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MRS. OWINNI TEMISAREN SILLO’S BURIAL The late Mrs. Owinni Temisaren Sillo was laid to rest in Ubeji, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State on Friday. Our photographer, Akpokona Omafuaire, captured some of the memorable moments at the ceremony.
Mr & Mrs Fred Dudu, Vanguard AGM (Admin), flanked by Mr. Gbenga Adefaye (2nd right), Vanguard, GM and Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Victor Gotevbe (4th left), Vanguard, Admin. Manager, Dr. Nath Bunuju (2nd left) Vanguard, Senior Advert rep, and other Vanguard staff. Mr. and Mrs. Fred Dudu, flanked by Ms. Rewane (right) and Aunty Tobi (left).
Cross section of the late Mrs. Owinni Temisaren Sillo’s children and grand children.
From left: Mr. Fred Dudu, Mr. Sam Amuka, Vanguard Publisher and a relative.
Funeral service for Late Chief Pini Jason Onyegbadue The funeral service for Chief Pini Jason Okwuadighi Onyegbadue held yesterday at St Andrews Anglican Church, Obizi Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area Imo State. Photos: Kehinde Gbadamosi
From left: Chief Ikedi Ohakim, former Governor of Imo State, Hon. Levi Oguike, Dr Chris Asoluka, Mr Ken Njemanze and Hon Emeka Ihedioha, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives at the event.
From Right; Mr Amadi Onyegbadue, Mrs Priscilla Oby Onyegbadue Mrs Ozodi Adigwe and Miss Kelechi Onyegbadue.
From right; Chief Ikedi Ohakim, former Governor of Imo State, Hon Emeka Ihedioha, Deputy Speaker House of Representatives, and Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, former Managing Director of Daily Times Newspaper.
From left: Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, a former governor of Lagos State, Mr Amadi Onyegbadue, Miss Kelechi Onyegbadue, Mrs Priscilla Oby Onyegbadue (widow), Mrs Ozodi Adigwe, and Chief Ikedi Ohakim, immediate past governor of Imo State.
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2015: North shuns Jonathan’s peace moves emissary that if we continued to support him beyond 2015, Nigeria would be thrown into more corruption, insecurity,
Continued from page 1
Abuja. The northern leaders were said to have told the emissary, a senior presidential aide, point-blank, they would rather prod one of their own to stand against the president in the next elections. Jonathan, it was gathered, on Thursday, sent the senior aide to persuade the influential northern group to back down on attacking him and to, once again, support him to return in 2015. The presidential aide, according to Sunday Vanguard sources, met with an NEF delegation of three at a guest house in Jabi, Abuja and tried for about two hours to extract assurance of support from the group. Two former ministers from the North and a former adviser to erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo allegedly represented NEF at the meeting. The emissary reportedly assured the NEF delegation that the Presidency would take urgent steps to correct perceived imbalances in the polity, which the northerners were complaining about, and the threat by ex-militant, Asari Dokubo, who recently vowed to attack anyone who stood in the way of Jonathan’s reelection. The northern leaders were said to have pointedly rejected any appeasement from the Presidency, asking the aide to tell Jonathan that they were not interested in working with him anymore. ”We met with a man sent to us by the president and we told him our mind because we feel that there is no need to continue to deny the fact that we are opposed to Jonathan running again in 2015,”one of the sources, present at the meeting, said. ”We have seen enough of Jonathan in the last four years or so. We do not believe that there is any more magic he will bring to salvage Nigeria. ”We made it clear to the
BY HENRY UMORU
ORMER Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday said President Goodluck must present himself for primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the process for the nomination of the presidential candidate of the PDP for the 2015 general elections. Atiku was reacting to the proposal by the chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, that the president and governors of the party should .get automatic ticket to avoid rancourous primaries. The former VP believed the PDP must carry out a transparent and fair process of primary where the president will participate like any other party member, just as he was quick to add that Jonathan was entitled to seek the party’s ticket in 2015.
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political ambition in the next p o l l s . ” In the meantime, NEF Secretary, Prof Ango Abdullahi, has faulted the recommendation by Chief Tony Anenih, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which seeks to give automatic ticket to Jonathan and first term governors of the p a r t y . Abdullahi said the move was not only undemocratic but was also in violation of the party’s constitution, which provides for primary election. Describing the postulation as a desperate move to edge out other presidential aspirants of the PDP in the run-up to 2015, the former ABU Vice Chancellor asked the party faithful to reject such dictatorial proposal.
No to automatic ticket for president, govs – Atiku
and utterances are pro-Ijaw and that he could seek new allies from other parts of the country to actualise his
From left: Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State(1st left), Rochas Okorocha (2nd left) during the cutting of cake at the traditional marriage of Miss Njideka Odili, daughter of former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili at Ndoni, Rivers State.
poverty and misery in the midst of rising oil revenue. ”We also told the man sent by the president that his actions
He spoke in a statement by his Media Office in Abuja. According to him, by foreclosing a free and fair process of selecting its presidential candidate, the PDP might be sending the wrong message about its commitment to conduct free and fair elections for the entire country. The former presidential aspirant on the platform of PDP rejected the party’s policy
of “consensus arrangement” and “adoption” rather than transparent elections to produce candidates for all elective offices, including the presidency. He recalled that he was repeatedly in courts to challenge “this undemocratic arrangement and that the courts ruled that the policy is alien to the PDP and Nigerian c o n s t i t u t i o n s ” . Atiku noted that the
principle for which he opposes what he termed a “travesty of democracy” has not changed since then. ”My position remains that as far as PDP constitution is concerned, any attempt to change the party ’s rule to favour the president as a sole candidate in the event of his willingness to re-contest is unconstitutional. The contest should be open to all desiring to pursue an ambition on the platfor m of the PDP.”
Why we can’t probe Obasanjo – Presidency
HE Presidency, yesterday, explained why it won’t probe former President Olusegun Obasanjo. It stated that President Goodluck Jonathan has great respect for Obasanjo’s contributions to national growth, and will always welcome his criticisms of the federal administration rather than seeking retaliation. “The Presidency is constrained to state once again that there is no truth whatsoever to rehashed reports in the media today that President Goodluck Jonathan intends to order a probe of the Obasanjo Administration because of the former President’s ‘constant’ criticisms of the Federal Government,” a statement by the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Dr Reuben Abati, said. According to the statement, Jonathan remains fully focused on the urgent tasks of assuring peace, security and stability across the country to create the right conditions for rapid socioeconomic development and will not be distracted from this objective by futile attempts to drive a wedge between him and other respected elders and leaders of his party. “The President has nothing but the greatest respect for Chief Obasanjo’s very notable contributions to national growth and development over many
years and far from taking offence or seeking retaliation, will always welcome objective criticism and advice from the very highly-regarded elder statesman,” it said. “What is more, President Jonathan regards his Administration as a continuation of the unbroken chain of PDP-led governments started by Chief Obasanjo in 1999 which have worked tirelessly to entrench democratic governance and achieve rapid socio-economic
growth in the country. “Rather than order a pointless probe of his predecessors, he will continue to do his utmost best to build on the solid foundations for national progress laid under previous PDP administrations. “Speculations and suggestions of an impending probe of the Obasanjo Administration by President Jonathan are therefore nonsensical and should be dismissed by all right-thinking Nigerians as the product of the fertile imagination of mischievous political jobbers”.
‘Pini Jason, like Achebe, fought for social justice’
*Ex-Gov Ohakim, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, other pay tributes as Vanguard columnist is buried BY EMEKA MAMAH
ENOWNED journalist and Vanguard columnist, the late Chief Pini Jason Okwuadighi Onyegbadue, was yesterday buried in his family house at Obizi Ezinihitte, Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State in a blaze of glory. Pini was buried at about 2pm after a funeral service at St Andrew’s Anglican Church in his neighbourhood. Venerable Chris Ukabiala led six other priests including Rev Father Samuel Ebirilem to
officiate at the service. In his sermon, Ukabiala described Pini as a Nigerian who came before his time. He said the deceased used his writings to fight for social justice, just like late Prof. Chinua Achebe, who, though not a politician or public office holder, was buried like a head of state. Former Governor Ohakim described Pini as a thinker and patriot who did his best for his people and the country at large. “I knew him for so many things.
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PAGE 6 —SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013
Nigeria to generate N100bn from cocoa BY GBENGA ARIYIBI, Ado Ekiti
IGERIA can generate about N100 billion yearly from cocoa production. Therefore, states and federal governments should rely less on allocations and
concentrate more on the production of cocoa and other cash and tree crops. Making this disclosure was the CEO- Managing Director, Armajaro Nigeria Limited during a training- empowerment programme organised for the cocoa farmers at Ijan Ekiti yesterday,saying
revitalization of cocoa production would boost the nation’s economy p o s i t i v e l y According to him, Nigeria produced about 200,000 metric tons of cocoa last year which the country has realized about N70billion last year.
BY LEKAN BILESANMI
PEOPLES Democrat ic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant for Anambra State 2014 election, Dr. Alex Obiogbolu, wants the International Conference Centre Abuja named after the late novelist, Prof. Chinua Achebe. Obiogbolu said the naming of the centre after Achebe was imperative
How to immortalise Achebe, by Obiogbolu because the deceased was an international icon. According to him whenever people come from outside Nigeria to participate in international conferences, after the renaming Achebe’s name would reecho and his legacies would be preserved.
The aspirant spoke during an interactive session with stakeholders at Anaedo, Nnewi. He noted that by giving honour to whom it is due will serve as a moral booster for the younger generation to invest their talents and resources.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 7
How Amaechi ignited crisis in NGF, by Jang, Mimiko, Obi, Imoke BY HENRY UMORU
Speaker, Delta House of Assembly, Hon Victor Ochei (cutting the tape), Sir Ken Okolugbo, and other guests during the commissioning of six classrooms built by Okolugbo at Umuebu.
L- r: Lanre Ogunlesi, member, Lagos Island Millennium Group on the Environment, LIMGE, board; Chike Onyejekwe, MD, SNEPCo; Chief Taiwo Taiwo, President LIMGE; and Eng. Olusegun Okebiorun, Comptroller General, Federal Fire Service; flanked by fully kitted fire men, at the Soft Launch of the new Ajele Federal Fire Station, Lagos at the weekend.
ACTIONAL chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, and three other members of his group – Governors Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Peter Obi (Anambra) and Liyel Imoke (Cross River) – are blaming the Chairman of the rival group, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, of igniting the crisis in the group. They alleged that Amaechi insisted on going for second term as the NGF chairman in the name of an “unknown constitution”, and contrary to the Forum’s convention stipulating one term only for the incumbent chairman. The four governors spoke at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday. Jang, who alleged that Amaechi as Chairman of the NGF, turned himself into a dictator, stressed that there was never anywhere in the Forum’s constitution that a Chairman could be reelected. The Plateau governor explained that there was no time governors met to ratify the constitution, adding that the only time they parleyed on the issue was when Vice President Namadi Sambo was still the governor of Kaduna State,
SUCCOUR IN A/IBOM: Widows will no longer drink bath-water of their dead husbands THE custom allowing the seizure of deceased husbands properties and subjecting their widows to inhuman practices such as shaving of the head and making them drink the water used to bath their husbands, among others, have now become illegal in Akwa Ibom State. The state government, in a bill passed by the House of Assembly and signed by the governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, outlawed the custom which maltreat widows after the deaths of their husbands, declaring it as unlawful and inhuman. In his Democracy Day speech, the governor declared that it had become unlawful for widows to be maltreated in Akwa Ibom, saying defaulters of the law risk fines and three years imprisonment. While reacting on the new law, the First Lady of the state, Chief (Mrs)
Unoma Ekaette Akpabio, commended the House of Assembly and the governor for the prowomen law, describing the passage of the law as
a breakthrough for the womenfolk in the state. According to her, “I a p p r e ciate the state House of Assembly and the state governor for
standing with the womenfolk through this law. Akwa Ibom State has, in the last five years, shown itself as promasses and pro-women.”
Urhobo allege marginalization by FG BY GAB EJUWA
RHOBO Youth Forum has decried what it described as the abysmal neglect of the Urhobo people by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, describing it as the highest of all marginalization in the history of Nigeria. The Forum, in a statement signed by Friday Udumebraye, National President and Comrade Frank Sodje, National Secretary, called on Jonathan to look at the issue of
neglect of the Urhobo people in the present political equation. “We observed that the neglect of the Urhobo people in this regime is the highest we have experienced in the history of Nigeria. No Urhobo man is a minister or even special assistant at the presidency, despite the fact that Urhobo is the fifth largest tribe in population in Nigeria and producer of high proportion of oil and gas, the group said. “The biggest gas plant (Utorogun Gas Plant) in West Africa is situated in Urhobo land. We deserve
to be part of the system because what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. It is embarrassing and sound illogical that in a country where we claimed to be one Nigeria, yet some are been deprived. What is our offence to the Nigeria state to the extent that we are presently excluded in the scheme of things?” They stated that Urhobo unanimously gave Jonathan over 800,000 votes which is more than the about 500,000 Bayelsa State gave him.
insisting the constitution was never ratified to accommodate a sitting Chairman re-contesting, “contrary to what Amaechi was propagating”. The governor said, “Amaechi virtually became a dictator, dictating everything. He brought in a constitution that many of us had never seen or aware of. The only time we looked into the constitution was when Namadi Sambo was still there and there was nowhere that says a sitting Chairman could be re-elected. The constitution was never ratified.” Describing the video coverage of the election as improper, the factional NGF chairman said, “We have never called journalists to video our proceedings; if it is Amaechi that planted the camera, it is morally corrupt”. When asked why the Forum had not intervened in the suspension of the Rivers governor from the PDP, Jang, who noted that the matter was not the business of NGF, but, that of the PDP Governors Forum, said that Amaechi had not formally reported the matter to the NGF.Speaking on how elections had been conducted by the NGF since 1999, the Cross River governor, Imoke, who explained that the elections had always been by consensus, said the reason was to avoid acrimony that would otherwise emanate after election. Imoke said, “It is a consensus between the North and South that it will be one term. For the 14 years of the existence of the NGF, there has never been an election. The reason we agreed on consensus is because it will be divisive. Mimiko,. who expressed worry over the unfolding scenario, said that not one governor would say he was very proud of what happened at the Forum. The Ondo governor blamed the Rivers governor for the development, saying he (mimiko) did not vote during the election, but that 18 governors endorsed Jang for the chairmanship position. He added that the day after the election, 18 members reported when Jang called for a meeting. According to him, Amaechi, notwithstanding that he was a contender in the poll, took over everything, including the printing of
the ballot papers and procurement of ballot boxes which, according to him, was against the principle of democratic practice. He stated that had the governors in opposition to Amaechi walked out during the election, which was one of the options, Nigerians would have misconstrued it to mean another thing, adding that the other option was for them to smash the ballot box. He challenged whoever carried out the video coverage during the election to show the total clips. Mimiko described the NGF as a voluntary association any governor could decide to leave anytime. According to him, the best thing to do before the election was for Amaechi to step down for somebody else to preside over the election, but Amaechi “insisted that he will not vacate the seat before the election”. S/East govs endorsed me – Obi Obi said South-east governors had endorsed him for the governors forum chair before Amaechi was picked for the position in 2011, adding that he lost the position because he was not from PDP. A letter, signed by his colleagues from the four other South-Easter states: Theodore Orji, Martins Elechi, Sullivan Chime and Ohakim, with reference number SEGF/ S/GOVS/INT/1/022 and addressed to Saraki, who was then Chairman of NGF, with the heading “nomination of Mr. Peter Obi”, said, “We, the governors of the Southeast of Nigeria wish to respectfully nominate Mr. Peter Obi, Governor of Anambra state of Nigeria as a candidate for the position of Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum. ”Our action in this regard is unanimous as a zone and is borne of our firm conviction that he will discharge the functions of this office with credibility, dedication and due diligence”. The Anambra governor said he was surprised that the meeting, which was supposed to be a valedictory session for the former Kwara governor and NGF Chairman, was turned to an election event, where Amaechi emerged as Saraki’s successor, adding that he was then begged to accept the position of Vice Chairman.
PAGE 8 —SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013
FG to honour Dana crash victims BY LAWANI MIKAIRU
Gov. Obi (middle), with Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor (1st left), Chinecherem Ezenwobodo, David Ezendidika( 2nd right) and Comm. for Education, Uju Okeke ( 1st right), shortly after the governor presented the cheque of N10m for the rehabilitation of the school.
HE Federal Gov ernment will tomorrow unveil a cenotaph in honour of the victims of the Dana plane that crashed in IjuIshaga, Lagos last year. This is to mark the one year remembrance of the tragic crash which killed over 157 people. According to the Spokesman of aviation parastatals, Yakubu Dati, also in honour of the victims of the crash, the industry has instituted a safety week which will be observed from June 3, 2013 and this will be
Emergency: Condoms, narcotic drugs flood Boko Haram camps BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI, ABUJA
NDICATIONS that Boko Haram insurgents who say they are against Western education and anything to do with the west, have been deceitful, emerged yesterday after troops found packs of condoms, used and unused, in their camps. Also found were syringes and narcotic drugs believed to have been used by the insurgents to get high before embarking on their deadly attacks. A statement by the Director, Defence Information, Brig-General Chris Olukolade entitled, ‘Life in Terrorists Camp: Condoms Everywhere’, reads, “More of the dirty sides of the insurgents’ life style are being revealed as troops continue to stumble on strange and bizarre objects such as several used and unused condoms as well as charms and amulets of various shapes seen in the captured terrorists’ camps. “Other common items are
syringes, test tubes and hand gloves usually found in the rubbles of most of the destroyed camps. “Apart from chemicals and materials for producing Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) narcotics of all types are also found to be common features as troops combed through camps in Sambisa forest, New Marte, and others. “Meanwhile, Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Assessment teams are in Yobe and Adamawa States to update the reports on the
conduct of security operations in those states since deployment of troops in line with the State of Emergency. “The outcome will also be presented for DHQ’s further strategic guidelines for the subsequent phase of the operations. ‘Video clips on civilian casualty is fake’ “The Defence Headquarters has noted the dissemination through the channels of Aljazeera Television reports alleging massive ci-
‘Pini Jason, like Achebe, fought for social justice’ Continued from page 5 I am happy and proud of the team that worked with me as gover nor. Pini was a thinker; a man of ideas. I do not believe he is dead. He will continue to live in our minds,” he said. Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu said he attended the service on behalf of himself and NADECO because of the efforts Pini made to enthrone democracy in the country after the
annulment of the result of the June 12, 1993 election. According to him, the late columnist was among the people, who, through their writings and ideas in NADECO, worked for the unity of the country, saying he should be immortalised when things normalized, as the issues of bad governance which NADECO fought had become more complicated now. Among those who
Lawmakers will complement Uduaghan’s efforts — Speaker
HE executive and legislative arms of government in Delta State have been commended for the synergy in discharging their responsibilities. The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour, Dr Clement Iloh, made this known during a visit to Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, Speaker of state House of Assembly in
vilian casualties in the ongoing security operations. “It wishes to point out that the video clip being shown on the Aljazeera reports has no bearing whatsoever on the current reality in the operations areas. “It is noted in particular that the footages being referred to as civilian casualties were actually pictures of the destruction perpetrated by the terrorists at the police stations and prisons in Bama, Borno State on 7 May 2013 when the insurgents attacked the town”.
Asaba. According to Iloh, the development has put Delta above her contemporaries in creating a healthy interface between the three arms of government irrespective of the sacrosanctity of separation of power. He observed that the faithful implementation of Governor Uduaghan’s three-point agenda is attributable to this exem-
plary relationship, which has in turn brought tremendous dividends of democracy to Deltans. In his response, while congratulating Iloh on his elevation to the Permanent Secretary cadre, Ochei said the three arms of government in Delta are alert to the expectations of the public, and will continuously complement one another.
attended the burial ceremony were the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha; Chief Onyema Ugochukwu; Mr Chuks Iloegbunam; the Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, represented by his commissioner for information, culture and tourism, Chief Joe Martins- Uzodike and Chief Chris Asoluka, former commissioner for finance, Imo State. Senator Chris Anyanwu and the Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo. were represented at the occasion. Others include the Editor of Independent Newspaper, Ikechukwu Amaechi; Chairman of Vanguard Editorial Board, Ikeddy Isiguzo; his deputy, Ochereome Nnanna; Vanguard’s Public Affairs Manager, Victor Omeregie; the Publisher of the Source Magazine, Mrs Comfort Obi; Prince Emeka Obasi; Jude Emecheta; Kanayo Esinulo and Air Vice Marshal Chris M a r i z u .
done every year in the honour of those who lost their lives in one of the most tragic accidents in the history of air transport in Nigeria. Dana Flight J9 992 took off from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja in the afternoon of June 3, 2012 and crashed about 10 nautical miles to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. There will also be a memorial service which will be presided by the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah. .The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah is the chief host and the ceremony will climax with
the unveiling of the cenotaph. The safety week would kick off with the appraisal of the actions that had been taken by the aviation industry to improve safety in the sector and the lessons learnt by concerned authorities over the tragic crash. Dati said “The Ministry of Aviation has initiated a programme, the `Victims Family Insurance Programme, which is designed to provide additional compensation in case of future occurrence of air accident in the country and this is in addition to the plan to set up airlines operators insurance compensation”.
Kano Arms Stockpile: JTF seals Amingo, Wonderland Amusement Park BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI, Abuja
OLLOWING the discovery of a large cache of arms and ammunition allegedly in the home of a Lebanese in Kano, a co-owner of Amigo Supermarket and the Wonderland Amusement Park, Mustapha Fawas, men of the Guards Brigade and the Joint Task Force (JTF), on Friday night, stormed the Abuja home of the suspect. They allegedly sealed off the supermarket and park. The JTF in Kano had, on Thursday, uncovered the terror cell in Bompai, Kano where it found the
cache of arms and ammunition. The JTF also confirmed the arrest of three persons in connection with the armoury and the cell among whom was said to be Fawaz. In furtherance of investigations, the JTF stormed Fawaz’s residence in Abuja. The neighbours of the co-owner of Amigo, while relieving their experience, disclosed that troops stormed the Wuze 2 District, Abuja where the supermarket is located in a commando style and all persons found in the estate where the suspect lives were treated as potential suspects and thoroughly searched.
7 die in Bauchi road crash
EVEN persons were confirmed dead while three others sustained injuries in an autocrash along Kurwala village in Alkeleri local government area of Bauchi State. The accident, it was gathered, occurred around 8.52 am, yester-
day. It involved an articulated truck and a Toyota commuter bus. An eyewitness said the truck with number plate, XA 654 GJW, and bus MSA 214 AA, belonging to one of the popular mass transit companies, collided when one of the tyres of the bus burst.
Pipeline explosion in Lagos BY MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
pipeline explosion occurred at Ijeododo in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State, yesterday following the activities of suspected vandals. Sunday Vanguard gathered that the explosion occurred after the
downpour witnessed across the state. The explosion sparked a huge fire still raging at press time. Sources said that officials of the Pipelines Products Marketing Company, PPMC, who visited the site about two hours after the explosion, left due to lack of access road to the explosion point.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 9
All letters bearing writers' names and full addresses should be typed and forwarded to: The Editor, Sunday Vanguard, Kirikiri Canal, P. M. B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. E-mail: email@example.com
Ban the use of cell phone in schools Dear Sir,
HE last UTME result signalled a premonition that education in the country is on the verge of toatal collapse. According to the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), only 10 out of over a million candidates scored 300 and above. This revelation, to all intents and purposes underscores my conviction that federal government effort to restore the quality of education by 2015 might hit a brick wall if nothing is done soonest to curb students indulgence in frivolities. The use of cell phone has preoccupied the study time of students these days. Every now and then they indulge in the manipulation of their phones, both in the class and at home. More worrisome is their habitual practice of browsing with the gadget in the class even when lessons are going on. This development contributes immensely to the nonchalance of students towards reading. Another factor which diverts students attention and interest from making book their closest companion, is their adventure in home videos which is of course kept at their disposal by their parents or guardians. Except that constant power supply in the country is still a fantasy, they are ready to remain glued to their television sets watching films and other thrillers round the clock. A drastic measure needs to be taken in order to redirect the attention and interest in their books if the
government is still nursing the hope of restoring the quality of education in the country by 2015. Against this backdrop, I suggest that government should ban the use of cell phone by students in secondary schools. No student should come to school with their handsets. Boarding students should contact their parents when necessary through their house masters, while their day student folks should do likewise through their school principals. Parents on the other hand, have a
crucial role to play in this regard. They should monitor their children on the use of cell phones and electronic gadgets. In short, they should not keep these materials at their disposal. Reading their books and other educational materials should be made to preoccupy their time, especially those that are about to sit for their external examinations. Student characters are moulded in secondary schools, therefore all the necessary strict measures should be applied to help them become a good
SOS to Fashola on Iyana Ejigbo flood Dear Sir, HE agony people go through from Cele-Bus Stop, Okota to Ikotun Egbe or Ejigbo leaves somebody wondering whether the government of Lagos State has feed back mechanism. While one would laud Governor Babatunde Fashola for repairing some portions of the road through LAWMA before the rainy season, the same cannot be said on the quality of work , as the road has gone worse than the former state. The painful aspect is that most of the local governments or community development area chairmen are hiding under the canopy of Governor Fashola’s performance without contributing their quota to see that the state moves to another level. Now that the rainy season has come the whole stretch of the road has become almost impassable, ranging from Ago Junction to Jakande Estate. But the worst place is Iyana Ejigbo
which has craters that are causing motorists and other road users nightmare. In fact, the flood at Ejigbo is a disaster that needs urgent attention. This has made traffic wardens working in that axis to work even late in the night to see that the congesting is minimized. The question we need to ask, is where is the chairman of Ejigbo local government development area? Why can’t the chairman do something about Iyana Ejigbo? It is shameful that an area very close to his secretariat is terribly bad and he watches the people that voted him into office suffer without proffering solution or seen to be proffering solution. Penultimate Saturday, I got home by 1:10am due to Ejigbo flood, so I am appealing to Governor Fashola to visit the area to see things by himself and help alleviate the suffering of the people . Lucky Ifechukwudeni O. is resident in Egbe, Lagos.
material for tertiary education. Nkemakolam Gabriel Port Harcourt 08072257360 firstname.lastname@example.org
“Lootocracy” and not democracy! Dear Sir,
UR so-called democracy which is a charade, has been characterized by blatant and brazen looting of our national coffers at the local, state and federal levels, profligacy, stunted growth and elections that are marred by malpractices, violence and thuggery, since May 29, 1999 till date! Here is a country where the so-called democracy dividends, have been cornered by both our bloated elected and political appointees through their outrageous salaries and allowances, that are the highest in the world, while over 70% of their compatriots are living below poverty line and denied the basic necessities of life! It is very disheartening that while a great chunk of our resources go into recurrent expenditure, the little left for capital development, is pounced upon by unscrupulous Nigerians that are now richer than our country and we are celebrating democracy, which in actual fact, should be called “Lootocracy”, period!
Ifeka Okonkwo, writes in from Awka.
PAGE 10—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013
tions, the Minister stands accused of risking the lives of millions of Nigerians. This is unpardonable. At the moment we don’t know how many planes are in that condition. But, even if it is only one, the Aviation Ministry has failed to discharge its primary responsibility to Nigerians and it is not a recent occurrence. The Joint Committee made this observation, among others just as terrifying, when looking into the circumstances leading to the grounding of Rivers State Government’s jet. I watched the proceedings on television when the Minister of Aviation was being grilled and it was a pathetic performance in many respects. There was no doubt in my mind that she will be indicted for several lapses. Allowing several aircrafts to operate with expired licences is just one of several lapses which occurred under the Minister. The Joint Committee found other things wrong which point to either corrupt practices or poor management of the Aviation Ministry. The Minister was also found to have been discriminatory in the way the Rivers State aircraft issue was handled. On
The trouble with Nigerians You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it." --- Malcolm X
AST week, Wednes day, evil visited the streets of South East London and in broad daylight too. The news came in trickles so as not to alarm people; it was in the evening that the full horror of the event was unleashed as we watched a surreal still picture of a young man clutching a bloodied cleaver and knife. It was very horrific, gruesome and shocking. Across the street, you could catch glimpse of a body lying on the floor. It was the lifeless body of drummer Lee Rigby, a serving soldier in the British army. So there we were, watching the news when we heard and saw that the killers were two young black men, then we were told that they were extremists.So as the night wore on, information filtered through that they were Nigerians. Like lightening the rumour mill went on overdrive, the condem-
nations and derision began. Eventually, the press had identified the young men and this was when the full vilification grew. Many Nigerians took to the social networks not so much as to condemn the crime, but to tell one another of their displeasure that these Nigerians had tarnished their image. So I ask you if two Nigerians committed these gruesome crime so does that make all Nigerians guilty? Or does it make all Muslims guilty? Or all men guilty? I think not. So why are Nigerians making so much fuss whether they are Nigerians or not, or whether they are British-Nigerians, Yoruba or Muslim? A crime is a crime, no matter who commits it. It seems that Nigerians are more concerned that a Nigerian is seen in a bad light and in full view of the world and they are angry that they are been tarnished. They hate to lose face and that matters the most. Excuse me, a crime was committed and all they could say about is these
Allowing several aircrafts to operate with expired licences is just one of several lapses which occurred under the Minister
Aviation had been allowing aircraft owned by a foreign entity, including Amechi’s plane, paying tax to another country, to fly all over Nigeria without raising a query until Governor Amechi had a disagreement with President Jonathan. Then what was not on offence became one. That should tell Nigerians the sort of Minister we have and the sort of Ministry she runs. When she was accused of discrimination in employment at the Ministry, and suspected to be the arrowhead of the assault on Bi-Courtney, her Special Assistant wrote a rejoinder which failed to address the issue raised. Perhaps he will now explain to the whole nation
should be punished; if not everyone should be allowed to go free. “You burn the house to roast the pig. It is the only way mankind always roasted pigs”, Saul Bellow. (VANGUARD BOOK OF QUOTATIONS p 219). To make matters worse, she has rushed out a whole set of “policies” aimed at making it impossible to operate this particular aircraft in Nigeria. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of collateral damage; people who were not part of the fight have been forced to send their aircraft out of Nigeria – thereby impairing legitimate economic activities. Again, the rush of new “policies”
young men who happen to be Nigerians that they have besmirch their image. This is the trouble with Nigerians; we are quick to remove ourselves when we feel ashamed, insulted and so we disassociate ourselves by removing whatever the offending person and revert behind tribal lines, religious lines and patriotic lines. We have misplaced morals and instead of learning from incidents such as this, we avoid deal-
The Nigerian High Commissioner to United Kingdom, Dr Dalhatu Tafida, declared that these killers should be brought to justice according to the law irrespective of their nationality, that: "Even if they are Nigerians or my own children I will disown them and I expect the government to deal with them according to the law. I was shocked and disgusted when I heard the news. Whoever has the audacity to kill someone
“According to the Committee [Joint Committee on Justice/Aviation], it found that the expiration of flight permit was not peculiar to Rivers jet as there were other aircraft flying in similar circumstances in the country”. PUNCH, May 24, 2013 p27. F you think aviation matters are unim portant, just remember that the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001 has opened the eyes of all right thinking people to the fact that those things flying over our heads are bombs. And if that is not enough, DANA Airlines crash should serve a permanent notice that those in the plane and those below are perpetually imperiled each time an aircraft flies overhead. It is for these reasons that sane societies enact stringent regulations, to be implemented fully, before anyone can take a plane up. The Joint Committee of the House has just told Nigerians, in that reported statement, that the Aviation Ministry had been allowing several bombs to fly over our heads with expired permit. Irrespective of whether it was inadvertent error or deliberate relaxation of the regula-
Aviation: The minister should go
the question of ownership which the Minister maintained was unclear, the Committee had this to say. “Since the authorities did not raise ownership issues with several other aircraft having the name Bank of Utah Trustees, the allegation is in bad faith and grossly unprofessional [emphasis mine]”. In other words, the Ministry of
why the Minister operates two sets of rules – one for friends of the President and another for those considered enemies – when the Ministry belongs to all Nigerians irrespective of political affiliation. It is noteworthy that the aircraft which opened the can of worms at the Ministry was allowed to operate undisturbed, for several months, despite all the faults found against it, when Amechi and Jonathan were in good terms. Something is either wrong or not. If wrong, all offenders
Blaming is a game we are so good at, it is a sorry excuse and making excuses is the first step towards failure; it seems we do that a lot
ing with the problem, we are quick to play the blame game and pass the buck. There is only so much we play the avoidance tactics, one day we will have to come face to face with ourselves and our problems. So in order not to lose face these two men, Michael Adebolaja and Michael Adebowale, say are not Nigerians because they are born in Britain and that makes them British.So, whatever they have done, some Nigerians reasoned that then they must be British problem.
and stand out proudly as if they have done something majestic must face the law." What can I say? Do we deal with all our problems by throwing it away or instead should we not be exploring what might have gone wrong so that we can learn from it, and then make necessary adjustments. If we don't do that we are bound to make the same mistake over and over again, thus, we will never learn and move forward. I really am uncomfortable that people are more concerned that these young people are British Nigeri-
was, at least, in bad faith; or an admission of gross dereliction of duty on the part of the Ministry. She had been Minister for two years without finding the need for these “policies” to be instituted. If they were in our best interests, why wait till now? If they are not, why introduce them at all? Lastly, the Committee ended by advising the Minister to desist from interfering with the functions of the NCAA. That is putting it mildly because “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. When any Minister does not know the limits of his/ her knowledge, as in Aviation, he/she endangers all of us. The Committee should have gone further and asked the President to remove her – to avert disaster. The NCAA itself was carpeted for not upholding the law; not only on this aircraft but others as well. That was one of the agencies under her portfolio – which obviously is too heavy for her to carry. The truth is most of our Ministers don’t realize that they are public servants even though appointed by a President; they conduct themselves as if they are coowners of the Ministry with the President. THREE OF THE BEST GONE: ACHEBE, PINI JASON AND SONALA OLUMHESE “All the world’s a stage……” William Shakespeare, 1546-1616. May 2013 would remain for me a bitter/sweet month. Within the Sobowale family, which I head, by virtue of being the only male over 60 years old, it was a glori-
ous month. More on that later. I owe a debt of gratitude to some people which must be publicly discharged soonest. For me, as a writer, it was a disastrous month. I lost three great role models all at once. First there was Achebe, about whom nothing more can be added to the deluge in the media. Then, it was Pini Jason, who together with Alhaji Kola Animasaun and one Dap Dorman turned me into a fanatical reader of the VANGUARD in the 1980s. The day my own first article appeared on a Monday under the title MARKETFACT, was one of my five happiest days in 69 years on earth. I suddenly found myself writing for my childhood idol “Sad Sam” and in the company of Pini Jason and Alhaji. It took me months to get over the euphoria. They were such great writers that the only way I could distinguish myself was to become an “Area Boy ”. Pini, unfortunately, went to kingdom come in May. Finally, Sonala, columnist for the GUARDIAN newspapers, also left in May. Thank God; he is not dead. If ever there is a columnist I envy, for his craftsmanship, it is Sonala. Because of Sonala I dutifully spend N200 every Sunday to buy the paper. P.S. Sonala, if you ever read this, please visit the page once in a while. You left me with one empty hour every Sunday. Thanks for everything you have tried to do for our country; and for me.
ans rather, than the fact that these are disturbed, misguided, miscreants who have committed cold blooded murder. For what they did I would have expected Nigerians to be appalled and shocked at the crime committed and whatever they thought of the young men should be secondary. I believe that some people are convinced that whenever one Nigerian does anything bad it reflects on all Nigerians. Stop blaming others for what you have or don't have, or for what you feel or don't feel. When you blame others for what you're going through, you deny your responsibility and perpetuate the problem. Blaming is a game we are so good at, it is a sorry excuse and making excuses is the first step towards failure; it seems we do that a lot. Do I feel ashamed that they are Nigerians like myself? No, like anywhere else in the world, there are good and bad people and these men were rotten to the core. They do not represent me or my family or my friends and anyone that tars all Nigerians with the same brush, do not care to know all Nigerians and so, will be making a judgement that defines who they really are: prejudiced. You cannot be responsible for every Nigerian that acts out of the norms and values of our host countries. We, and I mean those who work closely with the community in the UK are dealing
with the aftermath everyday by ensuring that we stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the law abiding people; that we will not accept terror on our streets or anywhere else for that matter, no matter who commits the crime . What I am so impressed about is that different people from all races have come together to denounce this crime and we as community leaders are ensuring that we act fast to identify any other young people who may be susceptible to take to this misguided and disruptive path. Let open a dialogue; provide a productive and constructive way so that they are nurtured to use their talents, skills and build a better future for themselves and their loved ones. We do not want to condemn any young person to the rubbish heap; this is where the resentment set in. What we want for them is for them to contribute positively to the country. In my area, the police have doubled their presence in a supportive way to reassure people that they are working together with the black community; that they are being responsible and supportive to those in the community that may need the visibility of the police force. So, for those Nigerians who are quick to speculate and condemn a whole generation in one quick swoop: I say to you, please think and act responsibly. cringe worthy.
The burden of party supremacy
hereas the viewpoint W is strong, it is important to add that party su-
premacy presupposes that a political party would neither be frivolous nor perverse in its decision mak-
ing. Where it does and thereby creates conflict, it must give way to a superior decision on the subject made by the Judiciary which is the body legally recognized by the highest law of the land to settle disputes. In other words, if the judiciary rejects a point canvassed by a political party, neither the party nor any of its members can on the grounds of adhering to party supremacy, stick to the overruled issue. Sometimes some
Y former hall mate and com patriot, Adeseye Ogunlewe, was clearly seen by all as a fiery student in our days at the nation’s premier university at Ibadan. It is indeed difficult to forget how he radiated confidence at all times and easily passed for those generally regarded as serious students. Seye, as we fondly called him was in the same elements a few days ago when on national television, he espoused the essence of party supremacy. A strong member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he had served with excellence as Minister of Works during President Obasanjo’s administration. Seye suggests that a political party is virtually unquestionable and as such any of its members who is unable to abide by a decision of his party should be shown the way out.
erally ousting the jurisdiction of a court on such matters. Interestingly, even when a rule seeks to oust the jurisdiction of a court, the same court is still empowered to examine the validity of the purported ouster clause. Therefore, although the judiciary does not have such a term as judicial supremacy, the term ought to be in the sub consciousness of anyone who appreciates
that party supremacy must operate within the rule of law. Here, the case of Citizen Ifeanyi Araruame is germane. In 2007, Araruame, then a serving senator
etc. can never be completely realised in practice because of human fallibility and the law of unintended effects, although political leaders in various countries, through hard work, intelligent strategies, and selfless service ensure progress towards these ideals. A genuine democratic system is a form of political organisation such that both the leaders and the led work cooperatively together to improve democratic practice. Now, because the fundamental reason and premise for the existence of government is to ensure the well-
racy over authoritarianism is not that the basic needs of the citizens are more likely to be met in the former rather than in the latter, or that a democratic government cannot degenerate to a level that people would wish for a different type of government, including military dictatorship. The lessons of history are decisively against any simplistic assumption of the superiority of democracy over aristocracy and authoritarianism. Karl Popper, the Austrian-born philosopher of science and social theorist, correctly suggested that the main advantage of democracy over other forms of government is that it provides an institutional non-violent means of replacing bad leaders by the people. That said, democracy is a complex socio-polit-
PhD, Department of Philosophy, University of Lagos,
EDNESDAY last week was a pub lic holiday because, according to the federal government, 29the May is "Democracy Day". The choice of that date and the political significance it has acquired are due to Olusegun Obasanjo whose inauguration as a civilian President took place on May 29, 1999. Since Obasanjo left office in 2007, his successors, namely, Umaru Musa Yar'Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, have retained the public holiday he introduced fourteen years ago. We shall commence reflection on the event for this year by raising pertinent questions such as: What is democracy? How democratic was the political process that led to the emergence of Obasanjo, Yar'Adua and Goodluck Jonathan as President? Is May 29 the most appropriate day or date for celebrating democracy instead of October 1, the day Nigeria became independent of colonial rule? With respect to the first question, there is no better definition of 'democracy' than the one credited to Abraham Lincoln, according to which democracy is "government of the people, by the people, and for the people".
Lincoln's definition captures the core idea in John Locke's theory of politics that presents a vision of government as stemming from the powers given in trust to representatives freely chosen by the citizens of a country. This means that political authority in a truly democratic setting ultimately derives from the consent of the people who, by implication, also have the capacity to replace a set of non-performing leaders with another. There are different systems of democratic government throughout the world, and the particular system practiced in a given country is determined by the dialectical interplay of complex factors such as culture, history, demo graphic configuration, the economy and dynamics of international relations, political experience of the citizens as a whole, and so on. Most Nigerians do not realise that democracy, like every achievement of human beings, is always a work-in-progress, which can never get to a state of total perfection. Hence, the ideals of democracy, such as equal political rights and opportunities, complete freedom of choice, flawless elections
Criticism and the growth of democracy in Nigeria (1)
unique convention of the PDP is its expecA tation that its members
would operate by consensus. Anyone who breaches it can be in jeopardy. On this score, political analysts who follow the party’s activities must have been taken aback the week before when it was revealed that some PDP Governors failed to vote for Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State - the party’s anointed candidate for the post of Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF). It is in earnest strange that the signatories to the consensus agreement turned out to be more than those that obeyed the party decision. If the party punishes some and not all the transgres-
If the judiciary rejects a point canvassed by a political party, neither the party nor any of its members can on the grounds of adhering to party supremacy, stick to the overruled issue
overzealous party officials argue even openly that party matters are internal issues of the party which should not be brought before a court thereby unilat-
of the Federal Republic aspired to govern his state (Imo) and applied to his party - the PDP - to sponsor him for the election. He was enlisted among party members for a governorship primary election to enable the party choose the best candidate. At the end of the exercise, the party declared him as the winner of the contest after certifying that he scored the highest number of votes. On the basis of what no one understands till date, his victory was later swapped by the party. He went to court and his plea was upheld but his party in order to show party supremacy worked against him and he lost the election suggesting that the party believes in the rule of law minus some court judgments!
The immature and egoistic belief that the end justifies the means in politics is the most serious danger facing Nigeria's evolution towards genuine democracy
being and security of members of the society, a visionary dictatorship can actually out-perform a democratic government. For example, in spite of its excesses Lee Kwan Yew's dictatorship inaugurated a decisive transformation in Singapore, which surpassed what obtained in most democratic countries during the same period when he was in power. It follows that the main advantage of democ-
ical concept loaded with certain values, and its concrete realisation in a geopolitical space is extraordinarily arduous, and requires genuine desire and continuous effort to reduce the human and institutional obstacles that weaken its foundations. Regarding the question of how democratic (or transparent) the political processes that produced President Obasanjo, Yar'Adua and Jonathan
Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 11
sors, the envisaged strong walls of party supremacy would inevitably become weakened by the lack of uniformity in handling members. Thus, for party supremacy to be credible, it cannot be used as a tool for discrimination. Again for party supremacy to thrive, no one should be bigger than the party. PDP was thus in order when not long ago, it compelled its Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to drop his Chief of Staff because the party constitution did not provide for such a post. Yet again, a purely advisory body led by a distinguished second republic Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, to help the chairman generate ideas and strategies on how to move the party forward was similarly opposed by the members because such a committee was unknown to their party’s constitution. Along this line of thought, it is not uncharitable to expect the PDP to do away with other illegal structures like the Governor Akpabio led PDP Governors’ Forum which is reportedly not recognized by the party’s constitution
longer panders to the whims and caprices of the State Governor. For example, there is the story that the party recently gave a directive to Governor Rotimi Amaechi which he allegedly disobeyed. Consequently, the party remitted the matter above to its national headquarters to have the Governor disciplined. We hear that it was for this reason that Governor Amaechi was suspended from the party last week. There are rumours however that the State Executive Committee of the party has never met. If so, how was the directive to the Governor which allegedly was not complied with arrived at? Second, where, when and how was the resolution passed to send the subject to higher authorities for treatment? lthough the decision of the national body A to suspend the Governor
ne way of upholding O party supremacy is to ensure that members
elected into public office like Governors are subordinated to the party. Luckily for the PDP, its Rivers State branch is already actively doing this. Unlike other branches that are obviously timid, the branch has come of age and no
may have been premised on party supremacy, the Governor has cried out that it was not given a chance to defend himself before he was penalized. If this is so, the decision of the party may be seen by some critics as perverse leaving her with a burden to prove to the society at large that it is not perpetuating illegality under the guise of party supremacy. Put differently, if, the PDP did not meet the elementary requirements of the principles of natural justice on the subject; it carries a burden which party supremacy cannot discharge.
were, it is difficult to give a straightforward answer. Of course, for the three men (and others who contested and won elections at different levels} the political process is credible. However, both local and international observers documented numerous cases of electoral malpractices shortly before, during, and immediately after the votes were cast in all the elections conducted since 1999. In fact, there are indications, though inconclusive, that the quality of elections might have degenerated nationwide between 1999 and 2011. It is unnecessary to state in details here the pitfalls of elections in Nigeria, because they are matters of common knowledge across the country. Fundamentally, the problem is that our political leaders behave as if they have not learnt anything from the mistakes of their predecessors. More specifically, most politicians in the country, because of the selfish pecuniary reasons that propelled them into politics in the first place, are Machiavellians of the worst kind who believe strongly that there is nothing wrong in winning elections at all cost. The immature and egoistic belief that the end justifies the means in politics is the most serious danger facing Nigeria's evolution towards genuine democracy, and explains why political institutions in the country are not functioning properly. Even if we bring the people running the best democratic set up in the world to manage our political system, as long as politicians continue with their desperate, winnertakes-all attitude to politi-
cal power, nothing will change. Therefore, the conclusion seems inevitable: Obasanjo, Yar'Adua, and Jonathan had a flawed mandate; that does not necessarily mean they could not govern well if they really wanted to and had the intelligence, will power and selflessness to do so. Now to the issue of whether May 29 is more appropriate than October 1 as the day for celebrating democracy in Nigeria. Before we take a categorical stand on the matter, we should first determine whether there is democracy in Nigeria. Some fundamentals of representative politics, such as the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and parliament at the three tiers of government are functioning. On that ground it can be said that we have democracy, albeit a flawed and wobbly one which caters mainly for the gluttonous interests of the rich and powerful. Nonetheless, there is really no need to have a public holiday to celebrate democracy, given that Nigeria is yet to witness the dawn of a democratic government that really democratises the good things of life by working for the well-being of the masses. Obasanjo's and Yar'Adua's government benefited only themselves, their family members and well-placed business tycoons and cronies, but further impoverished the underprivileged. Goodluck Jonathan, despite his shibboleth of transformation agenda, is following the same despicable antipeople path of Obasanjo and Yar'Adua. TO BE CONTINUED
PAGE 12 — SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013
2015: Jonathan will disappoint N-Delta if he fails —Ugolor ‘
BY EMMA AMAIZE
Why Jonathan must deliver No regret for demanding that the South- South should be considered to hold the highest position in Nigeria. The crusade was primarily to redress the perceived injustice at that time. But we also have responsibility to speak the truth to those who benefited from that crusade, which that time. Jonathan is among. If we do not, future generations will not forgive us. The motivating factor at that time was to state that we should not be enslaved in our country and, as Nigerians, we should be able to aspire to become president. In addition, I think
NDDC should consolidate the work of governors in the region in terms of surpassing developmental standards laid down
Rev David Ugolor...Akwa Ibom has carved a niche for other states to follow Jonathan’s emergence has permanently ended that struggle. What we are talking about now is the issue of whether Jonathan is able to meet the challenges of leadership and, if not, we have responsibility to say that to him, irrespective of the fact that he is from the Niger Delta. Coming from the region does not give him the license not to deliver. The people from his village, Otuoke, will not forgive him if, at the end of his four or eight years, they cannot feel development impact. Also I think we from the Niger Delta as well all Nigerians that voted for him expect the best. Unfortunately, reviewing the performance so far, we can boldly say that things are not going well , therefore we should be able to say so and encourage him to re evaluate his strategy to ensure maximum development across the country. Shame It will be a win-win for us from the Niger Delta if the Jonathan presidency can deliver because we invested so much and the expectation is very high. For instance , I will not believe if I was told that, by this time, the East –West Road, which is the most important road that links the entire region, is still not completed and there is no assurance that, by the end of Jonathan’s first tenure, it will. It is a shame and we would not close our mouth in the name of South-South solidarity. We all have responsibility to remind Jonathan of his promises and let him know that his failure will give the
region a bad name. It is based on this that some of us have decided to come to together to speak out and sustain the demand for equitable development and also encourage Jonathan to rise up to the challenge of leadership. Where is he failing, where is he succeeding? One of the areas where he has not been meeting the yearnings of Nigerians is the insecurity in the country. However, I would say there are efforts being made on some selected roads in the country;
OU are among those that swanked in 2011 that a South-South president was what the country needed to move forward. So far with President Goodluck Jonathan, are you shifting the goal post? The word, swank, would not be appropriate in this case because I can remember saying vividly before the 2011 presidential election that Jonathan had the legal right to contest that year’s presidential election just like every other aspirants. Therefore, I wonder where you got your information. If you recall, many Nigerians were saying Jonathan should not contest. As a human being and a citizen of Nigeria, I feel that the presidency should not be reserved for any ethnic group because they are in the majority. Naturally, because I am from the SouthSouth, there is the tendency to speak in favour of the region but not without challenging Jonathan to prove his worth. Jonathan as a Nigerian is qualified to vote and be voted for in any election. I am an independent person and an observer and I made countless proclamations for Jonathan to prove himself and convince Nigerians on why he needed their votes and not to rely on any form of ethnic sentiments. So the question of shifting ‘goal post’ does not come to play in this case, as the call for him to work according to the mandate given him is continually being re-echoed.
EXECUTIVE Director of African Network for Environmental and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, and development activist, Rev David Ugolor, speaks on the 2015 agitation, among other issues.
Well, I do not know about his 2015 ambition, but if he is to run again, he has to prove to Nigerians that he does not only make promises, but also able to deliver them. The challenges must be attended to before the 2015 general elections. For example, the insecurity in the country must be effectively tackled, the poor power situation must be resolved because power is the bedrock of development and, in tackling the menace of bad roads in the country, the EastWest Road must not be over-
It will be a win-win for us from the Niger Delta if the Jonathan presidency can deliver because we invested so much and the expectation is very high
the aviation sector has also had a touch in the area of renovation, maintenance and standardization of airports. Elections held during his administration in Edo, Ondo equally saw his commitment to free and fair elections in allowing the electorate to make their votes count as against the trend with his predecessors using federal might to win elections. How can he win the lost confidence of Nigerians ahead of 2015?
looked. Can you look at the six South-South governors, state by state, and tell me what you think of each of them? The South-South has had its good and bad times with various governors in charge. However, I will say that SouthSouth governors are currently putting all they can in the development of the region and their various states, but they must live up to expectation and measure up to standard to justify the huge resources go-
ing into their coffers. You must also be aware of the BRACED Commission, which provides opportunity for stakeholders to make inputs and for governors and their agents to share their success and challenges in their various states. Our work in the Niger Delta gives us insight into some of the happenings in the region, Bayelsa, for instance, must be commended for the monthly transparency briefing that has been instituted as a form of stewardship report; Rivers State has a performing governor, with serious developmental strides, even in the education sector and initiating/sustaining a clear transformational policy in the state. Akwa Ibom has carved a niche for other states to follow with rapid infrastructural development that attracts people from around the world. Cross River State has made viable efforts in the area of education and tourism. Edo State has been transformed and has seen infrastructural development on roads and schools up to the rural areas, while Delta has carved a niche in microcredit empowerment of the people. In all these, there is still much to be done in the region and the governors must continue to effect changes that will affect the lives of its people positively. What of the Ministry of Niger-Delta and NDDC, have they helped? To a considerable extent, they have done well, particularly in the areas of human capacity, development and youth empowerment programmes, which is the key to the socio-economic development of the Niger Delta. Nevertheless, they have to turn their mentality from just executing white elephant projects especially in road construction just meant to see them as working. NDDC should consolidate the work of governors in the region in terms of surpassing developmental standards laid down. You are from Delta State; the contemporary agitation is for Delta North Senatorial District to produce the next governor. What is your take? We cannot sit and decide who or where the next governor of Delta State will come from. What counts at the end of the day is who the people want. All eligible aspirants are free to come out and contest, present what they intend to do for the people; and face the people in the election.
SUND AY SUNDA
Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013, PPA AGE 13
*Governor Amaechi, second left; and his colleagues of the NGF when the going was good
BY JIDE AJANI
n unadulterated nightmare! That is what Nigeria’s political space is. Yet, those who occupy and operate within that space would tell you that they are very much at home, indeed happy, operating within that space. Make no mistakes there is absolute normality in the abnormal ambience of that space. Still, talk to the major actors and the response you get is “you won’t understand”! Well understanding an act of mental disorder is one thing; relating with it is another. And that is where Nigerian politicians miss the point. Nigerians have indeed come to understand why they rig or annul elections. What Nigerians have refused to get used to or relate with is the reason(s) that politicians peddle for their serial acts of misdemeanour. Before we move on, let us seek knowledge from the American Psychiatric Association, APA. APA publishes a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder and its fifth edition hit the bookstands penultimate week. The DSM series seeks to “set strict criteria for identifying mental disorders…. And it has become the global standard for the description of mental illness”. The power and influence that the DSM series wields is so enormous that most people who seek it consider it as the “psychiatric bible”. Now, this latest publication in the series presents the thinking of the association on what constitutes a disorder of the mind. It has its shortcomings because it “medicalises normal behavior”. Another drawback is that scientists are being advised not to allow the approach of APA’s work to influence wrongly their own quest for diagnosis and treatment. Of note here is the fact that the human brain, with 100billion nerve cells, has the capacity to process very complex pieces of information for the use of humans. Relating this to the Nigerian politician is crucial within the context of attempting to fully understand why a
NGF ELECTION AND THE JUNE 12 ANNULMENT
Act of rigging as a mental disorder group of people do not see the illusion and mental ill-health in pursuing and actually doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results or outcomes. Two issues are linked inexorably here, though purely coincidentally. 20years ago this month, a presidential election was held and a winner emerged. Before the election, there were last-minute efforts to introduce shambles. Later, while the results were being announced, all sorts of shenanigans played out ultimately leading to the annulment of that election. At the end of the day, the entire transition programme of the Third Republic came to an abrupt end. And with it, billions of Naira, and millions of man-hours went down the drain with that dangerously shambolic conclusion to that Republic. 20 years after, some of the lives which were ruined along with businesses which collapsed have not come back to life just as careers abruptly ended have not picked up. The human cost of the events of June 12, 1993 remains incalculable. 20years after, just penultimate week, a group of state governors, after voting to elect a chairman for their Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, stormed out of the voting venue, raised objections and sought to misrepresent the events in which they had just participated. In fact, what they told Nigerians was not correct in every material particular. They claimed that there was no election
and that there was a list of 18 state governors who had earlier endorsed the candidacy and eventual chairmanship of Jonah Jang of Plateau State. Meanwhile, the result of the voting which they participated in showed that Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State scored 19 votes to Jang’s 16 – 35 state governors were in attendance and they all voted. For added effect, there is a video evidence of their actual participation in the process. The relationship between the June 12 presidential election of 20years ago and the voting exercise of the NGF is in the outcome: An election was held and a clique decides for other Nigerians that because it lost, then to hell with every other Nigerian. Unfortunately for the pro-President Goodluck Jonathan state governors who are insisting that Jang who lost should become the chairman, it was this same madness that played out in 1993 when state governors of the National Republican Convention, NRC, who had seen the hand writing on the wall that its presidential candidate was on the verge of losing the election, instigated a rejection of the election results. When the military struck, it did not differentiate between the Social Democratic Party, SDP, governors and their NRC counterparts. Mercifully today, military dictatorship is an anachronism. So, perish that thought of any adventure. However, locating the recent events of the NGF, that is insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians all over
MKO Abiola: His election was annuled 20years ago! again, 20years after the June 12 debacle, within the context of a disorder may not be too far from the truth. The body does not have any constitutional relevance in the scheme of things; but because some Nigerian politicians reason backwardly atimes, they have convinced themselves that appellations and sobriquets are all that is required to win general elections and not performance. Worse still, President Jonathan’s seemingly glowing mid-term transformation performance is being dulled by the meddlesomeness of some of his confidants and the poisoning of the political space with conducts that are less than noble – on the 20th anniversary of June 12. Meanwhile, President Jonathan, at the PDP Family Dinner, endorsed the falsehood that was presented to him when he acknowledged Jang as chairman of the NGF – that is a situation a President should not be putting himself. In all this, two more years plus another four years for President Jonathan’s Second Term might seem like eternity today (20 years have since passed since the June 12 imbroglio). But he would do well to ask Olusegun Obasanjo or Ibrahim Babangida how it feels to look back In conclusion, take this: What mental disposition influences adults to behave the way some pro-Jonathan governors behaved penultimate Friday regarding the election of a chairman for NGF? Discuss. C M Y K
PAGE 14—SUND AY 14—SUNDA
Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013
20 YEARS AFTER JUNE 12
BY JIDE AJANI
his is the sorry story of the massively embarrassing coincidence of the 20th anniversary of the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, and the move by some Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors annulling the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, election of Governor Rotimi Amaechi as its chairman. It is the story of how democracy in Nigeria is determined by the person defining its terms, not on the global gold standard.
NGF election crisis and the ghost of annulment
A MEETING IN THE VILLA Date line: FCT, Abuja, Thursday, June 10, 1993. A team from Nigeria’s election management body, the National Electoral Commission, NEC, visited the country’s seat of power. The Commission members needed to brief the Transitional Council about the election that would be holding in less than 48hours. The leadership of that Council included but was not limited to General Ibrahim Babangida, President; Augustus Aikhomu, Vice President; and General Sani Abacha. The Council was the equivalent of today’s Executive Council of the Federation, EXCOF. The Commission members were pointedly asked by a very senior member of that administration what their mission was! The team, led by Professor Humphrey Nwosu, told the gathering that the meeting was with a view to briefing members of the administration of the Commission’s preparations for the June 12 presidential election which was to crown the transition programme of that administration. (Read Tonnie Iredia’s interview). The response the Commission members got was not only surprising, it was shocking. That same very senior member of government asked the Commission members if they were sure that any election would hold. This interrogation almost turned into something else but it was thought to be a joke. But even the previous day, there was a legal tussle going on at an Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Bassey Ikpeme (Mrs). On that Wednesday, NEC, through its Director of Legal Services, Bukhari Bello, had been battling to convince Ikpeme that her court lacked jurisdiction to entertain a case brought to it by one Association for Better Nigeria, ABN, led by Senator Arthur Nzeribe and Abimbola Davies. Standing as legal counsel for the ABN was one Philip Umeadi – ABN had sought to mobilise Nigerians against the transition to civil rule programme and was seen by many Nigerians as receiving undeclared support from some key officials of the government of the day; and it had gone to court to seek the stoppage of the June 12 election. Meanwhile, a Lagos High Court had declared that ABN was not properly registered as explained by Femi Falana who represented the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, in an earlier case. Another court had tried to stop an election before in 1991 regarding the Delta State NRC gubernatorial candidacy tussle between Chief Eric Opia and Chief Omamuli. C M Y K
President Jonathan and Gov Amaechi... A needless tango
That was the uncomplimentary end allotted to June 12, 20years ago. That is why it is sad that 20years after, pro-President Jonathan state governors would embark on the same voyage of disruptive engagement leading to the question as to whether rigging is an act of mental disorder Then Vice President, Augustus Aikhomu, intervened and declared that “No court can stop the election”. The election held and Opia won the guber ticket.
A JUDGMENT UNDER THE COVER OF DARKNESS
ll these were already going on before that meeting at Aso Rock Presidential Villa. Therefore, at 9:35pm that Thursday when Justice Ikpeme issued an order stopping the June 12 election, many Nigerians were taken aback. Their greatest worry that ABN could injure the transition programme had come to light; but they were in for a bigger shock. The election still held after the government of the day insisted that it should go on going by the law,
the Transition to Civil Rule Decree 19 of 1987 as amended by Decree 52 of 1991 (There was another Decree 23 of 1987 as amended by Decree 8 of 1989). Mind you, there was an ouster clause in the decree which stipulated that the courts could not interfere or stop NEC in the conduct of its affairs. Yet, all these did not matter to Justice Ikpeme who gave her judgment under the cover of darkness at 9:35pm.
COURT ORDER IN FAVOUR OF A GHOST BODY
n Tuesday, June 15, while results were still being released, Chief Judge of Abuja, Mohammed Saleh, ordered NEC to stop the announcement while granting request for an exparte motion by ABN’s Abimbola Davies. The results released at that time showed Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, leading and coasting to victory over Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention, NRC. Sunday Vanguard discovered that it was actually during the week after the election that ABN pushed for formal, proper registration as a group that could sue and be sued. It was also discovered that 10days after the judgment by Ikpeme stopping the election from holding, NEC did not get the certified copy of the judgment thereby making an immediate appeal impossible. Ikpeme’s standard response at the time was that the judgment was being typed. Attempts by Vanguard at that time to get to see her were rebuffed by policemen posted to guard her house. However, Saleh’s judgment ordering the stoppage of the results’ announcement was made
Continues on page 15
SUND AY SUNDA
Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 15
Gov Jang... the anointed ‘son’
20 YEARS AFTER JUNE 12 Continued from page 14 available and handed over to NEC on the same June 15 the judgment was delivered. Interestingly, the advisory from the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Clement Akpamgbo, was that NEC should obey Saleh’s judgment. But on Sunday, June 20, NEC prepared its appeal to be heard before Court of Appeal, Kaduna, on Monday, June 21. At the point when it became certain that the Appeal Court sitting in Kaduna would give judgment in favour of NEC regarding the Ikpeme and Saleh judgments, another strange twist was introduced. On Wednesday, June 23, a terse statement from Aikhomu’s office suspended NEC as well as the entire transition programme. What that meant was that the mandate Abiola was expecting would no longer come. On Thursday, June 24, Abiola fired back saying “I can’t surrender my mandate”. On Friday, June 25, sensing the heightened tension in the country, Babangida met with Field Commanders and Principal Staff Officers of the armed forces. On Saturday, June 26, Babangida addressed Nigerians explaining that there were inherent inconsistencies and manipulation of the process hence the need to suspend the programme of transition. From that point on, it was one form of confusion after another, The nation was thrown into turmoil with mass migration across the country because of the fear of a possible breakdown of law and order. This was the story of an unending transition which terminal date kept shifting from 1990 to 1992, to January 1993 and August 27, 1993. None of this dates turned out to be
Mind you, there was an ouster clause in the decree which stipulated that the courts could not interfere or stop NEC in the conduct of its affairs. Yet, all these did not matter to Justice Ikpeme who gave her judgment under the cover of darkness at 9:35pm
feasible. To be honest, the story of June 12 is staggered. Each person involved tells the story from what he or she sees or knows. Some actors stood on June 12, some stood for June 12, while others stood by June 12.
NGF: A PRESIDENT AND HIS GOVERNORS
ne of the lessons to be drawn from the events of 20years ago is the culpability of state governors and party leaders. The same way state governors of the NRC refused to accept the result of the June 12 presidential election, some Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, state governors, inspired by today’s President Goodluck Jonathan, after participating in a voting exercise and losing, declared the loser as their chairman of Nigeria’s Gover-
nors’ Forum, NGF. Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State got 19 votes while his opponent, Jonah Jang of Plateau State, scored 16. Interestingly, Jonathan, Amaechi and Jang all belong to the same PDP. That is on the one hand. On the other hand, Rivers State is gradually being made ungovernable for Amaechi with the instrumentality of his party leadership in Abuja, using as arrow head the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, who leads another faction of the party. PDP has also suspended Amaechi. The latter has threatened to go to court. And President Jonathan, at the PDP Family Dinner just last Thursday, endorsed the falsehood that was presented to him when he acknowledged Jang as chairman of the NGF.
NGF, NIGERIA AND HER CRISES OF DEMOCRACY
ince independence, Nigeria’s political space has been characterized by pure pettiness, insincerity and a megalomaniacal pursuit of domination either by an individual or a clique. The consequence of a combination of all of these has always led to the overheating of the polity, eventually sounding the death knell of democratic experiments. But for the civil war between 1967 and 1970, the country has always pulled back from the brink, the political cliff. In the First Republic, the tussle for domination in the Western Region started it all, with the consequential ‘Wild-Wild West’ appellation occasioned by Operation Weti-e (Operation Torch it), Emergency Rule, the military coup and all that crises which led to the war. In the Second Republic, the powermongering antics of the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, fed by its expansionist tendency in the West, created a fertile ground for instability in the polity, giving the military
an excuse to strike on December 31, 1983. Muhammadu Buhari’s military administration that took over was so insensitive to the ethno-religious balancing of Nigeria such that the first top ten officers of that administration were preponderantly of the Islamic faith. He was toppled and Babangida stepped in with a promise of a political transition programme. Had he allowed the June 12 presidential elections to stand, he would have become Nigeria’s best president but something snapped and with it that opportunity for personal achievement and group progress. The crises that singular misadventure created lasted till another transition programme in 1998/1999 brought in Olusegun Obasanjo as civilian president. Again, the bug of personal interest bit Obasanjo such that he attempted to elongate his tenure beyond the constitutionally guaranteed two terms of four years each. He lost and decided to punish every other Nigerian for his loss. He imposed Umaru Musa Yar ’Adua as president in 2007, appointed a running mate, Goodluck Jonathan, that he expected to be very slavish. Yar’Adua died, Jonathan took over and decided not to be a loyal party man by upturning his party’s zoning arrangement to which he was privy to. That is the same thing that Amaechi is being accused of today – that a decision to field another PDP governor for the NGF chairmanship was violated by the Rivers governor. By the same token, a meeting on December 22, 2002, where an enlarged caucus of the party agreed that after the South’s eight years (used up by Obasanjo), the next eight years would be for the North. The principled position ‘as canvassed by the Jonathan supporters and endorsed by this paper at that time, was simply that the constitution of Nigeria is superior to the PDP zoning arrangement – another fact played out in June, 2011, on the floor of the House of Representatives when members, in defiance of the PDP’s position, voted for Aminu Waziri Tambuwal to become Speaker. It is that same principled position that has informed this paper ’s endorsement of Amaechi’s NGF chairmanship, irrespective of any seemingly dubious endorsement by the PDP Governors’ Forum. Democracy is hinged on the rule of law and a submission to the wish of the majority. Endorsing quasibrigandage, which is the best way to describe the actions of some state governors, penultimate Friday after losing the NGF election, is no more than standing the principles of democracy and decency on its head. That was the uncomplimentary end allotted to June 12, 20years ago. That is why it is sad that 20years after, pro-President Jonathan state governors would embark on the same voyage of disruptive engagement leading to the question as to whether rigging is an act of mental disorder. C M Y K
JUNE 2, 2013
Here are the thoughts of Chief Tony Anenih, Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees on how the party should proceed regarding nomination of candidates for elections without needless rancour. He also shares his thoughts on the Jonathan administration’s achievements. Excerpts: An overview In recent times, particularly in the media, emphasis seems to have been placed on issues that tend to divide us rather than those that unite us as a party. But I believe that the challenges are temporary and that, at the end, we will come out a stronger and more united party. I am sure we all realize how important unity is to the development of our great party. If we want to continue to enjoy the solid support of Nigerians, we must show to them that we are deserving of their support. We cannot afford to continue to act unruly, create unnecessary tension in the party with the consequence of heating up the polity, and expect Nigerians to applaud us. Nigerians can only be encouraged to identify with us, if the promotion of harmony, cohesion and development of the party and our nation is topmost on our agenda. Our role as party leaders As party leaders, we must collectively commit ourselves, more than ever, to work selflessly and tirelessly, so as to reposition the party. We must seek to promote unity and enforce discipline. Consider the case of the Nigerian Governors Forum where there are now two Chairmen, both members of the PDP. This is an embarrassing situation which must be urgently addressed. The supremacy of the party must be recognized and enforced. The leadership of the party will not tolerate a situation where it will preside over a divided house. If we expect the PDP house to stand the test of time, to withstand and overcome the storms and crises being fuelled by the opposition parties, we must be united, focused, decisive and dedicated to a common cause. We need a strong party. If the party is strong; if there is discipline and if there is reward for hard work and loyalty in the party, our government will be stronger and will not be easily distracted. What BoT is doing In the last few weeks, members of the BoT have visited a number of PDP-controlled states in pursuit of reconciliation. There are four more states to visit. During these visits, we had frank discussions with our state governors and other party leaders. It is true that some governors have complaints against the leadership of the party. So also have there been some complaints against the governors. In any case, the problems raised are not insurmountable, as the party leadership is already working hard to resolve them. the end of our tour of the states, which will end soon, we will collate the reports of our reconciliation efforts, including appropriate recommendations, and submit to Mr. President, for all the issues identified to be holistically addressed. The need to carry party members along Communication between leaders and followers is a very important instrument of peace. Followers deserve to be carried along in C M Y K
FALLOUT OF NGF CRISIS
How to nominate candidates without rrancour ancour in PDP PDP,, bbyy Anenih *Says party will not tolerate a divided house We must seek to promote unity and enforce discipline. Consider the case of the Nigerian Governors Forum where there are now two Chairmen, both members of the PDP governance and party affairs. It is, therefore, our duty as leaders to work out how best to do this and partake in the enterprise of charting a course that will bring maximum benefit to our party and our nation, especially now that 2015 elections are already in our national consciousness. Nigerians and the global community will judge our
party and government by our performance in office at all levels. Understanding the emergence of President Jonathan We all know too well that when, by circumstances beyond our control, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan became the President of Nigeria on May 6, 2010, and was later officially inaugurated on May 29, 2011, after his victory at the general elections, the situation in many sectors of our socio-economic life was very challenging, to say the least. The power sector was at the edge of a crisis, with power generation hovering below 2,000 megawatts. Most of the key roads in Nigeria were almost impassable. The railway was still immobile; schools and health facilities were in total decay, while agriculture was in the throes of neglect. What the Jonathan administration has achieved Today, the Transformation Agenda is already yielding great and beneficial fruits: the power situation has improved largely because of decisive
and diligent implementation of power sector reforms and massive injection of new facilities as well as rehabilitation of old ones. The railway is now up and running with the Lagos–Kano track of 700 kilometers as the flagship of this renaissance; most of the dilapidated roads which the administration inherited have been rehabilitated or reconstructed while new ones have either been completed or are near completion; so also has there been improvement in water transportation; agriculture has become a major contributor to the nation’s GDP and a veritable source of massive employment. Under this administration, the changes in the aviation sector have been quite remarkable. The rehabilitation of terminals across the country, have transformed our airports into world-class standards. Also impressive and worthy of commendation are the administration’s policies and programmes for women, youths and other vulnerable Nigerians. With programmes such as the U-Win, Sure-P and Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS), the Jonathan administration has radically expanded access to wealth creation for these categories of Nigerians. History will surely be kind to President Jonathan as the first Nigerian President to give Women more than 30% of the positions available in the Federal Council of Ministers. With the focused leadership and renovative programmes of this administration, it is not surprising that the Nigerian economy has grown in leaps and bounds in the last two years. With an average growth rate of 6.5%, Nigeria has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world and one of the most favourable investment destinations. The increasing potentials of the Nigerian economy are a product of sound financial management and, without any doubt, the credit goes to the PDP-led Government. It is remarkable that all these achievements have taken place in spite of the enormous security challenges which the Jonathan administration has been confronting. The Boko Haram insurgency is clearly the most serious security threat to our country since the Nigerian civil war. And, the administration has managed it well. Since the insurgency, government has remained calm, focused and determined in the face of this enormous problem and, I dare say, it has overcome. We all have faith that the declaration of a state of emergency in three north-eastern states would lead to the extermination of insurgency and terror in our country. We must not forget the critical role which the PDP has played and continues to play in sustaining Nigeria’s unity. Today, ours is the only national party in Nigeria with its members spread across all the nooks and crannies of the country. We, therefore, have a strategic obligation to put our house in order so as to sustain the peace which we have enjoyed in the last 14 years. Stop negative profiling of Jonathan I have said it, over and again, that there is a persistent negative profiling of the administration of President Jonathan. The opposition has
Continues on page 17
Vanguard , JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 17
Amaechi, Jang and the rest of us members of his group to cooperate with their colleagues loyal to the Plateau governor. Beyond the need to reconcile the two NGF warring groups is the fact that the crisis was inflicted on the body by the Rivers governor who broke the main rule governing the emergence of the leadership. From the tenure of ex-Governor Adamu Abdullahi of Nassarawa State who led the NGF at inception, to that of former Governor Attah of Akwa Ibom State, then former Governor Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State and exGovernor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State, there was no crisis in
BY KINGSLEY EYIDE
NTIL the tenure of the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi as its Chairman approached the terminal point, the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) was an indivisible family envied by all. Crisis started for the body however, when it became obvious that Governor Amaechi may not be ready to vacate the seat for a new person after the stipulated two year reign of an incumbent chairman. Against the constitution of the body, Amaechi insisted on an election to decide his successor even with him as a contestant. Majority of his colleagues however met and decided on a successor in the Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang. A new twist was introduced however, when the process “election” where Jang’s position was to be ratified saw Amaechi claiming to have emerged the new chairman even when the body’s constitution does not allow for a second term. Not even the production of a list with the signatures of 19 of the 36 of his colleagues conceding leadership of the body to Jang will make Amaechi pave the way for his succesor to assume office. Rather, Rotimi Amaechi says he won the Friday “election” fair and square no matter what anybody might say to the contrary. Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, who has 18 of the 35 governors on his side on the day of the “election “ is also leaving nobody in doubt that he is the authentic leader of the group. The Jang group is alleging that the process that led to the emergence of the new chairman was free and transparent but blamed whatever may have resulted in the disagreement that came after the process on the decision of Amaechi as the incumbent chairman of the governors’ forum seeking re-election and presiding over the process at the same time. The group said it was like somebody being
Governor Olusegun Mimiko a judge in his own case.The group also informed that the Rivers State Governor does not even have the constitutional right to aspire to lead the body for another term. This may be the worst time yet in the history of the Forum that has been the rallying point for governors both of the ruling party and the opposition. Being together has given them the leeway to pursue the challenges confronting their different states in a non-partisan manner. This serves the cause of democracy. Now it is doubtful the NGF can successfully operate to carry out its mandate if the current politicization of the body continues. It is within the context of this that one appreciates the call by Jang for reconciliation in the governors group. The Plateau governor obviously means well for the Forum and is enlisting the support of the leader of the other group to bring about amicable resolution of the NGF crisis. Jang, going by the press conference addressed by the chairman of his group, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, apparently have more members on its side. This puts it clearly in the majority and makes it imperative for Amaechi and
Beyond the need to reconcile the two NGF warring groups is the fact that the crisis was inflicted on the body by the Rivers governor who broke the main rule governing the emergence of the leadership succession. The leadership evolved by consensus. This was deliberate. The then governors realised the divisive tendency of allowing election to decide their leader and clearly avoided it. At the end of the Saraki leadership of the NGF, the governors also took note of the north/south dichotomy that has become a permanent feature of our political affairs. Hence they came up with an arrangement whereby the leadership of the NGF will alternate between the north and south, while the tenure of each incumbent was fixed at two years. As the then incumbent (Saraki) came from the north, the successor, automatically, should come from the south. It was on the strength of this that the Rivers governor came in the
saddle as the NGF leader. Now, having assumed office in 2011, Amaechi’s tenure should end in 2013. But this was a gentleman’s agreement, and many Nigerian politicians are not used to keeping to gentleman’s agreement, especially where the issue at hand is continuing in power. In line with the gentleman’s agreement, two candidates, from the north, actually emerged to succeed the Rivers governor. They were Ibrahim Shema of Katsina and Isah Yuguda of Bauchi. At this time, Amaechi insisted on reelection. When it became clear that Shema and Yuguda were not going to step down for each other thus narrowing down the chances of the north in the race for the NGF chairmanship, the northern governors called a meeting where both candidates were prevailed to withdraw, and Jang became the compromise candidate. Hence, the rejection of the magic of 24th of May which the Rivers governor is insisting on to proclaim himself the new leader of the NGF, though ordinarily, he was not entitled to vie for the position in the first instance. Analysts have said the Rivers governor is preparing to be vice president to a northern candidate in the 2015 polls and he needed, by all means, the NGF to realise his ambition. This has become manifestly clear in the way he has broken the ‘gentleman’s agreement’ on succession in the NGF to continue in office, and to boost his profile ahead of the 2015 race. He would seem to have been blinded by personal interest, and he is thus ready to sacrifice the interest of the southsouth against the backdrop of the yet undeclared ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan to run for second term. Many south-south leaders have branded him a traitor to the cause of the geo political zone .But it is not too late for the Rivers governor to return to the path of sanity and reconcile with the Jang group. This is the only way to keep a virile governors’ forum that serves the interest of democracy and the Nigerian people. *Eyide Is a Lagos based Activist.
‘We will not tolerate a divided house’ Continued from page 16 been relentless in churning out damaging propaganda about this administration for the purpose of destabilizing it. It is sad that a few members of our party are accomplices of this evil mechanization. I enjoin all of us to assist in promoting the policies and projects of the Jonathan administration. Our historical and political experience demands that we give President Jonathan the maximum cooperation to succeed in transforming this country into a stable and prosperous industrial nation. If we do not cherish and sell our good product, nobody will help us to sell it. We must rally round and unite behind our President in the task of nationbuilding. Since this gathering is all-embracing and fully representative of our party membership nationwide, I would like to repeat what I said in Asaba about our party primaries. I did say that, over the years, our primaries have been the most serious sources of rancour and
disunity in our ranks, and, that we usually invest so much resources and energy fighting ourselves in the primaries that should have gone into the larger battle against our political rivals. I had admonished that we could not continue this tradition of internal warfare and hope that we would have enough energy left to win elections. How to nominate candidates without rancour Consequently, I proposed that “ we must evolve a new system of selecting our flag-bearers at the presidential and governorship levels that would preserve our unity and reserve our energy and resources for the greater battle for political power ”. Soon after my address, I read in the media the positive reception and reactions to my proposition by some of our members who believed that one of the ways to do that should be the granting of automatic tickets to sitting presidents and governors who are seeking their second term. I concur with them, provided that the
sitting presidents and governors must have performed creditably with tangible results. The same may apply to performing members of the National Assembly although they enjoy indefinite number of terms. The proposed arrangement would, I believe, help to forestall frictions and acrimony in the nomination process, in the overall interest of our party and the nation. Let us appreciate Jonathan for his good works Listening to reports of Ministers of various sectors at the Democracy Day celebration held at the International Conference Centre, I felt proud that Nigerians have not been disappointed by this administration. Fulfilled by his own achievements, President Jonathan confidently asked Nigerians to develop their own criteria in judging his performance during the last two years. I do not see anything wrong, if the PDP considers automatic tickets for the President and its Governors who have performed well and are seeking for a second term. It is my view
that with the outstanding performance of President Jonathan in the areas of Power, Rail and Water Transportation, Road Construction, Aviation Reforms, Education, Agriculture, Job Creation, etc., the party should not find it difficult in granting him the opportunity to serve a second term, if he so desires. As our party moves on in the next two years of President Jonathan’s first tenure, I urge that we all renew our determination to make this nation great and prosperous. We must not be distracted by the antics of the opposition parties which have, in the past two years, shown that their understanding of being in opposition is to shoot down any policies or programmes of government, no matter how laudable.
Being extracts from the speech delivered by Chief Tony Anenih, Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, at the party’s Family Dinner, held last Thursday.
PAGE 18— SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013
By JIDE AJANI
s it not amazing and amusing that 20years after the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, leaders of Nigeria’s Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, last week, engineered the annulment of the chairmanship election of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF? In 1993, Bashorun MKO Abiola of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, defeated Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention, NRC, but the announcement of the results was ordered suspended by an Abuja High Court (which the law had barred from entertaining the suit). This is Nigeria where anything can and, thus, happen! The June 12 presidential election remains the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria. But it was annulled 20years ago this month. In the build-up to this two-part series, a few Nigerians spoken to insisted that the country has moved on. Indeed, that is true; but the country has merely moved on in the wrong direction on a faulty premise (Read main story). In this first major interview with Tonnie Iredia, the Director of Public Affairs for the National Electoral Commission, NEC, since those dark days, he makes some startling revelations. And because it is vintage Iredia, you would observe the ease with which he tries to make sense in the simplest of ways, of issues that may appear at once complex and complicated. This was not the first meeting with Iredia. Sometime in September 1987, a young-looking man, neatly dressed, walked out of the Office of the Chairman, National Electoral Commission, NEC, Professor Eme Awa. It was the first time we (political correspondents attached to the beat made up of the late Chris Imodibe and Al-Bishak, The Guardian; Gboyega Amoboye and Kolawole Ojelabi, National Concord; Anene Ugoani, Daily Times; Dipo Onabanjo, Punch; Comrade Dangana, New Nigerian; Jide Ajani, The Republic; among others) were having a meeting with him and one of the first arguments was why NEC and not NECO should be the acronym of the National Electoral Commission. This was at the old Senate Building, Tafawa Balewa Square, Race Course, Lagos. His argument was about the need for credibility in the process because the ‘CO’ part of the acronym had a lot to do with FEDECO (the Federal Electoral Commission) of old which was the bye-word for manipulation and fraud. Penultimate week in Abuja, Iredia, who is a trained lawyer and a PhD holder, explained what went down at the NEC headquarters between June 10, 1993 and the days following the election. This is just the first part.
20 YEARS AFTER JUNE 12 (1)
Excerpts: et us start on this note. June 12, 1993 presidential election was annulled. You were the Director of Public Affairs for the then National Electoral Commission, NEC. Some people have said there was a hidden agenda. This month marks 20 years after that event. What would be your first shot? I believe that there was a hidden agenda behind June 12. I don’t know who had that agenda. But I will not exonerate government because of vicarious liability and you must take both the blame and credit for whatever happened in your administration. There were things that make me feel that there was really a hidden agenda and a lot of people had an interest in that military government continuing in office in perpetuity. In this course of investigating this story and speaking to a lot of insiders, I gathered that NEC officials had gone to Aso Rock Presidential Villa on Thursday,
June 10, 1993, to brief members of the Transitional Council on preparations for the election and that an altercation occurred that was later to make sense. When we went to brief the transitional administration at that time, one of the very senior members of government first made a side talk that almost turned into something else by asking what we were really in the Villa for. And we said we came to brief government on the preparations for the election of the day after tomorrow. And he said, ‘oh, is there going to be an election’? At the point this interrogation went on, we thought it was a joke.
id this make any sense to you at that time? No! It was as if some people in government just wanted to be sure, but with what happened later that night, it became clearer what had transpired earlier in the day. This was in the morning of Thursday, June 10, 1993?
Yes! It became clear that some people in government had a fore knowledge about what would later happen that night; because I no longer took that to be a joke after the events that happened later in the day. (An Abuja High Court ordered that the election should not hold and the judgment was delivered by Justice Ikpeme, a lady, at 9:35pm, less than 36hours to the election; the commission, however, went ahead to organize the election based on backing from the government of the day). The election was on Saturday, June 12, the next day (after the election), the government newspaper of the time, the New Nigerian, wrote an editorial and what the newspaper said was what the other side of the argument had been saying but, more importantly, the newspaper accused the electoral commission of going ahead with the election when it knew that members of the public had been confused about the election holding or not. In any case, it further said the Continues on page 19
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013 — PAGE19
’We thought the ABN action could not stop us’ Continued from page 18 commission should have enlightened Nigerians very well that the election was still going to hold. But I find that very funny because one of the things that nobody would not take away from that commission was effective publicity. Some people were even accusing Nwosu of being too publicity conscious and, if anything, maybe there was something that the government wanted the commission to do but which it was not told.
*Iredia...We took Ikpeme’s ruling as a joke of the ABN, especially since the transition decree spelt out punishment for saboteurs of the programme? All that you’ve said was for government. For us in the commission at that time, we were sure of one thing, that the efforts of the ABN could not stop us. And you see, the laws setting us up made it very clear that ‘NOTHING’ could stop us. You can do whatever you like – you can sue us, take us to court, obtain injunctions and what have you – but we were not going to stop what we were doing because we did not see any challenge or any obstacle in that way. We would have preferred that there was peace and no distractions. We didn’t see the need to go and start fighting ABN since ABN had been put in a state that it could not stop us and, indeed, it could not stop us.
ow to that judgment on the night of Thursday, June 10, 1993! The judgment was delivered at 9:35pm and, judging by the schedule of work just two days to the election, you would have still been in the office. What was the first reaction when you heard the judgment? The first reaction really was that we thought it was a joke. Nobody in the commission believed that there was any such judgment. Especially at 9:35pm? Yes, at 9:35pm. The day had ended and, if the court was going to do anything, it would have to be the following day.
p until the month of June (1993), Nigerians remained longsuffering despite the shifting of the terminal date for the transition programme. Most people have their versions of what happened. You were in NEC. There was this body called the Association for Better Nigeria, ABN, led by Arthur Nzeribe and one Abimbola Davies, which was conducting its affairs in a manner meant to injure NEC. Did the commission make any move to government to say ‘please intervene in what these people are doing?’ Well, we didn’t think that the goal of ABN was to injure the electoral commission even though if they were to succeed, the injury on us would be indirect in terms of our image. The intention was to destabilize the transition programme which was dearer to the government than even NEC. So, if the government in power was going to allow a group, by whatever name called, to destabilize its programme, then it would be foolhardy for an electoral body to say ‘ we are not going to allow you injure our image’. Because this was going to be more than an election, it was about the entire programme that the group was angling to injure. The late Augustus Aikhomu, who was then Vice President, did issue a statement that the transition programme did not have a hidden agenda; that the government was going to keep its promise; they kept telling us not to lose faith, not to listen to rumours. Government made several pronouncements and that gave us the impression that government was honest and sincere and that, in the event of a legal battle, these people were going to lose. In retrospect, would you agree that NEC should have placed it on record that it approached government and warned government of the implications of the activities
The first judgment issued by Justice Ikpeme was disobeyed by the electoral commission with the active support of the government.
So, where exactly were most officers of the commission at that time? Some of us were still in the office, some were at home, some were in the hotels and we started calling one another and the general response was ‘please come off it’, ‘ which type of joke is that?’, ‘which court’? We all thought it was a joke until the following morning when we saw the papers and the press was abuzz with the judgment. It didn’t make sense to us.
hat did Professor Nwosu, your chairman, do? He put a call across to Aso Rock and we were told that we should just continue with our work. So, the chairman called a press conference and announced that NEC was going ahead and that nothing was going to stop us.
ouldn’t the commission have gone to court that Friday to obtain an injunction? Well, that position was canvassed by some people in the commission. But, at that point, there was a legal advice which
was quite persuasive. It was a judgment delivered by Justice Oguntade, an outstanding Nigerian judge. Some people had sought to stop us from conducting an election earlier and Oguntade said the decision of the court stopping us was illegal; that the law setting us up had made that clear; and he also said that such a judgment was in vain and that the commission was free to ignore that judgment and that the commission even had no business going on appeal. That judgment was read to us and we were convinced that we had no business appealing the judgment and that the commission could just go about its business. So, with that, we didn’t have any business finding out about what the rule of law said more so since the government itself had given assurances that we should just go ahead. Some times when people talk about rule of law under a military, some of us laugh. What is rule of law when military makes bad laws? In law, a bad law is a retrospective law. A bad law is a law that targets individuals which the
military was very good at.
hat election held and held well. But we’ve never had that type of peaceful elections again. What conditions made it possible to have that type of ambience? We must give that credit to the military. But the other side of it is that militaryorganised elections are no elections because people are virtually cowed into doing what they do. The militarization is such that you begin to wonder whether you were actually holding an election. Professor Nwabueze, the learned legal luminary, drew attention to the fact that in 1993 alone, over 103 decrees were promulgated to regulate elections. You can imagine that with such number of decrees, nobody really knew whether we were doing elections or not. That election was free and fair to the extent that the kind of things that people were able to stomach was just so that the military should go such that Nigerians conditioned themselves to tolerate the plethora of decrees regulating elections - like disqualifying people in the morning and bringing them back with another decree in the evening. People accepted the things that they would not accept today because they wanted the military to go. But we must also be fair that the Nwosu team was quite knowledgeable, was quite articulate, and the plans were very, very detailed. And then there was this inter-governmental agency set up just for the election in which everybody put all hands on deck. I want to believe that it would take a long while to have that type of election again if ever we do.
he election held but the Chief Judge of Abuja ordered NEC to stop announcing the results. Now, why did NEC, which claimed that the laws setting it up forbade it from obeying the court, turn round to obey the fresh order? What happened? Wonderful! This question had been asked before but let me tell you that people did not understand what transpired. The first judgment issued by Justice Ikpeme was disobeyed by the electoral commission with the active support of the government. The government itself came up with a statement that it was going ahead with the election and, therefore, the commission had the government of the day behind it. But there was this argument put forward by our
Continues on page 20
PAGE 20— SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013
meeting, I wasn’t there. Most decisions at that time were unanimous. Though I wasn’t a member of the commission, I was a staff, a director, but I was always privy to decisions and events that influenced such decisions so that, in making public statements, I would be seen to be credible and on top of the matter; so when the decision was made, I wasn’t in the picture whether it was a one-man decision or the committee agreed.
Continued from page 19 legal department that, as of that day, the statute, case law, had been put down by Oguntade and we did not have any business obeying a court that had been disallowed from stopping us; that we didn’t have any business going on appeal because the previous judgment had shown that we had no business obeying it; and the mood of the nation was such that the election had to hold. Therefore when the chairman came out to say the election would be held, there was jubilation and the mood of the nation was one of relief. Then the second judgment came.
Sorry, before that second judgment given by the Chief Judge of Abuja, Dahiru Saleh, did you not see any signs to show that something untoward could happen? Good. I, as Director of Public Affairs of the commission, brought some innovations, one of which was that the results were to be mounted on a scoreboard outside the commission’s building but within its compound so that people who were just passing by on the street would be updated with the latest and we were supposed to be displaying these results as and when they were certified to be correct, counted; and collated and the agents agreeing and affirming the authenticity of the results, we would go ahead and put on the scoreboard. After about eight of the results from the states had been put on the scoreboard, I was called into the office of the chairman and was told to go and remove the scoreboard. I became shocked when I heard this. This was before the second judgment ordering NEC to stop? Yes! The second judgment had not come.
*Iredia...we could not revert to govt after Saleh’s order
‘I was told to remove election scoreboard’ stop didn’t even look persuaded and persuasive enough about the instruction. It was as if something negative was in the air because we had announced the governorship election results in the same way, so what was the big deal?
as this instruction from Professor Nwosu, your chairman? I think it was from the election committee, which had the chairman, the chief returning officer, the resident electoral commissioners, national commissioners and the representatives of the two political parties. They were all there. They said we should stop displaying the results. At that point, I lost hope in the process; so when just later, a court ruled that we should stop announcing results, it looked as if it was a script. I didn’t know how others felt but I became disillusioned because we had done our best and one of the innovations was this result announcement on the spot. So, if it had been announced on the spot where the result, was counted and collated
I was told to go and remove it, that there was no need to display inchoate results because it was not good to start telling people who was leading when the whole results had not been received. I didn’t know if this was a new thinking by members of the commission or whether it was the political parties themselves who wanted this. Today, many people blame the military but it was the political parties that instigated most of the things the military did. It was the politicians themselves who went to the military to complain that the primaries they conducted, to determine who their candidates would be, was fraught with irregularities and dangers and that the process should be canceled. By the time the then military president came out to disqualify the candidates, people said the military didn’t want to go. Meanwhile, it was these same candidates who went and complained that their own primaries were useless and that they should be canceled. I suspect that it was these same politicians who came up with the idea that we should stop announcing the results on the scoreboard. For the first time, the directive instructing me not to display the results was not rational; it wasn’t like the directives I usually got. The persons telling me to
After about eight of the results from the states had been put on the scoreboard, I was called into the office of the chairman and was told to go and remove the scoreboard.
and I received it in the headquarters, why shouldn’t I display it for Nigerians. That put me off. Back to the question of the
court judgment that we obeyed! There was no meeting at which the decision to obey was made and, if there was any such
nd there was nothing to suggest that this was coming while the commission prepared for the election? And then the second judgment came stopping the announcement of the results and the commission obeyed? I was able to understand why the commission obeyed because something that was present when the commission disobeyed in the first instance was no longer present by the time the second judgment came. It was the government of the day. In fact, the judgment by Dahiru Saleh was that he was going to issue a court warrant to arrest Nwosu and his principal officers for disobeying the Ikpeme judgment. The first order was an order that was inanimate; the second one was personal on Nwosu and his principal officers, to show cause why they should not be jailed for contempt. Personal liberty was now involved; it was no longer just an order for the organization. Now it was clear that there was personal danger. We could not revert to government again. Why? You won’t believe that the warrant and judgment by Saleh was served on us by the then Attorney General, Clement Akpamgbo; so, there was actually nobody to run to because the Attorney General would have been the one we could have approached but here we were, he was the one who served it on us and I remember what he told the chairman. He told the chairman that if you disobey, then you are on your own; and so we knew that any disobedience was at our own peril.
NEXT WEEK *Did security operatives beat Humphrey Nwosu, NEC Chairman? *Was it true that a cheque was issued to him by MKO Abiola with a view to compromising him? *Did the security operatives display the cheque before Nwosu? *How was government able to divide NEC officials? *How was NEC dissolved and which instrument suspended the transition programme? *In what state of health was Humprey Nwosu immediately after the suspension of the transition programme?
SUNDAY Vanguard , JUNE 2 , 2013, P AGE 21
Where is her maternal instinct?
VERY time a woman feels she’s been done by in a relationship with the opposite sex, she goes yahooing about it to everyone who cares to listen - including the press”, so wrote Effiong in response to the article: ‘When you’re in love, you’ll believe even a serial womaniser’ featured on this page some months ago. “What they fail to broadcast is the number of times they’ve turned an otherwise happy no-lucky man into a nervous wreck.” He continues: “It all started when I was tired of being lonely and made an effort to get involved in a stable relationship. I was already doing fairly well in my one-man business and when I was introduced to Susan, a trainee nurse, I fell in love with her. She was big, had a great sense of humour and she loved to have a good time. When she was admitted to a nursing school outside Lagos, we both decided it was a good opportunity she dared not miss and we made love till we almost dropped until she left. It was decided she would come home as soon as she was settled so we could decide on visiting arrangements . . “Two months went by without a word from her. I tried to call her mobile, but someone replied that it had been sold to him. When I finally went to her sister with whom she resided in Lagos, I learnt she’d been on a visit once. I was baffled. I’d written her so-called college without any reply. I was at the end of my
life. Right now, the only thing I can think about is the one thing that is bad: abortion. It stole my fatherhood. At least the woman in your story had the heart to have her child . even though she knew the child wouldn’t have the benefit of a father ... “
As Easy As A, B. C? (Humour}
tether with worry when I received a letter from her asking me to meet her somewhere so we could talk. She skirted around the fact that we had gone too fast too soon in our hurry to make up for lost time. Reading between the lines, I understood that she was now pregnant. The tone of the letter showed she wasn’t all that excited, whereas being a father had always appealed to me. For years, I had dreamt and hoped that one day, I would become a father and have the pleasure of raising a family. “When Susan finally called me at home and blurted out the fact that she was pregnant, I told her that I knew. I calmed her down, but I was never so scared in my life. I felt her insecurity and had the notion that she just might try doing something foolish about our baby. “When she came to the house the following Sat-
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"
To the one my heart belongs
A thousand kiss is not enough, a thousand hug cannot compare what I feel when I think of you. My
urday, she started acting funny. Then she blurted out something I hated and nearly wanted to strangle her for even thinking of: ‘I’m going to have an abortion. I don’t want to raise this baby and end my career’ . “The hell you are’, I yelled at her. ‘’Listen, that baby is part of me too. It’s half of me and I want it!’ She started to walk out of the door. I ran after her and grabbed her arm. ‘Where the heck do you think you’re going?’ 1 asked her. “I’m leaving”, she snapped. ‘I don’t like your tone of voice’ . I was really desperate for her to change her mind. ‘If you don’t have the guts to raise the baby, then don’t kill it. I’ll raise it!.’ Argument after argument followed If it wasn’t about one thing, it was about the other. When she eventually left, 1 thought she’d finally seen reason to have the baby and at least give it a chance to live. 1
couldn’t believe she could even think of abortion. And she in a profession that saves lives? Ha, some nurse! How could anyone take care of others, . knowing that they didn’t have enough guts to take care of their own? “As time passed, Susan was being offhand, pretending to be ignorant about the baby. I started having serious doubts about her and started calling the new mobile I bought for her to make sure that she still planned on havmg the baby. There was no answer. For days, I tried, I didn’t know what to do. My business suffered and I wouldn’t talk: to anyone about it. I was desperately planning to visit her in college in spite of her not even encouraging it, when I came home to find yet another letter waiting for me. “1 was a bit frightened
heart is filled with smiles I cannot explain, with joy I cannot denial. If this is all I get just for loving you, then I don't want to live another day without you by my side. As you celebrate June 3rd, my heart is filled with jazz of joy and a blues of love. Happy Birthday my love, my heart, My Ena. Ekhas_theoryd4greatness@yahoo.com 07031338939
You are not alone!
You are on a journey And there are times you may feel isolated Unsure Lost on your path But know that no matter where you stand How afraid you are How lonely you may feel
to open it, not knowing what it might say. I sat on my bed to read the letter. It started with an apology and from there on it was heartbreaking. The nurse, the one 1 had fallen in love with, or at least had thought I had, had taken matters into her own hands and decided that she would rather have an abortion. In doing so, she not only killed the thing 1 cherished most for that short time, but killed me inside also. I could feel a big lump in my throat, and trying to hold the tears back was impossible.~ 1 howled like a wounded lion! I couldn’t believe it! The one thing in my life that I had always dreamed of and wanted had disappeared. “For weeks, I mourned the lost baby. I couldn’t help the way I felt. I wanted so badly· to be a father. I wanted to be able to show my baby all the things good about
A man asks his wife to describe him while they’re getting ready for bed one evening. ‘You’re A, B, C, D, E, F, G H, I, J, K,’ she replies. ‘What does that stand for?’ The man asks, undoing his shirt. ‘Adorable, Buff: Cute, Delightful, elegant, Fit, Gorgeous and Hot’ ‘That’s amazing,’ the man says with a big grin on his face as he pulls down his trousers. ‘What about I, J, K?’ The wife looks at her now naked hobby and replied: I’m, Just kidding!’
What a thoughtful hubby (Humour)
Paul and Jim are chatting. “It’s my wife’s birthday today and I don’t know what to get her?” Paul says. “She already has everything money can buy.” “I know, why don’t you mock-up a gift voucher?” Jim replies. ‘One that offers two hours of amazing sex, any way she wants ... She’ll be thrilled.” Paul thinks it’s a great idea. So the next day, Jim asks him how he got on. ‘She loved it!’ Paul says. “She jumped on me, kissed me, then ran out of the door yelling: “See you in two hours!”
Know that you are not alone You are never alone There is always someone Ready to take your hand Willing to guide you home Innocent Oluku firstname.lastname@example.org
I will wipe your tears away with love, I will comfort you when you are depressed, I will motivate you when you loss focus on your dreams, I will kiss you, cuddle you, pamper you and make you feel the beauty of being in love. I will play with you and watch you laugh, I will carry all your burdens for you. If money could buy life and youthfulness I will buy another 100 years for you. I love you so much. Omorville Umoru, email@example.com,08062486549
PAGE 22 — SUNDAY VANGUARD , JUNE 2, 2013
Obstacles to our cyber-dating Dear Rebecca am a 24-year-old guy, in love with a girl of 18 who I met through the internet early this year. Ever since we met, I have discovered that she always wants things done her own way. During one of our chats on internet, I told her to send me a mail and her personal picture since we have not met before. But she refused and demanded that I should send mine first. This I did before she sent hers. With what I saw on the photograph, I knew she possessed all that I need in a woman. She is a beautiful girl and since then, I have made up my mind to marry her. The first time I called her on phone, it was her mother that picked it and later gave it to her. The second time I called, the mother also picked it but warned me to stop calling her daughter. In order to avoid trouble between my girl friend and her parents, I decided to stop calling her on phone. Since I have not seen her before, she wanted me to come to Lagos where she lives so that we can see face to face. But I don’t know how to go about it because I live in Port Harcourt. Now we are having this barriers of distance and also her mother’s warning that I should leave her daughter alone. These are preventing us from knowing each other. Should I continue or call it quits with her? Please, tell me what to do. I am confused and worried. Christopher. Port Harcourt. REPLY REPL Y
he internet has opened up a new world for human beings but I don’t consider it the ideal way of dating and getting a marital partner, especially when distance and funds are barriers to your meeting face to face frequently. I’ve met a couple who got acquainted through the internet and they are now husband and wife, but these are middle-aged professional people who had been too busy to meet, date and marry people of their choice. So, they used a dating agency on the internet; giving de-
tails of themselves and what they want in a partner. The internet then matched them up. They met, liked each other and then the real courtship began, leading them to the altar. So, physical interaction is very important. You have been communicating with this girl by internet, and then on telephone. How do you know it was really her picture that was sent to you, and it was her mother who told you to leave her daughter alone, and not a friend of hers who she called in to join the game? I wouldn’t advise that you fall in love with a picture on the internet and voice on telephone. Wait until you see her and interact with her before declaring yourself in love. What you see when you meet may be different from what you’ve been dreaming of. The way she talks, walks or even smells may put you off. So also may be her mode of dressing, or her outlook on life. On the other hand, she may meet up to your expectations. There’s no way of knowing without your meeting her. As for her asking you to send your photo first when you asked for her’s, it’s nor-
mal for girls to expect the men to take the lead in a relationship. I don’t think that means she’s stubborn. Besides, there’s some growing up to do. Since she’s just 18, if you can conveniently go to Lagos to meet her, do so. You’ll know what to do further about the relationship after you’ve met. HOWEVER, REMEMBER THE CYNTHIA CASE WHICH BROKE IN JULY! She was 26, a
postgraduate student/ boutique owner who struck up a relationship with a man through the internet. She came down to Lagos from her Nasarawa base on a business trip and also to meet her internet boyfriend for the first time. She was met at the airport by him and his cousin and they took her to a hotel in Festac. They drugged her so they could collect her money. When they found that he
had no money in her possession, they went wild. They raped and then killed her. They vanished, and the boyfriend later phoned the hotel to tell them there was a corpse in their hotel. Luckily, the police traced and found them and they confessed the details above. The boyfriend said he sent an airticket to her to come down to Lagos, and a fight broke out about money and she died. The chemist boys
who sold the drug they put in her Ribena drink were also arrested, At present, we don’t know what the fate of these young people will be. You already know this story, I’m sure, and you’re laughing and saying you’re a guy and this can never happen to you. But beware! Beautiful girls have been used to lure men into being kidnapped, robbed and killed. This is a common occurrence all over the world. However, if you must come meet her in Lagos, make arrangement for a friend or relation to meet you at the motorpark or airport. Arrange your own accommodation. Meet the girl at an eatery, or any open place, and have someone with you. Remember that many entertainment points in big cities in the country have CCTV these days; you can be traced through your calls and the internet you use, etc. So, mind your steps in Lagos. Don’t go to her house since her mother disapproves of you. If you do, they could raise an alarm that you’re a robber! I suggest you leave this girl alone.
She’s hotly pursued by boys! Dear Rebecca
don’t want you to discourage me, but rather, to encourage me in this my relationship. I am a regular reader of your column. I am a boy of 18 who is in love with a girl of 16. we both love each other. She has on several occasions told me of a boy in her street who wants to go out with her, and how she has kept refusing him. This boy and his friends have violently confronted me several times, asking me to quit the relationship with my girl. They even collected the N1,000 I had on me when my girl and I were running from school one day. Apart from the boy, another guy has asked me if she is my girlfriend. But I told him she is my wife and not just a girlfriend. My girlfriend says there is nothing between her and these two boys, but I’m beginning to wonder.
I’ve asked her if she would always remain faithful to me, and she said ‘ yes’. Rebecca, I am confused. Please advise me. I don’t to lose her. Worried reader.
REPL Y REPLY
’m sorry, I’m not go ing to encourage you in this relationship, considering the way you are going about it. You are 18 and this girl is 16, so, you both have no business talking about ‘fiancee’, ‘marriage ‘faithfulness’ and ‘loyalty. |You are far too young and inexperienced for all these. You in particular, as male, having a girl to call your fiancee or wife is not a priority now at all. A stable girl as a girlfriend is not what you should hanker after, as you have many years ahead of you to fall in and out of love before you make a final choice
of who to marry. What you should do is have several girls as ordinary friends to chat with, exchange books , magazines, cassettes, CDs, etc. with, so that you can have the opportunity to study and understand girls. This would help you when you are ready to embark on romantic relationship which would lead to marriage, as you would know the sort of girl you would like for a wife. Even though a girl of 16 may get married if she is ready for marriage, this girl who is still in school like you, should have several boys as casual friends so that she too can have the opportunity to study and understand the boys. If both of you have been doing this with responsible boys and girls, you wouldn’t be talking of ‘fiancee’ and ‘wife’ and struggling to keep her. You would be paying full attention to your studies and educational career
so that you can make grades and, hopefully, stand a good chance for a bright and successful career. Know that most girls prefer successful men, so, if, God forbid, you pursue this girl, to the detriment of your studies and educational career and there isn’t a good job later, she will surely fall out of love with you and go with someone else. We all want to associate with successful people, and marry successful and responsible people, so that we can have a comfortable life. Most men who make girls their priority in life, before they’re firmly established in a good career, usually suffer for it in one way or the other. So, stop at once, all talk of marriage, everlasting love, etc. and be casual friends with this girl.
Encourage her to face her studies, and you face, yours. Don’t try to lay claims on her again, so don’t worry if you see her with other boys. You don’t own her, and are neither married nor engaged to her, so, there should be no scuffle or tussle over her. If she tells you that a boy is pursuing her, tell her that, you don’t mind, as she needs boys as friends so she can study them, but that if a man is threatening her with violence, sh should reort to her parents, who will get the Police involved. Relax in your relationship with girls and don’t be involved in any tussle over any girl, not even the one you will marry in future. This girl may not be the one, as she may be ready for marriage before you are.
•All letters for publication on this page should be sent to: Dear Rebecca, Vanguard Media Ltd, Kirikiri Canal, P.M.B 1007, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SUNDAY Vanguard , JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 23
When you fancy a bit of rough!
T’S amazing what topic crops up, when you’re having a girlie night with no man to give unsolicited “expert’ views. A couple of weeks ago, we all got together at Ini’ s, having a good gossip amidst delicious food and wellchilled booze. The topic eventually centred around sex - the fast and furious kind. It was Lillian who started it. Lately, her husband’s been treating sex as a chore. She knew he wasn’t doing it out of spite - he’d more or less hinted he didn’t have it on the brain like he used to. “‘And to think this was the same man I caught some years back bunking Ayoka in the boy’s quarters! She said ruefully. If you recall, Ayoka was a “ relative’ Rex, Lillian’s husband brought to the house to help look after the children. As it turned out, Ayoka did more than that. She made sure Rex’s sexual appetite was always satisfied - so much that Ayoka oncee. sneaked in on the two in the middle of the night where they were having sex! Rex was astride Ayoka and, as outraged as Lillian was, she now confessed she was fascinated. ..’It was the first time I’d seen live sex and I was enthralled.
Rex was at it hammer and tongs and Ayoka was screaming her head off! j} .... There’s nothing like an impromptu bonk to keep the adrenalin pumping,” Ini chipped in. She was a very sensual lady and is not embarrassed to adinit it. We instantly switched attention to her. Had she had one herself? “‘Who hasn’t, if you’re all going to be honest,” she said. “‘One occasion came to mind. It was when I was separated from my husband and Phillip, one of his friends who I couldn’t really stand, started being really hostile to me whenever we ran into each other. He knew I hated him and he pretended he didn’t give a toss. Until the evening he dropped by to pick a valued book of his in the house that my husband hadn’t returned. I reluctantly let him in so he could search for the book himself. As he flicked through the books on the shelf, he told me how genuinely sorry he was that we had separated and how he sincerely hoped we would get together soon. He actually admitted he loved my cooking. That he was impressed that a pretty and sophisticated woman like me could be a good cook
and a good mother. I was completely thrown by his complement. Sensing my confusion, he put his arm around me then drew me to his chest. Maybe I missed sex or it was the fact that the man I thought to be arrogant and stand-offish had fallen at my feet, but my response was instant involuntary. “‘As we kissed, he turned into a sort of wild beast - running his hands all over me and confessing he’d wanted to do that for years. In no time at all, we were having sex and knowing it was Phillip, a man rd hated so much, gave it as extra .edge. In between, there was a knock on my
door - it was the blasted maid wanting to know if l was ready to eat! The Sneaky idiot was always doing that - never easy to find except there was a male visitor in the house. 1 dismissed her and we both laughed. The sex was fast and frenzied but 1 asked Phillip to leave. He didn’t mind. Not a word was said about the book he’d pretended he’d come to pick either. After that, we had a couple of quickies before 1 finally made up with my husband. That put paid to our romps!’
ola, an older mem ber of the group is a young-at-heart grand-
mother. She had always confessed to being a cold fish. A mother of three, she once said she tolerated sex because she wanted to have kids. “Even after 1 lost my husband and had a few lovers, none of them turned me on,” she now said, “Until a few years ago when 1 met May. 1 was raising fund for charity and he was one of the men 1 was mandated to contact. He was over 6ft tall and quite good-looking in an unsophisticated way. He was ver y friendly and as we chatted away, he asked if 1 could come back later to collect his donation as he wanted to give me cash. “‘I came back to find his office almost empty. He was having a take-away which he offered to share with me. He had an opened bottle of wine too. After a few glasses, 1 felt emboldened enough to flirt with him. He then stood up and quietly locked the door to his office. It had a sofa in the corner and he led me to it. In a flash he was on me, kissing me roughly and messing up my hair. It hurt a bit, but 1 was shocked to feel excitement. What rd never felt in my life before! He continued shoving and grabbing at my clothes before toppling me to the floor on my back, at the same
time pulling at the belt of his own trousers. It was raw sex-filthy, frenzied and almost brutal but, like 1 said, I’d never experienced anything like it! For the first time in my life, 1 had an orgasm in that lovely brute’s hands. “When it was over, 1 even had a few bruises caused by the harsh carpet but 1 didn’t mind. 1 finally knew what great sex was. Though it was rough sex, 1 loved it; that’s what I’d been missing all my life. The affair lasted for about three months until he suddenly stopped taking my calls.He’d dumped me. 1 was devastated but 1 was determined to hang on to my dignity. 1 didn’t go to May’s office demanding why 1 was dumped. Unfortunately, I’ve never found a man to match my special brute.
daily before the morning bath the results are as-
tounding in as little asd a week’s time.
et I have the memory of that bit of rough to give me the confidence 1 need that I will find a man like him again. I’m glad I discovered I wasn’t such a cold fish after all. I’d kidded myself before that the kind of yelling, shrieking passion - the sort you read about and see in films - didn’t really exist after all. Now I know better!
Do you drain when you strain?
RECEIVED a letter from a reader of this coloum. After the customary compliments he went on to explain how when he got jugging regularly he looks so drained, his friends begin to supply him with questions as to his health? The fellow didn’t tell me enough about his life style, body type and so .. but I guess my reader may be on the skin … naturally. “If he’s s.. meaning he;s an ectormorph, then it means not burst robust in physique he would have to eat sufficiently in order not to appear to be losing weight. Another way round the problem of a speedy mecubolic rate is to adopt the kind of exercise that alows you to tone up and firm up without losing too much calories.
There are quite a few variety of low-intensity exercises being practise around the globe these days. There’s tai hi, polarity, pilates, the Alexander technique, yoga and so on. These disciplines offer physical improvements and serenity of mind without being exchaustive. I have always maintained that exercise must help the body not tire it out. If high-intensity sercise like aerobics or jogging leaves you drained then it’s about time to look else where for a form of exercise that will suit your body type. Well, the truth is any body type can do any type of exercise, the watchword being ‘moderation’. Let’s take the discipline of yoga, for instance, its gentle stretching and bending ensure
that every part of the anatomy is touched – joints limbs and vital organs. Although the postures of yoga are executed with emphasis on “not to overstrain” the benefits are so stupendous it goes to show that the effectiveness of exercise doesn’t lie in it being overstraining. On the contrary, consistent strenuous exercise can be decidedly harmful. It is not uncommon to find people looking apparently fit dying of degenerative disease. The excessiveness of their regimen has become analogous to the snake that turns its head to bite its own tail. THE REED Technique: Stand with feet close together with hang by your sides. Breathe in and raising both hands over-
head, place the palms together and dip the trunk to the left for 5 seconds. Do keep the knees locked. Breathing in again return the trunk to the upright position and dip towards the right for another 5 seconds. Then return back upright. Take in another deep breath and exhale thoroughly before bending the trunk backwards. Remain in this position for another 5 seconds. Breathe in and breathing out lower the trunk till the fore head is quite close or even touching the knees with the palms flat down on the floor beside the feet. These movements make up the Reed. The benefits: The posture tones up the muscles of the sides, the back, the abdomen and the hamstrings. It lends gentle message to the abdominal region, improving digestion and elimination. The reed is one good exercise to help you be wide awake inb the morning. Done twice
* The Reed
Yoga classes at 32 Adetokunbo Ademola, Victoria Island, Lagos, 9.10am on Saturdays
PAGE 24— SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013
Re: Scrapping of JAMB, NECO examinations I
T is normal for most human beings to resent changes, even where such changes would make life easier for us. Sometimes, though, our intuition may be right, and leaving things as they are, may be in our own interest in the long run, if not immediately. I’m sure that the experts on Education who recommended the setting up of JAMB meant well for the admission exercise. It created hundreds of all categories of jobs across the country; it harmonized syllabuses for courses of study; and it created same sets of entrance examinations to all the institutions of higher learning. Fair enough, but how has this helped to make the admission process free, fair, and productive? Is this system actually giving admission to the deserving candidates? What about the universities? Are they satisfied with this way of enrolling students into their institutions? Right from inception problems surfaced. When the Post Office was the major mode of communication, it was a problem for candidates to get their examinations number and centre on time. Parents and their wards have to besiege the nearest JAMB centre for these. The scene at the office of JAMB on Hawksworth Road, Ikoyi Lagos, used to look like a market place. Even on the day of the examinations you may get to a centre, and find that your name is not on the list. Or, there may be a problem locating the venue. Even with the internet and pin number, there is still some stress attached to this. At some centres, there are incidents of malpractice of all sorts. Later, the results of some candidates or of the entire candidates in some centres may be withheld or even cancelled. Handling so many applications is not easy, I know, but the stress to the candidate can lead to insufficient preparation for the examinations; the desperation to cheat, and likely poor performance. Details of how to check examination results seem easier on paper than in practice. There is now the newly introduced computerbased tests! How do we expect candidates from the
rural area who have had no meaningful access to regular computer use, to cope? That means there’s now a class divide in the conduct of JAMB examinations. I don’t agree with those who think JAMB should continue handling the admission exercise. Since it leads to tears, confusion and dejection for parents and their wards year in year out, it makes sense to change direction. After all, JAMB itself is not being scrapped, so, most jobs should be safe. We should face reality. If JAMB handling of these examinations has been a success, why did the universities insist on conducting their own individual tests on candidates
JAMB sends them, to determine who they will finally take in? I think the problems JAMB examinations bring far outweigh the benefits that may have been envisaged. Reactions from our readers were varied. Some vehemently opposed the idea that the government is considering stopping JAMB from handling admission into institutions of higher learning, while some think that the exercise is not been a success, and should be taken out of the hands of JAMB. I’m yet to be convinced that we need NECO alongside the other two types of examinations which have served us well for many decades now. In fact, WAEC examinations were the main ones to mark the end the secondary school education then, while the GCE was mainly for workers who wanted to go for further studies or improve on their
Helen Ovbiagele Woman Editor
match the candidates’ performance. Let the institutions conduct their own examinations, with stuff approved by the Ministry of Education. - Kunle, Olodi, Apapa, Lagos.” “Ma, JAMB is not indispensable, but since it’s been with us for so long, we might as well let it continue . The government may say that it won’t fold up completely, and it’s only going to stop handling admission, but there’s no way that jobs won’t be affected. Can we afford losses of jobs when unemployment among the young, qualified and able is so high. The thing to do is that JAMB should be finetuned to perform better;
If JAMB handling of these examinations has been a success, why did the universities insist on conducting their own individual tests on candidates JAMB sends them, to determine who they will finally take in? I think the problems JAMB examinations bring far outweigh the benefits that may have been envisaged educational qualifications. Later, it became a sort of security against WAEC examinations. “Madam Helen, the government should scrap JAMB examinations. Maybe it started out well, but these days it has become a source of stress and tears for our young people. Year in year out, the exercise is never without a hitch, and there’s no guarantee that results
making the conduct of examinations less stressful for all concerned, and giving admission to the deserving. Thanks – Afam, Abakaliki.” “Nigeria should have more examination bodies like NECO. The U.K and the U.S.A have many at that level. WAEC and NECO are not enough.” “The way I understand what the government said, JAMB is not going to be erased, but
will no longer conduct the examinations into tertiary institutions. This means that the individual university would take charge of that. I think this is a good idea. It’s only fair that an institution should have control over who it gives admission to. This would block the usual campus hooliganism which has become widespread all over the country. It would also prevent irregular admission; a situation where a JAMB candidate who had been given admission is later discovered not to have got all the required SSSE papers he/ she needed for admission. I usually feel sorry for undergraduates who are kicked out for this, midway in their tenure at the university. - Mrs Ogbe, Auchi.” “Improvement in the conduct of examinations is what JAMB needs. If admission is left solely to the higher institutions, the poor man’s child may not be taken in the highly rated universities. In the past, this didn’t matter, as some of us from the among the masses got admission into the foremost university without our parents’ influence or intervention. It was based purely on performance, and standards were high then. But things have changed drastically, and the social divide is much more pronounced these days. Abubakar, Zaria.” “Aunty Helen, good day. With regards to your write-up on Scrapping of JAMB, NECO, there’s nothing wrong with JAMB as an examination body, but some highly-placed Nigerians try to politicize JAMB, so that their half-baked and overpampered children can get admission into Federal Government universities without UTME. NECO was created merely to provide jobs for the BOYS. It should be scrapped with immediate effect! - Celestine, mnse,frc.” “Mrs Ovbiagele, with due respect to your view, why bother yourself with JAMB? Nigerian universities, especially the government ones, will soon be mainly for the lower class, as more and more parents opt for universities abroad in order to get qualitative education for their wards, and to avoid the violence prevalent on many campuses. I don’t believe JAMB should handle admission examinations. Let the individual universities admit students on their own. - Nelson, Lagos.” We thank all those who wrote in. We regret we can’t publish every response we got.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 25
er driving force is watching businesses grow. Since her days at the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce where she watched small businesses metamorphose into large businesses just by being exposed to the right platforms, Ms.Rosemary Akaette Duamlong has never lost confidence in the power of networking. Now the CEO/Principal Consultant of Gren Business Dimensions, a multifaceted organisation which specialises in business consultancy, travels and tourism, Rosemary is tirelessly doing what she believes in. In this interview, among sundry issues, she reveals how Gren Business is partnering the Benue State Government on the forthcoming annual Akata Fishing and Cultural Festival. Enjoy!
For how long has Gren operated? We’ve been in existence since 2010. Before then, I had worked with the NigerianAmerican Chamber of Commerce as its Programmes and Publicity Officer. There, I learnt the ethics and everything I needed to learn about the power of networking, and I realised that if given the right platform, a small company could actually meet someone that could help it grow beyond its owner ’s expectations. In fact, I saw this happen during the yearly international tours organised by the Chamber. This was what planted the seed for Gren Business, together with my passion for tourism. Over the years, how have you turned this passion for tourism into business opportunities for others? We are basically into building networks and platforms for organisations to leverage on, to expand their businesses and grow. We have done this for a couple of years; our major package is business tourism- we organise business tours where we take companies in Nigeria to organisations outside the country that are interested in doing business in Nigeria. On these platforms, the organisations we take end up building synergies with other foreign organisations. But we don’t only take people outside Nigeria; we also facilitate companies that are outside Nigeria to do business in Nigeria, and to also finance projects in Nigeria. The world today is a global market no matter what you are selling, so, networking is one platform that every business needs, not just in Nigeria but also the
‘Why I’m providing networking platforms for businesses’ — Rosemary Duamlong world over. It’s all about the power of networking and we provide that platform because I got to find out that the smallscale business, if given the opportunity and exposure the large-scale business have, will actually do better and grow. Who are your targets; or do you work with just any kind of business? We work with private businesses as well as with government, and there is no limit to who we could work with. We have in the past collaborated with the government of Akwa Ibom State on a number of projects and presently we are working with the Benue State government on the annual “Akata Fishing and Cultural Festival”. This festival has held for 34 years and yet, the world has not heard much about it. This is what we want to correct. This year ’s event will take place from Tuesday 4th to Thursday 6th June, 2013. The First Lady of Benue State, Deaconess Y e m i s i Suswam, is the face and ambassador of Akata 2013, which apart from the yearly fishing and cultural festival, is also focusing on highlighting the b u s i n e s s possibilities and opportunities in the agricultural and agro-allied sectors of the economy of Benue State. The business conference aspect of the Akata Festival is something I am proud to say Gren Business has now introduced. It is my prayer that it helps open up Benue
State to industries and organisations that would come in there and establish. I would be happy if by the time my collaboration with the state government ends, I am able to point at a few things and say, these are the things that came up through my business tourism innovations.
What’s your advice to organisations in Nigeria? No man is an island! The opportunities out there are great and one thing that I see here in Nigeria is that we like doing things on our own. Even States do not network with other states; everybody has this “I can run things on my own” attitude. There
Rosemary ...We are basically into building networks
should be an interconnectivity of these things through a networking platform. So I would encourage government and private organisations to cultivate the habit of networking.
What have been your challenges in this business? The challenges are enormous, especially in doing business as a woman, but I see every challenge as a stepping-stone. This has been my philosophy about life – every challenge is a stepping stone to greater things and until you start seeing life that way, you won’t surmount any challenge. However, whether you are a man or woman, what makes you stand out are the principles you apply in your
business. My major principle has been one guiding factor that has helped me succeed so far- integrity. I deliver on my word and I don’t promise clients what I cannot do. And I have an unquenchable appetite and passion for what I do.
May we know a little about your background? I’m from Akwa-Ibom State, but was born in Abeokuta where I began my primary school education. My dad was a military man. I’ve since then lived in Lagos State where I attended secondary and commercial schools, and on my mum’s insistence that I should train as a teacher, I went to a Teachers’ Training College. I
BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA
The business conference aspect of the Akata Festival is something I am proud to say Gren Business has now introduced. It is my prayer that it helps open up Benue State to industries...
taught for three years and then got admission into the University of Ibadan where I did a diploma course in Law. I later went to the Lagos State University where I graduated with a degree in English Language. My first job shortly after graduation was as a Publicity and Programme Officer with the NigerianA m e r i c a n Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, I’ve worked with Hotel Support Service Limited (HSSL), Five Star Travel where I was the General M a n a g e r, B u s i n e s s Development. In 2009, I established Gren B u s i n e s s Dimensions and a year later, I left Five Star Travel to squarely face Gren Business.
PAGE 26—SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2 , 2013
* Displaced residents
* A victim in front of his wrecked house
By EMMA UNA
HE rains lasted only a quarter of an hour but the devastating effects reverberated in virtually all the villages of Boki, located some four hundred kilometers away from Calabar, the Cross River State capital. The rains, accompanied by wind storm, pulled down houses, electrical installations, economic trees and rare plants species in the villages of Ntamante, Ishiagurube, Kakwagom ,Iruan and Okundi. Even the home of the late former foreign affairs minister, Matthew Mbu, whose body was interred in a vault in Okundi, was not spared as the roofs of some houses in the expansive estate were ripped off. The storm, which began at about 4pm, swept away virtually everything on its path. By the time normalcy returned, over three hundred and fifty houses including health posts, secondary school buildings and shops were devastated, leaving about 6,000 people displaced and one person, identified as eight year old Jany Atsu, dead. When Sunday Vanguard visited the area, the deceased victim was said to have been struck by trees pulled down by the storm while returning from farm with her aunt. The aunt, Madam Janet Abang, said the girl was an orphan having lost both parents some years back. According to the fifty-yearold woman, the deceased; another nine-year-old girl; and herself, were returning from farm located in the forest when the windstorm came and started pulling down trees. According to C M Y K
8-YR-OLD ORPHAN CRUSHED BY FALLING TREES
Help came late, aunt laments •6,000 victims cry for help her, they managed to escape from some but two trees fell from both sides on the farm path and one hit Jany leaving deep cuts on her head. “We were hurrying home along the path when two trees fell from both sides on us. When I recovered minutes later, I noticed Jany lying sideways and when I turned her over, I discovered two deep cuts on her head. By the time rescue could reach us, she had
We were hurrying home along the path when two trees fell from both sides on us. When I recovered minutes later, I noticed Jany lying sideways and when I turned her over, I discovered two deep cuts on her head. By the time rescue could reach us, she had died
died,” Mrs Abang narrated. Another victim, Obi Balim Obi (45), said she and her family were in the house when suddenly the roof of the house lifted and, on high speed, crashed on another building. “We thank God that we survived. It was like a movie”, she said. An elderly woman, Regina Onabe (95), whose body was
severely vibrating from old age and the psychological trauma inflicted on her by her leveled home, said she was lost for words on the impact of the storm. Efforts were being made by those affected to arrange makeshift accommodation while others were trying to salvage what was left of their
*Jany...killed on the way from farm wrecked houses even as some displaced persons moved to the homes of relatives and public buildings such as churches and schools. A member of the Cross River State House of Assembly representing Boki Two Constituency, Dr Jake Enya, described the incident
as pathetic and called on philanthropic organizations, individuals and government to help the victims. According to Enya, the devastation was unprecedented in the area and beyond the capacity of the people and local government to handle. “This is planting season and the people ought to be in their farm planting and what ever money they have should have been used in buying yams and renting labour and now this unprecedented devastation”, he said. The Boki Local Government Council Chairman, Chief Jonah, regretted that Boki had, in the past few years, been experiencing disasters was being said, had affected the people socially and economically. He promised that arrangement would be made to accommodate the displaced people Mr Vincent Aqua, DirectorGeneral, Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), who visited the scene of tragedy, said the disaster was beyond the capacity of the state government to cope and appealed to the Federal Government, philanthropic organisations and individuals to assist in rehabilitating the victims. In 2012, a landslide from the Afi mountain range in Boki swept away a part of Buachor community, displaced thousands of people, and affected farm lands, houses, bridges while several lives were lost. Vice President Namadi Sambo visited the place and was appalled by the devastation which was attributed to climate change.
How we chased kidnappers out of Abia, by Eze Udo BY EPHRAIM OSEJI Eze Eberechi N. Dick is Eze Udo 1 of Mgboko Mgwa Amaise Autonomous Community, Obingwa L.G.A and the 2nd Deputy Chairman, Abia State Traditional Rulers Council. He is also a member of Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH), Aba. He speaks on governance in Abia State. Abia State appears to be passing through a critical period. What’s going on? I do not understand what you mean by “critical period” because every time in the life of an administration is very critical, especially to an administration like that of Ochendo, His Excellency, T.A. Orji that is totally committed to service delivery. He is saddled with enormous responsibility of paying salaries with the little allocation from the Federal Government and still embarks on enormous infrastructural development. And if you go around Abia State, you will testify to the massive infrastructural development spread across the state. Only recently, His Excellency flagged off the construction of 10km road network in each of the 17 local government areas of the state. This is an unprecedented feat by any measurement. It would be unfair to judge him without considering the background of his assumption of office. He almost did not have first term. Most of the first term was spent in litigations but he was courageous to face the challenges of governance. Having said that, when he came on board, he challenged
himself on two things based on experience. First, was to liberate Abia State from the structure that he inherited. And he successfully did this. He systematically dislodged some of the bad things going on before he came which hindered service delivery. It is not about doing temporary popular projects. When we say that Gov. T.A. Orji is doing legacy projects, projects that will stand the test of time, we know what we are talking about. This is the time we are practising real democracy in Abia State. It’s not a government of those you know or those that are sponsoring you. It’s the government of the people- grassroots support. That is what I have seen and that is what makes me feel that we are running a true democracy for the first time in Abia State. Most importantly, Ochendo has taken us back to the main stream of Nigerian politics and we have started reaping the benefits. All the long abandoned federal roads in Abia State are being either renovated or reconstructed. Take, for instance, the Aba-Enugu–Port Harcourt Express that was a death trap which is now wearing an entire
Eze Eberechi N. Dick new look, not to talk of the recently flagged off AbiribaOhafia-Arochukwu federal road. Some South-East states are experiencing insecurity while Abia State seems to be at peace. As a traditional ruler, what do you think should be done to stabilize the polity? And what role should the traditional institution play? A few years back when kidnappers dislodged from Rivers State relocated to South- Eastern states, Abia became insecure and investors fled. It was one of the most critical periods of this administration and it is through challenges like this that you know great leaders. A leader faced with what T.A was confronted with at that period could have thrown in the towel especially at a point it became clear that most of the atrocities were targeted at Ochendu, either to tarnish his name or present him as incapable of being governor. But the foresight of His Excellency in taking us back to the main fold of Nigerian politics was to play another important and positive role to attract the Federal Government
JUNE 2, 2013
which sent troops and other agencies to deal a fatal blow to that scourge. And kidnapping disappeared. What many people do not understand is that if Abia was still in the opposition camp, the Federal Government could not have responded so promptly. This episode happened just a short while ago, but people seem to have forgotten. Top businesses and industries folded up in Aba. Powerful individuals went on self-exile. But today life has returned because peace has been restored. And there could be no better legacy than somebody creating enabling environment for the economy to thrive once again. Despite the giant strides you have mentioned, there are criticisms against the leadership style of Governor Orji. Ochendu prioritizes his projects. He executes peopleoriented programmes, unlike those leaders who embark on flamboyant projects at the spur of the moment only to abandon them. I have said that he is courageous and eventful – not moved by chorus actions, and stampeded by political marauders. This is not to say that he is not encouraged by the support of his million admirers. His service delivery trait is what prompted me to step out to talk. What is on ground in terms of infrastructural development in the State and is it enough to justify all the positive things you are saying about Governor Orji? In terms of roads, there’s hardly any part of Abia that has not felt the impact of Ochendo. People also seem to have forgotten that before Gov. T.A Orji came, Aba had reached a stage where nothing was coming from it because successive governments had failed to address the problem of access roads into Ariaria. It is T.A. Orji’s administration that addressed that. He has set records in the health sector, as hospitals are upgraded and rebuilt. Diagnostic centres of
— PAGE 27
International Standard for specialist care built, medical personnel trained and equipped. Tertiary and other institutions of learning are taken care of with their infrastructure rebuilt. Every Abia child and even non Abians go to school free of charge. While agriculture is Ochendo’s priority, loans of billions of naira have been given to farmers. Farm inputs worth millions of naira have been distributed by Ochendo and his wife, Lady Mercy Odochi Orji (Osinulo). He built International Secretariat, International Library that compare with those seen in America. There is hardly any community in Abia that does not have a transformer, courtesy of Ochendo. The Diagnostic centre in Umuahia has reduced the need for our people to go to India and the UK for complex health problems. In addition, the well over 110 health centres scattered in all parts of the State have made health care affordable to the rural populace. How do you look at the role of the wife of the governor towards the development of the state? Lady Mercy Odochi Orji is wonderful. Widows, the indegent and the handicapped have been greatly touched. While Her Excellency’s NGO is involved in the various communities, she has also mounted a campaign against HIV – AIDS scourge and has distributed relief materials in terms of food, clothings, medications, hospital beds and mattresses to destitute homes and the needy people. What is relationship with the traditional institution in the state? Cordial, very cordial. His remunerations and gift of cars have been highly appreciated. The truth of the matter is that we have impeccable relationship with Ochendo that was never before obtainable. As a royal father, what is your advice for the governor? Let Ochendo get ahead courageously with his usual humility and cool headedness.
‘Pains on Ayobo-Ipaja Road to end in November’ BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
he slow pace of work on the reconstruction of Ayo bo-Ipaja Road project, awarded by Lagos State to Plycon Construction Company, an indigenous construction firm, has become a source of worry to road users and residents of Ayobo and Igbo-Ilogbo, in Ipaja-Ayobo Local Council Development Area, LCDA. The road links over 10 communities in the area in Alimosho Local Government Area. However, respite is on the way for road users in the area as government gave its commitment to deliver the project in November. Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Femi Hamzat, assured residents of government commitment to delivering a standard road at the end of the day “as the situation has attracted the attention of Governor Babatunde Fashola who is interested in early completion of the project”. Fashola, actually, paid an unscheduled inspection visit to the project site and gave an ultimatum to the contractor to deliver. Last weekend, the contractor mobilised more personnel and equipment to the site in apparent response to the executive order even amid the rains. The Project Manager, Mr. Leke Adeniji, while speaking to Sunday Vanguard, and assuring the project would be completed by the new deadline, explained some of the challenges of the road construction project thus: “This
*More equipment deployed to the project site month represents the 18 months of construction of the road project. We have completed 60 percent of the median, 90 percent of the drains and 65 percent of the walkways. From this section of the road, Ipaja Road, what we will be doing next is the paving work”. According to him, the major challenge they had on the project was the terrain of the community. “Most incredibly is the amount of rainfall experienced yearly in the community. The rain posed a serious challenge for road construc-
tion.. From Baruwa to Megida Bus stop, we have completed 90 percent of the drains which represent the most challenging aspect of the project. What we are doing now is to raise the carriage way up to the required level before we commence the grading of the surface. We have been able to more or less complete that. And we have opened the section of the road, from Ayobo to Megida Bus stop. However, from this section of the road-Oluwaga, to Megida Bus stop, this is where we have a Herculean task. It required utmost concentration”, he stated. Adeniji was optimistic that by November, the project would be completed. “By then, we would have had six months over run of the project which was earlier scheduled to finish within 18 months. But given the challenges we have faced on this project, we do not think that it is an extra-ordinary amount of additional time to take on the project. “We believe that by the end of July, we would have covered substantial percent of the paving work but between July and November, we will be tiding up certain things. For instance, on the Moshalasi end, there is no any drainage work for us to do on this portion of the road. But we have to resurface the area and we are certainly not going to do that when it is raining. We will wait till September to do the milling down and resurfacing of that area. We have a very high degree of certainty that by November, we will hand over the project for
PAGE 28—SUNDAY, Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013
Cent enar or P a. A damson RCCG, Province 4, Centenar enaryy celebration ffor Pa. Adamson
From left: Chief Samuel Adedoyin, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Oba of Lagos, Alhaji Tijani Adamoh Adamson, Baba Adinni of Zumratul-Hujjaj of Nigeria, celebrant and Alhaja Kuburat Adamson
T is not often a celebration of 100 years on earth light up the society pages, so when the highly revered Baba Adinni of Zumratul-Hujjaj of Nigeria, Alhaji Tijani Adamoh Adamson th celebrated his 100 birthday on Wednesday at the City Hall, Lagos Island, it called not only for world’s attention but media razzmatazz which the reputable Islamic leader deserves. Many high-profile personalities, including the Oba of Lagos and his chiefs attended the occasion which the centenarian made all the more memorable when he requested to have the floor for his ‘celebrant dance’. Photos by Kehinde Gbadamosi
holds success seminar
he Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Lagos Province 4, Apapa took the act of worship to the next level when it held a success seminar tagged “Guiding Youths to Career Success- the Role of Parents” at the City of David Sanctuary, Oniru Lagos. Several speakers delivered papers on the issue. Photos by Diran Oshe
L- R: Elder Niyi Yusuf, Elder Chris Otulana and Elder Ajayi Coke
L-R: Mr Peter King Abiodun, Dr Kunle Adamson, and Mr Adebayo Adamson, childern of the celebrant .
L-R:Mrs Tanwa Ayoola, Mrs Tani Godo, and Mrs Sekinat Afolab
L-R: Mr Muyiwa Adetiba, Uncle Bisi Lawernce and Mr Onuorah Aligbe
L-R: Chief Lamina Olaseni, Chief Omogbolahan Durosimi, and Chief Ibikunle Adio Bailey
L- R: Deacon Tony Akinjisola, Pastor (Mrs) Dorothy Anazodo and Pastor Tom Ogboi
L- R: Pastor Phillip Igbinijesu, Guest Speaker , Prof Olukunle Iyanda, Guest Speaker, and Mrs Titilayo Akisanya , also a Guest Speaker
The Mensahs dedicate child
r. and Mrs Eyo Mensah brought their new baby girl, Nkoyo before the Lord for dedication at the African Church Cathedral of Christ, Calabar, Cross Rivers State.
Ven. Ekpo E. Duke and Dr & Mrs. Eyo Mensah with daughter Nkoyo C M Y K
Dr & Mrs. Eyo Mensah with daughter, Nkoyo
L- R: Mrs Hannah M. Egere, Mrs Titilayo Akisanya ,Princess Olateru- Olagbegi and Mrs Arinade Bola Carew
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013 —29
Triple celebrations ffor or the Omatsones
mbassador (Elder) Daniel Omatsone and wife, Pastor (Mrs) Ademuyiwe Omatsone hosted family and friends last Sunday, when the couple celebrated their 80 th th and 70 birthdays
The celebrants; Amb. (Elder) Daniel Omatsone; 80th and Pastor (Mrs) Ademuyiwe Omatsone 70tht
L-R: Ambassador Michael Ononaiye; Chief Kofi Kartey and his wife.
respectively. As if that were not special enough, the couple also rolled out drums to celebrate their 50 years of marriage. The three-in-one celebration galore began with a thanksgiving church service at Four Square Gospel Church in Victoria Island, Lagos. Photos b y Lamidi Bamidele
L-R: Amb. Akporode Clark; Amb. Olujimi Jolaoso, his wife and Professor JP Clark
Ef heer onkw o’s wif e Efffer ervvescent ccheer heerss as Sen. Ok Okonkw onkwo’s wife turns 50
ady Chinyere Annie Okonkwo, the loving, dutiful and delectable wife of Senator Annie Okonkwo turned the golden age of 50thlast Sunday, May 26 . In celebration of the special occasion the popular Senator held a deluxe exclusive birthday soiree at their sprawling and exotic seaside lawn in Ikoyi. As the Senator said, nothing is ever too much to dramatise his gratitude for three decades of marriage.
Senator Annie Okonkwo and wife, Lady Chinyere Okonkwo, celebrant.
Dor cas and Esther Band mar ks 3rd anniv er sar Dorcas marks anniver ersar saryy
R-L: Engr. Tony Omatsone; Pa Allison Ayida; Arch. Noyor Omatsone and Alero Otobo
Professor Egerton Uvieghara (right) and his daughter, Jiru
If eoma and K elly Ifeoma Kelly
rince Kelly Ebiyemi Emiko, son of Prince Yemi Emiko and Ifeoma Emana Edet wedded in Lagos some weeks ago. Family and friends were there to witness their glamourous union.
L-R: Mrs Edet, bride's mum, Mrs and Prince Yemi Emiko and Mrs Vivian Edede, groom's mum.
DORCAS and Esther Band of the Holy Order of Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church, Ibudo Ayo, Jah to fun mi, Ayo Ni O, Iyana-Ipaja, Lagos, celebrated their third year anniversary with a thanksgiving service. Photos by Joe Akintola, Photo Editor
Prophet Adekunle Adeleke, Apt Tunde A.Olaewe, Mr Isiaka Subair, adviser to the church, Snr Apt E.Adeoye, Baba Ijo and Most Snr Apt Abayomi Ajibola ,Founder & Prophet in Charge C M Y K
Aladura Qudri President Dorcas & Esther Band,Mrs O. Ibilola Vice President With Evang A.A Lawal MemberAnd Prophetess Folake Ajibola Secretary
L-R: Chief Kofi Kartey, Chief Ayiri Emami, Prince Kelly and his wife, Ify, Chief Eyewuoma and Prince Yemi Emiko.
PAGE 30, SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013
C M Y K
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 31
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SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 33
PETROL: The big rip-off
‘Ingenious way marketers swindle motorists’
HARP practices in the downstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum industry have continued to have a heavy toll on end users as many fillings stations selling. Premium Motor Spirit also known as petrol in the country have resorted to under-dispensing of the product. The nefarious activity perpetrated by petroleum marketers has gone unnoticed by many motorists as they drive into the filling stations to fill their tanks. For every ten liters sold to a motorist, it is not unlikely that he drives away with less than seven litres due to the adjusted meters by the filling stations. The implication is that the petroleum marketer gains additional three liters. According to findings, petroleum marketers make about N4 per litre on a truck load of 33,000 liters as they buy around N93 per liter (depot price plus transportation cost) to bring the cost of purchase to N3.069.000. When sold at the regulated price of N97 per liter, actual profit will amount to N132, 000. But to hike their profit margin, investigations
revealed that the marketers adjust their fuel pump meters. For instance, ten liters of fuel will cost N970 at the rate of N97 per liter. But with the adjusted meter, motorists pay the actual price (N970) but drives away with about six
BY KUNLE KALEJAYE
DPR said over 500 filling stations had been shut for under-dispensing and other related offences
liters which amounts to N582. So there is a difference of N388 which has fraudulently gone to the purse of oil marketers. To magnify the marketers smooth operation, multiply N388 by the average of 10 million under-dispensed litres out of the 30 million litres of petrol consumed daily in the country and what you get is N3.8 billion loss to motorists. Nigeria’s petroleum regulator, Department of
Meter Petroleum Resources, DPR,saddled with the responsibility of regulating, monitoring and enforcing the laws in the sector, used the Seraphin Can to expose filling stations involved in the nefarious act in Lagos recently. The ten-liter Seraphin Can is used by the DPR to ascertain the exact dispensing meter measurement of filling stations. When filled to the level of ten liters, dispensing
meters that have been adjusted will show above ten liters on the display board. When this occurs, the filling station is shut by DPR officials. DPR said over 500 filling stations had been shut for under-dispensing and other related offences. According to the regulatory body, other offences committed by filling stations include compromise of safety standards and lack of proper storage
facilities. The DPR Manager, Downstream, Lagos Zone, Mr. Kunle Soyebo, said the purpose of the recent monitoring which yielded the filling stations underdispensing was to ensure strict adherence to rules and regulations in the downstream sector. “The exercise, which you have just witnessed, is carried out by our men twice every week. Any filling station operator that fails to comply with rules and regulation will have his licence revoked,” Soyebo said. “For the affected stations, we have issued them letters to report to our office and, if they fail to show up, their licences will be revoked. So far, we have been able to shut over 500 filling stations across the country. These stations will remain shut until they comply with our rules and regulations.” During the exercise, it was, however, discovered that there are some good guys in the business who adhere to the rules on the dispensing of petroleum products. Major oil marketers were not found wanting as they maintained a clean sheet in their operations while their names were engraved in the good books of the DPR.
UN: A new agenda to end poverty by 2030 BY ADEOLA ADENUGA with agency report
commitment to end extreme poverty by 2030 is one of the key recommendations from an international panel co-chaired by David Cameron. The British prime minister urged a “ new global partnership” to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems as the body ’s report was presented to the UN. Other goals include improvements in women’s rights, universal access to water and ensuring food security. But an explicit commitment to reduce income inequality is not included. Aid organisations have been pushing for this to be recognised as part of a new framework for international development after the expiry of the 2015 deadline for achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). ‘Clear roadmap’ The MDGs sought to halve
extreme poverty, defined as people earning less than $1.25 (83p) a day, but the panel called for a more ambitious goal over the following 15 years. The panel said its proposals aimed to carry forward the best of the Millennium Development Goals, which it credited with the fastest poverty reduction in human history, things like tackling hunger, healthcare, water and education. But it also recommended a broader approach to global development. At the core should be efforts to slow climate change and protect the environment, the panel said. One of its specific recommendations is to oblige big companies to report their impact on the environment in addition to their financial accounts The 12 new targets also include suggestions to strengthen productive capacity and improve business environments, and they
recognize the importance of peace, good governance and rule of law. This more holistic approach to development has the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030, defined as living on less than one dollar and 25 cents a day. The panel’s report will serve as the basis for a two-year debate among the UN’s 193 member states on the development agenda to be adopted in 2015. Thursday ’s report, to be presented to UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon, will form the basis for two years’ negotiation on the agenda to replace the MDGs. Mr Cameron, who chaired the panel alongside Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Indonesian leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said the report set out a “clear roadmap” for eradicating extreme poverty by 2030. “We need a new global partnership to finish the job on the current Millennium Development Goals, tackle the
underlying causes of poverty and champion sustainable development,” he said. ‘Squandered opportunity’ Among 12 measurable goals set out in the report are an end to child marriage and equal rights for women to open bank accounts and own property. The panel also recommends bringing together development and environmental agendas, with targets for reducing food waste, slowing deforestation and protecting ecosystems. It also stresses the need for countries to give citizens confidence in their governments by promoting the rule of law, free speech, transparency and cracking down on corruption. With Mr Cameron on holiday in Ibiza, the UK is being represented at the report’s launch in New York by International Development Secretary Justine Greening. Labour said Mr Cameron, who discussed the findings of the report on a recent visit to the United Nations, had squandered a “prestigious
opportunity” to show leadership on the world stage. ‘Ambitious vision’ A UK government spokesman said the proposals set out in the document were bold. “They get to grips with tackling the causes of poverty - weak institutions, corruption and a lack of basic freedoms as well as setting out an ambitious vision of ending things like hunger, illiteracy and violence against women,” he said. “This is vital work because Britain cannot compete, thrive and lead in isolation from the rest of the world.” Oxfam said it was pleased by the 2030 poverty target but warned that future goals would be undermined “without action to ensure that wealth is spread more fairly”. “Billions of people risk being left behind by economic growth, and in a world of finite resources the wealthiest cannot continue to expect more and more without hurting the rest,” said its senior policy advisor Katy Wright.
PAGE 34—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013
THAKKAR’S BUSINESS LESSONS
*Thistle Praxis: Why ‘young billionaire’ is coming to Nigeria BY ADEOLA ADENUGA
N times past, when the word billi onaire was mentioned, the
image that sprang to mind was one of an elderly man, circa 55 years of age, dressed formally in a business suit, carrying a cane or umbrella and most probably wearing a top hat. Think Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Ford and even the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet. But times are changing. The face of the billionaire has changed and so has the image. The average billionaire is in his 30s and his daily office is jeans, tee shirt and trainers. Think of IT entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Sergei Brin and Mark Zuckerberg. The business frontier has changed drastically. Wealth is no longer to be drilled and dug for over time. These days, wealth is a click or a code away. The average billionaire is a college drop out with no work experience. His work tools are his imagination and ability to solve 21st century problems. Innovation is the name of the game and technology and the internet have become the enablers and play ground of the 21st century billionaire. A few years back, Forbes magazine crowned Ashish Thakkar, who is just 30, Africa’s youngest billionaire. Thakkar, who has strong Indian roots, holds British nationality and lives in the UAE, is the founder and visioner behind the Mara Group of Companies which, at the last count, employs over 5,000 people across 18 African countries. Thakkar started out in 1996 in Uganda where he sold computers to his classmates, friends and even his school. In time, like many IT entrepreneurs, he dropped out of school, though as he says, “After some intense convincing, my parents agreed to let me start my own business on the condition that I would go back to school if it didn’t work out.” Well, it did work out and Thakkar soon put the small fortune he made from selling computers into a conglomerate that now includes real estate, hospitality and infrastructure. Come June 20 and 21, Thakkar will deliver the keynote speech at this year’s African CEO roundtable on Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility at Tinapa, Nigeria, an annual conference that is charting a new path for a mutually beneficial synergy between the private and public sectors. Speaking on the choice of Thakkar as keynote speakers, Ini Onuk, Lead Consultant of Thistle Praxis, convener of the roundatable, said, “ Ashish Thakkar has one of the fastest growing businesses in Africa. The Mara group is known as one of the businesses that have unleashed a lot of growth, he has the Mara Foundation pushing up serious entreprenuership among young people. He has a packaging company which has grown, within two years, into a multi-billion Naira business. He has an IT business which has grown in leaps and bounds. He is starting up a sugar manucfacturing company in Africa. He is also starting up a glass company.“ Thakkar is focused on doing going things the amazing fortune he has amassed. To make this happen, he launched the Mara Foundation, the non-profit arm of his conglomerate, which, according to him, “ focuses on entrepreneurship and education”. The group places equal emphasis on internal growth and structure and on strategic partnerships with global experts in various fields. Fully committed to see Africa grow educationally, economically and socially Thakkar’s Mara Foundation is a multidisciplinary foundation that identifies, targets, supports and helps incubate young
I believe it is imperative for businesses to give back to their communities. I have taken my greatest lessons in business and created the Mara Foundation to help early stage entrepreneurs
Ashish Thakkar entrepreneurs providing not just capital but mentorship and space for growth. Thakkar, like the great billionaire philanthropists before him, believes in giving back and not in an adhoc way but in a sustainable, measurable and incremental way. “I believe it is imperative for businesses to give back to their communities. I have
taken my greatest lessons in business and created the Mara Foundation to help early stage entrepreneurs. We are very proud of the work we do through the Foundation which is helping to tackle problems in education and providing the much needed support to young entrepreneurs at the start of their journey. Mara Foundation provides three different types of support. The first is the Entrepreneur Launchpad, a business mentorship program which connects
emerging entrepreneurs with top business leaders who have volunteered to provide mentorship for six months. This project has mentored around 120 small businesses in East Africa so far”, he said. “The second is Mara Launchpad, the Base for Growing Businesses, an innovation and enterprise center for young businesses, where entrepreneurs pay an affordable fee to access a professional office space and a community of like-minded individuals. This provides visibility and credibility which enables them to grow. The third element is the Mara Launch Uganda Fund, which offers venture capital to start-ups and growth-stage companies in Uganda to start with. Our vision is to copy and paste these initiatives in other African countries too.” As Thakkar arrives Nigeria, Ini Onuk wishes that CEOs would come to hear him speak and share his views which she believes would be beneficial because “Ashish, though quite young, has been so innovative“. She adds: “He is globally recognized as a trasformational leader. Forbes has named him Africa’s youngest billionaire; the World Economic Forum named him one of the world’s global leaders. He is a thinker and he has shown example of how you can be young and be a leader and how you can drive an innovative business with sustainability in mind.“
Cheque printing: Accredited firms may not meet local demand BY KUNLE KALEJAYE HERE are indications that the recent T decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to accredit only two local
firms to print 300 million cheques and other security paper instruments for the 22 banks in the country may not be the best economically due to lack of capacity by the firms to meet the demand of banks. The CBN, in collaboration with the MICR Technical Implementation Committee, conducted the accreditation and re-accreditation exercise of cheque printers in Nigeria in line with the Nigeria Cheque Printers’ Accreditation scheme qualification criteria. At the end of the exercise, only two local printers were selected. Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc was curiously delisted at the end of the accreditation and re-accreditation exercise. Prior to the circular (BPS/DIR/CIR/04/ 2013) to “Deposit Money Banks, Cheque Printers and other Stakeholders on the the Accreditation of Cheque Printers for 2013/ 14”, signed by Dipo Fatokun, Director, Banking and Payments System Department of CBN, dated May 9, 2013, findings revealed that the accredited firms printed only a fraction of cheques used by banks in the country. Security printing firms print cheques, certificates, and other valuable documents. Until the new regime, a significant percentage of such printers were foreignbased. Businesses in the country were executed via their intermediaries, known as brokers. Stakeholders in the sector believed that the implication of the apex bank’s decision will be chaos economically, citing the capacity of the accredited firms to meet the demands of the banks. Delisting 13 firms with the exclusion of foreign printing firms by the CBN, according to findings, has increased the production burden of the accredited firms to print cheques and other security paper instruments.
The CBN, in the circular, stated that the reason behind the non- re-accreditation of foreign based printers was in line with the bank’s policy to domesticate cheque printing in Nigeria, adding that all banks are, by the circular, reminded to patronise only the CBN accredited cheque printers. Some stakeholders, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the CBN’s policy to domesticate cheque printing in the country is a welcome development. “It is a welcome development to domesticate cheque printing in the country because it will lead to healthy competition and a reduction of prices as seen in other sectors of the economy. However, foreign printers should be allowed to build a strong customer base because they are willing to invest in Nigeria, but insecurity, lack of stable power supply may hinder them to come in and invest,” a stakeholder said. “I am sure that these investors (delisted printers)will require extension of time-line that will enable them initiate their projects for local production.
“Putting the printing of cheques and other security document in the hands of two printing firms to meet the demands of all the banks in the country will only take us back to the early days of banking when customers will have to wait for as long of six months or more before they can receive their cheque order. ” The delisted foreign printers include: Kalamzoo Secure Solutions Ltd, Birmingham, England; Security Print Solution, UK; CFH Total Document Mgt Ltd, England: Smith and Ouzman Ltd, England; Tall Security Print Ltd, England; A1 Trade Print Services, England; Papi Pinting Coy Ltd, UK; Corrinum Continous Ltd, UK; Euphoria Comm. Ltd, UK; and DLRS Group, Ireland. Others are Camelot Ghana Ltd, Accra, Ghana; and Shave and Gibson Group based in South Africa. It would be recalled that the apex bank initiated NICAPS as part of the Federal Government’s local content enhancement policy, to stimulate indigenous entrepreneurship.
From left: The Customs Area Controller of Oyo/Osun Area Command, DC Richard Oteri, Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Mr Musa Kimo and Deputy Controller of Customs, Administration,Mrs Charity Nkanu, during the official handing-over of ammunition by the Customs to the Police in Ibadan, Oyo State
Vanguard , JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 35
The Christian Attitude to Money T
ODAY, in this country, the craze for money has infiltrated every segment of our society. From the religious leadership through to the traditional and the political, there is no difference. The things being done and said in order to enrich ourselves with money are no longer moral. Immoral ways and means are, today, the norm in every facet of our national life. We read in our dailies of men and women who bear names that identify them as “Church-goers” who steal money meant for either those they are paid to serve, or used for the welfare of those who voted them to be in power. In years past, we heard of thousands and millions of Naira stolen; today we hear of billions in Naira and Millions in dollars stolen! No segment of our society is revered any more. Church leaders, in order to compete with politicians and shady business men and women, ride the latest vehicles and aircraft, live in mansions, use the same methods to acquire the same astronomical amount of money. Business women and men engage in shady deals in order to keep their bank accounts fat. They refuse to honour agreements made with business partners, and, in a bid to get justice, the one who feels cheated assassinates the cheat! Politicians, in order to keep winning elections, divert allocations meant for the development of their constituencies for private use, and the maintenance of their very expensive life-styles! Businessmen and women inflate contract sums, cut corners and produce sub-standard materials in order to make more money for their life-styles! The results are there for all to see: collapsed buildings, political assassinations, slow and painful deaths in hospitals due to substandard drugs! Journalists are not shielded from this craze - they publish articles written by those seeking cheap publicity, and get paid; they distort facts and murder truth, all in the interest of stashing away money in their bank accounts. Sadly, most of those involved in all these deals bear names that identify them as Church members. In a pluralistic country like ours, with two contending faith communities, the challenge is always there for them to out-do each other in obeying the teachings of their scriptures! As followers of Christ, we are challenged to be faithful as stewards of all we possess; that includes money! This is what has informed our synod theme for this year: THE CHRISTIAN ATTITUDE TO MONEY (Heb.13:5). Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” In studying what the Christian attitude to money should be, it is strongly advised to take seriously the whole of the New Testament canon, with all its variety. An important reason for a comprehensive approach is that when we take very situationspecific injunctions and attempt to universalize them, we quickly run into
conflict with other New Testament imperatives that are equally important. For instance, some Christians take Luke 12:33, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor”, to be incumbent on all Christians in every situation, and follow this injunction to the letter. When that Christian meets the commandment, “Do not neglect hospitality” (Heb. 13:2), how does that Christian offer hospitality, having no home or possession? In other words, a canonical approach suggests that there must be a balance in the way we evaluate the evidence, not universalizing a calling or demand that may be meant for particular persons, living in particular circumstances and places. It is also important for Christians to note that much of the orientation of the New Testament towards money and wealth is a carry-forward from Old Testament assumptions about the subject. These assumptions include the following: (i) The assumption that God is the Creator and Owner of all things. (ii) God’s creatures are not owners but only stewards of the material things, even when one has worked for them and earned them in a sense. (iii) We find in the Old Testament the convictions that human beings are fallen, and that the internal battles with things like greed are ongoing; one cannot afford to be naïve about that. (iv) Finally, in spite of the many warnings in the Bible about wealth (repeatedly associated with idolatry and apostasy), a believer must be wary and take a cautious approach to the issue of money and possessions: - Isaiah’s caution to the wealthy in Israel (Isa.3: 16-24) - Amos critiqued the idle wealthy, warning them that they were going to
BY JOSIAH IDOWU-FEARON
Josiah Idowu-Fearon....Believers are encouraged to rely on God, and not on their financial advisers, for the provision of their basic need cannot simply focus on the Old Testament or New Testament texts that say that, sometimes, wealth can be a reward and blessing from God for good, honest labour. We must meditate on the whole witness of the Bible. This is where we create problems for other believers. When we treat, say, certain verses in the Book of Proverbs in isolation from what the rest of the entire Bible says, and without an understanding of how proverbs and maxims work, then we do not merely mistake the part for the whole but we even violate the character of the part which says that, sometimes, material
The New Testament does not suggest that material poverty is inherently a more spiritual condition than wealth, though clearly there are a few stumbling blocks to a healthy relationship with God for the poor
be the first to go into exile (Amos 6: 47). - God Himself complained that having blessed Israel, she became rebellious and idolatrous, “forgetting the God who gave you birth” (Dt.32: 10-18). PITFALLS IN ATTITUDE TO MONEY Today, prosperous Christians either deliberately ignore, or they are not aware of these warnings, and this is why our fallen attitudes about wealth and prosperity are no different from those of ancient Israel. The texts quoted above remind us that we
things are a blessing from God and a reward for good, hard labour. When we turn to the New Testament, the warnings about wealth as a potential stumbling block is intensified. In other words, the New Testament is harder on the assumptions of the health-and-wealth Gospel than the Old Testament. It is the New Testament that stresses that a person is not to store up his or her treasure on earth, and urges that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Furthermore, the most we can get from the statement, “Seek ye first ..and all these things shall be added, “ text is that the believers are encouraged
to rely on God, and not on their financial advisers, for the provision of their basic need (Acts 4:34; Lk. 6:31; 2 Cor. 9:10-11). These texts do assure us that God can and will give His people what is necessary to sustain an obedient life, though there will undoubtedly be times of testing. When God is blessing a person with material prosperity, usually the text says that God is doing this for the righteous, which is to say those who are likely to use such resources in a good and godly way. For others, ruled by their errant desires and lust, prosperity is seen more as a temptation and a snare than a blessing. In any case, the New Testament is very clear that the goal of the Christian life is not success or prosperity, but godliness and contentment, which Paul stresses as the greatest gain of all. Are the Poor more Spiritual? The New Testament does not suggest that material poverty is inherently a more spiritual condition than wealth, though clearly there are a few stumbling blocks to a healthy relationship with God for the poor. According to Wheeler (1995), there is no repudiation of material goods as such in the New Testament. The disciples may be directed to sell their possessions and give to the poor; they are never directed to simply throw them away. The necessity and goodness of wealth as a resource for the meeting of human needs are affirmed, while the same epistles which condemn greed as idolatrous commend provision for oneself and one’s family as a duty. The New Testament and the Prosperity Gospel We begin this sub-topic with the question: to what extent is it possible
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Vanguard , JUNE 2, 2013
Continued from page 35 for a prosperous Christian to hear a call to simplify one’s lifestyle and give more to the needy? This is a pertinent question because one of the great problems with the prosperity Gospel is that it removes any lingering guilt about being a conspicuous consumer and, indeed, accelerates the process of spiritual deafness to the cries of the poor. It gives permission to turn off such nagging voices in one’s head, or to write off poor people in general as victims of their own bad choices, or the like. Some Basic New Testament Teachings on Possession and Wealth In the New Testament, material poverty is never seen as a good thing in itself. By the same token, material possessions can be seen as a good gift from God meant to meet the needs of oneself and those of other persons. However, we are all fallen creatures and so self-centred, which create room for an infinite capacity for selfpurification and rationalisation of one’s behaviour, especially the expenditure of our so-called disposable income. This is why a good thing, namely material possessions, can simultaneously become a means of turning human hearts away from God (Blomberg, 1999). From the New Testament, we also learn that what one does with one’s money reveals where one’s heart is, and whether or not that heart has been transformed when a person claims to be a Christian. The wealthy but godly patriarchs are all depicted as having shared generously with the needy. There was a connection between their spirituality and their generosity. We can therefore conclude that a person who is really trusting God finds it easier to let go of material things and be motivated to generosity and kindness. Furthermore, the New Testament suggests that certain extremes of wealth and poverty are clearly viewed as intolerable, though it is hard to quantify such things (Wheeler 1999:245). The Bible therefore really talks about all things in moderation, though extreme sacrifice is often encouraged and commended in specific situations. The New Testament and Assistance to the Needy We turn to St. Paul’s appeal to the church at Corinth for this sub-topic. There are several lessons here which, if taken to heart, would help us in our Christ-like witness in a country where many are departing from kingdom principles. In 2 Cor. 8-9, Paul gives us certain principles: a) He teaches us that the Christian should give according to his/her means (vs. 11). b)The goal here, as Paul says, is not that others should be relieved while the giver is hard-pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty (i.e. the giver’s) will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty (the receiver’s) will supply what you need. The goal is equality (2 Cor. 8: 13-14). By equality/equity within the body of Christ, Paul assumes that the customary system of patronage will continue, and that there will be some Christians with more, and some with fewer, possessions. He appeals to the Christian principle of
The Christian Attitude to Money
Josiah Idowu-Fearon....Christians should take care of their own
PAGE 36 —SUNDAY
It is not enough simply to be an honest person earning an honest Naira. Our business ethics must match our Christian principles
generosity, but he does not suggest a foolish sacrifice. He advises giving “according to one’s means.” Equality here may just be what we read about in Acts, where it is said that no one should go without necessities, so that giving is done on the principle of each giving according to their means and each receiving according to their needs. Paul is certainly not in favour of some being burdened while others are eased. c) Paul uses the example of Jesus Christ who humbled Himself in the sense of becoming a human being taking on material poverty in order that He might gain spiritual riches for His followers. He then urges the Christians in Corinth to make similar sacrifices like Jesus did, out of generous hearts and a real concern for equity. Here therefore, Paul is urging that a reciprocity relationship be set up between two very different parts of the Christian Church (Jerusalem and Corinth). For now, the Jerusalem church needs material help. But Paul foresees a day when the Jerusalem church might reciprocate if a need developed in Corinth. In giving by the Christian, the phrase “give from what you have” (2 Cor. 8:11b) is of importance. Paul is not asking the Corinthians to go and take out a loan in order to help. Nor is the sheer amount the crucial thing. He says that if enthusiasm and sincerity are present then any size of gift is acceptable. Here he is no doubt encouraging less well-off Christians to contribute without feeling a sense of shame about the little they can give. In an honour and shame culture like ours, shame is often an impediment to giving by those of moderate means. In 2 Cor. 9:7, Paul stresses that each individual should decide in his or her own heart what will be given, and not do it reluctantly, for God loves a cheerful giver. Paul also suggests that such giving, which he says is like saving, leads to a proportionate harvest – if you sow little, you reap
little. For Paul, the household of faith must take care of its own; this involves a transnational entity called ekklesia (church) of God, not merely a local congregation. Why God Blesses People In 2 Cor. 9: 6-11, Paul preaches that God often blesses people materially in order that they may be a blessing to others. In verse 9, he enunciates a principle of “enough”. His prayer is that the audience will have enough so as not to be dependent on others. Paul is talking here about financial independence of a certain sort, a sufficiency that enables generous giving to others. What we do with our surplus money reveals our true character. A further benefit of giving is that thanksgiving and praise will be given to God by those who receive what the Corinthians give. So, the end result of such giving is that good witness is borne to God before a watching world, and more Christians are actually led to praise God. IMPLICATIONS OF PAUL’S TEACHINGS ON GIVING While it is clear that Paul does not advocate for communism of any sort, it is also clear that he does advocate for communalism, or community-ism. By this, it is meant that Paul believes that the Christian community must not allow any of its members to be in want. Paul sees this as an obligation not merely within a particular congregation, but as a part of an empire-wide group of churches. Christians should take care of their own. Paul’s advocacy for equity does not mean that all persons should have exactly the same quality and quantity of material resources. He is interested, especially in a time of economic crisis, in the Jerusalem church to set up reciprocity networks so that the needs of that church can be taken care of by other churches who can certainly afford to help. We need to also notice the emphasis on not creating further
problems by burdening the givers in order to alleviate the need of the receivers. Concluding Thoughts In light of the New Testament, we need both the micro and the macro ethics when it comes to matters of money, wealth, possessions, work, remuneration, and the like. It is not enough simply to be an honest person earning an honest Naira. Our business ethics must match our Christian principles. If one has considerable assets, one has to ask hard questions such as: - Has the money been made while investing in wicked enterprises and compromising companies? One must work to disentangle oneself from the ways of the world and its businessas-usual attitude and conversations. - The whole idea of saving up huge sums of money for oneself and one’s family so one can live a life of ease or luxury, having no need to work any longer, is an all-too-modern notion, without any biblical warrant. The New Testament as a whole encourages us to have generous hearts. It encourages us not to live our lives for “unrighteous mammon” in a self-seeking and self-centred manner. It encourages us to put our ultimate trust in God, and be willing to demonstrate that trust through sacrificial giving. It encourages us to be wary of, and wise about the fallen economic and political institutions of this world, and to do our best to disengage from their unethical practices. The New Testament urges us to have a theology of enough, that is, to live by a principle that godliness with contentment leads to great gain in ways that cannot be monetarily quantified. The New Testament encourages us to deconstruct and disengage from the rat race for success, prosperity, and wealth. Greed is repeatedly warned against as a souldestroying force. The goal of the Christian life is not prosperity or even happiness, but, rather, godliness, holiness, loving God and loving our neighbours wholeheartedly. The New Testament does not promise an equivalent monetary boom for whatever amount one gives to a good Christian purpose or ministry. One is to give without any thought of return. But there is also the promise that God does bless in various ways those who generously give to others. In 2 Cor. 8-9, Paul does not encourage calculation, by which I mean he does not encourage the Corinthians to assume that God will automatically give them back more than they have contributed to the collection for the Jerusalem Church. Nothing in this or any other New Testament text suggests such a Conclusion. Sometimes the rewards for material generosity are simply spiritual, and, rightly seen, those rewards are in fact more precious and valuable in the kingdom scheme of things. The New Testament asks if we have embraced kingdom principles when it comes to money, possessions, wealth, ministry, remuneration, and work. If we have not done so, or have not done so sufficiently, then at this synod, we hope we will do something about it.
*Idowu-Fearon (Ph.D) is Anglican Bishop of Kaduna Diocese
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 37
By HENRY UMORU Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark has great credentials: a lawyer, an administrator, Ijaw national leader, a nationalist, a freedom fighter and leader, South South Peoples Assembly. He was Commissioner for Education, Mid-Western Region, 196871; Commissioner for Finance and Establishment, Bendel State, 1972-75; Federal Commissioner for Information, 1975; and senator, 1979-83. In this interview, the Kiagbodo born elder statesman, who turned 86 recently, bares his mind on Nigeria then and now, the politics and judiciary of yesterday and today; the governance of then and now; among other issues. Excerpts:
E.K. CL ARK AT 86
I speak the truth, I damn the consequence •‘The secret behind my longevity’
ill you say the Nigeria of today represents the dream of past leaders? How do you feel celebrating 86th birthday? Glory be to Almighty God to attain the age of 86, it is the blessing of God. It is a long way, I feel humbled, happy and fulfilled. When you see yourself growing from young age, you run around, you go to school and do other things, now you are no longer the person you were before, you are old now and the world is different from what it was; when you look back, so many of your friends, your age mates have passed on. One is happy that one is seeing Nigeria at the age of 86. When I was young, young men during the first republic feared that those who were in government at that time were old men and they had a different pattern of leading. These were young men, some of them were 36, 40, 50 was one of the highest at that time and they were dedicated to serving Nigeria. They put Nigeria before themselves; even though there was corruption, it was minimal. There is nothing wrong with anybody working for government and you have something out of that job; but when you think of yourself first and you take almost all the money that comes to the government you are working for or the department you are heading or the ministry in which you are permanent secretary, it is sad. You take 80 percent and give the people 20 percent and that is why there is no development in Nigeria today. It is not that the people who were ruling Nigeria in the first republic were different people. The difference is that they thought of Nigeria before themselves. Rigging of election was minimal. It was after the election only in Western Nigeria during Akintola’s time, I think in the 1959 elections, that some people said when a man wins a free and fair election, there is no problem, but when you try to impose yourself on the people, the people will fight because that is not their choice. So, that led to ‘Operation Wetie’ in Western Nigeria and that brought the first coup in Nigeria in 1966. Another challenge is ethnicity in Nigeria politics today. At that time, nobody was talking about where you C M Y K
*Clark ...Warri was a place for everybody came from. In my little home in Warri, the district council that is the local government council was a place for everybody. The Igbo were elected chairmen, there were councillors, like Ezeyaku. Urhobo man won the chairmanship election in Warri. And if you come to the regional level, Dr. Azikiwe was more popular in Lagos and the West than he was in the East, his native place. It was reported that during the election, Igbo won election in Yoruba land, but today it is not possible. Politics in Nigeria has become a profession, it has now become a money making venture. When I was commissioner for education, my sister was supposed to
go to school, she thought I would give her scholarship; I said ‘no, what will people think? I won’t give you scholarship, we are in a position to pay, your father is a wealthy man, your brother is an ambassador.’ She couldn’t understand I was giving scholarship to every lady in the state, and I won’t give her. But, today, people think more of their families; the office they are holding in trust for the public is now regarded as a family affair. I say to some of my friends, ‘if you occupy certain positions, your families must suffer, but when you are out, they will gain from other people’. When I was commissioner for education and finance, I was able to give scholarship to people, but I didn’t
give my people; I was able to construct roads for other people’s villages, but I didn’t construct for mine. For instance, the road that you now call East West Road was started by me under Ogbemudia. When I left office in 1991, and my father died, I said, `how we are going to get the road, water, light’, because visitors were coming. The governor drove to my village, called the whole community together and said this was what your son did when he was in office and it’s my turn to do mine. My village was able to get water, electricity, but the road could not be completed before the burial. What I am saying is that when people get to office, they want to do everything for themselves not thinking that they belong to the people. As an old man who is 86, who must have seen it all, looking at the present government, between the parliamentary system and presidential, which one do you prefer?. People blame the system, but there is no system we cannot practice in Nigeria, the fault is in us, not the system. Talking about the parliamentary system and presidential, if we practice the presidential system as it is in America and other places, there is nothing wrong. If we practice the parliamentary as it is in Great Britain, there is nothing wrong, but when you combine the two to suit your own purpose, to take what is good for you and leave what is not good for you, the only difference is that the parliamentary system is less costly, it is not as expensive as the presidential system. The same election you conduct in presidential system is the same election for parliamentary. In countries where the systems are combined, there is a prime minister, like France, even Kenya, we have the president elected, the vice president, then the prime minister who runs the day to day activities. The president is too powerful in Nigeria and anybody who wants to use the power to the fullest with the kind of constitution we have will be a dictator. And we have seen that from Shagari down to Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan, we can see from the system and the practice that some of them are more dictatorial than others. I believe this constitution should have a bit of parliamentary and presidential and I believe anybody who is a minister must go through election like they do in Britain. It is Continues on page 38
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Continued from page 37 not the choice of the prime minister or the president, you must be accountable to your people. You don’t know how the elections were held, you did not participate and, in the name of technocrats, you are appointed as minister, or your governor recommended you. If someone participates in an election and wins, and he is appointed a minister, he is not only responsible to the president or the government, but is also responsible to his people; he will be visiting you otherwise he will lose the seat in the next election. That is what I recommend. In Nigeria in the 1960s, if you were going to be a minister, you must be a member of the parliament, if you are appointed minister, then you resign from parliament. You talked about electing ministers, don’t you think that will bring confusion in government because if Iam elected as a minister, the president will not have the power to fire me just like you cannot fire anybody in the National Assembly. No, he will fire you. We practised it in Nigeria in the 1960s, the prime minister was in a position to fire anybody, the constitution provides for his firing, you don’t have to go back to the parliament because you have resigned, that ensures discipline. You will not be able to steal the people’s money as they steal today. Within two to three years, ministers build houses everywhere, they have companies of their own, they award contracts to themselves. Ordinary people are crying, they are complaining. If the ministers have some forms of checks and balances, you go through election before you become a minister, if you misbehave, they will block your seat in the parliament. As a lawyer and at 86, how do you assess the judiciary then and now? The judiciary then was one of the things that made me study law: strict, incorruptible and dignified, and the lawyers too were very dignified. Today, you see a lawyer holding brief for both sides; at that time, you could judge a lawyer by his strength, and the way he rules, his confidence; that was why I decided to study law. Today, judges are being accused of corruption. Look at a judge who was posted to a state to try an ex-governor, 170 charges, he gave judgement in two hours. Elsewhere the former governor admitted his guilt, but that same judge is still there. Nobody has done anything to him. What kind of judiciary is that and the judge who gave that type of injunction is still parading himself around, he is still a judge today? For five years, over 15 governors have been standing trial in Nigeria, nobody talked. The EFCC, the president cannot eradicate corruption from the society. When a case goes to court, nobody can interfere until judgement is given and you can appeal. We have challenges in the judiciary today, not only that the judges are not qualified, some are corrupt. Look at the case of the former president of the Court of Appeal and
‘The secret behind my longevity’
*Clark ...Corruption cases should be done within six months the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, people turned it into politics, it was scandalous. I wrote a letter of over 20 pages to the former Chief Justice who replied and one of the things he said was that lawyers were partly responsible; they go to court to prosecute and there is no relationship between SAN 1 and SAN70. Have you ever seen a situation whereby five SANs go to court to defend a thief? You cannot compare the judiciary of the first republic or even during the military with the judiciary today. The judiciary today needs to be looked into seriously so that the bad eggs are removed, so that cases are tried. Another issue I raised with the former Chief Justice of Nigeria is the special court, and he agreed with me that all corrupt cases should be tried between six and 12 months; if the man is free, discharge him; if he is guilty, sentence him. For a case to remain in court for five or six years untried and the man is moving freely, enjoying his wealth is bad. With the picture you have painted about the nation’s judiciary, what message do you have for the incumbent Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mariam Aloma Mukhtar? She should be courageous and upright. She is a dedicated Chief Justice, she can do it and we should encourage her. There are too many bad things going on in the country; I think she is doing a good job and we should all encourage her to cleanse the judiciary. Why we have delay on cases in court has to do with our obsolete laws. What is your take on this? Those who are profitting from
Have you ever seen a situation whereby five SANs go to court to defend a thief? You cannot compare the judiciary of the First Republic or even during the military with the judiciary of today. corruption are responsible for amending the law or changing the law; so they are not prepared to change the law. Government should set up a special court to try the cankerworm, we cannot progress with corruption in our society. If there are laws making it difficult for cases to go on, let the laws be amended. That should be a priority of the Attorney General of the Federation and the Bar. What is the secret behind your longevity? Is it hereditary? Partly hereditary, but, mostly, I live my life from day to day, I do not envy anybody, I speak my mind on issues, I speak the truth, I damn the consequence. When I feel I should go home to sleep, I sleep freely, nothing disturbs my mind. If I have offended
you, I am ready to apologize but I have gone home to sleep well. I do not envy anybody, I live my own life. Right from when I was a young man, our father used to tell us, ‘do not look up to people’. In those days, when we were in school, we used to wear khaki and khaki, that was the uniform even when we get home. So, one day, my father said, ‘don’t be in a hurry, don’t copy people, do not think that these people are even better than you. A day will come when you will wear one shirt everyday of your life, when you will drink cold water, but if you start drinking cold water in your school and out of school you have no job, then you stop drinking cold water because your father has it before, you will wait for a very much longer time’; that has been my guiding principle; I take life very easy, I respect people, I do not live a false life, I enjoy myself if it is worth enjoying in many ways. General Muhammadu Buhari has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to resign. How do you react? South-West is the most sophisticated, most educated region in the country; followed by South-East, South-South, their leaders, including the vice president of Nigeria, have endorsed the government of the day, is that not what you will believe and not the one said by one man? The man who removed his brother from office, Shagari was one of the most respected presidents of this country, a patient man, a man who never offended anybody, but he had just won election, in 1983, what did Buhari do? Buhari went and removed him from office. Was he saying Shagari was not efficient? I leave that to you, I don’t want to comment.
Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 39
A hill of historical significance
*Ibadan skyline BY KAREEM KOLAWOLE ADESINA
here are various accounts of the origin of ‘’Okebadan” but there is a common agreement among them with the resolution that Lagelu: Oro Apata-Maja, who was the founder of Ibadan, was also the one that established Okebadan. The first account according to Femi Osofisan in the prologue he wrote for a book [Ibadan Mesiogo], says dissident soldiers from Oyo, Ife and Ijebu all came to the place called Ebaodan to settle after the sacking of Owu which was as a result of the disintegration of the old Oyo Empire. This new settlement was a savannah land backing the forest of the Egba. Among these dissident soldiers was a great warrior called Lagelu from Ife who became their leader. He consulted an oracle on-behalf of the new settlers to enable them know the future of their new settlement and he was told that they should adopt [Eleyele Hill] as their guardian deity. Eleyele Hill then became Okebadan Hill. Another account by the late Oba Akinyele, in his book” Iwe Itan Ibadan Ati Die Ninu Awon Ilu Agbegbe re bi Iwo, Osogbo Ati Ikirun ‘ ’, says, Lagelu left Ile-Ife to set up his own community as was the order of the day then. According to Professor Bolanle Awe, before Lagelu left, he consulted Ifa oracle for guidance as was the custom of the Yoruba people and was told to settle where there were many hills which he did, hence the founding of Ibadan. After he had settled along with those that left with him, their
As an integral part of war tactics of the Ibadan people, they receded and went on to the top of the mountain to plan a counterattack against their enemies neighboring communities waged war against them. According to the late E.A. Adeyemo, in an opening address read during a lecture organized by the Okebadan Union on March 17th, 1988 at Mapo Hall, (as an integral part of war tactics of the Ibadan people, they receded and went on to the top of the mountain to plan a counter-attack against their enemies). During this period, the people believed that the hill provided them with security, food, shelter and spiritual backing in order to subdue their enemies. As a result, they decided to commemorate the event annually. This was said to have
happened around 1820 and the OduIfa [Ifa divination verse] that was given them was ‘’Ose meji” which later became ‘’Ose Olubadan”as given by Justice Fakeye in a paper he presented at a symposium organized by ‘’Okebadan Union’’ in commemoration of 1988 Okebadan festival. Another account said Lagelu left Ile-Ife to settle in the present Ibadan; that, on arrival, he met some other people but, being a great warrior, he settled with them but farther away to the savannah part which prompted the name ‘’Eba Odan” [beside the savannah] which later metamorphosed to Ibadan. Within a very short period, the new settlement started witnessing progress and prosperity as an answer to four things that Lagelu requested from Olodumare before settling in Ibadan, viz: prosperity, blessing upon the traders, responsible partners for his children and for himself, good health and long-life. The answer to these requests instigated influx of people from different parts of Yorubaland to Ibadan. As a result of the size of the new community [Ibadan], the Alafin of Oyo, Sango, decided to make Lagelu the generalissimo of the Yoruba army [Aare Ona Kakanfo]. With the new status of Lagelu, and that of his town, they decided to practice some aspects of Yoruba traditional belief which included egungun festival. It was during the course of the egungun festival in a certain year that the costume of a masquerade fell off thereby revealing the identity of the masquerade to the children and women present. The news got to Sango –the Alafin of
Oyo-who was furious at the desecration of the tradition of which he was a custodian. He sent for other Yoruba monarchs like the Orangun of Ila, the Owa of Ijesaland, the Alake of Egba, among others who deliberated on the issue and decided to wage war against Ibadan as punishment for their abomination act. Lagelu got wind of the planned invasion and summoned his warriors and civilians to be prepared for the impending ‘’World war ” as it was tagged. When the battle began, Lagelu people fought gallantly and made it difficult for the allied forces to overcome them. The war lasted about three years contrary to the expectation of the allied forces; many people were killed and the new settlement was scattered and destroyed. The survivors, including Lagelu, his children and few supporters, were driven to the top of Eleyele Hill where they dwelt for years. They lived on top of this hill without food, clothes or shelter. They fed on the fruits of ‘’oro” trees [Iryingia gabonensis] which they found on top of the hill and also snails that were in abundance there. This is why part of Ibadan’s praise song says: Ibadan, Omo ajoro sun, Omo ajegbin je ikarahun, Omo afi Ikarahun fo’ ri mu,” translated to mean: Ibadan indigenes/offspring of those who ate oro for supper, offspring of those who ate oro for support, offspring of those who ate snails to satisfaction, offspring of those who took hot pap in the snails shell. All these point to the fact that the hill provided them with Oro fruits and snails for food. Once they had little peace, they started
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Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013
Continued from page 39 cultivating the land to plant maize which they used for making pap and because there was no bowl with which to drink the pap, they drank from the snail’s shells. They were on top of the hill for a long time and, from there, the children of Lagelu started invading neighboring villages at night, setting their huts ablaze and carting away their properties. Because of this, Lagelu’s children could not get married because people were afraid of them. This prompted Lagelu to give consent to his children to marry one another so as to continue the generation. It was on top of this mountain that their number started to increase. When they discovered that the place could not accommodate them anymore, and the condition of the place not no longer conducive, they decided to come down from the hill. The place where they settled was called ‘’Ori Yangi”. There, they built new houses and established a market which people patronized. Within a short period, the new settlement began to witness influx of people from far and near and there was progress and peace. Upon the observation of the progress recorded within a short period, Lagelu’s children decided to worship Eleyele Hill where they had dwelt for years. This later became ‘’Okebadan” [Ibadan Hill] and a festival organized for its commemoration. Their belief was that Okebadan was the factor behind the success and progress recorded in the new community, coupled with the belief that the mountain protected and fed them when they were dwelling on its top. Not quite long after they had settled at ‘’Ori Yangi”, Lagelu died at old age. His children buried his corpse on top of the hill[Okebadan]. With this, their zeal to worship Okebadan became high because the tomb of their ancestor was there. It was also alleged that the hunchback herbalist that consulted the oracle for them when they came to Ibadan and who later ‘’yielded” himself as the sacrificial material had his remains buried on top of the hill. As a result, it is claimed that the Aboke [Okebadan priest] during Okebadan festival will have to go to the tomb of the hunchback to offer sacrifice. This was before the shrinewas moved to ‘’Oja Iba”. OKEBADAN FESTIVAL The Aboke [the priest of Okebadan] is the one that chooses the day for the celebration of the festival to Olubadan and his chiefs. The day so chosen is usually Thursday and it is always in the month of March because it falls within the rainy season, so as to appease the spirit of the hill to give them abundant rain for their crops. Also Thursday is chosen as it is regarded as the day that Yoruba people worship their deities as denoted by the name of the day ‘’Ojobo” [Thursday, the day Orisa is worshipped].
A hill of historical significance
*Ibadan: rusty, despite modernity
Because of this, Lagelu’s children could not get married because people were afraid of them. This prompted Lagelu to give consent to his children to marry one another so as to continue the generation After the Olubadan and the council of chiefs had approved the day, announcement is made to the people for necessary preparations. Olubadan provides all the sacrifice materials such as cows, snails, fish, tortoise, dogs, etc. as required by the Aboke. On the day of celebration, that used to be a work-free day, the people start the festival by thanking their ancestors for keeping them alive to witness the day. Also they take cold meal on the day as a reminder of the period their ancestors were on top of the mountain without food. Later in the day, the Aboke performs rituals at the shrine which has now been moved from Okebadan Hill to ‘’Oja ‘’ba” [Oba market ]. The Aboke, though a man
dresses like a woman depicting the presumed feminine nature of the spirit of Okebadan while performing the rites and the people go about rejoicing. After the rituals, the Aboke heads for the house of Yade, one of Lagelu’s daughters who led a group of woman warrior and subdued the enemies of Ibadan upon which a crown was taken from one of the communities and torn by her which gave her the ‘’Yade”[tear the crown]. From her house, the Aboke visits other chiefs. During the festival, ‘’embarrassing” songs are sang, but they portray the history of Ibadan people. Most of these songs point at the time Lagelu and his people moved about halfnaked while others point at war expertise of Ibadan people. They songs include: Baba to nlo Hey old man going Jawajawa epon you are with dangling scrotum Okoo tisa Teacher penis Kiki sooki Full of chalk O sobo dandawi She opened her virgina wide Omode yii sobo dandawi This girl opened her virgina wide SIGNIFICANCE OF OKEBADAN One of the significance of Okebadan festival is to pave the way for peace and smooth organization of Ibadanland as given by Professor Bolanle Awe in a paper she presented at a seminar organized by the Okebadan Union in 1988 at Mapo
Hall, Ibadan. She stated that after the performance of the rituals by the Aboke, he moves round the paramount chiefs palaces to pay homage and pray for prosperity and survival. Similarly, she mentioned that the festival brings peace and harmony among the Ibadan people from far and near. Awe further stated that the occasion is used to foster peace, improve sanitation and mutual cooperation among the people to get ready for a healthy reunion and to pray for further blessings upon the community. Also mentioned was that the festival is believed to increase fertility and paves the way for bumper harvest as deduced from Okebadan songs. This fact was corroborated by Mrs Kemi Morgan in a paper she presented at the same seminar when she tried to explain the reason for the vulgar songs and language used during the festival. She said some of the songs are reminders of the period that Lagelu and his people were going about half naked. She stated that other songs came about as a result of experience they had when, due to panic, the children born during that period in Ibadan died prematurely, while some pregnant women died during labor. This situation was said to have caused frigidity among the men making them temporarily impotent. When they could no longer impregnate their women, the oracle was consulted, and they were told to be singing songs that will satiate their sexual appetite during the festival and this justifies the significance of Okebadan as an avenue to increase the number of children. Morgan stated that the festival is a way of commemorating the past heroes and the founding fathers for what they did to establish Ibadan. She submitted that the celebration is like marking the founder ’s day. She said it was the assistance that was given to Lagelu and his offspring in terms of security, protection and provision of food that prompted the people of Ibadan to commemorate the event yearly and not as a form of idol worshiping as enunciated by some critics. CRITICISM The celebration of Okebadan festival has elicited a lot criticism as it is regarded as idol worshipping. This insinuation has been debunked by the Ibadan people, saying that they are only observing the tradition of their forebears. They further argued that it is a means of commemorating the critical period in the history when they were living on top of the hill without food and shelter and the provision and protection they got from the hill during the period.
*Kareem Kolawole Adesina is A.C.T.O (Antiquity) National Museum, Ibadan
Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 41
2015: How PDP will take over Anambra, by Mike Okoye BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
Chief Mike Okoye is a human rights activist and constitutional lawyer who has practised the law profession for over 30 years. He is from Umuleri in Anambra North Senatorial Zone. In this interview, he says APG A members in Anambra State will support the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 and other national issues. Excerpts: Democracy 14 years after. Are you impressed? Let me first of all say that many of us were in the vanguard of the struggle for the democracy we are enjoying today. The late Gani Fawehinmi and the late NLC President, Paschal Bafyau, myself, among others, played one role or the other in NADECO. We played roles that ordinarily we thought then that we would not be alive today. We took that risk because we knew there was no alternative to democracy. Most of the current beneficiaries now were not in the struggle. This was at a time we were in the streets against. Most armoured tanks, when we were pursuing Abiola’s case. At a time, we forced Abacha to leave a meeting we had with him. The beauty of democracy is that it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Today, we are talking about Democracy Day. I think we should look at the heroes; we have lots of heroes some of whom are not known and some who may never be known. We have lots of people who died on the streets of Lagos and their names are not recorded. They are my real heroes and I think the time has come for us to look at them. 14 years after democracy finally came, Nigeria may have been going through ups and downs, but, ultimately, we will emerge triumphant. No nation started and got it right the same day. But Nigeria is on the right track; our democracy is on course. Politics of Nigeria has gone beyond tribal; we have gone
beyond regional politics. Nigeria has come to a stage where we have national politics. What do I mean by national politics? Today, we can boast of a political party that does not belong to the east, west, north or south; and that is the PDP. In terms of governance, I will say a lot of mistakes have been made and also, a lot of achievements have been recorded, all considered, Nigerian democracy is on course. Democratic dividends In democracy, the greatest thing you achieve is freedom. Some of us who had been under chains and locked up because of draconian laws appreciate freedom of movement, freedom of expression. Today, every Nigerian can boast that we operate a free state. No draconian laws where people can be locked up without due process. Today, the constitution is such that nobody can be detained beyond 24 hours unless he had been brought before a court of law. Nobody is above the law; and that is the greatest benefit of democracy. Apart from the rule of law, government has also provided an enabling environment. Before democracy came, there was instability in the downstream sector, leading to the scarcity of petrol. Today, you can drive into any station to buy petrol. Government has been able to put in place a stable economy compared to the past. There is incentive for foreign investments. The change started with Obasanjo. When he came in, Nigeria was on analogue. Most Nigerians believed we could not have phones. Today, everybody in Nigeria can call anywhere. From the Obasanjo era into the short tenure of the late President Umar Yar ’Adua, you would see a continued movement. That continued movement was inherited by the current administration. The focal point of the current administration is transportation. You see what the government is doing in making it possible for you to walk into a train from east, west, north and south. Jonathan’s government has also impacted in the areas of
Chief Mike Okoye....Alamieyeseigha is one of the finest Nigerians you can ever meet agriculture, energy, trade liberalisation. Government is all about structure. What people would say is that they don’t know the structure and they don’t know the roadmap. I think that is what the government should come out openly and tell the public that this is the roadmap. This is
are not the people that are the problems. They are people being used; it is not arresting those Boko Haram members or chaining them that will resolve the issue. It is those that are inciting them, those that have their children abroad; those who will not send their children there,
The president has handled the issue of security very rationally and diplomatically for two reasons. The insecurity is political. There is a difference between insecurity that is based on criminality whereby you see people stealing, robbing and killing and the one that is purely political
where this administration is going. Let it be clear that this is the focal point. Amnesty and state-ofemergency in three northern states The president has handled the issue of security very rationally and diplomatically for two reasons. The insecurity is political. There is a difference between insecurity that is based on criminality whereby you see people stealing, robbing and killing and the one that is purely political. If it is political, you must approach it politically. The approach the President is using is political. He declared state-ofemergency but allowed the structure to remain. He is not attacking the political will of the people of the North but he is trying to remove the chaff from the wheat without causing damage to the political institutions. And ever ybody says ‘ ver y good’. When he says amnesty, the people that perpetrate these criminalities
those who will not come out to actively take part in the acts are the real problem. As a lawyer to former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, do you think the pardon he got was necessary? That the pardon was the best thing the president has done. You look at it in two ways. Alamieyeseigha is one of the finest Nigerians you can ever meet. He is a patriotic Nigerian. Governance is about touching the lives of your people. Alamieyeseigha as governor of Bayelsa touched the lives of the people in such a way that he was called the GovernorGeneral of Ijaw nation. The whole of Ijaw nation believed in him and he is instrumental to the peace we have in the oil sector. The fact that you buy fuel, the fact that people trade freely, the fact that the economy of this country is going smoothly, the fact that the international community buys our crude oil, all rest solely on his ability to package
what he had done to hold has restive people. That is one. Two, he is honourable. How many people in Nigeria would accept that they have done wrong? He had the right to contest the case. And, we were ready and able to fight the case as all other governors have done up to the Supreme Court. But, he said to us, “look, sometimes, it is honourable to feel where you have done wrong to accept you have done wrong and ask God for pardon”. Alamieyeseigha made peace with God. Let us not also forget the politics of Nigeria. Those who were in the vanguard knew the political arrangement; the reason they were after Alamieyeseigha. It was not because of finance, it was not because of corruption. There were people battling to take over from Obasanjo. And, they reasoned that those people must be brought down at all costs. So, was reason to go after him. For whatever it is, he had made atonement to the court. He has made atonement to his God. I think the president did the most proper thing and I think Nigerians should know that Alamieyeseigha has more popularity in his state than any living or dead governor since Nigeria became a nation. That popularity shows that his people like him. The issue was not money that comes from Nigeria. The issue was money that relates to his state. And, his state says we ‘have forgiven you’. Who are you from any other state to challenge it? Power belongs to the people of Bayelsa. And the president also comes from Bayelsa, if it is the people of the state that feel that this man should be pardoned, then the president did the most honourable thing. Suspension of Governor Amaechi We cannot use one individual to decide the fate
Continues on page 42
Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013
Tukur, PDP and democracy
BY PRINCE OLIVER OKPALA
LHAJI Bamanga Tukur, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), harbours great thoughts about Nigeria and how to move the nation forward and make her assume her rightful place in the comity of developed countries. Whether in government or out it, Tukur uses his wide connection, enterprise and best endeavours to advance the cause of an indissoluble and prosperous Nigeria. It is to his credit that his party men and women found him worthy to elect as their national chairman. Since then, he has not disappointed them. The national chairman came to Wadata House at a time the party needed a man of strong character, wide experience and someone who does not only command respect but also has a commanding presence to pick the bits and pieces of the party together and reposition it. He is a political force capable of facing challenges in elections and winning votes from the electorate. Perhaps one of Tukur ’s greatest assets is his humility
The wisemen whose idea gave birth to the PDP are those who should be given kudos for our democracy. Tukur was among them
Bamanga Tukur even in the face of monumental achievements. A founding member of the PDP, he was one of those who believed that the military has no part in governance. With people of like-minds, the PDP evolved. Today, the party, now under his leadership, sits atop the Federal Government and majority of the state governments all over the federation. This is replicated in local
government areas across the country. It is to the credit of Tukur and the colossus known as the PDP that republicanism and democracy have continued to flourish in the country. The wisemen whose idea gave birth to the PDP are those who should be given kudos for our democracy. Tukur was among them. His proactive programmes have brought unity, discipline and a sense of purpose to the
party. He has united the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The various organs of the party have been strengthened. Internal democracy is in action. Party members are now more united than ever before. His tour of the states rekindled the hope in the PDP faithful across the country. Whilst the opposition gang up and/or align forces, the PDP has continued to expand her network.
That the opposition ever thought of coming together is because they appreciate they cannot stand against the PDP in any contest individually. Even as they have purported to come together, the PDP, under Tukur, dwarfs all of them. A natural democrat, Tukur is not one to wield the big stick. He relishes dialogue and listens to opposing views. Any wonder then that he has carried everybody along in his party. The PDP boss has brought to the fore his wide experience in business and government. He has worked in both the public and private sectors of the economy. He was a governor of old Gongola State and erstwhile minister. As the Chairman of the African Business Roundtable, Tukur has ver y wide experience in business locally and internationally. He is in politics to serve, develop the nation and contribute his quota to the success of the transformation agenda of the Federal Government under President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. *Okpala is Special Assistant on Media to the National Chairman of the . PDP
How PDP will take over Anambra Continued from page 41 of millions of people that belong to the political party. Before we discuss the issue of Amaechi, let us understand that PDP is the only party that belongs to the people. PDP is the only party that is nationalistic. PDP is not a party that belongs to the north, east, west or south; it is a party of national coloration. Having that in mind, what happened in Rivers State cannot have an effect to decide the totality of Nigeria. We should not use the issue of Amaechi as if it were a national issue. Amaechi is, first, a state matter. There is no crack in the structure of the PDP. The issue is a governor that the party feels has acted improperly. Whether rightly or wrongly, we should wait and see how it unfolds. We should not judge. Let us get the full picture; then we can be able to see. But I tell you that as a governor of PDP, if we all understand the principle of governance, we would know that a PDP governor must be loyal to the president. You cannot be disloyal or speak ill of your party and still say you are loyal. If PDP has decided that this is the person who should be the chairman and PDP has the majority governors in Nigeria, it is unthinkable that a governor of PDP should be in alliance with any other political group. You can’t have
two PDPs. Let’s face facts. We are not talking about whether Amaechi is governing Rivers State. The issue is politics and politics is about loyalty. If the party says this is where we are going and this is our number, he must at all times adhere to it. You should remember he is a governor of PDP and it is PDP that won the election, not Amaechi. He should be able to distinguish his personal interest and the political interest. Anambra politics is ironical. Most elective positions in the state belong to the PDP but the party does not have the gover nor ’s seat. This sounds like confusion. Why? There is no confusion. PDP is the national party and PDP is in power. The national influences the state. If PDP is at the national, it tells you that Anambra is preparing to be a PDP state. In 2014, Anambra will be one of PDP states. What you are seeing is the sign of things to come. APGA is a dynamic political party. The governor, Peter Obi, is somebody I have great respect for. At the same time, he understands the politics of Nigeria. He also understands that what the Yoruba did when Obasanjo was in power was that they all moved to PDP to strengthen Obasanjo. They left AD and moved to PDP. And, now, our brother is in
power and we will move from APGA to strengthen PDP; there is no other issue. We will move from APGA to strengthen PDP. I was once an APGA. I was instrumental to most of the things they did in APGA but we must move to strengthen PDP because the President of Nigeria is our
There is no confusion. PDP is the national party and PDP is in power. The national influences the state. If PDP is at the national, it tells you that Anambra is preparing to be a PDP state
brother. All the pillars in Anambra must be PDP to strengthen him. If you were governor of Anambra, what new things would you bring into the state polity? I will bring change. The governed and the governor do
not understand what democracy is all about. The belief is that it is the governor that gives and decides what he does. Governance as of today is what I call ad-hoc. The governor wakes up and says this is a good project; I will build roads for you. Tomorrow, perhaps, I will demolish the secretariat that has historical whatever and I will build my own secretariat. There is no structural plan and there is no plan. Therefore, governance is ad-hoc. We would start in Anambra to practice true democracy whereby there will be a structure created by the ideas we have and the ideas the people have as to what they want. These things will be prepared by those who are intellectually equipped. It is like a house structural plan, the architect does his job, the builder just looks at the plan, that is, the chief executive; the job of the chief executive is not generating ideas but implementing ideas generated. That is what democracy is all about; that is what governance is all about. In so doing, Anambra will know this road map, even after Mr Okoye has finished as the governor; the roadmap has been defined. The road to your house, you know the way; everybody knows where he is going. And, it has to be adhered to; in terms of local governments, in terms of the commissioners, in terms of all the structures. The main thrust of our policy is that Anambra will be the highest
producer of refined crude oil products. Now, the issue is from the evaluation: at what stage would we attain that? But, it is one of the cardinal principles of where we are going. And, now, the journey starts from 2014. Everybody knows that Anambra state will be the largest exporter, manufacturer of refined crude oil products. So, by the time we would have left office, you would be able to see this is where we stopped. And, by the time the next government comes, he would continue from there. Merit and ability should be pressed above external advantages of rank and fortune. That is when you start thinking of an organized society. But, where you have rank and fortune exceeds merit and ability, you begin to see the situation you have in Anambra. It means that tomorrow I can steal the mandate of the people and become a governor. And, after two years, the Supreme Court will say I stole the mandate and because I built roads and did some good things, the value that I stole from the people no longer counts. So, a man can go and kidnap so far he makes good use of it, it does not matter. We must bring back values. It is not what you d id; your character becomes an issue. If you don’t have character, you cannot install character. What I am trying to say is that I am thinking about us bringing back our values. We the Ibos have values.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 43
The President has not rewarded Igbo – Uwazurike *Says Achebe wrote Igbo English Chief Goddy Uwazurike is a Lagos-based legal practitioner and President, Aka Ikenga, the pan Igbo think-tank organisation. In this interview, he speaks on the development of the SouthEast, Boko Haram and other issues. Excerpts:
E just lost Prof. Chinua Achebe. We already lost Cyprian Ekwensi and Chris Okigbo, all great writers. What do we have left?. Prof. Chinua Achebe left his footprints on the sands of time and it is difficult to have another father of African literature. Cyprian Ekwensi was of a different mould. He was a pharmacist, started writing. He wrote from a northern point of view where he grew up and lived. He had a way of writing. Chinua Achebe’s writing was more like writing Igbo language, translated straight into English. If you ask a child who grew up learning Igbo first before learning English a question, before he answers, he translates it from Igbo to English. If you have one of these children we have around here or abroad, they learn English first, anything you ask him he takes from the English point of view. So, for Chinua Achebe, be wrote Igbo English without destroying the original meaning and that is the great legacy of Chinua Achebe. Chris Okigbo lived a very short life but for such life he left indelible footprints that we still mourn him till today. A member of the great Okigbo family, but, somehow, everybody remembers Chris, none knows Pius, who
BY TONY NWANKWO
Israel is waxing stronger. Israel is a nuclear power and nobody is talking about it. Those who survived in Germany had to turn their back on Hitler ’s programmes and, up till today, to be called a Hitler man is to be called somebody who should be ostracized. So, all those who are screaming support, either vocally or in their pockets, will have their story to tell, but they will not be allowed to tell the
War is an evil wind that blows no one any good. Those beating the drums of war in whatever form, whether for political, religious, or economical reasons, are the ones who will reap the whirlwind
lived up to age of 80. But what makes a man remembered is never defined. We still have good writers coming. The good thing is that the foundation has been laid, but there can only be one father and that is Chinua Achebe. Kano riots, one can say its Kano killings. It is believed that Igbo are targeted in this Boko Haram menace. Do you agree? Everywhere in the North, where there is a riot between two Muslims, the target is always the Igbo man. It could be between Sunni and Shiites, the target is the Igbo man. Between Sunni and Sunni, the target is the Igbo man. As you know the Sunni and Shiites are two broad divisions in Islam, and they are always fighting. For Boko Haram, sometimes, they hit Muslim targets, but their major targets are always the Igbo dominated areas, be it the church, be it the motor parks. The motor park was dominated by Igbo transport owners, so let nobody deceive you that the Igbo were not the target. Those buses were
Chief Goddy Uwazurike owned by Igbo, those operators were Igbo, passengers are expected to be Igbo. Long distance transport, as pioneered by Ekene Dili Chukwu and Chi Di Ebere, is dominated by Igbo. So, anybody going to bomb luxurious buses will know who the target is. Igbo are targeted, unfortunately. Let me put it this way, those who rush to war do not know that war means death. Secondly, war is an evil wind that blows no one any good. Those beating the drums of war in whatever form, whether for political, religious, or economical reasons, are the ones who will reap the whirlwind. Let me put it further, those who start wars never see the end of it. They never really know. Check history books. What happened to Hitler? Napoleon Bonaparte? They are never there. Once you start a war, the war consumes you. The victims always live on. The Jews were meant to be exterminated, what has happened? Today,
story. The inferno will consume them. Without Igbo vote, the Jonathan government could never have been. Has he performed to pay back because soon the man may come seeking another support? President Goodluck Jonathan has not rewarded the Igbo for giving him the highest percentage of votes. Remember, during the last elections, all the parties dominating in Igbo land all collapsed for him. Even outside the Igboland, the Igbo everywhere saw Jonathan as their own candidate. It was like a one-way traffic. So, if we do not get any one-way return from him, believe me, he will be the loser. The Igbo are still waiting. Igbo in South-east and Southwest, infact Igbo everywhere in this country, they are waiting to see the dividends. You are talking of Niger Bridge. Igbo will not forget in a hurry that Obasanjo once awarded contract, commissioned the
contract with fanfare. You know what? We are still waiting to see the contract. When the succeeding government came, they couldn’t see any file or any contract on Niger Bridge. That was 2007. Until today, we are still waiting. On the side of Jonathan, I understand it is going to go on public private partnership, PPP. Fine. Whatever you want to do, start. The present Niger Bridge is shaking. If you know the economic value of that bridge, you will not hesitate to commission it. You don’t toy with it. Open up the production area. They want to industrialize the South-East, but where is the electricity network, where is the infrastructure? If you have a factory in the South-East, or South-South, you will have your own electricity, you will have your own water9themselves the concept of power, controlling 43% of the world’s population – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Why is Nigeria not there? Nigeria will not be there because our economic policies are confusing. If you have money to invest, you go to those countries, you don’t come to Nigeria. For you to come here, there are things they expect you to do. Whereas a businessman wants a place to invest that will actually look at things the way they should be looked at. Boko Haram, who are they? They are killing people, Christians, Muslims, everybody. What is clear is that Boko Haram are Islamic fighters. Whether they are fighting for Islam, I am not sure. But they are fighting for political power. But let me tell you, wherever you have this kind of fight, the country is finished.
2015: How we will mobilise non-indegenes in Lagos —PDP chief Prince Lewis Osobase is a member of the Board of Trustees, Peoples Democratic Party South-South Forum, Lagos. In this interview, he speaks about the chances of the PDP in the 2015 governorship election in Lagos State, and President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration among other issues.
HAT is the South South Forum going to do in Lagos that others have not done before. Are you running a parallel party with the PDP Lagos? As a member of that Board of Trustees, for quite some time, we have discovered that nonindigenes in Lagos State are many. There are gaps that we need to fill. The indigenes are not many compared to the nonindigenes and the Forum coming together for the first time in Lagos PDP is going to do something great. Non-indigenes
have not been coming out enmasse, they are mostly interested in the presidential election and what happens in their respective states. The tradition will change. There is a need for them to know that Lagos is where they live and they need to make a change. We are all one in PDP Lagos, we are not running a parallel party. We are one. We feel that the only way to make an impact as members of PDP is to come together and forge a common front. With the coming together, Lagos state PDP is going to come out stronger. We are also talking to the PDP in Lagos to see if they can increase the quota for nonindigenes in their EXCO. As a member of the Board of Trustees, Lagos PDP SouthSouth Forum, what is your take on the chances of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015? Constitutionally, he has the right to contest, because the constitution allows two terms for a president or governor. Secondly, when he came to power, there were lots of problems that he inherited, so we
BY DOTUN IBIWOYE
Prince Lewis Osobase need to give him some room to stabilize. And four years is not enough for him to achieve his goals, so what we need to do for him is to pray for him and be patient. Definitely we will get there. If you look at the civil service, there are lots of reforms, corruption has been reduced to the lowest minimum, so everything is going to work. We should be patient with Mr. President. He will definitely take us there. If we look back two to three years ago, we used to see massive corruption and electoral fraud but now it has been reduced. Things are
Nigerians have become so enlightened that they now check the integrity of candidates. You cannot easily buy people’s votes
changing. There is no short cut to success. You must work hard. What are the chances of the PDP in the next elections? The chances are very bright. The fact about PDP is that we should produce reliable candidates, candidates with creditability. We should not look at money. Credibility is going to be our watchword. It is going to be our focal point. Nigerians have become so enlightened that they now check the integrity of candidates. You cannot easily buy people’s votes. With that, we
are definitely going to rule Lagos, come 2015. The government in power will come to us. Chief Anenih, the Chairman of the BOT and some governors paid a visit to the former president to diffuse acrimony. With the move from the present BOT to touch every member, there will definitely be a positive result. As a member of the Elders Committee Forum of the PDP in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, I have been using my own organisation, Wosina Global Resources, to create jobs and reduce unemployment. We create jobs by engaging the less privileged, give the youth the opportunity to start a business and enlightening them about the negative impact of committing crime. We assist them and engage some in jobs. With this, we reduce the rate of crime in the local government. I travel to Benin regularly. I’m from Esako local government. 40 percent of my work force are from Edo. The widows are not left out of our corporate social responsibility.
AY PAGE 44, SUND SUNDA
Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 45
Nigerian Communications Commission And Other Matters transfer rate and general disaffection of the average GSM subscriber. “The promotion of fair competition in the communications industry and protection of communications services and facilities providers from misuse of market power or anticompetitive and unfair practices by other service or facilities providers or equipment suppliers”. What was the reason for the shabby execution of the commission’s function as stated above, when it went to town with its operators’ market dominance report, posting MTN (of all the operators) the dominant player in the voice data category? We need to know the criteria for such report. This unfortunate incidence has the potentials of tilting the market playing field and competitive environment in favor of MTN, when, indeed, MTN’s image in the mind of majority of respondents in our consumer rating survey on GSM operators and their service quality assessment, is not exactly what NCC’s report portrays. We advise and trust MTN not to celebrate the NCC “mistake” because it amounts to nothing as far as the subscriber-public is concerned. Therefore, even the commission that thinks it has carried out one of its functions has only wasted its time. The subscriber-public thinks that was an avoidable mistake – by all concerned. “The development and monitoring of performance standards and indices relating to the quality of telephone and other communications services and facilities supplied to consumers in Nigeria having regard to the best international performance indicators.” If NCC carried out this function professionally and properly, it would have avoided the mistake it made with its operators’ market status pronouncement. Is it that the NCC still do not know that in some neighboring African Countries, text messages are free, or that for same service, subscribers in Nigeria are still being charged, as though they are paying for a voice data? If the commission knows that and we are still where we are with the service providers, how does that show that the commission is monitoring the performance standards and indices, performance standard…in line with international standard, in real value terms? Continuing, how come NCC still cannot do anything about growing call-drop rate, poor voice quality (between GSM service providers and MultiChoice/DSTV, we do not
President Jonathan know who gets affected more when it rains), abrupt termination of calls and unfair billing, if it is monitoring standard and quality of service by service providers? “The formulation and management of Nigeria’s
FRICAN Independent Television’s live coverage of the MidTerm Report of Transformation Agenda was quite impressive. On parade were the President and his team members, armed with wonderful presentation and presence, focused on telling Nigerians and the world how much progress has been achieved, developing Nigeria. Good job, Ladies and Gentlemen. It was nice. Of particular interest was the presentation of the Minister of Finance/Coordinating Minister, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala. Our own globally renowned economist was in her element, as she reeled out figures to demonstrate how far we have gone as a nation. Of her entire presentation, those on job creation (through YouWIN) and penetration of telephone and internet access were particularly worrisome, unfortunately. But we shall focus on that of telephone, in which she said 93% of Nigerians now have access to telephones through the GSM service. Secondly, she presented that about 38% of Nigerians enjoy internet access. Sadly, Madam, those figures may not be true and accurate representation of the fact, as the general public knows it. With especially the GSMgains, perhaps we need to question the source of that information. Incidentally, we at MC&A DIGEST have had to concern ourselves with the depth of Nigerian Communication Commission’s engagement in the discharge of its roles and functions and its benefits to Nigerian public, with special focus on the quality of telephone service provision by the GSM operators, their business practice and adherence to set rules and regulations, based on the growing disaffection of subscribers. In line with this commitment, we are looking closely at the NCC, on behalf of subscribers in Nigeria. On the whole, the Commission has exactly 24 functions as contained on the list of functions. Of the lot, we shall concern ourselves with the 4 listed below, for now (focusing on GSM operators): “The protection and promotion of the interests of consumers against unfair practices including but not limited to matters relating to tariffs and charges for and the availability and quality of communications services, equipment and facilities”. We like to know how this is being done In the face of prevalent poor service quality, doubtful promotional offers, questionable billing system, exorbitant call and data
If NCC’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Tony Ojobo was available when I made to see him during my stay in Abuja last month, May. Sadly, he was too busy to see me, and the attitude he did put up during the brief telephone
NCC should be serious when it makes pronouncement. It is one thing to appear to the public as if it is working and another to prove that it is genuinely protecting the interest of the market
inputs into the setting of international technical standards for communications services and equipment.” While we are not in a position to rate the Commission on the extent of involvement in the development of input into Nigeria’s contribution towards the determination of the international technical standard for communications service and equipment, we do worry that, based on the quality of its service at home/ locally, its competency and efficiency at carrying out its function as stated above needs to be verified.
conversation we had, when I was trying to get appointment for a meeting with him, was slightly inappropriate with the status of the office. Mr. Ojobo should know he owes it a duty to meet people and speak for and on behalf of the commission, when enquirers come-calling. Questions such as, “…yes!? What is it, what do you want? I do not know what you want to know about the Commission that do not already know…because we have put a lot of information in the public…bla, bla,bla do not leave the appropriate impression of that office and
the commission. However, we can tell our readers, GSM subscribers in Nigeria, Mr. Ojobo and the Nigerian Communication Commission this much, MC&A Digest will commit to its own monitoring, assessment and rating of the GSM operators in our local market, executing its own selfappointed function of providing the general public a report on the GSM operators that they can more likely depend on in their decisionmaking process. We shall help them in their relationship with their network providers for their own good, since the NCC does not come across as willing to properly inform us in the same direction. Perhaps, just perhaps, the Coordinating Minister ’s midterm report on telecommunications service and Nigeria, would have, at least been more accurate to resonate with the Nigerian public on that jolly democracy Day on Wednesday, May 29, 2013, if the Nigerian Communication Commission did some more work. Let us remind the NCC, though, that there is one Aba based telecoms Lawyer, Chibuzor Ogii Esq., who has challenged the NCC to assert its authority, if it is serious about balancing the market (Business News iResource, May 22, 2013). In the report, Ogii is quoted as saying “NCC should be serious when it makes pronouncement. It is one thing to appear to the public as if it is working and another to prove that it is genuinely protecting the interest of the market. For instance, the dominant operator in the voice segment is yet to comply with the NCC directive”. The NCC, according to the report, had among other things, directed that the dominant player (according to them) in the mobile voice market should collapse on-net and off-net retail tariffs with immediate effect since 2012. Apparently, Ogii’s worry is that that directive and some others were yet to be carried out by concerned market operators as at the time he was making his comments in May 2013. By the way, the invited guest to the Transfor mation Agenda’s Mid-Term report did say “…put your hands together…like you really mean it” when he called for applause for our President, during his speech. Now, did he have to say that, ahn! Who told him the honorable Ladies and Gentlemen that obliged his request didn’t mean it? Such should not be accepted next time.
PAGE 46 —SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013
Orji: Vindicating a change maker BY GODWIN ADINDU
VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF The story of Abia democracy
WO years after the liberation of Abia State, following the revolution that conquered the ancient regime, it is time to put Governor Theodore Orji on scale. It is time to march the light-bearer of the people’s mandate to the dock for cross examination. It is time to assess the grand march to freedom, to review the journey so far. How has Abia fared in the hand of the liberator? What is the feeling of the people in the new life of freedom? Indeed, the month of May is a month of reckoning when our nascent democracy is put on trial for self-defence. The May 29 Democracy Day anniversary is now crucial for our political history. It is not only a day of celebration but, more importantly, a day of stock-taking. Just as every individual’s story is different and particularly so also is the story of states and nations. For Abia, it is a long walk to freedom, a struggle of emancipation. Like Plato’s allegory of the cave-dweller where the cave inhabitant marches through darkness in search of light, the story of Abia democracy under Orji is a complex trajectory through bondage and then liberation.
Monuments are great legacies and great footprints in the sands of time. They are marks of noble leadership. Orji has concentrated in building a galaxy of legacies in Abia. But, in my personal evaluation, his greatest legacy for which posterity must sing eulogies is his deed of gift of freedom to the people of God’s Own State. For, as Voltaire, the French philosopher, noted, freedom is the parent of all the needs of the human spirit. Today and twenty-four months in the second saddle, 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 seen tyranny and then freedom, they are better witnesses in this open trail of the Ibeku man. They are better judges and jurists in this open court of public conscience. Under Orji, there are no more tin-gods 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 out of 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 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. 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
Indeed, as Orji stands at the market square this month to give account of his stewardship, one issue will be very pertinent. And that is that the first primary duty of government is the maintenance of law and order. How has Abia fared under Orji in terms of law and order? Abia, undeniably, has been an oasis of sanity. Orji’s Abia is standing tall in the federation as a model state in terms of law and order and social harmony. And this was not legislated into existence but a product of committed and pragmatic action. Orji has also run a legacy
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. Orji enthroned true representative democracy
against mediocrity. 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 one team in the last two years. 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.
regime. This regime is about catering for the welfare of the people in terms of infrastructural renewal and provision of social amenities. Today, with a paltry N3.5 billion monthly federal allocation, from where he pays a monthly salary bill of N2.5billion, he has been able to build legacy projects, like the world-class Conference Centre in Umuahia, the new four-storey Secretariat Complex, the new Government House, the Abia Diagnostic Centre in Umuahia and Aba, the new High Court building, new
modern offices for the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia and a host of other monumental projects. The roads in Aba and Umuahia have been transformed. In the power sector, there has been a revolution in Umuahia and its environs where Orji deployed about N1.5 billion to execute a power evacuation work from the Federal Government installed 132/133 kVA power facility at Ohiya. Abia under Orji is one of the first five States that started paying the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure early in 2011, ditto for the Consolidated Health Salary Structure for health assistants, health officers, vet officers, agricultural health officers, nurses and doctors. Abia is also one of the few states that immediately paid the ASUU agreed salary structure for universities. The governor went beyond the Federal Government prescribed N18, 000 minimum wage for civil servant and followed the NLC standardised salary regime and has been paying N21, 100 since December 2011. This is but a brief testimonial for the Abia liberation, the vindication of the liberator. At the market square, Like Paul of Tarsus, Orji would stand on the podium, his hands spread out to the heavens, and say: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”
•Adindu is the President-General of the Abia Renaissance Movement, ARM
Alcoholic Advertising, neutrality and industry regulators BY PRINCEWILL EKWUJURU
VIEWPOINT IN BRIEF A new challenge for Advertising Standards Panel
HE Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) recognizes the need to regulate advertising communications that are pushed into the market by various brands and products in their bid to win good market share. This probably gave rise to the setting up of the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP), the equivalent of ASA in the UK. The body was set up with a brief to regulate the standards and time that advertisement communication is aired among other issues. But the ASP has recently become the butt of sarcastic advertorials. Perhaps one of the major reasons it has attracted interest recently and, in some quarters, even accusation of bias, was the involvement of a football platform. Football is a huge passion point for a great number of Nigerians across demographic considerations. As such, many brands with the advertising muscle to back their marketing initiatives rush to get
on that platform to reach their target audience. This has engendered a competitive rush to deploy advertising communications during live coverage of major football matches, especially the ones that have to do with Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Barclays Premiership League Games and the EUFA Champions’ League. This is the major reason major brands and products, especially the alcoholic beverage brands, latch on to the platform to connect
spate of advertorials in some major daily newspapers in the country, it would appears as though the ASP is not perceived to be neutral in the discharge of its brief. The accusations reached a crescendo when the body withdrew the certificates of approval for all alcoholic beverage adverts hitherto issued to Guinness Nigeria, even though the ban had been withdrawn. The withdrawal meant Guinness could not advertise its flagship brands during live coverage of English Premiership games on
This becomes of concern to industry watchers because of the wrong perception it may create in the international business community
with their consumers, being among the brands with a huge financial war chest to compete at the highest stake. However, the stiff competition appeared to have placed a challenge before the ASP in recent times. The challenge bordered on the need to act and be seen to be an unbiased umpire. In as much as this writer would refrain from being judgmental, going by the
television. The ASP stated, in a correspondence to Guinness Nigeria, that it based its decision on the company’s violation of Article 39 of the Code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion (“CAP”) as it relates to exposure of alcoholic beverages. According to Article 39 of the CAP, ‘Advertisements for alcoholic beverages shall not be aired between 6:00am and 8:00pm on
radio and between 6: 00am and 10: 00pm on television.’ The advertorials appeared to be querying the temporary withdrawal of the license granted to the television commercials of alcoholic brands from the stable of Guinness Nigeria. It wondered why the punitive measures meted out to Guinness is not applied on a competing brand that broadcasts alcohol advertising on television before the stipulated time of 10pm - the same rule that alcoholic beverages on the stable of Guinness supposedly violated. This becomes of concern to industry watchers because of the wrong perception it may create in the international business community. The action is capable of projecting the country as a place similar to that depicted in George Orwell’s Animal Farm where justice is selectively applied. The immediate effect is bad PR for the country but it goes beyond that on the long run. In a country in dire need of Foreign Direct Investment as a way to buoy its economic fortunes and create jobs for its teeming mass of unemployed youths, regulators established and maintained with tax payers’ money cannot afford to discourage potential investors from coming into the country. Biased regulation of alcoholic
beverage advertising communications in favour of one party at the expense of another is quite capable of discouraging potential entrants into the Nigerian economy from doing so. After all, there are other economies across Africa which are also competing for the same investible funds and who, to their advantage, administer the rules to all players transparently and fairly. Curious members of the public would want to know if the issues involved in this saga go beyond exposing advertising messages outside of the watershed time that is permitted by the relevant provision of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion. And if there are, the onus then falls on the ASP and its chairman, Mr. Ade Akinde, to do the needful by clearing the air as a way to forestall a re-occurrence in future for the general good of the country as a whole. Hiding behind the protection of APCON will not do. And in case the ASP and Akinde failed to do the needful, APCON requires no soothsayer to alert it of the dangers ahead.
•Princewill Ekwujuru is a staff of Vanguard Newspapers
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NOSCEF: Why we honoured Oritsejafor By Sam Eyoboka
HURSDAY, May 9, 2013 was the day Christian Elders Forum of 19 Northern States, NOSCEF, gathered together at the National Christian Centre, Abuja to honour the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor. Oritsejafor, a dynamic preacher, pastor, evangelist, teacher, prophet, apostle and Author, with a unique anointing of God, received an award of ‘A True Servant of God’ for his unrelenting stance on the Jamâ’a Ahl alsunnah li-da’wa wa aljihâd, better known by its Hausa name Boko Haram. According to the chairman of the group, Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye said the CAN president received an overwhelming endorsement of the body for being the voice of the voiceless minorities of the North, and who now appreciate that since the Boko Haram insurgency started in the North, he has been speaking on behalf of the victims, Northern Christians who had been killed, maimed, rendered homeless and driven into submission with their places of worship and businesses torched. He opined that while many others are quiet over the plight of Northern Christians who have lost every right to worship their Maker, the Lion of Africa, by various actions, has shown that he is a true man of God, a true shepherd who is willing to lay down his life for the people. The regional group, he added, decided to present the award to him for being “a true servant of God" and his commitment and dedication in defence of the cause of Christ in Nigeria. The founder/Senior Pastor of Word of Life Bible Church, Warri, Delta State, who was miraculously delivered during a crusade by God in 1972, became the National President of the 20-year old Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, on February 7, 2005. The committed reformist immediately set a 4-point agenda for his team among others: To reposition PFN in membership drive, engender participatory policy and open up the PFN administrative organs via improved corporate leadership; To make PFN a voice for the Church and the common man, through a proactive involvement in the programmes of the Christian Association of Nigeria both at the States and national
*Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor: A true servant of God
*The true servant of God and CAN president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor weeping during an award ceremony conferred on him by Christian Elders Forum of Northern States for his fearless position since the Boko Haram violent attacks on Christians in the North. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan levels; To step up our focus tenure at the PFN, he said on the church in the North at the recently concluded for empowerment and Uyo biennial conference of encouragement; and To give the Fellowship: “At the PFN an administrative commencement of our first facelift, via the construction term in office, which coincidof a befitting National ed with the 20th anniversary Secretariat, for the Fellowof PFN, the then Governor of ship before the end of our Lagos State, Senator Bola tenure. Tinubu, made a pledge of a At the end of his 8-year befitting land gift to our
Fellowship, to enable us to build our National Secretariat. Up till now, the government of Lagos has not fulfilled its promise to this august Body of Christ. ”But in order not to let God and our goal down, we had taken a step further to acquire our own land in Isolo, very close to our present office in CPM, to build a five-floor edifice as National Secretariat of the PFN. By the special grace of God, that building will be commissioned soon….,” he stated, adding that it was originally scheduled for commissioning last October but the contractor failed to deliver. He went on to thank Pastor Paul Adefarasin, chairman of the Building Committee, “for driving the vision with such a passion for giving excellence and direction, with his team of consultants, whose contributions I also commend most heartily. The project would have been a wishful dream, but for the matching sowing of our leaders from across Nigeria. I thank you all. Finally on this note, I am sure history will never forget Rev. (Dr.) Ezekiel, his amiable wife and CPM, for accommodating the PFN Secretariat free of charge since February 1997 till when PFN Office will eventually move to their new edifices.” After the pleasantries, he presented his balance sheet. According to him, “we generated a total of N602,115,957.16 in cash, and of which we have spent a total of N475,960,259.77. “To the glory of God, we are living behind; 1) Current Accounts N53,308,746.55 2) Fixed Deposit N105,275,292.95, N158,584,039.50 US Dollars $8,807.50 British Pounds 149.6 And also, 69,726 units, Ordinary shares of 50k in FBN, bearing in mind all the expenses on the National Secretariat which is now over 90 per cent completion. These, among others, are how far we have been able to drive the vision and the project PFN, not for self acclamation, but chiefly to the Glory of God and
posterity." He acknowledged that PFN leadership is personalitydriven thereby making the leadership to be so tasking financially and time consuming, in vision actualization. He therefore drew the attention of the National Advisory Council and the National Executive Council to the need to draw a structure that will be well enduring and self sustaining for a good future of the Fellowship. Presently, as it is, since the Leadership responsibility is so expensive to run (from the Leaders’ personal purse), it may inadvertently preclude some category of Ministries from ever producing a category of Officers in the PFN, irrespective of their dexterity, grace and stakeholding in the Fellowship. To effectively do this, there is therefore the need to build the PFN on an enduring structure, which urgently will require a constitutional review." In July 2010, Oritsejafor was elected as the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, the apex body of all Christians in the country thereby becoming the first Pentecostal leader to hold the position. Apart from taking the gospel to every continent of the world, having organised conferences around the globe, he had touched several lives through his annual empowerment progra-mme where he gives out brand new cars, tricycles, grinding machines etc to the poor in the society. These kind gestures have been replicated in different parts of the country especially the North where Christians had remained the target of violent religious attacks. He and his beloved wife, Mama Helen Oritsejafor have also given out several scholarships to indigent students from different parts of the country and given hope to many hopeless citizens of the country. For this and many others, the Christian Elders Forum of Northern States, NOSCEF selected him for the honour in recognition of his noble contributions to the growth of the Church in Nigeria.
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PAGE 48 — SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013
Onaiyekan urges anti-graft bodies to redouble efforts…as ICPC seeks partnership with clerics By CALEB AYANSINA
BUJA – C AT H O L I C Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan has called on anti-corruption agencies to redouble their efforts in wiping out corruption in the country, just as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) solicited the collaboration of eminent religious leaders, in the war against corruption. Onaiyekan made the call when he paid a courtesy visit to the chairman of ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta in Abuja, noting that corruption was responsible for the state of insecurity in the country. The cleric maintained that self-transformation remains the only antidote for moral decadence in Nigeria, adding that leadership must live by example, as honesty and integrity are gradually eroding in high places. His words: “The talk about Boko Haram gave me the opportunity to link insecurity problem with the issue of corruption. We cannot expect to have a secure and peaceful nation without good behaviour, honesty, integrity, especially in high places is completely neglected. “You can have a lot of soldiers and mobile police to keep as many people quiet as you can, but as you can see, it will
reach a stage where you cannot prevent it from exploding. Unfortunately, when it explodes, there will be no logic or smartness but to end up in chaotic situation. “That is why I have been preaching the gospel of transformation. The nation cannot be transformed if the citizens do not go through their own transformation; therefore, we do need a moral transformation, if the nation must settle down well and be what we claimed we are,” Onaiyekan said. In his welcome address, the chairman of ICPC called for partnership of eminent religious leaders, who have integ-
rity in the fight against corruption, noting that they had vital role to play in bringing out the best of human value in their followers. “Nigerians and indeed world citizens want shining stars that can lead them through the dark nights of ignorance to freedom. “ICPC seeks continued partnership with our eminent religious leaders in the fight against disruptive corruption, because of its disastrous effects on the well-being of our citizens. Today, more than ever the society needs the Church and we expect that the Church will as usual live up to its role,” he said.
(Left to right) Chief Molade Okoya Thomas, Monsignor Gabriel Osu, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins, Dr. (Mrs.) Kemi Oni (extreme night) and others after the 47th World Communications Day Mass at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos recently.
MBRELLA body o f Pentecostalism in Nigeria, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Thursday declared its support for the state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan in three states of the North East and enjoined the president to work with the National Assembly to follow through on all provisions as enunciated by the
constitution, reports SAM EYOBOKA. Speaking at the end of its first National Advisory Committee/National Executive Committee meeting in Lagos, the newly elected PFN national president, Rev. Felix Omobude who was flanked by his vice president, Pastor Paul Adefarasin, secretary, Apostle Yohanna Kure and Bishop Mike Okonkwo, said the presidential declaration had become inevitable. He, however, cautioned that the military operation must be carried out within the ambit of the law and respect for fundamental human rights so that the rights of innocent Nigerians are not unnecessarily infringed upon. On the recent order by President Jonathan to release some Boko Haram detainees, the PFN president said the decision was hasty, adding, however, that it may well have been informed by certain intelligence report available to the president. Omobude further app-
Gammons storms Peace Arena for 3-day crusade
BUNDANT Life Gospel Church is hosting renowned American healing evangelist, Dr. Peter Gammons to a weeklong crusade and ministers' conference at the Peace Arena of the church, Iju Road, Agege, Lagos. In a statement released in Lagos during the week, the new General Overseer of the church, Rev (Mrs.) Jane Onaolapo said the crusade holds between Thursday, June 6 and June 8, 2013 at 6.00 p.m. daily, while the ministers' conference comes up on Friday, June 7, from 10.00 a.m. inside the church auditorium.
*National Women Wing, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, inauguration ceremony of took place Thursday at the New Covenant Gospel Church, Benin City. Outgoing chairperson, Pastor Helen Oritsejafor, incoming chairperson, Pastor Abiola Omobude and PFN President, Dr. Felix Omobude. PHOTOS: BARNABAS UZOSIKE
RCCG Cornerstone Parish holds crusade
HE Redeemed C h r i s t i a n Church of God, RCCG, Cornerstone Parish, Okota-Isolo in conjunction with The End Time Harvesters Ministry, will hold a 2day power packed crusade with the theme, Power as of old on June
14 and 15th. The crusade tagged Okota Miracle Crusade, is slated to hold at 126 Okota Road, opposite Tantalizer by 5.30pm daily, with anointed men of God such as Prophets Gbenga Ogidan, Ezekiel Oridota and Evang. Daniel Abdul, among others
ministering. According to the host minister, Pastor Danjuma TafawaBalewa, the programme is expected to attend to the needs of people in the areas of breakthrough, salvation of souls and healing for all manners of sicknesses and diseases.
Emergency Rule: PFN cautions Govt ealed to politicians to be more circumspect in their utterances, and ensure that they put the country first in their conduct, noting “they should not let their ambitions blindfold them or let such override the peace of the nation.” Arguing that the orgy of violence that has enveloped the nation is not unconnected with the 2015 elections, PFN cautioned political leaders to restrain themselves and shift their focus beyond the narrow confines of winning elections, as leadership of the country is not the birthright of any person, section or group. He called on the
Fed-eral Government to set up machinery for com-pensating victims of Boko Haram
insurgency scattered around the country. According to the PFN helmsman, a number of families have been displaced, so many have lost their bread winners, homes and livelihood have been destroyed, noting “it is important that these unfortunate ones are compensated and the houses and buildings that belong to religious institutions, schools, individuals and corporate bodies be rebuilt and restored to their owners, who have suffered unnecessarily for the state of insecurity in their places of abode.” On corruption, Omobude expressed concern about the alarming rate of treasury looting in the country, saying that government is not doing enough to stem the tide.
FLW marks 1st anniversary with Pastor Ituah T was moment of cel ebration as members I and well wishers of Foun-
tain of Life Waters recently gathered to celebrate the church's first anniversary in style, reports OLAYINKA LATONA. The week long anniversary tagged: “Thy Kingdom Come” according to the founder/senior pastor of the church, Pastor Seyi Aniya was inspired by the Holy Spirit and that the anniversary was to inflame the heart of worshippers with the concept of the Kingdom of God. Pastor Aniya, who was full of joy, believed that through various ministrations those who attended the programme have been charged and encouraged to walk in the power, reality and in the influence of the kingdom within and beyond their various communities. As part of its corporate social responsibility, the church visited Idi-Iroko community in Ikorodu area of Lagos where they distributed food items, clothing materials, shoes not leaving out the health
as FLW invited health organizations to lecture and enlighten both young and old on various health issues. Residents praised the church for blessing them with various gifts, saying such gesture will go a long way to improve their living. Most members described the 7-day programme as a super experience as they explained that they were truly blessed by the various ministrations during the anniversary. Senior Pastor of Trinity House, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo ministering during the thanksgiving service of FLW urged the members to key into the theme of the anniversary by being in charge of their homes, communities, work places among-st others. He added that for them to manifest God’s glory they must be truly born again, have breakthrough from bondage and curse and also ready to pay the price of the kingdom which involves lot of discipline, hard work, being faithful amongst others.
Umunna wants youths' energy directed to productive ventures
NLESS the energies of youths are well di rected to positive use, cases of criminality would continue to be widespread in the country, Dr. Leonard Umunna, a cleric, has said. Umunna gave the warning at the maiden edition of talent exhibition organised by the Bible Life Church, Apapa, Lagos. The event themed: ‘Gathering of Stars, Eagles and Champions’ (GOSEC), which featured drama, dances, recitations, quizzes and prize-giving, was interdenominational. Speaking with journalists, Umunna who is bishop of the church and professor of Theology, said Nigeria would continue to grapple with cases of criminality involving the youth, if efforts were not made by government, private and religious organisations to properly channel the potential energies into profitable ventures.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 49
YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE?
OR 10 years of married life, my wife and I did not have a child. We did not have one because we did not want one. In my case, I was just not ready. There was no purpose to my life. I told myself having a child must go beyond the desire to have one. I was searching for something I did not know and had yet to find. I felt it was not right to bring a child into my purposelessness. In the end, we had a child while I was still confused. But five years later, I finally found meaning for my life. I met Christ; and he gives meaning to everything.
Counterfeit life The armed robber offers you a simple choice: “Your money or your life?” But this turns out to be no choice at all because it is all the same to you. “If I lose my money then I lose my life.” Therefore, you adamantly refuse to give him anything. A bereaved wife laments her husband: “This man was my life. He was everything to me. But now he is dead. I have no more cause for living.” What seems to be the problem here? These
If I lose my money then I lose my life people had counterfeit lives. They had lives that could be lost; and faced with the loss, they were devastated. Jesus cautions that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10). Nevertheless, he does not promise us protection from the thief? The fact is the life that can be lost will be lost. The life that can be stolen will be stolen. The life that can be destroyed will be destroyed. It all depends on what kind of life we have. Do we have one that can be lost, stolen or destroyed?
Abundant life Everyone desires the good life, but what exactly does it entail? When a man is living the good life, the world expects him to have a powerful and prestigious job; a hefty and sizeable bank account; a few houses in choice locations at home and abroad; some of the finest cars; a beautiful and devoted wife; two or three healthy children. It is apparent from such
SWORD OF THE SPIRIT FRANCIS WALE OKE
WATCHMEN IN THE NIGHT “Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD” (Psalm 134:1).
NTERCESSORS are needed to serve as night watchmen in the house of the Lord. You can be one of them. (Luke 2:8; Exodus 12:40-42; Luke 6:12). The work of God flies on the wings of intercession. Where you have many people who are
committed to praying day and night for the work of the Lord, the work moves by leaps and bounds. Where there are no intercessors, the work drags and suffers great setbacks no matter what else is done (Acts 6:47). In the early church, they prayed, and prayed, and prayed, and prayed. They prayed by the watch hours (Acts 3:1). They prayed as an apostolic band (Acts 4: 23-31). They prayed and buildings shook (Acts 4:31). They prayed and
expectations that the “good life” is only open to the rich. But Jesus contradicts this by saying: “One's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12: 15). If so, the life that Jesus promises has been completely misunderstood. Jesus’ “abundant life” certainly cannot be about the abundance of things, and God-given prosperity cannot be about material wealth. What then is our life? The Lord came to me once and asked me a characteristically loaded question. He said: “Femi, what do you own?” While I was pondering what exactly he meant and how to go about identifying my possessions, he decided to help me out. He said to me: “If what you have can be lost, then it does not belong to you. If it can be stolen, then it has no value. If it can be burnt or destroyed then it is illusory.” Then he asked me further: “So what do you have left?” I did not the earth quaked (Acts 16:25-26). They prayed and prison doors flung open (Acts 12:1-11). They prayed with fasting (Acts 13:1-3). They prayed continuously without ceasing (Acts 6:4). They prayed until something happened (Acts 12:5). They prayed and changed the world (Acts 17:6). The greatest need of the Church today is for men and women who will stand by night in the house of God, lifting up holy hands that the glory of God will descend and abide upon Zion. Are you one of them? May the Holy Spirit stir your heart. (Ezek. 22:30; Luke 2:36 -37; Lev. 24:1-4). You are not to fold your hands watching your Church struggling against the forces of hell. You are not to join the band of those criticising everything about the Church, from the Pastor, to the choir, to the ushers. You are not to be amongst those castigat-
know what to say but the Holy Spirit helped me out. He said: “Femi, the only ‘thing’ you have left is Jesus.”
Abundant life Jesus said: “I am come that they might have life.” (John 10:10). But, were people not alive before he came? No, says the word of God. We were dead. We were dead in trespasses and sins. Life has nothing to do with being alive. Jesus revealed that the dead are walking. They are walking according to the ways of the devil. In effect, Jesus came as the light of the world to reveal to man who was sitting in darkness that although he was alive, he was dead. And he now says that we should receive the true bread of life from him. But then what kind of life did Jesus himself live? Surely, the giver of “abundant life” must have enjoyed it himself? If so, how did he enjoy it? Once we ask this question, the contradictions to popular thinking become apparent. Jesus did not have many of those things we normally attribute with the good life. He was born in a maning your Pastor or your spiritual leader. You are to be in the band of Aaron and Hur, lifting up the hands of Moses in prayer and intercession (Exodus 17:11-15). May you hear the voice of the Lord. May you respond to His all. May you make a difference in your time. “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath preparedfor him that waiteth for him” (Isaiah 64:4).
Apapa talks Change in EXCEL 2013
HE annual meet ing of Apapa Family of the Redeemed Christian Church of God comes up on June 2, 2013. Theme: “Be the Change“ with the General Overseer of RCCG, Pastor E.A. Adeboye ministering.
ger. He had no formal schooling or education. He had neither chariots nor horses. He did not have a wife or any children. When someone volunteered to be his disciple, Jesus warned him they would not be staying at the Sheraton Hotel. He said: “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Matthew 8:20). How then is a man to enjoy life? Only by enjoying the life Jesus came to give. That life is not the life of the body. That life is the spiritual life. It was the spiritual life that was missing; the physical life existed before Christ came. Before Christ, man was spiritually dead to God. Because Christ came to show us the way to return, we can now be spiritually alive to God. Thanks to Jesus, God says: “This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:24).
Jesus; our life I am reminded of a possibly apocryphal story a woman trader from Kano told me about a former President of Nigeria who was affectionately called “Maradona.” She said after he became President, he called his best friend and asked him what he could do for him. “I am President now,” he said. “Ask me for whatever you desire.” The friend gratefully declined on the grounds that he was alright. God had been good to him, he said, he had no pressing needs.
When he left, the President called his lieutenants. “Find out what that man is relying on,” he demanded. They came back and gave him details of his friend’s business interests. So the President gave a simple instruction: “Block everything. Make life as difficult for him as possible in every area of his interest.” And his lieutenants set out to the task. Soon the friend came back to see the President. “See me see trouble,” he cried. “I am having this problem and having that difficulty.” The President was most sympathetic. “What am I here for?” he asked expansively. “Did I not tell you if you have any problem all you have to do is tell me?” So after listening to his friend go over the details of his predicament, he promised to take immediate action. Thereafter, he instructed his lieutenants again concerning his friend. “Unblock everything you blocked.” You may well ask what the motive of the President was in these machinations. He was not satisfied with being the man’s friend. He wanted to be his life. After hearing this story, I decided to add to it. What if when the President asked his people to find out what his friend was relying on, they came back and told him: “Sir, he is relying on Jesus.” What do you think the President could do in such a situation? Can he still tell them: “Block everything?” Certainly not! The man’s life would have been impregnable.
Apapa Family launches Excel Charity foundation
HE Apapa Family of the Redeemed Christian Church of God recently officially launched a non-governmental organization called Excel Charity Foundation, reports OLAYINKA LATONA. The foundation which was instituted about 22 years ago has been giving hope to the hopeless, restoring dignity and reforming society within and outside the country. The chairman of the foundation, Pastor Idowu Iluyomade and some of the initiators, Tonye Cole, Remi Morgan, Mr. Olufemi Obawoya, Doyin Oluntona among-st others at a press briefing, said the foundation has transformed lives of many indigent residents in the areas of education, health, rehabilitation and well-being. The initiators revealed that the foundation has been an agent of positive transformation in various communities, promising that it will not relent in its efforts to provide a dynamic environment for the less privileged in the society and impact lives. In his words: “Today our projects are a platform of choice with an indelible impact in reaching out to the most needy and undeserved in our communities. A central part of our success story for the past 22 years is our ability to play our parts and leading the changing face of our communities with timely social interventions that are innovative and relevant to the people we reach out to." The foundation offers a unique platform to positively address social challenges and create a network for achieving positive transformation in our communities.
PAGE 50—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2 2, 2013
Girls in the Time of War BOOK REVIEW
HE suffering that war elicits has engaged the minds of novelists all over the world. The female aspect of war somehow depicts in its starkness the cruelty that bloody fighting engenders. AdaOkere Agbasimalo in The Forest Dames brings to bear on the devastation of war a motherly compassion in a manner that puts deep wounds in the soul. According to Chief (Mrs) Justina Anayo Offiah (SAN) in the Foreword, “Fictionalising issues as serious as wars is easily the best way to expose the horrifying consequences of war situations, which usually manifest in the complete absence of peace and fairness; and the palpable presence of gross suffering that may continue long after the war. To drive home the point in a most vivid manner, the author AdaOkere Agbasimalo exhibits the mien of a gladiator, not of war, but a gladiator with a peace mission, armed as for war but channeling all her energies to the pursuit of peace and fairness. History the world over has shown that only fairness and equity can guarantee peace and progress.” In this haunting fiction we are initially fixated in the present time of September 2000 as “the presence of The Companion became overwhelming” around the semiconscious self of the protagonist. In no time we are taken into wakefulness and going into the past “engrossed in an engaging chat with her long time Pal and Companion, and they both took a trip into the past, rolling back the scrolls of history, spanning over three decades.” The Forest Dames is a ritesof-passage depiction of the questing and intelligent Deze who can be seen as the alter ego of the author. The “forest dames” of the title include the four growing girls, namely Gonma, Deze, Sofuru and Lele. Deze, the youngest of the girls, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Buno, and she with her colleagues become endangered species at “a period when, according to texts found in the great author, Chinua Achebe’s books, the center had failed to hold and the people were no longer at ease because things had fallen completely apart.” At a time of the massacres in Kaduna and most of the North families had to flee for safety. People were indiscriminately taken out of trains and brutally murdered. The fleeing passengers in the train dropped off “at Ehamufu, Ndeabor, Ovim, Uzuakoli, Umuahia and a few other stations.” At the sign post that reads “Mgboko” Buno announces the final bus-stop in
The Forest Dames; by Agbasimalo; Third World Author; 2012; 205pp Ala Aba, after which the train would journey forth to Port Harcourt before returning to the North. As the country degenerates to full-scale war, air raids become the order of the day. Food scarcity became very severe, with desperadoes resorting to “ahiaiwu” and “ahia attack”, to wit, dabbling in the black market business of crossing Biafran lines to
buy scarce goods from Nigeria. Deze’s people bore the full brunt of hunger and starvation. The exodus from invading Nigerian soldiers became heart-rending, and it’s in the village of Okolochi that some kind of hope is offered the refugees. The funeral of the patriarch Pa Zurike lends the narrative an elegiac edge. It’s a dogeat-dog affair in the season of war, only leavened somewhat by the humanitarian aid of the likes of the Red Cross. There is the sad story of Ezem, Julie’s husband who never AdaOkere came back from the war. Series; The outgunned Biafran soldiers had to make do with the Mark IV “one-manone-bullet” rifles “against the more sophisticated machine guns used by the vandals.” It was a time of debauchery as the poem of the Prologue limns: “They stripped us and savoured our nakedness Went in and out of our women Like needlework…” A survival ploy was worked out thus: “Moving into the bush in the morning and re-
turning to the house in the evening long after sunset became a lifestyle.” The hideout proved a fortress for the forest dames of Biafra. The forest dames survived through the steadfastness of their friends: “The four girls remained in the forest, cut off from whatever civilization that existed. The only contact they had with
BY UZOR MAXIM UZOATU
History the world over has shown that only fairness and equity can guarantee peace and progress
the outer world so to speak was through the women when they visited at night.” In due course, “Ogwa, a bit in the interior away from Alaowerre, appeared safe enough for the displaced families.” The World Council of Churches (WCC) and CARITAS supplied the needed relief materials. In the end, cries of “Happy Survival” rent the air as the war ended. Deze and her people then had to undertake the long trek from Ogwa to her hometown of Nekede near Alaowerre.
Peace time comes with the twenty bucks ex gratia payment to the ex-Biafrans. The changes after the war were quite remarkable: “The Endanjas worked laboriously like ants to ensure that everyone lived under a roof once more, albeit in mud houses with thatch roofs. Amazingly, two years after the war, almost, if not all parts of the Endanja land had been rebuilt with cement blocks and corrugated iron sheets. Five years after, big architectural designs sprawled the Endanja landscape.” Deze would eventually pass out of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Scheme, but then The Companion from the beginning strikes once more. As an addendum, the Leader of the Nation (LON) suggests as panacea “state burial for victims of religious, political, ethnic and extra judicial killings.” Here is the final word: “But our government may also consider requesting a sovereign dialogue with the then colonial lords, with a view to rolling back the scroll of history and remedying mistakes of the past. It might be as simple as just issuing the reversal word.” AdaOkere Agbasimalo is indeed quite passionate in her engagement with the traumatic consequences of war and the rebuilding of the nation along the lines of fairness and equity. There are editing errors such as putting fullstops inside quotation marks instead of commas.
How to harness Culture for Economic growth BY CALEB AYANSINA
S Nigeria joined the rest of the world to celebrate 2013 World Culture Day, the Federal Government has emphasized that it was only creative economy that could guarantees gender sensitivity and women and youth empowerment. Speaking at the Celebration in Abuja, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and NationaOrientation, High Chief Edem Duke noted that the role of culture in the development of a society could not be overemphasized, and that, if well exploited, it could lead to youth and women empowerment. The Minister further urged the Nigerian youths to use their hands and talents to create wealth, maintaining that, innovator holds key to the next global development agenda. According to him, “for us in Nigeria and as a people within the West African sub-
region, the biggest black nation in Africa, we have a lot to celebrate in terms of our rich cultural heritage which is a product of our plurality, diversity, multi-ethnicity and multiculturalism. “In the year ahead, culture will play as unprecedented role in human and societal development based on the vast exploitation of the global creative industries which are protected by copyright, patent, traditional knowledge and intellectual property regime.Creative people and innovative minds in this 21st century will turn out to be the new trend setters and bench makers of our time as nations have began to place emphasis on the creative economy which guarantees gender sensitivity and employment for women and the youth. Therefore, our message for this year’s world culture day should be ‘teach the youth to use his hands and talent to create wealth’. The Nigerian youth should aspire to be self-sufficient and be an employer of labour. In this 21st century, creators and innovators hold the key to the next global development
agenda.”In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Mrs. Nkechi Ejele noted that cultural plurality as major attribute of Nigeria should be employed by all and sundry to foster peaceful and harmonious existence in the country.She said, “as you all know, diversity is integral to human existence and diversity transcends ethnographic, geographical and bio-diversity to
the essence of what defines humanity; culture. Culture is that fundamental element which defines our identity as a people and is an essential ingredient to understanding our intrinsic differences.This basic understanding enables us to appreciate each other, because inter-cultural dialogue is always the best option available to achieve lasting peace at community, inter-state, national, regional and international levels.”
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 51
Pop Aesthetic in Ekanpou Enewaridideke’s Theatre... O State and exploitative multinational companies. It is this beautiful but disturbing narrative that forms the plot of the the play , which students of the Department of Fine, Industrial and Theater Arts, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island brought on stage penultimate week. While the play wears a revolutionary garb, it appropriates the vehicle of myth in its redemptive struggle for the Niger Delta . It appropriates the myth of Egbesu, the the war god of Ijo people of Niger Delta as the uncollecttive force that shapes and directs the nature and character of the struggle. In the hands of Abray, the director of the playis constructed around the myth of Egbesu and the struggle wears the face of Ijo religion, culture and tradition. In essence, this new dramatic interpretation begins to lend new meanings, which seems to argue that the struggle which is seen from the larger lens of collective fight against dominant powers, rather than one clanish fight for fiefdom control.. What one also sees in the the production is a choreography of Ijo mannerisms and a projection of the Ijo ethnic
Nationality as the most authentic agitators for self determination in the region.
NE denominator that binds the creative works of writers from the Niger Delta is the commitment of their arts to the quest for self determination bothering on economic, political and environmental freedoms. This quest has consistently been the concern of successive generations of Niger Delta fighters for emancipation from the time of Jaja of Opobo, Nana of Iteskir down to to Issac Boro, the father and symbol of modern day Niger Delta struggle for self determination. Also in the area of imaginative literature, succession of writers have attempted to address these concerns through near romantic adoration of of the plundered environment through generation of works that beam their imaginative rays on other strands of the Delta region’s experiences. It is against this kind of background that one engages the great works of John Peppe Clark, Gabriel Okra,Isidore Okpewho, GG,Dare, Ken Saro Wiwa down to Nimmo Bassey, Nengi Illagha and Ogaga Ifowodo to mention but a few. This unrepentant commitment of art to political and social activism, therefore, has become a kind of canon that shapes the face of the Niger Delta struggle in all spheres of imaginative expression be it religion, comedy, commerce or other forms of popular culture. In the fore front of this of art now is fast rising writer and activist, Ekanpo Enewariddeke. The author, whose modest works have won regional prizes uses his wealth of experiences as an activist to comment on the struggle question of his people. One of such literary outcomes from this bustling imagination is the award winning play, The Wanted Man in Camp Four. Succinctly put, the play captures the struggle for self determination in the Niger Delta and the resultant hostage taking that takes place. The conflict of the play becomes the intrigue that plays out between the armed youths championed by Polo, the face of the struggle and GOC, that personalizes the
This assumption , we think is assumptive. However, the entire stage
While the play wears a revolutionary garb, it appropriates the vehicle of myth in its redemptive struggle for the Niger Delta
performance does not amount to a bad delivery despite poor lightening and poor sound control. Rather, the strength of the performance is further enhanced by popular vibes brought into the drama through the activities of the armed youths. The play is full of intrigues and conflicts. And these factors are carefully manipulated by the director ,who appropriate them to good use to achieve desired dramatic effects for an over all cathartic pleasure.
•A scene from the play
Kano students fete ex ANA boss, Okediran
tudents of Girls Science College, Garko, Kano State last week feted former Association of Nigeria Authors (ANA) president, Dr Wale Okediran as a Guest Writer for its Arts, Media and Culture Club. The school which is only
for SS1 to SS3 students, has a population of 600 students. The Opening Prayer for the event was said by one of the Staff, Abduljalil Ismail Idris while the Coordinator of the Club, Mr Khalid Imam gave his welcome
•A cross section of the students
remarks. The School Principal, Mr Jamil Ahmad Zakirai also made an opening remark. Two students, Hasina Takwaye and Aisha Muhammad Auwal later gave the Citation of the Guest Writer before Poetry Readings and a Short Story
were delivered by Aisha Aliyu Kiru (A Joke) Aisha Rufa’i Faragi, Amina Balarabe, Sa’adatu Kabiru Sa’ad and Aisha Kabir Sarki (Poems) and Amina Balarabe (Short Story). Okedirana s the guest writer, also read short excerpts from his books, The Weaving Looms, Sighs of Desires and Tenants of the House . In his final remarks, Okediran congratulated the Principal for producing such well dressed and brilliant students. As a way of improving the students literary abilities, the novelist offered a year subscription of two daily newspapers for the School Library as well as support for the publication of the proposed Anthology of Poems and Short Stories.
PAGE 52—SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE, 2, 2013
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SUND AY SUNDA
Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013, PAGE 53
PAGE 54 — SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013
Yobo: I have put Eagles behind me E
STRANGE captain of the Super Eagles, Joseph Yobo disclosed that he has moved on from the disappointment of being dropped from the list of players to the 2014 World Cup qualifiers and the FIFA Confederations Cup. Yobo sparked a furore when he asked the Stephen Keshi and his assistants of disrespect by leaving him out of the squad without a word of explanation despite being in form and leading the team to the last Nations Cup in South Africa. “Whatever happened has happened and that’s behind me now. When I look at the whole season, I’m very grateful to God. Because this could have been my worst season,” Yobo who won the Turkish Cup last weekend with Fenerbahce. “I’m not disappointed about being left out. I’m very happy and supportive for those who have been called in to the team. “It’s their time. They should take, it they should enjoy it. I’ll definitely be watching and I’ll give them my support. I’ll speak to some of the players and encourage them. “I was a Super Eagles fan before I became a Super Eagles player and I will remain a fan after I stop playing, so I will always support the team
Continued from back page
Joseph Yobo... In action for Nigeria during a nations cup tournament. Is he stepping aside? whether I am there or not. “I sustained a very nasty injury and wasn’t even sure I would make it to the Nations Cup. I had already ruled myself
out of the tournament, but God saw me through and I came back early and made it. “Then I won the Nations Cup and now won the Turkish Cup,
then got to the semi-final of the Europa League, something that was a bit of history because it was the first time for the club to get to that level.”
Blatter cracks sexist jokes as FIFA gets first woman exco F IFA president Sepp Blatter faced cricticsim after he welcomed the first woman to elected into the executive committee of the world soccer governing body. Lydia Nsekera, president of the Burundi Football Association, became the first woman to be handed a full four-year mandate on the powerful Ex-Co when she won a vote at the 63rd FIFA Congress in Mauritius. The other candidates for the historic position, Asian
Nsekera... First woman executive committee member of FIFA
Mexicans celebrate draw with Eagles
Football Confederation vicepresident Moya Dodd and CONCACAF representative Sonia Bien-Aime, were coopted to the committee for a one-year period. During his closing remarks, Blatter appealed for a round of applause for the trio, adding: “Are there ladies in the room? Say something! You are always speaking at home, now you can speak here.” The 77-year-old Swiss raised eyebrows on Thursday when he described Dodd as “good looking”. Nsekera, 46, president of the Burundi FA and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was coopted on to the FIFA executive a year ago, becoming the first woman to sit at the top table since FIFA’s formation in 1904. Nsekera polled 95 votes on Friday, ahead of the 70 gained by Moya Dodd of Australia and the 38 for Sonia BienAime of the Turks & Caicos Islands. Dodd, a former Australian international player and vicepresident of the Asian Football Confederation, had been widely regarded as a far stronger candidate with better credentials for the job.
One senior FIFA delegate told Reuters: “The whole system was flawed from the beginning and I am very disappointed with this decision. “It was a ridiculous way to go about things because it obviously gave Lydia a head start. Why didn’t we go for an elected position a year ago? I am not sure it was based on credentials, more on image and perception. Everyone is pandering to the African vote. “All Lydia has ever said in a meeting was: “Thank you for taking women’s football
seriously’,” added the source, a FIFA executive committee member. Another senior administrator told Reuters: “Frankly Moya Dodd, who is a practising lawyer, would have been a far better choice, especially with the continuing reform process FIFA has implemented, but Nsekera was personally chosen by President (Sepp) Blatter last year and the status quo has been maintained for obvious reasons.” Dodd though, will take her place on the executive as a coopted member for one year,
Alaba eyes more role for Bayern … praises Arjen Robben
AYERN Munich left-back David Alaba has praised team-mate Arjen Robben, insisting he deserves his recent accolades for his tremendous workrate off the pitch. Robben banished the ghost of last season’s penalty miss against Chelsea by scoring the winner in Bayern’s 2-1 Champions League final victory over Borussia Dortmund, and his team-mate believes the Dutchman fully deserved his moment of redemption. “Robben has earned it so much because he
works tremendously hard on his game,” Alaba told Kurier. The 20-year-old, who started Bayern’s victorious clash against Dortmund at Wembley last Saturday, believes his side fully deserved their triumph. “In the second half we were clearly superior, and that is why we deserved to win the game,” he stated. “I simply cannot believe we have won it. “Being German champions or winning the Champions League are beautiful moments.”
were enjoying their game with the rings they ran around the Eagles’ defence. They hit the post and sent their fans into a high pitched uuuhhhhs that turned to yeeeaah when Hernandez beat Austin Ejide who had a good outing. He made a save that went down well with the few Nigerians here. When Ideye scored, and with Mexico playing short one, the Eagles superbly controlled the game that really portrayed them as African champions. They passed the ball well, made some good runs and looked like a side that would have an easy ride against the London Olympic gold medalists. And on the 40th minute Ambrose Efe, who had a good match, began an overlapping run which saw him pack two defenders aside when he swerved to the right and laid a perfect assist, John Ugochukwu hit the shot that deflected in for Nigeria’s second goal. Thereafter, it was the Super Eagles all the way. But they appeared contented with their greater possession especially when Sunday Mba repeatedly punctuated the eagles attacking runs, turning around each time he needed to go forwarded. He appeared to be more interested in showing off his skills than helping Eagles get more goals. The first half ended that way but Mexico were rejuvenated and had upper hand in the last phase of the second half. And that was how a team that was one man down found pace in harassing the Eagles. They deservedly earned their equalizer through Hernandez and were fired up. Vincent Enyeama who came in for Ejide made a great save and spent more time urging teammates to calm the game than urging them to attack. A draw would be better than losing to a 10 man Mexican side. They got the draw. To Mexico, it was a victory. And that was why their fans celebrated at the end, still beating their drums, singing and dancing as they left the stadium. “We have learnt some lessons and we hope to use them in the games ahead,” Stephen Keshi said, describing Mexico as a good side.
SUNDAY VANGUARD, JUNE 2, 2013 — PAGE 55
A N G E R S International of Enugu are faced with a swim or sink situation as they face newly crowned champions of Tunisian league CS Sfaxien this afternoon. Rangers won the first leg in Enugu with a lone goal. But they have to keep the Tunisians from scoring or at least get a draw to progress into the group stages of the competition. This they will have to achieve without key players Sunday Mba, Chigozie Agbim who are with the Eagles squad for Wednesday ’s crucial world cup qualfier against Kenya in Nairobi. Also striker Alhaji Gero is away with the Flying Eagles preparing for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey. “It will be difficult but we have prepared well to be good representatives of Nigeria,” said coach Okey Emordi. “We are not in Tunisia to count the number of beautiful buildings. We are here to fight for a place in the group stage of the Confederation Cup.” Skipper Godwin Ayalogu added: “We are not intimidated by the record of the Tunisian club. Yes, they were crowned champions of Tunisia only on Wednesday, but it will be a different ball game when we meet. “We are here to spill blood so as to reach the group stage of the
CAF Confederation Cup:
Rangers face tough task in Sfax
On the Ball... Rangers’ Tobi Chukwu faces 3SC Tare Oke during an NPFL match in Enugu. competition.” Sfaxien Ghanaian defender Maman Youssoufou told MTNFootball.com: “It was great to win the league after such a long time of trying. The celebrations ended on Thursday “We will come with a different attitude against a good side like Rangers because we wish to win a treble this year.”
Barca Fans uplift Nigerian youths
GROUP of Nigerians and members of FC Barcelona Fan Club are poised to give Nigerian youths a lease of life, by harnessing their talents through leadership and educational projects. In addition they also aim to improve and promote grassroots football via academy and tournaments and all these leading ultimately to changing the face of football in Nigeria. The group is using this platform that is more than ‘just a fan club’, to positively re-direct minds and energies of the Nigerian youths in order to walk the right path. Plans for the official inauguration of Penya Barca De Lagos Club with the theme: ‘Mes Que Un Club De Seguidors,’ meaning, ‘More Than Just A Fan Club’ has been concluded. During the week, in a pre-event media forum
in Lagos, an official of the club, Leslie Oghomenor stated that, “aside coming together to have fun and socialize, we value helping people, most especially children - our future, and less privilege all around Nigeria to understand the substance of true humanhood and the potentials they have, provoking the positive side of the god in them. Letting them know that aside, all odds of life, with self-determination and focus, they can live their dream, in pursuant of achieving a good life and for the interest of a peaceful and united Nigeria.” The group that has already attracted hundreds of fun loving and football enthusiasts with the heart of gold, is geared at using sports as a veritable vehicle for effective mental development, foster national unity.
AFR OBASKET ep up preparations AFROBASKET OBASKET:: D’Tiger D’Tigerss st step N IGERIA’S basket ball team D’Tigers are stepping up their preparations for the Afrobasket tourney and the FIBA Basketball World Cup with their second round of camping, which begins on June 20-25 in Los Angeles USA.
Nigeria can produce 400m greats again, says Fatima Yusuf BY BEN EFE
ORMER quartermiler Fatima YusufOlukoju foresees a rebirth of Nigeria’s golden era in athletics especially the 400m, only if those in
charge of affairs apply the right approach to the development of athletics. Yusuf-Olukoju was only 17 years when she won a 400m gold at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland New Zealand. She grew up to be an ath-
Golden Oldies... (From right) Falilat Ogunkoya, Fatima Yusuf and Bisi Afolabi
lete of international repute and also creating a formidable rivalry with compatriots Falilat Ogunkoya, Charity Opara and Bisi Afolabi. They were in the top ten world list during their era and justifiably, they won the 4x400m silver at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics Games. After their exit from the scene Nigeria has struggled in the 400m even in Africa where Nigeria men and women dominated all the sprints medals. “Its very sad. But I can tell you that there are more, where Fali, Fatimat, Charity and Bisi came from. “Nigeria must go back to their old and effective ways of developing young athletes. Elementary level the key here,” the former athlete turned a fitness coach in the USA.
On the Prowl.... Nigeria’s basketball team file out for action The first phased camping ended in Abuja on Tuesday and according to coach Ayo Bakare their aim is to top the Africa in the tournament billed for August in Abidjan, Cote’d Ivoire. D’Tigers carved a niche for themselves last year when they qualified for the Olympics Games for the first time and they are hoping to build on that achievement as they are yet to win in Africa. Three times, Nigeria have reached the Final of the continental championship and three times they have lost. Hosts Senegal defeated them 69-48 in the Final
of the 1997 tournament in Dakar and Angola were also on home soil two years later when they won their title tilt, 79-72. The Angolans defeated Nigeria a second time in the battle for continental supremacy in 2003 in Egypt. One of the biggest impediments to success in the years that have followed has been organization and poor preparations, yet last year, Nigeria were ready when the big games arrived and that was due in large part to the coaching staff led by Ayo Bakare. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the
country once again,” Bakare said to the News Agency of Nigeria. “There are other good coaches who can do the job; anybody could have been picked to handle the job. “However, with the caliber of coaches I have as assistants, I am confident that we will achieve better results at the end of the day.” The aim is to capture gold in Ivory Coast while a top-three finish is needed to claim a place at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. They will play in Group D with Cameroon, Republic of Congo and Mali.
SUNDAY Vanguard, JUNE 2, 2013
World Cup Qualifiers Kenya bank on home-based to beat Nigeria
ENYAN coach, Adel Amrouche has downplayed the absence
of his two key players ahead of Wednesday ’s World Cup qualifier
against Nigeria. The team has been hit by the absence due to suspension of captain Dennis Oliech and number one goalkeeper Arnold Origi. Amrouche says rather than lament over the absence of the duo, he will focus on inspiring his home-based players to bring down the Super Eagles. “Since I took over this job, I have spent a lot of time building the local players and now is the time for them to rise up to the occasion and stop their opponents,” he told Goal.com. Amrouche says so far he is satisfied with the effort put in by majority of the local-based players, who are determined to build their career with a good performance against Nigeria. “The players have showed a lot of patriotism and are motivated more by the honor of representing their country than the money they expect. For me this is a good attitude ahead of the game against the African champions,” he added. He promised that the team will not let down Kenyans down and pointed out that beating Nigeria on Wednesday remains top priority even more important than qualifying for the World Cup. “We want to go out there and make the local fans happy by posting a positive result against Nigeria. The fans have stood by us for many years and it is time to repay them back,” the coach said.
Mexicans celebrate draw with Eagles •We have learnt some lessons, says Keshi BY ONOCHIE ANIBEZE, HOUSTON
BOUT 98 percent of the 62,107 fans at the Reliant Stadium Friday night here were Mexicans. They made the friendly match between them and Nigeria a carnival. Outside the stadium, they formed groups, beating their drums, blowing Saxophones and trumpets to produce some tunes that delighted all including none Mexicans. They put up a show before the match and after the match. Why would they be celebrating after a match that ended 2-2? Nigeria had the numerical strength to win the match. But they failed to outplay Mexico and that delighted them. “They lost concentration” Stephen Keshi, said in a post-match media conference. In the 27th minute Pablo Parrera was red-carded for what appeared offensive challenge of referee’s decision to award Nigeria a deserved penalty. Torado
UNDER CONTROL•••Super Eagles attacker, Brown Ideye on a top of his game against Mexicans Javier Hernandez (r) and Francisco Rodiriguez at the Reliant Stadium Houston, Texas. The game ended 2-2. Gerrado had clearly stopped the ball with his hand when Eagles surged forward for a goal in a classic repertoire of
RESULTS Spain Real Madrid Barcelona
Toulon U-20 DR Congo France
USA 1 Korea Republic 0
German Cup Bayern 3
Russian Cup CSKA 4
0 3 (pen)
International Friendly Mexico 2 Nigeria
TODAY’S MATCHES INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES Lesotho R. of Ireland Ukraine USA Brazil Honduras
v v v v v v
South Africa Georgia Cameroon Germany England Israel
2:00 pm 5:30pm 7:00 pm 7:30pm 8:00pm 10:30pm
passing game. They were goal-bound and should have scored before the handball. Only Pablo knew why he delayed the game challenging the referee’s decision. He was so unprofessional that the referee denied him a chance to bring the game into disrepute by sending him
off. Brown Ideye beautifully converted the penalty. That seemed to be the only good thing he did in the match for he had to be substituted later in the game. But the goal breathed life into the Nigerian team that had faced incessant attacks and appeared vulnerable
going by the chances Mexico created. The goal was equalized by Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez in the 21st minute. Mexico were brilliant in their counter attacks. Jesus Zavala, Andres Guardado, Aldo De Nigris and Hernandez
Continues on page 54
CROSS WORD PUZZLE ACROSS 1. House of Reps Speaker (8) 5. Assistant (4) 7. Praise (5) 8. Upright (4) 9. Lantern (4) 11. Tradition (6) 13. Lagos masquerade (3) 15. Exclamation (2) 16. Pig’s nose (5) 18. Agent (3) 20. Glitters (6) 24. Forward (5) 25. Nigerian state (6) 27. Boring tool (3) 29. Ghanaian fabric (5) 31. Perform (2) 32. Oshiomhole’s state (3) 34. U.S. currency (6) 36. Vow (4) 38. Musical quality (4) 39. Inclination (5) 40. Eager (4) 41. Damages (8)
DOWN 1. Sample (5) 2. Niger state town (4) 3. Observe (5) 4. Lecture (6) 5. Everyone (3) 6. Use (6) 10. Inquires (4) 12. Carpet (3) 14. Colour (6) 15. Resistance unit (3) 17. Coax (4) 19. Rollicked (6) 21. Hatchet (3) 22. Satisfied (4) 23. Nigerian state (3) 26. Cry of derision (3) 27 . African country (6) 28. Endure (4) 29. Child (3) 30. Spoke (6) 31. Adorn (5) 33. Baking chambers (5) 35. Asterisk (4) 37. Possessed (3)
24 25 27
SOLUTION on page 15
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