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...towards a better life for the people VOL. 25: NO. 62030

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ONLINE | www.vanguardngr.com

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

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By CHIOMA GABRIEL, EMMANUEL EDEKI & BENJAMIN NJOKU, with agency reports

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OUTH Africa’s first black presi dent and antiapartheid icon Nelson Mandela who delivered South Africa from the dark days of apartheid is dead, South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma announced last night. Mandela died at the age of 95 after suffering from a series of lung infections over the past two years and died at home. His wife, Graca Machel, and some of his three children, 17 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren were with him in his final days, with other family and friends in attendance. The former president’s body would most likely be taken to the Waterkloof Military Base in Pretoria, South Africa where it would be embalmed and prepared for public display. The South African President has declared ten days of mourning. In a televised address yesterday night, Zuma said: “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father. “What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.” “Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell.” Zuma announced that all flags will fly at halfmast from today until after the state funeral. He reminded his nation that “As we gather to pay our last respects, let us conduct ourselves with the dignity and respect that Madiba personified. Let us be mindful of his wishes and the wishes of his family. Let us commit ourselves to strive together to build a united, nonracial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous South Africa.” Mandela led South Africa’s transition from white-minority rule in the

•Zuma declares 10 days of mourning •Obama, Ban Ki-Moon, Cameron, others mourn 1990s, after spending 27 years in prison. He had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was one of the

Mr & Mrs

Continues on page 6

PDP CRISIS: Suswam, Nyako trade insults 59

ACCESS BANK—From left, Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede,GMD, Access Bank Plc; Ms Evelyn Oputu, MD, Bank of Industry and Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Group, at the commissioning of Access Bank's new head office on Victoria Island, Lagos, yesterday. More pix on Page.8.


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POCKET CARTOON

VISIT—SITTING: US Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield (3rdl); Commander, US Africa Command (USAFRICOM), Gen. David Rodriguez (4th-l); Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Admiral Ola Ibrahim (M); US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle (4th-r); and other officials, during a courtesy call on the CDS in Abuja, yesterday. NAN photo.

Mandela dies at 95 Continues from page 1 world’s most revered statesmen after preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years. He had rarely been seen in public since officially retiring in 2004. Since he was released from hospital, the South African presidency repeatedly described Mr Mandela’s condition as critical but stable. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994. He stepped down after five years in office. After leaving office, he became South Africa’s highest-profile

a m b a s s a d o r , campaigning against HIV/Aids and helping to secure his country’s right to host the 2010 football World Cup. He was also involved in peace negotiations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and other countries in Africa and elsewhere. He was a giant of the 20th century, an extraordinary leader who — like Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and Pope John Paul II — confronted the oppressors of his time and, against enormous odds, changed the course of history. Although best known for skilfully leading South

LIFEWORDS

BY PASTOR ITUAH

God wants to give you a second chance in a new and better way, but you need to break the chains, and give yourself a chance.

TAKE HEART BY ELLA RANDLE

We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own and other people’s models; learn to be ourselves and allow our natural channel to open —Shakti Gawain

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OO many people base their worth and value on what other people think of them, approve of them, or think of them as important. Because of such insecurities, they are constantly playing up to others, trying to win their favour and to meet others every expectation. When you do this you set yourself up to be controlled and manipulated. You’ve allowed others to put you in a box. Some people do not follow their dreams because they are so concerned about falling from the good graces of others but if your friends truly approve of you only when you meet their expectation, they aren’t true friends. Joel Osteen sums it beautifully: “There is real freedom when you realise you don’t need the approval of others. Don’t try to keep everyone around you happy, some people don’t even want to be happy. If you are being controlled and manipulated to be somebody you are not, it’s not the other person’s fault but your own fault for letting that happen.” You control your own destiny, you can be nice, and you can be respectful. But don’t allow others to make you feel guilty for being your own person.

Africa out of the violence and racial hatred of apartheid, Mandela’s greatest legacy is the magnanimity and moral purpose he constantly demonstrated to the world. In 1990, he emerged after 27 years behind the walls of the apartheid regime’s toughest prisons advocating not anger and revenge, but reconciliation and forgiveness. After winning South Africa’s first democratic election, he invited the lawyer who had prosecuted him decades before, along with many of his former white jailers, to attend his presidential inauguration as VIP guests. Five years later, in one of his greatest moral acts, he relinquished the reins of high office — a breathtaking symbolic move in a continent beset by power-hungry tyrants and dictators.

Jonathan expresses sadness

President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed immense sadness over the death of former South African President, Dr. Nelson Mandela. In a condolence message to President Jacob Zuma, President Jonathan conveyed the sympathy and solidarity of the Federal Government and people of Nigeria to him and all South Africans as they mourn Dr. Mandela.

Nelson Mandela ‘Belongs To The Ages’ —Obama

The world is mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela, a figure who became a global icon of the struggle for racial equality as he successfully fought against an apartheid system that made black South Africans sec-

ond-class citizens. President Obama said Mandela “achieved more than can be expected of any man. Today he has gone home. He no longer belongs to us; he now belongs to the ages, Obama said. “Through his fierce urgency and unbending will, Madiba transformed South Africa and all of us,” he said, referring to Mandela by his clan name. “His journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better.” The first black president of the United States said of South Africa’s first black president, “I can’t imagine my life without the example Mandela set.”

Ban Ki-Moon, Clinton, Cameron, others mourn

Also, reacting to Mandela’s death, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described Mandela as “a giant for justice” just as Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny paid tribute to the “gift” of Mandela, and offered his country ’s deepest sympathies to the people of South Africa. British Prime Minister David Cameron also said “a great light had gone out” following Nelson Mandela’s death, revealing that flags would be flown at halfmast at his Downing Street Office. Fellow Nobel Peace laureate , Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, “He is by far the most admired and reverred states person in the world and one of the greatest human beings to walk this earth.” Paying tribute, former American President, Bill Clinton said, “Today the

BIO DATA 1918 : Born in the Eastern Cape 1943: Joined African National Congress 1956: Charged with high treason, but charges dropped after a four-year trial 1962: Arrested, convicted of incitement and leaving country without a passport, sentenced to five years in prison 1964: Charged with sabotage, sentenced to life 1990 : Freed from prison 1993: Wins Nobel Peace Prize 1994: Elected first black president 1999: Steps down as leader 2001: Diagnosed with prostate cancer 2004: Retires from public life 2005 : Announces his son has died of an HIV/Aids-related illness world has lost one of its most important leaders and one of its finest human beings. Hillary, Chelsea and I have lost a true friend. History will remember Nelson Mandela as a champion for human dignity and freedom, for peace and reconciliation. We will remember him as a man of uncommon grace and compassion, for whom abandoning bitterness and embracing adversaries was not just a political strategy but a way of life.” Former US President, George H.W. Bush in a statement said, “Barbara and I mourn the passing of one of the greatest believers in freedom we have had the privilege to know. As President, I watched in wonder as Nelson Mandela had the remarkable capacity to forgive his jailers following 26 years of wrongful imprisonment — setting a powerful example of redemption and grace for us all. He was a man of tremendous moral courage, who changed the course of history in his country. Barbara and I had great respect for President Mandela, and send our condolences to his family and countrymen.” Also reacting,, former US President,

Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn expressed sadness over the death of Mandela. He said, “ The people of South Africa and human rights advocates around the world have lost a great leader. His passion for freedom and justice created new hope for generations of oppressed people worldwide, and because of him, South Africa is today one of the world’s leading democracies. In recent years, I was gratified to be able to work with him through The Elders to encourage resolution of conflicts and advance social justice and human rights in many nations. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family at this difficult time.” Lucie Page, a Montreal writer and filmmaker who came to know Mandela well through her husband, Jay Naidoo, a former anti-apartheid activist who served in Mandela’s cabinet said, “He was never in politics for power or money. He had too much integrity for that. Why was he so different from other African leaders? Because he put values first, not power,” says Page. “And he practised what he preached.”


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ACCESS BANK COMMISSIONS NEW HEAD OFFICE

STRIKE: ASUU adamant, denies knowledge of N200bn at CBN BY EMEKA MAMAH & IKENNA ASOMBA

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NIVERSITY lecturers, under the auspices of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, yesterday, denied any knowledge of the N200 billion said to have been deposited at the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, by Federal Government, as a way of resolving the six months old strike which had paralysed academic activities in the nation’s universities. ASUU also lamented that government was fond of rushing to the media with propaganda and falsehood, instead of resolving the contentious issues headlong, and vowed to continue with the strike until it was officially notified about the payment. Meanwhile, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, and former Chairman of the Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Simeon Itodo, yesterday appealed to ASUU members to call off the strike in the interest of students, parents and the educational system in the country.

Presidency statement

Addressing newsmen in Abuja Wednesday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, asked ASUU to call its members back to work, since government had fulfilled its own part of the bargain, by paying the said amount into CBN. According to him, the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation had authorised the payment of the money into CBN via a letter with reference number FD/OAGF/220/ ADC/1/4DF, dated November 13. Okupe said the money was paid into a ‘Revitalisation of Universities Infrastructural Account’ with the CBN. However, speaking in a telephone interview with Vanguard yesterday, Chairman of ASUU at the University of Ibadan, Dr. Segun Ajiboye, said the union would continue with the strike as government was yet to officially notify it, detailing the evidence of such payment. He said: “We read in the papers today (yesterday), that government has presented proof of the N200 billion deposited to in a CBN account for the funding of universities and therefore that we must call-off the strike or face sack.

No evidence— ASUU

“As I speak to you, we are yet to get any evidence of the payment as claimed by government. “Our union is still expecting an official reply of the letter we wrote to the President through the Supervising Minister of Education on November 22. “It is very simple. All we request from the Federal Government is to document all it said it has done and will do, and get it duly signed by the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation. “When this is done, then we expect the Federal Government to invite our union for a meeting so that the final document can be duly recognised and signed by both parties. “As a union of intellectuals, we see the government’s claims as payment on pages of newspapers.” C M Y K

Access Bank commissioned its new head office in Lagos, yesterday.

Reacting to the extension of the sack threat deadline to November 9, Ajiboye said: “The threat to sack over 30,000 lecturers is laughable. “Our members are resolute to salvage the decadence in our educational system. So, we are unperturbed by the threat.”

On individual varsities resuming

On some universities that had already resumed academic activities, the don said: “I can assure you, that there is no university where teaching is taking place. “Mind you, universities have not been totally shut down in the last six months. Just that academic activities were stopped. “So if administrative activities are going on, it would be wrong to say that universities have resumed. Look, when Vice Chancellors go into the classroom to teach with armed policemen, can we say teaching is taking place?” On his part, Dr. Idris Adekunle, Chairman of ASUU, Lagos State University branch, said: “If you had discussions with some group of people and some resolutions where reached, I think it is logical to write the people you had discussions with stating your new position. “After our meeting with government on November 4, we wrote government on November 8 and 22, stating some grey areas, which we believe government should meet to end this strike. “But for reasons unknown to us, the government never replied our letters. Now, it is claiming it has made payment of the N200 billion revitalisation funds for universities into a CBN account. “As a union made up of intellectuals, ASUU cannot just believe that payment has been made, which is only on the pages of newspapers. “Even if government writes us that it has deposited the money, providing an account number, we must confirm the payment from CBN. “I must lament that I see all these as normal government’s propaganda. The government is playing with the lives and future of our children using personalities we already know. “This is not helping this nation. However, ASUU is resolute to ensure government is accountable and responsive to the people. “Once we get government’s official letter, inviting us for a meeting, we will call-off the strike after the resolutions reached must have been signed by both parties.”

From left— Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, GMD, Access Bank Plc; his wife and Mr. Albert Wigwe, Deputy Managing Director.

Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Deputy Governor of Lagos State (right) and Chief Akin Oyebode, Chairman, Access Bank.

Mr. Dere Otubu, Director, Access Bank Plc (left) and Mr. Idaere Ogan, member, Audit Committee.

ACF...

Meanwhile, ACF in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, said: “Now that Nigerians have been told by the Federal Government and ASUU that necessary agreements and planned actions have been completed preparatory for resumption of lectures, and that all that remain is mere paper works needed for the agreements and planned actions to find expression, ACF wishes to call on ASUU to please hasten the completion of the said paper works with a view to calling off the strike forthwith in the interest of the students, parents and educational system.”

Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas (right) and Mr. Ronald Chagoury, Chairman, Eko Hotel and Suites.


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Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013—9

Passengers stranded as cargo plane grounds Abuja Airport

Nigeria ranked 10th in human rights abuse

BY OKEY NDIRIBE, LAWANI MIKAIRU & DANIEL ETEGHE

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BUJA— THOUSANDS of Abuja-bound travellers were, yesterday, stranded at airports across the country, following an incident involving a Saudi Arabian cargo plane on the runway of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, which led to closure of the facility. The temporary closure of the airport, to make way for evacuation of the Boeing 747 aircraft, led to cancellation of flights into the airport. It was, however, re-opened 18 hours after it was shut to traffic. Although there were different accounts of the incident, a staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, said the large cargo plane had landed at the airport at about 9p.m. on Wednesday night and was taxiing along the runway when it hit construction equipment parked close to the runway. The source further revealed that the impact of the incident damaged the aircraft and rendered it immobile.

No tow equipment

It was also gathered that due to lack of equipment to tow the aircraft away from the runway, the plane was left at the spot where the incident happened, thereby blocking the runway and preventing other aircraft from passing through. The area around the aircraft was cordoned off by security operatives, and there were unconfirmed reports that the aircraft had military hardware on board. Some of the stranded passengers, who spoke to our reporter, said that they were confused over the situation as they were not sure of what to do.

NAMA confirms incident, apologises

Confirming the incident, General Manager, Public Affairs of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Mr. Supo Atobatele, said the airport was temporarily closed to all arriving flights. According to Mr. Atobatele, the agency had already issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM) to inform all airlines about the incident. “Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, had since issued a NOTAM (notice to air men) to that effect,” he said. He added that shortly after

BY UDUMA KALU

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IGERIA has been ranked as the world’s 10 th worst human rights offender, a global rights watch has said. In its 2014 Human Rights Risk Atlas, Maplecroft revealed that in the past six years, the number of countries with an “extreme risk” of human rights offences has risen dramatically. And Nigeria is 10 on that list. In fact the country falls within those classified as extreme. On the economy and environment, the report said, “the economies of Myanmar (8th), Nigeria (10th), Ethiopia (28th), and Indonesia (30th), present a particularly high risk to business. “In such economies, a high rate of deforestation, coupled with the unchecked conduct of security forces and a climate of impunity for human rights violations has led to a high risk of ‘land grabs’ at the expense of indigenous peoples rights, property rights and minority rights.” Several countries in sub-Saharan Africa also made the list of the top 10 worst offenders, primarily for ongoing ethnic conflicts and sexual violence.

The Saudi Arabian Boeing 747 cargo aircraft that disrupted flight operations at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Thursday. PHOTO: Gbemiga Olamikan. the incident, the management of the various aviation agencies, including Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA; NAMA; Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, were on ground to assess the situation. Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation on Media, Mr. Joe Obi, said the incident did not cause any fatality as all the six passengers aboard the aircraft were safe and alive. He, however, stressed that the incident was not an air crash and expressed the ministry ’s regrets for all inconveniences the incident must have caused air travellers and airport users across the country. Obi said: “Concerted effort is being intensified to remove the obstacle and restore normalcy. The public will continue to be updated as progress is made towards restoring normal operations at the airport.”

Passengers react

Among the passengers stranded yesterday was Senator Sola Adeyeye, who said he was on his way to Ibadan when he learnt about the incident at the airport. He said he arrived at the airport at 9a.m. and had already obtained his boarding pass to check in for the flight on an Arik aircraft when it was suddenly announced that all flights had been cancelled. Another stranded passenger, who identified himself as Clement Attah, a legal practitioner, said it was not enough to keep passengers stranded at the airport for the whole day. He lamented that information concerning the incident was not disseminated, adding that if he knew about the situation, he would not have gone to the airport. He said: “I am a Lagos-based lawyer. My Aero Contractors flight was supposed to take off at 2p.m., but I arrived here by 12 noon. I will wait till

sometime later in the day before deciding on what to do next.” A South African, who identified himself as Garbor Petroczi, said his Ethiopian Airline international flight to Addis-Ababa was also supposed to take off at 2p.m., but was cancelled due to the incident. Another passenger who spoke to Vanguard identified himself as Babayo Seidu. He said he had travelled from Kaduna to take a flight to Dubai, in United Arab Emirates, adding that he too was unsure of what to do over the situation. He expressed regret that none of the airline’s official was in the office to direct passengers on what to do. Meanwhile, it took the combined efforts of aviation agencies, including FAAN, NAMA, AIPB, NIMET, NCAA, NCAT, Customs, security agencies and fire service personnel to evacuate the aircraft from the runway.

POWER: 2,859Mw unutilised— NERC BY SEBASTINE OBASI

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HE nation’s deteriorating power supply has been blamed on the capacity constraints of the generating companies, GENCOs, resulting from under-capacity utilisation. About 2,859 megawatts are unutilised due to gas shortage as at December 3. Dr. Sam Amadi, Chairman, National Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, stated this in a chat with Vanguard yesterday. His pronouncement came as the NOI Polls, an indigenous opinion research firm working

in partnership with The Gallup Poll (USA), reported that Nigeria’s electricity supply worsened in November. This is a further confirmation that since the handover of generating and distribution companies, DISCOs, to new investors, no new value had been added to the assets of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN. Instead, blackout has persisted in the country. Amadi explained that there were capacity constraints with regard to the output of the generating companies, which may have affected the ability of the distribution companies to

function optimally. He also said that contracts for the expansion of the transmission grid would soon be ready. He said: “There are many such contracts and they have different terminal dates. “The reinforcement of the transmission is not something I can say will finish today or tomorrow.”

NOI report

The NOI report, stated that “the power situation has worsened considerably with a 13-point decline in the proportion of Nigerians that experienced improvement

from October (39 per cent) to November (26 per cent). “This represents the lowest power rating in 11 months.” The report indicated that 49 per cent of those polled said that the power situation had deteriorated, 25 per cent said that there was no improvement whatsoever, while 26 said that there was little improvement. According to NOI, 53 per cent of the males were of the opinion that power supply had worsened, while 45 per cent of the female said same. Similarly, out of the number that said the situation had not improved, 36 per cent are men, while 31 per cent are women.


10 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013


Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013—11

Driver arraigned over abduction of policeman

Truck rams into school, kills 7 pupils in Aba ...15 others injured

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AGOS — A 32-year-old driver, Ikechukwu Stephen, yesterday, appeared before a Surulere Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos charged with abducting a policeman. Stephen, who resides at Block 1, Room 4, Navy Town, Ojo, Lagos, is facing a five-count charge bordering on abduction and driving without particulars. The prosecutor, Cpl. Gbenga Salami, told the court that the accused, on December 3, resisted arrest by Cpl. Christian Mokobia, and carried him in his bus to an unknown destination. Salami said that the offence was committed at the Orile Bus Stop, Iganmu, Lagos. He said the accused drove a Volkswagen bus with number plate KSF318XC, and caused obstruction on the LagosBadagry expressway. Salami said that the policeman entered the bus at the bus stop and directed the driver to proceed to the Orile Police Station over the infraction, but he headed towards Iganmu Bridge He said that when the accused was eventually apprehended, it was discovered that he had no vehicle particulars and driver’s licence.

Police arraign man, 19, for theft

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UJE (FCT) — THE police, yesterday arraigned a 19-year-old scavenger, Abubakar Ibrahim, in a Kuje Magistrates’ Court for alleged theft of a sewing machine. The accused, who resides at Old Tipper Garage, Kuje, is facing three counts of criminal trespass, mischief and theft. The prosecutor, Sgt. Niyon Ishaya, told the court that Mr Babatunde Michael of Shetuko village in Kuje lodged a report against the accused in a Kuje Police Station on November 29. He said that the complainant said that Ibrahim broke into his shop and stole a sewing machine valued at N11, 000. The prosecutor said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 348,327 and 287 of the Penal Code.

BY ANAYO OKOLI.

BA — A TRUCK driver, yes terday, at Ogbor Hill area of Aba, Abia State, lost control of his vehicle and rammed into a classroom, killing seven pupils. Fifteen others also sustained injuries during the accident. They were pupils of Glorious International Academy located on 42, Opobo Road, Aba. The truck, with number plate Akwa Ibom AA 702 KTA, was said to be on its way to Ovom waterside to evacuate sand when it lost control and rammed into the fence of the school. The pupils were said to be having their morning devotion in a classroom when the incident occurred. According to eyewitnesses, the pupils were in the school for their end of year party. When Vanguard visited the school, police and operatives of Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, were seen inspecting the scene of the accident even as sympathizers were in groups discussing the development.

The school, scene of the incident (INSET): The truck. used for the party also littered the Blood stains covered the floor floor of the classroom. of the classroom. Broken desks, Some parents and relations of biscuits, plates which were to be victims were seen weeping uncon-

trollably while others were making inquiries regarding the whereabouts of their children and wards.

71-yr-old nabbed for allegedly raping 7-yr-old girl BY DAYO JOHNSON

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KURE— A 71-year old, Alhaji Ganiyu Kolawole, has been arrested in Akure, the Ondo State capital, for allegedly raping a seven-year-old primary one pupil (names withheld). The suspect, who is a night guard and farmer, is said to be fond of raping children. He was said to have been jailed recently for a similar offence. Report had it that the suspect lives alone in a dilapidated house on Mission Road, Ayetoro Street, Oba-Ile, Akure where he allegedly committed the act. Vanguard gathered that the suspect, who is from Benue State, is being detained by the officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC. The victim, who attends St. Paul Annex Primary School, Oba-Ile was lured by the suspect into his room with biscuits. Sources said the unsuspecting girl was returning from school, Tuesday, and said to be famished. She was said to have crossed the road to drink water from a well along her route but when she discovered that the water was dirty she continued her journey home when the suspect beckoned on her. The girl reportedly went to the suspect who was sitting in front of his house and was

lured into the room where she was defiled. Vanguard learnt that the Alhaji, who connived with another suspect now at large, asked the girl what she wanted and promised to give her not only cold water but biscuits. While the girl was still trying to think of what the Alhaji had promised her, the accomplice reportedly pushed her inside the house while the Alhaji carried her covering her mouth with apiece of cloth when she started shouting. It was gathered that after defiling the girl, the Alhaji cleaned her up as she was

bleeding.

Suspect denies allegation Confirming the arrest and detention of the suspect, the image maker of the NSCDC, Mr Kayode Balogun, said: “When Alhaji was interviewed, he said the girl approached him to buy her biscuits as she was hungry which he bought for her and denied raping the girl." He said during investigation, it was discovered that the suspect is a serial rapist who had been jailed for raping another girl in the community. He said: “When officers of the

corps went to the house of the accused for investigation, the residents of the area testified that the man was fond of raping children and had been jailed before for raping a girl in the area. Balogun said after the matter was reported to the agency, the girl was taken to the general hospital where it was confirmed she had been defiled. He said: “Investigation is still ongoing as the man is still in our custody and will be taken to court." Vanguard gathered that the girl, whose father died few years ago, lives with her mother in a one-room apartment in Oba-Ile area of the state capital

Hoodlums set Ogun monarch’s palace on fire BY DAUD OLATUNJI

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BEUKUTA — PANDEMONIUM broke out in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State when suspected hoodlums, Wednesday, set the palace of the Olofin of Ado-Odo, Oba Lateef Adeniran, on fire. Vanguard gathered that a portion of the palace located in Isale Ado area of the Awori town had earlier been razed following last April violence that rocked the town. Some hoodlums stormed the monarch’s palace last April during which they set the

ground floor of the palace on fire before stripping Oba Adeniran and his wife, Olori Fausat, naked. Consequently, the state government set up a commission of inquiry which gave the monarch a clean bill of health and asked him to continue his obaship. It was, however, gathered that the hoodlums stormed the palace again, Wednesday, to carried out the latest arson. Vanguard’s findings show that the monarch had been living in exile in Abeokuta since last April following the conclu-

sion of the sitting of the commission of inquiry set up by the state government to look into the crisis. Confirming the incident, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi said the source of the fire could not be immediately established. He said the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye, had ordered the state Criminal Investigations Department to embark on a thorough investigation to know the real cause of the fire.


12—Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

BEDC disconnects electricity supply to Benin Airport BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE

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ENIN—BENIN Electricity Distribution Company, BEDC, has disconnected electricity supply to Benin Airport over unpaid accumulated bills, even as a Beninbased legal practitioner, Olayiwola Afolabi, petitioned the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, over the deplorable condition of the airport runway, claiming that the lives of passengers were at risk whenever planes were landing. According to Afolabi, “the runway is so bad that each time planes want to land, the pilot and passengers undergo great difficulties and this is not to play with the lives of Nigerians. In view of the above, we urge you, as Minister of Aviation, to put all necessary machineries in place to address this problem.” However, Vanguard gathered that the power supply to the airport was disconnected last week. The arrival and departure halls, were yesterday, filled with passengers, who were sweating profusely as the place was stuffy. Most of the passengers were seen fanning themselves with newspapers as all air conditioners in the halls and adjourning offices were switched off as the electricity generating plants could not power them

A staff of the airport who spoke on condition of anonymity told journalists that power supply to the airport was cut over a week ago by the electricity distribution company, even though about N2 million was being paid monthly to the power company. He said: “The management pays between N1.8 million and N2 million every month, yet they came to disconnect us

last week. We have been running on generators and they are not powerful enough to carry the air conditioners.” Efforts to reach the airport manager, Mr. Sunday Ayodele, failed as calls to his mobile phone could not go through. But when contacted, the Public Relations Officer of Benin Electricity Company, Mr. Curtis Nwiadei, con-

firmed that power supply to the airport was disconnected over unpaid bill of N4.3 million, adding, “that is why they were disconnected.” Recall that a few months ago, Edo State Board of Internal Revenue Board sealed off the office of the airport manager over unpaid taxes deducted from workers’ salaries for several years without remittances to the state government.

SERVICE OF SONGS: From right: Mr. Omole Iyayi, Mr. Ehidiamen Iyayi, Mrs. Grace Iyayi (widow), Mr. Oriabure Iyayi, Mr Omoye Zindi Iyayi, Pedi Obani and Mrs. Helen Inegbedion, at the service of songs for the late ASUU President, Dr. Festus Iyayi. Photo: Akpokona Omafuaire.

Gokana LG in Rivers dumps PDP for APC P

EOPLE of Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State have dumped Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for All Progressives Congress, APC, following what they described as acts of lawlessness being exhibited by the party’s leadership. They said APC was a solution to PDP’s alleged impunity, antiprogress and undemocratic ten-

dencies. The voluntary declaration followed a long awaited question asked by the Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Victor Giadom, concerning their disposition amidst the political uncertainty plaguing the country, at a rally that attracted a massive crowd. The people, consisting of Assembly members, at Kpor, tion

Okpe youths back Aziza for 2nd tenure as UPU President-General

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HE umbrella body of Okpe youths in the country has thrown its weight behind Chief Patrick Aziza for a second tenure as PresidentGeneral of Urhobo Progress Union, UPU. Speaking in Oreroke, Delta State, President of Okpe Youth Council, Mr. Felix Oborodowan and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Freeborn Eghagha, expressed surprise that a few Urhobo

sons would still be canvassing for election as President-Genaral of UPU, saying that God has shown His benevolence by giving them a visionary leader in Aziza. Oborodowan said politics of general gains and self aggrandisement should not be the order of the day in Urhoboland, adding that Aziza is the best man for UPU President-General.

of the UNEP report on Ogoniland, among others, under the PDP-led government, as sins against the people. He insisted that at this point in history, the people desired a platform that would facilitate progress and true democracy. “In 2011, we voted PDP. Today, we have discovered that the party no longer protects our interest, so what shall we do?” he asked, to which the people

answered, “We should leave PDP.” Armed with a broom and APC flag, Giadom declared “Today, we, the good people of Gokana have collectively agreed to move from PDP to APC.” The mammoth crowd, led by Giadom, Assembly member, Innocent Barikor and Council Chairman, Ledee Demua, later inaugurated the APC secretariat in the area.

Rivers PDP blasts Amaechi over SURE-P

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IVERS State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described as criminal and unacceptable, the alleged conversion of the Federal Government’s oil Subsidy Reinvestment Programme, SURE-P, to membership hunting enterprise for All Progressives Congress, APC. The party, in a statement by Mr. Jerry Needam, Special Adviser on Media to the state chairman, said the funds saved from the increase in the pump price of petroleum products since 2012 were meant for youth empowerment across the states of the federation, irrespective of gender, tribe or political affiliation, alleging that Governor Rotimi Amaechi, rather than oblige Rivers youths the privilege of benefitting from the programme, was using registration into the APC as a condition to benefit. He said this was very unfortunate, asking all eligible Rivers youths to apply for the programme as of right. According to the statement, “the government, under the Amaechi administration, has, over the two years of the programme’s existence (January 2012 – December 2013), collected billions of naira meant to be transmitted across the rural areas to ensure an even spread but to no avail. The party is not happy that all the amounts so far collected by Governor Amaechi in this respect are mismanaged and channeled into Amaechi’s political activities.”


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am always bemoaning the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Chibuike Amaechi have not healed their rift, my view being that there is strength in unity and that senior Niger Deltans like them should stick together for the sake of our region. Please see below some of the comments about this burning issue that I’ve recently received from Vanguard readers via text or email:

Re-President Jonathan/ Governor Amaechi face-off *From: Peter Udosen <fazclean_ventures@yahoo.com> Donu, I share your concerns about political squabbles that are undermining our South-South zone. But I regret your failure to clearly state that Amaechi has a duty to respect the office of the President and should not try to pull the rug from under his big brother ’s feet. In our tradition, the junior should not insult the senior. *From +2348023018952, V. O Efeakpor DK, thanks for your write up on how President Jonathan and Gov Amaechi’s greatest Xmas gift to Niger Deltans wil be the settlement of their differences, so they can team up to develop our oilrich region, which has been criminally neglected over the years…

Re-Synchronised detribalisation A couple of weeks ago, I said that Niger Deltans cannot be blamed for voting for Jonathan on purely ethnic or regional grounds in 2015, for as long as Northerners keep insisting that it is their “turn” for purely tribalistic reasons. C M Y K

•Governor Chibuike Amaechi

•President Goodluck Jonathan

RESPONSES I said that I’d feel more sympathy for Northerners who are loudly demanding a power shift if they were making noise because they have identified a superspecial candidate who has a fantastic philanthropic or professional track record. I mentioned my semiserious and semi-tongue-incheek Synchronized Detribalization theory…which is that Nigeria will only be totally liberated from tribalism if all Nigerians agree to ditch their prejudices on the same day! *From: Rosemary Odimegwu <ifeomachukwu1@yahoo.com> Dear Donu, you hit the nail on the head yet again. There is really no Nigeria in the real sense. What we have is Ndi Igbo, Ndi Hausa, Ndi Yoruba, Ndi Delta, Ndi Efik, Ndi Idoma and ndi this and ndi that. My opinion has always been that we should scrap the “state of origin” section on official forms (as in the USA); replace it with “state of residency.” But, until then, I will vote for Jonathan simply on tribal sentiments. *From Abulaziz +2348035990022 Dear Donu, I am an ardent reader of your column in the vanguard on Fridays and am disappointed in your mindset, which is tribalistic beyond pardon, even when

It seems to me that the main problem is the inability of the ruling party to call its members in top government positions to order it is obvious, as you admit, that President Jonathan has performed below expectations, Nigeria will never develop at this rate. It will continue to remain a laughing stock among the committee of nations until we vote for visionary people who will turn things around for better.

quite seriously, I will cast my vote for him, any day anytime. As a Niger Deltan, I feel that synchronised detribalisation should only begin after Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has had and finished his second term in office. From an anonymous reader who wished to remain nameless and numberless: *Sister Donu, l appreciate your style and objectivity. It seems to me that the main problem is the inability of the ruling party to call its members in top government positions to order. Ironically, two illustrious

sons of the Niger Delta are displaying their unnecessary pride, thereby abandoning the challenge of governance which is the reason why they were elected in the first place. As for Jonathan and Amaechi’s foot soldiers’, methinks it is high time they advised the two political gladiators to sheathe their swords of arrogance and executive recklessness and propound viable thoughts and positive ideas towards making their beloved country a safe haven for peace, equity, justice and national development, so that the masses can enjoy the real democratic dividends.

+2348034444406 Judd ‘ ttar Dear Donu, l completely like and share your views because we are yet to see a corruption-free, valuesdriven modern day aspirant in the current political space who would be allowed to get a nomination from any of the political parties *+2348034071771 Mazi Oputa Ikweke Donu, although President Jonathan has offended me

Responses to: donzol2002@yahoo.co.uk or to 0802 747 6458 OR 0811 675 9752 (texts only). PLEASE KINDLY NOTE THAT UNLESS YOU REQUEST ANONYMITY, YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE PUBLISHED, WITH YOUR NAMES AND CONTACT DETAILS ATTACHED.


18 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013 YET again, the vexed issue of a single term for presidents and vice presidents, as well as governors and deputies, has reared its ugly head. Also being proposed along with it is that the tenure of the current crop of elected officials should be allowed to run beyond 2015 after which the single tenure will start taking effect. The Chairman of the National Assembly Constitution Review Committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has renewed his earlier discredited campaign for Sections 136 and 180 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, which guarantee two maximum terms of four years for elected executives, to be amended in favour of single terms of office. According to him, it would help to douse the political heat in the system which is associated with the quest for second terms. We are baffled that Ekweremadu, who is also the Deputy President of the Senate, would raise this issue yet again even after it was roundly defeated during the debates on it in the federal legislature. It will also be recalled how President Goodluck Jonathan had drawn heavy fire when, soon after being sworn into office, he started preaching for

W e Op p o s e Te n u r e El o n g a t i o n , Si n g l e Te r m s single six-year terms, a gambit that was criticised as a quest for tenure elongation by other means. It should be clear to all that Nigerians have long conditioned themselves to impulsive rejection of tenure elongation, from the earliest years of military rule all the way down to the failed attempt by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006. It has become a settled national issue that Nigerians will not accept tenure tampering under whatever guise. Even single tenures will not come without drawbacks. Two terms, at least, force even the

office holders who are not interested in performance to work hard in their first term with an eye on re-election. Single tenure can de-motivate performance and increase insensitivity and impunity. Besides, we tend to overlook the role frequent renewal of mandates plays in the development of our democratic culture. Democracy is a system of continuous engagement between the electorate and the mandate holders for the rapid development of society. Maximum two terms is an acceptable mid-point between extremities of single tenures and unlimited terms office. We must allow office seekers enough time in office to give their best. Rather than impose a single tenure on all irrespective of their performance or acceptability, we should work harder to empower the electorate to be able to vote out poor performers and to see that those who commit misconduct are removed from office through impeachment. The 1999 Constitution has enough provisions to ensure the operation of a viable and robust democracy in Nigeria. We should not be amending the constitution to compensate for our inability to do the right thing.

OPINION BY JOHNSON MOMODU

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HAT is now referred to as the “National Question” arose from the diverse characters of Nigeria as a plural and multi-ethnic society. The notion is traceable to the structural defects and imbalances created by the amalgamation in 1914 of the Northern and Southern Protectorates of Nigeria to form a unified colony of the British Empire. Since political independence in 1960, Nigeria’s challenges have been manifesting themselves in the heightened state of intolerance, insecurity and strife, often in the form of religious and ethnic crises, class division and attempts by the few political elite to access the privileges of the state and manipulate the structure, at the expense of large population. Thus, the National Question is tied to the erosion of the state and its failure to meet the needs of the citizens, often by exclusion, marginalisation and injustice in securing and protecting the lives and welfare of the various groups inhabiting the national space. The National Question is a composite of several questions, all relating to the challenges of national integration and citizenship rights. Some of the sub-categories of the question include the following: To what extent do citizens and groups feel a sense of identity with the Nigerian State? Does the State protect our interests? Is justice and fairness preserved in the manner in which the State relates to every section of the citizenry? To what extent is justice dispensed in the extraction and distribution of proceeds of resources extracted in certain territories

The national question: Jonathan and political will of the State? To what extent is the political leadership of the Nigerian State just in its decisions and execution of matters affecting various groups and constituencies? To what extent are we able to express our uniqueness as a group (culturally, religiously and economically) without being hindered by the structure of power and the State? Answers to these questions show clearly that there is an urgent need for a fundamental reform of the faulty legal architecture of the country through a constitutional process that would deal with powers/privileges and how they are shared across the various levels of government. It is this basic premise that lies behind the views of the advocates of a Sovereign National Conference, SNC, in Nigeria. It brings to mind a lecture delivered by the great nationalist, Chief Anthony Eromosele Enahoro, at the Yoruba Tennis Club, Onikan, Lagos on July 2, 2002. The title of that lecture was simply: “The National Question: Toward A New Constitutional Order” and Enahoro spoke in his capacity as the Chairman of the Movement for National Reformation, MNR. Recall that it was the MNR that produced an alternate Constitution for Nigeria during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Enahoro’s lecture was a powerful analysis of the Nigerian National Question, the challenges facing the country in the 21st century and the imperative of a new constitution, which must be the product of a National Conference “composed of representatives of the people of Nigeria freely chosen by the people themselves for the

purpose.” When that is done, according to Enahoro, the name for our country would be changed to the “Union of Nigeria.” In arguing in support of this proposal, Enahoro urged Nigerians to learn from “the experience of successful multi-nationality states like the United Kingdom and increasingly the European Union, as against unsuccessful ones like Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. Millions of other Nigerians share Enahoro’s views on the matter. Prominent among them is the renowned Professor of Constitutional Law, Ben Nwabueze. Of course, the bulk of the advocates of the National Conference have been from the South West geo-political zone, which has championed the position for well over three decades. The list is long: Bola Ige, Abraham Adesanya, Gani Fawehinmi, Wole Soyinka, Tunji Braithwaite, Femi Okurounmu, Ayo Adebayo and, of course, Ahmed Bola Tinubu (until recently). The clamour by Nigerians for a National Conference has remained unanswered for years. Nigerian leaders, especially the military which ruled for most of the years after independence, were fully aware of the challenges posed by the National Question as well as persistent clamour for a National Conference. Unfortunately, they lacked the political will to tackle the question frontally. The nearest to an attempt was the Constitutional Conference convened by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2005–2006. However, as it turned out, that exercise was purportedly motivated by Obasanjo to secure a third term for himself. Consequently, the

report and its recommendations were roundly rejected by Nigerians. The challenges facing Nigeria grew by the day as disenchantment mounted and insecurity spread across the nation. Ethnic formations sprouted – Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Arewa Consultative Forum, etc. – all expressing deep ethnic sentiments. These unfortunate developments are sure signs of disenchantment and tensions that are capable of tearing our country apart. They are all manifestations of the fear of marginalisation, domination, inequality, unfairness and injustice. They point to severe cracks in our inter-ethnic relations. And, they are a reminder of the National Question, which must be tackled to save Nigeria from disintegration. Sadly, some of the major advocates of the National Conference, who stood firmly with Enahoro, have suddenly made a U-turn, claiming that a National Conference was no longer needed. What, precisely, is their reason for the change of heart? None other than politics and, perhaps, the fact that the initiative has come from President Jonathan! They are saying, essentially, that they would love to do good things for Nigeria, but not with Jonathan as President. What manner of politicians are these?

*Mr. Momodu, a public affairs commentator, wrote from Benin City, Edo State.


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HEN the military in the 1970s created Abuja, they wanted a city that will represent the new Nigeria, which they hoped to nurture; a city devoid of the congestion of Lagos, the then capital of Nigeria; a city with good roads network, good and well planned housing schemes and settlements; a city that will be the seat of the Federal Government, while others remain the seat of other governments; a secured and protected and fortified city. Abuja was to be the paradise. In order for Abuja to manifest, the Land Use Decree was promulgated, the civil service structure was adjusted, the Federal Government did all to see that Abuja came to stay, and they achieved it. Today Abuja is standing tall as a glorious manifestation of the good dreams of a few good Nigerians for Nigeria. If the military could do it at that time, why can’t civilians build us more cities like Abuja? Why can’t we build such cities in every geo-political zone of Nigeria? If not, why not for the centenary celebrations memorabilia? One wonders when you hear comments like Nigeria cannot afford to build an ultra-modern seaport in the

South East; that the South East cannot get an international airport, be it for cargo or passenger; that the national rail line cannot reach all state capitals of Nigeria; that we cannot build fertilizer plants, factories and refineries; that we are finding it difficult to manufacture cars and vehicles, and now we cannot fund the payment to lecturers for the education of our future generation, and we now prefer to throw sands in the air than till the land. I ask, where did we miss it all ? Is it that we now have leaders who lack the will, or we have become a people who take whatever is shoved down our throat? In Nigeria, where money follows the seat of power, Abuja is the place to be. All the roads are smooth, with traffic lights, with all sorts of exotic cars to grace the roads, and as a result, most leaders in Abuja now think that the only way to help Nigerians create jobs is to punish them for desiring imported cars. In a short while, import tariffs on vehicles will be increased, in the name of encouraging local manufacturing of vehicles. Nigerians do not know how many vehicles these people will produce in a specified period, and there is no phased

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tariff increment to match an expected or agreed production targets. Importation of cars will be reduced or discouraged, Customs will be richer, businesses will die. Many of them will be pushed into buses and Keke Napep, yet buses are not allowed in Abuja while Keke is allowed because Southerners don’t ride Keke in Abuja, they owned most of the buses. The importers that would be hit most will be the struggling ones, mostly Ndigbo, no thanks to the fake life in Abuja. A life that is far from the reality under which most Nigerians live.

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n Abuja, there is fairly regular power supply, so much so that some hotels rely on PHCN power to sell their

Living with death in Lagos BY EDDIE MBADIWE

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F the four network television stations operating in Nigeria, Channels is my station of choice for fair news reporting. NTA I watch for investigative journalism. Additionally, as a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Information and National Orientation, part of our oversight functions include looking at areas where NTA can render better service to Nigeria. Sometimes one cannot but marvel at the quality of NTA news content. What, for instance, is the prime news importance that the First Lady watched Nigeria Eaglets versus Mexico finals match live. Millions of other Nigerians, and I am sure, including the President, did just that. NTA in trying to ‘over please’ the First Lady sometimes exposes her to a lot more derision and unnecessary adverse publicity. Madam First Lady, please reappraise your PR department. NTA Newsline is one of my favourite programmes for it sometimes addresses critical areas of society that require attention. The November 3 edition that focused on parts of Lagos State was both shocking and revolting with the spotlight on the recent outbreak of cholera in parts of Lagos. In the year 2013, it is inexcusable and indefensible that people live in such squalor in our nation’s economic capital. Can anybody be serious about containing the spread of cholera in

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those parts of Lagos when cholera is a major stakeholder (using Nigerian terms) of those environments? In a place where human faecal waste is freely mixed with water for drinking and daily ablution (as depicted in the sordid Newsline report), it is only the special grace of God that has kept people alive there. Cholera will continue to re-occur until those environments are completely cleaned out and transformed. No magic vaccine will stop yearly outbreaks. Babatunde Fashola(SAN) is one of my favourite governors and I believe many other Nigerians. His nonintoxication with the perks of office is worthy of emulation by his peers. He has transformed parts of Lagos beyond recognition. For that in my opinion he has scored A* (A star). However, Ajegunle and her sister communities continue to leave an enduring dent on his achievements and unfortunately bring down his grade points average to B plus. Mr. Governor knows what to do to get back to his A star status. It is unconscionable and inexcusable that a city which boasts of Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki, Victoria Garden City will turn a blind eye to disease fermentation vats otherwise called Ajegunle, Mushin, Oregun, etc. Out of sheer frustration, a good number of the inhabitants of these fertile terror breeding grounds have resorted to violence in one form or the other. It was Karl Max who said that these people have nothing to lose but their chains. To them, violence is the

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BY CLEMENT UDEGBE

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Abuja: A city with many fakes

Abuja has a way of making those who live there feel that they own Nigeria; this is perhaps what causes them to come up with policies which do not impact the lives of the ordinary Nigerian positively

rooms, yet there are no hotels with humble rates in Abuja. While N7,500 will get you a decent accommodation in a hotel across the nation, you won’t find such easily in Abuja. They charge high rates with poor services because “this is Abuja”. The work force and small business people in Abuja come from villages or small towns around, like Nyanya, Lugbe, Kuje, Kubwa, Maraba and new Nyanya in Nasarawa State, while others come from even smaller settlements like Durumi, Kabusa, Mabushi, Garki Village and Mpape, to name a few. The link roads to these areas are perpetually under traffic grid lock during the day. The city therefore has developed gardens that are well and beautifully lit in the nights.They mostly sell drinks of all sorts, and just small chops. These are where the work force go to hang out while waiting for the traffic jam to their villages to thin out. These spots have become nesting grounds for immorality. Married persons walk in boldly with younger persons of opposite sex and their body language is simple: “This is Abuja”. In Abuja, everybody is important because they know somebody who is important. It is either they are connected with top civil servants who these days are very rich people, or to some legislator who do not look at the price tags to buy whatever they fancy, or to the Presidency, or to one chief of Police,

It is worrisome when one recalls that successive governments had projected health for all by the year 2000, later 2010 and now 2020; if by 2013 the nation is still grappling with outbreak of cholera in a city such as Lagos, then the projection could only be a mirage

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highway out of poverty and disease. A legislator friend of mine once asked why I waste sleep and materials contributing to current national issues, for, in his words ‘Nobody Cares’. My reply was and still is that each of us in our individual ways must strive to create a better society not just for ourselves but for posterity. We have a duty to leave this place better than we found it.

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eturning again to the slums of Lagos. Are they redeemable and can they be transferred? The answer must be capital YES. All that is required is courage to tackle it one step at a time and I know Governor Fashola is richly endowed with that rare quality courage. In 1954, Dr. K. O. Mbadiwe, then Minister in the Balewa government charged with responsibility for lands in Lagos convinced the Federal

Customs, military or the other. On their phones they talk of billions of naira; the students are the poor ones who chase millions. Try taking them on by asking to visit their homes, their big Oga immediately calls and orders them to get ready to fly to Dubai, London or Lagos, depending on what time of the day. They are all mostly fake people. Abuja indeed has a way of making those who live there feel that they own Nigeria, and that the beat must go on, with the “ no wahala mentality ”. This is perhaps what causes them to come up with policies which do not impact the lives of the ordinary Nigerian positively. They wake up and find light so they think there is light in Nigeria. They write a note or make a phone call, and a relation is absorbed into the civil service, so they think there is no unemployment. They get onto the road, it is smooth, they think Nigeria has good roads; they find cheap taxis and assume Nigeria does not need buses; their students carry super handsets and Ipads, so they think what the farmer needs is mobile phones. Abuja is not Nigeria, if anything it is a representation of the fake life of the true Nigerian. Most Nigerian state capitals still have bad roads, power failures, lack of jobs, poverty, lack of money, and security as big issues.

*Mr. Udegbe, a legal practitioner, wrote from Lagos.

Executive Council to undertake the slum clearance scheme in central Lagos. There was an uproar from Lagosians who derided, abused and called K.O. names, including ‘Slum Minister ’. He was undaunted and persisted and the slums were cleared to create a new housing estate on the mainland called SURULERE. In the words of Dr. Mbadiwe, "the slum clearance was undertaken to make Lagos worthy of its pre-eminent position in Nigeria". That was the beginning of transformation. It is also worrisome when one recalls that various successive governments had projected health for all by the year 2000, later 2010 and now 2020. If by 2013 the nation is still grappling with outbreak of cholera in a city such as Lagos, then the projection could only be a mirage. Governor Fashola was not born in 1954 but history books are available to him. Mr. Governor, you have a date with history not just Lagos but Nigeria. In more a civilised, detribalised, better educated climes where people are elected more for what they bring and not what they take from our common table, there is no stopping your ascent on the political leadership of this country. Leadership is first the vision and then the courage to think outside the box and implement what is right but not necessarily popular for the improvement and good of the generality of the people. I would, therefore, urge you Mr. Governor to do the needful and leave a permanent imprimatur on the whole of Lagos.

*Dr. Mbadiwe, a pubic affairs commentator wrote from Lagos.


20—Vanguard, FRIDAY,

DECEMBER 6 , 2013

BY DAYO JOHNSON, AKURE

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Y the time the 47th Deji of Akureland ascend the throne, maybe next year subject to his choice enjoying popular acceptance, the ancient town would have produced four traditional rulers within a span of 10years.Indeed tongues are presently wagging over this ugly development in the ancient town. The prevailing feeling that the stool seemed jinxed started after the late Oba Adebobajo Adesida joined his ancestors 13 years ago, triggering hot dispute over the choice of his successor. The selection of Prince Adegbola Adelabu met stiff rejection from notable indigenes of the town, even after he had completed all the traditional rites, except the last and the most important. After much dillydallying and political maneuvering the kingmakers, who had earlier unanimously endorsed Prince Adegbola, beat a retreat and opted for a fresh selection process just to do away with Prince Adelabu. The Prince Adelabu saga engendered a six years of interregnum as he laid claim to the throne, while his adversaries vowed that he could only be the next Oba of the town over their dead bodies. They eventually had their say and way as another Prince from the Osupa Ruling House, residing in the United Kingdom, was drafted into the contest. Prince Oluwadare Adepoju Adesina, however, was accepted by all the kingmakers and the leaders of the town and thereafter crowned the 45th Deji. He reigned for five years before he was deposed for what many called youthful exuberance and lack of respect for the kingmakers. Oba Adesina engaged his wife Bolanle in a street fight, an action that was described as a desecration of the traditional stool in Yoruba land. This disgraceful act amongst other sins made him to lose the coveted seat and was subsequently dethroned. He has since jetted back to the UK. Then entered yet another choice to throne, Prince Adebiyi Adesida, who reigned for exactly three years and three months before he suddenly died. His reign is the shortest in the history of the Akure dynasty. His selection was characterised by so much intrigues that pitched the state government with the kingmakers. His close rival Prince Ademola Adegoroye was the choice of the kingmakers but some other forces kicked against his selection. After the voting by the kingmakers Prince Adesida reportedly defeated Prince Adegoroye by only one vote which is still a subject of discourse till today in Akureland and he became the Oba elect. The reign of Oba Adesida, however, brought peace and tranquility and much development to Akure metropolis, the state capital. He was loved by both the low and the high in the town. Oba Adesida also became the Chairman of the Council of Obas. His sudden death left many guessing that maybe the stool is jinxed. Residents and indigenes of Akure woke up last week Sunday, the first day of December, to be confronted with the shocking news of the demise of their Oba. It was indeed a sad day in the palace of the 46th Deji of Akureland. Oba Adesida joined his ancestor at the age of 63. Palace sources told Vanguard Metro, VM, that the paramount traditional C M Y K

FOUR OBAS IN 10 YEARS:

Is the Deji stool jinxed?

The Deji’s Palace

*The late Oba Adebiyi Adesida ruler died at about 2.30am last Sunday. A source said that the Oba had been ill for over a week before he finally bowed to the cold hands of death. His ill-health reportedly became complicated last weekend following which medical consultants were invited. The consultants, according to sources, suggested that he should be taken abroad for medical treatment. Governor Olusegun Mimiko was said to have visited him on Saturday and he approved that the Oba should seek medical treatment abroad as suggested by the consultants. The late Deji died that Sunday that he was supposed to have travelled abroad for further medical treatment. Immediately the news was broken, owners of shops within the Palace raced to their shops to evacuate their wares. This is because immediately an Oba dies all the markets located

around the Palace called (Oja Oba) Oba’s market are shut until when another traditional ruler emerges which may dragged for months depending on many factors. Another reason was to enable them make some sales in view of the Christmas and New Year festivities and to prevent the looting of their shops by miscreants. However, Akure, the Ondo State capital has since the demise of the Oba stood still as both commercial and business activities remained paralysed. Reports said that it will be like that for seven days going by the tradition of the town His palace has turned into a ‘Mecca’ since his demise as people both low and high across the state trooped in their hundreds to pay their last respects as his body “sit- in- state”, an indication that the king though dead was still immortal. The late Oba Adesida was made to sit on his throne dressed in a royal regalia which he wore during his last 63th birthday celebration, with a white horse tail glued to his hand and the beaded crown on his head. What was, however, missing was that the ever-jovial, smiling Oba who sat on the throne could not exchange banters or crack jokes anymore with his subject who filed past to pay their last respects. As the people passed by they greeted their Oba as if he still had life in him, but regrettably instead of his usual smiles and the shaking of the horse whip in his hands it was one of his palace chiefs who stood beside him that responded on his behalf. He could no longer speak. All the shops across Akure metropolis would be closed in respect to the late Oba for seven days, while the ones around the palace will remain shut until another Oba emerges. Meanwhile, the seven traditional

rites called Ijo Akure have commenced at the Palace of the Asamo one of the kingmakers. The Osupa ruling house is expected to nominate a successor to Deji going by the rotational arrangement in the two ruling houses all things been equal The late Oba Adesida was from the Ojijigogun ruling House. The late Oba Adesida was born in 1950, to the royal family of Prince Josiah Stanley Adegboye of the Ojijigogun Ruling House. He graduated from the University of Ibadan with a degree in Agricultural Economics and obtained a Masters in Agric Business and Management. Oba Adesida, before his ascension to the throne, worked as an Agricultural Credit Officer with the Ondo State Agricultural Credit Corporation as well as the Obasanjo Farms at Otta and later became one of the aides of former President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007. Condolences from within and outside the state have continued to pour in for the late Oba. Governor Olusegun Mimiko has described his transition as shocking. A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Eni Akinsola, said the news of the demise of the first class royal father and Chairman of Ondo State Council of Chiefs was shocking ”not because we do not know of the eventuality of death but that Afunbiowo II was not only vibrant and agile, but also active and had an aura of health and life around him”. Mimiko stressed that the departed Deji emblazoned his name in gold on the history of Akure Kingdom and indeed the State within the short period he reigned on the throne of his fathers. Mimiko added that the people of the kingdom have lost a great father whose love for the kingdom is unparalleled. “We are yet to come to terms with this sad news. We are still to fathom the gap that the demise would leave in our lives. We wait to take the full weight of this irreparable loss. The tiger has fallen into a deep sleep. This elephant has fallen. Oba Afunbiowo II has gone to the place of his forebears. We mourn him, we’ll miss him,” the Governor said. Also, the Director-General of the National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeleye has expressed shock and sadness over the death of the Oba. Elegbeleye, who commiserated with Governor Mimiko and the people of Akure, disclosed that the death of Oba Adesida was a monumental loss to Akure and Ondo State. He said he was deeply mourning the monarch who was noted for sustaining peace in the state capital while on the throne. He prayed that God will give the royal family and the people of Akure the courage and fortitude to bear the loss. Meanwhile, the regent, Princess Adetutu Ojei, who resides in the United Kingdom with her husband and children is expected to hold forth for the period another Oba will emerge. Its is not clear if she would accept the offer because of the condition attached to the position; but if she declines her sister who is yet to marry may be considered. Report says if she too declines the offer, then the Lisa of Akureland High Chief James Olusoga who is the traditional Prime Minister of the town would step in to avoid a vacuum.


Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013 — 21

SON removes 5 million bad tyres from circulation By FRANKLIN ALLI

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TANDARDS Organisation of Nigeria, SON, has removed five million bad tyres from circulation in order to curb accidents on the highway, said its Director General, Dr. Joseph Odumodu. He said that the bad tyres were removed recently from warehouses at Ladipo auto spare parts market in Mushin area of the state by the agency’s team of enforcement officials. Fielding questions from journalists during the agency’s Tyre Walk Awareness campaign, tagged “Arrive Alive: Tyre Safety; Standards for Safety,” held simultaneously at Victoria Island and Surulere in Lagos, he noted that all over the world, tyres burst is a major cause of accidents on the highway. “We all know that this is “December month” and this is the time a lot of us travel and the intra city travel is a lot higher at this time. And we feel that if we are able to generate some awareness on tyres people would likely take some precautions and I tell you if we save only one life as a result of this activity my job would have been done because life is precious,” he said. According him, many Nigerians are not aware that most auto accidents are as a result of ignorance on certain requisite tyre specifications which if

108.0

-1.55

2,780.00

-36.00

16.71

-0.1

112.3

-0.32

97.51

+1.47

CURRENCY BUYING CENTRAL DOLLAR STERLING EURO FRANC YEN CFA WAUA RENMINBI RIYAL KRONA SDR

strictly adhered to would save a lot of lives. He pointed out that statistically, tyre pressure has a lot of impact on the life of the tyre and the safety of the tyre and yet only 20 percent of tyres all over the world meet the specifications of pressure. “When we tested some on the road today, we discovered that

154.73 253.4942 209.5199 169.9956 1.505 0.3017 236.7651 25.285 41.2591 28.0863 237.0464

155.23 254.3133 210.1969 170.5449 1.5099 0.3117 237.5302 25.3671 41.3925 28.177 237.8124

SELLING 155.73 255.1325 210.874 171.0943 1.5147 0.3217 238.2953 25.4493 41.5258 28.2678 238.5784

CBN Exchange rate as at 05/12/2013

all the tyres had different pressures ranging outside the prescribed specifications knowing that there are certain specifications that provide for safety. What we’ve done today is to make people aware that they need to stay alive by complying with tyre safety issues, “he said. “So a lot of education is left

to us to do. When we did our campaign on tyres, we also found out that there was 60 percent awareness and that was very satisfying, but we want to embark on newer programmes to make sure that people are responsible for their lives,” he said. He explained that for a while now, SON has been doing a

campaign on sensitising people against certain practices, because the agency realised that most effective method for the control of sub-standard products was consumer awareness. “If consumers know that a product is not useful to them and that it can kill them, they would not buy that product and those who are bringing them will not be able to sell and if you cannot sell, you won’t bring in more, then you will be out of business,” he stated. He said that despite the fact that there is a technical committee looking into the review of the regulated duration for the use of new tyres, people should not use a tyre for more than four years and cautioned anyone buying a new tyre to check what is called either the DOT or the ECE, which gives you the date of manufacture which is four years to the expiry date. “Nobody should stay in a vehicle that has expired tyres, people don’t do it in other parts of the world; so why should we, “he queried.

AWARD: From left: Head,

Infrastructure &Transport, Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Ehianeta Ebhohimhen, receiving the Financial Institution of the Year Award from Secretary, Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria, PETAN, Mr. Dapo Oshinusi, at the PETAN Industry Achievement Awards of Excellence celebration in Lagos.

CBN, CBO Capital advocate more investments in venture capital By JONAH NWOKPOKU

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HE Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and CBO Capital have called for more investments in private equity and venture capital. They made the call at the just concluded third annual investors’ conference organised by CBO capital in Lagos. They said that more investments in private equity and venture capital would make more funds available for entrepreneurs in Nigeria and inspire real economic growth, especially in the informal sector. According to Deputy Governor, CBN, Dr. Kingsley Moghalu, who presented a keynote address on the

economic outlook for 2014 at the conference, “Private equity venture is a stake that belongs more to Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, and some other parts of the financial system. There is no question that this country is in outright reliance on banking for finance and bank lending is short term in this part of the world. It is either three, four or five years. So, the real growth in the financial sector in our economy lies in reducing the dominance of banks and expanding other aspects of finance, including private equity and venture capital.” Emphasising the critical role private equity and venture capital play in the economy, he said, “Studies have shown that in most parts of the world

where private equity and venture capital function, they create a lot of jobs. I think that when we want to bring foreign investors into Nigeria, we should encourage foreign investors that will address our strategic gaps. There is no question that one of those strategic gaps is private equity and venture capital, especially because venture capital is the lower end of private equity and fits into the entrepreneurial business model that is so much a part of Nigeria’s informal economy. “And so, the earlier we bring venture capital into this economy, the better it will be for the economy as more jobs would be created. So, we support the view that there should be more venture capital. I think that as a policy focus, we need to lay more emphasis on venture capital.”


22 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

ISAN berates investment policy in capital market By PETER EGWUATU

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HE Independent S h a r e h o l d e r s Association of Nigeria, ISAN, has decried the unfavourable investment policy being implemented in the Nigerian capital market. The National Coordinator, Sir Sunny Nwosu, who revealed the association’s deliberation after its monthly meeting said the Federal Government, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, had through their policies exposed retail investors to unwholesome investment risk in the Nigerian capital market. He stated that the recent

investment policies in the Nigerian capital market have alienated shareholders and have gradually turned portfolio investment into an elitist club. According to the ISAN boss, “SEC and NSE age long promoted investors’ protection fund remains a mirage and a market gimmick used in rubbishing domestic investors for more than 50 years. The investors’ protection fund has turned into a trading fund for profit for the regulators as against the protection of investors.” The shareholders resolved that, while government and regulators consciously provided a soft landing for stockbrokers through

forbearance packages, especially during the recent financial meltdown, domestic investors were left unprotected and abandoned. Nwosu, revealed that ISAN frowned at the alienation of local investors in the on-going Nigerian capital market transformation, stressing that successful economies thrive through inclusive or internal development. He further challenged the Nigerian government to create an investment level playing field, arguing that the current emphasis on foreign retail investors to the detriment of local retail investors amounts to economic neo-colonisation. To this development, the

ISAN boss called for the overhaul of the current national interest regime, total elimination of commission on transaction and the liberalisation of government funds deposit. According to him “The restriction of government funds deposit to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, would stagnate development, deprive the economy of the needed liquidity and engender domestic confidence crisis in government and governance. Also, the ‘troubled’ commercial banks continuous payment of five percent as against three percent of their gross earnings to AMCON was robbing shareholders value for returns on investment and discouraging portfolio investments.”

AWARD: From

left, award recipient/Group Managing Director, Energy Group, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim ; Vice Chairman, Success Attitude Development Centre (SADC), Pastor (Mrs.) Esther ObazuOjeagbase and Managing Director/ CEO, New Media and Marketing, Mr. Ehi Braimah, during the induction of Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim into Success Attitude Development Centre Entrepreneur Hall of Fame and presentation of award, in Lagos.

Infinity Trust Mortgage to list 4.17bn shares on NSE By PETER EGWUATU

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NFINITY Trust Mortgage Bank, ITMB Plc, has concluded arrangement to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE. The listing is expected to boost market capitalisation of the exchange when the shares are listed next week. Vanguard gathered that the company will list 4.17billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N1.50. The Managing Director, ITMB, Mr. Obaleye Olabanjo, said the listing is a reflection of the bank’s desire to create value, as well as endless opportunities of providing shelter for every Nigerian as its trademark connotes – infinity homes. He stated that the listing would also enable the C M Y K

company raise its capitalisation to expand its line of business of offering wide range of mortgage banking services. He added, “Our mission is to be a reference point in all spheres of mortgage business through the usage of time - tested professionals, the best in technology and adequate capital in creating wealth for all stakeholders - customer, staff, shareholders and the community at large.” Infinity homes - is well capitalised with shareholders funds in excess of N4.5billion unimpaired by losses as at December, 2012, making it one of the most capitalised primary mortgage banks in the country. According to Olabanjo,“ The bank is profitably run

with very substantial, impactful value addition and great potentials for eight years running. It has been consistent in increasing returns on investment and paying dividends to the shareholders, while not reneging on its social and corporate responsibilities. Our approach is to reinforce our position by growing the bank significantly across the key metrics, i.e. scale, profitability and market share and harnessing inherent opportunities available in the sector.” With regard to its financials, the ITMB boss said “The bank posted better than anticipated full year figures for the financial year end 31 st December, 2012. The results reflected a robust

improvement upon the previous performance and the indicators are well above those posted by our peers. In 2012, the bank achieved an emphatic growth in profitability compared to the previous year. Its Profit before Taxation, PBT, stood at N565.6 million, while it recorded a Profit after Taxation, PAT, of N517million; Gross earnings increased from N459.5million in 2011 to N850.5million, translating to an improvement of 180 percent year-on-year (y-o-y).” Other performance indicators showed that earnings per share increased from 6kobo to 15kobo; Dividend per share rose from 0.57kobo to 2.71kobo, representing yearon-year improvement of 225 percent and 171 percent respectively.

Fidelity Bank gives Ikoyi Prison facelift, renovates, equips sickbay By NKIRUKA NNOROM

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idelity Bank Plc, through its Helping Hands Programme (FHHP), the corporate social responsibility arm, has renovated and equipped Ikoyi Prison sickbay. Speaking during the official handover of the renovated sickbay and donated items to the Prison authority, the Managing Director/CEO of the bank, Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, said that Fidelity Bank believes that giving back to the society where it does business is the right thing to do. Represented by the General Manager, South-West Banks, Mr.Oluwatobi Lawal, he stated that in nourishing the communities where they do business and paying attention to their needs, the bank demonstrates that it is part of them and ‘not just visitors and strangers in the land.’ Lawal explained that the bank has built boreholes, renovated schools, provided medical equipments and drugs; donated cars and given succor to countless children, families and women through its staff funded volunteer initiative – the Fidelity Helping Hand Programme. “We have worked with the physically challenged, the visually impaired, the mentally disadvantaged and the socially abandoned amongst others. Today, we are here. Tomorrow, we will be in another community, making our little contribution to their well being and social uplifting,” he said. “In Fidelity, we do what we do bearing in mind two main goals. First, we desire to raise a crop of young executives who believe in doing good; men and women who are not too busy to hear the cry of the needy around them. People who will be brave enough to step up and make a difference in their community. “Secondly, our desire is to stir up a social revolution which will encourage all citizen and stakeholders, public and private, to become more involved in the challenges and needs of their immediate community,” Lawal stated. On his own part, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Lagos State, Dr. Wale Ahmed, represented by Mrs. Cordelia Okechukwu, commended Fidelity Bank for the kind gesture, while calling on other corporate institutions to borrow a leaf from what the bank had done.


Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013—23

BY JIMOH BABATUNDE

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n many African countries agriculture is dominated by smallholder farmers growing food for their own consumption with extra production sold on a small scale. These set of farmers produce crops using traditional methods and low resource technologies. In spite of their limitations, the smallholder farmers have contributed to the promotion of sustainable agriculture in the African continent, in contributing to African food security they have been galvanised by farmer organisations. So, the farmer organisations that play crucial role in the African traditional agricultural systems were recently brought together in Accra, Ghana by the African Investment Climate Research (AFRICRES), in partnership with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) for recognition. The event was the first Africa Farmer of the Year Award (AFOYA) that was aimed at showcasing and rewarding successful Farmer Organisations (FOs) in Africa, and acknowledging the vital role that these FOs play in promoting sustainable agriculture in the African continent. Prelude to the award was a conference with the theme “Farmer Organizations in Africa: Strengthening Information-Sharing and Partnerships” that brought together Regional and National Farmer Organisations, Representatives from African Governments, Farmer Organisation Support Agencies & Institutions, Researchers, Private Sector Institutions, and NGOs. Issues affecting Farmer Organizations in their efforts at ensuring food security in the African continent were discussed at the conference as part of activities marking the Awards. Commenting on the conference and the awards, the Managing Director of AFRICRES Professor Nicholas Biekpe, noted that Farmer Organizations continue to play a key role in achieving food security in Africa and therefore deserve recognition. AGRA’s Director of Communications & Public

Alhaji Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, flanked by AGRA team lead by Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Ms. Sylvia Mwichuli during the award ceremony in Accra, Ghana recently.

‘Farmer organisations important in Africa food security’ Affairs, Ms. Sylvia Mwichuli, also stressed the importance of the awards, noting that these will motivate farmer organizations to continue to work towards achieving a green revolution in Africa. She also reiterated the commitment of key stakeholders in the agricultural value chain, including AGRA and AFRICRES, in promoting sustainable agriculture in the African continent. Speaking at the conference, Professor Kwame Offei, Provost of the College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, called for capacity building of Farmer Based Organisations (FBOs) to enable them to contribution effectively to the formulation

Professor Nicholas Biekpe, African Investment Climate Research (AFRICRES), with Fadel Ndiame, FOSCA Lead Coordinator AGRA addressing the press during the conference in Accra, Ghana. C M Y K

of agriculture policies. He said areas where the FBOs capacities could be enhanced included basic tools for policy analysis, lobbying, articulation of their position on an agricultural policies and development of strategies favourable to their members. Delivering a paper on the topic: “Strengthening Farmer Organisations in Africa: The Case of Ghana,” Prof. Offei said for active FBOs to be sustainable in the current market-oriented economy, they must develop an effective management system with clear vision to identify

opportunities for generating surplus and investing the extra to take care of their community and members. He called on the private sector and other players in the agric sector to assist FBOs such as cooperatives to cultivate voluntary and open membership at all levels. Prof. Offei said extension agents should also facilitate the development of cohesion and trust among members of FBOs through the delivery of effective services as well as form strong innovative network and partnership to

champion farmer organisations in Africa. The issue of visionary leadership on the part of those leading farmer organisations was agreed on by discussants on Building Capacity among FOs. One of the panellists, Mr. Benito Eliasi, said there is need to separate functions of different committees in FOs as well as need for collective vision. For Ms. Pauline Kamau, most farmer organisations lack capacity for information, entrepreneurship and other skills because of visionless leaders.

Why insurance companies failed to support agric — Ujoatuonu

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N insurance expert, Ben Ujoatuonu, has disclosed that government policies in the past prevented many insurance companies to take up agriculture insurance in the country. He said this has changed with the introduction of the Agriculture Transformation Agenda of the present administration. Ben Ujoatuonu made this disclosure at the unveiling of the Sustainable Food Security (SUFOS) award being put together by Azure Consult, a communication research and human development concern, in partnership with Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Channel 10 and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.

In his words, “Over time, before 2007, we had about 105 insurance companies in Nigeria out of these 105 companies, we had only one agric insurance company which is Nigerian Agricultural Insurance company (NAIC) “After the consolidation in the insurance industry in 2007 the companies we had came down to about 49 insurance companies in Nigeria, yet , we still had one insurance company which is government owned.” He added “Government gives aids to farmers that want to take up insurance, but now the idea is being thrown open that every other insurance companies can

move into agric insurance, this idea is coming from the government transformation for agriculture . Ben Ujoatuonu said practitioners are set to key into the reform in the agriculture industry now as serious discussion is going on in the sector on how to fashion a platform that will create enabling environment for every operator in the sector to handle agriculture insurance. “With this the platform agriculture will get a very robust support from the insurance companies , it will be of great benefit to the insurance companies, because any way you look at it the agric sector has come to stay in Nigeria”.


24 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

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FRICAN trade ministers has agreed to support the package at the ongoing World Trade Organisation’s ninth Ministerial Conference (MC9), taking place in Bali, Indonesia, in the interest of the developing economies and the global economy at large. There are three main items in the package — trade facilitation (to streamline customs procedures and minimise unnecessary border delays, delivering jobs and opportunities in times of unemployment and slow growth); agriculture (which Nigeria and other African countries are really interested in); and development, which applies mainly to Least Developed Countries (LDCs). A statement said the ministers agreed, during a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States and a working dinner co-organised by Nigeria, that there should be convergence in Bali after the Doha talks, which have been on for about 12 years. The Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, who spoke with journalists after the dinner, said the consensus among African countries, “bearing in mind that no one gets everything he wants in a package and that people have to compromise, is that Nigeria and other African countries have agreed to support the package as presented in Bali and work towards a deal in the

CONFERENCE: From left: Tola Faseru, President, National Cashew Association of Nigeria, NCAN; Sotonye Anga, National Publicity Secretary, NCAN at the the intenational cashew conference which held at Victory Hotel, Ho chi Minh City, Vietnam, that attracted several delegates who are mainly cashew traders, exporters processors, researchers, and top government functionaries.

Nigeria, other African nations rrally ally for W WTTO deal next few days.” Aganga said: “At the last ministerial meeting in Geneva, which I chaired (MC8), one of the conclusions was that the WTO should identify some of the elements of Doha where there was very little disagreement and which would be beneficial to members with a view to delivering a package around those areas. Those areas were areas to do with trade facilitation, which is beneficial to everyone.

“The second is agriculture, which Nigeria and most African countries are interested in, bearing in mind that agriculture accounts roughly for about 40 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product and employs close to 70 per cent of our population. Under agriculture, the focus is on general services, stockholding for food security purposes and export competition, among others.” The minister added: “Under stockholding, some countries

SA, Nigeria look ttoo increase tr ade, inves tment trade, investment

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OUTH Africa and Nigeria should take every opportunity available to increase trade with one another, the Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe has said. Although total trade between South Africa and Nigeria has increased substantially since 1999, there remains potential to diversify the trade portfolio and basket, and further increase total bilateral trade. Thabethe and a business

delegation are in Nigeria on an Outward Selling and Investment mission. “South Africa recognises the need to further strengthen our trade and economic ties, hence this mission to give our businesspeople an opportunity to engage,” said Thabethe, who was speaking at a trade and investment seminar in Abuja. There was potential in terms of trade between the two countries. According to Thabethe,

Nigerian, Spanish inves investt or orss ttoo regularise informal trade

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IGERIA and Spain are set to establish a joint business council so as to deepen economic ties between the two countries and regularise bilateral informal trade. Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, made this known recently in Madrid at the Nigeria-Spain Business and Investment Forum, which has ‘Translating Market Opportunities into Robust Trade’ as its theme. Odumegwu-Ojukwu said that the establishment of the business council was considered imperative as Spain had yet to make significant investments in Nigeria’s non-oil sectors.

“Our desire is to change the situation through this forum,” she said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Spain is Nigeria’s third largest importer of oil and gas, with a current trade volume which stands at more than 7 billion Euros in favour of Spain. “What we are trying to do is to match Spanish investors with their Nigerian counterparts so as to explore the available opportunities in the country; it is also to reassure them that Nigeria is ready for business,” she said. Odumegwu-Ojukwu particularly noted an imbalance in the volume of trade between the two countries, especially in the area of informal trade.

a lot of work has been done by both countries on the business side and many South African companies have invested in Nigeria. “The total large scale Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects from South Africa to Nigeria from 2003 to date are 28 and amount to R35.3 billion. The jobs that have been created in Nigeria from these FDI projects are estimated at 5,505,” she said. The investment projects are in sectors such as telecommunications, financial institutions, property and retail, amongst others. “There are other planned big investments that are yet to enter the Nigerian market, judging by the way the current investments are doing. These projects will contribute immensely to the Nigerian economy,” said Thabethe. The South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Louis Mnguni, said economic growth meant nothing if it did not translate into development of the people of both countries. “We salute businesspeople from South Africa and Nigeria as they already started business relations and the relations are growing tremendously,” said Mnguni.

heavily subsidise staple foods just to make sure that when prices are high, they are available for poor people in their countries. Where there is surplus production, they can buy them at a particular price, stock hold them and then release them when it becomes necessary. WTO and its members are not opposed to that, but they are more interested in making sure that when such happens, there are mechanisms in place to ensure that the subsidised foods do not get into the global multilateral trading system. They are also looking at the duration, etc. “The third arm of the package is on development, and this applies mainly to the LDCs. Generally, however, the LDCs are happy with the package. If you look at trade facilitation, for instance, if it goes through and is well implemented, it is worth about $1.3 trillion to the global economy per year and that means jobs, it means opportunities. Part of the principle is that if you spend $1 on trade facilitation; you get about $1,500 worth of benefits to the economy.” He said the Nigerian delegation would take the package back to Nigeria if all the 159-member countries could reach a consensus in the next few days. Aganga said, in terms of trade facilitation, the benefit would be a reduction in the cost and time of doing business, noting that it would also result in a reduction in the cost and time of exporting or importing products. “I must say that whether we have a deal or not, I think it is still a good document for us to work on and we intend to implement all the relevant bits because it is still our responsibility to reduce the cost and time of doing business,” he said.

Pan African Chamber of Commerce embraces continental free trade deal

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Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) is to be established in Africa to increase inter-country business by easing the movement of goods and reducing the required travel documentation, officials have announced. Honouring the move, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) organised a two-day conference that was concluded recently, and was attended by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. CFTA, according to the Prime Minister, would enhance Africa to trade with one another beyond 2017. He said that the African Union has envisaged an African economic community by 2028. To facilitate this vision, a continental free trade area has been endorsed by the member states, Hailemariam said. Some 26 countries from East and Southern Africa are in the process of establishing a single free trade area, while 15 West African countries are setting up a custom union with a common external tariff. However, trade among African countries remains at only 12 per cent, which the Prime Minister said is not benefiting anyone. Trading between Ethiopia and Kenya is more difficult than doing business with the United Kingdom, it has been reported. Aspects hampering free trade across Africa include the higher cost of movement of goods, poor infrastructure, and similar products, where most African nations find it illogical to transact. Hailemariam illustrated that in Angola exporting a standard container would take 52 days and cost USD 2,000. Contrasting the figures, the Prime Minister highlighted how Singapore handles the export of a similar container in just five days, and at a cost four times lower than Angola. However, having CFTA across Africa will increase the gain of economies by USD 62 billion per year. However, negotiating for C-FTA with 54 countries and having it in place before the set period will be a challenge for the African Union in the years to come.


Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013—25

Kaduna State contigent

ABUJA CARNIVAL: Nigerians decry low turnout … call for proper funding BABATUNDE JIMOH & CALEB AYANSINA

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nprecedented crowd in the past used to line up the carnival routes of Abuja city to catch glimpse of the best of Nigeria culture on parade during the annual Abuja carnival that was initiated by Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime to promote Nigeria tourism. But that crowd was missing this year as the 9th edition of the Abuja Carnival took place in the nation’s capital with less than 20 states of the federation participating. As the contingents marched through the carnival routes in well cut-to-fit costumes, exciting gyration, Masquerades from Adamawa State fantastic colours and sparkling steel drums, there was handful of Nigerians and foreign tourists on hand to part take in the festival aimed at creating a platform for the 100 years commemoration of the amalgamation of Nigeria’s Northern Protectorate and Southern Protectorate by the then British Governor, Sir Lord Lugard in 1914. In the past editions of the carnival, the participating states showcased many innovations to the delight of Nigerians and foreigners, who danced unhindered through the length and breadth of Abuja. It was ironical that the number of states that participated had dropped from the thirty five states that took part in the first edition to less than twenty in this year’s edition with the theme “ A People for a Century, A People Forever” Declaring the Carnival moving into the Eagles carnival could generate a lot of open in Abuja, the Minister square to entertain money if handled properly. of Tourism, Culture and dignitaries. “Since the inception of the National Orientation, Chief The crowd of people and carnival, we just wake up to see Edem Duke, noted that this invited dignitaries that had the street blocked without prior year celebration was special waited patiently all the day for information. This has always because it spiced up 100 the cultural floats where been the problem. It is high time years of amalgamation of treated to different cultural things are done the right way.’’ Nigeria as an indivisible offerings by the participating For Nigerians and some nation. states and foreign countries, selected countries, the Durbar He said: “The convergence which each state interpreting of the 36 states of the the theme of the carnival in Federation and the pursuance terms of their dance of this carnival as a common choreography, costumes, dance goal is therefore a symbolic styles and movements, floats s a way of consolidating demonstration of the ties that and music to suit their tempo on the growing numbers bind us together as a people and mood as the ceremony of Nigerians visiting the and the vigour with which we unfolded. United Arab Emirates, the have maintained our unity for Some of the participants called leisure arm of the Emirates a century in spite of the on the Federal Government to Airline, has concluded plans challenges of nation- ensure proper sensitization of to commissioned four Nigeria building”. the public before holding tour operators to packaged The low turn out of the subsequent Abuja Carnival. exclusive tours to the emirates. crowd did not stop the Those who spoke under Emirates Airline’s Manager participating states from condition of unanimity said that for West Africa, Manoj Nair, parading the selected routes poor publicity had over the years who disclosed this in a chat from Old Parade Ground, hindered the growth of the with journalists in Lagos Festival Road and event. recently, said the airline is Independence Road in a Mr. Bala Shuaib, an Abuja committed to offering their colourful street parade before resident, disclosed that the customers the highest

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The convergence of the 36 states of the Federation and the pursuance of this carnival as a common goal is therefore a symbolic demonstration of the ties that bind us together as a people

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and the Boat regatta events will remain indelible in their minds as some northern states, particularly Niger and Kaduna, tried to out do one another with the large contingents of horses, camels and elephant. The Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, who witnessed the Durbar as a great celebration, which has survived since the colonial era to become a cultural tourism event being celebrated today across the country as one of the nation’s cultural icons. The boat regatta remained an indispensable event of the carnival as riverian states compete with each other at the Jabi Lake, venue of the event. Kogi, Taraba, Rivers, Bayelsa and Anambra that participated in the competition displayed their skills and dexterity in boat handling under high speed to the delight of the crowd. Other events that could have been used to project the country’s tourism properly were the traditional cuisine, traditional hairdo and masquerade. Nigeria has a rich and unique masking tradition which dates

back to centuries of its evolutions. Masquerades are found in virtually all communities in the country and are seen as spirits which represents the communication links between the living and the dead. When confronted with the low turn out at the events, one of the organizers said the Minister for Tourism Edem Duke, can not be held responsible for the lack of publicity as the budget for the festival was not released few days to the opening. “How do you want the planning committee to perform without money? We just pray and hope that the promises made by the executive and the legislature to support the festival will be fulfilled next year. The member added “ Tambuwal said the Abuja carnival has created awareness, national understanding, social appreciation, and national cohabitation…Therefore, they will continue to support it in every way possible in order for it to boost the socio-cultural and economic development of the country, as it has proved a potent force for good over the years.”

Emirates commissions Nigerian tour operators

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standard of product and consistent service delivery as Dubai has become one of the world leading destinations. He said Emirates airline has contributed to make the Emirates what it is today as a top tourist destination as the airline offers flights to Dubai from more than 130 destinations around the world and operating the very latest aircraft with the very best service on board. Manoj Nair disclosed that the commissioned agents in

Nigeria through Emirates Holidays will offer Nigerians easy and enjoyable holidays. “Nigerians will be able to experience the best in everything, from fine dining and nightlife to sightseeing and sport, through to world class boutiques and businesses. “With overflowing malls, world-class businesses and sophisticated haunts, it’s a truly international oasis that attracts entrepreneurs, adventurers and pleasure-seekers alike.


26—Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF WOMEN:

A tribute to my triumvirate of heroines(6) loaded with fresh Map ofDelta crayfish. This rice State HEN she asked me what meal was very happened. Sobbing, I popular in the narrated the dream. She, too, village. Sister started to weep and made a hawked it along promise. “With the help of with goods that Almighty God and our forebears, Aunt had sent from we shall pay your fees, son. Sapele in exchange Don’t worry. Go back to sleep.” for crayfish. During weekly As I slowly drifted back to sleep, the I wondered whom mother meant Saturday market by “we” who would pay my fees. day, people hurried As was the tradition, my uncles, toMother’s shed to aunts and mother dressed in purchase the rice before it sold because the fees for HSC was black clothes at all times as they out. They stored the dried sixty pounds per annum, nearly mourned the loss of my father. crayfish obtained from the double the thirty-two pounds they My little sister and I also had our bartering of goods and food in started paying when Father head shaved clean to mourn large, approximately hundred- died. Especially since I was Father. Seeing these around me liter bags woven from raffia. aware that they had some daily made me sad and I would When there were six to eight difficulty paying the fees when occasionally burst into tears. bags of crayfish, Sister it was increased to forty-eight Consequently, I was sent to my transported them in a pounds, although they laboured aunt in Sapele, where secondary “Kpekpekpe” to Sapele, a bravely on. school students with whom I journey of about seven hours. At Coincidentally, in 1958, the could relate were on vacation. Sapele, Aunt took over and sold Shell-BP Petroleum Oil Meanwhile, unknown to me, the bags of crayfish. If prices were Company, which had been these dedicated and determined unfavorable, Sister, with Aunt’s exploring for oil in the Niger women, my mother, my aunt, consent, loaded the bags of Delta and found some recently and my sister went into action crayfish into lorries and at Oloibiri, decided to offer planning how to pay my school transported them to the large scholarships for young fees. I found these out later on in commercial city, Onitsha, up the Nigerians to study in tertiary my life. The first thing they did Niger River. In the 1950’s, this institutions. Consequently, it sent was to join other women in trip was as tedious as it was its technical staff to all appropriate forming an “Esusu.” This was in dangerous. There were no secondary schools in the Eastern 1955 and it predates the idea of bridges on the rivers along the Region, the Western Region and micro financing but similar to it single lane dirt roads, so they the Lagos Territory of Nigeria to in its concept and execution. crossed over the Ethiope River teach those in Form V, a six-week The Esusu was made up of a at Sapele, in the famous course on Petroleum Production circle of few trusted friends, “Pontoon” and took a ferry over Technology. probably about five to ten in the Niger River from Asaba to number. Every month, each Onitsha. The prices in Onitsha National member donates a small amount were usually much higher than papers in Sapele, consequently, Sister The Company gave an At nearly nineteen, I put would sell the examination at the end of the up a bold face but travelled crayfish and buy course and the first student in some goods to be each secondary school was given with trepidation to Owerri bartered at a gold plated Parker pen for the interview Ugborodo. She engraved with the year and the would return to Company’s logo. The top three of money, for example, two Sapele and in consultation with students in each region were pounds and the total, twenty Aunt would buy more goods for invited to their headquarters in pounds for a ten-member Esusu, Ugborodo. She would return to Owerri for interview. Although, is given to a member, who needs Ugborodo to Mother, and the my sister travelled often to it. The ensuing month, another trading process would be Onitsha, I was a little worried member gets the total. My repeated. Thus, Mother, Sister when I was invited to Owerri, mother, my aunt, and my sister, and Aunt laboriously raised the which was deep down in farwould arrange to collect theirs in cash for the Esusu, through away Igbo land. At nearly consecutive months around which they funded my education nineteen, I put up a bold face but when my fees were due. The in the elite boarding secondary travelled with trepidation to Esusu provided the platform; school, Government College, Owerri for the interview. A couple of weeks later, the their industriousness provided Ughelli. results were out in the national Three years after Father ’s the money that funded my papers and in the Shell BP death, 1958, I was in Form V , the education at this critical junction. bulletin. Mr. Carter, our principal final year at GCU preparing for As petty traders, the three women constituted themselves the West African School Certificate invited me to his office gave me into a miniature trading Examinations (WAEC), and the letter of offer and company, with Mother and Sister these three women’s labour had congratulated me. In addition based in the village, Ugborodo, kept me there for those years. to the gold plated Parker pen, I and Aunt based in the town, Also, an advanced-level had won the first Shell BP Sapele. Sister, young and instruction requiring an Scholarship to study in any energetic, operated between the additional two years preparation tertiary institution for being first village and the town. Ugborodo at GCU for the Cambridge in the Western Region; a boy won was a cashless society then and Overseas’ Higher School that for the Eastern Region; and trading was by barter with dried Certificate (HSC) had been a girl won for Lagos territory. As crayfish as the medium of introduced. I took the entrance I took the letter from Mr. Carter, exchange. Mother and Sister examination for it and, not tears of joy, which I concealed prepared large pots of deliciously unexpectedly, was selected. I did from him, rolled down my To be concluded spiced, mouth-watering rice not mention this to my family checks. BY OGBEMI O. OMATETE

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Before stray bullets kill another citizen F OUR-YEAR-OLD Kuwam Balogun lost his mother three years ago, and then lost his father, Ramoni, to a trigger-happy police officer few months ago. Till date he is bewildered that his father no longer picks him up after school. The question that is yet to cease from his mouth is, where is daddy? Over time, we have been presented with situations like this. But the major question on the lips of every Nigerian is why do the police hardly admit to crimes they commit. Or does our law forbid security agents from admitting their faults? To snuff out live from innocent citizens through the guns of irate policemen; which the police authorities have always described as accidental discharge, in the vain act of trying to shield or protect their own, has become a norm.

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The fifth part of this discourse was published in Thursday’s edition of Vanguard

to be in psychiatric wards as patients. I don’t know what the authorities are doing about this. But something needs to be done and the authorities must act fast. How can somebody who does not know that the killing of another person is a grievous crime be allowed to carry firearms? From Kaduna to Warri and from Lagos to Uyo, victims of police stray bullets are often treated with ignominy thereby leaving some of them maimed for life as a result of delays in getting medical help. That is for those who survive. Having anything to do with the police scares the hell out of every Nigerian. Because most times a victim becomes the culprit. Why are trigger-happy po-

And before another little child begins to ask for his daddy again, the police authorities should, as a matter of urgency, do something about incessant deaths through stray bullets

When Suzana Alamagani, 18, of Zakwa Area, Kafanchan, Kaduna State, was recently killed by a stray bullet when the police attempted to disperse protesters at Kafanchan High Court, the Police Public Relations Officer in Kaduna, Aminu Lawal, who confirmed the incident, told newsmen that the girl’s death was “a case of accidental discharge.” And the matter was closed for the police authorities but for the grieving family, their pain knows no bounds. But who takes the blame for the death of an innocent citizen as a result of stray bullet injuries? Most often, some of the dead victims are celebrated by the media depending on who is involved, while others are not even mentioned at all. This also depends on where the incident took place. Most people killed or wounded by stray-bullets were unaware of events leading to the gunfire that caused their injuries. That is why their stories always elicit public outcry bearing in mind the reputation of the Nigerian Police Force, that always claim thus: ‘Police is your friend.’ The issue is that most of the policemen who patrol our streets are always reeking of alcohol, even as early as 7a.m. And the way they brandish their weapons even while soliciting for bribes from motorists doesn’t show anything serious about the institution they belong to. The way some of them talk, you know they don’t have any business being in the force. Most of them I dare say, are supposed

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licemen not treated as murderers? For instance, few months after the death of nine-year-old Timilehin, who was killed by a police stray bullet in Ketu area of Lagos State, the policeman responsible for his death is yet to be prosecuted. He is yet to appear in court to answer any charge of murder or manslaughter as the case may be. It would be recalled that the late Timilehin was hit by a flying bullet, while the policemen were trying to arrest a commercial bus driver who had earlier refused to stop when flagged down. Whoever is killing or whoever is killed, it is pertinent to state that the culture of impunity and corruption which pervades all aspects of the police institution has time and time again made so many families to feel as lesser Nigerians, because when you set a murderer or a man who committed manslaughter free, you are only telling the bereaved to go to hell for all you care. The Inspector General of Police should please send his men back to school to acquire the needed character on how best to respect the sanctity of the human life. Nigerians are anxiously waiting for the promised reform in the police force. And before another little child begins to ask for his daddy again, the police authorities should as a matter of urgency do something about incessant deaths through stray bullets.

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Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013 — 27

Being in Nigeria is homecoming — Vanessa for me Williams S

he’s mostly mistaken for the first ever Black-American fashion model, actress and singer to win Miss America beauty pageant in 1983, because they both share the same name ‘Vanessa Williams’,but while this Vanessa William isn’t the one that sang the Pochohontas’s ‘Colours of the Wind’ and appeared in films such as ‘Shaft’, ‘Eraser,” Our Vanessa Williams did feature in Wesley Snipes’ ‘New Jack City’, ‘Sarafina’,and TV series like ‘Soulfood’ and ‘Melrose Place’. She was in Nigeria recently where she attended this year’s edition of the Africa International Film Festival, AFRIFF, which held in, Calabar, Cross River State last month. In this engaging interview, she talks about her career, her vision and why she cannot go into marriage again. BY BENJAMIN NJOKU & JULIET EBIRIM

You have been in Nigeria for the past seven days, what’s your impression about the country? My biggest impression has been heartwarming. I feel so welcomed, loved and I’m at home. I was talking to someone about how empowering it is to be a daughter of the diaspora and coming home to Africa and really feel my deep connection without any word spoken. There is this openhearted feeling that I hail from this great continent and that all this people look like me. All these different variations of beauty, of blackness. It is so overwhelming and fills me with a lot of pride and power. Have you been to Africa before now? I had the opportunity of being in South Africa for a project. I shot a film in South Africa with a South African Film maker, about sixteen years ago. Prior to that, my first trip to Africa was to Senegal for vacation, I had been working in Spain and I was so close to the continent, I wanted to come home. I was initially going to go to Morocco, it being the closest country to Spain, but when we looked into our travel plans, Senegal just seemed right, so I was in Senegal and Gambia and it was breathtaking; the seas, oceans, black people clad in beautiful colours. I knew

I N S I DE:

I regret my tattoos — Anita Joseph C M Y K

The Meeting The First Cut

that I was at home. I felt the energy and souls of my ancestors. How did you get to know about AFRIFF? I got to know about it from my brother, Rock Mendonboa, who I believed had attended all of them. We played husband and wife in the series ‘ Soulfood’.We stay in touch as colleagues, we worked together on a project about two years ago. We are family, all of us in Soulfood remain a family and so he told me about the film festival and got me in touch with Chioma and she brought me over here the way she has brought many of the other folks to come and be a part of it and I’m just really grateful. What have you heard and what came to your mind when you were about to come to Nigeria? I didn’t really have any reservations or apprehension. I grew up in New York, Brooklyn. I knew that in any cosmopolitan city, the rumours are usually worse than one’s actual experience. I knew that it was a place, particularly in a city like Lagos where I would have to be careful, I knew it wasn’t somewhere I would have to travel alone, but I had no apprehension that I wouldn’t be safe. Continues on page 26

Your watch can now make a call, Stoms makes it so


28 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

I’m not looking for a husband in Nigeria... — Vanessa Williams Continues from page 25 Things can happen anywhere in the world. I knew that Nigeria is an aggressive city but I knew I would be safe. Having travelled to other parts of Africa, I sort of knew what to expect.

I’m looking forward to twelve hours in Lagos when we leave here tomorrow. From what I’ve seen, it’s a beautiful landscape we have here in this resort. I felt safe and I felt the beauty and I have not really gone outside the resort to experience anything that hasn’t been part of the festival. If given the opportunity, would you like to be part of Nollywood? Absolutely, that’s why I’m here. I see Nollywood as this evolving industry made up of people like me with stories that are human experiences with an African diaspora sensibility. In America, there is a whole lot of factions of African- Americans who want to celebrate those things that make us Africans, that connect us to Africa. I know how to tie a wrapper, do a headwrap like any Nigerian sister around here. I also had the opportunity of working in theatre, to work with Wole Soyinka, the notable writer here. Is coming to AFRIFF like a homecoming to you? Absolutely, I’m excited being a part of it and taking it to the next level. You are a singer, actress and a model, and you happen to be the first Black-American to win Miss America..... No, that’s the blue-eyed Vanessa .L. Williams. She has a light skin with blue eyes, I have a brown skin with brown eyes, that’s the distinction. She has a middle initial, I have no middle initial. But sometimes, I’m mistaken as her, but that’s not me, that’s another Vanessa Williams, though we are both from New York. Have you both met each other? We have and I’m friends with her

TRAILER REVIEW:

Rukky Sanda’s Keeping My Man H

Is this your first time in Nigeria? Yes What’s your impression now compared to what you’ve heard about the country? I don’t feel like I’ve seen enough. Outside of Tinapa and Calabar which has been really good in terms of the festival because we have all been sort of insulated here, living together, having breakfast and dinners, going to see films, doing workshops together. I have been sort of insulated in this bubble of creativity, so I haven’t really seen much beyond the festival experience. This is one of the reasons why I want to come back.

With Isabella Akinseye

brother. The thing is I was professionally active in all the unions before her. But she got famous before I got famous. Are you still into music? Yes, I am. Honestly, I must say it did sort of deter me in some ways from doing my music because I was like, while she’s doing her thing, I ‘ll just do this. So, I just sort of have apprehension about what I have to say musically, I could live it off, but with any passion that I have, I don’t want to die with my music in me. I’ve been writing and singing all my life and I’ll continue. So I’m in the studio now with a couple of music producers and I’ll be putting out some music offerings in the near future as well. Are you married? I was. I have two sons, aged sixteen and ten. My younger son was ten while I was here at the festival. He allowed me to come to the festival and miss his birthday. We heard that you are married? The internet is all wrong, the internet said that I’m married to a guy that I worked with and I’m not. I’ve only been married once and never to the actor that they claimed I was married to. I was married to Andrea Wise-man, but we’ve been separated for six years, but on the Wikipedia, it has me married to another actor, John Marshall Jones, he’s just a friend and a colleague. We are supposed to be doing a movie later on this year or early next year. And they also gave me a third child, but all of that is a mistake. I only have two sons. On Wikipedia, they gave me a son and a marriage that I never had. If by God’s grace you find a husband in Nigeria, would you go for it? (Laughs)First of all, I never want a husband again. I’m not looking for a husband in Nigeria or anywhere. Does it mean that you can never be in love again? I am in love. I have love in my life but I am not looking to partner in a traditional kind of way. Don’t you intend to get serious with the person? I don’t intend to marry. Love is serious and fun. It doesn’t have to be legally binding for my happiness.

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people and welcome to another edition of Nollywood Movies: To watch or not to watch? I hope you have been enjoying the reviews. This week, it’s the turn of Rukky S a n d a ’ s Keeping My Man to be on the hot seat. Happy reading! Rukky Sanda, the multifaceted filmmaker has yet added another feather to her hat with Keeping My Man. Starting with the title, it is one movie that any woman would like to see if only to see if they are doing the right things to keep their men. Really, how does one keep her man? Is it through the stomach or through the other place? These were the questions going through my mind as I watched the trailer.

From the opening sequence with nice music, it was obvious that the answer was the latter option. It was from one kissing scene to another kissing scene. As if that wasn’t enough, we got to see Alexx Ekubo making love to his on screen wife played by Ini Edo and then it gets even worse, Ramsey Nouah is grabbing the thighs of a woman as he fondles her on the bed. The dialogue too revolves around sex; the demand for it, the loss of interest in it and the role it plays in general. We see Monalisa Chinda’s negative attitude towards sex when she speaks to her shrink played by Abiola Segun Williams and her husband, Kenneth Okoli. Ramsey’s character on the other hand just can’t seem to just have enough of it. As expected, there is a bit of shouting and dramatic moments but unfortunately, the sound level is not consistent. Thankfully, Ramsey Nouah saves the day by saying “communication” is key in a marriage. There are also some comedic moments that one cannot help but laugh; Ini Edo (dressed in the costume of a maid) says, “I have been a naughty, naughty,naughty girl” and pushes a broom to put emphasis on the ‘naughty’. Verdict – You would enjoy watching Keeping My Man if you want to see a lot of drama, making out and sex plus Ramsey Nouah can do no wrong as a lover boy. Do you agree with me on this review? Let me have your thoughts, comments and suggestions. Send me an email isabella.akinseye@live.com Isabella Akinseye is the founder of www.nollysilverscreen.com – a one stop shop for all lovers of Nigeria’s cinematic industry. We feature trailers, reviews, interviews, cinema listings, articles, videos and red carpet fashion.

Do you agree with me on this review? Let me have your thoughts, comments and suggestions. Send me an email isabella.akinseye@live.com Isabella Akinseye is the founder of www.nollysilverscreen.com – a one stop shop for all lovers of Nigeria’s cinematic industry. We feature trailers, reviews, interviews, cinema listings, articles, videos and red carpet fashion.


Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013 — 29 Stories by Ayo Onikoyi

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eautiful and curvaceous Nollywood actress and singer, Anita Joseph renowned for her controversial nature is back in the news. This time around she is not raising the dust about anybody but herself, particularly about her body overly serrated with tattoos. In a chat with WG Anita revealed she is frustrated with her tattoos, crying “ I regret my tattoos. It is something I wish I never had” she said “ it’s so addictive. You do one, you would do again and again. Anita said she has tattoos in six parts of her body: back of her palm, waist, top of her boobs, left leg, neck and arm. When asked if the tattoos connote anything or mean anything to her, she replied “Not necessarily, I just loved tattoos. But that was when I haven’t grown up and never knew it’s wrong in God’s sight” Untypical of Anita Joseph you would say, but the talented actress actually confirmed she is a born-again Christian now and added she has now realised “tattoos are unsightly before God”, even quoting the Bible to back her position. She said she wished people who are yearning to do so would desist from the sinful act, saying she is ready to clean hers out. Her desire to speak out against this trend (tattoos) which is most common among entertainers is born out of an encounter with a fan, whom Anita said told her she wanted to have tattoos as Anita’s because she sees Anita as her mentor and would

I regret my tattoos — Anita Joseph

do anything Anita does. “ She said I love everything about you and so whatever you do I want to do. I begged her not to have tattoos because tattoos are addictive. She was happy and thanked me for telling the truth. At the end of the day, I was happy I touched someone positively. That told me that whatever I do, someone, somewhere wants to do it, so now I am careful of what I do now” she said. On her work, she said movies have taken over her time to produce music but said her fans should expect release of her album soon.

Desmond Elliot, Joseph Benjamin, others root for Jimi Agbaje as governor

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*Desmond

t is a long way from 2015 but it seems Nollywood loves doing its things early as some leading characters in the industry are already campaigning for Jimi Agbaje to come on board as Governor since Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola would have completed his eight-year tenure by then. Though it is still unclear under what platform Agbaje would elect to gun for the Lagos number one seat after failing under DPA, Democratic People’s Alliance in 2007 but campaign for the pharmacist is in top gear, especially in the make-believe world. Leading the team of campaigners who call themselves ‘Team Jaykay

(Think Tank) are Alex Okoroji, Desmond Elliot, Benjamin Joseph, Gbenro Ajibade and a host of others. Desmond carried a message on his Blackberry Status during the week, which reads :”Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.”Well, I want a better and more comfortable LAGOS. I’m willing to exchange my ‘in-action’ and ‘silence’ to speak up for a leader who will give me the Lagos of my DREAMS. I have established that making JIMI KOLAWALE AGBAJE governor, is one of my priorities and I’m off to work on that. Join the MOVEMENT!!Its JAYKAY 2015The HOPE has Begun

Lady Akinsete brings Fendi to Nigeria A

fter a record two decade of total commitment to her beloved high-end luxury furnishing business, Lady Damilola Akinsete, the force behind the picturesque Home Inspiration Interiors is now set to celebrate two decade in businesses in grand style To this end, the very highly business minded women, who has been severally rated as one of the most industrious ladies in the country, will not only be marking the grand opening of her flagship show room cum headquarters, she will also for the first time in Nigeria proudly be introducing the eye-popping and king of luxury goods, Fendi Furniture into her setting and in the country, exclusively Speaking of her mission with Fendi, Lady Akinsete said she has decided to identify with Fendi because of their culture of high quality standard dated as far back as 1925. “Come December 15, rather than head to Italy or America to enjoy the exquisite Fendi home goods, you just have to step into Home Inspiration, Lagos for same goods, same quality” she added

*Damilola Akinse

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More talents emerge, as Calabar festival gathers momentum BENJMAIN NJOKU

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HEAD of flagging off this year’s edition of the annual Calabar Festival, the Cross River State Government has discovered more talents in the state to boost the entertainment industry. Tagged, “Calabar Got Talent”, one of the many activities in the ongoing festival calendar, the event which is targeted at discovering budding talents and nurturing same to stardom, was memorable. Not even the early down pour could stop the teeming crowd from identifying with the artistes in what has now become a ground for the discovery of new talents. For these budding talents, the Festival has become a springboard to stardom. It also offers them opportunity to winning scholarship. A new comedian, rapper and dancer were discovered in a keenly contested show.. The delighted audience at the Millennium Park, played the role of judges. Established Nigerian home grown artistes like Teego, Uncle Eddie, Naughty Jay and another Calabar Festival discovery, Pikin added so much fun and laughter to the evening. Recall that last weekend, the tallest tree in Africa was lighted in Calabar to kick start the monthlong Calabar Festival. The event was attended by some Nollywood stars including Rita Dominic, Kate Henshaw and Bryan Okwara. Others are Gideon Okeke of Tinsel fame and Ihuoma Nwigwe. C M Y K


30—Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

Synopsis By AYO ONIKOYI This week, the focus is more on films still to make the cinemas. Movie like ‘Silence’ is probably in Day 8 of its production but indications have shown it may be released by the end of the year. The Meeting has made a tour of cinemas and currently running online.’Lagos Cougars’ is releasing on December 6, 2013 while the ‘First Cut’ is billed to be premièred by the end of December.

Lagos Cougars

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agos Cougars has made enough noise with the trailers and soon enough movie lovers may know what the hullabaloo is all about. Uche Jombo, Monalisa Chinda, and Daniella Okeke lead a pack of other seasoned actors The movie, is a raunchy, zany chick flick about three professional, single ladies (played by Uche Jombo, Monalisa Chinda, and Daniella Okeke) in their forties, bored with life, who decide to let go of their inhibitions and take a walk on the wild side. While we have seen so much of Uche Jombo and Monalisa Chinda, the hot item that is sure to whet our appetite is Daniella Okeke, a curvy, sexy actress just coming to her own and cut along the same line as Nicki Minaj.

The First Cut

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he First Cut is always the deepest... First Cut is an upcoming Nollywood film centred around Rape, a treacherous love triangle, and conflicting family ties. The film is produced by Nollywood’s new-kid-on-the-block Mona Lisa Henry Omorodion, directed by award-winning director; Chico Ejiro, with a stellar cast of Monalisa Chinda, Joseph Benjamin, Bobby Obodo and Monalisa Henry Omorodion. Tagged a cut-above-the-norm, ‘First Cut’ ushers in a new culture of Nollywood films, and is billed for première on the 29th of December at the Eko Hotel & Suites.

The Meeting

The Meeting”, the romantic comedy set in the midst of Nigeria’s political shenanigans is now available for you to watch online. The synopsis:On a Monday morning, Makinde Esho, an uptight corporate executive based in Lagos, Nigeria, flies into Abuja, the capital city for a few hours, having been despatched by his communications firm, Techmast, to secure a government authorization to build a mast sub-station from the Honourable Minster of Land Resources & Environment. There is a lot riding on this government authorization, as it will save his firm from imminent liquidation, and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Silence

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ilence’ is not a movie you are going to see soon but it may be worth waiting for. They say ‘Silence’ makes you sick because it mirrors the gory side of ‘child abuse’, mental health issues, chaotic lifestyles and betrayal. Iyabo Ojo’s 14year old daughter, Priscilla is the victim while the mother is the culprit. In this moving thriller, Iyabo and Joseph Benjamin actually got married The cast includes mother and child, Joseph Benjamin, Alex Osifo, Bukky Wright, Tina Mba and a host of others.

The movie Lagos Cougars is releasing on Friday, attached is the art work.

Synopsis for Lagos Cougars

Lagos Cougars show case Elsie, Aret and Joke three women in their early forties who are bored with their respective lives. They all decide to let go of their inhibitions and take a walk on the wild side indulging in relationships with some attractive and exciting young men. However they’re not prepared for the roller-coaster rides that their lives have become. Will they give in to the pressure of opinions from society or will they follow their hearts desires?

TOP MOVIES OF THE WEEK REDEMPTION CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALL 2 CAPTAIN PHILLIPS FINDING MERCY ABOUT TIME

Exhibition Schedule from DEC, 6 — DEC, 12 2013 SILVERBIRD CINEMAS, SEC Lagos Cougars : 1:25pm,5:10pm7:10pm Cloudy with a chance : 11:50am,1:45pm,6:20pm Redemption : 12:10pm,2:10pm,4:10pm,6:10pm,8:10pm Song for Marion : 12:40pm,5:10pm About Time : 4:40pm,9:25pm Captain Philips : 3:40pm,8:20pm SILVERBIRD CINEMAS, PORT HARCOURT Lagos Cougars : 2:10pm,6:25pm,8:30pm Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs 2 : 11:30am,1:35pm,4:10pm About Time : 8:40pm Finding Mercy : 2:50pm,6:50pm,8:40pm SILVERBIRD CINEMAS, UYO Lagos Cougars : 11:55am,2:10pm,4:30pm,6:40pm Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2 : 12:10pm,2:25pm,4:45pm Redemption : 12:15pm,2:30pm,4:40pm,7:00pm Insidious Chapter 2 : 6:55pm Finding Mercy : 11:45pm,1:35pm,3:25pm,5:30pm,7:20pm Battle of the year : 4:35pm,6:45pm The Big Wedding : 12:25pm, 2:40pm 2 Guns : 11:50am,2:05pm,4:25pm,6:50pm GENESIS DELUXE CINEMAS, LAGOS Lagos Cougars : 12:30pm,2:40pm Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2 : 10:00am,12:40pm Redemption : 10:30am,5:10pm The Purge : 12:40pm,9:25pm About Time : 4:45pm,9:45pm GENESIS CINEMAS, PORT HARCOURT Lagos Cougars : 1:20pm,5:20pm Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2 : 9:30am,11:25am Insidious Chapter 2 : 9:20am GENESIS DELUXE CINEMAS, ENUGU Lagos Cougars : 12:05pm,4:15pm,8:25pm Cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2 : 12:05pm,5:00pm About Time : 6:55pm,9:20pm Captain Philips : 10:10am,7:40pm Battle of the year : 12:15pm


Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013— 31 With PRINCE OSUAGWU princeosuagwu@gmail.com 08050498513

Your watch can now make a call, Stoms makes it so BY LAJU ARENYEKA

H

ow better to tell who is knocking on your door than to look through the peephole? In the same vein, there is no safer way

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tech savvy Nigerian kid, Samuel Owoeye, is giving the smart watch technology a new dimension for Nigerian phone users, with a new brand of wearable phone called stoms. This device takes a step away from the popular smart watches available to Nigerians today as an attachment to specific smartphones. Such smart watches come alive only when activated via Bluetooth with the parent phone. But with the Stoms, the watch is the phone. At first sight the device appears like a wacky wrist watch but in actual fact, it works as a wrist watch and a phone altogether. Specifically produced to suit the African rugged weather, Stoms has a provision for memory card which means that users can store music, photographs and other data. Sporting a coloured gorilla touch screen, Stoms makes calls, sends text messages records audio and video clips, browses the net and performs all functions of a mobile phone. There is also a USB port provision on the side of the product giving the user opportunity to download data or other recorded information onto other devices. Owoeye, who is also the Marketing Executive of SamTrendy Lifestyles Ltd, said that there are different brands and categories of the Stoms device with some of the top brands spotting compass and maps for navigation, FM stations, 2gigabyte, 4 gigabyte and 8 gigabyte memory spaces respectively. The user of Stoms makes use of a concealed ear piece hands free, rolled over the sleeve and this also means that with the device secret calls may go on undetected. The device uses normal SIM cards and may serve as ready tool for security workers, investigative journalists and private individuals. The 27-year old Nigerian youth said that with the distribution partnership of the Stoms smart watches, his SamTrendy lifestyles ltd in collaboration with Omydees Nig ltd, have landed their age long dream of giving Nigerian phone users a wacky technology customized specially for their own use SamTrendy promised an after sales service that would see users getting a

new one in place of a damaged one in the cases that the damaged ones could no longer be repaired. Owoeye said his company targets partnership of major telecom companies in Nigeria who may wish to brand the device for use in promotions or circulate to phone loving Nigerians through their sales outlets.

Could facial recognition technology be the secre o secrett tto tech security?

to tell who is trying to unlock your phone than with facial recognition technology. Or is there? Apple was earlier this week awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,600,120, which is a ‘personal computing device control using face detection and recognition’. This means that in the recent future, your iphone can unlock itself simply by looking at your face. In addition to using face recognition for unlocking an iPhone, it could also be used for unlocking specific features on the phone, such as answering an incoming call or opening a text message. The patent consists of three systems: A face detection application, which lets it distinguish faces from their surroundings; a face recognition application, which identifies individual faces; and an input/ output application, which will let

Your TTV V comes cur curvved with ne w OLED ttec ec h new ech bringing n e x t s TV gets generation smarter technologies these days, top to the electronic and Nigerian h o m e market. “The entertainment n e x t manufacturers generation are coming up d i s p l a y with several technology devices to stay and the top of the market. advanced Just last week, ultra-thin LG Electronics, depth of introduced into 4.3mm comes the Nigerian with a Market, what it •LG Curved OLED TV u n i q u e calls the World’s c u r v e d First Curved TV . d e s i g n The advanced represents a new era in home Organic Light Emitting Diode,OLED TV entertainment” he boasted. is equipped with incredible picture Featuring a gently curved screen and quality, stunning design and innovative LG’s own WRGB OLED technology, technologies. the curved OLED TV offers fine picture The LG CURVED OLED TV was quality and an immersive viewing unveiled at the Showroom of MB experience. The TV has been awarded Automobiles, major distributor of the prestigious Red Dot: Best of the Mercedes Benz Cars, located in Lekki, Best honor and is recognized by Lagos General Manager, Home respected international product testing Entertainment division, LG Electronics and certification bodies TÜV West Africa operations Mr Steve Ryun Rheinland, Intertek and VDE. described the TV as new generation TV, adding that “ we are fully committed to

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Apple’s devices act on all the facial data. Apple is not the first to exploit the power in the face; Google’s Android acquired similar rights in July. The Face Unlock software available on the Android operating system is worth mentioning. However, the argument against using this facial recognition software is that it is too easy to “fool” the software into thinking you are the owner. As a result of this, some brands also include a “backup” recognition using standard PIN or Pattern input.Before the Face Unlock, already existing in Android 4.1/4.2 was the Jelly Bean, which had users blink to unlock the device. The Jelly bean is relatively easy to thwart by taking an image of the device’s owner; hackers have been known to paint over the eyes in Photoshop with the same color as their surrounding skin, and then flashing the two photos to simulate a blink. Even Facebook is much more associated with the face than we thought. Facebook’s ‘Tag Suggest’ feature currently identifies faces in newly uploaded photos by comparing them with pictures in which the users have previously been tagged. Facial recognition software is used to calculate a unique ‘template’ based on someone’s facial features, like the distance between the eyes, nose and ears. Templates are only created for people on Facebook who have been tagged in a photo. Facebook users can choose to detag themselves from photos posted by other users on the site, and these photos will not be used to create the template. However, in an August update to its data use policy, the social network revealed plans to use profile pictures as well as previously tagged photos to suggest tags. As the world awaits technology that runs solely on facial recognition, there are hilarious scenarios to imagine. What would happen if a user wears too much make up and cannot be recognized by his device? What if he or she grows old? Or has an accident? Or has a twin? Or what if an impostor wears a mask that looks just like the user? Or what if you don’t want to pick a call, but your face gets recognized anyway? Do you shake your head to drop the call? C M Y K


32 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

How to wear the tubedress

Okay, it’s authoritative. It’s back, that ubiquitous staple of the eighties that looked so passé just a couple of years ago. While being girly and sweet, today’s tube dress is not as easy to wear as it might at first appear. How to Pair

Earrings are a great way to add glitz to your ensemble without overpowering the neckline of your dress. Whether it’s a pair of gold hoop earrings or a dangling, embellished chandelier style, earrings enhance your overall look and draw attention to your top half in all the right ways. Although simplicity is often key when rocking a strapless style, it’s possible to wear necklaces without distracting from a gorgeous neckline. In fact, many times a necklace enhances the bare canvas you get by wearing a strapless dress. Long strands of delicate bra in full sight or tucked away and definitely do not go braless. Accidents do happen. If you are an E cup and above, the tube is not really the item for you. Rather than look sexy and classy, you would rather look obscene. Also avoid short tubes if over 21 to avoid being the butt of unkind jokes.

More is more

Mind your underwear

B

e Clever

If your chest area is less than awesome (flat, droopy, or otherwise unsightly), go for a tube with plenty of front details like ruffles and flounces that can draw attention away from the unsightly area on to the detail. C M Y K

The best piece of underwear to wear under a tubedress is a stick-on bra. If you have not yet invested in one then try taping your girls down with a large tape to keep them tame and get the babies out of sight. A corset or a tube bra might also do the job, but best if they are padded. The next best thing is of course a strapless bra, preferably a pushup bra with the straps removed. Never wear a full strapped

The less-is-more rule does not apply here. The tube dress is to show off your arms, shoulders and neck, not a scarcity of material. With the tube dress, you are one second from fab one way and one second from tacky the next. You might want to use your hair to help balance the skimpiness of your dress by wearing big hair.

Make it a size smaller

When your dress is a size smaller than your usual size it holds up for much longer: it grips rather than merely fitting. With the tube, you not only get away with wearing a size smaller, you actually should.

chains might also be appropriate if the embellishment on your dress is minimal. If your neckline is embellished, forgo a necklace all together in favour of a glam pair of earrings. Opt for an embellished cuff bracelet or a stack of gold or silver bangles for added glitz. A classic wristwatch is another option for a sophisticated ensemble. Bright dresses look fabulous when paired with high-heeled metallic sandals. You may want to avoid platform heels that can look too severe — opt for strappy stiletto heels instead. Also consider using a belt.

Would you date Janice met and married her spouse at 37. Having lived quietly abroad for the previous ten years, her friends were surprised when she announced she was coming home with her fiancée to get married. Needless to say, her friends could not wait to ask her the star question: where did you guys meet? It was with an unsure smile that she provided the answer: on a social network. It was all that her friends needed to hear to gather around her and hear all the details. Was she searching for a husband or was it pure fluke? Did they know where they were going from the beginning? At what point did they actually meet. How did he propose and when? Janice was animated . the attraction had been the fact that they had a few things in common, especially their mutual love for good food and the fact that their mothers came from the same village and they knew some people in

common. It took another three months before they exchanged phone numbers, and 14 months before she agreed to travel one hour in order to meet up with him. “I was scared stiff ”, she revealed. What if he was a serial killer? What if he was just


Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013 —

country to middle-income status without family planning.” “Family planning is a development imperative because it unlocks the potential of young women,” said Anuradha Gupta, Additional Secretary and Mission Director of the National Rural Health Mission in the Ministry of Health and Family

Global conference closes with call ffor or family planning tto o be at centre of development agenda

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ivil society leaders urge governments to make family planning an essential part of improving maternal and child health, guaranteeing women’s rights and lifting countries out of poverty The third International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP 2013) closed last week with a Call to Action by civil society leaders for governments to prioritize family planning in the new global development framework that replaces the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) after 2015. The Call to Action was issued as five additional African and Asian governments

online? looking for a quickie?” a million questions have run around Janice’s mind, according to her, but she had braced herself to meet Bruce, who turned out to be a well educated techie geek who was just too shy and far too busy to get out there and get himself a girl. A few months later they went on their first vacation together. The rest, as they say, is history. It didn’t turn out quite so good with Chinyere, who started an online relationship with a guy in the UK while she was home in Nigeria. They soon exchanged emails, and Sola, her virtual heart throb put the first call across to her. It was to be the last time he would actually be phoning her. “He always has one cockand-bull story about why he is not able to call”, laments Chinyere, reiterating that she spent a great deal of money phoning him while he complained bitterly of the economic situation in the country of residence. He

and the United Kingdom announced commitments to expand contraceptive access and options. The Addis Call to Action on the Post-2015 Development Framework voices the perspective of civil society that the ability to plan one’s family and future is a fundamental right and a sound investment. Ensuring that women and girls are able to plan whether and when to have children means mothers and babies are more likely to survive. Additionally, when countries invest in family planning alongside health, education and gender equity, they can realize a never returned her voicemail messages and was known to go off the radar for days at a time, only to resurface with another “cock-and-bull story”. But Chinyere only saw real danger signs when he began to pressure her to visit his family here in nigeria and when she refused, he offered to send his younger brother to visit her from Ilorin so they could at least touch base. “according to him”, recalls she, “ he had run out of airtime and needed me not only to buy him airtime but also to accommodate him for the night. For crying out loud, this was a virtual stranger that I was supposed to keep in my apartment for the night. Anyway, I tactically nudged him into staying at a nearby hotel, which I obviously paid for. After that, he called me nearly every day from Ilorin , referring to me as his in-law. The annoying thing is that Sola, when I finally reached him, dissociated himself from his brother’s actions, asking me in strict not to give him any more money”. To cut the long story short, Chinyere got a call from Sola one lonely Saturday afternoon, and he was using a Nigerian number. His next words

“Demographic Dividend” for economic growth and prosperity. “We still have leaders on the African continent who are not yet hooked on the message of family planning. The promise of the Demographic Dividend is an entry point to bring those leaders on board,” said Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, Regional Director of the Africa Regional Office of Partners in Population and Development, who presented the Call to Action at the closing session of ICFP 2013. “No nation in history has transitioned from a developing answered her unspoken question. He was at the International Airport in Lagos and had not told her he was coming in order to surprise her. Excited, she picked him up from the airport. He was a little younger than he had made her believe he was, and all he had brought her was a tired looking box of cheap chocolate, but he had made good his promise of visiting her and by this, she was excited. “I checked him into a modest hotel on Airport road and spent a night of passion with him. It was the beginning of something beautiful, or so I thought. We exchanged sweet texts the whole day the following day and I couldn’t wait to see him after work as soon as I could, but he had checked out of the hotel”. It was the last time Chinyere had set her eyes on him. Feeling confused and used, she had conducted a little investigation which revealed to her that Sola had been deported from the UK.”I only wish I had done my investigations beforehand”, she admits on hindsight. Last year our cyber innocence was rudely snatched from us when Nasarawa based

•Melinda Gates

Welfare of India. “Family planning can create a profound impact when it becomes a central part of integrated maternal and child health care.” The Addis Call to Action was launched with signatures from 35 civil society organizations and individuals, and other organizations and individuals are invited to sign on a website. The Call to Action will be presented to UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon to underscore the essential role that global development goals— such as the MDGs and the new post-2015 framework—play in catalyzing action and holding countries accountable.

Cynthia Akuzogwu Udoka, daughter of a retired General was brutally murdered by some Facebook ‘friends’ in Lagos. Indicted in the murder were Ezekiel Nnechuwu and Olisa Eloka, 23, who told the police they met the victim on Facebook and invited her to come to Lagos to buy goods at cheap prices. When she got to Lagos they took her to a hotel in Festac, put a drug in her Ribena drink, slept with her for 12 hours and then attacked her, tied her up, strangled her and then abandoned her in the hotel and fled. Different strokes for different folks, but in spite of this extreme and negative happening a good number of people are finding new friends, business partners and love on the internet. As more and more people show more confidence in social media and spend more time on their phones, tabs and computers, the trend is clearly set in this direction: There is no denying the fact that online romances will become more and more of our reality in the immediate future, and navigating the treacherous waters of this new terrain will be a skill that will be more and more useful.

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ICFP 2013, the largest global gathering on family planning, brought together more than 3,000 advocates, researchers, health professionals and political leaders from over 100 countries. Presentations at the conference, which was organized around the theme “Full Access, Full Choice” and opened 12 November, focused on progress in expanding contraceptive information and services since the historic July 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, which re-established family planning as a top global health priority. At ICFP 2013, five additional countries made significant commitments to expand family planning programs: By 2015, Benin will ensure that modern methods of contraceptives are available without cost and that reproductive health training is provided for adolescents and youth. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the government will use domestic resources for the first time to purchase contraceptives. In Guinea, funds will be used to recruit thousands of health workers who can deliver family planning in rural areas, as has proven successful in other countries like Ethiopia. Beginning in 2014, the government of Mauritania will commit to allocating health commodity security funds for family planning and commit to mobilizing additional resources for the implementation of its national family planning action plan.Myanmar will implement a monitoring system to strengthen quality of care and ensure women have a full range of contraceptive options. The United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) announced a £27 million commitment over five years to help civil society ensure that family planning promises are delivered. Since the 2012 London Summit, and counting the commitments announced at ICFP 2013, more than 70 countries, donors and civil society organizations have pledged to collectively reach an additional 120 million women and girls in the poorest countries by 2020 with voluntary access to family planning. ICFP 2013 was jointly organized by the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia and the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This year’s conference followed the inaugural ICFP in Kampala, Uganda, in 2009 and ICFP 2011 in Dakar, Senegal. Preceding the conference in November, a High-Level Ministerial Meeting brought together more than 20 Ministers of Finance and Planning, Health, Youth, and Gender to discuss the investments needed to meet the needs of Africa’s youth today, and to maximize their future potential for national development. C M Y K


34 — Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013


Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013 — 35


36—Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

business through their ministries but also people who can use their political clout to properly position the president in good footing for the 2015 elections when he makes up his mind on whether he would contest or not. Closely related to this is the seeming icy relationship between the executive and the legislature. The recent defection of five governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the opposition All Progressive Congress, APC has altered the composition of the Senate so significantly that there is a real fear that any nomination for ministerial position that is overtly seen as being against the interest of some of the governors would be resisted by senators in opposition political parties. The recent revelation by the president that he cancelled the

•Sacked from Jonathan's cabinet

The hole in Jonathan’s govt THREE months after the president sacked ten ministers he is yet to replace them leaving a gap in the running of government.

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan shocked members of the Federal Executive Council on September 10, 2013 when he announced the sack of ten members of the cabinet. The action of the president shook those affected as they had no inkling of that such a plan was in the offing. Those who were hit by the presidential axe included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamshudeen Usman, Minister of Education Professor Ruquyatu Rufai; Minister of Environment, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia; Ms. Ama Pepple (Housing), Minister of state for power Zainab Kuchi; Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusula Obada, Minister of State for Agriculture Buka Tijani as well as Minister of Science and TechnologyProfessor Ita Bassey Ewah. Before then, President Jonathan had earlier terminated the appointment of the minister for Youth Affairs, Inuwa Abdulkadir while Dr. Muhammed Pate, the Minister

of State for Health voluntarily resigned in order to resume at the Global Health Institute, a US based Duke University.

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BY BEN AGANDE

to sack ten ministers in one fell swoop came as a shock, not only to those affected, but majority of Nigerians, the

In all, the Federal executive council is short by twelve ministers as almost three months after the ministers were sacked by President Jonathan, their replacements have not been announced

In all, the Federal executive council is short by twelve ministers as almost three months after the ministers were sacked by President Jonathan, their replacements have not been announced. Although serving ministers were named to supervise those ministries where the ministers were sacked, it is obvious that the absence of substantive ministers in those ministries has had negative impact on the smooth operations of such ministries because those drafted to supervise have neither the experience nor the requisite time to properly supervise. Though the decision by president Goodluck Jonathan

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failure to replace them almost three months after has sent tongues wagging about the vacuum created by the president’s action and the readiness of government to ensure smooth running of the affairs of the ministries. But to many watchers of government, the inability of the government to replace the sacked ministers did not come as a surprise. When the president unceremoniously relieved the ministers of their appointments, several theories were propounded as to the reason why the ministers, some of whom were seen to be doing well in their ministries were

removed. Although no reason was given by the presidency for the removal of the ministers, many Nigerians believed that most of them were removed because their governors who nominated them were locked in a bitter political struggle with President Jonathan. Though the shock that trailed the removal of the ten ministers has been put behind, there is a growing concern that three months after their removal, their replacements are no where in sight. The question some commentators have asked is: why will the president choose to operate without key ministers? Investigations by Vanguard indicated that though the president is disposed to ensuring that those who may replace the sacked ministers are people with impeccable character and personality, some of his close advisers, whose pressure in the first place made the president to remove some of the ministers are pushing for people with political clout that can countermand the growing influence of those governors that are seen to be opposed to the president. The search has therefore been on for not only people who will bring their experience to bear in the discharge of government

presentation of the 2014 budget presentation on account of differentials in oil benchmark between the House of Representatives and the Senate has further accentuated the frosty relationship between the legislature and the executive. The problem of the president is even compounded by the vacancy in the office of the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters. The last holder of that office, Senator Joy Emodi was removed from office despite a global acknowledgment of her sterling role in bridging differences between the National Assembly and the presidency. Since her removal, the president has found it difficult to present the budget even as differences between the two arms of government have also widened. To many officials of government it is better for the government to bid its time and present candidates that would be acceptable to majority of the senators rather than rushing to nominate candidates for confirmation as ministers only for the presidency to suffer the humiliation of having such nominees rejected by the Senate. No matter the temporary obstacles that stand on the way of the president in nominating new ministers, he does not have the luxury of allowing the

Continues on page 37


Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013—37

The Benin widow’s mite Mrs. Joy Ifijeh was two weeks ago apparently on the breadline. This week she was able to “donate” N250,000 to her fellow widows. BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN, POLITICAL EDITOR

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•Oshiomhole with Mrs Ifijeh and her son

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HE famed Benin widow, Mrs. Joy Ifijeh whose life and circumstances were changed by her encounter with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was brought to serious moral agony last Tuesday. Following the turnaround in her life caused by Comrade Oshiomhole’s gift of N2 million and her appointment as a Senior Special Assistant, the one time near destitute was faced with the moral dilemma of what to do with the N250,000 endowment promised her by the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The state chairman of the PDP in Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih who led the crusade to redress the woman’s plight, and who apparently also saw it as a way to score political points against the governor, had last Friday made a public announcement asking the then unidentified widow to come and receive the sum of N250,000 The amount, Orbih had disclosed, was part of the party’s effort at redressing what he called the plight of widows under the Oshiomhole administration. “The PDP, Edo State will not let any Edo person ‘to go and die’ if it can help it, especially not hardworking people like that widow who are engaged in lawful enterprises that are, in themselves, not easy to carry on,” Orbih had said. “To this end, our party has instituted an endowment fund for all widows and oppressed people in the state and by this release, we invite the widow captured in the video of the encounter with Governor Oshiomhole to come to the PDP Secretariat on No. 70, Sapele Road, at 11am on Tuesday December 3, 2013 to receive a first-installment sum of N250,000.00 to cushion the pain, trauma and loss occasioned by her mistreatment and the seizure of the items she sells.” That Friday once the news went out and as associates and friends of the comrade governor brought to his notice that he had apparently played into the hands of his political enemies, the governor’s camp went into an overdrive. Government officials went out on a desperate drive to search out the woman whom they eventually located and presented to the governor for a breakfast meeting where the

Whether Mrs. Ifijeh, whose monthly salary is now in six figures and her bank account raised to the millions was essentially apolitical in her gesture is debatable. But politics is what has transformed her. She is now a politician

governor made an unprecedented personal apology. “When I said go and die, that one was said in a fit of anger. And I am really sorry”, the governor had said. The apology was followed with the presentation of the

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sum of N2 million and an automatic appointment as a Senior Special Assistant. Remarkably, the poor state of the woman when she again met Oshiomhole last Monday for breakfast was reflected in the fact that she still wore the same clothes that she wore in

the video, reflecting the poor state of her wardrobe. The restitution has helped to cleanse the image of the governor which had been seriously sullied by the video which had shown him to be temperamental, inconsiderate and maybe inhuman. The apology and the endowment last Monday inevitably transferred the moral agony from Oshiomhole to Mrs. Ifijeh. What was she to do with the PDP’s offer of N250,000 from the PDP chairman, who in the first place, was the one who first brought her situation to

the public domain and forced the governor into making restitution? PDP officials say that the woman was not given the opportunity to make a decision. Some of them claimed that the widow was “kidnapped” by the Edo State government in order to frustrate her coming out to receive the handout from the PDP. Whatever it is, the woman was absent on Tuesday when the PDP launched an endowment fund for widows. No word was heard from her until the following day, Wednesday when she came to receive her appointment letter as an SSA to the Governor. In a statement conveyed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Peter Okhira, the widow, Mrs. Ifijeh was quoted as telling the PDP to give the N250,000 earmarked for her to other widows. “For the money promised me by PDP let them give it to other widows. I do not need the money,” the woman was quoted as saying by Mr. Okhiria. Given the turnaround in her life situation the sacrifice she has made in donating the N250,000 to other widows could draw a parallel with the sacrifice of the Jerusalem widow portrayed by Jesus, The Christ in the bible. Whether Mrs. Ifijeh, whose monthly salary is now in six figures and her bank account raised to the millions was essentially apolitical in her gesture is debatable. But politics is what has transformed her. She is now a politician,

The hole in Jonathan’s govt Continues from page 36 impasse last ad infinitum because he is constitutionally bound to ensure that at least each state of the federation is represented at the federal executive council. According to the amended Section 147 of the 1999 Constitution which gives the President Powers to appoint Ministers, “There shall be such offices of Ministers of the Government of the Federation as may be established by the President. “Any appointment to the office of Minister of the Government of the Federation shall, if the nomination of any person to such office is confirmed by the Senate, be made by the President, “Any appointment under subsection(2) of this section by

the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of Section 14(3) of this Constitution, provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each state, who shall be an indigene of such state.” But while the intrigues continue on the appointment of ministers to replace the ones sacked by the president three months ago, activities in the ministries whose ministers have been relieved of appointment have continued at snail speed. For instance, since the sack of the ministers in September, there has never been any memo from any of these ministries to the federal executive council for approval of any project, an indication that though these ministries

•Jonathan may have ministers supervising them, such ministers lack the requisite power and authority to effectively carry out duties assigned to them. How the president is able to navigate these delicate political

waters without ruffling more feathers will go a long way in determining how the ministers who will eventually emerge would be perceived by both the legislature and eventually Nigerians if their nominations are confirmed.


38—Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

African Peer Review Mechanism

Nigeria must step up war against corruption — Nnamani, others •We’re doing well in economic governance, others •We must educate Nigerians to hold govt accountable BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE & KELECHI AZUBUKE

There’s cause for cheer —

•Nnamani: Democracy is thriving Nnamani On comments that there is nothing to review in the country because infrastructure is poor and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crisis in which the G-7 governors were not allowed to meet was hurting freedom of association, Senator Nnamani said he was not going to hold brief for the Inspector General of Police on the issue of not allowing people to meet. However, he noted that people should not overstretch the issue of freedom.

,

MEMBERS of the National Steering Committee of the African Peer Review Mechanism led by former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani visited Vanguard Media’s head office, Lagos, recently, and interacted with senior editors on the mileage Nigeria has recorded in human index compared to her 36 peers on the African continent. The team had Professor Adele Jinadu, Professor Ben Amgbe, Mrs Yemisi Ransome-Kuti and Dr Fidelis Ugbo among others as members. With a mandate to carry out an unbiased allinclusive evaluation and self assessment of Nigeria’s democracy and political governance, socio-economic development and corporate governance, the team, which has been on the job for five years said it is not all thumbs down for Nigeria. Speaking on why the team visited Vanguard and the need for the media to back the APRM process, Nnamani said the mechanism is aimed at enhancing and entrenching good governance in the continent by reviewing four thematic areas: democracy and political governance, economic governance and management, Socio economic development and Corporate Governance. His words: “Those are the four areas constituting the acceptable standard for evaluating how well our democracy is moving and how well the people are benefiting from the dividends of democracy and intangible things like elections, freedom of speech and while you (Vanguard) are here, nobody is coming to shut your doors because of what you have said in the papers as long as it is within the ambit of the law. “So those four thematic areas are the areas being used to evaluate good governance in Nigeria and our role as members of the National Steering Committee is to oversee or supervise the process. One of the elements is household opinion survey. The committee’s mandate is to make sure that we carry out an unbiased all inclusive evaluation, self assessment of our democracy and other four areas I already mentioned.”

association as long as you have a level playing field and you are given equal chance to make your point; that is my own understanding of justice.” He continued: “On the issue of your saying that you don’t see what the people are coming to peer-review, ‘peer’ means they are equals. As heads of state, if they come they have something to talk about. In Nigeria, everybody now enjoys communication (phone). It might not be efficient because at times

The committee’s mandate is to make sure that we carry out an unbiased all inclusive evaluation, self assessment of our democracy

”My fear is that if we excessively talk about freedom will we allow people commit suicide because they are free to take rope and tie around their neck and kill themselves? We must be very careful how we try to make it sound like Nigeria is now a police state because I am not aware that Nigerians are been barred from holding meetings unless you have a specific case. There is freedom of speech and

,

if you are talking the thing goes off, there is no perfection and perfection is an unrealistic standard by which you can judge. It is not proper if we say there is nothing to peer-review and that they are coming to do nothing. If you go to other African countries and some other countries even outside the African continent you’ll find out that Nigeria while we have enormous problems there is no

question about that, we are doing well in certain areas. “On freedom of speech, yes our act is not functioning properly but the fact that you are writing and expressing your opinion on daily basis, no person charges you to court, no person tells you why must you write this or come and lock up your gate is part of dividends of democracy that we are enjoying. There are not many places you can enjoy that. There are some areas where we have made progress even though I agree with you to a large extent that in some areas we have shown retrogression, we have not gone forward at all. But regardless of what you are doing you still gather together to talk and look at events and say maybe we should have gone this way, we should have gone the other way, that is what peer-review is about. Why APRM is necessary — Jinadu Professor Jinadu gave the context the APRM arose, which he traced to the legacy of military rule, one party rule, single dominant party rule, etc since African countries gained independence in the 1960s and various international covenants on democracy and human rights.

In reacting to that, he said, the African Union said there was need to define the principles of governance away from political centralization and to improve on the means of managing diversity. “It is in these contexts that a number of African leaders notably our own ex president Olusegun Obasanjo and Abdulahi Wade of Senegal Thambo Mbeki of South Africa, etc conceived the idea of the African Peer Review Mechanism as a voluntary device which countries that feel like will be bound by the principles and the process enunciated in the APRM memorandum of understanding. Nigeria has been very prominent, in fact the memorandum was signed in Abuja and as of now about 37 Africa countries have acceded voluntarily to the APRM and over 25 per cent of the population of Africa and 17 of the 37 countries have been peer reviewed and what that means is that they’ve gone through a series of processes beginning with what is called country self assessment in terms of the various indices in the APRM MOU for corporate governance, socio economic developments, economic management, and democratic governance. “The clear review dimension of it is really at the level of the heads of state and government of the member states of the APRM, which is called the APRM forum. The forum meets twice a year on the side lines of the African Union meetings to consider reports from countries that have been peer reviewed. This is followed by a country review mission sent from the APRM secretariat in Johannesburg to go round the country to talk with stake holders about the state of governance in the four areas. “Now, the country review mission submits a report to the APRM forum in terms of what their findings and recommendations are. All the heads of state meet as a group at this level and consider that country ’s report, make comments and advise the country on how to move governance ahead. The country responds and after every six months the country is expected to report back to the APRM forum on how far it had gone in meeting the recommendations of the country review report and the National Programme of Action. The national programme of action is like a road map of what will be done to improve governance in the country. “So, the basic issue here is that the APRM tries to redefine governance in terms of a partnership between various stake holders and non- state stakeholders like civil society

Continues on page 40


Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013—39 EVENTS in the last two weeks have moved so fast and quite dramatic that only stable and experienced minds could catch up with such dynamic pace. However, the political dictionary has been enriched by strange words like ‘inconclusive‘ and ‘supplementary‘ elections and the ‘merging‘ of G7 Governors with APC. It was also the time to congratulate the President for his 56th birthday anniversary (President Jonathan was about three years old by the time of Independence in 1960). It is considered unfortunate that the ‘merging‘ of five of G7 (rebellious PDP governors) took place before the scheduled meeting with President Jonathan, but his later meeting with the ‘faithful two‘ (Babangida and Lamido) appeared positive. Perhaps, the two governors are waiting to see what could happen if President Jonathan decides not to contest in 2015 ‘as they are believed to harbor presidential ambition‘. It is surprising, if not confusing, that some commentators who see the merging of small but ineffective opposition parties into a single and virile party as a good step towards genuine democracy now appear jittery over the assumed rising political fortunes of All Progressives Congress (APC). That party (APC) has been under continuous strictures by biased and unfriendly columnists. The proper or a saner approach to me should be the giving to all parties a level playing ground or an open ocean to swim or sink in national political contest. What should be of primary importance is the programme to bring peace and prosperity to the country. It is a matter of fact that the bifurcation of that great party (PDP), though regrettable, is not a surprise. It has long been expected owing to collective act of impunity, individual indiscipline, group sabotage and lack of focus on economic development and corruption. The reign of the ruling party (PDP) since the return of democracy to some, has been characterized by deepening poverty and

Issues of Nigerian unity:

Quo Vadis? corruption, political instability and general insecurity. However, the pertinent question is whatever the opposition, strengthened by the influx of the five former PDP governors, would be able to provide a better alternative to the present government of President Jonathan. The answer points to a negative stance under the present deficient structure and limitations of the country. Corruption is endemic, and the government seems powerless or unable to tackle it, the cost of running the governments in all tiers is extremely high and methods of elections into offices have become not only untidy, but costly. A more important challenge is the Boko Haram insurgence which is being seriously challenged by our security forces (Police, Army, Air force, Navy etc). It looks as if the insurgents could choose their targets accurately in an absurd war theatre. The operation itself is viewed by the opposition as President Jonathan‘s baby and the curse of his government and party. It is sad that the Boko Haram‘s reign of terror has not roused national conscience to national unity As with the terrible challenge of Boko Haram, so also is the upsurge in criminal

activities by a society which appears not to care much in tackling its many social and economic problems. The care-free attitude of the federal government is being matched by the lackadaisical approaches in many States and local government areas. It is a sickening panorama of abject poverty and undesired sufferings in a land blessed with human and material resources by nature. Unfortunately in the midst of poverty, the priority of the main political parties is at present focused on 2015 elections. The Opposition (APC) is saying that life after Jonathan would be better and rosy; others are working towards the return of power to the North in 2015. What happens between now and 2015 which seems long enough for the illness of the country to become worse and life threatening? Everything is built on change of power in 2015 forgetting that it is always almost impossible to remove a clever incumbent. The views of many observers are that the challenges of Nigeria are so fundamental that no party, howbeit, endowed could tackle or handle them single-handedly. There is no reason to believe that political stability question that has eluded the ruling party could be

Confab'll stabilise our polity — Nanaghan MR Ben Nanaghan, a media consultant in this interview asserts that the proposed national conference will lead to the stability of the country. Excerpts: BY DAPO AKINREFON ARE you in support of the plans for a National Conference? The national conference is the icing on the cake of President Goodluck Jonathan transformational agenda so far. It will give every Nigerian, every ethnic group, every geopolitical zone the golden opportunity to decide their future and unburden all hitherto bottled up frustrations, pent-up fury, and formally dissolve previously intractable and unresolved conflict areas. President Jonathan himself has confirmed that the national conference is a unique opportunity to promote and enhance national peace, unity, stability and progress. Of course the national conference is a step in the right direction. Like the cliché goes-it is better to jaw-jaw than to warwar. Most Criticisms of the national conference are either

based on selfish and parochial group interests, mischief, ignorance or by political opponents of the president. Are you supportive of those critics who say the president’s performance does not qualify him for a second term? Who are the critics who say President Jonathan has not performed well. Let us by-pass the opposition party, the APC for now and search for these silent critics. Majority of President Jonathan’s critics are those who are no more benefiting from the corruption that existed before now. The previous leaders of Nigeria are not happy with Jonathan for changing the old corrupt ways for transparency which finally will be in the best interest of Nigerians. Nigeria is a country that has always been ruled by cabals. President Goodluck Jonathan is trying his best to contend and reduce the

•Nanaghan: Supports confab influence of these cabals on government. With five of the rebel governors declaring for the APC, what are PDP’s chances in 2015? For me their exit from the PDP is a great relief as they had held the nation to ransom trotting from one state capital to the other each negotiating presidential tickets for themselves. It will also keep the PDP on the alert. It is also a healthy tonic for democracy as the competition for votes will become keener and more

handled better by the Opposition (APC) under the prevailing circumstances of the country, heavily bias towards religion and ethnicity. What could or should be done to avert that looming political danger in 2015? The President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has set up the machinery for a National Dialogue which should be supported by all Nigerians, especially the Opposition. The successful dialogue should result in a re-structured country with emphasis on peaceful and prosperous co-existence. Perhaps, President Jonathan and his government will, as a matter of urgency, revisit the disgraceful electoral system which is giving Nigeria a bad name. He could set up a new committee or review the Uwais Committee Report. There should be a better and less costly way to choose our representatives. I wrote before in this column that when Britain was faced with grave economic crisis in the 1930s, it resorted to a National Government to save the Pound. It appears that the Nigerian economic (poverty and unemployment), political and security crises are so complicated to be left to the present federal government alone to handle successfully. To many analysts, the motley crowd of party faithfuls in the cabinet seems unsuitable by its composition (selection) to offer necessary measures or exact the painful sacrifices needed. It is even doubtful, if the average Nigerian as at this moment has any joyful feeling that a better and a more progressive government is on ground. Many people are advocating that the past rulers of Nigeria (military and civilian) should prevail upon the government and the opposition to work together in order to save the country from continuous economic, political and social decadence, widespread rural poverty and urban congestion with its attendant filth and disease. It is necessary to seek a new approach in the idea of a broadly based government under President Jonathan.

competitive. However we have not heard the last of this matter. I personally do not see APC as a real political party because they do not have a coherent manifesto and ideology. They only have an agenda which is to win the 2015 presidential elections by all means. They are not truly democratic and to say they are a progressive party is the greatest lie of all times. How can a party which openly rejects intra party primary elections claim to be democratic? Any party or association that does not consider the peoples’ voice or decisions can not claim to be democratic. After all, democracy is government of the people by the people and for the people. APC’s claim to being progressive has been rubbished by the same criterion. You can see that the APC is neither democratic nor progressive. The APC has vilified and criticized PDP administrations as demonic, evil, corrupt, weak, undemocratic etc. And so why does APC need all its presidential candidates and governors from the same evil PDP? Let us take Ondo and Edo States. As an Ijaw from Ondo and Edo States will you say the Ijaw communities have benefitted from these

administrations? The plight of the Ijaws in Ondo state is just a wee better than that of Edo State. In Ondo state, during late Chief Olusegun Agagu’s tenure; the Ijaws had a commissioner and later Secretary to the State Govt. Those are the Ijaws in Arogbo in EseOdo Local Government Area. But for those under Odigbo Local Government Area, their plight is similar to that of those in Edo State. In Edo State, the th Ijaws are like the serfs of 18 century Russia. We are treated even worse than slaves. No social services, no development of any kind whatsoever. Why do you say the Ijaws in Edo and Ondo States have been neglected and marginalized? After the Justice Umaru Abdullahi led court of Appeal reinstated Adams Oshoiomhole as governor, the then firespitting, fist-pumping union leader assured every child of Edo State (including the Ijaws of course) of qualitative and compulsory education up to secondary school level. The governor’s speech we now know was a ruse to hoodwink the abandoned and marginalized coastal dwellers who shouted hosanna when the sugar coated governor barged in, in wolf’s clothings. It was a story meant for the marines.


40—Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

Yes, Aregbesola is a danger to democracy COMRADE Bankole Afilaka, the chairman, of the caretaker committee of Labour Party in Osun State spoke on the pace and pattern of politics in Osun State. Excerpts: BY GBENGA OLARINOYE

W

HAT are the plans of the Labour Party for the 2014 Governorship election in Osun State? I think at this point, the L abour Party is working assiduously towards getting the best candidate. We have had some people coming to us and expressing their interest and some have not come to us but have expressed their interests on the newspapers. For us, our assignment is on behalf of the Osun people to get the best candidate that would be the actual alternative and real change in Osun. Change in Osun is in many dimensions, we want unencumbered leadership, and we want the kind of leadership where the people can relate directly, we want the kind of leadership that would be honest in delivery of public policy. We condemn out rightly the idea in which government of the day use to oil propaganda machinery. For instance, if you go

around, you look at the entire state and it’s almost branded with Aregbesola’s face, we are still surprised that the INEC have not called him to order and we have written another petition and we are hoping that INEC will look into it as a matter of urgency. We want the best candidate for Labour party on behalf of the people that will deliver the dividends of democracy to the masses of Osun state, not somebody that will mortgage the state and mortgage it for the generation to come and then use some kind project to daze us through a propaganda-drive that is unprecedented in the history of politics in Nigeria. For us in Labour party, what we want to do in 2014 is to unseat Aregbesola and I can tell you as a matter of fact, Aregbesola is gone already; it is just a matter of time. Does your party have what it takes to dislodge him? I can tell you as a matter of fact that Labour party is the only party that is going to remove Aregbesola and he (Aregbesola) knows this. Aregbesola thinks he is giv-

•Comrade Bankole ing us development but what he has given us is something to help push his own image. As you can see, his face is everywhere and I would not be too surprised if the face is found in your bedroom

because that is what he is all about but we want government not propaganda, I think this is a fundamental difference between our party. To what extent have you been able to resolve the in-

ternal crisis that rocked your party? That has been put to bed. The reality of the matter is that the court struck out the Aregbesola instigated court case. We are receiving a large influx of people across the state but more importantly, we believe strongly that the government of Osun State is a danger to democracy. Why do we say that? He is beginning to give the state a bad name by exporting large elements of our state to go and cause electoral anarchy during Anambra gubernatorial election. We warned of this during Ondo state election that he was sending thugs to Ondo state. Now he has been caught in the act; we know that those boys were working for a known Aregbesola’s apologist in Osun State. He was the one chairing a group of about 183 that was supposedly registered in Lagos with guns and fake ballot papers (for the Anambra election). This is a disgrace to our state and its time we condemn it. Aregbesola is a danger to democracy; the government needs to put him on security watch with immediate effect. Somebody that is exporting thugs elsewhere to go and fight an election that doesn’t concern him, what do you think is going to do when Osun comes to 2014?

Nigeria must step up war against corruption — Nnamani Continues from page 38 organizations, the private sector, community-based organisations and individual citizens. “Under the democracy and political governance thematic area there are seven objectives namely: human rights, constitutional government, competitive politics, women rights, children rights, youth rights, and rights of the physically disabled. Under the socio economic development thematic area we are looking at issues relating to the millennium development goals basically provision of infrastructures, human security issues, etc. Nigeria was peer reviewed in 2008 and it is supposed to be done every four years, so it’s the next one now that we are in.” Why we do peer-review — Ugbo Expatiating on the importance of APRM, Dr Fidelis Ugbo said:

“We peer-review because we believe that they are best practices within African continent which we do not need to go and look for elsewhere. If we have best practices that are going on in any African country, other African countries will like to share, that is the essence of the peer review. How it operates “Key performance indicators are set which are like guidelines which countries review in assessing where they are in terms of security, economic governance, human rights, etc. If the country tells the entire African nations that this is what we have achieved in terms of economic governance, security, economic development, infrastructure, etc, a team will be sent to verify all the claims. After the verification exercise we’ll begin to know the best things that we can pick from every country of Africa and recommend to other African countries to apply

in the process of implementing their own programmes. “Nigeria has made substantial progress in terms of economic governance. Yes, we have security challenges but it’s not only in Nigeria it is all over other African countries but we are making good efforts to put in place structures to check some of these threats to our democracy. So we believe that Nigeria is ready we have a lot of best practices we can sell to other African countries and we look forward that. When the peer review team arrives Nigeria next year they will be able to find a few things they can tell other African countries. We might not be there but we are making progress in terms of achieving the targets set by the APRM council. On the progress Nigeria has made since the 2008 review He said Nigeria seems to have made substantial progress in area of allowing people to make choice on who will lead them. We have

not done so well fighting corruption it’s still one of the challenges facing the country and I am sure there are other areas where we have made substantial gains. Contributing, Mrs RansomeKuti said: “Nigeria has made some progress even though we feel uncomfortable with the level of development because we believe we should have done better given our capacity, human resource and the leadership role we play both in the continent and outside. So we don’t feel very comfortable saying we are doing well in a lot of things but coming from where we were during the military rule, we think we feel a lot more comfortable that we are beginning to taste the benefits of democracy in that we have the FOI Act in place, we have more freedom of speech, we have the elections and there has been a decree of growth in economic activities not just with the GDP but in terms of the privatization processes that we have

undergone. “We are beginning to privatise electricity. I know there may be contrary opinions on the process but there is obvious improvement in power and some other sectors and the SME sector is also beginning to feel the impact of the reforms in the banking sector. In all the socio and economic indicators, I think we have done better than we were doing before. However, we still have a long way to go.” How we’re getting reliable data On whether the reports of the APRM are reliable giving the difficulty of getting accurate data in Nigeria, the team said APRM was doing its best on that score. “That is a fair question; in many African countries data are not up to date. But as researchers we have other means of supplementing and certifying our facts. There is also a qualitative dimension to this, it is not just about figures, it is just about human beings.


Vanguard Vanguard,, YOUR LUCK TODAY

SCORPIO; Full-Moon in Aries points to possible misunderstanding (probably) within your working arena. This is the wrong time to fan the embers of discord. SAGITTARIUS; Although the full-Moon is generating tension, your wish is to have your good time. It’s wrong to under-rate the havoc jealousy can wreck. CAPRICORN; Full-Moon across Aries/Libra axis will bring pressure from many fronts, the more noticeable ones are career/business and domestic related types AQUARIUS; Full-Moon in Aries warns you to watch what you sign and verbally agreed to do. If you fail to respect the law, it’ll back-fire very soon.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY By Richard Eromosele

...NOT like that mummy. That was the saying of a baby boy who asked his mother to lie down for him to lie on her. And when asked who taught her that style, he said it’s

Do you know your househelp? the house help, a girl that taught him. Apparently, the housemaid has been practicing with the little boy. That is a lesson to parents that leave the total upbringing

TERROR MUDA

of their children to house helps. Do you know your house help? How much of him/her do you know? Which village is he/she from? What is his/

in “Never say goodbye”

her parent’s name? Is there an intermediary? Where is he/ she from? Is he/she related to the house help? Is he/she honest? Save yourself avoidable heartache. Know your house help. By Lanre Kehinde

PISCES; Today’s full-Moon in Aries does not encourage carelessness with money as such can actually lead to avoidable but serious troubles. Avoid jealous approach ARIES; Full-Moon in your Star sign will encourage you to under-rate many to their resentment the way you too’ll be negatively affected. Don’t ignore your spouse TAURUS; Full-Moon in Aries warns you to do away with whatever can not be placed above board. Take your health seriously today more than before GEMINI; Today’s full-Moon in Aries can tempt you to expose your love life unnecessarily. Separate your private/personal affairs and open friendship CANCER; Full-Moon will certainly affect your mood and make you aggressive but, encouragement of tension along your career line and/or within your business circle can not help your cause now. Protection of your image is important however.

KAPTAIN AFRIKA

in

“Pretty Lunatic’

By Andy Akman

LEO; Full-Moon may bring you what you’re likely to see as an insult but in reality it is not one. You only need to be on the right side of the law so that you’ll have the last laugh to the detriment of your opponents. Discourage of jealousy within you. VIRGO; Full-Moon across Aries/Libra axis may generate tension around you but, the best way for you not to be the loser is to make sure your finances are well protected. Then green eyed monster called jealousy may make things a little bit difficult.

ASTROLOGICAL COUNSELLING Send yyour our dat th ttoo the As tr ological datee and place of bir birth Astr trological Counselling, PP.M.B .M.B 1100 00 7, Apapa, Lagos 007,

VIRGINIA

dadadekola@yahoo.com

Basic characteristics of Pisces Pisces is 12th of the twelve Zodiac signs ruled by mysterious Neptune. It quality is mutable while it element is water. Mutable aspect of Pisces indicates that people born under it are changeable, by this I mean they change their minds often times. Being a water sign, naives of this Star have very strong intuition and can flow into anybody heart and/or mind. Neptune as the ruler of Pisces brings compassion and ARTISTIC talent into Pisces born people’s creativity quotient. Neptune rules psychic related thing and many of things that cannot be placed above board; Neptune makes most natives of this star sign secretive, hard to understand and dreaming. Two opposing fishes as joint symbol of Pisces oftentimes responsible for occasional confusion suffer by all natives of Pisces one time or the other. It is truly important for them to learn how to control both their emotion and mind. Because it is easy for Pisces people to become pessimistic unnecessarily The reasons are while one of the fishes may head for optimism and day dreaming, the other’s inclination may be of fear, despondency and timidity. Thus, confusion can creep in and that will be to the detriment of their confidence. Cultivation of practical nature and adoption of realistic method in all you do will be of great importance. It is equally important for Pisces born people like you to take psychic related things more seriously because they can make use of psychic and/or spiritual related things.

41

LEISURE

By Joshua Adeyemo Phone 08056180139

LIBRA; Full-Moon across Aries/Libra axis may bring you personality clashes base on envy from the other party. Slow down and give peace a chance at least for now.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013 —

HOME & ABROAD

By Lawrence Akapa


I

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

N spite of the ideological differences in the Sunni and the Shiites, I personally, I never thought of myself as anything but Muslim and I know many also share that sentiment. The fundamental belief is that there is only one God, Allah, then the Prophet, and the Qur’an There is no two Qur’an and there is no dispute in the leadership and Prophet-hood of Muhammad (s.a.w). Muslims also believe that there is no compulsion in religion, that is if you decide to look the other way, so be it. You will meet with the Almighty Creator. So, if we desire to follow the tenets of the religion and adhere strictly to what the Qur’an says without any doctrinal difference, then the ummah would be better because we will do exactly what the Qur’an and the hadiths teach; and we would not give another interpretation to Islam through our deviant behaviours. In fact, what has characterised the Muslim world many years ago is the great diversity of what Muslims say and do under the banner of Islam. In the recent past, you hear questions like: are there versions of Islam that permits slaughtering, killing, maiming people and destroying state properties and shouting AllahuAkbar for doing the act? Can one be both a good Muslim and overtly or covertly cause anguish, pain and sorrow to his other Muslims brethren? I have said it here over and over again, that under the tenets of traditional Islam, it is forbidden to kill or commit suicide, it is prohibited to kill anyone who did not wage war against you; even in war front, you are not permitted to attack somebody who did not raise arm against you. You have to strictly distinguish between combatants and noncombatants in a declared war against

A betrayal of Islam you. But we have witnessed unparalleled pogrom in the history of this country where scores of people including Muslims have been massacred with the perpetrators shamelessly claiming responsibility. The terror knows no bounds, several Muslims had been victims of several attacks including the last bombing of the Air Force base in Maiduguri, several churches have been damaged. Yet we hear that it is an inspired ideology from God with the shouts of ‘God is great’. No one is safe, anyone could become the target of this terrorism. Often times Muslims are victims of their brother’s evil machinations in the name of Jihad. There is nothing in Islam that justifies this dreadful act. It is nothing but a betrayal of Islam. Allah is indeed watching. The concept of Jihad has been so bastardised that it only connotes negative – killings and all forms of extremism. No body sees anything good in what is meant to be the basis for reverting people to Islam. We try to justify the slightest act of injustice and abuse to unleash ter-

ror in retaliation. We ignore the concept of sabr, (patience and perseverance) teaching in the Holy Qur’an A Muslim facing humiliation and even threat of persecution does not necessarily have to turn to extremist or terrorist. During the Bos-

even when they were being persecuted and chased out of Makkah. The early Muslims were persecuted, abused, maimed and killed but they migrated out of Makkah and eventually found solidarity and acceptance in Madinah. As a

,

42— VANGUARD,

Often times Muslims are victims of their brother’s evil machinations in the name of Jihad. There is nothing in Islam that justifies this dreadful act. It is nothing but a betrayal of Islam. Allah is indeed watching

nia-Herzegovina war in the 90s, thousands of Muslim women and girls were raped, hundreds of thousands of innocent people were murdered, at least half a million became refugees, and 2,000 mosques were destroyed by Serbian forces; yet the Bosnian Muslims never turned to terrorism or extremism. Not one Church or Jewish synagogue was attacked in the Bosnian Muslim zone. Remember also, the early Muslims did not fight the pagans

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result of the quick spread of religion, the desperate polytheists decided to exterminate all the traces of Islam and so, waged war against them. It was then the revelation of the ‘slay them’ came up which many critics snip out of context when talking about Jihad. The verse cannot be quoted in isolation, from the verse preceding it. Rather, it is referring to those who waged war against the Muslims in order to stop the spread of Islam. All the wars

fought by the earliest Muslims were not to compel the unbelievers to accept Islam, it was to establish religious freedom, to stop all religious persecution and to protect the Muslims. It is illogical to fold your arms watching your enemy kill you. Then the verses say: Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors. And slaythem wherever you find them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, persecution is worse than killing. And do not fight them at alMasjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers. And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (2:190-192). The early Muslims did not fight any war other than for the purpose of defending themselves. All the verses that speak about fighting in the Qur’an in this context are defensive to stop the aggression. Unfortunately too, some misguided Muslims also use it to justify their meanly act. Tolerance is the only basis for peace; in a society where tolerance is absent, peace will be non-existent. It may be difficult because of the ethnical, social and political dimension, but we have the religious moral duty to tolerate one and other in order to achieve peace. Consideration of other people's feelings and giving them their due respect is one of the aspects of human rights which society must show towards the religions of other people and that is why the Quran says: La ikrah fi dini- there is no compulsion in religion.

Etique tt e of seeking divine Etiquett tte guidance BY HARUN RAZAQ

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NE of the authentic rec ommended ways to seek guidance in Islam is through the performance of Salaat Istikhaarah. It literally means seeking or requesting for what is good or best for oneself concerning an affair – a prayer taught to the Sahabah, by the Prophet. Istikhaarah is performed whenever one has difficulty in determining what line of action to take on any given issue; or has difficulty in making a choice. Istikharah therefore is prayer performed to seek Allah’s guidance and request him to make a choice for one from all the available options or others unknown. Muslim theologians have, however, emphasized that the performance of “Istikharah is allowed only on permissible (mubahat) matters such as marriage, journey, business transaction etc.; performance of Istikharah is not permissible on matters of unlawful, recommended and compulso-

ry status in the Shari’ah. Istikhaarah consist of two Rakaa’ts of nafilah (non-obligatory Salaat) and one Salama. And after Salama recite the following du’aa: “Allahumma inni astakhiruka bi’ilmika, Wa astaqdiruka bi-qudratika, Wa as’aluka min fadlika al-’azim Fa-innaka taqdiru Wala aqdiru, Wa ta’lamu Wala a’lamu, Wa anta ‘allamu l-ghuyub. Allahumma, in kunta ta’lam anna hadha-lamra ...(mention what you intend to do) Khairun li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati amri (or say ‘ajili amri wa’ajilihi) Faqdirhu wa yas-sirhu li thumma barik li Fihi, Wa in kunta ta’lamu anna hadhalamra shar-run li fi dini wa ma’ashi wa’aqibati amri (ao fi’ajili amri wa ajilihi) Fasrifhu anni was-rifni anhu. Waqdir li al-khaira haithu kana Thumma ardini bihi.” Meaning (O Allah! I ask guidance from Your knowledge, And Power from Your Might and I ask for Your great blessings. You are capable and I am not.

You know and I do not and You know the unseen. O Allah! If You know that this job is good for my religion and my subsistence and in my Hereafter— (or said: If it is better for my present and later needs)— Then You ordain it for me and make it easy for me to get, And then bless me in it, and if You know that this job is harmful to me In my religion and subsistence and in the Hereafter—(or say: If it is worse for my present and later needs)— Then keep it away from me and let me be away from it. And ordain for me whatever is good for me, And make me satisfied with it). The Prophetic Istikhaarah is very easy and simple to perform, however, after the Prophet (s.a.w) some Muslim introduced new system to its performance which time will not permit us to mention here. But, it must be noted that only the one that conform the Prophet (s.a.w) manner that endows Muslim tranquility, restfulness in dunya and unlimited reward in hereafter.

•Imam Tirimizhi Olawale Hammed (right), founder of the Muslim Prayer Warrior and other members of the group during a monthly special birthday prayer in Mushin, Lagos.

• A cross section of members of The Muslim Prayer Warrior, Mushin after the monthly birthday special prayer .


VANGUARD, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013— 43

Marital responsibilities and conjugal love By Aderonke Adeyeri

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Conjugal love in Islam HE first task of the wife is to create an atmosphere for relaxing, a home and a place that is always desired by the husband and the children. The management of the household is the wife’s primary responsibility, she might get someone to help her in the job where she supervises; it is basically her task to manage the home in the best interests of the family. She may expect some cooperation from her husband, but this should depend on what he can afford to do. The wife must be contented, and appreciative of any kind gesture her husband may extend to her. The wife

yourself upon him. Take care of his nose, his eye and his ear. Let him not smell except a good odour from you; let his eye not see you except in an agreeable appearance; and let him hear nothing from you except nice, fine words. In other words, the husband is responsible for the protection, happiness and maintenance of his wife. He is responsible for the cost of her food, clothes and accommodation In addition to providing these material needs, he has to be kind, understanding and forgiving, and must treat his wife in a tender and loving manner. It is further recommended that a husband be relaxed with his wife, and cheer her up with humour or by making agreeable jokes. The Prophet,

result, nothing offensive or harmful should be done to either person. Each has a duty to be sexually available to the other, but neither has the right to disgust or injure the other. With a few exceptions, the couple can engage in any activities that they like, in any manner and in any position. Allah rewards such activities as surely as He punishes sinful activities. The Qur’an says, “Women are your fields. Go then into your fields as you please.” The Quran rules that it is forbidden to go into your fields when your fields are bleeding. have vaginal intercourse while a woman is menstruating. Apart from the spiritual implication, it also has far reaching health

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Allah rewards such activities as surely as He punishes sinful activities. The Qur’an says, “Women are your fields. Go then into your fields as you please

N Islam, marriage is part of the social arrangement for bringing about a responsible society. A Muslim woman is expected to take care of the home but in an economy like ours where most men need the financial support of their wives; how best can a Muslim woman support her husband without shirking her responsibilities and by extension jeopardizing her marriage relationship? These are the questions put forward to some Muslim women. Enjoy it.

Learn to carry your husband along—Mrs Olarenwaju Rasaq (Teacher) The role of a Muslim woman is clearly defined and outlined in Islam. Briefly, apart from her primary role of bringing up her children, a Muslim woman must carry out all the duties at home with devotion and enthusiasm. The following hadith reminds her of the rewards and merits attached to undertaking her primary duties. A woman came to ask the Prophet (s.a.w) about some matter, and when he had dealt with it, he asked her, “Do you have a husband?” She said, “Yes.” He asked her, “How are you with him?” She said, “I never fall short in my duties,

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should take care of herself in order to appear always cheerful, charming and attractive to her husband. She should always smell good and appear attractively to her husband all the time. We can heed the advise of an ancient Arab woman who offered a piece of advised to daughter on her wedding day. She said: •gO my daughter! you are leaving the home in which you were brought up to a house unknown to you and to a companion unfamiliar to you. Be a floor to him, he will be a roof to you; be a soft seat to him, he will be a pillar for you; and be like a slave girl to him, he will be like a slave boy to you. Avoid inopportune behaviour, lest he should be bored with you; and be not aloof lest he should become indifferent to you. If he approaches you, come running to him; and if he turns away, do not impose

peace and blessings be upon him, in spite of his lofty status, used to play and joke with his wife. The husband should also see that his wife has sufficient knowledge of her religious obligations and encourage her in observing her devotional duties. He should not be suspicion of his wife activities. Jealousy is indeed a natural element; he should not be provocative or embarrassing. If the wife becomes pregnant, her husband should display greater consideration for her and should do all he can to assist her a great deal. It is of supreme importance that the couple handle the matter of sex relations with skill, care and understanding. None should regard the other as an object for personal enjoyment alone but as a partner with whom mutual bliss, satisfaction and fulfilment should be sought. Sexual relations are for the pleasure of both the husband and the wife and for the procreation of children. As a

implications. All the scholars general agree it is forbidden during a menstrual circle of a woman. •And they ask you about menstruation. Say, “It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you. Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” (Qur ’an 2:222) Therefore, in Islam the husband and the wife satisfy themselves sexually according to the teachings of the Qur’an. Although it is a bedroom affair but Allah knows whatever couples do and judge them according to their deeds and their heartfelt intentions. The best couple will seek refuge in Allah away from the accursed shaytan and pray for guidance in whatever they do. Sexual copulation inclusive. Remember the Quran says: Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish and put forth (righteousness) for yourselves. And fear Allah and know that you will meet Him. And give good tidings to the believers. (2:223)

husband but it is also important the wife helps her husband to the limit of her capacity. The Prophet’s wife, Khadijah was not only a businesswoman but also a successful one at that. The other wife Aisha was widely known for her major contribution to the hadith. But even at that, a woman remains a woman and should only engage in jobs that would not be far from her home. Prophet Mohammed (s.a.w) said that the husband is the head of the home and also emphasized that the woman should guard her husband’s property. (Qur’an 4 verse 34). Again, a Muslim woman should

•Mrs Olarenwaju Razaq not work in prohibited places like a beer parlor in the name of supporting the home. There should be a mutual understanding between the wife and the husband before taking any job. A working Muslim woman can sustain her marriage when she has it at the back of her mind that she is only working because her husband permits it and can stop her from working anytime he feels. Again, sexual relationship between a Muslim woman and her husband must not be affected by her work. The intercourse and oral sex relations should be mutually enjoyable and acceptable.

A Muslim woman should stay at home — M a i m u n a Mukhtar •Maimuna Mukhtar except for that which is beyond me.” He said, “Pay attention to how you treat him, for he is your Paradise and your Hell.” But our economy has added to our responsibility which is supporting our husband financially and we must learn to accept that. However, a Muslim woman should still maintain a smooth relationship with her family. She must only go for a job that will still create time for her family and still see to the welfare of your family. It is also important to carry your family along especially your husband with every development at your place of work and make sure you do not ignore your duties under the excuse of tiredness or any other reason. No denial of sex 'cos of work—Mrs Shotunde We all know that the financial responsibilities rest on the

God devotes an entire chapter of the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, to women. In addition, God directly addressed women repeatedly throughout the Quran. Islam further confirms that both men and women are equal in the sight of God. In the Qura’n, God declares, “…Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you…” (Q49:13) At another place in the Qur’an, God clearly states that all humans are equal: “To whoever, male or female, does good deeds and has faith, We shall give a good life and reward them according to the best of their actions.” (Q16:97) Men and women are equal, but Islam recognizes that they are not identical. However, a Muslim woman should not be a career woman, she should stay with the children. That is the best way to sustain one’s marriage.


44—Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2013

Lab scientists accuse UBTH mgt of unprofessional acts BY SIMON EBEGBULEM

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E N I N — INDUSTRIAL unrest is brewing at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH, as the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, Edo State chapter, has accused the authorities of the hospital of using medical students (resident doctors) for laboratory duties meant for trained and licensed laboratory scientists. The association claimed that resident doctors were being used every Saturday. This came as the Association of General Private Nursing Practitioners of Nigeria, yesterday, lamented the seeming neglect of the needs of nurses in their duties and called for collaboration by stakeholders to ensure that the health sector did not collapse. A statement by the state chairman of the scientists, Osarobo Eseiwi, said the action of UBTH authorities “amounts to quackery and impersonation and can lead to wrong laboratory diagnosis and consequently, the administration of wrong treatments and perhaps death.”

Transition

EDO WIDOW: APC, PDP trade words over Ifijieh BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE

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ENIN— EDO State chapters of All Progressives Congress, APC, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, traded words over the plight of Mrs. Joy Ifijieh. PDP frowned at what it described as the “immature attempt by the state governor and his agents at reducing its offer of N250,000 to Mrs. Joy Ifijieh to mere politics.” However, APC said it was the failure of the PDP-led Federal Government to pay the entitlements of Mrs. Ifijieh’s late husband, who died in active service as an Inspector of Police, that turned her into street trading.

attempt at damage control that affects one person only out of millions of mistreated and unemployed people in Edo State.”

APC

Briefing journalists, State Publicity Secretary of APC,

Godwin Erhahon, said: “The truth is that Mrs. Ifijieh would not have resorted to street trading if the PDP government of the past had built market for her class of traders. “All the stalls in Oba Market, where they would have been trading, have been allocated to PDP leaders by past PDP sadist capitalist regime. The PDP Shylock leased out the stalls

PDP

In a statement by PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, the party said: “We urge all those who showed consternation and condemned the shabby treatment of the widow to disregard the ingratitude intended in the press release since it does not represent the sentiment of Mrs. Ifijieh.” “Edo PDP understands and we encourage other Edo people to do the same with the peculiar, confusing, surreal circumstances the widow has suddenly found herself in. “By this release we join other people to reiterate that the governor ’s sudden, isolated and pretentious offer of monetary compensation and employment in a forced turnaround is insincere, an afterthought and a see-through

ICT CAMPAIGN: Udofia Doriant, MTN Technical Squad Agent (left); Adeyemi Abayomi, Supervisor, South-South & South-East (right), with students of Community Secondary School, Rumoumasi Obalaga, Port Harcourt, during the MTN Education Tour Bus campaign at the Air Force Park, in Port Harcourt.

Sack Wike now, AAU-ASUU tells FG BY SIMON EBEGBULEM

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ENIN— THE Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, chapter, yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, for a quick resolution of the ongoing strike by the union.

While insisting that the strike would not be called off until the Federal Government implemented the agreements, the ASUU in a statement by its chairman Professor Fred Esumeh and Secretary, Dr. S. Omoikhoje, argued that the supervising Minister of Education was incompetent and should be shown the

STRIKE: Oshiomhole commends doctors

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IR Godfrey Ifeosame of Onicha-Ugbo, Delta State, aged 68, is dead. Burial rights begin Wednesday, December 11, with a commendation service at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Ogbeke Square, Asaba, while service of songs and social wake-keep will hold the next day. Funeral service is at St. Stephen An-glican Church, Onicha-Ugbo, Friday, followed by interment and entertainment of guests at his residence in Ogbeakwu Quarters, Onicha-Ugbo.

at such high rate that poor widows like Mrs. Ifijieh cannot afford.” Commenting on the spate of kidnapping in the state, Erhahon said: “It is an established fact that kidnapping was started in this country by youths that were used as political thugs by PDP leaders in the Niger Delta areas.”

OVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has commended the Joint Action Committee of Medical and Dental Consultants and National Association of Resident Doctors for shunning the strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, saying they had shown maturity and were abiding to their Hippocratic Oath to save lives. Speaking, yesterday, at a meeting with the union, Governor Oshiomhole also said he had met over 70 per cent of the demands of NLC/ TUC and that their 10.5 per cent Teachers’ Special Allowance demand fell under the purview of local government authorities and not the state government. Speaking on the strike, the

governor said: “We have granted about seventy percent of what they asked for. For the other one, we have said no case at all and the other one I said fine, we will address it. “So I honestly don’t know what is left. They told me they would communicate to me after a meeting with their congress, but they went to lock the gates. “They went to the State Assembly, whose salary is totally different; they went there and locked the gates. “I have allowed them because only God knows how many strikes I have organised in my life and therefore when people are on strike, whether or not they are right, I don’t want to be seen to be reacting as if it is something I’m not familiar with. “I want to commend your

leadership for not calling your colleagues to participate in a strike that would have effectively paralysed the health delivery system in the state.”

way out for the interest of the Nigerian students. The statement, which said the recent ultimatum by the Federal Government was “like adding more fire to the crisis,” said the union would not be intimidated and that the Federal Government had shown that it has no solution to the myriad of problems confronting the nation. It said: “Somebody like Wike is killing the educational sector and we believe that he does not care about the feelings of Nigerians because his children are not schooling in Nigeria. “He lacks the intellectual capacity to handle the educational sector.”

Telecom firm's ICT initiative rewards in P'Harcourt students

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TN has rewarded a Port Harcourt highway hawker, Idesit Udo, with a Samsung mini-laptop in its Education Tour Bus initiative campaign. The campaign, 18th in the series that began four months ago with tours to cities such as Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Akure, Ado-Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Asaba, Calabar among others, gave youths and students opportunity to access the tour bus, which is a state-

of-the-art ICT facility. Aside fromUdo, students from Community Secondary School, Rumoumasi Obalaga; Air Force Secondary School and Command Secondary School participated in the event held at the Air Force Park. Meanwhile, Mrs. Adline Okeke, Specialist, Youth Segment, said: “MTN is committed to delivering a bold new digital world to Nigerians and that is the thrust of the Education Tour Bus.”


Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013—45

Urhobo youths resolve to support PDP

DESPOGA hails Omatsuli's appointment as NDDC Executive Director

BY FESTUS AHON

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GHELLI—NATIONAL Youth Leader of Urhobo Political Congress, UPC, Olorogun Jaro Egbo, has said that the Urhobo nation will no longer oppose the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP. Egbo, who spoke after a meeting of the UPC, also said the group would not be distracted by splinter groups. He said: “We will not be distracted by some people who have formed splinter groups. We want to avoid those pitfalls. "The Urhobo nation will no longer have anything to do with senseless opposition. On October 12, the entire Urhobo nation voted overwhelmingly for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The decision was a deliberate one, taken by the Urhobo Progress Union, UPU and UPC that we will have nothing to do with senseless opposition."

Gbaramatu monarch joins ancestors BY AKPOKONA OMAFUAIRE

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ARRI—THE Traditional Ruler of Gbaramatu Kingdom, HRM, DSP Godwin k. Bebenimibo (rtd.), the OgehGbaraun III, Pere of Gbaramatu, has joined his ancestors. Disclosing this during a press conference at Oporoza, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, Chief Alfred Bubor, the Fiyewei of Gbaramatu, said: “This is to inform the good people of Gbaramatu Kingdom and the general public of the demise of HRM, DSP Godwin Bebenimobo (rtd.), the OgehGbaraun III, Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom. “Condolence registers have been opened in the palace of the traditional ruler at the traditional headquarters of the kingdom, Oporoza town, and the headquarters of Warri South West LGA OgbeIjoh. “Consequently, the appointment of Chief Patani T. Heavens as Regent of the kingdom has been approved by the traditional councils of Chiefs."

BY DANIEL GUMM

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PROCESSION: ASUU members in a candlelight procession to late Dr. Festus Iyayi's office at the Law Faculty, University of Benin. Photo by Akpokona Omafuaire.

Edo youths to oil firms: Be wary of impersonators BY SIMON EBEGBULEM

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ENIN—YOUTHS from oilrich Orogho community in Orhiomnwon Local Government Area of Edo State, yesterday, warned oil companies operating in the area to be wary of impersonators to avoid conflict with the community. In a statement by the chairman of Orogho Community Youth Development Association, Mr. Charles Eghaghe and General Secretary, Mr. Osasogie Omoruyi, the youths stressed the need for oil companies operating in their domain to live up to their responsibility to the host community for peaceful operation. The community threatened to take legal action against two per-

sons (names withheld) for parading themselves as representatives of the community, and warned that youths of the community would resist any attempt to usurp the powers of the authentic leaders by persons they described as impersonators. While commending chiefs in the community for promoting harmonious relationship with the youths, the youths noted that their leader's election and that of his executives would have not been possible but for the blessings and prayers of His Royal Highness, Prince Osayande Akenzua, the Enogie of Orogho. The statement said: “We expect oil communities to help in the development of our

community because we have given them the desired support. But we also advise them to be careful with some persons who are impersonating as youth leaders in our community because any attempt to deal with fake people as regards matters that concern the community will be resisted.” Recall that youths from the community, last week, protested to Edo State House of Assembly, complaining about what they described as unacceptable activities of Seplat Petroleum and Newcross Petroleum Limited, the oil firms operating in the area. They warned that they will disrupt the companies' operations if they failed to listen to the problems of the community.

Govt urged to regulate fertility clinics BY ESTHER ONYEGBULA

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FERTILITY expert, Dr. Richardson Ajayi, has called on relevant authorities to enact laws to will protect unsuspecting childless couples from exploitation and harm by unqualified fertility clinics. Dr. Ajayi, who is the Medical Director of Bridge Clinic, lamented the risks posed by the upsurge in poor quality Invitro Fertilisation, IVF, clinics across the country and stressed the need for government to institute a regulatory body to oversee the activities of IVF practitioners as well as set operational standards for the practice. Speaking during the launch of the Bridge Clinic ultra-modern IVF facility in Ikeja, Lagos, Ajayi

said: “We believe that Nigeria needs many IVF clinics but these clinics need to meet the required standards to work in this very sensitive field of science, religion and morality. Francophone West Africa has already implemented the giraffe system of regulation, zoning and licensing, that is absolutely necessary to protect this very sensitive area of medicine. “An IVF facility of this standard is mandatory in developed countries and it goes beyond gynaecologists that want to perform IVF to build laboratories of this level. Interestingly, Paris has only two IVF clinics licensed to practice IVF but over 100 gynaecologists practicing

IVF, as they all collaborate with one of the IVF clinics. It is therefore our intention to set up similar collaborative systems so that as many gynaecologists that are interested and meet the quality requirements will be invited to use these clinics for the management of their patients.” Also speaking, another IVF expert, Professor Zech, noted that research had shown that the sperm quality of Nigerian men was low when compared to their European counterparts. He said though experts were still trying to find out the cause of the low quality, which could be as a result of the toxic environment and unhealthy lifestyles.

ARRI—DELTA State Oil Producing Communities Graduates Association, DESPOGA, has commended President Goodluck Jonathan and Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, over the appointment of Mr. Tuoyo Omatsuli as Executive Director, Project, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. In a statement in Warri, Delta State, yesterday, the group said: “We have been compelled to hold an emergency international executive meeting consisting of our available excos, and have resolved on the following: “We are very delighted with the nomination of one of our own, Mr. Tuoyo Omatsuli as Executive Director, Project, NDDC, by his Excellency, the Executive Governor of Delta State; we thank Mr. President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, for his acceptance and recommendation to the Senate for screening; that we equally thank the Senate for refusing to be distracted by agents provocateurs and going ahead to confirm the appointment of our dear Comrade Tuoyo Omatsuli as Executive Director (Project) of NDDC."

GKS Shogunle launches musical album

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OD’S Kingdom Soci ety, Shogunle, Lagos branch, will on Saturday launch the maiden musical album by the church’s choir in Lagos. The album titled Hearts of Praise, has nine tracks. Chairman of the Administrative Committee, GKS Shogunle, Mr. Godwin Uantioje, said the album would correct a lot of erroneous beliefs about the personalities of God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ. The album launch is scheduled for the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) (Lagos Chapter) Secretariat, National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.


46—Vanguard , FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

Ebonyi awards scolarship to 103 students

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BAKALIKI— EBONYI State Government has offered scholarship to 103 outstanding secondary school students in the last two years. Director of the state Scholarship Board, Mr. Elijah Ituma, disclosed this to News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, yesterday in Abakaliki. He said the beneficiaries were winners of inter schools debate, quiz, essay, drama and public s p e e c h competitions in 2012/ 2013 and 2013/2014 academic sessions. His words: “The scholarship grant is designed to encourage the outstanding students in these various categories of competitions. “Again, the measure is to reward excellence and hard work among students and to further spur them to greater achievements.” The director said the award was part of efforts to deepen reading culture among secondary school students as well as enable them to develop their intellectual potentials. He reiterated g o v e r n m e n t ’ s determination at ensuring that brilliant students were assisted to aspire for greater academic endeavours.

Motailatu Church holds adoption service Sunday

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HE MOTAILATU Church of Cherubim and Seraphim Worldwide, will hold its 2013 adoption service on Sunday, at the Intenational subheadquarters, Dalemo, Alakuko, Lagos. The Primate and founder of the church, His Most Eminence, Archbishop Motailatu Akinadewo, will preside over the service, while Professor Joseph Otubu will deliver the word of God at the service which commences at 10a.m. In a statement, the supervising head, His Eminence, Israel Akinadewo, said renowned religious leaders and other dignitaries from Nigeria and overseas will grace the occasion.

INSPECTION: Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State (middle with mic) answering questions from newsmen, after an inspection tour of a newly completed 30 classroom block at Government College,Umuahia.

Stakeholders protest postponement LG poll in Anambra BY ENYIM ENYIM

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NITSHA—PROTESTS by stakeholders and political party candidates yesterday trailed the postponement for the third time of local government election in Anambra State. Anambra State Independent Electoral commission,

Online publishers urge ASUU, FG to end rift

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AGOS—THE Nigerian Online Publishers Association has urged the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities to resolve their differences. NOPA, in a statement by its Chairman, Malachy Agbo, said shutting the nation’s universities for over four months does not portray Nigeria as a serious nation. Agbo said one of the key indices by which a country that is concerned about its development is measured is the level of attention it pays to its education sector. “When schools are shut for months, the implications, ranging from loss of respect for certificates from those institutions, to creating gaps in the production of graduates are dangerous for the nation,” Agbo said in the statement.

ANSIEC, headed by an acting chairman, Mr. Sylvester Okonkwo, had scheduled the council poll for last October 5 and later shifted it to December 14, on the excuse that it would affect the last November 16 governorship election. On Wednesday this week, the state electoral body again postponed the date for the poll to December 21, giving reasons that the supplementary governorship election in the state affected the December 14 date earlier scheduled. Consequently, the acting chairman sent out letters to political parties and other stakeholders for a meeting on Monday to discuss issues

regarding the scheduled council poll. However, the reactions from candidates and leadership of political parties and stakeholders, including elder statesmen, pointed to the fact the rescheduled date for the local government election was a political gimmick to further deceive the people of the state. Chairman of Labour Party in the state, Mr. Sam Oraegbulem, said the party was very skeptical about the sincerity of ANSIEC to conduct local government election under Governor Peter Obi’s government. He said: “My stand on this issue is that ANSIEC and the present administration of

Mr. Peter Obi are not sincere in the pronouncement that local government election would be conducted by them. “The commission is postponing the election for the third time and that shows you that they are not serious.” He said the voters register was yet to be corrected by INEC, coupled with absence of logistics, security arrangement, lack of funds released to ANSIEC for the poll and threatened to drag the commission to court should it conduct the election without the voters register being corrected to accommodate missing names. The acting chairman of the commission declined comment when contacted.

Okorocha challenges PDP on 12yrs of leadership in Imo

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WERRI—THE Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to account to the people on its achievements within the 12 years of its leadership in the state. Governor Okorocha, who stated this during a media chat with journalists at Government House, Owerri, said in just two years, his government had surpassed all the PDP achieved in the state in all of 12 years. He regretted that for 12 years, PDP used shanties as

Government House, which his government had now transformed to one of the best Government Houses in the country. Okorocha pointed out that PDP never had a guest house in Imo State, adding also that Imo Concorde Hotel was run down with bills incurred by guest of the government. He noted that within two and half years of his administration, the Odenigbo Guest House was completed. He enumerated other projects to include free and

comprehensive education up to tertiary level, the heroes apartment, the heroes square, Ikemba Ojukwu Centre, the 305 ultra modern primary school, Owerri City School and Imo College of Advanced Studies. He also listed Imo International Conference Centre, the Freedom Square, and rural roads transformation as some of the projects his government had delivered for the state. The governor debunked allegation of his wavering position in the All Progressive Congress, APC, saying he remained not only a member of the party but also a founding member.


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BIRTHDAY: From left, Nollywood actress, Patience Ozokwor; former Enugu State governor and PDP Chairman, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo; representative of Imo State Governor, Imo State SSG, Professor Tony Anwuka; Celebrant, Senator Osita Isunazo; National President, JONAPID, Mr. Danlami; representative of Edo State Governor, Mr. Patrick Igodomigodo, and Justice Ijeoma Agugua, cutting the birthday cake of Senator Osita Isunazo, Founder, Kpakpando Foundation for Perons with Disabilities, who celebrated with persons with disabilities .

DONATION: From left, Permanent Secretary, Lagos Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Kayode Oguntimehin; Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina; CEO, AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria, APIN, Dr. Prosper Okonkwo, and Project Manager, APIN, Mrs. Oluremi Olaitan, at the donation of multi million naira medical equipment by APIN to the Lagos State Government.

SERVICE: From left, Mrs. Oluwatosin Anyiam, Mrs. Foluso da-Silva, Mrs. Olubunmi Igetsi, Mrs. Olugbo Olaoye, Mrs. Lawrenta Onipede, and AllureVanguard contributor, Jerome Onipede, all children of the late Mama Jaonna Ebunoluwa Onipede (nee Borges Da-Silva), during a farewell service, at Redeemed Christian Church of God, Redemption House, Aguda, Lagos.

WORKSHOP: From left, Executive Director, Finance and Administration, CoreMedia Services Limited, Mr. Akeem Yusuf; Director, News and Current Affairs; CoreTV News, Mr. Emmanuel Malagu; Managing Director/CEO, CoreMedia Services Limited, Mr. Olajide Adediran, and the Training Facilitator, Mr. Tunde Dixon, during the opening of a Month Rigorous Training Workshop for the CoreTV News Staff, at Pretoria House, Isheri North of Ogun State.

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CAMPAIGN: From left, Mr. Lanre Onigbogi of the International Centre for Alcohol Policy; Mr. Chidi Nkwonta, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Sector Commander, Lagos; Emete Tonukari, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Manager, Nigerian Breweries Plc, and Lt. Col. Abubakar, representative of the Commandant, NAFRI, Oshodi, at the 2013 Nigerian Breweries sponsored 'Don't Drink and Drive' campaign, at Aso Rock Motor Park, Oshodi, Lagos.

ANNIVERSARY: Managing Director, Socar Resources Ltd, Jimmy Monclus (left); Executive Director, BCD Travel Nigeria, Charles Obioha (middle), and Managing Director, BCD Travel Nigeria, Michael Otubu, during 10th anniversary of BCD Travel Nigeria, in Lagos.

RALLY: Members of the Salvation Army Nigeria, during a rally to mark the World AIDS Day with the theme, 'Getting To Zero,' in Lagos.

CAMPAIGN: From left, Managing Director, Maxxis International Nigeria Limited, Daniel Wu; Director General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, DINNER: Former Ogun State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Wemimo SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, and Director, Special Duties, SON, George Ogunde (SAN, left); Mallam Yusuf Ali; Justice of the Appeal Court, Justice Chidi Uwa, and Okene, during SON's Quality Tyre and Safety Walk Awareness Campaign, in Lagos. Amina Oyagbola, during the Nigerian Law School Set 83 Reunion Dinner, in Lagos.


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Lekki-Ikoyi toll: Parties to file written addresses L

AGOS — A Federal High Court Lagos, yesterday, ordered the Attorney General of Lagos State to address the court on its claim that it paid and secured approval from the Federal Government to erect the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge. Justice Saliu Saidu gave the order at the resumed hearing of a suit filed by a lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa against the Lagos State Government, LASG, challenging its collection of toll on the Lekki-Ikoyi suspension bridge. Joined in the suit as first and second respondents were the Attorney General of the Federation, and the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA. The Attorney General of Lagos State, Mr. Adeola Ipaye, and the Lagos State Government, were third and fourth respondents respectively. Ipaye had filed a counter affidavit on November 25, stating that the Lagos State Government had paid for and obtained the approval of the Federal Government to construct the bridge. Adegboruwa in adopting his originating summons, however, informed the court that he had filed a further reply to the respondent’s counter affidavit, arguing that neither the Federal nor the state government had power to collect toll on the bridge.

The applicant added that although the respondent had argued that an approval was sought and obtained, such approval did not vest power in the state to impose toll on motorists. He urged the court to adopt all processes filed by the respondents, in support of his originating summons, and also sought leave of the court to

re-adopt his arguments. Justice Saidu in a short ruling, ordered the applicant and all respondents to file a written address on the new facts raised in the third respondent’s counter affidavit, stating that it had obtained approval for the bridge. The judge also ordered the fourth respondent’s, NIWA, counsel, Mrs. Queen Mba, to file a reply to the third respondent’s

counter affidavit, adding that a failure to do so, would be deemed an admission of facts deposed. Saidu then adjourned the case to January 16, 2014 to enable parties file their addresses. Adegboruwa had filed the suit on November 26, 2012, seeking an order of injunction, restraining the LASG from collecting any toll or tax in any form whatsoever, from motorists on the bridge.

COMMISSIONING: From left, Mr. Sylvester Ngini, Chairman, Police Community Relations Committee, PCRC, Ikoyi; DCP Biodun Ige, representing Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG Mamman Tsafe; Yakubu Alkali, immediate past Commissioner of Police, Lagos State; Umar Manko, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, and Mr. Kelechukwu Mbagwu, Managing Director, CMB Building Maintenance & Investment Company Limited, during the commissioning of the Yakubu Alkali Centre built and donated to the Nigeria Police by CMB Building Maintenance & Investment Company Limited, in Lagos, yesterday..

Lagos govt's frustrating our councillors — PDP BY DAPO AKINREFON

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AGOS — LAGOS State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has chided the Lagos State government for allegedly

frustrating the developmental programmes of the PDP councillors in their wards. While it applauded the decision of the Federal Government to approve $1.3billion in order to immediately commence

construction of a deep sea-port at Lekki in the state, it also commended the Federal Government for approving $200 million loan sought by the Lagos State Government. The party, in a statement by its publicity secretary, Mr. Taofik

We inherited dead scanners — Customs BY IFEYINWA OBI

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AGOS — THE Nigerian Customs Service has accused the ousted service providers of leaving behind old-fashioned and obsolete scanners at the nation’s seaport, airports and border posts. Comptroller-General of customs, Alhaji Abdullai Dikko, who made the allegation, yesterday, in Lagos, disclosed that the service providers only provided 21 scanners during their extended stay of eight years in Nigeria. Dikko, who spoke at the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, of the Customs, Ikeja, Lagos, lamented that most of these scanners were obsolete that could not drive the vision C M Y K

of Customs. He claimed that some of the old-fashioned scanners provided at Port-Harcourt, Warri and Borno were not working. Dikko, who declared that Customs had put enough preparation to ensure the success of the destination inspection scheme, said the DI contractors failed to supply scanners at Ilorin Airport. He, however, promised that the management of the service had evolved a fiveyear strategic plan to provide 50 scanners. Dikko, who had been in Lagos for the past one week on the sensitisation of port users and business community over Pre-arrival Assessment Report, PAAR, said about 350 officers had

been trained to power the new system while another 300 were trained to man the scanners. He also disclosed that 15 officers had been trained in Canada on forensic activities to track down hackers of Customs’ website and the newly created Nigeria trade portal which drives the PAAR. Sixteen people have so far been arrested in connection with cloning the Customs' website. It will be recalled that the Customs Service this week took over the destination inspection scheme from the service provider who were contracted in 2006 to train Customs officers on the use of scanners and other risk management procedure. The providers included Cotecna, SGS and Globalscan

Gani, said government’s gestures at this time in particular to an opposition state government, had further confirmed that the Goodluck Jonathan led PDP Government was indeed a government of development, with human face and a clear direction, contrary to the impression sponsored by the APC. It alleged that, "unlike Governor Babatunde Fashola and his council chairmen who are deliberately witch-hunting our few councillors by denying their wards developmental projects, the PDP Federal Government has continually supported the Lagos State government to develop. This is how progressive government is run. "Governance must be distinguished from partisan politics and we salute President Jonathan for practising this. We hope Governor Fashola would learn such sincere governance from him." In addition, it said: "Following the gesture, the Lagos State PDP has counselled the Lagos State Government to publicly appreciate the ingenuity and hands of fellowship of the PDP led Federal Government while it also admonished Governor Fashola to deplore the benefits as they are actually needed."

Anambra election: APC accuses INEC of doctoring electorial mateials BY CHARLES KUMOLU

THE ALL Progressives Congress, APC, in Anambra State, yesterday, raised alarm over what it described as the ‘’criminal back-dating of sensitive electoral materials,’’ by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ‘’tidy up,’’ its poor conduct of the November 16 governorship election in the state. APC said that INEC was back-dating the documents following a court order it obtained asking it to make materials used for election available to it. A statement by the Interim Publicity Secretary of the party, Okelo Madukaife, said, for example, INEC was now back-dating oaths of neutrality, which its members did not swear to before conducting the election as required by law. Madukaife’s statement read: ‘’It has come to the attention of APC that the INEC, Anambra State office, under the leadership of Professor Chukwuemeka Onukaogu is now doing everything possible to tidy up the loose ends in the electoral documents used in the last discredited governorship election.

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LAGOS-BASED l a w y e r , Oluwasola Fajuyagbe, who died on November 29, will be buried in Ikorodu, Lagos today. A statement by his family, said he will be interred at 11a.m. in his residence: 18, Williams Street, by Quality House, beside Lucky Fibres, Itokin Road, Ikorodu, Lagos.

Late Fajuyagbe


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Gov Amaechi’s petition: Rivers CP, Mbu, appears before NHRC BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI

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BUJA — SEQUEL to the petition against him by Governor Rotimi Amaechi, the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Mr Joseph Mbu, yesterday, appeared before the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, for interrogation. Mbu, who was grilled by the commission for over two hours, spoke with newsmen after the closed door meeting, saying he never at any time, received instructions from the ‘First Lady’, Patience Goodluck Jonathan, on how to treat Governor Amaechi. He said: “I am the Police Commissioner of Rivers state. It is my duty to protect all of you. I do not belong to any political party, but you know that once you are doing the right thing and you are not favouring a particular group, you will be labelled as an enemy. “It is not true that I am not in good terms with Governor Amaechi, my phone is there; even yesterday, I spoke with my governor the day before yesterday, I spoke with him about four times. Last week, I was in his office twice where we held security meeting with other service commanders. I think the press is over blowing the issues in Rivers state. “We are working with the governor amicably, but one thing is clear, the enemies of the governor are not my enemies. I am a police officer, an umpire, and my job is to make sure that I protect everybody who is in Rivers state. That is my professional calling and I stand by it. “We have never been at loggerhead except that I am a professional police officer for over two and half decades. I know my job and I do it well. Anyway, I am not here to discuss my issue with governor of Rivers state. He is my governor, he is my boss but all I am telling you is that we are working well. “Do you know that I just returned from South Africa where I was selected as the Best Crime Fighting Chief in West Africa by Security Watch West Africa, are you aware? I am doing my job; it depends on how you look at the coin. Whenever somebody is talking about somebody, of course, you know it is subjective; it is not scientific that four plus four is eight. In politics, seven plus seven can be 21.

L-R: Hon. Justice Rebecca Olomojoba (rtd); Hon. Justice Lateef Babajide Lawal-Akapo (Special Guest); Dr. Joe OkeiOdumakin (Book Reviewer), Dr. Yinka Olomojobi (Author), Mrs. Ada Agina-Ude (ED. Gender & Devt Action, GADA), and Mr. Kunle Ogunba, SAN (Book Presenter), during the presentation of the book: 'Human Rights on Gender, Sex and the Law in Nigeria,' yesterday.

FG laments poor outing of unity schools in national exams KURE — THE Federal government, yesterday, expressed deep concern over

the poor performance of students of Federal Government Colleges, FGCs, across the country in national examinations. It declared that principals of the

colleges would henceforth be held accountable for the performances of the students in examinations such as WAEC, NECO and NABTEB.

HE ALL Progressives Congress, APC, Ondo State has commiserated with the family of late Oba Adebiyi Adesida, Afunbiowo II, the Deji of Akure land, people of Akure kingdom and the people of Ondo State over his death. APC in a statement said the Deji's death came as a shock to the nation at a time when the struggle for the enthronement of true democracy in Yoruba land and Nigeria had reached a crescendo. In the statement by Idowu Ajanaku, the Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy of the APC, Ondo State, the party described the late Deji as an uncanny diplomat whose reign was characterised by peace and

progress. "He was an astute bridge builder between the young and old and was at home with everyone irrespective of political, ethnic, cultural and religious affiliations. "In his short reign, he has left an indelible mark in the annals of the nation, justifying the fact that it is not how long but how well we live. This lesson reverberates to all and sundry that we will only be remembered by what we have done. Oba Adebiyi Adesida lived well. "As a true son of Oduduwa, we believe that his commitment to the progress of Yoruba land is unwavering and we will surely miss his needed support and advice even at this time when the

nation is bedeviled with many self -inflicted ills by the powers that be. "We wish him eternal rest as he joins his ancestors," the APC said. In his own condolence message, Senator Professor Ajayi Boroffice, representing Ondo North Senatorial district commiserated with the people of Akure and the entire people of Ondo State over the demise of Oba Adesida. Professor Boroffice said the death of the monarch was a painful one, adding that he shared the grief of his family. He described the late Oba as a bridge builder who had an eventful but short reign and would be greatly missed by the people.

BY DAYO JOHNSON

A Deji's death: APC, Boroffice condoles with Ondo people T

Cleric warns over ASUU, FG face-off BY OLA AJAYI

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BADAN — PRESIDING bishop of a 50-year-old church, Victory International Church, Ibadan, Bishop Taiwo Adelakun has warned the striking university lecturers and Federal Government not to play politics with the future of young Nigerians who have been staying at home for the past five months. He said as it would be wrong for the government to approach the knotty issue with military sense, it would equally not be right for the university teachers to maintain a no-going back posture. Bishop Adelakun disclosed this while speaking with newsmen ahead of the yearly Rehoboth Festival which will kick

off next Wednesday in Ibadan. According to the cleric, the difficulty the Islamic insurgents, Boko Haram had in infiltrating

the southern parts of the country was a sign that God was working on them and would soon stop their menace.

DAAD Alumni conference holds in Ibadan

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VER 150 professionals from Nigeria that were trained in Germany with scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will gather in Ibadan from December 7 - 9, 2013 for a conference entitled, 'Sustainable Development in Africa's Biggest Oil Producing Economy.' The conference, which will partly take place at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, and partly at

the University of Ibadan, will be officially opened on December 7, by His Excellency, Dorothee Janetzke-Wenzel, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Nigeria, will have Professor Adewole, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan; Dr. Helmut Blumbach, Director, Southern Hemisphere Department at DAAD, and Professor Ajayi, President of the DAAD Alumni Association in attendance.

Supervising Minister of Education, Nyeson Wike said this at this year's Annual General Meeting, AGM, of Principals of Federal Unity Schools in Akure, Ondo State. Wike said students' performances in the colleges were worrisome despite government's interventions. He noted that “these colleges are some of the most resourced in the country, yet most of you have failed in your responsibility to transform them to enviable heights. “I do not see any reason the best performing students all over the country should not come from the Federal Government Colleges. “It is for this reason that we have moved to a merit based system of selecting and retaining principals only through competitive examinations and other performance evaluation processes. “Apart from regular assessment to track progress, we intend to hold principals accountable to a new delivery agreement that meets our overarching goals of turning the colleges around in the best interest of the children, parents and the country as a whole." The minister declared that over 70 colleges nation-wide will within the next few weeks, have new libraries with e-facilities. This, according to him, was to position the colleges as centres of academic excellence in basic education in the country. The chairperson of the Conference of Principals of FGC, Mrs. Ijeoma Efobi highlighted problems in the colleges to include decaying infrastructure, lack of instructional materials and quality staff for many core subjects. Efobi said that many FGCs are still going through trying times. She, however, lauded the transformation agenda of the Federal Government, saying that some Federal Unity Coleges and Federal Science and Technology Colleges in 2012 and 2013 received a boost in their budgetary allocations.


Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013 —55

Commotion in Abuja, as fire guts Conoil filling station zNot an explosive device, but ‘ll serve as an eye opener to all of us —Bala Mohammed BY HENRY UMORU, CHRIS

OCHAYI & CALEB AYANSINA BUJA—A loud explosion from the Conoil Filling Station directly opposite the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Headquarters, Abuja, triggered a fire outbreak yesterday that flared on for hours in the capital city. It was gathered that the explosion occurred from a tanker that was discharging gasoline. The explosion sent out a large ball of fire and smoke into the air, thereby causing serious commotion around the densely populated business area of the city causing serious traffic blockade in the process thereby bringing business activities to a halt. Although no casualties were recorded, many sustained injuries as a result of the stampede to escape from the area, as many who did not know the exact cause, thought it was a bomb blast from insurgents. Fire fighters from the Nigerian Army, the Federal Fire Service, Guards Brigade, FCT Fire Service

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and the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, battled to put out the fire which lasted over three hours, from almost 2.30 to 4.30 pm.

Several buildings rocked

The impact of the explosion rocked several buildings in the vicinity with glasses of some buildings surrounding the filling station shattered. The structures include the NNPC Towers and the Millennium Builders Plaza, the building housing Punch newspapers as well as banks and other establishments. A driver with Zenith Bank who sustained serious injuries from the impact was rushed to the hospital by an ambulance belonging to the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA. Two staff of NNPC who were said to be hypertensive collapsed from the effect of the smoke and were subsequently rushed to the hospital. Ambulances from NEMA, FRSC and other rescue agencies were on hand to render services during the confusion.

CP Ogunbayode and Brig. Gen. Atewe

Speaking with journalists, Commissioner of Police, CP, FCT Command, Mr. Femi Ogunbayode who was accompanied by the Commander, Guards Brigade, Brigadier General Emmanuel Atewe to the scene of the inferno, said that the authorities could not ascertain the number of casualties, but said that rescue efforts were ongoing. A staff of the filling station who pleaded anonymity told Vanguard that the truck driver failed to put off the engine of the truck while it was discharging the product. The staff said: “Usually, whenever this kind of thing happens, the NNPC helps us to put the fire out. This time around, I don’t know why they didn’t do anything. They have a big truck, but I don’t know whether or not they didn’t have enough water to put the fire out. “This kind of thing happens often. Whenever it happens, we

Solomon Lar’s body arrives Abuja today on Tuesday, According to Prof. Gana, hold BY EMMANUEL ELEBEKE

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BUJA—THE body of the first national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and first civilian governor of old Plateau State, Chief Solomon Lar, will arrive the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, by 6 pm today. Briefing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, chairman of the burial committee, Professor Jerry Gana, said, the body would arrive from a US hospital, where he died last October.

the arrival of the body will be followed by a formal reception by some eminent Nigerians at the airport, followed by a commendation service on Saturday by 3pm at the National Christian Centre, Abuja. Prof. Gana said this will be followed by a memorial lecture and tribute of honour at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja by 4pm. He said a special session of the House of Representatives in honour of the deceased would

December 10, adding that this was considered necessary because of his membership of the parliament in the First Republic before he was appointed a minister. Prof. Gana said the remains would depart Abuja for Lafia and Langtang, Nasarawa State, before they are finally taken to Jos, the Plateau State capital, after service of songs and special tribute at Langtang township stadium on Thursday.

Okomu elders give reasons for violence association in community community leaders had community whom they stabbed and BY SIMONEBEGBULEM

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ENIN CITY— LEADERS of Okomu community in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State, yesterday, disclosed that the crisis which led to the burning of three houses and bloodbath in the community last September was allegedly masterminded by some members of the community who allegedly attempted to side with the authorities of Okomu Oil Palm Plc to deny the community of the social responsibilities’ benefits by the company. In a statement by the chairman of the Okomu Community Development Association, Mr Atele Oyisco, it said the

earlier informed the management of the Okomu Oil Palm company, on the need to offer bursary/skill acquisition scheme packages to indigenes of the community as part of its corporate social responsibility to the community. “But the company deliberately offered a sham version of what we requested. Consequently, the community rejected the scheme. So in the midnight of September 14, 2013, armed youths stormed our community and attacked the homes of executive members of the association. They also attacked the octogenarian mother of Secretary to

left in the pool of her blood. “They destroyed our houses, burnt down the Audi 80 car belonging to the chairman of the association and abducted some community leaders who rejected the offer fromOkomucompany.”

often put it off. It has happened four times before. This year, it has happened once. No car was burnt, except the truck that was discharging the fuel. Everybody escaped unhurt and the vehicles were able to escape too.” Speaking with Vanguard on the cause of the inferno, a fuel attendant, at the burnt Conoil filling station, John Okoh who disclosed that the inferno occurred in the course of discharging fuel from the tanker, said: “We were monitoring the fuel tanker and in the process of discharging the fuel from the tanker to the underground tank, the fire came out of the holes, which almost caught our clothes before we ran. The attendant lamented that if the tanker driver was able to enter the vehicle and moved it away, the fire outbreak would have been controlled Another eye witness, Grace Bakka said: “I was making transaction in the bank when I heard that fire has gutted the filling station opposite NNPC tower, I ran out of the bank and I saw the fire before the explosions started. It was not a

bomb, it was fire explosion.

FCT Minister speaks

Meanwhile, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Senator Bala Mohammed, who rushed to the scene of the incident described it as unfortunate. He said: “We have not got the details to know what caused the fire, but certainly it is not an explosive device, it is the fuel that became the source of the explosion and it almost affected the underground tunnels. “This incident should be an eye opener to us, if the NNPC can do something to see that a similar thing does not happen again in the future.

NNPC boss on safety audit

Also speaking at the scene of the accident, the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu who disclosed that the corporation plans to carry out a comprehensive safety audit, said: “We as major stakeholders in the downstream sector will collaborate with other stakeholders in the industry to ensure that we do a comprehensive safety audit. We are going to use this incidence to improve on our own processes.”


56— Vanguard, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2013

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Mandela dies at 95  

Vanguard Newspaper 06122013