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Saturday People SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

17

LARRY JONES-ESAN

By EMERSON GOBERT, JR

How we’re creating R future Nigerian leaders in London Academy Business School

ecently, the London Academy Business School in Nigeria held its graduation ceremony, with a tint of scholarly uniqueness. Attended by dons from different universities in Nigeria and abroad, the event gave new perspective to the academic life. That day, the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Studies of the academy, Dr Larry Jones-Esan, said the London Academy Business School (LABS) is taking a holistic approach to educating organisations on “knowledge worker approach” in the 21st century. He said: “Organisations need to wake up to new realities in most countries, if they are to compete at international level. We believe new directions are needed in dealing with staff if we are to gain maximum benefits from the “knowledge worker approach.” It is now imperative for employers to employ the whole person rather than parts like machine.” In this interview, he shares his vision and

inspiration as well as discusses the problem facing education in Nigeria. What is the vision of the London Academy Business School? The vision is very clear. The vision is to offer a UK qualification in Nigeria at a very high standard and to a good number of people. One is to get rid of the qualification syndrome that we have in Nigeria but get straight into education. How do you source lecturers? Our lecturers are internationally based, majorly in the UK, in the US, Croatia, South Africa and also in Nigeria. As an organisation, we are trying to promote work-based learning. Therefore, employability is the key thing for us as a Nigerian-led organisation and also as an institution based in Nigeria; so we are encouraging local participation at all levels. We source our lecturers from

•Turn to pg 18


18

SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

Saturday People •Continued from pg 17 different universities from Nigeria and also some of our lecturers, who were based in London, who are Nigerians who have returned to Nigeria are mostly our lecturers. What certificates or degrees are awarded? We have partnership with different organisations. We have an awarding body, like EDECSEL, IEM, ACCA and BCS. We also work in partnership with quite a few universities. Through RDI, we also award our students the Sunderland University degree. We are planning, to work with two other universities.

‘Leadership can’t survive without followership’

Where are you from, Sir? I’m partly Yoruba and partly Rivers. Where is the paternity? My mother is Yoruba and my father is Rivers. I have the whole Nigeria and I want to claim to be a Nigerian, but again, Nigeria also is separated with so many tribes and stuff like that, so I believe I would rightly claim a Nigerian. I grew up in Lagos. I have spent all my life in Lagos; so you say I’m a Yoruba man and my parents live in Lagos, but I know where my root is from. I’m half Yoruba and half Rivers.

How do you ensure standards? That is crucial. I have worked as a member of the police headquarters in London, as head analyst and I’ve also worked as an education head for many years in the UK. I’ve had to go through so many accreditations, so many inspections and all of that have obviously branded me as a person to ensure quality, but all the awarding bodies that we actually offer their qualifications visit our centre in Nigeria to ensure qualities are adhered to. They have inspection dates, which they communicate to us and they come in and inspect our records and also speak to students, to make sure they are actually being taught and what we say we are doing is being done. So they interview students; they check our books and also ensure that results are not just based on face value but are cross-checked to make sure that standards are met. Who qualifies to enrol into LABS? We are enrolling graduates who are from the NYSC camp. I want to pay serious commendation to the former Director General of the NYSC, General Tsiga, who gave us his backing to go into some of the camps and actually promote our programmes. So graduates are those who are registered on our programmes to do post-graduate courses. Also, A-level students who already qualify are registered in our degree courses and also the Masters’ programme as well. What makes LABS different from other institutions? The business school, in itself, is geared towards making sure people are employable. All that we do is based on making people employable. I must confess that 60-70 per cent of our current graduates in the country are unemployable. That, in itself, is a serious concern to the management of London Academy Business School that majority of the graduates that we have interviewed really haven’t got what is called functional skills; so the reason for LABS being established here in Nigeria is to cater for the vocational aspect of qualifications, helping people to become employable, being able to do what they qualify on paper to do. What inspired you to undertake this programme? As a Nigerian and having been out of the country for over 28 years and seen what education has actually added to the developed world, I think Nigeria needs more education. I’ve run institutions in the UK and I’ve seen the difference in having qualification and having education and that is one of the reasons I said, as a Nigerian, I had to go back home and contribute my quota to the system. There is nothing I could see “Made in Nigeria;” something that is made in a country, as big as Nigeria is, with over 160 million people on record; nothing I could see. Is it a car? Is it a bucket? Is it a bicycle? Is it a motorcycle? No! Nothing of such we can see internationally and if you don’t buy or sell anything, you have no value in the world and Nigerians in London currently number almost three million. That is more than a country. Nigeria is more or less a giant of Africa; more like the heartbeat of Africa and if education is not the centrepiece for Nigeria, other African countries will find it difficult; so one of my aims is to make Nigeria regain its position in the world.

are you from and where did you study? Well, I did part of my studies here in Nigeria, at Apostolic Church Grammar School in Ketu before I moved to the UK. I did HND under City and Guilds here in Nigeria and moved to the UK and did my first degree in Southbank University, my Master’s degree in Southbank University and a DBA from Stanford University. I did another master’s also in Education in Australia –RMIT and I’m now finishing a PhD with ISM (International School of Management) in the US.

Jones-Esan Currently, internationally none of our universities is listed among the 5,000 in the world. That wasn’t the case in the 70s, and in a recent convocation ceremony lecture that I gave in Ado Ekiti, in 2007, I made it quite clear that education has lost its value from what it used to be, but we can reclaim the position. A lot of hard work will have to be done. We need to change the view and the work ethics of our current lecturers. Professors need to re-educate themselves, need to update their own skills; need to use the latest tools that are used in teaching. That will help so that the standard can go up. Today’s students are different from 15 years ago and lecturers of today need to update their own skills. To answer your question clearly, the standard is not comparable.

the Internet has not been preached to the students enough for them to know the difference between what they copy on the Internet and what they produce, as their original work; so both are to blame, but first and foremost, I will say the system itself has not encouraged good, quality education to take place. What, in your opinion, should be done to improve the system of education in Nigeria? In my opinion, there should be a re-education of our lecturers and managers of institutions. If I may just add, Harvard Business School, at one point, three years ago, had in reserve $40 billion. The same amount Nigeria has in reserve at the same time, a country as big as Nigeria. What is Harvard Business School doing differently? They are running university like a business, not just as four walls of a higher institution. You cannot expect government to always pump money into education. Establishment itself has to be able to generate income to sustain themselves and this is because those who are managing institutions never developed the sprit of entrepreneurship; not just an academia; not just a professor. They need to develop the spirit of entrepreneurship and be able to offer to people and to the country the value of education and also running it to generate income to sustain themselves and give value to the students that they actually have. Therefore, I’m trying to organise a programme called, “the educators.” It’s like “the operators” to educate the educators on the current and modern way of running an institution and how to market university abroad. I’ve done a lot of work with the Federal University of Abeokuta. I work with the people. I’ve trained well over 250 people from that university alone and the commendation from the vice chancellor, Professor Balogun, who has just retired encourages me to do even more with the new vice chancellor, Professor Oyewole.

Some people blame the decay in the educational system in Nigeria on the system, some blame the teachers and some blame the students. What’s your take on this? Well, it takes two to tango. The teachers have not done justice. Of course, not all of them. I cannot put everyone in the same bracket. The teachers have not done justice to the education they are providing. Currently, science is not taken seriously in Nigeria. When I ask people the course they are doing, I usually hear them say “Mass Comm. and Biz Admin. Those are the easy courses that people get into. The students have not taken up the hardest one, the science subject and some of the engineering subjects. This is so because they think it is difficult. I don’t blame them to some extent, because how can you have a lecturer, who is teaching science subject and he is not qualified in science himself or herself? And when it gets to the nitty-gritty of teaching science subject, they actually boycott some of those areas. So you come out of a university and say you are actually a Computer Science graduate but really, you have no idea what it is that you have studied. So I will blame both teachers and also How would you access the standard of edu- students themselves. It has gotten to the point You have English names, although there is where all they do is copy and paste from a hyphenated African name at the end. Where cation in Nigeria? Wikipedia, from the internet; so the right use of

You train managers and leaders. What is your concept of leadership? Well, leadership, as you know, is about making sure people do the right thing and I believe today’s leaders in Nigeria are very weak and so I’ve trained leaders in different areas – finance, management and leadership and we believe it is important for leaders themselves to lead a country that is meant to be a leader or a giant in Africa. You need good leaders among them; so I would say my concept of leadership is to do the right thing in the right way because managers do things right and I believe what we have done in recent times with different managers and executives in this country is to empower them, so that they can compete internationally. Sometimes, most of our leaders are not able to compete internationally, but majority also study abroad, but the question is this: If you study abroad and you are able to add value overseas, when you come back to Nigeria, why is it not the case? I must quickly add this to what I’m trying to say. I have an office in Dubai. As you are arriving Dubai from the airport, a country of less than 200,000 people, you will see the difference, from the airport and the arrangement so that is what I call leadership – showing example of something others can emulate. Now today, the rest of the world – USA, UK, Europeans, even Asians – are all going to Dubai, the Emirate, to see the wonders of the world and that is showing that they are leaders in their own right. What can Nigeria show or be proud of? We have a lot of resources: Human resources, mineral resources. All of these are things that we could be proud of. That is how we can show leadership. You have to be proud of what you have but none of us is taking ownership; so part of what we teach in leadership is also strategic planning and ownership of this country to move this country from where it is today to the next level and that is one of the things I think we can achieve by educating some young people in the course that we are offering at the post-graduate level, which is called Strategic Leadership and Management. Some people say the problem with Nigeria is leadership. Do you share that position? Well, I would say, to an extent, yes, but leadership cannot survive without followership; so leadership in itself is one thing, but followers need to demand of their leaders what they want. However, if we don’t know any better, it is hard sometimes for leaders to even perform. So if you demand from your leader what you think is right for you, then obviously… I mean, look at the oil subsidy issue when it took place. You could see that leaders had to convene a meeting urgently and address the issue. That was a demand from the subject. America today got their freedom from UK. If they didn’t fight for it, they won’t have got it; so leadership is not just based on the person in front; it also falls down to the responsibility of the people coming behind, the followers themselves.


SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

19

Saturday People Why I wrote Here Comes the Commander-inChief – Akinadewo, editor, Nigerian Compass Are you saying that by that column, you supported Jonathan during the election? The column was a practical manifestation of the power and resources an incumbent would deploy to retain his seat. When you read it, you will understand where I am coming from.

By VIVIAN ONYEBUKWA

O

n October 2, 2012, Nigerians from all walks of life will converge in Lagos at the instance of Mr. Gabriel Folajimi Akinadewo, a journalist, columnist, writer, and editor, Nigerian Compass. According to the journalist, with experience gathered from the defunct National Concord, The Comet, The Nation and now Nigerian Compass, he decided to work on the book, entitled: ‘Here Comes the Commander-inChief’, a collection of his witty columns, to enlighten Nigerians and the world on things happening in the country. In this interview with some journalists, Akinadewo, who is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, speaks on how leaders should cultivate the habit of reading to change the society.

Could you tell us how your career in journalism started? It is not coincidental that I am a journalist today. Decades ago, my father told me that I was going to be a journalist. In fact, he introduced me to journalism. My father, Archbishop I. M. Akinadewo, is a journalist, publisher, accountant, proprietor of schools, administrator, prophet and community leader. In the 70s, he was publishing four newspapers – Nigerian Monitor, Sekstape, Everybody’s and Sporting News - in Ibadan, the then capital of the defunct Western Region. Later, we moved to Ondo and after my secondary school education, in the early 80s in Ondo, he started publishing the Nigerian Monitor again and I was heavily involved in the production, editorial content, sales, advert and circulation. It was more or less a state newspaper, covering Ondo, Akure, Okitipupa, Owo, Akoko and some towns in the old Ondo State. There was a time I even edited the newspaper before going to the University of Lagos. So, what I am doing today about production deadline, exclusive stories and others are not new. You are presenting your book soon. It’s observed that the content of the book is like a crusade against the rot in the society. What informed your kind of writing? As a Christian, I know that Isaiah 58 says: ‘Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet and show my people their transgression.’ Critics are like the engine room of any society. They must keep the machinery of the state running by pointing out vices in the society. Would it be right then to say you are a crusading critics? Well, it runs in the family. My grandfather, who died in 1979, Saint B.A. Adekahunsi, was a crusading cleric. He was the Chairman of Spiritual Workers’ Union in the Western Region. If you get to Ondo town today and ask for the house of Baba Oluso (Shepherd father) in Sabo area, you cannot miss your way. Spiritually, God used him mightily to alleviate the suffering of the people and save the society from tormentors. He even took the spiritual battle to Ghana. My father is doing same today in Ondo. We, the children, grew up to know our father as a prophet. So, in my journalism career, I cannot but follow their footsteps. How come that despite crusade by columnists and prophets, the society has not changed? If we go down the Biblical lane, there were just two persons in the Garden of Eden, a couple named Adam and Eve. They didn’t need to toil or labour. Everything was provided for them. Despite God’s warning, they committed a crime. So, if only two persons could commit a crime in a comfortable place like that, what

Which is the best of the 115 columns? Readers will decide that. Why publish the book now? A major tragedy of this society is that our leaders don’t read. Some have attributed it to the coming of the Internet and social media. I disagree. Anytime I go to the United States, I go to bookshops and you won’t believe that hundreds of Americans will be seen buying one book or another. If our leaders can develop the reading culture, I think the society will be better because in this book, there is no aspect of our social, political, economic, spiritual and cultural lives that is not touched. Do you know that in New York Police Department, there is a laundry section? Do we have that in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF)? How will you have a sane society when those mandated to ensure that sane society are not psychologically balanced? When you get to Ojota, Lagos, you will see some area boys collecting egunje (bribe) for security agents. What is responsible for that? Some churches are not better than night clubs and they will be shouting the name of Jesus Christ. You will find that in the book. This is a country in which some people have perpetual injunction, which means nobody can arraign them in court. These are societal challenges that our leaders, if they can cultivate the habit of reading, will find solutions to through columns.

Adinadewo do you expect from170 million people in Nigeria or more than seven billion people in the world? People must commit crimes because God Himself, in Genesis 1: 4 separated light from darkness. In today’s world, there are children of light and children of darkness. That is why we have law enforcement agents to maintain law and order, but it is even bad now that some of those mandated to maintain law and order take delight in breaching the law. The duty of a critic is to continuously alert those in leadership position on what they are doing wrong or what is going wrong around them. And there is no sentiment about it. You remember that Elijah in the Bible would point to King Ahab and say something like, ‘you and your father’s household are the problem of the land.’ A crusading columnist must be bold and courageous. So, what has been the challenge? Well, as a journalist, writing a column is not easy. And for an editor to be writing a column is even more tasking. You can’t just afford to write anything because of your readers and if you don’t satisfy them, you know what that means. There was a time I was really busy and I repeated my previous columns for four weeks. The text messages I got from some readers were abusive. I have not deleted them from my phone. Damn abusive text messages. I had to reply them, apologising in the process. Also, all readers want their responses to be published. There are some responses that cannot be published, you understand what I am saying. Some of these responses are libelous, so to say. What I do is to try and appeal to them that such replies cannot be published. Readers will always react the way they feel about how the society is being governed by those elected or selected to rule them.

publishing them? No, that is not the issue. If I get over 200 text messages on a particular column, you don’t expect me to publish all. I will just pick. Then, as I said, some of the responses are libelous. When you are referring to a President or governor as a thief, a responsible columnist or journalist will never publish that. You know in their eagerness to get mentioned, readers will say all sorts of things just to abuse those they suspect are making life miserable for them. It is the duty of an editor, as a gate keeper, so to say, to edit such responses and where they cannot be edited, to just leave out and take the abuses from the readers. I need the readers to continue to enjoy my column and buy the paper, so you have to do what I call a balancing act. Have you had brushes with security agents? No. In writing a column, there is a way you can tell somebody to go to hell and he will look forward to the trip. Because columnists want to sanitise the society does not mean that we should be reckless. You can write on vices in the society without touching on national security.

How? Columnists go down historical lane to tell the society how such challenges were solved in other climes. That is what you will find in my book. Going through the columns in the book, you will find out that I don’t just criticise, I proffer solutions. What is the target audience? Everybody. The language is simple, very simple. Even primary school pupils can read it. That is the way a society can be reformed. Start from youths. I started reading newspapers from primary school. By the way, I attended four primary schools. In Ibadan, I attended Ebenezer African Church School and later Ayodele Nursery and Primary School. When my father moved to Ondo, I attended St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School and later C.A.C. Primary School, OkeIsegun. My father would buy all newspapers then, Daily Times, Daily Sketch, Nigerian Tribune, Herald etc. My siblings and I would, at times, go to Barracks Road, the distribution point for vendors in Ondo, to get the papers on time. On the road, we would start reading. I remember that while in Form 2, at St. Ambrose Catholic Grammar School, Olorunsola, Ondo, I sent an opinion to Daily Sketch and it was published. There was nobody I didn’t show that paper in Ondo. I was so delighted. Newspapers were sold for 20 kobo then. When I showed it to my Government teacher, he was so happy that he bought two copies and gave me one because the one I was showing people belonged to my father. Today, even graduates don’t read again. Everybody is into yahoo yahoo. No society can develop like that. So, this book can be read by everybody.

What informed the title, ‘Here Comes the Commander-in-Chief’? The book has about 115 columns and I picked the title from one of the columns. But that is not to say that it is the best column. I wrote that column in the build up to the 2011 election when former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and others were trying to wrest power from President Goodluck Jonathan. I elaborated on the enorWho are you dedicating the book to? mous power of the President in a country like My parents, of course. My father, Nigeria and why it would be difficult for Archbishop I.M. Akinadewo and my mother, them, given the reality we know, to remove Superintendent General Apostolic Mother Are you saying the readers are wrong in him from Aso Rock. M.A. Akinadewo. She died in 2010. their responses and that is why you are not


SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

19

Saturday People Why I wrote Here Comes the Commander-inChief – Akinadewo, editor, Nigerian Compass Are you saying that by that column, you supported Jonathan during the election? The column was a practical manifestation of the power and resources an incumbent would deploy to retain his seat. When you read it, you will understand where I am coming from.

By VIVIAN ONYEBUKWA

O

n October 2, 2012, Nigerians from all walks of life will converge in Lagos at the instance of Mr. Gabriel Folajimi Akinadewo, a journalist, columnist, writer, and editor, Nigerian Compass. According to the journalist, with experience gathered from the defunct National Concord, The Comet, The Nation and now Nigerian Compass, he decided to work on the book, entitled: ‘Here Comes the Commander-inChief’, a collection of his witty columns, to enlighten Nigerians and the world on things happening in the country. In this interview with some journalists, Akinadewo, who is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, speaks on how leaders should cultivate the habit of reading to change the society. Could you tell us how your career in journalism started? It is not coincidental that I am a journalist today. Decades ago, my father told me that I was going to be a journalist. In fact, he introduced me to journalism. My father, Archbishop I. M. Akinadewo, is a journalist, publisher, accountant, proprietor of schools, administrator, prophet and community leader. In the 70s, he was publishing four newspapers – Nigerian Monitor, Sekstape, Everybody’s and Sporting News - in Ibadan, the then capital of the defunct Western Region. Later, we moved to Ondo and after my secondary school education, in the early 80s in Ondo, he started publishing the Nigerian Monitor again and I was heavily involved in the production, editorial content, sales, advert and circulation. It was more or less a state newspaper, covering Ondo, Akure, Okitipupa, Owo, Akoko and some towns in the old Ondo State. There was a time I even edited the newspaper before going to the University of Lagos. So, what I am doing today about production deadline, exclusive stories and others are not new. You are presenting your book soon. It’s observed that the content of the book is like a crusade against the rot in the society. What informed your kind of writing? As a Christian, I know that Isaiah 58 says: ‘Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet and show my people their transgression.’ Critics are like the engine room of any society. They must keep the machinery of the state running by pointing out vices in the society. Would it be right then to say you are a crusading critics? Well, it runs in the family. My grandfather, who died in 1979, Saint B.A. Adekahunsi, was a crusading cleric. He was the Chairman of Spiritual Workers’ Union in the Western Region. If you get to Ondo town today and ask for the house of Baba Oluso (Shepherd father) in Sabo area, you cannot miss your way. Spiritually, God used him mightily to alleviate the suffering of the people and save the society from tormentors. He even took the spiritual battle to Ghana. My father is doing same today in Ondo. We, the children, grew up to know our father as a prophet. So, in my journalism career, I cannot but follow their footsteps. How come that despite crusade by columnists and prophets, the society has not changed? If we go down the Biblical lane, there were just two persons in the Garden of Eden, a couple named Adam and Eve. They didn’t need to toil or labour. Everything was provided for them. Despite God’s warning, they committed a crime. So, if only two persons could commit a crime in a comfortable place like that, what

Which is the best of the 115 columns? Readers will decide that. Why publish the book now? A major tragedy of this society is that our leaders don’t read. Some have attributed it to the coming of the Internet and social media. I disagree. Anytime I go to the United States, I go to bookshops and you won’t believe that hundreds of Americans will be seen buying one book or another. If our leaders can develop the reading culture, I think the society will be better because in this book, there is no aspect of our social, political, economic, spiritual and cultural lives that is not touched. Do you know that in New York Police Department, there is a laundry section? Do we have that in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF)? How will you have a sane society when those mandated to ensure that sane society are not psychologically balanced? When you get to Ojota, Lagos, you will see some area boys collecting egunje (bribe) for security agents. What is responsible for that? Some churches are not better than night clubs and they will be shouting the name of Jesus Christ. You will find that in the book. This is a country in which some people have perpetual injunction, which means nobody can arraign them in court. These are societal challenges that our leaders, if they can cultivate the habit of reading, will find solutions to through columns.

Akinadewo do you expect from170 million people in Nigeria or more than seven billion people in the world? People must commit crimes because God Himself, in Genesis 1: 4 separated light from darkness. In today’s world, there are children of light and children of darkness. That is why we have law enforcement agents to maintain law and order, but it is even bad now that some of those mandated to maintain law and order take delight in breaching the law. The duty of a critic is to continuously alert those in leadership position on what they are doing wrong or what is going wrong around them. And there is no sentiment about it. You remember that Elijah in the Bible would point to King Ahab and say something like, ‘you and your father’s household are the problem of the land.’ A crusading columnist must be bold and courageous. So, what has been the challenge? Well, as a journalist, writing a column is not easy. And for an editor to be writing a column is even more tasking. You can’t just afford to write anything because of your readers and if you don’t satisfy them, you know what that means. There was a time I was really busy and I repeated my previous columns for four weeks. The text messages I got from some readers were abusive. I have not deleted them from my phone. Damn abusive text messages. I had to reply them, apologising in the process. Also, all readers want their responses to be published. There are some responses that cannot be published, you understand what I am saying. Some of these responses are libelous, so to say. What I do is to try and appeal to them that such replies cannot be published. Readers will always react the way they feel about how the society is being governed by those elected or selected to rule them.

publishing them? No, that is not the issue. If I get over 200 text messages on a particular column, you don’t expect me to publish all. I will just pick. Then, as I said, some of the responses are libelous. When you are referring to a President or governor as a thief, a responsible columnist or journalist will never publish that. You know in their eagerness to get mentioned, readers will say all sorts of things just to abuse those they suspect are making life miserable for them. It is the duty of an editor, as a gate keeper, so to say, to edit such responses and where they cannot be edited, to just leave out and take the abuses from the readers. I need the readers to continue to enjoy my column and buy the paper, so you have to do what I call a balancing act. Have you had brushes with security agents? No. In writing a column, there is a way you can tell somebody to go to hell and he will look forward to the trip. Because columnists want to sanitise the society does not mean that we should be reckless. You can write on vices in the society without touching on national security.

How? Columnists go down historical lane to tell the society how such challenges were solved in other climes. That is what you will find in my book. Going through the columns in the book, you will find out that I don’t just criticise, I proffer solutions. What is the target audience? Everybody. The language is simple, very simple. Even primary school pupils can read it. That is the way a society can be reformed. Start from youths. I started reading newspapers from primary school. By the way, I attended four primary schools. In Ibadan, I attended Ebenezer African Church School and later Ayodele Nursery and Primary School. When my father moved to Ondo, I attended St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School and later C.A.C. Primary School, OkeIsegun. My father would buy all newspapers then, Daily Times, Daily Sketch, Nigerian Tribune, Herald etc. My siblings and I would, at times, go to Barracks Road, the distribution point for vendors in Ondo, to get the papers on time. On the road, we would start reading. I remember that while in Form 2, at St. Ambrose Catholic Grammar School, Olorunsola, Ondo, I sent an opinion to Daily Sketch and it was published. There was nobody I didn’t show that paper in Ondo. I was so delighted. Newspapers were sold for 20 kobo then. When I showed it to my Government teacher, he was so happy that he bought two copies and gave me one because the one I was showing people belonged to my father. Today, even graduates don’t read again. Everybody is into yahoo yahoo. No society can develop like that. So, this book can be read by everybody.

What informed the title, ‘Here Comes the Commander-in-Chief’? The book has about 115 columns and I picked the title from one of the columns. But that is not to say that it is the best column. I wrote that column in the build up to the 2011 election when former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and others were trying to wrest power from President Goodluck Jonathan. I elaborated on the enorWho are you dedicating the book to? mous power of the President in a country like My parents, of course. My father, Nigeria and why it would be difficult for Archbishop I.M. Akinadewo and my mother, them, given the reality we know, to remove Superintendent General Apostolic Mother Are you saying the readers are wrong in him from Aso Rock. M.A. Akinadewo. She died in 2010. their responses and that is why you are not


20

SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

Saturday People ‘With energy therapy, I treat illnesses that Towards a Peaceful defy orthodox, alternative medicine’ Living over 50 countries, including the United States of America, France, Britain, Mexico, Canada, The Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and many more. It shows that I’m among those uplifting Nigeria’s integrity as a country with greater potentials in the achievement of the ideals of our common humanity.

By VIVIAN ONYEBUKWA vvnchinyere@yahoo.com

E

nergy medicine or energy psychology may sound strange, but it’s a new medical effort in which a Nigerian, Chief (Dr) Iwowarri Berian James and others heal people whose health conditions defy orthodox and alternative medicine. According to James, with energy medicine is used in treating mental health. It is also a fast and effective way of correcting blockages in the energy flow of the human body to improve mental health, among others. Recently, an American-based Energy Psychology Association (ACEP) honoured you with an award. Why did ACEP give you such recognition? I was given this award for my accomplishment in the area of energy medicine, also known as energy psychology or energy therapy. First, I am Nigeria’s pioneer energy therapist. Second, I am Africa’s first certified energy health practitioner. Specifically, I was given the prestigious 2012 award for spreading the word of energy psychology in Nigeria from ACEP, during the 14th international conference held in Coronado, San Diego, California, USA last June. If I got you right, you said you received the award because of your accomplishment in energy therapy/energy psychology. Can you specify your success in this area? Since 2005, I have been active in the spread of knowledge on energy therapy/energy psychology, also known as energy medicine. It’s a new drugless way of healing physical, psychological and emotional problems that have defied conventional medical attentions. Cases, such as anger, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, anxiety, panic attack and associated physiological manifestations from these debilitating emotional challenges are easily attended to with energy psychology. Using this healing tool, I have assisted many people to become free from their health challenges and well-being needs. A woman considered infertile has become pregnant and had a baby. Emotionally traumatised people have seen their trauma cleared in as little as one session. We have records to show how effective this unique healing tool is.

James

Like every award, the intention is to appreciate what one has done. And as the saying goes, to whom much is given much is expected. This award will motivate me to do more. It is firing my enthusiasm to push the frontiers of energy psychology, even further in Nigeria and indeed, Africa. I am writing new books to further my work and to put something for upcoming professionals in the field. I am discovering and having greater insight into the great field of energy healing that will help people overcome various challenges that inhibit their prosperity, inner growth and personal peace. I will be sharing these with the energy therapy community through workshops and seminars in due course. I dream development in my work and look forward to hosting energy psychology/energy medicine practitioners from other parts of the Could you give us the background of ener- world in the future. That is what the Award gy therapy/energy psychology? means to me. Energy therapy or energy psychology was originally developed in the USA by a Clinical Is the Federal Government aware of your Psychologist, Dr Roger Callahan as thought efforts and contributions in the area of energy field therapy. The field grew with the advent of medicine, including the latest recognition to emotional freedom technique – EFT – devel- you? oped by Engineer Gary Craig, and many other No! As at now, no government is aware of modalities that now includes, Chief James’ what I am doing nor has there been any support Golden Rays Integrated Energy Therapy, which in that direction. However, I am aware that my is my humble self. Energy psychology has association has sent a letter to the President, Dr. grown in strides and is now practiced in over 50 Goodluck Ebele Jonathan through the president countries of the world, including Nigeria. This of the Association for Comprehensive Energy has been made possible through the work of the Psychology, to inform him about the award. international organisation put together by eminent Americans, who came under the auspices Is there any link between the award and the of Association for Comprehensive Energy relevance of your works in energy medicine in Psychology–ACEP. The association boasts of the country? membership of over 1, 700 members from over Of course, this shows that Nigeria is now 50 countries of the world, including USA, UK, among nations that have embraced energy medCanada, Mexico, The Netherlands, France, icine. It is an important landmark for the counBelgium, Costa Rica, Japan and China, among try, as one of its own, is a pioneer African memothers. I am the first African and currently only ber of ACEP, an international professional platNigerian member of the organisation. It is out form for a broad range of varied types of enerof this group that I was nominated and eventu- gy healing on the cutting edge of fast, effective ally conferred with this award, which makes it ways of correcting blockages in the energy flow a very important milestone for Nigeria, at a of the human body to improve mental health. time the country is considered to be peopled by That I completed the ACEP certification procrooks and fraudsters. Also, I am the regional gramme signifies my competence in this area of coordinator of the association in Nigeria. medicine, which is wholly dedicated to educate Energy therapy offers hope to people where professionals to alleviate sufferings in the many other things seem to have failed. It is world. As far as I am concerned, it is good news drugless and goes to the root of the problem. for the nation, which now boasts of someone, who, as ACEP has stated, has played the role of Do you see this award doing anything spe- an unofficial ‘Ambassador of Nigeria’ in our cial to your work, as an energy therapist? association with over 1, 300 members from

What support do you expect from government in order to continue your work in promoting energy medicine? Energy medicine is used in treating mental health in the USA and veterans and soldiers returning from wars that are hit with post-traumatic stress disorder are being helped with it. I believe that the Nigerian government will want to take advantage of this discovery for her military also. I will like to see Nigerian governments, at state and federal levels, playing a conscious role in promoting energy psychology through studies in the schools, and universities, as is being done in USA and Europe now. I need government’s support to promote the wellbeing of fellow citizen through the use of energy psychology/energy therapy. This is important, especially in view of the level and varied forms of trauma that the country is facing at this critical moment when the government needs every support to achieve its transformation agenda. We now have GoldenRays Integrated Energy Therapy Institute, a platform for training energy therapists that will work in schools, homes, hospitals and organisations. In all these, I will like government to help me actualise my dream of raising an army of energy healers that will support the well-being of our dear nation. Again, I want to be challenged by institutions of higher learning, through the instrumentality of research, so that we can validate and document the benefits of energy psychology in Nigeria as is being done in other western countries. I cannot do these alone; so I need government’s support in this regard. I believe that government will be proud of what I have done when they realise how potent energy therapy is in healing emotional trauma. The issue of helping families of plane crash victims to heal, bringing the help that road accident victims need and the support disaster victims need are all imbedded in what energy therapy can do for government, as a policy choice tool for physical and emotional restoration. Through my method, I have been educating Nigerians, by organising healing sessions and educational workshops, writing articles, and using media, including television to spread the word about this method that holds so much ability to heal emotional wounds. This award shows that my untiring efforts in the promotion of this relatively unknown but highly effective healing method will surely, one day, become a household name in the country. Since energy psychology/energy therapy is relatively new in the country, what efforts are you making to get it integrated in the school curriculum? Already, I am working on the establishment of GoldenRays Integrated Energy therapy Institute in Lagos, a platform for the training and certification of energy psychology practitioners in Nigeria and Africa. I have also taken my energy medicine message to the College of Medicine in Idi-Araba, Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, National Open University of Nigeria, in Lagos, and many other places through workshops and seminars. I have also distributed thousands of handbills and granted many newspaper interviews to inform Nigerians about energy psychology. I have assisted well over 2, 000 Nigerians through my drugless healing modality and I have shared testimonies from that. As stated earlier, we will need support from not only government but also wealthy and humanitarian organisations to support our efforts at promoting GoldenRays Integrated Energy therapy in Nigerian schools and institutions.

(Vol. 3)

By Josiah Bonire 07055822097 jjbonire@yahoo.com

Critical thoughts on Behaviour (Section Five):

Chapter Four Causes of failure Ignorance And Foolishness 2265. Many rules fail because their makers think of no more than themselves when making the rules. 2266. The man that keeps seeing ideas in other people’s behaviours never gets a defined pattern of life. 2267. A wise man acts as time allows, but a fool wants time to agree with his plans. 2268. Some fail because they hold strongly to their views on the future which they do not see. 2269. He who lives only on the ideas of others gets blown about in the air like smoke. 2270. Whatever agrees with a code is right. Whatever does not agree with it is wrong. How much sense there is in the code however, is another matter. 2271. Some want to receive but don’t do what moves other to give. 2272. A fool is impatient with the path of growth, yet he loves to be great. But what is big that did not grow? 2273. The rat can win a race ahead of the rabbit, for, ability often makes lazy and lures to sleep. 2274. Jealousy makes to refuse to be reasonable, for destruction is its goal. 2275. What you tell a man he takes not as seriously as what he finds. Ego And Pride 2276. Love won’t live where pride resides, for love attracts but pride scares off in its bid to be bossy. 2277. Ego, the fountain of pride, usually considers itself above ideas that might work. 2278. Pride values only its desires. Everything else it throws away instead of finding their use. 2279. Pride feels too big to ask for the help of others. 2280. The disturbed atmosphere or even war, could have been caused by someone’s big ego. 2281. Actions out of pride-born zeal are often wrongly timed. 2282. Pride thinks of self-satisfaction than the success of what it claims to be building. 2283 Many fail because they want the rules to obey them, than they obeying the rules. 2284. Pride and ego are both children of foolishness, which makes a man watch himself so much that he fails to see or value good things passing by. 2285. Whatever challenges patience and calmness challenges good reasoning and promotes rashness, a puller of failure. 2286. Two things stop a man from learning: pride and strong belief. 2287. Some are carried too high by their egos to enable them to see and know when to take profitable actions. Poor Appraisal And Judgement 2288. Pride and departure from goodness begin to set in the moment a man begins to see his own goodness. 2289. Rather tell a man he is doing well but can still do better. Telling him he is already good implants in him arrogance and laziness. 2290. Beware of praises for they are entertainers of the mind. And with much of such entertainment come contentment and relaxation, which steal away caution and tact. 2291. Whatever seeks to destroy a future makes all eyes to look only at the present.


SATURDAY SUN

EW

September 22, 2012

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EVERY WOMAN FASHION POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT SOCIETY &LIFESTYLE

Ann Ibrahim

I see simplicity of life through children By NKECHI CHIMA-ONYELE nk4caleb@yahoo.com

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he success story of Ann Emmanuel Ibrahim, the popular Time crooner with a voice that turns her listeners on whenever she mounts the stage to perform, is not complete without mentioning her latest single, Happy Day. Recently, she added another feather to her cap with the unveiling of her new business, Purples Wardrobe, an ultra modern saloon, boutique, accessories, cake shop and spa. Ann, an HND graduate of Banking and Finance from Bayero University, Kano, in this interview with Saturday Sun, talks about her musical career and business – and of course how these relate and impact her marriage and motherhood.

Why did you feature Freestyle in your latest album? I featured Freestyle in the music because the song is a high tempo. As a fast rapper, he brought out the best in the song. I appreciate Freestyle’s rap style. What is the message of the song? It is to encourage everyone to think positive and be happy in spite of his or her challenges because the secret of a healthy life is happiness. If you are positive in all you do, you will definitely be successful.

Continued on Page 22


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SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

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EVERY WOMAN

‘I once fell on the stage while performing’ Continued from Page 21 No matter the problems you are facing, it is not the end of life. Those problems are your stepping-stone to greatness. If you are positive in thinking and hardworking, you can be an achiever. Also, with God on one’s side, success will be attained because no man is born poor. All we need in life is prayers and hard work to be happy in life.

Rap is not particularly associated with gospel music, are you going secular? I play all kinds of music but the message of my songs differentiates my genre of music. It is the lyrics that differentiate gospel songs from the secular and not the beat. I do highlife and Afro pop in my beats. For instance, Iyanya, who sang Kukere, which means ‘be happy’ in Calabar language, is not singing secular. So, I am a gospel and a secular artiste. I am only proving my talent as a versatile artiste. Secular music is more commercially viable. Why then do you still stick to gospel? I want to believe that good music sells, not just secular music. We have lots of secular artistes that are suffering in the industry. I think the success of an artiste is not measured by the kind of music he or she does. I am making money as an inspirational and gospel singer. How do you raise funds for your music? I do that through shows. But sometimes, I wait at home for months before I can raise money. My management team also supports my music project as well as people who are interested in selling the albums with discount. But basically, I get shows from my manager. I thank God for He has always made way for me. I am forever grateful to Him for the height I have attained in the music industry. What is the name of your management company?

It is Anne Love Music but I am not the overall boss. I have six people I am working with as a team that sees to the success of my music.

Why did you choose ‘Purple Wardrobe’ as your business identity? I love purple as a colour because it dictates royalty and kingship. I always call myself God’s princess from the royal family of God. You are also into fashion. What’s the connection? I have been into clothing business in Kano before I relocated to Lagos to do music. I have been preparing for this venture for a very long time. I believe in dreams. It could be friendship or business, once I have the picture of what I want, the next step is to go to God in prayers and back it up with hard work. In fact, I had already virtualized how I want the venture to be. In business, what inspires you? I have realised that when you believe in your heart, when you have self-confidence, God will direct your paths. Whether in a relationship or job, once you have confidence, God will see you through. I think it was born out of my desire to be successful in life. How do you combine your new business, music and the home front? I am a very strong, patience and fearless woman. I believe there is nothing that can hinder my dreams in life. Though, it is not easy managing my home front and music, I believe, as a strong woman, I will be able to combine all for the progress of my family. How do you handle male admirers? Well, I am very grateful to God for my looks but I am not carried away by it. Though, I feel very happy when people admire me. As for my male admirers, they are allowed to look because it is a free world. In any case, I try to put people in check whether male or female so that they don’t trespass. What do you enjoy most as an artiste? I adore the fact that it gives me freedom of expression. How often do you get shows? I get shows often. I even reject some at times because of tight schedules. However, I appreciate those who are contributing immensely in my musical career to bring out the best in me by inviting me to their shows. What was your most embarrassing moment? My most embarrassing moment was when I fell on the stage while performing in Yola. I felt like entering the ground. The crowd was much and they were all watching me perform. I just fell down on the stage. It was so embarrassing.

Ibrahim

Ibrahim

He taught me to be hardworking and never to depend on anybody for my happiness. He advised me to love as much as I can and give freely to people who are in need. I also appreciate my mother for her love.

Do you have regrets? I do not have regrets. I don’t believe in crying over spilled milk because challenges must come and most times, it is to make us better people. I only learn from my mistakes and move on.

How have you been able to sustain your marriage? I think it is love and tolerance. If you are able to tolerate your spouse, not minding his or her shortcomings, you will have a lasting marriage. But if you are selfish and self-centred, you will not have a peaceful home. Marriage is all about caring for each other Your saddest moment and above all, being supportive. I am pleased It was when I lost my father, three years ago. We were very close. to be married to Wale Ibrahim and we are In fact, I was his favourite child. He blessed with two lovely kids. was my source of strength in life. Would you allow your daughter to tow He used to give me quality advice your path? that made life very meaningful to If any of them wishes to become a musime. His death left a vacuum in my cian, why not? It is all about choice. I strongheart. ly support that parents should allow their What lessons did you learn from children to develop their talents and to choose their professions. Gone are the days him? when parents choose careers for their chil-

dren.

What has motherhood taught you? Indeed, it has taught me to be patient and to appreciate life. Looking at my kids each day gives me reasons to give thanks to God. I have seen the simplicity of life in them because they might fight or quarrel but the next minute, they will be playing together again. Nurturing my children has made me stronger and as well taught me to love. What are the things you can’t do again as an entertainer? I don’t ride on bikes except the situation is desperate. However, I have my own car. What were the challenges you encountered recording your latest singles? Staying out late is basically the challenge I faced as a family woman. Nevertheless, as a mother, I don’t allow my career to come between my family, especially caring for my kids.

How do you cope in the industry? I don’t believe in competition but I do mine to get the best, and as well make progress and it has been working for me. It is when you are aiming on competition that you may likely fail, but with determination and God on your side, your success is guaranteed.


SATURDAY SUN

Prostate enlargement, STDs and infertility By PAUL TORTY

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et me start by sharing this testimony. A certain couple came to my clinic three months ago. They were worried as they have been married for well over 7 years without any child. To worsen their situation, they did not believe any longer that their health problems can be addressed by any medicine. In fact, they told me that they have become victims having spent so much on fertility treatment without any result. As a matter of fact, they told me that when they decided to come and consult me that they were discouraged by their friends and relations that I cannot offer them any meaningful help as they will eventually go home with their problems unsolved. However, having studied their medical results I told them that there was hope for them. They brought some previous medical results which showed that there were mixed growth of staphylococcus, candidiasis and ecoli. We also conducted another test in our clinic and discovered that the prolactin was high on the part of the woman, there were some fibroid seedlings through the pelvic scan conducted by us. While the man’s sperm count was low with a lot of irregularities in the morphology and viscosity values. Having being equipped with all these information, we now went into action by introducing documented herbs to destroy staph and ecoli infections. We also placed the woman on hormonal herbs and equally recommended our sperm and hormonal corrective herbs to the couple. We are happy to receive a testimony from the couple to the effect that the woman is pregnant. However, pregnancy tests conducted by us proved that the woman was indeed pregnant after seven years of marriage.

STAPHYLOCOCCUS, INFERTILITY AND STDs: I have noted severally that there are three major species of staphylococcus as follows: Staphylococcus epidermidis which attacks the skin). Staphylococcus saprophyticus which attacks the urinary tract leading to biting and painful sensation in the urinary tract). While staph aureus is the immune crasher or immune destroyer which attacks every tissue of the body such as the lung, thereby leading to pulmonary and respiratory condition the result being difficult breathing and cough condition. I also noted that staph attacks the heart leading to a change in the blood pressure and purse rate. Staph also attacks the

blood leading to crawling sensation on the body, skin irritation and biting sensation as well. Staphylococcus attacks the brain leading to meningitis (a brain infection) and most times result in brain access leading to occasional forgetfulness. I also noted that staphylococcus attacks the muscles leading to joints and muscular pains. Staph attacks the sperm mortility thereby leading to azospermia and oligospermia a condition of scanty or no ejaculation of spermatozoa at all. Staphylococcus causes homonal changes in women as it leads to suppressed menses, irregular menstruation or no menses at all (amenorhea). Staph leads to abdominal pains and occasional discharge among women and also attacks the womb, the ovary and leads to uterine tubal blockage leading to female infertility and at times ectopic pregnancy. Fibroid is another major cause of female infertility. We also have herbs to shrink and dissolve fibroid thereby allowing for conception among women. Let me also state that we are taking a giant stride in our practice of natural medicine to the glory of God. Early this year we started by informing our readers and patients that we have commenced advancement of our practice of natural medicine having installed testing and medical investigation machines to help us in our work. Today, I make bold to say and to the glory of God that we have installed E.C.G machine for investigation of heart conditions, we have installed ultrasound machines for investigation of the state of the womb whether there is fibroid, ovarian mass or cysts. Ultrasound also helps us to check if a woman is fertile and ovulating properly. Ultrasound also helps us to check the state of the prostate, kidney, liver, spleen, bladder, etc. Ultrasound machine is very essential to know how the baby is developing in the womb. Ultrasound machine is, therefore, essential and useful for men and women. Other laboratory machines now available in our medical laboratory are microscope, spectrophotometer, etc. These machines help us to investigate whether a patient is suffering from any bacteria or STDs such as staphylococcus, streptococcus, ecoli and other bacteria which may later lead to infertility. We have set a pace in natural medicine. To the glory of God, we have these machines in our Idimu, Lagos office. And hope to introduce same in Port Harcourt, Abuja and Enugu very soon. But if you are outside Lagos and have already conducted these tests, then you can place order for our herbal remedies. I have always said in this column that we have documented herbs that can give you the result you need. Our major mission is to ensure a healthy society irrespective of class and status. Everybody can benefit and enjoy health to the fullest. For treatment, call Dr Torty on 08037140368, 08051625888, 08083860575. OFFICE: 41 Awolowo Way, Afariogun Junction, Ikeja, Lagos.We also have offices in Enugu and Abuja and Port Harcourt. Dr. Torty is the publisher of Maximum Health Link magazine in Lagos and the CEO of The Saints Herbals and The Saints Medical Foundation Lagos. Website: www.drpaultorty.com. Email: paultorty@yahoo.com.

Our offices are: Lagos office: Ariket Plaza , Alake Bus Stop, Suite 12, last floor, Idimu; Aishetu Emeowa Plaza, off Lonlo Bus Stop, Iju; 41, Awolowo Way by Ecobank, Opp. Ipodo Market, Ikeja. Abuja: 268, Ado Bayero Block, Garki 2, Ultramodern New Market, Abuja. Enugu: Shop B2, Ifesinachi Plaza, by Ogbete Main Market, close to Holy Ghost, Enugu. Port Harcourt: 2 Awkwuzu Street, off Ikwere Street, Mile 1, Diobu, Port Harcourt.

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ood day, I saw your column in one of the dailies. I had early menopause and need your help because I still need a baby. My husband wants this baby as a matter of urgency, please. Thank you – Laura Dear Laura, menopause is a biological indication that a woman’s body has stopped ovulating monthly. Without ovulation (the release of the woman’s egg), there can be no pregnancy. Of course, there are times when women who have experienced menopause suddenly see their periods, after a few years or even months, indicating that they would have ovulated days before the period started. But this occurrence is infrequent and unpredictable. My advice to you and your husband is to adopt a baby if you desperately want one. But relying on pregnancy after menopause is unrealistic. It rarely happens. Take care – Uche Good afternoon, sir. I am 20 years old. When I was 11 or 12 years, a boy slept with me but I did not bleed. Please, am I still a virgin? Now that I am an adult, I had sex and I bled a lot. Maybe I am a virgin but I don’t know – Patricia Dear Patricia, a virgin is a woman or man who has never had sex before. The reason bleeding is associated with the loss of virginity is that in the process of having sex for the first time, the mucous membrane that partially covers the vaginal opening, known as the hymen, gets torn, hence the bleeding. But not every woman bleeds when having sex the first time. I think what happened in your case is that the sex you had at age 12 (which is wrong by the way) did not tear your hymen and that’s why you did not bleed. And now that you are an adult, your hymen has been broken by your recent sexual activity, hence the bleeding. In any case, you are not a virgin because you have had sex already – Uche Hello. I am Mustapha. I am married with two kids and had the opportunity to read your column. Please, I am suffering from weak erection and low sperm count. I cannot last more than one round and I have premature ejaculation too. I am also a bit hypertensive. Thank you – Mustapha Dear Mustapha, the supplement that will be best for your weak erection, considering that you are hypertensive, is Sex Volts. Sex Volts will also help you have intercourse for several rounds. To help with your low sperm count, you need another supplement called Repro Aid. It does wonders for fertility and will improve your chances of getting your wife pregnant. Finally, to stop your premature ejaculation, apply Rock hard Delay Cream minutes before intercourse. It will delay your ejaculation and enable you to last longer – Uche My wife and I are trying to spice up our relationship but we donít know what to do. Sometimes we are in bed just looking at each other and all I can think of is jumping right into sex— Clement Dear Clement, you can play games together. Romantic adult games like Love Rewards Game or Afternoon Delight Game can give you lots of ideas on what to do — Uche How can a woman who has had children be tighter down there? Grace Dear Grace, a combination of a vagina tightening cream and orgasm balls will help tighten and rejuvenate the pelvic muscles. Use Tight Stuff Oriental Oil and Nen Wa Balls for this — Uche I recently introduced my wife to your column. We have been having sexual problems and I think it has to do with the fact that both of us had no sex education. At first it was difficult to talk to her about it but after she started reading your column, she is now willing to address the problem but she will not watch adult movies. Thanks

September 22, 2012

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Frequently asked questions, answers and testimonies (162) — Obesere That’s okay. You can learn a lot from books as well. Books like Erotic Massage, Sex Secrets and Marathon Sex will teach both of you a lot — Uche What are the best novelties for a married man who works and lives away from his wife in another town and does not want to have an affair? Thanks — Chukwuma Dear Chukwuma, the two main love toys for men are masturbators and love dolls. Masturbators are small, portable and made with cyber skin, a synthetic material that feels like real skin. Examples of masturbators you can go for are Sasha Grey’s Masturbator and Pipe Dream’s Extreme Masturbator. Love dolls on the other hand are life size blow up dolls that you can inflate and deflate after using them. Asian Dream Love Doll is good and so is Deserving Derby Love Doll — Uche How can a woman be sexually satisfied when her man does not last up to two minutes in bed? I am tired of this — Tina Dear Tina, Rock Hard Delay cream will help him last longer. But he may not find it funny if you just go and buy it for him. So, tell him that you know a great solution and hopefully, he will get it himself. For the time being, get a vibrator to help you get some satisfaction. The Lucid Dream G Spot Vibrator is one of our newest toys and is amazing for the price — Uche That’s it for today. The names of the people featured here have been changed for their privacy. Adults in need of these treatments/novelties can call 08027901621 or 08051924159 or any other number here to order or they can order online at www.zeevirtualmedia.com. Zee Virtual Media delivers to you wherever you are in Nigeria. For enquiries, send your emails to custserv@zeevirtualmedia.com - Uche Edochie, MD, Zee Virtual Media.


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SATURDAY SUN September 22, 2012

EW RADIANT LIFE with

Evang. FEMI OLAOLUWA

08056158736, 08022556887 radiantlife40@yahoo.com

w.w.w. radiantencounterfemi.blogspot.com

Happy home: Learn how to use money

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ouples must agree that money would ever be a servant to them and never cause any separation between them. This is simply because there are people who Iruobe live better and harmoniously when they had little money than when they have more. And as soon as money such people have been praying and working for eventually comes, it causes their separation simply because they allow money to dictate to them how to live. That is why every couple needs to learn the use of money because there is a learning process to everything in life. We must have the right attitude before we can handle money properly. If you do not have the right attitude towards monetary expenditure, you will encounter problem. There are people today who buy on credit or even borrow to get clothes; shoes, wristwatches and jewellery- spend their salaries before they earn it. So, one wonders how such people intend to make ends meet. This is one thing you must not involve yourself in. Make the money first, and then you will be qualified to spend it. Dr James Iruobe through El-shaddai Covenant Ministries, New Oko-Oba, Lagos.Tel 07034183333, 08083001752 or email .iruobe@gmail.com.You can follow him on www.drjamesiruobe.blogspot.com

EVERY WOMAN

I promised God I’d not owe my staff –Esther Aliu, school proprietress

‘Fear not, stand still…’ Text: Exodus 14:14 t does not matter negative words your adversaries are saying because of the situation you are passing through, what is important is what God has spoken concerning you. His promise is to be with you in that storm (Read Isaiah 43: 2-) It does not matter how strong the storm may be, the Lord God says that the thought He has for you is of peace, not of evil to give you an expected end (Jeremiah 29: 11-14). No matter how strong the plot of the enemy (Satan) and his agents, your destiny shall be not be destroyed and those afflictions will not come the second time in Jesus’ name (Nahum 2: 9). Whatsoever is

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representing Pharaoh (disappointment, delay, sickness, poverty); that is standing between you and your miracle shall come to an end Ojoka in Jesus’ name. As you stand still on the promise of God; that mountain of sorrow in your life, family and business shall be subdued in Jesus’ name. Note: For you to overcome every battle of life, you need divine strength by surrendering to the Lord Jesus Christ. Call Rev Godwin Ojoka on: 08033062447, 08033514193.He is the head pastor of Christian Pentecostal Mission Int’l, (Winners’ Centre), Ojota Branch, and Lagos. E-Mail: enjons@yahoo.com

100 Must-watch Christian films series

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Aliu

Bitter Pill

nstead of allowing the devil to destroy their homes, the film reveals how couples can create a conducive environment for love and harmony to blossom in their marriage. The movie focuses on the home of Bridget, whose unbelieving husband thinks money and material can substitute love and intimacy in the life of a woman. And until Bridget takes her life in her hands and faces the challenge that wanted to rock her home; it is a BITTER PILL all the way. BITTER PILL also takes the watchers to the home of a pastor who his wife has been denying him love, affections and ministerial companionship...living like casual friends under the same roof.

By RACHAEL AGUNTA rachaelchiegeonu@yahoo.com

S It got to an extent that the discontented pastor results in eating outside, lusting after his female counselees and loses the ministerial steams until the couple allow divine counsel to prevail on their battered marriage. Written by Pastor Mrs) Wunmi Olojede (07052474508) and Produced by God First Productions.

Call or SMS Evang Femi Olaoluwa (08056158736) for inspiring Christian films, RADIANT Drama Tracts and information to publish your Christian message/movies in The Sun

he says the lapses she saw in schools led her to establishing a school. She would have remained in the fashion business but her desire to correct the errors in the education sector changed her plans. Esther Aliu is the proprietress of Front Liners International School, Egbeda, Lagos. In this interview, she talks about the task of running a school and the home front at the same time.

Of all businesses, why did you choose to run a school? I decided to go into school business in 2002. Prior to that, I had been into school promotions, organising children’s events, such as end of the year party, and taking children on excursions to several places. I was into fulltime promotions for schools and along the line was watching closely how these schools were being run, and I saw a lot of lapses and inadequacies here and there and I became worried and wanted to correct the errors. I thought of telling the owners of these schools how to do it right but something in me advised me against it and I decided to start one. Then, I had all the necessary materials for a model school, so I stopped part of my fashion business in 2006 and started my own school. While I was into the business of buying and selling, I

was travelling so much because the business was doing very well. The fashion school too had many students so I was able to raise money for the school from there. My husband too assisted me and we started using our residential building at Alakuko, Lagos. Operating and running the school has not been so rosy I must say, but the experience I had moving from one school to the other, helped me in knowing what I should have in my school, what the children should have and what children of different age ranges should have. So, it was just a question of putting them in place for them to get the necessary knowledge.

What prompted your interest in fashion? I have always had a great flair for fashion right from my childhood. My mother was a seamstress and that made me develop love for fashion. She made good clothes. I remember long after my mum left the business, if I took my clothes to a tailor, there was no way I would not end up adjusting it to my taste. So, I have always had a flair for fashion right from time. Who is your role model in the business? My role model is Mama Awoshika of Chrisland Schools. I worked with her briefly before I started my fashion school. I was a pioneer teacher in the college and I liked her person because she is dedicated to her job and then, the way she has been able to upgrade her school to


SATURDAY SUN

EW

September 22, 2012

25

EVERY WOMAN

familytonic with Osondu Anyalechi oanyaalechi@yahoo.co.uk

Re: How bandits butchered Army General

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Aliu an international standard is worth emulating. She has been able to build it as an empire. I look up to her as a result of that. Right now, one of my kids is in her school because I have not had a college yet.

What is your major challenge running a school? I have had several challenges but God has been so good to us. Now, we don’t have much challenge because we now have the infrastructure, equipment and facilities that are required. Initially, it was not easy but we were able to acquire these funds from banks, and of course, we all know that it is not easy to refund. More so, if the money is not managed properly, it will affect the school and the staff because these funds are paid back with the money we make here. To be frank with you, I have a pact with God that I will not owe any of my workers because for them to have worked for a period of 30 days, I believe they deserve their pay at the end of the month and God has been wonderful. What would you change if you were to be the Minister of Education? If I were the minister of education, I would change government’s attitude to education in

this country. I would make the education sector the number one priority because these children are our future and a lot has to be put in place so that qualitative education will be delivered at all levels, beginning from pre-school. There are lots of ills in the society today particularly, in the education sector, which I believe if given the opportunity, I can correct to some extent, beginning from the nursery school. If we all take a look back, we will see that in one way or the other, we are all responsible for the decline in our standard of education, both the parents, kids, teachers, operators of schools and most importantly the government. So, a lot needs to be done in the sector.

How do you manage the home front and your job? It is not easy, but I have been able to manage my time adequately and God so good, the kind of profession I am into, allows me to run my home perfectly. My day begins at 6 am and I don’t leave the house until probably 7:30 am. That gives me enough time to take care of my home and of course, school closes earlier than any other organisation. So, I still have enough time to take good care of my home.

hat Wednesday morning I was leaving Dallas by bus to minister in Houston on Sunday, it was cold, very cold, the U.S. type, where everything is king-sized! There were only few people who had my type of skin – black! It was with all excitement when Rev. Essien saw me. Why not, since it had been long we had not met! As we were driving off from the station, a police officer held us, accusing him of parking his car in a wrong place. In Texas ascent, the man of God explained away the error, laughing broadly in his familiar manner. The cop laughed but still insisted that he would give him ticket. And he did. The behaviour of the cop did not impress me at all. Of a truth, he was wearing the tag of Oji Omeoga, oji ochi e me njo - [Uncle Oji, who will be laughing and yet, he will do evil to you]. As I was returning to Dallas after a week, my luggage was screened as usual at the bus station. One cop told me to go back for checking. I told him that it had been done. He was angry with me, insisting that I would not go anywhere until I did his bidding. “I don’t care if you miss your bus,” he bolted out. That statement made me sad, why an officer would not care if I missed my bus. Suddenly, I remembered my country - Nigeria! If I made any sakara and he finds out that I am a Nigerian,” I asked myself, “will he not laugh at me? Would he not have known that in Nigeria, human lives have no value?” The Sun Newspaper of July 11, captured the story of the painful death of Brigadier General Sylvester Kanyincluwa Iruh at the Long Bridge, near Berger, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The retired General from Boji-Boji in Owa, Delta State, was a former Commandant of the Nigerian Army Records, Lokoja. He died at the age 60, suspected to have been killed by bandits who were Fulani herdsmen. It was reputed that he had a flat tyre and was about to change it when someone warned him of the menace of armed robbers on that spot. As he was getting into his car to leave, true as sunset, they accosted him and killed him. Imagine what it cost the Federal Government to train him until he became a General. Imagine a man that retired and scarcely enjoyed the fruit of his labour. The General lost his tyre because our roads are always bad. It is now our trademark. Nowhere do you drive without potholes. I remember how my friend, Tunde Oladiran, now Professor, drove me from Bedford to London in 1980. When I beheld the beauty of the road, he parked his car for us to examine the thickness of the tarring. I was disappointed by our type of roads. “Do our politicians ever visit England?” I asked him. He affirmed that they were visiting but would lock up their eyes and conscience in Nigeria when visiting England and the U.S. so that they would not appreciate anything. That was what killed General Sylvester Kanyincluwa Iruh and many other prominent personalities. Last year, Sister Ihuoma, the wife of Dr. Sunny Okoji, was not happy that I could not visit them in New Jersey. I promised to do so later in the year. She returned home to meet Sister Nnenna, her elder sister, who visited Nigeria from the U.S. for her retirement benefit. Nigerian roads consumed them apiece! It was reported that the Long Bridge is a well known beehive for bandits and now that this General, who served Nigeria for 35 years, has been murdered, security agents have been sent there to avoid a reoccurrence. Good. In my country, whenever a bridge is being repaired, it is not for nothing. It is not because the government wants to be nice. It is not to make life easier for people. It is not to prevent accidents. It is rather that lives, including those of prominent people, must have been wasted there. At that Long Bridge, Chike Duruoha, my cousin, an English major in University of Lagos, died in 1982. He was on his way from Enugu to my house, where he would spend some days before going to school. The LagosIbadan side of the road was bad and nobody cared to repair it. All vehicles were using the Ibadan-Lagos side of the road. His taxi had a head-on collision with a trailer, causing the death of all the passengers, except a little baby. The road was later fixed. For sure, new laws will soon be made arising from the Dana Air crash. Nigeria! When a danfo bus crashes inside the lagoon, new traffic laws are made to forestall future occurrences. This is not the best. The implication is that each time we pass through a repaired road, we remember who and who paid the supreme price that attracted government “benevolence”. Oh! How wrong was Mr. Nkama, my teacher in Standard Four. He forced me and others to buy Tropical Hygiene for West Africa, a book written by A.J. Evans. I wonder why he taught us from that book that “Prevention is better than cure”. I need an apology from him because in real life, as I know it in Nigeria, the opposite holds. If he was right, it means that our leaders did not read that book I read 59 years ago or a similar one with the same message. In the U.S, they are always repairing old roads and building new ones. A person going to Lagos from Ikeja, if it were there, does not need to drive through Oshodi or Anthony Village. Their road network depicts loudly their concern for human life and it adds beauty to their nation. A U.S. man for sure, pays stiff tax but he knows that he is not shortchanged by the government because he receives value for what he pays. May God help our leaders to realise the need for giving value for the tax-payers’ money and also for the free crude oil God has graciously given to us.

For further comment, please contact Osondu Anyalechi on 0802 3002-471; anyalechiosondu@yahoo.com


26

SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

EE

EVERY WOMAN

Go the Chunky way By RACHAEL AGUNTA rachaelchiegeonu@yahoo.com

C

hunky shoes have been in existence and they are not in a hurry to go into oblivion out. They are trendy and have come to stay. Fashionistas don’t joke with chunkier shoes. Of course, for petite women, Chunky shoes are a good option. They give height and make the feet look proportional. Whether paired with a cocktail dress, mini dress or skirt, a skimpy dress paired with Chunky shoes balance out your look. So, for that hip and chic look, go for Chunky shoes.


SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

27

KISS &TELL Ogechi

Otumdara

Martha

Dan

Vincent

WHAT IS THE SHOE SIZE OF YOUR SPOUSE? By RACHAEL AGUNTA and CHISOM OGUBUNKA

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or marriage to be successful and enjoyed, so many things are involved. Exchange of gifts, knowing one’s spouse’s birthdays and celebration of special days and anniversaries are very important in any relationship. Some know everything about their spouses and buy what they wear, others don’t, while some give money to their spouses for reasons best known to them. However, buying things for one’s spouse increases one’s love for his or her spouse. Saturday Sun had a chat with some people on the above question. We came back with these views: TAIWO ADENIYI I don’t know her shoe size because I don’t buy for her. I am training my children so, I cannot use the money meant for my children’s school fees in buying shoes for her. She can buy if she needs it but for me, I wear my old shoes. I am investing in my children and it is something I will reap tomorrow, therefore, I am more interested in the children. BASIL JAMES Her show size is between size three and four. Not actually that I used to buy shoes for her, but I noticed the size of the shoes when I was polishing them. I used to polish our shoes every Saturday, so the first time I did the polishing; I simply came to the conclusion that her size is between size three and four. ADAEZE IBE I don’t know the shoe size of my husband. He buys his shoes himself but each time he wants to go for shopping, he will seek for my advice on colours. So, I can only give him colour ideas but not to buy

for him. OLAJOBI ADEYEMI My wife’s shoe size is 39. If I don’t know her shoe size, whose shoe size will I know? I love buying things for my wife because she is a good woman. Whatever you give her, she appreciates. Her attitude has made me to be buying things for her. At least every week, I buy something for her. It could be small but I don’t fail to do so. OKON UYOMI To be honest, I do not know her shoe size. She does not want me to know, because the first time I bought something for her, she rejected it and said it was a cheap material. Ever since then, I made up my mind never to buy things for her again. What I do is that whenever she needs anything, I give her money to get it herself.

white shoes for her. My wife is very tall and her feet are very long. Before I married her, she used to wear all this Abamade slippers; I didn’t know that the reason is that she has big legs. But I am ok with her feet. I love her. UCHE OKOYE I do not know the shoe size of my wife. Whenever I buy her something, she must complain that I buy cheap things. So, for me to avoid her complaints and harassments, I simply stopped buying things for her. I don’t stress myself anymore buying things for her. CHIKA OBICHI Of course, I know the shoe size of my wife. Her shoe size is 41. If I don’t know her size, whose shoe size will I know? I often go to the market to buy things for her, and for the number of years we have lived together as husband and wife, we have engaged in buying things for each other.

HAPPINESS LAWRENCE My husband’s shoe size is 45. I buy a pair of shoes for him every valentine. Though, the first time I bought a pair of OTUNBA PATRICK shoes for him as a surprise gift, I made a Her size is 40. I used to buy her surprise mistake on the size. I bought an underpackages and that includes shoes. sized pair of shoes. It was five years ago, Sometimes, we go to the market together but now, I have been buying shoes for him. and I will pay for her shopping, including shoes. CHIKA JEREMIAH I have not checked his shoe size, but I OGECHUKWU UKACHUKWU have noticed that my husband has big legs. My husband’s shoe size is nine. Yes, I Sometimes, he used to ask his shoe-maker buy many things for him since he does not to make shoes for him. Really, I don’t often have the chance to go to the market think that my husband’s size is in the mar- to buy the things he needs. I do not find it ket. wrong buying his things. CHRISTIAN MICHAEL Shoe size? This has reminded me of the event that happened when we were about to get married. My wife’s size is not in the market, so we asked a shoe-maker to make

CHIMA OBI My wife’s shoe size is 40. Anywhere I am going and I see things that I like, I normally buy them for her. That was how I got to know her show size.

Ugolo

GODSWILL EKPO I don’t know my wife’s shoe size and I don’t even care to know since she does not care to know mine. VINCENT CHIDIKE Any man that does not know his spouse’s size, when it comes to wears, is not worthy to be called a husband. My wife’s shoe size is 39. Yes, I love buying things for her, especially on very special days. I love my wife. DAN NNANNA The shoe size of my wife is 42. She wears bigger size. Many times, I have bought shoes for her, and she was so grateful. I was happy that she liked the shoes I bought for her the first time I surprised her with a gift. Ever since then, I have not stopped buying things for her. JOSEPH UGOLO My wife’s shoe size is 41. It was the time we were newly married that I knew the size, because I asked her to tell me her size in wear. Though I use to do some shopping for her anytime I fell like, and that makes me to be conversant with the sizes. MARTHA U. My husband’s shoe size is nine. Although, I don’t buy his shoes always, whenever he buys one, I will praise him and check the size. He even buys mine whenever he is buying his. MUSA LAWAL I don’t know my wives’ shoe sizes. They are many. I actually married three. How would I start buying the shoes? Their feet differ from each other. But I only know my last wife, Amina’s size. She wears 38.

•NEXT WEEK’S QUESTION: Would you sleep with a partner that has tattoo on his/her belly? Send your comments and photo to vvnchinyere@yahoo.com


28 SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

Kiddies World With Rachael Agunta, rachaelchiegeonu@yahoo.com, 08021055176

Who is your favourite actor/actress?

N

CHIDIEBERE OKEY How old are you?

igerian movie industry known as Nollywood is rated among the first five movie industries in the whole world. It has produced so many good actors and actresses that have won the hearts of many viewers. Children too are not left out in having their favourites. Kidddies World went to Labo Memorial School, Ijesha, Lagos, to ask children who their favourite actor/actress is. We came back with these views:

U SOMTOCHUKW CHUKWU u? How old are yo d. ol s ar ye e fiv I am you in? e ar s What clas ne. I am in Basic O e? liv u Where do yo nsi. I live at Fadahu u come from? yo do e at st ch Whi ate St o I am from Im y’s name? dd da ur yo What is . di hi His name is C ummy’s name? What is your m a. om Her name is Ije daddy do? What does your puter. He operates com mummy? What about your . She cooks food urite vo fa ur yo is Who s? es tr ac r/ to ac w Aki and Pawpa

Useni. Her name is Mrs Do you like her? likes to e Yes, because sh l. el w ry ve teach us ddy’s da ur yo is t Wha name? a Titi. His name is Bab my’s um What is your m name? Titi. Her name is Iya ddy do? da ur What does yo d. ea br He sells mummy? What about your SAMUEL r. She is a tailo RAZAQ urite you in? Who is your favo What class are ne. O actor/actress? I am in Primary e? Tom and Jerry. Where do you liv n. gu Ije at Don’t you watch I live s? you come do e at st ch hi Nigerian movie ms. W •NEXT fil a ub or Y I watch from? s. So, who is your I am from Lago school? favourite Do you like your beautiful. actor/actress? Yes, because it is e of your m na e th is t ha My daddy. W class teacher?

WEEK’S QUESTION:

When did Nigeria gain independence?

I am five years old. What class are you in? I am Basic One Where do you live? I live at Akin Osho Which state do you come from? I am from Imo State. What is your daddy’s name? His name is Chief Okey. What is your mummy’s name? Her name is Franca Okey. What does your daddy do? He helps my

mummy in carrying cartons of indomie How many cartons do they carry? They carry ten cartons What about your mummy? She goes to the bank to pay money Who does she pay? She pays the people who work in the bank. Who is your favourite actor/actress? The people doing Ben Ten.

What does your daddy do? ADIOLA He cooks. JAWANDO an he cook? C u? yo e ar d How ol s, he can cook d. Ye ol s I am four year yam. Where do you hat about your W live? mummy? I live at No 53 ing She will be cook n. Duro Oyedoyi rice. Which state do Who is your you come from? actress? s. favourite actor/ ch Yoruba I am from Lago u in? at w I . m yo e fil Yoruba What class ar . After they ty o. en pl Tw is ry It se s. ur m N fil I am in ur ey will put yo th of e, e on m is na finish th What is the that one, r te af another one, class teacher? . Adetobi. r one. he ot an t pu rs M ill they w Her name is movies ba ru Yo the Do you like her? is my aunty. Which of atched? w e Yes, because sh y’s name? have you dd da r. ur ife yo nn is Je What urite Adeyemi Who is your favo ess? His name is Mr. s tr y’ m ac r/ um Yoruba acto What is your m All of them. name? . un od bi A is e m Her na

Short Story

Lauren’s visit to the dentist By UGONNA ASOMUGHA

“O

uch! my tooth hurts”, Lauren said as she wakes up to go to school, as she went to the sitting room she told her parents, “oh dear”, said the mother looks like you have to take something liquid for breakfast. “And also you have to visit the dentist tomorrow,” said dad. As Lauren went to school she met her friend Zack, why’s your tooth swollen? He asked, that’s because I have a tooth ache and I have to visit the dentist tomorrow, Lauren said. I wouldn’t see the dentist if I were you, Zack said, why! Lauren asked, because my senior brother told me how the dentist comes to you with creepy smiles and put long, fat, sharp objects near your tooth to make you have no teeth forever. But I

don’t want that to happen Lauren said, any way see you in class Zack said. When Lauren was in the car sitting at the back seat sighing, why the long face? Mum asked, mummy is it true that the dentist does a lot of evil things? Ha, daddy laughed who told you that? My friend Zack told me; Sweetie there’s nothing to be afraid of okay! Mum said. While Lauren was in the waiting, the nurse came out and announced “Lauren Williams” it’s time. Few minutes later, wow! You are right mum and look, sugar free lollipop Lauren said, I’m proud of you princess, dad said. On her way to school she met Zack, so how was the dentist? Fine! There’s nothing to be afraid of, you are right besides my brother told me to be scared, can you forgive me? Zack said, apology accepted Lauren said. Thanks, said Zack.

Chinemerem Joseph Ekpunobi celebrated his 2nd birthday recently. Happy birthday from Kiddies World

Send your comments, short stories and poems to the above e-mail address


ASPIRE

29 SATURDAY SUN September 22, 2012

Editor: SHOLA OSHUNKEYE

YOUR SATURDAY MAGAZINE

DR. SHABIHUL HASSAN CMD,Dr.Hassan’s Clinic and Diagnostic Centre,Maitama,Abuja

Indian with a mission to turn Nigeria to medical Mecca

–Pg 30


30

SATURDAY SUN

ASPIRE

September 22, 2012

Interview DR.SHABIHUL HASSAN CMD,Dr.Hassan’s Clinic and Diagnostic Centre, Maitama,Abuja

To quicken the healing process, spoil your patients a little By PETER AGBA KALU The Nobel Laureate Albert Einstein whose famous theory of relativity,E=MC2 (energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared), changed the world science and ushered in an entire new generation of scientific applications was a Germany Jew,who migrated to America.Andrew Grove,Time International 1997 Man of the Year,the in-tech impresario was a Hungarian who migrated to America penniless as a refugee,but he went on to make Intel the Silicon Valley powerhouse whose microprocessors run 90% of the world personal computers at the end of the 20th Century. We can go on and on to show that most great nations are made great by the combinations of factors among which are the contributions of great minds who immigrated to that nation.Or are you not aware that Steve Jobs’biological parents immigrated to United States from Syria? Among the inventors that the US-based magazine,Popular Science,published about upcoming Class 2014 young inventors in American universities is 18-year-old Chaimaa Makoudi who invented solar panels supercharged with quantum dots.Her family moved to the United States from Morocco in 2004.Another is 18-year-old Nikita Khlystov who invented a magnetic space sail.He is from Germany.Others are Benjamin Song, a 16-year-old who invented urine test for colon cancer,Daniel Wang,18,who invented energy harvesting wallpaper,and Nolan Kamitaki,17,who invented computer simulator for flu outbreaks.They are all from Asia and they are all schooling in America making enormous contributions to that great nation. So,today,we have the American story in Dr.Shabihul Hassan,an Indian medical practitioner who came to Nigeria in 1972 with his dad when he was just nine.He has resided in this country for 40 years and,today,he is running not only the most modern hospital in the nation,called Dr. Hassan’s Clinic and Diagnostic Centre,Maitama,Abuja,he is about to answer our dream of turning Nigeria into a world destination for medical tourism.In this first interview ever granted any Nigerian newspaper,he told ASPIRE the many life-saving interventions his organization is making, and their plans to even touch lives in many more ways than one. Excerpts: Do we now call you a Nigerian? I consider myself a Nigerian, my friends consider me a Nigerian. I still have an Indian passport. So, Nigeria is home; India is also home for me. Have you procured the necessary documents? Well, formally, I am still an Indian citizen. I have an Indian passport; but Nigeria is where I have always been. This is where my friends are. For me, this is where home is. But you married an Indian? Yes, I married an Indian who was born in Nigeria. My wife’s parents came to Nigeria in the late 1960s and they left a few years ago. She was born here. In fact, she has only been to India only two or three times, since she was born. That’s incredible! Then, she too is more of a Nigerian? Yes. What have you been doing here in Nigeria over the years? I am a medical doctor; so I practice medicine. I have a hospital here in Maitama District, Abuja. It is a 65-bedroom hospital. We have all the medical departments. We have very good doctors from India, Nigeria and many other countries. It is a blend of different nationalities. Before you opened this hospital, which other things were you doing? You have been in Nigeria for 40 years? I was working at the Maiduguri Teaching Hospital. I later left the university to set up this hospital in Abuja in 2005. How long has your father been in Nigeria? My father has been here for more than 40 years. He completed his 40-year stay in this country in January this year (2012). In fact, it was on the 26th of January, which coincidentally was the Indian Republic Day. The High Commissioner of India gave him an award for his various contributions. He trained many children all over the country. Your father? Yes He trained many students? He trained many students starting from 1972, when he came to Nigeria, till 2008 when he retired. His students are in many towns and cities, in many ministries and parastatals are here. What was your father’s profession? He was a professor in mathematics, he retired in 2008.

In which university? University of Maiduguri. I came here as a child with my dad. You know when you stay in a place and spend all your childhood and all your days there, it becomes your home. My friends and every body that I know, every body that I care for, every body that cares for me, are all here. I have been travelling to India every year and I have

gone to many other countries in the world, but that basic quality of friendliness and tolerance of the Nigerian people, is something that appeals not just to me only but also to many foreigners. In fact, we, foreigners, at times joke among ourselves because many of us complain that the Nigerian economy is bad, that there is corruption, this and that; but we refuse to go home. Even

those who go home come back or want to come back; be it Indians, Bangladeshi, Pakistanis and others, they love Nigeria and would always want to stay or come back to this country. This is because there is something in the Nigerian people. Nigerians are very friendly people. I am not saying this to your face as eye service. No. But the truth is that I love this country. I grew up here. For me, this place is home. I appreciate that personal touch between the Nigerians of all tribes. Foreigners live in this country as if it is their home. There are countries where foreigners are treated as second-class citizens or where people look up to them as being superior. But here in Nigeria, foreigners don’t feel like foreigners because Nigerian people are very down to earth, friendly tolerant. This is a wonderful quality. This is true because I know those who always want to come back. They love this place. How often do you travel outside? I travel outside once in a year, but, sometimes, it could be twice in a year. I do keep in touch with my family in India. It is a huge, big, extended family and we talk to them on the phone often. So, we are very much in touch with my people in India. I grew up all my life here, but I have been very much in touch with my family back home. I respect the extended family. Let me ask you a personal question. Looking at the huge investment in this hospital, which runs into hundreds of millions of Naira, how did you, as a formerlecturer, come up with the funds to set up an investment like this?

‘…Formally, I am still an Indian citizen. I have an Indian passport; but Nigeria is where I have always been. This is where my friends are. For me, this is where home is’

Hassan

You don’t do this kind of investment in one day. I started this clinic in 2005. I started with a small clinic in Wuse, Abuja. At a point, it became essential for me to expand the hospital with the assistance of those who assisted me; the banks for instance. It has been a step-by-step process; it is not a one-day affair. Development in business, as in other life situations, is a step-by-step process, and not a one-day process. Do you think, with people like you in this country, the issue of medical tourism, which makes people to go abroad, especially India, Britain and America, for medical treatment is still necessary? Hospital tourism or medical tourism started few years ago; and I realized that many of the people, who were traveling out of this country for treatment, go to India. I am also the panel doctor for the Indian High Commission here. So, I was actually involved right from the beginning. When the government of India facilitated the travel of people, by making visa cheaper and easier, espe-


SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

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Interview cially the new ambassador has been very helpful, in achieving this. He has gone several steps ahead to see that whoever needs to be treated outside the country, that things are facilitated. As the Panel Doctor to the High Commission for many years, I was involved in the process. We have been seeing people, but only those people who would not be able to get the treatment they are looking for within the country would be given special visas to go to India, to get the required treatment and come back. But all along, my dream has been to build a hospital here so that people don’t have to travel outside this country for medical treatment. This is one of the main reasons for building this hospital here. This is a 65-bed hospital. It is a big hospital. All the necessary facilities are here. In fact, since we started this hospital, there are so many diseases for which people used to go outside the country for treatment, especially to India, that we are now effectively treating here. People no longer travel outside for such treatments. Such patients are now referred to us to handle. We are doing things step by step here. There are delicate surgeries that we are now doing here, in this hospital. We have started doing Laser surgery for hemorrhoids, which even is no done in many places in India. It is a very advanced surgery. We do the surgery here; there will be no bleeding, no pain. In two hours after the surgery, you could go home. This type of surgery used to be one of the messiest surgeries, a surgery that patients were afraid to do. People preferred living with hemorrhoids all their lives, just because there is so much bleeding, so much pain. You stay in the hospital for many days; sometimes weeks. But now we do this surgery here in less than 30 minutes, using laser surgery. After the operation, the patient just stays for two or three hours and goes home; no pain, no bleeding. This is an example. We are setting up our molecular diagnostic laboratory, which probably will be the first of its kind in Nigeria. We will do advanced DNA testing. We brought in a South African company to organize a seminar about three months ago. Many of the diseases for which people travel outside Nigeria for treatment can be well treated within the country. It is just a question of the people having confidence in the system. I grew up here, I know the people in the medical circle here. Nigerian doctors are very good doctors. They enjoy very good reputation across the world. You will be quite surprised to hear that there are more than 30,000 Nigerian doctors in the United States alone, and these are not doctors doing small clinics. These are doctors in very good positions; proper specialists in various areas of medicine. They are in the Middle East, U.K., U.S.A.; all over the world, holding respected positions. Specialists of various kinds who are products of Nigerian universities. Within the country also, there are very good doctors today. Sometimes, they may not have access to as many facilities as they would like to have; but that not withstanding, many of the diseases for which people travel outside Nigeria for treatment, can actually be properly treated within the country. It is just that sometimes, some people don’t have confidence in the system as a whole. But for some of them, because they have the money or can afford it, they prefer going abroad for treatment. I thank God that people have a lot of confidence in me. I get patients from all over the country on daily basis. People come from Port Harcourt, Lagos and other places. They will land at the Abuja airport and I will pick them and treat them. For the outpatients, they will fly back with the evening flights. So, when I tell my patients that their sickness could be handled here, that there is no need for them to go outside the country, they usually agree to be treated here. The whole idea is just to make them have confidence in the system here. So, there are practicing doctors on whom people have confidence. This thing (pessimism against Nigeria’s health care system) will ultimately thin down. It is just a matter of patience and time, but one cannot predict it. It started at a time when the economy went down. Things were not as good as they used to be as in the good old days of Nigeria. When I was a child, the Nigerian pound was stronger than the British pounds sterling. That was an era when education was almost free here, when health facilities were far better. So, there was a stage that things went down. But then, the potential is there and the confidence will eventually come back. What I am trying to do here is one by one; we are talking on things for which people go abroad for treatment. We are just doing that gradually. We are also in the process of building a bigger hospital. It is going to be a 300-bed hospital.

‘…Here in Nigeria, foreigners don’t feel like foreigners because Nigerian people are very down to earth, friendly tolerant. This is a wonderful quality. This is true because I know those who always want to come back. They love this place’ Where? Here in Abuja. Have you acquired the land? Everything is on ground. We are working on it now. We are going to call it India-Nigeria Friendship Hospital. We had discussions about this with our embassy that is the Indian embassy; and with the appropriate authorities in the country. By the time the hospital is ready, Nigerians will not have to go outside the country for treatment, as long as it is something do with medial success. This has been my dream. I love this country and I grew up here. I know that this country has the potentials. Nigeria has huge potentials to become a hospital tourism destination. In New York, in New Delhi, in London, and in many other countries, you meet Nigerians who are holding good positions in those countries, I want to see the day when patients will come from Cameroun, Congo, Gabon, Tripoli and other African countries to Abuja to look for medical treatment, rather than people going from Nigeria to other countries for treatment. You made me glad with what you have just said about Nigeria becoming a medical tourism destination. But when will the DNA testing be in full swing here? We are in the process and we are hoping that within 8-12 weeks we will start. Meanwhile we are training our staff. Some of our laboratory scientists have gone to South Africa for further training. In fact one of our female laboratory scientists will also be in South Africa in the next two to three weeks to contribute to the training of our lab scientist there. The head of our laboratory, Dr. E.C. Okala, who is also the President of the National Association of the Laboratory Scientists, is the most experienced lab. scientist in this country. So, we already have a very advanced laboratory. We do all kinds of tests here. We also get referral tests from other hospitals and clinics from other places within the country, from other towns. But we are taking these things a step further. By the time, we start doing DNA testing at an advanced level, we will be in a position to be able to detect some diseases, long before they manifest. Yes, diseases, such as diabetes are diseases that could be insidious, that is developing silently until they begin to disturb a patient. You said some diseases could be ever before they manifest… Yes, you can prevent some diseases at their early sages if detected early. Preventive medicine is the future of medicine. We have already started doing trials in our advanced laboratory. The company that is assisting us set up our laboratory has been here and we have been there. So, we are exchanging training visits with them. Apart from the head of our laboratory that knows these things, we want to make sure that some other

‘Development in business, as in other life situations, is a step-by-step process, and not a one-day process’

Hassan staff of our laboratory are well trained in these things. We know that when we start there would be a rush, we will start getting requests from around the country. So we want to be properly positioned to take the load. We will also have requests from scientific institutions within the country, including the advanced centres in Plateau State, the national agencies that will be cooperating with us. We will all be doing these together. We don’t want this to be done as a laboratory in a private hospital. We want the laboratory to be a reference point; where, ultimately, other lab-scientists from other hospitals will be further educated. We want to be able to disseminate medical information. Medicine is not a monopoly of one person. I don’t want this to be a situation where everybody will be praising my hospital alone. I strongly believe that the quality of education that has been given to Nigerians in this country should be put in the development of the system. It should be put into education. There are people in this country who have big, strong, potentials. People make efforts on their own all over the country. By the time their efforts come together, there certainly will be a big change. A lot of people in this country, even in Abuja, don’t know that you exist. So I want you to tell me, the various departments you have in yourhospital and if possible tell me the type of equipments you are using? The truth is that with the exception of some very advanced surgeries like open heart surgery, kidney transplant, I will tell you that contrary to what people think, all surgeries are done in Nigeria, not just in my own hospital but also at the National Hospital, Abuja, at the various private hospitals, big ones in the country and at the various teaching hospitals around the country. So, if anybody feels I am doing this alone, no. This is not right. This is being done in other private hospitals in the country. There is a wave of people that do go outside the country, but that does not necessarily mean that the facilities are not available here. But in Abuja, where our hospital is located within the diplomatic enclave in the city, we try to convince people that many of these medical problems could be handled here. For instance, people have been going abroad for things like fibroid. Fibroid operations are done all over the country. We do a lot of fibroid here. But like I told you, the relationship of patient to hospital is a relationship of confidence. We try to convince people that many of the illnesses for which they go out for treatment could be handled here, and most often, they agree with me and have their treatment here. I can tell you that, we get people from all over the country for fibroid operations now. We are also doing prostate operations here; people who have enlarged prostate, we treat them here. For fibroid, we do so many here. We treat hemorrhoid with the new laser or infrared techniques and which has become so common. People come from all over the country for it. General surgery, we do them a lot. You know that disease patterns is not any different

here than in any part of the world. Of course, there are always a few diseases that are specific to some areas. But we have a good team. A very good, very dedicated good team. From day one, as you walk into this hospital, you must have noticed that it does not look like a hospital. That is true; even the smell of the place, is unlike a hospital… Yes, it is unlike a hospital, my office does not look like a consulting room. From day one, my concept of a hospital is that there should be a personal touch. We have reduced administrative bureaucracy to a minimum. When I started this hospital, I was seeing patients, even before their personal folders, are prepared. Now, the place is too big for me to manage it that way. In fact, even now, if a patient comes in and wants to see me, we don’t compel them to open a folder or file before I see them. I see them, finish everything; paper work can be done after. Personal touch is very import -ant in a hospital. These are the things that make people to have confidence in a hospital. People walk in here; they don’t feel intimidated. We make them comfortable from the beginning. In this hospital you find people of various nationalities working here. You personalized the relationship between the doctor and the patient? So often, the doctors and the patient are on phone… Not just about health issue alone but also to discuss about other personal matters… Yes. Exactly. They call us. Sometimes, there are days my phone will receive over 500 calls a day. Sometimes, people complain that I don’t pick their calls; sometimes, it is not possible, but we don’t say no. I have trained all our doctors in such a way that people should go the extra mile. It is not a question of patients just coming to get treatment, pay and go. We train our doctors in such a way that there should be a personal touch. You should receive people with a smile. It is not every disease in the world that is 100% treatable, though all diseases have a cure. But there are diseases you know that, okay you have come to a dead end, but the difference is made when you treat the person kindly. You talk to the person; you explain issues to them. This is another thing that we do; to all our patients we explain the medicines we give to them. We train our pharmacists, our nurses on good human relations. Our patients don’t go to the pharmacy counter to collect drugs or medicines. From the finance and administrative point of view, it is convenient for everybody to go to collect medicines, but I have not allowed that to happen. Every new manager who comes to the hospital asks me why don’t I change this, I have always told them ‘no’. The medicine is collected from the pharmacy by a nurse, taken to the patient; then the nurse will now explain to the patient how the drugs will be taken. Before then, I had already explained to the

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SATURDAY SUN

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September 22, 2012

Leaders on Leadership GENERAL ABDULRAHMAN BELLO DAMBAZAU, CFR,PhD Former Chief of Army Staff

‘A good leader must be ready to innovate …or die professionally’ By SHOLA OSHUNKEYE Since he retired from the Nigerian Armed Forces as the Chief of Army Staff in 2010, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, recipient of the national honour of the Commander of the Federal Republic, CFR, has been as busy as a bee. He has never had a dull moment, if you permit the cliché. But like when he was in office, he has deliberately kept a low profile perhaps to being distracted from the highly cerebral work he is often invited to do by some prestigious academic institutions and civil society organizations around the world. Apart from trying his hands in business, construction to be specific, Kano-born Dambazau, 58, a visiting fellow of the Centre for Peace, Democracy, and Development, University of Massachusetts, Boston, United States of America, also superintends the Foundation for Victims of Child Abuse, VCAF, as chairman. He is also chairman, Board of Trustees of the Nigerian Society of Victomology. The retired Army Chief, who holds a PhD in criminology and has been doing a lot of work on peace and conflict resolution lately, in this encounter, speaks on his perception of leadership and what good leadership entails. Without waxing academic, Dambazau describes leadership as “leading a group of people, an organization or a country, with clearly defined set of goals and objectives, all aimed at achieving the greatest good for all the component parts of the group, organization and country.”

Dambazau

And for a leader to deliver the greatest good for the greatest number of his publics, Dambazau, a prolific writer who has authored five books and still counting, says a leader must be a “patient listener”, lover of justice and fairness (which he says is a recipe for harmonious coexistence), one who has eyes for details and welcomes “communication from all strata of his organization without bias or discrimination against rank or hierarchy.” And since knowledge, is power, the retired General says whoever aspires to leadership must also be ready to commit himself or herself to “life-long learning” in order to continue to be relevant. “Of course,” he continues, “he or she must be ready to innovate at strategic points in his or her leadership trajectory or die professionally.” Diplomacy apart, Dambazau, alludes to the leadership styles of some respected world leaders and Generals who he adores, and declares that “a good leader must be firm and principled; he must know when to talk and when to just listen and watch. And when he chooses to talk, he must be firm and frank, and call a spade by no other name than its name. He must be fair to all and ensure commensurate reward for honest hard work. He must not fail to commend and reward high performing staff members and must not hesitate to punish and reprimand intransigent and slack performers. Like a football team in a competition, a good leader ensures that he puts his best 11 on the field of play in all matches. This is important because there is stiff competition out there, and only the best gets the trophy. So, the good leader constantly keeps his eyes on the ball.”

The future of medicine in Nigeria Continued from page 31 patient the kind of drugs that I prescribed for him and the possible side effects of each medicine. These little things are necessary. Medical practice is about communication between the doctor and the patient. The ultimate healing is in the hands of God. There are no new medicines that are used all over the world; but the idea is that you know that there is a divine hand in the healing of the individuals. So, if you know that God has a hand in the healing process, you have to do what God expects you to do. First of all, you have to be kind to the patient, you have made a diagnosis, you have to explain to the patients that ‘look, this is the diagnosis.’ If it is a bad one, you have to do it in the best possible way, so that the impact is eased. So, we try to go the extra mile, you know, not just practicing medicine the way it is taught in the medical school. Accepted that you have praised my country, Nigeria, as a wonderful place, but sincerely, are there problems you are encountering, because the authorities are going to read this? We want to make the environment friendlier for men of ideas like you, to come and contribute in uplifting our nation, Nigeria. Well, I thank God that I have not met any obstacles from the Nigerian authorities or from the ministry or from any quarters at all. Technically, I have not had any obstacles, but I am aware that in the private sector, people do meet obstacles, and I think that either way we see it; people tend to complain about the government. That the government is not doing this or that. But I believe that all the responsibilities should not be shouldered by

the government alone. You just mentioned the example of the United States; their system runs on the shoulders of the private sector. The best hospitals in India are owned by the private sector. All the Nigerian patients who go to India, they don’t go to government hospitals. They go to fantastic private hospitals built by individual efforts. I think that government should encourage individual efforts. I think that the government should encourage the private health sector here, more than it is doing now. The people I met in government are aware of this. In fact, the authorities here are generally 100% on agreement on this: that the private health sector at the state level, at the federal government level, should be strengthened. But in strengthening it, it should not only be at the level of the big corporations. This should go down to the grassroots. I am talking about fresh medical graduates. By appointing graduates with an MB, BS degree, for example. The fresh graduate does his housemanship, does a bit of practical training for extra 1 to 2 years here. He may then decide to open a hospital in his hometown or village or anywhere. This is where government should give him financial support. He does not have the collateral to collect money from the bank to buy land or build his hospital. He is a professional; if he builds a hospital in his hometown, he will make money and at the same time help the society. He will do what people expect the government to do. So, such medical graduates should be helped at whatever level, starting from the bottom. When that is done, that is when you will see the health

private sector very strong. My hospital is located in the heart of Maitama. Now this hospital alone cannot serve every body. There are other very good hospitals in Abuja, in Lagos, in other big cities. But if you want the health sector to be really good, there should be good private hospitals, right down to the district and village levels. There are many doctors who would like to do this. Doctors who are from those villages and towns. But you see the struggle for too long. They spend many years before they are able to set up a hospital. By the time they have funds, they don’t want to go back to their villages again. They are already settled somewhere, in another town. These doctors can be given soft loans so that they could acquire a building or land in their own home-

‘…There is a divine hand in the healing of the individuals.

So, if you know that God has a hand in the healing process, you have to do what God expects you to do’‘…There is a divine hand in the healing of the individuals. So, if you know that God has a hand in the healing process, you have to do what God expects you to do’

towns or in their own villages to set up their private hospitals. They should be given incentives that will make them settle in rural areas, in fact to the extent that they wouldn’t want to go to any other place. There could be special incentives for such doctors. This will strengthen the private health sector, right at the grassroots. I think there are many more things that can be done, but ultimately, I believe that the future of medicine in this country lies with the private sector. It should be regulated so that there will be no malpractice, but it should be regulated with understanding. Not to regulate to the extent that the individual will get frustrated. Professionals should be encouraged Could you suggest ideas, on how the health sector could be moved to the next level? I understand that getting loans by doctors is not easy in this country.

I think the system of getting loans is not any different from other countries. I can tell you something; I am closely in touch with the members of the Nigerian Medical Association, the Medical Council. Some of them are my classmates, my friends, you know – they are doing their best. You know, the public see these people from a distance, as if they are not doing anything. They are doing and making a lot of impact. But, believe me, the future of the health sector of this country is in the hands of individuals. In India, our health sector peaked, it was not the government that did it, it was individuals who did it. As long as the authorities are not creating the enabling environment, the health sector will find it difficult to grow. The government should make the procurement of loans, by the medical professionals easy. The Nigerian Medical Association is doing a lot. These are educated people; they know what the problems are, as far as the health sector is concerned. The association is governed by very educated, very young, very dedicated people. The same is applicable to the medical council. There is a limit to what the government can do. It was different in the 1970s when the government was dong everything. But things have changed now that the government is down. It is the individuals that, ultimately, will take the health sector forward. How many doctors do you have in your hospital, what is your workforce? We have visiting consultants; we have other doctors who work full time. All in all we have over 150 people working in this hospital.


SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

ASPIRE

10 Questions The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee,on how to use the Internet,spam and shunning fame You pretty much created the Web. Of all the things you could then build, you chose the Web Index, a list of how countries are using the Internet, Why? To see how we’re doing, whether we’re using the Web to actually help humanity. Everybody told the Web Foundation stories about great things happening with the Web. But there’s really no data. You’d say, Yeah, but is that happening mostly? So the question was, What do we really have to do? How can we help people who are not currently members of the Internet or information society get on board? So how do you see the index being used? The great thing is it’s going to be open data. People will use it in all kinds of different ways: for writing articles in newspapers, for student projects, for trying out a hunch. I suppose one of the big things is it’ll bring up a set of questions for every country. When they’re thinking about how much to spend on advancing the use of the Web in their country, it’ll give them an agenda: What should they do next? Did it surprise you that Sweden was ranked No. 1? I couldn’t have predicted the order among the top 10. There are all kinds of surprises when you dig down. Iceland has the highest number of people online: 95%. The U.K. lags behind that, and the U.S. lags a long way behind that at 78%. The U.S. is not actually tackling the problem of people who are not online. But there’s more to

this index than just being connected. Is the Web being useful to people? Is it helping their health,

their education? If there’s nothing in their language, for example, then they are not going to bother to go on. Do you consider the Web finished? It still isn’t as good a collaborative medium as I originally wanted 20 years ago. But it’s grown. There’s a whole lot more that we realize we want to include on it. Meanwhile, every time we make the Web more powerful, we are widening the gap between those who have it and the people who don’t. Does what happens on the Web ever shock you? I’m shocked when I find a lot of people just use Internet for talking to people in the same town, very much the same type of person. At the last Web conference. I talked about the “stretch friend” – somebody who’s like a university–which might be a bit hard to get into, but if you could it would be great. Have you been surprised

‘Monopolies are something we should be concerned about because they tend to limit innovation’

by the longevity of companies like Google and Facebook? I don’t generally talk about individual companies, but it’s true that I said that monopolies are something we should be concerned about because they tend to limit innovation. How often do you write code? Over the summer break, I was hacking a little bit of Java-Script. Not as much as I would have liked. I still do all my taxes with homebrewed code. Do you still get letters from people blaming you for spam? There was a particular technical reason why that happened, because people found that every HTML document has w3.org (the URL of the World Wide Web Consortium, which sets Web standards) somewhere at the top, and they’d think: “Huh. That must mean that they’re the people sending me spam.” But I haven’t seen that so much, or maybe my spam filters have gotten better. Are there Tim BernersLee groupies? My Twitter following at least doubled after the London Olympic event. And there are a lot of Web groupies, people who have really taken to heart the openness of the Web, its functionality and the beauty of its architecture. That’s very heartening. Personally, I’m happy not being a household word and not being generally known on the street. In 1976, when you were in college, you built your first computer with a soldering iron, transistortransistor logic gates, an M6800 processor and an old TV. Do you still have it? No. At some point I didn’t have the space to store it. I wish I had. –BELINDA LUSCOMBE

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Schoolboy, 6, leaves family with £2000 iPad game bill A young schoolboy left his family with a £2000 credit card bill after using an app on his grandfather’s iPad. Will Smith, six, unwittingly embarked on the spending spree while playing Monster Island, a popular children’s video game. Fraud squad officers became suspicious of the activity on the family credit card, only to discover that it was the schoolboy who had spent the money. The youngster had spent the amount on the special app, which involves children “collecting” and “breeding” their own online creatures. Players then battle their way through the different levels before they reach the “Dark Monster”. Will had racked up the bill after accessing his grandfather’s password to iTunes, the Apple music store, where bought virtual food and coins at up to £70 a time. But his family had no idea that he was spending the vast amounts of money. It was only discovered after his grandmother went to use her credit card at a local Tesco store, where it was declined. “I must have synced my credit card up with the App Store and Will has just been pressing buttons buying baskets of food and coins for his monsters,” Will’s grandfather, Barry Smith, told the Daily Mirror. “I can’t believe how easy it is for kids to buy things. Will’s only six.” Mr Smith, of Redcar, North Yorks, said, when he explained the situation to Apple, officials agreed to refund the amount. But while the family were relieved to discover they were not the victims of fraud, Will was upset when told he could not play the game anymore. His mother, Nicola, 32, said: “Will was really upset - he was about to reach Level 26 and fight the Dark Monster.” An Apple spokesman was unavailable for comment.


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September 22, 2012

Special Assignment

The illegal miners of Ilesa gold • How they ply their trade • How their illegal activities impact the environment Blessed with enormous deposits of gold but robbed off the same resource, many small towns surrounding Ilesa, the second largest city in Osun State, are yet to taste development. Illegal gold miners are, however, helping themselves to the people’s commonwealth

By ERIC DUMO who was in Ilesa Like in many Nigerian communities today, Ijeshaland, particularly Ilesa, in Osun State, boasts of a rich landscape replete with some of nature’s finest gifts. Apart from the rich vegetation and the massive potentials in human resource, there are several other attributes that earn this ancient town a strategic position on the socioeconomic map of the country, especially in the southwest. A thriving local economy, driven by the mercantile and entrepreneurial spirit of the indigenes, means individuals and households are constantly involved in one commercial activity or another for survival. The women are mostly traders while the men undertake all sorts of vocations to bring food for the family. All week long, hustling and bustling never ceases across this vast land, making it the second largest city in the whole of Osun State behind Osogbo, the capital. But beyond its flourishing landscape and fertile economic atmosphere, there are other even more inspiring sides only a few people know of Ilesa. The kingdom is sitting on vast fields of raw gold-one of the world’s most sought after jewels. All across the town and the surrounding settlements, the natural resource is buried under the earth. The locals are aware of this but are not excited. This mineral has remained largely untapped over the years and has barely changed anything in their lives. Many parts of the kingdom are without motorable roads and basic social amenities are almost non-existent in several settlements visited. At Igun, for example, where a thriving gold mining industry once existed, the environment is devoid of development in almost all ramifications. Apart from the degradation of the area as a result of excavation by heavy-duty machines prospecting for gold, erosion has equally done a lot of damage to the area. Residents of the town told the reporter that all the promises of a better life by successive administrations and companies that have come to tap from their mineral deposits over the years have never been fulfilled. “Before mining of gold started here around 1981 by a foreign company, we gave them certain conditions they must fulfill,” Amuda Sumolai, a local chief told the reporter here. “We told them that they must provide social amenities for us, like roads and clean drinking water, and they agreed. But when they started working,

In action: Young men like these dig endlessly in search of gold without proper authorization

HRM Oba Dr. Adekunle Aromolaran, the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland

Aregbesola, Osun State Governor

Sitting on the gold they forgot all about the community, and kept all the money for their own selfish needs. They never did anything good for the people.

Whenever we tried to question them, they showed us papers (mining rights), which they claimed, were obtained from government. Our

environment has been destroyed and people suffer from mosquito bites. Even our water that was manageable for drinking before now is no longer safe. Before we can get water now, we have to trek half a mile from the village and even when we do, we have to apply alum before drinking it. Instead of being a blessing, the discovery of gold has become a curse to us. This is the situation we face at the moment.” Though, official mining activities have since stopped in the area long before now, heavyduty equipments and machines belonging to Nigerian Gold Mining Company, NGMC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian Mining Corporation, could be seen in many locations across Igun. Some of those excavated portions have turned into toxic lakes, with the water springing forth destroying farmlands and the general environment in the process. Sumolai claims this has contributed to making the peoples’ lives miserable. “The companies have abandoned their machines and destroyed our environment. They dug deep into our fields, creating gully. The water here usually flowed, but when they came and dammed the place, the entire area became a lake and it stopped flowing. Most of our farmlands have been


SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

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Special Assignment washed away and many people’s sources of livelihood have been seriously affected. “Before gold was discovered, the major occupation of the people here was cocoa farming. Cocoa was the main source of living for the people. Some people also went into planting rice and maize. We were all farmers generally. “It is those people who came to dig our gold that have destroyed our environment. When they dig and get the gold, they will take them to Osu, and from there it is taken to Abuja. At that time, whenever it rained, we could easily see raw gold washed away with mud. But nowadays, this has changed. Maybe God is angry at the way people have stolen our gold and have not used it to help us.” Besides NGMC Limited and the Livingspring Mineral Promotion Company Limited that have staged a strong presence in Ilesha’s gold fields, there are others who have done so and still do without the permission of the law. Though, this category of miners do not carry all the big machinery to dig as deep as NGMC have done at Igun, they are well equipped in their own right, too, to carry out their own mission away from the prying eyes of the public. They are illegal gold miners -young men of different ages and sizes who have come from distant places to strike jackpots, scooping and digging through the vast fields of the community’s largely untapped gold deposits. Their trade is not easy-it carries plenty of risks with it. But in spite the inherent dangers of this type of activity, the number of illegal gold miners the reporter came across on a recent visit to the ancient kingdom was overwhelming. Friday Aje, 32, from Niger State, is among the dozens of youths who turn to Ilesha’s gold city for luck everyday. Together with his brothers and friends from Niger State, they swamp through the forests of Ijana in Atakunmosa West Local Government Area, in search of precious raw gold. It took almost 40 minutes of intense search on foot through the muddy forests of Ijana for the reporter and his cameraman to stumble on Aje and his gang. They were all covered in mud with sweat trickling down their faces. They had worked almost five hours with only little to show for it. “We have been here since morning,” the 32-year-old ‘miner’ said.

A miner trying to locate gold

Sumolai: Says no to illegal minning Mathais

A miner searching for gold

“We have been digging for about five hours and it is this small thing (pointing to a pan where a yellowish substance is) that we have found. It is about one gram and can fetch about six thousand naira in the black market. Sometimes, if we are lucky, we could find gold that would be worth N30, 000 in a day. But sometimes we go empty-handed after toiling all day. That is how the job is. You cannot just predict what might happen.” To start digging gold here, there are a whole lot of processes involved. Besides the handy tools like testing bar, shovel, digger, head pan and washer required, owners of each land containing the deposit being mined must be properly settled financially. Failure to do so could be an invitation to chaos and trouble. “Before we enter any farm,” Aje continued, “we must settle the farm owner and if we don’t settle the farm owner, it becomes a problem. For sample, we pay the landowner N10, 000. But as you continue to work, you will be asked to pay N30, 000 or N40, 000, and this fee usually lasts for only a month. So, within that period, any gold found on such farmlands is ours own including any profit we make after selling.” On how they are able to identify a farmland that has gold, he revealed that they had techniques with which they do that. “If we see the place,” he said, “we will know because there is something we put in the ground, it is called the testing bar. We dig one step to six steps sometimes to find

gold. When we bring it out, we then wash it and when it is washed, we are able to see what it is, and if it is heavy, we will know. It is usually yellowish.” There are numerous challenges associated with what illegal miners in Ilesa do. Apart from the related health hazards, increasing threats to their lives by the locals make it tough at times. Adamu Usman, also from Niger State, disclosed that he has been in the illicit trade for seven years now. He told the paper some of the difficulties they face in the course of duty. Though, he reckons that the much they make from the business keeps them going, most of them would abandon the job if they find a viable alternative. “My friends introduced me into the business. The work is stressful but there is little money in it for someone to manage with his family. Before we get the gold sometimes, we have to dig into the ground for many hours. There are times we dig four nine hours, and we find only very little. That’s how it happens sometimes. “After we find it, we wash and then dry it in fire for about a minute. If you are not careful, everything could be spoilt in the fire if it stays too long. Again, if we do not settle a farm owner properly, he or she will call OPC people to come and drive us away. If you don’t run on time and they get you, they would beat you mercilessly. Some of our colleagues have been seriously injured in the process. This job is very dangerous. Our life is sometimes threat-

control of all minerals, including the power to issue licenses, collect rents, fees, and royalties, in the federal government. This power is exercised through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, an organ established to boost non-oil exports. Since the creation of the ministry in 1995, officials say investors – both local and foreign - have shown interest in Nigeria’s gold deposits found almost throughout the western and northwestern regions. But there have been little efforts by successive administrations to fully develop the mining sector despite countless promises made. This has afforded illegal miners like Aje and his gang to swoop freely on the resources, causing several villages and towns to pay the big price. Disused pits dug by some of these desperate youths litter many parts of this vast land, wrecking havoc on the environment. The illegal miners followed in the footsteps of the NGMC, devastating much of the area in their frantic search for gold. Community leaders like Sumolai say they are adopting fresh strategies to curb the activities and dangers posed by illegal gold miners. “We did the community meeting recently,” he informs, “and myself and other chiefs deliberated on the issue and resolved that illegal mining should not be allowed. So, people who come for mining thorough illegal process will be stopped from entering the land. “We want government to come back and continue the gold job in the community. We want them to provide hospital with adequate facilities, and drinkable water. The community should also be provided with modern schools and equipments and good roads. But we will never allow illegal miners and thieves who steal our gold in our land again.” Indeed, putting an end to the activities of illegal miners who sell Ilesa’s gold for cheap might not be a task for individual communities to handle alone, it is a battle that would need the unflinching contribution of all relevant stakeholders. In recent past, there have reported cases of some of these men unleashing terror on perceived enemies to their illicit trade. Villagers, law enforcement agents and local vigilante groups have clashed with some of these youths in the past. Though, arrests have been, locals say they have not heard anyone brought to book for stealing their common wealth and destroying their land. With the price of gold soaring higher in the black market by the day and security still relatively poor around the gold fields of Ilesa, it might take longer than local indigenes expect for the illicit activities to be phased out of the area.

Portions of farmland destroyed by illegal miners

ened. If some of us see another work that is better, we won’t mind leaving this one. The risk is too much.” Zachariah Amane, 25, like Usman, says many of them are involved in the act of illegally extracting gold in Ilesa because they don’t want to stay hungry. He told the paper that all the money they get goes back into feeding and taking care of medical expenses. “Many of us here don’t even have savings,” he laments. “We are just doing this work to survive because there are no jobs. My friend invited me over from the North and I have been here for three years now. But all the little money we make is only enough for us to eat and buy medicine. I am just doing this because I don’t have any other job so I have to manage this one.” Journeying all the way from his native Kaduna, two years ago, to this part of Osun State to try his luck, Matthew Matthias, 21, has not had it easy. His thoughts of spontaneous naira windfall haven’t fallen flat like a pack of cards. Like the other young men who scavenge this gold field on daily basis in search of quick wealth, the terrain gets more and more difficult by the day. “When I first came here,” he begins, “I thought I would become rich quick but I never knew the work is a very deadly one. Before we find gold, at times, you can dig for a whole day and by the time we sell the little we find at the black market and share the money among ourselves, it is hardly enough to do anything. So, most of us just keep doing this business because there is nothing else to do for now. The digging aspect of this work is the most difficult because how deep you dig determines the amount of gold you find. There are times we dig up to four feet, six steps, nine steps, twelve steps, and so on, and find nothing. It is not easy.” The annual loss in gold stolen and illegally mined from Ilesa and other parts of the country with such mineral deposits is estimated into around $20 billions, according to latest figures from the government. An official of Osun State told the paper that the control of the sector falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government, making it impossible for state governments to crack down on illegal miners. “We are helpless,” says the official. “It is a shame that some of those who are stealing our resources through illegal mining and constituting nuisance to the people are not even Nigerians. But we can hardly do anything because of the policy of government which places natural resources in the exclusive legislative list.” Sections 1 and 221 of Decree 34 of 1999 vested the ownership and


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SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

ASPIRE

Traveller POETRY IN MOTION By ABUMERE EASTER 07056031011

THE RICH ALSO CRY

Traveller

Ilesa:A land serenaded by nature’s lofty promises Housing several historic places with a flourishing landscape to complement, Ilesa, Osun State’s second largest city, is a beauty waiting to explode. By ERIC DUMO,just back from Ilesa

I thought you knew earth’s face When you approached her gates But you said you were a genius Hearing the whispers of lizards I thought you knew her chambers Where she hides that secret pot You claimed you saw her virgin land, That courtyard of her golden box So you chose the arm of flesh Flesh that brought you wealth Indeed, you’re sought amongst men Eran no migho, clap for yourself

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There are several things that could spark curiosity in the mind of a first-time visitor to Ilesa, an ancient community in the heart of Osun State. Fondly dubbed land of the ‘State of the Living Spring’, Osun boasts of several settlements blessed with natural and human resources. Ilesha is one of such places. Apart from the tall, thick trees standing strategically and waving warmly at you as you drive through the narrow and snaky road leading into the town, the architectural splendour of the city is a beauty, raw yet gorgeous to behold. Ablend of old mud and brick houses together with a sea of modern designs, combine to ensure you are served a ‘full course’. The ring of hills around the town shows the rare elegance nature could bestow on a land. Stand on any of its peaks, and you get a scenic panoramic view of the town that birthed Ogedengbe Agbogungboro, the warrior leader of the town in the years of yore. Of a truth, there are many things that would thrill a first timer in Ilesa. But that is not all that is noteworthy about this ageless

community. The people too are a wonderful kind. Ijesas, as people from Ilesa and environs are called, are a highly principled and very industrious breed. The men are creatively restless, so do the women who engage in all forms of commercial activities to support their homes. Originally a town renowned for its rich dose of traders, farm-

Aerial view of the town

A! Your Lazo Guvenci shoes No photo copy, your style pukka Young women eye you a groom Take a kola nut, I duff my cap A! See your paradise Fine boy, I like your swagger This land boat you cruise, Sure benefits your street cred But I’ve seen you behind my fence In that mood when pain is friend As you sobbed, I read your lines How you desired the end of times Wisdom is the greatest, not pence Grab it and live a dame on earth But wait, give the needy a help He may be your landlord in death. Statue of Owa Obokun Ereja at the centre of Ilesa

ers, hunters and commercial transporters – vehicle and motorcycle – have, over the years, crept into the picture, expanding the economic base of the area. All week long, buying, selling and rendering of services never cease here. They go on unabated. A first-time visitor would find its thriving economic and commercial system exciting.

There is a rich history behind Ilesa, the traditional headquarters of Ijesaland and capital of the first Local Council in Nigeria (Ijesa/Ekiti Parapo Council) named by the British Colonial Administrator on 21 June 1900 comprising the present day Ondo and Ekiti States of Nigeria. The kingdom, comprising Ilesa and adjoining settlements, is

ruled by a first class monarch with the title–Owa Obokun Adimula of Ijesaland. Oba Dr. Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II, is the paramount ruler of the land at the moment. He has been on the throne since 1982 and has contributed immensely to the expansion and growth of the community with some the popular towns like Ibokun, Erin Ijesa, Ipetu-Jesa, Ijebu-Jesa, Esa-Oke, Ipole, Ifewara, Ijeda, Iloko, Iwara, Iwaraja, Iperindo, Erinmo, Idominasi, Ilase, Igangan and Imo witnessing unprecedented progress. All across Ilesa, scores of tourist sites exist. From far and near, people troop in daily to have a feel of some of these wonders. The city is noted for its serenity and cleanliness. Rev. Williams Howard Clark, in 1854, said this of the town: “For its cleanliness, regularity in breath and width, and the straightness of its streets, the ancient city of Ilesa far surpasses any native town I have seen in black Africa.” The famous and prestigious Ilesa Grammar School, a school founded by Egbe Atunluse Ilesa, is one of the most notable monuments the town takes pride in. It has produced many influential Nigerians like Justice Alfa Belgore, former Chief Justice of the Federation, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, a former Governor of Lagos State, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe, former Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Prof. Wale Omole, former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and the current Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole. The statue of Owa Obokun Ereja at the centre of the town attests to the creative prowess of the locals. Their sculpting skills are evident wherever you turn to across Ilesa with beautiful art works beckoning you. Other places of interest here include Ogedengbe Cenotaph, Ibodi Monkey Forest Reserve, Owa Ajibogun Tomb, Ark of Noah at Itagunmodi, Osun Orunto Stream, Ifewara, Ogun Tomb (Ipole Ijesa) and Gold Mining Centre (Itagunmodi). There are numerous other sites in many parts of this ancient city. Presently, the population of the town is said to be around 300, 000 but experts say the figure could be far higher especially with new migrants moving into the area on daily basis. A high-ranking traditional chief at the palace of the Adimula, told the paper that the beauty of Ilesa and Ijesaland as a whole is in the heterogeneity of the town. “It is not only the indigenes that exists here, visitors from other parts of the country have also found a home in this kingdom,” he says. “If you look at majority of the traders today inside the town, you will find that most of them are not even Yorubas. We have Igbos, Hausas and even citizens of other countries all living in Ilesa. This is because the place is peaceful. Without peace everyone would have run back to his or her various places. Kabiyesi (the paramount ruler) is doing his best to

ensure that we all live happily as one. This is what makes Ilesa different from other towns, not only in Osun State but also in the entire Yorubaland.” Before now, security of lives and properties was a big issue in this part of the country but with the joint collaboration of the military and police, together with local vigilante groups, peace and tranquility have since been restored to the area. Locals freely told the reporter how relieved they were to see those bloody and uncertain days pass away. “In the past, not too long ago, you would not find anybody on the streets by 10p.m. because of the fear of armed robbers,” Adekambi Bambo, a commercial motorcyclists told the magazine. “Both day and night, we were living in fear because

A government hospital in the town

you never had an idea where criminals would strike next. Innocent people were killed at the time and countless properties were destroyed. But we are happy now, all that have changed and we now go about our daily business peacefully. This is big progress for us.” The testimonies were the same in other parts of the town visited. But beyond the prevailing peaceful atmosphere and thriving economic climate, Ilesa is yet to fully maximize its potentials. There are hectares of land lying fallow that if properly utilized,

could accommodate industries and infrastructures that would improve the town’s economy and enhance the lives of the people. The high rate of unemployment, like in many Nigerian communities today, could be managed if the informal sector and agricultural arm of the local economy could be fully strengthened. This could help force down the level of poverty and reduce its effects on the people. The various tourists’ destinations if fully upgraded and transformed into acceptable standards, could, indeed, be a money-spin-

ner and further open this very old kingdom to the rest of the world. It would not doubt stimulate a sudden boom in the hospitality sector, preparing a virile platform for the emergence of several highbrow hotels and relaxation centres in the town. Local government officials, west of the kingdom, told the reporter in confidence that there are ongoing efforts to realize some of these ambitions. If achieved anytime soon, Ilesa could suddenly transform from another ancient locality it is today, to a truly world class beauty.

Day Oba Aromolaran painted Lagos red By OGUNMILUYI OMOLADE Lagosians would not forget Saturday, September 15, 2012 in a hurry. That day, the paramount ruler of Ijesaland, Oba Dr. Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II drew the crème de la crème of the Nigeria to the city of aquatic splendour to celebrate the holy matrimony of his son, Prince Adegboyega Aromolaran, to his lover, former Miss. Kofoworola Ajakaiye, at the Bola Memorial Anglican Church, Ikeja, the capital of Lagos. The joy of Oba Aromolaran knew no bounds as he sang and danced to with royal élan to the enthralling music both in the church and at the reception. The newly wed, who met at the beach during a school trip in their days at the University of Lagos, were excited and thankful to God for making the marriage a reality. The king could not hide his happiness, too. He told the excit- Father of the groom Oba Dr. Aromolaran and Oba Adedokun Abolarin, pose with the newly wed ed guests at the ceremony that Oba Adedokun Abolarin, who was special guest mony included the Deputy Governor of Osun the day was a fulfillment of a long-standing of honour at the occasion, was happy to see the State, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, former deputy dream. He admonished the new couple to love lovebirds celebrate. He advised them to love governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Rafiu Jafojo, and understand each other while also praying for each other, and do everything to protect, respect Primate Adeniran Aluko, Chief Michael Adeojo, God’s blessing upon their union. and honour their vows. chairman, Elizade Motors, just to mention a Meanwhile, the Orangun of Oke Ila-Orangun, Other dignitaries present at the colourful cere- few.


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ASPIRE

September 22, 2012

Traveller Xtra

Agboyi: An ancient community in search of civilization Agboyi, one of Nigeria’s oldest island communities in the heart of Lagos, still revels in the past, with daily living becoming even stiffer for its largely impoverished dwellers. Though surrounded by water, as in The Rime of Ancient Mariner, a poem by S.T. Coleridge, inhabitants of Agboyi have no drop to drink Story and pictures By ERIC DUMO Looking forlorn and deeply lost in thought, his picture leaves you guessing in many directions. With his gaze fixed on nowhere in particular and his lips moving incoherently, it is quite easy to tell Abideen Kukoyi, 34, is truly troubled. Among the most popular youths in Agboyi – a riverine community stretching tens of kilometres across Alapere to Ajegunle in Lagos – he is not content with life in the area anymore. At 34, he does not see a future for himself here with the present state of things. “We have many educated youths here but there are no jobs for them. We just sit idling away every day, doing nothing. We want to work and make meaning out of our lives, but who would give you job? This is not the kind of life I want,” he fumes. It is not the kind of life many youths in this densely populated town want either. The lack of basic social amenities and a bridge to connect them to neighbouring towns is making daily living hellish for scores of the community’s inhabitants. Many told the reporter they are growing tired of the situation and are hurt by government’s unwillingness to address their pains. “The biggest problem affecting us here in Agboyi at the moment is the lack of clean drinkable water,” Kukoyi continues. “There is no water at all. The one that was built last year by the local government did not run for more than a few weeks before it stopped flowing. People are happy that we are in raining season now because it is the rainwater that people drink, use for cooking and also for washing these days. “Secondly, the lack of a link bridge is affecting us badly. If there were a bridge, there would have been development in this area. Four years ago, Governor Babatunde Fashola was here when the jetty at the other side of the town was opened. He promised that a bridge would be built before he finished his first term in office. But none of those promises have been fulfilled. If government builds a bridge for us, industries would surely come up and people like us can get jobs to do. If there is no electricity, we don’t mind, but water, the bridge and jobs are the most important things to us”. Kukoyi’s stand is a position shared by many of Agboyi’s low-income earning populace. More than anything else, the people demand potable water and a link bridge to connect them to the outside world. It is a step more than a few believe would change their lives for good. “Lateef Jakande (Second Republic governor of Lagos State) tried for us as far as roads are concerned. He did the much he could. But if the present administration can assist us and complete the project, it would add new meaning to our lives. To get water sometimes, we paddle canoes to as far as Oworo and Owode because there is no clean water in our community. There are more than 1,000 houses in the whole of Agboyi; this is minus the ones in the estates that we have here. The human population is close to, if not more than, one million. People are moving into the area every day because accommodation is very expensive in other parts of town. Government still feels we are small in population but they don’t know that Agboyi has expanded and has even linked with places like Ajegunle, Owode and Ogudu. It is time they gave us roads so that development can come into Agboyi,” Lateef Owoyele, a middle-aged artisan pleads. Thought to be more than 200 years old, Agboyi is indeed one of Nigeria’s earliest but largely underdeveloped communities. It

Agboyi

Chief Oluwole Aregbe, Otun Baale, Agboyi is a sprawling island along the coastal line of the Lagos lagoon. It is divided into three settlements – Agboyi 1, 2, and 3. There are different versions of the original inhabitants of the land or its first settlers, but the predominance of the Awori tribe, however, leaves strong suggestions that they might have berthed here first. Chief Oluwole Aregbe, a prominent member of the town and righthand man of the Baale of Agboyi 2, gave an insight into the history behind the kingdom. “According to history, Agboyi has been in existence for more than 200 years. The first person to step on this land was from Ile-Ife. When he first came, he stayed at Isheri before moving down to this place later. It was initially called ‘Ebute Onkan’. There is an idol called Alale, which the founder of Agboyi instructed that we should be worshipping. The people of Agboyi are mostly hunters and fishers. There are several festivals celebrated each year in this land. We have the Egun, Agemo, Oro and many others. “At the moment, the major challenge we are facing is how to get drinking water. The one that was fixed here a while ago has stopped running and since then we suffer to get drinking water to use. Our river is not as clean as it was years ago; now it is contaminated, so we cannot even use it for anything again. “Also, we need a bridge to link us to the other side of the town. This is really affecting our daily lives, because even school children have to cross the river on boat every day to attend their different schools,” he says. Alhaji Shakirudeen Ojoge, Igasa of Agboyi 1, is a prominent face in the town as well. He knows the area and understands the numerous challenges, too. He is sad-

Kukoyi

Ojoge, Igasa Agboyi

dened that all the promises by successive administrations to develop the area have not translated into anything concrete. He could not hide his frustrations while speaking with the reporter. “We are originally Awori people and we are very accommodating. If you look all around the community, you would notice other tribes as well. That is to tell you how hospitable we are. However, our biggest worry in Agboyi now is roads and a bridge to connect us to town. This is indeed limiting us here to a great extent, because we cannot do a lot of things as we would have wanted. Without using a canoe, we cannot go out and this is giving us concern a lot. “The water from our river was good for drinking before now but you can’t even use it to wash anything now. Since canals were channelled into this river, we cannot benefit from it any longer. Even our fishing activities have been hampered as a result of this pollution. All this is a source of worry for us. If government can come to our rescue, we would be very glad because Agboyi has lots of potential. Our women were into weaving of mats before, but since the river has been contaminated, most of those materials used to weave mat no longer grow well. As a result, some of our women are now into petty trading. We cannot fish here anymore, we have to go very far to do that,” a disturbed Ojoge discloses. Naturally a hunting and fishing group, the free-flowing river and the abundance of mangrove in the area provided employment for the people of Agboyi in those early days. While the men were into the more tedious task of gaming, the women weaved mats with materials easily gathered from riverbanks and nearby bushes. But those were before environmental pollution crept into the scene. Activities of big industries in faraway places like Ikorodu and even sur-

rounding towns, mean that the river has lost its pureness – it is now too contaminated to serve the people. The channelling of drains and canals into the river has also worsened matters. It has, in fact, contributed in making one of the people’s natural resources among their biggest albatross today. “Even our own natural source of water has been taken away from us. They would not give us clean water to drink and cook yet they deliberately destroyed the one God gave us–the one we were happy using before these bad people started pouring different chemicals and waste elements into it. Nobody cares about what we pass through here. We are really suffering,” Ajoke Ibilade, a 46-year-old mother of five tells the paper. Plenty of housewives like her have had their chores doubled in recent months and routines, severely hampered. The only government-owned primary school – a block of 15 classrooms – is largely inadequate to cater for the academic needs of Agboyi’s growing army of children. Apart from lacking basic items to aid learning and impart knowledge to the children, the crumbling nature of the structure itself, is a testament to how bad things are here. When the reporter asked a bunch of boys kicking football on the school’s field whether they were taking computer lessons, it sounded strange to them. They have never seen one all their lives, some of them admitted. But few kids, whose parents can afford the resources, are enrolled in cheap private schools across Alapere – the closest of all neighbouring towns–and have better chances of acquiring computer skills. But it means such “lucky” pupils would have to embark on a risky voyage every school day by crossing the river on boat. It is a venture that has recorded fatalities in the past, a boat operator, Dauda Quasim, reveals.

The public health facility in the community is struggling to cope with the rising cases of medical needs. Running from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with a doctor and few health officers on hand, the facility does not have the capacity to service the health needs of the Agboyi population. Timothy Ishola, chairman of AgboyiKetu Community Development Area, is bothered by the situation. He wants the state government and other relevant agencies to open up Agboyi to the world and reduce the stings of poverty and hardship on the people of the area. Indeed, life in this riverine settlement is a mix of challenges and opportunities. While the living conditions of the people and their present environment might not be inspiring enough, there are some residents who are not complaining much. Idowu Kazeem, 25, is one of such. His lotto business is fetching him enough profit. He makes an average of N8, 000 daily – an income many youths and even adults cannot boast of in a month. Operators of drinking joints and other small businesses are also making cool cash. For them, regardless of the numerous challenges in the area, business cannot get any better. But while these ones might not worry much, the majority of the voices here still echo bitterness. “We need government to build industries here because there is plenty of land for that purpose. The living standard of our people is poor, so we need jobs from government to survive. People are willing to work but there are no jobs anywhere. Youths in the community struggle to survive and some have left this place to ‘hustle’ elsewhere because things are getting unbearable,” Olusegun Mayowa, an unemployed youth, says. At present, Agboyi is without a king following the demise of Oba Disu Alagbe Akinlabi on April 26. The power vacuum is not helping the people in pushing the relevant authorities towards turning their attention to the area. Even though the entire local government area derives its name from this riverine settlement, many residents of this island say they are marginalised. The town only has two councillors representing their interest in government. Some say this is responsible for the slow pace of development and large-scale neglect of the area by successive administrations. However, they are hoping that things would improve and very fast, too, in the coming months. If it does, the people of this ever-expanding riverine kingdom might have their fortunes changed for the better after enduring several decades in the shadows and bearing the stings of lack of development.


SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

ASPIRE

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Snaparazzi Sod-turning ceremony of Redeemer’s University permanent site, held recently in Ede,Osun State Photos By BIODUN ADEYEWA

Her Excellency,Grace Laoye-Tomori,Deputy Governor,(l) and Mrs.Aregbesola,First lady , Osun State

R-L:Chief Host,His Excellency,Rauf Aregbesola,Governor of Osun State,His Royal Majesty, Oba Adesola Lawal,Timi Of Ede Land,Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye,General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church Of God,Her Excellency,Grace Laoye-Tomori,Deputy Governor, and Professor Zachariah Debo Adeyewa,Vice Chancellor. Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye,Mother-in – Israel,Redeemed Christian Church Professor F.O.Aboaba,Chairman,Council.

His Royal Majasty,Oba M.Adesola Lawal (Laminisa I) Timi of Ede Land and his Olori(Host and Royal Father of the Day)

His Royal Majesty,Oba Okunade Sijuwade,Olubuse II,Ooni of Ife.

L-R:Pastor and Deaconess Bayo Oladosu and Pharm.Olabisi Adeyewa,VC’s wife.

of God and

L-R:Professor Felix Ojewere and Vice Vhancellor

Professor F.O.Aboaba,Chairman,Council

L-R:Dr.Olalekan Yinusa,Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce,Cooperative and Empowerment,Agunbiade AdeoyeFestus,Special Adviser on Agric and Food security;Funmilayo Adeyi Snr Spec Adv.Asst.to deputy governor and Engr(Mrs.)Williams Tawa,Spec.Adv on Watwer Resources,Osun State

L-R:Professor Yemi Osibajo,Chairman,Board of Trustees and Associate Professor Adekola Oyero,Balogun of Oba-Ire

Professor and Pharm.Debo Adeyewa and friends


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SATURDAY SUN

SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

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SATURDAY SUN

ASPIRE

September 22, 2012

Winning Ways

Good thinking good product Let's Talk Opportunities

DELE ABEGUNDE deleabegunde@yahoo.com 0807-788-7880

Last Thursday I was invited to the launching of the first Cocoa powder drink without any additive in Nigeria or is it Africa at the Multi Trex Integrated Products Plc. The product was launched by the Honorable Minister of Agric, Dr Adesina and the Ogun State Governor, Senator Amosun. The product was called Frangada Cocoa Powder. It is really for adults as it helps us to sleep, reduces cholesterol levels and lowers blood pressure. I have been sleeping easy since Thursday. Honestly I am not advertising the product but speaking of a quiet achiever who dares to dream and is still dreaming. The name of the product came from the way the daughter of the founder of the company was pronouncing grand father about twenty two years a go when she was born. She called grand father, Frangada a nd today that is the name of one of the best cocoa products to ever come out of Nigeria. The Chairman of the company, High Chief Bayo Akinnola, who is the father of the Minister for ICT, Mobola Johnson, said to do cocoa business in Nigeria and be successful, you have to be a bit mad, bearing in mind the constant anti real sector policies of the three tiers of government, which cumulatively seek to destroy all industries, he said Dimeji Owofemi, the fifty two year old founder of the company has thrived with his madness. At various times the former President, Chief Obasanjo and the incumbent President, President Jonathan have opened various sections of the company as it has unfolding. The last dedication was, done by the Sultan of Sokoto and General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. This was of the chocolate line. So the company located at Warewa, the village just before you enter Lagos state from Ibadan, though still a work in progres, could be termed a dreamer’s success. I pray that God will prosper them more. I know so much about the company because I am the pastor of the founder’s church and I actually led the opening prayer that Thursday. This I had done at other times. Having been a development finance banker all my life and having been on the board of some companies dead and some still alive, I know the pains, stress and dangers involved in putting money in the industrial sector in Nigeria, honestly what Chief Akinnola said that you must be a bit mad to do this, is the truth and nothing but the truth. We live too peripherally in Nigeria today

unlike in the past, we celebrate mediocrity and things that the world no longer values. The world nations are competing about how to grow their economy, we are competing on how to rig the next elections. We celebrate and worship governors as if they are doing us favors, we even kill and maim ourselves on their behalf, whereas Philippine, Thailand, Ghana, Brazil and others earlier considered marginal economies way behind Nigeria are by deliberate government policy and involvement, moving forward economically. Our government has to begin to sincerely help the nation by financing the real sector and evolving policies that will favor and grow the sector. I take so much interest in the growth and development of China. When we were in school, they distributed to us the red book by Chairman Mao and following that vision, China has prospered. I listened to a lady yesterday night while watching the Chinese television, say that she believes that there is nothing impossible for China to accomplish. Europe is looking towards China for the injection of bailout funds to help revive her troubled economy. China’s economic progress was the vision of Chairman Mao. His good thinking is producing good products. Looking at Africa, except South Africa, there is no nation that is really shaking the world from here either economically or militarily. Nigeria could have been that nation, but we dare to dream or think. All the political noise making has to stop and our leaders must deliberately begin to allow Nigeria manifest their thinking. I pastor about three thousand five hundred people as a non-salaried Senior Pastor. We have about ten percent of our population who are business men and women and we have a program called Gathering of the Eagles where they exhort the younger one’s on how to go for it. The percentage was higher than this, but some have closed shop. Their experiences in the business world of Nigeria has been becoming more and more harrowing. The harassment, intimidation and deliberate extortion by various government officials is venomous. I used venom not by mistake. Honestly today, it is suicidal being in business here in Nigeria and no nation can prosper as a buying and selling nation. We have land, we produce insufficient food, even those we produce cannot be stored as there are no facilities for this. Thank God the Police are out of the roads now, but FRSC has taken over. It is pains upon pains in Nigeria and who will help us? That is why the Owofemis, the Dangotes, Adenugas, Dantatas, Odutolas, Ojukwus must be celebrated. They have all showed that good thinking could always result in good products. Late Chief Odutola was remembered and celebrated seventeen years after his death about two weeks a go and Odutola Foundation was started in his honor. We must begin to encourage and celebrate good thinking. BEWARE OF FRSC WHILE IN LAGOS FRSC that great organization that was led by Prof Wole Soyinka at its inception is gradually losing its honor and respect. If you are visiting Lagos beware of them as they penalize you for funny things. If you are a regular listener to the Lagos State Government Traffic Radio on 96.1, you will hear of new extortionist strategies of making money by all means by the FRSC. The regular prowlers that I know of are at the gate of the Omole Phase two, Otedola Estate gate on the Lagos/ Ibadan express way. They are always there extorting money. I have experienced them but I did not fall because I am a lawyer and a pastor. All should beware please.

My pastor’s tattoo Touch the Sky

PAAGO ALEELE IMABEL aleelepaago@yahoo.com, 08023620564 There is a fierce generational war going on all around us. It is the fashion war. The younger generation has developed what I call a “sag sense”. Trousers have gone way, way down below the waist line unveiling what was previously called “private” by the older generation. No part of the body is sacrosanct. The things that are not unveiled are tattooed and you don’t want to know the parts that lovers offer for these drawings. It is repulsive to me no matter how beautiful it may look. So you can imagine my shock and surprise when I got a real close personal encounter with my pastor and discovered he was wearing a tattoo on his right hand! I looked up at Him with so many questions in my mind. Why would a respected man of God condescend to such a level as to offer his hand for an artist to deface?

‘Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you, Thomas, never!’ Why? I was disappointed to say the least. I guess my pastor saw the look of disdain on my face. “I can explain…” he said as if he owed me any explanation. “I have this son that I love so much yet he consistently disbelieves my love for him. I try so hard to reach him but he is ever so far from me, caught up in his own little challenges when I could help him out with whatever he needed…” His voice was sad. I could tell he was battling to keep back his tears. I had that feeling of unease and would have preferred he dropped the discussion. I tried to interrupt him, to tell him it really didn’t matter but he ignored me and just rolled up his sleeves to show the full tattoo. “I had to wear this tattoo so I don’t forget him.” It was so beautifully crafted. I have seen that particular picture before, in fact I draw it almost every day but never before have I seen it so majestically drawn. I instantly fell in love with it. Imagine me loving the tattoo on my pastor’s hand. But this was no ordinary tattoo. Before you ask me to change my church, or even condemn my pastor please read this extract from that wonderful book of mine – No Wonder They Call Him Jesus. It was Sunday afternoon, the disciples were gathered together praying and worshiping God. There wasn’t much else to do anyway. Suddenly the air was filled with a strange and

sweet perfume. Then it seemed light (not a bright offensive light, but a warm glow) surrounded them from nowhere. Ohhh! His presence as He manifested in the front of the room even though the doors were locked was awe-inspiring. His hands were so slowly lifted, it almost seemed it will never stop rising. “Peace be unto you!” His voice was warm and solemn. His smile was both grave and welcoming. He was the personification of grace. Then he turned to Thomas specifically, “why did you doubt that I had risen like I promised? Why?” The look in his eyes were neither condemning nor accusing. “Please come…” Thomas was unsure of himself as he stepped out of the crowd. Was Jesus going to expel him from his group of friends? You know the thoughts that go through your mind as a schoolboy when the Principal calls you out in the morning assembly? After you have been caught red-handed breaking the school rules? That was the feeling in Thomas’ heart as he approached Jesus. “Put your hand in my side can you feel the hole? The mark of the spear?” Thomas was hesitant. He didn’t want to cause him any more pains; the wound should still be fresh. But it was not. Jesus had a new body but he had retained the evidence for doubters like Thomas, like you, like me. Thomas was shocked by the gaping hole in his side that had hardened. But then Jesus stretched forth his hand and invited him to see. People assume all the time that what Jesus was showing him was the mark of the nails in his hand. How wrong! Thomas saw something hard to explain. In the stretched out hand was not only a gaping nail-pierced flesh – anybody could see that, they all did when He first greeted them – that was not what Jesus wanted Thomas to see. There was something else very personal. “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet I will not forget you, Thomas, never! Behold, I have graven your name upon the palms of my hand. Your walls are continually before me.” Thomas was stunned to see his name tattooed onto the palm of Jesus. That was when he screamed! “My Lord and my God!” Surely with the heart a man believes, but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Thomas had laid the principle of the altar call. He wasn’t amongst the inner four; he had no special place in the fold until that moment, that one revelation. Have you stood where Thomas stood – close enough to see the tattoo on your pastor’s hand? I stood there last weekend when I had the encounter with my pastor. It broke my heart that I had made Him cry day after day. It caused me untold pain that I was the cause of His pain by my stupid actions and arrogant disbelief. Yet with all my shortcomings, all my fears, disobedience all my sins, he had tattooed my name on his right hand just so I will NEVER be forgotten or forsaken. I stood there dazed at the beauty of MY name on his hand. There may be 7 billion people on earth; some of them very rich, some very powerful, some are great preachers… but he picked me out. It’s true; your name is the most important sound in any language. But what is even more important than the sound of your name is where it is written. Imagine your name written amongst the list of condemned criminals. Or imagine your name written on the cover of an international bestseller or imagine your name written amongst the top ten richest men in the world. Now you get the idea. Where your name is written is what makes it what it is. I saw my name on God’s hand! This is what I saw on Pastor J’s hand: ALEELE IMABEL PAAGO – MY MOST CHERISHED CHILD! Take a look at your pastor’s tattoo and tell me what is written after your name. If you are not sure your name is there ask me how you can get it done. It’s free.


SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

ASPIRE

43

Winning Ways 1000

business books you must read before you die

By ERIC DUMO

Don’t keep waiting, just start! The authors of the book Just Start, Leonard A. Schlesinger, Charles F. Kiefer & Paul B. Brown, have a completely different way of thinking from the rest of us. They argue that serial entrepreneurs act on what they are thinking, and it’s this action — this willingness to take immediate steps — that separates them from the nonserial entrepreneurs in society. At first, readers of Just Start might believe that the authors have just fancied up the familiar concepts of “ready, fire, aim” or “leap before you look.” Readers soon discover, however, that the authors have a concept a bit more sophisticated and nuanced in mind — a concept summarized in a rather ugly word that they coined: Creaction. To understand this new concept of Creaction, the authors point, you must first understand Prediction. Prediction allows us to make a plan to reach a goal, and then to put our plan in effect until the goal is reached. The problem is that during our journey to the goal, things either change or don’t happen as predicted, and the plan becomes obsolete. Serial entrepreneurs, according to the authors, have a very different process for reaching their goals. They come up with an idea, then take a small step toward implementing that idea to see if anyone is interested. If they get the reaction they’re looking for, they take another small step forward and assess interest again. If they don’t get the reaction they were hoping for, serial entrepreneurs will regroup and take another step in a different direction. Creaction is this process of creating

‘We act and build on what we learn through our actions. To be successful, we need to overcome the adult habit of overanalysis and over planning’

through action, the three writers said throughout this book. You find or think of something you want — what the authors call “desire.” You take a “smart step” as quickly as you can; a smart step means acting quickly with the means at hand, staying within an acceptable loss and bringing others along for more resources. You then build on what you have learned from taking that step, which may mean adjusting your path to the goal or changing the goal entirely. This highlights the importance of what the authors write about the first step, desire. Desire doesn’t necessarily mean passion or obsession. It simply means a goal, which you may quickly decide is not the right goal.

Moving froward through life’s reverses I welcome you all to this beautiful world of success and failure, progress and setbacks, joy and sorrow, prosperity and lack, triumph and trouble, deliverance and bondage, laughter and weeping, riches and poverty, health and sickness and so on. There is no one in life that has it smooth all the time. If you have no challenge, delays, trials, difficulties, problems, adversities, setback, your life is not saved and in fact, your life is on trial. This world is a jungle of problems. God created the earth, including all living things and non-living things, and behold everything God created was very good. However, sin entered into man and as a result problem started and the devil used the fall of man to make it difficult to enjoy God’s blessings. Remember the problem of sin is the genesis of all the problems, reverse, setbacks failure we experience on earth today. Even with this sin problem, God, in His infinite mercy, has drawn the plan of salvation through the atonement and faith in the blood of Jesus Christ as remedy for the sin of man. Once you look up to God and confess your sin, forsake those sins and pray for forgiveness, you will be saved. From this point on you have started to move forward in your life. No one is totally immune from life’s reverse and setback, troubles, trials and traumas, but while some soar above their and traumas, but while some soar above their gravitational force, other crumble under their weight. There is nobody in life that has not experienced some misfortunes. Setback and reverse occur in various forms, such as the loss of goods and property accidents, shortage, loss of health, loss of jobs, disappointments, delay, denials failure, trouble, sorrow, miseries, afflictions, tragedies and so on. This is a troubled world. As long as you are here, you have to go through some trouble. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. Only the dead has it quiet all the time. As long as you are alive, struggles, difficulties, trials, and challenge persist. Life is a mixture of both good and bad things. I gave you above description to let know that you

are not in it alone. We are all faced with the realities of life and I need to tell you the plan of God for your life even though you pass through these problems. My admonition to you is that you must not exaggerate your problems, and do not allow anyone to help you do so. Do you know that your case is not the worst around? These setbacks and reverses are like ill wind; they will blow and go, while a man or woman that has God will always stand. These calamities will soon pass away. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. My message to you today is that your end has not yet come. God has not ended with your case. God is still at work, making sure His will concerning you is fulfilled to the letter. What looks like an end is just at the just at the bend? There is light at the end of the dark tunnel; never think you cannot come out of this problem. Let me quickly mention some people who have their share of life’s challenge. I try to call problems challenge because I don’t really like magnifying any difficulty I face in life. Remember Sarah, the wife of Abraham and the mother of Isaac. Sarah has this testimony: “who would have said unto Abraham that Sarah should have given children suck? For I have born him a son in his old age.” (Gen.21:7). Joseph the son of Jacob was sold into slavery he was latter sent prison. All hopes seemed dashed for Joseph to move forward in life, but God had another idea. One night of trouble in the palace saw Joseph out of prison. We should thank God for problems. Daniel was thrown into den of Lion. His case was as god as closed, but not with God. The power of the Almighty God intervened and he came out of the lion’s den to rule and reign. Whatever looked like an end in your life today is actually a bend. There is no challenge-free road in life. This means that there is no trouble – free zone in life. Do not pray that there ill not be problem; rather pray that God will always give you the grace, power and wisdom to overcome all the problems that come your way. Problem make us mature, without problem, we

cannot grow and develop. Preoccupation with the past is always a retreat. Be careful with those memories of the past. They can trap you in mud and make you incapable of moving forward. David Livingstone, the great explore, once explained, “I will go anywhere as long as it is forward.” You may have experienced failure and defeat in life. One of the greatest and most comforting truths is that when one door closes, another the closed door that we do not see the one that ha opened for us. Defeat is nothing but education. It is the first step towards something better. Emptiness is one of the greatest problems of our days. Too many people are looking to the past instead of to the future. It has been well said that, “when goals go, meaning goes. When meaning goes, purpose goes. When purpose goes, life goes dead on our hands,’ I doubt that there has ever been a person living who hasn’t had regrets over things that have happened in the pat. The choice that we have is we are going to carry that heavy baggage with us into the future. Would you sell your eyes for a billion dollars? What would you take for your two legs? Your hands? Your hearing? Your children? Your family? Add up your assets, your are billionaire. There are multitudes on this planet who have “blown it” how many have you heard of who have failed yet have stood up again, brushed off the dust and gone on? Bing tied to the memory of past failings can becomes a habit. The chains of habits are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. But break them we must. Among the greatest of human tragedies are the wasted lives of those who fail after enjoying success and who lose their desire to ever try again. So you have failed welcome to the human race! Are you going to allow the painful memories of the past to spoil the glorious opportunities waiting for you in the future? My dear readers, I need to give you some tips that

Throughout this thrilling book, the authors offer a variety of stories to support their framework. One story involves the former executive vice president of the production company of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Eliot Daley had extensive experience raising funds from foundations, corporation and government entities, which led him to a huge idea. Daley’s desire was to create a consulting company to help donor organizations develop donation strategies to guide their decisions. He took a quick step in this direction using the substantial means he had at hand: his extensive experience working with donor groups, and a broad range of contacts related to the field. He hired staff and started making sales calls to small foundations that could benefit from efficient strategizing. Nothing happened. Foundations didn’t need strategizing; they had a certain amount to give and they were giving. What more could they ask for? Building on what he found through his failed sales efforts, Daley realized he needed to approach the places that demanded more accountability for charitable giving: large corporations. His next action was to approach what was at that time America’s largest corporation: AT&T. He successfully sold the services of his consultancy and his new business was launched. The methodology of Just Start may seem familiar and there’s a reason, the authors write: As children, this is how we learn. We act and build on what we learn through our actions. To be successful, according to the authors, we need to overcome the adult habit of overanalysis and over planning. Indeed the book is a masterpiece every business-minded individual would find useful as it provides a systematic insight on how to tackle familiar and strange challenges entrepreneurs might be confronted with in the course of pursuing their dreams. It is a useful inspirational book for aspiring managers.

Success Tips

DADA Z.I. (The Educator, 08028471149, 07029309472) Dadazi2000@yahoo.com will help you move forward through life’s reverse. Count you blessing and give thanks to God. Think of your strength and abilities. Focus on what is right with you. Learn to belittle your problems. Be focused on your success. Prepared for the unexpected. Commit your and destiny to God Refuse to accept defeat. Always guard against creating problem for yourself. Develop a working brain, hand, leg and mind. Settle only for success and nothing else Rule out laziness fro your life. No matter your present situation moving forward is our success song. I believe you can move forward through your life’s reverses. God bless you (amen).


44

SATURDAY SUN

ASPIRE

September 22, 2012

Human Interest

Dead or alive,I want my father …Cries this 33-year-old blind lady By MOSHOOD ADEBAYO, Abeokuta (moshoodadebayo@gmail.com) Even if your heart were made of steel, her story would melt it. Of the 33 years she has spent so far on earth, she used her eyes for only the first two. Since then, she has been blind, courtesy of “ a spiritual attack” she says she had short before mother passed on. Now, 33, an age when many in her shoes would say that the worst had come and gone, Miss. Olajumoke Oyenmechi Nwigwe, an English teacher with a secondary school in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, is facing another keg of problem. She is desperately searching for her father, Mr. Nkem Nwigwe, a lawyer from Okigwe in Isu Local Government Area of Imo State. She is appealing to whoever has any link that would re-connect her with her dad to kindly do so without hesitation. Born in Lagos, Olajumoke Oyenmechi, who described herself as “a child of circumstance” traced the genesis of her current problem to “a little misunderstanding” which caused her loving parents to go their separate ways. “There was a little misunderstanding between my parents which forced my mother to pack out of her matrimonial home for her parents’ place,” she said, struggling to subdue her emotion. “They are natives of Abeokuta (the Ogun State capital), but were then residing in Lagos. No sooner had my mother returned to her parents than she had a spiritual attack which landed her in the hospital and made her bed-ridden for a long time.” As providence would have it, she said her father whom she learnt worked for the President Shehu Shagari came to the Lagos hospital to see someone. In the process, he learnt that his wife had been admitted to hospital. “It was when he came to see my mother that he set his eyes on me for the first time as my mother who was on the throes of death introduced me to him. I was told that before the faithful day when I knew my

‘Whenever people ask me about my dad, I usually tell them that he is dead. Yet, I am not sure he is dead’

Nwigwe father, my mother had been hiding me from my father because the duo had been fighting over my custody. It was at that memorable occasion that my father christened me Onyenmechi (meaning: who knows tomorrow). After that, he literally disappeared from the hospital and I did not meet him again until I was ten years old.” In the first two years of her life, Onyenmechi says she had her eyes intact. But a freak domestic accident would change all that. “When my mother died, there was nothing wrong with me,” she recalls. “I had not lost my sight. But I was told that calamity befell me at the age of two while I was playing with a broomstick and I unconsciously pinched my eyes with it. “Rather than take me to the hospital, I was told that my guardians were doing self-medication. They went for an eye drop, and after applying it on my eyes for a while, my eyes started changing colours. “After unsuccessful attempts to restore

my eyes, my guardian took me to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba. The doctor we met said my case was an emergency and he needed to operate the affected eye. Rather than restore the eye damaged by the broomstick, my situation got worse after the operation. The second eye was also affected and before I knew what was happening, I had become blind.” By the time poor Onyenmechi was taken back to hospital, the doctor that operated her had flown out of the country. When three other operations she had did not succeed, she was flown to the United States on her grand father’s bill. “When I got to the United States with my grand father,” she continues, “the doctors at the eye hospital refused to do any other surgery, saying that the Nigerian doctor ought not have performed any operation on me; that my eye problems would have been corrected over time as I grow up.” Consequently, the American specialists advised her to return home and enroll in a special school to learn how to read and write. So, she returned to Nigeria. That

was in 1986. Still, she was hopeful for a miraculous healing. So, she turned to God, moving from one prayer house to another, all to no avail. “During my travails,” she continues, “after my secondary school at the Queens College, Yaba, Lagos, I got admission to the University of Ibadan to read Law and the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, to read International Relations. But I could not attend any of them because of my condition and lack of funds. So, I ended attending the College of Education for my NCE.” Describing her condition as very painful, the brilliant but physically challenged lady said in an emotion-laden voice: “I have accepted my condition as my own fate, but what is most painful to me is that I have not had any contact with my father since he came to the hospital where my mother eventually died. I miss my father. I want to see him. I want to know whether he is alive or dead. I need him because, maybe, if he had not separated with my mother, maybe what happened to me would not have happened.” As you make to round up the interview, the lady draws you back, and chips in ‘an important notice’: “I am not granting this interview because I am blind, but because I want to see my father after all these years. I want to see him. Whoever knows his whereabouts should, for God’s sake, tell him that the daughter he had 33 years ago in Lagos is looking for him badly.” “I pray he is still alive, because I am missing him greatly. Even if he has joined his ancestors, let his family in Okigwe know that I am looking for him. I am suffering. Unfortunately, I don’t know any of his people; not even when he was in relationship with my late mother whom he met shortly after she returned to the country from the United States where she read pharmacy.” To worsen the situation, she has also lost contact with an auntie that told her that her father was a lawyer who “worked during the reign of Alhaji Shehu Shagari as President.” All the more reason she is dying to see her dad in flesh and blood. “I want to see my father dead or alive. Whenever people ask me about my dad, I usually tell them that he is dead. Yet, I am not sure he is dead. Even if that is the situation, he has family. So, I will forever be grateful to God if I’m able to see him.” Away from the search for her dad, we ask Onyenmechi about her love life. We ask if she has a boy friend. A small smile plays around the corner of her mouth as she answers: “I don’t have a boyfriend or a fiancé or a lover or whatever you call it. What I have, and which I’m proud of and thankful to God for, are descent Christian brothers with descent relationship. I don’t have a boyfriend or someone I can call my fiancé.”


SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

45

POLITICS ThisWeek What Nigerians don’t know about IBB, Buhari’s oil industry management – David-West and shared the money we were paid. Within the Gulf War too, while we had $1.2billion, Babangida established a parallel account that was called ‘Dedicated Account.’ The Dedicated Account was run by only himself and the then Governor of Central Bank, the late Alhaji Uba Ahmed. Ahmed was a very good man. I still honour him. But it was an executive decision. Nobody had a say on how the account was used. So, in addition to the Federation Account, that by law, all proceeds of oil must go into, Babangida set up a parallel account he called Dedicated Account, which he lodged extra $1.2 billion Gulf War windfall.

By AKEEB ALARAPE

T

he nation’s oil sector has got more than enough scandals in the last two years, with stunning revelations on how the resources of the country ended up in private pockets. Two-time former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Prof Tam David-West, took a retrospective look at how the rot started, in this no-holds-barred exclusive interview. It’s nine months after subsidy removal. How would you assess this? The country is worse for it because it is all fraud. If we are looking at the subsidy alone, President Goodluck Jonathan will know that he has performed very badly. I have documents to show that Jonathan was initially opposed to the figure Okonjo-Iweala gave him. I have the document. But it was slammed down his throat. I am opposed to subsidy and I have been vindicated. There is no subsidy. The government has even confirmed my position and that of Muhammadu Buhari. Before that time, the late Gani Fawehinmi had written a booklet on subsidy. The government has changed the figure of the amount they get from subsidy 10 times. I said this at the Gani Fawehinmi lecture. The figure has changed 10 times in quantum and like amoeba, changing its shape. All the money Okonjo-Iweala claimed to have been recovered, were they lost in the first place? Okonjo-Iweala has only recovered the fraud. Later, she will say they are paying oil marketers over N500 million of subsidy. Let her organise a national debate that there is a subsidy and not a charade. If you forget about Tam David-West, can she also ignore an expert in oil and gas, Dr. Ngene Agbo, who was head of Petroleum Department at the University of Ibadan (UI) before? He is now in Dallas Texas. He wrote, and it was published in the newspapers, that fuel must not cost more than N36 per litre. In fact, when they were to remove the subsidy on January 1, he wrote again that IMF asked them to do so. I have the document. So, there is no subsidy and the action of the government has shown that. The bottom line is for government to build refineries. Nigeria could, at best, build 20 refineries in two years. The money is there. If we build at least five more refineries before Jonathan lives, petrol prices will come down because we are not going to import fuel anymore. That is the type of legacy he should leave behind. Could you tell us about your relationship with Buhari and Babangida? I worked with Buhari, but when Buhari was overthrown, Babangida brought me back. I was to come back to Ibadan, but Sani Abacha pleaded with me to stay. It was Abacha who made me change my mind. Abacha was my friend for over 30 years. We all served at Rivers State when I was commissioner for education under Zamani Lekwot. He (Abacha) was the Brigade Commander and we were good friends till he died. Therefore, when Buhari was overthrown, I was brought back. So, I know Babangida, I know Buhari. Any time I meet any new person in my life, as a friend, I do what I call personality profile. I will try to know the person’s strength and weakness. That profile guides me. People will not know that I was closer to Babangida than Buhari. While Babangida called me a pet name ‘TD,’ Buhari called me Professor. My relationship with Buhari was very official; my relationship with Babangida was both official and personal. So, I was clos-

When the Gulf War started, I wrote an article that oil price would go up because it was all common sense. The oil market is very volatile. If there is problem in Iraq or Iran, the market fixtures say that oil that will come from those countries cannot come to the market. So, there is artificial scarcity and oil prices go up. I wrote it then that we should invest the money to offset our foreign debts, as Kuwaiti did. Kuwaiti has one of the best oil management in the whole world. Another issue in the oil industry then was the increase in the price of fuel. Then, we started talking about subsidy. In Buhari’s time, we were exporting fuel in thousands of litres. What would you say about rot in the oil industry, as regards operations of businessmen?

David-West er to Babangida than Buhari when I was in government. I never visited Buhari at Dodan Barracks, except for official purposes. I visited Dodan Barracks many times on unofficial purposes to see Babangida. His great wife, Maryam, in her grave, can confirm this. How would you assess Babangida’s performance in the oil industry? What I am going to say about both of them is not because Buhari wants to become president or I am known to be an unapologetic Buhari supporter. I am not supporting Buhari out of sentiment but out of fact and figures. I had been talking about the mess in the oil industry in several newspapers interviews since 1994. I have been consistent about it. So, whatever I am saying about these two Nigerians I am saying it very objectively and without any regret and I challenge anybody to contradict what I am going to say. Yes, the Babangida government ruined the oil industry. How did he do it? How many people in Nigeria know these dirty millionaires? Dirty millionaires because the money they are getting is dirty money. How many people know the conditions to lift the Nigerian oil? I mean strict conditions, which were there before Buhari. He was oil minister before and I also inherited the conditions. Nigerians will be shocked that one can lift Nigerian oil now as if one goes to market to buy palm oil or groundnut oil. Babangida broke all the rules. Buhari operated them and I operated them during our time. Oil makes up over 90 per cent of all the money Nigeria has outside, that is foreign receipts. Also, oil makes up about 80 per cent of our annual

The Babangida government made it easier for them to have their ways in the camouflage of allowing indigenous participation. Indigenous participation is good but in what form? Oil industry is a very expensive business. I once told the late business mogul, M.K.O. Abiola, in those days that with all the money he had he could not build a refinery on his own. I told him he has to get foreign partners with him for support. No Nigerian millionaire could build a refinery, as at that time. I don’t know what is operating now. So, the result of what Babangida did is that corruption became rampant. I have no evidence to say Babangida himself is corrupt, but his government’s activities suggested that a lot of things done then increased corruption. Another thing he did was that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) used to meet every Wednesday. It was sacrosanct. In Buhari’s time, the federal executive met regularly every week. Babangida stopped it. What I am saying can be supported with facts and figures. I can face the world with them. Babangida cancelled weekly meeting of the federal executive council, where decisions were taken for the country. It was like saying the parliament may not meet but the president can issue laws. That was what it means. The federal executive only met when he (Babangida) wanted it to meet. I have evidence to show that. There are also great men and women that served with me and can confirm whether what I am saying is true or not. Ministers were asked to come down to seek approval for contracts. Any contract up to N10 million could be discussed with Babangida personally. They didn’t need to discuss it at the weekly federal executive council. Just come down to him and discuss. All I am saying are true and I stake my honour on them. Anybody can check this fact with ministers that served at the time I am talking about. For us then N10 million was a lot of money. So, if a minister had three contracts to discuss, that would be N30 million. Just a discussion between a minister and the

budget. So, why must we be careless about it? To lift Nigerian oil, these are the conditions set down, which Babangida broke. One, you must be an end user. By end user, it means we don’t give oil to people who will resell at Rotterdam. You must get a refinery. If you don’t have refinery, which you must or should, you should show a contract that you have a long time contract with a refinery at least 10 years. Then, you must deposit with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) three consecutive annual audit report of your company before you could be allowed to sign the contract to lift oil. This is to show that such company is healthy. Then, you must be prepared to pay a non-refundable $1million to NNPC as proof of good faith. All these rules were broken. No one in Nigeria even heard about them again. Also, you must not sell to South Africa because of apartheid. Your company must show a staff strength of at least 20 people. These are the conditions you must fulfill before you can lift Nigerian oil. Babangida broke all of them under the funny name of liberaliaation. When he broke the rules, he made it easy for a lot of people to jump into lifting of Nigerian oil, to the detriment of the country. That was the beginning of the disaster. Why did he break the rules? Did he break them in the interest of the nation or in the interest of some people? I cannot prejudge. I leave him (Babangida) to his conscience and God. Secondly, all oil revenues must be paid into the Federation Account. Babangida broke that too. Why is that so? Every month, the Commissioners for Finance from all the states came to Lagos in those days; we always sat Continued on Page 46


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POLITICS ThisWeek

‘IBB govt ruined oil industry’ Continued from Page 45 Head of State; both agreed and just go. What attempt did successive governments made to address this? You see successive government also saw the bad sides of the disruptions but they could not stop it because they benefited from it. The solution is for Nigerians not only to talk but to act. They should stop voting against their conscience. They should look at the candidates and reject any candidate that has a history of corruption. If a corrupt candidate gets to power, he will form a confraternity of corrupt people and they steal more and more of Nigerian money. Are we not ashamed that Nigeria cannot pay N18, 000 minimum wage, yet the same country is paying N1 billion for food allowance of the President and VicePresident from the oil money? To me, with good leadership, all these would stop. What is good leadership? A leadership that harnesses the blessings that God has showered on Nigeria, for the benefit of Nigerians, is a discipline leadership. A good leader is the one that cares for the ordinary man and not the big man. Why is this so? It is the nature in every society, whether America or Africa, anywhere, the poor people are more in numbers than the rich people. That is what I would call the social pyramid. Every community is structured like a pyramid. Only a few people are on top. As one is coming down the pyramid, one is confronted with army of the people. So, the poor people in every community are the numerous and at the bottom of the pyramid. Therefore, if you do something that helps the poor, you are doing the work of God. If a leader makes policies that make the people happy, such leader is doing the work of God because God loves poor people so much that he creates so many of them everywhere. Why are you an ardent Buhari supporter? Buhari is one of the cleanest men I have ever met in my life. If anybody wants me to dislike Buhari, such person should give me an example of his corruption. I will run away from him totally. But right now, there is no evidence. On the contrary, the more they attack him on this issue of corruption, the more they are making him Gold bier. I will give two examples. One, Babangida thought Buhari was making a lot of money on counter trading, so he set up two independent bodies to investigate counter trading. One of the bodies was headed by J.K. Randle, while the second was headed by Prof. Aboyade of blessed memory. None of them found anything against Buhari. None. I attested before the two bodies. Great Aboyade commission was digging into Buhari’s counter trading, J.K. Randle, who’s still alive, did the same thing. But both of them produced reports that showed that counter trading was so clean and was making so much money for Nigeria. Then two, soon after Obasanjo was sworn in, there was a social function for him in Lagos or so, then surprisingly, some people tried to praise Buhari, Obasanjo said: ‘don’t praise him, I have not probed him.’It was after that incident that Obasanjo set up Dr. Haroun’s probe panel of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF). Haroun probed PTF inside out. Buhari was discovered to be as clean as snow. You know, why he agreed to be the head of PTF was not to condone what Abacha was doing then, but he saw it as a way of serving the country and he did well. I have the record. Haroun came out and said PTF account was audited every year while Federal Government account was not audited in 36 years. You know Babangida detained Buhari for 40 months after he overthrew him. Buhari’s mother died while he was in detention and as a Muslim, I expected Babangida to rise above politics and allow Buhari to go bury his moth-

er. If he was released, I am sure he wouldn’t have run away. Buhari was not allowed to go bury his mother. But in the night after the woman was buried, Babangida released Buhari. His son died, the same thing happened. Anyway, after Buhari came out of detention, he told Babangida to tell the world about his corruption. The records are there. The same thing happened with the PTF. He told Obasanjo to publish the report of the panel, but Obasanjo could not publish it because it was a certificate of honour for Buhari. If that Haroun’s report had any page in it that indicted Buhari, Obasanjo would have used that to disqualify Buhari from contesting against him. Buhari is clean. He is not corrupt. To show how Buhari loves Nigeria, he doesn’t like spending Nigerian money frivolously. When he overthrew Shehu Shagari, Buhari never changed any chair or curtain in Dodan Barracks. Buhari used what Shagari was using until he left. As minister, our total pocket money under Buhari was N200 per month. You could spend less than N200 without accounting for it, but anything above N200, you must account for it. When he increased the money to N250, we clapped for him at the executive council. Now, as a former governor of the defunct north-eastern state, former minister of petroleum, former head of state, former executive chairman of PTF, Buhari has no house in Abuja. If he goes to Abuja, he stays in a private hotel. He has no house either uphill or downhill, apart from his house in Kaduna. What’s your view about money paid to exmilitant leaders to secure oil pipeline? I read the story and the justification of Asari Dokubo on the money. I read all the rubbishes on it. You see, Jonathan cannot be a better Niger Deltan than me. In the case of Niger Delta militants, I have a curious position. Asari Dokubo used to be with me here in Ibadan. I have a book coming out on him. He changed from Christianity to Islam to qualify him for training in Libya. I have the document. Soboma, who died, was also my cousin. So, I was surrounded by ex-militants. I cannot do anything against them, which is not proper. But is it right for Jonathan to have paid that money to Dokubo, Tompolo and Ateke Tom? If Jonathan has done some research he would know that Asari Dokubo has no followers anymore. He claimed he has 4, 000 people. Did Jonathan tell him to bring out that 4, 000 people? I know that the other time Asari Dokubo went to Port-Harcourt, he hired people to follow him. My book is coming with more details on this. On the surface, what Jonathan has done looks as the right thing but if one digs down into it, it is very questionable. It is a good idea to get local militants to secure oil pipelines, but there is this other question. First, they are paying them millions. Asari Dokubo is collecting N9 million for 4, 000 followers. But did Jonathan see this 4, 000 personnel or their list? I am saying as of now, Asari Dokubo has no followers. His people fought against him and they had left him. So, to me, all the principles on the surface are attractive but when one looks at the nitty-gritty, it is questionable. Asari Dokubo has never got a paid job in his life. He dropped out of the university twice, first at the University of Calabar. So, what message are we sending to the younger generation? That if they take arms against their country and fellow countrymen, they will be compensated? A vice-chancellor salary is about N1 million now and a dropout is being paid N9 million. Ateke Tom is now permanently in Abuja. Has Jonathan confirmed how much control he has in the Niger Delta area? The only person that I can say has presence in the area is Tompolo. So, the government should come out with facts and figures on this action.

David-West Secondly, the President is indicting himself. He is the Commander-in-Chief, as the Chief Security Officer of Nigeria. The constitution says the security of individuals in the state is strictly the responsibility of the state. Is the President saying that the SSS, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and all other security bodies in the country cannot do what Asari Dokubo and the rest are doing? Why can’t they complement one another? What do you think of Jonathan? Let me say what I have said repeatedly. I have nothing personal against President Goodluck Jonathan. I have never met him before and I don’t know whether I want to meet him. But the problem with him is that he believes so much on praises of sycophants. According to Senator Fulbright, an American statesman, in his book, ‘The Arrogance of Power,’ he said to criticise one’s country (leader) is to do it a favour or also pay it a compliment. It is a favour because it will make the leader to do better than he is doing. It is a compliment because it expresses a belief that he can do better. So, if I say he is not doing well, I expect him to do better. I have already complimented it, that he has the potentials to do better but he is not doing well. So, criticism is more act of patriotism than mere adulation. Whatever areas I take to score Jonathan, I will not give him a pass mark. Security is worst in our history. Corruption is the worst. In fact, corruption is worst now. I don’t need anything from Jonathan as a person. All I need from him is to do well, so that the Ijaw will be proud. Another thing is that after Jonathan, an Ijaw man will not smell Aso Rock in our lifetime. Why would they allow an Ijaw man there when the first one they gave to us, messed it up? Long and short, Jonathan has not done well. If Jonathan is an examination paper for me to mark, in A grade, he is out. I will not give him B; I will not give him C. I will give him D. The totality is that he has not done well and the earlier he realises this the better. What would you say about South-South

forum? The south-South forum or Southern Peoples Assembly is nonsense. As far as I am concerned, the people there are knowledgeable people, but I can’t help feeling that the groups were formed to collect money from Jonathan. When Odili was South-South president, the same Edwin Clark and the late MT Mbu were at loggerhead, leading two groups of South-South assembly. Now, the SouthSouth said it has endorsed Jonathan for 2015 and he is clapping? They don’t like him. Anybody that can say that to him is an enemy based on these reasons. One, he has spent only the second year of the first term. Any Ijaw man that wants to help you should make you to perform very well now. Are you saying you don’t support President Jonathan’s plan for 2015? He is going to fail. I can swear before Almighty God and all the things that Ijaw people believe, I have heard knowledgeable Ijaw people say he should not try it; it’s not good for us. Already, the country is more split now than ever in our history. The dichotomies are showing more and more now. If a minority man has come, he has a sacred duty to put it together. One of the greatest speeches in our history is Tafawa Balewa’s speech in the Parliament entitled ‘Unity in Diversity.’ It was a fantastic speech. That is what the President is supposed to do, so that when he leaves another minority man would have a chance. Right now, if Jonathan leaves another minority man, especially an Ijaw, would not have a chance, because he has messed it up. If he is doing well, does he need the South-South Forum to tell him that he is doing well? If he is doing well, the whole country will tell him that he is doing well. He doesn’t need a SouthSouth Forum. The South-South Forum is a disadvantage for him. Why is it that the South-South Forum is endorsing him for 2015? He should sit down and think. If he is doing well, I will be the first to write an article to praise him. I can even go to Abuja to congratulate him.


SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

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POLITICS ThisWeek Ondo guber 2012

Ondo people want Mimiko to serve second term – Akinmade hood, after some time people would see through it and know that you are dishing out tissues of lies. The NBC should be alert to its responsibility to curb these excesses.

By DURO ADESEKO

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bout one month to the Ondo State governorship election, Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, has asked the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, to stop playing god by declaring that Governor Olusegun Mimiko would be removed from office. He said that ACN leaders are fond of talking carelessly. According to him, former governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chairman of ACN, Bisi Akande, had made unprintable comments about Governor Mimiko. He said, however, that the Ondo governor did not react because of his respect for elders. The commissioner said that ACN declaration that ‘Mimiko is a goner’ is mere illusion. He said that Mimiko has done much for the state and therefore deserves a second term. How is the campaign for the October 20 governorship election going? The campaign is going very fine and I can tell you that our people are excited. The campaign has been very exciting. The people are happy. You will recall that several groups mounted pressure on Mr. Governor to re-contest because of the good work he has been able to do in the state. They are happy that he heeded their call. If you were here on the day of declaration, you would have seen the mammoth crowed in Akure and you would see that we are not disconnected with the people. Even our flag-off campaign recently in Owo show clearly that our people are behind us. People came from every nook and cranny to identify with our governor. You will recall that Ondo State, to a large extent, is one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria. This does not come by accident. It came as a result of pragmatic effort of Governor Mimiko to ensure that he creates stability in the system and make Ondo a pride to other states. The security agencies can attest to the fact that Ondo has been peaceful until politicians, who we refer to as agents of foreign gods, came to the state to create chaos and panic. But we have assured our people that they should remain calm because that is one of their strategies. Their strategy is to create a semblance of violence and we have been able to stand their tide. During the primaries of the three major political parties in Akure and shortly after the emergence of the ACN governorship candidate, he drove straight to the secretariat of the Labour Party and opened fire. It was reported in the papers. Our people did not respond because we know that it is their antics. Even a day before our flag-off campaign in Owo, they came to the ground and tried to shoot sporadically to scare people away. But God took absolute control of the day and the wish of the people prevailed. Normally, we know that our people would stand by the truth and come October 20, the governor of the people, elected by the people will emerge and that would be Governor Olusegun Abayomi Mimiko. Why is the politics of Ondo State so acrimonious? The politics of Ondo is not acrimonious. It seems acrimonious because of the selfish ambition of some people to win Ondo State governorship election by all means. Ondo people are relatively peaceful and they love one another. If you recall, the structure that normally cause crisis in Ondo State has been reformed. I mean the Nigerian Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has not recorded fracas or crisis in the last three years. The governor has built an ultra-modern motor park for them to ply their trade and let them feel that they are human beings and that they should not allow themselves to be used by politicians. The governor told them that if any politician comes to hire them as thugs, they should tell them to go and use their children. They are beloved citizens of the state and their blood should not be shed on the altar of politics. However, some people who believe that Mr. Governor did not join their party are hell bent in creating crisis in Ondo State. We are warning

Akinmade this in the area of agriculture and we’ve created agro business cities in the three senatorial districts of the state. These agro business districts have been able to employ over 5,000 unemployed university graduates and we are doing more. We are going to improve on these. These are some of the things we are going to table for our people. We are also telling our people that through our Community Development Programme, we are able to execute over 450 community driven projects in various communities in the state. The people themselves chose most of these community projects. What we are trying to do is to take development to the people and give them a sense of belonging. This is their government and whatever they want, government can do it for them. It is unlike before when government will take decisions in their various offices and go and site a project in a particular area without consulting the people. We are making the people the pillar of our government. We are consulting with them and these are some of the things we are telling our people and we want other political parties to come and address issues and not embark in propaganda or blackmail. We know Ondo people are intelligent and they can see things as they are. Even market women would tell you that anybody that does not see what Mimiko is doing is lying, blind or There is fear that there may be violence deaf. before and during the election. What do you think? What would you say about the story that We have alerted security agents and we are Ondo politicians have resorted to diabolical very sure that they are always alive to their means to win election? responsibilities. Politics is about issues. You go You can see the desperation of some politito the people and tell them what you want to do cians. They believe that blackmail can work. for them. As far as we are concerned, we can Power belongs to God and not to man. tell our people that in education, we have been Anybody that resorts to diabolic means will able to use education as social mobility to let fail. Whether we like it or not, one day we our people know that, they can aspire and would leave this world. There was a time become whatever they can be whatever they Olusegun Obasanjo was the President of want to be in life. If you move around, we have Nigeria. Where is he today? Power is transient. built several mega schools across the state. But a situation in which some politicians, What we are trying to do is that we want a situ- because they want power by all means, will ation where our pupils, our children can com- resort to blackmail is very unfortunate. If you pete favourably with children all over the say somebody has asked some people to plant world. We are benchmarking development not rituals all over the place, you must prove and only for Nigeria but Africa. we have asked security agencies to look into it. In health sector, our bill is now being used as They want to cast aspersion on the integrity of a reference point, as benchmark for Africa. Not the present administration, but our people have only that, our urban renewal recently won Mr. seen beyond all their antics. At the end of the Governor UN habitat award in Italy recently. day, the wish of the people will prevail. Their We are benchmarking performance. When we blackmail cannot work. We know what they do are campaigning, we inform our people that with Adaba radio. Our people call them we’ve done this in the area of health; we’ve Alawada. Propaganda can only work when done this in the area of education, we’ve done there is truth in it. When it is based on falsethem not to turn Ondo State to a battleground. They should remember vividly what happened in 1983. Ondo State would never serve foreign gods. It is not by accident that out of 60 people that have won National Merit Honors and I am not talking of National Award, 10 are from Ondo State. What this means is that in terms of enlightenment, in terms of education, we are up there. And there is nobody that can come to civilise us. The era when they call us Ara oke (people from the ills) is gone. We want to take our destinies into our hands. We know why they are interested in Ondo State. They are interested in Ondo State because in the old Western Region, we served as the engine room for development and growth. Cocoa is in abundance here. We have timber and we have mineral resources. We are one of the oil producing states and we thank God that we have a governor that is managing our economy and our resources very well. Their interest is to come and loot our treasury, like they did in some of their controlled states. But we are not going to allow this in Ondo State. That is why we emphasised the fact that Ondo State would never worship on foreign altar. The good people of Ondo State would use the resources of Ondo. Our resources would not be carted away by any godfather.

Why do you think that Ondo electorate will re-elect Mimiko, when no governor has ever served two terms in the state? Let me correct the impression that no governor has ever served two terms. You will recall that Governor Adekunle Ajasin contested in 1979 and won election. He also contested in 1983 and won election. But for the fact that it was aborted, he would have served his two terms. So, for anybody to say that nobody has ever been elected twice is wrong. Our people are happy with good things happening here. Our people are happy with the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo for bringing education to their doorsteps. Up till today, our people reference Awolowo as their hero. Ditto the present governor. He has been able to transform Ondo State to a state of pride. If you are a regular visitor to Akure, the state capital, you will marvel at the level of transformation going on in every nook and cranny of the state capital and the towns and villages in Ondo State. Our intervention in education has really helped the quality of education in the state. Mr. governor, when he came on board, introduced an agency called Quality Assurance Agency and the agency reviewed the curriculum in our various schools and enhanced workers welfare and also promoted professionalism. As you can see now, this year, one of our students had nine A1s in WASC and was adjudged the best student in Africa. One of our students also came third, in Akure, at St Luis Girls Grammar School, Akure. In every educational tournament, Ondo has been coming first. What this means is that the strategy Mr. Governor has put in place is working very well, not only in terms of increasing the output but also the outcome of the performance of our pupils. Our pupils can go to their various schools early in the morning through the shuttle buses introduced by Mr. Governor. This is done for free. Pupils are transported to their schools free every morning. Even in sport, our Sunshine Star played continental matches last year and this year. Our Sunshine Babes are also there. We have two teams at the Premier league. So every area of human endeavor, we are doing very well. What is the cause of misunderstanding between ACN, as a party and Governor Mimiko? With due respect to former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, if you monitor the utterances of my governor, he has never joined issue with anybody who attacked him on the pages of newspapers. If you recall when President Obasanjo came to Akure and made unprintable remarks about him, he never uttered a word because of the respect he has for elders. Recently, Bisi Akande (leader of ACN) made unprintable comments about Mr. Governor because he did not join ACN and he did not respond. There was a time Asiwaju Tinubu said he would cut off Iroko tree, But it is only God that knows tomorrow. So, we would never join issues with our elders. We leave everything to posterity. Is it true that there was a gentlemen agreement between Mimiko and leaders of ACN during the struggle to reclaim his mandate at the tribunal? If you recall that during the 2007 governorship election, the ACN had a candidate; PDP had a candidate and Labour Party had a candidate. Anybody that is familiar with the politics of Ondo State knew that no political party could match Governor Mimiko’s political structure. When the election was rigged, everybody in Nigeria knew that the election was rigged. You will recall that the result was announced in Abuja and not in Ondo State. When people wanted to cause crisis in Ondo, Mr. Governor prevailed on them to be calm because he believed there would be a way out at the tribu-

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September 22, 2012

POLITICS ThisWeek Ondo guber 2012

Mimiko won’t know what hit him after the election – Akeredolu By DURO ADESEKO

tions. That is the point we are making. It is so simple. I am not saying that he has not done one or two things. That is not the case. I am saying that we would do it in a better way. We would pursue our programme with probity and transparency. That is what is lacking. If you read my manifesto, it is clear there. We must use our money judiciously. Government must be transparent, that is what has been lacking. I challenge him to publish the account of all the money he has spent in the last three and half years and let us see if he can justify what work he has done.

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ction Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, has declared that incumbent Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, would be defeated at the October 20 election. He said the question in Ondo is by what percentage he would win the election, as the ACN has mobilised well for the election, predicting that Governor Mimiko may come third in the election. Akeredolu spoke on this and other things.

Your opponents say you would be somebody’s boy as governor… At what age would I be somebody’s boy? I am over 55-56. How can I be anybody’s boy in government? I am coming in as somebody who has reached the peak of his career. I was president of the Nigeria Bar Association. I have a thriving legal practice that I run. Did he ever have a hospital? I have a big office that is probably the best in the country today. So, what is he going to say? I cannot be anybody’s boy. I am an independent person. What I want to do is to go and serve our people.

How is the campaign going? Well, the campaign is going on fine. We thank God for the reception we have received and we are grateful to the people of the state for the love they have shown us. What has been your experience campaigning and contesting against an incumbent governor? I have always said that there is no power in any incumbency. The power at any point is with the people, whether we like it or not. Whatever the people decide is what is going to happen. Incumbency, when it chooses to exercise power, will have to show that they are greater than the people. But the people have the power. Power lies with the people. Incumbency is no threat. Have you encountered problems in the course of your campaign? If it is using incumbency to your advantage and you decide to be overbearing, that has occurred over and over again. Can you give examples? When Labour Party, led by (Governor Olusegun Mimiko) came to Owo for the socalled rally, in which he had to import people, the night before, he used an agency of government and that is somebody who was in charge of signage and they came in with canon and they flushed all our posters. I’m sure it was with his cooperation. Thugs went round and everywhere we had our banners they removed it. But the young boys (with me) reacted, although I tried to stop them. I know that you don’t need my poster to know me. I am in the heart of Owo people. He is the one that wants his photograph to be there and at the end of the day, the photograph would have no effect on the electorate. He campaigned in Uteh. When he saw the turn out, I think the man is today jittery. Mimiko is jittery. He knows that he is out of government. We don’t have doubt or the fear that the man is gone. He is a goner. When we had the campaign, he saw the turn out and he also unleashed his attack dogs on us and I think in that instance, our boys had to react. We brought about four or five of them who did the attack to the police station here (in Owo). There have been deliberate attempts to disrupt our campaigns and they have done it once or twice. There are deliberate attempts by him to want to flush out our posters. If you go to the whole of Akoko, all our billboards were cut. I think it is barbaric. Mimiko went to the University of Ife and I went to Ife too. I don’t expect thugs to pull down people’s billboard. I think it is the height of it. It is an unfortunate development. This is not democracy. He should show some decency and he has not. Are you convinced that you stand a chance of winning this election? Stand a chance? It is not an issue of standing a chance. I know I am winning the election. The percentage is what you can be asking me. I can see that it is going to be a landslide victory. I don’t have doubt about that. Labour won’t know what hit them by the time we finish the election. If Labour Party is not careful, they might be a distant third because the PDP may lead them. That I will win the

Akeredolu election is a foregone conclusion. You can forget it. We are going to win by the grace of God. I mean it. By what percentage are you going to win? That was why I said the only thing you can ask me is percentage. It is going to be landslide. I am sure that ACN will get nothing less than 60 per cent of the votes. The other two can share the remaining 40. I can assure you that it is going to be between 60 and 65 per cent.

somebody makes up his mind not to be that then, ACN has the duty to say look, for the South West to be together, we must have somebody who believes in our course. If Mimiko does not believe in the course of the South West and he wants to be on his own, it is like somebody who decides to contact leprosy. You won’t stop anybody from being a leper for as long as you can remain in the bush alone. That is what ACN is going to do now. We are going to push him to that bush and he is going to stay there alone because it is his You were in court to support Mimiko until choice. If he agreed to work with the party, the he retrieved his mandate. At what stage did party would have no reason to be against him. you part ways with him? So, we have to go ahead. This question has been asked over and over. There is no parting of ways. I am a lawyer; I Mimiko is reputed to be performing. What am a friend who put my legal skill at his dis- would you do differently if elected? posal. No problems. I believe that he was I don’t believe Mimiko is performing. The cheated. I believe that he won the election. important thing really is that the press concenThe court has affirmed that belief. The case is trates on one or two towns and you believe gone. It is gone. We are talking now about that is performance. You need to get to the political interest. It is not parting of ways. I rural areas and you see the neglect. Our peowas never a Labour Party person. If I was in ple are totally neglected. As I speak with you, Labour Party and I left; you would have said go to the state hospital; people are dying of we parted ways. I have been a progressive. I cholera. As I am talking to you, they have lost have always had my bias for ACN. over 20 people because there is no hospital. Everybody knew that I am a progressive. He Somebody comes in and shows you photohas decided to use Labour as political vehicle graph of mother and child in one place. What for the office he is occupying. I believe I will has happened to the General Hospital? What better serve the interest of the state if ACN is has happened to the Maternities? The state my own vehicle. hospital we have now in Akure is in a delicate condition. That is why you can have outbreak You gave Mimiko legal backing at the tri- of cholera there because there is total neglect. bunal and your party also supported him. Is it road construction? If you come to Oba How did things go sour? Adesida or you have roads that exist and you I don’t have much to tell the public. You asphalt it and that is all that you are there to have heard from both sides. Anybody can say do? There are no artery roads in Akure now. anything. The important thing is that I was No other roads that are there. But when you involved . The belief in ACN was that at the now get to the rural areas, you will weep for end of the day we would be able to work this state. The money of this state has been together…that Labour Party would work with wasted and it has gone into private pocket. I ACN. We don’t all have to be in the same am going to challenge him at any time. The party. That has not always been the cause of total work he has done cannot justify the the ACN that everybody works in the same money he received. He has received over party. We said look, we must have integration N665 billion. in the South West and looking forward to labour working with ACN. But it turned out to Do you want a debate with him? be something not achievable. Mimiko has the We are going to have a live debate. It is belief that he could run things alone and he already in the pipeline. I will debate him and does not have to be with the others and if he should be prepared to answer these ques-

Many of your co-contestants on the ticket of your party left in anger. What do you say to the method your party adopted to give you the ticket? Those of them who left cannot quarrel with the approach. They cannot quarrel with the process. They submitted themselves to that process. All of us did. They cannot, as we say in law, approbate and reprobate. The process did not start one day. When it was zoned, they did not leave. The same process said we zone governor to north; deputy to south and central would be DG. Everybody kept quiet and everybody was happy. They came back and the process says this is going to be governor. You are now angry and you have submitted yourself there. You said repeatedly that whosoever is picked, you will work with that person. What has gone wrong with those who left? It is ambition. They are inordinately ambitious. Look at a person like (Olu) Agunloye. That one is a pathetic picture of what an academy could be. After he was in PDP, he left from there to Labour Party. From Labour, he left for ACN and from ACN he went to Labour Party again. This man, if he is not pursuing something, then something must be pursuing him. My father died in Ibadan. I buried him in Owo. He said I didn’t bury my father in Owo and had to take him to Ibadan because I didn’t want to spend money. If I chose not to spend money, it is my decision. I don’t have to spend money; I don’t have to waste money on burials. When his own mother died, he could waste all the money or whatever money Mimiko has given him, let him go and waste on burial. That is his problem. I don’t live my life that way. There is also the allegation that you don’t have a voter’s card. I have said it that I have voter’s card. I don’t have problem with that. It is for INEC and not for Agunloye to say so. I have transferred my voter’s registration and that is what is expected of me. But whether I have voter’s card, whether I am registered to vote here in Ondo is irrelevant. Let him go and read the provision of the law. The provision of the law is so clear. It is your sponsors that must be registered here. I don’t have to register here. So, I am going to contest the election and I want to win. So, let him be there and be dreaming. There is also the story that politicians are going diabolical… I saw the picture of a cow in the paper. I read the story. I feel worried. Something has Continued on Page 50


SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

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POLITICS ThisWeek Ondo guber 2012

Akeredolu can’t win election in Ondo –Agunloye By DURO ADESEKO

vassing for support instead of supporting somebody from the north?

F

ormer Ondo State governorship aspirant on the ticket of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Dr. Olu Agunloye, has opened a can of worms on Rotimi Akeredolu, the governorship candidate of the party. Agunloye, who has joined the Labour Party, disclosed that the ACN candidate has never registered as a voter in Ondo State since 1979. He wondered how a man who has never voted in previous elections in the state could seek election for the post of governor of the state. He explained the circumstances that made him leave the ACN and what he felt was wrong in the way a candidate for the party was picked. He also disclosed that the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, at different times, told him and other governorship aspirants that he would not mind to lose Ondo State at the election. Why did you leave the ACN after the emergence of a candidate? The national chairman of the party said publicly that the party was not interested in a popular candidate in Ondo State. He said so on June 21, when Rotimi Akeredolu’s candidature was announced. The Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) told me twice that he would not mind to lose at the election. I also confirmed from Dr. Tunji Abayomi, another aspirant, that Tinubu told him the same thing. Professor Boroface also quoted him as saying so. Tunji Abayomi confronted him and told him that if he did not mind to lose the state, we in Ondo would mind. I also heard the same thing on June 25 and 26 when another meeting was held in his office, that is the Monday after the Wednesday announcement of Akeredolu as candidate. The party national chairman himself poorly handled the issue. He first denied that Akeredolu was candidate and came back, one hour later, to say that what we read in the papers was correct. I was, to some extent, impressed with the meeting in Asiwaju’s office, until I asked him why he said he would not mind to lose Ondo State. He was surprised and he said he did not say so. I said no, you said so twice on April 14 and June 14, in the presence of many prominent Ondo indigenes. He said what he meant was: what do the party lose? I kept quiet because I was worried that he said something and he came two weeks later to say he did not say so. What I expected was some explanations. I was disturbed enough to relay the story to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, who is a friend, among the top notchers of the party. I asked him why Asiwaju said something and denied it? But he did not address the issue. I told Rauf that I kept quiet because I understood that sometimes when a senior person wanted to say sorry, they could use different ways to say it. You don’t tell your leader that he is telling a lie. It is the degree of arrogance there to say that they don’t want to give the most popular candidate the ticket and so on and so forth. But now we have come to understand that it is not as much as arrogance but fitting into their political business model. It became clear to me that whatever reason they give for selecting Akeredolu is because I do not fit into their setting at all. Why did you tell the media that ACN made a mistake by picking Akeredolu? First, Akeredolu fits perfectly into the business model of the party. But here we are not looking into the political business model; we are looking at how we can win election. On

So, it is not true that they told you about zoning? They told us at the 11th hour after I had been in the field for 15 months. That is where normally we expected it to have been zoned. That is why you have many more from the north. What I am saying is that if they want to be fair, they would have told us earlier. They came on the last day to say it was not only zoned to the north but also that it was zoned to Owo. If you told us that from the beginning, a lot of people would have withdrawn. Let me say that a lot of the people, including Akeredolu himself, came into this picture only early this year. Some funny things were happening, but he came into the arena only in February and March this year. If it were at that time they say it was zoned to Owo, people would have withdrawn. They say no, we are not giving it to a man who has the structure but a man who is not known because it is zoned to his father. There is a story making the rounds that you collected money from Tinubu after the emergence of the candidate and joined Labour… That is not true. In my meeting with Tinubu, he asked me how much I spent and I told him and he said pointedly that it was an investment and that investment would pay off in future, maybe in 2015.

Agunloye the surface of it, it look to us that he cannot win election. Akeredolu said his name cannot win election but the ACN logo can win election. So, if his name cannot win election and he depends on ACN logo, why is he being picked if not for other business considerations? The fact is that this is a man that has never voted in Ondo State. For 38 years since he has been above 18 years of age he has never voted in Ondo. Why are you so sure he did not register in Ondo State? We have checked, from the days of FEDECO in 1979 to the time of NEC and INEC. Up to the time he emerged as candidate of ACN, Akeredolu was not registered as a voter in Ondo State. I am aware he is trying to work with INEC on that, which some people say is constitutionally correct. They want to transfer his voter’s registration from Ibadan to Ondo State. He can only be governor of Bodija. He cannot be governor of Ondo State. He is not prepared. A man who has never voted here? You don’t wake up one day and say you want to be governor of the state. If he wants to be governor, he would have done that transfer since last year. I mean every word that Akeredolu has no voter’s card. We are in Ondo State here. Whether he attempted to transfer it or not if elections were to be held today, Akeredolu would not be eligible to vote because his name is not on the register yet. That process has not been perfected. His name must be on the register or else he cannot vote in Ondo State. If he cannot vote in Ondo, why does he think he can be voted? It is a serious issue. Then, he is making the situation worse for himself and his party by trying to perpetrate the process that produced him. He is bringing into Ondo State political arena people who

have absolutely no background in Ondo State. Some of his aides who are jumping all over the place cannot point at their father’s house. In particular, there is one whose father’s house has been pulled down because of persistent rain on a mud house. As we speak now, there is not a single human being living in his father’s house because the house is dilapidated and inhabitable except for rats and other reptiles. These are the people he calls strong supporters. These are people who don’t know details of what goes on in Ondo State. That is why they said I contested election, when I did not. They said I did not win a ward when I won. My advice to Akeredolu is that he should get a voter’s card, so that at least he can vote in Ondo State and if INEC allows him to be voted for he can at least vote for himself. What you are saying is that the leadership of ACN did not do its homework before picking Akeredolu? I would have said so earlier, but now that I understand the political business model of the party, I will say Akeredolu fitted in perfectly. That business model would not be accepted and would not be acceptable in Ondo State. It would be roundly rejected. Akeredolu told me that you all agreed, when the governorship was zoned to the north and you complained only after he was picked as the candidate. It is on record that there was no guideline for the emergence of candidates for election. I once asked Tinubu and he said what do you need guidelines for? He said even as we speak on June 24, a fresh candidate could still emerge. All this zoning and zoning, if they had told us that it was zoned to the north, why would 15 people from the south be can-

Some said you betrayed Bola Ige. They said you remained in the government after the death of Ige and served thereafter… Again, I will respond, for the purpose of clarity, for the public, otherwise this is part of isokuso (nonsense) that is prevalent in the camp of the ACN. When I was sworn in as minister of defence, all these people making these comments were there. They all came. Bisi Akande came. He was the governor of Osun State. Lam Adesina, the governor of Oyo, came. Niyi Adebayo came. All governors from the South West came, except the governor of Ondo State. All the period I was minister, both defence and power & steel, each time I came to Lagos, I stayed in Tinubu’s guesthouse. I could have stayed in hotels, but I chose to stay in Tinubu’s guesthouse. If Tinubu now wants to say it is not true, record would show because you don’t just go to stay in Government House on your own. Letters are always written and inventories made. Some guard dogs of the party working for their pay speak on the basis of what is said to their hearings. It is also said that you did not win your ward and local government… Again this the pastime of ACN and it is uncharitable. They understood that I won over 35, 000 votes within 60 days effort because I just joined the party. I was commended. But now that I left the party, some of them have even called me ‘prostitute’. They forget that when you talk about prostitute, there must be husband or somebody romancing that prostitute. That time, they were romancing me as a member of their party; they were the husbands of a prostitute. But I always say that what intelligent people would not say, it is the fool that says it. Those who say so don’t understand that they are also casting aspersions on their own governors. The exco tried to stop me from leaving the party at the state level, but, they don’t have mouth to talk. Another group led by a professor came and I told them my main issue was my supporters.


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September 22, 2012

POLITICS ThisWeek

2015: The lure of South East/South West ticket

‘T

o win a campaign you have to make the weather,’ says Alastair Campbell. ‘Whereas the real weather is measurable to the last degree of heat or the last drop of rain fall, the political weather is harder to gauge. Public opinions can help but it’s ultimately all about the judgment calls and for an incumbent the score card.’ So far nothing in the scorecard of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) suggests it will win a free and fair election in 2015. The South East and the South West can make the weather to either team up with the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in North or team up with the South-South to retain the status quo. On the other hand, in the interest of justice, fairness and peace, make a bold political move go for a South East/South West ticket. For the latter, there is plenty of time to build confidence and trust between the East and the West, even though politics in Nigeria, like everywhere else, has never worked like organised sports, with the clean justice of objective referees and rules designed to elevate the best performer from a level playing field. Perhaps, John Wynne-Tyson had Nigeria in mind when he said, ‘the wrong sorts of people are always in power....’The massive support given to the Goodluck Jonathan presidency by the South West and South East in 2011 was not a mistake. However, reelecting him in 2015, in the face of poor performance, might just be wrong-headed and nothing else. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since after the ‘fresh breathe’ cum ‘goodluck for everyone’campaign. The people’s discontents are real, popular and growing with the president seemingly standing by and almost inattentive to facts and public opinions. Our society is progressively in deep crisis due to the bad politics, bad policies and bad judgments of the leaders. We are faced with an economy in comatose and widespread public disappointment, with the performance and competence of the leadership to resolve all of the grave issues confronting us. More than ever before, the people are eager to offer a remedy, which requires the removal of the incompetent and replacing them with the most competent. Never mind the illogic of some of the regime apologists, loud mouths and jingoists, who are elevating and defending the status quo, even when there is nothing to back this up. Senator Ben Obi readily comes to mind. Hear him: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo, which I am a caucus member, has said it loud and clear that it is the turn of Ndigbo to produce the president in 2015. Indeed, we are highly interested in the 2015 president, but that is if President Jonathan is not running.” The fault line here is that Ohanaeze is not a socio-political organisation and has no mandate to offer political opinion for the Igbo nation. The resounding ‘NO’that greeted Obi’s ill informed declaration showed he did not speak for the people, but out of extremely selfish motivation and indifference to the collective welfare and best interest of the Igbo people. One would expect

‘Mimiko has done much’ Continued from Page 47 nal. Both the tribunal and the Appeal Court gave verdict in favour of Mr. Governor. It is unfortunate that the ACN lays claim to the victory at the tribunal. I know that we were able to prove our case beyond reasonable doubt. If you recall, it was in Ondo that we had Mike Tyson and so many other names in the voter’s register, which proved that the then ruling party massively rigged the election. It is only the ACN (leaders) that can explain where they came in. But I can tell you that it is God that gave us that victory and you could see the manifestation on the day Mr. Governor was sworn in. Everybody in this state came out. Since he came on board, you could see the support anywhere he goes. People always shout Iroko, Iroko, Iroko. He has always been a grassroots man, who is always with the people. He is unlike agents of foreign gods that want to come to the state to vote. If you love your state, you register in your state. Why do you need to transfer your voter’s register from a particular place to your place? Which of the candidates do you have in

TOTAL Politics By CLEM AGUIYI

SMS Only: 08034747898 Email: totalpolitics@ymail.com the job seekers in the Ohanaeze Caucus to lend their voice to the campaign for credible electoral processes that would make democracy thrive in the country. The opposition should closely watch out for obvious charades the ruling party would come up with and then provide credible and viable alternatives, for if we continue to chew up those with the ability to offer reasonable challenge against the incumbent, our politics will only attract the people who embrace the statusquo. I welcome and associate myself with the South East expressed interest for presidency in 2015. To assume presidency, the South East has the responsibility to curb itself of cynicism and put its house in order, to be vigilant against saboteurs and traitors who will work against her collective interests, check the gluttony and personal greed for money of some Igbo leaders, strive individually and collectively to own a piece of the presidency project and over and above present one acceptable candidate with the experience and ability to rouse the people, and who in spite of his Igboness and proud ethnic backgrounds must be prepared to lead the Igbo people past the politics of identity into a new era of political unity and friendship with the west and the rest of Nigeria. The South West is the only entity standing between the Igbo and Aso Rock, as at today. The open option is for the East to negotiate power with the West or forget 2015. I believe a South East/South West ticket is possible, feasible and a viable option and should be seriously explored for 2015 contest. This will not be the first time such an idea will be experimented. In 1983, the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, chose Dr. Philip Umeadi from the East as his running mate to demonstrate that a

West/East presidency is not an aberration. The Awo/Umeadi experiment failed partly because Umeadi was a weak candidate, with little or no political value to offer against the great Nnamdi Azikiwe (Zik). Imagine if this was a Zik and Awo ticket? Therefore, 2015 presents a better opportunity for the eastern elite and the west to convert their long shared distrust and hatred into a basis of friendship. This is the time for the East to tell the Igbo story in a better and compelling way that will prick the dozen consciences of the Yoruba nation and appeal to the people’s sense of justice. This is the time to actualise the handshake across the Niger. Knowing the political sophistication of the modern Yoruba nation, I am certain they will reciprocate. For the fact that a team can only be as good as its best players, I advocate a combination of a strong Yoruba Muslim candidate capable of exciting the South West support base and winning at least 60% of Yoruba votes and an Igbo Christian candidate capable of exciting South East support base and winning 70% of Igbo votes. The above calculation built on trust, unity and hard work and essentially bridging the gap across the landscape of east and west will put the PDP under pressure and allow the opposition to assume presidency in 2015. I am excited that many Igbo political organisations are supporting the idea of an enduring handshake across the Niger. I am particularly, encouraged and fascinated by the emergence of the Igbo Unity Forum, Njiko Igbo and in particular, the Igbo Peoples Movement, whose mantra, Igwebuike and noble mission is to unite the Igbo race and promote Igbo political leadership based on the Igbo social values of peace and justice. The five point objectives of the Igbo Peoples Movement, as articulated in its handbook, are: fostering the unity of the Igbo people, strengthening the roles of the Igbo in nation-building within the context of a strong and united Nigeria, preservation of the identity of the Igbo people and Igbo language, including the promotion of Igbo spiritual and cultural values and protection of Igbo rights everywhere and advancement of Igbo interest. For the records, by 2015 Jonathan must have accumulated to his kitty three years of vice presidency and five years of uninterrupted Presidency. Anyone urging him to contest in 2015 must first ask for his scorecard, ask the question if we are better off than we were some five years ago and then look for the harvest. His lamentation that he is the most criticised president is blackmail. The PDP national chairman’s admission that the party is losing membership due to very wide popular discontent is also not unfounded. Our society is sickened by inflation, collapsed economy, decaying infrastructure, insecurity, monumental corruption, gross injustice as well as crimes against persons and property etc. With such record, 2015, in my view, is an open race. It’s left for the Igbo and Yoruba to work together and give the country a better alternative.

‘I don’t believe he’s performing’ Continued from Page 48 gone wrong with all of us. The education that we claimed we have does not impact on us seriously. The fundamental thing is that there is no way you can worship mammon and God. At God’s time, everything would be revealed. Why is the state politics so acrimonious? Ondo politics is not volatile. I don’t see acrimony in it. I have invited Mimiko to let us campaign on issues. He has refused to join us on issues. Why should there be acrimony? Let us address issues. But using thugs to attack PDP and ACN means something is wrong. Akinmade Why is PDP and ACN not fighting? It is not acrimonious. It is Labour Party that is jittery and at the head of the acrimony. They are mind? Go and verify. There is a candidate that trans- foisting on the state the state of acrimony. ferred his voter’s card from Ibadan, in Oyo State to Ondo State. What that means is that he People are afraid that there will be viohas never for once participated in election in lence before and during the election? Ondo State and you want to come and rule in I pray there won’t be violence before and Ondo State? Do they think our people are during the election. We should be able to have fools? enough security and we hope they will not take sides, as the commissioner of police Is Mimiko ready for public debate with doing today. I have told the commissioner of his opponents? police in Ondo that he is taking sides. You If we have a debate that is organised by independent bodies and one that will let the people cannot continue this way. It is the police that of Ondo State know their true leaders and one may cause anarchy. If the police are neutral that will give opportunity for people to appreci- and they allow everybody a level playing ate and study somebody who can work for ground that’s fine. The commissioner of them, appreciate their feelings and transform police has made the police an arm of the their lives, we are ready any time, any day. My Labour Party. He has taken sides with the governor has been participating in various fora Labour government, just like the DPO in Owo and to a large extent he is competent. is more or less a Labour person. The commissioner should be removed and likewise his

DPO in Owo town, where I live. During the Edo governorship election military men were drafted to ensure peace. Do you expect the same here? There is noting wrong with the presence of military men, as long as they don’t intrude into the election. I monitored elections before. I monitored election in Ghana and some military men were there. The police that were at the venue never interfered with the election, except where there were problems. In Ghana, there were about two or three places where there were problems. I remember the police came and arrested those who were responsible for the trouble and went away. They were there to maintain peace. Their presence can make people to be orderly and to obey the laws. So, I see nothing wrong because in Nigerian situation, the police might not be well disposed because they appear too corrupt to act independently. Mimiko said his opponents are not prepared for governance. Are you prepared? That is a very good question. You can see that his level of preparation has brought us to this very sorry pass. The people of this state are thinking about people who prepared otherwise. I have, in my own way, headed my own private establishment and ran my professional establishment like a lawyer. In 35 years, many lawyers and judges have passed through me. In 35 years, I have managed my own business. You need such experience. I am not experience in corruption and I cannot compete on that.


Triple joy for the master guitarist as KSA Festival 2012 beckons

beckons

MC LOPH: One year after, friends plan trust fund

SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

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ENTERTAINER Edited by Tosin Ajirire 08056008696 (sms only)

Why I’m not married at 46 –Blackky


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SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

ENTERTAINER

Sugar Stick got me By SAM ANOKAM

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n the late ‘80s, Nigerians were entertained with roots reggae music from the likes of The Mandators, Majek Fashek, Ras Kimono and Oritz Wiliki among others. That was the fad until 1990 when a 24 year-old graduate of Sociology from University of Lagos, Edward Inyang aka Blackky, swept the Nigerian music scene with his reggae hit track, Rosie. Overnight, he became the toast of the town. However, after six albums, he disappeared from the music scene. Now in his 40s and after 21 years as a performing artiste, Blackky who is still single will stage a comeback when he performs live today at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos. According to the musician who prefers to be addressed as The Blackman, Blackky is just descending from the mountain top; “he is walking back into another mission that Jah has sent him musically and is getting things ready for his forthcoming album and concert dubbed ‘Blackky’s Playground’ starring Blackky live in concert.” To him, Blackky’s Playground is a concert specially packaged by Blackville Limited, Blackky’s management outfit for Blackky’s fans. He says: “We are trying to meet our fans at a particular place where the Blackman would be performing quarterly or bi- annually so that they will enjoy our sound. Unfortunately, our music is plagued by piracy and poor remuneration and the artiste is gradually becoming an endangered species. “We also want to in a way encourage live performances. A lot of Nigerians want a place where they can listen to live music and enjoy the music of artistes they have followed over the years. And my fans have been asking for that concert where it is not only Blackky singing Rosie or Delilah but Blackky singing a string of the hits since we have had about six albums. That is why we were particular about kick-starting Blackky’s Playground.” During the period of his absence from music, a lot of rumours made the round that he had retired. Blackky, however, debunked the stories as fallacies and gave reasons for the blackout. “We were up and rolling with Blackky’s Playground and we were looking at surprising our fans again. I won’t let the cat out of the bag but I want fans to know categorically that we have not retired. Some Babylonians were spreading rumours that the Blackman had retired, that the Blackman h a s stopped

singing and we found it ridiculous. “When we were at the mounting top, we could see you but you couldn’t see us. That is why these people do not know the true story. The fact is that after Reggae Icon, our sixth album, which got us a KORA award nomination for Best Ragga Artiste in 2010, we found out that Nigerian music was in a big mess! “We do not have structures. Artistes are pirating their songs and even paying marketers in Alaba to pirate their songs on compilations. That is how bad it has gotten. You go to Alaba and give your CD to them to market and you are told that you would be paid less than the price of a blank CD. So, the business side of music is in big trouble. “A lot of our artistes need to start speaking up. In terms of creativity, videos are getting better. We have more international reach now. We have our younger colleagues going out there and teeming up with Kanye West and other people but what about the business side? Now the artistes are finding it difficult to sell their music. So what are they doing? They are churning out singles. “We move from album production now to just churning out singles just to get publicity. If the track is a hit then the artiste gets concerts and that is how the artiste survives but it is not supposed to be like that. These were the problems I encountered after the sixth album and I realised that this is not the way to go so we had to go to the mountain top to see how we could descend this time and revive our music and at the same time, tackle the inadequacies of our rickety Nigerian music scene. This was why we had to take a break for like a couple of years.” As a music icon, Blackky attempts a solution to the situation. “When you want to change a thing like this, it should be done in unison. Our association would have tackled this problem but unfortunately, that is not happening. Artistes are left on their own to hustle. The artiste is the producer, director, distributor, marker, songwriter, composer and everything. It can’t last for long before that artiste packs up and this is what I have been trying to say after all these years.” So what is Blackky doing between 2006 when he last released an album and now? He says: “We have been performing. If you go to Calabar and the east, you will realize that we are jamming live in concerts. Alot of people do not know that Blackky is a songwriter, composer, arranger and all that. “It takes a while to come out with the tunes. I tell my fans that it is unlike Blackky to release an album every year. I compose my songs in a way that they will stand the test of time. If you listen to any of Blackky’s hits, you will realise that the songs sound fresh. We did not get any producer to cook up a beat for us or write lyrics. It was only in Blackky’s Skank that Kinsley Ogoro did the instrumentation.” The mountain top Throughout this interv i e w, Blackky uses the phrase ‘mountain top’repeatedly and we sought to know what he meant by that. “The mountain top we are talking about is the mental state of mind where you detach yourself from a situation and watch from a distance,” he explains. “Now, when you are watching, people will not see you but you can see them and observe more closely. It is just a mental picture of separating yourself from your environment. “My inspiration comes from the problems we have in Nigeria, the poverty, the selfishness and cruelty of our leaders who think only

about themselves. And that is why I have songs like, Useless People, Cost of Living, Killer Disease, which talks about HIV and songs that describe how the people feel and the fact that our leaders who are in the minority keep on oppressing the masses. Blackky also talks about man and woman problem. That is why you hear songs about Delilah, Rosie, Divorce and Bang Belly. These songs are socially relevant.” Back in the day when Blackky held sway, another young man by name Daniel Wilson also sprang into the limelight with his ragamuffin style of reggae music. It became a case of rivalry of some sort and it went on for sometime. Looking back now, Blackky comments on the situation thus: “It was highly spiritual and interesting. As far as I was concerned and that is how I have always taken it. Music is a mission and not a competition. I don’t know how any other person feels about it but I have always felt it is by my works and by my lyrics that you should judge me. I think the media tried to play that up. Daniel Wilson was playing ragamuffin while I’m a dancehall artiste. But I was not concerned with all of that. I was more concerned with my music and the destination that I was headed. “As far as I was concerned, I was just getting to the fans and giving them African dancehall because I happened to be one of the pioneers of this sound that we still have till today which a lot of the younger artiste are using as their beats. As a pioneer, it was my desire to try and make sure that I created a path for African dancehall, which is the modern face to reggae music. “When I started, I had my bigger brothers like Ras Kimono, Majek Fashek playing reggae music so when I came with my kind of reggae, a lot of the record companies didn’t want to sign me. They were used to the cultural roots. Then record companies put millions of naira into a release. Not like now when you go to the studio, cough once, auto tune it and next minute your single is ready. It takes months of planning. Before they put money down they had to be sure. That is why I had to go to the Lekki Sunsplash talent contest and win in 1990, to get my deal for the Rosie album release entitled, About Time.” Courting controversy Not too long after the release of his a l b u m , Blackky began to c o u r t controversy with one o f


SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

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into serious trouble the tracks, Sugar Stick and it got the hammer of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission when the song was banned. In fact, some people still hold tenaciously to the argument that the ebony skinned artiste could be said to have pioneered lewd lyrics with Sugar Stick. What is the Blackman’s take? He responds: “That song I must confess got me into serious problems because I was just graduating from campus when this album came out. Sugar Stick was one of those naughty songs. After recording the track, we took it to the record company, I didn’t even want it to be played by the executives at that time but it was surprising that one of the executives requested the track must be on the album. Anytime I did Sugar Stick at UNILAG, the place was always on fire. “I wanted to extend that to the listeners out there, whether they could see the humour in it because the song is talking about a man who is boasting about his sexual prowess. When it came out, it got banned. My mother was so upset because she had given the album to a lot of her friends and she couldn’t believe that kind of song was on it. These are the things that happen when you are a creative person. Sometimes, some things don’t sit down well with your loved ones but what is important is that your fans loved it. You hear them singing Sugar Stick till now.” The musician had a series of tracks that were banned including Yanshman, Sugar Stick and Bang Belly. Is it that Blackky is a blunt artiste and a lot of people are uncomfortable with that? “The way I look at it is that I played a major role in the evolution of blunt lyrics. A lot of people thought I was x-rated but I was playing with minds musically.” Having churned out many hits, he also talks about how he got influenced into his kind of reggae music as well as his spirituality. “I was hugely inspired by King Yellowman and Winston Foster. When I was in St. Gregory’s College, a sister’s friend gave me a tape called, King Yellowman Live in Concert. Listening to it got my creative juices running. It was then I discovered that this may be my talent and I started mimicking Yellowman and that is what I carried into UNILAG. Then I started adding some lyrics into some of the Yellowman’s songs. I was also inspired by Bobby Brown and Shaba Ranks.”

they can get a career out of reggae.” Full-blooded Christian Blakky says he is a full-blooded Christian who believes in the power of the Most High. “When I say Jah, a lot of people do not understand. Jah means Jehovah and that is the point of departure between me and anybody who is into Rastafarianism. I would not want to delve into something I don’t have understanding about. What I know is my Almighty God and Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour. “That is why you will hear in my music tracks like Praise Him, Give Thanks and He Got The Whole World in His Hand, which many pastors didn’t find funny but it was what was going on in some of our churches; pastors making advances at members of their congregation, getting them pregnant and then, they will turn around and call us sinners. My take is if pastors can do this, then let us talk about it.” Place of reggae Blakky, who strongly believes that reggae music cannot die, explains the place of reggae in the Nigerian music scene. “When I started, we started like a full blooded army. From artiste like Ras Kimono, Oritz Wiliki and Majek Fashek to a lot of artistes back then. But there are not many of us that are still on the beat. Those of us that are still on the beat should be given gun salutes. I am celebrating 21 years as a recording/performing artiste in Nigeria. My area of specialty is not reggae but dancehall which is the modern face of reggae and I call it ‘African dancehall’. “I still insist that reggae music is always going to be there because you hear people wanting to hear Bob Marley every time. You want to listen to all the legends from Shaba Ranks to the others. It is evergreen and you can never say goodbye to it. Reggae music is what you love to listen to all the time but the others would come and go. I want to encourage the young ones that

Love life Of course, in those days when he held sway, he earned the sobriquet, Master Toaster because of his Rosie video and it was assumed that he was loose with women like an average musician. And as expected, he was romantically linked to some ladies but Blackky has his own version of his love life. He also speaks about why he is yet to get married. “Fire burn Satan! My love life right now is Blackky’s Playground and the new album we are working on in the studios. I usually tell people that when you are called to do jobs like this, it’s a serious calling. I am not talking about those that come into music because they want to drive the fastest cars or want girls or fame and fortune. “I am talking about those who have messages to give. It preoccupies your time. There is not much time for that because the fans were expecting so much from Blackky; it’s a lot of work. The Blackman is not married and does not have a love life at this point in time because the biggest love of his life for now will always be his fans who sing his songs. I was passing through one of the toll plazas recently when a fan was so surprised to see me. She screamed and told me to forget about the toll and just drive on; that is the love we are talking about. But If Jah wills it to be, why not?” Denying rumours that he ever dated songstress, Esse Agese and ex-beauty queen, Ibinabo Fiberesima, he continued: “I have heard a lot of rumour that I dated Esse Agesse. No way! I never dated Ese Agesse, that was my producer’s wife. We only did a song, Kissing Game. Ms Ibinabo Fiberesima is so dear to me and she was on Bang Belly and one or two of our videos and we just loved her energy. “It is just because we had a working relationship. I also had a good working relationship with Stella Damasus. These are the people that are dear to me but a lot of people when they see the Blackman with a member of the opposite sex, they associate us together and make all kinds of speculations but they were all unfounded. They were totally wrong and false. The Blackman is not yanshman or gay but if you notice, the Blackman does not speak much about his private life. The Blackman is more of a private person.” Coping with fans “We are now pensioners of 21 years. Every single greeting is a huge honour for me. It takes one thing for an artiste to come out for 21 years and still be respected. Maybe in the first one or two years, the fans are excited probably because they have not seen the brand before but after a while, they begin to lose interest. I find it surprising that people still show as much love as they showed when I started my career. I want to use this opportunity to give 21 gun salutes to all the Blackky fans. Without them the brand would not have been able to live for this length of time.”


54 SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

ENTERTAINER What 2face told Kilo 1

I Triple joy for the master guitarist as KSA Festival 2012 beckons

t’s triple joy for King of Juju music, King Sunny Ade, who clocks 66 years today as plans for a memorable celebration were unveiled by the KSA Festival 2012 Committee at a press conference held at the Chinese Restaurant, Airport Hotel, Lagos, earlier in the week. Addressing newsmen, Chairman of the organizing committee, Lekan Alabi, Olubadan of Ibadan Land stated that the KSAFestival 2012 will include the celebration of King Sunny Ade’s 66th birthday, his 50th year on stage and the 35th anniversary of his crowning as the King of Juju music. Said he: “The planning committee, which I am Chairman is mandated with organizing, mobilizing, publicizing and executing the three major events which are his 66th birthday, his 50th year on stage and the 35th year of his reign as King of Juju music.” According to him, corporate bodies were already throwing their weight behind the event which will include among others a series of concerts in Nigeria, London and US. Meanwhile, he disclosed that the triple celebration will also include an exhibition of his stage craft including costumes, musical instruments and photographs slated for September 24 at Airport Hotel. He added that come Independence Day, October 1, Premier Hotel, Ibadan, Oyo State, will host an all-star concert tagged: Evening with KSA, during which the likes of Dele Abiodun, Kollignton Ayinla, Salawa Abeni, Abass Obesere and Saheed Osupa will entertain. The event will also include an award/lecture session. The present Alaafin, of Oyo, HRM Oba Dr. Lamidi Olayiwola in a historic move crowned KSA King of Juju music in 1977. Other members of the Planning Committee are Clement Ige, Aare Adegboyega Latoose, Chief Bunmi Adesanya, Akin Olaiya, Tade Makinde and Barrister Gbenga Makinde.

Kilo 1

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p-and-coming act, Kilo 1, has opened up on the advice 2face Idibia gave him a couple of years ago in Italy when the latter was on tour of that country. Kilo 1, who is currently in the country to kick-start his music career and whose single, Fantasy, has been enjoying radio play disclosed that 2face gave him the greatest advice he has received since he kick-started his music career. Said the show promoter turned artiste: “2face is an icon. As a show promoter I brought him to Italy to perform twice in 2006 and 2010. He advised me that success only comes through hard work and added that for me to grow in the industry, I must not forget where I am coming from; I should always remember my roots. “He added that to be a good teacher, one must first be a good servant. It was inspirational. I admire him. His style is different. I gained a lot from him.” Kilo 1 has been singing for ages. However, after he relocated to Italy in 2002. He found a vacuum in the showbiz business in Europe and became a show promoter. Among others the boss of Benez Music has taken the likes of J Martins, Whiz Boy and Sleazy E on tours of Europe. Currently he has just shot a video for his track, Number 1 Girl, following the success of his album in Edo State, in July. Tracks in his debut album entitled Rule The World include Proud Singer, Obiageli, Fantasy, Good for You and Dance for Me among others.

Tony Tetuila, Mercy Aigbe for An Evening with Fizikal

T Seun Kuti thrills at The Shrine

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ela’s Egypt 80 Band led by Seun Anikulapo Kuti will be performing live at the New Africa Shrine on Saturday, September 29, from 10pm Just back from his Europe and U.S tours promoting his second album, he is expected to embark on a tour of Australia after Felabration which comes up in October. He is also billed to perform in India at two festival venues come November. The show promises to be exciting for Afro beat fans with lots of fun and heavy Afro beat vibes from Seun Kuti’s second album currently rated high in the international music chart in Europe and the U.S.

ony Tetuila, Artquake, Durella, LKT and prominent movie stars will be on parade today at Troy in a show put together by Goldspan Entertainment tagged: An Evening with Fizikal. According to up-and-coming Fizikal, it will be a night of live music and comedy as top notch entertainers will entertain. It will also include special appearances by Mercy Aigbe, Odunlade Adekola, Toyin Aimakhu, Omo Baba, Headmaster, YQ, Vector, Reminisce and many others. “The idea is to hang out with my friends in the entertainment industry and entertain the crowd at Troy. It promises to be a memo r a b l e evening,” Fizikal said. His video e n t i t l e d Ochampepe, is presently on rotation.


SEPTEMBER 22, 2012 55

ENTERTAINER Nollywood Cinemas/Diamond Pictures set to hit cinemas with Untamed and Spirit of the Assassin

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After storming and conquering South Africa, Zambia and Lesotho, respectively with four blockbuster movies, in the last couple of weeks, one of the leading film distribution and marketing companies in Nigeria-Nollywood Cinemas alongside its parent company, Diamond Pictures will soon be invading Nigerian cinemas with two blockbusters. These painstakingly shot big budget movies are: Untamed, poised to hit Silverbird Cinemas on November 9, and Spirit of the Assassin (The Talisman). The above hit flicks, in the words of elated Mr. Andy Boyo, the head honcho of Nollywood Cinemas and Diamond Pictures, all premiered amid glitz and glamour at the Maponya Mall in Soweto, South Africa on July 26, and immediately started showing at Sterkinekor Theatres, the largest Cinema chain in South Africa. Both great works also showed at the Pioneer Mall in Maseru, capital of Lesotho and the Arcades, tucked in the heart of Lusaka, the serene capital of Zambia. “Now, we are fully back to let Nigerians, especially movie buffs, have a feel of these two wonderful and riveting movies, which will soon hit our major cinemas nationwide,”Boyo explained.

Spirit of the Assassin, an action-packed thriller directed by Andy Boyo and coproduced by the trio of Kingsley Esele, Bunmi Okeafor and Faith Stephen, tries to unravel the mysteries surrounding several high profile assassinations within and outside Nigeria. Surprisingly, a further peep into the synopsis of the fast-paced and adventurous film reveals that it solved some of the high profile assassinations that made global headline news. “Watch this nonstop action movie with your family and loved ones for answers to most of the unresolved high profile assassinations in Nigeria,” says Mr. Peter armand Boyo, the Art Director of the fear gripping film. Starring in Spirit of the Assassin are some revered thespians in Nollywood like: Yemi Blaq, Frederick Leonard, Constance Okoro, Andy Boyo, Hakeem Rahman and Faith Stephen. Leading entertainers that sparkled and sizzled in this unconventional and engaging flick include: Patience Ozokwo, Van Vicker, Chinwe Isaac, Deborah King and a host of other talents. It was jointly produced by the trio of: Kingsley Esele, Faith Stephen and Arinola Alabi, for Diamond Pictures.

Jim Iyke, I Go die, Acho, others anchor Miss Ambassador for Peace pageant

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he Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Abuja will come alive on September 29 for the crowning of Miss Ambassador for Peace Beauty Pageant 2012. On hand to perform at the high octane event would be prominent artistes such as W4, LKT, Kora nominee, Acho, I go Die, Chuks D General, Igwe, Gully Ryda,Youngest Oldman, Big Mouth, Wahala, Stainless, Fred Bright, among many others. There would also be special guest appearances in the person of Jim Iyke, Nonoso Diobi, Kelvin Pam of BBA fame and GLO winner, Christian. According to the organiser, Kingsley Amafibe, the initiative set up by Archieshow Ventures Services is aimed at promoting peace in the society through the peace pageantry. “This is as a result of the ongoing instability in Africa and Nigeria today. This is to educate young people on the need to avoid violence and embrace peace. The event, Miss Ambassador for Peace

Beauty Pageant also features unique contest with emphasis on knowing the ability of our young people. It is professionally planned to revive, educate and merge intelligence, originality with civilization and its cutting across Nigeria, Africa and the globe,” said Amafibe. The winner will smile home with a prestigious car and a cash prize, a trip to the UK and will represent Nigeria in World Peace Pageant holding in Canada. The Queen will also appear in the special edition of the front cover of Alpha Plus Mega Magazine. The first and second runners up will get consolation prizes which includes: cash prizes, iPads, Laptops, Plasma TVs, DVD Players, Balckberry Phones and return tickets. Amafie

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Lurrenz

Star actor, Lurrenz Onuzulike launches a fun book

t is not often that actors write books especially about their industry but Sweden based Nigerian thespian, Lawrence Onuzulike has proved to be more than a role interpreter by writing a fun book on Nollywood called, Know Your Nollywood. The game book aimed at educating lovers of Nigerian movies worldwide while having fun at the same time, features fun games, trivia, word search and crossword puzzles. It is spiced by pictures of stunning models and actresses with their personal data. Onuzulike who is founder, Nollywoodgossip Magazine and Nollywood Celebrities is sure one step ahead of the pack!

MC LOPH: One year after, friends plan trust fund

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ust like yesterday when the death of hip hop musician, Nwaozo Obiajulu popularly known as MC LOPH hit the airways, friends recently gathered to remember his one year remembrance. At Obi Eastsyde Place, an eatery owned by LOPh’s former manager, Obinna Mgbakor, the likes of Bambino Anachina, Okonkwo Donatus, Don T, Ifenna Ezechukwu, Toscar Roberts, Mr. UJ, among others paid glowing tributes to the sterling qualities of Nwaozor who died on September 24 last year, alongside his sister at Ore on his way to the east for his traditional marriage. It was a mixture of anger and soberness for the friends who also expressed disatisfaction to the family of the late musician by his record company. “We decided to come together to secure the future of Loph’s son. We intend to raise a trust fund to Loph’s son’s name. The wife will be the manager. When Loph died, a lot of people came up with different projection that his name will not die but they were all dashed. Loph planned a lot of things but didn’t live to see such things. We are gathered as his friends to use Loph’s death to start securing our lives after our sojourn on earth. The part that is making me shed tears is that MORGAN Entertainment came up with all sorts of advert to promote their label. We were told to collapse all factions into one. Nigga Raw and the rest came to the party and we collapsed everything but they were not forthcoming. The burial came and went successfully. Up till date 90 percent of the things they promised the family have not been performed. They released loph’s new songs without the consent of his family. They should let the world see the kind of contract they signed with MC Loph.

I don’t understand what is happening. I thank the media and also beg Nigerians to find a way to help this man.” Mgbako also has this to say: “Today it is loph, we don’t know who it is his turn tomorrow. The wife mother and son would be available at the launch of the trust fund slated for a later date. The only thing MORGAN did was to see the child after the delivery. They even threatened to sue flavour Nabania. If you must know, the remix of Osondi Owendi was my initiative. We are doing this trustfund as friends of loph and not MORGAN Entertainment. It is a wake up call for artistes to ask for insurance policy. The wife should be the manager. Loph’s diabetic mother has been sick, she was ressucitated recently at St Nicholas hospital with her pension and life savings money. She spent N700,000, now she doesn’t have a dime.

National honours: NFC hails award to 2 members

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he Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) is excited about the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) awarded to two film-makers by the federal government. They are Teco Benson and Peace Anyiam-Osigwe. Managing Director/Chief Executive of NFC, Mr Afolabi Adesanya, said, ‘again, the industry is being recognised for her tremendous contributions to the development of the creative arts economy of Nigeria. The NFC and indeed Nigeria’s motion picture professionals, Adesanya further said, are challenged by these recognitions, for according to him, “it takes contributions of both the private sec-

tor and government to ensure sustainable growth within the film sector”. Benson, an actor, producer and director, started movie making in 1994. His films include Suicide Mission, Scores to Settle, State of Emergency, Mission to Nowhere, The Senator among others. Anyiam- Osigwe, known as industry energizer, had been promoting the Nigerian and African cinema through her projects, Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) and African Film Academy (AFA). Some of her movies include To her credit include; Blind Date, Sons of Thunder, Messenger of Doom, The Preacher’s Daughter and Laviva.

ENTERTAINER E D I TO R I A L T E A M

Entertainment Editor: Tosin Ajirire Deputy Entertainment Editor: Sam Olatunji Correspondents: Sam Anokam and Braide Damiete Contributor: Tony Ogaga Ehrariefe Layout & Design: Paul Nnayereugo THE SUN ENTERTAINER is a weekly publication of THE SUN Publishing Ltd. 2 Coscharis Street, Kirikiri Industrial Layout, Apapa. PMB 21776, Ikeja, Lagos. 01-8980932, 6211239 Email: entertainer@sunnewsonline.com Website: www.sunnewsonline.com


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SATURDAY SUN

September 22, 2012

SINGLES WORLD

...with Emeka Friendship, Dating Relationships counselling, love/sex tips &more

Relationship advice: There are boundaries/limits to what you can do or not do for love. It’s not okay to do things that might harm yourself or others just because you’re in love. Control yourself.

Lovers’ Answers Game:

‘I love him, but he and and losing my virginity’ y name is Judith. I am 21 years old and hail from Imo State. I his girl are still together’ read your column, so I feel you can help me. I am a virgin and

The rule: Ask the opposite sex one question about love, and choose your lover from the top three answers.

Dear Love Doctor, y name is Blessing Christabel. I am 22 years old and based in Port Harcourt. Please, there is this guy I love so much, but he has a date. He knew her before me and I found out recently that they are still together. The problem is that I love him the more. Please, advise me on what to do. – Blessing, 08187341825.

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Dear Blessing, It is normal to fall in love with a guy you fancy. However, problems could arise if he already has a date. What makes you think you love him more than his date? In any case, loving him more than his date wouldn’t matter if he isn’t ready to love you in return and dump his date for you. You said he met her before you and that you recently found out that they are still together. This means he is not ready to give her up for you, and he could actually be playing you. Therefore, you really need to have a frank discussion with him now and find out where his heart stands. Find out if he is playing you or if he really has feelings for you. On the contrary, you may well be the one trying to impose yourself on him as his girlfriend. Since you knew he already had a date before he met you, don’t you think you may be portraying yourself as a ‘man-snatcher’ by trying to make him dump his girl for you? Put yourself in the shoes of his girlfriend. How would you feel if another girl does that to you? If the guy doesn’t love you, why don’t you live him and his girlfriend in peace? Do you remember the words of Saint Francis of Assisi in his Prayer of Peace. He says we should change the things we can change, and that we should also learn to accept the things we cannot change. The truth is, fighting for the love of a man is useless if that man simply doesn’t want you or isn’t ready to dump his date for you. Don’t do anything to harm or destroy their relationship if the guy doesn’t want you. Leave them alone and find your own guy.

‘I want to take sleeping pills before having sex

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I have a guy of 25 in my life. I want to take sleeping drugs before having sex, so that I will not feel the pains. Is it a nice idea? Please, help me. – Judith, 07037227132. Dear Judith, I think it’s a crazy and very bad idea to take sleeping pills before having sex, especially considering the fact that you’re a virgin. Alcohol and drug abuse/dependency are sometimes merely symptoms of one major problem, eg stress in marriage and relationships. In many cases, stress, depression, frustration, etc, are the causes of alcohol and drug/substance abuse/dependency. This is apparent in your case. It is clear to me that you are under some kind of pressure, hence, your resort to the idea of sleeping pills. Is anyone putting you under pressure to give up your virginity against your will? That’s why you’re thinking of drugging and putting yourself to sleep while the act is being carried out. First, it is drug abuse to do such a terrible thing to yourself; that is, to make yourself unconscious/asleep before having someone have sex with you. Sleeping pills should not be taken without a doctor’s prescription. Secondly, having sex with a woman who has already been made unconscious/asleep due to the administration of certain un-prescribed drugs before the act, is tantamount to rape. Thirdly, sleeping pills might cause certain side-effects or complications in your body system beyond your control. You might end up doing harm to your body system in the process. For example, the so-called sleeping pills might make you unconscious or put you to sleep for a longer time than you planned and you could end up in hospital or even dead! Again, why should you trust a man so much that you want to make yourself unconscious in his presence? You may end up being serially raped and violated by several rapists and might even contract an STD or HIV/AIDS in the process. Supposing your so-called boyfriend invites his friends to also rape you while you are unconscious or asleep? How would you know? Haven’t you heard of the way criminals drug girls and rape them? Did you hear of the recent case of drugged drinks, rape and murder that happened in FESTAC Town, Lagos? Why do you now want to drug yourself and put yourself to sleep before the boy(s) have sex with you? It would be very unwise of you to do something that could potentially damage your health, just because a man is putting you under pressure. Apparently, you are a very naïve person. Perish the thought of using un-prescribed or off-the-counter drugs for any reason. Tell the boy putting you under pressure that you’re not yet ready for sex and quit the so-called affair immediately.

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Sun News - September 22, 2012 - Inner