpene and a return trip through Ikot-Ekpene to Aba. What I saw turned my anger to red rage and I am still boiling. Could this be Nigeria? Is this the nation that earns huge free money every day? Do we actually have leaders? What do they think are the people’s real problems? What is their communication link with the people? Do their aides feel free to report to them issues of emergencies? If they do, how do they react? So, how come things develop, capable of taking lives and there is no reaction or responses from the authorities, be it local government, state or Federal Government? Minister of Works, if your aides have refused to tell you this: I want to use this medium (if you read papers at all) to inform you that the situation on the latest roads I mentioned is a disaster. You can’t drive on the Umuahia-Ikot-Ekpene road. The journey from Umuahia to IkotEkpene (about 30km), which used to take 20-24 minutes, now takes nearly an hour 30 minutes. This would be if you have a strong car that can wade through the “rivers” your staff are likely to call flooded points. Raising strong indignation over what I saw in Calabar, a driver with All States Mass Transit Motor Company told me that even Governor of Akwa-Ibom, the irrepressible Godswill Akpabio, had his official car stuck in a particular point on that road penultimate Wednesday. It took a tipper lorry to pull him out of the mess and embarrassment, I was told. That will confirm how bad things have gone on that road. Ikot-Ekpene-Calabar road is another story of anguish. It is a live drama of hell before the real one. One can hardly move
on this only link road that connects Cross River from the southern fringe with the rest of the nation. Last Sunday, when I experienced a terrible halt lasting several hours on the road, which even resulted in severe damages to my vehicle, I was told in Calabar that I was lucky to arrive same day and in daylight. I learnt those who went through the road on Friday and Saturday slept there. Many who had corpses to take across for burial could not meet deadlines; and the creative ones had to look for Okada (motorcycles) to take across the coffins containing the dead. What a •Jonathan tragedy! What a calamity!! And what kind of a nation is this that takes delight in inflicting discomfort, disgrace, loss of dignity and even harm on its innocent, law-abiding citizens? This is even the light side of the trouble. As I left Calabar mid-week, last week I observed that the river that embeds the two sides of Calabar-Ikot-Ekpene road had almost taken over the road and that if not for the advent of dry season, this nation would wake up one morning to hear that Calabar and other communities in that axis have been cut off from the rest of the nation. Now, the big question: would it be correct to say that Liyel Imoke and Godswill Akpabio, governors of Cross River and Akwa-Ibom states respectively, don’t know about this situation? If they know the state of the roads, its strategic importance to the economies of both states and by extension that of the nation and the hardship Nigerians are subjected to daily; have they reported to both the President and the Works Minister? How come they don’t issue a public statement on such a vital mat-
ter? Don’t they have cause to travel through this road? If they don’t (which is likely), don’t their aides travel, too? When I ruminated about the state of the roads, I told myself these are the important secrets Akpabio and Imoke would not find necessary to tell the President. It is such acts that make the President the most criticized ever to emerge from this nation. I am sure that many Niger-Deltans, who pass through this road, would have no choice but wonder if the President and Minister of Works are truly indigenes of the Niger-Delta. The state of that road is more than a national embarrassment. It is an eyesore. It gives the impression that we are not serious about developing this nation. Let the Minister reverse this thinking by undertaking an on-the-spot verification visit of the roads this week. Let him enter from Aba to Calabar, possibly take a rest and return to Umuahia through Ikot-Ekpene and go back through Owerri Airport. At Abuja, he should let the nation know what his impressions are.
There is no doubt that the Jonathan administration has continued to approve huge funds for road rehabilitation. Whether such funds are released is what I don’t know, but if even the funds are released, the effect will not be there because I don’t see prioritization in the whole thing. Much of the effort is expended on roads that are of less importance. What is more, completion dates are far off that some of us wonder if the intension is truly to have these roads fully reconstructed within the specific tenure of an administration. Jonathan (if he too reads) must get this: roads, security and power can get him the re-election I know he desires. If I were him, I will do the primary things for now. Emphasis on macro economics with foreign institutions exerting so much pressure is becoming too expensive for the President’s good. If there is need to elaborate on this, I will do so, but not here today. A word they say is...
Gifts of problems By PHIL HUMBERT
hen we are stuck or frustrated, I don’t suppose anybody really likes problems. But problems are the source of wealth, fame, power, progress and most of the good things in life. Without problems, I fear we might still be living in cares. Thank goodness for the gift of problems. Do I mean that? Yes, I do! But do I really feel that way all the time? No. I find it especially hard to appreciate problems when I have one of my own! But the truth is that most of us earn our living by solving other people’s problems. In that sense, while I may be frustrated by my own problems, I am extremely thankful that other people have problems I can solve. As I have a minor mishap with my car this week. The passenger side mirror got knocked off. It has the electric gizmo in it, so there was no way I could fix it myself. We had a problem. And since it wasn’t scheduled, and I didn’t want to be bothered that particular day, it annoyed me. But I noticed the guy at the body shop saw it differently! It turns out that with his knowledge, experience, and tools he didn’t have a problem at all. For him, it was easy way to make a couple of hundred bucks! What a delight, lucky him. In a diversified economy, problems make the world go “round”. When I have a problem with my car, the
mechanic takes money. When I have a problem with my computer, the tech guy makes money. When my clients want to grow their businesses, enrich their most important goals, I get a call. Thank goodness for problems. The truth is that if you want to make more money (yes, I said, must) learn to solve more and bigger problems for more people – people pay to have problems solved. This is easy to understand when the problem is also a crisis. In an emergency we want a doctor to stop the pain. When they break down, we want our cars fixed. When we are travelling and need food or lodging for the night, we gladly pay someone to help us out. Those problems are obvious. But when we buy entertainment or furniture for our homes or even a book to read on vocation, these are problems we pay someone to solve for us. Whether your customer is one person called your “boss” or the thousands of people who come to your restaurant everyday, they all have problems to be solved. If you want them to pay you more, you must find ways to either solve the same problem for people, or learn to solve bigger or more complex problems. Your income is always a pretty accurate reflection of the value customer put on the problems you solve for them. Thank goodness for problems. As an extra bonus, consider the amazing gifts problems give us, free of charge! Problems
challenge us. They stretch us. They make us creative. They teach us and force us to learn from or collaborate with very smart people. Sometimes, I take problems as God’s gift to the human race. When we are totally relaxed and comfortable, laying in the sun with no problems of any kind, we are unlikely to be motivated. Sometimes, we even doze off. Without problems we do very little of lasting value. Only when we are hungry, frustrated, worried or challenged by a problem do we arouse ourselves and get to work. Problems (and their solutions) have created the world we enjoy everyday. So do I really enjoy problems? Well, not always. Like most people, I get frustrated or annoyed by unexpected problems. But I do see them as opportunities to lean new skills, to grow, and in some cases, to grow rich! Solving problems confers honours and respect. It makes you a being with dignity. Problems give me a chance to meet people with skills and I don’t have to extend my network, and to learn from people with expertise in areas I can’t handle myself. I think it was W. Clement Stone who observed that, “every problem has within it an even greater opportunity”. I think he was right. Examine every problem for the gold that lies within it. Problems make us stronger. They teach skills, and over time, they make us rich.
Sunday Sun SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
N5000 notes of trouble: SANUSI IN THE PEOPLES’ COURT This CBN guy (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) is on a suicide mission. Why does he want to commit hara-kiri with our economy? One breath, he preaches cashless economy, email@example.com yet, on another, (0805 - 618 - 0011) he wants highdomination currency to make it UNDE Lemo, a easier for his bourgeois pastor of the class to launder naira. Foursquare Gospel Customarily, we don’t use Church in Nigeria coins. Prices in coins and Deputy Governor, range will gravitate to curOperations,Central Bank rency-hyper inflation! of Nigeria, CBN , was in -08051285351 Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital on Wednesday, They love inflicting the first day of the pains on Nigerians Nigeria Guild of Editors conference where he I’m not surprised at what frantically defended the they (officials of governapex bank’s proposed ment) are doing. It’s their introduction of N5,000 regular trademark. They bank notes into the coun- collaborate to inflict pains try’s monetary system. on Nigerians and mask He dispelled soaring their oppressive antics in fears that ‘higher the euphoria of our agonizdenominations of the ing cry for relief. Let them currency will attract not forget that they are inflation, saying it’s dealing with millions of about dealing with sit-in masses whose elasticity inflation in the econo- limits cannot be overmy’. Very well. But long stretched. Introduction of before he made that N5,000 notes at this time staunch defence my box will be a policy against the had been bombarded voice for reason. A word is with letters from readers enough for the wise. voicing varied positions -Kingsley K. Achor, on the matter. I devote 08034694323 this page to some of the flood of reactions this They’re just fast-trackmorning . Enjoy. ing doomsday for Nigeria
Stop this arrant nonsense or… We say no to Sanusi’s N5000 note. It’s arrant nonsense, and it must stop now. The facts in your article floored CBN’s argument. But from the way things are going, the falcon cannot hear the falconer. Anarchy is let loose upon the world. I pray Sanusi goes ahead with his usual stubbornness. It could just be the trigger we’ve been waiting for to unleash the revolution this country desperately needs. -Dan Idowu, 08051285351 Ikorodu, near Lagos Brainless, innately wicked Thank you so very much for The Storm in Sanusi’s Cup. Our leaders/decision makers are a curse to this country. They do not use their brains; and they are innately selfish/stubborn/wicked. Let’s pray that they listen, especially Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and the IMF/World Bank messenger of death, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. –Aigbodior, 08152755526 It’s money laundering made easy
Shola, kudos for the brilliant piece, The Storm in Sanusi’s Cup; and remain blessed as defender of the endangered poor masses who have been victims since 1993, in particular, of insensitive governance and institutions. The masses are taken for granted and policies are announced long after they have been discretely sealed. Lamido Sanusi proudly has the president’s ears/backing as discernible from this statement by Shamsideen Usman, Minister of planning: “The planning today was basically to endorse the introduction of N5, 000 notes. Mr. President had already approved it and that is the only requirement by the law.” Aren’t we variously aiding and abetting the American experts’ prediction that Nigeria may cease to exist from 2015? -Prince Adams Gbenoba, 08033809403 Surulere, Lagos Shola, you are hypocritical Shola, you are a hypocrite, period. Were you not the one that sang praises when Sanusi wanted Islamic Bank? Now, you do not believe him. …A real Yoruba man, always drift-
ing. Will you ever take a firm position? Get real. -Nwosu, 07084976974 Lagos They’re only after their selfish interest Their interest is the ‘agent’ fee ‘commission’ they collect on these unwholesome deals, not the masses. -Anonymous, 08075583191 They never listen I quite agree with you totally on this issue. But it is obvious that these people never listen. They carry on as if they are wiser than the rest of us put together. I’ll rather not dissipate precious time and energy advising them. Even though our elasticity is legendary, surely a time will come when Nigerians will no longer be able to adjust. The Good Book says, ‘let those who have ears hear’. -Ebosele Oiku, 08056047425 Thumb up! The Storm in Sanusi’s Cup was a piece on financial engineering. More power to your elbow. –Sonny PhilipsOmoekun, 08036836937 Whatever happened to cashless policy? I just want to ask: what happened to cashless policy? What do we need N5, 000 notes for in a cashless economy? Sometimes getting change for N1, 000 note when one takes public transport is difficult, talk more of N5, 000. The money they will spend on this can better a lot of lives rendered jobless by the cashless policy and other inconsistent CBN policies. Again, with N5, 000, money laundering will be made a lot easier. More of the lower notes will have to be used as change for the N5, 000, and the prices of goods will rise to eliminate coins. We like to imitate Western countries like the US, yet their highest currency is $100 -Bigman Onwudinjo, 08121194363 Abuja They’ll be sorry I read your piece on Sanusi’s currency madness. They tried their hand at making nonsense of the Nigerian currency in January, this year, and got whacked for it. Now, they have brought in their bazooka of monetary argot to finish off the Naira and Nigerians and this time around our feckless president and his economic traitors will be forever sorry
•Sanusi they have done so much to bring Nigerians to global ridicule. We go laugh o! Bless you. -Alex Egom, 08037870705 CBN’s reasoning is illogical Thanks for your well-researched piece on the issuance of banknotes by USA and Britain, which gave lie to CBN officials’ claims on issuance of N5, 000 notes, based on spurious economic principle. Imagine CBN’s Director of Operation saying on Channels TV programme, SUNRISE DAILY, that the issuance of N5, 000 note is not targeted at all Nigerians. He was even so confused that he debunked CBN’s claim that cost of printing is too high when he compared the cost of the last three serial prints of new currencies, which cost N47billion at first term, and N32billion at the last. Accounting suddenly took a new principle where gain was loss. To compound CBN’s insensibility to the rejection of the idea, he said they would try it
and if it failed, they would withdraw it from circulation. What a show of incompetence and right abuse on Nigerians! If Jonathan fails to stop CBN on this rights abuse, he will be on his own from now. -Lai Ashadele, 08053007531 Not only N5, 000 banknotes, but also N10, 000 coins!
Chisom thinks that to make coins to be valued again in Nigeria, CBN should make the new N5, 000 and maybe N10, 000 coins. What do you think? Feel free to rebroadcast, tweet and pass on. It is time to stand up for a change… -Chisom Anosike Njoku, 08037106719
SHOLA OSHUNKEYE ON N5000 notes of trouble:
Sanusi in the peoples’ court N200 SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
VOL. 6 NO. 491
Her first love FUNKE EGBEMODE firstname.lastname@example.org 08100993984 (SMS only)
ow many times have you heard men say women are mean and wicked and faithless and well, necessary evil? Every day, every hour? I have lost count. In fact, I have stopped counting. Who cares about their ignorant assessment? Most of the time, what men have to say about women is just boring, but once in a while, like today, it irks me enough to want to talk about it. It all starts when a girl starts filling out and every boy within shouting distance wants to feel her out. Men, they have been bad since they were boys but girls were good until the boys discovered them. Here’s how. When a girl falls in love, she falls totally, irredeemably. She’ll do anything for the boy. She believes everything the boy tells her even when the boy means nothing or didn’t even think before opening his mouth. She goes about with dreamy eyes. There’s a lilt to her feet and a tilt to her head. In most cases she loses concentration in class. Even when she looks like she is doing some serious studying at ‘prep’, she’s writing a love note or doodling on the back of her biology notebook. There will also be this smile you can’t describe on her face. These days they giggle while pinging when they should be helping in the kitchen or at least doing their assignments. A girl in love for the first time is an all time fool. If you have doubts, ask why male ‘corpers’ leave behind many seeds of their indiscretion after the oneyear mandatory national service. The blokes spend more time serving under the skirts of the unsuspecting sweet 16year-olds than at the places of their primary assignments. The way they dig successfully in the wrong places every year is amazing. Imagine this, a corper is deployed to a community to teach or work at the local health centre but he dispenses the wrong bottles and bottles of syrup, and then sneaks away in the middle of the night. The corper teacher burrows in
forbidden holes, rummages in between in the legs of innocent teenagers and leaves the ‘fruits of his labour’ unclaimed behind. Yet the following year, a new set of rampaging rascals arrive in their green khaki and white NYSC shirts and the girls still fall for the time-worn lies. Is it something about first time love? No, it’s something about lying being in men’s DNA and foolishness in women’s genes. The difference is women get over the foolishness but men nurture their lies and groom it into an art. But the lying ways of men is not my primary assignment today. It is the number of teenagers being fooled and told Mills and Boon stories this very minute that is my point here. Somewhere, even as I write this, a teenager is being convinced to forget everything her mother taught her by a swindling bloke. She is being told that condoms are for men who can’t control themselves and how he will withdraw before he drops his load. Trouble is, he will drop that load, she will get pregnant and he will deny responsibility. He will then proceed to rub salt into her wounds either by asking, ‘How many times did we do it?’ or ‘am I the only one you are sleeping with? The most saddening part is that some girls went through this routine last year, some are falling for the same emotional 419 right now and more will fall next year. It’s a lying-dude-foolish-girl musical chair. Every mother owes her daughter a duty of a very long explanation because all mothers were once dreamy-eyed teenagers and know the routine. Before we go on, let us say a little prayer to ask God to forgive all men who left behind unclaimed fruits of their labour during their NYSC year. May the Almighty have mercy on their rascally souls. Amen. Let’s move on. When her mother sends her on errand, she makes time to see ‘her love’ and returns home late with a bowl of lies to cover her tracks. She stops over on her way to the library, market, school and even church programmes to see him. Don’t be shocked at the church part, just
keep an eye on your daughter and that choir practice routine. She may have fallen in love with one boy in church. Did you say she’s just fervent for God? Ah, good luck with that. I remember a friend who did one of the most foolish things a girl in love for the first time could do. Moji was 17 when she fell in love with Gbade. Gbade was 21 and was in what we called Upper Six A’Levels then. He was born in Britain but his parents brought him back to Nigeria when he was 11. However, he wanted to return to Britain by all means but his parents were already doing well here. He made some complicated plans with which he convinced Moji to help with funds to buy his ticket. He promised Moji he would do everything to take her over to join him abroad. All she had to do was believe in him. He loved her so much. Moji believed every lying line and was convinced that she was investing in their future. Oh, I didn’t tell you what she invested? Her mother’s jewellery box and all the fullness therein. Yeah. The old woman almost had a heart attack. Moji’s father almost disowned her. Gbade travelled and for a while, the lovebirds exchanged love letters ( those were the days before facebook, blackberry and pinging) until the purple prose from Gbade, the Londoner dwindled to a
halt. And Moji’s world shattered into smithereens. She couldn’t believe Gbade could dump her. She thought at first it was post office problem. Then she decided that he was ill. But Gbade’s sisters were in touch with their brother. The lover boy had simply moved on, found more voluptuous bosom to rest his lying head on. The shame was unspeakable, the pain horrendous. Moji went to hell and back. I watched my friend fade away. She flunked two of her courses in our first year in the university but that was the wake-up call that brought her back to earth. She gradually recovered but love for her never had the same meaning after Gbade. A man’s promise became a huge joke. She became mean to men and for a long time I saw her punish many men for Gbade’s sins. Moji finally recovered. She is happily married today but her journey between Gbade and marriage is a full book. My point? Most girls don’t start out with cheating, two-timing in mind. They wear rose-tinted glasses and love with all their hearts. They believe what the boys tell them until they are forced to put their hearts in the freezer and begin to love with their heads. That’s when love becomes a dangerous game and men find out that girls learn quickly and are better equipped to win more gold medals at the love Olympics.
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: FUNKE EGBEMODE