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Twitter’s Co-founder, Dorsey in Lagos, Applauds Lagos IT Hub Heaps praises on Nigerian budding tech-startups Emma Okonji The Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Twitter, Jack Dorsey visited the popular Information Technology CoCreation Hub (CcHub) in Yaba,

Lagos, yesterday morning, as part of his tour of four African countries- Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, and South Africa. Dorsey, who arrived Nigeria on Thursday night, had announced via his twitter

handle in October that he was "headed to Africa for all of November- Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa; going to spend a lot of time with entrepreneurs." On arrival in Lagos, he

twitted, “So grateful to finally be in Nigeria.” After meeting with techstartups at the Yaba CcHub, Dorsey shared pictures on his verified handle, and added: “Talking with the

entrepreneurs of @Cc Hub!” Dorsey is visiting Nigeria for the first time and he was billed to spend few days with tech-startups that are using Twitter handle for broadcast, and also to understudy the

Nigerian tech space that so much have been said about in the area of technology innovation. The Twitter CEO heaped Continued on page 5

Dickson: Oshiomhole’s Remarks on Bayelsa Airport Mischievous… Page 5 Saturday 9 November, 2019 Vol 24. No 8979 TR


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Kukah: Plot to Regulate Social Media Will Undermine Freedom of Nigerians Politicians in power today ignorant of sacrifices made to restore democracy James Sowole in Akure The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, yesterday cautioned the federal government against plans

to regulate the social media, saying it could undermine the freedom of Nigerians. Kuka, who stated this while delivering the convocation lecture of Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State, insisted that

freedom of expression, part of which the social media represents, “is fundamental in a democracy.” The bishop, who spoke on “Some Reasons Why Nigeria Has Failed to Achieve

Greatness”, noted that every nation thrives on free flow of ideas and information, contending that “if anyone plans to undermine the freedom of the common people in the country, he's ready to

join others in defending the freedom with the last drop of their blood.” He continued: "A good number of people in power today don't even know the sacrifices we paid to get this

freedom and democracy. "We should be very careful in creating rules against social media. Freedom to speak is freedom to speak responsibly. Continued on page 5

Presidency: No One More Powerful than President Buhari in the Villa President ordered reduction of presidential aides to cut costs Denies Buhari, vice president’s rift Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja The Presidency yesterday debunked claim that there is a powerful force in the Presidential Villa that controls the government, arguing that the President is in firm grip of his government and that no one is more powerful than him in Aso Rock. In a statement clarifying reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had sacked 35 aides of VicePresident Yemi Osinbajo, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, declared: "The President is in absolute control of his government. The media should stop attributing non-existent powers to some people. There cannot be anyone too powerful for President Buhari to control." On the news making

the rounds about the sack of Osinbajo’s aides, Shehu said Buhari only ordered the reduction of the vicepresident's aides to save the cost of governance. The presidential spokesman said reports that the sack of the vice-president's aides was proof of a rift between the president and his deputy were untrue, insisting that their relationship was not only excellent but also built on trust. He also denied claims that the decision to lay off some of the Vice-president's aides was a deliberate attempt to undermine his personality, reaffirming that the relationship between both men remained cordial and will jointly lead Nigeria to a glorious future. Shehu confirmed that the Continued on page 5

Sanwo-Olu Presents Record N1.168tn 2020 Budget... Page 5

JACK DORSEY IN LAGOS... The Co-founder/CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey (middle) with two members of his team, during his visit to the information technology Co-Creation Hub in Yaba, Lagos... yesterday










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Dickson: Oshiomholeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Remarks on Bayelsa Airport Mischievous Airport will commence operation December Emmanuel AddehĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2039; Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, yesterday responded to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole over the alleged misappropriation of N100 billion on the Bayelsa International Airport, describing the comments as mischievous. Dickson, who along with the airport officials and the contractors handling the project took journalists round the facility, insisted that the federal government was only playing politics with the airport located in Amassoma, Southern Ijaw, noting that whether approvals come from federal authorities or not , the facility will be officially opened by December this year. The governor urged Oshiomhole to stop blackmailing the Bayelsa people who have had to provide everything for

themselves, despite alleged abandonment by the federal government, in contrast to Edo, where he was governor and had an airport built by the federal government. He added that in the years when the All Progressives Congress Leader, Timipre Sylva, was governor in the state, he failed to provide the facility and wondered why the APC government had started the politicisation of the issues surrounding the airport. Dickson, whose inspection, coincided with a downpour in the area, urged Nigerians to discountenance insinuations that the facility was always flooded when it rains, stressing that he built the airport from the scratch on water without any help from the federal government. Contrary to the allegation by the APC national chairman that the facility was built at a cost of over N100 billion, the governor

said the airport which has one of the longest runways in West Africa, totalling 3.5 kilometres, had gulped N70 billon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I can understand those who do not know our difficult terrain, nearly impossible terrain. Our runway is not flooded. We have the best and latest facilities in the industry. We will continue to work with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other related agencies to let us have the approval needed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This airport has been ready for a long while, but they raised the issue of fencing. And there are so many airports in this country without fences and they are operating, no landing and radar system like we have here, yet they are going on. Dantata and Sawoe is handling this project and they have built several airports in this country. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The cost of this airport as at now, even with the difficult

terrain in the last seven years is about N70 billion, not more than than that. In drier parts of our country, where they did not need any massive sand filling or a runway as long as ours, the amount is huge" he said. While taking on the leaders of the APC that he accused of making the airport a campaign issue, Dickson urged them to focus on bettering the lives of Nigerians rather than being fixated on the project. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I don't know where the leaders of APC in Bayelsa and their National Chairman, are getting their figures of N100 billion. We don't do the kind of things they do in Edo State. "The entirety of this airport started from the scratch, including acquisition of land, clearing, cost of sand filling, construction of runway, fire bay, terminal building, car park etc. The documents and payment details are there.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;They should stop playing politics with our development. If the federal government has built an airport in Edo, the former governor does not know what it means to construct and airport from the scratch. He should leave us alone. "They are fortunate that the federal government has built an airport, roads and seaports for them; let them leave the Ijaw people with their woes. "What is not pardonable is that the leaders of the APC failed to do this several years ago, they swindled our people, deceived and played 419 with our people. We have now delivered on this project. This is the mischief; they are ruining our country with propaganda. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Bayelsa people know who their true enemy is. Our people should reject them at the polls come November 16" he said. He added: "They are experts

in propaganda. The APC leaders are envious and they are jealous. The airport is not only for PDP. The leaders of the APC are the ones flying around with private jets funded by the NNPC and oil companies. Let him come and land here. Let them leave our people alone" Dickson called on the NCAA to stop playing politics with the certification of the airport, stressing that the facility had since been completed. Concurring with the governor, a representative of the company handling the project disclosed that there was no truth that the runway was flooded, but said he was not bothered by the insinuations. Also, Managing Director of the airport, Mr. William Jari, told journalists that at no time had the facility ever been flooded, noting that the airport has one of the best equipment obtainable in the world.

Sanwo-Olu Presents Record N1.168tn 2020 Budget Segun James Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday presented a record budget of N1.168 trillion to the Lagos State House of Assembly for approval in the 2020 fiscal year. The budget is higher than the 2019 appropriation bill by 34 per cent. According to the governor, capital expenditure is expected to gulp N723.75 billion while recurrent expenditure is N444.81 billion, giving a capital to recurrent ratio 62:38 percent. Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the proposed budget will be funded by a projected revenue inlay of N1.071 trillion and a deficit amounting to N97.53 billion. "This, in our view, is strong for

development. We have placed an increased focus on wealth creation where we will take deliberate steps in courting a partnership between our people and various development institutions. "In line with this, we have provided N11.8 billion as counterpart funds in preparation for various social impact schemes. In addition, we have made provisions for N7.1billion this year, to provide for industrial hubs, parks, graduate internship programmes and virtual markets for artisans. This is in support for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which are the engines for both economic and employment growth. "It is equally proposed that

a total of N167.81 billion of the recurrent expenditure shall be applied towards personnel costs and other staff-related expenses. This represents 22.02per cent of the proposed total revenue, which is within the acceptable wage policy of 25per cent of total revenue, and includes a provision for the new minimum wageâ&#x20AC;?, he explained. The governor further explained that the budget deficit of N97.53 billion would be financed with both internal and external loans. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since revenue generation is the spine of any budget, this budget supports investment in our revenue generating agencies. This budget seeks to aggressively invest in and develop our

education, health and other physical infrastructure sectors. Although our capital spent on works and infrastructure was just N31 billion as at September 2019, as against the 2019 budget proposal of N78 billion, it is our intention to spend N115 billion in 2020," he said. The governor noted that education would see a capital budgetary allocation of N48 billion, an increase of 60 per cent over the 2019 provision of N30 billion. "We must improve the standard and relevance of our education outcomes to our industries. We will work together with our local governments to strengthen early child education and teachersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

training/administration, leveraging technology. "Similarly, in healthcare, we have provided for a capital expenditure of N33 billion, compared to the 2019 budget proposal of N21 billion. We will ensure that our primary health care institutions remain active and attractive to the primary health care needs of our people. Lagos belongs to us all; we will continue therefore to drive partnerships with the private sector in promoting health services within our institutions. "Given the perennial challenges of flooding in the metropolis, we have tripled the capital budget provision to tackle this from N3 billion in 2019 to N9 billion in 2020,"

he added. Sanwo-Olu stated that wider consultation was made in the three senatorial districts, in addition to taking memoranda and feedback from stakeholdersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; meetings organised by members of the House within their constituencies, which were also attended by cabinet members. He further noted that the 2020 budget would be supported by a performance management system that would ensure that, by December 2020, the state should achieve an optimal budget implementation when compared with previous years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is in line with our commitment to transparency and accountability in the management of public finances."

originating from the minds and mouths of mischief makers, who are desperate for entertaining stories from the Aso Rock Villa with which to titillate the public. This ulterior motive is the basis of the wrong interpretation given to the recent exercise in the Presidency. "There has been a streamlining of staff going on for a while. The

President has always had fewer staff than the Vice President, and there were always plans to reduce the number of staff at the Villa. "The streamlining was not personal or targeted to undermine the Vice President's office, as the so-called insider sources quoted by the media appear to make it seem.â&#x20AC;?

PRESIDENCY: NO ONE MORE POWERFUL THAN PRESIDENT BUHARI IN THE VILLA decision to lay off some of Osinbajo's aides was part of the decisions of the administration to downsize what it described as the over-bloated workforce in the presidency. Shehu, who said the move did not affect the office of the vice president alone, added that some of the aides of the president did not equally make it back to this second term administration. He emphasised that the move was aimed at reducing the cost of governance with a view to enhancing service delivery and in reaction to a general belief among the populace that the presidency had an over-bloated workforce. According to the statement, "The presidency wishes to confirm that there is on-going, and unprecedented overhaul of the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seat of government,

arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the second term. "The exercise, which has been ordered by the President, is to streamline decision-making, cut down multiple authorities and reduce the cost of administration. It is also an appropriate response to the general perception that the presidency has an oversized and bloated workforce which acts as a drag on efficiency. "As may have been noticed by discerning members of the public, a number of political appointees among the few that served in the office of the President were not returned for the second term. "The office of the Vice President, His Excellency Yemi Osinbajo has, in compliance with the directive of the President, equally been shed of a number

of such appointees. "In carrying out these exercises, the overriding objective is to save taxpayer money and deliver needed service to the public. As far as the President is concerned, there is no scope for an excuse for administration after getting a huge mandate to run the country for four more years." Shehu stated that those insinuating there was a rift between the two leaders had their own ulterior motive, which he said only fuelled such insinuations, explaining that the president has always had fewer staff than the vice president, and the move to downsize Villa staff had commenced for a while. The Presidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aide emphasised that the move was not targeted at the vice president as widely reported. "In the light of this, the Presidency

wishes to strongly deny rumours of a rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The relationship between the two leaders remains excellent and trusting. Together, they will script a glorious future for the nation. "The media reports of a soured relationship are

KUKAH: PLOT TO REGULATE SOCIAL MEDIA WILL UNDERMINE FREEDOM OF NIGERIANS We fought for this freedom and we will defend it with the last drop of our blood. A nation thrives on free flow of ideas and information." The Bishop, who was one of the recipients of the universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s awards, urged Nigerians to separate religion and ethnicity from politics to prevent politicians from using

them to achieve their parochial ambitions to the detriment of the nation's development. Kukah noted that most of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s former Heads of State occupied the positions irrespective of their tribes, religion and whether they were elected or came into power through military coups. Highlighting some of the

circumstances that brought past leaders into positions, Kukah noted that President Muhammadu Buhari was called to contest in 2015 even when he had decided not to run again. He observed that the idea of enthroning unwilling presidents was a bane of the nation's development.

Manager based in Dublin. I'm contacting you as you were in attendance at CcHUB this morning, where Jack was visiting as part of his trip to Africa this month. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I believe there was a misunderstanding around Jack's visit today, and sincere apologies for any time lost on your part due to this. Jack is in Nigeria to learn more about how people are using Twitter and to meet with tech entrepreneurs, however we

would be happy to meet and speak with you on the occasion of his next visit to Nigeria.â&#x20AC;? Facebook CEO and Founder, Mark Zuckerberg visited Nigeria in 2016, where he had good time with tech-startups and the media. Zuckerberg was even seen having fun during his early morning jogging on the street of Lagos, and his visit was well received and appreciated by all, including the Nigerian government.

TWITTERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CO-FOUNDER, DORSEY IN LAGOS, APPLAUDS LAGOS IT HUB praises on the Nigerian techstartups in Yaba and urged them to dream big. Having spent less than 24 hours on Nigerian soil, Dorsey has already picked up a greeting in Yoruba, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Bawo niâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, meaning â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;How are you?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; He was also hosted to a welcome dinner on Thursday night, where he met the likes of media personality, Tolu Oniru-Demuren, popularly called Toolz, former government official, Dr. Joe Abah, among

others. Toolz, Abah and Dorsey shared photos on their respective Twitter handles. Toolz also shared a video, where the Twitter CEO spoke in Yoruba. Captioning the photo, he tweeted, Jack said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Great dinner with some new friends.â&#x20AC;? However, Dorsey gave the Nigerian media a shocker when he declined to talk to the press. Before his arrival, journalists were on ground at the CcHub,

waiting as early as 7.30am, but as soon as he arrived at about 9.30am, he was quickly taken in for breakfast, where he was informed that he would be addressing the media, but it was gathered that he declined. Although he eventually came out to see the journalists, he still refused to give even a brief on the purpose of his visit to Nigeria. After a photograph session with some dignitaries, the Twitter boss left without addressing the

journalist, leaving them visibly disappointed and confused. However, Twitter's Communications Manager in charge of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Sarah Harte, who is based in Dublin and who was part of the visiting Twitter team, in an emailed message, apologised for Dorseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inability to speak with the press. Part of her email read: â&#x20AC;&#x153;My name is Sarah Harte and I'm Twitter's EMEA Communications




News Editor Ahamefula Ogbu 08116759810 (sms only) Email

TRADING GLOBAL IDEAS... L-R: President, Africa Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM), Prof. Benedict Oramah; Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Founder Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu and President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo discussing ‘A Future Beyond Aid’ at the inaugural The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Presidential Dialogue in Accra, Ghana...recently

Army Officer, Soldier Killed as Troops Overwhelm Insurgents —Ž›Š’˜—ȱ˜ȱ ›˜ž—ǰȱ’›ȱ˜ž—Ž›ȱŽ››˜›’œ–ȱ™Ž›Š’˜—œȱŠ—ŠŒŽŠȱ˜ȱ —œŽŒž›’¢ǰȱŠ¢œȱ‘’Žȱ˜ȱ’›ȱŠě Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja and Laleye Dipo in Minna The Nigerian Army said yesterday that one army officer and a soldier were killed during clashes with Insurgents in Borno and Yobe States. This is as the Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar had said that the integration of air and ground counter terrorism operation would combat banditry and other security challenges in the country. But other sources said 10 soldiers were killed in the confrontation with terrorists. This comes as the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, restated the resolve of the military

to discharge its constitutional role of maintaining the territorial integrity of the nation. An update made available by Army Headquarters said 16 fighters of Boko Haram and the Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) surrendered to troops. It said the Insurgents surrendered with their spouses. The update signed by the Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col Aminu IlIyasu, said troops deployed in Gajigana in Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno Date intercepted insurgents intent on attacking the community. It said troops killed three insurgents and lost one soldier.

“Troops deployed at Gajigana in Magumeri LGA of Borno State intercepted some Boko Haram criminals in the early hours of Tuesday 5th November 2019. “It is believed that the insurgents were on their way to attack the community to source for food items and other logistics for their survival. “However, the vigilant troops blocked and neutralised three of the Boko Haram criminals while several others escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds”, it said. The statement said: “unfortunately, one soldier paid the supreme price while two others were wounded in action. The wounded soldiers are currently responding to treatment in a military medical facility”.

Fire Destroys Okobaba Timber Market, Shanties Bennett Oghifo An afternoon inferno yesterday razed the popular Okobaba timber market at Ebute Metta in central Lagos, destroying goods worth millions of Naira and rendering some shanty dwellers homeless. The cause of the afternoon fire is still unknown, according to officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA),

who confirmed that besides the loss of goods, there were no lives lost and nobody was injured. A team of firefighters and other first responders were on hand to battle the fire and keep the peace, as well as prevent acts that could endanger lives. Eye witnesses said when the fire started, workers and residents of the sprawling wood market were seen

frantically trying to salvage their belongings and at the same time use any container they could lay their hands on to pour water in attempts to douse the flames. This unfortunate fire incident is coming almost two days after an ugly fire razed some shops at the popular Balogun Market in the neighbouhood of Broad Street, the commercial centre of Lagos.

We Need Someone to Release Sowore to, Says DSS Bennett Oghifo The Department of State Services (DSS) yesterday said the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore was still in their custody because no one had come forward to claim him. A statement by the Public Relations Officer, Department of State Services, Peter Afunanya confirmed that DSS

“has received the Court Order for the release of Omoyele Sowore. “It is important that the public notes that since the receipt of the Order, no person has turned up at the DSS to take delivery of him. This becomes imperative for reasons of accountability. “However, the Court has been properly briefed on this development and the

steps being taken to ensure compliance with its Order. “The Service, under the leadership of Yusuf Magaji Bichi (fwc), as the Director General, is not a lawless organisation and will never obstruct justice or disobey Court Orders. It, therefore, affirms that it will do all that is needful once the appropriate processes have been concluded.”

In the Yobe encounter troops of Sector 2 deployed at Damaturu, Yobe State, dislodged terrorists who attempted to infiltrate the town “The attempted infiltration was thwarted by the combined efforts of ground troops, artillery bombardment and precision air strikes by the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole. “The encounter led to the decimation of a number of the insurgents in addition to the destruction of one Boko Haram gun truck. “Unfortunately, one officer paid the supreme price during the encounter”, it said. Col IlIyasu said 16 insurgents along with eight of their spouses who could no longer bear the heat from the onslaught against them

surrendered to the troops of Sector 1, Multinational Joint Task Force at Fotokol. The surrendered insurgents were later handed over to troops of 3 Battalion at Gamboru Ngala, a border town North-east of Borno State. He said during preliminary interrogation and profiling, the insurgents confessed to have actively participated in attacks conducted against both military and civilian targets at various times. He disclosed that 14 of them belonged to the Abubakar Shakau faction of Boko Haram. “In another encounter with the Boko Haram criminals at Muchima in Damboa LGA of Borno State,

9 Boko Haram insurgents were neutralized by troops while others escaped with gunshot wounds. “Additionally, one insurgent gun truck was destroyed, 4 AK 47 Rifles and a cache of ammunition were recovered”, he said. Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai reassured the general public of the resolve of the Nigerian Army to continue to execute its constitutional mandate professionally and responsively for a better and secured Nigeria. He also thank all well-meaning Nigerians for their continued support, goodwill and understanding towards officers and men of the Nigerian Army.

Fayemi Presents N124. 5bn Appropriation Bill Gets FG’s nod to construct federal road Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday presented the 2020 Appropriation bill of N124, 724,869,355.95 to the State House of Assembly. He has also got the clearance from the Federal Ministry of Works to construct the dilapidated Ado-Akure Road. The budget christened ‘Budget of Deliverables’, has N53,538,093,806.59 representing 43 per cent as capital expenditure while the recurrent expenditure is N71,186,775,549.36 representing 57 per cent of the total budget estimate. Fayemi said the budget was tailored after his administration’s five-pillar agenda for development which was aimed at enhancing good governance and speedy economic transformation of the State. According to the breakdown of the budget along the five pillars shows Agriculture and Rural Development with N3,677,992,233.29

(3%); Knowledge Economy N24,704,934,736.29 (20%); Social Investments N11,188,372,994.37 (9%), Infrastructure and Industrial Development N39,728,043,550.73 (32%), and Governance got N45,425,522,841.27 (36%). The Governor said the proposed budget would provide a platform for the implementation of his administration’s cardinal objectives as covered in the five-pillar agenda; adding that the administration had not wavered from its determination to revamp the socio-economic environment through “distinctive measures and approaches which are conceptualized and aligned with the fiscal framework of the state.” He said the state budget system had been upgraded to conform with the global standard as the document transited from cash based budgeting to International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS). “The administration has embarked on several laudable projects and programmes which will undoubtedly impact lives of the people of the state. Our numerous

development partners who left the state as a result of the unconducive environment for partnership in the last administration are not only back but have signed pacts with our administration to develop Ekiti State. For instance, major investors in the agriculture and industrial sectors have signed business pacts with the state government,” he said. The governor disclosed that part of the support got from development partners was the 1000km rural roads that would be constructed under the Rural Access and Agriculture Marketing Programme (RAMP) of the World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD). The project which, according to him, would commence in January 2020 as soon as the financing arrangement was signed, would generate employment opportunities, provide reliable access and cost efficient transport system that would facilitate the delivery of agricultural inputs and services to increase productivity.











Tokini Peterside’s World of Arts From being the Head of Marketing at a leading alcoholic brand to creating the most exciting art fair in Africa, Art X Lagos, Tokini Peterside’s doggedness and inner strength have contributed to changing the narratives for contemporary African women. Yinka Olatunbosun reports


n global media today, there are many reports on women for all the wrong reasons. If they are not victims of domestic violence, then they must be victims of sexual abuse or human trafficking. However, a significant number of women in Africa are now pioneering rare accomplishments in their homeland and impacting the world in very positive dimensions. One of them is Tokini Peterside. Tokini began her journey into self-discovery when she made one difficult decision. She left an otherwise lucrative career in the corporate world to focus on being a creative entrepreneur as the Director of TP Collective in 2012 but is now known as ART X Collective Ltd. Four years ago, the idea of ART X Lagos was created by Tokini to unite the art world across Africa and diaspora. Ironically, she neither draws nor paints but is very good at brainstorming creative ideas with friends and associates. Beneath the glamour of red carpet paparazzi is this very private individual with a disarming yet guarded smile. She may walk into a room full of people but she is

attentive to every face and demeanour. Perhaps, her attention to details is the reason why she began collecting art just like her mother. Her Ikoyi office is a mini-gallery of sorts as it boasts of an assortment of beautiful works from various artists. In more ways than one, Tokini shares an almost identical business sense as her father, Atedo Peterside, the former Chairman, Stanbic IBTC. At 33, Atedo founded this $billion business from a relatively small office. Tokini’s mother, Dudun Peterside is a psychologist and executive coach. She is also an avid lover of polo and is said to be one of the few female members of the Lagos Polo Club, Ikoyi. Flashback to First Consultants Hospital, Obalende, Lagos where Tokini was born. The young and passionate entrepreneur grew up between Nigeria and the United Kingdom: “As my father likes to remind me, I was born in Obalende. I was taken home to Bode Thomas and later moved to Musa Yaradua Street in Victoria Island. From the age of three to 21, I was on Saka Tinubu Street. I used to ride my bike from Saka Tinubu to Idejo

Street. Today, if I go there, I can’t even recognise those places. They have changed in many ways for the better. Some for the less good,” she recounted at the grand opening of ART X Lagos. Her family is a close-knit one. Her parents as well as her siblings, some of whom had to travel to Lagos were present for the 4th edition of the fair which ended last Sunday. Tokini studied at Cheltenham Ladies College and Westminster School. She holds a First Class degree in Law from her father’s alma mater, London School of Economics and Political Science. In addition to her academic records, she has full professional proficiency in French. In 2015, she attended the Business School, INSEAD where she obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA). She doesn’t just hold a Master’s degree in business; she has a mastery of it. Many business ideas are dead on arrival without funding. Having worked with different clients over the years, she noticed that some of these truly exceptional creative minds with big dreams and projects lack funding. Hence, Tokini



SUPERSATURDAY Tokini Peterside’s World of Arts... found a way to give ART X a lifeline. “I have been to every bank. At each bank, I know the way in and out. I know the security guards,” she explained as she recalled the path towards getting sponsors for the project. Earlier, she had sought for government financial support but was reminded that it was a private initiative and so, she should look within the private sector for assistance. As soon as Access Bank got on board, other doors began to open. In the previous three years, over 22,000 visited the fair which has since expanded and outgrown its traditional venue, Civic Centre. Now domiciled at the Federal Palace Hotel and Casino grounds, Tokini’s ART X project is now the toast of many international art galleries. “We write every invitation letter required for visa processing for our visitors from outside Nigeria. I get calls in the middle of the night telling me that embassies need my certificate of incorporation and passport and we are sending them all over the world. My personal ID details are all over the world,” she gushed. She wouldn’t claim the entire credit for putting Nigeria on the global map for arts. She acknowledged how Nigerian music has contributed largely to how the Nigerian brand is seen in different parts of the world. “Our music is being played at all airports all over the world. I was in a restaurant in Cambodia and Nigerian music popped on the radio. I almost choked. Our fashion and film have gone far. Our visual arts are going so much further,” she affirmed. Asides reading books and watching movies, Tokini loves partying at ART X Live which is the music segment of the fair and she does it till dawn. “A lot of people don’t know that ART X Live for me is such an important personal project,” she revealed. This session is very attractive to young audience and that is the whole essence of what Tokini has tried to do with the fair. She wants the visual arts audience to be a hybrid of the young and old. Initially, it was at no cost to enter the fair but to protect the experience and manage the crowd, tickets are sold but certainly not to the children of Makoko, Agege and other communities where she had reached to expand the audience of the fair. Busload of children participated in this year’s edition of the fair with the guidance of her team members who warmly received them. That seemed to be her answer to the widespread criticism that ART X Lagos is elitist. She is very keen on inclusiveness. Though she hails from Delta State, it is not unusual to hear her drop a few Yoruba lines while talking. With uncommon courage, Tokini launched ART X Lagos four years ago just in the heat of economic recession. Her determination to make this fair a dream come true has given hope to the arts community at large and many new art fairs have sprung up in Lagos owing much to the success story of ART X Lagos. She is also one who takes criticisms seriously. One of such was on the traffic situation around the venue during the fair. With help from Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA), Nigerian Police, Federal Road Safety Corps and men of the Nigerian Army, the traffic was very manageable. In July 2018, Tokini led the visiting French President, Emmanuel Macron through a special exhibition of Contemporary Nigeria art during the “Celebration of African Culture” which was held at the New Africa Shrine, Lagos as a precursor to the African Cultural Season scheduled to hold in France in 2020. Arguably, Tokini is one of the most decorated women of her generation. In 2019, Tokini was named on Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business list. In the previous year, she was listed as part of the Quartz Africa Innovators 2018: A list of the continent’s Top 30 pioneers. In 2017, she was named to the MIPAD 100, a list of the Most Influential People of African Descent under the age of 40, an initiative in support of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent. In 2017, she was named Her Network ‘Woman of the Year’ in the Arts Category. In 2011, Tokini was named “Corporate Professional of the Year” at the Future Awards Africa.






Isâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;haq Modibbo Kawu pays tribute to Daura, former editor of New Nigerian and entrepreneur, at age 80


hen I look back now, I think the struggle against former President Olusegun Obasanjoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Third Term Agenda, cemented my relationship with Malam Mamman Daura. As Editor of Daily Trust, I had been one of the earliest people, who got to read an outline of that agenda. We held very robust debates in our weekly Editorial Board meetings, which I also chaired, and we knew, that it was a moment that called for the most deďŹ nitive struggle, against what was designed to jeopardize Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s democratic consolidation. I was very convinced at the personal level, that Nigeria deserved better, than what Obasanjo evolved into, and most especially, the ridiculous personality cult, that denizens of the PDP, were desperately trying to construct for the man. I was deliberately, polemically provocative, in my descriptions of Obasanjo, and especially after the National Assembly shot down the elaborate charade of the Third Term Agenda. I repeatedly described him, as â&#x20AC;&#x153;the Disgraced Despotâ&#x20AC;?! That I think was the clincher, because Malam Mamman Daura would send me texts; and even verbal messages, through various emissaries. But he never forgot to ask about â&#x20AC;&#x153;the Disgraced Despotâ&#x20AC;?! For many who belonged to the Kaduna circles of the period, that literally became a description that identiďŹ ed my writings. Malam Mamman Dauraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home in Kaduna was where we gathered during the evenings, whenever I was back home for weekends. That offered a peek into several sides to his person. There was the constant supply of the evening tea and â&#x20AC;&#x153;small chopsâ&#x20AC;?; the television was almost always tuned to SKY NEWS, and the house had an incredibly ordered neatness, while the man, walked with his socked feet, had a gentle manner, as well as an unfailing courtesy. Malam Mamman would politely offer to make the cup of tea for his visitor, and speak with a cultured low tone, but with an air of authority, of a man, who seems so much at peace with himself and his condition. He would not fail to ask about your family, work and then show a genuine concern about the state of the country. As youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re beginning conversations, and most of the time he seemed so able to make his visitor do the talking, and as he scrutinizes with intensity, the house begins to fill with other visitors; mostly, these were often members of the old Northern intellectual, bureaucratic and political elite. They greet each other, and the younger people like me, with as much respect; and of course, they teased you endlessly about one or the other piece that you had written, that they enjoyed reading. Usually, Dr Mahmoud Tukur would lead the prayers; Maghrib and Isha, and then, there were further exchanges of courtesies, as people began to depart for their residences, only to repeat that dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scenario, the following day. The generation that Malam Mamman Daura belongs to, was a most privileged one, in the historic settings of Northern Nigeria, and our country in general; but they never took their privileges for granted. They saw themselves as being called to duty, in the race for modernity, that was very much cured, within the history and cultures of our people. They worked hard and excelled in all that they were assigned to do. And who would talk about the history of journalism in the North, and the tremendous impact of the New Nigerian newspaper, without remembering the excellent manner that Malam Mamman Daura edited it? During my years, as pioneer Editor of Daily Trust newspaper, we got the occasional Op-Ed pieces from Malam Mamman Daura, and we used to enjoy those pieces, admiring the simplicity of style and the elegance of prose, as well as the manner that he would so generously breath life, into often forgotten aspects of history, or as he helped to fill missing but important gaps, in aspects of the drama of life in the old Northern Nigeria. One felt richer in knowledge, reading Mamman Daura, as much as spending time to hear him talk about their years of service to our region and country. For me, what I found most admirable about Malam Mamman and his generation of elders, was the way that they retained a loyalty, not only to themselves, but also to their elders and to the memory of their earlier years of service to Northern Nigeria. It was something that I noticed with the late Chief Sunday Awoniyi, the late Malam Adamu Ciroma, Alhaji Adamu, Wazirin Fika; and that community of trust, I also witnessed with the late Malam Yahaya Gusau. We were preparing for Maghrib prayers on a Saturday evening, at Malam Mamman


Dauraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residence, when Chief Sunday Awoniyi was driven into the compound. There immediately formed, what resembled a mini welcome party, as Dr. Mahmoud Tukur, Malam Mamman Daura, the younger Malam Abba Kyari, and others, including this reporter, joined the cue to receive the venerable Chief Awoniyi. As he called each one: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mahmoud, Mamman, Abba...â&#x20AC;?; what rang out loudly, from each one of them, was a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sirâ&#x20AC;?! In that moment, I saw a re-enactment of the traditions of leadership and respect, which was the foundation upon which service and social existence were constructed in the old Northern Nigeria. Of course, these welled up nostalgia and deepened fascination for those times past. There are more intimate details of life, especially at the family level, that I am not really competent to talk about, in respect of the 80 years of life, that Malam Mamman has lived. But I have spoken several times in the past, with Fatima Mamman Daura. And the intensity of love that she expresses for her father, gives an indication of the ambience that he ensured for his family. Fatima sent me a most love-suffused prose, that she was pushing to publish, as her tribute to a father that she obviously loves and admires very much, on this 80th birthday anniversary. And especially in the years since President Muhammadu Buhari was elected, members of the Mamman Daura family, have lived through the pain of the most merciless levels of criticisms and lurid accusations, directed at their father; and I believe they must be hurting! All one had to do, is survey the body of messages on social media today, and some of those postings against Malam Mamman Daura, would literally make one gasp for air! And it must be doubly painful, that nobody ever defends him or at least offer a different narrative, about the old man. But these are reflections of the times that we live in, in our country, when the most negative stories about individuals, are those that easily find traction in the social space. We live in a setting characterized by a deep lack of trust of authorities, and within a milieu of targeted opprobrium, especially for an individual like Malam Mamman, who has been repeatedly caricatured, as being the embodiment, and at the head of a so-called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cabalâ&#x20AC;?, that literally does to the rules of normal engagement, what Yuri Geller does to iron, â&#x20AC;&#x153;bend themâ&#x20AC;?! Yet, most of those who would write or post these incredible tales about Mamman Daura, hardly ever know the real man, beyond the persona that they themselves have constructed in the social space of our country. They are further confounded by the fact that the man maintains a stoical silence, and carries on his life, without ever responding to the various ludicrous allegations made against him. Surely, he must find the various allegations against him as incredible as those who have been privileged to know him closely. But again, he would not even allow a peek into his innermost thoughts, on these negative characterizations. He is far more interested in discussions about how conditions in our country would be better; and would also sympathetically request to know how youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re faring in the work you do, and what difficulties you are encountering. Malam Mamman Daura is very loyal to his family and friends; he loves our country deeply and wants the very best for it; he is a most decent elder, who had enjoyed the privileges of service to our country, at a time when service carried tremendous responsibility. He is strictly of that old school of respect for culture, authority and piety. However, our country has become very young today, and with a population that is over 202 million, and a median age of 17.9 years, the times are completely different. And the values have also evolved, and the jury is out, on whether these evolutions are for the better. But we are fortunate, that elders like Malam Mamman Daura, are still very much with us, whose experiences, sense of loyalty and easy manners, remain veritable fountains of knowledge. We can paraphrase the words of Professor Hampate Ba, that old people like Mamman Daura, remain living libraries. Malam Mamman Daura: loving husband; doting parent; editor; writer; entrepreneur; intrepid raconteur; devoted patriot; on your 80th Birthday sir, please accept my best wishes, for happiness, peace and more useful labour to humanity! Kawu is the Director General, national broadcasting commission


Austin Izagbo, PDP chieftain, announces resignation, writes Ikemefune Nwokolo


hen on 25th October 2019, the news ďŹ ltered in that a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State, Ide Austin Izagbo has resigned from the party, it was one of utmost disbelief! Chief Izagbo has been one of the strong pillars of the party, not only in Ibusa, his home town where he is a folk hero owing to his leadership qualities, mentoring attributes to the upward-mobile youths and unmatched philanthropy, but in Oshimili North Local Government Area and Delta State at large, for his foray into politics predates this Republic. Way back in 1989 during General Ibrahim Babangidaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s political experiment of â&#x20AC;&#x153;a little to the right and a little to the leftâ&#x20AC;?, he had contested the National Chairmanship of the National Republican Convention. While he was hailed for a vibrant campaign, he lost to Chief Tom Ikimi and from 1991 to 1993, he held sway as Delta State Chairman of The NRC until IBB annulled the elections, stepped aside and

General Sani Abacha finally nailed the coffin of democracy at that time. The following historical journey will help understand the impact of the resignation of this political colossus from the ruling party in Delta State. By 1995 under the Military Administration of Ibrahim Kefas, Dr Izagbo was appointed Delta State Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Culture and held forte until 1997. He was the de facto Deputy-Governor as he was the hands- on person Kefas depended on to solve problems in the near or far-flung areas of both the Delta mainland and riverine areas. Ask Izagbo for a suitable person from any community for a particular assignment and he would deliver in minutes. In 1999 when this Republic was being born, he was nominated as the Deputy Governorship candidate of the All Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Party (APP). When the 1999 elections were held, PDP won in Delta State. Chief Izagbo led other notable politicians in APP to subsequently fuse into the PDP and locked the state into a PDP State and

from that point, became the engine room of the business guru, Chief Peter Okochaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s awesome political machinery across Delta State. Chief Izagboâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reach across the length and breadth of Delta State is unarguably extensive considering his forays in party administration, his own gubernatorial campaigns and being the go-to man in Chief Peter Okochaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s near success in the 2007 Governorship campaigns which saw them leave the PDP, first to ACD (Association of Concerned Democrats) which later metamorphosed to Action Congress (AC) and then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in their battle against Dr Emmanuel Uduaghanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s PDP. Thus, a political party that loses someone of Dr Izagboâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s political clout, in a state that promises to be a hot battle field in 2023, has lost an uncommon asset and conversely, a party that receives him has got a huge plus in their kitty. A highly cerebral man with several books to his credit, he also has multiple chieftaincy titles across Nigeria with his most coveted

being The Ide of Ibusa from his hometown where he is also the President-General of Ibusa Community Development Union (ICDU), the global developmental arm of the robust Ibusa community which is probably, the single town in the country with the highest number of professors in almost every field of the academia. For a man who in 2015 was the Delta State coordinator of The Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign Council, and as recently as 2019, was a member of the Delta State Gubernatorial campaign Council for Governor Okowa, an Iroko has left the PDP and we all await his next political move as he is not expected to retire from politics. Even if he wants to, we will stoutly oppose that move. Now whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my take? My take is this: Chief Izagboâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moving out of Delta PDP is a tip of the iceberg! Words on the streets point towards a lot of political alignments and realignments in the coming days. Delta State 2023 election is bound to be super interesting!




Yet another waste!

Rejection of Lion Heart: Matters Arising


y relationship with Nollywood movies is one of love â&#x20AC;&#x201C; hate. I ďŹ nd them rather pedestrian as I can predict the end by merely watching the ďŹ rst few minutes of the movie. Despite my anger after watching the movies, I still feel irascibly drawn to them. My experience is akin to a drug addict who knows the destruction he is embarking on by snifďŹ ng them but the lure of the few minutes thrill cannot just make him stop the fatal habit. Like many patriotic Nigerians, I was extremely happy when I heard of the news that Genevieve Nnajiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movie â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lionheartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; was acquired by Netflix â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest streaming service. It was a big boost for our movie sector as the international community had finally taken notice of it. Given the fact that the industry grew in leaps and bounds without any government backing, it was huge cause to clink the glasses amidst the loud popping of the finest of champagne. When the movie was nominated for the highly prestigious Oscar awards after the Toronto film festival, I made it one of my prayer points for it to win. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t usually go out of my way to purchase Nigerian movies as I make do with what Africa magic showcases even though they are notorious for the regular repetition of movies. With the Netflix acquisition I went out of my way for the first time to purchase it but sadly I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t successful with my quest. I received the news of the rejection of it by the Oscar committee with sadness as I hoped it will be the first Nigerian movie to win the coveted awards. Their reason was that it was done mostly in the English language with a little sprinkling of Igbo. After Nigeria was granted political independence by the United Kingdom in 1960, Professor Chinua Achebe was asked whether he would write in his native Igbo language. He responded that he would continue writing in English language but he would localize it as much as possible to reflect the deep African culture. His first book and evergreen Classic â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Things Fall Apartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; written in 1958 when he was barely 28 years old was a true reflection of his bid to reflect the rich African culture and heritage in his writings. Genevieve Nnaji who made her directorial debut with this movie was also in this same dilemma. Her response to its disqualification reflected the catch-22 situation that post- colonial African artists face. In her words: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This movie represents the way we speak as Nigerians. This includes English which acts as a bridge between the 500+ language spoken in our country; thereby making us #OneNigeria,â&#x20AC;? she wrote, adding in another tweet: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no different to how French connects communities in former French colonies. We did not choose who colonized us. As ever, this film and many like it, is proudly Nigerian.â&#x20AC;? If she had chosen to make the film in exclusively Igbo language, it would have greatly limited the

audience despite the translations as most potential viewers would have been put off with the language barrier. English which is the lingua franca is a unifying force in the nation that is multi lingual. I totally agree that Pidgin English is more of a linguistic rallying force as itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spoken by all and sundry â&#x20AC;&#x201C; literate and unlettered alike but even at that it is still a variant of the English language. Moreover you also have to consider the fact that many millennials do not fluently speak any Nigerian language no thanks to the side effects of westernalization. There are even fears by many linguists of the possibility of the extinction of many native languages due to its long non usage. Ms. Nnaji is a businesswoman driven primarily by commercial interests and she was savvy enough to produce and direct the movie using the language most clearly understood by the generality of Nigerians.

The Menace of Antibiotics Abuse


here is an increasing global problem of antimicrobial resistance, whereby antibiotics are no longer effective for the treatment of infectious diseases which they were speciďŹ cally designed to ďŹ ght. Antibiotics save millions of lives each year by ďŹ ghting off bacterial infections. They have been the backbone of medicine, yet many of us take them for granted. Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be possible without paying close attention to this most pressing global health threat. The world indeed has moved from a period of inevitable deaths from infections and undiscovered medication for strange infections to self-inflicted deaths from human greed. The consequences of antibiotics abuse help to accelerate the level and spread of resistant bacteria. Increasing availability of antibiotics has accelerated this alarming downside: the drugs losing their ability to kill the microbes they were created to conquer. Hard-wired to survive, many bacteria have evolved to outsmart the medications. Drug abuse, especially abuse of codeine and tramadol, is one challenge that threatens the future of the country. One major issue that is neglected in the fight against drug abuse in Nigeria is increasing use of antibiotics as a form of contraception, cold and flu, every febrile illness tagged as typhoid, unconfirmed sexually transmitted disease (stds), and for every case of diarrhea with a simple overwhelming level of patronization from clients having no idea of the possible consequences. If Chimamanda Ngozi Adichieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s works can be globally In Nigeria, anyone goes to the Proprietary Patent Medicine Vendors (PPMVs), hawkers, accepted to reflect the African culture despite her not writing small shopkeepers who provide on-the- spot diagnosis and treat anything with buying in the Igbo language which would have severely limited her just a few tablets instead of the full course â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not enough to vanquish an infection but oeuvres, why should the hypocritical Oscar committee thumb enough to allow bacteria to mutate and gain resistance for their complaints ranging its nose down Nnajiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work? The same west gave the Nobel from diarrhoea, pain, wounds, and at the slightest hint of a cough or cold. These people Prize to Professor Wole Soyinka on October 16, 1986 with the donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a pharmacistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree or a medical training but are taking advantage of the majority of his works written in the English language. ignorance of others to go about their business. Tony Ademiluyi, Lagos Still, they confidently reach the people. This signifies state failure, institutional malfunction or breakdown in regulatory and legal frameworks. Another, is the case of diarrhea, most of which is viral and would go on their own, but most Nigerians would rather take flagyl or the red and yellow capsule drug named as system flushers. What rather presents a precarious picture is the case of using antibiotics especially Ampiclox as a form of contraception or preventing STDs which is very rampant and poses a great danger to the T H E SAT U R DAY N E W S PA P E R EDITOR YEMI ADEBOWALE users themselves. This calls for increased knowledge and DEPUTY EDITOR CHIKA AMANZE-NWACHUKU awareness about sexual health. MANAGING DIRECTOR ENIOLA BELLO An average citizen who is already resistant to comDEPUTY MANAGING DIRECTOR KAYODE KOMOLAFE CHAIRMAN EDITORIAL BOARD OLUSEGUN ADENIYI mon and affordable antibiotics ends up spending more EDITOR NATIONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CAPITAL IYOBOSA UWUGIAREN in procuring expensive antibiotics to achieve the same MANAGING EDITOR JOSEPH USHIGIALE result. Antimicrobial resistance increases the financial burden of healthcare, particularly in health systems where out-of-pocket payments predominate, like Nigeria. We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t effectively mitigate the growing problem of antibiotic abuse and resistance without dealing with lax T H I S DAY N E W S PA P E R S L I M I T E D oversight attitude of antibiotic use, non-compliance with EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/CHAIRMAN NDUKA OBAIGBENA prescribed dosage as well as duration of usage of the GROUP EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS ENIOLA BELLO, KAYODE KOMOLAFE, drug, chaotic drug distribution network which calls for ISRAEL IWEGBU, IJEOMA NWOGWUGWU, EMMANUEL EFENI strong political commitment at both national levels and DIVISIONAL DIRECTORS BOLAJI ADEBIYI, PETER IWEGBU, ANTHONY OGEDENGBE the entire international community to curb the menace. DEPUTY DIVISIONAL DIRECTOR OJOGUN VICTOR DANBOYI SNR. ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR ERIC OJEH In effect, it is therefore paramount for us to have a ASSOCIATE DIRECTORS PATRICK EIMIUHI, SAHEED ADEYEMO good drug distribution system that can guarantee safe, CONTROLLERS ABIMBOLA TAIWO, UCHENNA DIBIAGWU, NDUKA MOSERI efficacious and affordable medicines across all levels of DIRECTOR, PRINTING PRODUCTION CHUKS ONWUDINJO health care delivery in Nigeria. TO SEND EMAIL: ďŹ rst Yusuf Hassan Wada, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto




Gastroenteritis Outbreak In Brief Kills 11 in Lagos, 370 Treated $750m World Bank Grant Segun James and Martins IďŹ jeh

At least11 people have died following the outbreak of Gastroenteritis in Lagos State while 370 others had been treated, the state Ministry of Health has confirmed. Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi in a statement yesterday disclosed that 400 cases of the disease had been recorded in five Local Government Areas of the state, with 370 cases treated and discharged. "As at today, 400 cases of gastroenteritis have been recorded in health facilities in the affected LGAs 370 of these cases have been treated and discharged. Unfortunately, we have also recorded 11 deaths due to the

outbreak. The increase in number of cases of gastroenteritis is not unconnected with persistent rain with flooding of some LGAs in the state," he said. Gastroenteritis is caused by micro-organisms like those causing typhoid fever, cholera and certain viruses. It can be contacted by eating or contaminated foods such as uncooked seafood and drinking contaminated water. Patients with gastroenteritis present with severe acute watery diarrhea and profuse vomiting. Those infected with microorganisms causing the disease show signs and symptoms within 12 hours to one week after ingesting contaminated food or water. The disease affects both children and adults and could

kill within hours if untreated. The commissioner also said the attention of the government had been drawn to some misleading, alarming and sensational reports, especially on some social media platforms about the outbreak of Gastroenteritis that was experienced in the state in the past weeks. He said of great concern was a voice note currently circulating on WhatsApp which emanated from an unidentified individual purportedly linked to one of its health facilities misinforming the public about the alarming deaths rate occasioned by the disease, thus creating fear. "This, we believe is the handiwork of mischief makers with an intent to deliberately cause panic amongst the populace

While we appeal for calm, it is pertinent to note that these misleading reports are made up, spurious, incorrect and do not represent fact. Citizens are hereby advised to disregard any news about the disease that did not emanate from the official communication channels of the Lagos State Government, the Ministry of Health or it officials. "It is true that an excess increase in the cases of Gastroenteritis was reported in some local government areas (LGAs) particularly in Lagos Island, Surulere, Mushin and Ajeromi since mid-October. This is now under control as a result of the policies and interventions that we have put in place and I want to assure you that we are on top of the situation," he stated.

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, will chair the Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) committee which will interact with relevant government agencies and prepare modalities for accessing a $750 million World Bank grant. Obaseki who disclosed this on arrival at the Benin Airport after series of meetings in Abuja, said the $750 million grant had been approved, adding that the disbursement would commence soon. He said the World Bank grant to Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 36 states would help improve governance, transparency and the development of the physical environment. According to him, â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a World Bank Support for states and the Nigeria Governors' Forum asked me to chair a committee that will interact with relevant agencies; Ministry of Finance, the World Bank and the Auditor-Generalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office, to see how we can ensure that the facility is well utilised. The grant has been approved; we are at the disbursement stage. But there are conditions that must be met before the money can be assessed by the states in the next four years.

FERMA Needs N12bn

AfederallawmakerandChairmanHouseofRepresentativesCommittee onFederalRoadMaintenanceAgency(FERMA),Hon.FemiBamisile,has appealedtothefederalgovernmenttoreleaseN12billiontotheagency toputNigeria'sroadsbacktogoodshapeinthisYuletide.TheAllProgressivesCongresslawmaker,representingEkitiSouthFederalConstituency II, also urged the Minister of Works, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to try and haveafullgraspofthehappeninngsonNigerianroads,ratherthansaying thecomplaintsoverdeplorableroadsituations,weremeremediahype. Bamisilesaidthecommentshowedthattheministerhadnotbeenplying themajorroadsinNigeriatobeabletohaveafirst-handinformationabout the decrepit statuses of the federal roads. Bamisile spoke in Erio -Ekiti whileinspectingacollapsedbridgealongAramoko-Erio-Efonhighway.He expresseddispleasureatthesituationonthatportionofthefederalroad,

Over 2m Children to Be Vaccinated Over 2 million children in Benue State are to be vaccinated during the 2019 integrated measles and meningitis campaign to hold from 16th to 23rd November, 2019 in the 277 wards across the 23 local government areas of Benue State. Executive Secretary, State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Bem Ageda disclosed this during a media orientation meeting in Makurdi yesterday saying that both measles and meningitis immunisations so were to run concurrently. Ageda said a total of 1,108,990 children between the ages of nine and 59 months were expected to be immunised against measles while 1,043,755 children between the ages of 12 to 59 months would also be immunised for meningitis. He added that 1,058,750 doses of meningitis vaccine as well as 1,101,690 measles vaccine would be used during the exercise adding that the campaign would be operating at fixed and temporary posts across the state.

EďŹ&#x20AC;orts to Curtail Childhood Blindness

ALUMNI IN PARTNERSHIP... L-R: The Rector, Federal Polytechnic Oko, Dr. Fransisca Unoma Nwafulugo and Nze Henry Chukwuka Nnebe, the New National President of Federal Polytechnic Oko Alumni Association shortly after being elected as the 6th President of the association... recently

WAECApproves Sanctions for Examination Malpractice Funmi Ogundare

The Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC) of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has approved appropriate sanctions for all established cases of malpractice, as prescribed by the rules and regulations governing the conduct of its examinations. The council also approved that

the entire results of candidates involved in proven cases, which attract Cancellation of Entire Results (CER), be cancelled, while subject results of those involved in proven cases, which attract Cancellation of Subject Results (CSR), be similarly cancelled. The Head, Public Affairs, WAEC, Mr. Demianus Ojijeogu in a statement released after its 68th NEC meeting held between

November 5 and 7, in Lagos, states that some candidates would also suffer other sanctions such as barring them from sitting for the councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s examinations for a certain number of years, derecognising some schools for a specified number of years, reporting supervisors who were found wanting in the discharge of their examination duties to their employers and blacklisted,

while some invigilators would also be reported to the appropriate authorities for disciplinary action. "The decisions of the committee will be implemented without delay and the affected candidates and schools duly informed by the council. However, the results of candidates who were exonerated by the committee will be released," he said.

Protest as Lagos Demolishes Ketu Fruit Market

Segun James

Amidst sporadic shootings, the Lagos State Government yesterday began the demolition of the multimillion Ketu-Ikosi Fruit Market - the largest fruit market in the country to make way for a proposed N3 billion market. Hundreds of the market women amidst wailings and lamentations claimed that they were not informed that the exercise would take place as the demolition took place under heavy police supervision. The traders were not allowed to pack their goods as the bulldozers

commence the destruction, but the government and the constructors claimed that they had a day earlier informed the traders that the exercise is to begin yesterday. THISDAY checks revealed that the Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area (LCDA) had awarded the reconstruction of the market to Total Value Integrated Service Limited, which is committing about N2.8 billion to the reconstruct the market. At around 10.00a.m. two bulldozers, escorted by policemen, stormed the market to ensure that there was no resistance during the demolition, but following

resistance from touts in the market who started hauling bottles and stones, the police responded with gun shots and teargas cannisters. Most of the traders claimed that they were unaware of the exercise as they were not allowed to pack their goods as the destruction went ahead. Some of the traders lamented that they were informed sometimes ago about the demolition, but said they were not informed a day before the demolition that they were coming to pull down the shops. The Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in the market, Adebowale Adetona

said they were informed some weeks ago that they were coming to demolish the market, but that they did not notify them of the latest development. Also speaking, Mr. Chris Onyekachi, Managing Director, Total Value Integrated Service Limited, the company responsible for the market development told newsmen that the traders were given adequate notice to vacate the market for redevelopment, adding that series of meetings were held with the traders union, traditional rulers and council members on the proposed reconstruction of the market.

Worried by the spate of tendencies of turning blind among children in Osun State, The Osun State Eye Health Committee has intensified efforts in tackling the situation to help children protect their eyes and have good sight. As part of its deliberate efforts to achieve this, the committee, in collaboration with a community based non-profit organisation, Community Advancement Initiative for Self-Reliance (CAI4SR) took eye health outreach to various rural communities across the state. The committee comprises health workers including medical doctors drawn from the state ministry of health, education specialists selected from the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and other stakeholders picked from different walks of life. At the palace of Aragbiji of Aragbiji, Oba AbdulRasheed Olabomi, the committee spent a whole day attending to children from Iragbiji and its neighboring communities. Also, some elderly persons took advantage to the eye health outreach to treat their eyes, get medication while those with severe cases were referred to the state hospital in Osogbo, the state capital.

Katsina Swears-in 11 Sharia Judges

TheKatsinaStateChiefJudge,JusticeMusaDanladiAbubakaryesterday swore-in 11 acting Sharia Court judges with a call on them to sustain the integrity of the judiciary and ensure speedy dispensation of justice in the state. He said that without justice there would be no peace, and urged the judges to stand firm and uphold justice without fear or favour irrespective of tribal or political affiliations. Justice Abubakar added that the state government under the leadership of Governor Aminu Bello Masari had done tremendously well in revamping the judicial system, hence the need for the new judges to sustain the tempo while discharging their obligations. While noting that the new appointees would replace those that retired recently, the state chief judge admonished them to be courageous, fair and just in the administration of justice. According to him, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Never be swayed by partisan interest, neither by public clamour or fear of criticism. Be firm, fair and just to all. You must operate within the ambit of the law because that is the only way to maintain justice, equity and fairness." Earlier, the state Chief Registrar, Kabir Shuaibu said the appointment of the new judges was on merit and their track records, expressing optimism that they would live up to expectations. He said:

DG, NACETEM Buries Mum TheOsunDirectorGeneral,NACETEM,ProfessorOkechukwuUkwuoma has buried his mum, Ezinne Priscilla Mgborie Ukwuoma, who passed on at the ripe age of 95, at Obibi Ochasi, Orlu, Imo State. The burial ceremony had in attendance dignitaries from all walks of life who paid tributes to the deceased.The Minister of Science andTechnology, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu said 'Mama Ezinne Ukwuoma was a great woman who made important contributions to the development of her community '. He further said that' by her death, we have lost an important personality whose contributions will remain indelible '. Other important personalities who paid tributes to her include the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Bitrus Nabasu, who said 'She lived a life worthy of emulation as she bequeathed legacies for which she would always be remembered '. The Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof. Francis C. who added that 'her death was a monumental loss to the people of Obibi-Ochasi and the country as a whole given her contributions to humanity'



The Abduction Mess in Kaduna State


aduna State is in a big mess. This aptly describes the raging insecurity in this state, where kidnapping and banditry have become big businesses. The last four years have been horrendous. Daily, scores of hapless people are kidnapped for ransom in communities across the state, while security agents and Governor Nasir El-rufai display so much incompetence. Traumatised residents of Rigasa, in Igabi Local Government Area of the state, were on the streets last Monday to protest the high rate of abductions in their community. They also visited the state’s House of Assembly to seek the intervention of the lawmakers over their plight. “Our people are being kidnapped on a daily basis; some of the residents have fled their homes for fear of being captured,” leader of the protesters, Shehu Sanusi, told the lawmakers. According to him, more than 50 persons are currently in captivity, including a pregnant woman. “Ten of the victims released are with us in this protest. None of these victims was released without a ransom, and we are tired. The community has been abandoned to face these problems alone in spite of the fact that we have representatives in the assembly,” Sanusi added. I wonder why Rigasa community took their case to the lethargic legislators. All the lawmakers care about is their salaries and running cost. No member of the House has ever visited to commiserate with the people of Rigasa or speak about this problem. Even the lawmaker representing the local government area has been mute. Sanusi lambasted them, saying: “We voted you to represent us but you are sleeping at your homes comfortably. We are tired of this situation; you should please come to our aid.” The languid Speaker of the Kaduna House of Assembly, Aminu Shagali was seen assuring the protesters that the Assembly would take action to bring about a lasting solution to the problem. It was the usual rhetoric. Nothing will happen afterward. It is not just Rigasa that is feeling the anguish caused by kidnappers and bandits in Kaduna State. There is blood, tears and pain across the whole state. Few weeks back, kidnappers walked into Engravers College, Kakau Daji, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State and cherry-picked six female students and two staff of the college. There was no sign that security agents ever got close


to the kidnappers. In fact, the girls and their teachers spent 23 days in the dungeons of their captors. The victims eventually secured freedom, largely based on the efforts of the parents, concerned indigenes of the state and a retired Army officer, who mobilised N13.6 million to meet the demands of the kidnappers. Security agents and the Kaduna State Government were obviously lackadaisical about freeing the victims and the concerned indigenes had to come in. Now, 16 days after the release of the Engravers girls and their teachers, no word yet on apprehending the abductors. Like in previous cases of abductions, it may never happen. Those who inflicted pain on those children, their parents and teachers are enjoying their loot. What a country! Many will never forget the story of late Jeremiah Omolewa, who was the resident pastor of Living Faith Church, Romi New

Extention, in Kaduna. Jeremiah, and his wife, Oluwakemi, were abducted along the notorious Kaduna-Abuja Road on August 10. He was murdered by his abductors while his wife was held for five days and finally released after the payment of an undisclosed sum of money as ransom. Oluwakemi was terrorised. She was not even aware that her husband had been murdered until she returned home. As at press time, security agents were yet to apprehend the killers of Jeremiah as promised. No news yet on the arrest of the bastards that killed this clergy and extorted money from his widow. The pain inflicted on the Omolewa family is massive. What about the abduction of Pastor Elisha Numan of Nagarta Baptist Church and his son in Angwan Makiri, near Udawa, in Chikun Local Government, back in August? Numan, in his 60s and a father of six, was bashed by the bandits as they dragged him into the bush. Elisha was taken away with his son, Emmanuel, who was later released to go and mobilise the church for the payment of N20 million as ransom. Close to N3 million was paid for Elisha’s freedom by the Kaduna Christian community. Last September, thousands of residents of 17 villages in Igabi Local Government became refugees in their state for weeks, no thanks to Fulani militias which the Kaduna State Government prefers to call bandits. Scores of well-armed attackers invaded these communities, killing and maiming. Homes and property were destroyed by the rampaging militias. Many had to flee Igabi because security agents failed to respond appropriately to their distress calls. Some of the villages affected then were Tura, Unguwan Gebi, Unguwan Dangauta, Unguwan Nayawu, Unguwan Makeri, Jagani, Sabon Gida, Dallatu, Unguwan Alhaji Ahmadu, Sabon Gari, Kusau, Gidan Sarkin Noma, Unguwan Pati, Unguwan Tofa and Sauran Giwa. Thousands of people from these communities were forced to live in squalid conditions at an emergency refugee camp located at Birnin Yero Primary School. They have since returned to their homes but the militias, who have turned some parts of the local government to their homes, are yet to be fully cleared for peace to reign. Another Kaduna community persistently attacked by bandits and kidnappers is Kajuru. Apart from kidnapping for ransom, here, herders and locals are persistently at war,

leaving hundreds dead and so many families bereaved. The Kaduna State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Joseph Hayab has been persistently lamenting about the raging insecurity in his state. I can vividly remember Hayab saying that the church had spent over N300 million on payment of ransom in the last four years for over 500 Christians abducted within the period. Last September, Hayab said: “In the past four years, Christians in Kaduna State have suffered a lot, paying ransoms to kidnappers, to ensure the release of either their family members or church members or neighbours or someone they know. In Kachia, a Reverend Father was abducted three months ago, and a ransom of N1.5 million was paid, but he has not been released, an indication that he might have been killed. “In many of our villages along the AbujaKaduna road, people have abandoned their homes and relocated to places like Buwaya, Gonin- Gora, Romi and other suburbs around Kaduna metropolis as a result of activities of kidnappers. They are suffering because no effort is being made to tame kidnapping in Kaduna State. Our people cannot continue to live in fear, even in their homes. Three weeks ago, kidnappers went to Marraban Rido, broke into three houses and abducted three women. I can go on and on to tell you incidences of people being frequently kidnapped and we keep on looking for money to pay the kidnappers.” Hayab’s cries have not changed anything. In fact, kidnapping and banditry in Kaduna State have since assumed a more deadly dimension. El-rufai and security agents persistently fail these people. Last Monday, the Kaduna State Governor was seen distributing operation vehicles to the police. Solving the Kaduna challenge requires more than just sharing vehicles to the police. This governor must start using his security vote astutely. He must also work with the leaders of security agencies to overhaul the entire security architecture of the state. This is pertinent. Besides, Governor El-rufai must show greater commitment to ending the kidnappings and banditry by running the state dispassionately. The pounded communities see this governor and security agents as having compromised. El-rufai has to show leadership, amend his ways and learn to govern without favour.

Insanity at Kogi State University

Bill to Regulate Social Media?

By now, the Kogi State University, Ayingba, ought to have been shut for total overhaul, if the government in that state is a thoughtful one. Unfortunately, the Yahaya Bello-led government is only interested in holding on to power. In this institution, secret cult members roam freely, inflicting pain on innocent students. There was bloodbath in the university last week, after one of the cult groups in the school allegedly attacked and killed a kingpin of another cult group from the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja. In the reprisals, several Kogi State University’s students were killed on campus and outside the school. The police have verified the killings, listing the casualties to include Justice Keke, who was killed on campus; a yet-to-be-identified student killed and dumped in an uncompleted building behind the university; Andrulraman Usman, a 200 level student of History killed at his father’s lodge; Olaruntoba Godwin, a 400 level student and Ajileye Richard, a 200 level student, who were picked inside the bush behind the Harbor Bay Hotel in Ayingba. In all, five students were confirmed killed in the cult war. Unfortunately, several days after the incident, the police are yet to make a single arrest. The Kogi police only said crack detectives had been drafted to the school to put an end to the crisis. For now, tears are unending in the homes of affected parents after receiving dead bodies of their children. For how long will parents continue to bury children sent to this school for academic purpose? Governor

Senator Mohammed Sani, APC Niger East, sponsor of the Social Media Regulation Bill, reintroduced on Tuesday in the Senate, says it is aimed at curtailing the spread of fake information. The bill is seeking a three-year jail term for anyone involved in what it calls the abuse of social media or an option of fine of N150, 000 or both. It is also proposing a fine of N10 million for media houses involved in peddling falsehood or misleading the public. The bill, which has already passed first reading is entitled, “Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill, 2019.” For me, Senator Sani must be high on something. Only God knows what it is. I hope that he does not contaminate his colleagues. I am embarrassed that this Senator does not understand that social media is a form of expression. What the bill is seeking is unconstitutional because it aims to infringe on the constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of expression and speech. This bill contains elements that will affect the right to free expression of internet users in Nigeria. It aims to restrict the ability of Nigerians to use social media tools to communicate, connect and seek independent information. The real targets of this absolutely unnecessary bill are people critical of government policies, programmes and corruption in the corridors of power. The threat of jail aims to create fear among these bloggers and online activists, so that they won’t post critical materials. Recall that in 2016, a similar bill was introduced but the Senate was forced to withdraw it following public outcry. The 9th Senate must avoid repressive laws that will

Yahaya Bello

Bello must rise and end this madness at Kogi State University. The school should be shut and all identified cultists thrown out before it is reopened. The cultists are well known on campus in Ayingba.

Ahmad Lawan

serve Nigerians no good. The social media gives everyone a voice, irrespective of class and position. Everyone now has a voice at virtually no cost. The elites in Nigeria are not happy about this and aim to curtail it with the Social Media Bill. Nigerians must vigorously challenge this unconstitutional and obnoxious bill, by putting pressure on their representatives to oppose it. Anyone aggrieved with a social media report can always drag the offender to court for libel.




Putin Honours Afreximbank President, Oramah with Russia’s National Award


pg. 20 pg. 29 pg. 36 pg. 43

Morenike Lasode It’s Not My Goal to Compete with Anybody… I’m Just Trying to Create My Own Lane




Ă&#x17E;ËŞĂ?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17E;ĂŁĂ&#x2122;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x161;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă?ĂĄĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019; Ă&#x2DC;ĂŁĂ&#x152;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17D;ĂŁË&#x; ËŞĂ&#x2014; Ă&#x;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x153;ĂŁĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122; Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17E;Ă?ĂŁĂĄĂ&#x2DC; Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă? Atlanta-based singer, Morenike Lasode (stage name Marenikae) was born in Nigeria to a Yoruba father who is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, and a mother who majored in theatre arts. Her name is as unique as the culture she represents. Her stage performance is always electric and soothing. Ferdinand Ekechukwu xrays her genre of melody aimed at making Afro music a little bit easier for foreigners to understand


ometime in December 2018, artistes were setting out their stalls for a big year and Morenike Lasode, pseudonym Marenikae, was in the doing as well. The listening sessions held at the exquisite Terra Kulture on a humid Lagos evening that December was pretty revealing. Once into the venue, exchange of pleasantries followed with the hosts, music heads spanning several generations and journalists who were there to figure out what the artiste had up her sleeves, all upbeat. One of the guests recalled that Marenikaeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voice, once the artiste was in her elements, was surreal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She could hit notes like no oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business; her stage performance was at once electric and soothing. There she stood big, bold and beautiful, owning the stage like a veteran,â&#x20AC;? said the guest. The guests were applauding before they knew it and standing ovations punctuated what would segue into a night of premium entertainment. The Atlanta-based singer was born in Nigeria to a Yoruba father, who is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, and a mother who majored in theatre arts. Born to a Yoruba father and a mother of the Efik tribe, growing up in a mixed tribal household was enlightening as it gave her an appreciation for deeper aspects of culture. She was no stranger to the world of music and entertainment as her mother majored in theatre arts and her father owned one of the first Nigerian record labels Africa N Vogue - where he worked with several Nige-

rian artistes. Marenikaeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inventive family lit in her, very early on, the fire to be creative. Her father was also a celebrated film director of several television shows and even cast his daughter in one of his shows titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;First Familyâ&#x20AC;?. Marenikaeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother often produced shows alongside her father, making them a film family. Marenikae typifies West African pride and culture, fused with the glamour and sophistication of a pleasing past age. The artiste had explained during an interview that her moniker was to allow easy pronunciation of her name upon arriving US. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I went to America people would always struggle with pronouncing my name. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People would call me â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;more Nikeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, thinking my parents named me after sneakers. So, for them to be able to pronounce my name I had to figure out a universal spelling that will be easy.â&#x20AC;? Interestingly, the elegant Nigerian singer/ songwriter is a brand that reaches beyond facets of music with current projects ranging from music, art to fashion. Marenikae grew up in Lagos and recalled writing songs, creating arrangements and layering complex melodies as early as age 14. Her approach to songwriting stemmed from a fascination with spoken words and attending poetry and writing workshops. Marenikae discovered the melodic timing in spoken word resembled her natural writing style and translated to the melodies she discovered in song. Growing up, Marenikae was exposed to various types of music and cites a myriad of artistes from the American rock bands of the 70s and Nigerian music of the 90s as inspirations; from




PLUS Before I Present Americans with What I Have, Let Me Present It to Nigerians Nigerian artistes like Sade Adu, Asa, and 9ice, Styl-Plus, Dare ArtAlade, Fela and Plantashun Boys all the way to the Backstreet Boys, Freddie Mercury, Daughtry, Dwele and Raheem Devaughn. Marenikae once said this of Sade Adu. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sade is a very huge inspiration for me because she was the first Nigerian artiste to really cross over. She was popular in America, in Europe and Nigeria as well.â&#x20AC;? Throughout her teen years, the 26 year old Marenikae worked to create a signature sound relying heavily on neo-soul and afro-pop music. The end result is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Afromergeâ&#x20AC;? a perfect blend of her beloved Nigerian rhythms which the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Smooth Operatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; crooner described the genre as a combination of neo-soul, afro-pop, electronica, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and some adult contemporary influencesâ&#x20AC;?. In an effort to distribute her own music to assist other artistes like herself, Marenikae founded â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Zucharia Nexusâ&#x20AC;?, an independent label geared towards becoming a meeting place for international producers, songwriters, and artistes to support each other while exchanging ideas and cross promoting. Having lived abroad and at home, Marenikae is on a pursuit to bridge the gap between foreigners and their understanding of African music, case in point, Afro-pop. Basically, the Marenikae-pioneered Afromerge is a huge melting pot of different sounds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The entire point of my genre is to make Afro music a little bit easier for foreigners to understand,â&#x20AC;? the singer explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Right now African music is big all over the world but people always say they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand what theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re saying. So let me make Afro music that a Nigerian will love and understand and people out there will understand as well. Because of my upbringing, I was exposed to different kinds of music so all of that informed my current sound. As much as sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s musically able, the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Ajebutterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going out for competition. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I definitely feel Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m as prepared as I can be. There are so many amazing artistes in Nigeria and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not my goal to compete with anybody. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just trying to create my own lane.â&#x20AC;? As if being the flagship artiste on her own label wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough, Marenikae also started a fashion line named, Makan Gidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;N. Much like its founder, Makan Gidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;N is a blend of West African culture meshed with urban street wear. For Marenikaeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s involvement in fashion, Makan Gidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;N was her way of creating memorable costumes for her performances. The line represented her music perfectly and allowed her to create an atmosphere that would entertain and educate fans about her native homeland. Her debut album, Ajebutter, a unique mix of rich African culture meshed with Western European subtexts and overtones is the artisteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s way of bridging the Western world, musically. The project is a refreshing journey into the mind of a Nigerian millennial with womanist roots. With songs likeâ&#x20AC;ŚVybz, Gidi, RosĂŠ High, The Bad Bitch, Kraze, Cool

Ajebutter, Remember, the 11 track album is believed to be bold, cocky and a little arrogant. Her vocals range from sultry, to passionate, flirtatious to daring, transitioning between tracks and sometimes verses! The album was released on March 11th 2018. Besides its cultural influence, a source stated that Ajebutter is the product of the millennial mindset challenging age old beliefs and cultural norms. After growing into her independence as an artiste, she jumped at the opportunity to reclaim the cultural label that creates a socio-economic division. One Tribe Magazine was quoted as saying this of the freshman project: â&#x20AC;&#x153;A debut album without features is a bold statement and a testament to Marenikaeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hustle. Her confidence is through the roof and you can feel it in her voice. This is a feel-good album, and gives you Marenikaeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature sound, straight from a real Ajebutter.â&#x20AC;? Like many iconic musicians, Marenikae uses her pen to entertain while subtlety addressing political and social issues wrapped in a musical tapestry that represents both her homeland Nigeria and her transplant home Atlanta, GA. As Marenikae grew older, her interest spread into other fields, leading her to secure a degree in Criminology. Now pursuing a full-time career in music, she doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feel her education is going to waste because she uses what she has learned to â&#x20AC;&#x153;read peopleâ&#x20AC;? which is a great tool when meeting with label executives and conducting business. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I guess it was when I was 15/16 thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when I knew I wanted to be an artiste,â&#x20AC;? she recalled. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I started writing and recording my demos here in Nigeria and I took them when I went to Atlanta and I shopped them at record labels. At the time we met with record labels, the format was changing, they werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just signing artistes with just songs anymore; they want artistes to be brands before they put money behind you.â&#x20AC;? When a record deal was not forthcoming, the unique singer concentrated on graduating from college and building a brand for herself. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So I graduated from college first and spent the next couple of years trying to build my brand, trying to find my sound, record an album, and pretty much get all my stuff together before going back and presenting them with what I have,â&#x20AC;? she added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So I felt it was also important for me, before I present Americans with what I have, let me present Nigerians with what I have first because this is my home.â&#x20AC;? Marenikae believes her move to the US played a major part in the artiste she has become. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I feel like I had to go somewhere else to develop my sound and build my brand,â&#x20AC;? she revealed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I registered for Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) which would have been very difficult to do from here. I have applied for my music on Pandora, Tidal, Spotify as an independent artiste, which would have been difficult to do from here. Even getting my US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) codes and all the things that are attached to the music would have been difficult as an independent artiste here.â&#x20AC;?



Fashion File

Under Construction






Under Construction She is unfinished but actively being worked on. She is imperfect, dealing with insecurities and fears of not being good enough, taking the next step, learning something new, guilt from not having enough time for her friends and family. The construction zone is a noisy, disorganized, confusing, untidy and hectic place. However, she knows that the process is beautiful despite all the chaos because she can see the finished product. She knows that this is simply

the process of progress, The Construction. She trusts the process; she rises to the occasion like a phoenix out of the ashes into a new and improved version of herself. She is The Adey Woman. She is always “Under Construction.” Credit:

Photography: Shot by @ itsboye for @smilesfotografi Creative Direction: @ tintin.soile @uchegele Make Up: @bemebeautystudio.


 Ë&#x153; Ëž NOVEMBER 9, 2019


Ibrahim Magu, Ag Chairman, EFCC

Modibbo Kawu, DG NBC

Executive Vice Chairman/CEO NCC, Prof Danbatta

Pay TV Content Pirates Leave Signal Owners Scratching Heads The free rein enjoyed by pay television signal pirates across the country threatens genuine content owners, inhibits investments and is capable of suďŹ&#x20AC;ocating the industry, writes Tolulope Ibukunoluwa


ast weekend, a group by the name, Association of Cable Operators of Nigeria (ACON), urged the Federal Government to end the perceived monopoly on the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pay television landscape. ACON, according to media reports, based its call on the fact that its members generate â&#x20AC;&#x153;revenue for thousands of Nigeriansâ&#x20AC;?. The group complained that since the offices of some of its members were raided by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) last month, the fortunes of its members have taken a tumble. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Rivers State alone, we have over 500 cable TV dealers, who survive on the subscription of customers and sale of decoders. Right now, it is as if we are no longer in business because the level of subscription has drastically reduced. In fact, our members are passing through hell at the moment. For instance, if you pay N3, 500 subscription for Metro TV, you get N400 commission. You can imagine how much you will make if you have up to 10 customers a day,â&#x20AC;? said the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coordinator. Though the coordinator was silent on what caused the slump in the fortunes of ACON members, reports in the media last month indicated that the cable television operators had a brush with law. This attracted the attention of the EFCC, which raided the offices of some cable operators deemed to have been pirating the signals of both local and foreign pay television service providers, including DStv, GOtv, StarTimes and beIN, the Qatari broadcaster and exclusive rights owner to many international sporting leagues and other entertainment content. On 6 October, EFCC operatives raided the Port Harcourt offices of CAN TV, Metro Digital TV and Communication Trends Limited (CTL), all members of ACON. The raid, according to the EFCC, was sequel to the receipt of intelligence that they were pirating broadcast signals of DStv, GOtv, StarTimes and beIN.

It led to the arrest of nine staff of the three firms and seizure of equipment used for the alleged illegal broadcast. Responding to the raid and arrest through their lawyers, Chatham Partners, the three firms claimed that there was no need for the involvement of the EFCC in the matter, as the alleged offence was not financial in nature. Paul Osuji, Operations Manager of Metro Digital TV, was quoted in the media as saying: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We did not commit any crime known in law to merit that kind of treatmentâ&#x20AC;?. But Chapter 3 of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code declines to support Osujiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s claim. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The broadcast or rebroadcast of any content shall be only with the express permission of the rights owner,â&#x20AC;? the chapter states. Responding to ACON, the EFCC insisted that the law setting it up empowers it to investigate both financial and economic crimes. Abulrasheed Bawa, Head of EFCCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Port Harcourt Zonal Office, said the suspects arrested were rebroadcasting DStv content and selling it to their subscribers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We received intelligence either in writing or verbally. We conducted complaint analyses. We carried out sustained surveillance on the activities of three media houses that we raided. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We executed search warrant and exhibits were seized and recovered. We got confessional statements. We are empowered by our Act to carry out the search,â&#x20AC;? Bawa said. Section 40 of the EFCC Act defines economic crime as any non-violent, illicit activity carried out with the aim of earning wealth illegally. Among these are all shades of fraud, illicit drug trafficking, money laundering and intellectual property theft or piracy. The cable TV providers maintained that the laws of the country allow them to redistribute other providersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; content to their customers.

ACON, via a letter dated 8 October and signed their legal representatives - A.A Aiyelabegan and D. T Najime of Chatham Chambers - claimed that in 2015, MultiChoice, owners of DStv and GOtv platforms, reported the piracy of its content to the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), with a request to have such protected from pirates. In turn, ACON said its members approached MultiChoice with a request that they be sub-licensed to redistribute and expected MultiChoice to name its price. MultiChoice, however, named no price. Following the refusal to accede to the sub-licensing request, ACON said it approached a court, praying it to order MultiChoice to sub-license its members. Though the matter is yet to be determined, ACON members are allegedly still redistributing MultiChoiceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s content and charging subscribers between N3, 000 and N5, 000 monthly. In addition to the legal steps they took, ACON also launched an adversarial campaign against MultiChoice, which they presented as a bully in the pay television marketplace by claiming to provide cheaper pay television service to Nigerians in the low income bracket. The cable TV operators also alleged that the EFCC raid was instigated by MultiChoice as a way of strangling competition, as it had previously suffocated Hitv, FStv and DAARSat, each of which did not remain in operation for more than four years. They similarly claimed that MultiChoice came up with its digital-to-home platform, GOtv, in 2011, as a way of killing StarTimes, the signal of which they were also pirating. That the EFCC raid occurred at the time of the last wave of anti-foreigner violence in South Africa was a boon to ACON, which jumped on it to whip up nationalistic sentiments against MultiChoiceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s South African origins through lavish mentions of the unfortunate development in their public communication. Two days after the EFCC raid, the NCC, which enforces the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s copyright laws, announced its



Pay TV Content Pirates Leave Signal Owners Scratching Heads

Fixing of satellite dish

readiness to intensify its enforcement of broadcast rights in the country and advised licensed cable operators to respect the protected signals of broadcasting organisations in line with the copyright law, international treaties and global best practices. The NCC made this known in a statement signed by Victor A. Oyefeso, its Director of Public Affairs. Interestingly, the statement was issued after an interactive session in Abuja between the NCC Director-General, Mr. John Asein, and an ACON delegation led by the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s General-Secretary, Mr. Kalada Wilson. The statement quoted the NCC D-G as saying: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We will not tolerate broadcast piracy in whatever form. While the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is the best interpreter of its own broadcast code, the NCC will continue to monitor the broadcast space and enforce respect for copyright in accordance with the copyright law and international treaties to which Nigeria is signatory.â&#x20AC;? Asein added that any broadcaster found transmitting signals without authorization will be apprehended and prosecuted as a broadcast pirate. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It does not matter who the broadcaster is. We have received complaints from several right owners, including the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Star Times, MultiChoice and the Commission will henceforth take measures to ensure that broadcast rights are protected,â&#x20AC;? the D-G warned. He equally stated that the NCC aligns with the Federal Governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position of protecting the interest of Nigerians and legitimate foreign investors to ensure that all parties benefit from the multilateral agreements that the country is signatory to. The D-G noted that the Commission would work with the NBC to engender a business environment that would guarantee growth of local TV operators. Responding, Mohammed Bawa, an ACON delegate, made a promise that the group would be on the side of the law. The NCC, as its activities show, clearly considers redistribution of pay television signal without authorization as an infringement. Last year, a new pay television operator, TsTv, arrived with fanfare and with

a lot of noise on its plan to break the monopoly in the sector. Its promise to provide premium content to subscribers at rock-bottom subscription rates, it turned out, was based on a plot to pirate signals of other broadcasters. A few days before it commenced operations, two international content providers, Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited and belN, wrote to the NCC to complain that the new operator was infringing their exclusive distribution rights to certain television programmes. Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited, which distributes Cable News Network (CNN), said TsTv did not have the rights to carry the channel. beIN made a similar complaint, accusing TsTv of pirating the 10 sports channels it advertised on its website. beIN issued a â&#x20AC;&#x153;cease and desistâ&#x20AC;? order. Those complaints took the wind out of TsTvâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sail and the operator disappeared from view. Also last year, the commission cautioned two Kaduna-based cable television operators, ABG and QTV, against unlicensed broadcasting and threatened to suspend their licences. The NCC said it acted following receipt of formal complaints from beIN, Aljazeera and Canal +, the French broadcaster, that their content was being redistributed illegally. The commission expressed its disapproval in a tersely worded letters to the two rogue broadcasters. â&#x20AC;&#x153;After doing vigilant surveillance and investigation, we have found out that the original and rightful owner of the content you are transmitting is MultiChoice. But ABG has gone behind without getting due licensing from MultiChoice to continue to operate on the cable of MultiChoice. The only people with the exclusive license to broadcast English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, LaLiga among others is MultiChoice Nigeria. So, we are here to issue a very stern warning to you to desist from this illegal act or run the risk of been shut down,â&#x20AC;? the NCC wrote. The same year, NCCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Director of Enforcement, Augustine Amodu, told newsmen that the commission, during raids carried out in Ughelli and Warri, Delta State, seized broadcast contrivances worth N36.1million and arrested two

persons. Items seized included decoders, splitters, senders, signal boosters and wires. Similarly in January 2017, an antipiracy initiative tagged â&#x20AC;&#x153;Operation Confluenceâ&#x20AC;? led to the arrest of one Salisu McDonald in Ganaja village near Lokoja, Kogi State. Found in the suspectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s house was a range of broadcast equipment that included smart cards, splitters and decoders with a cumulative value of N1.2 million. Section 51(1) of the Copyright Act defines broadcast piracy as the redistribution of copyright-protected broadcast content on commercial scale without obtaining permission from the owners. Between 2012 and 2013 alone, the NCC said it confiscated illegal broadcast equipment worth N42 million, arrested and prosecuted many suspects for broadcast piracy. In December 2012, one Godwin Kadiri, who was prosecuted by the NCC, bagged a two-year prison term to which he was sentenced by Justice A.A. Okeke of the Federal High Court, Benin. Kadiri was deemed to have fallen foul of Section 20(3) of the Copyright Act for having in his possession contrivances such as three Strong decoders, one Hitv decoder, splitters for illegal rebroadcast ( for commercial purposes) of the defunct Hitv channels to 100 subscribers without the content ownerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s consent. About a week before the EFCC raided the offices of ACON members, a major item on the order paper of the House of Representatives was a motion by Hon. Abdulganiyu Olododo. Titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Increasing Trend of Copyright Piracy in Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;?, the motion drew attention the uncontrollable infringement of intellectual property rights. Olododo argued that intellectual property theft renders creativity unattractive and impacts negatively on the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s socio-economic well-being. The lawmaker noted that copyright piracy is defying the efforts of government agencies, including the NCC, and threatening the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economic well-being. Effectively, television signal pirates rob signal owners of sizeable revenues, thereby eroding their margins. They also inhibit creativity, as those who produce creative content are not encour-

aged to raise standards because they cannot earn what their craft deserves. Equally, they contribute to unemployment because eroded margins discourage expansion and, of course, greatly reduce revenues payable to government in form of taxes and other fees. Somewhat strangely, signal pirates seem to believe and actually claim they are carrying out a patriotic duty of breaking a perceived monopoly and widening the access, even illegally, to pay television services. They appear to get encouragement from government figures, who regularly speak of monopoly while refusing or unable to create an environment that ensures providers can make appropriate spend, earn enough to continue buying or creating the right content that makes them competitive. Writing on Facebook, Aderemi Ogunpitan, who had produced shows for M-net and the defunct Hitv, described as laughable Information Minister, Lai Mohammedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent declaration that the government is ready to break the monopoly in the pay television sector. Ogunpitan, who is Managing Director of IBST, wondered why other broadcasters have been unable to develop compelling content as well as competitive and sustainable business models. He also blamed the lack of vibrancy on corruption in government. â&#x20AC;&#x153;How else do you explain the stunted rollout of digital broadcasting in Nigeria? Is it DStv that is behind the constant delays and court cases of corruption and delays in providing a digital platform? Is the platform going to guarantee great programming? Look at the rubbish on the screens of terrestrial broadcasters,â&#x20AC;? he wrote. He advised local broadcasters to look at alternative business models, creative solutions, partnerships and cooperation, saying that the market is too big one player to monopolise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What has stopped other broadcasters from developing content, creative and business models that can be sustained and be competitive? What happened to Hitv? Was it DStv that caused its folding up? Or, was it mismanaged?â&#x20AC;? he asked. Ogunpitan argues further that what is needed to raise standards in the sector is new thinking, not more of the same.






NDDC: AVote for Interim Managemnt Committee Ejiro Jomafuvwe


enry Kissinger, a renowned former US Diplomat said that the success of any government is its ability to bring about new realities. When President Buhari in his quest for a new beginning, ordered a forensic audit into the activities of NDDC from inception to date, little did political influencers in the region imagine it would come to fruition. When he took a further step by directing the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to inaugurate an Interim Management Committee to create the enabling environment for the audit, they broke the secure locks of hades and unleashed ancient demons to invade television houses and game newspaper columnists with vile propaganda. There is nothing as powerful as self-interest of political god fathers in the Niger Delta Region. The insularity of high positions has shielded them from the problems of the common man which are basically existential. They have betrayed the people, shared their common patrimony generally and particularly in NDDC being an interventionist agency. The time to give account has suddenly arrived like an unforeseen hurricane and they are unprepared. As it has dawned on them that we now live in a world where our digital foot and fingerprints follow money trails in a very exponential manner, they have gone into panic mode and are openly engaging in reverse logic under many aliases to the consternation of the Nigerian public. Even their interpretation of events leading to the setting up of the Interim Management Committee has been somewhere on the spectrum from â&#x20AC;&#x153;incompleteâ&#x20AC;? to â&#x20AC;&#x153;inaccurateâ&#x20AC;?. It is a shame that these people who fawn in the presence of the President have gone to great lengths to recruit front men who are dim and impermeable to reason to wantonly disparage what is clearly a simple executive action meant to improve an embarrassingly ineffective agency.

It is a pity that they do not have sufficient sense and taste not to mistrust the President. For the people of Niger Delta Region, our trust in his judgment is marrow deep because he has demonstrated that he is on the side of the people not special interest. Nothing can kill our enthusiasm for the new direction the President has envisioned for NDDC. These oppressors of the masses of Niger Delta who are opposed to the audit have been speaking through their puppets with manufactured warmth and smile of concealed avarice trying to cajole us to reason with their unreason. Of all Satanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forms of trickery and deceit, the very greatest is persuading man that he did not exist. There is no need reiterating that NDDC under the underhand control of the buccaneer political god fathers was synonymous with heist. Ahawk with a song is a hawk no matter how it pretends to be a songbird. They are just afraid of the consequences of their illegal and ruinous takeover of the Commission not that they are remorseful nor have they learnt anything. They are incapable of any good and cannot change any more than a zebra can change its stripes. They are answerable only to the mammon gods of their pockets and must be resisted at all costs. The Committee must be allowed to work and the audit must proceed as ordered. Our Governors requested the audit and are happy that a Committee has been inaugurated to manage the affairs of NDDC in the interim. Our people have been asking for the audit and now that it is about to begin, we support it. The vast majority of Niger Delta people also support that the Committee prepares the ground for the audit, work with the auditors until they finish their work, liaise with the auditors to lay down proper and clear ground rules for the conduct of affairs of the Commission before handing over to a new board that would start its work on a clean slate. This is the minimum we expect from

our loving President. Those who are opposed to this do not represent us. They cannot pretend to serve us without us. As the South Africans say: nothing about us without us. The immediate takeover of the Commission by the new board they are proposing does not represent the wishes of the people. It is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;sugar coated Satan Sandwichâ&#x20AC;? If you lift the bun you will not like what you see. Their parochial agenda has long been exposed. It is very satisfying that the Committee under the leadership of Dr Joi. Gbene Nunieh is already inspiring confidence and hope. It is a settled fact that her competence, confidence, fearlessness and excellence which naturally recommended her for the job is glaring. Aleader of quiet determination with skills and capacity to build a team, she has remained calm, talking less and taking tough decisions. As a result of the Committeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work, Nigerians now know that a serving Senator is managing about 300 contracts out of which 120 have been fully paid for and 87 of them are awaiting payments. The Committee has stopped the monthly payment of N1bn (One Billion Naira Only) Consultancy Fees for a job the Commission is duly equipped to do. Under her watch, high sense of duty and values are returning to the Commission. She has confirmed that more than 55 contractors have gone back to site in just one week. An even larger number of contractors have indicated their willingness in wrting to return to work once the rain subsides towards the end of November because of the peculiar and challenging terrain of the region. The potential for job creation when most of the abandoned projects are reactivated is best imagined. She asked all the young men that hang around the Commission to go back to their communities where they would be properly engaged and they complied because they trust her. She has stated that resources saved from reckless and wasteful expenditures would be diverted to providing mono pumps to give people in the rural areas drinking water which they severely

lack. The Committee to our delight is liaising with member State Governments to ensure that our children study in proper classrooms, taught by teachers who have been properly taught themselves. The members being high achieving individuals understand that our children must be prepared to compete and succeed in the new world economy. They are critically analyzing the health and infrastructural policies of the Commission to ensure that no oil producing community is left out or behind. The region is blessed with abundant human and material resources but its potentials have largely remained what they are, just potentials. In the midst of abundance, the region has remained stagnated with majority of its people living in pitiable conditions and abject deprivation. The lands of the geese that lay the golden eggs are now viewed as wastelands because an agency such as NDDC which was established to support State Governments drive developments in the region has been strangulated by the activities of confused and extremely corrupt elites with limited sense of purpose. The elites lacking strong and viable base in production, turned it into its primary instrument for primitive accumulation of wealth and would stop at nothing to let the status quo remain. It is refreshing that the Commission through the Acting Managing Director is insisting that it begins to give hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak, job to the unemployed, good health to the sick, upliftment to the downtrodden, education to the illiterate, sustainable living to the poor, access roads and waterways to the forgotten people of the hinterlands and pride to the region. â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Ejiro Jomafuvwe, a public affairs commentator writes from Sapele, Delta State Read full article online -

 Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2014;Ă? Bello Mohammed


n August 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Mr. Babatunde Fowler as the new acting Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). Before the appointment, Mr. Fowler had been the Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Internal Revenue and is credited for significantly increasing the tax revenue of the state by over 500% within a period of 10 years. The primary mandate of the new leadership at the FIRS was to increase tax revenue collection at the national level which, as at then, was one of the lowest in the world in terms of tax to GDP ratio. In addition, the FIRS leadership was expected to introduce reforms that will make the tax system more efficient. The new FIRS Chairman immediately expressed his desire to see a sharp increase in the tax revenue collection by FIRS. He expressed confidence that the FIRS could greatly increase its collection figure. He consequently unveiled the focal areas of his mandate. These include: 1.) Full compliance from the organised private sector - he was going to ensure full compliance on tax filing and remittance by the end of the year. He noted that some multinational companies and banks were not fully compliant and he also cautioned other businesses that operate shady and manifold records to henceforth desist from such acts. He stated that businesses must operate honestly and legally, keeping proper and accurate records. 2.) Restructuring of the FIRS - he mentioned that the Revenue Service will restructure its service to focus on different sectors of the economy with particular emphasis on the non-oil sector in order to diversify the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heavy reliance on oil revenue. 3.) Collaboration with the State Boards of Internal Revenue - he stated that greater information sharing and exchange of information will take place to achieve the goals of increased revenue generation from taxes across board. He proposed that FIRS and states tax authorities explore the possibility of joint tax audits of businesses. 4.) Advance corporate tax payment on

interim dividend - In line with the provisions of the Companies Income Tax Act, the FIRS was henceforth going to demand any company paying interim dividend to pay 30% of the gross distribution to the FIRS as advance corporate income tax. 5.) Technology in tax administration - FIRS and JTB will explore ways of enhancing tax administration through technology as this will simplify tax compliance, reduce cost of collection and help expand the tax base. 6.) Tax amnesty will be declared for noncompliant taxpayers subject to governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approval. 7.) Stakeholder engagement - there will be regular interactions with taxpayers, tax consultants, professional bodies, organised private sector and law-makers to explore areas for improvement in the tax system. The quest of the FIRS to achieve these objectives resulted in more aggressive revenue drive, intense audits and investigations. FIRS has gone after companies that have been evading taxes. In 2015, it was estimated that about 75% of companies operating in Nigeria were not registered with the FIRS while about 65% of those that were registered were not up to date with their tax filing and payments. That made the effective rate of compliance then to be less than 10%. But through series of reforms, the story has changed significantly. There is a renewed focus on tax revenue following significant decline in oil revenue due to the prevailing low price of crude oil. Besides, the tax to GDP ratio was extremely low so increasing revenue generation through tax became critical. The new FIRS leadership has helped to drive and improve tax administration in the country despite the inclement economic climate. The various initiatives articulated by the new FIRS leadership have helped to bring visible changes in tax administration in Nigeria. Taxpayers now know that the FIRS has become more aggressive with tax collection. Many taxpayers have accordingly reviewed their level of compliance and promptly


rectified any identified non-compliance. The FIRS has also become more sophisticated in its approach in going after perceived cases of noncompliance. This has involved intelligence gathering and adopting a risk-based approach to audits and investigations rather than simply focusing on multinational corporations and other large and visible taxpayers that are already in the tax net. A strategy for the informal sector and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;hiddenâ&#x20AC;? economy as well as a robust tax policy framework is ongoing. The cost and time required to comply with tax obligations has been drastically reduced as Nigeria in 2015 ranked 187 out of 189 countries on the ease of tax compliance (based on time required to comply) according to the 2015 PwC/World Bank Paying Taxes Survey. A positive movement during the last four year period is Nigeria moving up 25 points in Tax Administration Section of World Bank â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Ease of Doing Businessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;! Another significant innovation brought to best by Fowler is the introduction of lien on accounts. To ensure tax compliance, FIRS, through court, started putting lien on accounts that are not within the tax net. It started off with N1 billion and above. Then, it took it down to N100 million and above. On that, it had initially 7,793 accounts. Many have come to reach an agreement with FIRS and N31.7 billion has been paid to date. Those with N100 million to N1 billion are 34,943. A total of 2,148 have paid N40.8 billion. The FIRS have

generated N72.5 billion from less than 2,500 people in a two-month period. People have criticized the decision by the FIRS to place lien on peoplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; accounts as highhanded, and hurting businesses but it is what the law actually says that the agency can do - it should put lien on the account and based on the amount the FIRS has specified, it should be credited straight to the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s account in Central Bank of Nigeria. The FIRS did not even follow that all through. It just put a lien and left the money in their accounts. When the owners came and showed their records, FIRS now knew how much exactly they were owing. Many decided to pay in installments, and they drew up an installment payment account. So, FIRS was not being highhanded at all. States tax boards are much more heavy handed when dealing with any such tax infractions. Under the FIRS, things were done differently. The N72 billion recovered when shared among the 36 states of the federation, plus FCT will surely make significant difference. Overall, the Federal Inland Revenue Service led by Mr Babatunde Fowler in the last four years has arguably outperformed its predecessors when necessary indices are considered, despite the recession. Non-oil revenue during the period rose, but a fall in oil revenue tax was mainly because of the sharp fall in both price and production of crude oil. While FIRS management had control of non-oil revenue collection figures, oil revenue collection was subject to more external forces. Given that there was a slow down in general economic activities, tax revenue collection (CIT and VAT) being a function of economic activities, were negatively affected. But the series of strategies and initiatives adopted like ICT innovations, continuous taxpayer education, taxpayer enlightenment, have helped to ensure improved revenue collection. For the benefit of the Federal Government, 36 states and Abuja. â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C;â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Mr. Mohammed, a retired civil servant, is based in Abuja.




Putin Honours Oramah with Russia’s National Award Bennett Oghifo


resident Vladimir Putin of Russia has bestowed the national honour of “The Order of Friendship” on Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah, President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank). The award took place, recently, during a ceremony held in the Kremlin, seat of the Government of the Russian Federation in Moscow, and was witnessed by senior members of the government and other dignitaries. Nigeria was represented by the Permanent Secretary, office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Gabriel Aduda. The Order of Friendship is awarded to Russian and foreign nationals for special merit in strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and understanding between nations, for fruitful work on the convergence and mutual enrichment of cultures of nations and peoples; Established by the first president of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin, the Order of Friendship is awarded for great contribution to the implementation of joint ventures with the Russian Federation, major economic projects and for attracting investments into the economy of the Russian Federation. The award to Prof. Oramah was for “Special merit in strengthening peace, friendship, cooperation and understanding between nations, for fruitful work on the convergence and mutual enrichment of cultures of nations and peoples.” It is, specifically, in recognition of the role

L-R: Pat Ifeanyi Oramah; wife of the awardee, Mrs. Chinelo Oramah; Afreximbank President, Prof. Okey Oramah; and Permanent Secretary, office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Gabriel Aduda, who represented the Federal Government of Nigeria, at the award presentation ceremony in Moscow, Russia...recently

played by Afreximbank in revitalising trade and economic relations between Africa and Russia as evident in the success of the RussiaAfrica Summit and Economic Forum held in Sochi, Russian Federation, from October 23 to 24, as well as the rapidly rising trade and investment relations between Russia and Africa. Also named as recipients of the Order of Friendship for 2019 were Vice-President Rosario Murillo Zambrana of Nicaragua; William Craft Brumfield, a U.S. citizen and professor of Slavic studies at Tulane University; Professor Emeritus Rein Müllerson, an Estonian

citizen and international law researcher at Tallinn University; Nikos Daskalandonakis, Russian Honorary Consul in Crete; and Armi Lopez Garcia, Russian Honorary Consul in the Philippines. Some previous winners of the honour include former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad; former United Nations SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon, among others. Apart from senior members of the Russian government and the Permanent Secretary, office of Secretary to the Government of Nigeria,

other dignitaries who witnessed the awards ceremony were officials of Afreximbank, including the Director and Global Head of the Communications and Events Management Department, Obi Emekekwue. Also in Moscow for the event were friends and family members of the bank’s President, including Chief Pat. Ifeanyi Oramah, the recipient’s wife, Mrs. Chinelo Oramah; and his sister, Mrs. Chinwe Enemuo. Afreximbank is a pan-African multi-lateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra and extra-African trade.

Authentic9ja Food and Fashion Fair 2019 Bennett Oghifo

Nigeria has a rich and diverse cultural heritage that defines its people and a key part of this is the food, fashion and style which has a huge potential of promoting and projecting the nation positively within the global community. The Authentic Nigerian Food & Fashion Fair is a projection of authentic Nigerian food and fashion through exhibitions, fairs

and workshops to Nigerians Living abroad and the international community. To this end, the Authentic Nigerian Food and Fashion Fair has birthed a global platform for original Nigerian Food, Fashion Arts and Culture aficionados to showcase their goods, services and crafts at the maiden edition holding from December 16 to 17, at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel Victoria Island, Lagos. The Executive Director of #Authentic9jafair, Mrs. Franca Ene Olawiyola, a certified Hospitality and Tourism Professional com-

mends the Federal Ministry of Information and culture, and Tourism, as well as the Lagos and Ekiti State governments for their willingness to support this initiative and use it to drive economic developments According to her, “This is our own. We welcome you to a life changing global platform for the 9ja brand. Event core activity focus is: our Food – assorted, authentic and creatively prepared Nigerian menus; Our fashion, eclectic round table runway showpiece; our Arts – exhibition of our Culture in colours.”


L-R: Son of the Celebrant, Olagoge Ojo; the Celebrant, Prof. Afolabi Ojo; Son, Mr. Anthony Ojo; and Mr. Olakunle Ojo, at the 90th birthday ceremony of Prof. Afolabi Ojo, held at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, in Lagos...recently SUNDAY ADIGUN

L-R: Group Head, Human Capital Development, GIG Logistics, Kemi Shonubi; Chief Operating Officer, GIG Logistics, Adenaike Ayodele; and Logistic and Development Manager, Joel Iyamu, during the Launch of the GIGGO app by GIG Logistics in Lagos...recently PHOTO: ETOP UKUTT

R-L: Member of Board of Trustees, Cecilia Esenwah Foundation, Pat Adakpor; Founder/Chairman; L-R: Executive Secretary Food and Beverages Recycling Alliance (FBRA), Agharese Onaghise; Chairperson (FBRA), Chris Agbaje; and CEO/Director of Operations, Halima Nuradeen, at the launch of Cecilia Esenwah Mrs. Sade Morgan; MD, LAWMA, Mr. Muyiwa Gbadegbesin, MD, LASWA, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel; and member FBRA, Mrs. Ngozi Giwa, at the inspection of waterways clean up facilities at the Ikoyi Jetty in Lagos ...recently Foundation in Lagos...recently




Akpabom Community Welcomes Electricity as FG Commissions Solar Mini Grid Off-grid power plant has become a new bride embraced by all as the Federal Government continues to gladden the hearts of unserved and underserved communities across the country with uninterrupted energy through its off-grid powerinitiatives. Sunday Ehigiator reports on the latest of such projectsin AkpabomCommunity,inAkwaIbomState


ommitted to meeting its developmental goals by ending electricity poverty in every community across the country by providing uninterrupted and sustainable power, the President Buhari-led administration, under its Next Level agenda, has achieved another milestone in the South-south region of Nigeria. On Thursday, October 31, 2019, it commissioned a 100KW Solar Hybrid Mini Grid Power Plant in Akpabom Community in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Akpabom is a community with a population of over 2,000 people whose major economic activities are fishing and farming. Implemented by Rural Electrification Agency (REA), the project, which was the third to be commissioned under the Rural Electrification Fund (REF), would provide clean, safe, affordable and reliable electricity for the community members. With this newly installed solar mini grid plant, Akpabom Community has now joined Upake (80KW) in Kogi State and Kare-Dadin Kowa (98.8KW) in Kebbi state in experiencing improved socio-economic progress. An address delivered by the Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund, Dr. Sanusi Ohiare on behalf of Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of Rural Electrifcation Agency, Damilola Ogunbiyi, emphasised federal government’s commitment to meeting its developmental goals by providing electricity access to all. She stated: “As an agency, we are responsible for powering unserved and underserved communities, therefore, it is fulfilling every time homes, businesses, schools and medical centres are connected to sustainable solar power. Almost immediately, we are able to witness rural communities being transformed with clean energy through the jobs that are created during construction, to their micro and small businesses scaling to larger capacity thanks to reliable electricity. “What we are witnessing today is a result of the hard work of Nigerians who are determined to see positive transformations in our power sector and in Nigeria. The Federal Government, under its Next Level agenda, is committed to providing access to clean, safe, affordable and reliable electricity across the country. This includes rural areas without electricity access for many years. “The Rural Electrification Fund (REF) is dedicated to ensuring the distribution of electricity equally to various communities using rural electrification grants. The first set of grants under REF is for twelve communities, of which Akpabom community is the third to be commissioned.” Ogunbiyi urged the community to use the newly installed electricity to grow their local economies; start new businesses as she is confident that they now have the reliable electricity to power shops, cold rooms, schools and much more. Commending the developer for his commitment to duty by bringing the dream of the agency to reality, Ogunbiyi praised GVE Projects Limited led by its Chief Executive Officer, Ifeanyi Orajaka for their skills and dedication to finalize this project. “I urge you to continue your good work by embarking on more power projects. Nigeria needs many more indigenous companies to meet the growing investment opportunities in our evolving off grid sector. Tell the market that we are open for business.” Thanking her team at REA for their support especially the Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund, Dr. Sanusi Ohiare, Ogunbiyi hailed them for achieving another significant achievement. She also thanked the community leaders and the members of Akpabom for their support. “This power plant stands here today because you made it possible for work to be done smoothly. I wish you all the best as you begin to reap the benefits of your good decision.” She concluded by thanking the federal government for giving REA the task of electrifying unserved and underserved communities, supported with policy and funding assistance to

L-R: Chief Emmanuel James, Dr. Sanusi Ohiare, Hon. Otuekong Nse Essien, Eteidung Udo Akpan and Ifeanyi Orajaka during the commissioning of 100KW Solar Hybrid Power plant accomplish our mandate. The representative of the Clan Head of Oning Clan, Eteidung Udo Akpan, expressed his community’s pleasure to the federal government in providing them with this basic social amenity. “I consider it a blessing that this project, which will change the lives of people in our community, is being implemented during my tenure as Clan Head. “For many years, we have looked forward to the day that our children will be able to read at night without depending on harmful kerosene lamps. Our businesses are now fully operational; especially at night. Our fishermen are able to preserve their fish and businesses in general are growing. Today is indeed the beginning of better things to come for Akpabom. “We are happy that out of the thirty-one Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State, our community was selected for this transformative project. On behalf of the people of Akpabom, I express deep gratitude to the Board and Management of the Rural Electrification Agency; and the developer – GVE Projects Limited for ensuring that this project was successfully implemented. I assure you all that the entire community will maintain and protect the power plant from vandalism and theft.” Commending the laudable effort of the federal government and the REA for implementing this project at Akpabom community in partnership with private developer, GVE, and support from Akwa Ibom State Government, member representing Onna state constituency, Otuekong Nse Essien, said “ the newly installed solar mini grid plant will put an end to the community’s hardship. Electricity leads to economic prosperity. The people of Akpabom now have power for productive uses, businesses will thrive and education will improve. We can now move beyond the days of darkness. With this we are indeed grateful.” Enumerating the benefits of the newly installed mini off grid, Orajaka, said the installed solar hybrid mini grid power plant, which has a total capacity of 100KW, has 306 high grade solar panels and 5.5KM of distribution network cable, which now serves the community with constant electricity through the 440 buildings successfully connected to the mini grid. “It is a thing of pride that GVE, an indigenous Nigerian firm, can be a part of

developing Nigeria’s rural areas. Thanks to this project, Nigerian solar developers, like myself, can access these investment opportunities and participate in growing Nigeria’s evolving off-grid sector. “We could not have achieved this without the support of the community leaders and people of Akpabom. GVE utilised the community’s labour force thereby training and providing them with employment. It is gratifying that we not only supplied electricity, but have contributed to the economic advancement of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria, by extension.” Orajaka thanked the district head and member of the community for their support towards the completion of this project. Mrs. Ogunbiyi and Dr. Ohiare, for their support in championing the private sector participation in the renewable energy space in Nigeria. He concluded by encouraging Nigerians to embrace renewable energy as the world is moving towards clean energy. In his vote of thanks, Director, Rural Electrification Fund, Bulus Maiyaki said the solar being commissioned was as a result of dedication, hard work and collaboration produces results of collaboration among the federal government, state and local governments and the private sector: “ It is evident that the Federal Government of Nigeria is committed to ending electricity poverty; and with the projects commissioned across communities, we are getting closer to our goal of ensuring that standards of living are improved using clean, safe and reliable sources of power.” Bulus thanked the Ministry of Power and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission for the support the Rural Electrification Fund has received as well as support of Akwa Ibom State Government led by Governor Udom Emmanuel and his cabinet in their determination in seeing that the good people of Akpabom Community are energized. Bulus thanked all the stakeholders involved in this life changing project such as the Ministry of Power and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission for the support the Rural Electrification Fund has received. He also thanked the traditional leaders, people of Onna Local Government Area and Akpabom Community as he believes their leadership has nurtured a peaceful and hospitable community that supported the agency’s efforts during construction.

Gbemi Sagay to Chair 2019 LAIF Awards Jurors Tolulope Ibukunoluwa


bemi Sagay, a renowned illustrator and advertising practitioner, has been announced as the chief juror of the 2019 Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF) awards, slated to hold on 14 December at the Landmark Event Centre, Lagos. This was disclosed in a statement signed by Chairman, LAIF Management Board, Steve

Babaeko. The chief juror, the statement noted, is vastly experienced in the marketing communications industry and is expected to, alongside his fellow jurors, bring his expertise to the fore to

ensure that only the best of the numerous submitted entries are shortlisted and subsequently awarded. Sagay has almost four decades of experience in the advertising industry. He started his career in 1984, after which he joined Insight in December 1989, where he participated in creating campaigns for local and international brands. In 1993, he co-founded SO&U Limited along with two other colleagues. He is a member of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and currently the Chief Executive Officer of The Shops Limited, an idea generation/print production company. The advertising guru has over the years mentored several practitioners. Other jurors include Stanley Lumax, a New York-based Communication Expert; Toni Kan Onwordi, Author, Editor and

Public Relations Specialist; and Irene Donati, Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy, Lionheart Group, Ghana. Ekenena Ezaga, Creative Director, SO&U; Yaa Boateng, Creative Director, Ogilvy Ghana; Dave Chukwuji, Creative Director, DKK Nigeria; Sunny Mohammed, Creative Director, DDB Lagos; and Kayode Olowu, Creative Director, Onewildcard, complete the jurors’ line-up. The 2019 LAIF Awards, which is the 13th edition, has as its theme: “Tori Tori, Story of LAIF”. The event is expected to attract practitioners from the marketing communications community, business leaders and policymakers, who will deliberate on key marketing and marketing communications challenges as well as celebrate the industry’s best of creativity, innovation and promotion of excellence in brand development strategies.


 Ë&#x153; Ëž NOVEMBER 9, 2019


Who Wins in Bayelsa Next Saturday? As the campaign for the November 16 oďŹ&#x20AC;-cycle governorship poll in Bayelsa State enters its last lap, it is apparent that the high-octane political project of the two front-running parties - PDP and APC â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;captureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; the Creek Haven, Yenagoa, coupled with signiďŹ cant misalignments in both combatantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ranks make the Niger Delta state a potential ďŹ&#x201A;ash-point. Stanley Nkwazema reports


n the mega-decibel political intrigues foreshadowing the off-cycle governorship election in Bayelsa State, next Saturday November 16, two parties have clearly emerged front-runners â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC). The plots to literally capture Creek Haven, Yenagoa, are going into over-drive mode and the stakes are indisputably high. In less than seven days, as it were, the successor to Governor Seriake Dickson who exits executive power after an eventful two-term, eight-year tenure, should emerge after polling in all the wards of the eight local government councils of the state. The capital city of Yenagoa was practically shut down on Wednesday when the PDP held a mega rally at the Oxbow Lake Pavilion. This is coming even as former President Goodluck Jonathan, Deputy Gov. Rear Admiral Gboribiogha, retired John-Jonah and Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers were markedly absent at the partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mega rally. It also confirmed that the former President, who on so many occasions explained that he will not leave the party, to support APC, has failed to congratulate the party nor the candidates (Douye Diri and Lawrence Ewhurudjakpo) apparently unhappy that the party in the state looked the other way by not picking his alleged choice(s) during the primaries held on September 4, 2019. The outgoing Governor Dickson has never failed to convince observers and party loyalists that he would still go ahead and present the flag bearers to Jonathan either in Yenagoa or Abuja before next Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s election in the state. If attendance at political rallies or observable sea of heads, win elections, perhaps the candidate of the PDP in Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri and his running mate Lawrence Ewhurudjakpo could as well go home to sleep and wake up days later as the governor and deputy governor of the state and equally move into the Creek Haven. It is not always the story in that clime that voters turn out at every rally, collecting money, souvenirs, only to appear at the oppositions gathering, doing same. To many, it has become a norm. You go there and collect the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;thingsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and continue with your life, because it could be the last time you will get closer to the candidates till they leave office. Politicians can never be sure till the last minute when votes have been counted and declared. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only when the logs are cleared that the winners could celebrate and losers gnash their teeth. As the PDP members gathered in Yenagoa, the APC flag-bearer, Chief David Lyon, was equally keeping the trail busy, traversing the nooks and crannies of the state. He made a brief stop at Otuoke, Ogbia, home town of former President Goodluck Jonathan, to boost his crowd of supporters. He was lucky to have met Madam Eunice Jonathan, the mother of the former President. Of course, the old woman could not have turned him back. The APC loyalists see this as a major boost coming the way of Lyon. Madam Eunice was equally touted to have showered him with her blessing to go and conquer in the exercise. Translating what the mother of Jonathan, who spoke in Ogbia dialect, told

L-R: Seconcus, Governor Seriacke Dickson and Dr.

Lyon, a kinsman of Jonathan in the entourage, Wisdom Ikuli said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;David my son, on behalf of my entire family, I have blessed you. The Almighty God wants to use you to change the story of Bayelsa State.â&#x20AC;? Interestingly, Lyon promised to prioritise reactivation of the water project if voters elect him governor and to bring the Imirigi gas turbine back to life. His said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The abandonment of the gas turbine had thrown the Otuoke community into perpetual darkness.â&#x20AC;? He also vowed to restore light in Jonathanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Local Government Area, noting it was unacceptable that there were no good roads leading to Otuoke and other communities in Ogbia. He promised the Local Government Area would witness tremendous development under his administration. According to the APC flag-bearer, â&#x20AC;&#x153;They have kept you poor and have concluded that you can be easily bought during the election. If they give you

money, collect it and vote them out. I assure you that I will use the resources of the state judiciously to develop Bayelsa.â&#x20AC;? Meanwhile, speaking at the Ox Bow Lake rally of the PDP, the National Chairman of the party, Chief Uche Secondus, who stormed the mega-rally with former Senate President Adolph Wabara, Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Emeka Ihedioha, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Aminu Bello Tambuwal of Sokoto, Umahi of Ebonyi, Ikepazu of Abia and Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, who was the special guest, among others, warned security agencies against being used to rig election for the main opposition party. Secondus warned that the PDP would resist any attempt to hijack electoral materials for any party or group of politicians, while urging Bayelsa people to vote for the PDP as the only political party that can take them forward. Speaking on behalf of other PDP governors, Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto State said Bayelsa belongs to the PDP and

boasted that no other political party can defeat them. Tambuwal stated that Dickson had done very well for the Bayelsa people and noted that no other political party could win any election in the state. Governor Dickson, who hands over to a winner in February next year after serving out two terms, explained that the PDP has been the only platform that had given people face and voice in Nigeria. He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;PDP is the only Ijaw-man party that all can feel and be carried along. Sen. Douye Diri is the only one that can consolidate on the restoration government to take the state forward. I want to appeal to our people to vote massively for the PDP as we do not know any other party.â&#x20AC;? The partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s candidate for the November 16 elections, Senator Douye Diri, after collecting the PDP flag from Secondus, pledged to continue with the good works of the Dickson administration to take the state to enviable heights, if elected. He equally promised to build






Ebere Eze International Allegiance Dilemma






Ebere Eze International Allegiance Dilemma Ebere Eze... too hot to handle

Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2014;Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2022;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2018;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x152;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă?Ă Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2014;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x161;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122; Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;ĂŁĂ&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?ĂĄĂ&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2019;Ă?ĂĄĂ&#x2039;Ă?Ă Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x161;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x161;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2039;ĂŁĂ?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2122;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x152;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ë&#x203A;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17D;Ă? Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2039;ĘľĂ&#x153;Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2018;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2039;Ë&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;ͺ͚ Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2014;Ë&#x153;ĂĄĂ&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2013;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x153;ĂŁĂĄĂ&#x2039;Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x153;ĂŁĂ&#x2122;Ă?Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x161;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă? Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x161;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2039;ĂŁĂ?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2018;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2039;Ë&#x203A; Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2122;ĂĄĂ&#x2039;Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2122;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17D;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;ĂĄĂ&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x161;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2013;Ă?Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă?


bere Eze has built a reputation for himself at Queens Park Rangers so- much-so that when his team loses he is exonerated from blame, however, the Anglo-Nigerian born midfielder is still undecided over his international future in spite approaches

from Super Eagles Manager, Gernot Rohr. He had featured for the Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s U-20 side earlier before he was called up to the England U-21 squad in September this year by manager Aidy Boothroyd for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers against Turkey and Kosovo, though he was an

unused substitute on both occasions. Eze is however still eligible to play for Nigeria as he is yet to feature for Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s senior side. Indeed, he trained with the Super Eagles in October, 2017 before opting to star for England U20 team. The talented midfielder has scored six goals

in 14 league appearances for the Londoners and observers see him as the long -sought successor toAustine Jay Jay Okocha if he eventually choses to star for Nigeria.. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have approached him, but not directly. Tunde Adelakun, my assistant, spoke to his mum. What we understand is that there is a




lot of pressure on him and Ebere Eze doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to give an answer now. Obviously, we would love to have him in the SuperEagles, of course! We continue to work on getting him. It may take some time,â&#x20AC;? Rohr said in an interview. A Nigeria Football Federation official who recently pleaded anonymity revealed that the player was under the watch list of Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr and urged him to maintain his impressive form in the Championship. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yes, Ebere Eze is doing very well for Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in the Championship in England and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good news for us. Besides, he has come to the Super Eagles camp before when we went to play in London. Our scout knows him very well. Nigerians should not be too anxious and put him under undue pressure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is always space for a good player in a team, most especially like the team we are building at the moment. So the scouts are monitoring him, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s known to us and we

see how it goes. But you know a lot of young players have come into the team of late and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an ongoing thing. If you are good enough and you can bring something extraordinary to the team, we can always give you a chance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So we are very happy that Ebere Eze is doing well and believe that at the right time he will be giving the chance to play for the Super Eagles,â&#x20AC;? he said. When last weekend OPR lost to Leeds United, Manager Mark Warburton singled out Ezeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performances for praise, while Leeds fans calls for his transfer to Elland Road. Eze had an excellent game in QPRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s midfield and Leeds United fans on Twitter were suggesting the club make him a serious transfer target. He has been linked with a move in the past as Leeds had a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;tentative interestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in Eze ahead of the summer window. The youngster has been in fine form this season and certainly caught the eye at Elland Road.

Warburton, in fact, believed that Eze was the best player on the pitch, as he explained to the official QPR website. Leeds United fans will certainly be hopeful that previous â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;tentative interestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is still present from the club. The 21-year-old was all over the pitch and his ability certainly stood out in West Yorkshire. Eze looked like a player who could easily slot into the Leeds philosophy and should they secure promotion this season it will be interesting to see if Leeds rekindle their apparent keenness. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Eze was going to start working part-time in Tesco when we (QPR) first asked him to come in on trial. The journey heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s made in a short space of time since then has been quite phenomenal.â&#x20AC;? Those the words of Paul Hall, who has been a mentor to Eze throughout his spell at Loftus Road, as well as his manager when he featured for the Under-23s. Eze has endured a whirlwind few years since his release from Millwall in 2016. Lions boss Neil Harris felt Eze wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the type of player who would succeed at a club like Millwall. Speaking exclusively to, he said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I got released by Millwall, I understood the decision. I get why Neil made that call.You could see in training and in matches that I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t their typical type of player. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think I would get released at the time I did though â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that came as a big shock to me. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I thought Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d probably get another year there, even though it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look like there was much chance of me getting near the first team. It took me by surprise, but ultimately it was a blessing in disguise.â&#x20AC;? Following that setback, Eze had a number of unsuccessful trials elsewhere before his break finally came with Rangers. Chris Ramsey, the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s technical director, has a long standing relationship with Ezeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agent â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with QPR moving in swiftly to invite the Greenwich-born attacker on trial and It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t long before Eze would be signing his first contract in W12, after impressing Ramsey and co enough with his technical prowess, drive and work rate. Eze admitted that he was considering calling it a day in football prior to that, with college or university on the horizon. He added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I initially got released by Millwall I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t too down, as there were plenty of clubs interested in me. But after being turned down by a few of them thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when it really started hitting me. I was getting a bit worried â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever wanted to do is to be a professional footballer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So then I was thinking about plan B and potentially going to university or college, and then QPR came along and gave me my big opportunity, which Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll always be eternally grateful for.â&#x20AC;? After netting nine goals in 14 starts for the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Elite Development squad, Eze was rewarded with a new contract in January 2017. Soon after Eze made his senior debut against Blackburn in the FA Cup, but a promising 18-minute cameo was cut short by an Achilles injury. The 2017/2018 season is when Eze really introduced himself to the Football League, and after an excellent loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; managed by Gareth Ainsworth, he was ready to make his mark at Loftus Road. Eze impressed in the second half of that

l l under d former f campaign, ffeaturing regularly Rangers boss Ian Holloway, who he knew from his time at Millwall. Big things were expected of the youngster this season as he put-pen-to-paper on a new three-year deal in August. He was also handed the iconic No 10 shirt by another former boss Steve McClaren, which has been worn by club legends Rodney Marsh and Stan Bowles â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as well as the likes of John Byrne, Roy Wegerle andAdel Taarabt and with that has come considerable pressure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see the No 10 shirt as too much pressure being put on me,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Of course with that comes expectation, but at the end of the day I know what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m capable of producing. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let it affect my mindset in terms of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to play. You have to deal with that pressure and expectation as a footballer, regardless of your age or status. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I saw being given the No 10 shirt as an appreciation for what I had achieved so far and a belief from people at the club that I can prove to be a key player here. At the end of the day Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a job to do, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to produce and help this team as much as I can in the future.â&#x20AC;? After establishing himself as a regular under the former England boss, he was taken out of the firing line and dropped to the bench after he hit a patchy run of form. Eze, though, was â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;very disappointedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to see McClaren â&#x20AC;&#x201C; someone who he holds in very high regard axed by the Hoops . â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was really disappointing to see Steve leave. He played me on a regular basis and did a lot for me, both as a player and a person,â&#x20AC;? he revealed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The belief he showed in me is something Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve only received from a few managers, so for him to be so honest and invest the amount of time he did into me is something I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget.â&#x20AC;? However,thereisgeneralfeelingamongmany RangersfansisthatEzeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sprogressstagnatedunder McClarenâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;anassertionhestronglydisagreeswith. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not true whatsoever. I continued learning under Steve,â&#x20AC;? he continued. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He showed me a lot of things that I hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seen before. I know what he did for me at the end of the day, and he most definitely gave me a platform to show what I could do. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve played a lot of games this season and taking my age into account that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t something you see that regularly at this level. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My form had dipped a little bit from the start of the season, so I understood why Steve put me on the bench. But I have nothing but the utmost respect for Steve, he taught me so much. I have a lot to thank him for.â&#x20AC;? EzehadbeenattractinginterestfromChampionship promotion chasers Leeds, has been watched by Premier League duo Tottenham and Crystal Palace this season. There is the same belief around QPR that Eze can eventually go on to play at the highest level. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I tell Ebere he can be anything he wants to be. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the best player on the pitch when heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on top form â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter who else is playing,â&#x20AC;? Hall added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In his case especially patience will be absolutely key, if he is to develop into the player that we know he is truly capable of becoming.â&#x20AC;? Eze is on one hell of a rollercoaster, and Rangers fans should enjoy the ride for the duration that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re on it.




Aguero scored the winner in Liverpool versus Man City last meeting

Liverpool Host Man City in Title Decider Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x153; Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x;Ă?Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2039;ĂŁĂ&#x201D;Ă&#x;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x152;Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2013;ĂŁ͚͸ĂĄĂ?Ă?Ă&#x2022;Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x17D;Ë&#x153;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17D;ĂŁĂ&#x161;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122; Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17E;ĂĄĂ&#x2122;Ě&#x2039;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2013;Ă?Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2039;ĂŁĂ?Ă Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17D;Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2039;ĂŁĂĄĂ&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x2DC; Ă&#x201C;Ă Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x161;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2013;ĂĄĂ?Ă&#x2013;Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2014;Ă? Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;ĂŁĂ&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x17D;Ë&#x203A;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2014;Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x;Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x161;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;ĂĄĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2039;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă?Ë&#x153; ĂĄĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă?Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x201C;âĚ&#x2039;Ă&#x161;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2013;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2039;Ă Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;ĂŁĂ&#x2122;Ă Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x201C;äĂ?Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2122;ĂĄĂ&#x2014;Ă&#x2039;ĂŁ Ă&#x201D;Ă&#x;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x17D;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2013;Ă?Ă&#x152;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2013;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x153; Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2039;Ë&#x203A; Ă&#x2122;ĂĄĂ?Ă Ă?Ă&#x153;Ë&#x153;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;ĂĄĂ&#x2122;Ă&#x;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x152;Ă? Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2014;Ă?Ě&#x2039;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă?Ă Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă?Ă&#x2039;ĂĄĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2039;ĂĄĂ?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x161;Ă&#x;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2039;ËŞĂ?Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17D;Ă?


iverpool and Manchester City can now turn attention to the Premier League after both teams were involved in the UEFA Champions League where they both top their groups and are in good stead to booking a place to the knockout stage. Liverpool top the table with 31 points and are closely trailed by Manchester City with 25 points, and will be hoping to reduce the gap to three points with a win, while the host would be looking to further widen the gap with a home victory. Anfield has not been a good hunting ground for the Citizens and indeed their manager-Pep Guardiola. His best since arriving England is last season goalless draw in which City lost a last minute penalty. Both managers have started the mind games with Guardiola first kicked off

proceedings by labeling Liverpool forward, Sadio Mane as a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;diverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; following the Reds last minute 2-1 win against Aston Villa last Saturday, in which the Senegalese attacker scored the final goal but was booked for simulation earlier on in the match. Jurgen Klopp, in turn, rejected the criticism of Mane and questioned how a manager would find time post-match to know about such details and the result of another game. The German then aimed his own dig at City by claiming he would â&#x20AC;&#x153;not mention tactical foulsâ&#x20AC;? in his response to Guardiolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comments during a pre-match press conference ahead of Genk. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really believe it to be honest and then I saw it,â&#x20AC;? the Liverpool manager said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am not sure if Pep spoke in that moment about Sadio or the team â&#x20AC;&#x201C; both is not

too nice to be honest. I am not too sure if I want to put oil on the fire. I am not interested in these kind of things. And I promise not to mention tactical fouls. That is maybe already too much.â&#x20AC;? Manchester City talisman Sergio Aguero would however not mind putting oil to the fire when he said the club still regard Manchester United as their biggest rivals in the Premier League compared to Liverpool. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It may be the clasico for television, but for us, the clasico, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the match against United,â&#x20AC;? the Argentina international told France Football. The defending champions have been plague by injury with Captain David Silva joining Oleksandr Zinchenko, Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane on the sidelines City may have been handed a major injury boost on Tuesday morning ahead of their clash against Liverpool this weekend,

with midfielder Rodri spotted at training, although the Spaniard did not partake in the full session. Rodri has missed the last three games with a hamstring problem, however it now appears as though the midfielder is set to make a return to Pep Guardiolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s side in the coming games. The midfielder did not take part in the full session, however did briefly appear for what was described as a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;kick aboutâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC; and a brief â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;stretchâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;. Former Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger indeed attest to the fact that injury to key players may cost City on Sunday. Wenger believes the absence of Laporte could hand Liverpool a major advantage in their title clash with City on Sunday. Kloppâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s side are currently leading the way as they are six points ahead of City and have not yet lost a game. Meanwhile, Guardiolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s men have suffered two defeats



GLOBAL SOCCER Premiership Table Liverpool Man City Leicester Chelsea Arsenal SheďŹ&#x20AC; Utd Bournemouth Brighton Crystal Palace Man Utd Tottenham Wolves West Ham Burnley Newcastle Aston Villa Everton

11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11

16 24 19 8 1 4 1 0 -4 2 1 0 -3 -4 -8 -2 -6

31 25 23 23 17 16 16 15 15 13 13 13 13 12 12 11 11

Premier League TODAY

Everton Chelsea Burnley Newcastle Southampton Tottenham Leicester

v v v v v v v

West Ham Crystal Palace West Ham Bournemouth verton SheďŹ&#x192;eld Arsenal

12:30 12:30 15:00 15:00 15:00 15:00 17:30

v v v

Brighton Aston Villa Man City

14:00 14:00 16:30

v v v v

Valladolid Granada Real Madrid Celta Vigo

12:00 15:00 17:30 20:00

v v v v v

Villarreal Levante Espanyol Osasuna Sevilla

11:00 13:00 15:00 17:30 20:00

v v v

Torino Hellas Verona Genoa

14:00 17:00 19:45

v v v v v v

Fiorentina Lecce Atalanta SPAL Roma AC Milan


Man Utd Wolves Liverpool La Liga TODAY

AlavĂŠs Valencia Eibar Barcelona SUNDAY

Mallorca Bilbao AtlĂŠtico Getafe Real Betis

Serie A while they are without Laporte for several months after the centre-back required knee surgery in September and Wenger believes the vulnerability in Guardiolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s defence, caused by the absence of Laporte, could give the upper hand to Kloppâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s men. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Well we have seen in recent years that they are very tight games,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Wenger told beIN Sports. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We know Man City will take the game to Liverpool, and that Liverpool will be very dangerous on the counterattack. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I personally feel they could not afford to lose Laporte. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;If you look at their results, they still play great football but they are fractionally a bit more vulnerable defensively. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;And that could be a big handicap against Liverpool.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Klopp and Guardiola have been greatly influenced by one other. Guardiolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s short-passing football at Barcelona kick-started a global revolution towards pure possession, peaking with Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2010 World Cup win, before Kloppâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rock-and-roll gegenpressing at Dortmund shifted the culture back towards verticality. They are the two most influential coaches in modern football, symbiotically intertwined; Kloppâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dortmund was a response to Guardiolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Barcelona, his counter-press a way to catch out defenders locked in sideways passing. In their 2019 incarnations both are broadly similar, borrowing heavily from each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more dogmatic ideologies from earlier in their careers. Both press high and look to counter-attack in numbers; both dominate possession out of sheer necessity; both are willing to alter the length of their passes to stretch the pitch; and both coach extraordinarily detailed attacking patterns to etch flowing moves into muscle memory. The similarities end there. Guardiola remains a manager who generally builds carefully into the final third, maximising use of the half-spaces to get wingers in

behind with late runs. Their playmakers are assisted by inverted full-backs who sit on the corner of the penalty area, creating a link between the wingers and attacking midfielders and helping pen the opposition deep in their own half. Guardiolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football is metronomic, with triangles appearing all over the pitch; City want to pass the ball into an empty net, one-touch football grinding the opponent down. However, this season they have notably swung more crosses into the box, with De Bruyne playing wider to the right. Liverpool are more vertical and play with a far narrower shape than Guardiolaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team. Kloppâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 4-3-3 prioritises hardpressing central midfielders who lack the creative guile of their opposite numbers at City, with greater focus on overlapping full-backs. The narrowness of the system opens up gaps on the outside for Alexander Arnold and Andrew Robertson, Liverpoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most creative players, while Roberto Firmino drifts across the width to link with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. These differences are the reason why, in theory, Liverpool v Man City matches are end-to-end; City dominate through the centre and Liverpool exploit the flanks, while their respective 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 systems layer on top of each other with significant gaps. First, Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inverted full-backs often vacate space for Liverpoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flying full-backs, and second, Liverpoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ultra-narrow front three overload Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wobbly centre-backs - but also leave too much defensive work in the half-space pockets where De Bruyne and Silva are so dangerous. However, the tactical battle is unlikely to be so dramatic. The stakes are just too high for Guardiola to open up as he did in January, when City were chasing down a seven-point gap; the safety-first, defensive

football of the 0-0 draw in October is more likely. Once again, City will hold their full-backs deep, Liverpool will pack the midfield, and the two best teams in the world will play out a tense, claustrophobic affair where avoiding mistakes is prioritised over creativity. It should be engrossing and high quality, but short on goalmouth action. This will be the second season in a row that the two clubs will be involved in a tight contest for the title, after Man City narrowly beat Kloppâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s men to the league title by a single point last season.


Brescia Inter Napoli SUNDAY

Cagliari Lazio Sampdoria Udinese Parma Juventus

11:30 14:00 14:00 14:00 17:00 19:45

Hot Shot Head to Head 21/03/10 1 2019-1119-01-01 18-10-07 18-01-14 17-09-09 17-03-19 16-12-31 16-03-02 15-11-21 15-03-01 14-08-25 14-04-13 13-12-26 13-02-03 12-08-26 12-01-03 11-11-27 11-04-11 10-08-23 10-02-21

Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool 10 Liverpool ??? Man City Man City 2-1 Liverpool Liverpool 0-0 Man City Liverpool 4-3 Man City Man City 5-0 Liverpool Man City 1-1 Liverpool Liverpool 1-0 Man City Liverpool 3-0 Man City Man City 1-4 Liverpool Liverpool 2-1 Man City Man City 3-1 Liverpool Liverpool 3-2 Man City Man City 2-1 Liverpool Man City 2-2 Liverpool Liverpool 2-2 Man City Man City 3-0 Liverpool Liverpool 1-1 Man City Liverpool 3-0 Man City Man City 3-0 Liverpool Man City 0-0Liverpool



Jamie Vardy Leicester Sergio AgĂźero Man City Tammy Abraham Chelsea Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal Raheem Sterling Man City Sadio ManĂŠ Liverpool Teemu Pukki Norwich Harry Kane Tottenham Mohamed Salah Liverpool Marcus Rashford Man Utd Callum Wilson Bournemouth Christian Pulisic Chelsea Bernardo Silva Man City Raul Jimenez Wolves SĂŠbastien Haller West Ham Wesley Aston Villa Ashley Barnes Burnley Mason Mount Chelsea Jordan Ayew Crystal Palace Chris Wood Burnley Danny Ings Southampton 4


10 9 9 8 7 6 6 6 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4




Liefering Turn Down Barcaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ÂŁ15m Bid for Adeyemi

arcelonaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s desperation to sign a long time replacement for ageing Luis Suarez have seen the Catalans offered ÂŁ15m for German player of Nigerian descent, Karim Adeyemi, but the offer had been turned down by FC Liefering. It is reported that the Catalan club are

willing to bring the highly-rated forward to Camp Nou and are understood to be in very advanced talks to sign Adeyemi in January. Barca have officially contacted sporting director Christoph Freund in order to lure the 17-year-old, whose contract runs until 2021. The centre-forward in August was

awarded the Golden Fritz Walter medal, the highest honour for the best youth player in Germany. According to Transfermarkt, the Catalanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interest in Adeyemi is very concrete but faces competition from Premier League duo Arsenal and Liverpool, who are also monitoring the progress of the youngster. The Catalans are understood to be in the

pole position in the race for the German youth international. Currently plying his trade in the second tier Austrian league, the player boasts seven goals and five assists in 13 games across all competitions this season. Adeyemi could make the top three of the most expensive U-17 players in the world should the deal go through.

Over 200 Participants Expected at First Bank Amateur Open Championship Over 200 golfers from around the globe are expected to participate in the 58theditionofFirstBankAmateurOpen Championship organisers have said. Speaking at a press briefing held at the golf section of Ikoyi Club to herald the championship on Friday, the oganisers said the First Bank Amateur Open Championship, which made its debut over 57 years ago has sailed a smooth ride so far. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tournament is expected to attract the best amateur golfers, not only in Nigeria, but across the world as the championship has been listed on the World Amarteur Golf Ranking administered by R&A and USGA. The organisers said the listing has given the championship a heightened level of recognition on the world stage

as far as amateur golf championships are concerned, noting that the First Bank Lagos Amateur Open is now one of the international golf events where amateur golfers worldwide can participate and amass points to aid their WAGR rankings. In his reaction, the CEO of First Bank, Dr.AdesolaAdeduntan represented by Osahon Ogieva, said the championship has grown to the level where amateur golfers the world over are scrambling to participate in and bank is therefore looking forward to a very successful tourney. On his part, Captain of the Ikoyi Club golf section, Babatunde Johnson opined that the First Bank Lagos Open Golf Champion is the longest running golf competition in Nigeria.

India Cup: High Commissioner Hails Organisers, Winners Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shri Abhay Thakur has congratulated the organisers and winners of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edition of the India Cup which holed out at the golf section of Ikoyi Club 1938 last Saturday. Alex Nimyel stole the show in the competition emerging the overall winner. Tocometopinthekeenlycontestedevent, Nimyel netted a score of 72 to defeat over 150-other golfers who took part in the main event of the competition. The weeklong competition which also hadLadiesonthecoursesawAbahOputa with 36-Stabeford points winning the Ladies category. Pauline Onafowokan, came second after shooting 35-Stableford points, while Chantal Buday was second runner-up. In the gross category, Peter Eben-Spiff outclassed the field for the top position. The high point of the competition was

the presence of the Indian High Commissioner,whospoketothecontestantsonthe rapidly growing sporting and economic ties between Nigeria and India. Also speaking at the event, the golf Captain, Babatunde Johnson congratulated the winners saying he is happy on the return of India cup during his tenure. Expressing his appreciation to all those whoturned-outfortheevent,amemberof theeventsOrganisingCommittee,Ashish Gajjar said, he will forever remain grateful for their participation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I must express my appreciation for your presence today and for taking part in this tournament. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a fulfilling week for all and I must thank you for all you support,â&#x20AC;? he said. The Chairman of the event organizing committee Sunil Thadani thanked its event partners and others sponsors for their tremendous support.

Battle for Top Spot Heightened at 2019 Nigeria Bankers Games Action continues this weekend at the ongoing Nigeria Bankers Games as football event group games come to an end, just as attention switches to indoor games â&#x20AC;&#x201C; table tennis and chess at the Yaba College of Technology Sports Complex on Sunday. The first match of the day will see 2018 football champions - UBA and FCMB battle for groupAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top position. The two teams have begun the season with two wins from two games and will be looking

for a win to close out the group stage. The second match will also witness two teams in similar positions as First Bank and Fidelity Bank having both won their opening two fixtures and now gunning for top position in Group B. With Ecobank and Union Bank yet to amass any points this year, both teams will look to this weekend as an opportunity for their teams to end their winless streak before entering the knock out stages of the competition.

Juve, Milan Clash to Air on GOtv A series of top-flight games involving elite European teams across various football competitions will be aired live on GOtv during this weekend. The games will be broadcast live on SuperSport Select 2 to GOtv Plus and GOtv Max subscribers and on SuperSport Select 4 and 5 exclusive to GOtv Max subscribers. Leading the pack is the game between rivals Juventus and AC Milan in the Italian Serie A. The game kicks

Group Head, Telecommunications and Other Conglomerates of FirstBank, Osahon Ogieva, Golf Captain, Babatunde Johnson, FirstBank Brand Ambassador, Georgia Oboh, Head, Sponsorship, Event and Content Management, Oze. K. Oze and Head CRS, Media, and External Relations, Ismail Omamegbe at the pre-tournament brieďŹ ng on Friday.

off at 8:35pm on Sunday and will be aired live on SuperSport Select 5. In the Premier League, 15th placed Newcastle United welcome Bournemouth to the St. Jamesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Park today. It will be aired live at 3:50pm on SuperSport Select 2. Fourth-placed Atletico Madrid will clash against 19th-placed Espanyol at the Wanda Metropolitano in LaLiga on Sunday at 3:55pm on SuperSport Select 4.

L-R: Global Development Manager, Southampton Football Club, Mathew Sanger, Director, Schools Sports Lagos State, Dr (Mrs.) Oluyomi Oluwasanmi, Project Coordinator , Saints Lagos Football Academy, Anthony Ashiwe and Director, Goal Centre, Tosin Osunkoya, during the unveiling of the Academy in Lagos, recently.

Southampton Opens â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Saints Academyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in Nigeria In response to the yearnings of the abundant talents and to direct the energies of the teeming youth population positively in Nigeria, the Southampton football club of England, established in 1885, have come together in mutual partnership with crimson sports international to establish its first football academy in Lagos. The Saints Lagos football academy, as it would be known, was recently presented to the media, at the newly built Goal Centre, Lekki in Lagos. The academy said to be an extension of the English Premier League clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flagship project modeled on the Southampton football club academy in England, which has produced great football stars in the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Oxlade Chamberlain, among others, has come to make a difference. The academy which is taking off at the Goal Centre, facility, Lekki, Lagos, is opened to both boys and girls ranging from age six to 14. According to the promoters of the project, the essence is to help in the

development of youth leadership and taking the game nearer to those who have the ability, skill, passion and talent to bring to the fore the giant in them for their good and for the upliftment of the human society. Speaking on the academy during the media event, Anthony Ashiwe, project coordinator, Saints Lagos FootballAcademy, said as an affiliate of the Premier League football giant, the academy was with a vision to add worthy value to the sports industry in Nigeria and beyond. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; It is our great joy to ensure that we the drivers of Saints Lagos football academy would do all humanly acceptable and possible to help develop the human society starting from where we are Lekki, Lagos. It is a great dream we must live as long as god helping us, â&#x20AC;&#x153; he said. In his reaction, Mathew Sanger, Global Development Manager, Southampton Football Club, England, stated that there was a huge prospect for talent discovery and development in Nigeria, which informed the global football club to partner with crimson sports international to create opportunities for the young who

were passionate about the development of their gifts which the academy has come to help such achieve their desires. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are here to help discover, grow and develop football stars who in the long run will make all the stakeholders proud to be a part of this novel cause borne out of being socially a global responsible citizen as we all should, â&#x20AC;&#x153;he emphasised. Tosin Osunkoya, Director Goal Centre, said the centre was of world class standard and they were very excited and proud to be a facilitator of the crimson sports and Southampton partnership in Nigeria. The Director General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Mr. Gaffar Bolowatan, who spoke through the director, school sports directorate, Dr. Oluyomi Oluwasanmi, congratulated the parties involved in the laudable project and stated that the Lagos State government was happy to be the launching pad for the project in Nigeria and her support in all possible ways to make sure people who were in the state with good intent prosper endurably.




Peter Olayinka gave Barcelona defence a tough time at Nou Camp


eter Olayinka scored an own goal as Slavia Prague fell to a 2-1 loss against Barcelona three weeks ago in the UEFA Champions League game as he deflected a Luis Suarez shot with his chest in the 57th minute to put Barcelona ahead again after Jan Boril cancelled out Lionel Messiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opener. In the return leg at Nou Camp on Tuesday night, Olayinka may not have scored but he was a thorn in the flesh of Barcelona and forced their defender, Gerrard Pique to foul him and was booked which would make the defender to miss the Barca next game against Borussia Dortmund. Indeed his performance did not go unnoticed by his compatriot, Asisat Oshoola who plays for Barcelona femini. Super Falcons striker praised the spirited performance of Olayinka after his Czech side, Slavia Prague left Camp Nou with a point following a goalless draw against the Spanish champions in the Champions League on Tuesday. The Super Eagles forward, who played the entire duration of the game, was a handful for the Blaugrana defenders as his physical presence made life difficult for the likes of Pique, Clement Lenglet, Nelson Semedo, and Jordi Alba on the night. The 23-year-old covered a distance of 11.31 kilometres and that was only bettered by two Barcelona players, Frenkie de Jong (12.11km) and Vidal (11.57km). Oshoola took to her official Twitter handle to commend the energetic display of the former KAA Gent of Belgium player. â&#x20AC;&#x153;@AsisatOshoala: Peter no Dey tire #BARSLPâ&#x20AC;?, her tweet reads. In an earlier group match against Inter Milan at the iconic San Siro

Peter Olayinka

Gave Camp Nou Something to Ponder Call it a pound of ďŹ&#x201A;esh and you may not be far from the Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ë&#x203A;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2039;ĂŁĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2039;ĂŁĂ&#x2DC;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x2039;Ă Ă?Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2039;Ă Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x;Ă? Ă Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x161;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x2039;ĂŁĂ&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2039;Ă Ă?Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2018;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x17D;Ă?ĘŽĂ?Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă?Ă&#x17D; Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x2039;Ă Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2039;Ă Ă&#x201C;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;ĂŁĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?ʨĂ&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2013;Ă?Ă&#x2018;Ë&#x153;Ă&#x2019;Ă&#x201C;Ă? Ă&#x161;Ă?Ă&#x153;Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2DC;Ă?Ă?Ă&#x2018;Ă&#x2039;Ă Ă?Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2014;Ă&#x161;Ă?Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x201C;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2019;Ă?Ă&#x;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2013;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x17E;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x161;Ă&#x2122;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x17D;Ă?Ă&#x153; Stadium, Slavia Prague were on the verge of beating the host after Olayinka deservedly put the underdogs in front in the 63rd minute of their UEFA Champions League opening match in September but a 92nd minute equaliser from Nicolo Barella ensured that the Italians shared the spoils. The goal, a first for Olayinka in the European elite football championship, came at a venue which holds a lot of memories for the Nigerian. â&#x20AC;&#x153;San Siro is one of the most popular stadiums. I used to select the stadium when I used to play video games growing up,â&#x20AC;? he said on Instagram. Olayinka admits he was nervous at first, but the feeling of scoring at such an iconic stadium was over-

whelming. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I got to the stadium, I was very nervous, even before the game. I was thinking of the stadium, and after scoring I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to celebrate it. The feeling was overwhelming, but it was absolutely fantastic.â&#x20AC;? His goal against Inter Milan made him become the first Nigerian to score on his Champions League debut since Yakubu Aiyegbeniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hat-trick for Maccabi Haifa against Olympiakos in September 2002. The 23-year-old made his debut for Nigeria against Brazil in an international friendly last month following eye-catching performances for his club in the league and in Europe. However, ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON qualifying

showdown against the Squirrels of Benin and Likuena of Lesotho, the Prague striker was not included in Gernot Rohrâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s final 23-man list, hence, had to settle for a spot on the standby list. Olayinka says he had a rough beginning as a young aspiring footballer, saying he had little parental support as his father didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think a career in football was possible. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At first my dad didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t support me,â&#x20AC;? he told Brilla FM. According to him, things were tough to the extent that he could barely get food to eat before going for practice. He said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was on the streets for a very long time, things werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t easy. I suffered mostly growing up; things were difficult. I would drink garri and kuli-kuli or go on an empty stomach after practice. But I kept my focus and would pray for a breakthrough. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Later he noticed I could make a living from it and he became my number one fan. He bought me playing kits and my boots.â&#x20AC;? G LO B A L S O C C E R ASSISTANT EDITOR










AUTO West Africa Automotive Show Premieres

The contestants with the Coscharis Ford team during the visit

Coscharis Ford Hosts Contestants of The Next Titan TV Show Stories by Bennett Oghifo


ontestants from the ongoing entrepreneurial reality TV show, The Next Titan on Friday 8th November 2019 paid a courtesy call on Coscharis Motors at their Ford office in Victoria Island, Lagos. While welcoming the contestants on behalf of the company, Abiona Babarinde, General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications at Coscharis Group said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are excited to support the Next Titan reality show once again. Henry Ford once said that a business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. Therefore, Coscharis aligns with Fordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s objective as a corporate citizen to support Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s upcoming business owners with entrepreneurial skills that will make a contribution towards the economy and for them to lead by example.â&#x20AC;?

Coscharis Motors Plc, the sole official distributor of Ford vehicles in Nigeria and Ford Motor Company are the official automobile sponsors of the entrepreneurial reality TV show, for the fourth consecutive season. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since inception of its participation in Next Titan, Coscharis Motors and Ford are proud to have given previous winners, over the past four seasons, Ford vehicles to help run their business. This year, the business will continue the momentum and give the winner of Season 6 a brand new Ford Figo.â&#x20AC;? said Babarinde. TheNextTitan,nowinitssixthseason,isaplatform for young entrepreneurs to demonstrate their talent in business. The primary purpose of the programme is to challenge the publicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perception of entrepreneurship, to awaken the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entrepreneurial spirit, to inspire contestants and viewers to strive for success in business, and become masters of their own destinies. After a grueling screening process which saw

thousands of young entrepreneurs between the ages of 21 and 40 compete for a chance to get into the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Houseâ&#x20AC;?, sixteen participants emerged and have been doing battle in various business tasks, such as strategy, sales, marketing, and promotions. During the competition, participants and viewers get exposure to real-life entrepreneurial challenges through informal training, and a chance to learn from top business leaders.At the end of the contest, only one will emerge as The Next Titan. Babarinde went on to say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Coscharis Motors wishes all participants the best of luck for the competition, We believe that the current contestants will both inspire young entrepreneurs, and educate society on just how much hard work goes into growing a business. They will push themselves to the limit, digging deep into their minds to discover and exhibit their true entrepreneurial potentials. According to Dr Cosmas Maduka, founder of Coscharis Group, we really donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know who we are until we see what we can do.â&#x20AC;?

Kiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Futuron Concept Proposes New Electric SUV Coupe


ia Motors has revealed its new Futuron Concept, an illuminating all-wheel drive SUV coupe which proposes new designs for future electric vehicles. The Futuron Concept represents the modern and confident image of a progressive electric SUV coupe envisioned by Kia. The Futuron name itself is a portmanteau of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;futureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;onâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, hinting at the switched-on, electric nature of future SUV designs from the brand. With a design based around the notion of dynamic purity, the Futuron Concept merges elegantproportionswithpureshapesandsurfaces. Its lightweight SUV coupe body incorporates a fully-electric all-wheel drive powertrain, wrapped in bold yet modern exterior surfaces, and with a flexible, high-tech interior. The Futuron makes its public debut today at the 2019 China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, where it will be on display to the public until 10 November. An electric SUV coupe with a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;360-degree coreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; The Kia Futuron Concept is built around a single, strong â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;360-degreeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; design notable for its pure, smooth form devoid of ornament. The delicate diffusion of the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surfaces creates a series of taut, flowing shapes which twist, expand and contract around the body. The result is a sleek and streamlined shape, creating an aero-efficient profile. The novel proportions of the car are immediately striking. Its low-profile SUV coupe body makes

Kiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Futuron Concept

a strong statement of intent for Kiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future cars, which will be confident, sporty and modern, yet also elegant. At 4,850 mm in length, 1,550 mm tall and with a 3,000 mm-long wheelbase, the Futuronâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s elevated ground clearance is matched withalow,leanbodytocreateadynamic,confident posture. The Futuronâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fully-electric powertrain makes

this shape possible. A high-capacity battery is mounted low in the vehicleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body, beneath the cabin floor, providing electrical energy to four powerful in-wheel electric motors. The elevated stance of the car is therefore matched with a low center of gravity and a cutting-edge e-AWD system which delivers lightning-fast responses to driver inputs.

West Africa Automotive Show, WAAS, a new international trade exhibition, brought the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s automotive parts industry together for the first time. The maiden edition was recently held at the Landmark Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos. The 3 day exhibition which had about 100 exhibitors from Nigeria and around the world hosted more than 3000 visitors. The exhibition aimed at forging new business ties, show off the latest developments and products in the spare parts and services sector. Also, suppliers, dealers and manufacturers will be able to discuss best practice for the industry and find out more about the developing local motor manufacturing industry. Managing Director, BtoB Eventsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Jamie Hill, the organisers of WAAS, stated that they had two successful show launches in Lagos over the past year, Beauty West Africa and Food and Beverage West Africa. I envisioned the regional automotive sector come together under one roof during the launch of WAAS, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a wealth of international exhibitors looking to bring high-tech equipment to Nigeria for the first time and a large number of local exhibitors are looking to expand their business and increase exports to surrounding countries,â&#x20AC;? he said. He stated Nigeria having the largest population on the continent creates a huge market opportunity, and BtoB has selected Lagos to launch its first show. Also, it recognises Nigeria is well placed to become the automotive hub of the African continent with over 11.5 million vehicles on the roads. Hill stated that with over 60% of vehicles on the road being over 12 years old, there is a huge aftermarket industry, and so, the need for high quality and affordable spare parts is becoming increasingly important.

Cornerstone Takes 3rd Party Insurance Drive to Transport Garages As a way of breaking the ignorance among motorists on the necessity of obtaining genuine third party insurance policy as well as access its numerous benefits, Cornerstone Insurance Plc has taken campaign to garages in Lagos to sensitise the drivers on the need to acquire third party insurance policy as well as expose its benefits to them. In a chat with the motoring journalists in his office recently, Pelumi Akindumusire, the Ikeja branch manager of Cornerstone Insurance plc, Ikeja Lagos said that, out of the 12 million registered vehicles in the Nigeria, only 2.5 million have genuine insurance cover. Akindumusire pointed out that, it is not as if those motorists do not possess insurance certificate, but that, the policy they have is fake and that is why the Insurance industry has looked for a way to use the Nigeria Insurance Industry Database (NIID) to address the challenge. He added that the industry also partners with the men of the Vehicle Inspection Services (VIS) and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to monitor fake insurance policy holders. â&#x20AC;&#x153;On the NIID platform, when a motorist inputs his policy number or the vehicleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s registration number on the app, it will bring out the insurance details of the vehicle, this signifies that, the policy is genuine and if it did not appear, it will say record not found implying that the policy is a fake one,â&#x20AC;? he explained. However, to improve on the effort the industry is making, he said Cornerstone Insurance Plc on its own has taken further steps to educate public drivers on the need for genuine motor insurance cover starting with third party motor insurance policy for commercial drivers. In view of this, a team from the Cornerstone Insurance Plc will be going to the motor garages in Lagos to sensitise the drivers on the need for insurance cover with the aim of selling the third party cover to them eventually. He said various efforts are being made in this regard. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;My team and I intend to cover majority of the garages in Lagos state to sensitise the motorists on the need for insurance because of its numerous benefits.




Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Most Travelled Land Rover Complete Third Expedition Stories by Bennett Oghifo


fter successfully reaching the African continentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most easterly point in war-torn Somalia as part of the Extreme East Expedition in 2017, then covering over 17,000km on journey from Cape Town to Kathmandu last year, the Kingsley Holgate Expedition teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two Land Rover Discoverys have now safely returned to South Africa from their toughest expedition yet. The recently completed Zambezi-Congo Expedition began in Chinde, Mozambique in the vast, 18,000km2 Zambezi Delta where, as tradition dictates, the Holgate expedition team filled their symbolic Zulu calabash with Indian Ocean seawater from the mouth of the Zambezi River. Using two expedition Land Rover Discoverys, the geographic challenge of the journey was to crossAfrica from East to West across Mozambique, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the mouth of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deepest river, the Congo. Averaging sometimes only around 50km a day, the team fought its way over 2500km in 4-wheel drive low ratio negotiating 3m-deep mud ruts, trenches, powder-soft sand, and treacherous potholes to cover more than 10,000km of some the worst conditions the team has conquered yet. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve talked about this east-to-west crossing of Africa for years and now itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happened,â&#x20AC;? said Kingsleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son and Expedition Leader Ross Holgate. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With more than 80,000 hard-earned kilometers already on the clock, it certainly put these much-travelled Discoverys to the ultimate

Kingsley Holgate Zambezi-Congo

test. The journey across the DRC was an absolute hell-run - a graveyard road littered with vehicles that had previously attempted this challenge. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The roads, or lack thereof, werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t our only challenge. We also faced the very real threats of Ebola, malaria, dengue fever and rebel activities. There were some tough geo-political pressures especially with the latest xenophobic attacks in South Africa and threats of reprisal against the expedition team, which endangered the journey.â&#x20AC;?

As is the case with all their expeditions, the team carried a Scroll of Peace and Goodwill and collected hundreds of messages of support from health workers, chiefs, ambassadors and residents along the route. Finally, after nearly eight weeks, the vehicles rolled into the port town of Banana and the symbolic calabash of water from the mouth of the Zambezi was emptied into the Congo River. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We believe these to be the most travelled Land

Rover Discoverys in the world,â&#x20AC;? said Kingsley Holgate, Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s celebrated explorer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having safely taken us to the dangerous Horn of Africa, shortly followed by a transcontinental odyssey through 12 countries and more than 17 000km on our Cape to Kathmandu mission, these vehicles have certainly earned their credentials. â&#x20AC;&#x153;More recently, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve used them on a number of humanitarian journeys close to home, including the distribution of over 15 tonnes of emergency supplies to flood-stricken communities surrounding Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique that were hard-hit after the devastation of Cyclone Idai. Just ahead of our east-to-west ZambeziCongo Expedition we also completed a successful â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Vision Missionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, helping to screen more than 1,300 patients in need of urgent eye care in the Zambezi Delta.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;This world-first humanitarian and geographic Land Rover expedition means the culmination of the toughest three-year test of the new Discovery ever undertaken. This was the perfect way to demonstrate Discoveryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capabilities and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Discovery brand,â&#x20AC;? said Tina Pienaar-Smit, Jaguar Land Rover SouthAfrica and sub-Sahara Africa PR and Sponsorship Specialist. Since departing on their first expedition three years ago, the two Kingsley Holgate Discoverys have each clocked over 100,000km of torturous geographic and humanitarian work throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The vehicles have been tested to the extreme, often beyond the limits of specification with near 500kg loaded onto the roof, depths of well over 1m waded and 12 passengers loaded in emergency situations.

Mercedes-Benz Sold 199,293 Cars Worldwide in October


ercedes-Benz sold 199,293 cars worldwide in October, thus surpassing the prior-year month, which had been the bestselling October for the brand with the three-pointed star, by more than 9,000 units (+4.9%). The growth in October was largely driven by the new A-Class Saloon and the new GLC. The C-Class Saloon and Estate also boosted unit sales once again last month. Deliveries by Mercedes-Benz increased again in the months of January to October: sales of 1,924,536 cars with the star were 1.0% higher than in the prior-year period. In the first ten months of the year, MercedesBenz maintained its market leadership in the premium segment in markets including Germany, UK, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Portugal, Denmark, Turkey, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, Canada, Republic of South Africa and other markets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are satisfied with the unit sales achieved by Mercedes-Benz at the beginning of the fourth quarter, also in the context of the high prior-year basis. In view of the challenging

environment for the entire industry, we can be proud of the impulses provided by our product offensive. And we are delighted with the positive feedback from customers on our new models,â&#x20AC;? stated Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG responsible for Marketing & Sales. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In addition to the new compact cars, our new SUVs are also extremely popular: With the GLC and the GLC CoupĂŠ, we actually set a new record for an October. This means that the GLC is well on its way to become the bestselling SUV in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio once again in 2019.â&#x20AC;? Mercedes-Benz unit sales by region and market A total of 81,017 Mercedes-Benz cars were delivered in the Europe region in October â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a new October record (+1.3%). From January to October, unit sales in the region increased by 0.6%. In the core market of Germany, deliveries increased by 5.3% to the number of 30,763 vehicles. This means that in the first ten months of the year, unit sales in Germany were significantly higher than in the prior-year period with a plus of 5.0%. In Poland, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark and Hungary, new records were set for unit sales in an October.

The new A-Class Saloon

Still On BMWsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Harvest of Female Deaths As I continue with the second part of my piece on the season of deaths involving BMWs cars,let me refresh your mind with the findings that a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs who drives without concentration, is like a mad man with a sharp knife who knows who his next victim will be. A drugged driver is over confident and has distorted perception of the event and situations around him. He is at risk of taking unnecessary risks which can expose him to unimaginable danger. He also has poor coordination, lacks the composure to put him together in an emergency situation. He is restive and erratic, unable to be in control of his actions as he loses his composure, sometimes feigning ignorance and showing arrogance at the same time. He also has blurred vision, dizziness and severe fatigue. Drugs and alcohol therefore increases the chances of road crashes but also their fatalities which was the case with the Jos driver who was driving under the influence and probably speeding above the limit. Excessive speed was a likely factor in both crashes. The message,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; speed thrills but killsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;&#x2122;donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t kill the child, kill your speedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; are two of favorite messages crafted by the Federal Road Safety Corps to re-enforce its awareness strategies as a critical plank to checkmate excessive speed which ranks tops among causative factors responsible for road traffic crashes in the country. These messages are on point in driving home the urgent need for motorists to detour from the


Jonas Agwu amnipr, mcipr,mprsa,arpa (Corps Commander) Corps Public Education Officer Federal Road Safety Corps. + 2348033026491 killer habit of driving above the stipulated speed limits with its inherent risks. There are however some deviants who think differently. The two BMW drivers think differently. So too does my friend and classmate Toye, who thinks that such messages are mere time wasting.At almost 60years of age, Toye nicknamed by some classmatesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; asâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; the speed freakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is a weird driver who believes that driving is no fun without the accompanying risks of excessive speeding which to him is the hallmark of a competent driver. During our days at the prestigious University of Lagos, Akoka, I was always the first to opt out of a journey once I confirm that Toye would be the man behind the wheels. I was always called a coward, although few colleagues were too timid to opt out of such trips for fear of being tagged, cowards too. Despite Toyeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so called bravery, I recall vividly that on two occasions, he had near misses while driving from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital to

Lagos after attending a weekend birthday party of a classmate. Yet, Toye remained unrepentant in his adventurous driving style. My friend Toye is not a loner in this business of excessive speeding. Besides educated drivers like him, there are lots of drivers who believe that the hallmark of good driving is excess speeding. For some, speed and dangerous maneuvering are all the ingredients that make for good driving. In fact, among male drivers, the best way to show off their driving skills is to over speed. The story is not different for young and novice drivers.I recall a case when a caller on a road safety awareness programme on television advised that the maximum should speed be increased from 100km/ph to 180 or 200km/ ph if we are serious about checkmating excessive speeding. The caller argued that the reason people exceed the speed limit is because the current speed of 100km/ph is meant for retired and old drivers Globally, drivers like Toye are giving safety professionals plenty worry on how to curtail the spate of excessive speeding and the attendant consequences. One of such road safety practitioners is a leading road policing officer in the United Kingdom who recently expressed his support for punishing drivers caught speeding by even 1km/ ph. Chief constable Anthony Bangham, a Police Chief in England, came under hammer after he suggested that drivers exceeding the speed limit by a fraction as little as 1km/ph should be prosecuted. He maintained that the existing leeway gives out

the wrong signal and could be contributing to increasing injuries on the roads. According to him the present guidance leads drivers to think â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;it is okay to speedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. The Police chief therefore warned his colleagues that there is the need to change road safety messages by ensuring the deployment of greater consistency of approach when dealing with those who exceed the speed limit.Mr. Bangham observed that fatalities increased by 4% in 2016 after years of decline, and admitted the police approach â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;appears to be failingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. He wondered why there was partiality in the treatment for drivers.According to him where there is widespread public support for action against drink-drivers, those who use mobile phones at the wheel and those who do not wear seatbelts, crackdowns on speeders are â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;actively resistedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; despite the fact that speeding was a factor in 15% of fatal crashes in 2015.Under current policing guidelines, motorists are not stopped if they are driving at up to 10% over the limit â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and they are often given an extra 2km/ph allowance on top of that. This he noted, means that a motorist could go up above the speed limit at built up areas without facing punishment. Like I said earlier, some think his views deserves consideration as they observe that under the existing speed enforcement guidance, the 10 percent plus two rule in England, gives drivers the impression that travelling above the speed limit is acceptable. There are however those who think differently, although current speed enforcement guidelines for police set in 2011 are being looked at.






 Ë&#x153; Ëž NOVEMBER 9, 2019



Harassmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Uncountable


BUJAMETRO of October 30 welcomes us today with this sexy banner: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pains, harassments, joys of heavily endowed ladiesâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Harassmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is non-count. THISDAY Front Page of November 2 circulated two blunders: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I want to use this opportunity to reiterate my call to (on) Nigerians to patronise Made-inNigeria products and services.â&#x20AC;? To â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;call toâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; someone is to shout at the person to get their attention, while â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;call on/uponâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, which applies here, means to formally ask someone to do something. â&#x20AC;&#x153;16 Ex-Kwara council chairmen arrested over (for) alleged misuse of N4bnâ&#x20AC;? I must commend THISDAY, THE SATURDAY NEWSPAPER, for using the right expression unlike most other publications: â&#x20AC;&#x153;INEC raises the alarm about likely bloodbath in Kogi, Bayelsa guber (governorship) pollsâ&#x20AC;?Almost on a daily basis, I come across â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;raise alarmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x201D;instead of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;raise the alarmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. What this implies is that there are still intellectual journalists. â&#x20AC;&#x153;NDE train (trains) youths on agricâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;FoodCo unveils campaign to mark 37 anniversary (37th anniversary)â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;ŚGovernor Seriake Dickson has been vigorously leading the campaign of the Peoples Democratic Partyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flag-bearer (standard-bearer)â&#x20AC;Ś.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Police smash child trafficking (child-trafficking) syndicate, fake SARS operatives, others in Lagosâ&#x20AC;? (DAILY SUN Headline, November 4) â&#x20AC;&#x153;Scandal hits school feeding (school-feeding) programmeâ&#x20AC;? (Source: as above) â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heavy smoke billowing out of a plaza following fire outbreak at Martin Streetâ&#x20AC;Ś.â&#x20AC;? (DAILY SUN Front Page Caption, November 8) â&#x20AC;&#x153;MTN Nigeria launches music streaming platformâ&#x20AC;? (Tech & Gadgets, November 6) Get it right: music-streaming platform â&#x20AC;&#x153;Soldiers take over troubled spotsâ&#x20AC;? Let peace

reign: trouble spots. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Post election violence spreadsâ&#x20AC;? Towards a better life for the people: Post-election violenceâ&#x20AC;Ś. â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Ślost his life in a ghastly auto crash in Greeceâ&#x20AC;? It was a fatal (not ghastly) accident. â&#x20AC;&#x153;President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, expressed sadness over the sporadic violent protest (protests)â&#x20AC;Ś.â&#x20AC;? The next headline blunder is from last weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edition of this medium: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Police arrest four over Maiduguri explosionâ&#x20AC;? Do we arrest the entire editorial team for (not over) lexical recklessness? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bribery enthrones mediocrity and crucify merit.â&#x20AC;? The Tabernacle of bribery crucifies merit. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Gang up against Buhari will failâ&#x20AC;? Phrasal verb: gang up; noun: gang-up (which applies here). â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were treated to another similar incidence.â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;?All newspapers should know the difference between â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;incidenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;incidentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (which applies here). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Although the governorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last minute romance with the main opposition party is held against him.â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? Saturday People: last-minute (take note of the hyphen) romance â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thus, a core investorâ&#x20AC;Świth regards to optimal use of the machinery.â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? (THE GUARDIAN, October 12) Either: as regards or with regard toâ&#x20AC;Ś. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the heydays of the goggled General when fuel was often unavailableâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? (THE GUARDIAN, October 20) Stranglehold of oil workers: heyday (uncountable). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last year, many houses of the Igbo inAjegunle, a suburb of Lagos, were razed down.â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? No word abuse: simply razed (not razed down). Discard the contrary views by some registers! Yet another headline gaffe: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Restrictions on inter-bank foreign exchange trading is (are) killing the market.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Armed robbers now have good companyâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;street thugs and unofficial vigilante groups.â&#x20AC;? (Source: as above) Democracy as a disincentive: vigilance group. â&#x20AC;&#x153;PDP points accusing fingers at INECâ&#x20AC;Ś.â&#x20AC;? People in the news: Buhari points the finger. No obtuse addition.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nigeria is at a crossroadâ&#x20AC;? (VANGUARD, September 20) Fixed expression: at a/the crossroads. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stationeries badly needed by.â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? (DAILY INDEPENDENT, October 20) â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Stationeryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is non-count. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But what appears criminal is the desire of these off-springs of.â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Offspringâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; does not take any inflection. The next three goofs are from VANGUARD of October 20: â&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;Śthe process of economic integration from which will emerge an economic block (bloc).â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a tussle going on between these two (would it have been three?) arms of government.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nigerian leaders and politicians have continued to adopt and acquiesce to (in).â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Globacom sets (set) to rule domestic marketâ&#x20AC;? (Nigerian Tribune, October 20) â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have been briefed that the wrangling among the leaders of PDP are (is) over.â&#x20AC;? (SUNDAY VANGUARD, November 3) BusinessDay of November 4 disseminated an embarrassing impropriety: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now that the Police has (have) taken over the supervision of theâ&#x20AC;Ś.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Śand ensure it does not reoccur again.â&#x20AC;? (THE GUARDIAN, November 5) â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Reoccur againâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;? Run for cover, my dear reader! Just recur. Recur, recurrence, recurrent. Occur, occurred, occurrence. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lack of incentives anger (angers) local manufacturersâ&#x20AC;? (Source: as above) â&#x20AC;&#x153;They provide temporary relief.â&#x20AC;? (Source: as above) â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Temporary reliefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;? I strongly object to that clumsy expression because there is no permanence in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;reliefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. If the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;reliefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; becomes efficacious, the expression should then change! THE PUNCH ofAugust 20 circulated three solecisms: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The patients pay for each act of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;healingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; through their noses.â&#x20AC;? Get it right: they pay through the nose. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At the launching programme (launch) inAbuja.â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Acursory look at the figures show (shows) that.â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? Daily Sun of November 6 circulated copious shibboleths: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The end point is that people wait for between three to five hours to pay in their drafts.â&#x20AC;? English without tears: between three and five.

That Lionhearted Mishap


t would have been heart-warming if Ms Genevieve Nnaji had kept sealed lips. It would have been gracious if frazzled selectors had promptly apologised, and speedily assumed responsibility, and offered to resign (or feigned it). It would have been a shocking binge of fresh air if our social media influencers and critics had done a little research before crashing into the current controversy surrounding Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Oscar Awardsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; treatment or maltreatment of our dear lovely Lionheart. It would have been great to see how the supposed second-placed work which is predominantly rendered in an indigenous language would have fared. It would have been uplifting if after five years of â&#x20AC;&#x153;searchingâ&#x20AC;? for the right movie to represent Nigeria at the Oscars, we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bungle it. Now, all we are left with are recriminations, wishful thinking, accusations, hashtags and so much fluff. As usual, we have found a way to pull off the wrappers covering our nakedness in the market place. Wild statements and outlandish declarations are pouring through the freeway of social network commentaries, without regard for accuracy or circumspection. People you assume should know and thus interject with a level of sensitivity, disappoint their reputation, and carelessly drag the industry they claim to cherish down some rungs. Some critics wondered what sort of â&#x20AC;&#x153;delusion of grandeurâ&#x20AC;? would infect a first-time movie director like Genevieve to believe her maiden work, Lionheart, could win an Oscar! But, why not? Unlike craft that matures through apprenticeship, directorial genie (not exclusive right of a Genevieve) is sometimes inbred... intuitive... and may just strike the threadstone at first attempt. Actually more than 20 debutantes have won Oscars in its 91 editions, and first time winners have â&#x20AC;&#x153;predominantlyâ&#x20AC;? come from the female stock: Gale Sondergaard, the first Best Supporting Actress winner (at the 9th Oscars) with her first flick, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Anthony Adverseâ&#x20AC;? (1936); the first and perhaps only non-professional actor to win Oscar for acting, Harold Russel, did so with 1946â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Best Years of Our Livesâ&#x20AC;?... Dr. Haing S. Ngor won an Oscar for his first supporting role in â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Killing Fieldsâ&#x20AC;? (1984). The list is fairly long, including the 11-year old prodigy, Anna Paquin, in â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Pianoâ&#x20AC;? (1994). There is a sprinkling of outstanding first-timers who also stunned the Oscars with their directorial debuts: Delbert Mann (1956) with romantic drama, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Martyâ&#x20AC;?; Jerome Robbins (1962) and Sam Mendes (2000) with â&#x20AC;&#x153;American Beautyâ&#x20AC;?, which also won Best Picture, Actor (Kevin Spacey), Screenplay and Cinematography! To those who cry â&#x20AC;&#x153;freedomâ&#x20AC;? for Oscarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;wickednessâ&#x20AC;?, note that the fault is not in the quality and substantial message of is not so much the fault of the astonished and possibly incensed sensibilities of Ms Nnaji (the filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s director and actor)... the responsibility for that magnificent mishap is buried somewhere in the recesses and processes of the 12-member Nigerian Oscar Selection Committee. It is difficult to dismiss the calibre and intellect of the committee members as a few of them are well-known to me with undisguised regard. So, if the problem is not in their abilities, could it be rooted in their capacity? Commitment in terms of time and resources alloted for quality interactions with rules of the single

EBERE WABARA, 08055001948

â&#x20AC;&#x153;With the attainment of the highest office at any strata of governmentâ&#x20AC;Ś.â&#x20AC;? Singular: stratum; plural: strata. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It may be difficult forAlhaji Nuhu Ribadu to resurrect again politically after his disastrous outing in the just-concluded presidential elections.â&#x20AC;? Please, yank off â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;againâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the interest of lexical sanity and our democracy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They better not rely on INEC.â&#x20AC;? This way: They had better not rely on INEC. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Like (As) we had said at various forums. â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;So, the government cannot ask the Supreme Court to interprete the law.â&#x20AC;? Spell-check: interpret. â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Śthe reduction in the number of road accidents and causalities.â&#x20AC;? (National Mirror,April 20) This way: casualties. â&#x20AC;&#x153; that extent, we shall congratulate its authors for (on) hearing the deafening cry of Nigerians for an effective legislature.â&#x20AC;? (Nigerian Tribune, October 20) â&#x20AC;&#x153;â&#x20AC;Śwere simultaneously a continuation of the power-bloc struggle in Nigeria and unanticipated fallouts from that struggle.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Falloutâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is uncountable. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Out-of-control trailer crushes 15 persons to deathâ&#x20AC;? When people are crushed by a trailer, they cannot be alive except there is divine intervention. So, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;crushed to deathâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; smacks of lexical insensitivity.


THANKS for your commendable work on the English language. Kindly inform Nigerians that â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;opportuneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; cannot be used in place of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;opportunityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;behovesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; takes no â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;onâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;; and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;instrumentalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; admits â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;inâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x201D;not â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;toâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Pat Azurunwa/08023033488 MANY thanks for promoting scholarly exactitude in journalism. Comrade Peter O. Osazuwa/08033229129.



AKINTUNDE-JOHNSON 08182223348 - (SMS Only)


category they were saddled with, and the sundry submissions that would require undivided attention and familiarity? We understand that the final two works were Lionheart and Mokalik (by Kunle Afolayan), and the later came second in the committeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wisdom and estimation. Did the selectors believe the power and potency of Lionheart as cinematic representation of Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s circumstance was so strong that other considerations, especially of â&#x20AC;&#x153;a predominant non-English dialogue trackâ&#x20AC;? could be easily sidelined? Or the committee misread the import and sanctity of Oscarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s regulations? Or, as some have opined, the committee was undecided about what exactly constitutes â&#x20AC;&#x153;predominantly non-Englishâ&#x20AC;?...or that we, the largest wholly black nation on Earth, have a variant that ought to be regarded and accepted as Nigerian English, and can thus be termed â&#x20AC;&#x153;indigenousâ&#x20AC;?? We know that hindsight makes most critics sound wise and thoughtful, in comparison to activists, who are doomed to take immediate and far-reaching decisions without the privilege of hindsight, and little elbow room for delay. Yet, we wish to enrich our understanding of this Oscar snub, that many Nigerians have aggregated to a national embarrassment and â&#x20AC;&#x153;post-colonialâ&#x20AC;? slap in the face, amidst similar jerry-can noisemaking... by imploring the committee to open up the diverse perspectives that picked one film above another, and any dissenting report (similar to tribunal rulings on election matters). Let us focus on appreciating the complexities of our challenges, and with robust and progressive mindsets, let us engage the process, personalities and perspectives that led to Lionheart. Yet, if it is as simple as assumptions, lack of attention to details, occupational distractions, and such human frailties, then hang them out... the heavens will not fall.... And if they do, we are all victims. Still smarting from the so-called rejection, some critics have advised Nigerian film makers to bypass the bungling Selection Committee and submit their works directly for other major

categories of the Oscars... We can only smile. While it is painful to be so casually rejected on account of our astonishing naivety, or is it carelessness, we must note that the Oscar is essentially an American awards system, for works distributed and promoted in fact, to be eligible either as feature or short films, your work must have been screened to fee-paying audiences in a number of the several theatres within the Los Angeles County! For a number of days...!! So, the tokenism of one category the so-called leader of the filmic universe has condescended to share with the entire world is the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;International Feature Film Awardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. It was changed, only this year, from the old title, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Foreign Language Awardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;... something steeped in a blatantly segregationist psyche. The April, 2019 statement of Larry Karaszewski and Diane Weyermann, co-chairs of the International Feature Film Committee, underscores this hegemonic mindset: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have noted that the reference to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Foreignâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is outdated within the global filmmaking community. We believe that International Feature Film better represents this category, and promotes a positive and inclusive view of filmmaking, and the art of film as a universal experience.â&#x20AC;? To highlight the fact that the Oscar is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;poster boyâ&#x20AC;? for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Glocal Enterpriseâ&#x20AC;? - a time-tested global brand with a local concept...which is to promote the best of America... about 89 entries were submitted from across the world last year; two were rejected, and eventually, nine were shortlisted. Our pains would be assuaged when our practitioners take pride in home-grown reward systems and artistic festivals...creating buzz and bustle that give clear impression that we own and rule our space... giving strong structural and vertical support and patronage to producers and managers of these umpires of quality production, authentic narrative representation and exploitation of our rich and diverse cultures, traditions and mores. I have been told that despite Oscarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right to gate-keep its entry point with preferred instructions, Lionheart optimally ticked all the technical boxes, more than any other works. We can pat ourselves on the backs that certain issues that used to bedevil the industry a couple of decades ago have been substantially overcome... we now shoot better films, create more sensible dialogues, generate more plausible plots, and our acting has remained on the high...then, we must recognise the need to reintegrate our indigenous works and stories into the fabrics of passion-driven technical and cinematic proficiency... Not because we want to be selected for a possible Oscar nomination, or even the ones around us; we must be happy and motivated to tell our stories in a beautiful, superlative, profitable and enduring way. Who says we cannot have excellent craft, imaginative deliveries, be authentic to our roots, and still make good profit?




Wizkid, BeyoncĂŠ Cooking â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Brown Skin Girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Video YEMISI FANCY I Thought I Would Be That Lawyer Just Passionate about the ArtsButâ&#x20AC;Ś

Down Goes Genevieveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lionheartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; pg. 46

pg. 50






Wizkid, BeyoncĂŠ Cooking â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Brown Skin Girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Video Ferdinand Ekechukwu


six months to the elderly. Also called for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;black and brown people of different cultures, nationalities, ethnicities, genders and agesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; all with backgrounds in London to step forward. A Nigerian named Jenn Nkiru, born in Peckham, England is directing the video after previously working with BeyoncĂŠ and

he news of American singer BeyoncĂŠ Knowles and Nigerian superstar singer/songwriter Ayodeji Balogun (Wizkid) filming the music video to their single off â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Lion King: The Giftâ&#x20AC;? album is good enough to generate the attention it has received since it was announced on Thursday October 31, 2019, same day shooting commenced at several locations in London. The song, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Brown Skin Girlâ&#x20AC;?, featuring Saint Jhn and Wizkid, marked BeyoncĂŠâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second collaboration with daughter Blue Ivy Carter (7-year-old), who also sang in the track. The song was credited as one of the Africa-centric tracks on the album. The Africa/American tracks on BeyoncĂŠâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Lion Kingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; featured Wizkid, Burna Boy, and BeyoncĂŠâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade, among others. BeyoncĂŠ is filming the new music video on a number of south London estates as she prepares to release Brown Skin Girl as a single. The US superstar, 38, chooses to shoot at several locations in Catford and Thamesmead. According to reports, BeyoncĂŠ wanted this video to truly represent the essence of the song. She was keen to have normal people come out and tell their stories. Her casting team called for all different family structures to apply including blended, single parent, queer and adopted. The casting team reportedly looked for people ranging from six months old to 100 years old. BeyoncĂŠ will only appear in parts of the music video that were recorded in America. Trained actors and dancers were also wanted but the main focus is on showcasing a variety of body shapes and ages, from as young as Beyonce

rapper husband Jay-Z, 49, on their smash hit in 2018. BeyoncĂŠ released 2019 album â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Lion King: The Giftâ&#x20AC;? in honour of her role as Nala in the Disney remake. The body of work also includes tracks Spirit and Mood 4 Eva but Brown Skin Girl has proven a favourite among fans for being a

celebration of dark-skinned women. The Oscar winner Lupita Nyongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;o, 36, thanked Bey for her name check in the track while Streatham-born supermodel Naomi Campbell, 49, is also referenced. The Brown Skin Girl song is fervently craved for the 2020 Grammy awards.




Burna boy

Burna Boy Relishes MTV EMA Trophy Ferdinand Ekechukwu


usic star Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy, continued his success streak this year winning the Best African Act award at the 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards which held on Sunday, November 3, in Seville, Spain. Burna Boy beat fellow Nigerian singer Teni Makanaki, Prince Kaybee (South Africa), TooFan (Togo), Nasty C (South Africa) and Harmonize (Tanzania) to emerge winner in the award category announced Sunday night at the FIBES Conference and Exhibition Centre. This is the second international award the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;African Giantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; as fondly called has clinched this year. He had won the Best International Act award at the 2019 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards in June. With Burna Boy 2019 MTV EMA win, the afro-fusion artiste adds to the list of Nigerian musicians who have won the much-coveted international laurel, and remarkably the fourth time in a row with the likes of Wizkid in 2016, Davido 2017, Tiwa Savage in 2018. Past Nigerian winners of the MTV EMA Best Africa Act award also include 2Baba and Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Banj. The MTV Europe Music Awards is one of two main events organised by the American music channel, alongside the prestigious Video Music Awards in the US that have been held annually since 1984. While Burna was being proclaimed the

winner of the MTV EMA Best African Act, the Star Beer brand ambassador was busy shutting down the 12,500 capacity SSE Arena in Wembley, London venue of his African Giant Tour Returns concert where he was also recognised for being the first Afrobeat artiste to shut down the place. His mother and manager, Bose Ogulu interrupted one of his performances to announce that Burna Boy had won the MTV EMA for Best African Act at the MTV EMA Awards ceremony. The African Giant Tour Returns concert at the SSE Wembley Arena ended at 11 pm, leaving fans with a euphoric feeling as they anticipate the African Giant Returns Europe tour concerts of Wednesday, 6th

November in Manchester and in Leicester today Saturday, 9th of November, 2019. Hosted by popular Nigerian comedian, Basketmouth, the African Giant Tour Returns, was an epoch concert. Over 12,500 music lovers were thrilled to the eccentric performance of the African Giant, Burna Boy alongside other superstars at the SSE Wembley Arena in London. A firsthand source informs that in a true Burna Boyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fashion, his entrance on stage left fans on tenterhooks. Burna emerged from the jaws of a 20-foot gorilla hoodlum to a nostalgic Fuji instrumental blend of Yoruba sounds, eliciting loud cheers from the crowd. He was lifted out with a harness and glided 20 feet high over the

While Burna was being proclaimed winner of the MTV EMA Best African Act, the Star Beer brand ambassador was busy shutting down the 12,500 capacity SSE Arena in Wembley, London venue of his African Giant Tour Returns concert where he was also recognised for being the ďŹ rst Afrobeat artiste to shut down the place

audience to his opening track, African Giant. The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Another Storyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; crooner treated his fans to a catalog of his hit songs, and fans had a good time singing along, creating a charged atmosphere with an energy that matched Burnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s amazing performances. His performances were aided by his seven-man band, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Outsidersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, his choir, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Burnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Angelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; (dressed in allwhite trendy outfits) and an 8-piece string orchestra. The maiden concert witnessed appearances from Wizkid, Manifest, Davido, Stormzy and Santan Dave, who joined Burna Boy on stage to perform their numbers to a rousing crowd. The CEO of Warner Music and a representative from the venue presented a Certified Sold out Concert at the SSE Wembley Arena Plaque to Burna Boy in recognition of his accomplishment. Recall that Burna Boy was also awarded a plaque for selling out the O2 Academy, Brixton in 2018. With Burna massively shutting down the 12,500 capacity SSE Wembley Arena shows the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;African Giantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; can go all out to possibly replicate the feats by Davido and Wizkid twice at the London O2 Arena which is 20,000-seater having successfully tested the waters with his sold-out concert at the second largest indoor facility in London after the 02 Arena and the ninth largest in the United kingdom. After all he is presumably so, the selfacclaimed African Giant of music. That way he can finally confirm his â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Giant of Africanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; music status! And put naysayers to rest.




I Thought I Would Be That Lawyer Just Passionate about the Arts Butâ&#x20AC;Ś Yemisi Fancy is a singer, songwriter and actor. She was first seen in the African glamour family series â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tinselâ&#x20AC;? where she plays the character Helen. She later starred in other shows and short films. Yemisi, with a background in law, is also known for her melodious tracks and unique sound. She is all about bringing the African sound into life in her music, as she believes the world needs to feel the beauty of Africa through music and film. She talks to Tosin Clegg about movies, music, starting out her career, life at large and so much more ethics. Good Work ethics is one of the most important things in every business. As an actor, the ability to show up when needed, keep to time, listen to the direction from the director or whoever is in charge. In this part of the world, good work ethic isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really appreciated as much; sometimes, people respect those who choose an African time over the call time, which shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be the case. My good work ethics make me exceptional because the talent is already there.

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a brand that exudes fun love music, film, dance, I can be an introvert but my line of work and business require me to be an extrovert. Yemisi Fancy is a brand which is quite versatile; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a brand that exudes fun, talent, confidence in the art of entertainment. Growing up was pretty, fun and a bit hectic. My education was here in Lagos. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a Lagosian. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m from a large family, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve a couple of siblings. I studied law at the University of Lagos. Yemisi Fancy is an artiste with a background in Law.


The kind of song I do and the messages Afro pop, Afro house and sometimes a bit of soul and Râ&#x20AC;&#x2122;nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;b. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all about Africa and the ability to sell the beauty in African music to the world. Messages vary from song to song, but generally I seek to share a happy, fun and jolly aura in my music.

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always loved the art of music and acting It all started from a passion to a dream. Then it is turning the dream into a reality. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always loved the art of music and acting, but I never thought I would be doing it professionally, as a business and career. I thought I would be that lawyer that was just passionate about the art, but as time went on after my education, I decided to give it a shot and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been growing steadily at it.

I hope to be a household name in my craft I have a principle of living one day at a time as we do not have control of lots of things. But basically, from the music side, I would love to have a strong body of work, EP or an album. Affiliate with other new and established act both at home and abroad. Film wise, I want to be part of more film projects and also put out a couple of films as a producer. And also expand the brand as time goes on. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more than the craft, but building a strong brand.

I deal with challenges everyday I believe there are challenges every day. Some, I can say, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve overcome while others I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. There are challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated industry; there are challenges of funding, challenges of societal and cultural perceptions on how things are viewed, especially from the entertainment industry. I deal with the challenges everyday and I get better at handling them. The one thing Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learnt is challenges are inevitable, all thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s required is seeing things from the positive angle and making it favour you as an individual. What I look at in music is melody, composition I used to believe that good music should sound a certain way, but then, over time I realised that everyone has ears for what appeals to them. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good music to you might not be to me and that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean it is bad music. But generally, what I look at is the melody, composition, arrangement and, more often, the beauty of the words. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had quite a couple of songs. So far, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve dropped 5- 6 tracks. I think you should totally check them out on the internet. Had a great experience working with Sess as a producer, krizbeatz as a producer, and every producer has a flavour they add to an artiste in terms of sounds. I had a great experience working with The Skuki brothers on my last release titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Skempeâ&#x20AC;?. They were very easy and fun to work with and they gave me a Jam too. Shout out to them.

Secrets to staying beautiful, young and attractive Well, drinking lots of water, saying my prayers, avoiding stress and people that can only stress me, being with people who encourage and motivate me. Sometimes, the secret to staying beautiful isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about how expensive your beauty products are, but the ability to stay off toxicity.

Yemisi Fancy

I got into Tinsel in 2012 They initially wanted a character that could act and sing to make up a band on the show called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Shallys Angelsâ&#x20AC;?. I auditioned and got casted, and the character â&#x20AC;&#x153;Helenâ&#x20AC;? started out on the show till date. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve featured in a couple of other projects but the recent one is yet to be out, but it will be screening at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s African International Film Festival (AFRIFF). This

November itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s titled Oriki and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a short film on gender-based violence, rape. What makes me an exceptional actor The ability to understand and digest the character makes me exceptional and being able to make others see what you see in the character thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being played. What makes me an exceptional actor is my work

How women are perceived in the industry is wrong Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a mindset that women do not belong in the entertainment scene, especially the music scene. That explains the fewer number of women, compared to men. People need to be more receptive to women in this line of business and believe they have as much potential to be great just as the guys, and be open minded to receive new sounds they are not used to. Secondly, there is lack of structure for everything that pertains to the entertainment industry. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no structure and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why the issue of piracy still eats deep into film and music. Artiste and producers put a lot of resources in projects just to find them online for free; no one can pay for what they can get for free. This has frustrated a lot of content creators in this side of the world. I must confess the level of piracy has drastically reduced due to the digital age and streaming platforms. But I think the government should put some strict laws in place for intellectual property protection. So that more creators can feel very confident to come in, which will in return, create more job opportunities for lots of people.




Tosin Clegg 07062816737 e-mail:

Gists Flux Factory Signer, Okiemute Releases New EP The name Okiemute is not new to the entertainment industry. The pop culture music crooner who just got signed to Flux Factory, spearheaded by music producer, GospelOnDeBeatz, is known for her hit singles, â&#x20AC;&#x153;African Wonderâ&#x20AC;?, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Wosaâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Moneyâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; collaboration with Moonchild, Sanelly and GospelOnDeBeatz. Touted as one of the fastest rising stars in African pop culture, her music career took centre stage as a solo artiste when she won the MTN Project Fame West Africa Season nine in 2016, after which she released her first single titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good Luvingâ&#x20AC;?. She would later release her first EP in 2017, which became a huge success and was produced by some of Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top producers among them, Masterkraft and GospelOnDeBeatz. In 2019, her collaboration â&#x20AC;&#x153;Moneyâ&#x20AC;? off GospelOnDeBeatzâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s album FLUX was at number four on MTV Base top 10 countdown. She recently released her new EP titled A Star and the video of her single Trouble. The four-track EP features â&#x20AC;&#x153;Turn Upâ&#x20AC;?, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lau Lauâ&#x20AC;?, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Troubleâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Omokalakuta.â&#x20AC;? The album is a fusion of Urban-Afro tracks which is an expression of Okiemuteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s versatility as an artiste. Speaking ahead of the release, she said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Finally, so ecstatic to share this new project with my fans across Africa and around the world. This body of work is a blend of different genres so that everyone could relate with my music. With this EP, I hope to share my new sound to the world and hope you all love it.â&#x20AC;? Okiemute is set to make her maiden East African media run in December to promote the new EP and meet her music fans in the region. Ahead of the trip, she said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have so much planned for you my East African family. I am looking forward to this trip so I can meet all of you and hopefully get to collaborate on a few projects with artistes in the region.

Sweet sensation anniversary draw

Sweet Sensation Celebrates 25th Anniversary Iseoluwa Out with New

Okiemuta and friends

Single, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Yes I Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Talented teen inspirational artiste, Iseoluwa Abidemi is out with yet another inspirational and mind-blowing single titled â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Yes I Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, which is already gathering a lot of media buzz since its release. With a touch by producer extraordinaire, Ambassador Wole Oni, the new song is a quest to see every child believe in his/ her potentials by being focused, tenacious and dedicated. It will interest you that the content of this new body of work is the central theme of Iseoluwaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s soon to be released Album. Speaking on the new song, Iseoluwa disclosed that the new work cuts across all age brackets but with utmost focus on children/youths to believe in themselves and never give up at any point in time. She added, â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a project so dear to my heart and I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait to get positive responses and impact the new song will gather.â&#x20AC;? It is pertinent to note that come Sunday, November 24, 2019, the official floating of the Yes I Can N.G.O./Album launch will hold at the Eko Hotels & Suites with Headliners like Amb. Wole Oni, Bee-Jay Sax, Tope Alabi, Tim Godfrey, Laolu Gbenjo, Mercy Chinwo and Mike Abdul. Speaking on the plans for the NGO/Album launch, Iseoluwa noted the essence was to influence the world positively, using her music as a major tool, while simultaneously appreciating Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wonderful work in her life. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I feel so excited as a young singer because music has always been one of my foremost means of expression. I use it to express the mind of God; to encourage people; to Worship God; I am passionate about Music; but I hope to be a lawyer in future,â&#x20AC;? she said. Iseoluwa

Nancy Isime, Kiss Daniel, Others Nominated for Maya Awards


Preparation are on for the 7th edition of the Moreklue All Youth African Awards, better known as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Maya Awards, which the organisers said would be bigger and better outing. In its 7th edition, the award stands on its core value which is created out of the desire to celebrate and motivate the skills and greatness of the average African youth and over time the platform has equally celebrated the socio-economic development and enterprising skills of the average African youths. The organisers added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The awardsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; event is proud to deliver a platform that truly reflects the character and cadence of the African rich heritage and power.â&#x20AC;? The CEO and creative director of Maya Awards, Mr. Ademola Ajibola disclosed that this year, the platform has a total of 83 categories spanning entertainment, entrepreneur, fashion, politics, sports, amongst others and one of such categories includes music act of the year with top stars that include Mayorkun, Kiss Daniel, Falz, Simi, Adekunle Gold, Teni, Best Actress 2019 category includes Jemima Osunde, Bimbo Ademoye, Tana Adelana, Nkechi Sunday, Nancy Isime, Mercy Macjoe, amongst others. Best Actor 2019 includes Timini Egbuson, Walter Anga, Fredrick Leonard, Enyinna Nwigwe, Lateef Adedimeji, and Sambasa Nzeribe, among others.

One of the foremost Quick Service Restaurant (QSR), Sweet Sensation is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Sweet Sensation is giving out home appliances as a form of appreciation of its teeming customer. The restaurant chain said this anniversary was dedicated wholly to rewarding its customers slated to end on 8th of November at their Ikeja GRA outlet. Sweet Sensation has revolutionised how Nigerians eat these last few decades. Pioneering the incorporation of local meals into the menus of Nigerian QSR, the organisation has continued to innovate over the years because they understand their place as leaders in the industry. Speaking on the anniversary, the founder, CEO and Managing Director, Lady Kehinde Kamson, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;From our humble beginnings at Ilupeju in 1994, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been 25 sensational years of serving Nigeria sweetness, and we are looking forward to the next 25 years knowing that they will be even more amazing. Our journey to 25 hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been easy. Along the way, from making Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best pastries, we have made your favourite local and intercontinental dishes ready whenever you want them. We have also created unique brands, such as SweetHeart Bread, OMG Cakes, Boga Masta, Sweet Scoop, amongst others.â&#x20AC;? Lately, the company has brought a lot of innovation in the food service industry, with the recently launched Funsation, Yardstick, and Yippee. These three outlets in Opebi, Ikeja GRA and Egbeda have since been revamped to reflect these new brand concepts which would be the new face of Sweet Sensation. The company promised the general public that in a short time every outlet will be revamped to take this new face. They promised to make Nigerians have a wonderful dining experience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We understand that people love to easily order food from their mobile phones and have it delivered. To satisfy this need we will be launching a mobile app soon that will enable people to order their favourite meals and snacks. We will continue to innovate to serve you better, so you can also expect more innovations in the not too distant future,â&#x20AC;? Lady Kehinde Kamson added.




Agatha Amata@50 Media personality, Agatha Amata, was 50 last Monday. She spent most of the day celebrating her golden age. The mum of two was also all over the social media sharing beautiful photos. This is showbizflairâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pick from the lot.




Glitz, Glam of Idia Aisien Model and Television presenter, Idia Aisien stole the show on the Red Carpet during the premiere of the highly anticipated movie sequel â&#x20AC;&#x153;Living in Bondage: Breaking Freeâ&#x20AC;? held last Saturday in Lagos. The theme of the night was Demons in Diamonds and Idia killed it with her bold and fabulous outfit/makeup.




Down Goes Genevieveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lionheartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; A largely Igbo cast movie, Lionheart, which is Genevieve Nnajiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s directorial debut was disqualified from the Oscars Best International Feature category for having too much English dialogue. Ferdinand Ekechukwu reports


igeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hope of earning its first Oscars nomination was cut short last Monday after the Academy disqualified Genevieve Nnajiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s critically acclaimed directorial debut movie, Lionheart from consideration in the Best International Feature Film category. The Academy announced the disqualification of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lionheartâ&#x20AC;? to voters in the category via an email on Monday. The film was scheduled to screen for Academy voters in the international category on Wednesday in a double bill with a Honduran entry, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blood, Passion, and Coffee.â&#x20AC;? According to theAcademy, the film does not meet the language requirement necessary for inclusion in the category since it was filmed mostly in English. Despite the film having some Igbo parts, an Academy rule which states that films must have â&#x20AC;&#x153;a predominantly non-English dialogue trackâ&#x20AC;? in order to be considered for the category makes it ineligible. It was revealed in October that the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC) had picked the movie as Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s submission to the Best International Feature Film category of the 2020 Oscars. The news of Lionheart becoming Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first Oscar submission was originally met with widespread excitement that is now being dimmed by news of its early disqualification. It was however revealed that â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lionheartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; was not vetted by the Academyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Feature Film Award Executive Committee when the NOSC first picked the film. After a recent viewing, theAcademy deemed the film to have too much English dialogue and disqualified it from the Best International Feature Film category which until this year was known as Best Foreign Language Film. The decision comes as a disappointment considering it was Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first ever entry to the Academy awards and it was one of the record-breaking 29 films out of 93 originally submitted this year that were directed by women. There were a record breaking 10 films from the continent submitted this year. The Best Foreign Language Oscar, established to honor non-English language films, was first awarded in 1956. The Academy changed the name in April 2019 after it was argued that the term â&#x20AC;&#x153;foreignâ&#x20AC;? was â&#x20AC;&#x153;outdated within the global filmmaking community.â&#x20AC;? The new category name â&#x20AC;&#x153;better represents this category, and promotes a positive and inclusive view of filmmaking, and the art of film as a universal experience,â&#x20AC;? the Academy had declared. However, the language eligibility requirement was not changed. Reactions to news of the filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s disqualification from the Oscars dominated conversations on Twitter Nigeria in the

early hours of Tuesday, November 5. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lionheartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; was number three on Twitter Nigeria trends with â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Oscarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Academyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; among the top 10 trending items. News of the filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s disqualification had also drawn the ire of many on Twitter including American filmmaker Ava DuVernay. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You disqualified Nigeriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first-ever submission for Best International Feature because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in English. But English is the official language of Nigeria,â&#x20AC;? she tweeted at the Academy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Are you barring this country from ever competing for an Oscar in its official language?â&#x20AC;? Nnaji took to Twitter following the announcement, to respond to the filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exclusion, writing, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am the director of Lionheart. This movie represents the way we speak as Nigerians. This includes English which acts as a bridge between the 500+ languages spoken in our country; thereby making us #OneNigeria.â&#x20AC;? In another tweet she added, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no different to how French connects communities in former French colonies. We did not choose who colonised us. As ever, this film and many like it, is proudly Nigerian.â&#x20AC;? Many had also pointed out that despite Lionheart being primarily In English, the film is unmistakably Nigerian. To deem it not culturally-specific enough is to essentially ignore the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s complex history of colonialism and the fact that many Nigerians speak English as a primary language because

of it. In fact, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s official language, as writer and editor Britni Danielle pointed out on Twitter. Speaking on the development, NOSC chairperson, Chineze Anyaene, said the budding Nigeria film industry was often faced with making movies for a wide reach of people â&#x20AC;&#x153;which is why the movies are predominantly made in English with non-English infusions in some cases.â&#x20AC;? Anyaene noted that to make the step easier, workshops and seminars would be organised to create awareness on the Academy Awardsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; requirements regarding the International Feature Film Entry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are therefore urging filmmakers to shoot with intention of non-English recording dialogue as a key qualifying parameter to represent the country in the most prestigious award.â&#x20AC;? Alargely Igbo cast movie, Lionheart starred Nollywood greats like Nkem Owoh, Pete Edochie, Chika Okpala, Onyeka Onwenu, Kanayo O. Kanayo, Ngozi Ezeonu and Kalu Ikeagwu. Set in the eastern Nigeria, the movie tells the story of a woman-played by Genevieve- who steps in to run her fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s struggling company and keep it away from rival businessmen in a male-dominated environment. It premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and was released worldwide on January 4, 2019, on Netflix as the first Nollywood original content to be acquired by the America movie streaming platform.




Ice Prince and Jidenna

Ice Prince Rocks at Jidennaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;85 to Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Tour

Ferdinand Ekechukwu


ip hop artiste/ actor, Panshak Henri Zamani, popularly known as Ice Prince seems to have his groove back, following his recent performance with American-born Nigerian singer/songwriter Jidenna Theodore Mobisson. The Nigerian rap sensation, Ice Prince, was part of the select artistes that shared the stage with Jidenna at his â&#x20AC;&#x153;85 To Africa Tourâ&#x20AC;? concert in California, United States last Sunday. Ice Prince was delighted to be

part of the show, performing with â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Classic Manâ&#x20AC;?. Ice Prince posted photos from the event on his Instagram and captioned the post: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Big Up My Brother @jidenna for having me on stage last night #85toafricatour NC!â&#x20AC;? Though it is not their first musical experience together, the former Chocolate City vice president once worked with Jidenna and Patoranking alongside South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nasty C on a six-tracked EP titled, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Know No Betterâ&#x20AC;? in 2017. They were featured in the track, Particula, which is the third track of the EP by Reggae super group Major Lazer.

The EP release was packed tight with strings of guest features from around the world. Currently midway through his 85 to Africa tour, Jidenna and Ice Prince draw affinity being rap artistes. 85 to Africa Tour concert comes off the success of the release of Jidennaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 11 track sophomore album, of the same concert/tour title, â&#x20AC;&#x153;85 to Africa.â&#x20AC;? The Sufi Woman crooner released a sophomore album in August 23, 2019, featuring Seun Kuti and Mr. Eazi. The album is a follow-up to The Chief released in 2017. Weeks after the â&#x20AC;&#x153;85 to Africaâ&#x20AC;? release, Jidenna followed it up with a listen-

ing party in Lagos. Among 85 to Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most endearing qualities are its cultural references. During his listening party in Lagos, Jidenna explained that the album title signifies a journey home. He told fans that â&#x20AC;&#x153;85â&#x20AC;? is a highway in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, which leads to an airport. An airport leads to different parts of the world. With 85 to Africa, the Grammy nominee had explained during a radio with LAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Real 92.3 that he wanted to share a message of unity across the African diaspora.




Osas Ighodaro and Bolanle Ninolowo in a scene from the movie

Nollywood Berths First Science Fiction Movie Upcoming movie Ratnik, by Dimeji Ajibola, is set to be first sci-fi adventure movie out of Nollywood. Ferdinand Ekechukwu reports


n recent years, there has been a shift in the genres Nollywood considers worth exploring, as the industry has begun churning out more than just star-studded romantic comedies. A few months ago, a teaser for an exciting action film, Ratnik, surfaced after which an official trailer followed. The recently released trailer reveals enough to show that the film will be tense, action-packed â&#x20AC;&#x201D; possibly revolving around superheroes and mutants. Quite obvious is the impressive VFX and effects which is not something regular in Nollywood films. The upcoming movie written and directed by relatively known Dimeji Ajibola, stars Adunni Ade, Osas Ighodaro, Bolanle Ninalowo, Karibi Fubara, Zikky Alloy, Meg Otanwa, Tope Tedela, Paul Utomi and others. The movie which was set for screening November 2019, due to its sponsors has been rescheduled for next year. Ratnik is arriving at a time where the film landscape is flooded with comedies, and movie variety is getting depleted ever since filmmakers discovered the comedy genre as the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next cash cow. Award winning Dimeji Ajibola, the director behind the 2012 Nollywood music movie â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hoodrushâ&#x20AC;&#x153;, returns to bring what will possibly be Nollywoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first dystopian action thriller in Ratnik. Ratnik is set to be first action/ sci-fi movie out of Nollywood with Osas Ighodaro-Ajibade who is one of the movieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lead stars. Osas, who played the lead role had

remarked in a chat that: â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of people were very skeptical and doubting if it could be achieved in Nigeria, like are we ready for this?â&#x20AC;? The movie shot in 2016 has taken four years to get to its present stage with a large part of this taken for its post-production. Set in a remote Africa town during the early days of World War III: A special trooper Sarah Bello ( Osas Ighodaro) returns home from the war-front to find her only sister at the verge of becoming the undead due to the abuse of a certain chemical substance. The race to save her life begins a new kind of war where the most advanced war machine known to man is unveiled. According to the movie director, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ratnik, a sci-fi adventure feature film, is the story of a World War III soldier returning home after a quarterly phase rotation programme, only to find out that her home front has now descended into some kind of chaos. We finished the filming in several locations in Lagos and Oyo states as far back as 2016, but the movie has been in the works since then, and I must say it has been quite a journey. Bringing Ratnik to the Nigerian and international audience has come to be the most incredible challenge that I have to overcome. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But it has also been the most fulfilling creative endeavor I have ever experienced. Being a sci-fi movie set in an apocalyptic era, the film comes with several unique art directions that are totally different from the norms in Nollywood. As a matter of fact, some actors and crew members doubted the feasibility of actualising such a movie

requiring so much technical prowess in visual effects considering the level of skill set available at the time. Some actors that were invited at the early stages turned down the script fearing a flop and calling the move â&#x20AC;&#x153;too ambitiousâ&#x20AC;?. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t unexpected though, we had conditioned our minds to only warm up to actors who understand and share our passion only. Shooting Ratnik was very challenging because I had to communicate my vision to a lot of the crew members especially those in the art department who, for most of the parts, had zero experience in this type of filmmaking. I also had to reassure some of the actors in areas where they had to perform with imaginary actors and objects. However, the hardest part came during the post-production process where all disciplines of visual effects were to be diligently observed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What is exciting is that we also captured a stunts man performance and tracked them to a photo-real fully digital Ratnik character. A typical visual effect shot involving Ratnik will start with capture being done on set. We then take this data and make that translate into a character that one can relate to. And for the Ratnik box, the actors had to relate with a life reference box object with track markers. This enabled us to perform a 3D object tracking together with a match move to comp and replace a digital Ratnik box into the scenes. I think for the first time, from this part of the world, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been able to create a seamless blend of life action and digital action in a Nollywood movie.â&#x20AC;?

Osas Ighodaro




Plateau Targets Agriculture, Tourism, Others for Revenue Generation Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

LENS SPEAKERS... L-R: NEWSMATRICS on line, Photographers Ademola Akinlabi; Photo Editor of THISDAY Newspapers Abiodun Ajala; Sunmi Smart-Cole and Tayo Odunsanya of PUNCH Newspapers when photo-journalists paid a courtesy call on Mr. Smart-Cole... yesterday

Customs Comptroller General Asks FG to Create Special Courts for Smugglers Olawale Ajimotokan inAbuja The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has reiterated his call to government to set up special courts to prosecute smugglers, currency traffickers and other criminals. Ali made the clamour at the 17th Special Town Hall Meeting held in Abuja this week. The Customs head lamented that the regular courts were making it impossible to prosecute smugglers and other criminals along the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s borders. He asked government to consider

the request which was tabled four years ago, saying that the prosecution of these criminals would serve as deterrent to others in line with government anti-corruption crusade. However, the representative of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abiodun Ayodeji, differed with Aliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position. Ayodeji, who is the SA on Financial Crimes to the AGF, Abubakar Malami, said he objected because courts were creation of the Constitution, while setting up special courts entail lots of implications. But the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related

offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, insisted that there was no need for constitutional amendment to create special courts. Owasanoye submitted that the National Assembly had the power to create new courts without amending the constitution. He also noted that constitutional amendment in the country was a nightmare and may never see the light of the day. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Special Court Bill has been with the National Assembly and I urge them to take forward that Bill. Things that are affecting us- kidnaping, terrorism, human trafficking, torture and corruption-require

special courts. Other courts have dealt with special courts, Nigeria should also do it,â&#x20AC;? Owasanoye said. Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had described the war against corruption as a war of survival for Nigeria. Mohammed said the success of the other key programmes of the government is closely intertwined with how the nation is able to fight corruption to a standstill. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For as long as the nation fails to check corruption, reversal of infrastructure decay and revamping of the economy will remain a mirage,â&#x20AC;? he said.

Road Comment: Resign Now, Apologise Obaseki Hails Edo Women, As Alaghodaro 2019 Starts to Nigerians, PDP Tells Fashola Chuks Okocha in Abuja The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday charged the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to resign immediately and apologise to Nigerians over his unpardonable comment that the terrible state of roads in the nation was being exaggerated. The PDP described the statement as unfortunate, especially coming from the Minister of Works, who ought to be apologetic for the decrepit state of roads across the country since the last four years he has been minister. PDP in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the statement was violent assault on the sensibility of over 200 million Nigerians and further demonstrates the disdain with which the Buhari administration held our citizens who lost their lives and many more who daily undergo mental and physical torture using our dilapidated roads. According to the statement, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The PDP holds that the ministerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comment must be premeditated and reflects the official position of the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration, which has no regard for Nigerians and only thrives in propaganda and false claims to cover its failures in

governance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every Nigerian knows that most of the major roads across the country are in sorry state and that travelling on our roads has become traumatising and one of the highest life threatening experiences in our country since the last four years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The comment by the failed Minister of Works is therefore highly provocative and capable of invoking the anger of Nigerians, because it shows that either he has not been going through our roads and as such not in touch with reality or he has exposed himself as falsehearted official. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our party is however not surprised at such comment from the minister because the Buhari administration, in which he serves, thrives only in propaganda, blame game, excuses and false performance claims because it has nothing to offer.â&#x20AC;?. The ministerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reprehensible claim, PDP said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is therefore a clear pointer that Nigerians should not expect any intervention on roads under the Buhari administration. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is the same minister who boasted that any responsible government should fix power within six months, only for the Buhari administration, with him as minister supervising power, to turn around and wrecked the gains achieved by previous administrations.â&#x20AC;?

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has hailed the contribution of women to achievements recorded by his administration in the last three years. He explained that they were solid pillars behind reforms in basic education, healthcare, housing, child protection, and the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration in the state. The governor said this at the Edo Women Summit, which is part of activities lined up for the five-day Alaghodaro 2019 Summit, holding from November 8 to 12, in different locations across Benin City, the Edo State capital. The Women Summit was organised to celebrate good governance and the role of women in transforming Edo State. TheAlaghodaro 2019 summit, held to celebrate the third-year anniversary of the Governor Obaseki-led government in the state, kicked off with Jumat Prayers and the Women Summit, showcasing how the administration is prioritising the welfare of women and protecting the rights of children and other vulnerable persons in the state. The governor explained that most of the successes recorded by his administration are as a result of the doggedness of the women in his cabinet, adding, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The areas we have made the most improvements are headed by women. These areas include basic education,

housing, healthcare, child right laws, reducing the incidence of human trafficking and irregular migration. Others are the Edo State Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs) and Edo Production Centre, among others.â&#x20AC;? He assured that with the reforms and their impact on society, the state is getting rid of thuggery and other manifestations of violence as children are now better prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century. Edo State First Lady, Mrs Betsy Obaseki said the Edo Women Summit was organised to celebrate good governance, and women emancipation and empowerment by the Governor Obaseki-led administration. According to her, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are here to celebrate good governance and appreciate the governor and his deputy for celebrating and projecting women in the state. Edo has produced one of the best performing governments in the country going by its support for women initiatives.â&#x20AC;? Mrs. Obaseki added that the governor has agreed to continue to appoint more women into his government, adding, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last year, the governor appointed women as Special Assistants on Gender. He has also promised to appoint Senior Special Assistants on Gender across the 18 local councils before the end of the year.â&#x20AC;?

Plateau State Government has resolved to intensify investment in agriculture, mining and tourism to boost revenue generation, job creation, and sustainable development of the state, noting that the era of total dependence on dwindling federal allocation for overheads and capital projects were over. Arising from a strategic policy retreat for members of the State Executive Council (SEC), Permanent Secretaries and heads of key government agencies and departments held at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS), Kuru, the government resolved that â&#x20AC;&#x153;there must be complete paradigm shift from dependence on Federal Allocation for overheads and capital projects towards greater reliance on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).â&#x20AC;? A communiquĂŠ drafted from the four-day retreat with the theme, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;New Imperatives for Sustaining the Rescue Agenda in the Next Levelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; highlighted

the primary objective of the retreat include preparing and equipping the recently appointed Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and other key government functionaries with relevant insights into the Policy Thrust of the second phase of Governor Simon Lalongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s administration. This is by way of interacting with one another and invited experts. It added that, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The essence is to re-shape our focus, thoughts, attitudes and values for the great task of making positive history of restoring the glory and dignity of Plateau State as encapsulated in the policy document of the administration.â&#x20AC;? High point of the exercise, according to the communiquĂŠ was that the commissioners and other participants were introduced to the philosophical under-pinning of the Rescue Agenda of Lalongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s administration from the perspectives of: how the administration started in 2015; how it fared, between 2015 and 2019; and where the administration is going in the Next Level (2019 to 2023).

Special Duties Minister, Akume Loses Appeal against Sen. Jev George OkohĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x2039;Ă&#x2022;Ă&#x;Ă&#x153;Ă&#x17D;Ă&#x201C;

The Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi, Benue State capital yesterday affirmed the election of Senator Emmanuel Orker Jev as Senator representing Benue North West Senatorial District. In a judgement delivered by Justice O. A. Ortisi, the court held that the 14 grounds of Appeal was a mere hypothetical and an academic exercise. The court particularly, hinged itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s judgement on grounds two of the Appeal wherein the appellant (Akume) complained that the election was not conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.

While relying on Ojukwu Vs Yarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Adua, Justice Ortisi said the failure to adhere to guidelines cannot render an election invalid, adding that the issue was whether the appellant brought his Appeal in compliance with section 138 of the Electoral Act. According to her, emphasis should be that the regulations and guidelines flow from powers given to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, hence the complaint of the appellant must also, flow with section 138 sub(2) of the Act as amended, noting that failure to apply for INEC manual as complained by the appellant is not enough to invalidate an election.

Border Closure Constitutes Human Rights Abuse, Says HURIWA A human rights group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has accused the federal government of gross insensitivity in the arbitrary closure of the land borders of the country. The group described the closure of land borders as a political gimmick to economically strangulate the Southeast of Nigeria thought to be the place from where the clear majority of the Nigerian businesses located within the West African sub-region come from. The group also expressed shock that such huge public policy was adopted with little or no consideration for the commercial and economic rights and legitimate business interests of millions of Nigerian cross-border entrepreneurs, insisting implementation of the border closure without sacking inefficient border security managers exposed the naked hypocrisy of the charade. In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group accused the government of proceeding with a major public policy with far more devastating economic impacts to Nigerians trading in the neighbouring nations to Nigeria without even the central government putting up reliable, dependable and sustainable fall back positions should the unilateral border closure backfire on Nigerian traders in those neighboring countries. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is suspected that the border

closure at the same time with the deceitful shut down of the only international gateway to Igbo land which is Akanu Ibiam International Airport is a premeditated but politically motivated policy which must be reviewed immediately. The central government has not provided alternative superior arguments to defeat these well thought-out groundswell of suspicions in the minds of millions of people of Southern Nigerian origin. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The unilateral border closure is surely hurting the economic rights of traders of Nigerian descent living in the West African nations of Ghana, Benin, and Cameroon, made up essentially of persons of South East origin. This action is also a violation of the ECOWAS protocol relating to free movement of persons, residence and establishment which Nigeria acceded to.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;HURIWA believes that by the border shut down the Nigerian administration is also in grave breach of Articles 9, 10 and 11 of the ECOWAS Treaty thus: ARTICLE 9: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Member States undertake to co-operate among themselves by exchanging information on such matters that are likely to affect the effective implementation of this Protocol. Such information shall also be sent to the Executive Secretary for necessary action in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty.â&#x20AC;? ARTICLE 10:




Akeredolu Back in Ondo after Two Months James Sowole in Akure After his absence from the state for two months, Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu yesterday arrived in Akure, the state capital. The governor’s flight marked, N66-4AC touched down at the Akure Airport at 5:33p.m. where tumultuous crowd including traditional rulers, top politicians, civil servants. Market women, members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and hundreds of okada riders

waited to receive him. There were anxiety over the health of Akeredolu during his absence as there were rumours that he was poisoned. Though the governor attended to some official state functions while he was in Abuja, it was however gathered that he stayed in Abuja on the instruction of his physician over state of his health. When asked why he stayed in Abuja for five weeks, Akeredolu said he stayed back for him to recuperate and while there, he performed a lot of functions for

the benefit of the state and the people. Specifically, Akeredolu said he attended National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, signed Memorandum of Understanding for establishment of modern hospital that would cost about a

billion Naira and also met with World Bank country representative for the benefit of the state. “When we were in Abuja, we were part of Governors Forum, we were part of NEC and we negotiated a lot of commitments for the state like the Medourse

Hospital and also met with the World Bank Country Director,” Akeredolu said. The governor said he was surprised with the crowd that came to welcome him at the airport. “When I got here, saw that the crowd here is so large, I am so

surprised that people have shown a lot of love for us and we will work for them. “I am now back here, stronger and more energetic and with more vigour to work for the people of Ondo State and this we shall do,” he said.

50,000 Graduates to Benefit from 6-month Internship Programme in Coys, Others, Says FG Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The federal government has concluded plans towards sending over 50,000 unemployed youths to different organisations on a six-month internship. The move, according to the government, was to prepare them for job experience which it noted, had been the bane of employment for the Nigerian youths as it adds to working experience. Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare who disclosed this in Abuja, at the 1st National Competition of Student Entrepreneurship Activity Hub (SEA-Hub),said the development was in accordance with government’s Work Experience Programme, (WEP) waiting to be unveiled.

Dare who regretted that lack of job experience had denied many graduates employments, further explained that government’s action would help the youth to “learn work ethics.” He said: “Very often, most of our graduates are unable to get jobs simply because they do not have work experience. Rather than roam the streets for four years without employment or any experience, we intend to inject between 25, 000 to 50,000 of our youths in the next one year to work for four months or six months in different organisations for some kind of internship for them. It grounds you, it helps you to learn work ethics and if you are lucky, and you excel, these companies can easily employ you full time.”

ALAGHODARO 2019… L -R: Group Executive Director , United Capital Plc ,Sunny Anene; Chairman Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri- Erewa, Group Chief Executive Officer United Capital, Peter Ashade, United Capital Asset Management, Odiri Oginni, at the 2019 Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit in Abuja...recently

Customs Seize 765 Bags of Smuggled Rice in Katsina Francis Sardauna in Katsina

The Katsina State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service yesterday said it had intercepted 765 bags of smuggled rice and 561 jerricans of vegetable oil in the last six days with Duty Paid Value of N10,199,000.00. The acting Comptroller of the Command, Kirawa Abdullahi, who disclosed this to journalists at a press conference he held in Katsina, said the smuggled items were intercepted at different locations in the state base on intelligence reports. He said: “The command within six days has made seizures of 765 bags of smuggled rice, 561 jerricans of vegetable oil, 213 cartons of

noodles and 35 bales of second-hand clothes with Duty paid Value of N10,199,000.00.” Abdullahi appealed to business community to see the anti-smuggling exercise as an opportunity to further create a conducive environment for local businesses to thrive in the overall interest of national security and development. In a related development, the Sector 4 command of the National Border Drill Operation has said it has intercepted 420 bags of smuggled rice in the last 90 days. The sector also disclosed that six suspects were apprehended in Katsina and Kebbi states in connection to the seizures within the period under review. Sector 4 comprises Katsina,

Sokoto, Kebbi and Kaduna States with officers from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Nigeria Army, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS), Nigeria Air Force (NAF), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Department of State Service (DSS). The Coordinator of the Sector, ACG, Bashir Abukakar said the smuggled rice were intercepted in Kongolom border and Katsina metropolis. He said: “About 202 foreign bags of rice were seized from Kongolom axis. We equally got some from Katsina town which is about two J5 and each J5 carry approximately 110 bags. We also intercepted two J5 with smuggled vegetable oil.

Flooded Estate: Citiview Residents Decry Propertymart’s Nonchalance Residents of Citiview Estate built and managed by Propertymart Real Estate Investment Limited have protested against the company’s nonchalant attitude towards maintenance and estate management. The estate was flooded following the rains and opening of two dams in Ogun State which left it partially submerged with residents finding it difficult to access their homes. Residents alleged that sandbags erected through communal effort were forcibly removed prompting the residents to embark on a peaceful protest to Propertymart’s Magodo office on Wednesday November 6, 2019, to call attention to the horrible condition in the estate

which had received scant attention from management of Propertymart. The flooded estate is posing health challenges to residents. The estate is stinking on account of rodents and fishes which have died in the stagnant water as well as human waste which has contaminated the water. Propertymart’s management had failed to take any remedial action despite persistent calls by long suffering residents who have been at the mercy of the flood. The road leading to the estate had failed leaving residents stuck inside or outside until emergency action was taken to staunch the flood with sand bags purchased by the communal effort of residents. Aggrieved residents also took opportunity of the protest

organised under the aegis of Citiview Residents’ Association to convey other grievances that included non-provision of title documents, delays in repair of failed roads within the estate as well as the broken perimeter fencing that is leaving residents vulnerable to attacks by bandits and marauders. In another development, management of Propertymart represented by its managing Director, Deji Fasunwon granted a television interview in the evening following the protest during which he claimed that residents had been given their title documents while alluding that water did not get into ground floor apartments. His assertions have been condemned by residents as insensitive and disingenious.

Port Consultative Council Backs Border Closure Ugo Aliogo Port Consultative Council (PCC) has backed the border closure measure of the federal government, while also urging government to put in place legal framework to address the issue of smuggling and insecurity across the country’s porous border. Speaking at a meeting between Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC) and the stakeholders on the land closure, the Chairman, Port Consultative Council (PCC), Kunle Folarin, said the country was at a cross-road because of the issues raised by the border closure, and it is beyond the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). He said the issue had become a great concern for government because of the non-compliance to protocol, the great decline in trade movement, adding that the country and NSC must have a strategic development growth plan to resolve the issues. “We have to look at the issue of illicit trade. It is probably smuggling and it raises some fundamental issues that concern our borders. Why are border countries crying about the closure, it is our border we closed, not their borders? There is the issue of non-compliance with protocols. All the cross border countries have signed protocols with Nigeria and presently, we are asking why the protocols should not be respected. “The border countries were not forced to sign these protocols, therefore Nigeria is calling on them to obey the law. Nigeria will open the border if they open the protocols and codes of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) treaty. There is a great decline in trade movement and traffic is

low over there. Nigeria habours 60 per cent of the economy of West and Central Africa, but why are we not involved in trade in that size? Non-compliance means that the border should remain closed, therefore I support government in that respect. “We have 13 protocols and treaties, but how many persons are complying with these treaties and protocols that exists? There is need to plan that we deal with the issue of revenue generation, cargo trafficking in the country, strike trade alliances with counterparts of other countries and that the strategic plan needs

to be implemented,” he noted. In his remarks, representative from NACCIMA, Aniete Bassey, said if the federal government was committed to be a major player in international trade, there was need for increased focus and commitment on its part. He explained that the closure had exposed the security lapses across the country’s border, adding that “to get into international best practices, we need to open up our hearts. We need to subsidise the production end especially the issue of rice. You don’t close border, you raise traffic and this will push people out of importation.”

CHANGE OF NAME I, formerly known and addressed as EMMANUEL OJOBAMIGUGWU BIACHI, now want to be known and addressed as EMMANUEL EDOZIE BIACHI. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note. I, formerly known and addressed as MISS CHIKA HAPPINESS KANU, now want to be known and addressed as MRS CHIKA HAPPINESS ANYANWU. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note. I, formerly known and addressed as CHRISTIANA ONU, now want to be known and addressed as CHRISTIANA ASUAMA MOSES. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note.

I, formerly known and addressed as EKPEKOR ENOCH ONYEUDO AND ENOCH NATHANIEL ONYEUDO, now want to be known and addressed as NATHANIEL UDO EKPEKOR. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note.

I, formerly known and addressed as MISS AGNES CHILE IHEKWEME, now want to be known and addressed as MRS. AGNES CHILE CHIBUNDU - UGWUEGBULEM. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note.

I, formerly known and addressed as OYESANYA MOYINOLUWA ADESEWA, now want to be known and addressed as DADA MOYINOLUWA ADESEWA. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note.

I, formerly known and addressed as ALI AUDU, now want to be known and addressed as MOHAMMED AUDU. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note. I, formerly known and addressed as NZE, CHIKERENDU ADA, now want to be known and addressed as OKOH,CHIKERENDU CHINEDU. All former documents remain valid. The general public should take note.




Pope Appoints Benue Priestâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Chaplain of His Holinessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Head of the Papalcy, Pope Francis has formally announced the appointment of apriestofMakurdi,BenueState, Diocese, Rev. Fr. Stephen Beba, as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Chaplain of His Holiness,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; News Agency of Nigeria has reported. AChaplain of His Holiness is a priest to whom the Pope has granted this title. They are addressed as Monsignor and have certain privileges with respect to ecclesiastical dress

and vestments. His Eminence, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop ofAbuja, made the announcement during the 25th Priestly Anniversary of the Catholic Bishop of Makurdi, Most Rev Wilfred Anagbe, in Makurdi. FatherBebawasbornin1945 and was said to be among the first group of seven Tiv priests ordained on December 29, 1971, and is the only survivor of the group. According to

Onaiyekan, the certificate and letter was dated October 29, 2019 and was signed by the Pope. Others ordained with him

were late Bishop Emeritus of Makurdi, Most RevdAthanasius Usuh, former governor of Benue State Father Moses Adasu,FatherBenjaminAdzor,

Father Dominic Yuhe, Father Edward Maer and Father Simon Ivever. NAN reports that Beba becomes the first priest to be honoured with the title of

Monsignorsincethecreationof theMakurdiDioceseonApril2, 1959,andispresentlytheParish Priest of Saint Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Parish, North Bank, Makurdi.

PDP to Senate: Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Pass VAT Increase Bill ChuksOkochaĂ&#x201C;Ă&#x2DC;Ă&#x152;Ă&#x;Ă&#x201D;Ă&#x2039;

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Senate to assert its independence and refuse to allow the President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive to railroad it into passing the anti-people Value Added Tax (VAT) increase bill, which has been rejected by Nigerians. The party in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, expressed concerns that the bill has been hurriedly passed through second reading in the Senate even when the details were not made available to lawmakers.

The PDP noted that the failure to avail the details of the bill to the lawmakers confirms its toxicity to the polity. The party urged the Senate leadership to bear in mind that Nigerians had rejected the bill, which is designed by the Buhari Presidency to increase VAT from 5% per cent to excruciating 7.5% not minding its attendant adverse economic effect on Nigerians. According to PDP, "Such planned increase in VAT is insensitive, suppressive and if anything, will further impoverish Nigerians and worsen the prevailing agonising economic situation in the country.

BUDGET THINGS... L-R: Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu , during the presentation of the Y2020 Budget Estimate at the Hallowed Chamber of the Assembly Complex, Alausa...yesterday

Saturday, November 9, 2019



& RE A S O


Price: N250


SERAP to Senate “This bill is a blatant assault on citizens’ right to freedom of expression and aimed at stopping them from holding the Senate and other high-ranking public officials/government institutions to account” – The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project vowing to challenge the social media regulation bill reintroduced in the Senate.


Back to the Vice President and the Aso Rock Cabal


ellow Nigerians, as much as one is tempted to gloss over the hullabaloo inside the seat of power in Abuja, it is virtually impossible because there is always one drama or the other emanating from the place too frequently these days. Indeed, the melodrama has since become one day, new scene. Despite endless denials on both sides of the divide by spokespersons for the principal dramatis personae, it seems obvious that things are no longer at ease between the offices of the President, Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, no matter how much they or their mouthpieces try to sweep the unfortunate mess under the carpet. The latest farce surrounds the removal or otherwise of some of the aides of the Vice President. Approbation, confirmation and denials are rife. It is being touted that the Vice President had too many aides and so it was necessary for him to be shorn of some of them in keeping with the President’s new resolve to prudently manage resources and save government a lot of money. Nobody has said anything about how many of the President’s aides have got the sack. More importantly, I fail to see how this purported removal has anything to do with managing government resources when most if not all of these aides of the Vice President are funded by international donor agencies and not the Nigerian Government. The situation descends to the level of theater of the absurd if, as it is being suggested, they were redeployed to different Ministries, meaning that rather than plugging a drain on government they have become an added burden. My beloved, all we have to do is apply some logic, and commonsense which is seemingly not too common nowadays. Some audacious people make bold to fool us when they tell us there is only one Presidency. Yes, there is, but that oneness has become more of a mirage in recent times! The day the President came out in the open to direct his cabinet to report practically to his Chief of Staff was the day he smashed the oneness into smithereens. There was no need or basis for such an open and public declaration of protocol. That it was openly voiced out, and etched and scripted in text which was handed to journalists and published and circulated freely, was ample evidence of how things have gone awry between the offices of the Number One and Number Two citizens of Nigeria. If this was the normal order of events before now, why was it necessary to put it in the public domain at this stage. If it was a new idea, why was a change necessary and, also, why was it essential to tell the whole world, two days in succession, particularly when this directive was for the consumption of only a few people! Please, don’t get me wrong. I know that the office of the Vice President is totally at the mercy and prerogative of the President who appointed him. Even in America where we have borrowed our latest democratic experiment, the Vice President has no constitutional role apart from presiding over the Senate and having a casting tie-break vote or whatever assignment given by his boss. As John Adams, the first American Vice President and the Country’s second President, said of his position as Vice President to President George Washington, “My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man … or his imagination contrived or his imagination conceived.” Nevertheless, Adams stuck to his task and as the brilliant and astute man that he was, he transformed the position

Osinbajo into one that has become indispensable to the democracy. Indeed, it is more than usual in America for Vice Presidents to succeed their Presidents, but this has not yet happened in Nigeria except on account of death of the incumbent. There is always a first time, and perhaps it is the intuitiveness and the knowledge that it is a foregone conclusion that this negative trend is about to be bucked that the babble and cacophony of strident opposition voices has risen to the biggest decibels. This is more so because of the personality and attributes of the incumbent, Osinbajo. For me, a Vice President is almost like a Company Secretary whose duty once upon a time was to act as a mere servant. But like Lord Denning said in 1971, about the role and function of the Company Secretary, “he is no longer a mere servant.” If the Vice President of Nigeria was once treated as an errand boy, by now, in 2019, such attitudes should have changed for many obvious reasons. Professor Yemi Osinbajo is neither your runof-the-mill Vice President nor a typical career politician. Before he was considered and chosen to run with President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, he came with intimidating credentials in both his private and public life. In all areas, he had just about reached the pinnacle of what there was to offer. He was also a stabilizing factor between the ever fighting and perennially suspicious Christians and Muslims of Nigeria. Why they are at loggerheads continues to beat me even till today. Religion should simply have no place in the politics or economic development of a country. Everyone agreed Buhari could not have made a better choice. He and Buhari appeared like a perfect couple and one could say the same of their wives. Theirs was like a match made in celestial places. I won’t bore you with details of how trouble started brewing when President Buhari took ill and Vice President Osinbajo became Acting President. All that I know is some of the decisions he took did not go down well with the ultra conservative members in the Presidential Wing of the Villa, who not only had their own agenda but have the close ears of the President. They grumbled and groaned and lamented to whoever cared to listen that Osinbajo was plotting and planning to upstage his boss. One of the conspiracy theories was that some forces in the South West actually wished evil on the President. Despite the fact that no one had the proof or evidence of such dastardly plot, some people went about spreading the satanic

stories. Thankfully, it does not appear that the President with his taciturn sagacity paid heed to such drivel, hopefully. My take is that some elements are deliberately driving a wedge between the President and his Vice President whose relationship is apparently chummy. What is not known is how far the President has bought into the plot. The body language of the President now suggests that something has gone terribly amiss. The camaraderie that was always so patently obvious is palpably receding. The President has taken to relying on technicalities and monosyllables in his dealings with his Vice President. This was not the case before. If, as may be the case, some nebulous, insidious group of people are using the President’s name to pummel the Vice President and he is unaware that his dutiful and loyal Vice President is being humiliated before the whole world, that is even worse. I don’t really blame those who abuse power. That is the pattern and tradition of those who wield enormous power by proxy. I hasten to add that the position of Chief of Staff is obviously a powerful position and sometimes people tend to forget this when they cast aspersions on the occupants. In Nigeria’s case, Mr Abba Kyari is a very sound and cerebral man. The President obviously recognizes that he needs him like oxygen. But I expect him and the Vice President to be able to manage their affair more guardedly with both of them coming from solidly, enviable intellectual backgrounds. Seems the allure of power is irresistible and causes the powerful to wear a new toga of eternal invincibility when indeed, it is very transient. It may be that this is the case because the occupants themselves forget the onerous nature of their job and the grave responsibilities that attaches to the position. Power is best asserted and utilised if treated with humility, deference and decorum. Let me go back for as long as I can remember. Surrogates of power have tended to be overbearing and inordinately ambitious. They have not imbibed the core lessons that those who know the nature and effect of power teach. It will come and go, but how you have handled it will determine how you are treated in its aftermath - Hero or villain. In Nigeria it has been a lot more of the latter and the lessons have still not been learnt. In the days of President Shehu Aliyu Shagari, one name was very prominent, Dr Umaru Dikko, who was the defacto President. When the government was overthrown by Muhammadu Buhari and company, Dikko became the main target. He fled to London. The government arranged for a living Dikko to be packed and crated in a coffin like a cadaver and he was nearly smuggled back to face the music in Nigeria. Under the government of General Murtala Muhammed, Chief Moshood Abiola was known to have been his close friend. This drew the ire of many military leaders who waited for many years before pouncing on him. Majo-General Tunde Idiagbon was the second-in-command and the dreaded face of the Buhari regime. His scowling mean face remains indelibly printed in the brain of not just the Second Republic politicians but the generality of the populace. Once flushed out pf power he reverted to relative obscurity and died unheralded! When President Ibrahim Babangida assumed power, Colonel Sambo Dasuki was reported to have treated Major General Muhammadu Buhari shabbily. No one would have expected Buhari to ever come back to power. But God’s ways are not that of man. Today, Buhari is President, Dasuki has been

in detention and incarcerated for many years despite a plethora of Courts ordering that he should be freed. When General Olusegun Obasanjo was in power as a military ruler from 1976-79, Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua was very influential. He wielded that power and attained great affluence even after they left power. He wanted to come back as civilian President ,but his dream never materialised. He and his former business partner, Chief Abiola had similar interests and ambitions. Abiola contested and won, but the top military echelons kicked against him. His victory was aborted, his ambition truncated and he was deprived and robbed of his mandate. Abacha who became President after the whole debacle dealt ruthlessly with Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Abiola by keeping them in prison. Only Obasanjo returned alive. Not just that, he came back to be President. A true cat with nine lives! Ebora Owu indeed! When General Sani Abacha was President, the commonest name on everyone’s lips was Major Hamza Al-Mustapha. When Abacha died, Al-Mustapha was kept in prison for so many years in the days Obasanjo was in power. Mohammed Abacha, the General’s son, who had also lived larger than life and was himself an unofficial Deputy Head of State was also kept away. When Umaru Musa Yar’Adua became President, the name of Tanimu Yakubu reigned supreme despite being only the Deputy Chief of Staff and Chief Economic Adviser to the President. The name of Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, the First Lady, would later feature on the list of those labeled as the ‘cabal’ who controlled shots when Yar’Adua laid mortally stricken. Perhaps it was the First Lady’s involvement that saved Tanimu’s bacon. Step forward President Goodluck Jonathan. Two names featured prominently under his government, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke and that of First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan. Since Buhari returned in 2015 as President, the duo have known no peace. I have gone through the stories of these different era to show how transient and ephemeral power is. The three things driving these wars of attrition in the name of a power struggle are money, ethnicity and religion. They are the reasons our country is retrogressing. There is no justification for the struggle based on national interest or patriotism. The protagonists are interested only in their primordial, parochial and base instincts. While the world is thinking outside the box, we have chosen to bury ourselves inside the cocoon of backwardness. The most educated people in Nigeria will throw sanity, reason and decorum to the winds once those three selfish interests are involved. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends. Principle, honour and integrity are thrown to the dogs. Woe betide anyone who stands in the way. That is the crux of the fiasco that we face today. The Vice President and his team are merely victims of the interplay of those forces. However, what nobody should forget is that what will be will be and students of history may do well to look again into the story of John Adams who was the first American President to see his son, John Quincy Adams succeed to the American Presidency as the sixth President of America. When we decide to recognise and embrace excellence and not fight against it, then we shall become better as a nation. It seems, we are not yet ready to do the needful ...

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