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Continued from page 1 weeks ago, which left at least 300 people, including 16 policemen, dead. The latest attack occurred in the villages of Kanari, Wazarde and Gula along Nigeria’s border with Cameroun. It came on the heels of the ambush by gunmen, on Friday, on the convoy of some emirs in Borno State killing one and leaving two others seriously injured. In the meantime, the Federal Government said it had not foreclosed dialogue in resolving the war with the Boko Haram Islamist group. It also doused the controversy sparked by the statement by the Minister of Youth Development, Mr Boni Haruna, that amnesty plan for repentant Boko Haram members was in the pipeline, saying there was no such plan. Yesterday’s attack in Gamboru Ngala LGA, according to reports, occurred after gunmen arrived the three border villages at about 3a.m in trucks with assault rifles, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and petrol bombs. The gunmen, sources said, shot sporadically at fleeing residents, killing the victims. “The shooting went on for about seven hours. The gunmen had a field day and operated unchallenged as they did not leave until about 9.30 am on Saturday”, one of the sources told Sunday Vanguard. The villages have been reportedly deserted as survivors took refuge in Ngala town and neighbouring Cameroun villages. Borno State Commissioner of Police, Mr Lawal Tanko, said he was not aware of the attack. However, a top security source, who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media, confirmed the attack. He told Sunday Vanguard that two of the attacked villages were razed by the invaders. ‘Dialogue on the cards’ The Federal Government, yesterday, declared that it had not ruled out dialogue with Boko Haram to stop its killings in the Northeast and the release of the over 200 schoolgirls it abducted in Chibok, Borno State on April 14. The Special Adviser to the President on Media
THREE WEEKS AFTER MASSACRE OF 300
Boko Haram kills 42!
*Dialogue option with Islamist group remains – FG *’No amnesty plan’
From left: Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State; Senator Isiaka Adeleke; his wife; and the Interim National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, during the defection of Adeleke from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to APC yesterday. and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, who disclosed this, said that whereas government was pursing a military campaign against the Islamist group, dialogue op-
tion remained on the table. ”The Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Conflict in the North-east is a standing one. There is also a Presi-
dential Fact-Finding Committee both of which have been engaging stakeholders and have been offering advice. The position of government has been that the mili-
tary option is there to deal specifically with impunity because no responsible government will fold its arms and allow any group supported by Al Qaeda to over run the country or threaten to divide the country”, Abati told Sunday Vanguard. ”The Nigerian government has made that very clear and President Jonathan has always said that he will not allow anybody to disintegrate Nigeria under his watch. At the same time, government has a soft approach under which it offers those who are willing to renounce terrorism to lay down their arms and return to the fold as citizens. The door is open to them for dialogue. The door is open to them for repentance and rehabilitation. They are like the lost sheep and the President is saying even these lost sheep we are willing to bring them back to the fold. The door of the Nigerian state is open to anyone who has gone astray, who has been misled to think that violence is a solution to whatever problem he or she may have, to rejoin the Nigerian family and conduct themselves as
Abiola deserves to be honoured – Obasanjo BY DAUD OLATUNJI,ABEOKUTA
ormer F Oluse
President gun Obasanjo, yesterday, said the late business mogul and undeclared winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, deserves to be honoured, saying he sacrificed for Nigeria. Obasanjo, who spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, at the fourth Founder’s Day celebrations and 85th birthday of the founder/patron of the Nobel House College, Chief Olatunde Abudu, lamented that Abiola was denied being
the President of the country due to what he called ‘bad belle’. The former President, was reacting to a statement by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, who said bad ‘belle’ robbed Ogun of producing three Presidents. Obasanjo acknowledged the contribution of Abiola to the development of Nigeria in all areas of human endeavours, saying the late politician sacrificed a lot for the development of the country. Obasanjo, a special guest of honour at the event, spoke in the presence of a former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan; a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Prince Bola Ajibola; governor of the state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; and some traditional rulers. Others dignitaries at the event i n c l u d e Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Lekan Alli, Major General Oluwole Rotimi (retd) and Chief (Mrs) Ayora KuforijiOlubi. The remarks came days to the 15th anniversary of the annulled June 12, 1993 election, as Obasanjo acknowledged that Ogun has produced many firsts in different spheres of life. According to the former President, Abiola contributed to the development of Nigeria, “Yes, I agree, Abeokuta would have produced a third President if not for bad ‘belle’.
They did not allow him to be President,” he stated. “He deserved to be honoured because he sacrificed for Nigeria. “ Also speaking, Amosun
stressed the essence of developing the education sector by all stakeholders, maintaining that government should provide the enabling environment for its growth.
Cooking gas explosion kills family of six BY EMMANUEL OKOLIE, Agbor n explosion from a cooking gas has killed a family of six in Agbor in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State. The victims were identified as Mr. Favour Akpevweta, his wife, three children and a sister-in-law The fire started after the gas with which Mrs. Akpevweta was cooking exploded. An eyewitness said that she was washing beans outside the compound in the evening when she noticed that something was burning in the kitchen, and rushed inside to know what it was. The eyewitness said she
entered the kitchen with a burning candle, which she dropped by the door, adding that the candle caused the explosion. According to the eyewitness, while Mr. Akpevweta, who was in the sitting room with his children managed to walk out of the building, opposite Gbenoba Grammar School, he died some minutes later due to the severe burns he sustained. Efforts by good Samaritans to rescue other members of the family were unsuccessful, the eyewitness added, saying that those that made it to the hospital alive, including Mrs. Akpevweta, did not survive.
Wike denies taking oath before Amaechi to be appointed Minister
UPERVISING Minis ter of Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, has denied the allegation by Governor Chibuike Amaechi that he swore never to part ways with him politically if he (governor) nominated him for ministerial appointment. Amaechi alleged recently that the Supervising Minister broke an oath he took with the names of his children that he would not
betray him ( governor) if he pushed for his appointment as Minister. The governor, who also said he ensured President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Wike in his cabinet, described the Minister as a traitor. Wike, who spoke in Obio Akpor local government area, at the weekend, said he never took any oath before Amaechi, adding that the govenor spoke out of frustration.
true citizens”. ’President never mentioned amnesty for Boko Haram’ Also, yesterday, Abati said President Goodluck Jonathan never mentioned the issue of amnesty for Boko Haram members during his Democracy Day speech. The presidential adviser was reacting to the statement by the Minister of Youths Development, Haruna, on Thursday, during one of the events marking the Democracy Day celebrations, that government would grant amnesty to Boko Haram members who renounce violence and lay down their arms. Abati, who spoke with State House correspondents, said the President never mentioned amnesty in his Democracy Day broadcast. Chibok girls: Ozekhome backs negotiation Meanwhile, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome, has called on the Federal Government to negotiate with Boko Haram with a view to bringing back the Chibok abducted school girls. In a statement, yesterday, Ozekhome, who is also a delegate to the National Conference in Abuja, said that Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution mandates the Federal Government to ensure the security and welfare of the citizenry.
Fayose petitions CJ, seeks transfer of cases on impeachment BY GBENGA ARIYIBI, Ado Ekiti
he national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has petitioned Ekiti State Chief Judge,Justice Ayodeji Daramola, objecting to Justice Monisola Oluwatoyin Abodunde presiding over a suit against the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the June 21 governorship election in the state, Mr Ayodele Fayose, on the grounds of likelihood of bias. The petition is in response to two suits, Mr Adeniyi Ajakaiye Vs Fayose and others on behalf of a socio-political organisation,Ekiti E-eleven, and Citizen Popular Party(CPP) and 2 others Vs PDP and 3 others In the two cases, the plaintiffs are seeking the order of court that Fayose is not competent to contest the election on the premise that he had sworn to an affidavit in an Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC)Form, that he was never impeached or indicted by any tribunal. In the petition, written by the National Secretary of the PDP, Prof. Wale Oladipo ,Fayose was said to have been forced out of office because of orchestrated failed impeachment spearheaded by the then Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Friday Aderemi, and Justice Jide Aladejana (rtd). The petition went further to state that the then Chief Judge,Justice Kayode Bamisile, who earlier constituted a 7 -man panel, freed him( Fayose) of any wrong doing.
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Vice principal docked for allegedly stealing dollars BY CHARITY UKAEGBU
former Vice Princi pal of American International School, Lagos, AISL, Mrs Ebere Mbanugo, has been arraigned at an Lagos State High Court, Igbosere for alleged stealing and misapplication of funds belonging to the Child Survival and Development or-
ganization’s Run For a Cure Program, an initiative hosted by her former employers where she acted as race coordinator. Mrs. Mbanugo pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge preferred against her and was granted bail. The matter was adjourned to June 26, 30 and July 2, 2014 for accelerated trial.
Chibok girls’ protesters have hidden agenda — Onuesoke elta State Peoples Democratic Party D (PDP) governorship aspirant in 2007 general elections, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has accused those protesting the abduction of Chibok girls of having a hidden agenda. Speaking to journalists after a meeting with directors of Network for Good Governance (N4GG) in Abuja, Onuesoke, noted that the manner protesters of the abducted girls by Boko Haram, were directing their anger on President Goodluck Jonathan as if he was responsible for the abductions was suspicious.
He described the proliferation of protesters as unbecoming adding that the protests were a way of distracting the Federal Government and security agents from doing their job of locating and setting the girls free from their captors. He enjoined protesters to direct their anger towards Boko Haram, than to government that had been making efforts to free the girls, warning that some of these protests may have been sponsored by those opposed to the President in their bid to attract national and global condemnation of government.
Free breast cancer screening for Abuja women BY LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU
BOUT 10 women are among people who benefited from free breasts cancer, blood pressure and sugar tests conducted by Life Medical Spa and Specialist Center during a grand opening of the medical facility in Asokoro, Abuja. The facility, the first of its kind in Abuja and environs, provides preventive and curative medical services. It has anti-aging and anti-oxidants machines that detoxify the body system. At a ceremony to mark the official opening of the
health facility, the Medical Director, Dr. Ijeoma Stella Mbadiwe, a Nigerian and United Kingdom trained obstetrician and gynecologist specialist consultant with the National Hospital, Abuja, said her goal was to “prevent and cure noncommunicable diseases such as non-insulin dependent diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disorders and cancer.” The gynecologist, who is also the wife of Hon. Eddie Mbadiwe who represents Ideato North and South Federal Constituency of Imo State in the House of Representatives, said the services were cheaper and affordable.
Mimiko commiserates with Ladoja over son’s death
NDO State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has commiser ated with a former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, over the death of his son, Adebola, in an auto crash. Mimiko, in a statement by the state’s Commission-
er for Information, Mr Kayode Akinmade, described the death of the former governor ’s son as most unfortunate and sad. He admonished Ladoja to take the incident as an act of God as nothing could happen to any human being without the knowledge of God.
350 farmers embrace dairy farming
o less than 350 farmers have been trained and N registered under a Dairy
Development Programme, DDP,designed to increase yield of local milk production, even as 72 farming communities are being supported to be
actively engaged in dairy farming nationwide. Already, under the initiative, four highly equipped Milk Collection Centres, MCCs, and Milk Bulking Centres are in operation in Fasola, Alaga, Maya-Eruwa and Iseyin communities in Oyo State. Disclosing this in Lagos in commemoration of World Milk Day today, June 1, 2014, Public and Regulatory Affairs Manager, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Mrs. Ore Famurewa, said farmers who benefited from the initiative were trained in various aspects including raw milk hygiene and quality, financial education, animal health, tsetse fly control, small holder dairy farming system, among other essential programmes.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 7
SHEHU SANI, EX-BOKO HARAM NEGOTIATOR, WARNS:
‘Chibok girls may return with strange orientation’ BY SONI DANIEL, Abuja
Head, Legal Services, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Angela Omo-Dare; with pupils of Araromi Baptist Primary School, Lagos Island, at the presentation of books and library to the school in collaboration with Zaccheus Onumba Dibiaezue Memorial Libraries, last week.
0 days after the seizure of the over 200 girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, by Boko Haram, civil rights activist, Shehu Sani, yesterday, raised the alarm on the fate of the victims. Sani, who was at the forefront of two failed bids to broker peace between Boko Haram and government, told Sunday Vanguard that the prolonged abduction of
SON raises the bar on new cement standard BY ABEL KOLAWOLE & CHARITY UKAEGBU
OUSING is a basic need. Several lives
are lost annually in Nigeria through building collapse. A number of factors are responsible for building collapse. According to the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the factors include-inability to undertake soil tests before erecting a building, faulty building designs, mostly by non-professionals, wrong/ dubious construction practices - most times leading to deliberate misapplication of building materials and other corrupt practices, lack of qualified supervisors or skilled artisans at building sites and use of substandard material, e.g. cement. Towards eliminating the menace of building collapse, SON embarked on the standardization of the basic inputs in building and construction like iron and steel, roofing materials. Having completed standardization in other areas, the agency set out to review cement standard. It adopted a holistic approach as to ensure that standards are maintained in all spheres of the building process. Following widespread protests over rampant building collapse, the regulatory agency took the commendable step of immediate response to review cement standards in the country. The technical committee of SON consulted widely with stakeholders from all sectors including the Nigeria Society of Engineers, COREN, universities, researchers, builders, block makers towards fashioning a suitable cement standard regime.
he stakeholders agreed to streamline cement types, with 42.5 cement for general purposes while 32.5 will now be restricted to plastering work. Some cement manufacturers kicked against the streaming saying it will lead to loss of jobs in the industry. The primary
concern of all stakeholders should be elimination of loss of lives from collapsed building. SON’s effort at reviewing cement type standard is commendable as it will restore sanity to the system. It will yield the same result as the efforts of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) did in sanitizing the Nigerian food and drug industry. Standardization is required in all industries and sectors of the economy. Without appropriate standards, a country will be saturated with fake or substandard goods.
ON should be firm in ensuring that all cement manufacturing companies adhere to the new standard stipulated for the industry. The agency is expected to come out with a schedule specifying the period in which cement manufacturers are to retool or reconfigure their equipment to meet the new standard. Given the consequential loss of lives and properties whenever a structure gives way, the regulatory body should treat all cases of defiance or non-adherence to the new standard as economic sabotage with necessary sanctions handed to the offending organization. As a strategy of ensuring strict adherence, the regulatory agency should have in place a series of stringent sanctions and rewards for operators in the industry. Producers meeting the standards are to be rewarded while those not meeting the standards are to be punished to deter others. The desire by the House of Representatives to strengthen the regulatory activities of SON and eliminate building collapse informed the public hearing on composition and pigmentation of cement product. Director General, SON, Joseph Odumodu at the hearing, identified reinforcement bars and cement in construction as two major culprits in building collapse. He said, “In the last three years, we
have established a reliable quality system for bars and so far we have not implicated this factor in any collapse in four years. SON cannot give the same assurance for cement. In carrying out our mandate, we sampled and tested cement products at factory and market levels as well as in mortar and concrete applications.” Explaining why type 32.5 cement should be used in plastering alone, he said: “Statistically, there had been more collapses of buildings under construction than old aged ones in the last 10 years. If this frequency is juxtaposed in a milieu of preponderance of type 32.5 which accounted for over 90% of the cement in the last seven years, one can make reliable deductions on the need to proceed the way of restriction of type 32.5 cement.”
he restriction of 32.5 ce ment is appropriate as unscrupulous artisans will use the same application and mixing ratio for 42.5 when using 32.5 therefore endangering lives. Restricting 32.5 is in line with best global practice as progressive countries have stopped the production of that grade of cement. SON was only drawing from best global practice and should be given every support in the review of cement standard. When Nigeria was dependent on cement import, SON stipulated 42.5 as the grade for import, building collapse was rare but became common when sufficiency was achieved in domestic production where 32.5 cement account for high proportion of the local production.
t is important to note that manufacturers of 32.5 grade cement have taken advantage of the high level of ignorance of consumers in Nigeria. The market prices of all types of cement have remained the same irrespective of the grade, in spite of the differential in cost of production. The new directive from SON that 1/3 of cement bags will now have information
on the grade, uses, date of manufacture among others will give buyers knowledge of the product they are buying is a good one. The public will no longer buy 32.5 cement at the price of 42.5. But SON will need to increase their surveillance and spot checks to ensure that manufacturers do not bag 32.5 and label 42.5. Instead of commendations, some cement manufacturers are at daggers drawn with SON over the new standards. They prefer the old regime where anything and everything goes in the construction industry. They disagreed with cement type differentiation. However, the Coalition Against Building Collapse (CABCO) has risen in defence of the SON. In an advertorial entitled:“Who is afraid of the new cement standard?”, CABCO said: “For years, Nigerians have wallowed in ignorance, thinking that ‘cement is cement’ and any cement could be used for any form of building project. It is not surprising that numerous construction failures have been recorded in Nigeria to which inappropriate application of cement grade may have contributed a lot. “We are relieved that the SON has, in the interest of the general public, reviewed the cement standards in Nigeria in line with global trend. The new review, we understand, stipulates the various grades of cement and their applications.”
ON has done a noble job in gathering stakeholders and fashioning a new cement standard for Nigeria. The agency is also embarking on a rigorous citizen education and enlightenment campaign to inform the public of the various cement types and their uses. For SON, it is hoped that they will enforce and maintain the new standard. The agency deserves commendation for. And any manufacturer of cement whose priority is not to milk Nigerians dry of their hard earned money should embrace the standard.
the girls by the Islamist group could dramatically alter the fate and orientation of the girls. According to Sani, the longer the girls were kept by their captors, the higher the potential of their being hypnotised and brainwashed to accept radicalism and terrorism. ”But the danger of keeping these girls, without either using negotiation or force to free them, is that, everyday these girls are being brainwashed by the insurgents,” the former negotiator said. ” If we are not careful, the Chibok girls that would come out of captivity would not be the same girls that went into captivity. They would be indoctrinated, they would be hypnotised and brainwashed to the point that they would be transformed into insurgents themselves. And of what use will they be then? ”These are very young girls in their teens with very open and vulnerable minds but open to dangerous ideas. You can see how a man would abduct a girl, whose parents don’t like him and by the time the girl comes back she is ready to fight with her parents. ”So, the danger is that as the clocks ticks, it is ticking for us , for the girls and for our reputation and integrity as a country.” Asked if the insurgents were ready to take the window of the opportunity provided by the Federal Government to lay down their arms and accept amnesty, Sani said the
government was unserious and insincere over amnesty for the insurgents. The President of Civil Rights Congress said it was not possible for President Goodluck Jonathan to give amnesty and also declare full scale war against the insurgents. He asked:” How can the insurgents come out and enter the open door of the amnesty when there is a price tag on the head of the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau, by the United States, which was also supported by the Nigerian government? ”How can the insurgents enter the open door of the amnesty when already there is an antiterrorism law that outlaws the group and criminalises any form of communication with its members? ”How can the insurgents embrace the open door provided by the amnesty when there is a state of emergency in place and forces to go after any insurgent that rears his head up? How can the insurgents embrace the amnesty when Nigeria sponsored the resolution at the United Nations that blacklisted the group? How can the insurgents avail themselves of amnesty when Nigeria invited the United States, Israel, France and Britain, whose drones are already hovering over their heads? I think what we have is a President that is confused and does not know how to handle the Boko Haram situation.”
Cashless policy deadline: Interswitch challenges CBN on financial inclusion BY PRINCE OSUAGWU
ROUP Managing Director of Interswitch, Mr Mitchel Elegbe, yesterday, challenged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, not to only ensure that today’s set deadline for every state of the federation to join in the cashless policy initiative is complied with, but to also do more to realize the financial inclusion objective. Financial inclusion is a policy aimed at ensuring that everybody accesses banking and financial transactions irrespective of how remote the location might be. Interswitch is a Nigerian company and one of the leading pan-African integrated payment companies. Elegbe said that cashless policy is the cornerstone of
Nigeria’s economic development which will ensure that everybody living or doing business in Nigeria is able to access modern payment and banking technologies. The cashless policy was first introduced in January 2012 in Lagos State and by the end of 2013 had been extended to the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja, Kano, Rivers, Ogun, Abia and Anambra States. However, the CBN has set today as deadline for all other states of the federation to join the policy. Elegbe said, yesterday:“While today is a cause for celebration, much more still needs to be done and we will continue to support the CBN by placing financial inclusion at the very heart of our business.”
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“..Where the question is of gaining only a minor advantage if he succeeds, and courting disaster if he fails, no one demands that a general should risk his life fighting like a private soldier.” Plutarch 46-120 A.D.
ISTORY never repeats itself; human beings do. Unfortunately, our almost total regard for the lessons of history drives us, and we sometimes drive our leaders, to avoidable disasters. Indisputably, when the story of Chibok is written, in the future, one of the episodes which will feature prominently will be whether or not President Jonathan acted appropriately, meaning wisely, by not going to Chibok on the day he was announced to be heading in that direction. Please note the last twelve words “on the day he was announced to be heading in that direction.” They are critical to the discussion which follows. As usual, when seemingly novel events occur in Nigeria, generating controversy, I withhold
judgment until I can get hold of historical precedents which can serve as the basis for my reaction to the issue in question. In other words, I temporarily forget the name of the main actor e.g Jonathan and instead ask what should have been done by ANYBODY, especially a leader, presumed sane, in that situation. To me that is the most objective way to judge people. Plutarch, the historian of the Hellenic Age and one of the greatest ever, provided the guide on this matter. What he wrote about all generals applies, with greater force, to the “general of generals” – the Commander In Chief, C-I-C, of the Armed Forces. About the C-I-C, Plutarch had added that “it is his first duty to protect the man [meaning himself] who holds the fate of others in his hands.” (Plutarch in THE AGE OF ALEXANDER pp 7071). Whether we like it or not, and I know that some of those who brought him to power now regret it, President Jonathan is the man who now holds the
Let these achievements be your guide "In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate - look to his character." -- Noah Webster
HERE have been some rumblings; in fact, it is more like a roar and sabre rattling. Some quarters in Osun State, believe that it is about time there was a change in the government house come the next election. Ok, to what do they base this summation? These supposedly, men of wisdom and of piety are of the view that the present governor being Muslim should give way to a Christian. The war mongers and mischief makers argue that they are fearful that the state is becoming Islamized. Surely, they could come up with better game plan argument than the religion of the man. How do you respond to people like this other than those can't do, always criticize. What a crock, what bunkum, such mischiefs from those who should know better. Why do we play the tribe and religious card, even in the face of hard evidence; the record of his administration speaks for
itself. When would they realize that the improvement and progress made by the present administration has no bearing on the man's origin or religion? Nigerians, we do have a problem. You would have thought that they will applaud and embrace Osun's exemplary good record and innovation rather than ply the road to corruption, mismanagement and mediocrity. I digress; my admiration for the Ogbeni, Rauf Aregbesola's administation is neither because, he is a Muslim nor because he is a Yoruba man. And I am not from Osun state, though now I wish I was. In the Ogbeni, I see a committed, dedicated safe hands, who is able and willing to work very hard to improve the standard of living for ordinary people of his state. The Osun state people are better for it. He has single handed transformed his state and its people. He has produced results for all to see. Osun government spends more than N3 billion annually on its home-grown elementary school feeding, O'Meal. N600 million was spent on about 3,000 community caterers as well as transportation fare to the
various schools. As result of the feeding programme, there has been an increase in the enrolment of children and decrease in absenteeism. The meal programme also employs local people; farmers, butchers, fishermen and trained women meal supervisors are all a masterstroke of why Osun is making massive strides while other states are doodling behind. Making education free at the point of entry means more children are educated, but also feeding children free nutritious meals means that the children's body is optimized for learning and development. School attendance has improved exponentially and they have recruited more teachers as a result. The
state has constructed over 50.63km of intra-city roads; built new schools and upgraded others, built several boreholes, distributed OPON IMO (Tablet of Knowledge) to high school pupils. The programme's sublime quality considers every aspect of the health of the children and institutes the deworming programe and distribution of free uniforms and school materials, means that every child is equal at the point of entry. Ogbeni said of his moti-
their arsenal including rocket launchers, we expect them not to make an attempt. Let’s be serious, for God’s sake. We don’t have to like Jonathan but he is our President now. Obviously, those carpeting Jonathan for not heading to Chibok on a suicide mission are either being sentimental, at best; or mischievous at worst. Some of the mischief makers might even hope to get rid of a President they don’t like by sending him to Chibok. The truth is, President Jonathan and the nation have very little to gain by
Whoever released the story of Jonathan’s plan to visit Chibok, if ever there was such a plan, should be held for treason. Chibok is war front
is not deliberate presidential suicide. Jonathan alive and President until May 2015 is the best option we have at the moment. Anything else, including resignation, is an invitation to anarchy. NIGERIAN POLITICIANS AND MEMOIRS/BIOGRAPHIES It is amazing how many Nigerian political leaders, Ministers, as well as military leaders refuse to publish their memoirs or biographies. Yet, if our future leaders are expected to avoid mistakes of the past and learn from successful measures we must have memoirs and real biographies, as opposed to praise singing or malicious criticism. IBB had the best collection of Ministers and the broadest vision. It is a shame nobody is ready to revisit the era. Budgets then were well-articulated and presented on time. Abubakar presented a different experience – quitting while there was still any ovation left. Buhari/Idiagbon introduced discipline etc, etc. how did those measures emerge from each administration and what were the guiding philosophies. Even now, American scholars are still writing about Lincoln, Jefferson, Kennedy, etc.
It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for Jonathan to plan a visit to that small town without Boko Haram knowing about the impending visit. Even with the near absolute secrecy surrounding the American President’s visit to the war front, the security alert is still the highest. There is no way the Nigerian armed forces could have mounted the security required to safeguard the President’s life without Boko Haram knowing about it in advance. With
that visit and risk a lot if the trip ends in d i s a s t e r. P r e s i d e n t Jonathan has no business visiting any territory in the world, not just Nigeria, which is not safe for him to go. Granted, people might argue that the Nigerian army is in a bad shape because he had failed to provide adequate resources and had failed to combat corruption within the forces. I cannot dispute that. But, the solution to funding and probity with regard to the armed forces
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vation that, "the improvement of the lots of the people of Osun was therefore a strong motivation for my seeking office and a paramount object of the deployment of my talents. Thus, as a leader I constantly seek for ways of bringing about progress and advancement for my people in every area of their lives". This has led to the improvement of the standard of public education and it has benefited the children of the state. That is the fact. He defended his administration that the state enrolment figure of almost 253,000, O'MEALS is one programme that is worthy of every naira and kobo that had gone into it. There is no squabble there. Ogbeni's administration
earned the international recommendation and support of the London-based Partnership for Child Development (PCD). And so it should. The O'Yes youth pro gramme has trained young people by providing and equipping them with employability skills. The principle of instilling good work ethic is highly motivational because it again, espouses pride, confidence, self-esteem, motivation and respect for the environment, good health and ownership in their state. The young people have a stake in their future and I am sure that the young people in Osun have brighter future and direction than anywhere else in the country. The O'yes corps is trained and are deployed to productive services in identified areas of socio-economic life and paid a basic allowance to help cover basic needs. And not only that, they are kitted out in smart uniforms and recognizable presence in the community. This means they are all working towards the same goal; a better Osun State. According to the Governor, his administration has rehabilitated and remodeled schools from primary to tertiary levels, built many hospitals and empowered youths among others. I have no doubt that Aregbesola will continue, if Osun votes him, for a second term in office. They say imitation is a form of flattery, well it seems that other states now are willing to follow his innovative flare including the federal government. So, while others talk jostling for
the position purely for the heck of it. They have missed the point here; the power lies with the people and I am sure the people of Osun will vote with their conscience but also the experience of having a better state and a hard working governor , who puts the welfare and standard of living of the Osun people first. They say, the taste of the pudding is in the eating, the people have had a taste and they would like more if it. Ogbeni puts his opinion of leadership so well: "Indeed, it is my belief that leadership offers a golden opportunity to serve the people and bring improvements to bear on their lives and existence. I also do hold onto the view that leadership is a core pillar upon which a viable and successful human society can be built. And he went on," Indeed leadership is all about rendering service to the people and this. The plan, he added, had created a robust opportunity for the people in education, health, agriculture among this; putting smile on the faces of the people. You cannot argue with that, can you? Aregbesola promised that he would not disappoint the people if voted for second term in office. He has tackled the child poverty and mortality rate, improved the state of education and technology. There is a definitive redistribution of wealth and resources up and down Osun State. More women are employed by the states and more girls than ever before are at full time school because of the free entry.
The programme's sublime quality considers every aspect of the health of the children and institutes the deworming programe and distribution of free uniforms and school materials, means that every child is equal at the point of entry
Should Jonathan have gone to Chibok?
Should Jonathan have gone to Chibok at all? And on the day he was announced to be headed in that direction? The answer to the first question is a qualified “Yes” – qualified because no Head of State heads for a war zone with his arrival date and time, made known to the enemy in advance. That amounts to courting disaster and a dereliction of his first duty as C-I-C “to protect the man who holds the fate of others in his hands.” Let me provide two examples from American involvement in two wars – Viet Nam and Afghanistan. American Presidents, Johnson and Obama, visited American troops when the two wars were in progress to provide moral support to the men at the front. That was permissible good public relations. But, no American President had ever visited the war front after his arrival was announced well in advance. I lived in the USA during the Viet Nam War and I also read a lot of American war history. Air Force One, the American President’s plane, would have been air borne by the time an announcement was made that the President would be visiting troops in Viet Nam. Even, the exact location
in Viet Nam would not be disclosed until the President had landed. Why? Because the military commanders know that the enemy would have been prepared to commit any number of men just to kill the American President. Who can vouch that Boko Haram was also not waiting on that day to attempt assassination of the Nigerian President? Whoever released the story of Jonathan’s plan to visit Chibok, if ever there was such a plan, should be held for treason. Chibok is war front.
fate of Nigerians in his hands. Starting with those self-evident truths, we can now address the question with the degree of objectivity it requires.
has invested in the best resources the state has got its children. It would do well for other states to look across to Osun and replicate this progress across the national level. He stated that the programme "is consistent with the goals of banishing hunger, creating work and wealth, creating functional education, restoring healthy living and engendering communal peace and progress". The O'Meals programme has been recognised and
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 11
Diezani and the National Assembly! flight to Kano five days earlier was similarly delayed for the same number of hours for what the airline described as “operational reasons”. When I confirmed that I had the same experience a day after theirs, we all agreed that making the same announcement con-
RAVELING, as the saying goes, is a great experience - a saying I fully appreciated three days ago while returning to Abuja from a conference in Kano. An over twohour delay by Aero Contractors brought me in close reunion with two federal public service officers. They too were going to Abuja and had walked up to pay me respect at the departure lounge of the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, where we were all waiting. The officers recalled with gratitude the ample gains they made from a lecture I delivered on “Communication Skills” at the Public Service Institute of Nigeria Abuja some three years back. According to them, they had spent a few minutes before I came in; relating the strategies I enumerated during the lecture to the communication style of aero airline. They were upset that their previous
for doing the same thing wrongly by the day. Our experience reminded me of a play in which a typist having gotten used to explaining his daily lateness to work with ‘I had running stomach’ once told his boss to kindly note that he would be late to work the next day because he “ would have running stomach tomorrow”. Back to the issue of permanently delayed flights, we sought to compare the harm to the nation by our unconscionable commercial airlines with
If probes would sanitize our polity, all well and good; if not, it is time to limit those who approach equity to only those with clean hands
tinuously to a disconnected set of receivers suggests that the airline is not into effective communication. Rather, it is engaged in stereotyping- a communications style in which organizations with management failure and corporate inertia offer the same apology
that of those opting for chartered flights. This led us into a long conversation on the intriguing relationship between Minister Diezani and the National Assembly - a discussion that was greatly illuminated by reports in the media the night before. One of the reports credit-
PhD, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos,
ed to Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Chairman Senate Committee on Finance indicted the former Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido for allegedly raising false alarm that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, misapplied $49.8 billion accruing from crude oil sales. Markafi confirmed that only $20 billion was missing adding that after a rigorous investigation the committee could not see how Sanusi arrived at his allegations. The report tended to have cleared Diezani Allison-Madueke our oil Minister, her Ministry and the NNPC of any wrong doing. Interestingly, Senator Bukola Saraki a member of the same Markafi committee was quoted by another segment of the media as having stated that he was not privy to any clearance of any wrong doing by anyone. Reading through the statements credited to the two Senators, it would obviously be hard for people to comprehend the discordant tunes from the senate. People are thus entitled to accepting whatever version confirms their predisposition. One is free for instance to imagine that the committee lacked unison and that each member merely disseminated the standpoint of his political persuasion. Another person would be free to suggest that the committee merely disbelieved Sansui’s figures but did not confirm that no amount was missing. This latter
view sounds comic because if all that the Senate committee has been able to find is the inaccuracy of the Sanusi figure, it means we have not moved forward as everyone including Sanusi himself, was not in doubt that his original figure was inaccurate. Does this imply that neither the public nor the Senate knows precisely what the probe panel was out to unravel? Perhaps it was just an investigation which the legislature, these days, appears to see as a priority over and above law making. Since Aero gave us - its stranded Kano-Abuja passengers, no less than three hours to chat away, each of us commented freely on the missing oil money, the suspension and eventual replacement of the whistle blower and the alleged abuse of office through the use of chartered flights by the oil Minister. When I cautioned the team that some of the issues particularly those concerning chartered flights were already before the courts and that it would be subjudice to discuss those, it was as if I inadvertently raised more posers. First, what and what in specific terms are before the court? Second, was the probe by the House of Representatives seeking to uncover if a documented subsisting practice of chartered flights in the NNPC exists or did it merely want to determine which of the flights were unofficial? Third, has the House stopped or is it going ahead
to deal with a subject already in court under the pretext that it was yet to receive an injunction? Put differently, does anyone understand the exact issues pitching the National Assembly against the managers of our oil sector? Is it cake sharing? Well, the legislature has powers to investigate any matter - the letters of our constitution in Sections 88 and 89 clearly say so. For this reason, we cannot question the legislature for complying with the law. Indeed, all public officials invited by the legislature ought to promptly report to it and answer all charges to pave the way for good governance and accountability. But when we take a careful look at the spirit of the constitution, it is also obvious that no one anticipated that the provisions would make our legislature to become more proactive on the subject than our anti-corruption bodies and the police. No one knew for instance, that reporting to the National Assembly would be turned into the most important daily function of a Minister. Now that it is so, it is time to review our gains from the Elumelu power probe, that of Farouk Lawan on subsidy and the Hembe investigation of the stock exchange to mention only a few. If probes would sanitize our polity, all well and good; if not, it is time to limit those who approach equity to only those with clean hands.
Ghost would convert me back to Christianity. His strategy worked: in order to prove him wrong, I accepted to attend the night vigil. At the event, I sat in the front row so that the late VC would see me. After about
based on merit. Again, his informal and somewhat light-hearted approach to issues sometimes creates the erroneous impression of unseriousness. That said, there is no doubt Prof. Sofoluwe was dedicated to his job. Given severe constraints in the Nigerian university system generally, and in the University of Lagos particularly, a plausible case can be made that he tried his best to transform great UNILAG into the “university of first choice and the nation’s pride.” To underscore this, shortly after his appointment as VC, Prof. Sofoluwe produced “The Blue Book,” a small pamphlet which contains explicit statement of his mission and programme of action intended to revolutionise teaching, learning, research, infrastructure, and every other aspect of life within the university community. A committed team player, he worked tirelessly to promote harmonious working relationship between his administration and the major trade unions in the university. Prof. Sofoluwe was cordial to students, and had an uncanny ability to discern when it is necessary to adhere strictly to laiddown procedures and when it is appropriate to cut through the red tape of university bureaucracy and get things done as expeditiously as possible. Obviously, Prof. Sofoluwe has played his part and gone forever. The proclamation by one of the officiating pastors during the funeral service that the late VC now rests in the bosom of Jesus Christ is based on the fiction invented by the early Christians to make the absolute inexorability of death endurable. But belief in hell and heaven, in
immortality, is a cowardly attempt to compensate for the utter irreversibility of death, an article of faith quite unworthy of mature and sensitive minds fully aware of the uniqueness, preciousness, and perishability of individual human life. It ought to be replaced with a deep understanding of the fundamental uniqueness and precariousness of our existence, which tends to foster determination to live humanely and productively, since it serves as a constant reminder that this life is all there is and, therefore, it must be lived to the fullest, especially in the service of others. In that regard, the pertinent question for us who knew Prof. Sofoluwe personally and worked with him is, what are the appropriate lessons from his life? In my view, the most enduring lesson is that humility and graciousness are extremely important qualities irrespective of one’s status and position without which our humanity is diminished. As I said earlier, the late VC was a very humble and humane person who demystified the elevated position of Vice Chancellorship. His combination of humility, kindness and concern for the welfare of others is one of the characteristics of people with high emotional intelligence. That is why, despite his mistakes, even his critics acknowledge that he was a good man. The best we can do to honour his memory is to preserve his legacy by cultivating those qualities that made him admirable and ensuring that those after us imbibe them as well. Incidentally, that is the only way Prof. Sofoluwe could live on after death. CONCLUDED.
The mystery of death: An essay in memory of Professor A.B. Sofoluwe (2)
Late Prof. Sofoluwe that given the temporal unpredictability of death, we should not procrastinate or postpone what we can do today until tomorrow. Prof. Sofoluwe was a religious man. Occasionally, we usually argued about Christianity - in fact, he wanted me to be a Christian. As a confirmed unbeliever, I disagreed with his uncritical acceptance of biblical doctrines. I always reminded him that The Holy Bible is riddled with mythologies and contradictions such that literal interpretation of its contents is absurd and misleading. Whenever I tried to demonstrate the untenability of Christian beliefs, Prof. Sofoluwe would reiterate the biblical story of Saul who later converted to Paul. He would end by saying, “Oyinbo, God will arrest you one day.” During the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the founding of the University
of Lagos, the late VC ensured that religion featured prominently in the event. I remember vividly an encounter in his office, a few days before the night vigil service by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) at the university’s Sports Centre. I had gone to see him for discretionary admission into the diploma programme of the university. He teased me by saying that he would grant my request on condition that I attend the night vigil. I politely rejected the condition. With a smile, he promised to look into my request, but insisted that I should attend the programme. I was adamant: I just did not see any rationale or benefit in forfeiting several hours of sleep to listen to the noisy insipidities and inanities of well-fed, well-clad and prosperityintoxicated pastors. Moreover, contemporary Pentecostal Christianity, given its obsession with bulimic materialism, instantaneous miracles and showy religiosity, has deviated from what I consider the true mission of religion, that is, to serve as a tool in the disciplined quest for spiritual enlightenment. Upon noticing my unwillingness to accept his invitation, Prof. Sofoluwe suggested that my refusal was because I was afraid that the Holy
an hour, when one of the officiating pastors started asking for offerings either in cash or by cheque, I left. Of course, I am still an unbeliever: the Holy Ghost could not even make me stay until the end of the programme, let alone convert me! Like every human being, Prof. Sofoluwe is imperfect. I am sure that some people
N a certain occa sion, I went to the Staff Club to have lunch with my bosom friend and confidant, Chief Ralph Obiduba. As we sat down waiting to be served, Prof. Sofoluwe walked in with Prof. Longe and others. After exchanging pleasantries with people around, he came to where I sat and asked the waiter closest to him to give my friend whatever drink he wanted. When I mildly protested, he smiled and said, “Oyinbo man, you are not working hard enough. I will buy you a drink after doing what I asked you to do.” About twenty minutes later, the waiter placed a chilled bottle of Star lager in front of me and said “from the VC.” Readers may wonder what Prof. Sofoluwe wanted me to do that I had not done to warrant his friendly rebuke. Now, for quite some time, the late VC had been encouraging me to publish enough papers so that I would be appointed Professor during his tenure, because he felt that although my academic brilliance was beyond dispute, I was not paying adequate attention to research. Before he died on May 12, 2012, the task was completed. Sadly, however, he was not around to witness the fulfilment of his wish for me. From his untimely demise, I learnt the useful lesson
A committed team player, he worked tirelessly to promote harmonious working relationship between his administration and the major trade unions in the university
exploited his generosity of spirit and approachability to gain unfair advantage within the university system. There are allegations that during his Vice Chancellorship, appointments and promotions in the university were not always
PAGE 12—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014
The Igbo and the National Conference
In a split second
ORTALITY is given, life is terminal by nature. I wouldn't qualify as anyone's comedian though my family would say I was raucous and fun loving. I like to laugh, I love to eat, I like to play but for the most part, I am serious minded. I have had several letters from readers asking me to lighten up and I would have obliged if I knew how. The honest truth is I do all things purposefully and consciously, that's why I own my mistakes and embrace my achievements; not much to lighten up about that. I don't consciously remember using the devil as an excuse for any of my misadventures, my motive for most things would be the pleasure they gave me or the sheer fun of it. At this juncture in my life's journey, I believe in God, I am a Bible believing Christian who believes in heaven, my life is purposed towards the goal of making it there come
what may. It means that I am now more than ever even more conscious and a tad more serious. It's ironic that most people of faith want to go to heaven but are petrified of death, some more than others. Friday last was a day like any other, got home from work rather tired and particularly hungry. I don't eat much but I only eat what I enjoy and thankfully I am one of those who enjoy healthy fare. On this particular day vegetable and Eba (local mash made from cassava) was my belly's delight and I had almost finished when heaven almost became a reality. The African vegetable dish is a combination of all sorts of ingredients and a staple is dried or smoked fish, it gives the dish a certain smoky delicious taste. My delight turned to horror when out of the blue I felt a very painful needle size stab somewhere in my throat.
halls of great academies, in their villages and towns, and in the great urban ghettoes of the world where they can be found, the Igbo themselves are raising the “Igbo question.” It is the same condition that compelled the Jewish question; the Irish question, and that gave Germany, Kant, Hegel, and the philosophers of the German enlightenment. The Igbo are conducting what I call the inward gaze. I went to Chicago, there-
Those Igbo who wish for a separate Igbo nation have compelling argument: Igbo must seek selfdetermination, given that, as they say, the potential of the Igbo people are trapped or caged in Nigeria where, they are convinced, the national pastime is Igbo hate
fore to articulate the following positions: that the Igbo must come to terms with their historical role and task as builders of a modern polynational state. In this task, they are in partnership with other nationalists for whom the Nigerian state built on justice, equity, and freedom is a historical imperative. It is true
In a split second an invisible piece of bone had lodge itself into the jelly like annals of my oesophagus. I froze in panic and tried to cough it out but my gag reflex managed to place the bone out of finger, tongue and safety range. It's actually hard to describe the moments that followed and I remain humbled that a piece of bone that was barely an inch long was about to turn my lights out for good. How deep was that? How totally ineffectual to be taken out by a bone that was totally accidental to the enjoyment of the meal? The world is a very dangerous place and I pray for safety in a bigger picture kind of way. I pray for peace, I especially pray for my country Nigeria, I pray for my family, my friends, I pray that I fulfil the purpose for which I was created and dialogue in a way that gives me peace with my maker. I obviously don't discountenance the possibility of little accidents in the home but that little bone in the throat accident was weird on many ominous
interest to work in line with the ideas circulated from the 18th, 19th, and 20th century by four of the greatest Igbo political and intellectual leaders in the last three hundred years: Olauda Equiano, Dr. James Africanus Horton, Dr. Edward Blyden, and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. The Igbo must continue
levels. I never did find it but boy did it do damage. My throat swelled up so much, I could barely swallow saliva. An hour later, my body felt like I had been stomped on by bulls in a stampede. Within hours I had chills, a headache, even more body pain. I needed painkillers and a sedative and my last
gist, now at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and the likes of Dr. Sam Enyia of Lewis University, Dr. Tobe Nnamani, of the National Missionary Seminary of St Paul, Abuja, Dr. Godson Obia, Professor of Geography and Associate Dean of the College of Sciences of the Eastern Illinois University, among many others, that the Igbo are in that anxious and restless mood of which the poet and philosopher, Dr. Chielozona Eze of the Northeastern Illinois University Chicago, and I both agreed, was reflective of what I have discerned as “nationalist melancholy.” It is that strange feeling of lack, loss, and lingering displacement and alienation, which has been the mood of the Igbo since the end of the civil war in 1970. It is the ironic condition that is compelling Igbo excess – its drive towards transcendence and mastery – in its cultural output; its nationalist imagination; its industry; its dispersal; its psychosis. The ironic good in it all is that the Igbo themselves are aware of their condition, and across the world today, in family living rooms and dining tables; at academic conferences and the cloisters and
AST weekend I was in Chicago for the annual International Igbo Studies Association Conference. The conference was held at the Dominican University in River Forest, Chicago, under the good graces of President Dr. Donna M. Carroll and Dr. Cheryl Johnson-Odim, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the great stewardship of Dr. Nkuzi Nnam, Professor and Director of the Black World Studies at the Dominican University. I had been invited by the quondam President of ISA, Dr. Apollos Nwauwah, Professor and Director of Africans Studies at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, to speak on the Special Executive Roundtable on “The On-going National Conference: An Appraisal of the position of NdiIgbo.” It felt like an appropriate moment for that discussion given the quality of noises coming from the Igbo delegation to the current National Dialogue. It felt, particularly in my various discussions with Professor Felix Ekechi, Emeritus Professor of History at Kent State University, Professor Christian Ukaegbu, Distinguished Market and Developmental Sociolo-
today that there are two types of the Igbo: those who are ambivalent about Nigeria, and wish to withdraw permanently from it, and those who are resolved about Nigeria and wish to fashion it out of its primordial chaos. Those Igbo who wish for a separate Igbo nation have compelling argument: Igbo must seek selfdetermination, given that, as they say, the potential of the Igbo people are trapped or caged in Nigeria where, they are convinced, the national pastime is “Igbo hate.” A nation, where, as one scholar put it last weekend, “the Igbo have been killed and targeted just for being Igbo.” It is a powerful argument in itself, this quest for sovereign security. There are those like me, who insist however that the Igbo, rather than contract, must expand the frontiers of nation. It is in Igbo historical
I am very passionate and tend to invest too much effort and emotion in people, the result is that I get hurt when I feel unappreciated and bullied
thoughts before I fell into what was at best a fitful sleep was that the bone must have belonged to a vengeful fish or a dinosaur. The real issue for me is not that I got a bone stuck in my throat, that's no news; it wouldn't be news if I was Barak Obama.
to seek and work with the individuals and groups with whom they share this compelling vision of a great African nation-state. The Igbo of this generation must therefore understand the nature of the nationalist debate. In a monograph published in November 1959, and re-issued on 30th April 1979, titled “Matchless Past Performance: My reply to Chief Awolowo’s challenge,” Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe wrote the following: “The NCNC was founded in 1944 in order to win for Nigeria political freedom, social equality, economic security, and religious toleration. Since then it has been subjected to the most severe strictures both by the powers that be and by certain individuals, who seven years later, founded the Action Group as a Fascist counterpart to its socialist principle.” Three compelling visions have animated the Nigerian project since 1951: the feudal theocracy of Ahmadu Bello which drives the agenda of what Chinweizu has described as “caliphate colonialism,” Obafemi Awolowo’s fascist nationalism, anchored on the primacy of ethnic particularism and Yoruba exceptionalism, and Azikiwe’s pan-African nationalist humanism. The Zikist ideal of a great diverse and shared nation, “where no man suffers oppression,” has been the casualty of other contending ideas and forces, and has been in abeyance in Nigeria since 1967. The civil war forced the Igbo to withdraw from Zikism and embrace isolationism masked in the debate about “self-determi-
nation.” Nigeria has been the poorer for it. The Nigerian fascist movement has masked itself behind the debate on “true federalism.” But what is “true federalism?” This will be the subject of another essay. Mainly, what the Igbo delegation to the National conference should bring back to the Igbo should not be the creation of a new state for the Igbo, but the consolidation of Igbo and other citizens right in a properly organized federation. A new state will not resolve, but will complicate the Igbo situation. The challenge for the Igbo is two pronged: one is internal, and the other external: internally the Igbo should create a joint development and common services capacity to drive Igbo development in the 21st century. They must jointly deal with what I call the “unemployment bomb.” With the highest number of highly skilled unemployed in Nigeria, the Igbo are sitting on a keg of gunpowder. The Igbo must therefore restore Community development and local administration based on the 1956 county council model adopted by Eastern Nigeria for effective service delivery and development. Until they dispense with the current model of “autonomous communities” and their monarchs, the drive for grassroots development will be stymied. Externally, the Igbo must create a 21st century security platform that will secure, protect, and repel any acts of violence against any Igbo anywhere they live. The Igbo must account for their own condition and stop blaming other factors.
The point is the total helplessness and loss of power one feels when little things suddenly become very big in a split second! I was actually floored by the little bone. Navigating work and back home in the times we live in is dangerous and coming back home safely is always a relief and we all should be thankful to do so. No one actually considers the possibility of a slaughter by fish bone (very funny now). In the immediate aftermath of that little incident(little because I survived it) I began to question my own humility. One of the thoughts that crossed my mind was that I was going to be taken out by an inconsequential event and the more I thought about it the more I understood that nothing and no event is inconsequential. The real issue is that we all ascribe some greatness to ourselves; that's why we would qualify and grade accidents or even manners of death. Getting shot in a battlefront, dying atop an adulterous woman, slumping on the toilet doing the nasty or dying in a plane crash results in a translation of soul to spirit and if we are so blessed, earth to heaven.
nothing really matters". All events have consequences and whether we are directly involved and affected they matter. They may affect different people in different degrees but they count in one way or the other; that's a fact. What is more enlightening is how we choose to let those events affect or bother us; so in that frame, nothing really matters. I have been trying to change my normal ebullient nature to one of cool detachment. I am very passionate and tend to invest too much effort and emotion in people, the result is that I get hurt when I feel unappreciated and bullied. Recently I had poured out my heart and soul into a project and I had felt very let down when those who had the most to benefit seemed to be rooting for the project to fail. To God be all the glory, the project was a success but I took away the knowledge that nothing and really no one should matter enough that they affect our equilibrium. I want to say that I remembered my cool detachment in the epic confrontation between bone and throat but that'd be a bold faced lie. After the pain, a few self pitying tears and days to heal, I was detached once again. It was just an event, nothing personal, it mattered on some levels and didn't matter in that split second.
So what really matters if everything and anything can change in a split second? Well the answer I proffer may be a bit confusing. "Everything and
SUNDAY VANGUARD,JUNE 1, 2014 — PAGE 13
Omolara Olamide Olajumoke and Iretemide Olayiwola Balogun’s wedding The solemnization of the holy matrimony between Omolara Olamide Olajumoke and Iretemide Olayiwola Balogun took place at the Church of the Nativity, Park View Estate, Ikoyi,Lagos, yesterday. PHOTOS BY AKEEM SALAU & SHOLA OYELESE.
From left: Dr Franco Ercole;Mrs Isa Ercole,Dr Bode Olajumoke;Mr Cosmas Okoli; Mrs Azuka Okoli; Princess Remi Olajumoke and Archbishop Emmanuel Egbune, at the wedding. Left: Princess Kofoworola Adenike Oyekan and Erelu Dosunmu Abiola.
PAGE 14 — SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014
SAVING NIGERIA’S DEMOCRACY
Oh Anambr a!
A state as metaphor for Nigeria’s Fourth Republic By Jide Ajani
ecause today has become yesterday’s tomorrow, good sense should compel every leader to sow good seeds today in the belief that when today becomes yesterday, people can look back and appreciate good deeds. It would, therefore, be safe to say most Nigerian politicians appear to lack good sense; so, good deeds in politics in this Republic are far and between. Poor Anambra State! It is the stinging metaphor for this Fourth Republic.Blessed with intellectuals and businessmen of means, the state represents the good, the bad and the ugly of this Republic. Every vice in this Republic played out in Anambra in the build-up to the 1999 transition and even beyond. Mercifully, some shining examples of good governance and leadership also played out in this South East state. From the way the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presented a governorship candidate in the state in 1999, manipulating the process to choose Chinwoke Mbadinuju above Professor ABC Nwosu, to the role billionaire Emeka Offor, working hands-in-glove with former President Olusegun Obasanjo played, to the handover of the party to the cabalistic Ubas who, in turn, imposed Chris Ngige as governor, on the one hand; the crises that were to emanate from that imposition – Ngige’s betrayal of trust, his alleged abduction, forced resignation and eventual control of his government, on the other hand; as well as the hiatus that was ushered in by the administration of Peter Obi, Anambra represents the best and the worst of the Fourth Republic. Now, you will read in the following pages the good deeds of some C M Y K
individuals in this Republic. Deeds that have either set precedents; or deeds that go a long way to demonstrate that all hope cannot be lost. Interestingly, it is from that same Anambra State that good precedents were set. We have merely selected 15 personalities spanning the 15 years of uninterrupted democracy. The list may not meet some expectations but we believe, on average, it is reflective of some good deeds. Until February 2010, all elections in Nigeria were uniform in terms of the date they held – apart from council elections which suffered irreparable damage on the altar of politicking. Because the Constitution had prescribed four-year tenure for all other elective offices, they had, by necessity, held after four years – 1999 to 2003 and, expectedly, 2003 to 2007. But Peter Obi, after hopping from one court to the other for over 1,000 days to demand that the mandate freely given to him by the people of Anambra but stolen by PDP’s Ngige, must be surrendered, changed all that. Just about a year was what was remaining of that four-year tenure when Obi won on March 15 and was sworn-in on March 17, 2006, to become governor. After seven months in office, on November 2, 2006, he was egregiously impeached by the PDPdominated state House of Assembly and replaced the next day by his then deputy, Dame Virginia Etiaba, making her the first ever female state governor in Nigeria’s history. Obi challenged the impeachment and was subsequently reinstated on February 9, 2007 by the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu. Barely two months after, another governorship election was held generally – Anambra inclusive. Obi had argued that all he had served was just about a quarter of the four-year tenure and, therefore,
needed to complete his term. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, simply conducted another election for that same seat. Again, Obi headed for the courts. Andy Uba, who won that chimera of an election, was thrown out of Government House Awka because an election was not even supposed to have been held. Prior to the ascendancy of Obi, Anambra bore all the negativism of this Republic: Political gangsterism, political assassination, kidnapping, militancy, corruption in high places. You could go on. Not that these vices were not happening in other parts of the country – they were. What made Anambra’s situation particularly stinging was the unbridled nature with which these acts of criminality were orchestrated. Obi’s presence made all the difference. And at no time was the quantum leap this soft-spoken man engendered for his state most manifest than when he was leaving office. Everyone who spoke about Anambra’s giant strides on the eve of Obi’s departure explained the truly uncommon transformation that Anambra enjoyed. From a state that was becoming ungovernable, Anambra had peace and with it came development. In assets, Obi left behind billions of naira for his successor. But Anambra also represents what is wrong with Nigeria’s democracy. That for as long as people who are disposed to unconscionable acts continue to dominate the political space, for so long would the country not move forward. Therefore, if an individual could ascend the governorship of a state and turn its fortunes around, there is hope that, some day, a good individual would become President and Commander-in-Chief and transform the fortunes of this country.
Prior to the ascendancy of Obi, Anambra bore all the negativism of this Republic: Political gangsterism, political assassination, kidnapping, militancy, corruption in high places. You could go on
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, 2014 , PAGE 15
NIGERIA’S DEMOCRACY AT 15
15 Faces of Democractic Rule (1) ar Atiku: Emplo Employyed jurisprudence ttoo thw thwar artt whimsicality D
escribing him as a cat with nine lives would not be out of place. An understanding of the travails of the then Vice President Atiku Abubakar speaks volume about how Atiku doggedly fought anti-democratic forces and came out unhurt. As the number two man to a President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, widely regarded as dictatorial, Atiku had an overwhelming influence and relevance. So powerful was he that many state governors reportedly prevailed on him to run for presidency in 2003. The governors, it was gathered, were unhappy with ‘’Obasanjo’s brusque, crude and dictatorial style and wanted the more approachable, suave and liberal Atiku.’’ Obasanjo reportedly begged Atiku not to run. Atiku is on record as being among those who ensured that the rule of law thrived in a quasi-dictatorial democracy. When
Obasanjo commenced political and legal assault against Atiku, officials at Aso Rock Villa took sides. The men around the President tried to present the embattled Vice President as the provocateur of the face-off. The travails of Atiku started shortly before the 2003 presidential primaries when information was released to the effect that the Vice President was moving to upstage his boss at the PDP national convention. Obasanjo began to undermine the Office of the Vice President, stripping it of all powers, privileges and functions. The President made himself the Supreme Commander with powers to hire and fire any staff of the Vice President. All travels by the Vice President and his staff had to be approved by him or his designated authority. So tough was the crisis between the duo that the President declared the Office of Vice President vacant. On
Atiku is on record as being among those who ensured that the rule of law thrived in a quasidictatorial democracy
the heels of that, a panel set up by the Federal Government indicted Atiku for corruption. Accordingly, he approached the courts where he was cleared of the charges against him.
Tinubu: The last man standing B
eing the only Alliance for Democracy,AD, governor that was re-elected in 2003, stood Bola Tinubu out as an emerging political force. Same applies to his stance on the creation of additional local governments in Lagos State. He particularly fought the Federal Government over the constitutional right of the states to create local government areas. The import of the battle, won by Lagos State government, under him, was that the Constitution provides for a functional federal state. Given that most members of the political class tend to align with the
ruling party, dumping his party for the PDP at a time he was the only surviving AD governor would not have come a surprise. But Tinubu remained steadfast in providing inspirational leadership to the opposition.With a rare courage and foresight, he led the onslaught against the determination of the ruling PDP to turn Nigeria into a one-party state. That eventually led to the formation of the Action Congress of Nigeria,ACN, which metamorphosed to All Progressives Congress,APC. Little wonder, he is widely regarded as the man who built and rebuilt the opposition in this dispensation.
Tinubu remained steadfast in providing inspirational leadership to the opposition
Chris Ngige: Challenged godfatherism I
gnoring Chris Ngige any time the story of godfatherism in Nigerian politics is told would amount to a mistake. As governor of Anambra State, he displayed uncommon courage by fighting the powers that imposed him on the state. The tussle between him and Chris Uba, his estranged godfather, resulted in his abduction and his alleged resignation on June 10, 2003. Following the failed ‘civilian coup’, Ngige, in a display of cour-
age, battled the godfather, even though he was enjoying the support
of the then presidency. He proceeded to becoming the toast of his people through historic accomplishments in office in the three years he governed the state, just as he changed the style of governance as dictated by godfathers. Though the Court of Appeal overturned his victory on March 15, 2006, Ngige has remained a reference point when discussing the nation’s democratic experience.
Rotimi Amaechi: Created a precedent H
aving been the Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly for two terms, Amaechi was well positioned to run for governorship. It only took a pontification by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo to terminate Amaechi’s cruise to the Government House, even when he had won the primaries. The former President had said that Amaechi’s ticket had “Kleg”. A cousin of Amaechi, Mr. Celestine Omehia, was later presented as the PDP candidate in the election. Amaechi won the election and was sworn in as governor. The fact that powerful forces stopped him from running for governorship was enough to have ended his quest for the position.
But instead of resigning to fate, he approached the court in pursuit of his case. Justice came his way when some months later, he was declared governor of Rivers State by the Supreme Court.
The court, in its ruling, affirmed that Amaechi, and not Omehia, was the one sponsored as the candidate by the PDP, and was the one that must be deemed to have won the April 14, 2007 governorship election in the state. With the judgment setting an unusual legal and political precedent, it showed the failings of the 2007 April elections. Amaechi, through his victory, demonstrated faith in the judicial process, even as it served as an encouragement to aggrieved politicians to always have recourse to the rule of law. This unfailing belief in the law was recently displayed when he refused to surrender his victory at the last election of the Nigeria Governors Forum,NGF.
The tussle between him and Chris Uba, his estranged godfather, resulted in his abduction and his alleged resignation on June 10, 2003
This unfailing belief in the law was recently displayed when he refused to surrender his victory at the last election of the Nigeria Governors Forum,NGF. C M Y K
PAGE 16 — SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014
NIGERIA’S DEMOCRACY AT 15 15 Faces of Democractic Rule (1)
ot or al time Obi: The man who rewr rewrot otee elect elector oral timettable B
ut for the judiciary, Peter Obi would not have made it to Anambra State Government House. Obi contested as APGA candidate in the 2003 election, but Ngige was declared the winner by INEC. After nearly three years of litigation, Ngige’s victory was overturned by the Court of Appeal on March 15, 2006, paving the way for Obi’s swearing in March 17, 2006. But after seven months in office, on November 2, 2006, he was im-
peached by the PDP-dominated state House of Assembly and replaced the next day by his then deputy, Virginia Etiaba, making her the first ever female state governor in Nigeria’s history. Obi challenged the impeachment and was subsequently reinstated on February 9, 2007 by the Court of Appeal sitting in Enugu. Instructively, he laid a solid foundation for the development of Anambra, by ensuring that governance was taken to a pedestal it had never been.
He laid a solid foundation for the development of Anambra zPeter Obi
oned ssttability in the Senat David Mark: Enthr Enthroned Senatee A
s an army officer, his name was loud as a result of the high profile positions he held. And same is playing out with his foray into politics. His ascendency to the Senate presidency did not come without reservations from observers, who doubted that he had the needed democratic pedigree to head the upper chamber. Coming at a time when the Senate presidency had suffered from deficit
of respect due to the instability that characterized it between 1999 and 2007, mixed feelings trailed his emergence. But since the four-star General became the numero uno in the upper legislative arm, he has brought stability to the Senate. Since June 3, 2007, Mark has consolidated his hold on the Senate presidency and, in the process, sustained the relative calm that came with his leadership.
His ascendency to the Senate presidency did not come without reservations from observers
Nuhu Ribadu: Anti-corruption czar H
e was unknown to most Nigeri ans before he was appointed the pioneer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in 2003. But with the combination of zeal, patriotism and exuberance, Ribadu transformed the EFCC from an obscure anti-graft commission to a global brand in the fight against
corruption. Under his watch, many serving public officials were investigated and prosecuted. So powerful was Ribadu then, that the InspectorGeneral of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun, was prosecuted and jailed under his leadership of the EFCC. Till this moment, his achievements as an anti-corruption czar, has remained unmatched.
nknown to many, Senator Ken Nnamani could pass as one of the unsung heroes of Nigeria’s 15 years of democratic rule. Reason: A political water-weight before he became the chief beneficiary of the inglorious exit of Senator Adolphus Nwagbara as Senate President. At the time he vacated office in 2011, he had become a rallying point for those seeking good governance. Considering the sudden fall of his predecessors, who hailed from the South-east like him, it was easy for analysts to predict his early fall from power. But that was never to be, as the Enugu State-born politician proved pundits wrong. He presided over the Senate with forthrightness that was uncommon at that time. Through the carriage and dignity he brought to bear on the office, it was not surprising that the Senate supported him on many issues. As the Senate President at a time when Obasanjo reportedly wanted C M Y K
Under his watch, many serving public officials were investigated and prosecuted
Stopped a vvaulting aulting Thir erm ambition Thirdd TTerm
to elongate his tenure beyond the constitutionally allowed two terms, Nnamani was looked upon as the man who the future of the nation’s democracy depended upon. There were reported efforts by pro-
third term agents to recruit him into their camp, but that was not possible as he chose to stand on the side of posterity. In a dignified manner he presided over the Senate on the day the proposed amendment to the 1999 Constitution to extend the tenure of Obasanjo and the 36 state governors was killed. At the end of proceedings on the floor of the Senate, 42 senators spoke against the idea, surpassing the 37 needed to achieve the twothirds to defeat the bid. For standing up against tenure elongation, Nnamani was among the leaders that Obasanjo ensured were not given the opportunity in the PDP to test their popularity in the 2007 elections. Like other senators of that era who were marginalized by the PDP leadership, Nnamani went back to private life. A year after he left office, he established the Ken Nnamani Centre for Leadership and Development in Abuja with the goal of facilitating qualitative and transformative leadership and development in Africa.
He presided over the Senate with forthrightness that was uncommon at that time
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 17
Nigerian men are good lovers but cheat
My bac k is ho tt er back hott tter than m ont myy fr front – Anita Joseph
– Rachael Okonkwo
ollywood actress cum singer, Anita Joseph, isn’t just a girl that would get up close and personal with you without some emotions running wild – real wild! Unlike most women who are blessed with either the front or back, Anita has both in abundance and when she isn’t throwing them at you, you feel they somewhow reaching out to you anyways. She has been romantically linked to governors, senators, musicians and footballers. Not for any other reason but because she has a sensuality that tends to reach out and grab at your conscience. She recently told Potpourri she cannot be a complete housewife, but then who would expect such a time-bomb all locked up behind closed doors. She has so many luscious pictures on the internet with either the boobs or the backside running free and mean but when Potpourri caught up with the diva and asked her the million dollar question; which has caused men more pain, her boobs or backside?, she replied: “ My backside is hotter than my boobs, even though I have both in good measure. Guys find them hard to resist. A guy once tapped my ass and when I turned, he just ran away. My backside has such effects on men”.
romising and fast-rising Nollywood actress, Rachael Okonkwo, isn’t a household name yet, but the fair-skinned thespian has all the trappings of a big star in the making: beauty, brains and the talent. Having knocked on the doors of fame in such popular flicks like ‘Pinging Ladies’, ‘White Ladies’, ‘Agatha’, ‘Tears of Olamma’, ‘Open and Close’, ‘Marine Daughters’, ‘Blackberry Madness’, ‘Ekaette Goes To School’ amongst others, Racheal has so much to look forward to, as far as the movie industry is concerned. Recently, Potpourri, she said, got talking with the stunning beauty and caught a glimpse of what rocks her world. On Nigerian men; “They are good lovers but cheats because polygamy runs in their blood”. “ My heart has only been broken once and I know it can never be broken again because I am bigger and wiser. Some of them are very caring while others are not. But the fact remains that I love Nigerian men because they are good lovers. Cathch my man in bed with another woman?? Jesus, I can’t even imagine that but if it ever happens, that will be the end of it. I will feel very bad but if he sincerely apologises I will give him a second chance”.
Nigerian men are super cheats – Cynthia Okonkwo
udding Nollywood ac Cyn thia tres s, Okonkwo, who had her claim to fame in movies like ‘Devils Workshop’, ‘Not For Kids’, ‘Another Hell’, among others, has not been acting for a while because she has been out of the country, and right now on vacation in the United States of America, USA, after gracing the Berlinalie film festival and the Cannes film festival. But she recently linked up with Potpourri through the Blackberry Messenger where she joined the discourse on whether Nigerian men are good lovers or not. “Nigerian men are cheats, super cheats. They are full of lies and deceits. With them, it is all lies and lies. I have had my share of terrible experiences when it comes to Nigerian men. I have fallen deeply in love once and it was a bad exp erie nce for me ,” she stated.
No, Nigerian men are not good lovers – Christabel Egbenya E
•Rachael Okonkwo C M Y K
do State-born Nollywood actress, Christabel Egbenya, says she is just a happy girl that has been blessed by God and that she’s trying to bless everyone around her. “I’m kindhearted and I hate being taken for granted. I love to laugh…that’s basically me”, she said. And that seems to explain why the actress finds it hard to put up with most Niegrian men, whom she believes are mostly insensitive, self-centred, because, as she said, she hates being taken for granted. “I don’t think they are good lov-
ers. Most of them don’t take women very serious and they don’t respect women. Just few of them have feelings and respect for their women. Most feel money is everything there is, to make a lady happy. To me, money is not everything. Real men don’t buy their women over with money”, she explained to Potpourri. Christabel is best remembered in films like ‘Room 202’, ‘Agony in the Temple’, Peter and Paul’, ‘Sister Rebecca’, ‘King’s Throne’, ‘Kingdom of Pleasure’ , ‘Village Mafia’ among many others.
PAGE 18 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, 2014
Jackie Appiah: Giving only a peek Hey, Ghanaian super actress has got some curves and bust cleavage to leave many men drooling and yearning but the actress played a fast one on any would-be gawper by wrapping the goods in a cellophane of sort.
Clarion Chukwura: Age is nothing but a number Who says the old can’t get in the groove? The newly crowned Best African Actress, Clarion Chukwura, strutted the AMAA red carpet with some determination that shows there may still be so much she has on her chest.
Rita Dominic: Up to the game There was some certain aplomb about Rita on the night and this her akimbo pose, revealing a delicate neckline and a gust of busty air, shows the Nollywood leading lady still has some aces up her sleeve or is it bust?
Fathia might have lost her last name (Balogun) along with her marriage but the Yoruba actress sure still has got the appeal to wow any day. Maybe she hasn’t got too much on her chest but she certainly knows how to pour them out.
Eniola Badmus: Heavily loaded
Liz Henry: Gets in the mix It was meant to be a night for the stars and the stars came out to shine and dazzle. Not much is known about the girl, Liz Henry, but she sure got some cameras clicking her way for her show of bravado, against all odds.
Liz Henry C M Y K
Fathia Williams: Pours out the goodies
Joselyn Dumas: Gives an eyeful
Gbogbo Bigsgirl, Eniola Badmus, didn’t come to the AMAA to be a spectator- no, not all. The all-rounder actress came in good spirit and gave others a run for their money, measure for measure and with a load of cleavage to spare.
Probably the sexiest diva on the night. Much talking about the Ghanaian presenter, actress and model has been about her backside but Joselyn came to the AMAA with another part of her anatomy to sell and they weren’t the backside at all.
Hauwa Allahbura: In full glare
TV presenter and actress, Hauwa Allahbura got so many applauses, not only for her dazzling dress that illuminated the night but also for the cleavage she put on display. They were glaring so hard a paparazzi nearly flunked his camera.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 19
Jim and Nadia have not broken up — Jim Iyke’s manager
Yvonne Nelson replies critics on bleaching rumour
By IYABO AINA
By IYABO AINA
ast weekend, news went viral that Nollywood actor Jim Iyke and his Ghollywood sweetheart Nadia Buari had split. Latest report has it that the lovebirds are still together, as this was confirmed through Jim Iyke’s manager Mitch Ngaman . Nevertheless, he said the couple had just a little misunderstanding. “I can assure you that whatever you may have heard regarding the ‘misunderstanding’ between Jim and Nadia is pure assumption. However, it is normal for lovers to disagree with each other occasionally or they wouldn’t be human beings,” the manager said.” Ngaman decried the rumour as the handiwork of the lovers’ detractors. “We are aware of the rumour about Jim and Nadia’s breakup and decided to ignore it because it is baseless. Jim and Nadia have not broken up,” he said behind the rumour. “That guy is a frustrated musician. All he does is to meddle in other people’s businesses. And if he does not have his way, he goes into a tantrum and fabricates stories .We will act when we deem it fit. He can keep on ranting for now.”
hanaian actress, model, film producer and entrepreneur, Yvonne Nelson, is frustrated at the speculations making the rounds that she is bleaching her skin. The screen diva said she’s tired of all the false reports about her. “I don’t understand the whole bleaching thing; I am just tired of explaining. I haven’t bleached, I have a picture with my mum on Instagram and we have the same colour. I am just tired of talking about it; people love to talk about me, I just don’t get it,” she said . Nelson, who has over 500,000 followers on social media platforms twitter, Instagram and facebook, said she would block anyone who makes negative comments about her on her page.
Lady Judith releases
You Are The One By SIMON ADEWALE
ormer Second Vice-President of Practicing Musicians Association of Nigeria, PMAN, Lady Judith Deniran Nwachukwu, has hit the airwaves with her new single, You Are The One Addressing pressmen in Sapele, Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, the star artiste said her latest song was borne out of her passion for women in the society and the need to prepare them to be visionary with a view to breaking the avalanche of barriers facing womanhood. Citing herself as an example, the mother of two said she found it necessary to use music to boost the morale of women and to encourage
them to appreciate all that God has done in their lives and families. The co-founder of the Association of Female Musicians in Nigeria, AFEMN, with the likes of Onyeka Onwenu, Esse Agasse and Salaw Abeni, featured as a soloist with Ovation Red Card Night organized by Dele Momodu in 2007, and entertained a gathering of over 10,000 women at the Gold Sach Dinner at the Pan African University, in 2008, among other ground breaking records.
Pasuma, Sound Sultan, Wande Coal excite fans at Star Music Trek
uji maestro, Pasuma, performed at Star Music Trek, Ado Ekiti to the excitement and delight of teeming fans. The veteran musician’s sensational performance was preceeded by Dammy Krane who was described by the MC as the future of Fuji music. Both artistes dressed in colour coordinated black outfits shared the stage bridging the gap between the old and new generation of fuji music as Pasuma joined Dammy Krane to perform ‘My Dear’ t o eager fans. Host, MC Laffup, kept the energy at Melting Point Arena, Ado Ekiti at an all time high as he entertained the audience with dance moves from contemporary tracks spun by DJs Neptune and Tonny C M Y K
Blaise. Multi talented music icon Sound Sultan also made his debut on Star Music Trek to the delight of his Ado Ekiti fans. Together with Naija Ninjas, he delivered an unforgettable live performance taking the audience back to his early days with songs like Jagbajantis and Area merging it with recent hits such as Orobo and Kokose. He pleaded with Nigerians to stop the bombings so we could live in peace as a nation. Before performing Natural Something, he went on to tell the audience that a ‘maga isn’t a mugu’ but one who is investing into his
girlfriend. He introduced himself as the P.R.O of the National Maga Association with a life-sized banner bearing images of superstar artistes, 2Face, DBanj, BasketMouth and the PSquare duo as other members of the association. Black Diamond, Wande Coal thrilled fans with a plethora of his hit songs including You Bad, Kiss your hand, Bumper to Bumper, Sexcellency, Rotate and the recently released Baby Helloamong many others. Headies 2014 Next Rated artiste, Sean Tizzle was in Santa Claus mode at Ado Ekiti as he gave out his wristwatch, neckpiece, belt, shoes and rings especially while performing ‘Take It’from his freshly released ‘The Journey’ album.
PAGE 20— SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, 2014
I am sexy and focused
in ‘Itohan’? My fan base is increasing by the day and its amazing how one will go and people say your name. .., you will be wondering where you met the person and they say they watched your movie. And it’s amazing too because it shows that we appreciate our works and a lot of people watch our movies.
— Tamara Eteimo When A-list movie director, Charles Novia, was asked to name his best five actresses in recent times, he mentioned Mercy Johnson as number one and Tamara Eteimo as number two. Such is the rising profile of the Bayelsa State-born actress who only recently shot her own produced film. Here, Tamara opens the door to her world and takes us through the mind of the girl behind the actress. Excerpts: By FLORENCE AMAGIYA
hat has been happening?; have you started music like you said you would? A lot has been happening, although I have not gone back to music as fully as l would want. I rapped in the movie l am working on and may release the music in future. I have been shooting; I did a job in Port Harcourt with Nse Ikpe Etim, Kalu Ikeagwu and Blossom Chukujekwu. It was great going back to my roots. By the way I am producing now; It is my first movie, ‘Somewhere Down The Line’ is the title of this movie and by the special grace of God, I will say that it’s a good one and we did our best in the movie. On the set were Yemi Blaq, Bukky Wright, Racheal Oniga, Yinka Ayelokun, Mary Lazarus, Adetomiwa Kukoyi, Yinka Salau and lots of other great actors. The film was directed by Alex Mouth, a fantastic director. In the movie I played two characters. That is what l call using one stone to kill two birds. I am also launching my website soonest where all about me will be revealed. How do you intend to keep with the competition with so many new faces springing up in Nollywood everyday? Children are born daily and they all have different abilities and selling points. In other words, great talents emerge every day. Just like there are many stars in the sky, but some stars do shine brighter than others without stress. Like they will ask in the house of the ‘Next Movie Star’, what differentiates you from the next housemate? I am a Bayelsan, not short, not tall, not fat but slim and I am fair in complexion. I am sexy and focused, I am passionate. I am good at what I do and I have confidence. How far can you go into a character? I try my best to interpret a character to the best of my ability. I try to live the character for the period of that shoot. I also research the character too if the need arises because there are some characters that you just need to research to understand. When I acted the role of ‘Itohan’ in ‘Itohan’, Superstory, I had to learn how to play C M Y K
football with professionals. It wasn’t easy but it was fun because every character is an experience for me. My directors help me in my characterisation too, in ‘Itohan’ Mrs. Pat Oghiri Imohbio helped me a whole lot. She didn’t make me feel like I was working with her for the first time. I try to go to the extreme length to interpret my role. And acting nude is a different ball game? I think it’s been abused so I will not act nude. You said in one interview you granted that you wish to take your art to Hollywood; would you act nude there? Like I said, it’s been abused but it has to be relevant before I will give it a thought but I am more particular about making a difference and going nude is not accepted in this part of the world. What challenges have you had in
I don’t believe in a lead role all the time, once you are good you will stand out.
interpreting roles? Every role comes with its challenge and ‘you are as good as your last performance’, they say . These are theatre words that help in keeping me and my character, so I would not say I didn’t do this well or I acted this better. I don’t have a best or worst character, every character has its interpretation and that’s what I love about my job because I play different personalities at different productions. So far, what movie would you say you have given your best and what’s your worst character? I don’t believe in a lead role all the time, once you are good you will stand out. Funny enough, some minor characters stand you out to the extent that they mistake them to be major characters depending on how you handle the role. I will use ‘Finding Mercy’ by Desmond Elliott for example. I acted in just four scenes where I played Blossom Chukujekwu’s girlfriend. It felt like it was more and I loved my character there. People identify with my role and they remember my key lines. So you can steal a whole movie with just one scene. I won’t also deny the fact that the Director helped my characterisation. What is your fan base today; how did your fans react to your lead role
We read recently that your brother was murdered in Cuba; can you share with us what led to his death? My brother was killed in Cyprus. He was a student of Ganni American University when he died. Stanley Royal Eteimo organised and produced music while in school. On the day he died; he had a show and he was to perform. He got there without my other elder brother and his girlfriend as he had to perform. Getting there he saw a classmate of his and decided to chat with her, her boyfriend got jealous and threatened my brother that he would kill him and nothing would happen because he was in his country. They argued, after that, we didn’t hear anything from my brother until we received a call that my brother didn’t come back to his hostel. That was the last time my brother was seen until his body was found at a beach. They said he committed suicide, which to me, is a big lie. The hotel where the show was held refused to release the CCTV to show us what really happened. What do you think of the justice system in the world today; using Nigeria as a case study? My opinion about Nigerian justice system is that it doesn’t actually work. Often, people say that there is a problem of access to justice but in my own limited experience of the Nigerian justice system, it is not about the access to justice, but about justice been rendered. The Bayelsa State government also sent a letter to the Ambassador of the Cypriot Embassy but nothing happened. Recently, you were nominated for the AMVCA; why do you think you were nominated and which movie do you think you were nominated for? I was nominated for the movie ‘Desperate Housegirls’ and in the category of ‘Best Supporting Actress’ in drama. I will say that my work is appreciated and all my passion is been noticed and in that note I am highly honoured and grateful.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 21
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Okowa and the paradigm of primary health-care Dear Sir,
INCE his entrance into partisan politics as a founding member
of the Grassroots Democratic Movement ( GDM ) which later metamorphosed into the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ), and later the state Health Commissioner under James Ibori’s administration, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has never given up his search for an enduring paradigm that will guarantee a robust Primary Health –Care System for the masses. His recent empowerment programme, the second in the space of 3 years, which focuses on an enhanced Primary Health Care System, underscores his belief that infrastructural development , or what in other climes , is referred to as the infrastructure of democracy, is not only a bedrock for good governance , but a desirable legitimate tool for the electorate. Put more poignantly, Senator Okowa’s choice of nine ambulances equipped with the state-of –the –art medical facilities given to the nine Local Government Areas in Delta North Senatorial District and one Nissan High Roof Bus to the State Primary Health Agency, to assist in Primary Health Care delivery and referral needs of local communities, is not only a sign of a man in climes with the developmental needs of his people, but a master-stroke in a country where empowerment programmes have become an all commoners affairs with little or no economic and social values to the beneficiaries. In line with his modest nature, Senator Okowa on graduation from the University of lbadan , began his medical practise in Igbanke, a farming community in the defunct Bendel State . lgbanke is now morphed into Edo State, as a result of the 1991 States creation
exercise of the Babangida’s administration. While there, he experienced firsthand the importance of Primary Health Care in the lives of rural dwellers. That exposure, led to his conviction that if urgent steps are not taken to reverse the pathetic neglect rural dwellers suffers due to the glaring absence of Primary health care, it might crept into the urban areas. Therefore, when he was appointed the Delta State Commissioner for Health in 2003, Senator Okowa used the people- factor to define his health development agenda. That agenda, led to the construction of Primary Health Care Centres in the 25 Local Government Areas of Delta State. Though just 33 months in office as a Senator of the Federal Republic, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, through the twelve bills to his credit, the construction of a new Gynaecology/Orthopaedic complex at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, and the sitting of additional Primary Health Care Centres in Ndokwa East and West, Aniocha South and Ika NorthEast Local Government Areas of Delta State respectively, has rendered superfluous the notion that first time legislators are bench warmers. Senator Gyang Datong of Plateau North, who represented the Senate President said: ‘’ Our business as legislators is to make laws. But by today’s gesture, Dr Okowa, has moved into the realm of infrastructure provider by this singular donation of nine ambulances to complement the effort of Delta State Government health delivery scheme ‘’. With this, expectant mothers, accident victims and others at the peril of death have been given a life saver through this act. The presence of ambulances at our Local Government Health Centres, hitherto non existing,
amplifies Senator Okowa’s long held dream of a functional Local Government Health Delivery System. Those who are versed in the nuts and bolts of law making, like Senator Datong, would appreciate the nimble political footwork employed by this amiable politician to push through the National Health bill to the third reading, while that of the National Health Insurance Commission bill, the AntiHIV discrimination bill and the prevention and management of Sickle Cell Disorder, are awaiting third reading. The National Health bill, when eventually passed into law, will lie prostrate without a well equip Local and State Government Primary Health Care Agency. To break that spiral of seeking medical attention abroad, a norm among our elites, should be a concern by all for a country whose aspiration is to be
one of the top 20 economies in the World. There is no G-20 Country that depends on others for a healthy manpower to drive its economy. Besides reviving the health sector , bold steps such as this, would ultimately take us back to where we were before the ‘’ mere consulting clinic” coinage was invented to describe our prostrate health institutions. By every standard, Senator Okowa has demonstrated that he has the experience and political will to manage society’s problems and affairs. Our only chance to break the cycle of endemic leadership, is to give people like Senator Okowa who are high on statecraft the political environment to do more. That’s what governance means in a broad sense. Amaechi Udemba, a public affairs commentator is based in Asaba.
Insecurity: Northern leaders should stop blaming FG Dear Sir,
HE northern elites calling on the Federal Government to ad dress the inequality against Muslims as one of the measures to curb the activities of Boko Haram, are just being hypocritical. We need to let them know that the federal government are not be blamed for the failure of the Northern ruling class all these years to empower the poor in their midst to stop them from begging for alms, while ironically they were busy empowering themselves, their family members, their cronies and their traditional rulers. Their long neglected, cheated, un-
employed and abandoned youths, have now risen up in revolt against their well-fed and comfortable ruling class who failed woefully all these years to allow some of the huge resources that passed through their hands to trickle down to them. It is highly regrettable that the unity and stability of our country has been shaken to its foundation, by the Boko Haram insurgency, all because of the failure of the Northern ruling class to empower the poor in their midst by giving them sound education, jobs and most importantly a sense of belonging!
Ifeka Okonkwo writes in from Anambra State
P AGE 22—SUND AY Vanguard , JUNE 1 , 2014 SUNDA
Are we raising a bunch of selfish monsters?
ET parents to talk honestly about their 20to 30-year-old children, and you frequently hear bewildering stories of these ‘children’s’ escapades. A few weeks ago, at a formal dinner I asked if I could share the table with a woman who was busy with the wide menu provided on the table. As she dropped the menu, we recognised each other - we’d once taught at a secondary school after our Higher School stints. After we both left, we met up a few times. Now decades later Tumi’s life has been a success by anyone’s standards. A respected lecturer, her husband is a well-known politician, they have three lovely kids and live in a beautiful house. ‘’And what’s Tunde up to these days?” I asked after her first son. Suddenly her face was flooded with grief as she struggled not to cry. We’ve always been openly frank with each other and now she struggled to put a bright face on. As I soon found out, the reason for her sadness wasn’t the death of her first-born, but what felt to her like the death of her relationship with him. At 26, he’s an unpaid graduate helping out his friends start up an internet company. Like many other job-seeking graduates, he is still living with his parents. Initially, they, and his two other siblings, were delighted to have him back when he graduated from the university. But then his demands started to dominate their lives.
“First he asked for an allowance - N20,000 a week - which we gave him as he was only paid expenses by the friends he was helping and the payments were not regular”, Tumi explained. “But for the past year or so, he’s become impossible. He wants flashy clothes, a new smartphone, money to eat out; and only last week, he demanded N500,000 so he could travel abroad with the friends he worked for.” Tumi’s husband is rich and was willing to fund the trip, but she refused. Tunde went berserk, punching his fist in the air and kicking the furniture, terrifying his siblings. According to Tumi: “He kept screaming that we owed him because he never asked to be born, that he wished we were dead! He kept ranting it wasn’t his fault he was broke. He said politicians had messed up the country. That we had every thing and he had nothing. His worst abuse was directed at me, and he used some really filthy language. Since then, things have gone from bad to worse, to the point where I was actually scared to be in the same house with my son on my own.” As dreadful as Tumi’s experience was, it is not unusual. It seems everywhere you turn, you see evidence of the monstrous ‘me’ generation~ 20-something despots like Tunde, who care only about themselves, and blame everyone else when things don’t go their way. But who is to
OUR column to express your loving thoughts in words to your sweetheart. Don’t be shy. Let it flow and let him or her know how dearly you feel. Write now in not more than 75 words to: The Editor, Sunday Vanguard, P.M.B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. E.mail: email@example.com Please mark your envelope: “LOVE NOTES"
Look well to this day, For it and it alone is life. In its brief course Lie all the essence of your existence:
blame? The fact that Tunde’s behaviour embarrassed Tumi meant she saw herself a failure, and it was her fault he derailed. Tunde grew up in a lovely house in the best part of the city. He went to private schools up to the university level and enjoyed fantastic family holidays abroad and got more or less what he wanted. His upbringing was a complete contrast to that of Tumi she had been raised by a single mother, her clothes were hand-medowns and bend-down boutique stuffs. “We really-had things rough;’ Tumi recalled. "1 was teased at school by classmates who had more cash. I wanted the things they had. So when I had children, I gave them that life. I worked day
and night, I loved them that much - perhaps too much. “It’s sad that I’m not the only parent pampering future brats. I have a friend, a lawyer who’s also married to a lawyer. They found out their son hadn’t attended a single lecture at university. He had been thrown out a full term before he told them. Then there was a couple, with their own party planning business, who discovered their daughter, who was working for them while she looked for a job, was stealing from their company. In both cases, the children were loved and treasured, and their appalling behaviour left their parents feeling like failures. “All parents instinctively want their kids to have better lives than
The Glory of Growth The Satisfaction of Achievement The Splendor of Beauty For yesterday is but a dream, And tomorrow is but a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Innocent Oluku firstname.lastname@example.org
Let love lead
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but
their own. It’s as natural as hungry birds feeding their fledglings. But these decades of materialism have distorted those instincts. For all the right reasons, we did wrong ... Which Would You Rather Be? Married Or Single? If you’re single, you imagine all your problems would be solved if you had a partner. If you’re in a relationship, you might wonder if life would be more exciting on your own. But when it comes to sex, is it better when you’re single or is there something about a relationship that makes sex more intense? Single Sex: Singletons can enjoy casual sex with no strings attached. You
can sleep with who you like when you like. You’re free to enjoy the moment and may not think too much about the future. Sex can be spontaneous, carefree and exciting. You can have sex with somebody you know, but sex with a stranger can be more of a thrill as it can be easier to lose your inhibitions. Casual sex is seen as risky and naughty and can give deep physical satisfaction. It can also leave you emotionally empty. They are only lifeaffirming if both of you want the same. Be sure to protect yourself and your lovers from sexually-transmitted infection and pregnancy by using good contraception and condoms every time you have sex. Couple Sex: Most relationships go through an intense period at first when you can’t keep your hands off each other. Because you’ve invested more in each other emotionally, the sexual highs and sense of fulfilment are immense. But the stakes are high and you risk greater heartache if things go wrong. After about a year, the intensity of sex and the passion changes. You know your partner and it’s difficult to shut out the more mundane things in your life. What you get instead is a sense of satisfaction with life as you feel more secure in your relationship. But you can’t get complacent. Without working-at your love life, nights together can soon become mundane and routine.
rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." - 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 Chris Onunaku 08032988826/08184844015.
You're the best girlfriend ever and that's all there is You are the one I love the most, You're the one I can't live without, And to this, here fact I propose a toast; May we grow old and still have fun Because I love you and my heart you've won!
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SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 23
How to transit to stage two intimacy Y
OU’VE been see ing your man for, say, six months and the lust-ridden sex marathon you first embarked on has now slowed down to once or twice a week. So what are you going to do now? Stay at this stage forever? Or have a night of mindblowing sex which will change your relationship forever? Maybe it’s time you discovered stage two intimacy - the bit between first lust and full blown commitment. The good news is that experts agree this level of intimacy is achievable and there are no hard and fast rules about how to get it. it might happen on your first date, after six months, or it might never happen. But one-thing’s for certain, if it happens to you, you’ll know about it. “After living with Jossie for just over six months, it’s fair to assume we know each other really well”, said Ifeoma, a 29 year-old beautician. “I’m not one of those super confident women who walk around in their bra and thongs in the morning, and I’d rather have sex with the lights out if I can. But all this
changed when we went away for a long weekend. I’d taken one of those thrashy novels with me and after getting to an extremely pornographic portion of the book whilst both of us were reading in bed, I just leapt on Jossie. He was totally taken aback which made us both even hornier. Only, what had started off as a lusty shag suddenly turned into this amazingly intense situation. “Whilst having sex, I had the most powerful orgasm I have ever experienced and that made me almost want to cry. I think more than anything I was just shocked by what had happened between us and ended up bursting into tears because I was soared up and on such an emotional high. Afterwards, he told me he loved me for the first time and for the rest of the weekend, things just seemed different between us. We were always touching each other, holding hands and kissing for no reason and we’d never been like that before. “When we got back, some of our friends thought we’d got en-
gaged or something because all of a sudden we were being really mushy all the time. If I was asked to say what has changed, I couldn’t give you an answer. I mean, I loved him before so it’s not that. The only thing I can think of is to say it was like discovering my soul mate and when you do that during sex it can’t be bad, can it?” “When I first met Vincent”, recalled Rukky, “I was engaged to someone else. I bumped into him a few times through work and he was the only man who made me wish I hadn’t agreed to get married. Unfortunately, I had and did get married although the marriage
only lasted two years. I met Vincent again at a private party and as soon as he realised I was single again, he didn’t leave my side. We talked all night and I went back to his house, which was a big thing for me because I’d never done something like that before. “We had sex and it was just amazing. I remember thinking at the time, ‘this is going to ruin it for me with anyone else for the rest of my life’, I don’t know what it was other than maybe love at first sight. There was just this incredible intimacy between us - I felt that I knew him totally. “With time, my feelings actually got more in-
tense. Sometimes after sex, I get so emotional and I used to think, ‘God, what’s this all about?’ On a day-to-day level, it was the silly things that used to drive me crazy for him. One time, he spent ages winding me up telling me he’d bought me a brilliant present but he wouldn’t tell me what it was. Anyway, one night he came into the bedroom and said, ‘Are you ready for your present now?’ Then he pulled out a skimpy thong from his pyjama pocket and helped me get into it. It was so sweet, “Before you throw up in disgust, you’ll probably be pleased to hear that the relationship didn’t last. Stupidly, I let it get to that horrible dragging out stage and I think the reason for that was because I’d experienced something I was worried I’d never find again. But once I accepted that those emotions weren’t enough, these feelings switched off almost as quickly as they’d switched on.” “The perfect conditions for real intimacy are love, trust and feeling comfortable with yourself as well as your partner,” says a sex expert. “Well, that all
makes sense, but as we all know, wanting something and doing it are two different things. Not only have we got our wobbly bits to think about, there are intense emotions to be confronted too. In our culture it is rare that we really let ourselves go. Which is why a lot of people have sex when they’re drunk - they lose inhibitions. Intense sex can stir up all kinds of emotions and people are scared of someone else seeing them like that. They may worry it gives the other person some sort of power over them. “Sex games are another way to encourage intimacy. But it’s important to give your partner some freedom of fantasies without becoming threatened or possessive. This is often harder for the women to accept so it requires sensitive handling. It is up to you. That gut-wrenching chemistry which used to make you squirm when you thought about the night before might have taken a back seat for now, but if you had it once, why not get it again? If you want it, all you have to do is try.”
Forward bend posture
lady I know once said to me, ''I want to do yoga, but how soon do I start to see results?'' I simply looked her in the eyes and shot back, “about half the time that it has taken you to acquire your excess baggage.” Tr o u b l e w i t h m o s t people when they take up some fitness regime to correct what they have allowed to go wrong with their bodies, is the expectation of a miracle - instant results. But, fat bodies like fast food will bring problems in their wake. Apart from the seriousness that accompany crash exercises, there is also the problem of anxiety to be dealt with. I think the best attitude with which to get into a fitness routine is resolving to make it’ a way of life.’ Dr. George Sheehan advises, “become a life long athlete.” What is meant is constancy and diligence in practice.
This done, everything will come your way, namely, shamefulness, fitness, strength of body and mind, in short, all the good things that a healthy body has to offer. A certain amount of curiosity and a selfhelp mentality are also very necessary qualities to inculcate into the personality make-
The Leg Pull
up. Read up on good eating and other healthy living habits and seek to make them a part of your life. It is not good to do all the wrong things, then one day look at yourself in the mirror and say: I don’t like what I see, I want a bit off here, a bit off there, oh, my God, a bit off everywhere, really?
The fact that you are reading this means you want a change for yourself. A change for a healthier, more responsive body. Having made the decision, resolve to have the tenacity of purpose. It will be your greatest asset in your bid to improve on your b o d y. Wi t h i t , y o u r ‘dream’ body will be-
come your ‘ real’ body. The following are some yoga exercises to help you reduce weight, firm thighs and the buttocks. A must for ladies with the problem of cellulite. The Leg Pull, jausirasana in sanskait, is done this w a y. ‘ S i t w i t h l e g s stretched out before. Now place the sole of the left foot against the upper inside of the right thigh. Raise both arms overhead. Lean backward as far as possible and coming forward grab hold of whatever part of the right leg you can with both hands. Be careful not to over strain. 'Bend your elbows and pull the trunk slowly downward and at the same time turn the right shoulder downward and the left shoulder upward. Breath slowly and deeply. 'After a comfortable while, release hold and gently straighten u p . Pe r f o r m s i m i l a r
movements with the left leg. Go over from right to left legs three times in all.' Apart, from the ‘selfmassaging’ effect of this posture to deal with cellulite and tension, fatigue are also relieved throughout the legs. The Locust, the next exercise effectively deals with excess weight, firms, streamlines and develops the buttocks, hips, thighs and legs. To perform the Locus, lie face down with the chin on the floor and place the fists on the floor beside the thighs. Breathe in deeply, regaining the breadth, push legs as high as you can. Remain a while like this, then bring down both legs and exhale. Take a short rest and repeat. If it is too difficult raising both legs in one go, take the described position, but raise one leg for a while, lower it, and then repeat with the other leg.
Yoga classes STARTED at 32 Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island, Lagos, 9.10am on Saturdays
Page 24— SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014
SUSPECTED KILLER CHILD-BRIDE BEGS COURT
‘Set me free!’
the vacuum created by her absence can not be filled by anyone. “I have been receiving help from the people I did not know from Adam, I mean women who have shown concern, and cater for my needs at the remand home where I have been detained by the authorities. “I know for sure this trial will come to an end one day and I would rec-
*Slain husband’s father blasts in-laws: No forgiveness for your daughter *Women lawyers rally round Wasila
Wasila’s father, Tasiu Muhammed BY ABDULSALAM MUHAMMAD
asila Umar, 14, the childbride suspected to have killed her husband at Yansoro village, Kademi general area of Gaya local government council of Kano State broke down in tears while pleading with the trial judge handling her case at the juvenile court to set her free because she was home sick. Wasila rhetorically asked why she had been held by the authorities in a place where she had no access to her loved ones over the past weeks. The child-bride’s dilemma underscored the state of confusion she found herself in following her detention by the police culminating in her appearance before the juvenile court. Between April 1 and May 21 that she appeared before the court, in Kano, she had variously been a guest of three detention centres located in Kano and Gaya . Interestingly, her situation attracted the attention of human right activists, including the Federation of Women Lawyers in Nigeria which practically took over her upkeep and defence. The women lawyers group protested the arraignment of the suspected killer child-bride before a magistrate court, forcing the Kano State Judicial Council to transfer Wasila’s trial to the juvenile court. The letter of transfer of the trial dated April 30, 2914, and signed by one Sani Shehu for the Registrar, Kano State High Court of Justice, obtained by Sunday Vanguard, was entitled, “Commissioner of police versus Wasila Umar, a juvenile accused of poisoning her husband and three others.” “The Chief Registrar has directed that the above headlined matter which was pending before Magistrate Court 34, Rijiyar
Wasila Umar Zaki , Kano is now transferred for continuation at the Juvenile Court to its conclusion”, the letter said. That marked the beginning of the trial of the teenager who had been away from her Kaura village for 51 days. ‘Strange land’ However, in an exclusive chat with Sunday Vanguard before her arraignment at the juvenile court, Wasila revealed: “I miss my mum who has not been allowed to visit me in a strange land. “What, however, keeps me going is the fact that my family are with me at this critical point in my life, and I am highly comforted by their prayers”. According to her, “my dad and aunt visited me a few days ago and conveyed my mother’s message but
Wasila’s father in-law, Sani Garba oncile with my family”. Meanwhile, Wasila’s dream of reuniting with her family one day might be a pipe dream. In the event she wins the case against her by the state, she might not have a home to return due to the tension generated in her inlaw’s Yansoro village by her alleged killing of her husband and three friends. Bitterness Sunday Vanguard’s visit to the village unveiled a picture of bitterness by her in-laws who viewed her action as wicked and could not be forgiven. The journey to Yansoro was rough; no access road, no school, no health centre, no pipe borne water. The village is a classical example of neglect and leadership failure. Yansoro is a village cut off from civilization. An inter-
view conducted with Wasila’s father-inlaw at the city centre attracted a crowd comprising of the young and the old who constantly interjected to voice out their anger. Sani Garba, the late Umar ’s father, told Sunday Vanguard: “I am talking to you with a heavy heart, because I am still nursing a fatal injury handed over to me by my daughter-in-law.” “Do you know that I lost three children to her action and you are asking whether I have forgiven her? The act was too painful to be forgiven and I don’t think I can forgive her ”. Shedding light on the relationship between the child- bride and her late husband, he said, “They courted for 12 months and my son spent a fortune on her. The fact remains that the duo were no strangers to each other and it pains me the more when people try to cook up the forced marriage theory” Garba, believed to be in his early 60s, went on: “We understand the authorities have taken over the case, but whether they choose to stand by the truth remains their headache for I have since gone to my God who is sufficient for me.” The crowd that converged at the city centre during the short interview appeared satisfied with the old man’s responses to questions and gave him a round of applause. But one was clear from the interview, the deep seated anger they demonstrated during the encounter was a reminder that they could go to war to settle scores. Absolute grief However, the atmosphere at Wasila village, Kaura, adjacent to her in-law’s was that of grief. Like their counterparts at Yansoro, the residents live a life worse than slavery. Wasila’s father, Tasiu Muhammad, told Sunday Vanguard: “What happened left a sour taste in our mouths but we don’t have to abandon the little girl. That is why I identify with her at this moment of trial”. Tasiu linked the alleged action of her daughter to destiny which could not be prevented. “In such situation, we only look onto Allah for divine intervention“, the father said. “What has happened came with a fatal consequence on my family, and I have visited my in-laws in the company of my kinsmen to seek for their forgiveness on behalf of my daughter”. Commenting on their involvement, the chairperson of the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kano, Hussaina Aliyu, revealed that no formal charges had been preferred against Wasila, stressing that the trial judge had fixed June 16 for mentioning.
Worries over ‘ Nasarawa arms factories’ By Abel Daniel, Lafia
he recovery of locally made re volver guns, pistols and other fire arms from suspects by Nasarawa State Police Command points to the fact that there may be arms factories located in the state or neighbouring states. The police in Nasarawa State paraded 55 armed robbery suspects and 11 cultists who are mainly youth within the ages of 20-35 and recovered, in three months, 32 locally made fire arms, one dane gun, six toy guns, one Mark 4 rifle, one G3 rifle, 346 7.62mm rounds of live ammunition, 5.56mm rounds of live ammunition, 0.9mm rounds of live ammunition, 15 cartridges, nine cut-
lasses and knifes. The state commissioner of police, Mr. Idris Ibrahim, while parading the suspects in Lafia, said the locally made guns use the same ammunition as the AK47 rifle and can do as much work as the AK47. An assessment of the designs and accessories used in constructing the arms showed they could have been made by one person or same group of persons. Though, according to police report, the suspect claimed they obtained the arms from neighboring states. Most of the suspects, according to the police, were arrested on high ways leading to local communities where they terrorize and rob travellers and businessmen and women who go to
the hinterlands to buy or sell goods in what is popularly referred to as ‘bush market’. The areas where criminals have found suitable for their operations in the state include: Nasarawa local government, Nasarawa Eggon/Lafia Road, Keffi/Panda Road, Doma/Lafia Road, Awe, Obi/Keana Road and Asakio Road. Meanwhile, the CP commended the collaboration with persons who furnished the police with information leading to the arrest of the suspects and called on well-meaning citizens of Nasarawa to report the movements of suspected persons, abandoned luggage and abandoned vehicles to the police by calling phone numbers 08123821571 and 07059473022.
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P AGE 32, SUND AY Vanguard , JUNE 1 , 2014 SUNDA
CHIBOK, 50 DAYS AFTER
Why we want dialogue option —Presidential aide, Abati In this interview with Ben Agande, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, speaks on why the Federal Government will not swap Boko Haram detainees with the Chibok schoolgirls abducted on April 14, some 50 days ago. He, however, says government is ready to integrate Boko Haram members who lay down their arms and renounce terrorism back to the Nigerian family. Excerpts:
C M Y K
in the last one week, some of countries have already raised a battalion of the army that was agreed on in France, the existing cooperation in terms of intelligence sharing is becoming stronger, various countries of the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, Canada and Israel have mobilised support for this operation and I think the message has been sent very clearly to Boko Haram and their Al Qaeda collaborators that the world has taken on this challenge as an assault against our common humanity, as affront against human civilisation and as a threat to the entire world. Talking about cooperation with other countries, an official of the United States government was quoted as saying that there is unwillingness on the part of the Nigerian security services to confront the Boko Haram fighters.
HE President has met with several world leaders since the abduction of the Chibok girls. What have these meetings produced? The reach out to the international community and the acceptance of offers of support and expression of solidarity by various countries and multilateral institutions has been very productive and fruitful. The President welcomes any offer of assistance and help. What has been achieved with all these efforts: the Paris meeting, the meeting with the President of the Republic of Congo and the meeting in South Africa on the sidelines of the inauguration of President Jacob Zuma is that the President of Nigeria has been able to mobilise international cooperation. He has been able to draw attention to how Boko Haram, supported by Al Qaeda and other foreign terrorist organisations, have tried to invade Nigeria and have tried to overwhelm the Nigerian state. In particular, the point has been well made that terrorism is a global issue and it requires concerted global efforts to deal with the challenge. As a result of the efforts by President Jonathan, the United Nations has officially designated Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation and has imposed sanctions on Boko Haram and its elements and sponsors, wherever they may be identified or found. Another dimension to it is the renewed cooperation and partnership between Nigeria and the neighbouring countries. At the Paris meeting, hosted by President Francois Hollande, the five neighbouring countries: Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and the Republic of Benin, arrived at far reaching decisions, which, as we have seen, have further enriched the existing cooperation and partnership amongst the countries. The key areas of cooperation include working together to share intelligence, working together to patrol their borders, contributing troops to patrol the border and making it impossible for the terrorists to spread their network further within the region. The meeting in Paris recognised that there is a serious cross border threat. What has been done is to ensure that there is no hiding place for any terrorist anywhere and the meeting in South Africa even recognised the need to extend this vigilance, this cooperation beyond the West African region. You must have noticed that
They are like the lost sheep and the President is saying even these lost sheep we are willing to bring them back to the fold
Has this concern been raised with the Nigerian government? The point to be made clearly is that we have a very strong, committed, patriotic Nigerian Army and other security services. Before the abduction of the girls, the same security forces were able to restrict the Boko Haram to only one part of Borno State. These are terrorists who had almost taken over large portions of three different states of the federation and were going to impose their own authorities in the three states. They had their own flags, they were well armed and were carving out their own enclave inside Nigeria. What we are talking about today is how they have been restricted to a forest. It is the same Nigerian Army that did that. Today they are in
Sambisa forest and we have no doubt whatsoever that with the support being received, with the attention being focused on this last stronghold of these terrorists, Nigerian security forces will succeed in winning the war. Talking about the criticism of their not being willing to engage, the evidence that I have given you does not prove that they are not willing to engage. You will note that other foreign commentators on the present task of rescuing the girls that have been abducted have also made it clear that many of the countries offering assistance are not committing in troops. They are sending in security experts who will assist with logistics, surveillance and satellite imageries. If they provide such support, the people that will go on ground to do the job if it comes to that will still be Nigerian soldiers. I have always stated that commentators and the media should desist from demoralising the Nigerians security forces. They have shown great resolve in taking on this assignment. It is an unusual kind of war. It is unconventional and asymmetrical. You are fighting a battle where the enemy is faceless and is willing to commit suicide. It is an unconventional kind of warfare. What they have done so far is to be encouraged and not demoralised. In such circumstance where the enemy is not very defined, is government’s offer of dialogue still open? The Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Conflict in the North-east is a standing one. There is also a Presidential Fact-Finding Committee both of which have been engaging stakeholders and have been offering advice. The position of government has been that the military option is there to deal specifically with impunity because no responsible government will fold its arms and allow any group supported by Al Qaeda to over run the country or threaten to divide the country. The Nigerian government has made that very clear and President Jonathan has always said that he will not allow anybody to disintegrate Nigeria under his watch. At the same time, government has a soft approach under which it offers those who are willing to renounce terrorism to lay down their arms and return to the fold as citizens. The door is open to them for dialogue. The door is open to them for
repentance and rehabilitation. They are like the lost sheep and the President is saying even these lost sheep we are willing to bring them back to the fold. The door of the Nigerian state is open to anyone who has gone astray, who has been misled to think that violence is a solution to whatever problem he or she may have, to rejoin the Nigerian family and conduct themselves as true citizens. The government also has short, medium and long term plans in terms of focusing on dealing with the problem, preventing its reoccurrence and helping the victims to be rehabilitated, supported and given an opportunity to live again. As part of that package, we also have a safe school initiative which is being done in collaboration with the UN Envoy and former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. Government is also working with the states to ensure an economic recovery programme under the auspices of Presidential Initiative in the North -east (PINE). But for you to have an economic recovery programme that would provide the kind of result you need, there must be peace first. It means you have to put an end to the threat of terrorism and provide an enabling environment for development to take place because these terrorists have been targeting all the projects of the Federal Government in the North-east. These are anarchists. They attack institutions, they attack villages, and they rape women and turn them into slaves. This cannot be allowed to go on. These are some of the measures being adopted by government but the immediate challenge is to ensure that these abducted girls are rescued because it is something that strikes at the heart of humanity. To think that young innocent girls who went to school can be abducted by anybody is unthinkable. All of us are anxious because any day that these girls spend with the terrorists reminds us of how the forces of evil threaten the bond that tie all of us together as human beings. In view of the precarious nature of the extant case of the abducted girls, is the option of swap of prisoners and option? The position that government has adopted is that government will explore all possible options to see how the girls can be rescued but,
as I stated before, this does not include government engaging in trade by barter. In a trade by barter, you exchange two things of equal value. Those who are talking about prisoner swap, are you saying that the value of the life of an innocent child against whom a crime has been committed, who has been denied the right to education, the right to human freedom, is that child of equal value as a criminal who has taken lives and raised arms against the state? What ever the government does, at the end of the day, I do not see the Nigerian government engaging in anything that will look like a dehumanisation of the abducted girls. I don’t see the government doing anything that will amount to supporting crime against humanity. But government recognises that it has a responsibility to rescue the girls and brought them back safely home. What does the renewal of the state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa means to the fight against terrorism? I think that is quite obvious. If government needed to declare a state of emergency in the three states of the North-east 18 months ago, there is even a greater need for it now. What we have seen is that after the flushing out of the terrorists, they seem to have returned with greater ferocity which is a clear indication that we are dealing with a long drawn battle. The decision to extend the state of emergency is a well advised decision, well considered and what it means in simple terms is that it gives the security forces the authorisation to adopt every means under the law to ensure that they confront these terrorists, these evil forces and ensure the security of lives and property and the integrity of Nigeria. The President is committed to protecting the integrity of Nigeria. One thing that must be noted is that the renewal of the state of emergency received the support of the National Assembly which means that the political leadership, irrespective of party affiliation, is committed to ensuring that the integrity of Nigeria is protected. As the President has always said, we don’t have any other country. This is the only country that we have and all of us have a responsibility to ensure that evil forces do not overrun our country.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014,
udan Ambassador, Dr. Tagelsir Mahgoub Ali, speaks on the lessons for Nigeria from his country’s insurgency By VICTORIA OJEME
I will like to know the role of Sudan in the arrest of the Nyanya bomb blast suspect? Sudan learnt from Nigeria that one of the people involved in the explosions was in Sudan. So the security personnel in Sudan started the search for the suspect and arrested him. Arrangements are on, through the Interpol, to hand the suspect over to Nigeria.
What is Sudan doing to ensure such thing doesn’t happen again? We check visa application forms here. If applicants claim to be going to Sudan for studies, we make sure they get admission from the university first and while they are there the university checks to make sure they don’t get involved in terror activities. How is Sudan collaborating on terror intelligence with Nigeria? Well, this is between the intelligence organisations of both countries, they have been talking to each other. I am sure they are planning to meet to see ways they can put an end to terror. Let me take you back to Sudan. South Sudan gained independence two years ago. There was a report where Sudan president said
*The scene of the Nyanya attack......Inset: Sudan Ambassador, Dr. Tagelsir Mahgoub Ali
How we caught Nyanya bombing suspect in Sudan, by Ambassador Ali *’Sudanese lessons for Nigeria on terror’ South Sudan might come back to join Sudan. How true is that statement? Despite the fact that South Sudan was granted self determination, we still feel that there are some common things we share. There are many Sudanese people in the South and there are so many people from the South in Sudan. Therefore, the President said we look forward to these people coming back for reunion and the reunion can take different shapes; it could be one government, it could be a confederal setting whereby there are two states under one architecture; we think that is quite possible and we look forward to the southerners sorting out their problems because the stability of the South means the stability of Sudan and of course these problems can easily affect the countries around them; that is why we appeal to the people to intervene in the situation in the South so that people can come back to their senses and start rebuilding their country. We hope this recent arrangement made by the Panel of Eminent Persons in Addis-Ababa to patch the relationships between Sudan and the government of South Sudan, in which they identified areas whereby some sort of strategic relationship can take place because we have
got about 10 border states, can play a role in stabilizing the North and South and creating economic and social relationships, etc; it is very difficult to break those ties. If you go to the Southern Sudan channel, you will find them speaking Arabic. That shows the depth of the relationship between the North and South and that’s why we feel that there may come a time when these people will want to re
What are the steps Sudan is taking to make sure insurgents in Nigeria don’t flee to Sudan? In the embassy, whoever comes for visa, we do necessary checks through our security department to make sure they don’t have connection with terrorist organisations. In Sudan, the African Islamic University is an international institution with students from all over the world studying there; we never had such incidence before where a student was involved in terror. The suspect apparently sneaked into the country because we checked and found that he didn’t go through this embassy. We learnt that he has a British passport and he might have used the passport to sneak into Sudan. Our security people were very alert when they got the informationfrom Nigeria; they immediately took action and I think that is very important to show Nigeria that we will not allow such “person to walk free in Sudan.
way to bring the people to some sort of reconciliation so that the South can think more in terms of development rather than raging conflicts. Do you see the independence of South Sudan as coming too early? That is their choice, you can’t decide whether it is early or not but we were against their choice at the beginning; we felt that unity
We learnt that he has a British passport and he might have used the passport to sneak into Sudan
establish the relationship between Sudan and the government of South Sudan with a new sort of step up that can really help the two countries work together. Do you see the South Sudanese President handling the crises in a better way? What we are saying is that everybody is looking for a way where things could be handled well to stop all the conflicts going on in the South. Nigeria sent a delegation there, Sudan itself was there with the President trying to find a
was the key. It came out in the agreement between the North and the South; the option for unity, making unity attractive so that people can live together and stay in one country but that was a choice through referendum. But we said there may be so many problems if they went that way, but then that is their choice. Let me bring you back to Nigeria. What will you tell the Federal Government on its handling of the Boko Haram insurgency? We have gone through this
in Sudan. For instance, we have had so many insurgencies; some are still going on. We did our best until we finally brought people to the negotiating table. That is what is solving the problem of South Sudan and the problem of Darfur. Negotiations are taking place in Addis Ababa; we are trying to resort to direct negotiations so that we can resolve outstanding problems. Violence brings more violence because the more you become violence, the more you record violence. We hope that Nigeria will soon get over its insurgency because it is Nigerian citizens, those girls who have been abducted, people who died due to explosions that are paying the price. How can people get to the root causes of the problem because sometimes if you judge from the symptoms, you will not solve the problem? You will need to go to the depth of the problem, what are the causes? We have learnt that jumping to conclusions will not solve the problem, and don’t jump to alternatives and contingent actions. Look at preventive measures and the real causes and not the symptoms because, if you solve the problem in the wrong way, you will definitely encourage it to go on.
PAGE 34— SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014
Why militancy may return to Niger Delta, by Ledum Mitee *Says FG tackles effect, not the cause of insurgency BY OKEY NDIRIBE
What can you say about the high level of insecurity prevailing in certain parts of the country? It is quite disturbing that in recent times, we have found ourselves in this kind of situation. Terrorism and general insecurity have become the number one problem the nation is facing today. My regret is that so much politics has been introduced into the issue. When there is a serious situation like this, I think politicians should become statesmen. Everyday, what you hear is one party blaming another and the other responding. This kind of situation makes me feel sick. I think the people who are being killed everyday in the North-East, Nyanya and Jos are ordinary Nigerians who may even be supporters of the two rival parties in the country. We should put politics aside in order to tackle the situation effectively. I think the security agencies should do more in terms of intelligence gathering. This is because the Boko Haram terrorists seem to be telling us that they have the capacity to strike anywhere. I think that to a large extent, the intelligence gathering capacity of our security agencies has not been fantastic. However, there have been noticeable flashes of hope which I think we should also commend. I don’t think we should only condemn their efforts. For instance, the fact that they were able to arrest the masterminds behind the Nyanya bombing within a short time is commendable. They even tracked one of them to far away Sudan. That is quite encouraging. I also understand that they have arrested some suspects in respect of
Ledum Mitee the recent Kano bombing. I think this shows that they have achieved some successes. When you also consider the fact that Boko Haram is demanding that some of their members who are in detention should be released, it means that there have been some successes in arresting the terrorists. But what is worrying is that we thought at some stage that the terrorists had almost been overwhelmed but in recent times their attacks have become intensified. I believe that Nigerians should also assist in this fight against terrorism. In the first place we should stop the blame game and start dealing with the situation we are facing. We should device ways of passing information to the security agencies. Another aspect of the problem is that Nigerians as a people are very impatient. I say this because if you could recall, there was a terrorist attack during the marathon in Boston, United States about a year ago. One thing I noticed then was that the people did not abandon the marathon. They continued. The message they sent to the terrorists was that ‘in spite of what you are doing, you can’t intimidate us’. That was one lesson that I learnt from that incident. The lesson was that we must stop the terrorists from achieving their goal which is that of intimidating us. Secondly, the people of Boston were prepared to make some sacrifices. The whole city was shut down because their police was looking for two terrorists. But if Abuja is shut down because of the bombing in Nyanya, you know what will happen. Nigerians will start to scream. For instance, after the first bomb blast at Nyanya, people began to complain over the security checkpoint that was put along the Nyanya-Abuja Road. If you stop Nigerian motorists along the road and ask them to open their car booths for routine checks, people would complain. But the truth
is that the security operatives may need to subject us to some type of discomfort in order to do their jobs of providing security. Nevertheless, the security agents must also be reliable and trustworthy for the people to be able to relate with them. It is quite worrying when you hear that even within the security agencies there seem to be leakages of information. This is not good because when someone wants to pass information to a security agency, you want to be sure that the person you are passing the information to would not compromise your safety. These are real challenges and I would like to appeal to Nigerians that this is not the
edum Mitee needs little or no introduction. An environmental activist, he is a delegate at the ongoing National Conference and Chairman of Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI. As successor to the late President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), he narrowly escaped former maximum ruler Sani Abacha’s hangman. He spoke to Sunday Vanguard on controversial issues at the confab and the high level of insecurity in the North.
now be a consideration of the various committees’ reports. I expect that members who participated in those committees, need to take a back seat during the consideration of their reports. This is because they had the opportunity of contributing in preparing the reports of committees they belong to. Those who were not members of a committee who may have something to add or oppose should be allowed to contribute mor during debates. But since the plenary resumed, I have seen committee members also speaking maybe to buttress their reports. I had expected that the contributions of such members should be explanatory or come at the end so that those who have other
These are real challenges and I would like to appeal to Nigerians that this is not the time for the blame game. We need to see what we can do to get ourselves out of this situation
time for the blame game. We need to see what we can do to get ourselves out of this situation. A terrorist may attempt to strike 99 times and fail but when he succeeds once, it may appear as if the security agencies are not working. We may not know how many strike attempts by terrorists have been foiled by the security agencies. Such foiled attempts don’t make the headlines. But the security agencies need to dig deeper to expose those who are supplying the terrorists weapons and other logistics. For instance, when there is a bomb blast, we need to know who supplied the vehicle and whom he sold the vehicle to. There should be a way of tracking even the movement of their funds. What is your expectation at the resumed plenary session of the confab? My expectation is that there would
ideas could also contribute. At the end of the day whatever comes after this stage becomes the decision of the conference. What is your reaction to the position of the North with regard to the proposal of a new revenue sharing formula for the nation? In the first place, I don’t even know what is the position of the North even though I saw a certain document which was reported to be the northern position paper. However, I did not see the formal presentation of that document as the position of the North by anybody. I know that people who may or may not be members of the conference could circulate some literature among delegates. There are many of such documents in circulation. But what should be considered as a position paper of a region has to be It
Continues on page 38
JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 35
Insurgency: Local insurers to the rescue paper at the training session, entitled: ‘Insurance Regulations as Catalysts for Market Development: Lessons for the Media’, made journalists to understand that risks from natural disasters such as flooding and activities of terrorists, among others, are considered high level risks not covered by insurance. e pointed out that insur ance companies in the country do not have the capacity to cover those huge risks while he urged government at all levels to make provisions for what he described as predictable risks. “Most people affected in situations of natural disasters such as flooding and terrorism attacks are the vulnerable in the society. To ensure that money is pooled together for such, the federal, state and local governments should make provisions to pay insurance premium to cover them. This way, insurance companies will take responsibility of ensuring that victims of such disasters are properly provided for,” he said. In the meantime, Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, wants underwriters to avail teachers and students policies that best suit their situations. The Chairman of the union in Cross River State, Eyo-Nsa Itam, while addressing union members in Calabar during a solidarity rally for the release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, lamented that teachers and students have become endangered citizens in the current security challenge threatening the country hence the need for insurance. “It is also important to take insurance cover for both students and teachers in the vulnerable political environment of the country”, Itam said.
BY FAVOUR NNABUGWU
HE pressure is on the insurance regulatory body, the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, and the entire industry to gain a competitive edge by carefully considering ways to tackle the risks of terrorism in the country by providing cover for victims. Until recently, terrorismbased risks were never part of the imagination of the nation’s insurance sector. Nigeria’s insurance industry now wants to deploy its skills and experiences to organise insurance products and services for terrorism. The first five months of this year have witnessed an increase in terrorist attacks in Abuja, Plateau, Borno, Adamawa, Kano, Kaduna and other states which Boko Haram Islamist group spearheaded since 2010 when it began the attacks. In the light of the heightened insecurity challenges the country, some stakeholders believe insurance practitioners can provide cover for terrorism and kidnapping, alongside the usual liability cover and protection for personnel, property, shipping, crews and cargoes.
ommissioner for Insur ance, CFI, Mr Fola Daniel, at a training organized by NAICOM in Akwa Ibom State for insurance correspondents based in Abuja and Lagos, confirmed that cover for terrorism was never in the mandate of the industry. However, the NAICOM boss said the insurance industry has settled the claims of the military personnel and police officers who lost their lives during attacks under the
Terrorism attacks are the most devastating and expensive of events for the providers of insurance and can represent the most disruptive of events for the insured because of the substantial losses that could be suffered following an attack group life of either the police or the army to date. The CFI admitted that local insurers cannot bear claims arising from terrorism alone as a claim can send the whole of the sector into extinction just as he added that federal and state governments need to support the industry in that regard. Having realized that majority of the victims of terrorism are common men, Daniel said underwriters will deliberate on terrorism and come out with tangible products in no distant time. According to him, “Terrorism as insurance cover is what we do not have but it is possible now.”
e regretted the many houses in the communities that were burnt during bomb explosions were without any form of insurance that could ameliorate their plight. Nonetheless, the insurance commissioner believes that the Federal Government will back the industry up on terrorism insurance, “so that where insurance industry stops, gov-
ernment will takeover ”. “If we could take the challenge of kidnapping insurance, we can as well provide cover for terrorism”, the CFI said. “This is what we intend to achieve with the various initiatives incepted by the commission in recent times. I am encouraged that all of those and many other initiatives assured us of an evolving insurance model, a better insurance industry, a growing market and a brighter future”.
nternationally, terrorism started with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the US, followed by the 2002 Bali bombings, the 2004 Russian aircraft and Madrid train bombings, the London transportation bombings of 2005, and the Mumbai bombings of 2008 among others. The impact of the September 11, 2001 attacks was substantial, producing insured losses of about $39.4 billion. Losses were paid out across many different lines of insurance, including property, business interruption, aviation, workers compensation, life and liabili-
ty. The loss total does not include the March 2010 settlement of up to $657.5 million announced by New York City officials and plaintiffs’ lawyers to compensate about 10,000 workers whose health was damaged during the rescue and cleanup at the World Trade Center. A total of 2,976 people lost their lives in the attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, excluding the 19 hijackers. It remains the worst terrorist attack on record in terms of fatalities and insured property losses, which totalled about $23 billion. And nearly nine years after 9/11, insurers paid out billions of dollars for other catastrophes until Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when insurers paid claims that ran over $40 billion.
n the local market, terror ism risk is new in the local market as it is part of exclusion, and usually funded by government in some jurisdictions, on account of the size of risk exposure. Ter rorists attack targets oppor tunity and it is certainly possible that an attack can occur anywhere including cities, remote villages, markets, schools or shopping malls while the demand for coverage is higher in metropolitan areas simply because there is a greater concentration of exposures in those areas. Terrorism attacks are the most devastating and expensive of events for the providers of insurance and can represent the most disruptive of events for the insured because of the substantial losses that could be suffered following an attack,
ssistant Director (Inspec torate) of the Commission, Mr. Sam Onyeka, in a
peaking to this reporter on the importance of terrorism insurance in the country, Mr Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, (Northern States) understood the fears of the insurance industry and also appreciated the bold step of the sector to take on terrorism insurance. Soni commended the federal and state governments for doing quite a lot to compensate victims even amidst limited funds. He believes that underwriters can find a way to build insurance for victims of terrorism without necessarily having to charge the victims directly, citing aviation insurance whereby insurance of airlines accommodate passengers on board at the time of mishap. He said, “Good to know that practitioners are coming to absorb the shock by providing risk in these areas, would help stabilise the economy and make the environment conducive for local and foreign investments. If there is no insurance and an effective means of compensation in the event of loss, many would not feel comfortable to do business in Nigeria”.
PAGE 36—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1 , 2014
Why WEF Africa is highly rated — Ini Onuk *‘AfDB boss coming for CEO Roundtable’ BY WALE AKINOLA AND CHARITY UKAEGBU
INI ONUK, a member of the WEF Global Agenda Africa Council, convenes the annual African CEO Roundtable on Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) through her company, Thistle Praxis. In this interview, she speaks on the just concluded WEF Africa meeting in Abuja, the 2014 edition of the CEO Roundtable and why AfDB President, Dr. Kaberuka, is keynote speaker at the roundtable. ou sit on the WEF Coun cil and you have become the god-mother of CSR. How did all this start for you? I am a member of the WEF Global Agenda Africa Council. My appointment or invitation to serve on. the Council on Africa has got nothing to do with my passion and work in CSR and Sustainability. My work has to do with my passion for Africa and what I like to refer to as the’ African Imperative for Sustainability’. Interestingly, the Africa Council is voted the most active and impactful council in the world. Dr. Kaberuka, Ashish Thakkar of Mara Group, Carlos Lopes ofUNECA, Caroline Kende-Robb of Africa Progress Panel our Communications Technology Minister amongst other brilliant leaders are members of this council. We are all focused, determined and action-oriented leaders. I am glad that despite the security challenges, the 24th WEF Africa was able to hold in Abuja. The World Economic Forum on Africa is a brilliant platform to project the imperative of sustainability. I moderated a session on Building Sustainable Businesses in Africa which was an interesting interaction amongst a range of organisations and professionals. Indeed, there seems to be a bright future for sustainability in Africa. The African CEO ~Roundtable on Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility is here again. What do we expect this year? This is the fourth year we would be organising the AR-CSRTM and this edition is focused on discussing the real impact and interplay of financial inclusion. More often, financial inclusion is discussed as a financial issue and not an economic sustainability trigger. In addition, the event will again feature all the regular programmes: CEO Round-table, Conference, Sustainable Solutions Showcase, Gala Dinner, Eco- Tourism etc. Every year, the AR-CSRTM stands out in the quality of discourse, speakers, spin-off initiatives and ideas. It is the business meeting to attend annually. What is this year’s theme? The theme for the 2014 edition is:’The Intersection: Financial Inclusion, Economic Sustainability & Social Benefit. ‘ How do you arrive at the theme. Do you wait for a trend or you anticipate the trend? We anticipate trends by commencing research in earnest on the topic from June every year (i.e. immediately after the conference) but by November, we develop draft themes and shortlist to at least
Financial inclusion means that the lowincome population in any economy will have equal (if not special) access to financial services of the same quality and at rates they can comfortably afford
Ini Onuk three (3) possible themes. We, thereafter, hold strategy sessions where the trends and analysis are reviewed and debated before we arrive at a final theme. After the theme, we develop the sessions, topics and CEO-Round-table subthemes. By November of each year, we announce the theme for the following year and break the campaign online. Interestingly, by the time other global events such as World Economic Forum announce the theme for the Davos Meeting, we are aware of whether we were wrong with our analyses and findings or not. So far, most times, we have been right with the global agenda. What is financial inclusion all about and how does it affect the average joe? First, Financial inclusion means that the low-income population in any economy will have equal (if not special) access to financial services of the same quality and at rates they can comfortably afford. Second, financial inclusion is effectively a measure of the extent to which economic agents utilize the financial tools at their disposal, to affect the desired exchanges by supporting the development of the often marginalized groups in the economy. Why did you choose Kaberuka, the AFDB president as Keynote Speaker? Dr. Kaberuka is arguably the most respected banker and financial professional on the continent. His records as a Finance Minister and the AIDB President arc inspiring. Under his watch, the AiDB has made significant progress in investments and not just core sectoral investments but spearheading ground-breaking research on financial inclusion and playing the lead on other issues such as Climate Change, Sustainable Energy and many significant efforts across the continent. During our research for themes, the AIDB Report on Financial Inclusion was a useful reference and it became clear that Dr. Kaberuka was our Keynote Speaker for 2014! We did a background check on his profile
and track record before we concluded. This edition of the event will feature Brian Kuwik, Vice President & Africa Regional Head, Accion as Lead Discussant amongst other business leaders and professionals which include: Dr. Alex Otti, CEO, Diamond Bank Plc, Andrew S. Nevin, Partner/West Africa Advisory-Strategy Consulting Leader, PwC, Dr. William Derban, Director, PMO & Financial Inclusion, Fidelity Bank Ghana. Others will include: Hajara Adeola, CEO, Lotus Capital, Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, Project Director, Impact Investing Policy Initiative, Lagos Business School At the WEF Africa in Abuja, Kaberuka spoke about financial inclusion. What is his financial inclusion gospel all about? Beyond just a gospel to those who are discerning, the AfDB President is walking the talk on financial inclusion. He has demonstrat-
ed that the change Africa needs can come from within and that sustainable development can be attained through strategic investments. The AfDB, undcr his leadership, has mainstreamed financial inclusion and kickstarted discussions across the continent through the background research study. The bank has also pioneered financial inclusion as a strategy for women empowerment-in Africa. Why is sustainability such a hot button topic these days and is it ,just a fad that would fade? When you say ‘hot button’ you refer to something that is likely to fade. I do not agree. I think we have sufficient reasons, global awareness and pressure to take sustainability seriously. Climatic changes and trends in health, agriculture and other key sectors should make any smart business executive rethink his/her modus operandi. Corporate sustainability is intrinsically linked to the behaviour of a company as a responsible corporate citizen. How does corporate governance and ethics impact on corporate sustainability? Corporate Governance is one of the seven pillars of social responsibility. They are closely knit but not the same thing, sustainability in a lay man’s term can be said to be the umbrella under which CSR, Corporate Governance and Business Ethics interplay with many other factors, actors and of course, stakeholders. So, it is a complexsounding yet simple relationship. Corporate Governance and Ethics are practices that promote sustainability. Thistle Praxis has become synonymous with this annual conference. What happens in the other eleven months? The AR-CSR is no doubt our flagship initiative and one of our core projects under Thought Leadership & Advocacy. ThistlePraxis Consulting provides services in six (6)
broad portfolios which are: Strategy & Performance, Assessments & Audits, Competence Devclopment, Public Sector Effectiveness, Advocacy & Thought Leadership, Research & Reporting. We provide services to a number of organisations and also host other initiatives. At the last conference, we rolled out our New Media Products which include an online channel, Sustainable Conversations TV (www.sustainableconvos.tv);a MobileApp.ThistleApp (available on Android OS on GooglePayStore); an online Carbon Calculator, TP Calculator(www.tpcalculator.com) ; and a virtual testing website where individuals can take tests on a range of fields, Thistle Test Cafe (www.thistletestcafe.com) . We are working on another bouquet of initiatives to be launched at our 5th anniversary. Advocacy is key to us in order to bring people to speed quickly about sustainability. You mentioned the conversations; do you think they are taking a back scat to the AR-CSR? Sustainable Conversations™, if that is what you mean, is a different initiative and strictly for Thought Leadership, hence the WhitePaper issued at the end of each edition. We have hosted four editions so far on: Sustainable Development Planning, Agriculture, Public Health, Education with two (2) more to hold before the end of the year in partnership with Etisalat Nigeria. The conversations always end with a communique or whitc paper. Any success stories you want to share? Well, we are pleased that initiatives like the Private Alliance on Health spear-headed by business titans like Aliko Dangote and Jim Ovia which were mooted at the event have become a reality. We are working on an Educational Data Bank at the moment and continue to consider possible spin-off projects from our initiatives.
NNPC develops students through science quiz BY MARIE-THERESE NANLONG
IGERIAN National Petro leum Corporation, NNPC, is organizing a quiz competition to improve science knowledge of secondary school students. The competition, ongoing in the six geopolitical zones of the country, is at the zonal final level. It holds under the theme: “Nurturing our youth towards technological advancement”. Addressing participants from the North-Central zone where students from schools in Benue, the Federal Capital Territory, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger and Plateau States competed, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, said the competition is key to the nation’s advancement. ”I congratulate the various schools and students that have emerged champions and are now representing their various states
here at the zonal contest” Alegbe said. ”This 2014 edition is the 13th in the history of this competition borne out of the desire and commitment of the NNPC to ensure positive development in the core science subjects of Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry as well as English Language”. He explained that education is the foundation on which nations are built, most importantly, “science education remains the cornerstone of industrial advancement. ”In view of this, there is the need for the NNPC to make “science and technology education a fulcrum which an appreciable percentage of its community relations is anchored”. The Group General Manager observed that the NNPC gives the quiz competition attention because it aims to assist the nation’s future leaders to prepare towards contributing their quo-
ta to national development. His words, “Over the years, NNPC has given this national quiz competition the attention it deserves. The competition aims to support the federal government campaigns towards uplifting the standard of education in the country. ”It aims to stimulate the interests of the students in the study of sciences, create an atmosphere of challenge within schools in order to improve teaching and learning processes, share ideas and build a solid foundation for science development in Nigeria as well as promote unity among the various youths in the country”. He noted that various winners have emerged since the inaugural competition in 2001 and urged the contestants to give their best and do honor to themselves, their parents and their schools.
JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 37
The problem with Nigeria’s housing mortgage policy, by Adediji *Says government lacks political will to curb collapse of buildings BY UDEME CLEMENT Mr. Bode Adediji is a member of the Federal Government Vision 20:2020. He is the immediate past President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers. He is also the Group Executive Chairman, Bode Adediji Partnership, Kontiental Developers Nigeria Limited, and a member, Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economic (CASLE). He speaks on the challenges facing housing mortgage policy in Nigeria and the lack of political will by government to curb the incidence of buildings collapse.
AGOS State v e r n m e n t has declared its inten tion to demolish houses constructed under high tension electricity cables in the state. What becomes of the residents of those houses? The situation can be described as a state of dilemma, because looking at it critically, this is a situation where people are living under the high tension cables and exposing themselves to radiation that can cause a disease like cancer. So, we should look at this action as the tenet of government to protect lives and the citizens from all dangers. On the other hand, this action will further compound homelessness of the people. As such, government has the ability to handle separate groups of people facing this challenge in a pragmatic manner. For instance, those to be removed should be given priority in terms of resettlement, but it is a different thing entirely where it is established that some people deliberately neglected the town planning directives of government to build structures under such restricted areas. It means they had clear understanding of the law that such area is a danger zone, so they can’t hold government accountable for their homelessness. There is what is called the g
Right of Way (RoW) for petroleum products pipelines belonging to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which implies that structures must not be built on such places. But where the people build houses against this law, can they still be given compensation should those houses be demolished? Right now, there is an on-going directive where government is paying billions as compensation to people whose land were affected by compulsory land acquisition for Independent Power projects nationwide. But houses built on NNPC RoW are illegal structures because building against NNPC RoW is clearly against the law. Note that at any point government sees it necessary to acquire private properties to provide public goods for the citizens, it has a way of paying compensation to the affected people. The major challenge is the capacity to enforce and sustain the enforcement of the items as stricted area. This challenge is always a third world phenomenon and not a problem that is peculiar to Nigeria only. For example, I just returned from an international conference, which is an association of 56 countries and we shared experiences on this kind of issue. So even what we see as a problem in Nigeria is also noticeable in varying degree in other African countries. Incessant cases of collapse buildings, especially in Lagos State is becoming worrisome. What can be done to stem the tide of collapse buildings in the country? A lot had been said by government and professionals by way of minimising, if not absolutely preventing what can lead to collapse of buildings. However, the more we try, the more the buildings are collapsing because often people simply do not do the right thing at the right time. My advice is for government as a whole to rise up to this challenge by not limiting it
A lot had been said by government and professionals by way of minimising, if not absolutely preventing what can lead to collapse of buildings Mr. Bode Adediji only to the States that are vulnerable to recurring cases of buildings collapse. Government at the federal level should put measures in place to provide a lasting solution to this problem. Sometimes, majority of houses that collapsed had shown visible signs before the total collapse but no precautionary measure was taken to prevent the tragedy. When governments at all levels join resources and the political will as well as working with professionals to address this problem pragmatically, that is when a sustainable solution will be found. For example, if you have 200 houses in Lagos State tilting, the State government alone may not be able to cope with the situation, but federal government can investigate, obtain necessary data and map out a strategy to prevent loss of lives. Also, if we have at least 50 per cent presence of federal government in Lagos, traffic problems would have been removed since. Lagos is where government gets the biggest taxes but its inputs in developing the State does not commensurate with the amount generating from taxes in Lagos. What are the economic implications of Federal Government not putting sufficient inputs in Lagos where the nation has major seaports? The situation is very sad be-
cause this has been happening from one regime to another. Are there sanctions given to professionals like engineers, soil engineers and other experts involved in collapse building projects in the country? This is a technical question because construction processes and procedures involve a chain of professionals like architects, engineers, soil engineers, town planners, estate valuers and project managers. The fact is that unless there is a thorough investigation it becomes extremely difficult to blame a particular professional for a collapse building. Two examples will surface in this scenario. There was a situation I knew where the best professionals, architect and the engineers did their best, only for the land-lord for personal gains and ignorance to tamper with their drawings during the process of construction, and engaged a contractor who had never got any qualification to build a structure. The second example is where the regulatory authority places too much emphasis on revenue generation in the cost of town planning control, than the professional oversight functions and enforcements they are actually created to carry out. What is the way forward? Accordingly, it is when government summons the political will to de-emphasize effort on payment of
FG must focus more on the shipping and port sector Executive Chairman, Comet Group of Companies, Musa Danjuma, the younger brother of General T. Y. Danjuma (rtd),is entrusted with supervising the growth and expansion of the first family business. In this interview with Godfrey Bivbere, he speaks on business prospects and worries in Africa’s largest economy, the addition of five years to Fivestar Logistics Ltd’s concession agreement, the decay in infrastructure and amenities which clogs the wheels of portland-tohinterland flow of cargoes and therefore makes the case for a special transport master plan for Nigeria’s busy port cities.
OMET Shipping Agencies Nigeria Ltd turns 30 this year. What memories do this evoke for you? The name Comet evokes happy memories for me. It was the passing of Halle’s Comet in 1984 that prompted our founder and my senior brother, General T. Y. Danjuma, to name the company Comet. Since then, the company has soared high and given rise to many
Musa Danjuma other companies. So, naturally, it gives all of us at the Comet Group of Companies a lot of happiness and joy that the company turns 30 this year. How many companies have been from around the company? Is it true that the Comet Group hardly retrenches staff because you see the increased burden of the workforce as part of corporate social responsibility? Nine companies have been
We believe that we should be creating jobs. As a patriotic Nigerian, I put myself in the shoes of my workers who have families. We don’t want to disrupt their sources of livelihood for slight reasons formed in the group. Before Comet Shipping Agencies, Nigeria America Line Ltd (NAL) was formed which took part in the Nigeria Brazil counter trade of the early 1980s. Comet Shipping Agencies was actually formed to provide agency services for NAL but after it took off and was doing well, we expanded and began to provide same agency services to the
town planning and depends on revenue from property taxation, that is when true sanity will return to the environment and landscape of Nigeria. In advanced countries there are provisions for housing mortgage for the citizens. Do we have such policy being operational in Nigeria? My answer is no. The housing mortgage policy in Nigeria has failed despite the day-to-day propaganda. With due respect, I hesitate to say that the failure of housing programmes in the country is not due to inadequate housing policy but due to the fact that social issues on housing programmes that work in other countries are yet to be embraced by our government. Such policies are noticeable liberal and land tenure system where land ownership is removed from political intervention. For instance, if you liberalise land tenure like Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM), you will not face this challenge. Is it possible for government to roll our social housing programme for under-privileged in Nigeria? Again, this has to do with the political will on the part of government. Beyond that, as long as our loan interest regime remains double digit, the first victim will be the mortgage sub-sector operator as well as the poor people in the country. With these enormous challenges, is the much-talked about Vision 20:2020 still realisable? For me, the only thing that will make it difficult for Nigeria not to achieve this Vision is lack of political will. This is because the document where the structure of the economy is drawn on how to achieve the Vision is quite clear. The document also says there will be challenges from time to time, but these obstacles are surmountable if only government can summon the political will to do the right thing at the right time.
— Musa Danjuma
industry and even to lead other indigenous agencies in this type of services. But to answer your question directly, other companies in the group now include Plantgeria Company Ltd, Tethys Plantgeria Ltd, Tarabaroz Fisheries Ltd, Danelec Ltd, Best Trade Nigeria Ltd and Fivestar Logistics Ltd. To explain why we don’t retrench, we believe that we should be creating jobs. As a patriotic Nigerian, I put myself in the shoes of my workers who have families. We don’t want to disrupt their sources of livelihood for slight reasons. Since the establishment of Fivestar Logistics Ltd and the operation of the Ro-Ro Terminal at Tin Can Island Port, Lagos, the Comet Group has joined the elite group of companies that took over NPA’s cargo handling activities. Has this helped to uplift the profile of corporate activities in the Comet Group within the maritime sector? The ambition of all operators is to reach the zenith of their career or the higher echelons of service
provision in their industries. For the maritime sector, ter minal operation is a kind of higher echelon because you are in a position to do more by way of hosting calling ships at your berths, receiving and storing cargoes on behalf of consignees and other customers, managing the offloaded cargoes or other cargoes on your terminal with a view to maximizing the use of space, etc. So, our winning the bid to operate the RoRo Terminal at Tin Can Island Port, Lagos in 2005 was one such opportunity to showcase our capabilities and expertise in cargo handling operations and we have been doing it well. Our concession originally was for 15 years but since we spent the better part of five years developing the infrastructures, the Federal Government has graciously added extra five years to our concession. What are some of the problems of running the Ro-Ro Terminal?
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FG must focus more on the shipping and port sector Continued from page 37 One of the problems we had was space constraint for storage of break bulk cargoes, vehicles and containers. As the name implies, one of the core areas of our operation is receiving vehicles, mainly cars, fairly used and brand new. As at 2013, for example, we offloaded 114,000 vehicles, 48,000 containers and 193,000 metric tonnes of general cargoes. This has necessitated our search for appropriate off-dock terminals as a relief accommodation for our cargoes. Aside from space, we also have problems sometimes with the shallow draught of the terminal. Some of the big ships that would have called at our terminal were diverted to other Lagos terminals of our neighbours because our draught is about 10 metres whereas these big ships are drawing draughts of 12 or 13 metres. So, we would like to commend the work of NPA in dredging the channels and berthing areas but we would like to appeal for more attention to the draught problem. What new products and services are being planned for your customers in the various companies going forward? Chief Danjuma: As you may be aware already, our terminal has installed many innovations and gadgets to fast-track the clearance of cargoes at our terminal. As such, we separated the exit
gate for brand new cars and vehicles from the exit gate for fairly-used cars and vehicles and opened a special air-conditioned cafe for our customers who come down to the terminal. We also do door-to-door services, etc. As you know, we have the ISO 9001 which is a very high standard for quality service delivery. ISO quality management certification is deployed by companies that want to give high levels of efficiency, maximized quality of service delivery and high levels of customer satisfaction. The Comet Group of Companies attained this standard four years ago and it was a highly orchestrated ceremony held at Sheraton Hotel and Towers Abuja by the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON). Since then as we have been doing before, we are constantly fine-tuning our service delivery techniques to ensure they are always top of the range. How does the serious problem of traffic jams arising from the ports and shipping activities affect your operations? Chief Danjuma: This is by far one of the biggest problems of port cities in Nigeria today, be it Apapa in Lagos or Warri or Port Harcourt in River State. The volume of cargoes leaving the ports and traversing the cities constitutes a bottleneck for traffic flow in these port cities. In Apapa, for example, this has been the case
Continues from page 34 presented by somebody or through a committee. It is difficult to say what is the position of the North at the confab. For instance, you have delegates from the Middle Belt who do not share some of the views that have been associated with
the North. In the same way, you cannot talk about a Southern position, because not everybody shares the same view. But beyond that, I saw the document as an attempt to indulge in posturing. This can happen when somebody wants something and he postures so that he can bargain with the other person. Some of those positions were outrightly unreasonable. Some of the arguments contained in that document were clearly anchored on ignorance. I have found that there is an appreciable degree of ignorance about the position of others among delegates at the conference. This often leads to mutual suspicion on the part of delegates from different parts of the country. However, some of this ignorance has fizzled out especially after various delegates have become better informed about the positions of their colleagues from other parts of the country. For instance some delegates did not know that there are parts of the Niger Delta where you have to first do sand filling before you can even talk about building a road. So, if you did not know about that kind of situation and you engage in posturing, the people of Niger Delta could consider such posturing as insensitive to their plight. At the same time, delegates from the South may not know the kind of situation people living in the arid North are facing. They may therefore not fully appreciate where delegates from that part of the country are coming from when they make their own contributions.
Musa Danjuma since the activities of the two seaports enlarged in the late 1990s. However, our appeal is that the transformation agenda of the President for the telecoms and power sectors should be extended also to the shipping and ports industries. If you consider the genesis of the problem you will see it flowed from the expansion of maritime activities. The volume of goods from the seaports which is transported by road continues to rise annually. In 2012 alone, for example, total throughput at Nigerian seaports was 24,914,764 metric tonnes. From 2007 to 2012, it was over 77 million metric tonnes, with a total of over four million containers, according to the Nigerian Ports Authority. In the 3rd Quarter of 2013, 9.5m tonnes of general cargo, petroleum products and containers passed through Apapa Port and Tin Can Island Port into
— Musa Danjuma
the city. But these statistics also mean a lot of money for the federal, state and local governments in the country. In 2013, for example, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) collected N833 billion in duties and levies, mainly from the seaports, and as at January 2014, NCS had collected N40.5 billion in import duties and other charges at Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports. What short- and long-term measures would you suggest as a remedy? Chief Danjuma: If you consider the sum total of the scenario, you will agree with me that the port sector is a money spinner that should be taken good care of. My suggestion is that for the long term, a new transport master plan for the busy port cities such as Apapa, should be embarked upon immediately. For Port Harcourt port, Abonema Wharf, and the city, a renewal of the port itself is called for because there is a limit to dredging the berths of a 100year old river port. The road infrastructure of Port Harcourt is also in need of such a new transport master plan especially since the new dredging achievements by Bonny Channel Management has made it possible for Maersk Line’s WAFMAX container carriers to berth at the Onne Port. This will cause a spillover of trucks from the port to pour into the city. As you know, the Onne road has sev-
Why militancy may return to Niger Delta, by Ledum Mitee Can you respond to an aspect of that document which advocated the reduction of 13 percent to five percent for the derivation principle in sharing national revenue? That is what I mean by posturing. For instance when you go to the market and somebody says he wants to sell a particular item to you for N100, you could respond by offering to pay N5. The idea is that the two of you could finally settle for a price somewhere in between his own price and what you have offered to pay. I think that even this debate on revenue sharing has not even gone as deep as I thought it should go. When I chaired the Technical Committee on the Niger Delta, we gave this issue a very serious and deep consideration. We looked at it from various points of view and spoke to several stakeholders including very important people from the northern part of the country. We listened to some of their arguments which we considered valid. For instance, some of them said they didn’t see the problem of the Niger Delta as requiring allocation of only more and more money. They raised the issue of corruption and demanded to know what had been achieved with huge revenue allocations that had been made to the Niger Delta in the past. They raised the issue of how the governors of the Niger Delta now buy more private jets for themselves while their people don’t even have roads. We considered that to be a valid point and we then posed the question of how to handle the situation. We advocated that rather than just allocating funds to the region, such revenue could be attached to things like infrastructures to ensure the funds are used for the benefit of the ordinary people. Another proposal we
presented was that such revenue allocations could even be invested on behalf of the affected states in a manner that would promote national unity. For instance, the Emirates Stadium in the United Kingdom was built by the United Arab Emirates as an investment in London. They used their oil money to invest in that project and they are now getting returns from it. But the investment also provides jobs in London. There could be an arrangement whereby the Bayelsa State Government could fund a textile factory in Kaduna. That would be an investment by Bayelsa State Government but it would provide jobs in Kaduna which that state would benefit from. I think these are some of the things that are lacking in the on-going conversation. You need to hear the other side. When some people argue that there should be no increase in revenue allocation, you could ask them why they say so. You could meet those who are opposed to your proposal half-way. If you are opposed to increased revenue allocation to the Niger Delta, we could then ask you to consider the cost of building a road in certain parts of Rivers and Bayelsa states. Such a person may then realize that what is needed to build a 100-kilometer road in some other parts of the country may only be enough for a five-kilometer road in the Niger Delta region. There is need for affirmative action in certain parts of the country. Some of the views that have been expressed by delegates is based on ignorance and the fact that there hasn’t been adequate consultation on how to handle some of these issues. I am also aware that there are delegates who have fixed positions on issues which is a confirmation that such positions were actually handed down to them by the
eral failed parts, so if the road network is not enhanced more bottlenecks will be experienced there. But if the suggested transport master plans for the port cities are embarked upon, this will ensure a better future for Nigeria as a maritime nation and secure the jobs of more people and cut off the scourge of the notorious poverty ravaging the land. In the short term, I suggest that failed roads and critical junctions that cause traffic jams such as Liverpool Roundabout in Apapa Lagos, Oil Mill Junction in Port Harcourt and the Onne road, for examples, should be quickly fixed by government to ameliorate the problem of go slows. In Lagos, something must be done to get tankers and trucks to stop parking along the highways. The Association of Maritime Truck Owners should be assisted to find a spacious park for their trailers and no trailer should leave the park unless its number has been called for loading inside the port. We have to get it right urgently because development experts have calculated that approximately US$7 billion will be invested into port expansion in West Africa over the next five years. Nigeria can only benefit from this foreign direct investment to the fullest if her port facilities have functional road and rail networks for seamless cargo delivery from port-land to the hinterland.
people they are representing. Such delegates find it difficult to be flexible and pragmatic during debates. This is quite regrettable. There is also need to explain that the application of 13 percent derivation formula is not restricted to crude oil alone. It applies to natural resources generally. For instance if a state has gold, it would be entitled to 13 percent of the revenue realizable from mining the gold. I think that our concern should be how to exploit all the resources in different parts of the country so that all other states that have different natural resources in their land could also benefit from this 13 percent allocation. We should stop focusing on oil and gas alone. That is why it now looks like a Niger Delta formula. Can you comment on the proposal also contained in the same document advocating for the scrapping of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta, the Amnesty Programme and component c of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme ( SURE-P) of the Federal Government and even the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB? Like I said earlier, this is all part of the posturing. To suggest that the NDDC should be scrapped is insensitive to the problems it was created to solve. The creation of the Ministry of Niger Delta was like an administrative response to what was considered a special area. For instance, in the United Kingdom the government of that country created a department to look after the affairs of Northern Ireland with a minister to handle it. The purpose is for the government to have a focal attention on an area that is considered to deserve affirmative action. I do not think that those who are advocating this kind of position have given sufficient thought to what could be the consequence.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 39
t the mention of Tafawa Balewa, people remember Nigeria’s late Prime Minister. What is your relationship with him? He was my father.
How come you are not prominent in Nigeria as one of the sons of the late Tafawa Balewa? I did not live here for almost 48 years, there are some other sons of the late Prime Minister who are here all this while, I just came back to Nigeria about seven years ago Since you came to Nigeria, what have you observed about the way we do things? I can say that we have impoverished attitude and there is no reason for that because Nigeria has a string of dynasties. The old kings, chiefs and other rulers should have been able to create wealth because there is a lot of wealth in Nigeria. It is just that in the most recent times, the wealth is not evenly distributed. Have you been following the political lines in Nigeria and, if you do, what is your impression? I do follow the political lines, and I see a lot of elected officials, people are so much into politics such that it has become a profession. We don’t have professionals as politicians. We have political professionals and that shouldn’t be since politics is a way of helping the people and understanding the people and wanting to bring some help to them from government. You came in from the United States. How is politics in US different from ours? One, whether it is a party in opposition or a ruling party, one thing is common to them: patriotism. What concerns the country concerns all of them. Here, what concerns the party is what they want to make to concern everybody else. When a party is in power, it only enables members to rip off the country. But these parties are more like clogs. They are supposed to have purpose, I don’t see that. They may have it on paper, but in practice it is not just there. What would you suggest to Nigeria to get its politics right. What are the fundamental things the country needs to put in place? The fundamentals are very simple, First of all, the parties need to have ideologies. In the United States, for instance, and in Britain and other developed or developing democracies, each of the parties will have a particular lead whether it is towards labour or towards established labour givers. Now we need to have a vision of what we want the country to be at some particular points. What is happening now are just elected officers coming in, ruling in whichever way they think is possible. Even though they travel round the world, they never really tried to see how things work in other places. They just go like tourists, go shopping and then they come back. Do you attribute that to African mentality? It is not because of our African mentality because we have seen other African countries where people have patriotism. Ghana is a recent example. Until Rawlings came in in Ghana, everything was running as it is in Nigeria. Then Rawlings decided to clean up the system, and it is a much better system now such that the US President visited Africa and never bothered to visit Nigeria, the largest black continent. The US President refused to visit us because we do not have what it takes to be known as a leader in Africa. Now the security situation in Nigeria is getting above the head. Are you not scared that the insecurity problem could pull Nigeria apart? I am not scared because when it comes to Nigeria getting pulled apart, the Nigerian person will sit up and fight to save the nation. This country needs to be ruled by people who know what they are doing and not people who learn on the job. We thrive on mediocrity which is a shame because Nigeria has a depth of capability. There are so many people in Nigeria that if given the opportunity to rule or work for the
TAFAWA BALEWA’S SON’S REVELATION
‘Mine was the first kidnapping in Abuja without ransom paid’
*Says he is under pressure to run for presidency Dr. J. Tafawa Balewa is the son of Nigeria’s late Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. In this interview, he speaks on politics in Nigeria, the state of the nation and his experience with kidnappers when, in 2011, he was abducted in Abuja. By OLAYINKA AJAYI nation, they will perform excellently. Why are you so optimistic that Nigeria can survive the security challenges currently bedevilling it? We have made so many mistakes. Right from the onset when these problems started, I didn’t see a reason why we couldn’t have learnt from other countries and then have some embedding. And what is embedding? This is
the training of people within our security services to go into the enclaves of the terrorists and decode their activities in no time. They should find out what these people really wanted and be able to report it back. We missed the opportunity when General Azazi was the NSA. It is a little bit late for Nigeria to do that now. At the moment we don’t know who these terrorists are. One of the simplest things in intelligence is to be able to find out where your opponents reside, terrorism or no
terrorism. Didn’t they found out what happened with the militants? Right now, all of these children that were stolen should have been found out immediately. There is one thing that is common to all mammals; they need water. The terrorists can buy food, they can buy clothing, and they can buy some other things. But they need the source of water to be able to cook their food. There are sources of water; we have
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PAGE 40—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE1, 2014
`I am under pressure to run for presidency’
I didn’t have, but I told him that if he got me where I was to go, he could get more than that, up to N5, 000. So we went in the rain and we ended up where my wife was supposed to be. Some of the security agents who I was ducking on the way now started shooting into the air. I knew either I would be dead or I had been rescued. It was later I got to know that three of the kidnappers had been killed by SARS and the one who tried to escape, they busted his femur, and they took him to the National Hospital. That was it. But mine was the first kidnapping case in Abuja without ransom paid.
the US and others are going to help us. I know that when the time is ripe, government would look for those who have satellite, for instance the K-band satel- the ethos to offer good and practicable lite which can see a can of coke from suggestions on how to get out of these the orbit. They should deploy that. problems. Even if we cannot use our satellite, there are so many satellites in the geoWhat do you think is the main probsynchronous orbit area, very close to lem facing this country? the equator that could be put to use. The main problem facing this country You cannot have a report that 10 Hilux is poverty and uneven or unequal dismoving and nobody could track them. tribution of wealth. There will always be Nobody has been able to say anything poor people in every country. A poor about that; we are only focusing on 234 person in the United States will live a girls. better life than a middle class person in
Continued from page 39
Now, some foreign countries are promising assistance to Nigeria on the need to rescue the girls. All along, Nigeria appeared to be laid back in calling for assistance. What can you say to that? It is not only laid back, one of the things that these people assume is that they don’t want western influence. Now, this is the mighty Nigeria that has been able to go to Darfur and bring peace, to Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire and bring peace. Now we want to look for help from these powers that the terrorists seem to be going against, of course they would even be more irate. If Nigeria is to get help from these people, it should not be public knowledge. It is really a bad diplomatic faux pass. I still believe the insurgents could be tamed. If you remember the problem of militancy in the south-south and how we came around to solve it and ended up with peace, then you can be rest assured that very soon, the problem of insurgency will end too in Nigeria. What advice can you give to this country containing insurgency? They need to have as many intelligence as possible, satellite capture essentially. We need to have scouts also. They cannot have embedding any more, but they need scouts within the population of those areas. We also need to find out what had happened from those who had been captured overtime. We also need to find out what happened from those that were captured overtime. We have had successes in capturing some of them. They have to be questioned. There are ways of making sure that truth emanate from them. I am not prepared to talk about ways of getting the truth from these people, but I know some ways to get the truth out of those in custody. Then we need to know who their sponsors are. Those types of news can be made public and not the kind of news that Britain,
Nigeria, whereas Nigeria is blessed with much better natural resources, much better land than most parts of the world. So, what we need is good leadership I understand that at a point in time you had a bad taste of our security lapses. You were kidnapped at a time here in Abuja. Yes, I was kidnapped! When was that and how? That was about three years ago during Ramadan. I was waiting for my wife to come back. She went to visit Ahmed Yayale’s wife. I had some Turkish and Pakistanis friends with me and I was going to break my fast with them. Some people entered and took us hostage because they had guns. They took all the rings, earrings, jewelries, and watches that my friends had. But when they released my friends and said it was me they were looking for, I knew it was serious because they usually go for expatriates. They know their embassies would be able to do something. Anyhow, they
If you talk about government trying to know what the terrorists wanted, can you really recall that they were, indeed, asking for the impossible. That is, islamizing the rest of the country and they have been uncompromising. Is that not a misplaced agenda, something that no one could immediately help? No, that is an assumption. We need to be able to get through to them. If embedding were done right from the start, we would have known a lot better. It is a little late now because obviously they would know some people were coming to be embedded into them.
**Dr. Balewa telephone number of my wife which was the only number I could remember. They were talking to her and I was kind of hinting her on the environment, I told her they were not maltreating me which they were not. These were young people who enjoyed smoking hemp with newspapers and some of them would go into the city to buy loaves of bread and peanut only for themselves. When the opportunity arose for me to escape, I knew which way to go because I already knew where the city would be. The day they were supposed to collect the ransom, they asked for N100 million which
Some of the security agents who I was ducking on the way now started shooting into the air. I knew either I would be dead or I had been rescued
blindfolded me and took me to some forest. On our way, I was trying to use my scouting senses. When I felt pressure in my ears, I knew we were climbing hills and I also realized that when we had a lot of fumes in the car, then we must be in some traffic jam where cars were standing still. When we got there, early morning, I got up and saw where the sun rose from. They removed the blind fold? They did. So, I was listening to the movements of cars which I reckoned were in far distance. I realised that there was a lot of movement and I knew those cars. I noted that when the noise from the cars was far away and the directions they were moving, my knowledge of physics told me that the owners were either moving to their different places of work in the morning and in the evening, probably returning to their homes. I tried it the following day and I could tell the direction of the city as well as the direction of where the people lived. I knew where the city was and I told myself that where they were going must be a densely populated place. It was during the fasting period and they refused to give me food. After a few days, they asked me for the
was negotiated down. I did not know how much was agreed at the end of the day. I waited for what seemed like eternity but not more than four hours. Then some of them went out and left behind a man with a machine gun. Obviously, they went to collect the ransom. I realised at a time that when they smoked the second wrap of their hemp, they were a little bit more relaxed. For one reason or the other, he too had to leave, and he warned me not to make any silly move, that he wanted to go to the toilet and that I shouldn’t go anywhere. I told him I didn’t know where to go anyway. What I had on was a white babariga that they kidnapped me with, and it was raining constantly when we were up on the hills. So when he left, I decided to go towards what I knew to be the city. I saw light way ahead and I did not know how far it was. I kept running and found myself in a Fulani settlement. I told them what happened and asked for phone to call my wife. My wife wanted to know where I was, but I could not tell her because I was not sure whether she had been kidnapped also. When she told me where she was, I asked them and they said it was far from where I was. One of them had a motor bike and wanted N200 which
What is your background like? I am a medical doctor and a specialist in infectious diseases. I also have a master’s degree in enzymology, that is enzyme kinetics and reactions. I also have a Ph.D in nuclear chemistry with a lean towards preservation of food, reduction of microbial load. Most African countries produce enough food, but harvesting techniques have been really bad. I believe, however, that Nigeria having a nuclear facility in food preservation can be a major achievement in Africa. That is what we are trying to ensure. We need people who can think outside the box to be able to achieve that. There are speculations that you are eyeing the presidential seat. Could that be true? It is speculation because I am not eyeing anything. The truth is that groups and organizations are coming out from different parts of the Nigeria to say, ‘You have what it takes to rule this country’. The last count I made, I think there were about 70 organisations who contacted me. I give lectures on some of the ills and what we need to do to correct those ills in this country. I have never shied away from anything and I have never failed in anything I do. It is still under consideration, even though these people are pressurizing me to come and run for the presidency of this nation. The reason is not just to run, but they know that my tentacles are deep worldwide and I am an encourager of people to do their best. I can bring in not only Nigerians that have done or are doing well in other places, create a home for them to come and do for their country what they are doing well in other places, just as I am doing, but can also make Nigeria more viable for investors. If Dangote decides to go into say telephony; you will see monies going after him because he is a doer. This is someone who has been able to do things well. The difference between someone who does things well and someone who doesn’t is that the former is able to do his homework well. We can encourage investors from all over the world to come and invest in our people which we are not doing now. Are you likely to give in based on the pressure? It is under serious consideration and consultations. If it is true that people actually believe in me to run the affairs of the country, I surely will join the presidential race.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 41
C M Y K
PAGE 42 — SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014
*A virtually empty ward at the FMC, Abeokuta. Inset: Mrs Funmilayo Odesan
‘We were abandoned to die’
*Suspended strike by FMC, Abeokuta health workers left some patients dead, many others traumatised.
BY DAUD OLATUNJI, Abeokuta
he mission statement
of Federal Medical Centres (FMC) across the nation is “to provide quality and timely clinical and other supportive services to patients and clients at a reasonable cost ...” But the opposite is always the case whenever the personnel goes on strike .For the record, FMC, Idi-Aba, Abeokuta came into existence on April 21,1993,when the State Hospital, Idi-Aba was handed over to the Federal Government by the then Governor Olusegun Osoba for development into a tertiary health institution for the people of Ogun State. And being a Federal Government hospital, it attracts patients from within and outside the state. Because of the “quality and timely” services alongside its cost which is cheaper, compared to the state government owned hospitals, many people prefer to be treated for ailments at the FMC. However, the situation at the FMC, Abeokuta, recently, was pathetic and agonizing as many patients were abandoned to their fate by aggrieved health workers who went on strike over the alleged failure of the management to promote their members from the cadre of Assistant Director to Director. Many of the patients were left to die. Speaking on the rationale behind the strike, Ogun State Chairman, Senior Staff Association, Comrade Samuel Idowu, who is also the leader of the FMC, Abeokuta Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, and the Public Relations Officer of JOHESU, Taiwo Tiamiyu, said the management refused to
shift ground on the promotion issue. Idowu, who described the strike as total and indefinite, lamented that his members who were supposed to be promoted from level 14, Assistant Directors cadre, to level 15 , Directors, had stagnated for years. “There is a circular from the Federal Ministry of Health instructing CMDs and the MDs to promote members of staff from level 14 to 15, Assistant Director to Director”, he stated. “The situation is that the strike is in full force. The compliance is hundred percent by our members. What gave rise to the situation is the penchant of the CMDs and MDs of Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centers to disregard agreements reached with the unions. So, what is playing out here is what we are also experiencing at the national level. This is only a unit of what operates at the national level. “We have been on this issue since 2010, the issue of skipping that our members are not allowed to do. We continued engaging them in meetings and it went to the level that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation had to wade in. I feel at that level, government was expressing its sincerity to listen to us. But, the disposition of the CMDs and the Ministry of Health in particular on this issue has been a source of worry, and that is why we are where we are today. “We had given the management a-21 day ultimatum after which they called us for a meeting. They asked for two weeks extension which we gave. After the two weeks, they reneged on their promise. That prompted us to give another seven days
ultimatum. By law, we should give them 15 days. But you can see that we had given them enough room to accede to our demand but they stood their ground. We have to take our destiny in our hands and embark on an indefinite strike”. Deadlocked meetings Present at the deadlocked meetings were the Medical Director, Dr. Oladapo Sotiloye ; Head of Clinical Services, Dr. Cynthia Akinsanya; Assistant
Director for Nursing Services, Mrs. Deborah Adesina, and Assistant Director for Works and Maintenance, Engr. Olusola Johnson, while the delegation of JOHESUunion was led by Idowu; Taiwo; Fagbohun Abosede, the representative of NANNM; Lateef Rahman, the NAAP Chairman; and Aboaba Adekunle. Sunday Vanguard gathered that no fewer than five patients at the FMC lost their lives hours into the indefinite strike. It was also gathered that some patients were locked in the wards for over inability to off-set their bills. Others who were discharged due to the strike went to private and state government owned hospitals for the continuation of their treatment. When our correspondent visited the FMC, it was deserted by patients and health workers. Only a few doctors and members of the management were seen. The Emergency Ward, the Pharmacy, the Labour Ward, the Antenatal and Post Natal Wards, the General Out-Patients Department, the Specialist Clinic, the Theatre, among others, were under lock and key. At the Gynaecology Ward, some patients were reportedly discharged but not allowed to go home due to their inability to pay their bills. Dead It was gathered that two patients died at the Emergency Ward, one at the Gynaecology Ward and two on their way to another hospital in Abeokuta after the strike started. The Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Segun Orisajo, said the management had met with the unions in an attempt to resolve the issue at stake. According to him, dialogue was on-going. “We are hopeful that normalcy will soon return to the centre”, Orisajo added. Recounting their ordeal , some of the patients and relatives
lamented that they were the most hit by the strike, appealing to the unions and hospital management to sheath their swords for their sake. One of them, Olaleye Abiodun, said he brought his sister from Agege, Lagos State but became stranded following the strike. “They had been attending to her very well, but, starting from yesterday (Monday), there have been some changes which saw the nurses abandoning her because they are on strike”, he said. Another patient, Olaleye Funmilayo, who was among those locked in the ward at the FMC said she did not leave the hospital because she could not walk. Mrs. Funmilola Odesan, who brought her mum to the hospital also shared her bitter experience. “My mum has been sick for almost two months now, necessitating our bringing her here. We were not told there will be strike. They just came yesterday and told us the strike was starting and we were automatically discharged. And we don’t have enough fund here, so we are stranded”, she stated. Mrs. Sola Bello, a patient, said, “Please, help us beg the Federal Government that they should save people’s lives. We are just here in pains. Yesterday, someone died here because they withdrew oxygen from her, it is not fair”. However, a doctor who did not want her name in print, was spotted in one of the wards in the hospital, attending to some patients. She described her experience as not too bad. She said “It has not been bad. The lesson is that we are not independent of the other personnel. We all need each other to deliver health care to our patients. That is just the lesson I am learning, but, by and large, I have been having fun with my patients that are still around”.
NPDC gets conditions to explore oil in Delta By Ephraim Oseji
rhobo People’s Right Monitoring Group (UPRMG) has given Petro leum Development Company Limited (NPDC) conditions under which it would be allowed to continue exploration of oil in Urhobo communities Delta State. They gave the oil company seven days ultimatum to meet with representatives of the different Urhobo oil producing communities, threatening that failure to comply with their request means they must vacate Urhoboland as they would be considered as trespassers whose leases over the lands have expired. The group, in a statement by Chief Sylvester Kowho and Mr. Alfred Serumeh demanded talks on eleven other items, including the one million US dollars contracts to be exclusively reserved for indigenous contractors. “Other demands include publications made for those contracts should be suspended in the case of OML 30 and 34 pending NPDC meeting and negotiation with this body. We also demand for 100% of unskilled labour, 80% for semi-skilled and management professional, 80% job slots for the people in Urhobo oil communities”, the statement said.
“We are also requesting that all community liaison officers of the company should be reserved for indigenes as well as 5% of production should be reserved for community development and 20% equity participation by communities in addition to NPDC remediating the environment.” The group which advised that NPDC must relocate back to the communities where SPDC has been operating in OML 30 and 34, also demanded that NPDC should immediately enter into meaningful and transparent negotiation with Urhobo oil producing communities on oil field by oil field basis and rejected what it described as the muddled up and divide-and-rule type of GMOU in which more than fifty communities with different oil facilities were lumped up in the name of GMOU. The group said the communities who chose to employ experts to negotiate for them must be allowed to do so, while NPDC should commence immediate payment of expired leases and rentals to the various landlords in the communities. It noted with regret that when the Shell Petroleum Development Company sold her interest in Urhobo land sometime in 2010/ 2011, it went away with billions of naira worth of unpaid expired leases and rents due to SPDC landlords in the area.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE — 43
08116759757 By FESTUS AHON
ingsley Muturu is the Chairman of the Delta State chapter of the Phase Two of the Amnesty Programme. In this interview, he speaks on the need for the Federal Government to create more programmes for youth empowerment, and support for President Goodluck Jonathan for second term among other issues. What is your assessment of the President Jonathan administration and his critics? Those who have been criticizing President Goodluck Jonathan in the northern part of this country have not been fair to him. Ever since Mr. President was elected in 2011, there have been killings, maiming and wanton destruction of property in a bid to destabilize the administration. They have done all manners of things to distract the President from implementing his transformation agenda but that notwithstanding, the President has favoured them much more than the southern part of the country in terms of juicy appointments and infrastructural development. Even in the Niger Delta, there have been pockets of complaints from the youths, but the truth is that most of the appointees from the region have disappointed the President and all the people. Apart from a few like Kingsley Kuku, most of them have been pursuing their selfish agenda and have deviated from the noble cause which the President has set for them. Niger Delta youths should
SIMON EBEGBULEM, BENIN CITY
r Emmanuel Momoh is the Chairman of Etsako Central Local Government Council of Edo State. Prior to his election as Chairman last year, he was whisked to Abuja prison by detectives following the crisis in his council that led to the death of three persons and destruction of several houses. In this interview Momoh relives his experience and the defection of some APC leaders in the state to PDP. Excerpts: Prior to your election, there was serious crisis in your council which led to the death of about three persons and you being taken to Abuja prison. What happened? Well, it is all part of our political process; it was an experience in my political life and something I have put behind me. That issue was as a result of conflict of interest, and these are still the same things, you are noticing, people trying to engage in personal vendetta. But, as a politician and a Christian every situation is meant to strengthen me and it also forms my conduct in this congress so that things that happened in the past don’t arise even when some persons try to resort to all kinds of manipulation. Whisking me to Abuja I went to the police station that day to see how we could resolve the situation in Etsako where houses were burnt and people were killed. I met with the DPO and before I knew it, the State Commissioner of Police, his
Why Amnesty Programme should not end in 2015,
He has always seen to it that all the ex-militants go for training in various fields and ensures that their monthly stipends are paid as and when due. Kuku understands the workings of the Amnesty Programme perfectly. Indeed, he is a square peg in a square hole. In fact, President Goodluck Jonathan should be very grateful to Kuku for carrying Niger Delta youths along. A lot of people have been complaining that the construction work on the East-West Road is very slow. As a Niger Deltan you say you are satisfied with the pace of the project? I agree with those who are saying the work is slow.
understand that it’s the appointees that are disappointing the people, because the President cannot be everywhere at the same time. I am using this medium to call on the President to flush out those appointees who have been found wanting and replace them with more capable hands. The President has really done very well even in the face of the security challenges facing his administration. I enjoin all Nigerians, particularly those in the northern part of the country, to support Jonathans programmes and policies. The President means well for Nigerians, so we should all support him for second term. The President deserves it and it should be given to him. We understand that the Amnesty Programme will end in 2015. As an ex-militant leader, what is your take on this? I don’t see any reason why the Federal Government should stop the Amnesty Programme. In fact, I
Muturu advise the Federal Government not to stop the Amnesty Programme because if you look at the past and the present, the difference is very clear in terms of peace in the Niger Delta and oil exploration, so they should not stop it because it has been of great benefit to the ex-agitators and the Federal Government. Most of the boys who did not have hope before now have hope because of the Amnesty Programme. For instance, through the Amnesty Programme, many youths in my community and other communities in the Niger Delta have been empowered. So what I am saying in a nutshell is that the programme has gone a long way in restoring peace to the Niger Delta, government should do all it can to sustain it. More youths should benefit from the
programme so as to effectively tackle the problem of unemployment in the oil bearing communities. Government should not think of stopping the programme, rather it should fashion out modalities to create more of such programmes for the teeming unemployed youths in this country; if this is done, ugly scenarios like that of the immigration recruitment exercise that led to the death of about 19 persons would be averted. What is your assessment of the Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty, Mr. Kingsley Kuku handling of the programme? Kingsley Kuku has lived up to expectation in piloting the affairs of over 30,000 ex-militants. He has done exceedingly well and he has been doing his best to carry everyone along and his achievements must be applauded.
Etsako killings: My story, by Momoh, council boss *’How Oshiomhole rose to the occasion’ deputy, all surrounded me. Initially, I thought I was going to Benin-City only to find myself in Abuja and I became the guest of the Inspector General of Police. In handcuffs, I was put in the cell. I want to thank the Comrade Governor who rose up to the occasion. It was a period he demonstrated love and all the leaders in my council were there for me as well at my difficult moment and I promised not to abandon him (Oshiomhole) when he needs me. Who were those behind your travail. Could they be PDP leaders? I don’t want to open any old wound. The only thing I want to say about that matter is that whoever killed those innocent souls and shed blood would pay for it either physically or spiritually in generations to come, that is what I pray for every day. It was a horrendous experience in prison but I believe God wanted to use it to strengthen me for the task ahead. I thank God I am alive today. Fulfilling electoral promises I have lived up to the mandate given to me by my people and I think those are the issues that are causing problem between me and some leaders. It is no
longer business as usual. People complain I am not always in the media because I don’t believe that building a maternity or schools is sufficient reasons to clap your hands because, first of all, we were elected to do those things. So, if you are doing it, you don’t need to do propaganda about it, because your records or scorecard will speak for you. What excites me is that I have been able to achieve and restore confidence in the minds of our people and that
Initially, I thought I was going to BeninCity only to find myself in Abuja and I became the guest of the Inspector General of Police
governance is for them. I think it was the failure of the past and that is why people are still talking about building maternity and schools because these are things that should be done ordinarily. The governor instructed you council chairmen to stay in your domains and not in Benin. How are you people complying with that directive? I live in a community and an environment that is very conducive and free from pollution. In fact, I enjoy it more than living in Benin. Even if we were not instructed to do that, I would have done it. I am enjoying the place and I love it because my presence create activities there. There is serious crisis in your party, the APC. Are you not worried? The so-called problems are normal in every political process and are bound to happen and I consider it as internal affairs of the party. No doubt, we are people of different shades and opinions coming together under one umbrella, so these things are no problems really. It is an internal family crisis and it will be settle internally because I believe strongly that the party has internal mechanism to
The road is very important to the people of the region as it cuts across all the states there. As a road for the people of the region that is the source of the wealth of the country, we expected that it will be given top priority. I am calling on the Federal Government to speed up the work for the use of the people because it is taking too long. If you observe what is going on with the road carefully, as the contractor leaves one section to the other, the parts already completed will be developing cracks. So government should really really step up its efforts to complete the road. Apart from that, the people of the riverine communities in the Niger Delta are in dire need of bridges across their areas to enable them access their communities. The people are suffering untold hardship and they even have to pay cut throat prices as transportation fare in speed boats. It is very expensive to travel in speed boats and this is biting hard on the people. I am calling on government to look at the direction of these people and do something meaningful for them.
settle it challenges. Some APC leaders recently dumped the party for the PDP. What is your take on that? The truth is that Oshiomhole is not somebody you can threaten. He has performed as a governor, the people love him; he is humble, he is well connected. The truth is that Oshiomhole is APC in Edo and APC is Oshiomhole; so let us not decide for ourselves. And that is why I said what you see now is not enough for any loyal party man to want to pull out from the party; people should consider a lot of factors when they want to leave a political party; they should asked themselves where are they going to? We are aware that some people went to Abuja to see the President because they are aggrieved but I don’t think the crisis arising from the congress is enough for anybody to want to leave the party. Those who are considering the option of leaving the party are doing that for personal reasons. But they accused they governor of being a dictator who wants to withhold the party structure. As a grassroots politician I know that every party at all level has it structure that it operates from. The governor is not a dictator but a leader that wants the right thing to be done. And as far as I am concerned, the structure of the party belongs to the governor because we all belong to one family and he is the head. Every structure in the state belongs to the governor and that is how it is run and I don’t see anybody contending with him. Anybody contesting the structure of the party with the governor is on his own.
PAGE 44 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, MAY 25, 2014
JONATHAN’S ASCENDANCY TO POWER
Northern leaders branded me a traitor over the President — Ex-SGF Yayale * SAYS HE WENT THROUGH HELL * ‘WHY NIGERIA’S BUDGET FAILS’ BY SONI DANIEL, REGIONAL EDITOR, NORTH
lhaji Mahmud Yayale Ahmad can be described as one of Nigeria’s outstanding technocrats, who has had the rare privilege of serving at the top echelon of the nation’s political class, public service and the defence institution. After a flourishing career with the Bauchi State Government and the Federal Civil Service, he was named the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation HoS in 2000 and was immediately announced as the Defence Minister upon completion of his tenure as the HoS in 2007. He was brought into the political power house of the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, in 2008. It was during his tenure as the SGF that the intrigue over the transfer of power from the ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan played out, leading to the adoption of the now famous ‘Doctrine of Necessity’ to salvage Nigeria from the brink. In this interview, Yayale speaks on his role in the battle to make or not make Jonathan President, how the ‘Doctrine of Necessity’ became imperative and how northerners accused him of selling out their interest to make Jonathan President. Yayale also reminisces on why the Yar’Adua administration granted amnesty to Niger Delta militants and what Boko Haram should do in order to enjoy same pardon. Excerpts: Looking at the way things are going in the country, are you worried, or disappointed like those who have predicted that the country will break up because of the dangerous signs that are visible? As a patriotic Nigerian, I’m worried and disturbed. Worried not because of the fear that Nigeria may break up tomorrow but because Nigerians, who constitute Nigeria as a people, are not sincere with themselves. I am worried because certain things that are happening these days should have been avoided. Ordinarily, Nigerians have faith in their leaders but most of the leaders do not have faith in the nation. So, what is basically
wrong is that there is near complete absence of patriotism and the commitment to the nation at the leadership level. When I say leadership level, it does not mean the President or those who constitute government. I mean every leader, including myself. I say so because ample opportunity has been given to all of us to really do something that is positive in terms of changing the fortunes of the less privileged but, over the years, we have really taken a different course of action by taking the interest of ourselves first, then others and the nation last. What I see as various happenings, especially those that will put the nation into threat or disintegration, are many but my worry does not extend to entertaining the fear that Nigeria will break soon. Why I say this is because I have studied the various groupings in this country, past leaderships, those who knew Nigeria, know Nigeria and are passionate about Nigeria and I have not seen a situation whereby some of these critical people have started to show lack of confidence in the federation. But if they start talking, I would be worried. Past leaders, politicians, military leaders- most of them do have the consensus that Nigeria should not be dismembered and this gives me hope despite all the challenges facing Nigeria. What is the way out ? The truth of the matter is that we have all wronged ourselves. We have wronged each other. It is not the issue of saying that the North or the Hausa Fulani have ruled this country for more than two thirds of the time and, therefore, responsible for all the crises; it is not the issue of the Igbo trying to secede and coming back; it is not the issue of the Yoruba trying to dominate the economy. Each of us wronged one another. Let us accept this as a bitter pill and identify the areas we have wronged one another, assess their implications and, with deeper sense of sincerity, apologise to one another. The second stage of coming out of our problem is to identify a political system and how to sustain it. How do we give
The second stage of coming out of our problem is to identify a political system and how to sustain it. How do we give viability to a political system? viability to a political system?. A political system is viable if it enjoys the support of the electorate, the party and the government. It will enjoy support from the party because parties are primarily created to sell their manifestoes and win election with a view to forming government either alone or in coalition with other parties. So, parties are not just created to be insulting or condemning one another or being smarter than the other. So, the whole regime of the political parties is not well entrenched as to assist the Nigerian political system. Both the so-called opposition and the party in government hardly recognise this vital role of making sure that the objective is to win election, form government either alone or in coalition and when they lose the election, they form a very credible, sustainable opposition that does not oppose the existence of Nigeria or does not work against the interest of the nation. This is for the party. And for the regime: Any regime in power-whether the party or the platform in which the President and other elected officials came
into being-must know one thing: once you are in government, you have to do what government is supposed to do. Government is an institution formed through election or appointment with the hope of managing the resources belonging to the union with a view to uplifting the quality of life of the populace. Once you miss this, you are in trouble. It should not be a government whereby its preoccupation would be that of sustaining itself for future elections and giving out resources in a manner that does not really touch the lives of the ordinary man. So, as far as governance is concerned in this country, it does not give support to a viable political system. Now I come to the electorate, whose decisions create government. They have to be very civic but in a very subjective political culture that we have in Nigeria, they don’t mind through which source a leader emerges with the result that since they are marginally attached or related to governance, all they think they should do is that during election they are bought to do the bidding of the leaders. So, in between them, you have the institutions, one of them being the electoral umpire-the electoral commission. Whether you call it independent or not, the main thing is that if it is not well established, well organised and funded to conduct election, you have a problem. In between INEC, you have other supporting institutions during election but, since all of these do not really perform their duties as it should be, you end up having an election that goes to answer a question and you will always have what we call the rigging culture in the Nigerian political system. Insofar as the means and ways of putting leaders into positions remain corrupt, so long as the
subsequent actions of these leaders in government will continue to be corrupt. I think the citizens have been held hostage by the system since it does not really allow votes to count and they should not be held responsible for the electoral misfortune of Nigeria. Why was this not possible during the First Republic? It is like the new leaders have fashioned a new political culture in Nigeria to suit their whims and caprices. Look, let me tell you, the people are to blame for the political problems we are facing today. But in reality how do we come out of the quagmire? We have to strengthen the political system. How? Do we need more laws to plug the loopholes in the political system? No, we have more than enough laws in this country. In fact, they are too many but our laws are like the proverbial elephants. It is like standing in front of a big town city gate and, as a stranger, you are afraid to go through it but the city dweller will tell you ‘don’t be afraid, go through it, it won’t harm you’. So all the laws are there but they are not effective. We only need to make them more effective. Unfortunately, the people who should make them effective are not sincere. This brings me to the absence of sincerity in the management of public affairs. This is the main problem with Nigeria. Does this also explain why budgets do not work? There are so many things that make our budgets not to work. Budgets that work are based on National Development Plans.
Continues on page 45
SUND AY SUNDA
Yayale: How Jonathan can make Nigeria work Continued from page 44 When we started in 1962, the first National Development Plan, everything went into it and nobody had any power to introduce any item of budget when it was not in the plan. There may be projects, whose life of completion may be three years in that development plan, which was based on five years; you therefore had to get what was called estimated cost of the project and you had also to identify the sources of revenue for that particular project. You had to make sure that all revenues were collected and were judiciously expended. Why we fail is that, basically, we have abandoned National Development Plans and anything short termed is never a solution. If you want to know, try short term marriage and see whether it is a solution to your problem. Without development plan, you are forced to resort to medium term or something else and you open the budgeting process to the whims and caprices of the political leaders-whether they are in the executive or in the legislature. They will dictate whatever project they want for their respective constituencies and the country ends up having projects whose relevance in terms of overall national development is not there and it can collapse with the exit of the ‘’owner” . This will then open up the whole public service to everybody that this man or that must be appointed whether you need him or not, thereby continuously increasing the number of heads and recurrent budget as it were. You do not spend all your recurrent revenue on recurrent services; you must make savings and transfer to capital. But you
Yayale...Failure of government is visible
find out that nowadays whenever people are defending budgets before the National Assembly, very little attention is paid to revenue drive, not knowing that people must be ready to generate every kobo that is budgeted for the year. Nigeria is dependent on oil, which often results in excess crude sales. So, the money is presumed to be available for spending. That is another reason our budget fails because of the over dependence on oil as a single source of revenue. It also explains why people, who are asked to collect revenue do not think it is their job to do so. But as people do not show commitment to revenue collection, the budget will remain deficient. That is one. Another thing is that while the national budget is being prepared, members of the National Assembly should ordinarily channel their requests through their party organisations so that the executive will have one budget. But since the advent of democracy, we have been having two different budgets both in terms of revenue and in terms of expenditure. In terms of revenue, they benchmark it. If the executive puts a benchmark, the NASS will raise it and, in terms of expenditure, if they put projects to be done, the NASS will have its own getting around them. This situation has brought about the formalisation of this alien way of
budgeting by what they call constituency projects apart from other projects, which they also influence. In budgeting system, this should not be allowed. The time it takes to consider projects is unnecessarily prolonged because in it there is also the fact that people are taking advantage of leakages and what they will get out of the negotiations. Having said that, by the time the budget is approved by the legislature, the executive hardly receives a budget that resembles what it proposed. So, there has been this kind of negotiations and horsetrading between the executive and the NASS over budgets. Nigerian budgets contain a lot of deficit financing which make capital projects to suffer and leads to an increase in internal debts for the nation. By the time it comes to implementation, which is the sad phase of budgeting, the most of the actors would like to be quick in implementing projects that have direct impact on their lives rather than on the life of the majority of the people.
Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014 — PAGE 45
all, under the chairmanship of the then Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, now Mr. President, and later on under the SGF, Babagana Kingibe, and later under the leadership of the Minister of Defence and later under myself but coordinated by the Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, we were able to identify these people, talk to them and sometimes meet continuously for two weeks and we knew exactly what they wanted. They had a defined territory and objective and it was easier for us to know what they wanted and what was happening. In the case of Boko Haram, they say they are in the Northeast, but they are invisible. They are invisible to the point that you can hardly trace them and they may be part of your household and you may not know. Secondly, their demand is such that is not economically based or a social emancipation. Their demand is, crudely put, a religious demand, which even the constituency of Boko Haram actors, that is Islam, is not comfortable with. And, basically, it is the responsibility of government to provide for everybody and, in the kind of Constitution we have, government does not have the right now to identify and adopt a straight religion and it is difficult for you to give amnesty
It is a failure of government. Even the Niger Delta crisis was as a result of government’s failure; the Boko Haram insurgency is of a different dimension. It is a failure of government You worked closely with the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, whose government granted amnesty to the Niger Delta militants at the peak of their agitation. Currently, we have the Boko Haram crisis and one would like to ask you if it is advisable for the Federal Government to do the same thing it did for the Niger Delta militants to the Boko Haram members as a condition for them to lay down their arms and embrace peace. Well, my simple answer to this is that if conditions are made the same, Boko Haram should enjoy amnesty but the conditions are not the same and they can hardly be made the same. Why do I say so? As you rightly observed, the Niger Delta militants were occupying a known territory, their objectives were known, their leaders were known, their locations were known. Even though the locations could not be reached because they were very lethal, we were able to make contacts with their leaders, who were not in the creeks. And having started series of meetings first of
to them. To achieve what? An Islamic state? It is a dilemma really. So what should we do to get out of the crisis in the land? We should apply more justice in our governance. What I mean by that is that when we are catering for people especially in those states where there is insurgency, we must do something that is peopleoriented. The continuous increasing recruitment of innocent boys and girls into Boko Haram means that government at the state or local government level does not really do what it is supposed to do in terms of the provision of basic necessities and asking or enticing these young men and women not to take to that particular way of getting money. If we have not paid particular attention to job creation, poverty alleviation and education, then we have a problem. But, more importantly, it is the complete lack of discipline on our own part. Chad and Niger Republics are poorer than us but there has not been this kind of serious insurgency in their countries because the system still works. So, is this a failure of government? It is a failure of government. Even the Niger Delta crisis was as a result of government’s failure; the Boko Haram
insurgency is of a different dimension. It is a failure of government. Before Yar’Adua finally passed on, there was a prolonged tussle for the transfer of power to the then Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. At the peak of the crisis, a strange option, which has now come to be known as ‘’Doctrine of Necessity” was adopted to bring in President Jonathan in the saddle. As the SGF at the time, what brought about the doctrine and what was it to achieve? Well, if you go a little bit into history, you will discover that the “Doctrine of Necessity” was first used in Pakistan in 1954, when the Chief Justice of that country ruled that the President had the power to dissolve the constituent assembly and this was not in the Constitution. But the judge knew that there would be some circumstances whereby unconstitutional actions would result in good governance and better management of crisis, thus the “Doctrine of Necessity” became imperative. In Nigeria, there are three specified ways of removing a President from office or to make him not to function. These have been clearly spelt in Sections 143 to 145. Section 143 talks about how the President should be removed through impeachment. Section 144 deals with how the members of the Federal Executive Council can by simple majority vote to remove a President if they feel that the President can no longer function. They can write to the NASS to remove him. Section 145 talks about the President transmitting a letter to the NASS that he can no longer function due to some factors of ill-health or incapacitation. President Yar’Adua could not be impeached because there was no reason for that. Secondly, it was very difficult to invoke Section 144 of the Constitution because not only were the cabinet members appointed by President Yar’Adua but because it would be very inhuman for a person, who was really in a very bad shape and their benefactor to be removed by the cabinet. Thirdly, we continued to argue during that particular period of uncertainty that President Yar’Adua and Vice President Jonathan enjoyed the same ticket and so whether he was declared acting or not acting President, it was the responsibility of government to continue moving. So many things happened whose details I would not like to reveal now. But at the end of the day, the NASS moved towards applying the “Doctrine of Necessity”. First of all, the members reasoned that the interview the late President granted the BBC was enough declaration that he was sick and unable to discharge his responsibility to the nation. So, they took it as informal communication and transmission of letter. Secondly, they invited the SGF to tell them the state of health of the late President. That we did and having confirmed to them that I had not had the opportunity to see or discuss with Mr. President
Continues on page 47
PAGE 46—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, 2014
The failed plot to impeach Oshiomhole, his deputy, Edo Speaker *Those who believe one man is God, may one man continue to be their God-Governor *Impeachment plotters are anti-development; we will resist them-Shaibu By SIMON EBEGBULEM
HE defection of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a former Secretary to Edo State Government, and his supporters to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was a political earthquake in the state. The mass defection did not come as a surprise to many following their complaints that the congresses of the All Progressive Congress (APC) were skewed to frustrate them out of the party. Though Ize-Iyamu can be said to be a political tactician, that cannot be said about other leaders who left with him. Since the defection, Ize-Iyamu, a very close ally of Governor Adams Oshiomhole when the going was good, has not failed to use any opportunity at his disposal to unleash verbal missiles at Oshiomhole. In a TV programme in Benin-City, which the former SSG during the Lucky Igbinedion administration tactically granted last Monday, the same day the APC held its state congress, he alleged that the governor had, on several occasions, promised him governorship in 2016, just as he debunked the insinuation that he received several contracts from the state government. He accused the governor of destroying the APC in Edo and warned that the APC will not win any seat in the 2015 general elections. However, when it became clear that Ize-Iyamu was leaving the party, Oshiomhole invaded his camp and some of his foot soldiers such as Lawrence Orka, regarded as his field marshal in Edo South, rejigged. Elder Patrick Igbinaken also denied resigning from the APC, saying he was deceived to attend a meeting where he and some others purportedly resigned from the party. Igbinaken, Chairman of the defunct ACN in Ovia North East Local Government Area, said as a founding member of the APC, nothing could make him desert a house he helped to build. While this was happening, royal fathers in Edo South paid a visit to Oshiomhole and expressed their support for his administration. They described the defection of the members as selfish and urged the governor to disregard them. The Enigies, numbering over 60, said they were happy with the developmental strides of Oshiomhole, especially in Edo South and have absolute confidence in his government. The Chairman of the Enigies, Edomwonyi Iduozee Ogiegbaen, the Enogie of EgbaenSiluko, and five other royal fathers spoke on behalf of the Enigies. According to Osazu-
wa Idurase, the Enogie of Eyaen, the reasons given by Ize-Iyamu for defection are selfish and not in the interest of the people of the state.
n an address by the Pub lic Relations Officer of the Enigie, Professor Aduwa Ogiegban (the Enogie of Ogbeson), the royal fathers said, “Everybody that is here today is representing a community. Everyone of us is authentic and nobody is fake. We have watched over the years as you provide development across the nooks and crannies of the state; from Edo South to Edo North. But we are from Edo South and we will be concerned with that in this visit. You are about six years in office now and we have seen the changes that have taken place in Edo South. We appreciate you because you are God-sent. Prior to your coming as governor, we know what our senatorial district looked like; it was shoddy, dirty, no good roads, no potable water, health facilities were in shambles. We are here to appreciate you for the development you brought to Edo State and Edo South in particular. Some people said you have not been carrying them along but all the Enigies here and those at home have come to say that we have been carried along by you. Some people said that your government is a one-man show, we know better than that and if by one man’s show, they mean the government of Oshiomhole for the generality of all, and not for the few, so be it. If that is what modern democracy looks like, we will take it”. The royal father cited some areas where the governor has performed wonderfully to include Sapele Road, Mission Road, Airport Road, Siluko Road, New Lagos Road, 5 Junction, Uselu Road, Ogan/ Igbanke Road and Urhonigbe/ Urohmili Road. “The educational sector has been transformed and health centers have been built and facilities provided where there have been none. You provided succor for our children. Many schools have been renovated and wearing the red- roof. We know you are going to do more. The problem is that you started from the scratch. There was not much for you to build on. In some parts of the state, you went down the deep sea to provide clean water for the people and that is where some people feared they would get drowned in the deep blue sea. Those who are going home, the so-called home that is in ruins, allow them go because we do not want to return to the dark ages which they took us to some years back. The era of the Stone Age is over. We want to tell you that gone are the days
Gov. Adams Oshiomhole
Dr Pius Odubu
APC is not at war with PDP. APC recognised the legitimacy of PDP, and we are here to contest on the basis of ideas but we are all united in a commitment to build a great nation when the Enigies were referred to as uneducated people is gone. We are on the path of development”. But the state chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, condemned the visit of the Enigies, to the governor, accusing Oshiomhole of alleged attempt to drag Edo royal fathers into politics. The Enogie of Obazuwa and younger brother of the Oba of Benin, Prince Edun Akenzua, described Orbih’s comment as insulting and urged the PDP chairman to apologise to the royal fathers.
owever, the political tension in Edo heightened last week after Sunday Vanguard learnt about an alleged plot to impeach Oshiomhole; his deputy, Dr Pius Odubu; and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Uyi Igbe. It was reliably gathered that the plot was masterminded by members of the APC who recently defected to the PDP including their lawmakers and some leaders of the PDP in the state. It was alleged that the lawmakers who were expected to execute the plot received N30million each while N20million will be added to it later. The plot was said to be geared at causing crisis in the state so as to give the PDP the opportunity to win the majority in the state House of Assembly and National Assembly elections come 2015. If the alleged plot to impeach the three succeeds, one of the lawmakers, who recently defected to
the PDP is expected to transform from Speaker to governor.
ith the recent defec tion of four APC law makers to the PDP, the PDP remains in the minority. But with eight PDP lawmakers against APC’s 16, Sunday Vanguard learnt that there were strong moves to induce more lawmakers to back the plot. The Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Mr Philip Shaibu, who reacted to the situation, said: “We are aware of their plot but they will fail. My joy is that we have lawmakers here who believe strongly in the developmental strides of the Comrade Governor so they cannot never be part of such plot to impeach the governor. We are very much aware of all the moves they are making to destabilize the state, to ensure that the Comrade Governor does not continue his developmental efforts but they are wasting their time. The problem with some people is that they now think like God, they act like God but what they fail to understand is that when the majority of the masses are with the Comrade Governor, God will always protect him and his administration. Oshiomhole, who reacted to the defection of the APC members and some of the allegations levelled against him by Ize-Iyamu during the Monday state congress of the APC, said: “A rolling political stone
Mr Uyi Igbe
cannot make a difference. Those who rolled on those that left the party were people who insisted that I should unilaterally decree them as the governor of Edo; there is no way they can fit into the logic of APC. Those who insist that I should appoint them as Chairmen of APC because they were chairmen before, there is no way they can fit into this democratic setting. Those who insist that I should make them woman leader whether or not the women want them, they cannot fit into the logic of change. Those who insist that because they cannot get what they want then they can move on, it is important that we assist them to move. Those who insist that no man is God who now affirmed that man is God, may man continue to be their God. Let me remind all of you that I am a thorough democrat, I understand the principle of multi-party democracy, APC is not at war with PDP. APC recognized the legitimacy of PDP, and we are here to contest on the basis of ideas but we are all united in a commitment to build a great nation. We might not agree on everything, which is why we have built an alternative political platform. Let me remind all of you that my fight to liberate Edo people is not a personal fight. Indeed those who have moved on, they started fighting not on the basis of Edo people but over their own ambition.” Anslem Ojezua emerged as the Edo Chairman of the APC at the state after other chairmanship aspirants stepped down. Others elected include Gentleman Amegor (Vice Chairman), Osakpanwa Eriyo (Youth Leader), Chief Osaro Idah (Secretary) and Comrade Godwin Erhahon (Publicity Secretary). The battle line has been drawn and the political tension in Edo is expected to remain as charged as ever till the end of the 2015 general elections.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 47
Ekiti’s search for governor By TUNJI ADEGBOYEGA “Anybody that our children will not see as a role model, I will never endorse such a person. We don’t want a governor who will pass under the barbed wire (at an international airport).We can no longer afford a governor that people will be asking ‘what is wrong with them’ in Ekiti.”
former governor of Ekiti State, Olusegun Oni, hit at the heart of the matter that is fast becoming the defining issue in the gubernatorial election scheduled for June 21 in Ekiti State. Oni spoke at the endorsement rally in honour of Governor Kayode Fayemi in Ekiti State capital, Ado Ekiti. It was a succinct summary of a factor that has steadily got into the front burner of the campaigns in the state. He referred to the issue of character, integrity and honour of candidates in the election. The frontline contenders for the office remain the incumbent, Kayode Fayemi, a former governor, Ayo Fayose, and member of the House of Representatives, Opeyemi Bamidele, with the race being a clearly two-horse race between Fayemi and Fayose. It is not surprising that the issues about the candidates have become a major consideration in the campaigns. The Ekiti people have traditionally prided themselves as people who cherish integrity and honour. This self-adulation has been
strengthened by the emergence of the state with the largest concentration of university professors and icons of major professions like law that worship integrity and honour. Indeed, the motto of the state, ‘Ile iyi, ile eye’ (Land of Honour)’ captures this general perception of the Ekiti people. The politics of Ekiti since the return to democratic rule in 1999 has also played around this perception. The period between 1999 and 2003 was one widely regarded as quiet years under former Governor Adeniyi Adebayo. Adebayo’s exit in 2003 ushered in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) years of Fayose. It was a period that Ekiti strolled to the front pages of the media with reports of violence and brigandage. The PDP was reeked with crisis and as Fayose’s relationship with the then President Olusegun Obasanjo became strained, the local crisis in Ekiti snowballed into a national crisis. In quick succession, controversies weaved around violence, brigandage and allegations of sponsored murders became intertwined with internal party strifes and allegations of corruption and official malfeasance. In a spectacle that placed the state in a class of its own, Ekiti produced three governors within two weeks raising serious questions about the use of presidential powers of declaration of state of emergency, the powers of the House of Assembly to impeach a governor, the propriety of the anti-corruption agency, EFCC, playing the attack dog for politicians and the credibility of the state leadership. As Fayose faced the onslaught of Nuhu Ribadu’s EFCC,
‘People misconstrued my acceptance to serve as SGF’ Continued from page 45 they saw that he was incapacitated. Lastly, the Governors’ Forum was so eager to move forward because those of them, who thought that trying to hold the nation would be beneficial to them, started to see no hope in the survival of our late leader. They were quick enough to go to the other side and say that they havd saved the nation. So the NASS heard all these and after some advice from jurists, they found it very easy to adopt and declare that the late President was no longer capable of running the affairs of the nation and, therefore, under that particular circumstance, the Vice President should act. This is not in the Constitution but it was desirable to save a precarious situation and that is why it is called “Doctrine of Necessity”. But you and some others were branded as being among the hawks, who attempted to stop Jonathan from taking over? Well, in most cases, from what I saw in the newspapers and the text messages I received, I was declared an enemy by some northern people that I was serving Jonathan. I was insulted especially by the group which was bent on pretending that my friend, boss and leader, Yar’Ádua, was okay. They even took me to some Emirs that I was selling out the interest of the North but one of the Emirs told them that I was doing my work as the SFG. The emir told the northern people that I had maintained that if I was not removed as the SGF, I would continue to covene meetings of the FEC because I had to
invite the members against threats from lawyers that I was doing that illegally and should stop but I ignored them. How did you get to all the top posts you occupied in Nigeria? Did you lobby for any one? It is not good for me to answer that question because if I say I did not lobby for any, some cynics would still not believe. But I would like to challenge anybody who would say that I lobbied for the positions I occupied in life. But I would say that I lobbied greatly from my creator who continued to protect me and give me the positions I occupied. But of all the posts you occupied, which would you describe as the most challenging? Indeed, it was the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation that was the most challenging to me. This is because at the time I took over from Babagana Kingibe, who is my very good friend and brother, people were saying that I was bent on taking away the office from him and it was very embarrassing to me because people just wanted to plant tell lies against me. I know how many times the late President Yar’Adua wanted to make me to take over as the SGF and I did not show interest. Secondly, I knew that to be an SGF at a very trying period, one had to stop everything personal and concentrate on the job. Personal enjoyment was not for me because I made sure that I served my master to the best of my ability. Thirdly,
Gov Fayemi another frontier of crisis was opened in the parliament embarked on his impeachment over sundry allegations. On a quick trail of Fayose’s subsequent impeachment came the controversy of who was the succeeding governor between the deputy governor, Abiodun Olujimi (who was deemed to have been impeached with Fayose), or the Speaker of the House of Assembly (who constitutionally steps in the absence of governor and deputy governor). Obasanjo was to expectedly intervene with the declaration of a state of emergency and the appointment of a fellow army general, Idowu Olurin, as the
there were occasions whereby relations between ministers and other actors and or minsters of state became very challenging and we had to do some corrections. Fourthly, when Yar’Adua came in, there were merged ministries and in order to get more ministers, we had to de-merge them and I was given that responsibility, which was very challenging. Lastly, during the transition crisis before Jonathan took over, I was almost left alone and I suffered not because I could not have joined but because I thought that the nation was more important than anybody and if I could lose my chair because I was part and parcel of the national conscience that says that we should do the right thing, I would not have regretted. But I went through hell but I am very strong and I survived because I believe in my creator. Do you have any regrets in all the actions you took while in office? There are so many actions that I took while in office. Some were harsh but I take full responsibility for them and have no regret. Do you remember any of them? I do but I will keep them secret until I write my memoirs. What makes you happy and sad about Nigeria? I am always happy and proud about Nigeria because any where you go you see people who are genuinely happy, ordinary people who love each other. I am also happy to be part of a big nation that has a big share of influence in the world. I am happy to be a Nigerian because despite all the challenges we are developing solutions gradually to survive. What makes me sad about the country is that we have a bunch of insincere lots in terms of the leadership and the elites. The
administrator of the state. It was a testy period for Ekiti. This, among others, was what Oni referred to when he narrowed the present gubernatorial contest to the search for a role model for the children of Ekiti. This has given impetus to the candidacy of Fayemi. In three and a half years, Fayemi has run a government that is devoid of any controversy. In Fayose, the state was almost permanently in the news for the wrong reason. The first was on the name of the governor: Is he Fayose or Oluwayose? There were also issues about his educational credentials; whether he attended the Polytechnic of Ibadan as he claimed or not? There were also squabbles in the Fayose family with the governor battling his siblings in the media about issues including where to bury his late father. Then came the controversial N2.5billion poultry project through which Fayose said he wanted to turn Ekiti State to a major player in the national poultry business. The controversy generated many legendary tales of its own. That was the beginning of the N2.5b poultry saga that culminated in the coming of the EFCC into the story, the impeachment of Fayose and the declaration of a state of emergency in Ekiti. Contrarily, it has been a quiet period in Ekiti under Fayemi. Indeed, the governor has received endorsements of prominent indigenes of the state for the numerous projects of his government particularly in the areas of infrastructure development, social security, gender equality and development, youth empowerment, promotion of knowledge economy and the restoration of respect for Ekiti people.
*Adegboyega is a public affairs commentator
percentage of sincerity being applied to governance is less than 10 percent and if we have gone up to 30 percent, Nigeria would have been a better place for everybody. Sadly too, we don’t care about the monster called corruption. We are deeply in it and even if you are not corrupt in the country, and no matter how white your dress is, once you pass through a palm oil seller you will find a dot. That is Nigeria. Given what the country is passing through today, what advice would you give Mr. President in order to move the country forward? First of all, I would advise him to be a statesman rather than a leader coming from a political party. He should know that he is the father of the nation and, as the father of the nation; he has both bad children and good ones. But as the father of the nation, he also has brothers and cousins, who are always with him surrounding him as advisers. He should be bold enough to look critically into his team and get advisers, who will be committed, passionate, and patriotic and have the interest of the nation at heart. He should de-emphasise the issue of patronage and emphasise the issue of good governance. This cannot be done if the whole system is geared towards maintaining an election chair rather than maintaining a legacy of service. Politics should be public service and not a commercial venture and he should know that God has given all what it takes to be a man and really have that confidence to tell the people the truth and act the correct way. We should continue to identify things and continue to do them correctly over the years. If this is done, he would find that mischief makers would not find a place with the man called Goodluck Jonathan.
PAGE 48— SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, 2014
BOOK SERIAL: Winning by Tunji Odugbesan
the mind game of life,
TIME AND ETERNITY
HE Bible categorically states that there was a first day (Gen. 1:5). The pertinent question is: ---Where was God (and the angels and demons) before this first day? For God to have commanded light, HE (God) must have been in existence before then. The Bible itself answers this question for us; first off, in respect of God and (by extension) in respect of all the other spirits. In Isaiah 57:15a, the Bible says God inhabits eternity (KJV). But was that where He was before the first day? The idea of living forever, or what is also referred to as eternity, denotes a situation of His living for all time. ALL time consists of a combination of the past, the present and the future. So in effect, eternity is a situation where the past, present and future are all rolled into one. Eternity has also been defined as “world without end” but what does that really mean? To understand this concept, let us start by stating the fact that everything that has a beginning must have an end; for example, life, events, etc. So when we say “world without end” we are also saying a “world without a beginning”. But how is that possible? Very simple; remove time and you have it. Time is what gives a beginning and
an end. So eternity is a situation where the dimension of time does not exist i.e. it is a situation of timelessness. Therefore, time is of very fundamental importance on earth. When a person’s life finally ends its timely course, he transfers to the spiritual because at that point, the only part of one that has an essence is the spirit. While we are in the physical, we inhabit a physical world; by extension, spirits should (and do) inhabit a spiritual world. Since God is a Spirit, it then means that where He inhabits must
be a spiritual world which is also called the “highest heavens”. We can then infer that the spiritual world is synonymous with heaven which has a “time” frame called eternity. Knowing that time is the essence of a day, we can categorically state that what God was creating that first day was really time, without which there would not have been ‘day’. If we were to ask who knows what would happen tomorrow (or even one minute into the future), it would be almost impossible to get the correct answer. We are all aware that no man knows tomorrow but most people will say, “Only God knows tomorrow”. Let us backtrack a bit and remind ourselves of the fact that we have just said that all spirits live in a world where past, present and future are all rolled into one (timeless) zone a.k.a. the spiritual, a.k.a. eternity. Therefore, spirits have no time constraint; they can enter any time zone to see what is about to happen. God is everywhere at the same time-so no time or distance constraint. Angels are spirits (no time limitation), but being individuals they have a ‘distance constraint’. Man lives in a world governed by time and has been created as individuals, meaning we have both time and distance constraints. As a result of these limitations, man needs God desperately for a successful existence. With the two constraints of this physical
world, one of the greatest prayers anybody can pray for you is “May you be at the right place at the right time”. If you are at the right place at the wrong time or vice versa, you cannot receive your blessings. The only thing devils need do, to manipulate and frustrate a life, is to make sure she is not at the right place at the right time. The explanation of the consequences of these two constraints and the way to liberate oneself is the major reason for this book. With no time constraint, Satan knows your tomorrow thereby knowing God’s plans for you (the promise of that great “future” in Jeremiah 29:11). He knows where you have to be and also the particular time you have to be there for God to bless you. But fortunately, just as Satan knew that Jesus was on earth to save mankind but didn’t have a clue as to how it would be done, so does he not know the underpinnings of God’s modus operandi for your “future”. So the only way he can hit you is if you give him the right by sinning. The only thing he needs do is ensure that you are not at the right place at the right time. And to accomplish this, he talks to you at the spirit level, using the knowledge that he has of you…because ---at the spirit level---we are all naked. Watch out for, Satan knows you better than you know yourself next Sunday.
RIGHT TO REPLY PAUL SPOKE THE MIND OF GOD CONCERNING WOMEN By YEMI AKPERI
EMI Aribisala’s article entitled Paul’s Male Chauvinism Against Women published in the Sunday Vanguard of January 26, 2014 queried male headship in the church. God’s intent about headship in creation is the premise for this response. Genesis 1:26 emphasizes man’s creation, humanity is presented as man “Let us make man…” Genesis 1:27 underscores, that man came from God and bears resemblance to God and thirdly male and female were created, this becomes the first mention of sexuality. In Genesis 2 there is a paradox, God saw that it was not good for the man to be alone. The woman was later created and presented to Adam, for naming, thereafter the first human words ever recorded were: “This is now bone of my bones…she shall be called woman...” (Gen. 2:23). Naturally as the first to be created, the man is the senior.
econdly, specific roles were given to them based on their sex, the man was in charge of the garden, while the woman was
his helper. Thirdly, the woman was made from the man and for the man. They share the same bone which shows love and equality, but she was made for him, and from him. Her creation is partly dependent on the man. Fourthly, it was Adam that named Eve; this prerogative was given to Adam, by God and in naming Eve, Adam demonstrated to Eve, her identity as defined by him.
n addition, Genesis 2:24 states: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife…” This implies that it is the man that initiates the process of marriage, by leaving his own family to plan a new house-hold. Furthermore, the word helper suggests the woman’s supportive role to the man. The Bible does not prove that the concept of a helper subtracts subordination. In Genesis 3, this divine arrangement was usurped by the woman which led to the fall and God called Adam; “Where are you?” God knew it was the woman that was deceived, but He instead inquired from the man who He entrusted with the headship of Eden.
The most potent description of male headship came as one of the punishments, meted on the woman after the fall: “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Gen. 3:16b). Adam’s punishment was meant for humanity such as toiling the ground to eat and death.
eborah, a heroine in Biblical narrative, was mentioned in Aribisala’s article as a leader over men. In as much as we all agree that Deborah was a judge over Israel which encapsulated influence over men and women, her case was unique and the only one. Deborah’s introduction is however significant, as it clearly described her role(s) Judges 4:6. She, “was a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth was leading Israel at the time.” Remarkably, Deborah after being described as a prophetess was further acknowledged as wife of Lappidoth. This clearly portrays her as a faithful wife, subservient to her husband’s rule which was the contextual attribute of a virtuous woman during that era. Her subordination to male headship is further revealed
when Deborah said: “I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, the honour will not be yours, for the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman (Judges 4:9) Deborah was reluctant to assume the role divinely appropriated, to a man. Judges 4:9 is an indictment of male weakness to seize leadership in Israel. Barak exemplified it. Deborah was not a priest, Israel never had any female priest, but prophetess. God’s design of the family is for men to be head while women help; the challenge and agitations today regarding the roles of male and female, evolved from Satan, not God. Paul’s epistles, concerning women have its moorings on God’s role distinctions for every member of the family.
vangelical feminist agita-tion, that women can assume leadership roles over men in church, is not backed by scripture; but by echoes of sentiments and emotions evolving from worldliness. The crusade for equality amongst the sexes is a replay of Satan’s ploy in Genesis 3. African culture is in tandem with biblical culture with
regards to family headship. In Africa women of virtue are expected to be silent, when their husbands are talking. It signifies good upbringing and an understanding of her role as a wife; it does not undermine her gifts. The Christian family is a microcosm of the Church: Christ is the head of the Church (bridegroom) believers are his body (bride.) However, women should not be treated as servants or slaves by men, they both carry God’s image, only different roles. In conclusion a preview of the New Testament books (not my present praxis) reinforces male leadership role. Jesus’ disciples were all male, why were the Marys and Marthas not included? Jesus discarded obnoxious traditions, yet he maintained culture in selecting his disciples? The seven deacons were all males (Acts 6 and Rev. 4:10) mentioned 24 elders; males again! Paul’s letter was a reply to the problem of women speaking in churches. We do not have that letter; we only have Paul’s reply. *Yemi Akperi writes from Benin City <email@example.com>
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 49
T the Feast of Tabernacles, Je sus stood and cried out, saying: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7: 37-39). However, no one seemed to be interested in what Jesus was offering. No one asked him for a drink of this socalled living water.
“Clarus, which water was he talking about?” “He said living water.” “What kind of water is that?” “Frankly, Gringory, I don’t know.” “Is it as good as Coca-Cola?” “Actually, I think he was talking about spiritual water.” “What do you do with spiritual water? Can you serve it to your friends at a party?” “I doubt it.” “I don’t think Jerusalem is ready for that kind of water. Of what consequence is living water when what you want is Coca-Cola?” God says: “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns---broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13). According to Jesus, there are two types of water: natural water and living water. Of the two, the prescribed choice is living water. Jesus says: “Everyone who drinks of (natural) water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of
SALVATION FROM COCA-COLA AND FANTA water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14). What precisely is Jesus’ living water? It is the Holy Spirit.
Christians suppose all Christians have the Holy Spirit. We presume that we receive the Holy Spirit at the point of our conversion. We declare we are born again once we answer an altar call. However, most of us fail Jesus’ litmus test because we continue to thirst. If we truly have the Holy Spirit, we would not thirst again. But what kind of life would we have if we never thirst again? How then would we be entertained? Surely a person who does not thirst must be dead. Such a person would no longer be able to enjoy life. We want to be able to thirst, but to have a constant supply of delectable drinks whenever we want them to satisfy our thirst. We want to be able to hunger, but to be able to satisfy our hunger readily with lavish plates of food. Therefore, we reconfigure a more palatable construct to Jesus’ statement. We insist we have the Holy Spirit, in spite of the contradic-
Of what consequence is living water when what you want is Coca-Cola? tion whereby we continue to thirst for the vainglories of this world. We really need to sort out these contradictions with the Lord beforehand. Otherwise, he might mistakenly send us to the wrong heaven. Who wants to get to heaven and find out that it does not have the good things of life? Who wants to get to heaven only to discover he cannot enjoy sex there? Who wants to go to a Promised Land that does not have the leeks and cucumbers of Egypt? Who wants to trundle through life having to eat manna every day instead of Kentucky fried-chicken? Surely, the heaven that is truly heavenly is the one where we can have our cake and eat it too.
Let no man deceive you: the life Jesus offers is the spiritual life. He came that we might have a full and enriching personal rela-
tionship with God. That is why he gives us God’s Holy Spirit as down-payment. “But Lord Jesus, we don’t want spiritual life. We want physical and material life. We want the life of eating the best foods and drinking the best drinks. We want the life of living in the best houses, driving the best cars, and having the best jobs. We don’t want the life of carrying our cross and denying our self.” For the children of Israel, the route to a Promised Land flowing with milk and honey turned out to be a wilderness. There was no pipe-borne water, no television, and no edikaikong soup. Therefore, they mumbled and grumbled and wanted to go back to Egypt. Alas, many Christians are caught in similar conundrum. We have been seduced by the “prosperity gospel.” Nevertheless, we are out of pocket; unemployed, without accommodation or unmarried. Therefore, we are also mumbling and grumbling through this wilderness of life; just as the Israel-
ites did to disastrous effect. Esau did not value spiritual life. What is the value of spiritual life when a man is hungry? What is the value when he is horny? Esau did not value his birthright. But someone else did. Esau traded eternal life for a plate of rice. He traded eternal life for a night of passion. It was just one sexual fling, but he caught AIDS. It was just one night of illicit sex, but Bathsheba became pregnant. But much later, Esau came to appreciate his birthright. On his father ’s deathbed, he sought it carefully with tears. But, alas, it was too late. We die in sin not because we cannot obtain eternal life, but because we reject it. We don’t want it. It is costly and we don’t want to pay the price. Jesus says: “any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14: 33).
One day, the Lord said to me: “Femi, I want you to stop drinking Coke and Fanta!” I have never fought the Lord with as much ferocity as I did on
Omega celebrates 10th year of God’s awesomeness, honours partners BY
HILE Nige rians were celebrating democracy day, a group known as Omega Worship Group was hosting its annual Evening of Hymns and Spiritual Songs at the Ikorodu Town Hall, Lagos. Theme was: “His Dwelling Place.” The inter-denominational programme featured a praise and worship sessions among others. The programme coordinator and president, Omega Worship Group, Pastor Ebenezer Sofowora said the group with its partners had been propagating true worship for the past 10 years. He explained that through the worship programme, the group has been uniting the Body of
Christ to offer acceptable service unto God. Explaining the awesomeness of God in their sermon, Pastor Seun Aderibigbe and Pastor Damilare Adeboye told the participants that God is beyond description as His presence and mightiness is felt everywhere man turns. Pastor Aderibigbe urged the crowd to acknowledge God in all their endeavours and live according to God’s precepts. Highlighting the importance of dwelling in God’s presence and praying for peace and stability in the country, Pastor Adeboye who is one of the sons of the General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Adejare Adeboye, advised Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of praising and worshipping
that one. Coke and Fanta were my favourite drinks in the world. They were non-alcoholic, non-intoxicating and relatively cheap. Why then should I have to give them up? “Show me,” I insisted, “show me in the bible where it says a man should not drink Coke. How is it a sin to drink Coke? Why are you so determined to take everything away from me?” “What if I told you to give it up for me?” asked the Lord. “But why would you even ask such a thing of me? I thought you were my friend,” I pleaded. “I also thought you were my friend,” the Lord replied. “Okay, I will reduce the number of bottles I drink in a day.” “No, I want you to give them up completely.” Jesus says: “My Father loves me, because I lay down my life.” (John 10: 17). I am ashamed to admit it took me no less than two years to lay down this aspect of my miserable life. One day, the Lord told me to go and pray for a boy who was paraplegic. When I got there, the mother asked me if I would like to have a drink. I asked for Fanta Chapman and when I took a sip of it, the drink bit me on the lip. (Proverbs 23:32). I know that might sound strange to you, but there is no other way of describing what happened. I knew immediately that the Holy Spirit was behind this. I have not taken any Coke and Fanta in the last 16 years, and I will never take Coke and Fanta again as long as I live.
From left: Co-ordinator, Evening of Hymns & Spiritual Songs, Pastor Ebenezer Sofowora, Pastor Damilare Adeboye and one of the partners of Omega Worship Group, Deaconess Olaoye after the Evening of Hymns & Spiritual Songs & 10th year anniversary of Omega Worship Group. God, adding that God’s presence and mightiness can only be felt through praises and worship. The group also awarded some of its partners
among including Pastor & Mrs. Akin Taiwo, Pastor Yinka Johnson, Pastor Abiodun Iderawunmi, Deaconess Dawodu Abiodun, amongst others.
HE Way of Rec onciliation Evan gelistic Ministries (TWOREM) a.k.a. Prophetic & Solution Chapel, Lagos will hold a special anointing night and Holy Ghost-inspired programme of prayer, preaching and praises of prophetic and imparta-tions declarations and revelations, tagged Anointing Night with a theme; “Let There Be Light” on Friday at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, Oyo State by 10.00 p.m. Ministering is the convener and chief host, Rev. & Prophet Oladi-pupo Funmilade-Joel (Baba Sekunderin) among other speakers, alongside gospel artistes like Evangelist Joy Oluwaseun (King Osuba), TWOREM Ibadan Mass Choir and others.
ARDEN of Life Assembly holds 30 days fasting. The programme which commenc es 1st to 30th of June, 2014 with the theme: Grace for the Greatness takes place at the Church premises, No. 7 All Saints Lane, off Okere / Ugborikoko Road, Effurun, Delta State. Bishop Philip Orovwuje Edward, Rev. (Mrs.) Liz Amaye (former Liz Benson) and other anointed men of God will be ministering.
PAGE 50, SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014
Abia’s Anniversary of Liberation BY GODWIN ADINDU
VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF A people’s road to freedom
OW time flies! It seems like yesterday yet it is four years ago. Pushed to the wall, with history beaconing, with his eyes set on the future and destiny of the over 10 million people of Abia State, Governor Theodore Orji led the revolution that conquered the ancien regime and brought liberation to a people in bondage. He confronted a seemingly invincible dynasty and brought freedom to a vanquished and speechless people. Last week, precisely on May 29, as Nigerians celebrated the Democracy Day, the people of God’s Own State were remembering the history of their liberation. But, more importantly, it was a time for a thoughtful review, a time to assess the grand march to freedom, a time to put the governor on scale. The lightbearer of the people’s mandate was in the dock again for cross examination, to give account of his
stewardship. How has Abia fared in the hand of the liberator? Where was Abia yesterday and where is Abia now? What is the experience of the people in the new life of freedom? These questions, among other things, occupied the minds of Abians. The stock-taking was a vindication for Orji because the Abia situation was peculiar. For Orji, it has been a concerted effort to build afresh, to lay solid foundation, to set the state on the path of progress. But, let’s keep the galaxy of monuments and the legacy projects aside, though they are great footprints in the sands of time. In my personal evaluation, Orji’s greatest legacy for which posterity must sing eulogies is in the intangibles, like his deed of gift of freedom to the people of God’s Own State. For, as Voltaire, the French Philosophy of the Enlightenment noted, freedom is the parent of all the needs of the human spirit. Four years after, and just one year to go, Orji is confidently stepping out to the market square to show himself approved a workman who does not need to be ashamed. For a people who have
In Abia today, it is the communities and the constituencies that make nominations for commissioners and other political offices
seen the two sides of tyranny and then freedom, they are better witnesses in this open trial . They are better judges and jurists in this open court of public conscience. Under Orji, there are no more tin-gods and tin-mother-gods in Abia. Nobody goes to Igbere or Nweke Street or anywhere to prostrate before human deities of power. The word “Okija” is totally obliterated from the Abia social and political lexicon. Throughout the campaigns in 2011 and at the inauguration, Orji spoke about his covenant with the people. He expressed determination to break off from the
The need to return to HSC VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF A new model of education Nigeria requires
ANY of our present graduates do not know much about Higher School Certificate, HSC. It was a seven-year course post-primary education or a two-year-programme after the fiveyear Secondary School Certificate Education. It was an advance certificate and equivalent to General Certificate of Education, ‘Advanced level’ popularly known as G.C.E. Advanced Level. A holder of this certificate could go directly to the University or any other higher learning as matured candidate or at least be able to pass the University JAMB as a result of wide exposure in learning. One important thing to note is that it will help to check the do-or-die quest for admission into our
could be introduced at this level. In short, this is the level where nursery teachers will make the nursery mathematics math-magic and mathamusements with our local materials. Our children can therefore develop early interest in learning this universal subject known as
It is on this note that this writer suggests a 3-3-6-5-2-3 model. The first 3 being Day-Care. This can help to check the uncongenial day-care centres in each local government area
mathematics. The United States Government for instance spends more than $3billion for preparing their local instructional materials for their day-care, nursery and primary schools since 1980s. They believe that
Uncommon 'Peace' initiative for youths VIEWPOINT BY OMOBA KENNETH AIGBEGBELE
VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF First Lady Jonathan’s drive for peaceful co-existence
HE global spate of terrorism unfortunately entered into our clime with the hydra-headed problems of kidnapping, rape, militancy and, most rudely, Boko Haram insurgency. Everybody is worried, even President Jonathan! His concerns go beyond terrorism. On 2015 general elections, he once said, “It’s is not about the next election, but about the next generation.” With this statement, he unwittingly revealed his greatest fear, for Nigeria’s next generation. With all the explosive developments enveloping the country, will there really be a tomorrow for the next generation? The President, though, had repeatedly answered this
question in the loudest affirmative! Also, one person who strongly believes there is a tomorrow for the next generation is the President’s wife; she sees positivism only from the prism of peace initiatives. The mother of the nation believes negative or positive issues of the nation rest more on her shoulders, and she feels the pinch more, even beyond our shores, as the President of African First Ladies Peace Mission, AFLPM. Knowing that during wars, everybody, especially youths and women, lose terribly, Dame Jonathan deemed it necessary and wise, at this time of our national life and history, to kick-start the wheel of re-orientation and re-enactment of our cultural values and history, including the love for one another, all for the sake of preserving the next generation of Nigerians. The First Lady and the Office of the SSA on Youths to Mr. President, came together to proactively engage the youths in a convivial and informal environment, irrespective
of religions, party affiliations, and tribes on the need to embrace peace. She is merely emphasizing that it is our collective responsibility to engage, enlighten and inform the next generation of Nigerians what really went wrong and where we have failed, so as to re-orientate, re-evaluate their mind-sets, change their perceptions and build a new moral “CAN DO” mentality among our youths. That was why the concept of the National Youth Peace Concert, a well thought out idea that not only preached and advocated peace, but also informed, educated and sensitized the youths on the dangers of vices, war and the negativity of being used as political thugs, puppets most dastardly, terrorists in the hands of mischief makers, fifth columnists and political gladiators. The Peace Summit/Concert, held under the theme; ‘Peace, Unity and Love for National Development,’ had in attendance an array of personalities and eminent Nigerians, who gave their lives to Nigeria in various fields
*Adindu is the President-general of the Abia Renaissance Movement (ARM)
investment in kids as future leaders is absolutely essential. We can accordingly emulate this culture by investing very well on the future leaders of our country. On the six-year of Primary School, it is imperative that before a child goes to primary school, he or she is more organised morally, spiritually, physically, intellectually and otherwise. The primary school teachers will have little or no problem handling them as a result of solid foundation obtained from the day-care, and nursery studies. There should be ‘Team teaching’ for both English Language Mathematics in our primary schools. Furthermore, primary school teachers should promote mental-cognition in teaching and learning. Mental-cognition is a key for independent learning from text. This will help the children when they proceed to secondary school. So, it is important that before a child gets into secondary school, he or she has to acquire the necessary skills required so that he or she does not find secondary education a hard nut to crack. On the three years of Higher Learning, University Education and other Institutions of Higher Learning, a student from
H.S.C. would have actually acquired the creative index, the inspirational and perspirational index, the lock, stock and barrel that can enable him or her to operate actively in the University Education system. With the skills, he or she can learn how to ask pertinent questions and make inferences and analogies in a very appropriate manner. Again, logic should be made a compulsory subject at all levels of learning in our country. In addition, the knowledge of history will also help them to be effective leaders of tomorrow and not mere consumers of experiences. Entrepreneurial studies should also be included in the curriculum across all levels. This is because this will promote enterprenueship and self reliance. This is a sure road to acquiring the required skills to become another Bill Gates or Henry Fords of the Global village, or captain of industries instead of aspiring to become the Local Government Chairmen, Senators, Governors, and better still reduce drastically the rate of unemployment in the country. * Iloh, former Provost of College of Education, (Technical) Asaba, lives in Asaba, Delta State.
and shared their life experiences with the youths on the importance of peace and harmony. General Yakubu Gowon topped the list with Pastor Enoch Adeboye, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Sheik Abdulrahman Ahmad (National Missioner of Ansarudeen), Chief Imam of Abuja Mosque, (Ustaz Musa Mohammed) and Imam
one, in spite of the challenges and the desire by a few to split the country. The leaders preached peace, amicable co-existence and charged Nigerian youths to collectively work for the overall development of Nigeria, saying their future was in their hands. The peaceful advocacy was spiced up by notable musicians who were also present at the occasion as part of the youths, conscious of the fact that the youths can easily grasp the values taught through musical rhythms, accentuated with moral messages. Notably, among them were, Tuface Idibia, P-Square, D-banj, KCEE, Sani Danja, Aisha Niger, Mamuze Twins, Terry GEE, Mother of Songs, Onyeka Onwenu, and other top Nigerian artistes, who came from far and wide to offer their services free of charge in heralding a new era indeed for the Nigerian youths. Saturday, March 8, 2014, will remain a reference point and a memorable day for Nigerian youths.
BY DR G.O ILOH
universities. As a result, the return of HSC is a sin-qua-non, if we want to heave a sigh of relief in our University admissions and JAMB process. It is on this note that this writer suggests a 3-3-6-5-2-3 model. The first 3 being Day-Care. This can help to check the uncongenial day-care centres in each local government area. A situation where uncompleted buildings, under the bridges, under the trees are serving as day-care centres is improper. In some of daycare centres, real learning is by accident! A well organized and supervised Day-care will help to stop these education abuses. The second 3 is Nursery Education where government will be saddled with the responsibilities of providing qualified teachers. Parents could be made to pay more to get qualitative education at this level anyway but the system will be organised and supervised by the local government in their areas. Subjects like Organised Moral-Instruction, Practical Craft, Music, Practical English and Practical Mathematics
past, to lead Abia out of the doldrums. True to his words, he has led a successful revolution of the mind. The mental orientation towards politics and power in Abia has changed. Power is no more a matter of a cult of brotherhood headed by one family. Nobody carries a cow to any godfather to pay obeisance. Unlike in the past where people make pilgrimages to Igbere or to Nweke Street in Aba. Orji enthroned true representative democracy where all Abians of every hue and colour could have a chance to serve. In Abia today, it is the communities and the constituencies that make nominations for commissioners and other political offices. The advisers and assistants are appointed based on merit, track record and competence. Today, meritocracy has been restored as against mediocrity. In the past, it was a case of class distortion and class destruction wherein the elite became endangered species while goons and lay-about became the ruling class. Another great legacy of value is the stability and harmony that Orji has brought into the Abia polity. Starting from his administration, he has served with only two team
It was indeed a momentous event, when Gowon narrated why he did everything possible to keep Nigeria one, in spite of the challenges and the desire by a few to split the country
Musa Olaofe (Imam Ansarudeen, Central Mosque, Abuja). It was indeed a momentous event, when Gowon narrated why he did everything possible to keep Nigeria
in the last three years. In the days of bondage, there would have been more than ten dissolutions or reshuffling of cabinet by now. He embarked on a mission of reconciling the state. He threw out an olive branch and threw the door of government house open. In the new air of freedom, the exiles returned home, the old fugitives returned home to embrace their erstwhile foes. The political warfarers laid down their arms and all, in one collective spirit, enlisted into the new vision of Abia. This was how the governor came to be the first National Peace Ambassador. In Abia today, the word equity and justice are now password. For the first time, a leader came in Orji who is setting the standard for justice by insisting that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. He has continued to preach the gospel that equity and justice are necessary parameters for a people and a society to dwell in peace and harmony. Against all intense pressure, the governor has kept to his words that power must shift to the Ukwa Ngwa people of Abia State. Orji is also a moral revolutionary.
*Aigbegbele is the Media Adviser to Nigeria’s First Lady.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 51
PAGE 52—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org 08056402376
Tough talking Uncle Ben(Ben Ogbeiwi), Music Director of the MTN Project FameWest Africa Music Academy, shares his experience.
ncle Ben has over the years been iden tified with the MTN PFWA. Looking beyond PFWA, who is Uncle Ben? Uncle Ben is a family man, musician, vocal coach and actor. I have been on stage a couple of times playing Lord Lugard in the musical, Kakadu. That’s basically who I am. How has it been so far with your career? It has been a tremendous success, transiting from civil engineering to becoming one of the most respected music consultants in Nigeria. MTN PF has really helped. It has provided a unique platform forour gifts to come to the limelight. With the experience and learnings that one has garnered over the years the programme gives one the opportunity to impact the younger generation positively and contribute to the development of our entertainment industry. How challenging was your transition from Civil Engineering to Music? There is a profession and there is a hobby. Civil engineering was a profession for me. You need to get a degree to be respected in life; that was the norm back in the days. When I graduated, I just found out that my desire was not in erecting structures even if I did a few of them in Dolphin estate: it was music. I went back to Elder Steve Rhodes in Glover hall. I could remember telling him,“Uncle, I want to be a music person” and he said, “Listen, I already got you a job at Julius Berger and you are working with top officers there”. He asked me,“ what exactly do you want?” and I told him “I want to do music”. The man walked me out of his office. It’s funny but true. I stood by the door for three hours and I said to myself I wasn’t going to leave unless he blesses me with that gift. He came out looking surprised and asked me, “are you sure this is what you want to do”? I said “ yes”. He said,“are you ready to go hungry?” I said “yes”, and the journey started from there. How did your collaboration with MTN PFWA begin? MTN project fame was going to start with Ultima Studios and we got into a meeting with Mr. Ayeni. The question he asked me was, “what is the guarantee that this show is going to be successful if you are made a member of the faculty?” He wanted to make me a judge but I told him I don’t want to be a judge. I want to teach because that is my passion. And he goes to the question “ what is the guarantee that it is going to be successful? I said to him, there is no guarantee. “But for this I can assure you, give me three weeks on the job, if we do not succeed in three weeks, fire me
Only one song gives you leverage to be a champion--Ben Ogbeiwu and hire someone else but if we do, you have to retain me for as long as you can”. I think we were able to achieve that in three days, it was a miracle. The beautiful thing about MTN PFWA is that, the ideal situation is clear, where the only thing you do, is wake up and sing, you don’t cook, you don’t clean but wake up, go to class and sing. That is the ideal situation,for once the road is clear of all the obstacles,and you have no excuse whatsoever to fail in the profession. So you were confident you could break and remould your students in three weeks! I was very confident. I wasn’t happy with the kind of music we were putting out there. MTN PFWA created that Academy where you have to go through drama, dance and, of course, music. The entire element was fused together. Your lyrics were checked to make sure they were not completely offensive. Let it be stated here today that, MTN PFWA is the only music reality show that has an academy that is almost like a school. You are tutored, you are disciplined and once you come out, you will not forget what you were taught. So what do you think has been the impact of music reality shows on the Nigerian youth? Without being on the supportive side of MTN PFWA, the only thing the other shows lack is their structure. The brand, MTN itself, sustains you. In any of the shows they have, they usually throw in all
•Ben Ogbueiwu their contestants. For example, if we are breaking this down, you find out that when MTN has a show in the East, you find out that everyone who speaks the language from the
sic events and that is what you call sustenance. MTN never lets you go. What has your experience in the Academy been like? My own rule states clearly, that you get into that class before me. If you don’t, you will
MTN PFWA created that academy where you have to go through drama, dance and, of course music, the entire elements were fused together
east apart from the champion who is made to go everywhere is pushed towards that show to make it sustainable. It is done in other parts of the country where they have mu-
never learn. If the issue of discipline is not addressed from day one, nothing else will fall in place. There are many youths with great voices as their talents. Ours is to mould
that talent into something that the whole world can benefit from. You find out that when they get into the Academy, they are busy forming groups of interest. Now this group is basically set up to save you from elimination once you are put on probation. I would rather be in the good book of everybody and not be offensive to anyone so that when I am put on probation, my so-called friends in the Academy can save me. The fact that you are handsome or beautiful creates a tendency for you to have a love interest and that becomes a problem. Once that other partner who is your love interest is in the eye of the storm for another love interest, you become a problem then the tendency to eliminate you comes in completely. This means the only thing you have is your voice and you cannot afford to lose it. Secondly you ensure you don’t lose track of the followership out there because everyone watching is a coach and a player. If you do not impress them in the first two weeks, you are gone. That is the beautiful thing about reality programmes, the world chooses its own champion. Uncle Ben of PFWA is seen as a disciplinarian; a tough guy. How well does this perception fit into your normal life? That is how I am when I teach music and it doesn’t change. If you have watched me over the years on PF or any other event that we have had on stage, once the music is not right, my entire system will be incomplete.
Celebrating the beauty of womanhood By CALEB ANYANSINA VISUAL
OCTRINE of advocat ing social, political and all other rights of women equal to that of men is definitely not the brain behind the Petals of Steel Exhibition, but the quality of womanliness. This was the hallmark of Nkechi Abii, an artist who used principles of colour, harmony lines and space employed by a painter in the rendition of picture on fabric. A graduate of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, specialized in Graphic Arts, Nkechi in her works is to appreciate and upholds the importance of the woman in the society. A one-week Art exhibition held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, brought out different representations of the bust of woman’s outing attires, from different tribes and dialects, down to the style of tying of
the head scarf and lace scarf, including the neck bead. Also exhibited was some fashion works which depict evolution of ancient and modern fashions, there was projection of the transition of female fashion which seems to have gone full circle, bringing out the natural features of a woman. Nkechi’s works did not only bring out the aesthetic nature of woman, but also displayed some courageous deeds and their necessity to the existence
values, while celebrating traditional authentic femininity. Speaking at the exhibition, Nkechi said “this year ’s exhibition is channeled toward celebrating woman, because I believe that women are actually the back bone of any soci-
man and human reproduction. According to her, she is inspired by the world around her, nature, aesthetically pleasant things, socio-political issues and things that affect her personally. The exhibition featured about 46 works that encouraged the retention of family
e t y . “ A woman is natural by heart and I think women need to come out of their shell to also be a provider, although women are gentle but very strong, I am using this exhibition to celebrate them today.” She explained further that the Petals of Steel Exhibition was also aimed at creating more awareness and appre-
By JAPHET ALAKAM
Her works encouraged the retention of family values, while celebrating traditional authentic femininty
• One of the works displayed
ciation for local artistry.
Her works evoked reactions from the audience, because they addressed various situations prevalent in the society, from politics to social issues. In her artistic statement, ‘Art alive!’ Was her first solo exhibition held at the state library, Owerri, Imo state in 1984, ‘Back to land’ in 1985 was her joint exhibition of graphics, textile and paintings which took place in Akure, Ondo State.In 1986, the “creative sorority” another joint exhibition took place at Owerri and Anambra state, respectively.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014, PAGE 53
Democracy, patriarchy and the challenges of national development Time to engage more women “Nigeria has made bad choices...They have squandered their oil wealth, they have allowed corruption to fester and now, they are losing control of parts of their territory because they wouldn’t make hard choices....The Nigerian government has failed to...address the underlying challenges...The Nigerian government has been somewhat derelict...” —Hillary Clinton, Former US Secretary of State
BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA
T age 63 and with 15 unaltered years of democratic rule, virtually every facet of the Nigerian society reeks of dysfunction in spite of her supposed wealth. From her polity to education, security, healthcare and social welfare practice, the nation wallows in such pitiable state with kidnapping and terrorism becoming ubiquitous and commercialised. Harsh realities: Unemployment Available figures from the Bureau of Statistics put its current youth unemployment rate at over 25 percent. The implication is that over 25 million of Nigeria’s youth population of about 100 million are unemployed- a situation that is threatening the very survival of the nation. Maternal-child mortality Every single day, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund- UNICEF, Nigeria loses about 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of childbearing age. This makes the country the second largest contributor to the under–five and maternal mortality rate in the world. Poverty, insecurity According to World Bank's report, poverty rates remain very high in Nigeria, particularly in rural areas. The situation is becoming very pathetic as national estimates say about 70% of the population are living below the poverty line, while insecurity and heinous crimes have become a big problem. Corruption Corruption also, which has been used by the group-elite to foster the systematic development of underdevelopment in the country, has reigned unabated. Little wonder the Transparency International’s 2013 corruption index ranked Nigeria as 144th most corrupt among the 177
*Nigeria's lower and upper houses presently constitute only 6.7% and 6.4% of women. countries studied in the world, giving Nigeria as an example of countries where oil resources were only available to selected elites. Hillary Clinton indeed did not speak in riddles! Education and out-of-school kids Healthcare and education continue to slither towards total collapse as institutions like the University of Ife (now OAU), University of Ibadan and the University of Lagos which used to train other Africans in the region, now suffer from decay caused by decades of terrible, crumbling educational institutions in all professions. Also, with approximately 10.5 million kids out of school according to a recent UNESCO report, Nigeria tops the table of 12 other countries with which it accounts for 47 per cent of the global out-of-school population. Womenfolk undervalued These variables pitiably show that the nation is becoming worse-off than it was before the advent of democratic rule 15 years ago. Worse still, despite these statistics and many more, the nation still parades and deludes itself as the giant of Africa. A major absurdity is that, presently,Nigeria's 'democracy' can only boast of 6.7% and 6.4% of women in its lower and upper houses respectively. This disparity is negatively evident in approaches to the plethora of mishaps plaguing the country what an error to have for too long undervalued and neglected the potentials of more than half of its population- womenfolk- in decision-making processes.
enviable progress compared to their uninformed, adamant counterparts. In 2008, just fourteen years after a horrific genocidal civil war killed an astounding 800,000 people in a three-month period, Rwanda elected the world’s first women-dominated legislature. As of November 2011, 56.3 percent of the Rwandan parliament comprised women, making it, by far, the most female-friendly national legislature on the planet, according to the InterParliamentary Union (IPU).
Case study- Rwanda A cursory look at the sociopolitical and economic development of African countries like Rwanda, SouthAfrica and others that have more women in governance shows that these nations have recorded
Gains for Rwanda Women have taken a key role in restoring the nation’s economy, particularly its coffeegrowing sector. Rwandan women have aggressively moved to the forefront of rebuilding the nation. Rwanda’s economy has
This disparity is negatively evident in approaches to the plethora of mishaps plaguing the country - what an error to have for too long undervalued and neglected the potentials of more than half of its population
risen up from the genocide and prospered greatly on the backs of women, and bringing women out of the home and fields has been essential to her rebuilding. In that process, Rwanda has changed forever, having understood that there are huge financial benefits to equality. Most significant is that while many nations in the West are mired in recessionary conditions, Rwanda’s economy expanded by 8.8 percent in 2011, and climbed another 7.5 percent in 2012. Between 2001 and 2010, the country’s economy doubled in size, the World Bank stated. Way forward In spite of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution having, in a clever language, provided that “...Discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited”, women’s participation in active politics and governance has suffered great setback as a result of glass ceilings built by the same society. This is in spite of reports of women in several Third World countries speeding-up developmental processes for their countries by making better, broad-minded and hard choices grossly lacking in present Nigerian democracy. “Except we liberate our other half, growth and development would remain a fantasy. If we want development, we must emancipate the womenfolk. Also, we must educate menfolk to begin to appreciate women”, Dr.Bimbola Ogunleku, former Chairman, UNESCO Committee for New Partnership for Africa’s DevelopmentNEPAD, advised. But it’s time Nigerian women took the bull by the horn, according to Africa’s youngest female Vice-Chancellor, Prof.Koi Tirima, who spoke in Lagos at a recent forum organised to boost women’s role in Africa’s emerging democracy.
E’VE been having this discourse for too
*Abike Dabiri-Erewa long; talking about Beijing Platform for Action’s 35% Affirmative Action, Maputo Protocol and all. We need to move from wailing, from being marginalised, from having vigils and protest marches, towards more grassroots activism, campaign strategies, candidacy and leadership at the table. We need to move beyond that to actually owning offices and supporting those who own offices. Right now, Rwanda is the most orderly states in Africa and the state that's going to have the biggest renewable energy generation in Africa. And that’s because it has embraced the support of women”, Prof.Kirima said. "Now that insecurity is beginning to take its toll on us all, Nigerian women must stand up for their rights and be inspired to action. We must begin to encourage a lot more women to come into politics because if we don’t have the numbers, we cannot make adequate impact. Women in Business, Management & Public LifeWIMBIZ remains open to supporting and mentoring credible women politicians because we’ve observed that's an edge the men have got over us all these years”, Mrs.Adeola Azeez, former WIMBIZ Chairperson, added. Negating claims that financial constraints is a major hindrance to women’s participation in politics, Hon.Abike DabiriErewa, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, advised that campaigns must be idea-driven. “Agreed, people want you to pay a lot of money to contest elections. But my own approach was: “If you don’t want to vote for me, don’t vote for me. But I know I am going there to work for your development”. That worked for me because I cannot steal simply because I want to help my people. So, women must let their campaigns be ideadriven and also be proactive and relevant in their political parties so that they are not undermined”, Abike said.
PAGE 54 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, 2014
Anambra governor tips Eagles for success •flags off youths sports festival BY NWABUEZE OKONKWO, Onitsha
NAMBRA State governor, Willie Obiano yesterday at the Rojenny Sports Stadium, Oba, near Onitsha, Anambra state, expressed optimism that the Coach Stephen Keshi-led Nigeria’s Super Eagles will impress at the forthcoming Brazil 2014 World Cup. He said he believed that all the players assembled by Keshi to prosecute the matches at the mundial are of international standard and as such has all it takes to do the country in particular and African continent proud. Obiano who spoke while flagging off Youths Sports activities for primary, secondary and tertiary institutions sports competitions, organized by the state ministry of youths and sports, in collaboration with the management of Super Sports International, said a lot of Super Eagles players are from Anambra State and as such the state would like to produce more players for future national teams. The Governor noted that the essence of organizing the sporting events was to ensure that Anambra youths are trained, encouraged, supported and funded in such a way that they would win many gold laurels during this year ’s forthcoming National Sports Festival billed for Calabar, Cross River state, adding, “our future governors and perhaps president are here with us today among these children”. He said his administration is optimistic of making the state a place to live in without fear of criminals, adding that he had already kicked off Operation Kpochapu which is targeted at wiping out criminals in the state and replacing them with educated and talented sports men and women of sound mind. The Governor commended Super Sports International for working in partnership with the state government towards
BY EDDIE AKALONU
WORLD ON OUR SHOULDERS ... Coach Stephen Keshi and John Obi Mikel hoping for a good outing at Brazil 2014 the upliftment of sports in the state, stating that it would help fish out talents who would represent the state at all levels. He said that the state would be very much prepared for the coming National Youths Sports festivals and commended the State Commissioner of Sports, Hon. Tony
IGERIA international bas ketball star, Ejike Ugboaja is in the country for his annual basketball camp. This year’s edition will hold in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and Abuja and Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory. The Uyo camp holds between June 5 and 12. According to the former Union Bank basketball club of Lagos player, the camp will attract scores of kids who will be given basic training skills in basketball at the end of which some talented and academically sound kids would be picked to go abroad on scholarship as well as to further their
Nnacheta, for his preparedness towards making the state contingents to go for a better position this time around unlike what obtained in the last festival where the state contingent performed poorly. The Governor reiterated the resolve of the State Government to renovate Rojenny stadium, complete the on-going
tartan tracks project and equip it with modern sports facilities that would bring it to an international standard. According to him, “ we are going to do more work on the Rojenny Stadium”. This is the only state in Nigeria that has three stadia and as such there is opportunity for sports’ growth in the state.”
Champions League fallout: Lisbon experience thrills Heineken consumers
HE five lucky Nigerian consumers sponsored to the final match of the UEFA Champions League at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon, Portugal last Saturday have commended Heineken for the wonderful experience they had while in the Iberian nation. The Consumers, Usurhyel Auta, Sopuluchukwu Benjamin Ezugorie, Jayne Nelson Uzegbu, Olufunsho Micheal Akintoye and Nonye Christie Chalokwu who were part of the thousands of fans in the Stadium of Light where Real Madrid secured the much awaited La Decima feat in
Uyo agog for 2014 Ugboaja basketball camp
Women Basketball League: Elephants girls ready for showdown
playing career. Ugboaja gave Sports Vanguard a hint of what the coaches will look out for in those that will eventually be picked for further studies abroad. “We will look out for those who are ready to learn the skills of playing basketball and at the same time being academically inclined. “It is going to be different this year. We will let them know that the career of a basketballer is very short. If you read and play you can always fall back to what you studied after your playing career. Basketball come and go but academics remain. That is the emphasis this year,” he said.
a flattering 4-1 win over city rivals, Atletico Madrid, said the premium experience extended to them has opened their world to several possibilities. The travelling crew touched down at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport a day after the match with fond memories of their stay while at the Heineken sponsored UEFA Champions League event last weekend. Akintoye, who won via the SMS competition held during the successful UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour in Lagos confessed that the ‘Lisbon Experience’ has opened his world to the reality of modern day networking with people he can share his potentials with. “It was a wonderful experience to be part of that spectacle at the
Stadium of Light but beyond football, this trip sponsored by Heineken has opened my world on how I can exploit my potentials following my interaction with people from other parts of the world. “Aside the fact that we were given first class treatment throughout our stay, we visited some interesting places before we joined other consumers around the world for the final match at the stadium,” he narrated. Chalokwu, one of the two females in the crew was delighted with the reaction of the crowd when Real Madrid scored a late minute equaliser and extended the match into another 30 minutes extra time before her team won to lift the trophy for a record tenth time.
Delightful... Lucky Consumers, live at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon, Portugal during the final match of UEFA Champions League.
IRST Bank basketball club of Lagos coach, Aderemi Adewunmi has said the the club has a target to reclaim the title his team lost in 2010 to rivals First Deepwater as team finalise training for last phase of the league. Aderemi, who spoke after a session of the team’s training in Lagos, stated that we are ready for the fight of the Big Eight which dunks-off in Lagos on June 12 and ends June 22. “We performed very well in Ilorin during the second phase. I will also say that our performance there was better than what we had at the first phase in Abuja. “I’m happy with my girls’ response and performance. We won all our seven games just like we did in the first phase in Abuja. We were able to do that because we have seen the stuff other teams are made of followed them very well, studied their strength and weaknesses of our opponents in those phases. So, we are now in practice sessions with intent to improve on our performance and now that the final phase is around, we are not going to under rate any team. What we are now working on is to improve more on Abuja and Ilorin performance to enter the final in Lagos and win the title. Coach Aderemi, who was a former assistant national female team handler sad this of the league season so far. “I would say generally of the league that it is tough, but my team has been wonderful. This year has been promising for the team as we have gone 14 games unbeaten in the regular season, so now we have an eye to reclaim the title “No doubt, this last phase would be tough. We are aware we will face tough opposition from the defending champions or even the others, but we are optimistic we are going to wrestle the title back. We are prepared for any team. I’ve a good team this year and we’re playing very well.” Riding on a ten year uninterrupted reign, First Bank who lost the title in 2010 as second place finishers, up till 2012, however fell back to third place last year, having been displaced by another Lagos side, Dolphin.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 1, PAGE 55
Keshi can handle Eagles well in Brazil —Chukwu BY OJIEVA EHIOSUN
OLLOWING reactions to the list of provisional players released by Stephen Keshi for the Brazil 2014 World Cup and their subsequent match against Scotland in London, last Wednesday, former national team captain and coach, Christian Chukwu, has called on critics to leave Keshi alone to do his job. In a chat with our reporter, Chukwu one-time national head coach of the Kenya team hinted that Keshi knows his players better than any body, and therefore he should be left alone to do his job, adding that he would be the one to take the blame should they fail in Brazil. “A lot has been said about Keshi and the release of the 30- Man provisional world cup list, I think it is time we put the matter behind us and move ahead, after all the final list is not yet out. As a manager of the team, he is more knowledgeable than any of us, he knows his players better than we do, and it is out of place for any person to describe the players he has invited to camp as bench warmers. “The era of the FA dictating to the coach or giving a list of players to be invited is past. We are not going to play Kano Pillars or Nembe City FC, so our critics must be very careful and mindful of what they say. The World Cup is the highest pinnacle of football event it is not a place to test players, so if the coach has done his work and giving us a list of those he thinks are competent to make the squad so be it. “On the other hand if he takes Mikel and leave out Obafemi Martins, he has his reasons for doing so. NFF has said they have no hand in it, so let us leave it there and stop raising unnecessary dust about it. England came out with their list; no body killed the coach for dropping some players. It is the coach that will take the blame should the team fail to deliver,” he enthused.
Ogenyi Onazi...Sure bet to make Stephen Keshi final list of 23 players. He however warn the players to give good account of themselves and avoid under rating any side, adding that countries coming for the world cup are coming for real business. “Our boys must not be carried away by names, there is no longer small country in today football, for a country to have qualified for the world cup
means that such a country has some thing to offer. So our boys must play their opponents strength for strength and man for man. Any attempt to look down on any opponent will not mean well for us. People complain of our defense, the problem is not in the defense line up, but the attack-
ORMER ‘Olympic Eagles’ striker, Victor Ezeji has given kudos to the Super Eagles for holding themselves high in Wednesday ’s international friendly against Scotland which ended 2-2. He said the team had a good game given the fact that the line up was different from that which won the African Cup of Nations in South Africa last year. “I believe coach Keshi has an objective for deviating from the regular line up we are used to, meaning he has a vision for the team. And for the fact the boys gave a good account of themselves gives hope for the world cup in Brazil and I hope they can keep the momentum so they can meet the target set by Keshi and actualize our hopes and aspiration on this particular world cup.” As Nigerians wait on Keshi to roll out the players finally for Bra-
ers. We are not scoring more goals, what determine the result of any football match is the numbers of goals scored. Our strikers must improve on t6heir goal scoring prowess, that is the area we will have problems. Because if we meet a high goal scoring side, we might run into problems,” he said.
Osaze vows to make up for Nations Cup miss
SAZE Odemwingie has re vealed he was disappointed to miss out on Nigeria’s AFCON 2013 triumph, but said he hopes to make up for that at the World Cup. “In the past few years my only regret is that, as I’ve become a better player, I probably would have got more goals for myself and the country but I missed out a bit,” he revealed. “I’ve missed a year and a half,
missed out on the [Africa Nations] Cup they won unfortunately. “I wish I was part of that squad because I’ve played in four Africa Nations cup and got three bronze medals, never a gold. But I can’t look back. This is another opportunity for me.” The Stoke City striker saids having been welcomed back in to the Nigerian fold he feels it
Ezeji: Eagles will not fumble BY EDDIE AKALONU
More fans win TAN’s Free trip to Brazil
zil next week, Ezeji, who is a twice winner of the CAF Champions League 2003 and 2004 with Enyimba and also the FA Cup 2006 and 2007 with Dolphins, then posited that “with what I have seen of the team, any of those players in the 30 man provisional list whether home based or foreign is good enough to make the 23 man final list for the world cup proper. I trust that they will pull off a surprise and be able to go far in the competition. Also former national goalkeeper, Joseph Dosu, asked Nigerians to assess the strength of the Super Eagles when they play the U.S. in an international friendly match. Dosu said that the Eagles would put up a better performance against U.S. compared to their 22 encounter with Scotland on Wednesday. “The whole of Nigeria expects the Super Eagles to do well in
the World Cup because we are the reigning African champions “The friendly against Scotland was not 100 per cent but we still have two more games ahead and we should assess them with the encounter against the Americans. “By the time we play U.S., the team would have blended well and this would help them to play and understand themselves better. At the forthcoming World Cup, I see Nigeria getting to the semi-finals,” he said. The 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold medalist, who is into football management, said that he now runs a football academy in Belgium. “We have produced a lot of players not just in Nigeria alone but also in Europe. “We have people from our academy that play in Norway, Ukraine, Portugal and Belgium. The academy is doing well and I’m sure we will spot talents in Badagry soon,” Dosu said.
is another chance for him to impress on the international stage. Osaze said he has patched up his differences with national coach Stephen Keshi and is now expected to named in Nigeria’s final 23-man squad announced on Monday. The pair clashed in 2012 after Odemwingie was subbed in their game against Rwanda and he went on to miss the 2013 African Cup of Nations, which Nigeria went on to win. But the 32-year-old believes his return to the national squad is a “fresh start” for him. “Many people wanted to see me back in the national team, some wrote to me to say that they missed me in the green colours, because I’ve done pretty well for Nigeria. I’ve had a lot of man-of-the-match performances, and I’ve won player of the year,” Odemwingie said.
IX more winners have emerged in the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) World Cup draws, which took place yesterday at the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) studios in Abuja. The winners are Solomon Onu from Imo State with telephone number 0806595944666, Oyeronke Oyebanji from Kwara Statewith telephone number 07068292056, Ibrahim Istifanus Adamu from Bauchi State with telephone number 08062765304, Adeleke Ige from Oyo State with telephone number 08033254256, Emmanuel Enike Opogah from Edo State with telephone number 08065469830 and Jehumaks from Kaduna with telephone number 08167923556. The new winners joined the six that emerged at the first draw done last Sunday. Former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia who conducted the draws in company of the programme’s coordinator, Waidi Akanni, said that TAN has given 12 lucky winners the opportunity to travel to Brazil and cheer the Eagles to victory. Siasia said the initiative would go a long way in energizing Nigerian to support the Eagles and commended TAN for putting up the programme. He enjoined the winners to be good ambassadors in Brazil and stay away from activities that would tarnish the country’s image. The 12 winners are expected to converge in TAN’s office in Maitama in Abuja today. They will embark on an all expenses paid 12-day trip to Brazil to cheer the Eagles to victory.
African youth games:
Team Nigeria settles for ‘bronze’
EAM Nigeria has placed third on the medals table of the second edition of the African Youth Games, which ended in Gaborone, Botswana yesterday. The team won 19 gold, 10 silver and and 12 bronze. This almost tripled the seven gold, two silver and seven bronze that the team won in the first edition in Morocco four years ago. Egypt with 45 gold, 17 silver and 30 bronze were champions and South Africa were runners up with 41 gold, 26 silver and 29 bronze. Meanwhile Botswana African Youth Games Organising Committee chairman, Ms Regina Sikalesele-Vaka thanked all stakeholders who played a role in making the second Africa Youth Games a success. She thanked them during a dinner she hosted for all the local and external stakeholders. She said that Gaborone was privileged to have been given the mandate to host the games. She said her committee had very short time to prepare and organize the games but managed to pull it off within limited time.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 1, 2014
Wenger: Eagles will reach round of 16
RSENAL manager, Arsene Wenger said that the chances of Nigeria’s Super Eagles reaching the round of 16 at the Brazil 2014 World Cup are very bright. He explained that his choice of picking Nigeria to qualify with Argentina from Group F ahead of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran
is based on what he perceives as “a really good team spirit” by the African champions. “I don’t know about second place. I think that Nigeria might qualify for the second stage. “They really made a good impression on me during the African Cup of Nations. They seem to have a really good team spirit, which is not always easy for African teams.”
Brazil 2014: Fever hits Eagles camp site T
HERE has been an out break of Dengue fever in the Brazilian city where the Super Eagles will camp for the Brazil 2014 World Cup. Workers in Campinas have embarked on a huge operation to eradicate mosquitos, which spread the disease, before the Nigerian team arrive Portugal will also camp there. Some 32,384 people have been infected by dengue this year in the southeastern city about one hour from Sao Paulo. At least three people have died. “It’s a record epidemic. It’s bigger than the 11,500 cases registered in all of 2007,” said Andrea Von Zuben, who coordinates the Campinas dengue control program. Dengue is a viral infection carried by the aedes aegypti mosquito. The fever is like chronic influenza with severe headaches, muscle and joint pain, vomiting and a rash. Severe cases can be deadly. Three people have died of dengue this year in Campinas, women aged 27, 69 and 81. Three other deaths are being investigated to see if they were caused by the disease. There is no cure for dengue, so prevention is the best medicine. The World Health Organization recommends people in infected areas prevent mosquito bites with window screens, insect repellant and mosquito coils. It also suggests covering up exposed skin — advice that may cramp Portuguese captain Ronaldo’s bare-chested style, a topic of much commentary after his pectoral-flexing goal celebration at this year ’s Champions League final. Brazil has been hit harder by dengue than any other country so far this century, with seven million cases reported between 2000 and 2013. Von Zuben said the Campinas outbreak was being driven by a heatwave at the beginning of the year, the prevalence of a particularly virulent dengue strain and poor sanitation that leaves pools of standing water where mosquitos breed. But she said the areas where the Nigerian and Portuguese squads will be are a mosquito-control priority for health officials. “We put larvicides and antimosquito poisons at the airport, in the training centers and in the hotels, so the teams will run a much smaller risk than the local population,” she told AFP.
STRIKING DISTANCE... Super Eagles’ 7 Uche Nwaofor scores to equalise during the International friendly between Nigeria and Scotland at Craven Cottage in London.
Home-based players are still not good enough, Amodu insists BY BEN EFE
ORMER Super Eagles coach and presently Nigeria Football Federation technical director, Shuaibu Amodu has insisted that Nigeria professional league players are not good enough to be in the Super Eagles team. Amodu who was coach of the Eagles to the Nations Cup 2010 in Angola, had blacked out the home-based Eagles as he sensationally declared that they were no material for the national team. Amodu won third place in Angola the standard performance for the Super Eagles at the nations cup and he was subsequently replaced by Lars Lagerback for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. However, coach Stephen Keshi seemed to have proved Amodu wrong as six players from the local league formed part of his winning team to the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa. “ I still remain with what I said then about our local league players. If I am confronted with the same situation I will still say the
same thing. “What I said was that they were not good enough and that is true. Potentially they are good, but they are not good enough. At that stage if we were to rely on them, we would have blundered. “This is because the home league was not blessed with very capable coaches that will bring the boys to that level where they will
play at the nations cup or world cup. For any coach to work with them, he has to camp them for months and take them through different competitions for them to attain that standard. I did not have that opportunity during my time because the matches where so close and we were working with the boys from Europe,” Amodu
said. He argued that Keshi had the opportunity to work with the home-based players and was able to bring them to his level. “I commend him for working with them. Some other coaches could have had the opportunity, but they wouldn’t have done much,” Amodu said.
CROSS WORD PUZZLE ACROSS 1.Nobel-winning Archbishop (7-4) 5.Sailor (3) 7.Consumed (5) 8.Domesticates (5) 9.Ovum (3) 10.Electricity counting gadgets (6) 13.Highlander (4) 15.Poem (3) 17.One that contests (9) 20.Nigerian tribe (5) 22.Cereal (5) 24.Demoted (9) 27.Pig’s pen (3) 29.No one (4) 30.Sulks (6) 33.Away (3) 35.Presses (5) 36.Till (5) 37. Swine (3) 38. “The Man Who Saw Tomorrow” (11)
DOWN 1.Sleeping vision (5) 2.Possessor (5) 3.Tax (4) 4.Depressing (9) 5.Argentinian dance (5) 6.Wash lightly (5) 11.Greek letter (3) 12.Distress call (1-1-1) 14.English boy’s name (5) 16.Obstacle (3) 17.Bovine animal (3) 18.Mindfulness (9) 19.Alarm (5) 21.Help (3) 23.Village house (3) 25.Gnome (3) 26.Vast age (3) 27.Condescend (5) 28.Youthful (5) 31.Circular (5) 32.Trades (5) 34.Old Russian King (4)
SOLUTION on page 5
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